Being good in basketball is not just about having the rights skills. It is also about having the right attitude.
Over 40 children, aged 9 to 15, took home this lesson last Saturday (November 26) morning, when ABS-CBN Sports + Action (S+A) brought its Barangay Basketball Clinic to Barangay UP Campus, Quezon City. It was the third and final leg of the clinic for 2016, after visiting San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan and Navotas City earlier this year.
A partnership between ABS-CBN Integrated Sports, Ignite Athletics, and ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Tulong Center, the clinic aims to teach kids – the future of Philippine basketball – the importance of mastering the basic skills in the most-loved sport in the country. Hence, they were taught the proper techniques in stretching, dribbling, shooting, defending, driving to the basket, among others.
However, beyond the fundamentals, the clinic also emphasized the importance of positive values like excellence, humility, discipline, and hard work, which the young basketball players can apply inside and outside the court.
ABS-CBN Integrated Sports head Dino Laurena explained that the intention of the project was always to hit two birds with one stone.
“We saw the potential of sports as a venue for values formation among children. In our basketball clinic, we invited coaches who can explain to the kids that in sports, you need to be disciplined and be sharp in mind. We want to strengthen their foundation skills-wise, and also inside, so that they can also excel in life,” Laurena explained.
Barangay UP Campus captain Isabelita Gravidez believed the same thing. “Ito ay isang napakagandang activity. Ito ay kasagutan, isang solusyon sa (problema sa) droga. One of the best solutions para mailayo sa droga ang mga bata,” she said.
The task of instilling both skills and values was given to Ignite Athletics’ distinguished band of mentors, led by coach Koy Banal, who has trained and handled basketball stars in both collegiate and professional ranks. Helping him out is former NCAA Rookie of the Year Jonathan Banal, Juan Banal, former ASEAN Basketball League Finals Most Valuable Player Warren Ybanez, 5-time UAAP champion Tonino Gonzaga, and ABS-CBN Sports Marketing’s Tonio Silva and Danica Jose, who is also a member of Perlas Pilipinas, the women’s national basketball team.
In his final talk, Coach Koy reminded the participants to also study hard, especially if they dream to play in UAAP or NCAA someday.
“Importanteng mag-aral kayo ng mabuti. Para makapaglaro kayo ng maayos,” he said, pointing out that they can’t just focus on one aspect when they are given the chance to play for the school.
His assistant coaches also imparted nuggets of wisdom. His son Jonathan told the kids to always honor and listen to their parents. Tonino encouraged them to enjoy the game and the friendships they will make along the way. Danica, meanwhile, stressed on the importance of family and of playing with a “pusong palaban.”
On the other hand, NCAA commentator Anton Roxas, who served as program host in all three legs of the clinic, asked a favor from the children. “In the future kapag naglalaro na kayo sa UAAP o NCAA, lapitan niyo ako. Sabihin niyo, Kuya Anton, kasama po ako sa mga sumali sa S+A Barangay Basketball Clinic,” he said.
While we await their rise as the country’s new basketball heroes, watch the current generation of basketball stars on S+A, the official free TV broadcaster of the UAAP, NCAA, ABL, and the NBA. For more sports news and updates, visit sports.abs-cbn.com and follow @ABSCBNSports on Facebook and Twitter.