Cagulangan is top pick; Kai teams with Will in NBTC All-Star Game

ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 09, 2018 02:18 PM
Cagulangan is top pick; Kai teams with Will in NBTC All-Star
The outside-inside pairing of Joel Cagulangan and Aaron Fermin will be pitted against the twin towers of Kai Sotto and Will Gozum.

Joel Cagulangan and his side will have their hands full against Kai Sotto and his crew when the Darlington-National Basketball Training Center High School All-Star Game rolls on March 23 at the MOA Arena.

La Salle Greenhills coach Marvin Bienvenida made his star guard Cagulangan the first overall pick in the High School All-Star Draft last Thursday and the NCAA Season 93 Finals MVP will spearhead Team Cherifer Heart, coached by Chris Gavina.

On the other hand, Ateneo de Manila High School coach Joe Silva had no second thoughts centering his squad around 15-year-old prodigy Kai Sotto and the UAAP Season 80 Finals MVP will lead Team Cherifer Hustle, coached by Topex Robinson.

The annual High School All-Star Game will serve as the culmination of the eight-week NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 ranking process, where coaches, sportswriters, and a statistician determined the best 24 high school players in the country in the UAAP, NCAA, CESAFI-NBTC, MMBL, and FCAAF tournaments.

Joining Cagulangan in Team Cherifer Heart are Aaron Fermin of Arellano High School, L-Jay Gonzales of Far Eastern University-Diliman, Dave Ildefonso of Ateneo, Warren Bonifacio and Clint Escamis of Mapua University, John Galinato of Chiang Kai Shek, Inand Fornilos of LSGH, Evan Nelle of San Beda High School, Raven Cortez of De La Salle Zobel, and Biern Laurente and Joshua Yerro of University of Visayas.

“Mostly, my backcourt can play multiple positions. Their roles vary, may it be to get ready to shoot or get the ball down. They’re versatile,” said Bienvenida. “Bottomline, they’re fast, they defend well on perimeter, and we have good anchors in our big men.”

Meanwhile, pairing up with Sotto in Team Cherifer Hustle are Ateneo teammate SJ Belangel; Will Gozum of Mapua; RJ Abarrientos of FEU-Diliman; CJ Cansino of University of Sto. Tomas; Rhayyan Amsali, Terrence Fortea, and Miguel Oczon of Nazareth School of National University; Harvey Pagsanjan of Hope Christian High School; Joem Sabandal of Adamson High School; Mac Guadaña of Lyceum of the Philippines University; and Alex Visser of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu.

“It’s a mixture of defense and offense and I stuck with defense first,” said Silva. “In the end, nakakuha naman ako ng offensive players.”

The 2017-18 NBTC season is proudly sponsored by Chooks-to-Go, Darlington, Cherifer, Petron, Akari, Hino Motors, Freego Jeans, and Exped Socks.

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