Some UAAP Guys wear Hyperdunks

These guys:

Are gonna be wearing this shoe:

Truth is, I dunno anything about the current UAAP teams. Jude Turcuato had different local basketball sites write Power Rankings on the upcoming league, and I’m glad I’m not in his radar because I’d have no idea what to say. One day I can make enough money and spend my days watching games, eating chips and gulping beer Coke, just waxing poetic about my love for basketball and all that. But until that day comes, I gotta make a living man, and it gets in the way of writing about ball.

Anyway, I’m glad I got this image from Nike, because it contains this paragraph:

The Nike Hyperdunk will be worn by key Nike athletes including Ateneo Blue Eagles Kirk Long, Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Eric Salamat; De La Salle Green Archers JVee Casio, Rico Maierhofer and Simon Atkins, Far Eastern University Tamaraws JR Cawaling and Mac Baracael; University of the East Red Warriors Marcy Arellano and Elmer Espiritu; and University of Sto. Tomas Growling Tigers Jervy Cruz and Dylan Ababou.

The players to look out for essentially, in bold. Let’s write down what little I know of them:

Kirk Long – Last I saw this guy, Norman Black started him during the Finals, but benched him for long stretches in the game. Obviously the coach has plans for him, and he seems to be improving, but he seems too like to dribble far too much and is kinda too erratic to be running a team. I give him at least two years still, before he becomes a true force.

Rabel Al-Hussaini – If there is any single shocker of the UE – ADMU NSL Finals, its me actually praising Al-Hussaini. Let me make it clear. I did not like this guy two or so years ago, and wrote him off as the least to expect anything from. But two weeks ago? BIG CHANGE. Al-Hussaini is the real deal. He rebounds, defends and does small Js and hookshots. HOOKSHOTS. There is nothing quite beautiful as seeing a big man make hookshots. It takes skill, footwork, and other qualities Filipino big men are not known for. I don’t think he jumps higher than a phone directory, but it doesn’t matter. Al-Hussaini can ball, and I am looking forward to seeing him do damage.

Eric Salamat – Big 3 – shooter, and always been a great dribbler, but still a bit of a question mark for me. I don’t know enough to say anything, really, so I’ll shut up.

JVee Casio – Can only get better year after year. And when gets to the PBA, he’s gonna be Gerald Esplana’s long lost son. Scoring, shooting and overall dominating, like a smaller Mark Jackson. I’ve nothing but respect for those two guards I just mentioned, so believe me when I compare someone to Esplana and Jackson, that’s almost as high a compliment as I can give.

Simon Atkins – Still too young too yet. Question mark here as well.

Rico Maierhofer – Needs to hit the weights and bulk up a little. One on one and on the break he’s really unguardable, the question is, has he developed any new skills since last year? Has he developed a reliable J? Can he shoot 8-12 footers now? Can he handle the rock better? He’s always been a force, but lets face it, only because of superior coaching, natural athletic ability and height. Other than that, he’s gotta learn more skills and play smarter.

JR Cawaling – Don’t know him.

Mac Bacarel – Ditto.

Marcy Arellano – Future superstar. Something like a Dondon Hontiveros or a young Kenneth Duremdes.

Elmer Espiritu – One of the most spectacular dunkers and intense players I’ve seen in a long time. Keeps his mouth shut but has a game face that says ‘I’m gonna dunk over you’, and actually will if you’re not careful. Scary what this kid can do.

Jervy Cruz – I had nothing but praises for Cruz last year, but I heard he struggled in succeeding seasons with other leagues. However, considering that my sources already had at least two bottles of beer Coke, I wouldn’t really know. Again, same with Maierhofer. He’s good, but has he developed?

Dylan Ababou – Shoots threes and jumpers. I don’t remember him to be a banger though. Reminds me a little of Rich Alvarez. God I hope not.

The UAAP 2008 – 2009 Men’s Basketball Season will be starting tomorrow, July 5, at the Araneta Coliseum with games between FEU vs. ADU (2pm) and UE vs. UST (4pm). Looking forward to another wild and crazy year.