WHERE have all the scouts gone? Here is an athletic 12-year-old basketball-playing kiddie who has taken a league by storm even as not many hoop personalities outside the Chinese-Filipino community have taken notice despite him producing a streak of six consecutive triple-doubles during one stretch, including an unprecedented quadruple-double.
A 5-foot-8 frontliner, Josh Charles Ong is doing it all on both ends of the floor for the Saint Stephen’s High School in the 12-Under Developmental Division of the 5th Philippine Ching Yuen Athletic Association (PCYAA) basketball tournaments being held at the Uno High School gym in Tondo, Manila.
A triple-double machine, the silky-smooth Ong runs like a gentle gazelle and is so dominant in every facet of the game that he stands out in a class by himself – a “man” among the boys.
Unconvinced? Witness hereunder the numbers he has compiled so far for the unbeaten Stephenians (9-0), who last Sunday became the first team to qualify for the eight-team quarterfinal playoffs in the nine-school competitions and will tangle with either No. 4 seed Uno High School or No. 5 seed Pace Academy in the semifinals armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.
– November 12 vs. Jubilee Christian Academy 62-52) – 32 points, 31 rebounds, 12 steals, seven blocked shots and five assists.
– November 19 vs. Saint Jude Catholic School, (55-47) – 26 points, 30 rebounds, 13 steals, four blocked shots and two assists.
– November 23 vs. Saint Peter the Apostle School (48-31) – 24 points, 22 rebounds, 12 steals, four blocked shots and two assists.
– November 25 vs. Pace Academy (56-40) – 20 points, 26 rebounds, 16 steals, six assists and five blocked shots.
– November 26 vs. Makati Gospel Church-New Life Christian Academy (64-37) – 16 points, 28 rebounds, 11 steals, 10 assists and four blocked shots (a quadruple-double).
– November 30 vs. Philippine Cultural College (91-55) – 52 points, 20 rebounds, 14 steals, six blocked shots and five assists.
– December 2 vs. Uno High School (63-47) – 20 points, 19 rebounds, 12 steals, seven assists and two blocked shots.
– December 3 vs. MGC-NLCA (Quarterfinal Playoffs, 84-33) – 21 points, 21 rebounds, eight assists, seven steals and three blocked shots in less than 23 minutes before he was taken out for good with 6:21 left in the third quarter and Saint Stephen’s High School ahead, 62-19.
The sky’s the limit for Ong, who does not turn 13 until March 5 next year. That is if the Grade 7 stude remains cool and level-headed – and no preying agent sucks his young blood for his own selfish interests.
Ong, who is also a member of Saint Stephen’s High School’s 14-Under Aspirants unit, will be a fodder for various Philippine National Youth teams in the years to come if his skills set continues to progress.
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