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Fiba-Asia 2013 Phils v. Korea 2013 – That Winning Feeling

Gary Mercado August 11th, 2013 (Visited 1373 times)

It’s hard to write about a game such as last night’s due to the sheer variety and depth of emotions that come with its recollection. For the most part I was calm, primarily due to the fact I don’t buy in to the ‘laban’ and ‘puso’ shtick. My love for my country has nothing to do with basketball and even less on the outcome of a game. I love my country and (deserving) fellow Filipinos, and I’m pretty much sure the the players of Gilas do as well. This is default and non – negotiable, so the idea of it indirectly being questioned every time I read ‘puso’, as if to say we do not have heart if we do not win offends me. If we lose a game we may not be as skilled, as tall, as fluid or whatever, but it’s certainly not because we lack heart. If anything we might have too much heart. Let’s talk basketball tangibles – shooting, assists, defense, and the like. But don’t talk to me about not having heart. Never ever doubt heart.

Whew. Ok moving on:

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You’ll Agree Why I’m Not Writing As Often As I Wish

Gary Mercado August 8th, 2013 (Visited 40235 times)

I rarely ever get comments, and so I was very happy to read Gabe‘s yesterday.

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Believe me I am thrilled. But I would like to show you something that’s even a bigger thrill, and who happens to be the answer to gabe’s question as well. Here he is all 2.5 months of him:

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Everyone meet Angel Christopher aka Ace, my little boy.

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Fiba-Asia 2013 Phils v. Qatar 2013. Alternative Name: Japeth Has Learned To Wield The Force

Gary Mercado August 7th, 2013 (Visited 2710 times)

Ok here we go, starting with thoughts on Qatar:

They play like a bunch of hacked together talents – Which means they are either under coached or have just not had enough time to play together. They do not have any plays and rely mostly on exploiting match ups. Failing that it’s basically excursions by their best player, whoever that may be at the time, which explains why their point guard will occasionally be scoring. This will work in the short term primarily because our PGs are far too small to defend anyone properly, but as with any coach will tell you a driving point guard is a recipe for disaster because it leaves their team open for transition.

The most telling sign of their lack of cooperation is their inability to help their best player get an open shot. At the latter part of the game when they needed points most, Jarvis Hayes was their man. Unfortunately the rest of the Qatar team didn’t seem to see it that way and wouldn’t help him out. There were no diversions, no sets or picks made for him and he had to deal with the long arms of Gabe Norwood or sometimes even multiple defenders, a tall order for any scorer.

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QATAR chose the wrong team to run against – A lot of the game was run and gun which worked tremendously to our advantage. If there’s one thing Gilas can do, that is run, and run it did, so when Qatar decided to play that way I was more or less at ease. Our first team can run, our second team can run, and even our often used bigs are no slouches. We even have a big who can not only run, he can Continue reading ‘Fiba-Asia 2013 Phils v. Qatar 2013. Alternative Name: Japeth Has Learned To Wield The Force’ » » » »

WIItnessing History – LeBron’s Manila Visit 2013

Gary Mercado July 25th, 2013 (Visited 47035 times)

Once again I have been very privileged to have been able to see yet another NBA superstar, and this time no less than the biggest star of them all, with 2 rings, 4 MVPs, 2 Finals MVPs, and 2 All-Star MVPs, 2 Olympic golds, 2 Bronze, 1 Fiba gold, current NBA Champion and current MVP LeBron James.

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The day started out at Shangrila Makati where all of us media listened to a ten minute interview between him and Boom Gonzales.

Media were unfortunately unable to ask questions ‘due to time constraints’, which was unfortunate not necessarily because I had anything to ask, but because Q&A sessions are almost always a riot. When Kobe came there was a guy who was taking so much time leading up to his question remembering stories of his being a fan of Kareem, Magic and the old Lakers, that I could swear he forgot his question so he ended up rambling about his College days. Continue reading ‘WIItnessing History – LeBron’s Manila Visit 2013′ » » » »

Bobbito and Kevin Love The Philippines & Tell Us What We Already Know

Gary Mercado July 23rd, 2013 (Visited 701 times)

Kevin and Bobbito, the guys behind ‘Doin It In The Park!’ and who were sent in by Nike Phils. to show their film recently have finally written about their trip here, and as I expected they were stunned by how much we had embraced the game.

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LeBron Is Coming For A Day And You Can Leave A Message

Gary Mercado July 13th, 2013 (Visited 28761 times)

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Two championship rings, four MVPs, two Finals MVPs, and two All-Star MVPs, two Olympic golds, two Bronze, one Fiba gold.

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Review Of Doin’ It In The Park: Pick-Up Basketball, NYC

Gary Mercado July 8th, 2013 (Visited 1154 times)

Let me try to take you back to many years ago. See that picture of a basketball court on top of this blog? I can’t remember exactly when but years ago on that same court I was playing pick up on a typical sunny weekend afternoon. It was way too hot to be out of the shade but there I was anyway along with a bunch of other basketball ‘adiks’ like me, getting a game in before there’d be too many people trying to play on two courts.

I don’t know exactly what made it happen but during a lull in the game I looked up at the blue, cloudless sky. There were a few branches from the trees in the way but for the most part it was a perfect sky. On a perfect afternoon. On the perfect time of day with me doing the most perfect thing I can think of: playing pick up ball.

And it hit me that right there, right then I did not want to do anything else anywhere anyhow anywhy. I was playing pick up and everything else in my world could go straight to hell and I couldn’t give a fuck (and a lot of it was at the time).

I remember thinking: Right now on that rough cement court I loved the game and as I was playing it I was loving my life. I loved the sound our sneakers made. I loved the sweat dripping off my chin. I loved the near smooth basketball even if everyone was avoiding the responsibility of buying a new one and it was getting smoother each week. I even loved the sweaty idiots I was with, many of whom I would never have reason to talk to if it weren’t for the fact they loved the game too.

I loved the game with every stitch and every pore and every atom in my body and to this day the distant sound of a bouncing ball or the whistle of a referee from a nearby school would send me reminiscing about all those battles, all those relationships, all those hours sitting by the court itching at a chance to play.

It’s my life. It’s why I made this blog. It’s the very core of who I am. My memories of pick up ball are both beautiful and bitter sweet. Why bitter sweet? I’ll let you know in a second.

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KD Commercial Shows Him To Be A Humble Hardworking Guy

Gary Mercado July 1st, 2013 (Visited 1032 times)

Unbelievable the way Nike comes up with fantastic commercials. So much so that sometimes it does get predictable. Which is why I was pleasantly surprised to get a talkie this time, featuring KD and the new KD VI.

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Go Ahead And Give LeBron A Call

Gary Mercado June 23rd, 2013 (Visited 808 times)

Well of course I’m gonna post Nike’s invite for everyone to phone LeBron.

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Why Asi Taulava Is The Best

Gary Mercado June 8th, 2013 (Visited 773 times)

Check out his tweet to young teammate Paulo Hubalde after what obviously looks like a loss (I didn’t see the game so I dunno what he’s talking about specifically).

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Spurs In Six, And Some Other Thoughts

Gary Mercado June 7th, 2013 (Visited 1072 times)

I chose the Spurs to win in Six and it isn’t really a basketball reason. Or rather, maybe it is. It’s not easy to explain but what the hell, I’ll give it a go:

The Spurs are a family. The Spurs are one of the most envied teams in the NBA. This is because they operate as a family, with Coach Popovich acting as either strict headmaster or caring father figure. His compassion for his players is so well known the press does not pay attention to it anymore. They are a tight knit group with very few manpower changes that this fact gets overlooked. Other teams that want to implement the Spurs winning ways resort to raiding Popovich’s Assistant Coaches, so coaches like Mike Brown and more recently Mike Budenholzer (who will coach the Hawks) are always receiving job offers, with other teams hoping to implement what the Spurs have into their own system.

A tight knit group in itself does not necessarily translate to good basketball, but it does though lay the foundation for it. A team that acts like a family does away with all of those niggling issues that make groups of people that have to work together so dysfunctional. Issues like jealousy, no one talking to one another, petty fights, ego etc., that easily break teams are lessened if not done away altogether.

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How To Play Basketball

Gary Mercado March 20th, 2013 (Visited 1059 times)

Just a quick post re how to play basketball. I’ve been running a basketball blog for quite a while now I think I may know a thing or two about it.

So here’s the image I will use to make my point.

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Basically it has all the details you need to know. Here’s a closer look:

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