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  1. Old-timers game at the sm moa arena

    Here are the player profiles of the PBA and NBA squads in the Old-timers Game to be held on July 18 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

    PHILIPPINE ALL-STARS (PBA LEGENDS)

    PLAYERS

    ISABELO LASTIMOSA … A high-leaping 6-foot guard-forward … This native of Cagayan de Oro City won the PBA Rookie of the Year award with the Purefoods Hotdog in 1988 … He played an integral role in Alaska’s Gram Slam finish in 1996 and was a three-time member of the PBA’s Mythical First Team and Mythical Second Team … The seventh all-time leading scorer in PBA history, he is one of only 16 players ever to score 10,000 or more points during a distinguished 15-year career with Purefoods, Alaska, Pop Cola and Coca-Cola … A member of the 1998 Philippine Centennial Team that captured the bronze medal during the Bangkok Asian Games … One of the 25 greatest players in PBA history, Isabelo “Jojo” Lastimosa.

    JERRY CODINERA … A boyish-looking 6-foot-5 center out of the University of the East who was known for his shot-blocking ability during his heyday … This 17-year PBA veteran played with Purefoods, Mobiline, Talk ‘N Text and FedEx from 1988 to 2005 … A member of the exclusive 10,000-point career list who was named to the All-Defensive Team a league-high nine times … He also is the third all-time leading rebounder and top offensive rebounder in PBA history … One of the 25 greatest players in PBA history, the Defense Minister, Jerry Codiñera.

    KENNETH DUREMDES … A sharp-shooting 6-foot-3 guard-forward from Koronadal, South Cotabato who is a product of Adamson University … This 13-year PBA veteran saw action with Sunkist, Pop Cola, Alaska, Sta. Lucia and Coca-Cola from 1995 to 2008 and earned league Most Valuable Player honors in 1998 with Alaska … A member of the Philippine national team to the 1998 and 2002 Asian Games … Another member of the elite list of the 25 greatest players in PBA history, “Captain Marbel” Kenneth Duremdes.

    LUIS MANUEL LOCSIN … A native of Bacolod City who starred at De La Salle University in college … This heavily-built but quick-moving 6-3 power forward saw action with seven clubs (Tondeña, Ginebra, Gordon’s Gin, Pop Cola, Tanduay, Red Bull, Talk ‘N Text, Sta. Lucia and Alaska) from 1994 to 2005 … Dubbed as “The Tank” for his unstoppable bulldozing drives to the basket, Luis Manuel “Noli” Locsin.

    RENE HAWKINS JR. … A muscle-bound 6-foot-4 power forward with sleek post-up moves and deadly perimeter shooting … This product of Perpetual Help-Rizal played 14 seasons in the PBA with Tivoli, Presto, Sta. Lucia, Alaska, Tanduay and Coca-Cola from 1991 to 2006 … A member of Alaska’s Grand Slam team in 1996 who was named to PBA Mythical First Team twice, Rene “Bong” Hawkins Jr.

    VINCE HIZON … A 6-foot-2 forward-guard who traces his Filipino roots to Davao City … This popular cager saw action with the Ateneo Blue Eagles in 1993 before trying his luck in the PBA the following year … Known for his impeccable three-point shooting, this Fil-American played seven seasons in the PBA with Purefoods, Ginebra and Red Bull until 2003 … “The Prince” Vincent “Vince” Hizon.

    MARLO AQUINO … A hulking 6-foot-9 center who played college ball at Adamson University … This Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan native was selected by Ginebra San Miguel with the No. 1 choice in the entire 1996 PBA draft … He was named 1996 PBA Rookie of the Rookie Year after leading the league in rebounding and blocked shots and ranking third in scoring … A member of the Philippine national team in the 1998 and 2002 Asian Games, this defensive specialist played 15 seasons in the PBA until his retirement with Meralco in 2011 as the league’s fifth all-time leading shot-blocker … “The Skyscrapper” Marlou Aquino.

    E.J. FEIHL … A giant of a center at 7-foot-1 … This Cainta, Rizal native attended the University of Santo Tomas and Adamson University, and was chosen by Ginebra San Miguel with the second pick in the 1995 PBA draft … He played 12 seasons in the PBA from 1995 to 2007 with five clubs and was a member of the Philippine national squad to the 1998 and 2002 Asian Games … Edward Joseph “E.J.” Feihl.

    BAL DAVID … A speedy guard with a steady touch from the perimeter … This 5-foot-9 guard saw action with the multi-champion University of Santo Tomas during his collegiate days … As a pro, he is among the few to have played his entire PBA career with one franchise, suiting up for Ginebra San Miguel for nine seasons from 1996 to 2005 … “The Flash” Bal David Jr..

    NELSON ASAYTONO … A hefty 6-foot-3 power forward from Oriental Mindoro whose strong leap and brute force made him almost unstoppable once he got the ball inside the paint … This University of Manila product played 17 seasons in the PBA from 1989 to 2006 … One of only 16 players to collect at least 10,000 points with Purefoods, Swift, Sunkist, San Miguel ...
  2. Hoopster 742

    Three wildcard berths to the men’s basketball tournament in the upcoming London Olympics are at stake in the 12-team FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Caracas,Venezuela from July 2-8.

    This is the first time that Venezuela is hosting a major international basketball tournament, having beaten Angola,Macedonia and Lithuania for the hosting rights.

    The twelve participating countries have been divided into four groups of three each.

    In Group A are Greece, Puerto Rico and Jordan. In Group B are Nigeria, Lithuania and Venezuela.

    In Group C are Russia, the Dominican Republic and South Korea. In Group D are Macedonia, New Zealand and Angola.

    The preliminary phase will have a round-robin format.

    The top two teams from each group will advance to the single-game knockout quarterfinals. The matchups for the quarterfinals will be A1 vs. B2, B1 vs. A2, C1 vs. D2 and D1 vs. C2.

    The semifinal pairings will be A1/B2 vs. C1/D2 and B1/A2 vs. D1/C2. The semifinal winners will earn spots in the Olympic men’s basketball tournament that will be held in London for the first time since 1948.

    The semifinal losers will play each other for the third and last Olympic qualifying berth. No championship game will be held.

    In opening-day games, the two Asian representatives were clobbered by their opponents. Greece blasted Jordan, 107-63, and Russia whitewashed South Korea, 91-56.

    So far, nine countries have punched tickets to the 12-team Olympic men’s basketball competitions from July 28-August 12.

    A draw had earlier held to determine the members of each of the two groupings.

    In Group A are Argentina, France, Tunisia, the United States, OQT (Olympic Qualifying Tournament) 1 and OQ 2. In Group B are Australia, Brazil, People’s Republic of China, host Great Britain, Spain and OQT 3.

    Argentina (Americas), Tunisia (Africa), Australia (Oceania),Spain EuroBasket) and People’s Republic of China (Asia)topped the FIBA qualifying tournaments in their respective zones to earn slots in the London Olympiad.

    The United States, which will be employing NBA stars for the sixth consecutive Olympics since the Barcelona Games in 1992(that featured the original Dream Team), is an automatic qualifier because of their status as the reigning World champion (and not as the defending Olympic gold medalist).

    Despite not qualifying from the European zone, Great Britain has been allowed to compete by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) due to its status as host of the quadrennial multi-sports spectacle.

    France and Brazil also secured Olympic berths following their runner-up finishes in the EuroBasket and Tournament of the Americas, respectively.

    The Philippines narrowly missed a trip to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Venezuela following a 70-68 loss to South Korea in the battle for third place during the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship in Wuhan, China.
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  3. Spoelstra: *A Heat Loyalist

    One has to like Erik Celino Spoelstra’s Filipino-like coolness on and off the National Basketball Association (NBA) hardwood.

    It is known to many that our Pambansang Kamao Manny Pacquiao rooted for the Boston Celtics when the Green took on Spoelstra’s Miami Heat in the deciding Game Seven of the Eastern finals. *Pacquiao even caught the nationally-televised encounter in his dugout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada while just one hour or so before he took on cross-eyed judges C.J. Ross and Duane Ford’s favorite “manghuhula,” American Timothy Bradley, for the former’s World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title.

    Well, Pacquiao’s Celtics lost and so did he later in the night. *Actually, only the two of the three judges thought the congressman from Sarangani lost the 12-round bout as the rest of the world called the fight’s controversial outcome (a split decision for Bradley) a travesty and the WBO, through a non-binding TV review of the fight by five independent judges, eventually confirmed a unanimous-decision win by Pacquiao.

    Spoelstra never took it against his “kababayan” for rooting against his Heat. *The first NBA championship head coach with Filipino blood running through his veins, he even proclaimed that “I am a fan of Manny Pacquiao” and compared pro boxing, with its ups and downs, to the Heat’s struggle to the top this year.

    From one Filipino champion to another, they are our pride and glory.

    As far as I know, Spoelstra is only the second American bench boss in NBA history with other blood lines to secure an NBA crown. *San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich was born in Indiana although his dad and mom came from Serbia and Croatia, respectively. *(Serbia and Croatia were part of the Republic of Yugoslavia until its break-up in the early 1990s.)
    The 6-1 Spoelstra was born in Evanston, Illinois. *His mom, Elisa Caridad (Fe) Celino, hails from San Pablo, Laguna.

    Spoelstra’s Irish-Dutch dad Jon was once a front-office executive with the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets and New Jersey Nets. *He was probably best remembered in some circles for getting traded in an unusual manner. *Jon was jettisoned from the Trail Blazers to the Indiana Pacers’ front office for one week of consulting in exchange for point guard Don Buse.

    Erik first set foot on Philippine soil when he was only three years old. *Subsequently, he has gone to Manila thrice more since 2009, conducting coaching and playing clinics each time.

    Erik was an outstanding point guard at Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon during the mid-1980s. *In 1988-89, he hooked up with the University of Portland, where he was a four-year starter for the Pilots varsity. *

    While Spoelstra graduated with a degree in communications from the school in 1992, he was bypassed in the NBA draft that same year.

    Instead, Spoelstra spent a pair of seasons (1992-94) as a player-coach for Tus Herten in the German professional league before the Miami Heat came-a-calling to offer him a low-ranking position in 1995.

    He has been with the Heat organization since the time, rising from the ranks through the last 17 years.

    Spoelstra started as the Heat’s video coordinator in 1995. *After two seasons, he took on the role of assistant coach-video coordinator.

    In 1999, Spoelstra was promoted to assistant coach-advance scout. *Two years later (2001), he became the Heat’s assistant coach and director of scouting.
    Erik was one of the assistant coaches under Pat Riley when Miami grabbed its first NBA crown in 2006.

    On April 29, 2008, he succeeded the Hall of Famer Riley as the Heat’s numero uno bench strategist.

    Spoelstra, who turns 42 on November 1, has piloted Miami to the playoffs – and a winning record – in each of the past four seasons, including a pair of NBA Finals stint the last two years.

    In the first season of the LeBron James-Dwyane Wade-Chris Bosh era, the Heat stunningly dropped a 4-2 decision to the Dallas Mavericks in the Finals after losing the final three games of the best-of-seven championship duel.

    This year, though, saw a happy ending for the Big Three and Spoelstra as Miami blasted a young Oklahoma City outfit in four straight games in the Finals following a series-opening loss for a 4-1 victory over the Thunder.
  4. Short fuses in the 2012 nba playoffs

    Time and again, I have been proven to have a short fuse.

    My elders said that I inherited my quick temper from my maternal grandmother. *That ain’t quite fair, to say the least. *After all, everybody is responsible for his own actions.

    My emotions usually get the better of me when the things that I wanted done are not tasked correctly or quickly. *Ditto when I could not get my message across without having to repeat it over and over again.

    I also lose my temper when arguments over a subject matter turn personal and are not related to the merits of the case.

    These things get my goat and I easily go ballistic over them. *

    Still, I take to heart the Filipino saying, “Ang pikon ay talo.” *And emotionally, I have learned not to get “too high” on highs and “too low” on lows just so I am able to keep my sanity intact.

    Anger management is a must for the young and old. *Too much anger (or hatred) in your heart can get you into serious trouble. *At worst, it can trigger a massive heart attack that leads to a premature death.

    If I am not mistaken, programs on anger management are being offered here and elsewhere around the globe. *I remember a movie was once made to tackle this interesting subject.

    “Anger Management” was a 2003 American slapstick comedy film that starred Adam Saddler and three-time Oscar Awards winner and long-time Los Angeles Lakers season ticket holder Jack Nicholson. *A television series based on the movie will premier on June 28, 2012 in the United States, Canada and Latin America.

    What then has anger management anything to do with sports?

    Well, there were three cases in an eight-day stretch (April 22-30) wherein National Basketball Association athletes lost their cool during or after the games. *Alas, the teams that employ them paid dearly for their transgressions as they resulted in either game suspensions or forced absence from the ongoing NBA playoffs by the players involved.

    Metta World Peace of the LA Lakers, Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics and Amar’e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks acted foolishly, if not stupidly, when they lost control of their emotions and burst into anger during the games.

    World Peace, the former Ron Artest who was the Pro Basketball Writers Association’s choice for the for the 2011 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for his advocacy of mental health care, seemingly had shunned his Bad Boy image from the mid-2000s.

    World Peace, who legally changed his name last September, actually had been in his best behavior since coming into the Lakers before the 2009-10 season. *Unfortunately, during the second quarter of a regular-season home game against Oklahoma City on April 22, his once-forgotten irrational ways acted up again. *He was exuberantly celebrating his slam dunk off two defenders when his left elbow unintentionally hit the back side of the head of Oklahoma City’s James Harden that resulted in a concussion by the NBA’s highest-scoring reserve.

    Partly due to World Peace’s past reputation, NBA commissioner David Stern penalized him with a seven-game suspension – the Lakers’ regular-season finale at Sacramento and first six playoff games (he should be available some time in the second round granting that Kobe Bryant and company survive past Denver in their Western first-round duel).

    Rondo, the Celtics’ playmaker de luxe who topped the NBA in assists and triple-double games this season, drew a technical foul then chest-bumped a referee in the final minute of the Hub City squad’s 83-74 road loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Game One of their Eastern opening-round series. In addition to the automatic ejection, Rondo was suspended for Game Two.

    It was a pretty dumb move by Rondo as Boston was already depleted in the backcourt due to the absence of Ray Allen, who was set to miss the series’ first two games due to a sprained right ankle.

    Luckily, veteran forward Paul Pierce “tebowed” his way to a 36-point, 14-rebound roadshow as the Celts evened the count at 1-1 with an 87-80 win and wrested the homecourt advantage away from the Hawks.

    Turning out to be dumber than dumb was Stoudemire’s violent and inexcusable behavior after Game Two of the Miami-New York series. Minutes after a 104-94 Knicks loss, a visibly frustrated Stoudemire swung his left hand on a fire extinguisher case in the visitor’s locker room. *This resulted in a cut that required surgery last May 1 to repair a small muscle in the hand. *A self-inflicted injury it was and the Knicks management even belittled it by not imposing a fine on the apologetic Amar’e.

    Stoudemire sat out the third game that was held in New York’s fabled Madison Square Garden last Friday. *With the 6-10 frontliner and one-month sensation Jeremy Lin out with injuries, ...
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  5. 2012 nba playoffs: An early exit by the mavs?

    Though it’s nearly two weeks later than usual, no thanks to a prolonged team owners-imposed lockout that forced the regular season to start not until Christmas Day and sliced each of the 30 member clubs’ schedule to just 66 games (instead of the traditional 82), the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs finally got underway last April 28 (Apr. 29, Manila time).

    Only the top eight finishers – including the three division leaders – in both the Eastern and Western conferences are competing in the NBA playoffs, aptly described as the league’s “real” season since the much-coveted Larry O’Brien championship hardware will be up for grabs.

    For the second consecutive year, the Chicago Bulls (50-16) edged the San Antonio Spurs (50-16, lost to the Bulls in their head-to-head season series, 0-1) for the NBA’s best regular-season record but nobody really remembers the team that tops the regulars.

    Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose is hampered by various injuries and his Bulls look to avoid being the second team in league history to pace the regulars in consecutive seasons without qualifying for the NBA Finals at least once.

    LeBron James, who along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh reached the Finals a year ago with the Miami Heat, was unable to lead Cleveland to the title playoffs in 2009 and 2010 even though the Cavaliers finished No. 1 overall during the regulars in both years.

    All 16 playoff teams are taking part in the first round of the four-tier postseason, all of which have been best-of-seven duels since 2003.

    Overall, there are 15 best-of-seven series to be played, including the NBA Finals scheduled during the first week of June.

    In every matchup, the team with the better win-loss record owns homecourt advantage over its opponent, regardless of the seeding positions.

    In a tweak to the NBA playoff format a few years back, the seedings for the top four positions have been rearranged to include the conference’s three division winners and the club with the best record among the non-division titlists. *They are subsequently ranked according to their win-loss ledgers.

    This means that a division winner may not be seeded lower than fourth and a non-division leader in a conference may rank as high as second if the top seed somehow comes from its own division.

    This year, the Boston Celtics (39-27) took the Atlantic Division crown but were seeded only fourth in the East playoffs – or one rung lower than Most Improved Player candidate Roy Hibbert and the Central Division runner-up Indiana Pacers (42-24), who grabbed the No. 3 seed with a three-game lead over the Hub City unit.

    The Atlanta Hawks (40-26) wound up second in the Southeast Division and were relegated to the fifth seed. *Despite a lower seeding, the Hawks are enjoying homecourt advantage in their first-round, best-of-seven East series against the Celtics due to a superior win-loss record.

    German star Dirk Nowitzki, the 2011 recipient of the Bill Russell Trophy as the NBA Finals MVP, is still posting creditable numbers (21.7 ppg and 6.8 rpg) but his Dallas Mavericks will be hard-pressed to repeat as NBA champions this year. *

    The Mavs (36-30) are seeded only seventh in the West and don’t have homecourt advantage against three-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant (28.03 ppg) and the second-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder (47-19) in their first-round duel.

    Other opening-round series feature the following: *EAST – No. 1 seed Chicago vs. No. 8 seed Philadelphia (35-31), No. 2 seed Miami (46-20) vs. No. 7 seed New York (36-30) and No. 3 Indiana vs. No. 6 Orlando (37-29) *and WEST – No. 1 seed San Antonio, No. 3 *seed Los Angeles Lakers (41-25) vs. No. 6 seed Denver (38-2 and No. 4 seed Memphis (41-25) vs. No. 5 seed LA Clippers (40-26).

    My educated guess is that Chicago, Miami, Indiana and Atlanta will advance to the East’s second round and San Antonio, Oklahoma City and the two Los Angeles teams will make it to the Western conference semifinals.

    With a young Thunder team seeking a payback for its 4-1 loss to Dallas in last year’s West finals, a quick exit by Nowitzki and the 2011 champion Mavericks is in the offing. *

    Updated 05-01-2012 at 09:50 PM by designerzcall

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