Davao baller Mesias recounts Jr. NBA stint

Christian Joi Mesias (second from the right) of Jose Maria College was one of the 8 boys and 8 girls who flew to Shanghai China to experience the JR NBA Asia Camp last year.

Jose Maria College standout Christian Joi Mesias recalled his journey in the 2018 Jr. NBA Asia.

After making it to the Jr. NBA All Star Asia squad, Mesias created quite a ripple when he won the three-point shoot out contest–a sideshow of the Jr. NBA Asia– held in China. 

“Okay kaayo akong journey sa Jr. NBA kay sulit kaayo [and] wonderful experience” Mesias said while describing his experience in Jr. NBA. 

From thousands of hopeful players from different regions in the country, Mesias never expected that he would make it that far. 

“Wala jud masayang ang pag-apil nako sa Jr. NBA. Dako kaayo siya ug tabang nako labaw na mas ni taas akong kompyansa sa sarili. Dapat jud ug naa tay gusto ma-abot dapat jud mag pursigi,” he said.

This year, Mesias was picked up by the Holy Child College of Davao Red Eagles squad to reinforce the Davao City squad that won the gold medal in the basketball boys’ event during the Batang Pinoy 2019 – Mindanao Leg held in Tagum City. 

This year, the Jr. NBA decided to reset its most awaited regional selection camp on April 13 and 14 in Butuan City after a last minute cancelation last week due to heightened security threats followed by a travel ban issued to foreigners traveling to Mindanao. It was said that the cancelation was made to ensure the safety of the children that will be participating in the camp. 

This season will include an expansion of the Jr. NBA Global Championship Asia Pacific regional competition to which will include youth from Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. As many as five boys and five girls from the Jr. NBA Philippines National Training Camp will be selected to participate in the first Jr. NBA Global Championship Asia Pacific Qualifiers, a week-long event in June that will feature top youth players from the region. The top performing 10 boys and 10 girls will represent Asia Pacific in the Jr NBA Global Championship.

“As we expand the Jr NBA Philippines program, we are excited to introduce new opportunities for players and coaches to gain enriching experience playing with and learning from peers of diverse cultural backgrounds”, said NBA Philippines Managing Director Carlo Singson. 

They plan to reach 51 million youth in 75 countries through league play, in-school programming, clinics, skills challenges, and other outreach events.

Regional Selection camps will also be staged on other parts of the country where 40 boys and 40 girls will advance to the National Training Camp in Metro Manila on May 17-19, which will feature an NBA and WNBA player or legend.