‘Hoop Kids’ treasure the Pro experience » Manila Bulletin Sports

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By Brian Yalung

Each year, kids embark on different activities to keep them busy. Basketball is something most would get into with the summer filled with clinics and leagues, including Batang PBA.

Select kids were given the chance to represent PBA teams, wear replica jerseys and play ball like the pros do. This is an honor limited to a select few and the Manila Bulletin Sports Online called on kids to share their Batang PBA experience.

Gavin Riley Moreno-Uy (Mahindra Floodbusters)

Gavin Riley Moreno Uy | contributed photo by Uy Family

Gavin Riley Moreno Uy | contributed photo by Uy Family

Among this year’s participants included 9-year-old Gavin Uy. He shares that it was a great chance to play with other kids and pick up a lesson or two. He played for the Mahindra Floodbusters wearing the replica version of Alex Mallari.

“It’s always a win or learn situation for kids like me. It taught me patience also since I can only go in the game during the 3rd qtr.,” said Gavin. “I learned that nothing is given. Hard work is needed to achieve any goal. The experience gives me confidence to go up against anybody but with the utmost respect to each player. It taught me that since I have limited time, I need to give my best when fielded in. “

Camille Nolasco (Star Hotshots)

Camille Nolasco | contributed photo

Camille Nolasco | contributed photo

11-year-old Camille Nolasco shares pretty much the same sentiments as Gavin.

“It was a very memorable experience for me, especially being able to play at the Araneta Coliseum during our Championship game. It helped me a lot. I learned new skills. I learned to become a better team player.

On what makes it memorable: “I was able to wear and play for the jersey of a famous PBA player (Paul Lee) and fortunate enough to have met him. The whole experience reminded me that dreams do come true,” said Camille.

Luis Carlos San Juan (Phoenix Fuel Masters)

Luis Carlos San Juan | contributed photo by owner

Luis Carlos San Juan | contributed photo by owner

For 16-year-old Luis San Juan, it was the training and improvements to the game that he cherished the most.

“Batang PBA training and games helped enhanced my basketball skills especially starting with the basics. It improved my dribbling and shooting skills,” said Luis

“Playing for the Batang PBA was a very fun experience. From attending trainings every weekend to play at the MOA Arena and Smart Araneta Colliseum influenced me to push myself everyday no matter how hard life hits you with the outcome great,” he adds.

MB Sports Online also got the chance to kids who played from previous seasons such as Andre Miguel Tan and Joshua Caleb Coronel.

Andre Miguel Tan (Globalport Batang Pier 2015)

Andrei Miguel Tan | contributed photo by Tan family

Andrei Miguel Tan | contributed photo by Tan family

Andre Miguel Tan had the chance to play for GlobalPort in 2015 and cherished the chance to know players from rival schools who eventually became his friends.

“I was 10 years old when I joined Batang PBA in 2015 and assigned to GlobalPort Batang Pier. Most of my teammates were from other schools but towards the course of the season, they became my friends,” Andre recalls

“We would practice almost everyday and learn to execute plays and trust each other. With guidance from the coaching staff and utilizing our team strategy, we were able to win the championship that year. It is an achievement that I am very proud of,” Andre ends.

Joshua Caleb Coronel (PBA Stalwarts 2014)

Joshua Caleb Coronel | contributed by Coronel family

Joshua Caleb Coronel | contributed by Coronel family

Joshua joined the PBA Stalwarts back in 2014. Being one of the youngest at that time, Joshua relishes the challenge playing against bigger opponents

“I had a good Batang PBA experience since I was one of the youngest players in the team in 2014. It helped my game because I got exposed to good players which improved my game. That experience helped me contribute to three championships for La Salle Greenhills (LSGH).

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