Sandy Arespacochaga a logical choice as Batang Gilas coach: ‘He’s methodical, real student of the game’

SANDY Arespacochaga, a long-time deputy of some of the greatest coaches Philippine basketball has produced, is finally getting his big break as head coach of the Batang Gilas squad seeing action in the FIBA World Cup Under-19 Championship.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio confirmed it in a released statement sent to media Friday.

Handling a youth team isn’t something new for Arespacochaga, who has led the Ateneo High School basketball team to numerous championships in the 1990s, a team which was bannered by soon to be PBA stars Enrico Villanueva, Larry Fonacier, Wesley Gonzales and Ranier Sison among others.

But Arespacochaga has also served in different capacities, the most notable as an assistant coach to champion mentors Joel Banal (2002 Ateneo champion squad) and the five-peat run from 2008 to 2012 under coach Norman Black.

Arespacochaga was the deputy of Tab Baldwin in Ateneo’s back-to-back champion team in 2017 and 2018.

In the PBA, Arespacochaga served as an assistant coach to Yeng Guiao, Black, and Bong Ravena recently at TNT.

“As early as 2009, Sandy became my assistant while we were still with Burger King/Air 21,” Guiao told FOX Sports Philippines in a telephone interview. “He knows how the game is being played at different levels — from the youth squad, the college basketball and the PBA. It’s high time he’ll be given the opportunity to become head coach and I think he is the logical choice to handle Batang Gilas.”

Guiao had seen some of the good traits of Arespacochaga as far as coaching is concerned.

“In the years that we’ve been together, the last two years with NLEX and as a scout of Gilas Pilipinas, Sandy is really a serious student of the game,” added Guiao. “His approach to the game is methodical. He’s a good teacher as he has a solid fundamental background, something which other coaches didn’t pay much attention at.”

As coach of Batang Gilas, Arespacochaga will handle a team to be led by Kai Sotto competing the World Cup 2019 in Heraklion, Greece.

“Sandy has proven his worth as a youth basketball coach. He has won championships in the high school level and has been an active member of the highly successful Ateneo college basketball program,” said Panlilio. “Batang Gilas U-19 has performed well. It is important that we give them a great fighting chance to win games and get the valuable experience necessary to be competitive in that age group consistently.”
“Sandy’s demeanor is perfect for our young players. He is a natural teacher whose method of teaching is what our young players will embrace and appreciate. He uses his strong communication skills and low key personality to get the best out of his personnel,” he added.
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New crop of ESports and Gaming talents unveiled

AFTER its recent launch as the go-to sports channel for a younger and more engaged free TV audience, 5 Plus will now amplify its gaming content by introducing a dynamic set of esports and gaming talents to help navigate viewers as well as solidify the channel as the home of gaming in the Philippines.

For the first-ever esports franchise league in the country called The Nationals, a full-scale commentary team made up of the best local esports casters will follow the action, game after game.

For the ongoing DOTA 2 leg, Sam Nopueto (Wolf), Aries Alejandro (Kalbz), Neil de Guzman (Midnight), Jaz Comoda (Heneral Tuna), and Rain Manaig (Rain) will be at the helm.

Meanwhile, the upcoming Tekken leg will feature Ron Muyot (Hot-E), Poch Estrada (_pochspice), Paul Fuentes (Poru), and Pica Lozano (Pica); While Manjean Faldas (Manjean), Shin Boo Ponferrada (Sh1n Boo), Gian Bernardino (Ilustrado), Em Dangla (Kaisaya) and Lhea Lei Pelaez (Yasumeow) will highlight the action for Mobile Legends.

The Nationals esports correspondents Eileen Shi, Alyzza Taylor, Mika Fabella, Tonie Moreno, and Dan ‘Leo’ Cubangay will join the casters in each game day as the league’s version of courtside reporters. With their mix of hosting and reporting backgrounds from both sports and gaming programs, the correspondents will be in the middle of all the action, giving updates and reactions straight from the trenches.

The Nationals will be aired every Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 4PM to 7PM, and Saturday & Sundays 10AM to 1PM.

And finally, 5 Plus introduces six new VJs that will anchor the channel’s gaming content: Gino Quillamor takes time off from his DJ duties (and his PC) to get in front of the camera for 5 Plus; Host and commercial model Bea Benedicto brings in her own brand of energy; And content creator and TV personality Kim Cruz takes on VJ duties for a new and exciting audience.

Brand presenter and former MTV VJ Jodie Tarasek may be new to the 5 Plus family, but is no doubt an avid gamer herself; Host and commercial model Ariana Conechado will make 5 Plus her next stop; And host and Mobile Legends streamer RJ Arroyo takes on a bigger and more animated gaming audience.

Catch them throughout the day as they talk about all things esports and gaming only on 5 Plus.

 

Adrien Broner threatens to assault interviewer after losing to Manny Pacquiao

As brash and arrogant as he was during the press conference, Adrien Broner brought the same attitude in the midst of his defeat at the hands of eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao.

“I beat him,” said Broner even before the decision was handed out. “Everybody saw I out boxed him. “Everybody knows I beat him,” he added.

But that’s not what the compubox stats were showing as Pacquiao was clearly the more aggressive, more efficient fighter as the Fighting Senator of the Philippines landed more punches and hits that mattered.

Stats showed Pacquiao throwing more punches that landed, including the power shots.

Pacquiao landed 42-percent on power shots, hitting 82 of the total 197 thrown. The Pacman was not that efficient, though on jabs as he only hit 8-percent, landing only 30 of total 371 shots. Overall, he had 20-percent accuracy with his shots, throwing in 568 punches ad hitting 112.

The pride of Sarangani, General Santos City also gave 47 body shots, that proved to be effective in slowing down his counterpart.

As fast as his mouth is, Broner’s performance in the ring told it otherwise.

He only had three body shots landed and threw in 180 power punches and hit 39 times (22-percent). His best only showed in jab percentage as he hit 11 times in only 115 he had thrown on Pacquiao (10-percent). Overall, he only had 295 punches thrown and hit only 50 of them, nearly half less of the Filipinos’ output.

Unhappy with the decision, Broner claimed in the interview that “he beat the boy” during the match, then vented his ire on the interviewer Jim Gray who appeared to disagree with the four-division world champion known in the boxing circuit as “The Problem.”

“I lost three of the last four, but I will be 7-0 with you,” said Broner as he turned the heat on the interviewer in a typically controversial post fight interview.

Broner also accused that he never gets a fair shake from the interviewer, chaneling his one time mentor Floyd Mayweather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manny Pacquiao beats Adrien Broner and calls out Floyd Mayweather at ringside – and Floyd responds

Less than two years ago, boxing writers had written obituaries on Manny Pacquiao, noting that the loss to Australian Jeff Horn signaled the end of career.

How things could change so fast.

The Fighting Senator of the Philippines easily dismissed Lucas Matthyse with a sensational stoppage last year then added arrogant American fighter Adrien Broner as his latest victim at the age of 40.

Life has restarted for Pacquiao, the eight-division world champion, who is back on top of his game and will be facing the biggest battle of his life in a potential rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., in what could be the fight everybody is waiting to happen.

On the heels of his unanimous decision triumph over Broner, Pacquiao immediately called out on Mayweather, who helped promote the fight in what looked like a stepladder bout for the highly-anticipated rematch.

“I will fight him, but he has to come out of retirement first, then we’ll do that,” said Pacquiao.

Floyd Jr., who visited Pacquiao in his dressing room prior to the Broner fight, was shown on screen, giving no reaction after the interview made on the Pacman – even when the interviewer openly asked him to nod or shake his head as the camera panned on him.

But Mayweather showed signs of things that might come when he had answered earlier on in the night that Pacquiao “had to get past Broner first” before talks of a rematch.

Will it happen?

 

 

Naturalized player Andray Blatche makes Gilas return in February

IT’S official: Andray Blatche is headed back to play for the Gilas Pilipinas national team in February.

The former NBA player confirmed this via Theia Sports, the outfit which handles both Blatche and Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“It’s confirmed! I’ll be back to play for the PHILIPPINES in February! Can’t wait to win these two games for the best fans in the world!,” posted Blatche in Theia Sports’ Facebook account.

The inclusion of Blatche to next year’s window of the FIBA Asia World Cup means that Christian Standhardinger and Stanley Pringle might no longer be included in the 12-man roster.

Now under the reigns of coach Yeng Guiao, the Philippine team is expected to field its best lineup knowing that the squad is in a must-win situation in their next two games.

The Filipinos will play Qatar on February 21 then battle Kazakhstan on February 24.

This will be the first time Blatche will be playing for the national squad since Guiao took over as coach late this year.
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‘Hindi totoong wala silang pakialam’ | Guiao thankful for PBA’s sacrifice

Guiao

IT happened before in 1981 when the PBA sacrificed one of the three conferences to give way for the country’s hosting of the Southeast Asian Games.

A similar incident is happening now where the PBA decided to move the PBA Governors’ Cup championship series between the Magnolia Hotshots and the Alaska Aces. The pro league decided to forego its plans of staging the best-of-seven series right away to allow Team Pilipinas in preparing for the coming window of the FIBA Asia World Cup Qualifier.

The league’s gesture is very much appreciated by Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao, who praised the league’s sense of patriotism.

“They’ve shown their sense of patriotism when the PBA decided to move the championship series and allow us, Gilas Pilipinas, to prepare for the next window,” Guiao told FOX Sports Philippines. “I’d like to thank the leadership of commissioner Willie Marcial and the board of governors for doing such a thing. Mali yung speculations nung ibang tao na hindi concern ang PBA sa Gilas. Hindi totoong wala silang pakialam.”

Since Guiao took over the helm of the Team Pilipinas program, the outpouring of support was clearly felt by the national team as the league’s top stars were unloaded to join the training and be part of the pool.

Guiao believes his presence was not the reason why teams are now going all out in their support, but instead praised the good relationship between the PBA and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas that representing the national team is of higher calling.

The outpouring of support allowed Guiao to put up the tallest ever Philippine team line up heading to their game against Kazakhstan.

June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer and Greg Slaughter of Barangay Ginebra, two of the PBA’s best big men, will team up for the first time. Other players included in the final 12 were Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson and LA Tenorio of Barangay Ginebra, Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter of San Miguel Beer, Gabe Norwood and Beau Belga of Rain or Shine, Matthew Wright of Phoenix, Poy Erram of Blackwater and Stanley Pringle of NorthPort, who will play as the team’s naturalized player.

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Yeng on Kai’s Gilas inclusion: ‘I want him to be mentored’

KAI Sotto has been included in the national men’s basketball team program by head coach Yeng Guiao and immediately, he had drawn out a plan for the young, 7-foot-1 center.

Undoubtedly the best high school player in the country, Sotto could become the only high school player to crack the Gilas Pilipinas lineup.

“I want to see Kai to be mentored, not only by myself, but also by the best big men in the country, like June Mar (Fajardo), Greg (Slaughter) and Japeth (Aguilar). I want him to experience that and at the same time, look at the possibility of having him play for the national men’s basketball team,” Guiao told FOX Sports Philippines.

Guiao is excited to see the 16-year-old center, but managed the high expectations on Sotto being included in the Gilas final 12 roster heading to the team’s next game against Kazakhstan in the next FIBA Asia World Cup Qualifier window on November 30.

“To be honest, he has a chance, but the chances are at low probability,” added Guiao. “That’s because he has to contend for a spot with June Mar, Greg and Japeth among others. But who knows, we might see something that will catch our fancy once he joins the training sessions.”

For Guiao, everyone — from all the members of the team, the basketball officials and the entire Filipino nation — had a role in helping Sotto, the son of former PBA player Ervin Sotto.

“I think all of us should have a role with Kai, not only on his development as a basketball player, but also in pursuing his dreams. I think he has the chance of becoming the first Filipino, a pure-blooded Filipino, to become an NBA player and we, Filipinos should support him on that aspirations,” added Guiao.
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Kai Sotto might play for Gilas vs. Kazakhstan, says dad Ervin

EVEN though he has not decided yet on whether to play in the United States or Europe, Kai Sotto is likely to make history by becoming the first high school player to see action for the Philippine men’s basketball team in a major international tournament.

His dad Ervin confirmed to FOX Sports Philippines that his son might play for Gilas Pilipinas’ next game against Kazakhstan in the next window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifers on November 30.

“Baka palaruin siya,” the elder Sotto said in a chance interview at the NAIA Terminal 3.

Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao also told FOX PH a month ago that they decided to include the 7-foot-1 Ateneo Blue Eaglets center, who is easily the most dominant high school player in the UAAP, in their roster.

Guiao believes that Sotto should be accelerated, knowing that the better competition he needs to face should be in the men’s team.

The multi-titled PBA coach, who saw himself back on the national team program after an impressive stint coaching the hastily-prepared Philippine men’s basketball team in the Asian Games in Jakarta, had already named Sotto in the pool this after the young big man received feelers from teams in the US and Europe.

Kai had attended Guiao’s training sessions both in the PBA with NLEX, where his dad serves as an assistant coach, and the national team.

As far as the offers to play abroad is concerned, the elder Sotto explained they have not made a decision yet on their plans for the young player.

“Kailangan mo kasing puntahan talaga ‘yung teams na gustong kumuha sa kanya, kasi baka mamaya hindi naman maganda yung (playing) condition and kung paano ‘yung ginagawa nila during the training sessions,” added the elder Sotto, who played in the PBA several years ago.

According to Ervin, who also serves as an assistant coach to Jojo Lastimosa with MPBL team Bataan Risers, Kai has been given long-term packages by the squads which want to recruit him and he wants to make sure that if ever the young player moves there, he’ll be in better condition and a chance to improve his upside more.
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Guiao includes Sotto in pool for next FIBA window: ‘He’s bored playing in HS’

PHILIPPINE men’s basketball team coach Yeng Guiao shared his opinion on Kai Sotto drawing interest from teams from Europe.

The 15-year-old, seven-foot center, had reportedly drawn offers from various European ball clubs, including the famed Real Madrid.

Guiao, who has allowed the young Sotto to work out with his team, the NLEX Road Warriors the past year, is happy to see the second generation player attracting interest from clubs in Europe, but believes playing overseas should be a last recourse for any young player.

“I think playing overseas should be your last option,” Guiao told FOX Sports Philippines in a telephone interview. “You just want to see how far your development could go, then you have to decide what’s the best for you. I don’t blame the parents of Kai if they entertain ideas of looking at the offers and see the possibility of their kid playing overseas.”

Guiao sees where the young Sotto is coming from.

“I think Kai is bored at playing in the high school level,” he added. “How can you see some development in your game when you are above everybody else in your competition? It’s like a student who has an IQ of a high school student but is still studying in elementary, so there would be no development there unless you accelerate him.”

On the heels of Sotto drawing attention from European clubs, Guiao did the next best thing of helping the young player’s development by including him in the Philippine men’s basketball team pool and be part of the squad in the coming next window of the FIBA Asia World Cup qualifier.

Sotto will be the only high school player to be included in the men’s team.

“Kai is now considered a national treasure and we want to help him out in his development. We’re going to include him in the pool effective immediately,” added Guiao.
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KOREAN CURSE? | Coach shares Korea’s success against PHL 5

MACAU — Ricardo Ratliffe isn’t the only connection of Philippine basketball in Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus, his club team playing in the Asia League Terrific 12 here at the Studio City.

Yoo Jae Hak, the old mentor of the Korean national basketball team, is also calling the shots for Ratlliffe’s club team here and he shared his memorable recollections of Pinoy brand of play. He was the coach of the national team in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship when Korea lost its semifinals match against Gilas Pilpinas, which earned a ticket back to the world stage after 40 years and made its way to face Iran in the gold medal.

That was perhaps the only lost experienced by the Koreans in recent memory as Yoo’s team would bounce back and beat the Philippines in the FIBA World Cup and the Asian Games a year later, adding these victories inflicted on the Pinoys, who were beaten by their rivals in many international tournaments, on the list of their success.

There, the Korean curse was continuously established all the way to the recent Asian Games this year.

Yoo is no longer the coach of the Korean national squad as Hur Jae, one of the best players ever the country has produced, had taken over the helm of its basketball program.

But Yoo shared his views as to why the Philippines has had little success beating Korea through the years.

“We played differently. The Philippines plays a lot of isolation plays and relied mostly on one-on-one, just like what they’ve seen in the NBA,” said Yoo thru his interpreter. “On the other hand, we’ve been relying more on team play, execution and we used our ball movement more and our outside shooting.”

Yoo, however, saw improvements on the way the Filipinos play in international competitions, but advised the current coach, Yeng Guiao, to veer away from isolation plays.

Photo from Hoopnut

 

 

More matured, better Japeth Aguilar comes back to Yeng Guiao’s fold

WHEN Japeth Aguilar joined the national team program in 2009, Yeng Guiao saw a talented, highly-athletic big man who has a lot of upside.

The second generation big man, though, still didn’t have the maturity and wisdom and appeared to be misguided.

Proof of that was when the 6-foot-9 big man was selected as the top overall rookie pick of Burger King, then Guiao’s mother team in the PBA, the young athletic forward turned his back and decided to work as full-time player for SMART-Gilas Pilipinas.

Guiao was able to handle Aguilar briefly and although he went hard on the young big man, who was coming off a program at Western Kentucky, the fiery mentor saw a promising talent.

“Nine years make a lot of difference in a player’s maturity. Noong 2009, nandyan na yung physical abilities, yung talent niya, yung athleticism niya, andyan na. Pero wala pa yung wisdom, experience and maturity,” said Guiao.

After nearly a decade, Aguilar was reunited with Guiao, this time more matured and more equipped than he was before and it looks like love is sweeter the second time around.

The 6-foot-9 Aguilar has won three championships while playing for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and his presence, according to Guiao, will have a huge effect on the current team he’s building for the next window of the FIBA Asia World Cup qualifier.

“Ngayon andyan na rin sa kanya, those things that will make him more valuable now when he was playing for me in 2009. You cannot measure that by statistics. Nami-measure mo yun kung anong effect kapag nasa loob siya. I can see that he now has that effect in the team, yung intangibles,” added Guiao.
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Guiao on taking over Gilas: ‘Hindi ako magpapakipot or aarte na ayoko’

COACHING the national team is every coach’s dream and Yeng Guiao is no exception to that.

So when he was offered to pinch hit as mentor of the Philippine men’s basketball team for the next window of FIBA Asia World Cup qualifier and eventually being offered to handle the squad on a long term basis, Guiao has to find ways fitting in the national team program for his future plans.

Sinabi ko naman talaga sa kanya (Boss MVP)  yun, when he asked for me to take over temporarily for Coach Chot, ang sabi ko, ‘Boss, alam mo naman yung plano ko, andyan yan’. Sabi niya ok lang naman yan, this is for temporary’. Now, I’m not really sure if it’s temporary. Tsaka ko na lang iisipin yun,” Guiao told FOX Sports Philippines.

Guiao is no stranger handling the Philippine team before even while serving as a public official. In 2009, he was Vice Governor of the Province  of Pampanga when he was appointed head coach of the Powerade Pilipinas team, which he led to a seventh place finish in the FIBA Asia Championship in Tianjin.

The veteran bench tactician is facing a similar situation now that he’s offered to coach the national team for good.

“I’m not really sure if before (when I was Vice Governor), if it’s geared towards election time. Ito kasi you have to file your certificate of candidacy and after that you have to start working. Actually, ngayon kailangan na magtrabaho,” added Guiao.

Guiao had to ask himself many times and needed to consult his family and those close to him about the situation.

“Can I be fair to that calling and can you be fair to this responsibility at the same time. Magiging fair ba ako sa dalawa?  That is the question,” added Guiao.

Still, Guiao considers this concern as a good problem.

“Kasi walang duda, all coaches would want this position (national team coach). If you’re a coach starting out, you would look at your future and you want to be the head coach of the national team and I’m one of those. I’m not an exception to that. Any coach would want this position. Hindi naman ako magpapakipot or aarte na ayoko, gusto koi to. Kaya lang mayroon kang mga naiplano ahead, which is as important, which is also service to the country. Yun ang dilemma. But to me, it’s a good problem,” said Guiao.
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Yeng Guiao awaits Troy Rosario to rejoin Gilas

IF there is one player pinch-hitting coach Yeng Guiao wishes to play for the Gilas roster now, it’s Troy Rosario of TNT.

A 6-foot-7, mobile forward, Rosario’s versatility has caught the fancy of Guiao, who is taking over the coaching chores of Gilas Pilipinas in lieu of suspended coach Chot Reyes for the next window of the FIBA Asia World Cup qualifier.

“Ang maganda masama sana dito si Troy eh,” said Guiao during a discussion with the coaches while they were preparing for the next window against Iran and Qatar.

“Gusto ko siyang i-convert sa 3 kasi he’s versatile enough to play such position and yung size niya, pang-international standard  when he plays the 3.”

Unfortunately, Rosario won’t be available until after the next window in November.

The only possible way for Guiao to coach Rosario is if he’ll be delegated to coach Gilas Pilipinas on a long term basis and no less than Manuel V. Pangilinan offered it to the veteran mentor.
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Passed up by RoS 3 years ago, Scottie Thompson now playing for Guiao-coached Gilas

THREE years ago, Yeng Guiao, then coaching the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, passed up on the chance to nab Scottie Thompson, who was fresh from his stints at the NCAA as MVP and with the gold-medalist national team in the Southeast Asian Games.

Instead, the multi-titled mentor took in Maverick Ahanmisi, an NCAA Division I player from the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, as the third overall rookie pick. Thompson ended up playing for the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings.

Guiao explained the selection of Ahanmisi over Thompson at that time was done based on need.

“We were looking for a point guard since we’re already loaded at the big guard spot with Jeff Chan, Jericho Cruz, and Chris Tiu among others playing that spot. Sayang naman yung talent ni Scottie if magiging parang duplication lang siya,” Guiao told FOX Sports Philippines.

Both Thompson and Ahanmisi won championships playing for their respective PBA teams.

The former University of Perpetual Help star won three championships while emerging as the new star and becoming the embodiment of the Gin Kings’ never-say-die spirit. He became endeared to the fans with his relentless rebounding and hustle.

“I think everything happens for a reason na hindi niya ako nakuha, but I thik napaganda pa kasi nga Ginebra, crowd favorite. But now, magiging under ako kay Coach Yeng. Ready talaga akong matuto sa mga great coaches. Lalo na para sa akin, I won’t stop learning,” added Thompson.

Now given the chance to coach a player whom he should have taken in three years earlier, Guiao is excited to handle Thompson, who had shown his full potential while playing under head coach Tim Cone at Ginebra.

“Every time you coach somebody of that kind of caliber and talent, it’s always a challenge for you as a coach. You want to bring out the best that you can bring out in him,” added Guiao. “Alam mo na magaling. Gusto mo magamit yung buong potential niya. To me, that’s a challenge posed upon me with Scottie.”

“He just came out as MVP of the Finals. He’ll be bringing with him excellent credentials. He’s getting that kind of respect from the people who are within in this team. Now it’s really up to him to be able to make a contribution.”

Thompson is the youngest among the pool players now vying for a spot in the final 12 of the squad that will play in the next window of FIBA Asia World Cup, but the 25-year-old, highly-athletic guard could become an asset just like every talented players in the national pool.

“With the national team kasi, it’s very rare that somebody will dominate and be able to dictate the whole tempo of the game. Alam naman nila na hindi yun ang role nila sa team. Their objective, their purpose is to jel together as a team and not just as individual. I’m sure, alam ni Scottie yun.”