Metro Manila’s top 24 high school basketball players gather anew for the Third Annual SLAM Rising Stars Classic which tips off on March 20 (Sunday) at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City.
The all-star game shall be aired live on ABS-CBN Sports and Action and Sports and Action HD starting at 6:30 p.m. The game will also be livestreamed over at sports.abs-cbn.com.
“The SLAM Rising Stars Classic is the graduation ceremony of Philippine high school basketball’s honors class. It is a collection of the most talented, most promising young names in hoops, names that we are certain will become more and more familiar to more and more people as years go by,” Nikko Ramos, SLAM Philippines’ Executive Editor, said.
“In the past, these athletes would have been told to ‘wait their turn.’ We refuse to make them wait, or wait ourselves. It is a platform that not only propels young talent, but also grabs hold of the narrative as if to say ‘Get on the bandwagon now. You’ll run out of seats if you wait.'”
UAAP Season 78 Juniors Most Valuable Player and Green Archers commit Aljun Melecio from De La Salle Santiago Zobel, and NCAA Season 91 Juniors Finals MVP Evan Nelle of San Beda College-Rizal headline this year’s showcase, which also includes blue chip players Justine Baltazar and John Lloyd Clemente of the NU Bullpups.
In addition to Melecio, also returning to this year’s SLAM Rising Stars Classic are Ricci Rivero of LSGH, Jolo Mendoza of Ateneo High School, Carlo Abadeza of Arellano University, and new ADMU commit Tyler Tio of Xavier School.
Last year, La Salle’s JBoy Gob (LSGH) and National University’s JV Gallego (CKSC) won co-MVP game honors and led Team Punks to a 103-95 win over Team Hype. Gob finished with 16 points and seven rebounds while Gallego came up with 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting.
Numerous collegiate stars have played in the previous two editions of the SLAM Rising Stars Classic, and continue to make a name for themselves in the college circuit. Prominent alumni include La Salle’s Prince Rivero and Andrei Caracut, National University’s Rev Diputado, Ateneo’s Arvin Tolentino and Matt Nieto, San Beda’s Javee Mocon, Adamson’s JD Tungcab, and University of the Philippines’ Diego Dario.
The SLAM Rising Stars Classic boasts of a game environment that is fun, yet still very competitive. Leading the way from the sidelines will be De La Salle Santiago Zobel Junior Archers assistant coach Gian Nazario handling Team Punks and Ateneo High School Blue Eaglets head coach Joe Silva calling the shots for Team Hype.
In addition, PBA stars will serve as assistant coaches. Alaska Aces Tony Dela Cruz and Chris Banchero will be on the Hype side while Star Hotshot Marc Pingris and Tropang TNT member Troy Rosario help out the Punks squad.
The full rosters:
#4 Samuel Abu Hiljeh (San Beda College-Rizal)
#5 BJ Andrade (Ateneo de Manila High School)
#6 John Lloyd Clemente (Nazareth School of National University)
#7 Michael Enriquez (Mapua – Malayan High School)
#8 Javi Gomez De Llaño (UP Integrated School)
#9 Gian Mamuyac (Ateneo de Manila High School)
#10 Jolo Mendoza (Ateneo de Manila High School)
#11 Harvey Kenji Roman (FEU-Diliman)
#13 Marco Sario (De La Salle Santiago Zobel)
#14 Jonas Tibayan (Chiang Kai Shek College)
#15 Tyler Tio (Xavier School)
Head coach: Joe Silva (Ateneo High School)
Assistant coaches: Tony Dela Cruz (Alaska), Chris Banchero (Alaska)
#4 Carlo Abadeza (Arellano University)
#5 Justine Baltazar (Nazareth School of National University)
#6 Alberto Bordeos (San Beda College-Rizal)
#7 Sherwin Concepcion (Mapua – Malayan High School)
#8 Guilmer Dela Torre (Arellano University)
#9 Juan Gomez De Llaño (UP Integrated School)
#10 Shaun Ildefonso (Ateneo de Manila High School)
#11 Aljun Melecio (De La Salle Santiago Zobel)
#12 Evan Nelle (San Beda College-Rizal)
#13 Kyle Ong (Xavier School)
#14 Brent Paraiso (De La Salle Santiago Zobel)
#15 Ricci Rivero (La Salle Greenhills)
Head coach: Gian Nazario (De La Salle Santiago Zobel)
Assistant coaches: Marc Pingris (Star), Troy Rosario (TNT)