Top performers at National Training Camp named Jr. NBA Philippines 2018 All-Stars



After a little over five months and four Regional Selection Camps the 2018 edition of Jr. NBA Philippines presented by Alaska officially had its curtain call over the weekend.

From the thousands who signed up, 74 outstanding campers — the top performers from the Regional Selection Camps held in Bacolod, Baguio, Butuan, Metro Manila and Alaska Power Camp, moved on to the National Training Camp with no less than Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein and WNBA legend and Hall of Famer Sheryl Swoopes in attendance who served as mentors and coaches to the young aspirants along with Jr. NBA Coaches Carlos Barroca and Rob Newson, together with Alaska coaches led by PBA Legend Jeffrey Cariaso.

And after a series of intense training at the Gatorade Hoops Center last May 18 and the Don Bosco Technical Institute last May 19, 16 lucky hoopsters were named to the 11th batch of Jr. NBA Philippines All-Stars at the National Training Camp held at the Mall of Asia Music Hall on May 20.

This year’s selection, a well-balanced group chosen from the National Capital Region, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, who showcased their skills on the court and exemplified the Jr. NBA core S.T.A.R. Values of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude, and Respect are:


First Name Last Name Age School
Prince Ray Alao 14 San Beda University
Ethan  Rod Aljan 14 La Salle Greenhills
John Lester Amagan 14 St. Robert’s International Academy of Iloilo
Seven Gagate 14 Chiang Kai Shek
Nathan Jan Jundana 14 Bacolod Tay Tung
Christian Joi Mesias 14 Jose Maria College of Davao
Kim Aaron Tamayo 13 National University
Rhon Khaniel Telles 13 St. Anthony de Carmelli Academy


First Name Last Name Age School
Madelyn Flores 14 Bukidnon National High School
Gin Kayla Huelar 13 St. La Salle University, Bacolod
Aishe Solis 13 Corpus Christi School in Cagayan De Oro


Valle 13 Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School


Venterez 12 Baguio City National High School
Marielle Vingno 14 Escuela de Sohia of Caloocan Inc.
Amber Esquivel 14 De La Salle Zobel
Kyla Marie Mataga 13 De La Salle Zobel

Alao and Valle were likewise named as this year’s Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Most Valuable Players in the Boys and Girls divisions, respectively. Marielle Vingno and Ethan Rod Alian, meanwhile, were selected as Alaska Ambassadors.  Hazel Yambot of Baguio and Mark “Tata” Belangel of Bacolod were chosen as the Coaches of the Year.

Special awards were handed out to Kayla Marie Mataga and Javier Louis Jugo as Gatorade Hustle awardees, Merylle Cuasay and Czarlo Salvador as Panasonic Rising Stars, and Aishe Solis and Kim Aaron Tamayo were named Cloudfone Awesome Players of the Game.

The players’ on-court skills were not the sole focus of the Jr. NBA program. As a longtime partner, Alaska helped put emphasis on the athletes having balanced nutrition to further sharpen their intelligence and emotional quotients.

“Alaska’s long-standing partnership with the NBA for the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA program is proof of our commitment in helping shape the youth into being not just good athletes but also as members of society through sports. Like their parents, it is not just their athletic ability we aim to develop but moreso their emotional and mental capacities,” said Blen Fernando, Alaka’s VP for Marketing.

“Being a part of a program such as this is a once in a lifetime experience that I’m sure the campers will bring with them even outside of the basketball court. Learning more about the value of hard work, perseverance, dedication, and passion is something I’m sure they can apply not just in sports but as they embark on other endeavors in the future,” she added.

A once in a lifetime NBA experience trip in Shanghai, China awaits the All-Stars in October as they will be joining their counterparts from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam in training and friendly competitions before capping their trip by watching live the NBA China Games 2018 featuring the Philadelphia 76ers and the Dallas Mavericks.

For more information about the Alaska Milk Corporation, visit and for live updates follow PlayPH in facebook, Instagram and twitter.

For general information about Jr. NBA presented by Alaska 2018 visit


Magic’s Elfrid Payton, former WNBA player Sue Wicks to coach Filipino kids at Jr. NBA nat’l training camp


Photo from OrlandoMagic/Twitter

The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced Wednesday that Elfrid Payton of the Orlando Magic and former WNBA player Sue Wicks will travel to Manila to participate in the Jr. NBA Philippines 2017 National Training Camp and help coach players from around the country vying to be named 2017 Jr. NBA All-Stars. The National Training Camp will be held at the Don Bosco Technical Institute May 12-13 and at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall on May 14.

PBA Capsule: Mallari with near triple double; Alaska secures QFs berth


Mahindra notched its third victory in the PBA Philippine Cup after defeating NLEX, 106-96, at the Cuneta Astrodome on Friday (January 27).

The Flood Buster, who now stand at 3-7 in the standings, were led by Alex Mallari who finished with a career-high 30 points. He also added 10 rebounds and nine assists.

In the second game, Alaska improved to 6-4 after a 106-85 rout of Phoenix. The Aces, who are currently tied in second place with TNT KaTropa, secured a quarterfinals berth with the win.

Phoenix, meanwhile, slid down to 6-5.

Friday’s stud

Alex Mallari: 30 points (12/20 FG), 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals

Friday’s dud

NLEX — With the loss today, the Road Warriors slid down further to a 2-8 record and will end up at the bottom of the team standings, the first in franchise history.

What’s in a number?

16 — According to PBA statistician Fidel Mangonon, it is the first time in 16 years a team coached by Yeng Guiao finished last in the standings. The last time it happened was with Red Bull in the 2000 Commissioner’s Cup.

Highlight reel

Photo from PBA Media Bureau

PBA Capsule: Alaska eliminates Mahindra, Phoenix takes solo second


After a see-saw battle until the third quarter, Alaska pulled away in the final period to take a 107-91 win over Mahindra in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday.

Alaska improved to 5-4 in the standings, still with a shot at the top 2 spot. With the loss, Mahindra is no longer in the running for a quarterfinals berth. Meralco and NLEX were also eliminated.

Meanwhile, Ginebra’s hopes for a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarters took a minor hit after losing to Phoenix, 79-73, in the second game.

The Fuel Masters, who led wire-to-wire, moved one step closer in clinching a quarterfinals berth and climbed up to second place in the standings at 6-4. The Gin Kings slid down to 5-5.

Sunday’s stud

Matthew Wright: 18 points (7/11 FG), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal

The rookie was held scoreless in the first half but exploded in the last two quarters, holding the fort down for Phoenix when Ginebra tried to make a comeback.

Sunday’s dud

Sol Mercado (Ginebra): 3 points (1/5 FG), 6 rebounds, 3 turnovers

On a night where Ginebra was playing without Japeth Aguilar, I was expecting Mercado (or at least someone else) to step up and provide some offense. But in 25 minutes of action, he only contributed 3 points.

What’s in a number?

26 – That’s how many points Ginebra scored in the first two quarters. You can’t expect to win with just 26 points at halftime, can you?

Highlight reel

Mahindra may have lost the game, but Alex Mallari gets the highlight of the night. Midway in the second period, Mallari drove between two defenders, got bumped and flipped the ball in for the and-1 play. He finished with 23 points, 8 assists and 3 steals.

Photo from PBA Media Bureau

Jr. NBA Philippines returns to inspire nationwide youth basketball participation

Events, Lifestyle, Sports

Press release

Jr. NBA Philippines 2017 presented by Alaska returns this year to the Philippines from Jan. 20-May 14 as part of the league’s effort to encourage youth basketball participation.

Jr. NBA, the league’s global youth basketball participation program for boys and girls, teaches participants the fundamental skills and core values of the game at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents. In addition, Jr. NBA Philippines will introduce a court refurbishment initiative that will revitalize a community court through the NBA Cares platform.

The Jr. NBA Philippines 2017 presented by Alaska is free and open to boys and girls ages 10-14 and is comprised of four stages: skills clinics in schools and communities, Regional Selection Camps, a National Training Camp and an NBA experience trip.

The skills clinics will be held nationwide from January through April with stops in Bacolod, Batangas, Cagayan De Oro, Cavite, Cebu, Metro Manila and Subic. The Regional Selection Camps will be held in Cagayan De Oro (Feb. 11-12), Lucena (Feb. 25-26), Cebu (March 11-12) and Metro Manila (April 1-2), with the top 37 boys and 37 girls advancing to the National Training Camp in Manila on May 12-14, which will feature an NBA and WNBA player or legend. The program will culminate with the selection of 16 Jr. NBA All-Stars, comprised of eight boys and eight girls, who will embark on an overseas NBA experience trip with fellow Jr. NBA All-Stars from Southeast Asia.

Below is a look at the Jr. NBA in the Philippines By The Numbers:

  • 133,000 – The Jr. NBA Philippines Facebook page has more than 133,000 followers.
  • 57,000 – More than 57,000 players have participated in the Jr. NBA Philippines.
  • 3,000 – More than 3,000 coaches have participated in the Jr. NBA Philippines.
  • 94 – 94 Jr. NBA All-Stars have been selected.
  • 64 – Jr. NBA clinics have been conducted in 64 municipalities and cities across the Philippines.
  • 10 – 10 current and former NBA and WNBA players have participated in the Jr. NBA Philippines: Tina Thompson, Ruth Riley, Taj McWilliams-Franklin, B.J. Armstrong, A.C. Green, Luc Longley, Muggsy Bogues, Gordon Hayward, Nerlens Noel and Norris Cole.
  • 2 – Two Jr. NBA Philippines alumni, Aljon Mariano and Raphael Banal, are currently playing in the Philippine Basketball Association.
  • 1 – One Jr. NBA Philippines alumnus, Kobe Paras, plays for Creighton University, an NCAA Division I team.



The 2017 edition of Jr. NBA Philippines will begin the search for the Jr. NBA Coach of the Year Jan. 20 in Manila, led by Jr. NBA Head Coaches Craig Brown and Chris Sumner with Alaska Power Camp Coach Jeff Cariaso. Fourteen Jr. NBA coaches will be selected as finalists and trained at the National Training Camp, with two Jr. NBA Coaches of the Year awarded with an NBA experience trip.

“Jr. NBA has provided world-class basketball instruction to communities across the country and produced a roster of athletes competing both on the local and international stage,” said NBA Philippines Managing Director Carlo Singson. “We are grateful for our partnership with Alaska, which supports our mission of instilling the core values of our game and promoting an active lifestyle among youth in the Philippines.”

“We are proud that Jr. NBA Philippines has established itself as one of the country’s premier youth basketball programs and shaped well-rounded athletes including Aljon Mariano, Kiefer Ravena, Kobe Paras, Kyla Flores and Rozie Amatong who inspire Filipino youth to fulfill their potential,” said Alaska Milk Corporation Marketing Director Blen Fernando. “As partners of the NBA, Alaska Milk is committed to serving more Filipino children and families with affordable nutrition and providing first-rate training to guide their pursuit of becoming champions in life.”

Jr. NBA Philippines presented by Alaska continues to promote proper nutrition and an active lifestyle, serving as an effective platform in implementing Alaska Milk’s NUTRITION.ACTION.CHAMPION. program that helps address the issue of overweight and undernourished children in the Philippines.

CloudFone, Gatorade, Globe Telecom and Panasonic serve as Official Partners of the Jr. NBA in the Philippines, while Spalding is a Supporting Partner. ABS-CBN Sports + Action, Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV are the Official NBA Broadcasters of the Jr. NBA in the Philippines.

The Jr. NBA program is free and open to boys and girls ages 10-14. Coaches and participants can now register online at, where the program terms and conditions can be found.

Fans can also follow Jr. NBA on Facebook at For all things NBA, visit and follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (

To learn more about the Alaska Milk Corporation, visit and

Belo, Sumang help Blackwater fend off Alaska


Blackwater used a strong second half to down the Alaska Aces, 103-100, in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Roi Sumang was named Player of the Game after scoring 19 points, 17 of which came in the second half.

Rookie standout Mac Belo had 21 points and 7 rebounds, while Art dela Cruz added 13 for the Elire, which moved into the solo third spot with a 5-4 record.

JV Casio and Calvin Abueva each scored 23 points for Alaska, which dropped to 4-4 in the standings. Abueva also grabbed 14 boards but missed a potential game-tying three on the Aces’ last play.

Blackwater was down 49-45 at the end of the first half, but picked things up in the third period to grab a 76-71 advantage. The Elite led by as much as 14 points in the fourth quarter after Aguilar knocked down a triple.

Alaska trimmed the lead to two, 100-8, on a jumper by Abueva but couldn’t stop Blackwater from sealing the victory.

With Sumang powering their attack, the Elite got 55 points from their bench.

The scores:

BLACKWATER 103 – Belo 21, Sumang 19, Buenafe 16, Dela Cruz 13, Aguilar 10, Sena 8, Cervantes 6, Miranda 4, Pinto 4, Ababou 2, Pascual 0, Gamalinda 0, Banal 0.

ALASKA 100 – Abueva 23, Casio 23, Manuel 13, Racal 9, Mendoza 7, Hontiveros 6, Exciminiano 6, Jazul 4, Cruz 4, Thoss 2, Pascual 2, Dela Cruz 1.

Quarterscores: 22-28, 45-49, 76-71, 103-100.

Photos from PBA Media Bureau

PBA names Alaska’s Vic Manuel as Player of the Week


It looks like Vic Manuel isn’t having issues with his right calf anymore.

The Alaska forward was awarded PBA Player of the Week honors after the Aces won two straight games in the PBA Philippine Cup.

In the comeback win over the Meralco Bolts last week, Manuel had a double double of 22 points and 10 rebounds. In Sunday’s victory against Barangay Ginebra, he came off the pine and managed to contribute 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and a block.

Manuel beat out SMB’s Junemar Fajardo and Alex Cabagnot, Star’s Paul Lee, TNT’s Kelly Williams and Blackwater’s Art dela Cruz for the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week plum for the week of December 12-18.

Alaska is currently tied in third place with Star, TNT, Blackwater and Rain or Shine with a 3-2 card.

PBA Capsule: Blackwater halts skid; Banchero saves Alaska

Sports, Uncategorized

A pair of really interesting games in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night.

The Blackwater Elite snapped their two-game losing streak after beating the NLEX Road Warriors, 96-85.

Art dela Cruz scored 18 points and hauled down 8 rebounds to lead the Elite. Ronjay Buenafe had a nice line of 13-4-5, while top rookie Mac Belo had 9-5-5.

With the win, Blackwater improved in the league standings with a 3-2 card. The Road Warriors, meanwhile, hold the second worst record at 1-3.

Watch the highlights of the Blackwater-NLEX game here:


In the second game, Alaska escaped the Meralco Bolts, 81-79, thanks to a game-winning three-pointer from Chris Banchero.

The Aces were down nine, 75-66, at the 3:09 mark of the payoff period. But the Bolts couldn’t buy a bucket in the next few minutes as Alaska staged a 10-2 blast to set up the clutch triple from Banchero.

Meralco had 4.1 seconds to try and snatch the game away, but Chris Newsome — who scored 23 points for the Bolts — missed the attempt on the final play.

Alaska’s Vic Manuel won Best Player of the Game honors with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

The Aces and Bolts hold identical 2-2 win-loss cards.

Photo from PBA Media Bureau