NOW on its 14th season, the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) is ushering in this fresh chapter with a fresh coat of paint.
NBTC program director Eric Altamirano unveiled the brand new logo which signifies the organization’s continued drive to uplift grassroots basketball while also continuing on its pledge to develop skills, build character, and raise leaders.
“It’s the NBTC’s way of keeping up with the times while also staying true to its core values,” said the amiable executive when he guested in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday at the conference room of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
There will be a heightened focus from the ground this season with 94 cities participating in 72 local qualifiers, all fighting for their spot in the four regional championships, namely North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The semifinalists from these tournaments will earn their place in the big dance.
The North Luzon regional will be held in Laoag, Ilocos Norte on Jan. 18-21 upon the invitation of Governor Matthew Manotoc, followed by the Mindanao leg in Sarangani on Feb. 1-4, Visayas in Cebu from Feb. 15-18 to be hosted by the Cebu Landmasters, and South Luzon in Batangas courtesy of University of Batangas on Feb. 29 to March 3.
“We want to empower the local players, that they can see a pathway for them to really earn their place among the best,” said Altamirano of the revamped format for the national under-19 championship during the same session presented by San Miguel Corporation, Philippine Sports Commission, MILO, Philippine Olympic Committee, and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
Champions and runner-up of the UAAP and NCAA, aside from 10 more spots allocated for global teams and two wildcards will make up the 32-team field for the Smart-NBTC National Finals presented by SM Supermalls which will culminate at SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The National Finals is set on March.
Aside from the buildup to the crown jewel, NBTC is also running the #LakingNBTC campaign which puts spotlight on prominent NBTC alumni who have made it big upon their high school graduation.
Among those who have undergone through the program include Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green, Asian Games gold medalists Scottie Thompson, Kevin Alas, and Arvin Tolentino; international imports Kiefer Ravena, Thirdy Ravena, and Carl Tamayo; and current collegiate standouts like JD Cagulangan, CJ Cansino, and Will Gozum, among others.