When basketball dreams come true: Meet the 2016 JrNBA/Jr.WNBA All-Stars 

Have your ever wanted something so much that it almost hurts? 

For the final twenty hoopsters who saw action during the Jr NBA (another twenty also saw action for Jr WNBA), it’s the chance to don a red shirt and be officially named as one of this year’s 2016 Jr NBA/Jr WNBA All-Stars. The chosen ones will see action in an overseas training camp and will get a chance to meet NBA superstars. 

The All-Star Team will travel overseas for their NBA experience trip together with fellow Jr. NBA All-Stars from Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. The 2015 Jr. NBA All-Stars traveled to China to watch the NBA Global Games in Shenzhen featuring the Charlotte Hornets and the L.A. Clippers.

No one can at least claim that the kids never wanted it. If there’s one thing that all participants, young and old, short or tall, a boy or s girl showed — it’s the raw passion and dedication, the talent and the grit, dedication and hard work just to earn a place on the stage. 

Photo Credit: Jr NBA Asia Facebook page 

Photo credit: Jr NBA Asia Facebook page 

The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Presented by Alaska is one of Alaska Milk’s programs that shape, train, challenge and inspire children to achieve their dreams and aspirations in life.

“These holistic programs train children to be confident, disciplined and hardworking because Alaska Milk Corporation aims to prepare them to be winners in life in the future. This year’s program includes new locations such as Batangas, Catanduanes and Cavite to reach more children and coaches and discover the best basketball players across the country,” said Blen Fernando, Marketing Director.  

Named best in the country this year and posted as part of the 2016 All-Stars are: (for the boys team) Fritz Felix Valencia and Harold Alarcon of Taytung High School, Andrei Philip Lechoncito of St. John’s Institute, Tracy Carl Dadang of University of San Carlos, Ric Ozner Gatuz of Cherished Moment School, Jearic Nuñez of University of Perpetual Help System-DALTA, Miguel Roy Luis Tan of Xavier School, Kai Zachary Sotto of St. Francis of Assisi School, Julian Alfonso Jugo and Isaiah Miguel Blanco of La Salle Greenhills. 

Part of the girls’ All-Star team are: Florence Jill Talas and Darlene Regasajo of Abellana National High School in Cebu, Rozie Amatong of Modern International Learning Center in Davao, Aloha Marie Betanio of Malaybalay Corpus Christi School in Bukidnon, and Ma. Cecilia Quilenderino of Dalig National High School in Antipolo. 

Also recognized are Jr. NBA Coach of the Year Elegino Chollo of Ateneo de Davao and to Jr. WNBA Coach of the Year Ewon Arayi of Magis Academy, Antipolo.  Both will also accompany the kids on the overseas trip. 

Winning special awards included Carly Monreal and Victorino Torres IIi as Risinh Star Awardee;  Kate Buenaventura and Jericho Paglinawan for the Gatorade Hustle Award; Aloha Marie Petano and Tracy Carl Tadang for Cloud Phone All-Star and Aimee Claire Matas and Alfonso Candari for Globe Telecom Sportsmanship Award. 

Named as Alaska brand ambassadors were Rozie Amatong and Julian Alfonso Jugo; while Florence Jill Talas and Kai Zachary Sotto were named MVPs respectively. 

The Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA presented by Alaska is under Alaska Milk’s Nutrition.Action. Champion program. It helps address the issue of overweight and undernourished Filipino children with the promotion of proper nutrition and active lifestyle through sports and outdoor play.
This year’s program started with the tip-off at in the same venue last Jan. 23. School clinics, that teach the fundamentals of basketball, ran in April with stops at Bukidnon, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Dagupan, Davao, Iloilo, Metro Manila and Puerto Princesa. New locations include Batangas, Catanduanes and Cavite. The top 50 boys and 24 girls from the Regional Selection Camps were able to advance to the final selection stage in the National Training Camp heldmin Manila from April 22-24.

NBA and WNBA legends Norris Cole of New Orleans Pelicans and Taj McWilliams, former Minnesota Lynx,served as mentors and inspirations to the kids, together with the head coach Craig Brown. 

More than 36,000 players and 2,700 coaches have participated in the program since it started in the Philippines in 2007. During the 2015-16 season, the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA program will reach more than 6.5 million youth in 32 countries.

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