KENNETH Duremdes is convinced the sky is the limit for son Kenji after seeing him in action for La Salle Greenhills in the BEST SBP-Passerelle Twin Tournament sponsored by MILO in Baguio City.
With his former PBA MVP dad watching from the stands, Kenji, who stands 5-6 at 12 years of age, led the Greenies to an unbeaten run on the way to the Small Basketeers Philippines (SBP) division crown.
Kenji stood head and shoulders above the other kids, literally and figuratively, as he came away with 16 points in the title game against Ateneo de Iloilo held last weekend at the Easter College Gym.
The father was naturally impressed to Kenji shine in all aspects of the game at so young an age.
“Malaki siya pero maganda ‘yung basketball sense niya,” the elder Duremdes told Spin.ph. “Magaling siya mag-feed at alam niya kung kailan siya aatake. Masipag rin siya sa bola.”
“Hindi niya masyadong nag-dominate pero ang importante, nakita mo ‘yung all-around game,” the PBA legend added.
Kenneth, one of several parents who drove all the way to the summer capital to witness the action during the MILO BEST Twin Tournament, said he even sees a lot of himself in Kenji as far as being a competitor is concerned.
“When it comes to competition, competitor siya kagaya ko. Ayaw patalo, ayaw niya ‘yung nagkakalat siya sa loob ng court,” said Kenneth.
While Kenji plays either at the power forward or center position for the Greenies owing to his size, Duremdes was also glad to see him show off his ball-handling skills on certain occasions.
Most of all, Kenji has a lot of time in the world to work on his game and transition to the shooting guard or small forward as he moves up, the proud dad added
“More on big siya. Ako, more on wing so sana ma-adopt niya (‘yung laro sa wing) kasi paglaki niya, maraming mas malaki sa kanya," said Duremdes.
"I hope na paglaki niya, ma-adopt niya ‘yung 2, 3 position kasi maliit siya kapag nag-stay siya sa 4 or 5. Pero bata pa naman siya. Kahit sabihin mo na mag-6-3 pa siya or 6-4, kapag sa ilalim siya, mahihirapan pa rin siya. Pero bata pa naman siya.
‘Yung role niya kasi, hindi siya puwedeng ilagay sa wing. May skills naman siya, marunong mag-dribble, marunong pumasa, kapag may tira, titira siya. Sa mga tournaments like this (MILO BEST), makaka-adjust siya lalo na kung may mga makakalaban na siyang malaki, mapipilitan na siyang lumabas.”