You know, after the first few days of this week and all the suspensions that were being handed out, it looked like maybe even Court Vision would be suspended. But nah, that wasn’t the case as here is Court Vision to provide you with the latest in Philippine Basketball! Even the rain couldn’t stop the PBA and the rest of the Philippine Basketball Scene from heating up, as the PBA Finals dominated Twitter timelines. What else happened for Philippine basketball this week?

Let’s get it started!

The dawn of the Calvin Abueva era of Alaska

Jutt Sulit, SLAM PH

The lights went off inside the Mall of Asia Arena for the first order of business in the Governor’s Cup Finals – the callout.

The San Miguel Beermen were introduced first. One by one – working through the seldom-used bench guys, to the starters, and finally, to SMB’s franchise player, the league MVP June Mar Fajardo.

During callouts, the common practice is to reveal the team’s main man last. Kobe was never called first. Nor were AI, KG, Timmy, or Bron. Neither were James Yap or Mark Caguioa.

Of course, they also save “And now, at guard, standing 6’6″, from North Carolina…” for last.

Those guys usually take their time chilling at the backstage or at the deep end of the bench before they have to finally appear amidst the smoke, into the spotlight and out to an arena-full of cheers.

There is only one ultimate entrance and it is reserved for the one guy whom you identify the team with. The face of the team. The star of the team.

As the barker started announcing the Aces individually, I grew curious as to who they’d call last.

After all, Alaska plays under their mantra #WeNotMe. They pride themselves on not having one individual superstar. Instead, their basketball system believes in the ability of each player to contribute as much as any other name on the roster would.

But in callouts, you can’t introduce the team as a whole. You have to go name-by-name. Read more!

Perpetual’s win over Mapua: a test of character

Matthew Li, Tiebreaker Times

In an early season classic, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (UPHSD) Altas escaped the hungry Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT) Cardinals, 82-79, to gain solo lead in the standings last Tuesday, July 7.

After a tied game with only 27 seconds remaining in the first quarter, the Altas were plagued by unnecessary fouls and unforced turnovers until the fourth quarter. Fortunately for the Aric del Rosario-mentored squad, the team came alive in the last two minutes of the final quarter to gain the lead at the 30.7 second mark after a nifty pass by MVP Scottie Thompson to a waiting Gab Dagangon. A Bright Akhuetie steal resulted to a fastbreak layup by Dagangon to seal the game.

Altas mentor called this game as a test of his lads’ character as it showed the heart and desire of his squad .“Dun mo makikita ang character ng player. All the way lalamangan kami, lalayo sila pero ang pinakaimportante yung last. Yung wag masyadong magmamadali sa opensa, pasensiya muna. Dun makakafocus sa opensa,” Del Rosario said. The patience of his players was put to the test as the team was assessed a total of 29 fouls in the game and gave up 20 turnovers. Read more!

What was missing for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters?

Yoyo Sarmenta, SLAM PH

The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters form one of the most dangerous and relentless teams in the PBA. Their style of play is breathtaking to fans and unforgiving to opponents. Their system, a run-and-gun, pedal-to-the-metal, throw-out-the-brakes offense, is as good as they come. They score quickly and in bunches. In a blink of an eye, they can make an 8-0 run during a crucial part of a game and leave their opponent in the dust.

They can attack the way that they do because they have the artillery to do so. From guard Paul Lee to center Beau Belga, everybody can shoot from the perimeter. They space the floor well and are always looking for that three-point dagger. In the Governor’s Cup, they’ve actually gotten more dangerous from beyond the arc with the improved shooting from their best defender, Gabe Norwood.

It’s not just the three’s that make ROS a fun team to watch. Yes, all ROS players have the license to shoot, but what’s even crazier is that they can shoot whenever they want. They work in a sort of “controlled chaos.” It doesn’t matter if it’s a made basket, turnover, or missed shot from the opposing team, ROS will already be running to the opposite end trying to score.

Unfortunately, this brand of basketball wasn’t enough to subdue the San Miguel Beermen and book a ticket to the Finals. ROS once again fell short of their goal to win a PBA title this season. What was missing? What went wrong? Are we simply going to decide that the San Miguel Beermen were just superior? Read more!

Pin Down For What: Will Bobby Ray Make It?

Pio Garcia, Humblebola

June 25 has come and gone.

The Dallas Mavericks’ 52nd pick has come and gone…

…landing Satnam Singh, and hoping he’ll develop to be a decent big man (although me, playing as a FOE in my head says he’ll be a career back-up at best, Hamed Haddadi or Hasheem Thabeet at worst). After all he’s only 19.

But what hasn’t been gone is the collective groan and hype of the Philippines for that kid named Bobby Ray Parks, you know, the guy local press were calling “mini-LeBron?”

Bakit hindi siya na-pick?”

Mas magaling pa siya dun sa Indian (for political purposes I am totally editing this quote)!”

I can never say if Parks had more in his tank and game than Satnam has but one thing’s clear for the Mavs: they want height. They want rim protection. And they followed their heads instead of gratifying a nation’s silly pride. Tyson Chandler is aging and you have to look elsewhere to find that next guy who would back up his replacement while still in the “sponge” stage of player development.

7’2″ is 7’2″ and 6’4″ is 6’4″. It would’ve been a different story if the 6’4″ came through with his D-1 Letter of Intent.

Alas, that’s where this sad, and #PinoyPride enraging story, begins. Read more!

Nimes preaches patience in Mapua’s rocky start

Joaqui Flores, Tiebreaker Times

Fielding in a solid mix of veteran and young players this season, the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals, also this year’s host, has legitimate chances of making noise come playoff time.

But for team captain Josan Nimes, everything doesn’t occur in a blur and it takes time to get things together.

True to his word, the Cardinals are in the process of feeling out each other. They are currently sporting a 1-2 record so far in the young season. They opened their first three games of the season with a 102-89 defeat at the hands of defending champion San Beda, an 88-86 comeback win over the San Sebastian Golden Stags, and, most recently, a tough 81-78 setback against the raging University of Perpetual Help Altas.

It may be a 1-2 start for Mapua, but in every game they played so far, the team proved to be more confident and more cohesive one game after the other. Read more!

Shooting For The Stars: Trying To Remedy The Shooting Woes of the Philippines

Karlo Lovenia, Humblebola

Every young basketball player aims to do one thing every time they play the game: score.

And I don’t just mean score. I mean, practically anyone can score right? Jump shot. Jump hook. Shot off the glass. Bank shot. No no, not those types of shots. They’re boring. They’re too fundamental. Effective yes, but boring. Kids want EXCITEMENT. They want to score WITH STYLE.

I’ll admit, when I was a kid, I wanted to do the same. I wanted to score in such a way that the crowd would exclaim oohs and aahs every time I made a basket. That’s why the player who I idolized back then was Kobe Bryant because of the way he got buckets with such ease. Fade away jumpers with a hand on his face? No problem. Reverse jams? Easy. Point is, Kobe always got his points in a way that would wow the crowd. I loved it.

But eventually my dad made me realize that scoring with style doesn’t always result to wins.

Before, I would always try to make a fancy crossover dribble ala Allen Iverson before I would end up attempting a step back jumper that would hit rim. Sure it garnered a lot of fanfare, but it didn’t always result to a basket.

Now, all I do is stay along the corners or the wings waiting for the ball to come to me. I had to accept it, I’m not built to create my own basket. I just wait for the ball to come for me, catch, shoot, two points. If there’s a close out, I just drive to the hoop for the easy two points. It’s boring, no doubt. But hey, it leads to results.

I’ll be honest, at first, it was tough for me to accept that role of simply being a catch and shoot guy. It was a boring role. All I did when I practiced with my dad were free throws, catch and shoots off the curl, one dribble pull ups. I didn’t want any of that! I wanted to practice cross overs that would make opponents fall to the ground and make people love the way I played. But instead I was limited to a role barely anyone wanted to take on.

But eventually, I was able to settle into that role and I was able to provide efficient baskets for my team. I realized that catch and shooting is a role that is important in a basketball team.

If you ask me, it’s something other Filipino ball players have to realize as well. Read more!

Chris Tiu‘s Response Regarding Retirement

Chris Tiu, Chris Tiu’s Blog

To those asking about my PBA status, first of all, we have to ask the ROS management if they are still interested to renew/extend my contract. I cannot just assume that they will keep me. We haven’t spoken yet.

I initially intended to play in the PBA for just one contract period but now I’m reconsidering because I never thought I would still enjoy playing basketball this much at this level. Read more!