The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters are one of the most intriguing teams in the PBA. Over the years, their success on the basketball court has been largely credited to their hard-nosed defense, their physicality, and their general toughness. In fact, at one point, prior to a recent roster shuffle, they also boasted a frontcourt tandem that gained renown as “Extra Rice Inc.,” alluding to the stocky body type of current Center Beau Belga and former Elasto Painter JR Quiñahan.

The team’s unique character and physical presence on the court prompts one to ask: How does one train such a team for success on the basketball court? Recently, E-Sports spoke to Matt Makalintal—head of Rain or Shine’s strength and conditioning program—to talk about how to train elite basketball players.

“With basketball, you have to be flexible enough. You have to do mobilization and flexibility exercises,” says Makalintal. “Every basketball player has to be quick and strong at the same time, so we have them do a lot of exercises. We make them do strengthening exercises, then I make them do sprints and interval runs.”

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Makalintal points out that equipment plays a large part in making these exercises more efficient. And he spoke about how—when the team got to try the Technogym SKILLMILL for a period of time—it really made a difference in conditioning.

“We borrowed the treadmill for a week and a half. And it really does contribute to flexibility. It mixes everything up,” says Makalintal. “It helps you turn strength into power. And by power, I mean functional power that you can actually use on a basketball court.”

The coach also adds that the SKILLMILL helps reduce fears of an injury, which is especially critical for basketball teams, whose success largely depends on the health of particular players. He also points out the advantage of having equipment that is self-powered.

“Usually, basketball players train every day, so their body really goes through wear and tear,” he says. “But the SKILLMILL doesn’t put much stress on the knees. Plus it helps with the strengthening of the legs. It’s because the machine doesn’t move on its own; you have to move your feet to make it work.  The team really loved the SKILLMILL; in fact, it didn’t get any rest because people kept using it one after another,” continued Makalintal.

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According to Coach Matt, however, training to become an elite basketball player goes beyond the gym or the hardwood; there needs to be a holistic approach, and keeping a close watch on food intake is also a big part of keeping players in tip-top basketball shape.

“We also want to monitor the diets of the players. When we have food after practice, we usually request to make it less oily. We also tell players to try and not to eat too much. It’s just a challenge sometimes because their wives are great at cooking,” says Makalintal, laughingly.

“At the end of the day, however, I can say our players are fit. Yes, some of them may look overweight, but they are really fast. Some of the heavier players actually beat the smaller ones when they sprint down the court. Our practices are really intense, so as long as you can carry your weight, it’s okay. They’re not the heavy type na sobrang lampa naman… but it still would be really nice if we had regular access to the SKILLMILL,” he continued.

For those interested in the Technogym SKILLMILL and other revolutionary fitness equipment, send an e-mail to us at info@esports.ph or call us at (02)807-2383.

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