December 4, 2023


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Magnolia Timplados Hotshots assistant coach Juno Sauler explains his position to his pet project Stop Playing Zone Ph to the coaches and tournament organizers in Cebu



CEBU CITY, Philippines – The #StopPlayingZonePh movement gathers full ears in Cebu.


PBA’s Magnolia Timplados Hotshots Assistant coach Juno Sauler the hopes of improving Philippine’s standing in international basketball may get better with the movement he just started to actualized which draws pretty good impression from Cebuano coaches and tournament organizers.


“Without doubt, excellent defensive basics and good zone defense may help teams win games. There’s no debate there. However, where we have a problem is the fact that it he youth basketball, where fundamentals are so crucial, we often coach in pursuit of results rather than focusing on a path of development. This is detrimental to the young players’ growth and will ultimately limit their development,” stated the former De La Salle University Green Archers coach’s position paper.






PRIME mover and the Cebuano shapers. Magnolia Timplados Hotshot assistant coach Juno Sauler (2nd from right, seated), is joined by collegiate and developmental coaches, clinicians, and tournament organizers, as he brings the #StopPlayingZonePh movement to Cebu.


According to Sauler Philippine Youth and Men’s basketball ranked lower than the European counterparts despite the huge advantage in population.


In the Youth ranking, Philippines is at the 26th place while down to 40th place in the Men’s compared to countries like Serbia and Lithuania who only had a few millions in population but were in the top 10 ranking.


“The striking contrast in approaching to the development of young basketball players is the basis for my comparison of the Philippines with the nations. Philippines is a nation that primarily uses zone defense. Youth leagues, pick-up games (streetball), village tournaments, alumni leagues, etc., all use zone defense. For the 15U age group, zone defense is discouraged in nations like Serbia and Lithuania. Australia, which is now ranked second in the world, forbids zone in 14U games. In Spain, until they are 13 years old, zone defense is not allowed,” added Sauler.


Cebuano coaches also observed that the development of kids who were used to playing one-on-one defense has faster skills development than kids who were playing zone defense.


“We need to go all out of the way for the growth of the players and games to quickly evolve for the better,” Sauler concluded. RCM


Cebu Youth Basketball League (CYBL) Organizer Popoy Navarro (left) has committed to start discouraging zone defence in the developmental category of the tournament.


CEBUANO coaches and organizers discuss the possibility of implementing the Stop Playing Zone scheme in their practices and competitions.

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