By: Mielmia Marie T. Baquiran
The Provincial Government of Cagayan through the Provincial Sports Committee recently launched the first ever provincial basketball clinic at the Cagayan National High School gymnasium with the overwhelming participation of some 250 youth, aged 4-15 of the 3rd district of the province (elementary and high school level).
The event aimed to teach the rudiments of basketball in a scientific and rigid manner, giving the participants an edge in basic skills. Among the skills that they learned are dribbling, passing, lay-up, shooting and ball-handling.
The training was led by the respected basketball coach, Arturo Valenzona (former PBA player and Olympian, who is also the head consultant of the Cagayan Rising Suns). Among the trainers are the coaching staff of Cagayan Rising Suns namely Alvin Pua, Francis Rodriguez, Toto Dojillo and Oscar Torres. Facilitators are the other members of the team.
According to Criselda I. Antonio, Provincial Sports Coordinator, the activity aims to train the youth in basic basketball and ignite the passion of the youngsters to play the game. “This is in line with Governor Alvaro T. Antonio’s 10-K agenda on Kalusugan, which gives emphasis on developing the young generation through sports. Sports have many perks and among these is its contribution to health and well-being. Through this activity we also develop the mental alertness of the participants, their strength and physical stamina,” she added. Criselda Antonio also stressed the values that this training will also give—discipline, perseverance, patience, and respect.
Meanwhile, Coach Valenzona said that this event is an opportunity for young basketball enthusiasts to show their potential in basketball. “These kids can choose to make a career out of basketball in the future. Basketball offers an opportunity to bring kids, especially at the grassroots level, to good universities in Manila. After their studies, a bright career awaits those who want to pursue basketball.”
Coach Valenzona said that they have eyed potential players during the training, who can be considered for scholarships in Universities in Manila in the future. He said though that the kids should also give focus on their studies if they want to pursue basketball. “Basketball is not forever; it is only good for now. If you want to play basketball, you must have the discipline to balance both your studies and your training,” he added.
The four-day basketball clinic was free of charge. Participants were awarded with certificates of completion during their graduation. They were also given free balls and t-shirts. The coaches and trainers also chose top 10 participants who showed exemplary skills during the clinic. Bien Carlo P. Eugenio was chosen as number one in elementary while Alison Gumabay was ranked number 1 in high school.
According to Criselda Antonio, the Provincial Sports Committee plans to bring more basketball clinics and other sports clinic in the different districts of the province. This endeavor is in cooperation with the Cagayan Rising Suns team.