May 23, 2024

Pinoy Step in the NBA?

Pinoy Step in the NBA?
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA Today


First things first, let’s define what the Pinoy step is. It’s basically a pump fake while taking the first of two legal steps before going airborne. It’s not a Euro step, it’s not a Yugo step. It’s just your normal drive to the basket with a shot fake at the beginning of the gather.

You may have seen this move before in pickup games or in your local barangay liga. And yes, that so-called Pinoy step has found its way in the NBA. The latest player to have used the trick: Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton.


North Carolina-based basketball coach Milton Chavis, who specializes in skills development, was kind enough to 1) give us a breakdown of the play, and to 2) recognize its roots, which is right here in the Philippines.




2013 lottery pick Ben McLemore, who last played for the Portland Trail Blazers, deployed the move last season to get an easy bucket.



G Leaguer Mac McClung also busted out the move before in the Summer League.



As you may have seen in Chavis' video, two of the pioneers that are credited for the Pinoy Step are Kiefer Ravena and Jericho Cruz. The San Miguel Beerman, of course, felt that sense of pride, posting on his Instagram Haliburton's perfectly executed Pinoy step and giving Kiefer Ravena and himself a shoutout.

If you need more proof of the Pinoy Step's origin, here's an old clip of Ravena executing the move. The uploader says this was taken in 2010 or during Ravena's high school playing days with the Ateneo Blue Eaglets. 


Of course, it's possible that the NBA cagers learned about this trick from somewhere else instead of Ravena or Cruz. But all signs show that Filipinos have already got the maneuver down long before it became a thing in the Western part of the world. So, like coach Chavis, we guess it’s ok to call this thing the Pinoy step.