SJ Belangel overtakes Kai Sotto as best HS player in NBTC rankings

MANILA, Philippines – A Blue Eaglet soared to top of the NBTC-Chooks To Go High School Power Rankings but it is not the towering Kai Sotto.

SJ Belangel overtook teammate Sotto, who lorded over his class for the first 4 weeks, in Week 5 of the rankings as he anchored Ateneo to a spotless 14-0 record in the UAAP Season 80 boys’ basketball tournament.

The multi-faceted guard poured in 31 points in Ateneo's 78-68 win over the NU Bullpups last February 11, securing the Blue Eaglets an outright finals berth with its elimination round sweep.

Sotto, a Gilas Pilipinas prospect for the 2023 World Cup, slipped to second place while LSGH’s spitfire point guard remained at 3rd place. Rounding up the top 5 are reigning NCAA juniors’ MVP Will Gozum and FEU’s L-Jay Gonzales, who kept hold of their 4th and 5th places, respectively.

NU’s Rhayann Amsali stayed at 6th, UST top gunner CJ Cansino, who is primed to take home the UAAP MVP award, climbed two spots higher for 7th, Ateneo’s Dave Ildefonso slid to 8th while Arellano’s Aaron Aaron Fermin and Mapua’s Clint Escamis both improved a place higher at 9th and 10th, respectively.

Here are the rest of the NBTC 24:

11. John Galinato, CKSC (Last week rank: 12)

12. Inand Fornilos, LSGH (Last week rank: 13)

13. Warren Bonifacio, MU (Last week rank: 14)

14. RJ Abarrientos, FEU (Last week rank: 8)

15. Evan Nelle, SBC (Last week rank: 15)

16. Joem Sabandal, ADU (Last week rank: 17)

17. Alex Visser, SHS Cebu (Last week rank: 21)

18. Terrence Fortea, NU (Last week rank: 16)

19. Raven Cortez, DLSZ (Last week rank: 18)

20. Beirn Laurente, UV (Last week rank: 20)

21. Mac Guadana, LPU (Last week rank: 22)

22. Joaqui Manuel, ADMU (Last week rank: 19)

23. Harvey Pagsanjan, HCHS (Last week rank: 23)

24. Maui Cruz, EAC (Last week rank: 24)

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.