RP Team Is Number One.And Why I Don't Believe in 'The Road To Respect'

So we finally win one against China. I watched it last night, and I’m sure that I, along with tens of thousands of my basketball loving kin are ecstatic with joy over this wonderful development, and no doubt there is ‘much love in the room’, so to speak. China is an established powerhouse, and even their team B is a force to reckon with. That, and aside from the fact that it was a make or break game for us is reason enough to enjoy this win.

Yet I can’t help being the proverbial kill – joy when I read the different accounts of this spectacular win. In particular, the esteemed Ronnie Nathanielsz’ ‘RP basketball’s quest for respect and redemption‘ at the Manila Standard, and Coach Chot Reyes quote of ‘It’s a matter of honor and respect for the Philippines..‘ in Nelson Beltran’s article in the Philippine Star.

For some odd reason, I cannot seem to align the idea that winning basketball games in the region or even gaining an Olympic slot has anything to do with my being a Filipino, or the least of which, my pride in being one.

In fact, I will venture to say one thing that has been burning in my mind for so many years, everytime I hear the words ‘redemption’, ‘respect’, ‘basketball’ and ‘Filipino’. And it is that it has never occurred to me that we need to gain respect. This is purely because, to me at least, I never lost it.

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What are these guys so happy about?

nike believe tshirts

Well obviously, there’s the pretty good performance of the RP Team, and the rosy outlook as they go over to Japan at the end of this week. Oh, and they’re also wearing NIKE LIMITED EDITION ‘BELIEVER’ TSHIRTS – and that’s a pretty good reason to be ecstatic right there.

These limited edition shirts, available for P895 at Nike Retail outlets nationwide. And if the shirts aren’t your thing, there are also replica Team Pilipinas Jackets at P1,995, as well as replica Team Pilipinas Jerseys and Shorts at P1,545 each. Nike’s Press Release is as follows:

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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”

RP team: Who makes the final cut?

The Philippines finished the Jones Cup with a 5-4 win-loss slate and a third place finish. Hardly an accomplishment considering that nine years ago, the RP Centennial team brought home the bacon. The team still has a lot of work to do but you gotta like the progress they made over the last few weeks. They’re still in the running for an Olympic slot but they will face strong competition from Korea, Lebanon, Iran and Jordan. Judging over their Jones Cup performance, the problem with the team is their inability to defend on the post, and inability to get the rebounds. We need more athletic big men on the team (or emphasis on “gang rebounding”) to be able to accomplish our goals. We didn’t have problems with shooting, scoring, and perimeter defense since our guards have shown that they’re up to task, and have displayed remarkable ability to blow by people. So who makes the cut and who does not? Below is my own personal evaluation on who makes the final 12.

Asi Taulava – If not for Asi, we’re probably dead meat. Asi’s boardwork, post defense and intangibles is giving us hope that we can play up to par against the bigs from Jordan, Iran, Lebanon and China. Asi is terribly outmatched in terms of size and athletic ability against Asia’s top big men but he is trying his darnest best to level the competition.

Kelly Williams – He impressed a great deal of observers with his sterling play in the Jones Cup. He gives the team an athletic flavor at the 3 spot. Rebounding and defense is what he brings to the table. Needs to improve perimeter shooting.

Dondon Hontiveros – he’s blamed for RP’s two harrowing losses in the recent Jones Cup but make no mistake about it, this guy can play on both ends of the court. What the coaching staff likes about him is that he can only not score, but also plays hard on the defensive end and can bring the ball down.

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RP Bows to Kazakhstan, Reyes 'Saw it coming',Danny S 'Satisfied' Final Tally 5-4.

Terrific three point shooting plus inside execution by the Khazaks did the RP team in, with RP Coach Chot Reyes saying he felt this would happen after RP’s game against Qatar the day previous. Although RP won that game, Coach Reyes felt that since the team’s losing an 18 point lead around the 2nd half foretold of worse things to come.

I saw it coming, from the second half of yesterday’s game … I saw this coming. It was very disappointing,” he said. “I tried to remedy it by having practice this morning, but they had mentally checked out of this tournament.” Here’s a video of proceedings in the 3rd quarter:

Continue reading “RP Bows to Kazakhstan, Reyes 'Saw it coming',Danny S 'Satisfied' Final Tally 5-4.”

RP loses final game to Kazakhs, settles for 3rd

Kazakhstan continued its dominance of the RP team, routing the nationals 107-90 in the 29th William Jones Cup men’s basketball tournament in Taipei. The Kazakhs are now 4-0 against the Philippines dating back to the Busan Asian games. The RP team finished the tournament 5-4 W-L tied with 4 others: US (Athletes In Action), Iran, Korea and Chinese Taipei (host) but grabbed 3rd place by virtue of a superior quotient and having beaten all four teams. Jordan (7-2) and Lebanon (6-3) wound up, 1st and 2nd, respectively.

The RP team’s sluggish performance so infuriated head coach Chot Reyes that he went straight to the team bus instead of the usual post-game huddle with his players, after the game.

“I saw it coming since the second half of yesterday’s game against Qatar. I tried to remedy the situation by practicing early this morning,” said Reyes. “Kazakhstan is a good team. We’ve had a bad record against them. I don’t mind losing to them but not this way. This is unacceptable,” he added, obviously disgusted with the team’s lack of effort on the floor.

“They (the nationals) are confined to the barracks tonight. Nobody visits them. Lights out at 10.”

The team allowed the Kazakhs to score 16 of 44 from behind the arc. The RP team’s gunners, on the other hand, couldn’t keep pace, turning cold (shooting a dismal 9 of 36 or a 20% success rate).

The game was actually nip and tuck at the beginning, with the nationals holding a slim 22-21 advantage at the end of the first quarter. James Yap, who went 1-of-2 from the three-point area, suffered a sprained left ankle after a bad fall with 5:01 left in the second quarter. Yap, who was celebrating his wedding anniversary with TV personality Kris Aquino, was carried out of the court by Asi Taulava. The nationals stretched their lead to six, 40-34, 3:59 left in the 2nd but a 12-2 blast by the Kazakhs put them on the driver seat 46-42. Jay-jay Helterbrand closed out the half by hitting one of two free throws, 43-46.

It was a see-saw affair until the end of 3rd with the Kazakhs only holding a four-point edge at the end of third 76-72 but a 12-2 bomb at the start of the final quarter by the Kazakhs put the game away 88-74. The nationals did not recover after that.

KAZAKHSTAN 107 – Y. Rustam 28, P. Anton 23, T. Alexandr 12, Y. Issakov 11, Y. Mikhail 10, S. Andrey 10, K.Dimitriy 7, B. Yegor 6, N.Ivan 0, S. Artyom 0, M.Voyeikov 0, G. Dimiriy 0.
PHILIPPINES 90 – Caguioa 24, Alapag 21,Hontiveros 14,Williams 13, Helterbrand 5, Taulava 3, Yap 3, Ritualo 3, Menk 2, Raymundo 2, de Ocampo 0, Pennisi 0.
Quarterscores: 21-22, 46-43,76-72,107-90

Win over Qatar 'Unacceptable'. RP now 5-3.

TeamPilipinas’ win over the taller and more athletic Qatar would have been sweet if it were not for the fact that at one point in the second quarter, Team RP had a 21 point lead, only to blow it all and lead by just 8 in the end, 88-80.

Coach Chot Reyes was so infuriated over his team’s early celebration and consequent lapses that he was slapped two technical fouls and ejected from the game with 30 seconds left, 62-49. Calling the loss of focus ‘unacceptable’, he lambasted his players ‘to wake them up’. “It was more of wanting to wake up my players“, Reyes said. “Nakita ko na sa body movements nila while warming up at the break na nawala na ang focus, to allow Qatar to outscore us 14-2 at the start of the third is unforgivable.

Qatar however, although coming close several times failed to complete their comebacks due to bad execution and over – complaining to the referees. Here’s the last minutes of the 4th:

Scores and Quarterscores after the jump:

Continue reading “Win over Qatar 'Unacceptable'. RP now 5-3.”

Win Against Chinese Taipei makes it 4-3

Yet another terrific win came TeamPilipinas’ way last night, this time by a more comfortable margin, ending the contest at 82-64. The RP team led by 20 points twice over the host team, with an evidently large Filipino local contingent helping every step of the way by providing much needed noise to counter Taiwan’s home advantage.

Unfortunately, local viewing of the game was cut off to make way for F1 coverage. Here are the last few minutes of the 4th quarter (again from the excellent xeonfire07), just after Taiwan’s Lin CC’s 3 successive 3 point shots chomped down the lead to just 11 points.

Individual and by quarter scores after the jump:

Continue reading “Win Against Chinese Taipei makes it 4-3”

Win vs. Iran makes it 3 – 3

Yup, our RP team won again last night against a favored Iranian team, an important victory that helps gauge our readiness for *gasp* the Olympics. And I put *gasp* because, sure it might make me seem like a traitor or something, but it still shakes me a little when I put the words RP Team and Olympics in one sentence. But here’s the scoring by quarters from last night, serving as proof positive (to the dwindling doubters like myself) that it can happen:

Phi 19 32 17 21 Final: 89
Irn 24 22 16 17 Final: 79

and here’s the vid from the last few minutes of the 4th:

Continue reading “Win vs. Iran makes it 3 – 3”

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!