^^^ I think we have to train all of our boys across the entire skill set regardless of their size or position. There are two very specific core skills that must be completely mastered: playing with both feet, especially the "off" foot, and the pull-up jumpshot.
Maneuvering on both offense and defense requires strong and fundamentally sound footwork. A player with only one good foot is close to useless because all that is needed is to have his strong side taken away when defending him, or attacking his weak side when he is on defense.
That pull-up jumpshot is a lost art. Before he got injured, the best and actually only young player I ever saw with that move was Gwyne Capacio when he was still with Zobel. He could take it from either left or right, take two to three hard dribbles, then pull up within 14-16 feet and nail that jumper. I thought he'd be a better version of Nico Salva because of that move. And then he got injured and lost that move. I hope he gets it back. In the PBA, James Yap, Mark Caguioa, Cyrus Baguio and JV Casio all have this move. I love this move because it allows you good to great separation off the defense. Yao Ming or Hamid Hadadi could be standing in front of you and you could still score with this move.
These are things that should be taught right from the Grade School age group levels, so that guys with size like Gideon Babilonia, Jeric Estrada, Prince Caperal, Isaac Go, Wilson Bartolome, Tsaddy Rangel, Dawn Ochea, Andre and Kobe Paras and Jay Javelosa will all have it by the time they top off. Can you imagine if someone like Kobe Paras, with his spring and agility, could defend with both feet and do the pull-up at this stage of his career? He'd be unstoppable right now. Same goes for everyone else here.
This is not even a function of pure athletic ability. Guys who can dunk two-handed do not necessarily have strong footwork, or the ability to do the pull-up. Gab Reyes of Lasalle is a clear example, ditto Bong Quinto of Letran. If Babilonia had these skills the Ateneo would not be having such concerns about finding a good big man.
By training kids to get these two skills down at an early age, you will by extension also train their bodies to be more agile, faster on both feet, quicker laterally and better at changing directions, all of the things needed to succeed in the sport. Just look at the kids in the 12-13 year old range now who have shown flashes of these or have shown these consistently, and I can tell you that those kids will all have some career or other in college ball, maybe even make the pros. Kiefer Ravena was like that in Grade 6, so was Roi Sumang, so were Jolo Mendoza, Tyler Tio and Kib Montalbo I have been told.
Those are core skills that simply cannot be ignored.
Venerable Moderator, I'm not absolutely sure this belongs here, but I could not think of any more appropriate place - - -
Phl battles in FIBA-Asia U-18 3x3
By Joaquin M. Henson
(The Freeman) | Updated May 16, 2013 - 12:00am
It’s all systems go for the Philippine team coached by La Salle Greenhills’ John Flores to battle in the first FIBA-Asia U-18
boys 3x3 competition in Bangkok on May 22-24. The four-man squad boasts an average height of 6-3 1/4 and while Flores expects taller opposition, he said it will be difficult to match the boys’ versatility.
The players are 6-5 Arvin Tolentino of San Beda Taytay, 6-4 Prince Rivero of La Salle Greenhills, 6-2 Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo and 6-4 1/2 Kobe Paras of La Salle Greenhills. Flores said 6-1 Reggie Morido of National University would’ve been in the lineup but had to be scratched out because he couldn’t get a passport in time to beat the deadline for submission of documents to FIBA-Asia. Tolentino and Rivero are 18, Ravena 17 and Paras 15. Ravena’s father Bong was a PBA star and brother Kiefer is with the Ateneo senior varsity. Paras’ father Benjie was a two-time PBA MVP and brother Andre plays with the UP senior varsity.
“We don’t need a point guard because you don’t bring up the ball anyway since it’s a halfcourt game,” said the 47-year-old Flores who took over the helm of the La Salle Greenhills varsity in 2011 after capturing six UAAP titles in seven seasons with the Ateneo Lady Eagles. “We play a 10-minute game in a race to 21 points. The limit is five personal fouls and four team fouls before penalty. For sure, there will be bigger players out there but we’ve got players who can shoot from the outside, put the ball on the floor, slash and post up. We’ll try to offset the height advantage of other teams by playing quick and smart. There are only 12 seconds to shoot so we’ve got to move fast.”
Flores said he coached three-on-three basketball for La Salle Bacolod back in 1996 so he’s familiar with the game. The Philippines’ U-16 coach Jamike Jarin begged off from the 3x3 tournament to concentrate on his work with the national team. “I was helping out coach Jamike as a volunteer with the U-16 team when he asked if I could take over the U-18 3x3 team,” said Flores. “I’m really grateful to coach Jamike for this opportunity. I was an assistant coach with the national team for the 2005 Southeast Asian Games but we couldn’t play because of the FIBA suspension. This is my first assignment as national coach and I’m excited to do a good job. I was only a bench player in college so this is a big break for me. I’ve always dreamed of being a national coach. It means so much more than coaching for a club.”
* * * *
Flores said his coaching philosophy is a balance of offense and defense. “I like to press and run so it’s defense transitioning into offense,” he said. “In three-on-three basketball, I want the guys to move quickly. Arvin has an inside-outside game just like the others. In one recent five-on-five game, Kobe got the rebound, went coast to coast and dunked. That’s unusual for a big man to run the floor like he does. Prince and Thirdy are just as capable so I think we have a good chance in Bangkok.” Flores said he plans to arrange at least four practice games with the La Salle and FEU senior teams. “I’ve spoken with (La Salle) coach Gee (Abanilla) and (FEU) coach Nash (Racela) and they’ve agreed to help us out,” he continued. “We don’t have too many days left for practice as we leave May 20. We’re hoping to do games with guys like Jeron (Teng) and Arnold (Van Opstal) so we get used to playing with slashers and big guys.”
Dean's Corner ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 The Philippines is bracketed in Group B with Turkmenistan, Indonesia, Qatar, Syria and Chinese-Taipei. Group A is made up of Jordan, Mongolia, India, China and Maldives. Group C is composed of Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, Kazakhstan and Thailand 2. Group D lists Thailand 1, Lebanon, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Macau. Iran is not entered in the tournament.
The competition is a preview of the three-on-three event at the second Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, China, on Aug. 16-24 leading to the 2014 Youth Olympics, also in Nanjing. SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said the Filipino streetball game of “tatluhan” is a model for the three-on-three event which FIBA is planning to introduce at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.