NCR’s representatives in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go SM NBTC League National Finals will be a mix of traditional powerhouses and driven upstarts.
Leading the way are Nazareth School of National University, who have a golden opportunity to win back-to-back championships – a feat that has not been achieved in the 12-year history of the national championship for high school.
The Bullpups – captained by Gerry Abadiano, alongside super scorer Terrence Fortea and twin towers Kevin Quiambao and Carl Tamayo – are heading into the 32-team tournament with a full head of steam, just three weeks removed from reclaiming the UAAP crown.
However, UAAP runner-up Ateneo, fronted by 7-foot-2, 16-year-old Kai Sotto, will yet again be there to challenge them.
Also determined to make their marks in the event – sponsored by Chooks-to-Go, Darlington-Exped Socks, EPSON, Huawei, Freego, Purefoods, Gatorade, Go for Gold, SM, and Molten – are NCAA champions Mapua steered by Finals MVP Paolo Hernandez and clutch Dan Arches; and second-placers La Salle Green Hills, spearheaded by versatile Joshua David and workhorse Inand Fornilos.
Metro Manila Basketball League titlist San Beda and fellow finalist Letran, as well as wildcards Hope Christian and FEU-Diliman, round out the NCR’s participants in the week-long showcase of the most promising young talents in the country presented by TV5 Plus and Lighthouse Events.
The NCR qualifiers will wage war with 26 other teams in the annual NBTC League Nationals from March 18 to 24 at the MOA Arena.
The tournament semis and finals, alongside the annual All-Star Game, will be aired live on ESPN5. All games, from the seeding round to the championship round, will also be streamed live over at tv5.espn.com
Last year, National U were crowned king of Division 1, while La Salle Lipa ruled Division 2.