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Next: Global Games by NBTC

September 8, 2021 Theodore P. Jurado 475 views

THE National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) is putting up a stage for young ballers all over the globe to show off their skills in the form of the Global Games tipping off next year.

“It has always been NBTC’s aim to identify, develop, and hone the best Filipino talents both here and abroad,” said program director Eric Altamirano during the initiative’s launch via Zoom Monday.

“We’re hoping that the NBTC Global Games will open the door for hundreds of players overseas to showcase their talents and widen the pool for our national youth team,” he added.

Filipino wunderkind Kai Sotto or Fil-American NBA second overall pick Jalen Green were among the young talents who strutted their wares in the NBTC.

Before signing with the Adelaide 36ers in the Australian National Basketball League, Sotto saw action in several NBTC League National Finals.

The same went for the high-flying Green, the Houston Rockets rookie who came back home in 2018-19 to play with and against the top talent in the Philippines.

Now, young Filipino talents will not need to fly to Manila to start making a name for themselves as the NBTC will oversee seven qualifiers in six countries.

The United States will organize one tournament apiece for the East and West Coast, while Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Italy-Europe, and Dubai will each host one of their own.

“Imagine, before, piling countries lang and nakikita at naa-identify, but now, with the opening of the Global Games, hundreds of potential talented players can be identified and put on the radar,” said Altamirano.

“Mas lumawak ang network ngayon in terms of talent identification,” he added.

In recent years, the NBTC has provided an avenue for Fil-foreign players to be recognized and recruited.

Among those NBTC alumni now with collegiate teams are Matthew Daves (Canada), Eli Ramos (USA), and Kai Balunggay (USA) of Ateneo, Jasper Rentoy (Australia) of UE, and James Canlas (Canada) of San Beda.

Through the Global Games, the hope is for that number to double or triple, as in the United States. alone, at least 40 teams from each coast have already expressed interest.

The winners in qualifiers will book a ticket to the NBTC League National Finals, which has been plotting for a return in March 2023, still at the Mall of Asia Arena.