NBTC boasts of more international teams, 3x3 tournament in 2019

NBTC grows into PH's largest grassroots program (2:29)

What began as a simple vision for coaches Eric Altamirano and Alex Compton, the National Basketball Training Center -- in partnership with Chooks-to-Go -- has evolved into the largest basketball grassroots program in the Philippines. (2:29)

The National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) just got bigger.

Now on its 12th year, the NBTC is seeking to reach out to more young Filipino athletes both locally and abroad in 2019. Among the plans of NBTC next year is a more competitive National Championship in March, featuring more teams from the Philippines and abroad.

"Aside from having more provincial teams, we will also have a lot of international teams," Eric Altamirano, founder and executive director of the NBTC, said on Thursday. "Last year we had USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. This year we are happy to have Italy, Guam, and Vancouver."

Aside from the expansion of their annual National Championship, a 3x3 nationals will also be held.

"I could also announce that we are also going to have a nationwide 3x3 tournament," Altamirano said proudly.

All of these new developments were made possible with the partnership with national team backer Chooks-to-Go.

"We are happy to announce that Chooks-to-Go will be our title sponsor. It means that it will encompass all the activities we are going to do, including the Coaches Clinic and the Elite 60," said Altamirano.

"The last two years we've been supporting Batang Gilas and the Gilas Cadets. It was quite a journey for us. It gave us an opportunity to advance our advocacy in promoting nationalism and sportsmanship," said Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald MascariƱas.

"I was really impressed with Coach Eric Altamirano's comprehensive program to promote the grassroots program with the NBTC. It was too good to be true that someone in the Philippines who has the heart to promote grassroots basketball. For 2019, we are really ready to back up the NBTC program together with SM," he went on.

Ateneo Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin, who has been the key speaker for the Coaching Clinic the past two years, also expressed the value of the NBTC program for both coaches and players.

"The NBTC has been involved with coaching development along with player development. There have been coaching clinics and I know that coach Eric is as good an example as we have in the country of somebody who has dedicated their life and their love to the passion, and their passion to the game of basketball," quipped Baldwin.

The NBTC remains the premier program for training young Filipino basketball players at the grassroots level as well as helping and developing coaches.

"We've grown from three cities, now we're into 120 cities. And without the support of Chooks-to-Go I think it will be very hard for us to really reach more players, more coaches, and more schools that would avail of the service of NBTC. And we're excited, we're excited for this coming season," Altamirano said.