Monday, April 30, 2012

Blog Outsourcing - April 30, 2012 edition

Welcome to The Morning After.

2 Days of the NBA postseason and already big things are going on. From the injury woes and choke jobs and comebacks. It's an amazing thing to watch over and check out. That and with local basketball in the apex of the finals already (and controversy to boot), it is good times being a basketball fan in these parts.

Meanwhile, out of the ashes of New Jersey, a new era in basketball rises in Brooklyn. Remains to be seen if they can cash it on the court, but the image is neat. You can thank H.O.V.A. for that.

Here forth are the links after the jump.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Possible NHL Advertising Campaign?

Sometimes, the best advertising ideas come from people you don't expect. Ever since the lockout that put a kibosh to an entire season, it has not been the same for the National Hockey League. They needed a spark of an idea, especially since tWWL has not been really THAT helpful in advertising the product. After all, they cast their lot with Comcast / NBC. Maybe an 11-yr old kid would do the trick.

(h/t Barry Petchesky a.k.a. @barryap1 of Deadspin for the tweet containing the photo)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Blog Outsourcing 4/23 edition

The weekend for me was pretty much dictated by this football match. A match between two titans, not just in Spain, but in the world. Even if it took place at 2 in the morning here in the Motherland, these kind of things are must-watch stuff, if you could do so, you must.

The Catalans have dominated this match-up the past few years, especially at the Nou Camp. So to see this victory (as deconstructed here) is really awesome and sweet. Now with four matches remaining, all the current La Liga leaders need are two wins and they secure the title.


Here forth are the links after the jump.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Real Madrid 2 - FC Barcelona 1

Quite simply, Cristiano Ronaldo just telling all Madridistas out there...

Calm down, guys. I got this! Nothing to worry about. We'll take care of this one for you.

Satisfying 2-1 victory, as deconstructed by one of the best futbol minds out there.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lebron and the Liverpool Shoe

Lebron James has said that he wants to be a billionaire athlete. To get there, he'll have to make smart marketing decisions with the stuff that he is responsible with. His latest effort to get to that milestone involves his latest plaything.

As part of his deal involving his sports marketing firm, LRMR Branding and Marketing, with the Fenway Sports Group just over a year ago, he secured a minority stake in the ownership of Liverpool Football Club. He already made his way to Anfield during the lockout to watch the Reds play. During that time, he gave the players custom-designed Beats by Dre headphones.

Now, he and his Nike cohorts apparently have designed a version of the Nike Lebron 9 Low sneaker, in what was termed as a marriage of an old passion (basketball shoes) with a new one (ownership of a football club). However, if you are a true Kopite, you will see some things that look kinda off.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sports in the Time's 100 Most Influential People

It's fascinating reading and looking at who made it into Time's 100 list of most influential people. Up on top, They refer to them as the people who inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world. Whether it is positive or negative, it is up to you to discern.

For this year's edition they refer to this group as people making an IMPACT. See how it was here.

Out of the 100 influential people, six of them fit into the sports realm.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Philippine Rugby Team for A5N Division I

Yesterday, the Philippine Rugby Football Union (PRFU) announced its roster who will compete in the A5N Division I Championships that will commence this Sunday. They are the ff:

Abraham, Phil
Bautista, JC
Bellenie, Matt
Carroll, Terry
Coveney, Justin
Dacanay, Austin
De Guzman, Michael
Duhig, Michael
Gomez, Cleo
Hitch, Chris
Howorth, Steven
Letts, Jake
Letts, Michael
Matthews, Joseph
Matthews, Luke
Olivier, Patrice
Perez, Tyler
Perry, Nick
Price, James
Saunders, Matt
Saunders, Oliver
Taylor, Richard
Urquijo, Jaime
Ward, Jake
West, Brian

Coach: Expo Mejia
Coach: Jarred Hodges
Manager:  Matt Cullen
Physiotherapist:  Damian Raper
Manager:  Grant Rice

Good luck to them as they start their quest for rugby greatness.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Walk to Remember, from here to Hillsborough

If you are a Liverpool FC fan, the date of April 15 will resonate with you.

On that day in 1989, 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives due to a human crush in a FA Cup Semifinal at Hillsborough Stadium. An additional 766 were injured from the disaster. It traumatized the community so much that it pretty much is a matter of fact that the Reds would rather not play any games on that date.

23 years on, Liverpool is faced again with a FA Cup Semifinal. This time, it will be at the iconic Wembley Stadium on April 14, where their Merseyside rivals Everton will be their opposition (the match is scheduled at 730pm in Manila).

There will be a moment of silence to mark the occasion, with a laying of flowers by the captains of both squads (Steven Gerrard and Phil Neville). A moment of silence will also be marked in the other semifinal (Chelsea vs Tottenham), with both teams wearing black armbands to commemorate the event. Liverpool also commemorated it last Saturday in their Premiership match against Aston Villa, which was the last match at Anfield before the anniversary of the tragedy.

Now there are a few Liverpool supporters who will be conducting a fund-raising campaign this weekend by running 76 miles from Hillsborough to Anfield. In solidarity with that effort, the Liverpool community in the Philippines a.k.a. the KOPinoys, will have a run of their own on Sunday, April 15, the anniversary of the tragedy. To be held at the University of the Philippines' Sunken Garden, the KOPinoys will be going around it seven times to approximate 15 kms (which is 9+6). There are no fees to be charged, the only request is to be clad in Liverpool gear to participate, as photo documentation of the whole event will be forwarded to the different Liverpool sites.

The meeting place is set at just outside the College of Business Administration at 6am. The run is to begin at 615am. Make sure to bring water bottles for this event.

I applaud the effort of the KOPinoys, led by Rick Olivares, for making this initiative.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Promotion / Relegation Conundrum

Tonight, club football in the Philippines resumes, with the Philippine Air Force Phoenix facing Pasargad FC at the University of Makati. Thus, the resumption of survival at the top and having to avoid the concept of relegation. As of the moment, this is the Division 1 table as it stands:

Division 1 GP PTS
Global FC 9 21
Loyola Meralco Sparks FC 8 19
Kaya FC 8 18
Stallion Gilligan's FC 7 14
Phil. Army Fritz & Macziol FC 9 9
Phil. Air Force Phoenix FC 7 8
Nomads Auction Manila 8 8
Green Archers United FC 8 7
Pasargad FC 7 5
Phil. Navy Red Juice FC 9 4

And this is the current table for Division 2, which will resume action on Saturday night:

Division 2 GP PTS
Pachanga FC 11 31
Diliman Victory Liner FC 11 29
Cebu Queen City United FC 11 25
Agila FC 11 21
Laos FC 11 15
Union Internacional Manila 11 14
Team Socceroo FC 11 14
Forza FC 11 12
Dolphins United FC 11 10
Manila All-Japan FC 11 7
Lions Meltique Beef FC 11 7
Sunken Garden United FC 11 6

Note that the bottom team in Division 1 and the bottom two teams of Division 2 are highlighted. They are the ones who will be relegated. Now who will replace those particular teams? The champion of Division 2 will be promoted to Division 1 to replace the last place team. As for the Division 2 cellar dwellers, since there is no Division 3, the current set-up (barring any changes from the UFL Executive and / or Technical Committee) is to find teams who participated in the UFL Cup to come in and replace the relegated sides.

With regards to this, earlier today, Bonnie Ladrido, drafted on his website a position paper presenting a possible revision to the relegation process pertaining to Division 1. Specifically, the revision in question is looking at two teams being relegated from Division 1 to Division 2 and the top two teams from Division 2 to Division 1. The third-worst team in Division 1 would then face the third-best team in Division 2 in a 2-leg format, with the winner gets to earn its slot in Division 1.

The logic of this, according to the paper, is to ensure the UFL is aligned with how other football leagues are set up, citing how other countries conduct similar relegation schemes. In addition, it also expounds on the value of increased competitiveness within the league with this particular scheme, as it would make for better storylines and a larger magnitude of drama at the end of the season.

Based on the current standings, the application of the proposal would show that Navy and Pasargad will be automatically relegated, with Pachanga and Diliman automatically promoted. The Division 1 play-in game would then involve Green Archers United and Cebu Queen City United (a tantalizing possibility especially if one of the legs is going to be held at the Queen City of the South).   

It is important to note though, that Mr. Ladrido is part of the management team of Diliman FC, the 2nd team in Division 2, but he did make it clear that this paper is the end result of a collaborative effort amongst the Division 2 teams during a Technical Committee meeting, and that it was his responsibility to write the paper. In addition, even before his team was included in the league, he already recommended such an expansion to the UFL management. He did stress that the decision still rests with the UFL as to amending the rules and that the clubs are to abide by them whether the position paper is accepted or not.

Reading the paper would make you nod your head in approval to what the essence of what it is, and so for football fans in the Philippines, it is something that the United Football League should look into, among other things, in its development alongside the growth of the sport in our consciousness.

Skip Bayless getting owned

I only manage to listen to ESPN2's morning show First Take via podcast, so I know who Skip Bayless is from listening to him and via his twitter (@realskipbayless). He takes pride of his hometown team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. But he is absolutely critical of one guy in the team, Russell Westbrook. Almost each and every time he takes potshots at his shot attempts, his turnovers, his decision making... And then one time, he decides to share what he knows about running a team as a point guard to illustrate what Russell ought to be doing.

But then, a local blog in Oklahoma decided to do some digging. And it leads to this gem from Jalen Rose on First Take yesterday.

Of course, this was after Kevin Durant got sick and tired of constantly having to hear about this stuff.

So, I thank you, Jalen Rose. As you always say at the start of your Grantland podcast... "Power To The People, Give the People What They Want."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Viva Filipinas Futbol

The short film above was directed by Nikki del Carmen and co-written with Mia Marci. You are probably familiar with the voice over (that is of course, Ebong Joson a.k.a. The Blue-Haired Fanatic).

This is their entry to a contest sponsored by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF). The theme of the contest  is about what is your "view of Asia and Europe’s connections of the future, the diversity of the now and the interesting challenges of a small world with big populations."

This is what they wrote alongside the clip:
Football is the best representation of the relationship between Asia & Europe. European countries like Spain, Germany, England and France lead the sport, however, Asian Countries such as Japan, China and South Korea are starting to become household names with regards to the Sport.

One's national team struggling to reach the heights of being the best in the sport shows how its country's ideals towards moving towards the future, creating healthy competitiveness as well as friendly relationships between country towards one goal...the love of Football.
You can like, tweet or G+1 Nikki's entry here.

Asian 5 Nations Rugby in the Philippines

Are you ready for people to score a try? The best way to learn a sport is observing. This is probably the closest thing to high quality rugby. One should try and take advantage and watch these games at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Besides, Filipinos are competing, so it is an opportunity to express our pride, admiration and nationalism.

Hopefully, I have the chance to watch these matches. These four teams comprise Division I, which is one tier lower from the Asian rugby kings (Japan, Korea, UAE, Hong Kong and Kazakhstan).

Monday, April 9, 2012

Of Claiborne and Wonderlic

There has been much ado about how LSU defensive back Mo Claiborne got a 4 on the Wonderlic, as broken on PFT. The Wonderlic has been the means to determine the mental aptitude of a player. This is best known for tests on quarterbacks, but all draftees normally take this exam during the NFL Draft Combine. Why is this highlighted on quarterbacks? Mainly because it is the position that depends highly on mental skill and critical thinking.

Should we really care about the Wonderlic? In the modern era, players prepare for the Wonderlic like how high school kids here prepare for their SATs or for the college entrance exams, they practice and do mock exams. It does not exactly reflect the true aptitude of the player, as noted by Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post. In addition, Morris has a learning disability and has been working really hard to ensure that is not a hindrance to his effort being a student athlete and kudos to LSU trying to help him overcome it. It can partially frame your idea of a draftee, but it should not be the be all and end all of it. Scouts, GMs and coaches have to go through game tape as well as doing their own due diligence

Anyhow, it produced an interesting retort from CBS Sports' Gregg Doyel, to which Mike Florio responds to.

It really does not matter for Claiborne. He's going to be a Top 5 pick in the upcoming draft. See why below.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Kaka's Wonder Goal

It's amazing what the sport of football does, especially with magical stuff like this goal above.

(h/t to Mocksession)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lebanese scores 113 points by himself


It is said that an individual scoring 100 points is one of the toughest things to pull off in today's game, but yesterday in the country of Lebanon, someone just did.

Mohamed El Akkari pulled off such a feat and then some, scoring 113 points for Moutahed in a 173-141 win over Bejjeh in the Lebanese League. Considering that this particular league only plays 40 minutes instead of the NBA's 48 minutes (FIBA rules), seeing this kind of a scoreline is insane.

The 6'2" guard shot 40/69 from the field and 32/59 from long distance, adding a solitary free throw to boot. According to someone's calculations (which are off by two points upon checking), He scored 18 in the 1st (off of six 3's), 15 in the 2nd (off of five 3's), 48 in the 3rd (including 13 threes) and 30 in the fourth (including eight 3's)

He had been averaging 7.6 pts, 2 rebs, .9 assts and 1.1 stls in 23 games, averaging a shade under 20 minutes, before his offensive explosion. He is probably their best three point shooter at 31.4%, thus his preference of shooting threes.

Moutahed had been toting an under .500 win-loss record in the Lebanese Division A, wallowing in the lower half of their division, just beating an opponent that has a worse record than they do. In addition, Bejjeh did not have their best players with the team, due to a pay dispute involving some of them.

Since Wilt Chamberlain pulled off the century mark in the Association, there have been players who also managed to pull off such a feat, namely the late great Drazen Petrovic in Croatia before being ported over to the NBA, a couple of Filipinos, Lou Salvador in 1923 (scored 116 in the archaic rules and probably peach baskets of Naismith) and now-incoming college freshman Jeron Teng in 2011 (104 in a HS game) and a couple of Americans playing in the Philippines (Michael Hackett's 103 in 1985, Tony "The Hurricane" Harris' 105 in 1992).

Now let's see Kobe try to outdo that. (h/t to Deadspin, BDL, and others)

Update: ESPN trying to update, but gets caught not proofreading its articles.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Blog Outsourcing - April 2, 2012 edition

Greetings and Welcome to Holy Monday.

Yesterday, was Palm Sunday, and thus marks the beginning of Holy Week. For most Christian nations, it is an opportunity to think and reflect on things. In the Motherland, usually, people retreat to the provinces and take advantage and schedule vacations. Especially on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, where the country virtually shuts down on its own.

Just one game left in men's college basketball's main course, the NCAA Tournament. It has a palindromic feel, as it is UK vs KU. Yours truly finished an embarrassing last place. Shame on me. But look who is currently on top. 5 players finished with over 1000 points. There is currently a tie as of the moment with Mikey and Billybawl at the lead, but the former has the Wildcats and the latter has the Jayhawks. In fact, he is the only one of the pool who has Bill Self's team winning the tournament.

Here forth are the links after the jump: