During the NBTC Elite 60 All-Star Game, there was one kid who stood out among the field composed of some of the brightest under-16 years old stars in the country.
With the game tied at 58-all and just one minute remaining, a nappy-haired kid, who stands at around 5-foot-7, swooped in a for an offensive rebound. He then shifted gears, catching his defender off-guard, and was able to score a hoop and the harm. Cool and calm, he sank the free throw to give the black-clad team the lead for good.
His name is Steve Nash Enriquez and he was named as the game’s Most Valuable Player.
As the game had ended and his adrenaline slowly wearing off, he sat with his fellow campmates. He chatted with them and kidded with them, probably reflecting on the four days they spent together.
He was also named as the Best Camper of the Elite 60.
Afterwards, the shy high school prospect was invited by Batang Gilas Pilipinas assistant coach Josh Reyes to join the national team pool while also being rewarded by the NBTC to a training camp in the States.
This is every kids’ dream and he is one of the fortunate few who is starting to live it.
“Yung talent niya, yung play all throughout the camp, talagang stand out eh,” NBTC assistant program director Anton Altamirano remarked. “He displayed talaga yung mga qualities ng mga guard. He reminds me a lot of how Terrence Romeo plays. Kahit nung before the camp, nakita ko sa Cebu, laki ng potential ng bata.”
“Di ko akalain kasi galing ako sa Cebu,” beamed the young floor general.
“Nung nagpunta ako dito, hindi ako nag-tryout, na-invite lang ako. It’s a great experience talaga na kinuha ako ni coach Eric [Altamirano]. Laking pasasalamat ko sa kanya at sa mga coaches dito dahil kung hindi dahil sa kanila, wala ako dito,” he furthered.
At such a young age, Enriquez is fulfilling the dream of his grandfather Alfredo Enriquez, one of the pioneers of the PBA, and his uncle Woodraw Enriquez, a former star of defunct club team M. Lhullier. Moreover, at a young age, he is starting to believe that he could only fulfill his and their dreams under the bright lights of Manila.
Coming to the metropolis alone, the third-generation cager is willing to stay as he has received offers from Manila-based like NU, Ateneo, FEU, San Beda, and Adamson to study and play for them.
“NU, Adamson, FEU, Beda, at Ateneo. Gusto ko po yun, yung maglaro dito sa Manila,” he disclosed.
“Willing ako mag-stay dito sa Manila dahil kinukuha nila ako dito. Problema ko yung school ko, baka hindi ako i-release pero gusto ko talaga mag-Manila.”
And if ever he secures his release, he knows that his relatives will be there supporting his dream.
“Happy sila sa akin. Sa bisaya, amping. Mag-ingat daw ako dito kasi wala sila.”