Philippine basketball

Youngest of the stars: Win or lose, UST’s Joaquin Ludovice keeps grinding

Rob Andrew Dongiapon

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Youngest of the stars: Win or lose, UST’s Joaquin Ludovice keeps grinding

BIG POTENTIAL. Joaquin Ludovice in action in the 2023 FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship.


Even as the youngest player in this year’s NBTC rankings, UST’s Joaquin Ludovice proves he can hang with the country’s top high school basketball talents

MANILA, Philippines –Already one of the main guns in the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Cubs, Joaquin Ludovice’s name has been making the rounds throughout the NBTC Wildcard Tournament to the National Finals. 

Born in 2007, Ludovice is one of the top high school players in the country, occupying the 20th spot in this year’s NBTC rankings. 

For Ludovice, one of the key players in the Gilas Youth team’s campaign in last year’s FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship, the nod reflects the hard work and dedication he has put into his young career so far. 

“For me, it was the fruit of my hard work while I’m still young,” said the 17-year-old guard. “I’m not thinking of my age whenever I play. I’m just here to compete for my team.”

“It was surprising, to be honest, because I’m one of the youngest on my team and even in the UAAP,” he added. 

Ludovice has been lifting the Tiger Cubs to all-important wins in the NBTC tournament, finishing second in the wildcard rounds through hard-nosed victories against the La Salle Zobel Junior Archers led by second-ranked Kieffer Alas and the Fil-Am Nation Select 2 team. 

“I want to show them that, despite my age, I’m deserving of my ranking,” said Ludovice, a Grade 9 student. 

Since the end of UAAP Season 86 juniors basketball last February, the Tiger Cubs have been playing without fourth-ranked player and team top scorer Doy Dungo, who transferred to La Salle for his college career. 

Without Dungo, Ludovice picked up the slack as he averaged 7 points and tallied double digits in three of the six games in the wildcard round. 

In the National Finals, Ludovice normed 11 points in the first two games of the Tiger Cubs, who beat Triple-Threat New Zealand and Crossover Canada in consecutive days.

“I’m really proud of our performances. It shows that we really want this and we’re putting effort to achieve it,” Ludovice said. 

Although the Tiger Cubs’ campaign ended in the Fantastic Eight against the Mapua Junior Cardinals, 71-63, on Thursday, March 21, Ludovice will still see action in the NBTC All-Star Game on Saturday, March 23, with Alas’ Team Hustle versus No. 1 player Jared Bahay’s Team Heart. –

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