Experiencing 'a little bit of La Salle basketball'

Santino Honasan on Apr 12, 2017 01:26 AM
Experiencing 'a little bit of La Salle basketball'
New De La Salle basketball assistant coach Miggy Soltaria gave five journalists a taste of De La Salle's brand of 'Mayhem'

Well, that was an interesting five week journey. 

I came in a sportswriter, and I'm coming out...still a sportswriter, but with some added basketball knowledge, and that's all thanks to the Nike PG 1 Full Court Ferocity experience. 

Seriously though, I learned quite a bit from the sessions we had, and I'll try my best to lay it out for you guys so that you can at least visualize what I got to pick up. 

Like I've said before, I've been playing pick-up level basketball for years, and not since I was in the sixth grade, did I get serious coaching like I got from the man who ran our training sessions, Miggy Solitaria. 

If the name sounds familiar, it's because he was recently added to the already deep coaching staff of the De La Salle Green Archers basketball team. 

So yeah, we weren't getting coaching from just anyone. 

I found that out on my first session. 

Now I'm not going into detail about what we were asked to do, but it involved a lot of having to move, and move quick. 

One of the drills that stuck with me was having to dribble up the court with two basketballs while someone was trying to pull me back with an elastic band. 

As the weeks went on, the drills got more and more functional, from dribbling through an agility ladder to some of the most effective defensive drills I've ever experienced, we indeed got at least an idea of how the UAAP champion De La Salle squad trained. 

It wasn't easy for us, and we knew that guys like Kib Montalbo, Ricci Rivero, and Ben Mbala did harder versions of what we did, and then some. 

In addition to that, it also gave me perspective on how much harder the players on the highest level, guys like Paul George, do the work, day in and day out. 

For me, more than anything, it was getting to appreciate and understand just how much work these guys put it.

It may have just been five weeks, but I got to learn a whole lot from those five weeks.

"I built a four-day program na gusto ko, mag-enjoy tayong lahat, and at the same time, we learned the basics of basketball, from every skill, from every skill from shooting, dribbling, passing and defensive stances and movements." said Coach Miggy after the camp.

And not to toot our own horns, but Coach said that he was impressed with how we were able to hang. Coming from one of De La Salle's new coaches, that means a lot.

"I was impressed by my players, kasi I wasn't really expecting na kakayanin nila yung program, actually I remember my first session, hindi ako gumawa ng program dahil I wanted to see the kind of players that we'll be having, and maybe hindi nag-match yung expectation ko na a media man is not really into something physical. It exceeded my expectations na nakita ko na kayang-kaya nila yung ginagawa nila. On the second, third, and fourth sessions, I adjusted my program, so nakita nga natin na in the past session, medyo mahirap siya but still kinaya natin."

More importantly, we did get a taste of De La Salle's brand of "Mayhem." 

"I wanted you guys to experience a little bit of La Salle basketball, so I incorporated some of the drills and excercises that we've been doing in La Salle to the training sessions, para at least alam niyo kung bakit ganyan kami ka-bilis gumalaw, or yung reaction namin mabilis." 

What started out as a way to put one of Nike's most popular signature basketball sneakers to the test, became a great learning experience. 

Since the camp ended, I've played in a couple of pick-up games, and I've tried to put to use what I got from this five-week experience, and I'd like to say that it has improved my game. 

To everyone behind the journey, from Coach Miggy, to Nike Philippines, and of course to my team, Team PG, a big thanks! This was truly a memorable experience. 

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