By Stefano Manca

The City of Melbourne was chosen as the location of the Basketball without Borders (BWB) Asia Camp 2016. For the first time since his creation, BWB combined the top 45 Asia-Pacific future prospects in Australia. This prestigious achievement for the Australian Basketball is also confirmed by the collaboration between the two most representative basketball federations (NBA and FIBA), with the Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL). The site was the Dandenong Basketball Stadium, which is located about 50 km south-east of Melbourne.
The young male elite-basketball players, born in 1999-2000, from 17 different Asia-Pacific countries have had the opportunity to compete against each other and learn from NBA legends, coaches and current professional players.
The four-day event kicked off on Thursday June 23th, with an early start due to the Press Conference with all the Australian basketball authorities along with NBA legends. One of top the other the former San Antonio Spurs and member of the USA Dream Team, David Robinson that outlined the impact of this program demonstrated by the increasing number of talents from Asia-Oceania that are escalating the NBA and NCAA.
The first on-court day of the camp was pretty much based on the evaluation of the players according to skills and position. After the media press coaches started the on-court session dividing the 48 players in 4 groups according to their position (point-guard, guards, forwards and big men). The first 45 minutes where dedicated to the positional skills development. After this first phase the session continued with an evaluation scrimmage of 16 minutes each quarter, where players were divided in 4 teams. On both courts remarkable players started to be distinguished from the large numbers of players.
Kobe Sotelo (’99) from Guam is a 5’7 point guard that owns a good ball-handling while is very fast to drive to the rim and in reading game situations. His lack of physicality is well refilled by his personality and understanding of the game.

Samuel Waardenburg (‘99) from New Zealand is a 6’10 power forward that showed lots of fundamentals in post situations, able to finish strong to the rim he demonstrated a good leading personality on both hands of the floor.

Taheen Samuel (’99) from New Zealand is a 6’7 small forward very athletic and explosive (quick feet). He knows how to use his body capabilities both in post situations inside the key and with mid-range shot.  

To be noted, Callum McRae (’99) from New Zealand and Aashay Verma (’99) from India both center above 7 feet, very good prospects in term of heights (very long wingspan), struggling with body control, Verma in particular, especially in post situations. If they build up coordination and footwork they can easily be on the top of the list.
Friday 24th June and Saturday 25th June, have been characterized by the same schedule: Positional Skills development, Team Practice and 5vs5 games. Differently to the first day, players started to know better their teammates and coaches as well. For the 5 vs 5 game as mentioned before players were divided in 4 teams. Below there are the players that has been selected as starting five for each team:
Zach Guthrie’s (Utah Jazz Assistant Coach) team:
PG –  Paul Manalang 
SG –  Yen-Lin Chen 
G – Kuan-I Wu 
SF – Jiaren Zhao 
C – Yuxuan Liu 
Jerry Stackhouse’s (Toronto Raptors Assistant Coach) team:
PG – Quinn Clinton 
SG – Albor Zoshki 
G – Jiafeng Zhang 
F – Abdullah Aisawalhi 
C – Owen Hulland  
Jay Larranaga’s (Boston Celtics Assistant Coach) team:
PG – Mao Wei-Chia Ku 
SG – Jed Colonia 
G – Jie Guo 
SF – Taahen Samuel 
C – Jason Gregg
Charles Klask’s (Detroit Pistons Assistants Coach) team:
PG – Kobe Sotelo 
SG – Baladhaneshwar Poiyamozhi  
SG – Seishin Yokochi 
PF – Samuel Waardenburg 
C – Yunghi Ha 
Full roster of BWB Asia camp 2016:
Paul Mathew Manalang (’99) Philippines, 5’9 PG.
Yong-An Thng (’99) Singapore, 5’10 PG.
Mao Wei-Chia Ku (’99) Chinese Taipei, 5’9 PG.
Jed Colonia (’99) Philippines, 6’0 SG.
Kobe Sotelo (’99) Guam, 5’7 PG.
Joon Kang Lee (’99) Malaysia, 5’11 PG.
John Mark Lagumen (’99) Philippines, 5’11 PG/SG.
Sahil (’99) India, 6’1 SG.
Jiafeng Zhang (’99) China, 6’9 G.
Baladhaneshwar Poiyamozhi (’99) India, 5’11 SG.
Yen-Lin Chen (’99) Chinese Taipei, 6’2 SG.
Komang Arya Partha Wijaya (’99) Indonesia, 6’3 SF.
Sota Okura (’99) Japan, 6’2 SG.
Jie Guo (’99) China, 6’3 G.
Kuan-I Wu (’99) Chinese Taipei, 6’3 G.
Georges El Beyrouty (’99) Lebanon, 6’3 SF.
Jaehyun Oh (’99) South Korea, 6’2 PG.
Karim Zeinoun (’99) Lebanon, 6’2 SG.
Yongwoo Yi (’99) South Korea, 6’2 SG.
Nicholas Stoddart (’00) Australia, 6’2 PG.
Alborz Hassanzadeh Zoshki (’99) Iran, 6’1 SG.
Seishin Yokochi (’01) Japan, 6’4 SG.
Hamish McDonald (’99) New Zealand, 6’3 SG.
Jdar Sonsem (’99) Thailand, 6’3 F.
Quinn Clinton (’99) New Zealand, 6’3 PG/SG.
Sunghyn Choe (’99) South Korea, 6’3 PG.
Mohammad Javad Mahmoudi (’99) Iran, 6’6 SF.
Biar Garang (’99) Australia, 6’4 SG.
Alex Mudronja (’99) Australia, 6’4 SG.
Shugo Asai (’00) Japan, 6’6 PF.
Seyed Shahriar Arefifar (’99) Iran, 6’8 PF.
Taahen Samuel (’99) New Zealand, 6’7 SF.
Jiaren Zhao (’99) China, 6’9 SF.
Shukhrat Muradhadjaev (’99) Uzbekistan, 6’5 PF.
Daniel Fotu (’99) New Zealand, 6’8 SF.
Yansong Sun (’99) China, 6’11 F.
Jason Gregg (’99) Australia, 6’10 F/C.
Yuxuan Liu (’99) China, 7’0 C.
Abdullah Aisawalhi (’99) Jordan, 6’8 F.
Samuel Waardenburg (’99) New Zealand, 6’10 PF.
Owen Hulland (’99) Australia, 7’0 C.
Yunghi Ha (’99) South Korea, 6’10 C.
Benjamin Fakira (’00) Australia, 6’10 C.
Aashay Verma (’99) India, 7’1 C.
Callum McRae (’99) New Zealand, 7’1 C.

Photo: Herald Sun.