ELVIS Tolentino, head coach of the Marikina Shoemasters, may be learning from some of the best coaches in the United States. Among them include University of Texas coach Shaka Smart and Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orangemen. But when it comes to defensive philosophy, he would still follow his dad: multi-titled mentor Ato Tolentino, who also serves as his consultant in his MPBL squad.
“Kailangan maging makulit sa depensa. Turo yun ng tatay ko,” Tolentino wrote in an exclusive online intreview with FOX Sports Philippines. “Malilit kasi kami, so kailangan talaga we have to be active on defense, kailangan mainis yung kalaban sa depensa namin.”
Tolentino embraces this philosophy from his old man and he will continuously do that to his new team in Marikina, one of the expansion teams in the MPBL.
But while his old man gives him wisdom, the younger Tolentino believes he needs to upgrade, which is why he attended the Nike Basketball Championship Clinic in Las Vegas and learned from some of the best coaches in college.
“Mostly mga drills and how to motivate players, but there were also some plays shared,” wrote Tolentino. “Si Shaka Smart, same sila ng approach ng pag-motivate ng players.”
The Shoemasters will be spearheaded by guards Warren Ybañez, Yves Sason, Ronald Roy, Joshua Gonzales, JR Ng-Sang and the face of the MPBL, celebrity baller Gerald Anderson.
Ybañez played for Red Bull under head coach Yeng Guiao for a few years and last saw action in the UNTV Cup.
Sason played for Tolentino last season in Navotas, but decided to follow his coach when he transferred to Marikina.
Roy played for Caloocan last season, but transferred to Marikina — where he is a resident –when the city put up an MPBL squad.
Gonzales was a stalwart of La Salle while Ng-Sang is a renowned “ligang labas” star.
Anderson, who played for Tolentino the past few years, had committed to play and has in fact joined the team’s practice recently.