fresh no ads
Straight to the point guard: Rajon Rondo in Manila |

Young Star

Straight to the point guard: Rajon Rondo in Manila

- Roxy M. Valencerina - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines -In the Philippines, there are two factions when it comes to college ball: the UAAP and the NCAA. Both attract hordes of student support, both have lingering school rivalry tensions and both are just damn good times. Of course, the two factions just never meet. They never have games against each other, their arenas are different and people who watch the NCAA rarely cheer for teams in the UAAP and vice versa. But last week, the two organizations played under the same roof and even on the same team, as Red Bull Product of Europe brought in one of NBA’s top players to have the two organizations focus on the game and practice what they do best — basketball.

The NBA takes form in Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. Last Aug. 28, at the Ronac Art Center, he led the Red Bull Skills Clinic: an intensive basketball workshop intended to inspire and teach the up-and-coming basketball players of the UAAP and the NCAA, a thing or two about playing b-ball with the biggest league there is.

Through this workshop, Red Bull gave the fans and the players an inside basketball experience few are privileged enough to get. After all, it’s always nice to go the extra mile when getting to know the sport they’re supporting. So learn a little more about Rajon Rondo, why he’s here and know why even your own school team thinks he’s a big deal. Read up and get educated. It’s time to get schooled — b-ball style.

Rajon Rondo

Smiling Celtic: At times, Rondo was a serious mentor during the clinic but minutes after the first set of drills, it was clear that the point guard was having fun.

NBA superstar Rajon Rondo soars on the court now, but like most players, he didn’t enjoy overnight success. His stay as a college student in the University of Kentucky gave him the chance to show people what he’s got, breaking school basketball record after record. In 2006, he was drafted 21st in the NBA by the Phoenix Suns and was eventually traded to the Boston Celtics. He’s been with the team since July 2006.

From a big fish in a small pond, Rondo tried his best to run with the big boys during his rookie year in the NBA. He mostly played the supporting role for the other members of the Celtics, lagging behind his more experienced teammates. He didn’t live in their shadows for long though. From facilitating the Celtics and their big three namely Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, Rondo has since then stepped up now that Allen has left the line-up. As it turns out, Rondo was a slow burner; he proved to the NBA, and to himself, that he did have the skills to rightfully earn his stripes in the Celtics.

Rondo has hit his stride as one of the elite triple-double athletes of the league, a pretty impressive feat. He keeps his game alive with successful double digits in points, rebounds and assists.

Rondo is easily one of the best point guards playing in the league today, and he can definitely give the other players, a run for their money.

Red Bull, Rondo and the Republic of the Philippines

The point guard took a detour to the Philippines, curious to see how true the rumor was that the Filipinos are really basketball-crazy.The turnout of excited fans inside the court at Ronac was a testament to their love for the sport. Even the people on the outside who weren’t invited to the event were satisfied to show their support for the NBA idol even from afar.

Rondo is currently on his Asian tour for the Red Bull King of the Rock in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and Red Bull is currently working on bringing the King of the Rock here to Manila. In the meantime, Rondo made use of his stay in the Philippines with a skills clinic followed by the refurbishing of a local court.

On Aug. 28, Rondo spent his time with players from the UAAP and the NCCA for the Red Bull Skills Clinic. Players like Kiefer Ravena from Ateneo and Jet Vidal from Perpetual were part of the lucky few who were taught on the court by Rondo himself. The uniformed players carried the number nine on their customized jerseys, the point guard’s jersey number.

Rondo was straight to the point, rigorously teaching these college kids everything from regular coordination skills to complex plays designed to outsmart the opponent. “You’re not here to be perfect. You’re here to work,” he reminds the players as some of them lost focus as they fumbled on practice drills. The college kids threw endless jump shots, crossovers and pump fakes, the closed court echoing small bursts of screeches as the players ran back and forth.

After the two-hour clinic, Rondo posed for the cameras and signed a couple of autographs for his fans. Isaiah Banal, one of the players in the clinic from Arellano, said, “It feels good to be part of the clinic with Rondo. He’s a good player. He’s going to be a legend. I learned a lot from him today.”

The point guard finished the clinic off with some words of inspiration for the young players on the court as well as people in the audience. “If you have talent, the NBA will find you.”

Rondo then capped off his stay in Manila with Red Bull Product of Europe’s local court refurbishing project at the San Juan National High School at Barangay Corazon de Jesus in San Juan last Wednesday, Aug. 29.

vuukle comment










Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with