Basketball: BEST Center moves programs online due to pandemic

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 15 2020 04:48 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The long-running basketball program Milo-BEST Center will go online when it resumes its sports clinics later this month.

The online programs will start virtually on September 26, bannered by the BEST Center's staple platform of the interactive basketball clinic. It will be handled by some of the country's most competent coaches.

Milo sports executive Luigi Pumaren, BEST Center executive vice president Monica Jorge, and BEST Center product and Milo ambassadress Ella Fajardo announced the resumption of the sports academy on Tuesday at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.

"We believe that even if we're in this pandemic, we still have to be active, to be healthy," said Jorge, the daughter of the late BEST Center founder and former national team coach Nic Jorge.

"So we have developed programs for that," she added. "We recognize the need to adapt to innovation, and by doing so, we are able to bring our expertise to a wider audience so that more kids will have the opportunity to develop their skills with our trusted mentors."

Pumaren, the son of Adamson University head coach Franz, said the resumption of the BEST Center is the latest sport to be included in the Milo Home Court program launched last August with the holding of online classes in karate and taekwondo.

"We have expanded our Milo Home Court program with the BEST Center to help and show kids that their dreams and aspirations can still be pursued," he said.

Fajardo, 17, is expected to share her experience with Milo-BEST through its program, "BIDA Best." This is an online webcast where she will be joined by other BEST Center alumni, including Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Shaun and Dave Ildefonso, Chris Tiu, Andrei Caracut, and two-time PBA MVP Benjie Paras.

Now the captain of the Gill St. Bernard School's girls high school team, Fajardo appreciated the work done by BEST Center of teaching the basics of the game through webcast in order to ensure the safety and welfare of the kids.

"From my experience with BEST Center, these coaches really wanted to be with the children especially during these times. They loved their job, they loved teaching the basic and fundamentals step by step, but we prioritize the safety and health of these children as well," said Fajardo.

The third program of the cage academy is the Skills Challenge, which will be done through Zoom, where parents can sign and enroll their children in advance. BEST plans to launch the program by November in time for the birthday of the late Nic Jorge.