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MILO BEST Center goes online

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Tiebreaker Times MILO BEST Center goes online Basketball News  Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum Monica Jorge Milo Best Luigi Pumaren Ella Fajardo Coronavirus Pandemic

The long-running basketball program MILO-BEST Center continues to evolve, as it now resumes its cage clinics through virtual methods starting Sept. 26.

The 42-year-old training academy has lined up three online programs in partnership with the country’s leading beverage brand, bannered by BEST Center’s staple platform of Interactive Basketball Clinic, handled by the country’s top-notch coaches.

MILO Sports Executive Luigi Pumaren, BEST Center Executive Vice President Monica Jorge, and BEST Center product and MILO ambassadress Ella Fajardo announced the long-awaited resumption of the premier sports academy on Tuesday at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) online Forum.

“We believe that even if we’re in this pandemic situation, we still have to be active, to be healthy. So we have developed programs for that,” said Jorge, daughter of the late BEST Center founder and former national coach Nic Jorge in the session presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), and powered by Smart, with Upstream Media as official webcast partner.

“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.”

Kiefer Ravena, MILO ambassador and a BEST Center graduate like Fajardo, was supposed to join the weekly session, but a last-minute change in his workout schedule with NLEX prevented him from appearing in the program.

Pumaren, son of champion mentor Franz Pumaren, who is now with Adamson University, 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.

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“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.

The 17-year-old Fajardo is expected to share her experience with MILO-BEST through its other program called BIDA Best, an online webcast where she will be joined by other BEST Center alumni such as Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Sean and Dave Ildefonso, Andrei Caracut, Chris Tiu, and two-time PBA MVP Benjie Paras.

Now the captain of the Gill St. Bernard’s girls high school team, Fajardo appreciated the work done by BEST Center for 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 straight from New Jersey where she is currently based on her family.

“I’m really not surprised that we’re really doing all these webcasting, such as we have a basketball clinic that is interactive,” added the former national team member, who is committed to playing for NCAA Division 1 school Fairleigh Dickinson University in college.

“I’m not surprised by what the BEST Center is doing because this is really what they love and that’s what is great about them.”

The third other 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.

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