January 12, 2010 by  

A new decade sees the San Miguel Beermen asserting its full might and the Alaska Aces losing a bit of steam.  Here is how the rest of the teams stack up as the eliminations nears its end:








Team Rank Previous  
San Miguel (12-3) 1 2 Only 1 loss since Oct. 2009.  That s 3 major national holidays that have passed if you’re counting.  Has grabbed the 1st semis slot. Looks like you can have too many point guards. Coach Siot Tanquincen seems to have the right combination for its lineup.  Where does that leave Dynamite Danny though?
Alaska (11-3) 2 1 Could they have peaked too early?  After dominating most of the eliminations, have lost 2 straight.  Either they are burning out our teams have finally found their weak spots. 2nd semis slot is theirs to lose.
Ginebra (11-6) 3 3 Baby Rocket rising (17 ppg in last 3 games, all wins) makes up for injured MC 47 and Jayjay.  Still surviving despite having the league’s oldest player (Johnny A) and an untested rookie (Kevin White) as its point guard rotation (Celino Cruz just got back from injury).  MC 47 sighting in their last game (an encouraging 8 points in just 9 mins.)
Purefoods (10-6) 4 6 Finally showing some stability after an inconsistent start.  Stalwarts Kerby Raymundo and James Yap (22 ppg and 23 ppg the last 2 weeks) seems to have finally elevated their game. 
Talk N Text (10-7) 5 5 A 2 point loss to Barako Bull?  After dramatically sinking a game tying 3 pointer, Jimmy Alapag passes up an open 3 and instead throws a risky pass to Harvey Carey (who previously missed a wide open shot off a great pass from the Mighty Mouse) and the Tropang Texters lose the game, its 2nd straight.  Mark Cardona is only averaging 7.5 ppg in those losses.
Sta. Lucia (9-6) 6 4 Despite a better record than Talk N Text and 2 straight wins, the Realtors are still the lowest ranking team among all teams with a winning record.  Why?  Against teams with losing records (Coke, Burger King, Barako Bull, and Rain or Shine) they are 7-0.  Against teams with winning records (San Miguel, Alaska, Ginebra, Alaska), they are 2-6.  Kelly  Williams is staling a beast for fantasy owners.
Burger King (5-11) 7 7 7th by virtue of having the best record among teams with losing records.  Trade for Alex Cabagnot and Wesley Gonzales brings balance to guard rotation and their PG of the future.  Their first game in uniform saw the 2 tops score for the team (losing to Sta. Lucia).  Now maybe Ronjay Buenafe will bloom without looking over his shoulder for Gary David.
Rain or Shine (4-12) 8 9 What is there to say that hasn’t been said before.  Underachieving team continues to under achieve. Gabe Norwood and Sol Mercado needs to take it up a notch and Jay-R Reyes needs to come out of his season long stupor for the Elasto painters to even have a fighting chance in the next round.  Ryan Arana seems to be the only one who has taken his game to the next level.
Coca Cola (3-12) 9 10 Trade for Gary David and Chico Lanete gives them a needed scorer/go-to-guy and one of the better backup PG’s in the league.  Now maybe Chris Ross can fulfill some of his promise as the no.2 pick (undrafted Josh Urbiztondo is the best PG in this year’s freshmen class so far).  One wonders though if the move was too late as they are barely holding off Barako Bull as the league’s doormat.
Barako Bull (3-13) 10 10 Fell back to reality with 11 straight loses after a surprising 2-2 start.  Looked like the goner for this conference, then upsets Talk N Text.  It will be a 3 horse race with Rain or Shine and Coke on who will be eliminated first.  You still have to commend the rag-tag lineup for a respectable showing.






Trade: A sign of things to come?


The recent Coca Cola/Burger King trade can be considered remarkable because of 2 things: One, it is a multi-player trade that actually works well for both the Tigers (who will have a scorer on the wings to compliment its Jurassic frontline and a more than capable backup PG) and the Whoppers (who get their PG of the future and a tall swingman who will also add to their fan base).  Two, Burger King is not giving up its best player to Talk N Text or San Miguel.  But longtime PBA hottie Patricia Hizon reports that this may just be the tip of the iceberg:


From http://www.thesportscaster.blogspot.com/:


There are more big deals coming up as teams try to beat the deadline by the end of the eliminations. There are talks of trading one of the most popular PBA stars, a wingman who had just recovered from injury, and an energy guy who’s been all hustle for his squad. An athletic forward and a center/power forward who shoots well could be traded too. One of the guys who just got moved might not stay for too long. Teams are shaking things up, and I’m excited! Follow me on twitter (www.twitter.com/patriciahizon) for updates.


Among names being speculated on the move are Danny Seigle, Jay-R Reyes, Gabby Espinas, Bitoy Omolon, Jay Washington, and even Kelly Williams.  While these may or may not come to fruition, teams are clearly trying to improve themselves to compete against San Miguel and Alaska.  My bet is that the middle of the pack teams are the ones eyeing the deals to help them compete to the All-Filipino championship and the lower-tier teams trying to make moves to help et them out of the rut.  Looks like the preseason fireworks ain’t over.



PBDL Anyone?


The recent news that the Philippine Basketball League and Liga Pilipinas might merge is encouraging in a sense that, if done right, it helps growth Philippine basketball, especially grassroots development.  The PBL has long been the proponent of developing young talent, especially from the collegiate ranks as well as the pit stop for aspiring Fil-Ams wanting to make it to the pros.  Liga Pilipinas on the other hand, was formed to develop future stars from the provinces and far flung areas where there is little exposure.  The combination of both will surely be encouraging for those wanting a chance to be able make it professionally.  What they will need it both corporate and media support.  This are some of the factors that made the Metropolitan Basketball Association initially successful and paved the way for Dondon Hontiveros, Jayjay Helterbrand, Reynel Hugnatan, John Feriols, Rob Wainwright, Dorian Pena, and PJ Simon (although he bloomed in the PBL).   Here’s hoping that they can eventually be the development league for our pro league (and even the national team).  In the meantime that job belongs to Burger King and Barako Bull.



Transition points:  Proof that sometimes life is not fair:  Allan Iverson, who actually retired and unretired this year, and Tracy Mcgrady, all 6 games and 3.2 ppg of him, are actually among the leaders of this year’s balloting for starters for next month’s all-star game.  Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Joe Johnson, and Ray Allen must be really pissed by now…..Even though Floyd Mayweather is now KFC, Kenny Roger’s and Polo Loco’s newest unofficial endorser, he actually may have some logic to what he’s doing.  By avoiding the Pacman on March, he is not only steering clear of the Manny momentum,  he can potentially face a more physically drained (after Manny’s fight with Clotey) and mentally drained (May elections, remaining Show Me the Manny episodes, Wapakman 2, more hit albums, more rumored affairs, and God knows whatever other racket Manny has) Pacquiao later this year.  Still, avoiding the probably biggest fight in history and a $40 million payday speaks volumes…..With Soundgarden reforming this year, Rage Against the Machine and Stone Temple Pilots reforming last year, and Pearl Jam still rocking after all these years, it seems that the 90’s are making a comeback.  Bring out the flannel shirts and Doc Marten’s!!!!  Take that Emo!!!

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