Tiu and What I'd Do If I Was Smart

I told you once how impressed I was at Chris Tiu’s blog, even referring to it as ‘the best read on the Internet’. He’s delivered today once again, with a recount as to the Smart – Gilas‘ adventures at the recently concluded FIBA-Asia Champions Club held at Jakarta. Some choice cuts:

Maybe before the tournament began, we would be satisfied to clinch 5th spot. But after actually competing against those colossal and experienced national players, 5th place was actually a disappointment for me, personally. I have been advised not to get too hard on myself and the team because we did OK considering we are a young, scrawny and inexperienced team. But here’s the reason why i felt that we could have easily landed in the 3rd or 4th spot.

and..

What was really frustrating for me, was that i was in the bench for the most part of the game. I sat down around halfway through the 3rd quarter and never got the chance to get back in the game. Really disappointing especially since I love 4th quarters! And i usually finish games.

Continue reading “Tiu and What I'd Do If I Was Smart”

Part II – The Need to Globalize Philippine Basketball: THE MODEL

In this 2nd part, I wish to highlight the growing nature of basketball as a “global sport”, influenced by the popularity of the NBA as well as its “open door policy” on allowing foreign-born players to compete in the league. These two factors must be recognized and embraced as an accepted fact — that the world and game of basketball is, indeed, already GLOBAL.

 

 

Article of Excuses

 

I recently read an article by a noted sportswriter who wrote about the lambasting we got from a tournament, the FIBA-Asia Club Championships, in which the All-Pro Philippine Team participated. We all know that Filipinos are known sour-grapes when it comes to losing in basketball. In that article, we got the usual litany of excuses as to why we got beaten badly. In fact, most of them were valid: unfamiliarity with international rules, lack of cohesiveness, and fatigue. Continue reading “Part II – The Need to Globalize Philippine Basketball: THE MODEL”

News Flash: RP wins over Iran, 89-79

Just got a text a few minutes ago. Team Pilipinas just finished off Iran, 89-79.

It is a good victory for our national cagers considering they just came from another heartbreaking loss to Jordan, 70-74, yesterday. As you would have read by now, Kerby Raymundo had a chance to tie the ballgame with two free throws (RP down then by 2, 68-70, with 1:03 to go in the game). However… you guessed it. Two free throws muffed.

It might interest all of you to know that both Jordan and Iran are bracketed with the Philippines and China in the “Group of Death” for the FIBA-Asia Qualifiers, which will take place at the end of this month (July 2007). The top two teams of each group advance to the quarters and so on. Assuming that we’ll be waylaid by China (hope not, though), we will need to beat both Jordan and Iran to obviously assure ourselves entry to the next round. Or if we’ll only manage a 1-2 record, we’ll have to rely both on hardwork (win by as many points as we can and lose by as few as possible — quotient system) and help from Lady Luck (that Iran, Jordan, and the Philippines cancel out each other’s win) to move into the next round via photo finish.

I am quite satisfied with the way Team Pilipinas has played in this 29th edition of the Jones Cup. If we had played it more intelligently and carefully, we would’ve been sporting a 6-0 win-loss record by now. Our three losses: to Lebanon, 62-65 (via a last second 3-point shot that went off the glass); to Japan, 82-84 (via a dying-seconds-turnover by Dondon Hontiveros, en route to a breakaway layup for the marginal basket); and to Jordan, as mentioned above.

Chot and his wards came to the Jones Cup to study and practice. I believe they are doing their job well.

Keep it up, Boys!

Part I: The Need to Globalize Philippine Basketball

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) model is now outmoded. They’re still living in the past, trying to cling on the spirit of its heydays in the 70’s and the 80’s. Sad to say, the spunk and glamor are gone. Well, at least for me, an avid basketball fan, who had religiously followed the league, game after game, until the early 90’s. Same can probably be said about our existing insular brand of “basketball infrastructure”, from the various collegiate leagues to the various commercial leagues, professional and amateur.

One can say that this insular point of view has kept us from improving to an acceptable level of regional or, even, global standards. In this 3-part series about Philippine Basketball, I aim to put forward ideas that the leaders of the sport can consider, toy around with, and hopefully, implement successfully — all with the end-view of putting the Philippines back to a podium place finish in regional and international tournaments.

For me, there were three (3) major developments that changed the world and the game of basketball, as it is now. First, FIBA’s decision to allow professional players to compete in FIBA-sanctioned international competitions. Second, the burgeoning popularity and worldwide reach of the NBA. And finally, the influx of foreign players into the National Basketball Association (NBA).

The PBA responded right away by fielding in an All-Pro team in 1990 for the Beijing Asiad and had sent select teams made up of pros since then. The best finish we ever achieved since we started sending our PBA players to international tournaments was a runner-up placing behind China in that 1990 version of the Asian Games. We then finished 3rd in the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games, 4th in the Bangkok Asiad in 1998, and 4th again in the 2002 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar (we would’ve placed 2nd behind China once again if not for that last second 3 point shot by Lee Sang Min of South Korea — and the 2 missed free throws by Olsen Racela — in the semis of that tournament). Continue reading “Part I: The Need to Globalize Philippine Basketball”

What is happening with the RP team?

may212007_rpteam.jpgAfter three games, the [tag]RP team[/tag] is still winless in the 18th [tag]FIBA[/tag] Asia Champions Cup in Tehran, Iran. All loses have been lopsided and it was easy to pinpoint the national team’s waterloo – they couldn’t defend against the opposing teams’ big men. In their first game, the RP team failed to contain 7-2 315-lb man-mountain Garth Joseph. Joseph, who played 4 forgettable games in the NBA, rattled in 39 points against the meek defense of Asi Taulava and Mick Pennisi and made it look like it was as easy as picking grapes in a vineyard. Against a Syrian team powered by the towering Bernard Jons and ex-PBA import Julius Nwosu, the team was helpless as the duo exploded for a combined 40 points and 19 rebounds. Taulava was a non-factor with a measly 7 points while the 6-9 Pennisi laid a big fat egg. Sure, the opposing teams have imports but how could you expect them to fare better against China’s NBA caliber big men of the 7-6 Yao Ming, 7-1 Wang Zhizhi, 6-11 Bateer Menk and draft hopeful 7-0 Yi Jian Lin if you can’t at least lay a hand on these journeymen bigs?

If the RP team plans to make some headway in the Asian Games, and other international competitions, they need to be able to defend the interior. Do we need a reinforcement? A superman of sorts? FIBA rules allow each team one naturalized player. If we can get at least one big who can defend and block shots inside the lane, that would be much better but if we can’t, we need to maximize our strengths and take away the opposition’s size advantage over us. Easier said than done ey?

Continue reading “What is happening with the RP team?”

What are Your Fave Basketball Teams?

Everybody’s got one, that one team you’d yell your hearts out for, the one team that makes your day when they win, the one team that makes you cry like a juvenile when they lose. Heck, some of us even have one such team for every basketball league we keep tabs on!

Here are my picks:
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