Clean Slate – A basketball idea made in Chicago

by Moses Billacura

Congratulations to Ninot Galicia for winning the class A title of the 1st Davao Eagle Masters, Inc. Golf Tournament last September 19 at the Rancho Palos Verdes Golf and Country Club. Young Martin Castillo shared the limelight by topping class B while Joey Mempin took the class C title.
Tibor Marcelino settled for runner-up to Galicia; Danny Nagayo lost to Castillo, and Arlor Paglinawan landed runner-up to Mempin.
Team Fibreboard of Galicia, Marcelino, Benjor Villarosa, Boy Tan and Anthony Sasin scored 143 points to take the Division 1 title over T.G.I.S. of Alimar Etrone, Vincent Gumapac, Jun Singson, Rufino Cabang and Jeffrey Ramirez who garnered 126 points. Dream Team of Martin Castillo, Monchit Mackay, Vince Arcenas, Joey Mempin and Benjie Senining could only come up wih 122 points to slide to third place.
F.H.M.1 of Marlon Hager, Louie Rabat, CK Chang, Lito Gutierrez and Jiggs Calixto amassed 113 points to bag the Division 2 crown after besting the efforts of AMIGO II team composed of Emilio Pedro, Tom Aquino, Ronnie Magsico, Cyril Defensor and Greg del Monte who came up with 98 points. Team Dublan bannered by Lito Dublan, Abe Dizon, Louie Jacinto, Oscar Grapa and George Cabebe lost to AMIGO by just four points.
Team Numero 9 of Johan Dalmacio, Joe Lafuente, Sergio Dalisay and Erwin Alzate could not be denied the Division 3 crown after scoring four points better than John Oropeza Team members Jonnie Leuterio, Alejandro Cobol, Edwin Villarino and Jonathan Jocom. Davao Pilot members Rico Trajano, Daniel Campoamor, Rafael Talaver, Rodel Pecson and Marte Velasco landed in third place with 61 points.
Congratulations to the officers of the Davao Eagle Masters, Inc. for the successful tournament and I hope that the group led by Josue Tesado will continue growing and be able to help more poor, but deserving, Dabawenyos through their tournaments.
And belated happy birthday, Mr.Joe Tesado!
* * *
Coach Ronel Leuterio’s idea of how Filipinos play basketball found its way to the column of Joaquin Henson of the Philippine Star.
Coach Ronel, who is now based in Chicago, furnished me a copy and I want to share this with you, our readers:
“Good day, Mr. Henson,
First of all, I’d like to thank you again for the “space” you gave me in your column. It’s also heartwarming to note that there are a lot of Filipinos who still believe in national pride.
In that column, you posed two questions: If I am for real, and if the system is workable?
To the question, “if I’m for real”, I guess it is for the SBP and the whole basketball community there to determine the soundness of the system and the underlying concepts and principles on which this system was build upon. Do I really know my basketball stuff? All I know, is that a good coach is always learning and continues to learn until their last breath. Somebody who is always finding a way for his/her team to win. Obsessive in looking for the upside on the downside. When people are saying basketball is not for us. That height is might in basketball. That is when you make height a big factor in the way you play the game. Why fight their strength? Expose their weakness. See if their 7 footers can guard somebody from the outside. “Ang alam ko naka pako na ang mga paa nyan sa shaded area”. And I also know that they’re not comfortable guarding somebody from the 3-pt area and somebody who can dribble drive or dribble probe.
A defense good in checkers but not chess is at a major competitive disadvantage. A defensive system designed for conventional offenses will have a hard time defending against an unconventional/unfamiliar offensive system. This system is harder to prepare against because of its unique offensive concepts. If you get to face American and European offensive systems most of the time, you get better defending it. You can scout it, but playing against it, that’s a whole different story, especially if you’re facing it for the first time. Unfamiliarity breeds uncertainty. The same thing is true when traditional offensive systems face unconventional defensive systems. My defensive philosophy can be summarized in three words contain/disrupt/control. I also take pride in it because I know not a lot of teams are using it.
As to the question, “is it workable?”. The answer is, “why not?” You don’t need seven footers to make it work. You don’t need congress’ approval to naturalize foreigners. You don’t need a lot of funding because you don’t need to pay foreign coaches to run the program. There’s an abundance of phd’s (passionate, hungry, driven) and who are willing to work the hardest. Filipinos who are dreaming to represent their country.  There’s no way if we’re 6’5ft that we can be a 7’0 footer, but if we are 10% 3pt. shooter but have the commitment and dedication to become better, what we can be, is limitless. The system was created out of existing assets that only need to be “seen” and then used in new ways. Imagine an exponential multiplier of factors if all 5 players can all dribble, pass and shoot.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski aptly said it: “Teams don’t instantaneously become, they evolve.” To do so, you need time, goals and competition. This system is not a magic potion/formula that once you implement it, results will come right away. Let’s get better in doing it. Atin ito!!!
Take pride in being who we are. “Tayo’y mga pinoy wag kang mahihiya kung ilong mo ay pango”. This is who we are and this is how we play the game of basketball. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!”
* * *
What do you think of coach Ronel’s idea? I hope we can get some reactions from Davao coaches or members of the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines-Davao Chapter.
You can send your reaction to mo.sports@gmail.com