7 Fil-foreign teams grace Boys International Basketball Challenge
by rick olivares
Veteran basketball coach and analyst Beaujing Acot is organizing the second Boys International Basketball Challenge 2017 this coming March 24-28 at Batis Aramin, Lukban, Quezon.
The high school competition will feature six high schools from Guam – the Simon Sanchez Sharks, George Washington High School Geckos, Okkodo High School Bulldogs, JFK High School Islanders, Tiyan High School, and F.B. Leon Guerrero Middle School Hawks – Durham Crossover Canada, plus local sides, Pinoy Youth Dreams Bulacan, Pinoy Youth Dreamers Lucena, Pinoy Youth Dreamers Tayabas, and English Christian Academy from Antipolo.
The Simon Sanchez Sharks bagged the inaugural Boys International Challenge last year by outlasting Pinoy Youth Dreams Metro Manila in two overtimes.
Acot formed the Pinoy Youth Dreamers program that is designed to give young kids who do not have the means to go to study and play in Manila the opportunity to learn the game and use it to get ahead in life.
“Manila is over-saturated with basketball,” said Acot who is also the current coach of Paref Southridge School. “What we want to do is to recognize the talents outside Manila and give them an opportunity to shine. Quezon is one such place and is a good breeding ground for these basketball players.”
Regarding the international tournament, Acot felt that it will help the Fil-foreign teams discover their roots and for the locals to be inspired and to learn. “We wanted to bring in teams also of Filipino heritage to compete and hopefully, will provide inspiration and a transfer of technology to the homegrowns especially those out of school youth to seize their dreams again.”
The veteran coach also pointed out some of his alumni from PYD that serves as a program to help out of school youth to return to school and to use basketball as a means of advancing in the world.
Some of PYD’s alumni who have found homes in other programs include Charles Calleja who is now with Arellano University’s Team B, Kenji Martinez who is with English Christian Academy, and Dan Geronimo of Pasig Catholic College.
“More than a tournament and an opportunity for kids to be discovered, the tournament is also about further honing skills. I believe in scientific basketball with a lot of emphasis on fundamentals. And this is what the program is all about.”
Acot’s teams also participate in tournaments in Brunei, Guam, Malaysia, and Singapore.
The Boys International Basketball Challenge is a grassroots program of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.