Here’s Chot Reyes’ Sweet 17. The Gilas Pilipinas lineup for the FIBA Asia Championship to be held at MOA Arena this August. The lineup will further be reduced to 12 few days before tournament.
Ranidel De Ocampo
June Mar Fajardo
Solar getting the FIBA Asia coverage is great news. I’m just hoping they get the right TV partner and if they’ll outsource some announcers from AKTV, please pick the good guys.
Solar Entertainment Corporation will be the official broadcaster of the the much-awaited 27th FIBA-Asia Championship set for August 1-11.
In a statement released by Solar, they expressed their “delight of promoting the development of Philippine basketball by providing the Filipino audience with the best coverage that they deserve.”
The television network holds the right to broadcast FIBA events and tournaments until December 31, 2015.
Solar’s COO Peter Chanliong also stated that they are “still in the process of talking to several television networks right now to see who among them would be the best choice in terms of being the free TV partner.”
“We’re looking forward to the games. We hope to make more announcements in the weeks to come,” Chanliong added.
FIBA-Asia officials, the SBP and Solar are set to meet on Monday to discuss the technical and production side of the games.
But now what? That will be the challenge that the SBP will entail in hosting this competition.
1. 800-1,000 athletes and officials from 16 countries will be descending into the NCR. It will be fascinating how logistically prepared we are going to be. I have seen how we have prepared for hosting a four-nation tournament, albeit in a different sport. Imagine four times that. Also, this comes with the additional amount of fans who intend to fly in to watch.
2. Who will be participating. As hosts, we earned a slot. The FIBA-Asia Cup champions also earn a slot, with Iran winning last year’s tournament. These open up an additional slot each for Southeast Asia and West Asia in the competition.
The FIBA-Asia Cup also helps determine additional slots for FIBA-Asia, as it rewards zones that do well in that competition. In last year’s case, it benefited East Asia, as thanks to Japan finishing 2nd, and China and Chinese-Taipei finishing 5th and 6th, East Asia netting themselves an additional three slots aside from their normal two slots.
Qatar’s third place finish meant the Gulf zone gets another slot, making it three.
Thus, the zonal breakdown of the participants are as follows:
Central Asia (a.k.a. _____-stan region) = 1 slot
South Asia = 1 slot
SouthEast Asia = Philippines and 2 more slots
West Asia = Iran and 2 more slots
East Asia = 5 slots
Gulf Asia = 3 slots
The Gulf zone already had their qualifiers via the GCC
Championships with Qatar successfully defending their title. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia finished 2nd and 3rd, earning their tickets to Manila.
All other zones have not provided details on their qualifying, save for the West Asian zone, which will have their qualifiers this February in Tehran.
3. Who are we sending? Well, we all know the rub on this one, right? Hopefully, with the competition in Manila, it would knock someone sense into certain people. It’s also an interesting ploy to have the schedule cleared for the competition, as the request by MVP to the collegiate leagues. It’d also be interesting how we would deal with the SEABA qualifiers, knowing that we already secured our slot.
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The Dubai Invitational Basketball Tournament is sort of a gauge on how the Smart-Gilas squad will work on their abilities. This will be the third year Team Pilipinas will use the tilt to get the Nationals their much needed international XP. The Dubai tourney may not be as prestigious as the FIBA Championship, FIBA Champions’ Cup, or the Jones Cup but it is still an important event in the Asian basketball calendar.
However, things are a bit different as it was before. Gone from the team are the original Smart-Gilas members led by Chris Tiu, Jayvee Casio, Chris Lutz, Japeth Aguilar, Mark Barroca, Mac Baracael, Jason Ballesteros, Dylan Ababou, Magi Sison, Aldrech Ramos, and Marcio Lassiter. Others who have represented the team are pros Asi Taulava and Dondon Hontiveros as well as brief Smart-Gilas members Rabeh Al-Hussaini, RJ Jazul, and Rey Guevarra.
Even Rajko Toroman has ceded his duties to Chot Reyes, making naturalized import Marcus Douthit and Original Smart-Gilas Greg Slaughter as the only “veteran” members of the squad.
With Talk N Text, Alaska, and Rain or Shine still in PBA contention, Chot Reyes is robbed from have the luxury to use players like Larry Fonacier, Ranidel De Ocampo, Kelly Williams, Jared Dillinger, Jimmy Alapag, Gabe Norwood, Jeff Chan, and Sonny Thoss. Adding to their woes are the begging off of LA Tenorio and Gary David – two players who are going to use their early exit to rest up their wounds. Tenorio has been nursing an injury he got from the Champions’ Cup while David has missed most of GlobalPort’s games because of a recurring flaw. Enrico Villanueva, a Smart-Gilas 2 mainstay, will be sidelined for at least nine months for tearing his ACL.
And then there’s Arwind Santos and Junmar Fajardo – two players who had been in Chot Reyes’ wish list for some time now but for some reason can’t get their release from the Petron Blaze Boosters. Chot has had enough of the fans encouraging him to enlist the Petron boys and the Petron management in general. In his Twitter account, Reyes basically said that for the nth time Petron has disallowed their players and so he urged the public to stop asking for them.
Aside from Douthit, Chot Reyes will rely on Jones Cup and Champions’ Cup veterans Jay-R Reyes, Matt Rosser (Ganuelas), and Garvo Lanete to lead the other additions in making their team formidable. Rosser is a high-flyer who needs to check his offense while Lanete is turning out to be a good playmaker. Aside from Reyes, the pros added to the list are Meralco Bolt Ronjay Buenafe and Air21 scorer KG Canaleta. Since this is a FIBA-sanctioned event, Sol Mercado’s citizenship could lead the team to jeopardy (like forfeiting the games he played on). Maybe the addition of Buenafe to the squad is the same reason why Chot readily sent Macmac Cardona to the Meralco Bolts the moment he got full grasp of Talk N Text. As for Canaleta, KG realized his potential when he got his minutes and surely his ability to play inside and outside could be something that Chot needs at the moment. Also joining the team are NLEX Road Warriors’ RR Garcia, Ronald Pascual, Kevin Alas, and Jake Pascual plus an intriguing Fil-Am prospect in Justin Melton.
With the tournament slated in mid-January, it’s safe to say that the team will not rule out late additions – especially if teams like Rain or Shine and Talk N Text get eliminated. When I was checking out the past two tourneys via GMA Pinoy TV, the rosters can go as high as fifteen in which you can use twelve of them in a game. There are talks that Reyes is reserving a place for Japeth as well as 6’9 Fil-Am Isaac Holstein. The addition of height is a good thing for Team Pilipinas because even if Smart-Gilas 2 pride itself with guts and glory, there is a need for us to match the size of the other teams.
Lebanon will parade three squads while veteran campaigners Al Ahli of host Dubai, Kazakhstan, and the UAE National Team will return to feast on the crown. Despite the youth and lack of international exposure, Team Pilipinas will threaten for the title here. For the past two years Smart-Gilas was just a couple of wins away from winning the tournament. With teams like Jordan and Iran out of the picture (or they have yet to register), the road for us to prevail is a bit easier.
There are no Korean squads!
The MVP-led Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) recently outlined their grassroots program involving the different high schools all across the archipelago, with the simple goal of improving the quality of the Filipino basketball player.
According to the SBP’s Executive Director Sonny Barrios, the grassroots program includes the Eric Altamirano and Alex Compton-led Seaoil National Ball Training Center (NBTC), the 30-year old Metro Manila Basketball League (MMBL) under the auspices of Ato Badolato, the recently concluded Coaches Convention and the High School All-Star Game held earlier this year.
The six-year old NBTC aims to provide coaching and skills training to the different high school players all across the country. Concurrent to the skills and values development, according to Altamirano, is the identification of possible prospects for future call-ups to the national youth teams. The NBTC is also tasked with the responsibility of determining the best high schools in the country through its Elite League.
In connection with that, they recently tied up with the MMBL, which now virtually serves the NCR qualification portion for the NBTC Elite League. The 30-year old organization has pegged the top three teams in Division I and the champion of Division II to be NCR’s representatives in the Elite League, as announced earlier this week.
Concurrent with the quest to discover the best high school players in the country, the SBP via the NBTC earlier this year launched its newest grassroots project, the first Seaoil High School All-Star Game. Inspired by the McDonald’s All-American Basketball Game in the United States, it serves as a showcase all-star experience, gathering thirty of the best high school seniors together and showcasing their talents. Names like La Salle’s Jeron Teng and Thomas Torres, as well as San Beda’s Francis Abarcar, and Antonio Bonsubre participated, with the first All-Star Game MVP being given to current Ateneo “Glory Be” member Ace Basas.
The latest project of the SBP in relation to its grassroots campaign is the Coaches Convention, whose second staging was just conducted last month as the PhilSports Arena in Pasig in conjunction with the Manuel V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation (MVPSF). The gathering brought together 300 coaches from all over the country for a three-day camp, highlighted by sessions involving well-known bench tacticians like Tim Cone of the SanMig Coffee Mixers, his assistant (and Arellano University head coach) Koy Banal, and current TNT assistant Sandy Arespacochaga sharing their insights on running their different programs as well as teaching character, leadership and values formation that then can be passed on towards their respective players.
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For Team Pilipinas, there’s no place to go but a tie for the top spot.
I don’t think there will be any playoffs in the 2012 Jones Cup so we are bracing our country’s best finish since our 1998 Centennial Dream Team. Sure, our team didn’t have a lot of routs but what’s important for us is that we have a neat finishing kick that could catapult us to our fourth Jones Cup title.
Okay sometimes our finishing kicks need furnishing (Ranidel De Ocampo two missed free throws in their win against Iran), but we are getting there. I liked our chances ever since I saw Smart-Gilas maul Korea. And then there was Japan. I chickened out watching the last quarter because they were down by sixteen and their shots weren’t clicking. But then they clawed and ended up victorious.
May puso ang team na ‘to!
While the Korea team we saw was just a club team… they still have two of the Korean National Team members that gave us another heartbreaking loss in the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championship. The Japan and Iran squads have a couple of absentees (Iran played without Hamed Haddadi) but they were still ruthless and bent to upstage the other bets. For us to win in this kind of competition will always be a bonus to our system.
Jeff Chan has been a revelation in the tourney as well as the combo of Gabe Norwood and Solomon Mercado (he needs to cut back on his turnovers though). Of course, Marcus Douthit is still our chief operating officer inside the shaded area but the team has shown at spurts that they can do without the naturalized behemoth. I guess this is what Chot Reyes wants because the team can’t rely on Douthit all the time. Other players who I thought played well in the tourney are Ranidel De Ocampo, LA Tenorio, Gary David, Larry Fonacier, Garvo Lanete, and Sonny Thoss.
Our team is insanely small but Reyes is sacrifice our size by approving the outside bombs to fire at will. Against Lebanon, this tactic failed but it has been all good against almost all the teams we played against.
I will give special mention to Norwood. The guy is impressive in bringing the intensity to the group. He sticks it out playing point forward, dabbles at the power forward position when Chot wants speed, creates scoring opportunities for him, and owning the leadership cudgels for this squad. People are forgetting that it was also Chot Reyes who discovered Norwood as he and Kelly Williams were the team’s olden days version of Chris Lutz and Marcio Lassiter. This is how you use Gabe Norwood. You need to pair Norwood with an awesome kickout option as well as a gungho guard whom he likes pairing up with. This is why I am all for it to see Norwood get traded to Meralco for Macmac Cardona. Of course, Yeng Guiao won’t allow this but he seriously needs to maximize Norwood’s potential. The Fire and Ice tandem of Mercado and Norwood is spot on working in this tourney and hopefully we can see more from these guys.
A Smart-Gilas win against the NBA D-League United States team will crystallize our record with the United States, Iran, and Korea in the process of sharing the same record with a loss. Hopefully we’ll get tag as the winner. I know the US team is a cut above the rest but if the Iran squad can fight them off… then so can we.
This is not a SMC versus MVP battle but this is for the pride and honor of the country. Whoever tries to troll our chances are not patriotic and should get their asses out with a mark of treason branded randomly in their bodies. Now is not the time to bicker but this is what we need to support our athletes. This may not be a bigger stage than the FIBA Championships but this is still a positive notch for our country.
Go Gilas Pilipinas!
Imagine the Lithuanian team merging with the Russians and using both teams’ precision shooting, cutting and passing game. The Soviet Union will have Kirilenko, Shved, Mozgov, Monia, Jonas Valanciunas, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Linas Kleiza and Darius Songaila. With reserves… Andris Biedrins of Latvia, Zaza Pachuila from Georgia (tasked to guard Dwight Howard!), Kyrylo Fesenko from Ukraine, etc. Give this team one good training camp, make them a cohesive unit and let them play Team USA and we got ourselves not a Cold War but a hot one. One hot basketball war. Full Story here…
We here in the Philippines look at China as basketball powerhouse and somewhat invincible. But facing world-class basketball team, China looked normal, if not sloppy.
That’s the case when Russia beat China in Group B preliminary play, 73-54.
Russia’s defense completely overwhelmed China, both in the perimeter (closing out on shooters and guarding passing lanes) and interior defense as well. They also out-rebounded China, 46-29.
The Russians were faster, bigger, stronger and more accurate. On offense, they overpowered China using balanced inside and outside game. Russia’s key players were Kirilenko (16 points) and Shved (15 points), both newly signed players of the Minnesota Timberwolves. It was 40-25 at the half and Russia was not threatened the rest of the game.
China now in the brink of not advancing if they can’t find support for their main guy Yi Jianlian. Meanwhile, Russia improved 2-0.
USA, just too much for France. Even if France is made up of quality NBA players like Tony Parker, Turiaf, Diaw and Batum, it did not matter. US cream team just had too much offensive firepower and their defense is A1. US forced France in committing 18 turnovers, and out-rebounded them (49-33) . Final score is 98-71.
Not much France can do but to keep the game close. They did so in the first quarter but in the second, having more fresh legs and stars to use, USA opened up bigger leads, 15 and over. In the 3rd, the minute the US basketball team started knocking down outside shots, connecting on lob passes and running the break, it was all over for France.
Kevin Durant topscored for the US with 22 points. Lebron tallied only 9 points but he set tone of the game with his activity and all-around game (9 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals). Senior marksman Kobe Bryant scored 10 points on limited minutes. Kevin Love pumped in 14 points, a much needed output coming from the center position.
Next game of USA is against Tunisia and as Barkley would say,
Angola Tunisia is in trouble.
Some in-games tweets…
i think marc pingris is half-french. He can play for france. Hello olympic headbutt!
— HooPh! (@hooph) July 29, 2012
spurs and france teammates, i pity tony parker, all year round, he gets to see boris diaw’s massive butts.
— HooPh! (@hooph) July 29, 2012
The US Men’s Basketball team is in Pool A along with Argentina, France, Lithuania, Nigeria and Tunisia.
Here’s US Basketball Team’s schedule in the preliminary round (all U.S. date and time)…
July 29 2:30 p.m. – USA vs France
July 31 10:15 p.m. – Tunisia vs USA
August 2 10:15 p.m. – USA vs Nigeria
August 4 2:30 p.m. – Lithuania vs USA
August 6 10:15 p.m. – Argentina vs USA