The Third Annual SLAM Rising Stars Classic tips off on Sunday, March 20 at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong City.
The all-star game features the best high school players in the country. Tiebreaker Times gathered some of the players’ thoughts ahead of the game which means a little more than just an exhibition game for the future of Philippine basketball.
Javi Gomez de Liano, University of the Philippines Integrated School:
I am not really focusing on the score. Marami nang magagaling doon. I’ll just focus on what I do which is finding bigs. I have good passing.
Juan Gomez de Liano, University of the Philippines Integrated School:
On Batang Gilas beating China in the FIBA Asia U-16 Championship: Sobrang saya naming lahat. We did not expect to win. Coach told us to just play our game. We were leading at halftime and then we were talking about it, ay kaya pala.
On who is the better Gomez de Liano:
Javi: Si Juan daw eh.
Jonas Tibayan, Chaing Kai Shek College:
Siguro mag-focus lang ako sa pwede mangyari. Stay on the game lang.
On Batang Gilas experience:
Ito ang chance na nakatulong sa akin. Nagkaroon ako ng experience at tapang lumaban.
Marco Sario, De La Salle-Zobel:
Since it’s SLAM Rising Stars, it’s the best high school players. I will just show my A-game and we’ll see what happens. (In college), I want to be a point guard that can handle and lead the team. In college, you have star players na. Anything you can do to help the team, (is a bonus). I will set-up my teammates.
Tyler Tio, Xavier School:
On having an impressive resume: I think it’s not a negative but I think it’s not going to be an advantage. It still depends on how I will perform. Having your name out there is extra pressure because people will expect more from you.
On the game:
The (all-star game) is a blessing for us. Some players are not well-known yet. It’s a chance for them to show what they can do and impress.
Gian Mamuyac, Ateneo High School:
I just want to enjoy tomorrow’s game. All-star game siya, we will play the game of our lives, the game we train for every day.
Harvey Pagsanjan, Hope Christian High School:
Mage-enjoy lang ako at ipapakita ko lang ang kaya ko.
On Batang Gilas beating China:
Sobrang saya kasi history yun. Yung game na yun, iniisip lang namin maglalaro lang kami, pero hindi namin naisip na kaya pala namin. Noong first half, injured ako noon then tinanong ako ni coach (Mike Oliver) kung kaya ko ba maglaro sa second half. Nag-warm up ako and thankful ako naka-contribute ako.
Samuel Abu Hiljeh, San Beda High School:
I think advantage yun na galing ako sa San Beda. Seven-peat (NCAA) champions na yun. Yung mga college team nag-i-scout din sa champions. This (all-star game) is going to be a great exposure for all of us. Best of the best ito. Kailangan namin magpakitang-gilas. Madaming scouts na manonood.
Michael Enriquez, Mapua-Malayan High School:
Siyempre nagpe-prepare ako. Ako MVP ng NCAA so mataas expectation ng tao. Di ko i-tetreat yun as a normal game. Every game, gusto ko maibigay ang best game. Every game, I treat it as a championship game. Gusto ko mapakita na karapat-dapat ako sa award.
BJ Andrade, Ateneo High School:
Playing in front of national TV is a different experience. We should take advantage and seize the moment.
Evan Nelle, San Beda High School:
The all-star game is a blessing. Proud ako but this is not where I want to be yet. This is just a taste. Gusto ko PBA. I am going to work harder to have a better career.
On following the steps of other San Beda high school products like Arvin Tolentino, Andrei Caracut, et al:
Kahit half of where they are lang today. Kasi yung mga yun superstar na eh.
Ricci Rivero, De La Salle-Zobel:
On having an impressive resume:
Oo pero more on ipapakita mo in front of them pa rin. May times kasi na yung iba, overrated, yung iba, underrated.
Guilmer Dela Torre, Arellano High School:
Proud na proud ako sa sarili ko, thankful ako pati sa suporta ng school ko. Di ako makapaniwala, bilang lang ang napapasama dito. Syempre papakita ko yung abot ng makakaya ko. Bibigay ko ang 100 percent ko.
Carlo Abadeza, Arellano High School:
On being part of FIBA U-17 World Championships:
Sobrang blessed ako noong U16 na yun. First time namin magqualify sa worlds, and nakalaban pa namin yung USA na mga posibleng future NBA (players). Nakaka-boost siya ng confidence. Ibig sabihin, height lang nilamang nila. Pagbalik namin sa Pilipinas, parang feeling namin angat kami sa iba na hindi part ng world championship team.
Brent Paraiso, De La Salle-Zobel:
I have to give it my all kasi it is an opportunity for me. Kailangan ilabas lahat.
Alberto Bordeos, San Beda High School:
I-e-enjoy ko lang. Minsan lang mangyayari to.