The Philippines has long been looking for the next great shooter — the next Triggerman.
And for his part, Allan Caidic, now 56, has been helping groom the next generation on his own.
This time, he took twins Matt and Mike Nieto under his wing during their time in Ateneo.
“Napakasipag niyang dalawang batang ‘yon. Makikita mo ‘yung enthusiasm saka ‘yung eagerness nila to improve kasi, para sa akin,” shared Caidic during a session of the Hoop Coaches International Webinar presented by Blackwater.
“Pero ‘yung dalawang ‘yon, very professional talaga sila. Talagang gusting-gusto nilang matuto, especially si Matt. Si Matt kasi nga, playing behind the shadow of his brother nung high school, taga-pasa lang siya, point guard.”
Knowing that the twins already have the pedigree and the tools, Caidic — who holds the PBA-record for most points in a single game and career three-point field goals made — opted to put his efforts into building their confidence to fully release Matt’s and Mike’s untapped potential.
“So more on mental approach ang ginawa ko sa kanila. Dinevelop ko lang ‘yung confidence nila tapos tuluy-tuloy lang ‘yung practice namin.”
The Nieto twins eventually became cornerstones of the Ateneo dynasty that won three-straight championships under Tab Baldwin.
With their success in the collegiate scene, the two were selected to be part of Gilas Pilipinas’ cadet pool for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
“Doon nag-umpisa ang lahat and eventually, through their hard work and determination, kitang-kita naman ‘yung progress and success noong dalawang bata. I’m so happy for them.”
Caidic, who was part of the team that won gold in the 1985 FIBA Asia Cup, couldn’t feel more proud of his former students’ achievements. Moreover, he believes that Matt, who knows Baldwin’s system very well, will be playing a huge part in the Gilas program.
“I’m so happy, nakikita ko si Matt will play a vital role, hindi ako biased ha. Nakikita ko kasi sa kanya among sa mga umakyat from college papunta sa PBA, siya ‘yung very smart point guard na hindi mo rin talaga puwedeng pabayaan dahil na-develop na rin ‘yung shooting.”
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