Category Archives: Sports

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.

Advertisements

Alaska Power Camps for basketball, football and volleyball set to open

The onset of Summer and the end of school meant a lot of spare time for the kids at home. While parents can always leave the kids to their gadgets, what’s a better way to spend summer than to train the kids to be more physically active by engaging into sports.

Playing a sport does not only benefit kids to be healthy and physically active, actively playing a sport also engages kids to develop their skills and values and shapes them into better individuals. A kid that is heavily involved into sports are more active, has better social and mental skills and obviously, healthier than those who spend their time playing gadgets or hooked to their laptops, lost in social media.

In fact, in a study conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute’s 7th National Survey in 2008, 2 out of 10 children are overweight, while undernutrition affects 3 out of 10 kids nationwide.

powercamp-banner-1

This summer, Alaska is proud to announce the opening of the 2016 leg of the Alaska Power Camp featuring intensive coaching lessons in basketball, volleyball and football. The summer sports program inspires girls and boys to engage into sports. More than improving their skills in any of the three sports, the child is also encouraged to be a better individual through the development of Power Camp values of discipline, determination, hard work, team work and sportsmanship.

slider2-1

 

An added cherry on top is the presence of notable names on their respective sports who will serve as coaches on the duration of the camp. These include PBA legend and Alaska Aces assistant coach Jeffrey Cariaso who will lead the basketball coaches; former professional football player and currently Alaska Power Camp Project Director and Alabang Football School and Makati Football School director Tomas Lozano who will helm the Alaska Football Power Camp; and Philippine Super Liga volleyball player and former De La Salle University Lady Spikers star player Michelle Gumabao who will take the helm for the Alaska Volleyball Power Camp.

Tracing its roots 30 years ago with the first staging of the Power Camp in 1982, Alaska continues to invest heavily in training and inspiring the youth to be successful sportsmen.

In an interview with Alaska VP for Marketing Blen Fernando, she stressed the commitment of the number one milk brand to continuously contribute to nation building by developing the youth of today through sports.

slidera-1
Alaska Basketball Power Camp Schedules

To know more about the Power Camp, please visit: http://www.alaskapowercamp.com

NBA/ WNBA veterans Norris Cole and Taj McWilliams-Franklin serve as mentors as Jr.NBA/WNBA PH chooses 2016 All-Star line up 

   

New Orleans Pelicans Norris Cole

 

Two-time WNBA champion and 6-time All Star Taj McWilliams-Franklin
 
Norris Cole of the New Orleans Pelicans and WNBA Champion Taj McWilliams-Franklin expresses high expectations for the National Training Camp of the Jr NBA/WNBA PH presented by Alaska. 

The veteran players will serve as mentors to 50 boys and 25 girls as they all battle for a place at the 2016 Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA All-Stars. The National Training Camp will be held at the Don Bosco Technical Institute April 22-23 and at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall on April 24.

Cole and McWilliams-Franklin will join Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Head Coach Craig Brown to coach the 2016 finalists at the National Training Camp and will also serve as coaches for the annual Jr. NBA Alumni All-Star Game featuring past Jr. NBA standouts. This year’s program has reached a record 20,000 players and coaches across the country.

“I’ve heard basketball is a way of life in the Philippines, and I look forward to experiencing this passion during my first visit to the country,” said Cole. “I am also eager to work with the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA participants and to share the importance of a winning attitude on and off the court.”

   

 

“It feels great knowing how much boys and girls in the Philippines appreciate basketball,” said McWilliams-Franklin. “I’m excited to share my time on and off the court and inspire more children to play the game.”

Cole, who was drafted 28th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, won two NBA championships with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013. He averaged 10.6 points, 3.7 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game with the Pelicans this season.

Other than a stellar NBA career, Cole also has the distinction of graduated university with honors. In an interview, Cole credits the upbringing given by his parents as source of his drive and determination to succeed both in and out the court, “In our house, with my parents – it’s not a choice between basketball or having my education. It’s trying to do both. I am passionate about both so I did my best to succeed on both fields. It’s not easy – you have to be passionate and you have to be determined and I am lucky to be able to do both.”

McWilliams-Franklin, a two-time WNBA champion and six-time WNBA All-Star, was selected 32nd overall in the 1999 WNBA Draft. McWilliams-Franklin spent 14 seasons in the WNBA, playing for the Orlando Miracle, Connecticut Sun, Los Angeles Sparks, Washington Mystics, Detroit Shock, New York Liberty and Minnesota Lynx.

McWilliams-Franklin also credit her passion for basketball as the reason why she was able to successfully balance an amazing basketball career and motherhood (she has 3 kids). “It’s a conscious effort to do great for both. I don’t want to choose between basketball and raising a family so I have to do both – and do both very well.” 

The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines 2016 presented by Alaska culminates with the National Training Camp, which provides the top 50 boys and top 24 girls with the opportunity to train with and compete against their peers. The finalists were selected from Regional Selection Camp participants from Baguio, Cebu, Davao and Manila. 

At the end of the National Training Camp, 10 boys and five girls will be selected as Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA All-Stars and will travel on an overseas NBA experience trip together with fellow Jr. NBA All-Stars from Southeast Asia. The program will also feature the selections of the 2016 Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Coaches of the Year, who will join the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA All-Stars on the experience trip.
Photo credits: all photos are from the Jr NBA/WNBA Facebook page

The wind beneath every young cager’s dreams: behind-the-scene musings from the Jr.NBA/WNBA staging 

There is a wise saying, “it takes a village to raise a child.” 

This age-old adage rings true in every Jr.NBA/Jr.WNBA staging – whether in Baguio, Davao or in Manila. To put it in context, “It takes a whole team to raise a future basketball star.”

Much has been said or written on the proficiency and the potential of every participant. This blog, in fact, has written quite a few articles on how expansive is the potential for future basketball superstars. And how–even in the far corners of the North, amidst the rice paddies and mountain crevices, you will see a kid in his flip flops  dribbling an old basketball, nursing little dreams of seeing action in the PBA someday. 

A future star cager and the wind beneath her wings

As this year’s JrNBA/JrWNBA draws to a close and another batch of All Stars are chosen, we are also sharing the spotlight to the unsung heroes to this initiative. 

Coach Craig Brown, who has done a great job in molding future basketball stars and uplifting the morale of those who weren’t chosen, recognizes that the amount of work behind every staging is staggering. In a quick interview, he gives recognition to the people behind the program – from long-time event partner Alaska down to the support staff tasked in putting up the court and drills in ever staging. 

  

“The partnership that we have with Alaska is outstanding and the work they do to promote wellness…and a healthy lifestyle has been tremendous. I am also lucky to work with a great event staff and a great coaching team. They make my work easy, they are very professional and with a good feel for basketball,” said Brown. 

The work that goes behind every selection event is truly staggering: from setting up the event venue, to setting up the drills and the scrimmage, to the selection of the final regional line-up and even down to organizing media coverage.

It is a lot of work yet efficiently put together like one big orchestra. To an outsider, it’s like seeing puzzle pieces fall into place one at a time: 

a medic tends to an injured participant
a last-minute pep talk prior to the selection

these guys calls the shots on court

 
a quick briefing with bloggers

  
a flurry of interviews

 
Job Well Done!

 
  Before the sound of sneakers bring life into every venue, what happens first is the event staff shuffling through with equipment, lugging sacks-full of basketball, clip boards and practice cones. It is of the coaching staff running through the drills, reviewing every child one by one, patiently evaluating and pushing every participant to their full potential. This happens simultaneously as the brand partners open shop, providing nourishment and thrills to spectators and young players alike. In one corner, the first aid team stands on duty while a team of seasoned referees huddle reviewing calls and ongoing scrimmage. 

Coach Craig understands the hard work displayed by everyone, “When I arrive at every venue, it helps that the event staff always has things in place. On day one, all the skills station and things we need are set up. The time and the sacrifice that they put up is something — they’re here late at night and I am back at the hotel; they’re here early in the morning. (I’m glad)…because it’s important that these people get recognized for what they do.” 

For referees Fernando Adamero, Danilo Rivera and Vic Amante, there’s something great about being amongst passionate young ballers and see them reach their full potential, “Nakakatuwa ang mga bata. Minsan maiisip mo talaga na baka sa  susunod mo silang makita, naglalaro na sila sa PBA,” quips Amante who has been serving as referree for JrNBA the longest. 

As the National Training Camp draws near and Jr.NBA/Jr.WNBA selects this year’s All-Stars, those who will not be selected will move on to other opportunities or maybe look forward to next year’s camp. The lucky ones will move on to the overseas training camp and maybe-who knows-to a potential career in collegiate basketball. 

For the team behind the event, the logistics, the coaching staff, the brand partners and the PR team – what follows is just a quick breather. Until the rush, the excitement and the relentless search for 2017’s future basketball superstars begins anew. 

JR. NBA/WNBA Presented By Alaska picks best of the best among Manila young cagers 

A thirteen year old 6″9 future basketball sensation, strong power forwards and a solid core of women cagers: these, among others were the top picks to this year’s Manila leg of the Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA Presented by Alaska held last April 9 and 10 in Don Bosco, Makati. 

the green team with their coaches

Close to 2,000 participants, both boys and girls, descended the Don Bosco campus in Makati last April 9, out of which the roster of coaches selected more than  quarter for the final clinic and scrimmage happening the day after. From the 60 plus players, the final scrimmage resulted in the selection of 16 boys and 8 girls who will represent the Manila leg to the national training camp to be held end of April. 

 

More than 40 boys were asked to come back for the scrimmage (Photo by Lani Banzon)
  
More than 20 girls were also invited to the scrimmage (Photo by Lani Banzon)
 
From the National Training Camp will emerge this year’s All-Star Team who 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.

The Manila boasted a fine selection of future basketball superstars who showed prowess and skills to both coaches and the media alike.

Clear stand out due to his height is Kai Zachary Sotto, who at thirteen already stands 6″9. 

 

Two stand-outs: Red’s Kai Zachary Sotto and Yellow team’s Miguel Rey Luis Tan see action during tip off (photo from the Jr NBA 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.

 

The boys and girls who will represent Manila during the National Training Camp
 


“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.  

The 2011 National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) revealed that three out of ten children aged 5-10 years were underweight while eight out of one hundred children of the same age were overweight, making malnutrition and obesity two of the most pressing nutritional problems in the Philippines today.  

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, will run in April with stops in Bukidnon, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Dagupan, Davao, Iloilo, Metro Manila and Puerto Princesa. New locations include Batangas, Catanduanes and Cavite.  
Other than Manila, the Regional Selection Camps were also held at Davao City, Cebu City and Baguio City. 

 The top 50 boys and 24 girls from the Regional Selection Camps will advance to the final selection stage in the National Training Camp in Manila on April 22-24.

NBA and WNBA players or legends will attend the National Training Camp to help train and inspire the finalists. The program will culminate with the selection of ten Jr. NBA and five Jr. WNBA All-Stars.

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.

The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA is the league’s global youth basketball participation program for boys and girls which teaches the fundamental skills as well as the 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.  

For general information about Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Philippines presented by Alaska please visit http://www.jrnba.asia/philippines, http://www.alaskamilk.com, and http://www.alaskapowercamp.com/basketball. For live updates log on to http://www.alaskaplayph.com follow us on FB, IG and Twitter @playph #jrnba #jrwnba.

Young triathletes impresses during this year’s Alaska Iron Kids 

A 400-kilometer swim, a 12-kilometer bike ride and a 3- km run around the Remy Field oval – these are the challenges that was hurdled by about 300 kids participating in this year’s Alaska Iron Kids held last March 4-5 in Subic Bay. 

Held a day before the Century Tuna Iron Man 70.3, the stifling heat of early March was nothing compared to the fiery young competitors who showed prowess and endurance in their respective classes. 

 

Young triathlete Juan Francisco Baniqued emerges on top
  
  

Coming out on top for the 13-14 year old category is Juan Francisco “Wacky” Baniqued, a budding triathlete from Laguna. The young man who recently turned 13 in December finished the race at an astonishing 43:08 following gun start. 

Baniqued shared that he has always been into athletics, joining competitions as early as 7 years old. Even as a young competitor, he has managed to blow away competition and spectators alike by consistently placing. In spite the rigorous training, Baniqued shared that he is a typical seventh grader who is also dedicated in excelling in academics. 

He shares, “Growing up, I see myself still competing and still improving. I still have a lot to learn” 
 

Joshua, Joe and Wacky: the top three finishers for the 13-14 year old category
 
Rounding up the top three are  Joe Bernard Sarmiento, who finished a minute behind Baniqued and Joshua Alexander Ramos coming in at third. 

Second place finisher Joe Sarmiento is an inspiration on how dedication and pure hardwork brings results. Diagnosed at a young age with an illness that pretty much ruled out a lot of food for consumption, Joe turned to sports to develop his lungs and to compensate for his sickly nature. 

It is not long after that Joe started placing on major competitions, buoyed by the support of his parents. Joe hopes to qualify someday for the Olympics and will be competing in other triathlons locally and within Asia soon. 
 

Samantha Borlain after crossing the finish line
 

For the 13-14 years old girls category, formidable swimmer Samatha Borlain dominated the category, finishing the race at 47 minutes and 52 seconds. Second place went to Everly Janerie Macalalad who finished at 50 minutes and one second. 

The Alaska IronKids competition actually served as a play ground for Sam and her sisters Tara and Franchezka. Tara won the girls 11-12 category while Franchezka dominated the 6-8 category. 

   
   

The enthusiasm displayed by Samantha meanwhile showed a well-rounded young lady whose dedication to the sport was inspiring. Admitting that she found the 3-kilometer run the most challenging, Samantha shared that she motivated herself by vowing to “enjoy the moment.” 

With formidable attitude during competition and endurance that can’t be easily beat, the future of Filipino triathlon is assured with these kids. 

Mindanao’s best young cagers emerge from the Jr.NBA and Jr.WNBA Presented by Alaska search in Davao

  

Photo credit: JrNBA/ JrWNBA Asia FB page 

Seven boys and four girls representing the best of Southern Philippines are Manila-bound following an exceptional performance at the recently-concluded Regional Selection Camp for the Jr. NBA/Jr.WNBA presented by Alaska held in Ateneo de Davao. 

The roster includes (for the girls) Kate Buenaventura (14), Aloha Marie Betanio (12), Marcilla Grace Dellosa (13), Rozie Amatong (11), (for the boys)  Tryon Limar Langala (14), Alfonso Candari (13), Rysan Villasenda (13), Anscar Mamac (13), Lance Centeno (13), Jacen Neil Deligero (12) and Louise Andre Joring. 

They will see action at the National Training Camp to be held at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati in April. 

More than 500 boys and girls aged 9 to 14 saw action during the two day regional camp where  they underwent a series of basketball drills headed by the roster of Alaska coaches. 

   
   
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.
The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Presented by Alaska is free and open to boys and girls ages 10 to 14 years old (born 2002 to 2006). Interested parties may register at the venue in Ateneo de Davao University or online through http://www.jrnba.asia/philippines.    

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.  

The 2011 National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) revealed that three out of ten children aged 5-10 years were underweight while eight out of one hundred children of the same age were overweight, making malnutrition and obesity two of the most pressing nutritional problems in the Philippines today.  

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 Don Bosco Technical Institute Makati last Jan. 23. School clinics, that teach the fundamentals of basketball, will run until April with stops in Bukidnon, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Dagupan, Davao, Iloilo, Metro Manila and Puerto Princesa. New locations include Batangas, Catanduanes and Cavite.  

Other than Davao, Regional Selection Camps were also held in Cebu (March 5-6) while the Metro Manila camp will be held on April 9-10. The top 50 boys and 24 girls from the Regional Selection Camps will advance to the final selection stage in the National Training Camp in Manila on April 22-24.

NBA and WNBA players or legends will attend the National Training Camp to help train and inspire the finalists. The program will culminate with the selection of ten Jr. NBA and five Jr. WNBA All-Stars.

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.

The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA is the league’s global youth basketball participation program for boys and girls which teaches the fundamental skills as well as the 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.  

For general information about Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Philippines presented by Alaska please visit http://www.jrnba.asia/philippines, http://www.alaskamilk.com, and http://www.alaskapowercamp.com/basketball. For live updates log on to http://www.playph.com follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @playph #jrnba #jrwnba.