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03-29-2006, 01:17 AM
Our League
mypbl.com



THE PBL: WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

The Philippine Basketball League could be called "a league of its own". Despite its amateur nature, the very structure as a developmental league and the dedicated people behind it kept the league going for the past 20 years, withering all obstacles and problems that threatened it very existence.

Through the years, the league has been acknowledged as the cradle of future basketball superstars. As these talents come and go in search of greener pastures in professional leagues, the PBL survived by continuing its task of developing fresh potentials through companies that undoubtedly believes in its thrust.

A brainchild of former ambassador and basketball project director Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., The then known as the Philippine Amateur Basketball League (PABL) was formed in 1983 with Agriculture Secretary Domingo Panganiban and Dr. Fernando Carrascoso as initial co-chair to fill up the need to renew interest in amateur basketball seven years after the MICAA folded up and paved the way for the existence of the country's first professional basketball league-the Philippine Basketball Association.

But Cojuangco's visions goes beyond the urge to satiate the Filipino craze for basketball. Over the years, the league has developed countless unknowns into the country's best cagers and has undergone several transformations through the years to uplift the quality of competition in the country and keep the Philippines' distinction as one of the world's best as far as the sport is concerned.




THE FIRST BIG STEPS

Then Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) secretary general Mauricio "Moying" Martelino, who later became one of the longest-serving secretary general of the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC), heralded the effort as a "milestone in the annals of the country's amateur caging", and gained support of several government and private establishments.

In fact, a total of 36 teams responded to participate in the pilot tournament dubbed as "Greater Manila Basketball Championships" under the helm of its first Commissioner - newsman and Philippine News Agency chief editor Joe Pavia. Among them were the De La Salle, Maisagana, Masagana 99, Boogie Jeans, Farinas Transportation, Philippine Social Security and Labor Union (PSSLU), Development Bank of Rizal and Glenmore Shoes which played in five venues - the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, Arellano University, Dumlao Gym, Masagana and the Philippine Maritime Institute Gym in Quezon City.

The pilot season also paved the way to the rise of basketball legends like Ludovico Valenciano, Leo Austria, Joel Valle, Jesus Ramirez, Joshua Villapando, Ricky Cui, Sonny Cabatu, Adonis Tierra, Joseph Pelaez and Hawaiian-born Willie Pearson.
Despite the financial crisis that hit the country the following year, other top companies came in to support like ESQ Marketing, Magnolia, Imperial Textile, Concrete Aggregates, Cebu-based Mama's Love and Lagerlite Beer that paved the way for Ron Jacobs to be distinguished as one of the country's basketball gurus today.

1984 also say the rise of budding talents Dondon Ampalayo, Ronnie Magsanoc, Eric Altamirano, and then national standouts Allan Caidic, Dindo Pumaren, Alfie Almario, Al Solis, Pido Jarencio and Jerry Codiņera.





CREATING AN IMPACT

From 1985 to 1989, PABL had its first bounty harvest as its popularity soared high having the country's best amateur cage superstars.

It was indeed a golden era for the league. Basketball fans started flocking at the old, oven-hot Rizal Memorial Coliseum - thanks to the entry of Mama's Love. Powered by rising starts Jojo Lastimosa, Elmer Cabahug, Larry Villanil and Zaldy Realubit, the Cebu-based team caught the fancy of the crowd, especiality the Manila-based Cebuanos.

What further boosted PABL's popularity rating was the move of former PABL chair Peter Cayco to forge an agreement with the PBA to allow the national training pool to participated as a guest team.

Even the hard-to-please basketball critics turned their eyes on the PABL when the Cojuangco-backed Northern Cement Corporation, led by Ricardo Brown, Hector Calma, Samboy Lim, Yves Dignadice and Allan Caidic, bagged the PBA crown over Manila Beer and later captured the Asian Basketball Confederation Youth Championship.

When RFM's Joey Concepcion took over the chairmanship after the historic 1986 EDSA Revolution, he instituted several drastic changes including the staging of the games in Pampanga and Cebu to bring the league closer to the people.

International invitational games were also staged featuring teams from South Korea, Taiwan's Golden Dragon and the US Military bases. The same year also gave birth to new cage heroes like Alvin Patrimonio, Samboy Lim, Ato Agustin, Paul Alvarez, and others.

PABL not only enjoyed popularity then but also stability. Even great teams during the MICAA days like Crispa and Yco, two of the top companies then, made their comebacks in the amateur scene and joined RFM, Magnolia, Sta. Lucia Realty, Philippine Sardines and others in continuing the league's thrusts.

PABL founders realized their dream of regaining the glory days of the old MICAA. And for Filipino basketball fanatics, they've found the new batch of heroes they've long been looking for.

It was as if the PABL reignited the flame of national pride in the Filipinos' heart since the World War II days as it became the source of talents for the national teams that won accolades in international competitions.



HARD TIMES AHEAD

The worsening economic situation the country faced then also had its adverse effect on the PABL then. Some teams disbanded, and the lure of money started crouching on most of the players.

The short-termed Commissioners failed to lure top companies who had to tighten their belts and brace for hard times ahead.

Spectators too started to shy away with the exodus of top PABL stars and the nagging problem on officiating. And soon, the problem of a permanent venue.

The exodus of Benjie Paras to the PBA signaled the hard times ahead for the league. From late 1988 to 1994, the league suffered its lowest point.

PBA analyst and former Manila Beer team manager Andy "Dr.J" Jao saw the advent of Open basketball as a timely opportunity to re-packaged the league in 1990. The term "amateur" was dropped from the PABL as rule changes were implemented. From halftimes, the games were divided into quarters patterned after the PBA.

Even with the adoption of semi-professional rules failed to regain the spectators' fancy, and that even started the identity crisis for the Philippine Basketball League.

But the league still managed to survive with star quality players like Zandro "Jun" Limpot, Marlou Aquino, Bal David, the Mutt and Jeff tandem of Victor Pablo and Johnny Abarrientos, Eugene Quiliban, Boyet Fernandez and behemoths Bonel Balingit and EJ Feihl gaining a following of their own aside from quality imports that beefed up the action.

Atty. Gregorio "Ogie" Narvasa came in the following year and his credibility somehow lured companies to have short stints in the PBL.

Former Agrarian Secretary Philip Ella Juico, who later assumed the post as Philippine Sports Commission chairman, implemented changes that improved officiating but was bogged by venue problems with the unavailability of the Rizal Memorial Coliseum and the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

PBL fans got confused that games drew only small crowds as it moved form the Cuneta Astrodome, the Araneta Coliseum and even the ULTRA.

But people running the league knew that hard times are temporary, and are but challenges meant to further strengthen the league.

And the lessons learned from these hard times were transformed into building blocks by their successors.




THE PBL BOUNCES BACK

When former Shell team manager Charlie Favis took over in 1994, he knew he inherited a lot of problems. But taking the cue from his predecessors, he picked up their major contributions and adopted innovations to renew interest in the PBL.

An experienced marketing man, he first unveiled a new logo with flashy colors to convey a change of image and introduce a new genre of youth and idealism.

It was the first steps to lure back big companies into the league and soon an intact set of supporters like Lamoiyan Corporation, Welcoat Paints, Photokina Marketing, Asia Brewery, Chowking, Ramcar and others came in.

With Juico assuming the PSC post, Favis wasted no time in negotiating for the return of the PBL at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum and the Ninoy Aquino Stadium and ironed out some differences with the Basketball Association of the Philippines through secretary general Nic Jorge.

He also addressed the problem of television coverage, and with meager budget and advertising support, he managed to arrange the telecast of a few games. The introduction of a three-man officiating also came as a welcomed move for more clear-cut calls that resulted to improved quality of games.

As if hiring imports and bringing PBL games to the provinces were not enough, Favis thought of sending PBL teams to key international invitational tournaments abroad and brought about record foreign stints for the league, including that of Hapee Toothpaste which bagged the ABC Champions Cup plum in 1995 and 1996.


He also staged short international tournaments that brought several foreign teams to Manila. It was in PBL where Filipinos had a glimpse of today's hottest Asian recruit in the NBA - 7'1 sensation Wang ZhiZhi.

To prevent players from taking an early, raw plunge to the PBA, Favis implemented the policy of banning ex-pros from coming back to the league.

Though he tried to strike at a more balanced league, Stag Pilsen started its rise as one of the greatest PBL teams when it posted the first grand slam in 1995.


The PBL got on a rebound under Favis. But there were other things left unsolved when he left.



THE PBL RETOOLS FOR THE FUTURE

Perhaps, Joseller "Yeng" Guiao was the best choice to take over the post from Favis in 1997. He came in full circle - from being a former PABL player, to becoming a champion PBL coach and now, as the man at the heim. It was under his term with Chowking's Robert Kuan as chairman that the PBL underwent a rebuilding process.

The decision to move the games from the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex to Makati Coliseum gave the PBL a more permanent venue where a loyal set of regular spectators watched the games every play day.

Guiao also stabilized the balance of teams - bringing out only the best promising talents in the league. His charisma lured better support from the media that newspaper spaces almost equaled that of the marquee PBA.

Unlike during Favis' term, PBL games got regular television coverage through Vintage Enterprises and Silverstar Communications Inc.

It was also during Guiao's term that officiating problems were sizeably minimized, if not totally eliminated by coming up with a reputable pool of refereees and rule changes under Technical Committee Chairman Roehl Nadurata.

But the biggest contribution Guiao accomplished was his Memorandum of Agreements with the PBA and the UAAP. With the PBA, he negotiated for a developmental fee the pro league will pay for every PBL player drafted.

With the UAAP, he managed to arrange that the elibility requirement from three to two years - allowing potential superstars to enjoy their best amateur years in the PBL.

Collegiate stars like Don Allado, Danny Ildefonso, Enrico Villanueva, Jojo Manalo, Ren-Ren Ritualo, Cyrus Baguio, Nino Gelig and Yancy de Ocampo brought in new zest, a new outlook on the PBL that Guiao collectively called them the "Future of Philippine Basketball".

The emergence of Eric Menk and Asi Taulava even revolutionized the face of Philippine Basketball that it enticed the PBA to start recruiting talented Fil-Ams to attract more crowd and intensify hardcourt action.

Thus, Guiao came up with the idea of changing the logo and the motto to "PBL: The Future is Now."

To back that up, he thought of organizing a Women's League which, suprisingly, gained its own share of audience and the PBL Juniors, many products of which are now top players in the UAAP and the NCAA like UE Warrior James Yap and Paul Artadi, and San Beda's Arjun Cordero. Not only that, Guiao also poured support to the promising Philippine Wheelchair Basketball League.

Aside from players, PBL teams also gained their respective following.

Tanduay Rhum Masters, formerly Stag Pilsen, went on as the greatest PBL team ever as coach Alfrancis Chua and his wards left the league with seven titles in 10 conferences aside from another record feat of 19 straight wins. New teams like Blu Detergent, Montana Pawnshop, Ana Freezers and the comeback of Hapee Toothpaste added colors to the league.

Even with the supremacy of Tanduay, the league enjoyed competitive balance that no team is ever sure of making it to the finals. Rivalries cropped up and the semifinal phase drew crowds rooting for their teams that every playdate from thereon brought about a festive atmosphere at the Makati Coliseum.

Blessings were bountiful then. From almost turning into rivals during Favis' term, PBA forged a stronger pact with the PBL following the emergence of MBA in 1998. And even with the lucrative offers from the other professional league, marquee PBL players stayed on believing that the training and exposure they get in the PBL was a wiser investment than a raw jump for a short-term hunt of big money.

Indeed, Guiao's contribution turned the league for the better. However, some good things never last. Guiao decided to move on. And despite a bigger offer from the PBL board to stay, he pushed through with the job his heart yearns for so long - coaching.


STABILITY UNDER A YOUNG LEADER




The old saying must be true. A tree blossoming with lots of fruits always get stoned. Other cage bodies envy the success of PBL under Yeng Guiao, how it survived the several storms and how it stood strong on its own. Like crabs pulling the one on top down, they thought of ways of bringing a kingdom down after its ruler abdicates.

They focused on bringing down the successor, Chino Trinidad-who they thought would be so you and so vulnerable. But years of experience as Vintage Executive Producer equipped Trinidad with management skills and innovative concepts that toughened him up to deal with any challenge. Yes, they never thought that Trinidad was born to be a winner.

But Chino, together with PBL chairman Dioceldo Sy, stood strong and faced the issue head on. The two worked on research and defense premises along with Corporate Secretary Atty. Noli Eala to establish and prove PBL's amateur nature.

The issue only backfired on the rivals as it only drew more support for the PBL. Top basketball personalities like multi-titled UAAP coach Franz Pumaren and basketball guru Joe Lipa sided with the PBL on the issue, saying that the league has established its role and niche in Philippine basketball and declaring it professional would be detrimental to the development of basketball in the country. Even players banded themselves together and signed a manifesto of support with a plea not to bar their rights to enhance their skills and mould their basketball careers in the PBL. Convinced with the supplication of the PBL and its supporters, Malacanang reversed the decision of the Games and Amusement Boards and declared PBL as amateur.

Then he worked on improving the image of the league. He unveiled a new logo bearing the motto "PBL..Where the Future Begins."

His broadcast experience also proved vital in improving the quality of PBL's primetime telecast. Together with Chairman Sy's funding, Trinidad put up an in-house PBL production, invested on hight-tech equipment and gathered a bunch of production brains for a more picturesque coverage and a better premium package for its advertisers to compliment the quality of games.

PBL's partnership with the National Broadcasting Network also proved a major step in promoting the league as a good avenue for the marketing of the advertisers' product with the government's widest reach from far North to the Southern tip of Mindanao.

It was Trinidad who bore the fruits of Guiao's pact with the UAAP. The PBL became a new venue for the age-old archrivalry between De La Salle University Green Archers and the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles - adding a new dimension to PBL competitions

Unlike the past PBL leaders, Trinidad shared the blessings PBL got through charitable projects, reaching out to institutions like the Habitat for Humanity, the Cancer Warriors and the Philippine Cerebral Palsy Inc. where the league donates a certain amount in behalf of the MVP for the education of cerebral palsy-inflicted kids.

Trinidad also plans to intensify the promotion of out-of-town games to reach out to more Filipinos and possibly, foreign stints to further elevate the quality performance of PBL players. Trinidad's partnership with Sy withered what was considered the biggest challenge to the existence of the PBL. The two stood strong, as the PBL now enjoys a certain stability and an unprecedented boom.

Wang-Bu
11-28-2006, 11:03 PM
Ang ganda siguro kung magkaroon ng isang koponan na puro mga hindi sikat na player ang makuha ano?

Kunwari si Leomer Losentes ng SFACS o Jeff De Guzman ng New Era bilang pointguard.

Tapos si Ramil Colardo ng Cavite City o si John Valderama ng EAC bilang offguard.

Tapos si Nino Songco ng EAC o Chito Jaime ng AMACU bilang small forward.

Tapos si Jeff Lapitan ng EAC o si Jonathan Bonoan ng Pampanga bilang power forward.

Tapos si Alain Musni ng EAC o si Orlan Daroya ng Arellano bilang sentro.

Ewan ko lang kung hindi nito kayanin na makipagsabayan sa kahit sinong PBL team. Ang candidates ko for coach dito either si Boni Tan ng Lyceum o si Leo Isaac ng Arellano. Maganda na ang kanilang laki, pagiging atletiko at saktong kombinasyon ng mga may pukol at mga poste.

Wang-Bu
11-29-2006, 01:31 PM
Saan na kaya napunta ang mga ito:

Allen Sasan

Ronnie Cahanding

Art Ayson

Naalala ko kasi mga superstar itong mga ito ng PABL nung panahon na iyon. Grabe talaga, parang ganun lang nawala na sila sa sirkulasyon.

Bennie Bangag
11-29-2006, 01:35 PM
sa tatlong yan, si ronnie cahanding ang naiwan na nasa sirkulasyon. assistant coach yata sa teletech, basta nasa PBL sya ngayon.

Sam Miguel
12-01-2006, 05:51 PM
Ang ganda siguro kung magkaroon ng isang koponan na puro mga hindi sikat na player ang makuha ano?

Kunwari si Leomer Losentes ng SFACS o Jeff De Guzman ng New Era bilang pointguard.

Tapos si Ramil Colardo ng Cavite City o si John Valderama ng EAC bilang offguard.

Tapos si Nino Songco ng EAC o Chito Jaime ng AMACU bilang small forward.

Tapos si Jeff Lapitan ng EAC o si Jonathan Bonoan ng Pampanga bilang power forward.

Tapos si Alain Musni ng EAC o si Orlan Daroya ng Arellano bilang sentro.

Ewan ko lang kung hindi nito kayanin na makipagsabayan sa kahit sinong PBL team. Ang candidates ko for coach dito either si Boni Tan ng Lyceum o si Leo Isaac ng Arellano. Maganda na ang kanilang laki, pagiging atletiko at saktong kombinasyon ng mga may pukol at mga poste.


This would indeed be a hardcore lineup, and one that features highly skilled players who at the very least would not embarass themselves against any other PBL team. I most intrigued by Leomer Losentes since I have seen him in aciton only twice, both times in the Summer FMC. He was supposedly being courted by the EAC Manila Generals since they already signed up Losentes's former teammate at St Francis, the aforementioned Jeff Lapitan. Losentes is at least the second coming of Frolian Baguion, although he plays under more control than Baguion and is far headier.

Ramil Colardo is yet another intriguing prospect, a community league mainstay in the Cavite City and GMA leagues of Cavite. Colardo will remind many people of Denok Miranda size- and skill-wise, although he is far better on the jumpshot than Miranda. Colardo can actually play both guard positions and even the 3 in a smallball lineup. All this kid needs is a break and he will definitely shine at least in the PBL, if not the PBA like another starcrossed hardcore baller, Ronnie Bughao.

John Valderama is the fourth horseman in that quartet of athletic hotshot swingmen playing for the EAC Generals that includes gameface.ph League Hardcore player Gester Ebuen, Bong Melocoton and Ronjay Buenafe. Valderama is actually the most efficient of the lot since he is not a volume shooter like his other illustrious teammates. Valderama can live on less than 10 shots in a game and still produce in double digits.

Jonathan Bonoan, hmm... I didn't think this kid was still into the game. He was Raba Al Hussaini's teammate in the PCU Baby Dolphins and was an able scorer who did a little of everything at least at an above-average level. He was the Yin to Al Hussaini's Yang and was a steadying influence on a talented Baby Dolphins crew.

whiplash
12-27-2006, 12:59 PM
Ang ganda siguro kung magkaroon ng isang koponan na puro mga hindi sikat na player ang makuha ano?

Kunwari si Leomer Losentes ng SFACS o Jeff De Guzman ng New Era bilang pointguard.

Tapos si Ramil Colardo ng Cavite City o si John Valderama ng EAC bilang offguard.

Tapos si Nino Songco ng EAC o Chito Jaime ng AMACU bilang small forward.

Tapos si Jeff Lapitan ng EAC o si Jonathan Bonoan ng Pampanga bilang power forward.

Tapos si Alain Musni ng EAC o si Orlan Daroya ng Arellano bilang sentro.

Ewan ko lang kung hindi nito kayanin na makipagsabayan sa kahit sinong PBL team. Ang candidates ko for coach dito either si Boni Tan ng Lyceum o si Leo Isaac ng Arellano. Maganda na ang kanilang laki, pagiging atletiko at saktong kombinasyon ng mga may pukol at mga poste.




i agree... nino songco could give any small forward or any power forward a run for their money!