Red Bull loses Alvarez to injury; Purefoods eyeing Cablay

fp011106_b.gifRed Bull’s Rich Alvarez will be out for the whole of the Philippine Cup after suffering an ACL injury in a team scrimmage last Wednesday. The 6’4″ Alvarez is scheduled to be operated anytime this week.

“Malas talaga,” said Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao. “Marami na nga ang nawala sa amin, tapos dumagdag pa yung injury ni Rich.”

“Now, we’re the underdogs. Pero dyan naman tayo mas nasusubukan eh. Kapag underdog tayo, lalo tayong tumatapang,” he added.

The loss of Alvarez would be a big blow to the Barakos’ campaign this coming conference. The team have already lost Alvarez’s ex-Ateneo teammates Enrico Villanueva and Larry Fonacier to San Miguel in a trade earlier. Expected to fill the gap for Alvarez is ex-San Sebastian standout Leo Najorda and veteran Don Camaso, although a trade for a combo forward could also not be discounted.
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Official 2007 PBA Draft Results

How did I do? Well, I got 4 out of the 10 picks in the first round correct! (However, I got nothing in the second round). The first deviation of the draft was when San Miguel elected to go with the 6-8 Samigue Eman instead of the exciting Fil-am guard Ryan Reyes at number 2. The Beermen needed size in the middle since center Dorian Pena wouldn’t be able to see action in 6 months and they may have felt that Eman was the best available frontliner after Devance. Is Eman ready to play significant minutes for the Beermen? Well, he better be.
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SC orders disbarment of PBA commissioner + A Few Thoughts

I am reprinting in full the article re Noli Eala’s disbarment, along with an opinion at the bottom.

SC orders disbarment of PBA commissioner – By Mike Frialde
Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Supreme Court yesterday ordered the disbarment of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner and sportscaster Emmanuel “Noli” Eala for gross immorality after he was found to have carried an adulterous relationship with a married woman.

In an 18-page per curiam decision, the Court annulled and set aside Resolution XVII-2006-06 passed on Jan. 28, 2006 by the Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) dismissing the disbarment case against Eala for lack of merit, and instead disbarred him for gross immoral conduct, violation of his oath of office, and in violation of Canons 1 and 7 of Rule 1.01 (A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct) of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

The Court found out that Eala, a married man, carried an extra-marital affair with Irene Moje, a married woman, prior to the judicial declaration that her marriage was null and void.
He “showed disrespect for an institution held sacred by the law” and “betrayed his unfitness to be a lawyer,” reads part of the decision.

In ordering Eala’s disbarment, the Court acted on the petition filed by Joselano Guevarra on March 4, 2002 before the IBP Committee on Bar Discipline against the PBA commissioner for “grossly immoral conduct and unmitigated violation of the lawyer’s oath.”

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Fonacier close to becoming a Beerman

Larry FonacierSan Miguel Beer is deadset on adding Red Bull guard Larry Fonacier to its already formidable roster. According to Nelson Beltran of the Philippine Star, a deal is reportedly close to being consummated that would bring the crack ex-Blue Eagle guard to the Beermen’s camp on or before draft day. In the proposed deal, the Beermen will reportedly dangle Kiko Adriano, Brandon Lee Cablay, and Chris Calaguio to Red Bull in exchange for Fonacier.

Larry Fonacier’s addition will reunite him with ex-Ateneo teammates Enrico Villanueva, Wesley Gonzales, and LA Tenorio. Another Ateneo stalwart who has caught the Beermen’s eyes is the high-flying JC “The Rocket” Intal. San Miguel owns the rights to the second overall pick in the pick. Welcoat, who owns the draft’s first overall pick, will reportedly use their pick on 6-10 Samigue Eman, making Intal available for the Beermen.

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PBA increases cap, import salary, roster size

For next season, the PBA approved the use of a 14-man lineup to all 10 participating teams. The move is similar to the one made by the NBA last season wherein each team can have as many as 15 players on its roster (extending throughout the playoffs). This will basically scrap the practice of placing players on the injury list. Previously, teams were allowed to have a maximum of 2 players on the injured list. The glitch was that the salaries of these players do not count against the cap, making it very difficult to determine if a team has exceeded the league mandated salary cap. The PBA salary cap is a hard cap, which means teams are disallowed to exceed the cap no matter what reason, even if that reason is to re-sign one’s own free agents.

The great thing about this scenario is that teams can accommodate more players on their roster. With the coming PBA draft and the looming free agency, a lot of players will be displaced. An additional twenty players to the active roster will be a welcome sight to players who are on the bubble (borderline prospects). Scrapping the “injury list” thing also means teams can now directly activate injured players without having to wait for 5 playing games before allowing the player(s) to suit up, making it more flexible for teams to exercise their options.

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Return of the Giants!

act_earl_barron.jpgYou still remember former Red Bull import 7-0 Earl Barron? How about 6-9 Anthony “Pig” Miller of FedEx? Does the name of former Purefoods reinforcement 7-1 Lorenzo Coleman ring a bell to you? Well, they all saw action in the 2004-05 season which was the last time the league scrapped the height restriction for imports. Chances are, you may see some of them sometime next year. Nelson Beltran of the Philippine Star reports that the PBA Board of Governors has approved the scrapping of the height restrictions for imports in the 2007-08 Fiesta Cup. The Board also approved the provision of a handicapping scheme to the two last-placed teams in the Philippine Cup to even out the competition, wherein both teams will be allowed to get two reinforcements, with one standing below 6’1″. The rest of the teams are allowed to get only one import with no height restriction.

The handicapping scheme allows a team like Welcoat, who may be in for another rough stint in the pros this season, to recall back Alex Compton. The 5-11 Compton played last conference for Welcoat as the team’s second import after the league granted Welcoat a concession to field full-blooded American. Alas, despite his immense constribution to the team in the Fiesta Cup, the Dragons could only muster 4 wins en route to a 10th place finish. He could have another chance this season, but only if Welcoat does not fare well in the Philippine Cup.

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Ken Bono, JR Quinahan and Samigue Eman headline list of aspirants for this year's PBA Draft

A total of 47 PBA aspirants have filed their applications for this year’s PBA Rookie Draft set on August 19 at Market Market in Taguig. This year’s draft is touted to be the deepest in years that could rival the 2003 Draft and the 1989 Draft.

UAAP MVP Ken Bono, Baby Shaq JR Quinahan and 6-10 Samigue Eman led all big men in the draft, that also include Fil-Am Joe Devance, ex-Ateneo stars JC Intal, Macky Escalona, and Doug Kramer, San Beda’s Yousif Aljamal, UP’s Marvin Cruz, De LaSalle’s Ryan Araña, Reed Juntilla, Fil-Am Ryan Reyes and ex-UST star Jojo Duncil. Because of the incredible depth of this year’s draft, the league is thinking of expanding the rounds from the usual two-round draft the past two years to possibly three.

Devance, however, is not yet officially in the draft as he has yet to submit his confirmation papers from the Department of Justice. If he makes it, he will bring another quality big man in the draft pool.

The Welcoat Dragons will pick first after winning the draft lottery over the Coca Cola Tigers. The Coke pick however, has been seeded to San Miguel Beer to complete the trade several years ago (Dale Singson trade if you can remember). This early, Welcoat is eyeing University of Mindanao giant Samigue Eman to be the team’s first pick overall. San Miguel is reportedly interested with JC Intal to complete their Ateneo Blue Eagles connection.

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Aces bring home the bacon!

When the Alaska Aces made a deal for Willie Miller May of last year, the coaching staff and management had high expectations for the Olongapo City native. With Miller they figured they have a chance to relive their glory days in the 90s.

Willie Miller, the 2007 PBA MVP, made the Talk N Text Phonepals regret why they traded him. He fell a point shy (22 points) of his finals average but delivered the goods when it mattered most for the Aces as he led Alaska to a 99-96 steering triumph over the Phonepals in game 7 of 2006-07 PBA Fiesta Cup.

Miller made a crucial basket, forced Macmac Cardona into a turnover, and set up Rossel Ellis for a twinner as the Aces surged to a four-point lead 98-94 with time down to 44.5 seconds, a cushion which they would protect until the final buzzer. The Phonepals had a chance to bring the game into overtime but a JJ Sullinger heave from the left flank just bounced off the rim. It was the Aces’ 12th title since 1986. They’re the 3rd winningest franchise in history and will tie with Crispa for second if they win another title in the future. The Phonepals is now 0-3 on Game 7s.

Macmac Cardona started like a house on fire, scoring 21 of his 29 points in the first half as the Phonepals built an eight-point advantage 53-45 going into the second half. They, however, wouldn’t be able to sustain their fiery run as the Aces slowly cut down on their lead and built momentum of their own led by Fiesta Cup Best Import Rossel Ellis. Ellis was a virtual workhorse inside the paint as he led the Aces comeback in the second half. He fell one assist shy of a triple double (30 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists), and made a strong case that he deserved the Best Import award. After Alaska turned things around in the fourth quarter, JJ Sullinger almost singlehandedly carried back the Phonepals into the game scoring a three-point basket after a three-point basket but that last heave (a miss) at the buzzer spelled the Phonepals’ doom. It was a sorry loss for the Phonepals who had two chances to bag the Fiesta Cup crown but couldn’t put away the stubborn Aces.

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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!

Finally, a legit big man for Purefoods!

may312007_rommel_adducul1.jpgJust barely two days after being shipped to Red Bull, Rommel Adducul finds himself in the land of the Giants. Nelson Beltran of the Philippine Star reports that Red Bull and Purefoods have already reached an agreement to swap the Cagayan-native with seldom-used forward Don Camaso. Red Bull acquired Adducul earlier from San Miguel in a direct trade that netted the Beermen up and coming superstar Enrico Villanueva. Adducul’s entry into the Purefoods lineup finally gives the Giants a legitimate big man it long covets. He will give the Giants the interior presence they desperately need. He is, I think, the perfect complement to Kerby’s game because he plays back-to-the-basket (in contrast to Kerby who prefers the face-up game), does not demand the ball in the low post, and plays within the team system.

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