Basketball clinic for youngsters held in Clark-A A +A
Sunday, October 23, 2011
CLARK FREEPORT -- More than 100 aspiring athletes from different schools in Pampanga participated in a one-day intensive basketball training sponsored by the AirAsia Philippine Patriots last Saturday at the Philippine Air Force gymnasium here.
Maan Hontiveros, AirAsia Philippines Incorporated chief executive officer, said the airline has constantly dedicated itself to supporting sports, not only abroad but also in the Philippines.
“We are the title sponsor of the AirAsia Philippine Patriots, the country’s representative to the AirAsia Asean Basketball League. Today, we are taking our partnership a step farther with a community project that aims to involve Filipino kids and their parents in the sport of basketball,” Hontiveros said.
Hontiveros even paid tribute to Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) legend Billy Ray Bates, who displayed his skills in shooting and ball handling during the clinic.
Bates has been appointed as coach of the AirAsia Philippine Patriots. He was awarded as a PBA Hall of Famer recently.
“These kids may not be familiar with Mr. Bates but I am sure their parents can very well recall how Billy made an indelible impression as one of the best players in the Philippine basketball,” Hontiveros said.
“He is an inspiration to all of us. More than mastering the skills of the game, these young athletes will bring home a unique experience that they can share with their friends,” she added.
Jacque Ruby of the AirAsia Philippine Patriots affirmed Bates’s role in the team.
“Billy is not a coach to us but an inspiration. We look forward to practicing with him and hopefully we will bring home the championship ring next year,” Ruby said.
The basketball clinic provided participants fundamentals on the game. It was also aimed at developing discipline and confidence among the aspiring athletes.
AirAsia Philippines has also slated three more trainings on November 6 in Caloocan City, November 25 at Don Bosco School in Makati, and December 5 in Angeles City.
For his part, Bates said the level of basketball in the Philippines has improved tremendously.
“If these little boys and girls start learning the skills now, the Philippines will have a good shot at winning world championship and Olympic medals,” Bates said.
Hontiveros underscored the importance of sports in nation building. She even lauded parents for encouraging their children to participate in the sports activity.
“Sports is important not only for physical and mental development of our children but for national development. It is a source of national pride and self-esteem. Like what the Philippine Patriots team has been doing in the Asean basketball league and many others who came before them, sports bring together classes, races, and communities in shared pride,” Hontiveros said.
AirAsia is key partner of other international team such as Team Lotus (Formula 1), AirAisa British Grand Prix (MotoGP), Team AirAsia-Sepang International Circuit-Ajo (MotoGP), and Oakland Raiders (NFL).
It runs its own motorsport talent development program through the AirAsia Team Lotus Driver Development Program. It has recently announced major partnership with the English football squad, the Queens Park Rangers (popularly referred to as QPR).
AirAsia keeps abreast with the social media community through Facebook and Twitter accounts. Guests are able to receive real-time updates on the latest promotions and interact with AirAsia via facebook.com/AirAsiaPhilippines and twitter.com/AirAsiaPh.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on October 24, 2011.