SWU-Phinma, USJ-R get ready for NBTC Nationals

By: JONAS PANERIO March 14,2019 - 03:57 PM

Cebu City, Philippines — National teams who are expecting traditional powerhouses Ateneo de Cebu (AdC)  and the University of the Visayas (UV) to show up in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go SM NBTC League National Finals will be surprised to find different squads representing the region.

This year, making their way to the nationals are NBTC Cebu champions Southwestern University (SWU)-Phinma and runners-up, University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R).

By virtue of being finalists, both the Baby Cobras and the Baby Jaguars booked their place in this year’s national championship for high school sponsored by Chooks-to-Go, Darlington-Exped Socks, EPSON, Huawei, Freego, Purefoods, Gatorade, Go for Gold, SM, and Molten.

The NBTC League Nationals will be held from March 18 to 24 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

This will be the first time in recent history that neither UV nor SHS-Ateneo will be in the 32-team tournament. 

The Baby Green Lancers failed to make it out of the elimination round while the Magis Eagles bowed out in the semifinals of NBTC Cebu. 

Nevertheless, SWU and USJ-R are no slouches as the former’s breakthrough was fronted by heady lefty Kent Sanchez and speedster Kendall Limana while the latter’s strong showing was led by do-it-all Elmer Echavez.

Both the Baby Cobras and the Baby Jaguars are hoping to follow in the footsteps of SHS-Ateneo de Cebu which, behind the strength of current National University forward Joshua Sinclair and now-University of the Philippines Maroon, Janjan Jaboneta, became the first non-Luzon NBTC national champion back in 2015.

They will be joined as Visayas representatives by Iloilo’s Sta. Clarita International School, Bacolod’s STI-West Negros University, Dumaguetue’s St. Louis School of Don Bosco, and Eastern Samar’s Dolores National High School in the weeklong showcase of the most promising young talent in the country also presented by TV5 Plus and Lighthouse Events.

The tournament semis and finals, alongside the annual All-Star Game, will be aired live on ESPN5. 

All games, from the seeding round to the championship round, will also be streamed live over at tv5.espn.com. /bmjo

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