Champion Filipino hoopsters to represent Winnipeg in Global Games in PH
A Winnipeg Filipino basketball club is vying for the title of best Filipino non-professional basketball team in the world.
The under-18 NBTC Winnipeg team beat eight teams at the Canada Regional Tournament in July in Ontario for a spot at the Global Games in the Philippines in 2023.
The National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) has a year-round basketball program that taps and develops outstanding players from private and public high schools who compete in a nationwide youth basketball tournament.
Its five month-long tournament features the top high school teams from around the Philippines and pits champion teams in the Philippines, U.S., Australia, Canada and New Zealand against each other. The NBTC is a recruiting ground for Philippine Basketball Association squads.
Now the best Filipino team in Canada, the Winnipeg squad is preparing for the next challenge, the Global Games in the Philippines next year.
“Knowing that we are going to the Philippines, it was a thrill,” Marco Guaring, a guard on the Winnipeg team, told Joe Slattery of CTV News.
“I’ve seen the competition, they are really tough. They’re more aggressive, bigger, stronger. To go to the next level, for us, we need to be better,” said Lorence Dela Cruz, another guard on the team.
“Playing overseas really, it kind of makes a name for Winnipeg. We’re not just a small prairie city in the country. We can compete,” said Guaring.