National University Nazareth School looks to make more history as it seeks a three-peat when the 2023 Smart-NBTC National Finals presented by SM kicks off Wednesday at SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Led by NBTC All-Star and no. 3-ranked HS player Rein Jumamoy, the Bullpups are motivated to achieve glory in the national high school championship. They come in as the top-seed in the 24-team field which also features two other UAAP bets in UST and Ateneo, NCAA hope Mapua, eight international squads, and 12 local qualifiers.
It’s a quick turnaround for NUNS which bowed out of the semifinals in UAAP Season 85 Boys Basketball, and rookie coach Kevin de Castro is looking to make the most of this second chance to follow in the footsteps of mentor Jeff Napa and former Bullpups shot-caller Goldwin Monteverde.
Jumamoy and co. take on Cavite champion PCU-Dasmariñas in the Super 24, with the winner advancing to Division 1, while the loser gets relegated to Division 2 in this tourney powered by Smart, SM, Strong Realty and Development Corp., Under Armour, and Molten.
Top-rated HS star Jared Bahay and his Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu open the festivities against European champions Rome Elite, as perennial contender Pampanga Delta collides with Homegrown Australia.
US West Coast representative Fil-Nation Select also comes in as one of the favorites as it leans on Gilas Pilipinas Youth players Caelum Harris, Jacob Bayla, and Zain Mahmood. They face off against NCR representatives Doc Boleros.
All games will be livestreamed on Facebook via the NBTC, Smart Sports, and Puso Pilipinas pages.
The 2023 Smart-NBTC National Finals is sponsored by Tecno, Regent, Rebisco, Jollibee, San Miguel Foundation, Maynilad, Rebel Sports Pilipinas, MNL Kingpin, Gatorade, Swish App, Victory Liner, Jasper Jean, Darlington, Exped, Coach E Basketball School, Lighthouse Events, and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
Catch the SMART NBTC National Finals from March 15 to 19, 2023 only on SMART Sports’ Facebook page.