The clamor to convince telecommunications tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan to vie for the presidency of thePhilippine Olympic Committee is reportedly gaining ground fast among a big number of National Sports Associations.
And the snowballing effort to persuade Pangilinan to give the critical matter a second thought, a source inside the MVP group said, has prompted serious reconsideration from the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and chairman of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines.
The source said that some NSA leaders have assured the business bigwig that a cursory head count shows him ahead, “and many of those on the fence have indicated they will support MVP should he declare himself available” for the post.
“MVP is slowly feeling the pressure to take on the responsibility of going for the presidency,” the insider said. “He is already currently into several sports disciplines as benefactor so it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to imagine him taking on a bigger challenge. But no decisions have been made yet.”
POC president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco, who is seeking a third term in the Nov. 30 elections, has earlier offered Pangilinan the position of POC chairman in a power-sharing scheme, but the top honcho at PLDT and Smart Communications politely declined the overture, telling sportswriters during the recent FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup in Tokyo that he “wouldn’t have the time.”
The growing clamor could change all that.
Manny Lopez, first vice president of the POC, has been bruited as a potential challenger to Cojuangco, but he could only do so, according to the POC charter, as an NSA president and not as secretary-general of the handball association, the post he now holds.
To remedy that, earlier reports said Lopez is looking to reclaim his former ABAP post now held by Maynilad Water president Ricky Vargas, a close corporate ally of Pangilinan.
It is not likely though that Vargas, who will be seeking his own fresh mandate during an ABAP general assembly meeting on Oct. 20 in Bago City, Negros Occidental preceding a regional tournament there, would relinquish his post, especially in light of the plea for a Pangilinan presidency in the POC.
The source said a win-win solution would be for Cojuangco, a former veteran Tarlac representative, to step aside, having made his mark in the eight years he had sat as head of the country’s overall sports program, and give way to somebody else.
“That could clear the way for MVP,” the source said. “And it would be a perfect scenario, him running unopposed which would show Philippine sports is ready for unity and development.”
Cojuangco, however, has shown no indication of any plans other than to seek reelection, igniting the clarion call for Pangilinan to step into the plate and take a swing at the POC presidency.
Four Manilans, 3 from Cagayan de Oro, 1 each from Puerto Princesa, Pampanga and the Alaska Power Camp took the top ten slots in the 2012 Jr. NBA Philippines presented by Alaska to form this year’s Jr. NBA All-Star team.
After three days of a basketball boot camp jointly conducted by NBA Legend and former Chicago Bull Luc Longley, US Jr. NBA Clinician Chris Clunie, the Alaska Coaching Staff led by PBA Legend Jojo Lastimosa and assorted coaches from the regions, Aljun Jay Melecio, Camillus Altamirano, Patrick Ramirez and John Roald Mayor from the Manila Regional Training Camp; Lui Besa, Felixberto Jaboneta and Arnie Padilla from the Cagayan de Oro camp; Paul Dagunan from the Puerto Princesa camp; Antonio Jeffrey Coronel from Pampanga and Regille Kent Ilagan from the Alaska Power Camp in Manila outshined the competition and emerged as this year’s Jr. NBA All Stars.
The ten young cagers will be rewarded with a once in a lifetime NBA experience and the chance to travel abroad to play against a counterpart Jr. NBA Team.
Coach Alan Ayo of ABC Ideas of Sorsogon City and a city councillor was meanwhile selected as the 2012 Jr. NBA Coach of the Year for having grown the sport of basketball in the Philippines while promoting the Jr. NBA S.T.A.R. values of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude and Respect to young basketball athletes.
The following players received special awards for their outstanding achievements in the National Training Camp : Alvin Jules Pineda, Joshua Alfonso Gantan, Lawrence Viajar, Gilbert Tague and Jeremiah Joy Sandalo, members of the 2012 Gatorade Performance Team; Miguel Raphael Jison of St. John’s Institute in Bacolod City, the Spalding Sportsmanship Award; Paul Dagunan from San Miguel National High School in Puerto Princesa, the Gatorade Hustle Award, Patrick Ramirez from Manila, the BTV Rising STAR Award, Arnie Padilla from the Sacred Heart School Ateneo de Cebu, the 2012 Jr. NBA Studio 23 All Star Player of the Game; Regille Kent Ilagan, the 2012 Alaska Youth Ambassador. Most Valuable Player of the 2012 Jr. NBA Philippines presented by Alaska is Aljun Jay Melecio.
The top ten were culled from a group of 50 junior players aged 10-14 who topped their respective regional selection camps in Puerto Princesa, Cagayan de Oro, Pampanga and Manila through all of April and made it to the Jr. NBA National Training Camp which took place from May 3 – 5.
Three days of boot camp – basketball drills, skills tests, stamina challenges, competitive games and fun games – tested the young cagers’ physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strengths.
The 2012 Jr. NBA Philippines presented by Alaska was also made possible through the support of the NBA's Official Partners including Gatorade, Spalding, Basketball TV (BTV), Studio 23 and the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines.*For more information on Jr. NBA Philippines, including recaps, photos and news, log on to www.jrnba.com.ph.
Top 10 kids among 50 campers to be selected as 2012 Jr. NBA All Star Team
The 2012 Jr. NBA Philippines Program presented by Alaska reaches its climax May 3 and 4 at the University of the Philippines Gym in Diliman and at the SM Mall of Asia on Saturday May 5 as 50 of the most promising young cagers of the land take part in the Jr. NBA National Training Camp.
NBA Legend and former Chicago Bull Luc Longley and Alaska coaches led by Jojo Lastimosa will run the camp for the boys aged 10-14 who topped their respective regional selection camps in Puerto Princesa, Cagayan de Oro, Pampanga, Manila and the Alaska Power Camp earlier this month. Longley will conduct an NBA Cares activity at the end of the training camp.
The 40 players selected as the best from their respective regions are : Randolf Erickson Marcelo, Gilbert Cague, Samuel Abuhilijeh, John Ronald Mayor, Miguel Kristoffer Abila, Omar Pius Mangadam, Patrick Sison, Aljun Jay Melecio, Tommy York Gedaria, Juan Carlo Garcia, Bryan Joshua Lina, Camillus Altamirano, Joshua Francis Callejo, Aaron Ivan Reyes, Aoki Estacio and Patrick Ramirez from the Manila Camp; Paul Dagunan, Himel Samante, John Mark Bentulan, Lorenzo Carlos, and Miguel Raphael Jison from the Puerto Princesa Camp; Arnold Cagang, Jepher Egan, Ian de la Cruz, Lorenz Viajar, *Lui Besa, Felixberto Jaboneta, Arnie Padilla, Arvid Ong and Zachary Juang from the Cagayan de Oro Camp and Rico Soliman, Pawan Singh, Diesel Jericho Malonzo, Polo Alberto Dayrit, Anton Miguel David, Antonio Jeffrey Coronel, Joshua Alfonso Gantan, Ivan Jules Pineda and Jeremiah Joy Sandalo from the Pampanga Camp.
The Alaska Power Campers are:*Rigell Kent Ilagan, Ryen Dizon, Andrei Monserrat, Krystoffe Jimenez, Jaime Alonzo Senires, Maurice Rainier Caculitan (Manila); Jon Olaso (Olongapo); Nino Dave Carmel, Darrel Menina and Khryss Alerta (Cebu).
From May 3-4, the young hopefuls will undergo a basketball boot camp that will test their basketball skills, strength, stamina and character via conditioning workouts, transition drills, skills stations and competitive games. Also highlighted in the three-day National Training Camp is the teaching of the Jr. NBA core values of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude and Respect (S.T.A.R.), alongside Gatorade’s on-site testing and evaluation of the campers’ body composition, strength, vertical leap, endurance, speed and balance.
The public is invited to watch the last day of the Jr. NBA Camp at the SM-MOA on Saturday (9am – 4pm) where the final scrimmage will be the high point of the day. The announcement of the ten 2012 Jr. NBA All Stars, who will be rewarded with an authentic NBA experience and the chance to play a counterpart Jr. NBA selection out of the country, will be made after the scrimmage in the afternoon.
The 2012 Jr. NBA presented by Alaska is also made possible through the support of the NBA's Official Partners including Gatorade, Spalding, Basketball TV (BTV), Studio 23 and Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines. For more information on Jr. NBA Philippines, including registration information, dates, venues, photos and news, log on the www.jrnba.com.ph.
The 2012 Jr. NBA Philippines presented by Alaska will hold an NBA Cares activity in Cagayan de Oro City on May 1when NBA Legend and former Chicago Bull Luc Longley arrives for the National Training Camp late this month.
Longley joins other NBA Legends who have conducted NBA Cares activities in the country in conjunction with the Jr. NBA Philippines Program, demonstrating the continuing commitment of the global basketball league to share basketball goodwill to communities and individuals it has touched along the way.
The National Basketball Association’s international youth development program was first introduced in the country in 2007. The 2012 Program is the fifth consecutive Jr. NBA Program in the Philippines.
BJ Armstrong , Longley’s Bulls teammate, conducted a basketball clinic with the residents of Boys’ Town in Marikina in 2010. AC Green teamed up with renowned mural artist and conservationist AG Sarno to paint a dolphin mural at the De La Salle campus to highlight the plight of dolphins and encourage their protection in 2011.
In 2012, NBA Legend and US Jr. NBA Coach Marty Conlon led the NBA Cares activity on January 18 at the San Fernando Special Education School where children who were deaf, dumb or afflicted with Down’s Syndrome were given the chance to have fun with the basketball.
After one of the most frenetically paced conferences in its history, the 2012 PBA Commissioner’s Cup has come down to two teams: BMEG and Talk N Text. They faced each other only one other time this conference, with TNT beating BMEG 102-96 in the single-round eliminations. TNT is the second best offensive club averaging over 100 points per game, while BMEG leads the league in defense allowing only 87 points per game.
Both teams went through a bit of a wringer in the Final 4 semifinals against Barangay Ginebra and Barako Bull respectively. In the end though, both powerhouses came in with strong finishing kicks to reach the Finals. BMEG needed four games out of five to get the job done, while TNT survived being down 1-2 before breaking through.
As this is an import-reinforced conference, the respective American imports of either team are the focal points for this series, although they themselves are not strict make-or-break deals. TNT has NBA veteran Donnel Harvey, a 6-foot-10 center-forward. BMEG leans on international veteran Denzel Bowles, also 6-foot-10. Both Americans are cut from the same cloth: power-playing, board crashing, shot blocking athletes with only average touch from anywhere beyond 10-12 feet. Both are veritable double-double machines who can score inside and clean glass on both ends, but have a hard time making a shot anywhere other than in the immediate paint area. Neither is even an average free throw shooter. This means they could conceivably just cancel each other out. It seems doubtful that one is at any real advantage over the other.
Bowles had sort of a break going up against Jackson Vroman in their series versus the Gin Kings. Vroman isn’t exactly an athlete although he did match up well enough size-wise against Bowles. Vroman, at 6-foot-11, had the size but just did not have the speed and agility to stay toe-to-toe against Bowles. For his part, Harvey was literally looking down against his counterpart with the Energy. 6-foot-6 Gabe Freeman is a former two-time PBA Best Import and proven champion, but simply gave away too much in terms of size against Harvey. Harvey often found himself guarded by the slower-moving Mick Pennisi or Dorian Pena.
That means the local players will most likely be the difference between victory and defeat in a series that promises to go down the wire. Neither team is bereft of proven superstars who all have championship experience and all-league credentials. TNT is widely acknowledged as being arguably the most talent-stocked team in the PBA, but BMEG’s roster is nothing to sneeze at either.
For the Llamados, everything begins and ends with former MVP James Yap. Yap, a strongly-built 6-foot-2 swingman with a deadly trigger and incredible range, is one of the best scorers of the PBA of all time. He can knock down the long three-pointer with many hands in his face as easily as drive and pull up. He has also developed his passing and decoy-playing skills, making him truly a multiple threat. Yap’s biggest sin however is that he is at best an average defender and rebounder. He will normally only take in caroms that come his way, and is not particularly known for getting in the stance and dogging his man. So if for some reason his shot isn’t falling, he has to make himself useful as a play maker and facilitator, or else his Llamados will have a tough time matching the combined firepower of the Tropang Texters.
Speaking of firepower, this might be the best time to shine for backup swingman Peter June Simon. Simon, a 6-foot-1 shooting guard who sometimes plays 3 in a three-guard set, is almost as good as Yap when it comes to scoring. He certainly has a better sense of shot selection, unlike Yap who does not discriminate as long as he is within 30 feet of the basket. Simon allows Yap to freelance more when the two are on the floor together. Opposing defenses have to respect Simon’s offense almost as much as Yap’s. Unlike Yap though, Simon is a strong and underrated perimeter defender who works hard fighting through staggered screens.
Both men will be severely tested though since the Tropang Texters have their own MVP backcourt in pointguard Jimmy Alapag and his just-as-talented partner Jason Castro. Alapag and Castro are arguably the best backcourt combo in the league. They have been co-Finals MVP, creating all sorts of problems with their speed, explosiveness and scoring. Both men can hit long jumpers and have range all the way past the three-point arc, can drive and pull up, break down defenses with their dribble penetration, and run like Olympic sprinters in transition. They may not quite be the long-range gunner that Yap and Simon are, but they can score in far more ways and alternate at the 1 and 2 spots with ease.
Up front, BMEG might be one of the few teams that can boast a real size advantage against TNT. 6-foot-9 Yancy De Ocampo, 6-foot-9 Rafi Reavis, 6-foot-6 Joe Devance and 6-foot-5 Marc Pingris rotate