Young ballers from the South can now find a home in the Saints Basketball Club, an organization that aims to help and develop children from different age groups to become better basketball players.
Led by former Basilan Steel head coach Gino Enriquez, the club was formed in September last year as a conduit to try and uncover diamonds in the rough while instilling the proper values through the support of their parents and coaches.
“The Saints Basketball Club was established by parents of male student-athletes studying in Elizabeth Seton School and in other schools based in the South of the Metro. We aim to develop players from 10 to 16 years old to help them be a well-rounded student-athlete,” bared Enriquez.
Big plans are ahead for this budding group especially as summer is approaching. Enriquez shared that the Saints Basketball Club has been in the works of joining several commercial leagues such as the Throwdown Basketball Premier League, South Sunday Basketball Invitationals, Chooks-to-Go League, and other leagues sanctioned by the Las Pinas Private Schools Association (LAPPRISA) and Inter-Scholastic Athletic Association (ISAA) in order to carry on with their development of their young cagers.
After months of training these young individuals, Enriquez has already witnessed and noticed some names that might make it to the bigger stages if given the chance.
“While we are not that known and we’re new, I don’t see it as a disadvantage at all. These kids, nakikita mo ‘yung willingness to learn at excited sila matuto. Our program is dynamic and always evolving. Siguro aabangan natin ‘yung mga players tulad nina Migo Marasigan, Yul Nicolas, Allen Berza, Lylo Ulep, Isiah Callanta, Vince Go, Earl Anastacio, Kalel Paguio, Thomas Salazar, Karl Divinagracia, Brent Calaunan, and Jacob Pilpil, among others,” mentioned Enriquez.
Enriquez is no longer stranger to coaching in the local basketball scene. In 2016, he led the Adamson Baby Falcons to a championship in the SBP Passerelle tournament, plus he’s had stints coaching in the PBA D-League and in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
Furthermore, he wants to share his learnings and knowledge gained over these past few years as a way of giving back. And one way of doing so is by going beyond the wins and losses as he teaches them the importance of teamwork, perseverance, and building camaraderie with teammates.
“Basketball for the youth is more than just trophies and medals. Para sa akin, gusto ko ituro ang winning culture that is achieved through dedication, commitment, discipline and high standards. Mino-monitor din namin ‘yung grades ng mga bata and their playing time will be affected if they don’t do well in school. Hindi lang nila mamamalayan, pero magagamit nila yang attitude kahit sa pagtanda nila,” said Enriquez.
“There is potential sa Saints Basketball Club. And hopefully someday, we will be contenders in the coming leagues,” he ended.