It’s Uichico vs Reyes now in NBTC All-Star; Ayo-Jarin still on

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 08, 2017 03:33 PM
It’s Uichico vs Reyes now in NBTC; Ayo-Jarin still on
CREAM OF THE CROP. Two national team coaches and two collegiate champion coaches will be roaming the sidelines in the NBTC All-Star Game.

As always, this year’s National Basketball Training Center will feature the best of the best in terms of young talent.

That goes for players and coaches alike.

Aldin Ayo and Jamike Jarin are set to rekindle their rivalry in the 2017 NBTC All-Star Game on March 16 at the MOA Arena.

Unlike first reported, however, the UAAP champion coach and the NCAA champion coach will wage war in the Division 2 All-Star Game.

The participating teams in the NBTC are divided into two groups – Manila-based schools like NCAA champion Malayan High School of Science and UAAP champion Far Eastern University-Diliman belong in Division 1 while provincial schools such as reigning titlist De La Salle Lipa belong in Division 2.

The cream of the crop in Division 2 will be mentored by De La Salle University’s Ayo and Jarin, now of National University. “Tournament organizers deemed it best that the two would serve as an inspiration for the Division 2 participants whose dream it is to be recruited by top programs in Manila,” the NBTC statement said.

Like he always has, Jarin downplayed their perceived rivalry. As he put it, “Well, it’s not about the both of us. It’s about these young men given an opportunity to showcase their skills.”

Ayo echoed the same sentiment. “It’s not about us, it’s about NBTC and the kids. It’s about how I can help the program which has helped me a lot,” he said.

He then continued, “I told (program directors) coach Eric (Altamirano) and coach Alex (Compton) that I will do my very best to be available every time NBTC needs me.”

Meanwhile, the Division 1 All-Star Game will be handled by national team coaches Jong Uichico for the North Team and Josh Reyes for the South Team.

Uichico’s squad is fully-loaded with the likes of Encho Serrano (Adamson High School), Troy Mallillin (College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills), Guilmer Dela Torre and Aaron Fermin (Arellano High School), Juan Gomez de Liano (University of the Philippines Integrated School), Dave Ildefonso (Ateneo de Manila High School), and John Lloyd Clemente (NU).

They lack the same sort of firepower, but Reyes’ wards will still boast of heart and hustle from the likes of SJ Belangel (Ateneo), Rom Junsay (Malayan), Sam Abu Hijleh (San Beda High School), and Rhayyan Amsali and Karl Penano (NU).

The NBTC All-Star Game will be broadcast on March 17 on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23. It will also be streamed LIVE on, together with the League Finals, on March 16.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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