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Jun 23, 2015
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Have you ever tried out for a basketball team? Of course you have! You're a Filipino!

Not everyone, however, is skilled enough to make the final cut. There are only 12 to 15 spots on a varsity team—and dozens vying for those precious spots. The ending: More guys leave with heavy hearts than those who get to jump for joy upon seeing that final roster.

We feel you, dude. (Just as much as that boy from the Lucky Me "Praktis ako ng praktis" commercial probably does.)

So when we got a chance to catch up with hoops hero Jimmy Alapag and college star Kiefer Ravena, we asked them the million-dollar question: "How do we stand out in a tryout?"

Here's Kiefer:

"Be mentally tough, be mentally prepared, know that it's a competition—it's something that a coach would want to see," says Kiefer.

The two basketball greats were present at the launch of Nike's new basketball development program and reality show called "Nike Rise." The project will scout for young basketball talents around the Philippines and put them through six weeks of hardcore hoops training.

Open to individuals 16 to 21 years old, male and female, Nike Rise will hold regional tryouts in four cities: Dagupan (June 27), Manila (June 28), Cebu (July 4), and Davao (July 5). You may apply by going to the Nike Rise registration page here.

The nationwide tryouts will pick 24 of the best players. These players will undergo the six-week bootcamp where they will be immersed in a Nike athlete's training experience, headlined by Gilas legend Chot Reyes and Jimmy Alapag. The sessions will encompass technical skills training, as well as strength and conditioning workouts assisted by high-tech training tools.  

For those of us who won't be able to take part in this inspiring program, Rise will have a TV component as well. The journey of the athletes will be televised on TV5 every Sunday, starting July. Think of it as the hoops version of Pinoy Big Brother with local basketball legends providing the authoritative voice of Kuya. Just like Alapag here, who also shares his tips on how to get picked at tryouts:

Ready to up your game, bro?

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