3 Baguio ballers join Jr. NBA national camp

THREE Baguio young players and another four from Pangasinan distinguished themselves at the Regional Selection Camp of the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines 2015 presented by Alaska held at the St. Louis University Laboratory High School.

Jan Zyrus De Ayre, 13, of Berkeley School, Baguio; Magnus Gabriel Ines, 13, of St. Louis University Laboratory High School, Baguio; Christian Allen Magno, 14, of St. Albert the Great School, Dagupan and Manuel Andrey Ober, 13, of Dagupan City National High School were selected as the region's Jr. NBA representatives to the National Training Camp.

The seven young players had statistics and basketball savvy that impressed Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA coaches and judged them worthy of inclusion in the National Training Camp, the high point of the NBA's global youth development program, come April.

Christine Angela Venterez, 13, of Baguio National High School; Christine Cayabyab, 14, of Judge Jose De Venecia Sr. Memorial National High School, Dagupan City and Rose Marie de los Santos, 13, of St. Albert the Great School, Dagupan City will be the Jr. WNBA representatives for North Luzon in the National Training Camp.

The seven finalists topped a field of 295 participants aged 10-14 years old from Baguio City and other parts of Benguet Province, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija and Isabela Province.

The two-day selection camp subjected players to vital tests, skills challenges and basketball drills on the first day.

The Top 40 players with the highest vitals test and skills challenges scores on Day 1 were asked to return on Day 2 for more intense drills and basketball team exercises.

A final scrimmage at the end of Day 2 selected the most skilled basketball players who also exemplified the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA core values of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude and Respect.

The NTC finalists from North Luzon were chosen by the Jr. NBA evaluation committee composed of Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA coaches Rodney Santos, John Ramirez, Christian Luanzon and Junjun Alas of Alaska, Louie Gonzalez and Ish Tiu, Melissa Jacob and Lhen Flormata of Perlas Pilipinas.

"This was a very impressive batch. There are many, strong and talented young players in this part of the country, and we know they will perform very well in the National Training Camp against the best players of other regions. We had a hard time with our deliberations here because there were so many deserving candidates," said Jr. NBA Coach Rodney Santos, a PBA Legend who is also a coach in the Alaska Power Camp.

The next Regional Selection Camps will be held in Bacolod City at St. John Institute on March 21 and 22, Davao City at the University of the Immaculate Conception on March 28 and 29 and Manila at the PICC Forum on April 11 and 12. Qualified boys and girls who wish to join the selection camps may still register at www.jrnba.asia/philippines. The program is absolutely free.

At the National Training Camp ten Jr. NBA and five Jr. WNBA All-Stars will be selected and will embark on a unique, overseas NBA experience together with fellow Jr. NBA All-Stars from Southeast Asia. The Coach of the Year presented by Alaska will also be announced at the National Training Camp that will be attended by NBA talents.
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