Top of NBTC 24 stays the same; Visayan players shine

Top of NBTC 24 stays the same; Visayan players shine
Players from Visayas are beginning to make their presence felt in the weekly NBTC 24

It was a busy week in high school hoops as the UAAP is about the enter the closing stages of its elimination round while the Metro Manila Basketball Leauge has just concluded its season.

Despite this, the top five in Week 4 of the NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 stayed the same.

23 for 2023 cadet Kai Sotto of Ateneo de Manila High School stayed on top while for the second straight week and teammate SJ Belangel edged out La Salle Greenhills' Joel Cagulangan as the best point guard prospect in the country.

The NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 is a weekly ranking of high school players taking part in the UAAP, CESAFI-NBTC, MMBL, and FCAAF tournaments as well as the recently concluded NCAA competition.

NCAA Season 93 Juniors MVP and University of the Philippines commit Will Gozum (Mapua High School) stayed at four while L-Jay Gonzales (Far Eastern University-Diliman) closed out the top five.

University of Sto. Tomas ace CJ Cansino dropped to nine as the Tiger Cubs have struggled so far in the second round of the UAAP, losing four of their last five games. On the other hand, John Galinato, who steered Chiang Kai Shek to the MMBL crown and Joem Sabandal, who has led Adamson High School in its second round surge, rose to 15 and 22, respectively.

CESAFI student-athletes Beirn Laurente from University of Visayas climbed to the top 20 while Alex Visser of Sacred Heart High School-Ateneo de Cebu made his debut.

Here is the complete rankings:

1. Kai Sotto, Ateneo (1)
2. SJ Belangel, Ateneo (2)
3. Joel Cagulangan, LSGH (3)
4. Will Gozum, Mapua (4)
5. L-Jay Gonzales, FEU-Diliman (5)
6. Rhayann Amsali, NU (6)
7. Dave Ildefonso, Ateneo (8)
8. RJ Abarrientos, FEU-Diliman (9)
9. CJ Cansino, UST (7)
10. Aaron Fermin, Arellano(12)
11. Clint Escamis, Mapua (10)
12. John Galinato, CKSC (15)
13. Inand Fornilos, LSGH (13)
14. Warren Bonifacio, Mapua (16)
15. Evan Nelle, San Beda (14)
16. Terrence Fortea, NU (11)
17. Joem Sabandal, Adamson (22)
18. Raven Cortez, DLSZ (18)
19. Joaqui Manuel, Ateneo (17)
20. Beirn Laurente, UV (23)
21. Alex Visser, SHS-Ateneo
22. Mac Guadana, LPU (19)
23. Harvey Pagsanjan, Hope Christian (20)
24. Maui Cruz, EAC (21)

The Juniors stars were ranked using the following criteria: league stats, impact in team, team record, leadership, defense, offense, and level of competition.

These rankings will be used to determine the 24 players who will take part in the annual SM-NBTC High School All-Star Game on March at the MOA Arena.

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