The Jr. National Basketball Association (NBA) Asia-Pacific (APAC) Boys Team with three Filipino players made history at the Jr. NBA Global Championship after beating Team USA.
The Jr. NBA APAC Boys Team became the first international team to beat a U.S. team playing on their home court. This is the first time the APAC team joined the global youth basketball tournament.
The Asia-Pacific Boys Team won over the U.S. South Boys Team in overtime, 61-59, to cap its campaign at the global tilt held from August 6-11 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida.
Jr. NBA Philippines reported that the team’s Filipino center, Henjz Gabriel “Kobe” Demisana, tallied 8 points and 7 rebounds, while point guard Lionel Matthew Rubico contributed 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 steals in the victorious routing of the U.S. team.
After five games at Jr. NBA Global Championship, Demisana averaged 6.3 points and 6 rebounds while Rubico is norming 4 points, 3 boards, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Roy Sebastian Reyes averaged 3.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals in four games, despite missing the single-elimination game against Africa owing to his injury.
The tournament also saw the excellent play of Filipina guard Dianne Camille Nolasco in action for the Asia Pacific Girls Team, which lost to U.S. Midwest Girls Team in their final game. Nolasco led the team with 6 assists and 3 steals. Nolasco finished the tournament with averages of 6.6 points, 4 assists and 1.8 steals in five games.
“It was challenging to have players coming from different countries, especially because of the language barrier,” said Jr. NBA Asia Pacific Girls Team Coach Tony dela Cruz. “The way these guys came together to play was amazing and to be the first team to beat a U.S. team was really special.”
The Asia Pacific Boys and Girls Teams competed among 32 of the top 13 and 14-year old boys and girls teams from around the world who gathered in Florida for the 2nd Jr. NBA Global Championship.
Filipino basketball players are on a winning streak this 2019 with championships and gold medals won by teams such as the Team GoodNewsPilipinas.com Grandeur Championship in Singapore, the Pinoy Boys and Girls medals at the ASEAN School Games, and the UP Fighting Maroons Championship in Taiwan.
SEND congratulations in the comments below for the Filipino basketball players and their Jr. NBA Asia Pacific teams, for the world-class performance in the global tournament!
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