What set San Beda University apart from the rest of the NCAA field during the last decade was the luxury of training abroad. This not only enhanced the skills of the Red Lions but also fostered greater cohesion among them.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Red Lions were unable to travel overseas prior to NCAA Seasons 97 and 99. That’s why, as soon as the skies cleared, the Red Lions seized the opportunity in the off-season to fly to Las Vegas.
The 22-time NCAA Seniors Basketball Champions were granted a chance of a lifetime as they had the privilege of working with renowned NBA skills trainer Jordan Lawley.
“Jordan Lawley is an exceptional skills coach, ranking among the very best in the business. The experience was valuable for both the players and the coaches. We believe we gained valuable insights into our weaknesses and how we can improve ourselves, both individually and as a team,” said Red Lions team manager Jude Roque.
“All in all, it was a fantastic trip for the Red Lions.”
Third-year guard Jacob Cortez cherished every moment he spent with Lawley. Lawley not only taught him new skills but also how to conduct himself professionally – a crucial trait for being a ‘King Lion.’
“Personally, I learned a lot from JLaw’s camp, including new moves to add to my arsenal, and I look forward to refining those moves. However, the learning wasn’t limited to the court; it extended off the court as well. He is in the gym almost every day from 9 am to around 5 pm without breaks, teaching or training other players, from pros to kids. One day, Klay Thompson was training with him, and Jordan invited me and some of my other teammates to watch and even participate in scrimmages with him,” the second-generation hooper said.
“Anyway, I was just amazed by his passion for basketball and how he could inspire other people to pursue what they love. I could learn a lot from his level of passion.”
For Cortez, the US trip also strengthened the team’s unity.
“As a team, he helped us improve our decision-making and communication skills, which are crucial for the upcoming season.
“It has helped us build character by teaching us to respect our teammates and, especially, our opponents on the court. It has also strengthened our team chemistry just by spending time with our whole team and bonding together. This experience will significantly boost our team’s morale and confidence as we approach the season,” the 5-foot-10 floor general shared, also expressing gratitude to Manny V. Pangilinan and the program boosters of the team for the opportunity.
And on Tuesday, San Beda looks to showcase what it learned when it takes on Arellano University on Tuesday.