Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The father of the dribble drive offense is coming to Manila

The father of the dribble drive offense is coming to Manila
by rick olivares

Splash Hoops International is bringing one of the world’s foremost basketball minds to the Philippines this June. Coach Vance Walberg, the father of the famed dribble drive motion offense, will be visiting Manila this coming June 18-19 to give a clinic at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong City for all interested basketball coaches and players.

For Filipino basketball fans, this is the current offense run by Gilas Pilipinas and the Talk ’N Text Tropang Texters, two of the early proponents of the system in local basketball. In an international level, the offense became popular when John Calipari used it famously to lead the Memphis Tigers and later the Kentucky Wildcats to a championship.

Walberg has extensively coached in US high school and college basketball and served as an assistant with the Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers, and most recently, the Sacramento Kings. The 59-year old American coach developed this offensive system that in its earliest form was called “Attack, Attack, Skip, Attack, Attack” while coaching West Clovis High School and Fresno City College where he won multiple titles. 

"This offense I kind of created about 16 years ago came about because of the kind of team that I had. I had a smaller team, a lot of guards, guys who could shoot it, guys who could take it to the rack, I did not have many big guys. So what I did, I used to be a coach who would run motion, flex offense, or set plays but what I wanted to do was to find an offense where I could continuously attack you,” explained Walberg to a group of international coaches several years ago.

Ariel Vanguardia, who most recently led the Westports Malaysia Dragons to the Asean Basketball League championship in a hotly-contested battle with the Singapore Slingers while running the DDM, is one half of Splash Hoops International (his partner is Australian Coach Ryan Burns). “It was during a visit to the University of Kentucky in 2012 where I met John Calipari that I became a disciple of the DDM,” related Vanguardia who made a name for himself locally when he coached the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers to the NCAA title game in 2008 where they lost to the San Beda Red Lions. “I have been running that offense with the Dragons ever since."

Vanguardia is currently an assistant to Leo Isaac with BlackWater in the PBA. He has also previously worked an assistant for Mobiline/Talk ’N Text and Barako Bull. 

Vanguardia later met Walberg in the United States through his former Talk ’N Text head coach Bill Bayno. 

“I’m trying to introduce the offense to all the youth and coaches here in Malaysia that is why I am bringing Coach Vance there,” said Vanguardia who has been with the KL Dragons for the past six years. “Since he’s already in Malaysia, why not the Philippines?”

“For the clinics, we can expect a comprehensive clinic. The breakdown drills used, and the important teaching points on how to master it. Even for coaches who don’t run the DDM, they can learn from the spacing, floor balance, and attack."

Participation in the clinic will cost a paltry PhP5,000 for the two days. “It can be costly for coaches to fly abroad to learn and to attend clinics,” said Vanguardia. “We are bringing him here so it will be a lot cheaper for coaches. I think it will be a very good experience for all."

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