SACRED HEART Academy of Novaliches has recently been accepted as a guest team for the 17th season of the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU). The Bruins will compete exclusively in Juniors Basketball.
Tasked to pilot the school in their maiden campaign is veteran coach Mark G. Ballesteros. The 38-year old Ballesteros has been at the helm for the last seven years and also doubles as SHAN’s Sports Coordinator while teaching MAPEH.
The Bruins have dominated the Quezon City Athletic Association (QCAA) with six championships under their belt. They are also back-to-back Athletic Association of Private Schools (AAPS) winners as well as a host of other tournaments within the Quezon City area.
“We joined the NAASCU basically for exposure and experience,” said Coach Ballesteros. “When we opened our Senior High School, we needed a league for our Grade 11 and Grade 12 players who could not play anymore in other tournaments so NAASCU was a perfect choice.”
Being a winning program, it is not surprising that the top Bruins earn the attention of scouts from other varsities. SHAN was where past and present NAASCU standouts like former Juniors Most Valuable Player Nicolo Galvelo and current Seniors Rookie of the Year Rojay Santos of Saint Clare College of Caloocan and Ronnie Pangan of Manuel L. Quezon University first honed their skills.
This time, Coach Ballesteros is hoping that SHAN can retain its top players in order for them to be competitive, singling out team leaders guard JE Dayrit and forward Billshan Digno. He also hopes that with the increased awareness about the school, they could attract more talents to enrol and beef up the varsity.
Saint Clare is the defending champion in the Juniors Division. The Junior Saints beat the AMA University Junior Titans to take home their second title in the last three seasons.