When Are You Being Wise, When Are You Being A Jerk?

I’ll try to be succinct here, as given the emotions brought about by recent national events, it’s hard to concentrate on basketball. Nevertheless, a situation happened the other day which I feel I must, I MUST write about. Unfortunately it’s one of those situations which cause a hundred thoughts to run in your head, and that hostage drama didn’t help, so it took me awhile to get to it. Anyway, here is my attempt:

NU beat UP the other week, with the Bulldogs handing over to the Maroons their 10th consecutive loss to 0 wins in the UAAP. It was the previous game to the ADMU-DLSU 2nd round matchup but I watched with interest just the same, knowing how UP is bleeding for a win and besides it was getting interesting at the end.

With NU ahead by a point with 2 seconds remaining, NU’s Jewel Ponferada was shooting FTs. He scored the first and intentionally missed the second. Now here’s the amazing and sickening, despicable, horrible, stunning part: Coach Fernandez was instructing his players to intentionally cause successive lane violations in order to ‘force’ Ponferada to sink his 2nd freethrow, a ploy to neutralize the missed freethrows. After an unbelievable 5 intentional lane violations, and when it looked like UP would keep at it ad infinitum, the refs didn’t call the last violation. Ponferada missed, UP lost time on the inbound, NU won the game, Fernandez went ape-shit and to add to the hilarity and as if he didn’t embarrass himself enough, UP protested the game.

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Jude Turcuato Says Important Stuff

In my book, Solar Sports’ Jude “Kaboom” Turcuato is one of the better sports opinionators out there, and last week Quinito Henson, in his column, quoted the man re Solar’s recent acquisition of PBA’s rights.

Yes I know most of you, like myself, couldn’t care less about these network’s ratings and ensuing lawsuit wars, but ABS, GMA, RPN, Studio23, QTV, et al are pretty touchy about these things, with their lawyers on speed-dial should any info that puts them in a bad light come to, err, light. At any rate, Jude unleashes some gems. A sampling:

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Chris Bosh on The Tonight Show

Lots of players try their hand doing interviews and stuff, and while I’m impressed with Ron Artest’s sincerity (although he can work on his questions a bit), Chris Bosh is both funny and interesting, here:

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Why Charles Is The Best. Bar None.

Ernie Johnson explains how often the Lakers have met the Spurs in years 2004, 3, 2, 1 and ’99, and shows a Kobe graphic detailing his 14 – 11 Playoff Career against San Antonio. Then Charles Barkley erupts:

Charles Barkley: This is the best team he’s ever had though. Even counting Shaquille O’ Neal.
Chris Webber: Whaaaat?
CB: Really.
CW: Come on. (awkward pause.) Chuck…
CB: Hold on for a second. I think if they had him and Shaq, and the rest were role players. But this team with Gasol, and Odom, and Kobe I think those three are better than Kobe and Shaq.
CW: I’m walking out right now. Is it ok for me to walk out this set? I know I’m new to this job but I just.. can we just stop.. can I just walk off this set? (points at CB) This is one of the greatest basketball players that ever touched a basketball saying.. (talks to CB) Horry was on that team, same guy making big shots now. He was on that team in LA. Fisher was on that team.
CB: He’s on that team now.
CW: ..Shaq was a monster really dunkin’ and jumpin’!.. 5 Pau Gasols can’t mess with Shaq!
CB: I’m not saying that. I’m not saying..

(everyone goes nuts..)

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Quenito Henson: why do I hate (and admire) such a person

But I hate him more than I admire him. Upon the very first time I heard him do TV commentaries for the NBA Finals during the Michael Jordan era, it somehow caught my attention about how he, and his usual partner Andy Jao, is such a blabbermouth.

Don’t get me wrong, TV commentators are there to talk about the game but please, side-details should be done every once in awhile. There was this one time back in the Utah-Chicago Finals series, he and Mr. Jao were talking about stuff not related to the game that is happening. Sure, they can talk about having lunch with Karl Malone and his Pinay wife but let’s leave it to that, the “Did You Know?” parts. We don’t need any other details except you guys having such with the Malones. Besides, who cares about that? This is not show business, this is basketball.

Have you ever heard the names of Johnny Stockton, Timmy Duncan, and Stevie Kerr? Only one man (they are actually two) was able to name such players. And that is Mr. Henson (and Mr. Jao). They kept saying those names (except Duncan’s) back in the Jordan era. Oh yeah, don’t forget Scotty Burrell, that Red Bull import last year who was a part of the 96-97 Chicago Bulls championship squad. Enough of the wisecracks! Duncan, a dominant big man, all of a sudden became a puny idiot with that name. He doesn’t even sound like a basketball player and they are not musicians anyway as well.

And the exaggerations…how could I forget. I used to dislike Anthony Suntay’s exaggeration with regard to his color commentary during the New Jersey-Los Angeles finals in 2002 but I figured, it’s how he gets the viewers going. At least, he was able to drop it a notch because the more you do it, the more you get the viewers irritated. It is okay to get Americanized with how you speak on TV while the game is on but the talent of color commentary is au naturel. But Mr. Henson’s is way over the edge. Somebody give him a diazepam to calm him down.

On the flipside, if there’s one thing I admire about Mr. Henson, it is how he gets the facts straight and tells it to the viewers and readers (of his Phil. Star columns). He is persistent, makes sure he is able to squeeze every single drop of juicy stuff. That is the way how journalists should be. Such a talent and love for journalism is what I envy in the guy. Other than that is how much I like to shut his mouth when he talks in an exaggerated manner, trying to make the moment exciting as if it is such. I almost forgot, how he was screaming during the Morales-Pacquiao II match had one of my eyebrows raised in wonder. That is like the first time I heard a TV commentator scream while saying “He! Is! THE MAN!!!”. His voice, by the way, sounded like he’s gargling after waking up from a good night’s sleep.

Talent is what TV broadcasters have and I admire them for that, not being camera-shy or being jittery or not stuttering in the boob tube. The likes of Ed Picson and Sev Sarmenta (even though he always say “Tenorio says ‘I’ll take it to the hole this time’”, among others) are more deserving to cover the NBA Finals or any big event in the world of sports. They show class and the way they do their thing is classic. No exaggerations (except Sev’s style in some ways), just plain color commentary. These guys deserve some props and they should be in the forefront of all the commentators.

Mr. Henson, no offense meant, but you should take a cue from the two guys mentioned in the paragraph above.