What a week huh? We hope that everyone’s safe and dry out there. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who were affected by the bad weather and Gatorade baths are in order for those who helped out, whether it’s by donating or actually being at the relief centers.
So if you missed the latest local basketball news because of the stressful week, our Court Vision for this week will get you back on track. Let’s start with the UAAP.
Rick Olivares of Bleacher’s Brew: “If there is a win that validates National University’s status as a real contender it is that win against FEU. That exposed some chinks in the armor of FEU while giving the team of Eric Altamirano lots of confidence as they are in solo second place with a 6-3 record.The loss of Alfred Aroga still hurts because it showed the lack of depth NU has in the center position. That makes Jean Mbe all the more important to NU (they must really regret red shirting Henry Betayene; please don’t say he was injured because he wasn’t. It was a gamble and you guys failed).One guy the Bulldogs have been missing is Troy Rosario. He was a monster in the pre-season but has mostly disappeared. I feel that Glenn Khobuntin has gained some confidence not seen since his frosh year. He’d rather drive than stick that outside shot that Jeff Javillionar has fallen in love with. The guard corps of Gelo Alolino, Robin Roño, Ray Parks, and Mark Porter have done a great job as well.”
Reuben Terrado of Spin.ph: “Madrid said his appointment as replacement of Ricky Dandan is not an assurance that the Maroons will reverse a slide that had seen them lose their first eight games of the season, adding his main goal at this point is to bring back his players’ confidence.“Wala akong dadalhin na magic capsule,” Madrid told to Spin.ph. “Gusto ko lang ‘yung mga players to give them a comfort level para makuha nila ‘yung confidence.””
Enzo Flojo of Hoopnut: “Remember when LA Tenorio led the 2004 Blue Eagles, who lost Larry Fonacier in the very first game of the season, to a pristine 7-0 slate after the first round of Season 67? Everyone was practically shell-shocked. And then they went 3-4 in the second round, lost the twice-to-beat edge to DLSU, and were eliminated in the Final Four. This might not exactly happen to FEU this season, but something similar might be in the stars. They are currently 0-2 in the second round, RR Garcia was suspended for one game, and, forgive me if I cannot forget it, Terrence Romeo’s “waving off” of Garcia in the NU game proves that the cracks are beginning to show. This will be the true test of coach Nash Racela’s guidance and of the team’s real character. How will they respond to these tribulations? They can rebound magnificently and preserve their twice-to-beat advantage, or they can continue reeling all the way to another late-season collapse (remember last year, folks?).”
Tony Atayde of tonythegreenmind: “As soon as the game started, I noticed that the team has really come full circle. I could see that familiar swagger of past La Salle teams. Like in the win against Adamson, that poise and confidence was very evident. Most of all I could see in each player’s eyes the ANIMO that was missing in the first round. After leading by 5 in the opening minutes, La Salle got down to business and slowly but surely started to take over the game, even building a 20 point lead after Matt Salem’s three pointer. Though the lead was 19 after the first quarter, many of the La Salle spectators were still very pessimistic especially when at halftime, the lead was down to 11. I kept telling people that they can’t expect a team like FEU to just lie down and let La Salle run away without a fight. La Salle’s lead stayed at 10 after 3 quarters and the crowd was getting fidgety especially after the first round game where La Salle squandered a comfortable lead during the last 2 minutes and the game went into overtime and we eventually lost. However, this La Salle team was different than the La Salle team in the first round. Today they had the heart of a winner. Even when the lead was cut down to 2 points, there did not seem to be any panic on the player’s faces. They continued what they had been doing and soon the lead was up to 7 again. FEU was just totally outmatched and no amount of Romeos and RRs could get them back.”
Angel Velasco of Kilikilishot: “If legend has King Midas, he of the Golden Touch, then Philippine basketball has Yeng Guiao. The difference being that King Midas lost his most prized possession (his daughter) by turning her into a Golden statue while Guiao has pretty much continued to make a career of turning even the darkest piece of granite into pure gold. Paul Lee, Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood, Jervy Cruz and Beau Belga. Chris Tiu, Ryan Arana and JayR Quinahan. All under 30. All not at the height of their basketball primes. There are other names on the bench who Guiao has also managed to turn into legit PBA stars (reigning PBA Defensive Player of the Year Jireh Ybanes a.k.a. James Yap’s worse nightmare). They broke through last season in the PBA Governor’s Cup behind a superb import. But that was only a sign of things to come.”
Aaron Atayde of Slam Online Ph: “Before we move on, here is just a little recap of how we came up with the list. We got 11 people to be part of the panel. These eleven consisted of SLAM Online’s Robi Raya, Nikko Ramos, and myself (Aaron Atayde). Joining the group was SLAM Magazine Philippines’ Editor-at-Large, Mico Halili, the three guys over at From The Stands, Chuck Araneta, Polo Bustamante, and Carlo Pamintuan, and from GMA’s FTW, Miakka Lim. Rounding out the list is Magoo Marjon from the PBA panel, Jaemark “@FireQuinito” Tordecilla, and TV5′s Tony Atayde. The job of these eleven people were to score every single player in the league from 1 to 10. One being the lowest score, and ten being the highest. From there, we added up all the scores to find the average per player. Then, we counted down every single player until we revealed who was at the top of the list. With that being said, let us take a deeper look at the information that we have gathered. What has all of this data given us? Who is really the best team on paper? Who is the most average player in the league? Who is the best “worst” player on a team?”
Snow Badua of Spin.ph: ““Mind your own business. Wag siyang makialam sa mga trade na ganito,” said Casyao, adding it saddened him to see a coach like Trillo – who had a dismal record before Alaska took a chance at him – undermine the capabilities of players like Gonzales and Pacana. “Kung siya nung kinuha ng Alaska nuong una, wala ring logic eh. Coming from an assistant coach who had 0-24 (win-loss) campaign in the UAAP as head coach but, at the end of the day, tama ang Alaska dahil nag-champion sila,” added the Barako Bull official.”
Sydrick Salazar of hoo.ph: “And then there’s Emman Monfort. The guy has this photo circulating in the internet where he gets a photo op with his idol and current teammate Danny Seigle when he was just a kid. Call him undersized but a flash in a pan he is not. He is the reason why Toroman and “coach” Bong Ramos never really had a problem letting Urbiztondo go. It’s the same feeling as to why the seldom used Doug Kramer had to be replaced by should-be used a lot Dorian Pena and the abundance of SG and SFs could be the kicker on the boot that Maliksi got. I still don’t understand why they had to let go of Tubid though… Anyway, Monfort’s 22-point explosion is a glimpse on what the San Miguel Corporation is going to do with the Barako Bull Energy Colas. He is on the verge of owning the point guard spot but his explosion is considered a “lucky” one because nothing really comes out from a late second round choice. As of this moment, Ato Agustin is the only second round draft pick to win the MVP honors and only a couple of them have won the Mythical Team distinction. I am not saying Barako Bull will continue to be “farm squad”, but people should understand that big teams are expected to hunt down their important players because of the contributions they can bring to their teams. If Monfort’s stock continues to surge, then expect the bigger teams to make a deal for him.”
Adrian Dy of GMA News: “This is my long-winded way towards saying that it is perhaps time to rethink the way we structure the PBA season. We want the national team to be good; we want to keep sending well-prepared, well-drilled squads that are truly the best of the best among our local players. As such, we ought to start factoring in the international basketball schedule when constructing the PBA schedule, because don’t we think Philippine basketball ought to be on an international stage more often? After the 2014 World Cup, there will be another FIBA Asia tourney, then there will be qualifiers for the Olympics, then who knows? Maybe Gilas somehow qualifies for the Olympics. Even if they don’t, that’s a one-year reprieve before the cycle repeats anew.”