Power Rankings: The MVP Race Leaders… and the leader to shock you!

May 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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Greetings and salutations!

Two conferences finished and one last conference to complete it all. With the Governors Cup rearing its head, let’s check out the names that could win the MVP award.

This may shock you, but San Mig Super Coffee is by far the best team in the season so far. A key stat for a MVP winner is the Games Played statistic. The Mixers have already played 51 games and won 29 of these fights and this is almost five times more than what the GlobalPort Batang Pier has at the moment.

With the exception of the 1989 San Miguel grand slam year where Benjie Paras was judged as the first and only Rookie MVP of the league, almost all grand slam teams have their lead stars in the thick of the MVP race. Of course, Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference Junmar Fajardo and Commissioner’s Cup BPC Jayson Castro are on top of things as well, but who do you think are or should are the top players leading to the ballot?

Game starts now!

10 – PAUL LEE / RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO PAINTERS

I chose nine statistically correct names and he is my personal choice to make the Mythical selection. Playing for a coach that blasts individual yearning for team play (ROS has a 60 percent win percentage this season), The Lethal Weapon is the only Rain or Shine at this time to qualify for even a Mythical Team distinction… unless they strike a path to the Governors Cup finals. No stranger to the top of this conference, they can get that chance with Arizona Reid in tow and the continued consistency of this Red Warrior alum.

9 – ASI TAULAVA / AIR21 EXPRESS

As a young man, Asi Taulava will break down all defenses with his superior strength and skills. At 41, he’s still at it. Despite a slight deterioration in speed and recklessness (as well as the loss of his initially popular blonde hairstyle), Taulava managed to capture the hearts and minds of people as the sentimental favorite to win the Commissioner’s Cup BPC. If Air21 pulls another semifinal finish and The Rock manages to lay waste on his foes anew. I can even see a First team citation in his grasps.

8 – GREG SLAUGHTER / BARANGAY GINEBRA KINGS

Without question, Gregzilla gets the nod for Rookie of the Year. Even if his Commissioner’s Cup stint isn’t as strong as his Philippine Cup work, his stat lines are that impressive to warrant jealousy from the rest of his batch. The question right now though, is what else can this Atenean claim when the Leo Awards hit? The last time Ginebra had a double-double frontliner, Eric Menk was still lording the middle. Menk had a MVP when he played for the Kings. Can Slaughter duplicate?

7 – JAPETH AGUILAR / BARANGAY GINEBRA KINGS

It’s a tale of two conferences for this 6’9 pogo stick. Japeth went neck to neck with Junmar Fajardo for the Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference award but the moment Juno Sauler and the troika of imports appeared Aguilar suffered decreased attention and touches which immediately led to derailed momentum. Here’s hoping that the Governors Cup will be a better conference for the former Western Kentucky standout.

6 – PETER JUNE SIMON / SAN MIG COFFEE MIXERS

Sold mainly as just a scorer, it will be hard for the Scoring Apostle to claim a MVP award at any point of his career… unless he’s with a team in the hunt for a grand slam. More than the MVP award, the most consistent scoring Mixer has yet to win a Mythical spot… and this season is the best time to fill in the holes. If the Mixers connect with even a semifinal finish, it’s highly probable that finally, Simon will be rewarded with at least a Second Team spot.

5 – ARWIND SANTOS / SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN

He is the reigning Most Valuable Player but for some time now, he hasn’t looked like such. Even in the 2013 PBA Governors Cup, Santos played second fiddle for Junmar Fajardo which was also the case this entire season. While yeah, Fajardo was gone for five games but it wasn’t like Arwind did enough to stat whore like he used to. I mean, Santos still has awesome averages but if you remember when he was averaging 18 points, 12 rebounds, an assist, a steal, and a block… the output he’s putting now fails in comparison. With the way things are looking now, the anticipation for a title defense is bleak.

4 – MARC PINGRIS / SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE MIXERS

One thing about Sakuragi is that he is the sentimental favorite to win the MVP award. He may not have the numbers or the BPC citations but if there’s one guy who epitomizes the word “heart” in everything that he does, it’s this guy. This is what Mark Barroca doesn’t have (or will have) at the moment. Also, the Governors Cup is the conference tailor made for those big men whose minutes were trampled by the 6’9 reinforcements. In the previous Governors Cup, Ping had an emphatic stride with awesome digits on the major stats. If Pingris rises, then he will be a threat for the MVP award.

3 – JUNMAR FAJARDO / SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN

People may forget that Junmar Fajardo is playing in just his second year so let me just shout this factoid out. With that said, Fajardo has been a dominating piece of everything and a whole lot more for the San Miguel Beermen. The Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference was on the verge of annexing a second straight BPC plum but that was until Air21 nailed an upset on his squad. But Fajardo has been dominating like hell for the Beermen and this will serve as leverage in case people suddenly think The Kraken is MVP material despite the continuous winning woes of his mother ballclub.

2 – JAYSON CASTRO / TALK N TEXT TROPANG TEXTERS

With the Commissioner’s Cup Best Player of the Conference Award strapped to his belt, The Blur has an outside chance to finally win the MVP award that slipped off his fingers because of what Arwind Santos did last season. Using the Benjie Paras theory, an outside party can win a perceived grand slam run especially if that player went to the finals twice. So this means aside from staying healthy, Castro must hope Othyus Jeffers is the right import for the Tropang Texters so he can salvage a title this season and at the same time, win the elusive MVP award.

1 – MARK BARROCA / SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE MIXERS

Of all the Mixers in this list, The Coffee Prince is the only one to play all of their 51 games. That says a lot considering that of all the Smart-Gilas stars in the PBA right now, no one saw him in this level of excellence. Plus, this also means he has an advantage to weather the odds because he has a 17-game lead over Castro and a 24-game edge ahead of Fajardo. Barroca is a darkhorse to win the MVP even without BPC plums because as long as the Mixers are piling up wins, the more he can pad on his stats. It’s also awesome that Tim Cone is molding the former FEU standout to another FEU standout that he once coached and is now working the sidelines with him as chief deputy. Johnny Abarrientos won a MVP crown on the grand slam year of Alaska under Cone’s guidance. Will history repeat itself?

I just finished this in time for the Governors Cup. Again, San Mig Coffee has dibs on every major award in the season following their dominance. There is still hope if we bunch the efforts of Talk N Text, Rain or Shine, San Miguel, and Ginebra but they need to do one helluva grand slam cockblock to even get the nod from the voters.

Do you agree with my list?

If so, then lay down the law at the comments section.

Game over!

No Jet! It’s a trap!

May 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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Of all the places to debut as a head coach, Jeffrey “The Jet” Cariaso had to choose Ginebra – a team who after a solid Philippine Cup was left in chaos because of underachieving locals and seriously douchy imports.

And he had to bring Olsen Racela with him.

While Racela’s demotion from head coach to second-tier deputy was a nasty bump to his progress, he had a better time with Tim Cone than whatever crap he was doing with Petron. But now he’ll return to chaos again. Ginebra and San Miguel may be two different teams but they have the same shitty treatment headlined by their false use of band-aid solutions.

If you check out the four remaining teams in the Commissioner’s Cup, you’ll find out that their existence doesn’t revolve around a super strong import. Talk N Text had a game and a half of hell when Richard Howell suffered from an injury but their elimination record remained unscratched because Norman Black had a team that properly executed his game plan. The same thing can be said with Rain or Shine because even if Wayne Chism lacks the import oomph better displayed by the likes of Joshua Dollard, Evan Brock, and even Herve Lamizana, Yeng Guiao devises ways to make this team survive every test. Of course, what more can we say with regards to the coaching mastery of Tim Cone. And yes, give Franz Pumaren players that can perfectly execute his plays (make your team intact!!!) and combine that to their newfound never say die system… they are going to go places.

Coaching. This is what these teams have and what Ginebra lacks. This is why Ginebra shouldn’t have gone with Cariaso in the first place. It was dumb for the Gins to place Ato Agustin in puppet status because even if he struggled in the Philippine Cup playoffs, he was still able to give them a winning season. He was able to transform Japeth Aguilar into an unstoppable force and he was able to recognize the importance of Emman Monfort (remember him) especially when the moment calls for a game changer. The same thing can be said with Alfrancis Chua. While that fiery coach’s tenacity never left, he also recognizes the fact that for as long as Ginebra doesn’t give the coach the right tools to propagate self-respect and value, then he did well by just claiming team manager status for the squad.

That sorry sight where Agustin, Chua, and active assistant coach Juno Sauler sat as the Talk N Text Tropang Texters laid waste on their conference is both sucky and expected. What? Did you expect Agustin to all of a sudden guide Ginebra to victory after the embarrassing situation the management put him into? And even if Agustin has the balls to do what he needs to do, will the “flavor of the conference” Sauler agree with his intrusion?

Again, I don’t really know why Cariaso and Racela would even depart from a “management” coaching sanctuary like the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers to the disorderly situation of Ginebra. Maybe Cariaso will be the “outside looking in” guy that will mold the Kings in any way he pleases regardless of erstwhile team rank, achievements, and ego. When Tim Cone first came to B-Meg, he was an outsider that came in at the time when James Yap was the scoring leader, Kerby Raymundo was the second best player, Roger Yap was the key playmaker, and Marc Pingris and Peter June Simon were nothing more than the team’s additional hits in case Yap and Raymundo struggle with their offense. Now you can see that Simon and Pingris are the team’s key finds and Yap is on the verge of averaging single digits in a conference for the first time since his debut in 2004. Cone has worked with Cariaso when the latter was a player and a coach so The Jet is no stranger with Cone’s winning yearns. The San Miguel Corporation will give Cariaso the leeway to grow and give the Kings their previous never say die tradition.

But then, Cariaso will also enter a volatile situation and it’s a situation that pretty much ruined Olsen Racela’s head coaching career in the PBA.

And to prove my point, as the Mixers concentrate against the Air21 Express, we have the management and the media people place Cariaso on extreme heat. One of the articles written with regards to this incident is that Cariaso will make sure he will STILL give his all to help the Mixers earn three straight plums. He hasn’t finished the conference yet and even so, he is continuously bombarded with these kinds of newsbytes!

I wonder what happens if Cariaso struggles in the Governors Cup as Cone and the rest of the Mixers will the Commissioner’s Cup and at the same time, the Governors Cup en route to a grand slam.

Hopefully Cariaso knows what he’s doing because he is entering a situation that with a snap of a finger, the management will just put a random active assistant in his place whenever things don’t go to their favor.

Game over.

It’s okay for fans to bandwagon to Air21 now after the never say die thing they did against SMB!

April 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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Let’s hear it for the times of shock value and Cinderella stories.

I came late to Napoli’s in Timog – barely beating their last order service. In fact, me and my wife had to virtually sit ourselves in a spot because the people were busy checking out the final quarterfinal match between the second seed San Miguel Beermen and the seventh seed Air21 Express. I can’t blame the crew though – the game went to double overtime despite the fact that the Beermen were coasting on a 13-point edge at the start of the fourth canto.

The Beermen enjoyed a twice to beat edge and it’s because they have four people in Junmar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, Chris Ross, and Marcio Lassiter consistently challenging each other for the 2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Best Player of the Conference. The Express lost KG Canaleta during the midway point of the Philippine Cup to Talk N Text for Sean Anthony and Eliud Poligrates but consistently stepping up to the plate are Asi Taulava, Macmac Cardona, and Joseph Yeo.

If there are pundits and haters out there talking about the “scripted” world of Philippine basketball… let’s just say Air21 did not read the script and they came up with a different ending. With less than five ticks in the first overtime, Asi caught a misguided jumper for a resounding putback to send Air21 into another overtime battle. Junmar Fajardo may have had 20 points and 12 rebounds but like Lassiter, Solomon Mercado, and Doug Kramer, they were helpless watching their team sink to the depths of elimination as Air21 advances to the semifinals.

Gatecrashers indeed.

Apparently it all started when Joseph Yeo cracked Ross’ groin “Regular Ordinary Swedish Meal Time” style (go nuts checking out their Youtube channel). It was surprising for Yeo to do such an act because less than a year ago he was Beermen and when he said “Larong Mayaman”, it’s basically a take on his self. But that incident seriously fired up the rest of the Express. All of a sudden Air21 went insane on the Beermen, torching them in all cylinders and actually borrowing Ginebra’s mentality.

As usual, the presence of Taulava is boss-like in all proportions. The Rock finished a rebound short of a double-double (16 and 9) but the presence he gave to Air21 was superb. Commissioner’s Cup acquisitions Anthony, Jonas Villanueva, and Aldrech Ramos also provided a serious boost in their campaign as they also ably helped Wesley Witherspoon who finished the game with 26 points.

Actually, what exactly did Air21 give up to get Anthony and Jonas?

KG Canaleta alone?

In some ways that’s a bargain in favor of Air21.

Even the one minute cameo of Ogie Menor was enough to send shockwaves on Chris Ross because after being extremely physical with Yeo, he had to second guess his actions because no one is going to get shocked if he manages to do what Yeo did before his expulsion. At the thick of things Franz Pumaren made sure everyone remembered the fact that he is a multi-titled UAAP coach and the ragtag core that draws little to no interest as title contenders all of a sudden became an obedient cast like his past DLSU roster reincarnations.

We all know Air21 poured their guts out into making a lot of people bandwagon Express fans but let’s face it, the league needs to have more of these overachieving underdogs. Ginebra hasn’t had an underdog squad for some time now and if you have the best players… that just mean they only have the underachievers with them (this statement is both lazy and logical). Also San Miguel has had meltdown issues after meltdown issues to the point that every time we see them on top of the elimination, deep in our minds they are bound to screw up.

While social media exploded because of their rise to the top, there are reports surfacing that this sudden emergence might mean tearing down Air21 after this season, just like happened to the Powerade Tigers. This is mere speculation unless proven otherwise though – with the kicker of the deal either Taulava returning to San Miguel or Kia to disregard their expansion privilege to buy the squad.

But I hope they don’t and let’s just put these thoughts to the shelf. The Lina franchise (let’s just forget about the franchise switch they had with Barako Bull) has been a fixture in the league since their run started in 2002. While sure, they have been notorious for serving up a lot of bad one-sided deals, you just can’t deny that the league won’t be the same without Air21. In fact, they have managed to soup up the squad to become the total opposite of what they were when the team became the Shopinas Clickers.

Air21 posted their best finish during the 2008 Fiesta Conference where they lost to the Barangay Ginebra Kings in seven grueling games. The Kings were led by eventual Mythical 5 players Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand as well as the conference’s Best Import Chris Alexander and the co-winners of the Finals MVP plum Ronald Tubid and Eric Menk. Meanwhile, the Express were ably represented by import Steve Thomas as well as locals Santos, Kramer, Canaleta, Gary David, Ranidel de Ocampo, JC Intal, Homer Se, and Wynne Arboleda. The Snatcher is the only link left on the squad and Arboleda has yet to play in this conference.

I know Talk N Text is still the surest thing to the throne but whether it’s San Mig Super Coffee or Alaska – Air21 has a fighting chance to win. Asi Taulava also has a chance to fight for the BPC plum with all the San Miguel bets, Greg Slaughter and Caguioa, and possibly a host of other bets going to vacation mode as we brace ourselves for the next stage.

All is good in Air21 at the moment… and I hope they can continue to shock everyone and I also hope teams will get wary on their presence because the nothing good really happens when you disregard a team with everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Game over!

PBA D-LEAGUE’S EXPOSURE AND INCOMING COMPETITION

April 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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In a world where money talks, the last thing you want is to lose money. This is a pretty simple predicament that will have a long-term effect on the Philippine Basketball Association Developmental League if they fail to resolve this.

According to Spin.ph, there’s apparently an impending revolt because there are various D-League teams that are mulling pullout because they are stuck on UHF land and has zero chances of breaking to the main channels.

Here’s the thing: while fans can or will never understand why TV5 is making the PBA look like filler programming, the D-League is well… expendable.

Aimed to become the launching pad of incoming PBA superstars and possible new franchises, this league is also home to substandard players and franchises with unsure participation. The league itself has a ridiculous format in which there are college squads as PBA team affiliates and most of the teams are not using the recall and send down options.

To further prove a point. I will latch on former Petron Blaze import Henry Sims as an example. He signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers before the season began and since they have a lot of players hindering his growth, the team assigned him to their NBA D-League affiliate Canton Charge (Sims has since been recalled and has been traded by the Cavs to the Philadelphia 76ers). The league has reverted back to old PBA Draft format where a team is rewarded with unlimited picks. While I believe that the rookies will have a hard time displacing the veterans (especially the third rounders and down), the team that drafted these players should automatically have the right of assign them on their farm squad.

For example, here are the current PBA D-League squads and their current PBA affiliates:

PBA
D-LEAGUE TEAM
PBA
AFFILIATE
PLAYERS
THE PBA TEAM DRAFTED / SIGNED DURING THE 2013 PBA DRAFT
BLACKWATER
Barangay
Ginebra
San
Miguel
San
Mig Coffee
Greg
Slaughter
Ian
Sangalang
James
Forrester
Isaac
Holstein
Sam
Marata
JR
Cawaling
John
Usita
Nate
Matute
Alvin
Padilla
Jens
Knuttel
CAFÉ
FRANCE / CEU
Rain
or Shine
Raymond
Almazan
Alex
Nuyles
Jeric
Teng
Gayford
Rodriguez
Ervic
Vijandre
DERULO
ACCELERO
Alaska
Ryan
Buenafe
Chris
Exciminiano
Raymond
Ilagan
NLEX
/ SAN BEDA
Meralco
Anjo
Caram
Mike
Parala
Mark
Lopez
Ron
Guevarra
Mark
Bringas

Okay. It’s stupid to put Slaughter, Sangalang, and Almazan now because truth be told they are owning their PBA foes but for the rest of the cast, a spot in the D-League can give them minutes other than bench warming to boost their confidence. If James Forrester can’t have the minutes in Ginebra, how about sending him down to Blackwater to further cultivate his stock. The league can exempt PBA veterans with zero playing time like Alaska’s Eddie Laure and Nic Belasco and let them work in Derulo Accelero because technically they are still under contract with the Aces. In return Derulo can sign the drafted players that were unsigned (whether a one-year or one-conference deal). In this way, they will still have a certain future to check out. Citing the example of Forrester, if Ginebra sees his upgraded game, then they can just recall Forrester from Blackwater. These players can also pull off double duties (playing for the PBA and the D-League at the same time) with the discretion of the coaching staff. In this way, there will be a better dynamic on the whole affiliates thing.

And isn’t it crazy that amongst the four PBA affiliates, two of them are college-based? And while NLEX has a couple of ex-pros in their stable, what can Rain or Shine elevate to make sense of their allegiance.

Does the Elasto Painters actually acknowledge Café France at all?

According to the PBA D-League page, here are the former PBA players now playing in the PBA D-League. These players range from a couple of years back to just last conference.

Players who logged playing time in the recently-concluded PBA Philippine Cup are in italics.

PBA
D-LEAGUE TEAM
PLAYER
LAST
PBA TEAM
NLEX
Borgie
Hermida
Pamboy
Raymundo
Barako
Bull
Talk
N Text (traded to Air21 but never played)
HOG’S
BREATH
JP
Belencion
Vaughn
Canta
GlobalPort
Barako
Bull
BIG
CHILL
Mark
Canlas
Shopinas
(traded to Meralco but never played)
JUMBO
PLASTIC
Jason
Ballesteros
Barako
Bull
BLACKWATER
Allan
Mangahas
Gilbert
Bulawan
Reil
Cervantes
Meralco
Barako
Bull
Barako
Bull
BORACAY
RUM
Rudy
Lingganay
GlobalPort
CAFÉ
FRANCE
None
None
CAGAYAN
VALLEY
LA
Revilla
GlobalPort
CEBUANA
LHUILLIER
Marcy
Arellano
Bam
Gamalinda
James
Martinez
Brian
Ilad
Air21
Talk
N Text (traded to Air21 but never played)
Powerade
Shopinas
DERULO
ACCELERO
None
None

Okay. I made a lot of points but that is not the issue at hand. The thing is, the loss of AKTV virtually gave TV5 a whole lot of programs with less spots to fill. IBC rented their primetime spots to TV5 with nothing to lose and when TV5’s flagship channel kept getting fewer looks compared to their all-sports channel, one of these babies had to go. ABS-CBN smartly made Studio 23 an all sports channel and while they have their surplus of UFC, UAAP, and NBA action, they will openly accept anything that revolves around Philippine basketball.

One such example is the Countrywide Developmental Basketball League – which is pretty much a direct competitor of the D-League. Aimed to be a better version of the combo of the Metropolitan Basketball Association and Philippine Basketball League as well as its erstwhile predecessors National Basketball League, Mindanao Visayas Basketball Association, and the combination of the first two mentioned – Liga Pilipinas. With Joe Lipa at helm and a channel to back them up, rumor or not, expect a lot of D-League teams to jump ship because of the assured exposure. While the PBA will never go to Sports + Action because of the insufficient reach as well as ratings (although if they continue to receive the same treatment, they will definitely latch on to another alternative), all the PBA D-League as well as the NCAA and the UFL games need is exposure. I guess this is why GMA News TV continues to enjoy the benefits of the Shakey’s V-League because both parties are getting something from the other.

Moving out or not, Commissioner Chito Salud needs to iron out the kinks of the D-League because if it continues to act as some sort of separate entity without the whole affiliates thing working in pristine condition, I doubt if this league will continue with its existence especially with NLEX and Blackwater expected to elevate to the PBA in the incoming season.

ARE IMPORTS TO BLAME?

April 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

ARE IMPORTS TO BLAME?

We all know why PBA teams bring in reinforcements, and that’s to not only produce in every statistical category but also to put up the “W’s” in the win loss column. An import is expected to produce astronomical numbers while also leading his team to as many wins as possible. Life in the PBA is tough on imports; they’re only as good as their last game. But what happens when the latter part of that category is not met?

Probably the best example of this argument is Brian Butch and the Meralco Bolts. Butch averaged 27 points and 21 rebounds in his 6 games here; even hitting for 42 points and 24 rebounds and topping even that with 40 points and an eye popping 31 rebounds. Those statistics are almost improbable even by today’s standards. But even with those monster splits, he was still axed in favor of a new import. In his 6 games, Meralco barely scraped being a .500 team going 3-3 to start the conference.

Why would you replace a guy who was playing out of his mind and probably won’t replicate those numbers anywhere for the near possible future? Given the short life span of the current conference, teams are being more results oriented than before. With only 9 games, the marching order for every coach is to win as many games and by all means necessary.

Changing imports in mid-swing is also a hit and miss affair as most teams in the PBA know. But why are imports carrying the load of the blame? Maybe we put them onto a pedestal too high for even them to reach. A player can only produce so much, and with every defensive plan geared towards stopping you, that player will always run into rough spots. The sad reality for imports is, no matter how many points you score or rebounds you pull down, as long as you don’t win it’s going to be your entire fault; which does not always ring true.

Imports should not carry the blame by themselves. You only have to look at the local support a team is getting to know what’s exactly wrong with the team. Take Talk and Text for example, their import Richard Howell averages 22 points and 21 rebounds. Those numbers are beyond respectable, but the biggest reason for their unbeaten streak is the great local support he gets. 2 players average more the 15 points per game, while 3 others average almost 10 points per game. Compare that to cellar dweller Globalport who gets 27 points and 20 rebounds per game from their import Evan Brock, but only 2 locals scratch the 10 points per game mark. Those number splits remain consistent for the bottom 3 teams as well as the top 3 teams in the PBA right now. Barako Bull has the highest scoring import in Joshua Dollard who gets 35 points per game but only ONE local scores in double figures (Willie Miller at 10 ppg) while Ginebra’s Leon Rodgers puts up 33 a game but gets only 10 ppg from both Mark Caguioa and Japeth Aguilar.

Based on the numbers above, do you think imports still deserve all of the blame? As the old coaching cliché goes, basketball is a team sport and one person cannot do it alone. If teams are looking at their numbers, they would know that their imports produce, it’s a matter of the locals being able to support him capably.

In the end, imports are only as good as the number of wins their teams put up and not what their stats say about them. But they do not deserve to be blamed for the short comings of their respective teams; it has to be a combined effort to produce the desired results in such a short conference. Over-reliance on one person makes a team easier to stop; less people involved means an easier time for opposing defenders to stop the imports.

Imports can and will produce, but only when you play as a team will you get your desired results.

ROOKIE RANKINGS: GREG SLAUGHTER AND TERRENCE ROMEO GET THEIR SPOTS BACK

March 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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It’s a very odd PBA coverage this week with the league taking on the playdates that are NOT Friday and Sunday.

I honestly believe it seems like TV5 doesn’t really give a damn here… or the league in general.

Where are the arenas and why isn’t the PBA using them?

Anyway, the abnormal PBA schedule paved for an awkward looking Rookie Rankings. For the first two weeks, Ian Sangalang topped the list with Greg Slaughter tries his best to reclaim his spot.

Game starts now.

2014 PBA COMMISSIONER’S CUP
START TO MARCH 29, 2014
NOTE: ON RED PARTS – PLAYERS
WHOSE AVERAGES DIPPED FROM LAST WEEK
NOW
THEN
PLAYER
PPG
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
1
2
GREG SLAUGHTER
GINEBRA
9.00
7.00
0.80
0.00
1.20
2
3
TERRENCE ROMEO
GLOBALPORT
10.00
3.17
1.67
0.50
0.17
3
1
IAN SANGALANG
SAN MIG COFFEE
9.25
5.25
0.25
0.00
0.00
4
5
RAYMOND ALMAZAN
RAIN OR SHINE
6.60
4.40
0.20
0.40
0.60
5
9
RR GARCIA
GLOBALPORT
6.17
2.83
1.00
0.33
0.00
6
4
JUSTIN MELTON
SAN MIG COFFEE
4.75
2.50
0.75
1.25
0.00
7
6
ANJO CARAM
MERALCO
4.83
1.00
2.00
0.50
0.00
8
7
CARLO LASTIMOSA
BARAKO BULL
4.40
2.00
1.60
0.80
0.00
9
8
JERIC FORTUNA
BARAKO BULL
4.00
1.33
1.67
0.17
0.00
10
10
JUSTIN CHUA
GLOBALPORT
4.60
2.00
0.40
0.20
0.20

So not only did Ian Sangalang lost his top spot to Slaughter (who boasted 10 points and 8 rebounds in his last two games), his 2-point and 3-rebound output also pulled him a slot lower to make way for Terrence Romeo. Despite GlobalPort’s atrocious record, Romeo is the only rookie to score in double figures as of the moment. Raymond Almazan takes a notch to the top because of the momentum shaft Justin Melton experienced in San Mig Super Coffee’s initial defeat while RR Garcia rode the waves of a conference breakout game and to become the biggest gainer this week.

Finishing off the countdown is Anjo Caram, Carlo Lastimosa (who did a lot of bench time because of Willie Miller’s double-double performance), Jeric Fortuna, and Justin Chua who sat out GlobalPort’s last game.

So with that said…

I actually find it funny that the PBA would do a column checking out the rookie year of Alaska’ Chris Exciminiano. It’s not a bad read… and yes, I believe he deserves an article. I just think he could have used the praise article when he was still being used. Exciminiano together with Ryan Buenafe has yet to log a game in the Commissioner’s Cup no thanks to the current chaos Alaska is experiencing right now. As the reigning and defending champions, they have yet to display the awesomeness they produced the first time they had Rob Dozier as their main man.

For the rookies, getting noticed is seriously important. In the NBA, Giannis Antetokounmpo is getting the media treatment even if Cody Zeller is a tad more productive than the inconsistent Greek Freak. Same goes in the PBA. Terrence Romeo is GlobalPort’s future even if RR Garcia is equally gifted. The difference between the two is that Romeo’s story is a bit more compelling – and I think this is what RR Garcia needs to work on. This is the same thing inside the Rain or Shine camp with celebrity endorser Jeric Teng getting the exposure and the nods despite the fact that Raymond Almazan is easily the team’s best rookie. Carlo Lastimosa is another benefactor of this factoid and he earned this thanks to the surname of his superstar uncle. Even if he’s the last pick of the second round, he was still able to make respectable numbers and minutes compared to names like Teng, James Forrester, and Nico Salva. Like I said – it’s not a bad thing to ride someone else’s wave especially if you step out of it and make a name for yourself then after.

With the eliminations about to end, tune in next week for the rest of the developments!

2014 PBA All Star Snubs

March 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

I’m back!

Anyway you can still see most of my work at www.sydrified.org!

Barely a week after I made my weekly Power Rankings in which was headlined by everybody’s favorite naturally-made petrified matter, it shocked the hell off me that Asi Taulava missed out of the 2014 PBA All-Star Game.

Let’s forget the fact the players set to teach Gilas Pilipinas a lesson or two are most San Miguel Corporation players. In fact, if you get your fraction tools ready, it’s around 75 percent. But darn it, there were people in that team that barely deserves the distinction. Some of them were shells of their former selves but most of all, there were others in the cast that I really feel fails in comparison with these folks.

7 – CYRUS BAGUIO / ALASKA

We start off with Skyrus. With an experience and repertoire of moves of more than a decade, he might be less acrobatic at the moment but he still packs a serious punch especially when his team needs offensive guidance (something that’s currently lacking on Calvin Abueva). The Philippine Cup gave him averages of 13.7ppg, 3rpg, 3.6apg, and 1spg.

6 – JAYVEE CASIO / ALASKA

Whether you call him Jayvee, JV, or JVee, this former DLSU Green Archer is one of the most underrated guards of his generation. He brings a lot of things in his arsenal that fares a bit better than those of former Gilas teammates Mark Barroca and Chris Tiu (in my opinion). With little fanfare (and antics), Casio rattles his foes with 14.5ppg, 3.8rpg, and 3.8apg.

5 – ALEX CABAGNOT / GLOBALPORT

Okay. With averages of 12.4ppg, 4.3rpg, and 5.7apg, A-Cab virtually gets no love from the Petron fans who cheered away when he got traded for Solomon Mercado (I personally don’t get this because it leaves players like Chris Lutz with little to work with). But agree to disagree, the worst Cabagnot can do is still the best most guards in the league can offer.

4 – SOLOMON MERCADO / SAN MIGUEL

I don’t even need to expand this. It seems like Mercado can get the job done regardless of position or team. But yeah… let’s say he gets lost in San Miguel – then let’s just talk about what he did in the Philippine Cup. Mercado averaged a superb 18.9ppg, 4.0rpg, and 5.1apg for GlobalPort and his final conference with the Batang Pier garnered the second straight post-conference stint of the squad.

3 – JOSEPH YEO / AIR21

With no offense to The Ninja, his PBA career was near bust-like especially when you consider the hype he got playing for the DLSU Green Archers (although his Sta. Lucia years aren’t that shoddy either). What we are seeing from him right now is EXACTLY what the doctor ordered for his legacy and we are seeing Yeo’s career take flight like never before. Since moving to Air21 (a steal especially with how the career of his trade partner Mark Isip turned out), he has become the menacing offensive threat that he was always known for. In the Philippine Cup, Yeo compiled averages of 14.6ppg, 5.3rpg, and 6.4apg.

2 – JAY WASHINGTON / GLOBALPORT

Moving out of Petron after two seasons of pleading, Jay Washington saw basketball rebirth for the Batang Pier. Here he became the team’s scoring leader despite the presence of super scorer Solomon Mercado as well as Terrence Romeo. In 12 games J-Wash averaged 19.2ppg, 9.9rpg, 2.4apg, 1.1spg, and almost one block per game. Not recognizing Washington is like forgetting the fact that he was nominated for the BPC plum last conference.

1 – ASI TAULAVA / AIR21

This article starts and ends with The Lava Man and I have a valid point. In terms of popularity, this guy has been a fixture of the PBA since the days of Paras, Patrimonio, and Codinera. And then in terms of skills, you just can’t have enough of bulky behemoths eager to teach the Gilas Pilipinas boys on the do’s and don’ts of size and strength. Sure, Air21 was eliminated early in the Philippine Cup but Asi averaged 13.2ppg and 14.4rpg in that conference.

But then again, maybe there’s a reason why Asi got the snub. The conspiracy theorist in me is screaming like hell on a bunch of theories that could get me flak. The most logical reason is that unless Air21 wins a semis spot, they will never have the attention that Ginebra, San Miguel, San Mig Coffee, Alaska, and Talk N Text have. The Kings scored three spots because of the fan votes and Greg Slaughter would still participate in the game if he stuck with Gilas Pilipinas. People can say ill about the inclusion of Chris Ellis and Mac Baracael but those two are pretty much the equivalent of as to why James Yap, Mark Barroca, Joe Devance, and Peter June Simon are part of the San Mig Coffee contingent alongside San Miguel’s Marcio Lassiter and reigning MVP Arwind Santos. Nino Canaleta, who was with the team for most of the Philippine Cup, could pretty much be their representative to the festivities.

And yeah, even if Alaska is now the new “evil” of the PBA, Alaska has solid participation headlined by Calvin Abueva and Sonny Thoss.

I guess this is why Air21, Barako Bull, Meralco, and GlobalPort need to raise their game up and win games. If they raise their social class up, then the world would be their oyster. And with the expansion squads hell bent on quickly making a name for their selves, they seriously need to stop their conduit-ness to think of their future awards and accomplishments.

San Mig Coffee – Rain or Shine Game 1 Thoughts

February 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

With RoS  being able to enter the finals early, they went to the finals with a week off. I was thinking, there’s no way will RoS be as a sharp as San Mig Coffee coming into Game 1.  That’s just nature at work. Felt like, that’s SMCM big advantage. But to my surprise they were able to keep up with San Mig in the first quarter. It was even them, who were in the attack mode. Rain or Shine, surprisingly, blitzed SMCM with fastbreak attacks. Thought it’ll take some time before they get their playoff legs. Side note, dunno who’s handling Rain or Shine’s conditioning, he must be really good.

Yeng had a plan, putting Paul Lee on JDV.  SMCM took the bait, they went to JDV a lot. It then took away a lot of touches from James Yap and Jun Simon, both needing touches and big starts. Eventually, JDV got his numbers through constant SMCM feeding. Also surprise move by Yeng, making Jeric Teng a starter, he delivered some needed points at the time when Lee was off. Speaking of Jeric Teng, what’s Jeric Teng’s ceiling? Will he be happy to have a career like that of Peter Jun Simon. Can he even do a 14 year solid Peter Jun Simon career?

On the other hand, great tactic too by coach Tim Cone, putting big player, Marc Pingris, on Lee. It worked (it always works BTW, that’s why previously, urging Ginebra to put Ellis on Barroca full time, they did not), Lee had an awful shooting but the birthday boy, saved his best for last. He scored the game winner off a great find by Gabe Norwood and great play by Yeng Guiao (he’s a master of few seconds plays).

The play previous to that, SMCM missed a potential game winner. Barroca, game tied, he didn’t pass to James, and another bad decision, attacked too early, giving Rain or Shine 1.6 secs, enough for that Paul Lee game winner. BTW, whats that SMCM timeout for? San Mig had 22 seconds, run it to about 8 secs, Barroca about to do the play when they called their last timeout. It just gave Mark time to think, decide to shoot it himself. And when they needed a timeout for the last play of the game, they had none.

Mark Barroca decided to take matters when the play was for a handoff for James Yap. Yes, same James Yap who fired a game winner in game 5 versus Ginebra. And same Yap, who connected 2 long shots inside two minutes.  Mark Fired. Mark Missed. ROS 1 – SMCM 2.

Ready? Restart, Reboot, and Refresh in time for Summer

February 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Nestea Apple 500mL FA Nestea Lemon 500mL FA Nestea Lemon Ice 500mL FA

Summertime is about planned getaways, scheduled leaves, and organized itineraries. But the season, just like the weather, is often unpredictable, and the key to enjoying the heat despite its unpredictability is being prepared with whatever comes your way.
These three Rs will definitely help you ride through life with a smile on your face.

Restart

When something unexpected comes up, it’s important not to panic. Whether it’s bumped off flights or full hotels, take a deep breath and simply restart. See what went wrong in the situation, and then decide what steps to take next. By restarting, you are giving yourself the chance to see it from a different perspective.

Reboot

After you’ve evaluated the situation, you can now see how you can make the situation better. Rebooting your summer plans means making better choices in travel companions, hotels, and even locations. As you open yourself to the possibilities, you become intimidated by the situation you are in, and start enjoying the change even more.

Refresh

Sometimes, all it takes to be ready for any challenge summer throws your way is by simply resting. All it takes is a break to get ready to enjoy the heat again. Instead of going full force into organizing yet another trip, take a break and just stay in on weekends with friends while munching on your favorite treats.

A drink that will definitely refresh you in all the right places is Nestea in a Bottle. Making a comeback from the 90s, the well-loved drink that is available in three flavors, Lemon, Apple, and Lemon Ice, makes it easy to take the plunge anytime, anywhere.

Rain or Shine vs Petron Blazeboosters Game 5 Tweetcap

February 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Feb 4

Rain or Shine is mentally tough, they’ll even use this suspension as motivation. Expecting no letdown from RoS, Petron better be prepared.

Feb 4

apet jao – caidic, cardel – jolas, patrimonio – asaytono, meneses – duremdes. too similar to co-exist. lassiter – lutz?

15h

Doug peaked as a center power / forward player for like only 2 games, that’s last year.

15h

Bono drafted ahead of Quinahan? Quinahan still at it. Bono still with SMCM, just cant get in, in the deep frontline of SMCM.

15h

Ganda ng skying layup ni Arwind, nabawasan ng 2 ang haters nya dun. :)

15h

Woah! There’s RoS utility or staff on the floor holding a cellphone, talking to?

14h

Hitting a jump shot is 50% confidence, and 50% muscle. In the case of Quinahan, 50% confidence, 20% muscle, 30% fat.

14h

this game is important for JMF w/ rgds to the BPC. what if petron goes down 1-4 and Japeth’s BGSM-SMCM goes full 7…

14h

wifey said: energetic yung tabaching-ching (si belga).

14h

Pag nabali ang play ng Petron going to Fajardo wala na. #wasak

14h

RoS shine painting Petron’s life blue and black.

14h

Rain or Shine in the finals? Rain or Shine in the finals? Rain or Shine in the finals? Rain or Shine in the finals!

14h

Jeff Chan grabbed the ball from Belga. Does it add up to his statline as “steal?”

13h

2 straight finals appearances for Jeric Teng, UAAP and the PBA

13h

Mga katanungan para sa Petron… Ano ba kulang sa Petron? Or may sobra? Kulang ba sa puso? Bakit naka-Amerikana si Todd Purves eh ang init?

2h

Good morning Petron fans, oh, SMB Fans! It’s a new beginning… #rename #reboot #rebuild

 

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