MANILA, MAY 11, 2006 (STAR) SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson - Since retiring from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) as a player in 1999, Allan Caidic has kept busy doing things he always dreamed of doing when he was still a player.

He works in the front office of a PBA club as team manager. He has his own shooting academy where he teaches kids how to stroke from the outside. He goes all over the country on goodwill tours to promote San Miguel Corp. products. He stays in condition by playing for the San Miguel All-Stars in exhibition games and whacking shuttlecocks in badminton. He spends quality time with his wife Milotte and their two daughters–Mariel Clarisse (Marisse), 14, and Marla Celina (Inah), 12. He is endorsing his personal merchandise, brandishing the "Triggerman" logo–a signature shoe and a ball are the first in the market, later to be followed by apparel and accessories. He is in the final stages of editing a book on his life, to be launched tentatively on his birthday on June 15 when he turns 43. And he continues to enjoy the adulation of his legion of fans.

For an athlete who’s supposed to be retired, Caidic has a full plate.

Last week, he completed a seven-day shooting camp for the 10 finalists of the first-ever Accel 3-Point Shootout Challenge at the Reyes gym in Mandaluyong. It was the inaugural clinic of the Triggerman’s shooting academy.

Caidic spent three hours a day with the finalists, personally teaching them the finer points of pure shooting with accuracy, consistency and focus.

Caidic said the lessons went beyond the basics and were at an advanced level because the finalists were in the 16 to 19 year-old bracket. Besides, several of the players were already in senior varsity rosters. Two were in UST, one in Jose Rizal and another in UP.

Caidic said the clinic wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Accel (Willie Ortiz), San Miguel Corp. (Hector Guballa and Robert Non for donating Viva Mineral Water and Powerade) and Chowking (Weng Escobar).

"I think there is still room to improve a player’s shooting touch even if he’s already a senior varsity player," said Caidic. "For instance, in my case, I became a shooter when I was already in college. In elementary and high school, I used to play center. I practiced every day, taking as many as 200 three-point shots, to develop this skill. Maybe, I had an inborn touch. But without the long hours of practice, I wouldn’t have been able to develop my shooting."

Caidic said the second Accel 3-Point Shootout Challenge will be held in more locations this year, perhaps even in cities in the Visayas and Mindanao. The finalists will be given scholarships to Caidic’s shooting academy.

"We’re thinking of expanding the second shooting clinic to include not just 10 but 20 finalists and we might invite young kids to join in a separate session on a less advanced stage," said Caidic.

With the San Miguel All-Stars, Caidic has been barnstorming the country. He was recently in Cebu to play Dennis Rodman and the Bad Boys, in Palawan and in Boracay. At the moment, the All-Stars are promoting Coca-Cola’s tie-up with the Department of Tourism. Sketches of popular tourist destinations are emblazoned on Coca-Cola bottles which serve as admission tickets to the All-Stars" games against local selections in every stop.

As for the "Triggerman" shoe, Caidic said it will soon be out in the market. He worked with Accel designers to develop a shoe that befits a shooter of his caliber. The shoe is marked AC-8 (Allan Caidic No. 8) and has a logo showing his silhouette elevating for a jumper. A signature ball is also in the works and an apparel line will be introduced later.

Caidic’s priority remains Barangay Ginebra. As team manager, he makes sure the Kings are prepared to win each and every game in the PBA. Caidic said it’s an uphill climb for Ginebra with Romel Adducul, Andy Seigle and Rodney Santos out for the season because of injuries. Eric Menk is day-to-day and may rest for two weeks before determining his fitness for a comeback in the playoffs.

"Even without Eric, we won our last game (over Sta. Lucia Realty) so we’re happy that the guys are stepping up," said Caidic. "(Erwin) Sotto had a career-high 15 points and Manny Ramos, who’s a smart player, also played well. We’re running a different system now with an emphasis on motion. Because we don’t have a dominant big man, our perimeter players are carrying us. We’re using a variation of coach Ron Jacobs’ motion offense. No team will be eliminated after the double-round classifications so every team has a chance to advance."

Caidic, who shot a career-high 79 points in a PBA game the day his daughter Marisse was born, is living a dream and proving there is life after a storybook basketball career.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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