TRIBUTES and public signs of affection on social media and elsewhere continued to pour out yesterday on former national coach and basketball clinic pioneer Nicanor “Nic” Jorge, who passed away in his sleep on Saturday. He was 78.
A product of UP Diliman, Jorge coached the Philippine team when the country hosted the FIBA world basketball championships in 1978. He also had coaching stints with the Singapore national squad in 1983, the PBA – with Galleon Shipping and Manhattan, plus his beloved UP Maroons.
Jorge is best remembered for forming, together with his wife Marilyn, the Basketball Efficiency and Scientific Training Center, or BEST Center, in 1978.
The BEST cage clinics blazed the trail in conducting a programmed and systematic approach in learning the game geared for young children to teens, churning out a legion of players who became successful in their cage careers.
So successful was the program that in later years, Milo would throw its support and become its inaugural partner in the Milo summer clinics while spawning a generation of copycats.
Among the well-known BEST Center graduates are Christ Tiu, siblings Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Benjie Paras and, believe it or not, party-list congressman and NorthPort team owner Mikee Romero.