NLEX Corporation continues to reach out to host communities as it recently conducted an online basketball clinic for 53 young people in areas traversed by NLEX-SCTEX.

Dubbed as “NLEX-SCTEX Basketboys,” this program is being held every year since 2013 aimed at promoting wellness and engaging the youth in host communities; developing their basketball skills and camaraderie; and at the same time encouraging them to be advocates of road safety.

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, the tollway company and its team in the Philippine Basketball Association— the NLEX Road Warriors—have shifted this annual face-to-face training to a virtual experience to uplift the morale of children aged 13 to 15 years old by providing them an opportunity to learn more about basketball, values, and road safety even in an online setting.

“Apart from enhancing the basketball skills of these young players, the NLEX-SCTEX Basketboys intends to teach the importance of education, discipline, respect, responsibility, and teamwork, as well as convey the core values of the NRW team,” said NLEX Corporation President and General Manager J. Luigi L. Bautista, adding that “we also impart our knowledge on road safety practices for their own safety and that of their community.”

The participants came from 25 barangays in Caloocan, Valenzuela, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Bataan. This five-day virtual workshop was conducted by PBA legend and NRW assistant coach Jojo Lastimosa along with other coaching staff Borgie Hermida, Asi Taulava, Emman Monfort, Nicco Yorobe, and Jude Eslera.

“This is part of the NLEX Road Warriors’ continuing commitment to rev up sports amidst the pandemic. We hope that through this online clinic, we were able to nurture and advance the interests of these young talents,” said NRW assistant coach Jojo Lastimosa.

NRW head coach Yeng Guiao and star players Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas also headlined the workshops to inspire the youth to pursue excellence both in sports and in their studies.

In his keynote during the awarding and graduation ceremonies, Guiao shared the importance of being well equipped with knowledge and skills to be successful. “Preparation is the key to success. Kailangan maghanda kayo sa kung anuman ang gusto ninyong marating sa buhay…Importante na mayroon tayong kaalaman, hindi lang puro sa basketball dapat pati na rin sa ating pag-aaral. Maging masipag at matiyaga at higit sa lahat ay sumunod sa ating mga magulang,” Guiao noted.

The free virtual clinic is NLEX’s way of safely engaging the youth through basketball while continuing to develop good values and promote safety practices. Addressing the participants, Donna Kristine F. Marcelo, NLEX Corporation Vice President for Communication and Stakeholder Management, said, “Sa kabila ng pandemya na ating kinakaharap, nawa ay nakapagbigay kami ng saya at tulong sa inyo. Sana ang mga itinuro ng coaches ay maging inspirasyon ninyo sa pagtupad ng inyong mga pangarap.”

Aside from presenting the participants with certificates, t-shirts, and other NRW merchandise, NLEX also provided special awards to those who stood out during the trainings.

For his part, one of the participants who was awarded the Most Outstanding Player expressed his thanks to NLEX for mounting the NLEX-SCTEX Basketboys. “Nagpapasalamat kami sa lahat ng nagturo sa amin. Natuto kami hindi lang sa basketball kundi sa buhay. I learned to be responsible, strategic, and disciplined athlete,” said Jhareb Sherwin Garcia of Brgy. 9, Caloocan City.

In 2019, the NLEX-SCTEX Basketboys won a Silver Anvil for promoting wellness and basketball skills enhancement among the youth of NLEX-SCTEX host communities, while also teaching road safety practices for the benefit of their communities and motorists plying the expressways.

NLEX Corporation is a subsidiary of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), the toll road arm of the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC).