SM National Basketball Training Center League National Finals Kicks Off March 18


The 11th season of the SM-NBTC (National Basketball Training Center) League is set for another exciting weeklong ball game as 32 high school basketball  teams compete from March 18 to 23 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Basketball teams, including the champion teams from various leagues nationwide, as well as teams from the Filipino communities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and USA, are all fighting for the title this season.

The League's Format

The tournament is patterned after the NCAA tournament in the US. The international and the wild card teams will battle those from Bataan, Bacolod, Ormoc, Dumaguete, Pagadian, Dagupan, and San Fernando in the seeding round on March 18. Results will determine the final seeding, after which, the teams will play against each other based on ranking. The day-to-day winning teams will advance to the next round while the losing teams will have another chance at the Division Two competition.

The Division One and Two championships, plus the all-star game, will take place on March 23.

Kai Sotto, the towering center of the Ateneo Blue Eaglet who topped the eight-week Chooks To Go NBTC 24 High School Player Rankings, will lead the line-up together with  top players from La Salle Greenhills Joel Cagulangan, Ateneo de Manila's SJ Belangel and Dave Ildefonso, and Mapua's Will Gozum.

Participating Schools

Ateneo de Manila University - Quezon City
La Salle Greenhills - Mandaluyong
University of the Visayas - Cebu
Chiang Kai Shek College - Manila
National University - Manila
Malayan University - Manila
Sacred Heart School Ateneo de Cebu - Cebu
San Beda University - Manila
Durham Crossover - Canada
AusPinoy - Australia
FilAm Sports - USA
New Zealand - Camp David
San Sebastian College Recoletos - Manila
Colegio de San Juan de Letran - Balanga, Bataan
St. Benilde International School - Calamba
Lyceum of the Philippines - Cavite
De La Salle Lipa - Batangas
Jesus the Loving Shepherd Christian College - Naga
Hercor College - Roxas
Bacolod Tay Tung High School - Bacolod
St. Louis School Don Bosco - Dumaguete
New Ormoc City High School - Ormoc
Assumption Montessori School - Cagayan de Oro
Saint Columban College - Pagadian
Notre Dame of Midsayap - Cotabato
Assumption College - Davao

During the media conference, SM-NBTC Founder Eric Altamirano said, "Every year that we have been organizing the tournament, we have refined it to what it is now - a premier showcase for high school basketball. We have seen it grow from an initial few cities to over 70 cities all over the country. It has also become a springboard for Fil-foreign teams to showcase their players who might want to study in the Philippines or play for the various national teams."

The SM-NBTC League National Finals is presented by Exped Charcoal Socks. This season's co-presenters are Darlington, Freego, and Chooks To Go, together with Cherifer, Petron, and Vivo as major sponsors. Also in support are Hino, Akari, Oishi, Gerry's Grill, and Molten.

Tickets are on sale at Mall of Asia Arena for P20.