May 24, 2024

PBA: Three Bacolod girls show All-Stars they're the future

PBA: Three Bacolod girls show All-Stars they
Maxine dela Cruz, Ynnah Marie Togle, and Zia Jan Onate participated in the PBA All-Stars basketball clinic. | Art by Mitzi Dyan/One Sports

There were around 90 kids who attended the basketball clinic organized by the PBA for the All-Star Weekend in Bacolod this Friday. The children who attended varied from age eight to 14.

Three of them are girls.

The youngest was seven-year old Maxine dela Cruz. In her pink shorts and orange and black shoes, she could definitely dribble.

Her father, Leo dela Cruz, explained how she only started basketball some eight months ago. He was particularly proud of her quick hands and how she was good in stealing the ball.

So it was only natural that her favorite PBA player was "The Blur" Jayson Castro.

When the PBA All-Stars came to visit the clinic, everyone rushed for a photo and for signatures. Despite her size, Dela Cruz wasn't afraid to bump with the other kids for an autograph with Rain or Shine's Gabe Norwood.

She got that and more.


Another basketball fan was 10-year old Ynnah Marie Togle, who started playing basketball five years ago. It was easy for her to ball in red shorts during the clinic.

Basketball was inevitable for Ynnah, who was surrounded by a father and several uncles who played the sport. So at five years old, she already knew how to handle a basketball.

"Nagpumilit eh. May pasok pa eh tapos nag-excuse lang sa teacher para lang makapunta rito para makita idol niya," her uncle Carl Magbanua explained. "Nakita ko 'yung dedication niya na maglaro kahit na babae siya."

Togle shared that she was a big fan of Calvin Abueva in the PBA.

As for the NBA? "Antetokounmpo!" she exclaimed, referring to the Milwaukee Bucks star.

Another girl who showed she can cut and sidestep with the best of them was Zia Jan Onate, a point guard for local ball club Silay Scorpions.

Basketball is definitely in the family as her older sister Sybil Onate is suiting up for the University of Sto. Tomas.

Zia, who started basketball when she was five, wants to be a point guard someday as she idolizes Scottie Thompson of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

"Masaya [ako] na nakita sila," Onate shared. "Gusto ko talagang makasali dito."

Even the coaches who organized and led the clinic were impressed.

"Magagaling eh," said Team Stalwarts coach Peter Martin. "Kung ako 'yung scout, titignan ko 'yung girls na 'yun. I'm sure they have training."

Gabe Norwood of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters was glad to see the women's game grow.

"It's such a blessing to be able to be here," he gushed. "It's awesome, the growth of the women's game, the success of the women's team, 3x3, 5-on-5 growing."

"It's awesome to see young girls come out here and learn the game and love the game and for us to be a part of their journey," Norwood added.

[ALSO READ: 'City of Smiles talaga': PBA All-Stars get humble, grateful with Bacolod opportunity

"'Yun ang number one priority natin, for the kids. Kasi dyan din nagsimula 'yung players. Nakita nila 'yung mga idol nila hanggang paglaki nila, 'di nila makakalimutan 'yung mga ganitong pagkakataon," Marcial said.


THE KIDS ABSOLUTELY LOVE ‘EM 🏀???🔥 Following the basketball clinic held at the Brgy. Villamonte covered court in Bacolod, PBA stars Calvin Abueva, Gabe Norwood, CJ Perez, and Jio Jalalon took the time to sign some shoes and shirts for the young hoopsters! | via Mei-Lin Lozada/One Sports Digital #OSTimeOut #PBASeason48 #PBAAllStar #PBAAngatAngLaban #SportsonTiktok

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