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Friday, May 8, 2015

Gearing Up for Another Challenge

Over easy: Chong Jia Xuan, 13, (left) and Soo Jia Horng,13, (right) getting into the swing during the ball-handling drill.

After last year’s successful AND1 Streetball Challenge, organisers of the popular 3-on-3 basketball tournament W.O.S. World of Sports are starting to help players gear up for another edition of the tournament.

Some 30 students from SMK Engku Husain in Semenyih were invited to attend a coaching clinic, headed by Filipino Michael Pascasio and his five assistants, to get an idea of what techniques they needed to focus on to go far in the tournament.

Pascasio and his assistants, who were in town for a separate basketball tournament, ran drills for the boys and girls, focusing on legwork, dribbling and ball-handling in a high-intensity session, like the pace during a three-on-three game.

Pascasio said: “With five-on-five you can use transition offence or defence plays and there are more systems and options with five players available.”

He added that in three-on-three games, the three players are doing both offence and defence all the time and it is the more physical game as it requires playing inside the key.

Pascasio also shared his thought on what made a good three-man team — an experienced point guard, a good shooting guard and a legit centre player who can perform strongly in the key.

“The boys and girls need to keep practising their ball handling, dribbling and the drills to improve their movement,” he added.

SMK Engku Husain student Leong Kok Wai, 14, who was with team Jordan, winners in last year’s AND1 Under-13 category, confessed “it was not hard to win at last year’s event”.

“However, this year I will be facing the older boys and it will not be easy,” said the now Selangor State Under-15 player, who vowed to work harder to improve his game.

The finale at Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur last year saw 300 teams in action from dawn till dusk, with teams from Secret Academy nabbing top spots in the girls Under-18, boys Under-15 and boys Under-18 categories.

Preparing for tourney: Nestle sports marketing manager Ng Ping Loong (centre) with the students who attended the clinic.

While the main three-on-three event has always attracted basketballers to pit their skills in competition, they can also demonstrate their shooting and slam-dunk skills as well as freestyle skills in the “search for streetballer” segment for a chance to win exclusive merchandise from AND1 and Milo at each leg.

The five categories for the three-on-three this year are: Boys Under-12, Boys Under-15, Boys Under-18, Girls Under-18 and Men’s Under-21.

The tournament will follow the same format as previous editions, travelling around the peninsula with the first-leg to be held at IOI Mall in Puchong, Selangor on June 14.

The following legs will be in Penang Times Square, Penang, in August, Sutera Mall, Johor, in September and the grand final in Kuala Lumpur in November.

The exact dates for the upcoming legs and venue for the grand final will be announced on the organisers’ website.

For the grand finals, the top three freestylists from each leg will be invited to battle for the AND1 streetballer title which will come with a RM3,000 contract along with merchandise.

The first 100 teams to register before May 31 will receive a limited-edition L.A. Lakers basketball in addition to the Spalding ball for each team and AND1 jerseys for each player.

StarMetro is the official media partner of the tournament, Milo is the official beverage sponsor and Spalding is the official ball partner.

News source: The Star Online

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