Philippine basketball

On-court connection: Tebol Garcia, Vince Reyes lead Adamson closer to NBTC title

Rob Andrew Dongiapon

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On-court connection: Tebol Garcia, Vince Reyes lead Adamson closer to NBTC title

YOUNG GUNS. Adamson’s Tebol Garcia (left) and Vince Reyes stay on top of their game in NBTC action.


Just a month after powering Adamson to the UAAP juniors basketball crown, Tebol Garcia and Vince Reyes hope to make the most of their final high school games as the Baby Falcons move on the cusp of the NBTC title

MANILA, Philippines – As their college careers fast approach, Adamson Baby Falcons’ Tebol Garcia and Vince Reyes try to make the most of their final days in the high school ranks. 

Garcia, ranked fifth in this year’s NBTC rankings, and Reyes, listed seventh, continue to bank on their on-court connection in a bid to bring Adamson another hardware before going to college. 

“We are blessed to have ranked that high. But all we want here is the championship,” said Garcia about his and Reyes’ goals in the tournament.

That objective is now within reach as the Baby Falcons moved on the cusp of the NBTC title, dispatching Mapua High School, 70-65, in the semifinals on Friday, March 22, at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

Garcia dropped 14 points and 3 assists to continue his stellar run in the NBTC tournament, while Reyes also chipped in 14 markers and 8 rebounds, lifting Adamson to the championship game, just a month after also leading Adamson to the UAAP juniors basketball crown.

“I’m so happy we both were ranked in the top 10. We help each other, we try to lift each other in the court, we hold each other accountable,” Reyes said of his on-court connection with Garcia.

“We always try to strengthen our connection. Sometimes, we even reach a point where we’re not aware of what we’re doing anymore because it has been very natural to us,” he added.

The duo has been at the forefront of Adamson’s resurgence in the UAAP juniors scene as they led the Baby Falcons to their first UAAP boys basketball title in 31 years last Febraury. 

This time, they have a chance to add a new title to their already decorated high school career — the NBTC championship. 

For Garcia, however, Adamson’s recent success in the UAAP and its run in the NBTC are more than their individual talents. Instead, it was a product of the balanced effort of the squad. 

“Since the UAAP, this is not about our individual talent. We, as a team, really worked hard for this,” said the 19-year-old point guard. “Perhaps our rankings were just a bonus of our hard work.”

“We all just do our part to win. We want to win every game by maximizing our strengths,” Reyes added.

Adamson will face their toughest test in the NBTC championship game against Fil-Am Nation Select on Sunday, March 24, at the same venue. 

Like the Baby Falcons, the Fil-Ams dominated the competition en route to the tournament finals, beating the likes of seven-year champion NU Bullpups on Wednesday, and the Batang Tiaong of Quezon in the day’s main game, 81-72.

Matching up to the caliber of Adamson’s Garcia and Reyes will be Gilas Pilipinas Youth players Andy Gemao, Jacob Bayla, and Caelum Harris, along with spitfire scorer Terrence Hill. 

Coincidentally, the two finalists have not won the NBTC title since the tournament’s inception, with the Fil-Am Select team only claiming its best finish as a runner-up last year. –

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