Making an empathic performance on the court, St. Robert’s International Academy Panda Rockets-Elite Lab secured their slot 2024 Smart-NBTC National Finals in Manila.

The John Guanco-mentored Panda Rockets booked their tickets to the nationals after eliminating Bacolod Tay Tung High School Thunderbolts, 72-48 in the quarterfinals on Feb. 17 at the Willy and Nolita Au Court of Bacolod Tay Tung High School.

Meanwhile, Trinity-Davies Paint/El Tzino also earned their slot in the nationals after a dominating 78-65 victory over Talisay Notre Dame in their knockout quarterfinals match.

John Loyd Martinez, the frontrunner for the qualifying leg’s Most Outstanding Player, was at the forefront of offense for Trinity-Davies, while he got the needed support from Austin John Braganza.

Completing the four schools that qualified from the NBTC Visayas Regional Championship are Cebu’s Khalifa-ANS Sports and UNBL-Don Bosco Greywolves of Dumaguete.

Khalifa-ANS Sports was steered by Judd Kyle Rueda and Peter John Peteros after a 63-75 win against STI-West Negros University Mustangs in the round-of-eight.

Emmanuel Catalan was the only player in double-digits for UNBL-Don Bosco, and it was defense that pushed and kept the Greywolves ahead en route to a 54-40 decision over the municipality of Pontevedra.

The National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) is the official grassroots basketball program of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Inc.

Started in 2016, it aims to identify, prepare, and develop young players. It started out as a training program for the Philippines’ national basketball teams. They then developed the NBTC League, a nationwide tournament that features the best high school teams from all over the country.IMT Sports