Call a (basketball) doctor very quick
It was not exactly a warning on what to expect in the future but, without making a condemnation, coach Olsen Racela of Energen Pilipinas Under-16 team in the recent Fiba-Asia championship ended up calling for change.
He has also started to beg for immediate renewal.
For the record, Racela’s young national squad got off to a sizzling start in the Fiba-Asia series.
However, it promptly sputtered after the tournament reached the exacting semifinals.
“Hot-shooting Japan torched the young Nationals from the three-point range, 94-81,” reported the Inquirer’s Jasmine Payo from the press box in Nha Trang, Vietman.
Ms Payo herself knew it was not as simple as that: the Filipinos folding up once they had moved closer to the championship, with the games getting tough and tight.
There were enough bright spots, she noted, on which the “team’s promising Fiba-Asia run could build on.”
Himself speaking, coach Racela said he had been told his boys owned above-average skills.
Their crafty moves also got the attention of several coaches, he added.
So what went wrong with the national team?
Racela was direct to the point.
He said there should be more emphasis on outside shooting in future international campaigns by the Philippine team.
With the team’s admitted lack of height, he explained, they can’t rely on skills alone.
They need to improve their outside shooting.
But something’s also visibly sick.
Something has got to be done, quick!
Of course, they’ve got to first determine who killed the Filipino deadshot.
Why has there been no worthy successor to the ever-reliable Allan Caidic, chief gunner of the successful Northern Cement Consolidated-backed national squad?
To name only two legends before Caidic, there were three-time Olympian Narciso Bernardo, the finest shotmaker in Asia before Shin Dong-pa, followed by his own prodigy, Adriano Papa Jr. and then William (Bogs) Adornado.
There had been other aspirants after Caidic but they predictably faltered in succeeding international stints.
Didn’t national coach Rajko Toroman himself rue the dearth of sharp reliable outside shooters after one resounding setback before his all-revealing failure in the last Fiba-Asia men’s championship won by China over Jordan?
Something has got to be done to prevent this Pinoy point-making famine from reappearing in future foreign campaigns.
Anyway, unknown to many, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), through its executive director Sonny Barrios, has had initial talks with Crayden Sports, a nonprofit group quietly pitching in for national sports development.
Crayden is in the process of making into a book basics on corrective basketball, specifically for Pinoy consumption.
Crayden hopes to extend its teachings on corrective basketball under the auspices of the SBP nationwide.
In one major chapter, the book traces and explains how the gifts and budding skills of future great shooters are warped and aborted with wrong basics and the use of heavy, improper starting equipment.
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