March Madness: Top 32 PH high school teams battle it out in 11th NBTC season | Inquirer Sports

March Madness: Top 32 PH high school teams battle it out in 11th NBTC season

/ 05:19 PM March 15, 2018

High school champions, regional crews, and international groups test each other’s mettle when the 2018 Exped SM SM-National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) National Finals rolls on from March 18 to March 23.

After 835 teams across 76 cities nationwide which featured over 12,000 players battled it out the last few months, the 32 best teams remain as they dispute the right to be called as the best high school team in the Philippines.

“This is our 11th year, and it is extremely gratifying that we have become a top event in the Philippine sports landscape,” said NBTC program director head Eric Altamirano.


UAAP champion Ateneo, NCAA titlist La Salle Greenhills, MMBL kings Chiang Kai Shek, and NBTC-Cebu lords University of Visayas banner the top slots as they, together with their bridesmaids, are already seeded in the top eight slots in the first round.


Also qualified in the first round are the top eight regional champions from last year’s NBTC tournament, which are seeded from spots 17 to 24.

But the international teams from the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand which are occupying seeds 9 to 12, the NCR wildcard teams which are slotted at 13 to 16, and the remaining eight regional champions which occupy places 25 to 32, will all first go through the seeding round on March 18 at One E-Com Center in the Mall of Asia Complex to determine their first round assignments for the next day.

After that, a single-round knockout tournament will be observed, with the first round victors advancing deeper in the Division 1 tournament. The first round losers, meanwhile, will be demoted to the Division 2 tournament.

All games will be played at Mall of Asia Arena and Cuneta Astrodome.

“If there’s anything about the SM NBTC tournament that I want to stress and point out, it is growth,” shared Altamirano. “We started this as a program to grow the sport of basketball and help the kids grow. After all, we also like to say that we are building leaders and communities. We at NBTC closely mirror that as well. We have grown from a few cities to a nationwide program, and now, an international one as well.”

The action-packed week will culminate on March 23 at the Mall of Asia Arena with the All-Star Games and the championship game for the two divisions.

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TAGS: Eric Altamirano, National Basketball Training Center, NBTC

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