Meet the Future: SLAM Rising Stars Classic 2018

By Jon Carlos Rodriguez

What were you up to in high school? These high school kids are making basketball history.

It’s that time of the year again, when the country’s top high school basketball players join the conversation of We Got Next. On Sunday, March 18, we will get a glimpse of what fresh talent looks like in 2018 at the fifth annual SLAM Rising Stars Classic.

Following tradition, the best high schoolers are split into two teams: Team Hype and Team Punks. Leading Team Hype are the respective MVPs of the UAAP and the NCAA, UST’s CJ Cansino and Mapua’s Will Gozum. They are joined by Terrence Fortea of NU, Raven Cortez  of De La Salle Zobel, Jason Credo of Ateneo, Harvey Pagsanjan of Hope Christian High School, Neil Tolentino of Letran, Inand Fornilos of La Salle Greenhills, John Galinato of Chiang Kai Shek College, Joaqui Manuel of Ateneo, L-Jay Gonzales of FEU, and Mac Guadana of Lyceum.

Team Punks will be led by the Finals MVPs of the UAAP and the NCAA, La Salle’s Joel Cagulangan and Ateneo’s Kai Sotto. Completing Team Punks are Ateneo’s Dave Ildefonso, FEU’s RJ Abarrientos, NU’s Rhayyan Amsali, Chiang Kai Shek College’s Jason Celis, Adamsons’ Joem Sabandal, Arellano’s Aaron Fermin, Mapua’s Warren Bonifacio, LPU’s Vincent Cunanan, Mapua’s Clint Escamis, and San Beda’s Evan Nelle.


Last year, Juan Gomez de Liano of UP made a name for himself, leading Team Punks to an 89-83 win over Team Hype.

Check out the highlights from last year’s SLAM Rising Stars Classic:


About the author

Jon Carlos Rodriguez

Jon Carlos Rodriguez is a New York Knicks fan, and a Barangay Ginebra resident. Aside from, he has written for SLAM Philippines, Fox Sports PH, ABS-CBN News,, and 8List. In fantasy basketball, he once traded Harrison Barnes for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

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