The current PBA backcourt players who were present during the Third Annual SLAM Rising Stars Classic were left impressed by the stellar performances shown by topnotch high school guards Aljun Melecio and Tyler Tio.
Melecio, the De La Salle-Zobel standout, finished with 11 points, including a dagger three late in the game to seal a 103-98 win for his Team Punks.
Xavier School playmaker Tio, meanwhile, dropped 21 points for Team Hype, showing his ability to finish and make plays.
Rain or Shine guard Maverick Ahanmisi spoke highly of the two players’ quarterbacking skills, and added that after seeing the two players showcase their talents, he thinks their future teams will benefit from them.
“What I saw from them, they play the point guard position, they read the floor, they get the offense steady. Whatever college they go to, those colleges will have steady point guards. Even though they’re young, they can help the team. They will definitely be hearing their names,” Ahanmisi said.
“Definitely, they have unique talents that they utilize. It is how you use those talents to make you better. Obviously they are doing that right now.”
NLEX guard and PBA champion Kevin Alas, a highly-touted prospect himself back in his amateur days, said Philippine basketball’s future will be secure with those type of players.
“Nakakatuwa na alam mong may future ‘yung Philippine basketball. At this young age, ‘yung skill set nila, makikita nandoon na eh,” Alas, who also took part in the event as an assistant coach for Team Punks, said.
He added that Melecio and Tio are already good enough for the collegiate ranks considering their caliber.
“I can say puwede na talaga sila pang college. Si Tyler ang taas ng basketball IQ eh,” Alas said. “The games nowadays, they are luckier. Nakukuha nila ‘yung mga opportunity and i-grab lang nila. Not everyone gets a chance to play like this.”
Alaska guard Chris Banchero, who also assisted in coaching Team Hype, was glad to see the level of competition in the exhibition match.
“It was fun to watch. Those kids are going to be good. It’s good to see that basketball in somewhat an all-star game. You don’t see that intensity. It was fun to see that,” he said.
Banchero concluded by wishing the young point guards the best.
“They are very good players. It was fun watching them play and I hope they have great careers.”