“Of all the territories, Davao was the best,” Altamirano told reporters here Saturday during the culmination of the NBTC Davao territory training program. He described the players as disciplined, determined and fast learners.
He said that with the lessons learned and experiences gained in the program, he sees a bright future ahead for Davao City’s basketball.
But Altamirano, NBTC national program director, expressed concern over the lack of pure shooters in the mold of former pro Allan Caidic, considered by many to be the greatest perimeter shooter the country has ever produced.
Caidic, dubbed the ‘Triggerman’, is the team manager of Ginebra Kings in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Asia’s lone play-for-pay league. He holds the record of making the most points, 79, in a single game surpassing Bong Alvarez’ 71.
Altamirano, however, clarified that the lack of pure shooters was also a problem in the Visayas and Luzon territories.
Davao territory head Lawyer Manny Nittoreda lauded the young players for the dedication and commitment they have shown during the program.
He also thanked the parents of the young players for their support.
NBTC program, which is bankrolled by TAO Corporation and Nokia, aims to identify, prepare and develop outstanding young boys and girls between 14 and 17 years of age in the countryside and serve as training ground for the national youth teams that would compete in all tournaments sanctioned by FIBA, the sport’s international governing body.
Conducted nationwide to identify promising young players aged 14-19 who will be trained together to serve as talents for future RP squads, the project will take another crack in October.
It was patterned after the highly successful programs in Europe and China and should augur well for the country with the recent decision of the International Olympic Committee to hold a junior Olympics among young athletes.
"That’s one of our targets, to send a team to the Youth Olympics," Altamirano said in a previous interview.
Holy Child School of Davao’s Baser Amer and Ercison Galacgac of University of Mindanao were named Most Outstanding Players in the 14–15 years old and 16-17 years old age groups, respectively, in the program.
Their excellent showing in the program earned for them a slot in the Nike Elite Summer Camp in Manila.
They were joined by Raphael Romeo Nayve, the “sharp shooter (14-15 age group)” awardee and Gryann Mendoza, who took the “All Heart” award (16-17 age group).
The Most Improved players were Nico Te (14-15 age group) and Ranel March Sencio (16-17 age group).
Rocky Brian Mejos (14-15 age group) and Martin Delfinado (16-17 age group) were awarded as Most Committed Players. (Rico Biliran/MindaNews)