According to the SBP's Executive Director Sonny Barrios, the grassroots program includes the Eric Altamirano and Alex Compton-led Seaoil National Ball Training Center (NBTC), the 30-year old Metro Manila Basketball League (MMBL) under the auspices of Ato Badolato, the recently concluded Coaches Convention and the High School All-Star Game held earlier this year.
The six-year old NBTC aims to provide coaching and skills training to the different high school players all across the country. Concurrent to the skills and values development, according to Altamirano, is the identification of possible prospects for future call-ups to the national youth teams. The NBTC is also tasked with the responsibility of determining the best high schools in the country through its Elite League.
In connection with that, they recently tied up with the MMBL, which now virtually serves the NCR qualification portion for the NBTC Elite League. The 30-year old organization has pegged the top three teams in Division I and the champion of Division II to be NCR's representatives in the Elite League, as announced earlier this week.
Concurrent with the quest to discover the best high school players in the country, the SBP via the NBTC earlier this year launched its newest grassroots project, the first Seaoil High School All-Star Game. Inspired by the McDonald's All-American Basketball Game in the United States, it serves as a showcase all-star experience, gathering thirty of the best high school seniors together and showcasing their talents. Names like La Salle's Jeron Teng and Thomas Torres, as well as San Beda's Francis Abarcar, and Antonio Bonsubre participated, with the first All-Star Game MVP being given to current Ateneo "Glory Be" member Ace Basas.
The latest project of the SBP in relation to its grassroots campaign is the Coaches Convention, whose second staging was just conducted last month as the PhilSports Arena in Pasig in conjunction with the Manuel V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation (MVPSF). The gathering brought together 300 coaches from all over the country for a three-day camp, highlighted by sessions involving well-known bench tacticians like Tim Cone of the SanMig Coffee Mixers, his assistant (and Arellano University head coach) Koy Banal, and current TNT assistant Sandy Arespacochaga sharing their insights on running their different programs as well as teaching character, leadership and values formation that then can be passed on towards their respective players.