Kai Sotto is Philippines' best HS player in final NBTC 24

Kai Sotto is Philippines' best HS player in final NBTC 24
Will Gozum of Mapua, Joel Cagulangan of LSGH, Kai Sotto of Ateneo, SJ Belangel of Ateneo, and CJ Cansino of UST are our top five high school players in the Philippines

After eight weeks of deliberation, the National Basketball Training Center unveiled the 24 student-athletes who will play in the premier high school all-star game in the country.

The NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 is the first-ever attempt to rank the top high school prospects from all over the Philippines today. 

The weekly ranking compiled league stats, impact in team, team record, leadership, defense, offense, and level of competition to determine who will make it to the event set to be played on March 23 at the MOA Arena.

Topping the list is UAAP Season 80 Juniors Finals MVP Kai Sotto. The top high school big man in the country today is part of the 23 for 2023 Gilas cadets and helped steer Ateneo de Manila High School to the UAAP Season 80 championship.

Ranking second is Joel Cagulangan of La Salle Greenhills. Cagulangan ended the season as the top point guard after steering the Junior Blazers to their first-ever NCAA Juniors crown.

Sotto's teammate SJ Belangel came in at third and is the consensus top senior in the country. NCAA Season 93 MVP Will Gozum of Mapua University and UAAP MVP CJ Cansino of University of Sto. Tomas, both graduating players as well, completed the top five.

UAAP Season 80 Mythical team members Dave Ildefonso of Ateneo and L-Jay Gonzales of Far Eastern University-Diliman were six and seven, respectively, while FCAAF and MMBL MVP John Galinato of Chiang Kai Shek came in at eight.

Rounding out the top 10 are forward Rhayyan Amsali of Nazareth School of National University and NCAA Juniors Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Fermin of Arellano High School.

Ranked 11 to 15 are guard Clint Escamis of Mapua, forward Inand Fornillos of LSGH, center Warren Bonifacio of Mapua, guard Terrence Fortea of NU, and guard RJ Abarrientos of FEU. San Beda lifer Evan Nelle came in at 16.

CESAFI MVP Beirn Laurente of University of Visayas, who is the first of three Cebu-based student-athletes in the showcase, came in at 17. NU's one-and-done senior Migs Oczon, all-around Adamson High School star Joem Sabandal, and De La Salle Zobel standout Raven Cortez were ranked 18, 19, and 20, respectively.

Completing the top 24 are Mac Guadana of Lyceum of the Philippines University, SM-NBTC Cebu MVP Joshua Yerro of UV, Harvey Pagsanjan of Hope Christian High School, and Cebuano big man Alex Visser of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu.

On Thursday, March 8, the NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 All-Star Draft will take place at 7:00 PM with coach Chris Gavina and coach Topex Robinson selecting who will compose their team. Ateneo champion coach Joe Silva will be selecting for Robinson while LSGH champion coach Marvin Bienvenida will pick for Gavina. It will stream live over at Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas' Facebook page.

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