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


Titan Love Court now open to the public

Lifestyle, Sports

Photo from TitanLoveCourt/Instagram


TITAN, the Philippines basketball collective, opened the Titan Love Court to the public last Monday, April 24.

Emerging from Titan’s passion for the game, Titan Love Court is rooted in the heart of Bonifacio Global City. Amidst the pace and energy of today’s modern city, the playground stands as a special place for everyone to come together in the name of basketball. Build it and they will come, so they say: to play, to learn, to compete and to celebrate the game we all love.

How to become a Titan Love Court member

Lifestyle, Sports

Photo from

The Titan Love Court is the newest spot to play hoops.

Located on the corner of 32nd Street and 9th Avenue in BGC, the Titan Love Court features two regulation-sized basketball courts for your outdoor play needs.

But before you can step onto the Titan Love Court, you must first become a member. Here’s how you can sign up for a membership:

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

For Tab Baldwin, it’s all about the fundamentals


Last Saturday, as I mentioned in my earlier post, I got to try on the recently launched Nike Kyrie 3 — the latest shoe from Kyrie Irving’s signature line.

We know how explosive and creative Kyrie can be on the court. He’s breaking ankles here and there, trying to escape defenders with his unpredictable crossovers and insane handles. It’s all fun to watch and entertaining, but before you even think about emulating Kyrie’s moves you might want to lock down the basics first.

During our Kyrie 3 training session, Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin stressed the importance of knowing the basics and mastering the fundamentals.

“You can’t really play the game well unless you can play it fundamentally ,and that’s proven at every level,” Baldwin told me. “Good basketball players will always try to exploit players with weak fundamentals in some areas.”

The former Gilas coach said he has been preaching and convincing basketball athletes all his career that the first thing players shouldn’t do when they walk into a gym is pick up a ball and start shooting.

“There’s so many other things you have to master because actually when you’re playing the game you spend very little time with the ball in your hands. You spend a lot of your time playing defense, and moving and cutting and spacing,” he explained.


Once you master the fundamentals you have the potential to become a complete basketball player, which for Baldwin is “a guy that’s comfortable anywhere on the court, offensively and defensively.”

“If he catches the ball in traffic and around the basket, he has the ability to manuever through that whether it’s to power up for a shot or getting something clever up to the ring, or whether it’s just to get out of the traffic and be safe with the ball and make a pass out,” he explained.

“Same thing if you’ve got a guy 90 feet from the basket being pressed and he’s a big man, does he have to give the ball to a guard or can he bring the ball up the floor? By the same token, can you shoot it from the perimeter or are you a guy that a coach says, ‘We don’t want you shooting there, get close to the basket.’

“For me a guy that’s a complete player has a skill set that allows him to play anywhere on the floor under any circumstances but also can think the game.”

So kids, before you even try to copy all the moves you’ve seen Kyrie’s done on YouTube highlights, make sure you put in the time to practice the fundamentals and become an expert on the basics.


The Nike Kyrie 3 is available at Nike and Titan outlets for P6,295.

Read my review on the Kyrie 3 here:

Learn basketball the Jimmy Alapag way

Events, Lifestyle

Jimmy Alapag is one of the greatest players to play in the Philippine Basketball Association.

He’s won numerous championships, an MVP, a Finals MVP, 11-time All-Star, 3-time PBA Mythical First Team and one of the PBA’s 40 Greatest Players.

And he’s also attained success on a global stage, having played in a number of international tournaments, such as the FIBA Asia Championship and FIBA World Cup, among others.

That’s why if you have kids or know people who want to improve their basketball skills, Jimmy is the guy you’d want them to learn from.

Fortunately, he has a basketball camp coming up.

Jimmy, along with Drew Dunlop, is holding an Alapag Skills Academy from January 24 to April 22. It is open to boys and girls 14 years old and above, as well as men and women.

Why he came up with the idea of a skills academy? Jimmy says it was the right time to do so, especially now that’s he has retired from the PBA.

“I came up with the idea of the skills academy because since retirement, a frequently asked question is, ‘When will I start teaching?’” said Jimmy. “It’s an idea I’ve had for a while now, but since I’m no longer playing I thought it was a great time to get the academy off the ground.”

The basketball legend dubbed as “Mighty Mouse” will teach players on how they can improve their guard skills.

Jimmy says participants of the Alapag Skills Academy can expect “a hands-on, detailed approach to the workouts.”

“We’ve limited the number to a max of 12 players per 90-minute session so we can maximize the teaching aspect. We’ll be focusing on all guard skills, with an emphasis on shooting,” he added.

“I’ll be conducting the workouts myself, along with my good friend and long time skills coach Drew Dunlop, who has experience on all levels from high school, college, international and NBA levels.”

The Alapag Skills Academy will be hosted at Kerry Sports Manila at the Shangri-la Fort.


As of posting, Jimmy says there are only a few slots left so better hit them up fast if you want to join.

For more details, you can call +639988595593 or email

MILO Best Center to hold basketball, volleyball clinics in 3 venues

Events, Sports

The BEST Center (Basketball Efficiency and Scientific Training Center), the pioneer in sports clinics in the Philippines backed by Milo, starts the year with a bang when it holds its award-winning basketball and volleyball clinics in three venues starting Saturday (January 7).

Saturday-only classes will be held at the Ateneo College covered Courts from 8-11 am from Jan. 7 – Feb. 25 for basketball (Levels 1, 2, 3, 4) and volleyball (Levels 1, 2 and 3 and Preparatory Level).

The Best Center also visits the Xavier School on the same dates from 1-4:30 pm for Preparatory Level and Levels 1, 2 and 3 for basketball.

Sunday-only classes will be held at the Starmall Alabang from February 8 – February 26 at 1-4pm for basketball (Preparatory Level and Levels 1, 2 and 3).

The Best Center was a recipient of the Olympism Award from the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and is a Hall-of-Fame awardee by the Philippine Sportswriters Association.