Basketball has evolved in many ways, from the way it is played, to coaching and training techniques. Speaking to Bouncepass Podcast hosted by Coach Mike Perez, Coach James Tolentino and Coach Teddy Polinga, “The Bullet” Dindo Pumaren, one of the top point guards of his time who played for the country and the Philippine Basketball Association, shared some timeless values that young players and coaches could learn from.

1. Numbers don’t lie

During the podcast, he recalled his prep days at San Beda when fabled Coach Ato Badolato brought in statisticians to take note of the performance of his players. After practices, players trooped to the athletics offices to check their stats. Coach Ato was an innovator in his time. This practice became the basis of analytics in basketball coaching, using numbers to pinpoint the efficiency and weaknesses of players. When in doubt, just go to the numbers. They won’t lie.

2. Always be ready to play for Flag and Country

Pumaren recalled that he, together with a new generation of basketball stars, namely Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codiñera, Jojo Lastimosa, Ronnie Magsanoc and NCC holdovers Allan Caidic and Samboy Lim, were tasked to compete in the 1986 Asian Games under Coach Joe Lipa, following the disbandment of the NCC National Team of Coach Ron Jacobs. He recalled then that the goal of each player from his generation was to provide stable and comfortable lives for their families. For his generation, the national team came first.

3. Having a “super boss” in Don Jaime Zobel de Ayala

Perhaps the biggest challenge Pumaren faced was taking care of his son Joff, who was born a special child and needed special medical treatments in order to survive. Doctors declared a lifespan of six years owing to the condition of Joff. Joff became Dindo’s motivation to perform well in games. During the podcast, he passionately told the story of how his “super boss” in Purefoods, Don Jaime Zobel de Ayala, supported Joff by shouldering his son’s medical expenses. The very reason Pumaren remained loyal to Purefoods was the fatherly care he experienced from Don Jaime. When the Purefoods franchise was sold, Pumaren went to the extent of wanting to be traded in support of Don Jaime.

As fast as the game of basketball is evolving, it’s good to go back to the good, old-school values, for these values are the reasons the game remains relevant until now. Basketball is beyond the game because of the values one can develop from it. What Dindo Pumaren shared are timeless values that can outlive the careers of superstar ball players.

@BouncepassPH is a coaches’ podcast hosted by Coach James Tolentino of San Beda Alabang; Coach John Paul Ycasiano, formerly of San Beda Alabang but now with Falcon School in Fairview; Coach Teddy Polinga of De La Salle Canlubang; and Coach Mike Perez, formerly of San Beda Alabang but now with the recreational team MK Blossoms of Muntinlupa.