For many of those who came for training this week, it probably was the first time stepping foot on PBSM's next-door neighbors, St. John.
Oh, yes, all of them do pass by the pink-and-white building every week, on their way to PBSM, but the most they give would be a sparing glance at the young St. John's'es who seem to forever march.
Well, here's a big note.. St. John's is way more canggih than PBSM! They even have a reception area, with a password-key box beside the door.. fu-yoh!
The court, however, was small when compared to PBSM's; miniscule when compared to Dalat's; and.. non-existent when compared to Balik Pulau's.
Small as it was, though, it sure was better than playing under the hot, hot sun at Taman Gelugor's basketball court. So it was good.
The first drill after warm-up was a leg-exercising one. There was a puddle of very dirty water at one spot on the court, and the players were all told to walk, dance, and shuffle over it to spread the water.
That done, Coach Kuan Yang took a leaf out of Coach Jason's book and actually did a fun drill.
At one end of the court, he placed two chairs at opposite sides, and at the other end, he placed a stack of dustbins (PBSM and St. John's seem to get their dustbins from the same shop) in the middle.
Standing at one end, a player had to pass the ball between the legs of the chair, run and pick it up, then dribble around said chair. The player then had to pass the ball and hit the dustbins, and again, run, pick up and dribble around. Finally, the player had to repeat this procedure for the final chair, and the drill would be over.
After a few rounds, Coach divided the players into two groups and made the drill a friendly competition. A ball between the legs of the chairs gets one point; so does hitting the dustbins. The team with the most points win and get to determine the losers' punishment.
The chair legs seemed to have suddenly gained magnetic powers, drawing the ball to them but not between them.
Su Rong's team ran out winners, and he happily doled out the punishment: that the other team would have to run three rounds round the whole place.
Not inside, not just outside, but the whole place; including the houses.
Obviously, Coach stepped in and spoiled the fun, saying running inside would do. Thus the losing team had to run 10 rounds inside, and the winning team had to set up the goalposts.
At that moment, in came fifteen or so males, ranging from the tiny to the muscle-packed to the.. well-aged. These, ladies and gentlemen, were the boys from Salvation Army!
So whatever plans to torture the players by Coach had to be scrapped. Instead, almost immediately, it was time for a match.
The SA boys definitely were no pushovers.
At the end of training, a few announcements were made, and the players were dismissed.