ARC Refreshments Corp. (ARC), maker of the well-loved beverage RC Cola, has continued to bring out the best in young, aspiring basketball athletes through its just-concluded “RC Cola Liga ng Bayan” 3x3 street basketball tournament.
To help hone the participants’ skills, ARC held basketball clinics with veteran basketball coaches prior to each qualifying game. The clinics took place at select barangays in Pangasinan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bulacan, Makati, Cavite, Las Pinas, Caloocan, Manila, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Batangas, and Laguna.
“RC Cola Liga ng Bayan is a good program that brings in the official FIBA 3x3 rules to the community level,” begins Butch Aves, EVP-COO of ARC. “It is also the biggest 3x3 basketball tournament nationwide.”
Aves explained that the game helps the youth build their dreams because this is the first step for kids towards becoming professional basketball players or simply encourage them to keep on playing for the love of the game.
“From backyard basketball, this is the next step. This is where development truly happens. In teams of 5, not everyone can play. In 3x3 games, more players get more opportunities. Since you are playing on a half-court setting, lesser players mean more touches for the players and it makes the team work harder,” he added.
According to Aves, consistent hard work is one of the keys towards winning in the game.
“ARC’s 3x3 street basketball tournament aims to impart the core value of teamwork. Since there are no coaches in ‘tatluhan’, players really need to work together. Other values are sportsmanship and respect for your opponents and for the game,” he emphasized.
James Loverio, ARC Head of Marketing, says: “I believe that among other beverage brands, it is only RC Cola that has this advocacy to promote street basketball. I always tell the kids during games that they are very fortunate because a cola brand thought of introducing this program for them today. The kids will be very excited every summer, and the program actually promotes a healthy lifestyle.”
“I always encourage the kids to bring their A-game and not to be relaxed and complacent,” Loverio adds.
“They always have to come forward with their best. I want every team that deserves to win to work hard.
‘Tatluhan’ is where it all starts. This is the actual grassroots program. Even if you attend team practices in amateur ranks, players develop during breakdowns.”
Ryan Justin Pamintuan, a 15-year-old student from San Antonio National High School representing Barangay Lapaz, and who idolizes Toronto Raptors’ Kahwi Leonard, mentioned that he joined the Liga ng Bayan because he “wanted to become famous” and is very thankful to RC Cola for the opportunity to play and show their skills in the sport.”
John Patrick Reyes, 16, from Makati High School representing Barangay Sta. Cruz and who idolizes Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving, said they were “handpicked by their barangay to represent them.”
Reyes aspires to someday represent the Philippines in international competitions and play in the professional ranks.
The RC Cola Liga ng Bayan’s finals was held last May 26 at the activity center of Market! Market! in Taguig City and saw a team from Barangay Sto. Cristo in Tarlac, composed of Francis Kurt dela Cruz, Luis Gabriel Flores, Nhil Angelo Mangoba, and the game’s MVP, Wency Sagun, emerging as the grand champion. They took home P50,000 as cash prize.