Bullpups ready and raring to defend title in 2019 NBTC
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 11, 2019 01:45 PM
NU has its sights set on yet another championship in the span of two months
For the 12th year, the Chooks-to-Go SM NBTC will be showcasing the future of Philippine basketball as its national tournament kicks-off on March 18 at the MOA Arena.
The best high school teams from all over the country, 32 to be exact, will be competing in a win or go home format in the tournament which is sponsored by Chooks-to-Go, Darlington-Exped Socks, EPSON, Huawei, Freego, Purefoods, Gatorade, Go for Gold, SM, and Molten.
"We thank all of our sponsors in making this year's National Finals one of the grandest events in Philippine sport," said NBTC program director Eric Altamirano in the pre-tournament press conference on Monday at the MOA Arena.
Seeing the passion of Altamirano and his family in developing talents at the grassroot level, BAVI President Ronald Mascariñas never thought twice in joining the cause.
"Seeing the comprehensive grassroots program, it's really overwhelming. But I sensed the passion of coach Eric," said Mascariñas.
"Somebody has to take care of the grassroots development program for the country, and coach Eric has been doing that."
Defending champion Nazareth School of National University will once again be the team to watch in a pool which will also see the likes of Kai Sotto and Ateneo as well as reigning NCAA champion Mapua.
Filipino-American Jalen Green, the top recruit in the US class of 2020, will also be back to suit up for Fil-Am Sports USA.
"Siguro maging part lang ng NBTC is a big honor for us. We've been part of the top 32, its very different from the UAAP. Siyempre kami kung ano dumating na challenge yun ang haharapin namin," said NU head coach Goldwin Monteverde.
"Syempre yung mga foreign teams na papasok, with Jalen Green, malakas sila, then of course yung from UAAP schools and NCAA."