Baguio City, Philippines, 14 March 2015 — Jr NBA/Jr WNBA presented by Alaska held its first Baguio Regional Selection Camp last 14-15 March 2015. 295 boys and girls from Baguio and the neighboring provinces of La Union, Bataan, Tarlac and Pangasinan trooped to Saint Louis Unversity Laboratory High School covered courts to tryout for a coveted spot in the 2015 Philippine Jr NBA and Jr WNBA team.
On the first day of tryouts, the ballers’ height, wingspan, vertical leap and endurance were measured. This was immediately followed by drill exercises that measured their lay-up, shooting, passing and dribbling skills.
The male and female ballers aged 10-14 at the SLU covered courts displayed a gamut of emotions. They were excited, giddy, determined, scared, playful and serious. They knew what was at stake. As they entered the covered courts, pictures of the Jr NBA and Jr WNBA ALL-Star lined the entrance. When you see pictures of Kiefer Ravena and Kobe Paras, one can’t help but dream a little.
EJ. One of the ballers I had a chance to talk to was EJ. This quiet shooting guard travelled all the way from Bataan with his father to try his luck. After the tryouts, this young Ateneo Blue Eagle fan said that he found that passing drills difficult but he enjoyed doing the lay-ups.
When the 40 boys were called, I was bit sad not to see him up front. I looked at his dad who shook his head and confirmed that EJ did not make the cut.
He is only 12, I hope he took to heart what the coaches told them and return next year. As the coaches said, the tryouts is a test of their skills. They are measured and scored, if they do not walk away with a spot on the team, they will walk away with the knowledge of what they need to develop, improve and build on so that they can come back stronger and more competitive.
Hope to see you in 2016, EJ!
Cheyenne and MJ These 2 were clearly having a blast with their dad. I caught up with them at the photobooth. When asked, they enthusiastically shared what they liked – lay-up – and had a hardtime with – dribbling and passing. But it was 10 year old MJ who surprised me the most, when asked whatelse he learned from the coaches, he said,“Politeness.”I asked him to explain further. He scrunched up his eyebrows and explained to me that it means not being pikon when playing the game, then he flashed me a smile and walked away to join his friends. MJ did not make the final 40 boys but his sister Cheyenne was part of the 24 girls who advanced to day 2 of the tryouts.
Clarence, Miguel, Joel and Carlo. These 4 friends from SLC Naguilan just finished the tryouts and rehydrating with some cold Alaska milk. They were joking around and clearly had fun. I asked them what brought them to the tryouts, Carlo grinned and said, “Ball is life.” This was quickly echoed by one of his friends. I asked who was the best player and they playfully pointed to the person next to them. I tested them a bit and asked how they would feel if only one of them got selected, they turned serious. Joel said that it would hurt but they would be supportive and then they started ribbing each other again.
At the end of day 2, the Baguio Regional Selection Camp thr top 4 boys were Magnus Gabriel Ines, Manuel Andrey Ober, Jan Zyrus de Ayre and Christian Allen and the top 3 girls were Kristine Cayabyab, Rosemarie de los Santos and Christine Angels Venterez.
They will be joined by qualfiers from Puerto Princesa, Biñan and Iloilo to the 8th Annual Jr NBA and Jr WNBA National Training Camp to be held in Manila on April 24 to 26.
Ballers, do you think you have what it takes to make it to the 2015 Jr NBA and Jr WNBA All-Star team? Do you want to improve your game? Or do you just love basketball?
Parents/coaches, do you want your child or players to have an opportunity to see how they measure up against the rest of their age group? Do you want your kids/players to work with professional coaches? Do you want the, to have an NBA experience?
If you said yes to at least 1 of the questions above, register now or register your child for the remaining Regional Selection Camps.
Davao : 21-22 March
Bacolod : 28-29 March
Manila : 11-12 April
Registration is now ongoing through the Jr NBA/Jr WNBA website www.jrnba.asia/philippined. Full program and terms and conditions can be found in the website. For updates, follow Jr NBA/Jr WNBA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jrnbaphilippines.
The Jr NBA program is the league’s international youth development program that promotes basketball participation, sportsmanship and teamwork and an active lifestyle among children. Iy is now on its 8th year in the Philippines and has reached more than 26,000 players and 2,000 coaches.