It has been three long years.
And some of the players don’t even register a blip to a TV-viewing fan and college basketball nut mainly because they either:
- can’t get a hold of the airing schedule
- the games were too late for a student (why the hell did they want to be scheduled from 4PM to 8PM?)
- the venue was a wasteland (okay, Greenhills is not a wasteland, but dang son, that Arena is way off the map!)
But thank goodness they made the decision to return to ABS-CBN.
Here in HumbleBola though, we don’t concern ourselves with airing schedules. Or venues (maybe our photographer does, whoever he is). What the NCAA to us is a treasure trove of sorts. A league whose stats situation has so much potential to better quantify all the supposed top dogs when they go mainstream thanks to the PBA. And oh, more teams to cover, more players to analyze and so many media possibilities to play with.
The NCAA, for what it’s worth, for all the messes that has been tagged on the league, its image, residency issues, age issues, has been a solid league in terms of ACTUAL basketball action. There ain’t no hissy fit or mega-floppage just to get calls, it’s real out there man. No blood, no foul. But the actual mess still ends…
I don’t know who handles the stats for the league; the last time I covered it, they couldn’t even give me a concrete point person who can actually help me when I needed it. They just went “Here, check this uh, compiled papers.” No actual archive. No nothing to work with. It downright gave me the hebeygebeys because I cannot quantify how great James Forrester was, or how Jong Baloria is as an actual scorer behind the eye-popping numbers.
I cannot compare, for the life of me, what the difference was between the three systems ran by three different champion coaches of San Beda. What made Frankei Lim’s Run N’ Gun Lions superior to that weird, but old-school amalgam that Ronnie Magsanoc came up? Or that Boyet Fernandez iteration? What made them different from each other statistically? I cannot answer that with actual facts! And it ate at me.
Here’s another example: beyond the numbers, how was Raymond Almazan integral in the whole machinations of Caloy Garcia’s Letran Knights? We all know the raw numbers were impressive. But in the advanced manner? Nope, not unless the boss touches those stat sheets with his Midas hands.
The biggest thing really for this move is that maybe, we can revamp the stats, or rather, unleash the potential of those stat sheets lying on the floor and give everyone our best efforts to determine how and why this and that star player matter when you want him in your team, school, or even national team considerations.
No longer would we be stuck in the stone age of descriptive work when it comes to writing about the NCAA players (‘coz trust me, there are absolutely no stats to go by for these guys, check my breakdown for a workable Ginebra offense).
Now all that’s left is to actually get our hands on those darned D-League stats. Once that happens, we can finally cover a league that badly needs better coverage.
Congrats Philippine Basketball and let’s make this work.