Third- and fourth-placers from the UAAP and NCAA will earn direct invites to the 2023 Smart-NBTC National Finals presented by SM, from March 15 to 19 at Mall of Asia Arena.
The NBTC competition committee decided to hand the elusive tickets to the remaining semifinalists, as the finals of both leagues will run right into the national high school championship.
UST and Mapua were the first to snag those seats, as both fourth-seeded sides fell to the top-seeded teams, but will now represent their respective leagues in the biggest grassroots event presented by Smart, SM, Strong Realty and Development Corp., Under Armour, and Molten.
The other two spots will be given to whoever doesn’t move on to the NCAA Season 98 Juniors finals between San Beda and La Salle Green Hills, as well as the UAAP Season 85 Boys’ finals between Far Eastern University-Diliman and National University Nazareth School.
“We are pumped to have teams from the UAAP and NCAA be part of this year’s National Finals. We’re confident that with what we’ve seen in their mother leagues, they can only raise the level of competition as they have done in the past editions of the NBTC,” said NBTC Program Director Eric Altamirano.
UAAP and NCAA teams will occupy the first four slots in the 24-team tourney as they join eight international squads from the NBTC Global Games and 12 champions from the Local Qualifying Tournaments.
All 24 teams will go through the Super 24 round on March 15, with the winners advancing to Division 1, and the remaining teams being relegated to Division 2. Each division will then be placed into four groups of three, playing a round-robin format on March 16 and 17, with the top teams from each group advancing to the knockout semifinals.
The championship game for both divisions will be held on March 19, alongside the Under Armour-NBTC All-Star Game, Slam Dunk Contest, Three-Point Shootout, and Skills Challenge, as well as the finals of the Girls Have Next presented by Fil-Nation Select.
All games will be livestreamed on Facebook on the NBTC, Smart Sports, and Puso Pilipinas pages.
The 2023 Smart-NBTC National Finals is sponsored by Tecno, Regent, Rebel Sports Pilipinas, MNL Kingpin, Gatorade, Swish App, Victory Liner, Darlington, Coach E Basketball School, Lighthouse Events, and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
Catch the SMART NBTC National Finals from March 15 to 19, 2023 only on SMART Sports’ Facebook page.