MANILA, Philippines – More promising Filipino talents will get to show their wares as the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) looks to bring in more provincial and international teams in 2019.
NBTC executive director Eric Altamirano said the National Championship, which is set to kick off in March 2019, also plans to add a nationwide 3x3 tournament to its calendar for the first time.
"Aside from having more provincial teams, we will also have a lot of international teams. Last year we had, USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. This year we are happy to have Italy, Guam, and Vancouver," disclosed Altamirano.
Altamirano also tapped the services of coach Tab Baldwin of two-time UAAP champion Ateneo Blue Eagles to lead the NBTC coaching clinic.
"The NBTC has also been involved with coaching development along with player development. There have been coaching clinics and I know that coach Eric is as good as example as any in the country," said Baldwin, the key speaker of the coaching clinic in the last two years.
"He is someone who has dedicated his life and passion to basketball. In order to work with the level the NBTC exists in, you have to have somebody like that."
Aiming to reach out to more young Filipinos both locally and abroad, the NBTC entered into a partnership with Chooks-to-Go, one of the backers of Gilas Pilipinas, for its entire 2019 campaign.
The formal contract signing between the two entities was held Thursday evening at the office of Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. (BAVI) in Pasig City.
"We've been involved with basketball for two years and it seems like a long time already," said BAVI president Ronald Mascariñas. "The last two years we've been supporting Batang Gilas and the Gilas cadets. It was quite a journey for us. It gave us an opportunity to advance our advocacy in promoting nationalism and sportsmanship.
"I was really impressed with coach Eric Altamirano's comprehensive program to promote the grassroots program with the NBTC. It was too good to be true that someone in the Philippines who has the heart to promote grassroots basketball. For 2019, we are really ready to back up the NBTC program together with SM," he added. – Rappler.com