Over 174 boys in the 16-and- under age group from the National Capital Region and Luzon trooped to the La Salle Greenhills Gym to try out for the Elite 60 Camp last Tuesday, May 1.
“This is a nationwide camp where coaches will identify the top 60 players from all over the country from the age of 15 and under,” described Chris Gavina, head coach for Valenzuela in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League who is one of the basketball minds working with the Elite 60 Camp. “This will be a feeder program for the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ Batang Gilas program.”
“We know already the players in the age range of 18 and they are already playing in the top school leagues,” added coach Beaujing Acot. “We don’t know much from this age level of 16-and- under. So, we are identifying them to provide the different age group national teams in getting talent.” Some of the young talent vying for spots include La Salle Greenhills’ Jacob Cortez, the son of pro basketeer Mike Cortez who also starred for DLSU in the UAAP. “I think the Elite Camp is a good program as it gives you a confidence boost,” said Cortez. “Plus, you are able to get some elite coaching.”
Added the University of the Philippines’ Jordi Gomez De Liaño, “I see my older brother Juan represent the country and I want to be able to do the same.”
Lyceum of the Philippines’ Nathaniel Tulabut, who was born in 2002, showcased his hops with some high-flying dunk attempts. “I see my schoolmate Mac Guadaña with Batang Gilas and he is an inspiration,” he bared in the vernacular. “I hope to be able to accomplish the same thing.”
The opportunity isn’t only for the young cagers. For a long-time pro basketball player like Paolo Hubalde, working in the Elite 60 Camp represents some of his first steps at coaching. “It is a logical progression for me,” said the son of former PBA great Freddie Hubalde. “It’s difficult but I am working on it.”
The boys selected from all over the country will attend the Elite 60 Camp 2018 from May 10-13 at the Colegio San Agustin Gym in Makati. The boys will work under the eye of camp director Rob Beveridge, coach of the Australian national team.