Ginebra needs some spark to its game

brgy-ginebra_kings.gifIf the Tigers were the biggest surprise last conference, the Brgy. Ginebra Kings were the biggest disappointment. Bad luck hounded the team as star players Mark Caguioa and Eric Menk suffered various injuries and missed several games. Worse, all-star forward Rudy Hatfield decided not to renew his contract with the team. The result was disastrous.

The team failed to make it past the quarters. Trade rumors abound during the offseason. There were talks that Caguioa would be traded for Welcoat’s Joe Devance but nothing concrete has been made to substantiate this rumor. In my opinion, it would be catastrophic for the Gin Kings to trade its franchise player. Despite the injuries, there is no question who the heart and soul of Ginebra is. Nothing against Devance but Caguioa has already proven before that he can carry the team to the promised land.
Continue reading “Ginebra needs some spark to its game”

No way to go but up for the Tigers

coca-cola_tigers.gifThe Coca-Cola Tigers have been the biggest story last conference. Literally given up for dead prior to the acquisition of man mountain Asi Taulava they strung up one huge win after another but hit a roadblock in the Alaska Aces to fall out of the contention.

This time, they are leaving no stone unturned, collaring Nic Belasco from the cudgels of the Welcoat Dragons, and enlisting two explosive imports in Jason Dixon and Calvin Cage.
Continue reading “No way to go but up for the Tigers”

Aces ready to defend crown

alaska_aces.gifThe Alaska Aces were one game away from making it into the championship round and that is enough reason to feel optimistic about this team. Willie Miller who was nearly unstoppable in several stretches of the tournament, suddenly became ice cold (only 10 points) in the seventh and deciding game of their semis match up against the eventual champions Sta. Lucia Realtors but he will be back. Miller is too good and too talented to be destructed by this offensive meltdown.

The offseason brought Ateneo alums LA Tenorio and Larry Fonacier to the Aces’ fold. They are expected to bring fire and intensity to the team’s otherwise dull backcourt. The trade costs coach Tim Cone and the Aces no less than the team’s premier point guard Mike Cortez and promising big man Ken Bono but with Tenorio handling the break, the Aces are expected to run more and play a fast-paced ballgame. Fonacier gives the Aces a terrific perimeter shooter, a weapon the team never had since the days of Jojo Lastimosa and Roel Gomez.
Continue reading “Aces ready to defend crown”

Can the Express finally make some noise?

air21_express.gifSorry to disappoint you Air21 Express fans. The Express are not hiring resident import Shawn Daniels for this year’s edition of the Fiesta Cup. The team enlisted CBA veteran Steve Thomas, a 6’9″ 245-lb boardworker to be its reinforcement in the coming conference. According to reports, Thomas is a tough, physical specimen who makes a living inside the shaded lane – the kind of talent badly needed by the team whose frontline firepower boasts only of Ranidel de Ocampo, Homer Se (who was nearly released to Coca-Cola this offseason), rookie Doug Kramer, mid-season transferee Gabby Espinas, and the seemingly soft Ervin Sotto.
Continue reading “Can the Express finally make some noise?”

90 – All. Thoughts on PBA's DLSU – ADMU Rematch.

And so finally, the most recent DLSU – ADMU game came to pass this afternoon, ending in a database botching 90 – all tie. Of course, I will now explain why I call it ‘database botching’. See, if you were a programmer like myself, and you were to make a system for archiving basketball games, you would likely base the output of the ‘winner’ as the team that scores the most number of points in a game. That way, you do not have to encode this over and over again. You just enter the correct score, and the system will determine who the winner is. Other systems dependent on this will similarly be updated, such as league rankings, overall standings, and other stats dependent on a team winning the contest.

However, today’s game ended in a 90 – all tie, because, well, they probably rented the Araneta for only a little more than 48 minutes, the duration of a professional basketball game. Hence, no extensions. And so, if you made a system like that, it still ‘thinks’ the game isn’t over, because the score is tied, and will therefore not function properly.

Ok I know that’s lame, but hey, this is what I do for a living, so you can’t blame me for doing system analysis while watching a ball game. Anyway, that’s not all I thought about:

Continue reading “90 – All. Thoughts on PBA's DLSU – ADMU Rematch.”

Pippen and Malone as PBA imports? Don't make me laugh

Just last week I stumbled upon a news item in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Manila Bulletin indicating the Red Bull Barakos’ earnest desire to get NBA legend Karl Malone as its reinforcement in the coming 2008 PBA Fiesta Cup. Karl Malone? You really mean “The Mailman“? This isn’t a namesake, right? One of the greatest power forwards of all-time? The other half of the Jazz’s vaunted 1-2 punch beside the equally great John Stockton? You can’t be serious right?

Even though he’s already 44 years old (turning 45 this July), Malone can still hack it. Heck, even ex-Alaska import Dickey Simpkins who was once upon a time a meager reserve for the multi-titled Chicago Bulls team in the 90s, had a dominant performance during his stint here about several years ago, what more than the 6’9” Karl Malone. Malone’s age and injuries have kept him from playing but he’s still one of the smartest and strongest players around.
Continue reading “Pippen and Malone as PBA imports? Don't make me laugh”

Sta. Lucia v. Purefoods – The Deserving Team Won!

I admit I’m not the best person to review the Sta. Lucia Purefoods championship. That honor is reserved for John Dacanay my partner in crime. However, it’s still basketball, so I’ll give it a shot:

  • The series’ title might as well be ‘Young and Hungry vs. Talented and not – so hungry’: Yes Purefoods fans are gonna eat me alive for this, and yes, I agree Peter Jun Simon’s performance is far from ‘not-hungry’, but as a collective, Sta. Lucia appeared far more energetic and fluid than Purefoods which appeared staid and old – inspite of the fact that man for man, I’d give Purefoods the upper hand anytime of day.
  • James Yap is the Philippines’ best player (depending on Purefoods).: The man has a stroke like genius and is unstoppable when he gets going, but that doesn’t mean he’s also gonna win championships. This has been the case from his UE days till today. He is God’s gift to Philippine basketball in every sense, fantastically gifted, tall and good-looking to boot. He is the perfect salesman for whichever team he’s playing for. In signing him up, Purefoods not only gets a great talent, but also a model for their products. He is the complete package. But can he bring championships? For sure he’ll work himself to the bone trying, but definitely the challenge is on management and coaches to put him in a situation where he can best deliver wins. And that’s a tall order, almost as hard as finding gems like him. It’s a case of having a superstar but not maximizing his worth, a situation oft-repeated in highly competitive leagues.

Continue reading “Sta. Lucia v. Purefoods – The Deserving Team Won!”

Of Class, Character, and Why I don't Write About The PBA

When I was a kid joining neighborhood ligas, like most kids it was our first chance to extend our knowledge of people outside of our circle of friends and family and be amongst people of the neighborhood. At some point, I can’t remember when though, you start to realize that some of these people you’d rather do without.

Essentially what happened was, one summer we neighborhood kids wanted so much to play in a league that we started our own. We did most of the legwork (or rather, the bigger kids did), like hiring refs, renting the court dates and the most important of all – designing our uniforms. Yep, the uniforms were so important almost anything else was secondary to getting good looking uniforms.

At any rate and to make the long story short, the league took off and lots of other teams from different Barangays wanted to join in. Mandaluyong is basically segregated by the Munisipyo, that big oval in the center. We were at Plainview near an enormous plot of land housing the Mental Hospital, and teams all the way from across the Munisipyo wanted to join in. What started out as barely 4 teams ballooned to something like 9 if I recall correctly.

So anyway the league – which didn’t even have a name yet and if it did I can’t even remember it since it changed so often – finished up and my team ended up somewhere in the 3rd to the bottom rung. But it was well attended and fun, and it was decided that another one start on October to end around Christmas. It was out of ‘our’ (the original kids who set it up) hands then, a number of people joined up after and were making decisions already.

And these are the people I want to talk about, the same type of people I think inhabit the offices of the PBA today.

Continue reading “Of Class, Character, and Why I don't Write About The PBA”