The national coaches and the top ten boys and top five girls who are now the Jr. NBA All-Stars and Jr. WNBA Top 5 for the year 2014 were finally chosen last April 27 at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Hall.
The Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA All-Stars and National coaches will be given the experience of a lifetime as they go on a trip to watch an NBA game and get the chance to meet some of their favorite NBA players. Last year, the Jr. NBA team met NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and watched a regular season game of the Los Angeles Lakers against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Staples Center.
Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz and WNBA Legend Tina Thompson, one of the greatest WNBA players of all time, came to Manila and helped run the National Training Camp. They also coached the second annual Jr. NBA Alumni All-Star game featuring past Jr. NBA standouts. Hayward and Thompson followed BJ Armstrong, AC Green, Luc Longley and Mugsy Bogues as NBA Players/ Legends who have been part of Jr. NBA-Alaska youth basketball program in the Philippines.
The best local basketball coaches, led by Alaska and PBA legend Jojo Lastimosa joined NBA coach Chris Sumner in conducting the clinics for the coaches and the players during the regional selection camps. The players were judged not just on their basketball skills but on STAR values of practicing Sportsmanship, Teamwork, positive Attitude and Respect for others at all times.
Coach Cliff Andy Tesocan of Tacloban, Leyte was named as the Jr. NBA Coach of the Year while Coach Ma. Pia Dysangco of Tondo, Manila became the Jr. WNBA Coach of the Year. Rhayyan Amsali of Zamboanga (but studies in Manila) and Christiana Dimaunahan of Manila were picked as Alaska Sports Youth Ambassador for the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA, respectively.
The lucky boys and girls who now comprise the 2014 Jr. NBA All-Stars and Jr. WNBA Top 5 are: Vince Leo Dolendo (Iloilo RSC but from Antique), Andrew Velasco (Cebu), Luigi Velasco (Manila), David Leandro Umadhay (Iloilo RSC but from Antique), Jethro Rocamora (Cebu)- smallest in the team, Paul Matthew Manalang (Manila), John Richard Gan (Iloilo), Sam Josef Belangel (Bacolod), Jan Cyril Narvasa (Manila) and Rhayyan Amsali (Manila) for the Jr. NBA All-Stars and Mary Jean Pascual, Karl Ann Pingol, Arielle Lanot, Roxanne Salvador, Kreecie Bettina Binaohan for the Jr. WNBA Top 5. Incidentally the girls are the very first batch of Jr. WNBA players here in the Philippines.
Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, President and CEO of Alaska Milk Corporation praised the continuing partnership between Alaska and the NBA, which has helped develop the sport and young boys, and girls become better individuals and productive members of society.
"We are excited to jumpstart another active year of Alaska Sports with the opening of the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA-Alaska program for young girl players. Alaska and Jr.NBA/Jr.WNBA encourage children to participate in sports to nurture their talent, live a healthy lifestyle and enjoy the benefits of outdoor play."
Under-nutrition also remains to be a public health concern affecting nearly three out 10 children. Alaska recognizes the need of Filipino children for proper nutrition. According to the 7th National Nutrition Survey done by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute and the Department of Health, obesity is increasing with nearly two out 10 children considered as overweight.
Through the program, Alaska leads in promoting a healthy lifestyle, especially among children, through regular sports activities and proper nutrition through its leading brands, Alaska Powdered Milk Drink and Alaska Chocolate Powdered Milk Drink.
For general information on Jr. NBA Philippines visit www.jrnba.asia/philippines; Alaska Basketball Power Camp visit www.alaskapowercamp.com/basketball and for live Twitter updates follow @ALASKAsportshub.