Photo Credit: Jr. NBA Philippines Facebook Page.


Almost 4 months of scouring the metro and the countryside offering training clinics at 5 major cities ended recently with the selection of the best among the best. Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA All Star 2015 were casted consisting of 10 boys and 5 girls. None of these were possible though if not for ALASKA Philippines’ earnest devotion to ingrain an active lifestyle among the youth, cultivate their love for the sport and hone their basketball skills and techniques to international standards.
In retrospect, the Jr. NBA/WNBA program started out of the milk company’s trust to provide an avenue, in this case through sports, where children as young as 10 years old up until 14 can not only develop all skills needed in becoming top cagers that will fill up our national and professional pools but learn the value of sportsmanship, determination, dedication and hardwork in order to succeed at whatever goals they set their sights on. Throughout this process, the importance of proper nutrition in order to achieve optimum development is likewise inculcated as an integral part of the program as much as the skills training themselves.
Over 100,000 boys and girls benefited from the program offered for free in order to emcompass even the most underprivileged of children. Aside from the young cagers, the coaches were as part of the program themselves (Coaches Level-up Program). The training involves them by enhancing their respective skills and teaching methodologies so that there will be a continuous transfer of technology and sporting values aimed at creating champions in the sport and in life. On the last day of the program, the “Coach of the Year Award” will be given to the one who shows most progress and promise among the rank.
Click on the thumbnails to go directly to Jr. NBA/WNBA Philippines website or Facebook page for more information.



I also covered the Manila Selection camp, a preliminary event leading this final selection activities, just 2 weeks prior. Click on the picture to read my post on this event.


Here is the table of activities to give you an idea of how the entire 2015 program played out from day one:

Date Event City Venue
Coaches Clinic Manila British School Manila
Jan. 25 Open Clinic Manila British School Manila
Jan. 31 Coaches Clinic Bacolod St. John’s Institute
Feb. 1 Open Clinic Bacolod St. John’s Institute
Feb. 1-22 Regional Selection
Camp (RSC)
Puerto Princesa Seminario De San Jose
Feb. 28-Mar. 1 RSC Binan Alonte Sports Arena
Mar. 7-8 RSC Iloilo Ateneo de Iloilo
Mar. 14-15 RSC Baguio St. Louis University
Mar. 21-22 RSC Bacolod St. John’s Institute
Mar. 28-29 RSC Davao Ateneo de Davao
April 11-12 RSC Manila PICC
April 24-26 National Training
Manila PICC & MOA

The program went to 5 cities – Bacolod, Puerto Princesa, Iloilo, Baguio, and Binan – where training camps and clinics were held and selections made. The first and last stop was Metro Manila where the eventual cast of Philippine All Star was selected.


The day of reconing for 50 boys and 24 girls arrived on the very last day of the program, April 26 at SM Mall of Asia Music Hall. The place was transformed into a makeshift basketball court complete with rubber matting. I saw several young varsity players either wearing the Team Nerlens blue shirt or the red Team Ruth ones. They were Jr. NBA/WNBA alumni coming back to show some moves they learned from the program. They indeed looked sharp at all angles and played excellent exhibition game.
Nerlens Noel is a No. 4 Philadelphia 76ers center towering at 6’11” while Ruth Riley is a WNBA legend playing with various teams since 2001. Both flew in to give support to these young champions. Those who will be selected will have an opportunity to travel abroad together with other South East Asian stand outs and get to experience NBA action live.

Nerlens Noel got palms that could cover almost half the ball!
Nerlens Noel got palms that could cover almost half the ball!
Ruth Riley doing some ball authograph signing during one of the National Selection Camp events.
Ruth Riley doing some ball authograph signing during one of the National Training Camp events.


The oozing confidence and unbriddled panache are, undoubtedly, evident in their moves just barely after graduating as Jr. NBA/WNBA All Star. Seeing them in intense action when barely some years back they were in the same seat as the hopeful aspirants is simply astounding. Now they constitute the power engine of their respective schools’ teams and flourish as top varsity picks.


After lunch, it was the turn of the regional qualifiers to show some action and their worth to be chosen. Each of the apirants gave it their all in order to get the nod of their coaches, all stalwarts of collegiate and national teams. The girls did their scrimmage first followed by the boys.


Photo Credit: Jr. NBA Philippines Facebook Page.
Looks like these girls are flying or are they walking on air?


Photo Credit: Jr. NBA Philippines Facebook Page.


Photo Credit: Jr. NBA Philippines Facebook Page.


Photo Credit: Jr. NBA Philippines Facebook Page.


Then the time all have been waiting for arrived, the awarding of the JR. NBA/WNBA PHILIPPINE ALL-STAR!!! From among 50 boys and 24 girls selected nationwide through the Regional Selection Camps, the best among the best emerged!


Without further ado, let me present to you the country’s finest young cagers of 2015!


The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA 2015 All-Stars with Nerlens Noel and Ruth Riley
(L-R): (First Row) : Joshua Garing, Heart Pagara Donor, Luisa Krizelle San Juan
Micaela Pentecostes, Nelia Jean David, Kyla Flores
Robert Alomar Castro, Ernest John Felicilda
(Second Row): Nerlens Noel, Jeffy Mailim, Christian Allen Magno
Daniel Coo, Lloyd Raphael Oliva, Miguel Luigi Santos
Luis Sebastian Locsin, Edrian Custodio and Ruth Riley.