Young Ballers to Represent Mindanao in the Jr NBA Philippines 2017 National Training Camp

Over 1,000 young athletes from different parts of Mindanao joined the first Jr. NBA Philippines Regional Selection Camp for 2017, which was held at Xavier University last February 11 and 12. After conducting various basketball drills and scrimmages, the Jr. NBA committee, headed by Jr. NBA Coach Craig Brown, chose 12 young ballers to represent Mindanao at the Jr. NBA Philippines National Training Camp that will take place in Manila from May 12 to 14 this year.

Top seven boys and five girls who will represent Mindanao in the National
Training Camp in Manila on May 12-14 [Left to right: (TOP) Jezreel Aton, Jerald
Arestes, Khen Caduyac, Stephen Jepbson Garcia, John Anthony Melgazo, Geo Ramos,
Maverick John Vieto (Bottom) Giordana Tagarda, Louise Veronica Agad, September
Star Padla, Ella Rae Amulato, Pauline Angelique Valle]
The young ballers who ruled the boys division were Jezreel Aton, 13, of Bethel Baptist Christian Academy; Khen Caduyac, 13, and Stephen Jebson Garcia, 13, of Corpus Christi School; John Anthony Melgazo, 14, and Jerald Orestes, 13, of Bukidnon National High School; Geo Ramos, 13, of Xavier University; and Maverick John Vieto, 13, of San Isidro College. On the other hand, Louise Veronica Agad, 12, Ella Rae Amulato, 12, and Pauline Angelique Valle, 12, of Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School (MOGCHS); September Star Padla, 13, of Bukidnon State University; and Giordana Tagarda, 10, of City Central School made it to the top in the girls division. These 12 young ballers – seven boys and five girls – exemplified the Jr NBA’s core S.T.A.R. values (Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude, and Respect) as they displayed “excellence in the skills stations and exhibition games”.

Jr. WNBA participants go at it in the scrimmages as this girl tries to escape her defender.

According to Coach Brown, who evaluated the finalists along with the other committee members, the young ballers “listen extremely well and play hard. If they continue to work on the fundamentals that we worked on here over the last two days and really stay committed to the S.T.A.R values which they exuded here this weekend, I think the sky is the limit for these young people.”

Fly high. These girls float in the air as one tries to score a basket while the other attempts to deflect the ball.

Aside from encouraging the youth to improve their basketball skills, the recently concluded selection camp is also part of Alaska’s commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle by encouraging the younger generation to embrace sports and outdoor play. This is a significant advocacy especially since the number of obese Filipino children continues to increase. In fact, in 2013 alone, as reported by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute’s (FNRI) 8th National Nutrition Survey, around five out of 100 Filipino children are classified as overweight.

A boy drives hard to the basket despite the pesky defense of his opponent.

This is why Alaska is steadfast in its commitment to reinforce the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle through sports and outdoor activities, and by drinking milk regularly. Likewise, Alaska seeks to engage the Filipino consumers, especially the youth, through its sports development programs to help nourish children to become champions. Wilfred Uytengsu, Alaska Milk Corporation President and CEO, reiterated this by highlighting the company’s dedication to promoting young talents. The selection camp is a proof of this commitment as the event drew in young ballers from Cagayan de Oro’s neighboring cities and provinces like Bukidnon, Butuan, Misamis Occidental, and Zamboanga.

Shooting for his dream. This Jr. NBA hopeful leaves his defender behind and goes all the way to the basket for a layup.

The next stop for Alaska’s Jr. NBA Philippines 2017 Regional Selection Camp will be Lucena on Feb. 25 and 26. This will be followed by Cebu (March 11-12), and Manila (April 1-2). Boys and girls ages 10-14 can still register for the free youth basketball program at, where the program terms and conditions can be found.

Fans can also follow Jr. NBA on Facebook at For all things NBA, fans can visit, like the NBA on Facebook at and follow on Twitter.

To learn more about the Alaska Milk Corporation, visit and

(With excerpts from the press release provided by Alaska.)