Not even his absence in the end-of-season awards of the NCAA Season 95 Juniors Basketball Tournament could stop Rhayyan Amsali from ascending to the top of the mountain when it comes to the country’s best high school players.
That snub, stemming from a one-game suspension in the middle of the season, seemingly lit a fire under the Gilas Youth stalwart as he embraced the role of San Beda’s top gun and glue guy.
And when the lights were at their brightest, the 19-year-old Amsali proved his worth as he steered the Red Cubs to the championship – their first since 2015 – and was deservingly hailed as Finals MVP.
With that, it’s just right that Amsali also took pole position in the final edition of the Chooks-to-Go National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) 24 for the NCAA.
He spearheaded a strong San Beda contingent, with three Red Cubs making it to the top five and four in the top 10.
Season MVP John Barba, who steered Lyceum to a breakthrough Finals appearance, finished second followed by San Beda’s Justine Sanchez at three and Yukien Andrada at five.
The Junior Pirates’ do-it-all star Mac Guadana completed the top five as he placed fourth.
Rounding out the top 10 are Mapua’s Jonnel Policarpio, San Beda’s Tony Ynot, La Salle’s RC Calimag, and the Letran pair of Joshua Ramirez and Shawn Umali.
Here is the final list of the NCAA NBTC 24 rankings:
1. Rhayyan Amsali (SBU)
2. John Barba (LPU)
3. Justine Sanchez (SBU)
4. Mac Guadana (LPU)
5. Yukien Andrada (SBU)
6. Jonnel Policarpio (MU)
7. Tony Ynot (SBU)
8. RC Calimag (LSGH)
9. Joshua Ramirez (CSJL)
10. Shawn Umali (CSJL)
11. Dylan Darbin (SSCR)
12. Jan Manansala (LSGH)
13. Chris Recto (AU)
14. Emman Galman (UPHSD)
15. Kobe Palencia (LSGH)
16. Gholam Garcia (JRU)
17. Milo Janao (SSCR)
18. CJ Saure (CSJL)
19. Jae Omandac (LPU)
20. Megan Galang (MU)
21. Shawn Orgo (UPHSD)
22. Adrian Balowa (EAC-ICA)
23. Edzel Galoy (UPHSD)
24. Danren Nepomuceno (AU)
Due to COVID-19, the Chooks-to-Go SM-NBTC National Finals as well as the annual All-Star Game have been postponed and tentatively rescheduled.
Originally scheduled to take place from March 21 to 27 at SM Mall of Asia Arena, the event backed by Chooks-to-Go, SMART, Vivo, Darlington, Phoenix Fuels, Epson, Gatorade, Go for Gold, and Molten has been penciled in for April 20 to 26 still at the same venue.
Media partners for the event are Cignal and One Sports.