Month-end stress at work left you out of time to get your hoops-reading fix?
Whatever your reason might be, this weekly feature brings together current and interesting articles, blog posts etc. that have been posted throughout the internet over the past week (maybe even beyond the past week if it just has to be shared).
In this week’s Court Vision, much of our focus goes to Gilas and their elimination round campaign in the FIBA Asia Championships. But, for the UAAP junkie, we still have some 1st round reviews, awards talk and a very, very interesting look, from the “Green Mind” on what could be troubling the Green Archers right now.
Let’s start with the UAAP.
Enzo Flojo of Hoopnut.com: “28 of the 56 elimination round UAAP games are done. One half of the season is behind us. The mighty Tamaraws of FEU are sitting pretty atop the UAAP hill with an unblemished record, whiles the UP Fighting Maroons are languishing in an all-too-familiar spot at the basement. Meanwhile, the other 6 teams are all tightly packed in the middle of the standings. Three teams have 4 wins and 3 losses, while the other three have 3 wins and 4 losses. 6 of the 8 teams are just a game ahead or behind each other.And, if you’re a true fan of the game, all these should make you giddy about the prospects in the second round. Before that, however, let’s take a quick look-back at the first round of Season 76 and see which teams and players did really well, or otherwise.”
Tony Atayde of tonythegreenmind: “Today was the most lackluster performance that these Green Archers have ever had. I was just stunned at how it seemed like they took this game for granted from the opening tip-off, onward I kept asking myself what was missing. I have seen many of La Salle’s basketball teams of the past years, yet the team I saw today was totally lacking in something.So what I did is I looked into the last championship team La Salle had which was in 2007.”
Misis Tagle of misstagle.me: “This post is for the people like me — in a relationship or married to a die-hard Atenean. Jeff was a member of the Ateneo Blue Babble from 2002 to 2005. His passion/craziness over Ateneo basketball is unbelievable. I’ve been going with him to see the games for two years and I’ve seen Ateneo bag two championships. I’m not really a pro on this, but this is how I see the games.”
Polo Bustamante of From the Stands via gmanetwork.com: “He started the first round with a triple-double and ended it with a swagger-dagger trey, further cementing his status as the new superstar of the league. If you don’t believe he’s the MVP, ask all the seven teams he’s beaten. Chances are they’ll agree with me.”
Vs. Saudi Arabia: “Did we see the real Gilas, or can we expect more? Definitely not the real Gilas Pilipinas folks. The Arabs aren’t on our level at this point, and it was pretty obvious that Gilas head coach Chot Reyes was holding back (he wasn’t blowing his top off after repetitive Tenorio turnovers). No need to over execute on this one, just moved the ball and looked for the best possible scoring option.”
Vs. Jordan: “But then came in Gabriel Daniel Norwood. A guy that we’ve come to love/ hate because of his inconsistencies despite being fully capable of dominating a single game without scoring in the 20s. Tonight, Norwood was tasked to try to stop Jordanian import Jimmy Baxter– and stop him he did. Norwood was all over the guy, showing as much defensive intensity like never before that you’d think that he exchanged souls with Gilas teammate Marc Pingris. Everywhere Baxter went, Norwood was right there. All the shots were challenged, all the hustle plays made and even kickout passes were tipped or tapped elsewhere to the waiting hands of one of his Filipino brethren.So we didn’t blow the Arabs out of the murky Manila Bay waters. Hell, we could barely make enough shots to ensure that we save face and not lose the support of the home crowd which were expecting a Manny Pacquiao vs Ricky Hatton style blowout. But as team captain and spiritual leader Jimmy Alapag said in one of his post-game interviews, “a win’s a win.””
Vs. Chinese Taipei: “After riding the hot shooting of Larry Fonacier in the 3rd quarter, everything fell apart for Gilas. The referees will find ways to impact the game for or against us. That’s a given. It also helped that the Taiwanese are arguably the most skilled foul-baiting floppers this side of the world- arms flailing and all (we wonder if they got that from being a football country– sorry, couldn’t help it). So yeah, we fell apart. Gary David, Jayson Castro and Jeffrei Chan all playing together, all great scorers, but all one-on-one guys not one of which can really call a legit play without undermining the other.”
Rey Joble of AKTV: “Though China has struggled with early losses to South Korea and Iran, the idea of facing the traditional Asian powerhouse in a win-or-go-home battle is a daunting prospect. “One of the things that’s scary, let’s say we fell to No. 2 and China fell to No. 3 at the end of the group stage matches,” said Alaska assistant coach Alex Compton, who has been part of the international broadcast of the tournament.“They’re beatable, but you don’t eagerly match up with China.””
James Velasquez for SLAM Magazine via micohaliliblogs: “We Filipinos have always been viewed as underdogs. The world sometimes likes to bring up our flaws, and tell us repeatedly why we can’t. Yeah we don’t have 6-8 guards. Yeah we don’t have a production line of 7-footers. But always, just like our heroes have proven time and again, this thing called Diskarte and this immeasurable power called Puso has allowed us to slay giants. And this bunch of hardcourt heroes are putting together their own unique special powers for a single purpose. Beat the odds. Show the region we can ball.”
Jose Marco Dela Cruz via Facebook.com: “I know the road is not going to be easy. But let me tell you coach, I’ve never doubted you and the team. I believe we can win it. We’re not looking for a TOP 3 finish. We’re looking to get that TOP SPOT and regain our basketball supremacy in Asia. I’m not putting any pressure on the team because win or lose, we’re still a team. We’re still Filipinos. But coach, I’ve never felt this good before for our national team. We can win it all. I just have that feeling.”
Got any interesting links? Let’s talk about them in the comments! :)