Jr. NBA Philippines Presented By Alaska National Training Camp 2012

The National Training Camp: May 2 – 4, 2012

Alaska Milk Corporation (AMC) ties up with Jr. NBA Asia to present the 2012 Jr. NBA – Alaska National Training Camp, the fifth Jr. NBA event in the country.  A total of 50 kids participated in the day event – 40 from the Jr. NBA Regional Training Camps and 10 from Alaska Power Camp; and 10 finalists for the Jr. NBA – Alaska Coach of the Year.

NBA Legend Luc Longley signing the basketballs during the Jr. NBA-Alaska National Training Camp at UP Diliman Gym

NBA Legend Luc Longley signing the basketballs during the Jr. NBA-Alaska National Training Camp at UP Diliman Gym

As part of the training program, the ten coaches were invited to Alaska Aces’ training at Reyes Gym.  A briefing then followed at Sulo Hotel which was led by the clinician Chris Clunie. Coach Chris Clunie discussed the activities to be covered during the four day event – from the coaches’ forum, tip off ceremony, drills, skills training and scrimmages, and to the awarding ceremony. The briefing touched base on the following: coach’s philosophy, basketball philosophy, basketball coaching.  In the morning, the focus will be on conditioning work, defensive development, full court transition and shooting skills. It was also mentioned that the NBA Legend Luc Longley will be part of the shooting skills development.  In the afternoon, the trainings will focus on special offensive situations and scrimmages.

As Coach Chris Clunie projected the events on the last day of the camp, “First couple of hours will be on the court.  We’ll just be working with the players for a couple of hours showing different skills and scrimmages, 3 – point shoot out, clinic for the public. (Then) we’ll be working with the campers again.  Coaches will be involved to help out bring 30 kids from the crowd to come out, work with them in shooting. It will be a lot of fun.”

In an interview after the tip off ceremony held at the UP Diliman gym, NBA Legend Luc Longley shared that his most memorable experience in NBA is when he “won his first championship against Seattle.” He also added that he wants the kids to “have fun, learn the basketball skills, drills, teamwork and hardwork by getting them exposed in the camp.” He proudly said that “there’s so much talent in the Philippines, really fast, really good.”

The Jr. NBA – Alaska National Training Camp: From the Champions’ Vantage Point

I had the opportunity to speak with some of the champions during the four- day camp.  The three of them were drafted to join the National Training Camp through Alaska Power Camp.

Elmo Olaso (Alaska Power Camp – Subic): “I find it (training camp) very hard, but it’s exciting.  I find many difficulties. Some of them are selfish; they’re not even trying to give a break to their teammates.

I just played a good game, by passing the ball first so the next ball comes to me. I learned to be a good teammate, and how to play a good teamwork. I learned how to be a team player.

I will apply all the skills that I learned in my league in my hometown. Di naman kailangan ng galling. Kung magaling ka nga pero wala kang discipline, di ka talaga makukuha.”

Ryen Dizon (Alaska Power Camp – Manila): “I feel lucky and privileged.  I was really excited. But then I thought that I still need to improve because there are better people out there who deserve this more than I do. So, I need to keep up with them. I need to stay close and close the gap between us.

Alaska Power Camper (Manila) Ryen Dizon

I was expecting strenuous activity, and I felt nervous because after that, we had to play scrimmage. And there’s a lot of better people out there who are better than me. So, it’s really, really challenging.  And at first I though that, “can I do this? Can I keep up with them?” That’s what I was thinking. They’re on a different level than I am. It takes more than three days just to keep up with them and to play head to head. I still have next year. So I have a year to improve and enhance my skills.

I’ll enroll in the next module of Alaska.  And then I personally train myself, play with other people from different places because everyone is different.  They all have different playing styles and I have to keep up with that.  I have to know that so that I get used to everything.

I learned how to be patient. I need to trust my team mates because everyone has his capabilities and I just need to trust that.  And I learned to have faith on my teammates, on my friends whom I play with because, yeah, all of us have different capabilities.

Being a player, it enhanced my knowledge of the sports. And as a person, since I met a lot of people who are different from me, I learned how to understand them, to understand their situations, why or how they act or speak like that. It taught me who to understand more about people and enhance my patience towards them.”

Well, I could just tell them that no player is born a good player, an ideal player.  They’re always created. They’re always formed throughout their lives as they grow up, how they persevere; their determination and their love of the sport.

Being in the Top 20

Two of the Alaska Power Campers have made it to the Top 20. They were Dave Nino Paon and Regille Kent Ilagan.  Their inclusion in the top 20 was their chance to be in the Jr. NBA All Star Philippine Team. The 20 champions were grouped into two teams – Blue Team and Red Team. They had to show their basketball skills and exhibit the Jr. NBA – Alaska STAR values, on and off the court.

Nino, a Cebuano, studies at University of Cebu. And being in the top 20, he said he will give it his 100%.  He did his best during the scrimmage. And yes, he played a good game.

Coach of the Year Finalists
2012 Jr. NBA Philippines presented by Alaska Coach of the Year Finalists

2012 Jr. NBA Philippines presented by Alaska Coach of the Year Finalists

Aside from the champions, ten coaches participated in the Jr. NBA – Alaska Training Camp, all vying for the Coach of the Year Award.  The Coach of the Year will be the coach of the all star team. The finalists were: Aldin Ayo (Sorsogon City), Albert Celebran (Bukidnon), Clint Montano (Surigao City), Jose Marie Larios, Ronald Belen, Jomer Panoncio, Marlon Hitosis (all from Puerto Princesa City), Johnny Belandrez (Cavite), Jhun Ocampo (Pampanga), and Rafael Ryan Caimbon (Laguna).

On his insights about the sports program and what is its impact on him, Coach Jose Marie Larios shared that “it’s (training camp) a new learning for us, especially for me. I’m looking forward na pag – uwi ko ng Puerto Princesa, we can share this to our youngsters, especially the kids in the same age bracket.  We’re looking forward na sana maka – develop din kami ng mga kasinggaling na players ng ibang regions.  As a coach, nakikita ko na malayo ang aming training style or strategy. Maybe in 2 or 3 years time, we will be more competitive with the help of Alaska Training Camp.”

On the other hand, Coach Ryan from Sta. Rosa, Laguna said, “This is a stepping stone of my career. Marami akong natutunan from the Jr. NBA – Alaska Training Camp: The drills, then how to motivate the players, and the way to handle the players. Napakalaking benipisyo nito sa mga kabataan dahil dito, na – improve nila lahat, at the same time, natutunan nila ang talagang tinatawag na fundamental and basic basketball.

Magserbisyo tayo sa mga bata. Let the players improve bago tayo maghangad ng anupaman.  Sa mga batang nandito, they are lucky na sila ang kasama sa top 50. Mapili man sila o hindi, hindi na nila makalimutan to sa tanang buhay nila. Maraming batang naghahangad nito.  Kasama na rin ang mga coaches. Maramin rin kaming pinagpilian. I’m not expecting na mapapasama sa top 10. Alaska, more power. Marami kayong natulungang bata. Sana tuloy tuloy ang programa natin para makapag – produce tayo ng magagaling (na players).  Malay natin, ito na ang stepping stone going to the Olympics.”


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