Dayong invites to camp and play
SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - May 22, 2019 - 12:00am

It’s been 22 years since San Miguel Beer assistant coach Dayong Mendoza conducted the first “Camp and Play” basketball clinic and he’s gone a long way, taking the bandwagon all over the Philippines with stops in General Santos City, Cebu City, Zamboanga City, Tacloban City, Baguio City, Mangatarem, Lingayen, Dagupan City, San Carlos City and Alaminos in Pangasinan, Tarlac City, Bulacan, Bohol, Sorsogon, Calatagan, Tagaytay, Calauag, Lucena City, Caloocan, Makati, Pasig, Marikina, Manila, Quezon City and Puerto Galera.

In 2010, Mendoza took “Camp and Play” to Hong Kong in his first international venture. Through the years, Mendoza has surprised campers with visits by PBA stars, including Alvin Patrimonio, Ramon Fernandez, Bogs Adornado, Kerby Raymundo, Willie Miller, Samboy Lim, Rich Alvarez, Enrico Villanueva, Rey Evangelista and San Miguel Beer head coach Leo Austria. Actor and MPBL player Gerald Anderson was a student of “Camp and Play” in General Santos City.

“Kids and teens, regardless of skill level, are welcome to join and get a feel of an organized practice plan,” said Mendoza, an assistant coach on nine PBA champion teams, two with Purefoods and seven with San Miguel. “We provide updated sports specific basketball programs. Last year, we launched the ‘Camp and Play’ volleyball clinic and we will continue this program plus a new offering ‘Camp and Play’ badminton. We will also revive the ‘Camp and Play’ Liga for all age brackets.”

Last Monday, Mendoza kicked off the third module in this year’s series at the NBS College in National Bookstore, Quezon Avenue. There are eight 2-5 p.m. sessions scheduled on May 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28 and 29. The module is open to boys and girls from five years old and up. The first module was also at the NBS College and three students made it to the St. Vincent School varsity. The second module was in Puerto Galera and included an outreach program for Mangyan kids.

“For beginners, we emphasize the ‘speed dribble’ where a player must learn and master how to dribble in a straight line towards the basket or from court to court,” said Mendoza. “We don’t encourage fancy dribbling but rather focus on the seven basics of dribbling – straight line speed dribble, basic cross-over, in-and-out dribble, between the legs, behind the back, between the back and back spin/protect dribble. For the advance students, they are taught to read the defense and react with a dribble attack. We always encourage the ‘extra pass.’ That’s why we teach different kinds of passing in every situation. Shooting form is also an important session with volume shooting drills and fun competitive shooting games.”

Before the start of each “Camp and Play,” Mendoza gathers his coaches and teachers for a refresher workshop. “We do the drills ourselves and rehearse the correct basketball terms so we all agree on a common language,” he said. “The objective is for the student to understand in the fastest way. We discourage stalling, long huddles and drills that are stationary in nature. We always like to see the student in motion and in action.”

A typical session opens with a team meeting in the middle of the court. “A different student leads the prayer each day to start and end the session as we also teach to respect religion,” he said. “We’ve had Catholic, Muslim and Christian students. Then, we discuss the practice plan and divide the students according to age and skill level. I’m also a Gold’s Gym fitness instructors course graduate and I collaborate with our UST sports science graduate coach Nico Pili for our active dynamics and warm-up.”

Former Ateneo grade school coach and now Montessori Fairview head coach J. V. Cruz leads the drills. Each session has a sports specific drill for every station. “In between stations, we teach defense just to remind players that playing defense is important,” said Mendoza. “We teach the proper athletic stance and the use of active hands. One station is assigned for our footspeed/footwork and agility and jumps. We maximize it with our equipment such as the agility ladders, jump boxes and agility hurdles.”

Other teachers in “Camp and Play” are post-up station coach June Bautista, NorthPort assistant coach and video scout Jaren Jarencio, Gold’s Gym fitness instructors course graduate and volleyball player Shang Berte and former San Sebastian cager Earvin Alvarez.

Mendoza said he’s grateful to San Miguel PBA governor Robert Non for allowing campers to visit the Beermen at practice so they can witness how pros do it. “Camp and Play” fee is P4,000 inclusive of a San Miguel Beer championship shirt and a certificate of participation. The next “Camp and Play” is set in July with Saturday-only sessions. In September, Mendoza will expand his curriculum to a basketball coaching clinic, sports fitness conditioning seminar and video scouting seminar. For details on “Camp and Play,” call 0917-155-8208 or visit the NBS College.

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