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What makes San Beda-Taytay the best high school basketball team? Coach JB Sison answers

Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—San Beda-Taytay started becoming a prominent high school basketball team when Coach Ato Badolato stepped in to gaffe the squad.

But even though the legendary mentor has long left the Red Cubs, the championship pedigree and even the continuous honing of college and PBA stars and national youth and senior team members remain.

So what is the secret to keeping San Beda-Taytay's status as not just an NCAA stronghold but also a national powerhouse considering its own legacy in the Palarong Pambansa?

"We have good players. Very coachable lahat sila," said the Red Cubs' current coach, JB Sison.

Speaking to some reporters after San Beda-Taytay booked yet another trip to the NCAA juniors basketball finals on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena, Sison added another key reason for not just the team's dominance but also its players' individual success.

"Ang napansin ko since I got the high school team is their work ethic. Kahit di ako tumatawag ng practice, on their own, may extra practice sila, which is the denominator ng magagaling na NBA and PBA players," he told his observation, citing former Red Cubs Andrei Caracut and Javee Mocon as examples.

Caracut, a Batang Gilas alumnus, made impressions last year en route to the UAAP Rookie of the Year award and is still continuing to be a key player for La Salle, while Mocon is now a vital cog in San Beda's seniors team.

To confirm his coach's claim, current Red Cub Robi Nayve bared that he and Evan Belle go on a three-point shootout after practice.

"Kahapon, tina-try kong talunin si Evan sa three points. Sa best-of-three, ako ang nanalo," Nayve recalled their recent match.

The said shootout win against the team's current star built Nayve's confidence that led to a team-high 17-point performance in the semifinal win against Arellano.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno