Alaska’s Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA All-Stars Hold Send-Off Party

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It was a “coming-out” party of sorts for these group of young boys and girls, all of them in their teens, as they were formally presented to the media for the first time as officially this year’s Philippine Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA ALL STARS. Presented by Alaska together with the Male and Female Coaches of the Year at the NBA Cafe a day before they left for their NBA Experience, the seemingly shy and unassuming teeners, accompanied by their ever supportive parents, answered all questions thrown to them sometimes with ease and most of the time, as natural as growing kids are in the company of inquisitive adults. I think not one of them have an inkling of how they have taken that initial step to having a chance to make it big in the world of Philippine basketball in the future.

For me, it was a truly heartwarming occasion as I was a witness to almost the entirety of their Jr. NBA/WNBA journey – from the Tip-off ceremonies last January, to the various selection camps up to finally the national training camp which eventually produced their lot who will come to be known as the Jr. NBA and JR. WNBA All Stars.

The party cum media conference was organized for the group who left for Beijing China today for their NBA Experience. Last year’s Jr. NBA had theirs in Los Angeles, California but this year, as the Alaska representatives have explained, the group will be taken to China where there they will meet their Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese counterparts for some friendly games, basketball clinic, an NBA Global Games experience and of course, not to forget some cultural tour on the side, including a trip to the Great Wall of China.

The following are the members of theNBA/Jr. WNBA All Stars together with the Male and Female Coaches of the Year who are now in Beijing for the NBA Experience tour:

The Jr NBA Philippine All Stars:

  1. Rhayyan Amsali, 13, Nazareth School of National University
  2. Sanjosef Belangel, 14, Bacolod Taytung High School
  3. Vince Leo Dolendo, 14, Huasiong College of Iloilo
  4. Jethro Rocamora, 14, First Baptist Christian School
  5. Paul Matthew Manalang, 14, National University
  6. Jan Cyril Narvasa, 15, University of Santo Tomas
  7. David Leonardo Umadhay, 14, Huasiong College of Iloilo
  8. Luis Miguel Velasco, 14, La Salle Greenhills
  9. Andrew Vincent Velasco, 14, University of Perpetual Help Dalta System
COACH: Cliff Andy Tecocan
The Jr WNBA Philippine All Stars:
  1. Kreecie Bettina Binaohan, 14, University of Perpetual Help Dalta System
  2. Arielle Marie Lanot, 13, De La Salle-Zobel
  3. Roxanne Salvador, 13, University of Perpetual Help Dalta System
  4. Karl Ann Pingol, 12, Potatan Elementary School
  5. Mary Jean Pascual, 14, University of Southern Philippines
COACH: Pia Dysangco

The Jr NBA and Jr WNBA program in the Philippines is presented by Alaska Milk.  Its mother company, Friesland Campina, extended the sports youth program in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

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