In the summer, Demicah Arnaldo and Alyssia Palma, two talented athletes from St. Thomas More Collegiate and Holy Cross respectively, achieved remarkable success in their young careers. They accomplished an incredible feat by winning gold for the Philippines U16 national team.
Their journey commenced in May when they joined the roster in Los Angeles, with the hope of making it onto the main roster for the FIBA U16 Women’s Asian Championship. They proved their worth and earned their spots on the team through their inherent skill and diligent efforts. They subsequently travelled to Amman, Jordan, where they impressively defeated Hong Kong, Maldives, and host Jordan in the group stages.
Arnaldo & Palma’s coaches sang their praise for the rising stars as St Thomas More Coach Winston Brown would say “As a coach who has had to privilege of coaching some of the best point guards this province has seen, I believe Demicah has the skills, talent, drive, and character necessary to be an amazing player.”
Holy Cross Coach Randy Mangalindan is grateful to be able to coach and witness the growth of Palma, “I first coached Alyssia when she was in grade 4 during a 3×3 tournament.
For the past 2 years, I assisted in coaching her in grades 8 and 9 at Holy Cross where we won the grade 8 provincial championship and finished 7th earlier this year at provincials. She always had ‘it’. “
After the group stages, the Philippines had only two games left to win a gold medal. They started strong with a 79-44 victory over Malaysia, setting up a gold medal game against Iran. With promotion to Division A within their reach, the Philippines were determined to win and they did just that with a commanding 83-60 victory, completing an undefeated championship run.
Throughout the tournament, Arnaldo and Palma shone with their impressive performances. Arnaldo filled the stat sheet with offensive and defensive stats, while Palma showcased her defensive abilities by leading the team with two blocks per game.
Returning home as gold medalists the two are seemingly inseparable as teammates, currently competing alongside each other at BBALL Nationals for HERSTORY.
Coach Danny of HERSTORY is incredibly grateful to coach two of the province’s brightest stars.
They have a very high IQ and no matter what team they’re on, they’re very supportive of their teammates, and really easy players to coach, Coach Winston and I have a pretty easy job on our hands with them.”
Arnaldo and Palma’s success at the FIBA U16 Women’s Asian Championship is a testament to their hard work and dedication to the sport. Their impressive performances on the court have earned them recognition from their coaches and admiration from their fans. As they continue to pursue their passion for basketball, we can only hope to see more inspiring moments from these rising stars. We wish them all the best in their future endeavours and look forward to following their journey as they continue to make their mark in basketball.