Monday, October 20, 2014

#NBA2015: Players to Watch - Part One

With the 2014-2015 NBA season beginning in fewer than 10 days, I found it just right to look at some players we should all keep tabs on. There are no-brainers like LeBron, KD, CP3, and James Harden, of course, but there are also many other characters on whom we should put the spotlight. In this first of five parts, we’ll take a look at some key guys for the Hawks, Celtics, Nets, Hornets, Bulls, and Cavs.


A few guys hoping to make the jump, a couple who might get traded, and a
former MVP trying to return to form.
Read more ...

#PBA2015 Roster Review: The Kia Sorento


With the 2014-2015 PBA season’s official rosters released, I found it only logical to look at each line-up and see where each team stands. In this series of posts, I’ll be breaking down each team’s bigs, wings, and floor generals while also looking at what kind of damage they’ll do this season.

Let’s look at roster of the Kia Sorento.

Can this team of novelty be a team of winners?

Overall 2013-2014 Record: Not applicable.

Best Finish: Not applicable.
Read more ...

#PBA2015 Roster Review: The GlobalPort Batang Pier



With the 2014-2015 PBA season’s official rosters released, I found it only logical to look at each line-up and see where each team stands. In this series of posts, I’ll be breaking down each team’s bigs, wings, and floor generals while also looking at what kind of damage they’ll do this season.

Let’s look at roster of the GlobalPort Batang Pier.

Can a loaded backcourt push the Batang Pier into the next tier?

Overall 2013-2014 Record: 7 wins and 26 losses.

Best Finish: Quarterfinals in the 2014 Philippine Cup.
Read more ...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

#PBA2015 Philippine Cup Roundup: October 19, 2014


More than 52,000 fans trooped to the all-new Philippine Arena yesterday to witness the opening of the 40th season of the Philippine Basketball Association. It was a bombastic opening ceremony filled with all the sheen and pizzazz necessary to commemorate more than four decades of Pinoy hoops, complete with team parades, muses, smoke, and celebrities. More importantly, of course, people went for the games, especially since it was the pro debut of multi-titled boxer Manny Pacquiao.


Manny Pacquiao pushed through with his debut in the PBA.
(image by Ver Marquez/Sports 5)
Speaking of the games, neophyte PBA club Kia Sorento made waves by beating fellow expansion team Blackwater Elite, while Bgy. Ginebra made the most of its twin towers in trouncing Talk N Text.
Read more ...

#PBA2015 Roster Review: The Blackwater Elite


With the 2014-2015 PBA season’s official rosters released, I found it only logical to look at each line-up and see where each team stands. In this series of posts, I’ll be breaking down each team’s bigs, wings, and floor generals while also looking at what kind of damage they’ll do this season.

Let’s look at roster of the Blackwater Elite.


Meet the faces of the Blackwater expansion team.

Overall 2013-2014 Record: Not applicable.

Best Finish: Not applicable.

BIGS: Bryan Faundo, Larry Rodriguez, Jason Ballesteros, Riego Gamalinda, Eddie Laure, Gilbert Bulawan, JP Erram
- Larry Rodriguez might be the only guy who stands out here, but Leo Isaac actually has something to work with here. Rodriguez is a guy who once averaged around 10 points and 6 rebounds for Rain or Shine. With most of the frontline minutes probably going to him, it stands to reason the PMI alum will be the Elite’s most productive big guy.
Read more ...

#PBA2015 Roster Review: The Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings


With the 2014-2015 PBA season’s official rosters released, I found it only logical to look at each line-up and see where each team stands. In this series of posts, I’ll be breaking down each team’s bigs, wings, and floor generals while also looking at what kind of damage they’ll do this season.

Let’s look at roster of the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings.


Are the Kings ready to reign?

Overall 2013-2014 Record: 23 wins and 20 losses.

Best Finish: Semifinals in the 2014 Philippine Cup.

BIGS: Billy Mamaril, Jay-R Reyes, Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Rodney Brondial
- If you’re a Ginebra diehard (and there are, reportedly, billions out there), then you’re probably salivating at the size of this team. I mean, at 6’5, Rodney Brondial shouldn’t be the smallest guy on a Philippine frontline, right? But he is. Remember when this team topped the 2014 Philippine Cup eliminations? Yes, this huge frontcourt had a lot to do with that.
Read more ...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

#PBA2015 Roster Review: The Barako Bull Energy


With the 2014-2015 PBA season only a few days away and the official rosters released, I found it only logical to look at each line-up and see where each team stands. In this series of posts, I’ll be breaking down each team’s bigs, wings, and floor generals while also looking at what kind of damage they’ll do this season.

Let’s look at roster of the Barako Bull Energy.


I'm optimistic about the Energy... okay, not really.

Overall 2013-2014 Record: 10 wins and 25 losses.

Best Finish: Quarterfinals in the 2014 Philippine Cup and Governors’ Cup.

BIGS: Jondan Salvador, Dave Marcelo, Jake Pascual, Papot Paredes, Mick Pennisi
- Barako Bull basically has one center who’s not really even a center in the most traditional sense and then a bunch of power forwards. Mick Pennisi shot a career-high 41.5% from beyond the arc last year, making more than 2 triples per game. No question Mick P can stretch the defense, but he’s not exactly top of mind when one thinks of guys who can do the dirty work and protect the rim. Mick averaged only 5.4 rebounds last season (incidentally, that’s his best in 6 years, but, c’mon, the guy is 6’9!!!) while also blocking a grand total of (drumroll please) 11 shots. Barako might as well employ Steve Novak in the Commish Cup and watch him and Mick drain long toms. Just don’t expect either of them to rebound or block shots.

Read more ...

#PBA2015 Roster Review: The Alaska Aces



With the 2014-2015 PBA season only a few days away and the official rosters released, I found it only logical to look at each line-up and see where each team stands. In this series of posts, I’ll be breaking down each team’s bigs, wings, and floor generals while also looking at what kind of damage they’ll do this season.

Let’s begin with the Alaska Aces.


Can the Aces ascend again this season?

Overall 2013-2014 Record: 22 wins and 22 losses.

Best Finish: Semifinals in the 2014 Governors’ Cup.

BIGS: Samigue Eman, Paolo Bugia, Vic Manuel, Gabby Espinas, Eric Menk, Sonny Thoss
- Despite the advanced ages of Sonny Thoss, Eric Menk, and Paolo Bugia, this should still be a pretty solid pro frontline. Gabby Espinas is coming off maybe his best season, while Vic Manuel holds a lot of promise. Samigue Eman, meanwhile, is the behemoth who could have been the first June Mar Fajardo. Instead, he’s just another big with unmet potential.


Sonny Thoss is still one of the best bigs in the country.
(image by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports 5)

- Thoss usually does his best in the Philippine Cup, and I don’t think things are going to change much. He’s still maybe the best back-to-the-basket player in the league, and he should be able to continue teaching Manuel some nifty low-block moves. Menk won’t wow anyone with his age, but his experience should make him a serviceable back-up, while Espinas should remain a double-double threat on a nightly basis.
Read more ...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

#GilasIssues: Part 3 – Opening Up Philippine Basketball



I’ve long held the belief that for anybody to improve at his or her craft, he or she, inevitably, must be exposed to other people who are just as good or even better at that particular craft. In a regular professional setting, this can mean going to conferences, training seminars, or apprenticeships on foreign soil or inviting world-class individuals to come over and give talks or facilitate skill-acquisition sessions (because, of course, one cannot be world-class by just staying home, right?). In the sports setting, however, this almost always means competing against not just the best in one’s school, one’s neighborhood, one’s city, or even one’s country, but going a step further and measuring one’s capacities against the best and brightest of the continent, if not the world.

In the context of the Philippines, this action results in two outcomes – our athletes get to learn from the best, and our athletes get to show the world how Filipinos play.


For Philippine hoops to flourish on the world stage, we need to go global.

Read more ...

Asian Basketball Journal - October 16, 2014


Here in the Philippines there really is no site (or person) really dedicated to the Asian hoops scene, which is why this series exists. Through this series of Asian Basketball Journals, I hope to address just that void. I believe that Asian basketball is such a vibrant source of stories, and I think this should be shared with hoop nuts here in the Philippines and beyond.

Like in previous posts, I won’t be going into a lot of detail. I’ll use mostly images and then just add captions to each one that will, hopefully, capture the essence of the latest developments in Asian hoops.


The Asian pro circuit kicked off last week with the opening games
of the KBL and Japan-NBL.


Read more ...