Tolentino, Ravena lead NBTC High School All-Star Game cast

Levi Verora

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Reigning UAAP Juniors MVP Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo de Manila University, NCAA Juniors MVP Prince Rivero and NCAA Finals MVP Arvin Tolentino highlight the 3rd annual Seaoil NBTC High School All Star basketball

HIGH SCHOOL SHOWDOWN. From left: Arvin Tolentino (San Beda), Hubert Cani (National U), coach Eric Altamirano, JP Cauilan (National U), Muhammed Salem (Chiang Kai Shek College), all whom will compete at the NBTC High School All-Star basketball game on March 9. Photo by Levi Verora

MANILA, Philippines – Familiar names surfaced when the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) announced its 30-man field for the 3rd Seaoil NBTC High School All-Star basketball game slated on March 9 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Reigning UAAP Juniors Most Valuable Player Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo de Manila University and NCAA Juniors MVP Prince Rivero of La Salle Greenhills spearhead the talented list composed of the finest young guns in the Philippines.

Future Ateneo Blue Eagle Arvin Tolentino of the San Beda Red Cubs is also part of the list as well as National University’s top Bullpup Hubert Cani. Tolentino and Cani were named Finals MVP of the NCAA (Season 89) and UAAP (Season 76), respectively after leading their high schools to a dominant season sweep.

Joining Tolentino are fellow Red Cubs Adven Diputado, Ranbill Tongco, and Jayvee Mocon – all part of the 2011 San Beda squad which bagged the gold in the ASEAN Schools Games in Malaysia.

The four Mendiola cagers are also the core of the San Beda-backed Calabarzon squad in the Palarong Pambansa where they won back to back titles from 2010-2011.

San Beda’s rival San Sebastian College also banners 4 players in the selection: Michael Calisaan, Alfred Gayosa, Ryan Costelo and Ranzelle Yong.

A reunion for PH youth standouts

Alumni of the 2011 Energen U-16 national squad which bagged 4th in the 2011 FIBA Asia U-16 Championship in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam will also be represented by Xavier School’s 6-foot-6 Isaac Go. Diputado, Tongco, Tolentino, and Cani are all part of that lineup as well.

The 2013 batch meanwhile, which made it to the 2014 FIBA World U-17 Championship in Dubai on August, will have University of the Philippines’ Diego Dario, Far Eastern University’s Richard Escoto, and prized Visayas sparkplug Arnie Christian Padilla of Sacred Heart Cebu.

Tolentino, Ravena, and Rivero were part of the FIBA Asia U-18 3×3 champion squad who also participated in the FIBA World U-18 tournament in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Padilla was responsible for giving Central Visayas the 2013 Palarong Pambansa title in Dumaguete City where he was handed the MVP trophy.


Thirdy Ravena – Ateneo de Manila University
Mohammed Salim – Chiang Kai Shek College
Ivan Villanueva – Letran College
Rasleigh Paolo ‘Prince’ Rivero – La Salle Greenhills
Richard Escoto – Far Eastern University
John Apacible – Hope Christian High School
Jobert Mercado – Hope Christian High School
Arjan Dela Cruz – Hope Christian High School
Justin Serrano – Malayan High School of Science
Hubert Cani – National University
Manuel Mosqueda – National University
John Paul Cauilan – National University
Lorenzo Battad – National University
Jayvee Mocon – San Beda College
Adven Diputado – San Beda College
Ranbill Tongco – San Beda College
Arvin Tolentino – San Beda College
Michael Calisaan – San Sebastian College
Alfred Gayosa – San Sebastian College
Ryan Costelo – San Sebastian College
Ranzelle Yong – San Sebastian College
Diego Dario – University of the Philippines
Jarell Lim – Xavier School
Isaac Go – Xavier School
Allen Delos Santos – Claret School Zamboanga
Glenn Gallardo – Sacred Heart of Jesus Montessori – Cagayan De Oro
Joshua Edjan – Hua Siong College Iloilo
Keith Lowell Pido – West Negros University Bacolod
Allyn Bulanadi – Assumption College of Davao
Arnie Christian Padilla – Sacred Heart – Ateneo de Cebu

National University seniors basketball head coach Eric Altamirano, Program Director of NBTC, expects a spectacular showdown given the star-studded cast.

“For the last 3 years, this is the most talented batch. I really expect a good turnout in the All Star Game. Every talent is here to unite for the game,” he said.

The 30 players will be distributed into two squads next week. Admission is free.

NBTC, which started in 2007 as a training center for young basketball players, is recognized as the official grassroots program of the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP).

Players were invited in the tryouts last February 15-16, from which a 30-man cast composed of graduating high school athletes emerged.

The NBTC All Star Game on March 9 is the culminating event of the NBTC National Finals from March 6 to 9. The game is backed by the MVP Sports Foundation and will be televised on BTV. –

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