“Ball is Life” Even Online
Inspired Ateneans Share Experience from Virtual Training
By Emmanuel Villaruel
From the Freeman, June 29, 2020
CEBU, Philippines — One of the coaching philosophies of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles chief strategist Rommel Rasmo is to shape his players not only to become champion athletes but also individuals with character on and off the court.
That is the chief reason why Rasmo, who guided the Magis Eagles to five Cebu School Athletic Foundation, Inc (CESAFI) titles highlighted by a historic four-peat from 2012-2016, spearheaded a virtual training for his players to make their time productive while the sports world is at a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Since May, nag-start na po kami nang Virtual training sa team and after one month, nag-invite ako nang mga coaches and players para mag-handle sa training at mag share nang experience nila sa basketball and in life. One way din ito para hindi ma-bored mga players namin,” said Rasmo.
“That’s why I’m so thankful sa time at effort nang mga coaches at players na binibigay sa team. Malaking bagay po ito sa mga players namin especially in this situation. Hopefully marami pa po ako ma invite,” added the Bacolod City-native bench strategist.
Among those who have shared their inspiring stories with the Magis Eagles in their virtual training were licensed USA Basketball coaches Jeff Codera and Ricky Magallanes (who is also a registered FIBA coach), sportscaster-game analyst and MPBL’s Makati Super Crunch coach Beaujing Acot, former two-time UAAP champion and La Salle Green Archers team captain Kib Montalbo.
Others who graced their Zoom sessions were SHS-Ateneo All-Star guard Rendell Senining, ex-UAAP standout SJ Belangel of the Ateneo Blue Eagles and his father/coach Sammy, former PBA cager now NLEX skills trainer Emman Monfort, ex-UST Tigers mainstay Zachy Huang, whose skills were first honed by the Magis Eagles, and Michael “Coach K” Cenabre.
The Magis Eagles, who won their fifth CESAFI title last year despite being tagged as one of the underdogs before the season started, are profoundly grateful for all the valuable lessons they learned out of their virtual training that are applicable to their daily living.
“First off, I just want to express how lucky we are that our basketball program continues to provide avenues wherein we can develop ourselves not only in skills but in other aspects in life,” said Justin Maglasang. “These days, it has really been tough due to the coronavirus but it is not an excuse to stop learning more. With the virtual trainings, we still are able to hone ourselves in order to become better individuals,” he added. Maglasang shared that each guest in their Zoom sessions have their unique approach to basketball and that they marvel at their inspiring stories and humble beginnings before they scaled the summit of success. “Learning from these people is not something that we always get a chance to, so we make sure that we grasp everything we can. Amidst this pandemic, we continue to stay hopeful and most importantly, we keep the faith,” Maglasang said. Maglasang’s sentiments are being echoed by his teammates. “The virtual trainings we had the past few weeks not only helped our basketball skills but also gave us the idea of what the future would look like. Kuya Rendell taught us that the future holds a lot of circumstances that may bring us down, but it’s up to us if we learn from it or run from it,” Joey Villamayor shared. ”Coach Emman also taught us that if we have a dream, we must not let anyone stop us from achieving it. The lesson that struck me the most was from Kuya Kib. He told us that it’s important to be able to do ‘pakisama’ because it’s hard to live all by yourself.” “The virtual training can help me improve my movement skills. It’s a big learning exposure to me and also to my teammates. I learned a lot from one of our guests, coach Jeff Codera. He taught us about more spacing and balancing in our movements,” said Jhornel Tangkay.
On his end, Joel Requioma said he learned things beyond basketball skills and fundamentals. “Kuya SJ Belangel shared to us how important it is to properly balance sports and academics. Kuya Kib shared to us what “tunnel vision” really means and how we need to focus on achieving our goals despite all the distractions in life. Lastly, Kuya Emman Monfort told us that we should come back stronger whenever we face trials and difficulties in life,” wrote Requioma. Tracy Dadang expressed that they have been wary that their dreams and goals have been stalled for now but from the virtual training and words of wisdom they gained, their troubles were somehow lifted. “It’s like the knowledge and wisdom that have been shared unto us made us realize who we really are as an individual,” said Dadang. “One thing I learned throughout this quarantine is that there are things that are definitely out of our control such as this pandemic. As an athlete, this virtual training has been a huge help and has made a huge impact for us in these times.”
So deeply motivated by the sage advice and wisdom of their guests that the Magis Eagles vowed to use it as guiding light in their long and meandering journey towards achieving all their aspirations in life one day.