For the past decade, the National Basketball Training Center has been the top showcase that features the best high school basketball talent in the country today. For scouts and coaches alike, the year-long tournament, which culminates in a national championship, has been the tool for them to recruit student-athletes to college.
This time around, the NBTC, together with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, is showcasing the top individual talent in the country with the four-day camp called the Elite 60.
“I was just talking to coach Alex [Compton] and we were mentioning that it’s nice to see what’s happening right now,” said Gilas team manager Butch Antonio. “Two years ago, coach Alex and coach Eric [Altamirano] were talking about things that can happen and what we can still do in terms of how they help the National Team especially the age group.
“NBTC is already an expert in identifying teams talent, so why not individuals?”
“We tried to come up with the program that will compliment and assist national team program specifically Under-16 and Under-18 program,” added NBTC executive director Eric Altamirano. “That’s why this year, we decided to lower the age group to 16 and under.
“If there’s any player that we can identify, the national would be able to put them in the pool and have continuous training and hopefully make the national team.”
During the last month, Altamirano’s group of coaches went to Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Pampanga, Cavite, and Manila to look for the top prospects in the country. Moreover, there were invitations sent to Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada.
The following players were selected:
1 Jose Zaldy Dizon Jr. (Sacred Heart School)
2 Kaiden Padilla (Great Mercy Academy)
3 Leobert Andrew M. Casinillo (Sacred Heart School)
4 Rey Tristan Fuentes (Sacred Heart School)
5 Alfonso Luis Candari (Ateneo de Davao University)
6 Van Kennedie P. Dela Cruz (La Fortuna College)
7 Jhoernel Vince Tangkay (Little Flower School)
8 Edward Daquioag (Letran)
9 Rafael Marcel Benedict Acot (La Salle Greenhills)
10 Carlos Miguel L Jacob (Niño Jesus House of Studies)
11 Joshua Benedict Baldonado (St. John’s Institute)
12 Ivan Huxley Peralta (Camp Tinio National HS)
13 John Patrick Gonzales (Notre Dame of Trece Martires)
14 Charles Luigi Palaspas (Niño Jesus House of Studies)
15 Victor Joshua R. Bedoya (Notre Dame of Midsayap)
16 Jericho Palad (San Fernando)
17 Renniel Gomez (University of the Assumption)
18 Ray Allen Calma (St. Joseph College Olongapo)
19 Kholine Yvan Calvendra (Children’s House A Mont School)
20 Francis Miguel M. David (Pampanga High School)
21 Ren Cobie I. Tolentino (Grace Christian College)
22 Royce Deakin Mantua (Australia)
23 Steve Nash Enriquez (UV)
24 Harold Alarcon (Bacolod Tay Tung)
25 Denver Noa A. Cadiz (Ferndale International School)
26 Anfernee Estacio (San Beda)
27 Steven Lee Bryle Cordova (NU)
28 Jasper Pechora (LPU-Cavite)
29 Ralph Justine Tadeo (NU)
30 Nicole Gil L. Quinal (NU)
31 Tryon Limar G. Langala (St. Mary’s School)
32 Hondge Jared B. Gallawan (Merry Child School)
33 Aaron Jones Martinez (Lapasan National High School)
34 Voshon Lee Calipco (EAC-ICA)
35 John Aries Rodrin (EAC-ICA)
36 Aaron James C. Buensalida (NU)
39 Aldrine Clemente (LPU-Cavite)
40 Walter Franz Yu (Sacred Heart School)
41 Josemaria Gomez de Liano (UPIS)
42 Ralph Laurence Cauguiran (Letran)
43 Josiah Villamayor (Sacred Heart School)
45 Carl Patrick Miranda (Adamson)
46 Isaiah Blanco (FEU)
47 Andre-Lloyd C. Dolera (De La Salle Integrated School)
48 Rafael Zane Jalbuena (UST)
49 Jaden Ignacio (USA)
50 Nickael Cabañero (San Beda)
51 Sebastian Valencia (San Beda)
52 Bryan Jasper De Ramos (Calayan Educational Fdtn Inc)
53 Nathaniel James B. Tan (LSGH)
54 Jacob Zion R. Cortez (LSGH)
55 Mohammad Rayhan M. Saripada (IMCC )
56 Kurt Aaron L. Gelogo (SPC)
57 Patrick Javier (San Beda)
58 Joshua Tolentino (Chiang Kai Shek College)
59 Jester L. Lim (Corpus Christi School)
60 Iane Dave D. Bustamante (Corpus Christi School)
61 Louis Andre M. Joring (St. Mary’s School)
62 Jordan David Miguel Perez (New Zealand)
63 Collin Dimaculangan (UPIS)
64 Kenji Laurence Cañete (Chiang Kai Shek College)
65 Julian Alfonso R. Jugo (La Salle Greenhills)
66 Nathaniel Tulabut (LPU Cavite)
The campees are currently in the Colegio de San Agustin in Makati. The camp, which is headed by renowned skills coach Rob Beveridge, will end with an All-Star Game on Sunday, May 13.
“You have to teach the kids the fundamentals of the game. I know I’ll be working with 60 kids and I’ve seen their hearts and passion. Those are the kids that you really want to coach,” shared Beveridge.
“It’s only the start. We’ll teach this kids on really how to be elite players.
“We have an expectation that when they go back, they’ll be role models for their own teams and for their own schools,” he added.
Looking forward, the SBP hopes that this will also be the medium to help identify Fil-foreign talent as well.
“Kung meron tayong makita, pwede pagawaan ng passport agad,” quipped Altamirano. “May na-identify na sila sa US, pero at least na-identify na nila.
“By doing these, they’re aware na may program sa Philippines so they will start looking for players and we can invite good players.”