|Gil Salandanan, Jay Adevoso, and Edwin Corral who organize Breakdown Basketball.|
Breakdown Basketball is breaking down doors
by rick olivares
I got to check out this exciting new league for high school hoopsters last Saturday, April 29. It was the Breakdown Basketball league that ironically is on its third year.
The brain child of Ateneo coach (and former player) Yuri Escueta and some parents of student-athletes Jay Adevoso, Edwin Corral, and Gil Salandanan, the Breakdown Basketball League started out as a means to provide the non-UAAP Juniors teams some meaningful playing experience.
In their inaugural league in October of 2015, they featured two divisions with 16 teams spread across. Now if you think that was a great start then consider where they are no – four divisions where they have the Under 17, Under-15, Under-14, and Under-12 with a total of 54 teams!
This July, the organizers will add an Under-19 division, and around the second semester of next school year, an Under-10 division. All the matches are incidentally played at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center’s court two every day.
“I think schools have responded well to our league because of the parity,” said Adevoso. “Our member schools are Ateneo, La Salle Greenhills, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, San Beda, Xavier, Letran, UST, Malabon High, Marist, Notre Dame, and we also have opened our league to a record 5 club-teams playing in several divisions.”
Jolas Terso, the former National University Bulldog who is now coaching Notre Dame of Greater Manila Fighting Irish (based in Caloocan City), told us that he liked this league as opposed to other previous leagues they joined because the divisions are structured more along age lines. “In the other league we joined, lagi kaming bugbog. Ang hirap maghanap ng sasabihin sa mga bata kapag laging tambak at mababa morale. Now, although talo kami ng mga one-point nung last few games, at least alam ng mga bata, konting pukpok at tiyaga na lang ay may kaya kami.”
In the current Sulit.ph Cup of the Breakdown Basketball League, LSGH is going for a fourth crown in the U-12 division. They also recently won the U-14 championship while Xavier won the U-15. Ateneo teams in the U-14 and U-12 divisions have consistently made the finals but have never won it yet.
Personally, I like the exposure given to the kids. And from what I know, values formation will become an integral part of its program. That will help kids gain a keen understanding of sportsmanship as well as the ethics of the game.
The major sponsor of the league is Smart. Sulit.ph has naming rights to the current tournament while Got Deals Mobile, Honda, Mared Rubber, M+ vitamins, and Compass Holdings are the other sponsors.