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NBTC regionals set as road to 'Madness in MOA' gets more exciting

SM Supermall assistant vice president for marketing Arvin Ang, NBTC director Eric Altamirano, and Ilocos Norte governor Matthew Manotoc grace the launch of the 2024 NBTC season. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—The 2024 NBTC season is set to be more competitive as a regional championship round has been added to its calendar.

For the first time, the NBTC will hold regional championships across the country to determine who really deserves to be in the national finals at the SM Mall of Asia Arena here.

“It’s about time we expand the glory of the National Finals to the regions. This is the NBTC’s way of upping the ante as we aim to discover more Filipino talents from the provinces,” Eric Altamirano, the NBTC program director, said during the press launch of the regionals on Thursday night at the said 16,000-seater arena.

It was also announced that Laoag will host the first regional championship leg, the North Luzon regionals, from Jan. 18-21 at the Centennial Arena.

No less than Ilocos Norte governor Matthew Manotoc announced the news.

“We’re honored to be the first to kick off the NBTC RCs and we’re excited to unearth the best young talents from North Luzon,” said Manotoc, the son of legendary coach Tommy.

Action will then shift to the Sarangani Sports Training Center in Alabel for the Mindanao regionals from Feb. 1-4.

Cebu City will then host the Visayas regionals from Feb. 15-18 at the Cebu City Coliseum, while South Luzon will hold its own regional championship from Feb. 29-March 3 at the Batangas City Sports Coliseum.

Sixty-eight high school teams and under-19 clubs that will rule the local city qualifiers, which are already ongoing as of posting, will make it to the regional championships, where only four spots from each region are at stake for the national finals from March 18-24 at the MOA Arena.

Some regional championship games will be streamed live on the Smart Sports and NBTC Facebook pages as well as the Smart Live Stream app.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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