DAVAO CITY—As a young boy, JC Intal’s brothers taught him to play basketball. In grade school, he tried out for basketball camp, and many years later—playing with various teams and overcoming injuries—Intal has made a name for himself as a professional basketball player.
With a heart to give back, he and his teammates from the Phoenix Fuel Masters team participated in the Phoenix Fuel Masters Basketball Camp at the Davao City Recreation Center on March 31.
“Ang basketball clinic makakatulong talaga sa mga kids, lalo ng yung mga mahilig sa sports,” said Intal. “We’re very blessed na merong ganitong opportunity na dumarating sa kanila kasi hindi lahat ng lugar nagkakaroon ng ganito, so they should take advantage of the camp.”
Proper footwork, ball handling, defense, passing, receiving, and shooting were among the techniques taught to the more than 150 basketball players of ages 10 to 14 years old. The players were selected from the adopted schools of Phoenix Petroleum and selected barangays in Davao City.
Local coaches led by Camp Master Eddie Salac facilitated the camp. The Phoenix Fuel Masters guided the young players and gave them tips. On one side, Cyrus Baguio, RJ Jazul, and Matthew Wright taught the boys shooting techniques. Doug Kramer and John Wilson guided them through footwork drills. Willy Wilson gave instructions on defense. Joseph Eriobu and Michael Miranda demonstrated passing techniques. The Fuel Masters talked to the boys and encouraged them to learn and practice.
More than just learning ball-control skills, the camp also aimed to teach the young players the importance of discipline, exercise, rest, attitude, strategy, and hard work.
Phoenix Fuel Masters head coach Ariel Vanguardia reminded the young players to listen. “Yung mga magagaling, like engineers, magaling makinig. Listening is very important kung gusto mong maging magaling na basketball player,” he said.
Listening was one of the lessons picked up by 13-year-old Justin John Lagunsad. “Dapat focused ka, attentive, may tamang attitude sa paglaro, at makinig sa coach. Kung dapat ka mag-shoot, mag-shoot ka talaga. Kung dapat sa defense ka, sa defense ka. Kung saan ang pwesto mo, dapat doon ka.” Lagunsad later won a special award as Best Defensive Player.
Ten-year-old Van Meldrei B. Aliado learned from the camp additional skills in shooting. His father taught him how to shoot, and Aliado will make him proud with his Best in Shooting award.
Fuel Masters point guard RJ Jazul observed some of the campers to have advanced skills. “Dapat tuloy-tuloy lang yung program kasi kailangan talaga ng support ang ganitong mga programs para sa mga bata.”
Jazul emphasized the importance of finishing school while achieving one’s dream.
“Magkaroon ng pangarap. Pangarap mo, pagsikapan mo,” he said. “Ang mahalaga para sa akin is kapag bata ka pa, mag-aral ka muna. Sabi ng coach ko dati sa akin na mag-aral ng mabuti. Kailangan mo munang mag-aral bago maglaro. Until makuha mo na yung pangarap mo. Dun ako nagstart. Laging practice. Discipline sa lahat, walang puyat at bisyo kasi maraming magagaling na nasisira ng bisyo o kaya sa barkada.”
In his 10 years in the PBA, JC Intal places value on work ethic. “Kung may gusto kang marating, kailangan mong pagtiyagaan talaga at paghirapan. Walang imposible.”
Dream big, work hard, play with passion. These are the lessons the young aspirants will carry with them home, as the Phoenix Fuel Masters set a good example to never give up on one’s dreams and passion for basketball.