Nuffnang

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Trequartista Sweeper - Olympic Permutations



Today being a rest day for both men's and women's football, this would be the best time to figure out where each of the groups stand out and what needs to be done for each to make to the knockout phase of the competition.

According to FIFA's guidelines, here are how the group rankings are to be determined, and consequently, who gets to advance to the next round in the tiebreaker:

a. Points
b. Goal Difference in all group matches
c. Goals scored in all group matches
d. Points accumulated between the teams concerned in the group matches
e. Goal Difference between the teams concerned in the group matches
f. Goals Scored between the teams concerned in the group matches

The men are bracketed in Groups A - D, while the women comprise Groups E - G.

Group A: Great Britain 4 pts (+2), Senegal 4 pts (+2), Uruguay 3 pts (-1), United Arab Emirates 0 pts (-3)

Schedule: Great Britain vs Uruguay at the Millenium Stadium; Senegal vs United Arab Emirates at the City of Coventry Stadium

It is as if Luis Suarez has a great chance to even be more infuriating for the Brits, especially to the English fans. This would have been at maximum hatred level if the match was held at Old Trafford instead of being in Cardiff, with there being no love lost between he and the Manchester United fans after the drama of last season. The South American side simply has to win over the hosts to make it through. All the Senegalese will have to do to make it through is to make sure the UAE do not win against them. A draw might just suffice for Stuart Pearce's crew, to advance. Great Britain has scored one more goal than the African side, so that may be in play here.

Group B: Mexico 4 pts (+2), Korea 4 pts (+1), Switzerland 1 pt (-1), Gabon 1 pt (-2)

Schedule: Mexico vs Switzerland at the Millenium Stadium; Korea vs Gabon at Wembley Stadium

Mexico and Korea can breathe easy if they do not lose to their respective opponents. Gabon and Switzerland each need a two-goal victory to advance to the knockout stages. The African team, however, has the toughest mountain to climb, as the other three teams in the group have scored twice. They have only one goal to their credit.

Group C: Brazil 6 pts (+3), Belarus 3 pts (-1), Egypt 1 pt (-1), New Zealand 1 pt (-1)

Schedule: Brazil vs New Zealand at St. James' Park; Egypt vs Belarus at Hampden Park

Neymar has been sensational as always, while Manchester United fans were dreaming about Lucas Moura doing those things he is doing right now wearing their colors in his brief appearance as a sub. The task at hand remains to bring home the gold, and so far so good for these guys. At least a draw against the Oceania powerhouse will do to seal their standing on top of the group. As for the Olywhites, they still have a glimmer of hope for the next stage, but they'll need to win against the South American giants, AND preferably a draw between Egypt and Belarus. Belarus can make things easy with a win over the Pharoahs, whose only way to advance is to win.

Group D: Japan 6 pts (+2), Honduras 4 pts (+1), Morocco 1 pt (-1), Spain 0 pts (-2)

Schedule: Japan vs Honduras at the City of Coventry Stadium; Morocco vs Spain at Old Trafford
The biggest shock of the tournament has definitely been Spain not being able to advance to the next stage of the Olympics, losing on two narrow 1-0 results. David De Gea will have the chance to end their tournament on a good note playing at his club turf at Old Trafford. Japan and Honduras can easily advance with a draw, but considering the runner-up of this group will most likely have to face Brazil in the quarterfinals, both teams, especially the Central Americans, might go for the win here. The North Africans still have a faint chance, but they'll need to win against Spain, probably have to score twice against them, and hope Japan wins against Honduras.

Group E: Brazil 6 pts (+6), Great Britain 6 pts (+4), New Zealand 0 pts (-2), Cameroon 0 pts (-8)

Schedule: New Zealand vs Cameroon at the City of Coventry Stadium; Great Britain vs Brazil at Wembley Stadium

The favorites have marched into form, as the current and upcoming Olympic hosts advance with ease into the next stage. Both Cameroon and New Zealand still have a chance at making it to the next round, but the only way that happens is with a victory. A draw will not cut it, and even with a secured victory, that team will need some additional luck to fall their way, especially if it is the African team.

Group F: Sweden 4 pts (+3), Japan 4 pts (+1), Canada 3 pts (+2), South Africa 0 pts (-6)

Schedule: Japan vs South Africa at Millenium Stadium; Canada vs Sweden at St. James' Park

Canada currently has the best goal difference among the third-place teams, which helps them immensely. A draw will ensure their entry into the next round as one of the two better 3rd place sides. They still have an outside shot of winning the group, if they win against the Swedes and Japan somehow is unable to win against South Africa, which would be a feat in itself for them. The Swedes have a 2-goal edge over the Nadeshiko, but the reigning World Cup champions have a relatively easier opponent. Either way, whoever finishes third here gets either Brazil or Great Britain, or the United States.

Group G: United States 6 pts (+5), France 3 pts (+3), North Korea 3 pts (-3), Colombia 0 pts (-5)

Schedule: United States vs North Korea at Old Trafford; France vs Colombia at St. James' Park

The last spot to the next stage of the Olympic Women's Football tournament is currently in the court of North Korea. Considering they have the reigning Olympic champions as their upcoming opponent, it will be a colossal task. What will put them at ease will be a draw between Cameroon and New Zealand, which ensures safe passage. France still has an outside shot of getting through as the top of the group, but they will need to dispatch the South Americans first, which also has a slim opportunity to make it through to the next round as a third-place team.

The TQS predicts the bracketing to go like this:

Group A: Senegal, Uruguay
Group B: Korea, Mexico
Group C: Brazil, Belarus
Group D: Japan, Honduras

TQS' predicted QF matchups: Senegal vs Mexico; Uruguay vs Korea; Brazil vs Honduras; Japan vs Belarus

Group E: Brazil, Great Britain, New Zealand (as 8th seed)
Group F: Japan, Sweden, Canada (as 7th seed)
Group G: United States, France

TQS' predicted QF matchups: Brazil vs Canada; United States vs New Zealand; Great Britain vs Sweden; Japan vs France

NBA Coach Erik Spoelstra Live Video Facebook Chat and Meet and Greet Promo


We know Erik Spoelstra is coming to Manila. I even wrote about that. But what you really want to have a chance to personally around the head coach of the recently crowned NBA Champions.

Thanks to Gatorade Philippines, fans will have the chance to secure exclusive access to a LIVE STREAM VIDEO CHAT with him on the Gatorade Philippines Facebook page!

Not only that, but also ten (10) lucky fans will also be invited to the actual LIVE CHAT to meet Coach Spo in person, take pictures with THE Larry O’Brien trophy, and get cool Gatorade gear this Saturday, August 4, at The Marriott Hotel, Manila.

Join now and fuel your thirst for Basketball with Gatorade and The NBA!

Instructions on how to join are noted after the jump:

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Leo Awards for 2012

The Mythical 1st Team
List of Candidates and Winners (in Bold, for Mythical selection, 1st team = Bold; 2nd team in italics)

Congratulations to the nominees, and especially the winners.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

1. DAVID, Gary (34.00 SPs)
2. SANTOS, Arwind (31.1 SPs)
3. YAP, James (28.8 SPs)
4. CAGUIOA, Mark (28.2 SPs)

MYTHICAL SELECTION

GUARDS

1. ALAPAG, Jimmy
2. BAGUIO, Cyrus
3. CABAGNOT, Alex
4. CAGUIOA, Mark
5. CARDONA, Mark
6. CASIO, Jayvee
7. CASTRO, Jayson
8. DAVID, Gary
9. LEE, Paul
10. MERCADO, Solomon
11. MILLER, Willie
12. NORWOOD, Gabe
13. SIMON, PJ
14. TENORIO, LA

CENTERS/FORWARDS

1. CHAN, Jeffrei
2. DE OCAMPO, Ranidel
3. SANTOS, Arwind
4. THOSS, Sonny
5. WILLIAMS, Kelly
6. YAP, James

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. LEE, Paul (25.4 SPs)
2. CASIO, JVee (24.1 SPs)
3. LASSITER, Marcio (21.4 SPs)
4. ABABOU, Dylan (17.4 SPs)
5. SENA, James Ryan (16.8 SPs)

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER

1. CHAN, Jeffrei
2. KRAMER, Doug
3. URBIZTONDO, Joshua

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM

GUARDS

1. ARBOLEDA, Wynne
2. ANTHONY, Sean
3. IBANES, Jireh
4. LASSITER, Marcio
5. NORWOOD, Gabe
6. REYES, Ryan
7. ROSS, Chris

CENTERS/FORWARDS

1. BELGA, Beau
2. DE OCAMPO, Ranidel
3. HATFIELD, Rudy
4. HUGNATAN, Reynel
5. KRAMER, Doug
6. PINGRIS, Marc
7. SANTOS, Arwind
8. TAULAVA, Asi
9. THOSS, Sonny
10. WILSON, William

SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD

1. CASIO, Jayvee
2. FONACIER, Larry
3. SIMON, Peter June

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kobe as armchair football analyst


That was posted on Kobe's Facebook page. Kobe is a fan of the sport and is buddies with some of the famous soccer players in the continent where he's at.

Think he's got that in him?

Encapsulating the UAAP - Week 2

Thanks to sir Philip Sison of Fabilioh.com


Rankings after the week's games:

UST - Quite simply, the third quarter was it for the Growling Tigers against the defending champions.
Ateneo - Would definitely be unbeaten had they had a couple of more minutes against the Growling Tigers, but more than made up for it by embarrassing the hosts.
FEU - Unbeaten, yep, but both of their wins could have gone either way.
NU - So, are they overrated? Which is the fluke?
La Salle - Will holding LA Revilla out pay off this Saturday?
UP - long wait, no thanks to Ferdie
Adamson - ditto for them
UE - Is Roi Sumang going to reprise Paul Lee's final season for the Red Warriors?

What lies ahead:

Thursday (at the Araneta Coliseum) - 2 PM University of the Philippines vs National University; 4 PM Adamson University vs Far Eastern University

Saturday (at the Mall of Asia Arena) - 11 AM University of Santo Tomas vs National University; 4 PM De La Salle University vs Ateneo de Manila University

Sunday (at the Mall of Asia Arena) - 2 PM Far Eastern University vs University of the East; 4 PM University of the Philippines vs Adamson University

Flag flap marks Day 1 of Olympics



The Opening Ceremonies have not yet started, and London 2012 is off to an embarrassing start.

Olympic competition has already begun, with women's football being one of the events that will commence before the actual parade of athletes and all that pomp. One should be pleased with the come-from-behind victory by the United States over France, 4-2, but the next match will probably take all the headlines away.

In Hampden Park in Glasgow, the North Korean women's football team refused to start their match against Colombia in protest for the South Korean flag being displayed alongside the North Korea players on the screen. Their match was delayed for slightly over an hour, as the organizers were able to persuade the team to eventually play.

Subsequently, the London Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) released the following statement:
Today ahead of the women's football match at Hampden Park, the South Korean flag was shown on a big screen video package instead of the North Korean flag. Clearly that is a mistake," organizers said. "We will apologize to the team and the National Olympic Committee and steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again.
It is important to remind everyone that North and South Korea remain technically at war, thus this would be a really really sensitive matter that you do not overlook. I mean, how difficult would it be to know the difference between the two flags here.



Considering that Pyongyang has nuclear weapons and that South Korea's Pyeongchang is hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics, it is a reminder of reality setting in a little bit.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Erik Spoelstra to visit the Philippines


Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is coming home. Again.

The National Basketball Association announced that Coach Spo will be returning to the Philippines for the third time, from August 2 to 5. This time however, he is bringing home some "pasalubong."

The Larry O'Brien championship trophy will be coming along with him in his homecoming, dubbed as the NBA Trophy Tour, presented by Gatorade.

Fans will be able to get a glimpse of the trophy that the Heat won in 5 games over the Oklahoma City Thunder on August 4 and 5 at selected SM Malls.

Erik and the trophy will be at The Block Atrium of SM North EDSA from 2-3pm of August 4, while on August 5, it will be at the SM Megamall Events Center at 230pm - 330pm and at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall from 430pm - 530pm.

Also on August 2, a NBA 3X Clinic will be overseen by Spoelstra for teen boys and girls as part of the NBA 3X event to take place a couple of weeks later. The clinic will be conducted at Jose Rizal University in Mandaluyong City.

One of the highlights of the Tour will be an interactive viewing party with selected fans, where either Game 3 or Game 4 of the just-concluded NBA Finals will be shown in the SM Mall of Asia Center Stage, while Spoelstra providing insights and a sort-of "director's commentary" of the game. These selected fans would then be able to have interactions with Erik and even ask him questions during it.

The game to be shown is subject to an online voting process on the NBA Philippines' Facebook page, with the voting period being from July 27 to August 2. 20 pairs of tickets will be given away to random people who share the poll during said time frame.

The NBA Trophy Tour is supported by SM Supermalls, SM Cinemas and SM MOA. Media partners include Basketball TV, NBA Premium TV, Studio 23 and philstar.com, with Marriott Manila as hotel partner.

For more information about NBA activities in the Philippines, visit www.nba.com, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/philsnba or follow us on Twitter at @NBA_Philippines.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Blog Outsourcing July 23, 2012 edition



Greetings and I hope you have had a happy Monday. Obviously, most, if not all of us, suffered some major buzzkill from the past few days, mostly from the Aurora shootings and the fallout from the Freeh report being applied onto the current and incoming batch of Penn State players.

To provide you with something positive to kickstart your morning, here is Michelle Jenneke (thank you to With Leather).




Here forth are the links after the jump.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Powerade for Philippine Olympic Athlete



Powerade is proud to be a supporter of the Filipino athlete. As the official  sports drink for the 2012 London Olympics, Powerade ION4 wants to help in the effort of raising funds for the quest of the Filipino Olympic Gold.

We can either go Powerade's Facebook page and send our messages of support to our Olympic athletes, three of which (boxer Mark Barriga, long jumper Marestella Torres, and skeet shooter Brian Rosario) have been named as brand ambassadors. Or we could do what Powerade brand ambassador Coach Rio asks us to do on this video clip below.

 

Run 4 Gold Mechanics (more details after the jump):

Dennis Rodman and His Dad



On Wednesday night, fans in the Philippines were treated to an exhibition involving legends from the Motherland and a team assembled by Charles Smith, who serves as the head of the Professional Basketball Alumni Association, but the true highlight lies with a simple acknowledgment.

During a TV timeout with 16 seconds left in the exhibition match, The Worm got his hand onto the public address system, said some words, and pointed his finger to his long-time estranged father, who was watching in the crowd, for the first time in his life (h/t to SPIN Philippines).

If you recall his Hall of Fame induction speech, he acknowledged that his father left him at an early age. Philander Rodman had been working with the United States Air Force, who at the time had a military base in Clark Field. In fact, this was quoted from him in his 1996 memoir... (h/t to Kelly Dwyer and Y!'s Ball Don't Lie)
"I never really knew my father, Philander Rodman. He was in the Air Force in New Jersey, where I was born, and when I was three we packed up and came back to Dallas where my mother is from. We did this when my father stopped coming home. My father isn't part of my life. I haven't seen him in more than thirty years, so what is there to miss? I just look at it like this: Some man brought me into this world. That doesn't mean I have a father; I don't. I could say, 'This is my father. This is my dad,' but that doesn't sound right to me. I grew up with my mother and two younger sisters, Debra and Kim. There wasn't a male role model in my life until I got to college and started getting my [act] together."
I actually managed to attend the press conference about the event, entitled the PLDT All-Star Basketball Challenge, which had taken place on Tuesday afternoon. Being in the Motherland, one of the topics inevitably raised during that conference dealt with Dennis and Philander.

On that moment, Dennis said if his father was present at the game, he would shake his hand.

Naturally, Philander was moved by the gesture, noting that it was the first time that it happened and that he is very proud of him. He now currently owns a burger stand in Angeles City, which is near where Clark AFB used to be and he is currently based. He also has 29 children from 16 mothers.

The actual news bit was done in the local parlance, but you'll get what Philander says here. (h/t Interaksyon)


The final score ended at 112-93 in favor of the visiting squad, with Jason Williams scoring 26 points and issuing 7 dimes. Pippen scored 20 points. Dennis scored the fewest with 4. Yours truly managed to get a glimpse of the game as well.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What Should Vinny Del Negro do? My LAC offseason wishlist (Part IV)



The Los Angeles Clippers finished with the 5th Seed in the Western Conference, needing seven games to fend off the Memphis Grizzlies, highlighted by their scintillating comeback from 27 points down in Game 1.

Unfortunately, they went up against the buzzsaw that is the San Antonio Spurs, thus ending their postseason.

Free Agency Fever has begun. Now what? Let's go through it...

The holdovers: Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler,  Ryan Gomes, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Travis Leslie, Lamar Odom, Chris Paul and Trey Thompkins.

What exactly went on in the Odom deal? Here is the official wording from the Clippers themselves.
The Los Angeles Clippers today acquired forward Lamar Odom from the Dallas Mavericks as part of a four-team trade also involving the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets.  The Clippers sent point guard Mo Williams to the Jazz and the draft rights to Furkan Aldemir, the Clippers’ second round selection (53rd overall) in the 2012 NBA Draft to Houston while the Jazz conveyed the draft rights of Tadija Dragicevic, Utah’s second round pick (53rd overall) in the 2008 NBA Draft to Dallas.  To complete the trade, Dallas sent the draft rights of Shan Foster, the Mavericks’ second round selection (51st overall) in the 2008 NBA Draft to the Jazz with Houston sending cash considerations to Dallas. 
What does Lamar Odom provide you? The former Clipper provides versatility with his size as well as his veteran experience. He'll also improve bench production that will be affected after the departure of Mo Will.

Why subject Ryan Gomes to the amnesty clause? Based on the current roster of the Clippers, only two players are eligible for that move, he and Eric Bledsoe. The move ensures the club is no longer in danger of exceeding the hard cap and paying luxury tax.

Who do we keep? Here are the Los Angeles Clippers' unrestricted free agents: Chauncey Billups Randy Foye, Kenyon Martin, Bobby Simmons, They do not have any RFAs.

Billups and Martin are vets that I'd like to keep around as locker room guys and role players. I value Foye's contributions, but definitely will not overpay for him.

Reggie Evans is also one of our free agents, but the Clippers arranged for a sign-and-trade to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for a heavily protected second round pick.

Nick Young has already agreed in principle for a one-year deal with Philadelphia.

Chauncey Billups has officially rejoined the Clippers.

Who should we chase? There are three tiers of players that the Clippers should be chasing.

1. Two-guards. It is very clear that LA needs height in its backcourt. Also a shooter. Ideally, the two should go together, but not really that necessary on the latter. A couple of interesting options being thrown around is Jamal Crawford and Jason Terry, but the former has some well-known issues and the latter is 34 and is probably on the decline. They have targeted Ray Allen as well, who is definitely on the decline, but his shooting is perceived to be an asset. If said two-guard can play small forward in a pinch, it would be an advantage.

2. Tall big. DeAndre is the only true center they have in the lineup, but there is a need to secure some height. We need also for that particular big man to be able to either mentor DeAndre or push him to play better. One of the free agent options would be to bring back Marcus Camby, who helped with the mentoring process in the early years. It would be of great help if the big has some workable talent at least on one side of the floor.

3. Bench depth. There is a need to upgrade team depth. It sometimes became too agonizing to watch non-production in our rotation. Whether Vinny Del Negro had anything to do with that, we are not exactly THAT sure, but having key pieces to surround our offensive core will really be welcomed.

Now, time to peruse the targets.

Philadelphia 76rs Lou Williams has already made the move to Atlanta. Jodie Meeks and Xavier Silas are tall guards who could fit LAC's needs, especially Jodie's shooting. Sam Young can serve as a backup to Caron. Craig Brackins would be an interesting option off the bench, while Tony Battie is a tall big that precisely could fit in the Clippers' budgetary plans.

Phoenix Suns: Robin Lopez is restricted, and more likely going to be retained by the Suns. Aaron Brooks and Shannon Brown are guards who are too small and too redundant for the Clippers' needs in the backcourt. Besides, Brooks is already headed to Sacramento. The same can be said for Ronnie Price. The Clips are more likely to go after Michael Redd and Grant Hill, given their needs.

Update: Grant Hill is going to be a Clipper.

Portland Trailblazers: Raymond Felton has agreed to a sign-and-trade to the Knicks, while Nicolas Batum has an offer sheet from Minnesota that Neil Olshey is taking his sweet time on. JJ Hickson has a deal set up for him to stay in the Northwest. Joel Pryzbilla would fit the tall big need, but with the current cap space available, he may possibly be out of the price range. Fans would welcome the return of former Clipper Craig Smith, but he is undersized for the position. Former lottery selection Jonny Flynn does not fit the need that the Clippers are looking for.

Sacramento Kings: Their free agent options are interesting free agent options.Terrence Williams and Donte Greene are wing options that would be handy in providing spot minutes for the team as relievers.

San Antonio Spurs:Tim Duncan will always be a Spur. Reports are that Spurs are to keep Danny Green with an offer. The former UNC Tar Heel proved to be an effective option for Popovich as an alternative starter to Manu Ginobili. Patty Mills will probably sign after his Olympic campaign with Australia, while the same can be said for Boris Diaw for France.

Toronto Raptors: Aaron Gray looks to be staying in Canada, but the other two tall big free agents in Solomon Alabi and Jamaal Magloire could be intriguing possibilities. Sonny Weems and Alan Anderson are cheap wing options for LA. As for Ben Uzoh, his skill set is pretty much already set by the current Clipper roster.

Utah Jazz: Josh Howard and C.J. Miles are interesting wing possibilities, while Blake Ahearn would be a luxury with the backcourt depth available.

Washington Wizards: Cartier Martin is staying in Washington. Brian Cook is no stranger to Clipper fans, as he was LA's throw-in for the deal that sent Nene to the nation's capital from Denver. Also familiar would be James Singleton, the hardworking forward who spent his first two seasons there. Morris Almond and Maurice Evans are two different kinds of swingmen. Morris can fill it up, while Maurice will make it difficult for you to fill it up.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ateneo vs Adamson (return to context)


It is nice to see a photo of you in the actual event. Thanks to Philip Sison of Fabilioh.com for the photo.

If you want to know what went down statistically, see photo below.


PLDT All-Star Basketball Challenge


On Wednesday night, legends from the NBA and the PBA will face each other on the court, thanks to the people behind the Mall of Asia Arena for the PLDT All-Star Basketball Challenge.

The NBA Legends, put together by the Professional Basketball Alumni Association and its head, former New York Knicks forward Charles Smith, is currently on their Asian tour. They previously were at Kuala Lumpur, where they won 96-81 against a reinforced ASEAN Basketball League side KL Westport Dragons. They will then proceed to Taiwan after making an appearance here in Manila. They have been in the region before, having conducted a similar tour in Macau last year.

With Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the head coach, the team is led by multi-titled Chicago Bulls forwards Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant and Dennis Rodman. Joining them are fellow NBA vets Mitch Richmond, Jason Williams, Clifford Robinson, Bryon Russell and Jeff Trepagnier. Completing the roster are Alexis Foyle, Chris Campbell and Charoy Bentley. Richmond, Grant and Rodman had been previous visitors to Manila.

As for their opponents, the PBA Legends will be handled by playing coach Jerry Codinera. He will have at his disposal his fellow legends who had recently graced the recent Jaworski retirement ceremony, Bal David, Noli Locsin, Vince Hizon, Marlou Aquino and EJ Feihl. Completing the team are Kenneth Duremdes, Jojo Lastimosa, Bong Hawkins and Nelson Asaytono.

If you miss out on seeing the game live, no worries. AkTV will be broadcasting this game on July 23 at 8pm.

Here is the press conference as hosted by Vince Golangco of Mellow 94.7 and When In Manila.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Jaworski Homage

Photo 1st seen @ Celest Flores' article on Inquirer.net
I was privileged enough to be able to be at the Araneta Coliseum on July 8, where 15,098 predominately Ginebra fans became witness to the retirement ceremony of the Living Legend, Robert Jaworski.

The Big J clearly remarked that this is merely a retirement of his iconic number 7, and that he will never ever depart the sport that blessed him all the way back from his collegiate days at the University of the East, where he was molded by the Maestro himself, Virgilio "Baby" Dalupan, to his MICAA days, to the iconic Toyota brand and to the Ginebra franchise.

The former senator personally gave thanks to those who helped pave the way to who he was then, and who he is now. For more details, watch the entire speech below.



It was a special night, graced by his former players at Ginebra, his former head coach at Toyota, Dante Silverio (whose jet-black hair still stands amidst the test of time), PBA Commissioner Chito Salud, Ginebra executives and SMC sports head Noli Eala, representing Ramon S. Ang.

Ginebra's Past meets its Current

The game that followed, Barangay Ginebra against Petron Blaze Boosters, had to come close to the pomp and drama of the ceremony. Instead, the match evolved into a modern illustration of the essence that is ang lahing Ginebra San Miguel, in fact, they were sporting throwback jerseys that night as well.

The Gin Kings suffered a sluggish start, trailing early they tried to find their form. But they kept themselves hanging around ensuring they keep themselves in a position for a possible comeback, anchored by the likes of Mark Caguioa and the wily veterans. And then in the fourth quarter, with the Spark firing on all cylinders, Ginebra's future shows up. SMART-Gilas alum Dylan Ababou scored all 13 of his points in the second half, while Rico Maierhofer snags a 10 and 10 performance.

And although Alex Cabagnot scores to even things at 85, it just sets up the drama.



And the postgame.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Blog Outsourcing - July 16, 2012 edition


 

Hello and hope your Bastille Day weekend went well.

I managed to get a taste of witnessing my first-ever Mixed Martial Arts event last Saturday night. I have been always accustomed to watching them on the television, on a delayed basis, too. But, thanks to some people I know, I managed to get in and see for myself what exactly goes on in such an event, considering that this could also be ongoing in boxing, too.

The event I watched is PXC 31. Its main event featured someone named Crisanto Pitpitunge becoming the 2nd ever homegrown Filipino to become a PXC champion, issuing a knockout victory on the former titleholder Justin Cruz in the bantamweight division. Seeing what goes on behind the scenes and looking around at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig was an interesting thing to observe on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, the UAAP opened it's 75th Season this weekend. Host National University, led by former Georgia Tech recruit Bobby Ray Parks, jr., issued a 90-55 beating over the University of the East. However, my alma mater also issued a 73-57 victory in their quest for a fifth straight crown in men's basketball. We face them this weekend.

Here forth are the links after the jump.

Encapsulating the UAAP - Week 1



Brief predictions: Ateneo to make it five-in-a-row. Ray Parks retains MVP title.

Useless Final Four Prediction: NU, Ateneo, FEU, La Salle.

My Preseason Picks for the All-UAAP 1st Team: Emmanuel Mbe (NU), Greg Slaughter (Ateneo), Ray Parks (NU), Alex Nuyles (Adamson) and Kiefer Ravena (Ateneo)

My Preseason Picks for the All-UAAP 2nd Team: Karim Abdul (UST), Norbert Torres (DLSU), Nico Salva (Ateneo), Jeron Teng (DLSU) and RR Garcia (FEU)

Rankings after the weekend games:

Ateneo - workman-like dismantling of the Falcons. Took a while to get themselves going, though.
NU - thorough annihilation of UE, protest notwithstanding.
FEU - come from behind win, anchored by the guard corps.
La Salle - Jeron Teng in the clutch, douses the comeback attempt. The inevitable Freshman of the Year.
UST - got the tools, but they got to remember to close it out.
UP - encouraging signs, but costly decisions did them in their near-comeback attempt.
Adamson - one thing for sure, Leo Austria will maximize everything he can get from his crew.
UE - long season for Jerry Codinera. He might possibly have better tools this Wednesday as the playing coach of the PBA Legends.

What lies ahead:

Thursday at the Araneta Coliseum - Ateneo vs UST at 2pm, UE vs La Salle at 4pm.

Saturday at the MOA Arena - UE vs Adamson at 2pm, UP vs UST at 4pm.

Sunday at the MOA Arena - FEU vs La Salle at 2pm, Ateneo vs NU at 4pm.

Friday, July 13, 2012

PXC 31 this Saturday



Mixed martial arts fans in the Philippines will once again get to see some skirmishes again, as Pacific X-treme Combat (PXC) is to take place on July 14 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City with PXC 31. It begins at 7pm, while those unable to go can watch it on a slightly delayed basis on AkTV at 9pm that night.

Highlighting the MMA event is reigning PXC bantamweight champion Justin "The Shocker" Cruz from Guam attempting to defend his belt against Team Lakay's Crisanto "The Slugger Pitpitunge. This is a classic styles-makes-fights matchup, with a striker going up against a technical submission machine.

Crisanto earned the right for the 135-lb belt thanks to his last three wins on PXC events, two of which came via stoppage. If he wins against Justin, he would be the second Filipino to win a PXC belt, after Ale Cali pulled it off in PXC 29 last February.

From L to R: Richie Redman, Justin Cruz, Crisanto Pitpitunge, Tristan Arenal
PXC 31 is presented by San Mig Strong Ice and Sports 5, with special thanks to e-Games, Best Western F1 Hotel (where the fighters are staying and where the press conference for the fight was held), Rogin-E, Fitness First, Beer Below Zero, Premiere Condoms, FHM Philippines, FHM.com.ph, Healthway Agility Phil., Real Sports Radio and Loqal.ph

Tickets are available via SM Tickets and Ticketworld.

Ringside = PhP 2450, VIP = PhP 1850, Lower Box = PhP 650, Upper Box = PhP 350

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

UAAP Season 75 Basketball Ticket Guidelines for Ateneo



The UAAP season for men's basketball is to commence this Sunday, and with that, we ought to know how do the Ateneo community handles the need for tickets. For Season 75, this is the protocol.

* Ticket Selling Schedule

    Thursday Games: Tuesdays, starting 9 am until supplies last
    Saturday Games: Wednesdays, starting 9 am until supplies last
    Sunday Games: Thursdays, starting 9 am until supplies last

* The Blue Eagle Gym Ticket Selling managed by the University Athletics Office will sell ONLY  to the following:

  •     Alumni of ATENEO DE MANILA UNIVERSITY only.
  •     Grade school students, parent representing the student, faculty and staff.
  •     High school students, parent representing the student, faculty and staff.
  •     Ateneo Professional Schools students, faculty and staff
  •     Central Administration Staff

* Strictly NO PROXY.
*Ticket selling to LOYOLA SCHOOLS students, graduate students, faculty and staff, will be handled by the COLLEGE ATHLETICS OFFICE.

* Please present the following identification cards prior to purchasing.

  •     Students, faculty, and staff of the Grade School, High School, and Ateneo Professional Schools: Ateneo I.D.
  •     Parent representing child studying at the Grade School or High School: Child’s Ateneo I.D. and parent's government-issued I.D. with photo
  •     Staff of Central Administration: Ateneo I.D.
  •     Alumni of the Ateneo de MANILA : Ateneo Alumni Association card or any government-issued I.D. with photo
* Strictly 2 tickets ONLY per person.
    o For example:

    a.       Alumni parent representing the child = 2 tickets only.
    b.      Parent representing 2 or more children = 2 tickets only.

FOR ATENEO-LA SALLE GAMES, FINAL 4, FINALS

1.       Please follow selling days mentioned above.  Numbers for the ticket selling will be issued starting at 7:00 AM at the Blue Eagle Gym Ticket Booth.

    a.       Proper Identification mentioned above must be provided.
    b.      Only the following may buy tickets:

  •         Students of the Grade School, High School, Ateneo Professional Schools
  •         Parents representing their child studying at the Grade School or High School
  •         Faculty and staff of the Grade School, High School, Ateneo Professional Schools
  •         Staff of the Central Administration
  •         Alumni of the Ateneo de Manila University    

2.       Be sure to be in your designated seats by 6:00 PM.  Ticket selling will commence at exactly 7:00 PM.

    a.       Strictly NO PROXY.
    b.       Present your I.D. along with your number.  Please use the same I.D. you presented to get the number.

3.       Other rules mentioned above will apply.

 
MANAGEMENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REFUSE TICKET SELLING.

ESPY nominees released


The rest of the world has the Laureus World Sports Awards, but the American consciousness has the ESPYs, where the world of sports and entertainment come together to recap the year in sports, giving recognition to the best performers and performances in that time.

As it has been the norm, the ESPYs honor the best players in a particular sport within itself, as well as the best athlete from different disciplines. They also honor an event, which signifies something that is special. The nominees were known to the public by the 28th of June.


This is also a means for the ESPN to continue its support for the Jimmy V foundation.

The [complete list of] 2012 ESPYS Nominees and Categories (after the jump)

What Should Vinny Del Negro do? My LAC offseason wishlist (Part III)



The Los Angeles Clippers finished with the 5th Seed in the Western Conference, needing seven games to fend off the Memphis Grizzlies, highlighted by their scintillating comeback from 27 points down in Game 1.

Unfortunately, they went up against the buzzsaw that is the San Antonio Spurs, thus ending their postseason.

Free Agency Fever has begun. Now what? Let's go through it...

The holdovers: Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler,  Ryan Gomes, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Travis Leslie, Lamar Odom, Chris Paul and Trey Thompkins.

What exactly went on in the Odom deal? Here is the official wording from the Clippers themselves.
The Los Angeles Clippers today acquired forward Lamar Odom from the Dallas Mavericks as part of a four-team trade also involving the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets.  The Clippers sent point guard Mo Williams to the Jazz and the draft rights to Furkan Aldemir, the Clippers’ second round selection (53rd overall) in the 2012 NBA Draft to Houston while the Jazz conveyed the draft rights of Tadija Dragicevic, Utah’s second round pick (53rd overall) in the 2008 NBA Draft to Dallas.  To complete the trade, Dallas sent the draft rights of Shan Foster, the Mavericks’ second round selection (51st overall) in the 2008 NBA Draft to the Jazz with Houston sending cash considerations to Dallas. 
What does Lamar Odom provide you? The former Clipper provides versatility with his size as well as his veteran experience. He'll also improve bench production that will be affected after the departure of Mo Will.

Who do we keep? Here are the Los Angeles Clippers' unrestricted free agents: Chauncey Billups Randy Foye, Kenyon Martin, Bobby Simmons, Nick Young. They do not have any RFAs.

Billups and Martin are vets that I'd like to keep around as locker room guys and role players. I value Foye's contributions, but definitely will not overpay for him. Likewise for Nick Young, but Swaggy P has some flaws that kind of make me cringe a little.


Reggie Evans is also one of our free agents, but the Clippers arranged for a sign-and-trade to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for a heavily protected second round pick.

Nick Young has already agreed in principle for a one-year deal with Philadelphia.

Who should we chase? There are three tiers of players that the Clippers should be chasing.

1. Two-guards. It is very clear that LA needs height in its backcourt. Also a shooter. Ideally, the two should go together, but not really that necessary on the latter. A couple of interesting options being thrown around is Jamal Crawford and Jason Terry, but the former has some well-known issues and the latter is 34 and is probably on the decline. They have targeted Ray Allen as well, who is definitely on the decline, but his shooting is perceived to be an asset. If said two-guard can play small forward in a pinch, it would be an advantage.

2. Tall big. DeAndre is the only true center they have in the lineup, but there is a need to secure some height. We need also for that particular big man to be able to either mentor DeAndre or push him to play better. One of the free agent options would be to bring back Marcus Camby, who helped with the mentoring process in the early years. It would be of great help if the big has some workable talent at least on one side of the floor.

3. Bench depth. There is a need to upgrade team depth. It sometimes became too agonizing to watch non-production in our rotation. Whether Vinny Del Negro had anything to do with that, we are not exactly THAT sure, but having key pieces to surround our offensive core will really be welcomed.

Now, time to peruse the targets.

Miami Heat: After winning a title, Juwan Howard is probably off to retirement. Ronny Turiaf and Eddy Curry are complete polar opposites, with the Gonzaga alum being the more palatable choice. Considering the options available, the chance for Terrel Harris to be a Clipper has passed.

Milwaukee Bucks: Carlos Delfino would be an intriguing target, with his shooting capability. Kwame Brown, in spite of his "bust" tag, has been in the league for a while already with his size and defensive skill. Ersan Ilyasova is probably out of our price range.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Michael Beasley has already agreed to be with Phoenix Suns. Anthony Tolliver is a serviceable and capable big, while Anthony Randolph is the usual case of potential unrealized.

New Orleans Hornets: Clipper fans would love to bring back Eric Gordon, but Phoenix has already made the max deal that the Indiana alum prefers. Another former Clipper in Chris Kaman would be someone they'd like to take back, but he'll be getting better offers. With Lamar in the team, does not make much sense to go after Carl Landry.

New York Knicks: Landry Fields has been signed to an offer sheet by the Raptors, while Jeremy Lin just signed his with the Houston Rockets. Mike Bibby and Baron Davis do not fit the current needs of the Clippers, however, JR Smith and Steve Novak do, the former for his off-the-bench scoring ability and the latter for his shooting prowess. As for Jared Jeffries, he is someone who can defend multiple positions and would be handy for any team.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Derek Fisher is a veteran point guard who can provide leadership and stability at the position, while Royal Ivey is a surplus guard whose calling card is supposed to be on the defensive end. Both guards would be perceived as luxuries to the Clippers, thus non-necessity. However, Nazr Mohammed is big guy down low buried by better talent in front of him in Ibaka, Perkins and Collison. He has the size for the position and could be handy for LA.

Orlando Magic: Ryan Anderson looks to be the buddy for Anthony Davis in New Orleans, while Jameer Nelson looms to be staying. Daniel Orton is an intriguing possibility for the Clippers to sign as their cheap back-up big, as he is truly big. Positional gluts will probably make DeAndre Liggins and Ish Smith as non-targets.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

UAAP Season 75 1st Round Schedule



Here is the schedule for the first round of the UAAP Season 75 Senior Men's Basketball Tournament.

Saturday, July 14 @ MOA Arena

2 p.m. — NU vs. UE
4 p.m. — UST vs. FEU

Sunday, July 15 @  MOA Arena

2 p.m. — DLSU vs. UP
4 p.m. — Adamson vs. Ateneo

Thursday, July 19 @ Araneta Coliseum

2 p.m. — Ateneo vs. UST
4 p.m. — UE vs. DLSU

Saturday, July 21 @ MOA Arena

2 p.m. — UE vs. Adamson
4 p.m. — UP vs. UST

Sunday, July 22 @ MOA Arena

2 p.m. — FEU vs. DLSU
4 p.m. — Ateneo vs. NU

Thursday, July 26 @ Araneta Coliseum

2 p.m. — UP vs. NU
4 p.m. — Adamson vs. FEU

Saturday, July 28 @ MOA Arena

11 a.m. — UST vs. NU
4 p.m. — DLSU vs. Ateneo

Sunday, July 29 @ MOA Arena

2 p.m. — FEU vs. UE
4 p.m. — UP vs. Adamson

Thursday, August 2 @ Araneta Coliseum

2 p.m. — Ateneo vs. UP
4 p.m. — NU vs. FEU

Saturday, August 4 @ MOA Arena

2 p.m. — UST vs. DLSU
4 p.m. — UE vs. Ateneo

Sunday, August 5 @ MOA Arena

2 p.m. — FEU vs. UP
4 p.m. — Adamson vs. NU

Wednesday, August 8 @ Araneta Coliseum

2 p.m. — DLSU vs. Adamson
4 p.m. — UE vs. UST

Saturday, August 11 @ PhilSports Arena

2 p.m. — UST vs. Adamson
4 p.m. — NU vs. DLSU

Sunday, August 12 @ Araneta Coliseum

2 p.m. — UP vs. UE
4 p.m. — Ateneo vs. FEU

Now that you know the first round, time to schedule your day around this.

It would important to remember the twitter account of the Mall of Asia Arena (@MOAArena). They have made some particular announcements.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

UAAP Season Men's Basketball 75 Rosters


See if your favorite player is in the official roster for the upcoming UAAP Season 75 Senior Men's basketball tournament.

Adamson University Soaring Falcons

ABRIGO, Gian Lloyd A.
AGUSTIN, Michael P.
BRONDIAL, John Rodney S.
CABIGAS, Eric Matthew U.
CABRERA, Roider Ross G.
CAMSON, Eric James M.
CRUZ, Jericho Xavier S.
DEANS, James Justin E.
ETRONE, Allen Marc N.
JUKIPLI, Ar-raouf H.
MONTECLARO, Ryan Christopher M.
NUYLES, Alexander S.
OLALIA, Jeffrey G.
PETILOS, Harry C.
RIOS, Jansen M.
TROLLANO, Celedonio Jr. B.

Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles

BABILONIA, Gideon Ira M.
BUENAFE, Ryan Clarence J.
CAPACIO, Gwyne Matthew D.
CHUA, Justin Shaun R.
ELORDE, Juan Nicholas V.
ERRAM, John Paul I.
GOLLA, Frank Jr. B.
GONZAGA, Luis Lorenzo C.
LIM, Isaac Jules B.
PESSUMAL, Von Rolfe V.
PORTER, Kristoffer James B.
RAVENA, Kieffer Isaac C.
SALVA, Nicolas Raymond J.
SLAUGHTER, Gregory William F.
SUMALINOG, Christopher Lou D.
TIONGSON, Juan Miguel B.


De La Salle University Green Archers 

ANDRADA, Yutien P.
DE LA PAZ, Luis Alfonso G.
GOTLADERA, Alfonzo F.
MANGUERA, Jed Bryan R.
MENDOZA, Mark Jovet P.
PAREDES, Philip M.
REVILLA, Luis Alfonso L.
REYES, Gabriel S.
TALLO, Mark Jayven B.
TAMPUS, Jarelan A.
TENG, Jeron Alvin U.
TORRES, Norbert O Brian Dlc.
TORRES, Thomas Christopher B.
VAN OPSTAL, Arnold Raymund L.
VOSOTROS, Almond P.
WEBB, Joshua David A.

Far Eastern University Tamaraws

BELO, Rey Mark G.
BRINGAS, Arvie P.
BRINGAS, Mark Anthony P.
CRUZ, Carl Bryan V.
ESCOTO, Russel D.
FORONDA, John Clarence M.
GARCIA, Ryan Roose B.
GUERRERO, Patrick Jolas C.
HARGROVE, Anthony Jr. R.
IÑIGO, Alejandrino Antonio Jr.
JOSE, Raymar A.
MENDOZA, Gryann C.
POGOY, Roger Ray B.
ROMEO, Terrence Bill V.
SENTCHEU, Christian S.
TOLOMIA, Cris Michael S.

National University Bulldogs

ALOLINO, Joshua Angelo C.
ATANGA BETAYENE, Henri Joel A.
CELDA, Reden M.
DE GUZMAN, Mark Joel B.
IGNACIO, Jul-ashri B.
JAVILLONAR, Joeffrey J.
KHOBUNTIN, Glenn R.
LABING-ISA, Cederick U.
MBE, Emmanuel M.
NEYPES, Kyle Drexter S.
PARKS, Bobby Ray B.
PEREZ, Tristan B.
RONO, Robin C.
ROSARIO, Jeth Troy U.
SINGH, Ajeet B.
VILLAMOR, Lee Dennice A.

University of the East Red Warriors

ALBERTO, Dan Irvin D.
BELLEZA, Gene M.
DUNCIL, John Carlo R.
DURAN, Erwin M.
FLORES, Jairold T.
GALANZA, Pedrito Jr. D.
HERNANDEZ, Ivan Jeric S.
JAVIER, Christopher Joyce F.
MENA, John Paul M.
OLAYON, Mark Anthony E.
RAZON, Samuel K.
SANTOS, Adrian M.
SUMANG, Shej Roi R.
SUMIDO, Jhon Rey C.
VALDEZ, Ian Carlo G.
VILLARIAS, Roy Vincent B.

University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons

ASILUM, Renzar A.
BALL, Matthew C. - (pending US Consul-authenticated certificate of live birth & an alien certificate of registration)
GALLARZA, Joseph Rey A.
GAMBOA, Michael Joseph Z.
HIPOLITO, Dionisio B.
LOPEZ, Mark Anthony F.
MANUEL, Jose Anton Teodoso V.
MBAH, Ifeanyi
MONTECASTRO, Anjelo A.
PADILLA, Alvin C.
ROMERO, Pablo Luis J.
SILUNGAN, Michael Jeffrey C.
SOYUD, Raul P.
WIERZBA, Robby V.
WONG, Julius Paul T.

University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers 

ABDUL, Karim
AFUANG, Carmelo S.
BAUTISTA, Clark Daniel M.
DAQUIOAG, Eduardo Jr. D.
FERRER, Kevin M.
FORTUNA, Jeric Marco G.
GARRIDO, Janrey J.
HAINGAN, Roberto Dlc.
LO, Kim Kaizen G.
MAMARIL, Kenneth B.
MARIANO, Aljon E.
PE, Paulo Lorenzo V.
TAN, Robin Allan L.
TENG, Jeric Allen U.
VIGIL, Louie Philippe V.
VILLAR, Christian Errol S

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What Should Vinny Del Negro do? My LAC offseason wishlist (Part II)



The Los Angeles Clippers finished with the 5th Seed in the Western Conference, needing seven games to fend off the Memphis Grizzlies, highlighted by their scintillating comeback from 27 points down in Game 1.

Unfortunately, they went up against the buzzsaw that is the San Antonio Spurs, thus ending their postseason.

Free Agency Fever has begun. Now what? Let's go through it...

The holdovers: Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler,  Ryan Gomes, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Travis Leslie, Lamar Odom, Chris Paul and Trey Thompkins.

What exactly is going on with the Odom deal? Here is the official wording from the Clippers themselves.

The Los Angeles Clippers today acquired forward Lamar Odom from the Dallas Mavericks as part of a four-team trade also involving the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets.  The Clippers sent point guard Mo Williams to the Jazz and the draft rights to Furkan Aldemir, the Clippers’ second round selection (53rd overall) in the 2012 NBA Draft to Houston while the Jazz conveyed the draft rights of Tadija Dragicevic, Utah’s second round pick (53rd overall) in the 2008 NBA Draft to Dallas.  To complete the trade, Dallas sent the draft rights of Shan Foster, the Mavericks’ second round selection (51st overall) in the 2008 NBA Draft to the Jazz with Houston sending cash considerations to Dallas. 
What does Lamar Odom provide you? The former Clipper provides versatility with his size as well as his veteran experience. He'll also improve bench production that will be affected after the departure of Mo Will.

Who do we keep? Here are the Los Angeles Clippers' unrestricted free agents: Chauncey Billups Randy Foye, Kenyon Martin, Bobby Simmons, Nick Young. They do not have any RFAs.

Billups and Martin are vets that I'd like to keep around as locker room guys and role players. I value Foye's contributions, but definitely will not overpay for him. Likewise for Nick Young, but Swaggy P has some flaws that kind of make me cringe a little.


Reggie Evans is also one of our free agents, but the Clippers arranged for a sign-and-trade to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for a heavily protected second round pick.

Who should we chase? There are three tiers of players that the Clippers should be chasing.

1. Two-guards. It is very clear that LA needs height in its backcourt. Also a shooter. Ideally, the two should go together, but not really that necessary on the latter. A couple of interesting options being thrown around is Jamal Crawford and Jason Terry, but the former has some well-known issues and the latter is 34 and is probably on the decline. They have targeted Ray Allen as well, who is definitely on the decline, but his shooting is perceived to be an asset. If said two-guard can play small forward in a pinch, it would be an advantage.

2. Tall big. DeAndre is the only true center they have in the lineup, but there is a need to secure some height. We need also for that particular big man to be able to either mentor DeAndre or push him to play better. One of the free agent options would be to bring back Marcus Camby, who helped with the mentoring process in the early years. It would be of great help if the big has some workable talent at least on one side of the floor.

3. Bench depth. There is a need to upgrade team depth. It sometimes became too agonizing to watch non-production in our rotation. Whether Vinny Del Negro had anything to do with that, we are not exactly THAT sure, but having key pieces to surround our offensive core will really be welcomed.

Now, time to peruse the targets.

Denver Nuggets: JaVale McGee is an emerging young big man, whose talent will be out of the Clippers' price range. Andre Miller looks like he will be staying in the Mile High City, while Rudy Fernandez looks to return home to Spain to play for Real Madrid.

Detroit Pistons: Ben Wallace has already said he will be retiring. Walker Russell is a small guard, which the Clippers currently have in spades. Vernon Macklin is a young big that may be available for cheap, while Damien Wilkins is a sort-of serviceable forward off the bench that might be of interest in case the top free agent options become unavailable.

Golden State Warriors: Brandon Rush is a restricted free agent that LA might interest, with his skill set and needs that he can address at the 2-guard spot. Chris Wright and Dominic McGuire are undersized hardworking forwards who could play spot minutes as third-tier forwards, while Mickell Gladness and Mikki Moore are decent defensive-oriented centers that can spot minutes for you as well. Nate Robinson would be a fan favorite, but he is a small scoring guard, and the Clippers are already small at the position (as of the moment).

Houston Rockets: The main target is Courtney Lee, a sweet-shooting swingman. He is one guy that fits the need and is young. Clipper fans would welcome the return of Marcus Camby to the team as the team's third big. Goran Dragic and Earl Boykins are guards that would be a luxury for Clippers fans and in Goran's case, a very expensive one at that.

Indiana Pacers: Portland has already offered a deal for Roy Hibbert that is way over what LA could provide. George Hill is staying, while the other restricted guy in AJ Price is a point guard that may be a great free agent steal if he can find the right team. Unfortunately, that is not going to be Los Angeles. Clippers have had an interest in securing Kyrylo Fesenko last season before they got Kenyon Martin. Lou Amundson could reprise what Reggie Evans did last season, while Leandrinho Barbosa can jumpstart an offense off the bench.

Los Angeles Lakers: Darius Morris looks like he is staying with the Lakers. The other restricted free agent, Devin Ebanks, could be a serviceable defensive wing option off the bench. As for the unrestricted free agent options, Jordan Hill's play last season has priced himself out of the Clippers' hands, while former Clipper Matt Barnes could prove to be serviceable, if his skill set has not regressed. The same can be said for Troy Murphy. As for Ramon Sessions, he would be a luxury choice that probably would be too pricey for the other side of Staples.

Memphis Grizzlies: Both restricted free agents, Darrell Arthur and Maresse Speights would be ideal third big options. Hamed Haddadi would be a very intriguing cheap big as well. After seeing Gilbert Arenas, it is pretty much safe to say his best days have long passed him by. Lester Hudson might be a better player compared to Agent Zero. And as for OJ Mayo, he would fill a need, definitely, but there are other teams who have a need that he can fill and better compensate him for it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What Should Vinny Del Negro do? My LAC offseason wishlist (Part I)



The Los Angeles Clippers finished with the 5th Seed in the Western Conference, needing seven games to fend off the Memphis Grizzlies, highlighted by their scintillating comeback from 27 points down in Game 1.

Unfortunately, they went up against the buzzsaw that is the San Antonio Spurs, thus ending their postseason.

Free Agency Fever has begun. Now what? Let's go through it...

The holdovers: Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler,  Ryan Gomes, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Travis Leslie, Lamar Odom, Chris Paul and Trey Thompkins.

What exactly is going on with the Odom deal? Here is the official wording from the Clippers themselves.

The Los Angeles Clippers today acquired forward Lamar Odom from the Dallas Mavericks as part of a four-team trade also involving the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets.  The Clippers sent point guard Mo Williams to the Jazz and the draft rights to Furkan Aldemir, the Clippers’ second round selection (53rd overall) in the 2012 NBA Draft to Houston while the Jazz conveyed the draft rights of Tadija Dragicevic, Utah’s second round pick (53rd overall) in the 2008 NBA Draft to Dallas.  To complete the trade, Dallas sent the draft rights of Shan Foster, the Mavericks’ second round selection (51st overall) in the 2008 NBA Draft to the Jazz with Houston sending cash considerations to Dallas. 
What does Lamar Odom provide you? The former Clipper provides versatility with his size as well as his veteran experience. He'll also improve bench production that will be affected after the departure of Mo Will.

Who do we keep? Here are the Los Angeles Clippers' unrestricted free agents: Chauncey Billups, Reggie Evans, Randy Foye, Kenyon Martin, Bobby Simmons, Nick Young. They do not have any RFAs.

Billups and Martin are vets that I'd like to keep around as locker room guys and role players. Ditto for Evans. I value Foye's contributions, but definitely will not overpay for him. Likewise for Nick Young, but Swaggy P has some flaws that kind of make me cringe a little.

Update: What has been agreed on principle is a sign-and-trade by the Brooklyn Nets for Reggie Evans for a heavily protected second round pick.

Who should we chase? There are three tiers of players that the Clippers should be chasing.

1. Two-guards. It is very clear that LA needs height in its backcourt. Also a shooter. Ideally, the two should go together, but not really that necessary on the latter. A couple of interesting options being thrown around is Jamal Crawford and Jason Terry, but the former has some well-known issues and the latter is 34 and is probably on the decline. They have targeted Ray Allen as well, who is definitely on the decline, but his shooting is perceived to be an asset. If said two-guard can play small forward in a pinch, it would be an advantage.

2. Tall big. DeAndre is the only true center they have in the lineup, but there is a need to secure some height. We need also for that particular big man to be able to either mentor DeAndre or push him to play better. One of the free agent options would be to bring back Marcus Camby, who helped with the mentoring process in the early years. It would be of great help if the big has some workable talent at least on one side of the floor.

3. Bench depth. There is a need to upgrade team depth. It sometimes became too agonizing to watch non-production in our rotation. Whether Vinny Del Negro had anything to do with that, we are not exactly THAT sure, but having key pieces to surround our offensive core will really be welcomed.

Now, time to peruse the targets.


Atlanta - Kirk Hinrich would be an interesting piece, as Vinny did coach him in Chicago. Willie Green can fill it up. Tracy McGrady is a proven scorer, but he has a lot of miles on that body. Considering that he'll probably play around 15-20 minutes, might just be enough. Erick Dampier and Jason Collins surely provide size, but they are definitely fillers at this point. We have seen Vlad Radmanovic already in a Clipper uniform and he does not fit the plan.

Boston - Ray Allen is the primary target, as he precisely fits the need. Mickael Pietrus and Marquis Daniels would also fit as tall-two guards, although both players have major injury issues that might scare off most people. Someone with possible health issue is Jeff Green, but he duplicates Odom. Keyon Dooling did start out his career with the Clippers, but at this point, he does not really fit the needs of the team as of the moment. As for Brandon Bass, he might have priced himself out of the Clippers' reach, but he definitely can serve as the offensive option off the bench should he even think of joining the team. There are better options out there than Sasha Pavlovic and Ryan Hollins.

Brooklyn - Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace have crossed themselves out with their respective deals. So would DeShawn Stevenson, because he will be sent to Atlanta via sign-and-trade. Kris Humphries would be an interesting off the bench option, but if he will be used for the inevitable Dwight Howard trade, he will be used in it. Gerald Green would fit the need as the scorer off the bench, and with his play for the Nets last year, earned some dough when he will get his next contract. Sundiata Gaines, Armon Johnson (small guards) and Shelden Williams (defensive big) are the type of players that do not fit the need for Vinny in the team due to role duplication. As for Damion James, he is an interesting case that we might take a flier on, but he was not really used by Avery Johnson.

Charlotte - D.J Augustin is restricted, but given Los Angeles' point guards, not a need. Derrick Brown might be a better target, but like D.J., is a restricted free agent that Mike Dunlap might find handy in trying to remake the sad sack franchise. Cory Higgins was said to be ranked as the worst NBA free agent available in the market this season, while Eduardo Najera and D.J. White could be interesting undersized big men options, with White being a better alternative compared to the Oklahoma alum.

Chicago - Omer Asik already has a poison pill-filled offer sheet from Houston that makes him already out of the Clipper price range. John Lucas III and Mike James would replicate the current positioning of the Clippers at this point, while I won't mind having Brian Scalabrine on the team as the "Jack Haley" benchwarmer, his skill set is something that is found on better players.

Cleveland - Anthony Parker has announced his retirement and is seeking a front office job, while Semih Erden is said to be going back to Turkey. Meanwhile, Alonzo Gee was a minor revelation for the Cavs and in likelihood, will be someone they will retain unless someone overpays. Although Jamison would be a welcome addition, because of the addition of Odom, he would then become a luxury instead of fixing a need. As for Luke Harangody, he's a younger version of Brian Scalabrine, talent-wise.

Dallas - We already know that Jason Terry is headed to Boston. Jason Kidd has said to have whittled down his choices to pretty much either Dallas or New York. Ian Mahinmi and Delonte West are undersized yet serviceable guys for their respective positions and would be welcome additions, especially Delonte. Brian Cardinal is like Brian Scalabrine. As for Yi Jianlian, he's a stiff.

The Gilas 2.0 context

 
The latest developments regarding our national team have been on two fronts.

First, the pool for the SEABA that will compete on July 3-7 in Thailand has been named. No one from the said group will be from the collegiate ranks (since it is about to be the collegiate basketball season). The roster will be led by SMART-Gilas holdovers Chris Tiu and Marcus Douthit, and will be comprised of the core of the NLEx Road Warriors team that dominated the just-concluded PBA D-League (Cliff Hodge, Chris Ellis, Garvo Lanete, Emman Monfort, Woody Co, Borgie Hermida and Dave Marcelo). Completing the motley crew are D-League MVP Vic Manuel from Cebuana Lhullier and former Gilas 1 member and current Air Asia Patriot Aldrech Ramos. Coaching the team is SMART-Gilas assistant coach Jong Uichico. It is expected that we will obliterate the opposition and handily win the tournament. Current SMART-Gilas coach Chot Reyes has stated that this is not the cadet pool being referred to.

Update: Alaska players LA Tenorio, Sonny Thoss and former Gilas 1 member Mac Baracael are joining the lineup, replacing Hodge, Ellis and Manuel. The 12th person is supposed to be Sol Mercado, but that will be contingent on Meralco's performance in this conference.

Second, Alaska head coach Luigi Trillo opined about the context of SMART-Gilas being "selfish" in a series of tweets from his Twitter handle (@luigitrillo), to which Chot has countered on his twitter handle (@coachot). This is in regard to the decision of a couple of PBA prospects (Hodge & Ellis) deferring their entry into the draft and diving in to the Gilas campaign.

Regarding that, I'd like to express my thoughts on this. One, the decision whether Ellis and Hodge can apply for the upcoming PBA draft is theirs and theirs only. You cannot force them to join the draft. This ain't the military where you are mandated to join. You may try to influence them, but you can't force 'em. They make the call as to when they will enter. Plus, it kind of looks bad on Luigi that they have to beg for them to enter the draft to bolster a bad team in Alaska. It also shows a lack of confidence in your players. Sorry about your damn luck if you were hoping for them to come in. It kinda just sucks that the team is in its worst stretch in ages.

Update: Looks like with Hodge and Ellis being dropped in the SEABA lineup, they are said to be advised to join the upcoming PBA draft. 

Two, if there is someone you should be calling "selfish," it will be those teams under the SMC banner, who basically barred certain players Chot was targeting (the likes of Marcio, Alex, James, Marc and Arwind). I am still kind of bewildered by the explanation (or lack thereof) as to why they ain't there. Of course, there will be an official explanation regarding their inaccessibility.

Hopefully, there is clarity and assurance with this because this is about national pride we are talking about here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Jersey Retirement of Robert Jaworski

Credit to Natashya Gutierrez of Rappler

On July 8, there will be a special ceremony to take place at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. The semifinals of the PBA Govenor's Cup will be ongoing, but at 6pm, all eyes will be on that court, as Barangay Ginebra will honor the Living Legend, Robert Jaworski, Sr. with the retirement of his iconic number 7. 

Jersey retirement is arguably the highest honor that a team can bestow on a player. It means they value you so much that they will never have someone wear your number ever again.

According to Ginebra San Miguel, Inc. President Bernard Marquez, this is the highest honor that they as a franchise can bestow on the Big J, Ginebra and Jaworski are synonymous, whose personifies the never-say-die spirit that is now part and parcel of the company itself.

The former Senator is honored to be bestowed such an achievement, that according to him, nakakataba ng puso na siya ay iniidolo ng mga batang manlalaro ng PBA. But he noted that even with the jersey retirement, he is not ready to leave the sport that he loves very much. He jokingly remarked that he is getting ready for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Being the former politician, he used the press conference to stress and remind us of the need for sports as an integral part of national development, as sports provide avenues for heroes and idols to emerge, so that future generations will look up to them. He chose not to take the opportunity during the press conference to announce his plans for the upcoming 2013 elections.

As a former Olympian and national team player and coach, he is most honored with the privilege of wearing the nation's colors and playing for flag and country. He emphasized the notion that the more important thing in competition is on how you played and your decorum during play instead of how it ended up, reminding our Olympians competing in London to enjoy the journey and the country will always be behind them. He specifically spoke of believing in yourself and going there with a positive attitude, because you are a representation of where you come from.

Yours truly with The Living Legend



Update: According to the trusty Fidel Mangonon a.k.a. @thepbaologist, the matchup on July 8 will be involving the winner of the playoff involving Powerade, Barako Bull and Meralco against Rain or Shine in the first game, while Barangay Ginebra will be facing Petron in the nightcap.

Remaking Atlanta



For most of the basketball people, they consider Atlanta as a mediocre franchise, a struggling team that had the tools to make the playoffs because really could not progress. Middling, but stuck on neutral. They do fine in the regular season, but always disappoint when it comes to the next level. As a result, Rick Sund, the GM, gets canned in an effort to see if they can do something to change their fate.



Danny Ferry was hired to be the new GM to do precisely that. He said this during his press conference:
he wants the Hawks ''to have a value-based identity with good guys who play hard, who play together and share the ball that can be professional on the court.''
And he pretty much got work immediately. In the Draft, they selected Vanderbilt shooter John Jenkins in the first round at 23, while grabbing Virginia PF Mike Scott twenty picks later in the second round.

Ferry looked for players that according to him:
We are going to need guys that can come in and contribute. Guys that can add something. Certainly when coach Drew is looking down the bench and is trying to figure out why would I put this guy?
Just earlier on Monday, he pulls off two proposed deals.

The first one involves multiple All-Star Joe Johnson. He sends him (and that albatross of a contract) to the Brooklyn Nets for: DeShawn Stevenson in a sign-and-trade (said contract is a three-year deal for $6.9 million, with only the first year of $2.3 million guaranteed), a lottery-protected first round pick of the Houston Rockets and the expiring contracts of Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Jordan Williams and Anthony Morrow.

The second one involves Marvin Williams, whom Ferry sent to Utah for Devin Harris.

This is now would theoretically be Atlanta's lineup:

Jeff Teague, Jenkins, Josh Smith, Scott, Al Horford, Zaza Pachulia, Farmar, Petro, Williams, Morrow and Harris.

They will need to find someone to plug a hole at the small forward spot and or find some height in the backcourt, but after removing the burden of bad contracts, this will be pancakes for Ferry.

Atlanta will now become players in the Summer of 2013, as Smith and Zaza become unrestricted free agents and Teague is restricted that year.

It may be a step back for them, but looking forward, there might be a bright future.

All-Star Rosters Revealed: Who wants homefield?



The rosters of the MLB All-Star Game at Kansas City have been revealed, so we know how the fans went out and voted. Of course, that includes yours truly.

The Starters (AL / NL):

Catcher - Mike Napoli / Buster Posey  
1st Baseman - Prince Fielder / Joey Votto
2nd Baseman - Robinson Cano / Dan Uggla
3rd Baseman - Adrian Beltre / Pablo Sandoval

Shortstop - Derek Jeter / Rafael Furcal
Outfielders - Josh Hamilton, Curtis Granderson and Jose Bautista / Melky Cabrera, Carlos Beltran and Matt Kemp
Designated Hitter - David Ortiz / no DH in NL

Pitchers and reserve players are selected by a combination of players, managers and coaches, with inputs from the All-Star Game managers in Ron Washington and Tony LaRussa in conjunction with MLB. Of course, all 30 teams have to be represented in this spectacle.

Here are the pitchers:

AL: Ryan Cook, Matt Harrison, Felix Hernandez, Jim Johnson, Joe Nathan, Chris Perez, David Price, Fernando Rodney, CC Sabbathia, Chris Sale, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson

NL: Matt Cain, Aroldis Chapman, R.A. Dickey, Gio Gonzalez, Cole Hamels, Joel Hanrahan, Clayton Kershaw, Craig Kimbrel, Lance Lynn, Wade Miley, Jonathan Papelbon, Stephen Strasburg, Huston Street

And the reserves:

AL: Joe Mauer, Matt Wieters, Elvis Andrus, Asdrubal Cabrera, Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, Paul Konerko, Adam Jones, Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, Billy Butler, Adam Dunn

NL: Yadier Molina, Carlos Ruiz, Bryan LaHair, Jose Altuve, Starlin Castro, Ian Desmond, David Wright, Ryan Braun, Jay Bruce, Carlos Gonzalez, Andrew McCutchen, Giancarlo Stanton

Of course, lineups are fluid, due to injuries and those weird rules involving pitchers.

Lastly, the Final Vote. The mad dash as to who will complete the roster. An AL pitcher and a NL position player will make the team, thanks to the voting masses.

The AL pitcher will be between Jonathan Broxton, Yu Darvish, Ernesto Frieri, Jason Hammel and Jake Peavy, while the NL position player will be involving Michael Bourn, David Freese, Bryce Harper, Aaron Hill and Chipper Jones. Already, one player on the ballot has said to be voting for another.

Now that you know the teams, feel free to complain on it below.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Blog Outsourcing - July 2, 2012 edition


Greetings and welcome to the latest edition of The Morning After.

It's already the second half of the 2012. Hope the reader has had a productive first half of 2012. It has been an interesting stretch for everyone and hope the remainder of the year makes it even better.

Meanwhile, the NBA season may have concluded on the court, the mantra of the swoosh remains true and legitimate. Basketball Never Stops.

The NCAA already has commenced action last week. The big buzz was naturally, how 5 rookies and a sophomore beat a veteran squad. The rival league UAAP already is making preparations for its campaign, which will begin on July 14. They even have a "Call Me Maybe" meme ready.



In the pros, the quest for a semifinal seat will need a playoff. One of the teams involved has Mario West as their reinforcement. And coming soon, a Legend gets his jersey retired.

The NBA Draft just ended, and Summer League beckons. Of course, there's the drama of free agency. And the quest for Olympic Gold. Being a basketball fan in the Motherland is just blissful.

Here forth are the links after the jump.