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  1. The Ugly Basketball Mercenary

    How precious is the Filipino citizenship of Juan dela Cruz?

    To many, it?s a badge of honor so sacred that he would even be so willing to die for his country.

    Let no one cheapen or trifle with the word ?Filipino.? It is priceless and not for sale to the highest bidder. You may sell your soul to other countries ? I don?t really care ? but do not do it here and insult the intelligence of nationalistic Filipinos by selling the country country down the river for several pieces of silver.

    It is in this scenario that I say: Good riddance to this ugly basketball mercenary. Sure you had played for the national flag for some time but you, too had been handsomely been paid for your services.
    But now, you have opted out of your national obligations for reasons that no sane hoops follower can fathom.
    Was it all about money? And without a contract? You want more moolah to suit up for the national colors after bankrolling $2.5 million in playing 30 games in five months for a Chinese professional team this past campaign? And because it was not here, you opted out?
    For security reasons? Scared because the FIBA Asia Cup (the precursor of the Asian Basketball Confederation then FIBA Asia Championship) is being held in war-torn Lebanon in the next two weeks (August 8-20)?

    An American, of which you truly are, is scared of setting foot on Lebanon soil? But are you not also a Filipino now by virtue of a ?quickie? naturalization act by Congress that cheapen the value of Filipino citizenship? You acquired Filipino citizenship on a silver platter even BEFORE you had first seen the light of day in the Philippines or eaten balut or adobo; you simply visited the Philippine embassy in New York to secure your naturalization papers there perhaps even believing you were going to be the Savior of Philippine Basketball.

    Some ordinary people who were born and lived here for decades needed some time and effort to obtain naturalized Filipino citizenship, but here is somebody who got one in a jiffy, simply for basketball?

    The Filipinos are a brave race. You only have to look up to our battle-scarred soliders out fighting local and foreign extremists in Marawi City for the past three months.

    And now it?s time that this basketball mercenary to show how Filipino you are, you chickened out. What a blast!

    So close to the 16-nation FIBA Asia Cup then this former NBA journeyman pulled the plug from the national team and left it with an empty bag.

    Sure, Filipino-German Christian Karl Standhardinger is his replacement as the team?s naturalized ?import? but I just wonder why the 6-7, 28-year Munich-born frontliner on the PH contingent, which placed fourth in the club-based 39th William Jones Cup competitions won by Canada last July, has been designated as our ?import? if he owned Filipino blood unless he did not declare any Filipino lineage before his 16th birthday, a FIBA policy to prevent teams from circumventing the one-naturalized-player-per-team rule.

    Basketball mercenaries have mushroomed all over the world because of FIBA?s decision to allow one naturalized player per team (it was two in the distant past). Show me your money and give me some love and I?m willing to play for your country without sacrificing my American (or other) citizenship. This is bastardized basketball at its worst.

    Unlike the aforementioned mercenary on the PH team, I like the attitude of his predecessor Marcus Eugene Douthit who, too, acquired Filipino citizenship through a quickie act of Congress. In the case of this 6-11 native of Syracuse, New York did not abandon ship. The Providen College product, who now plays for the Hanoi Buffaloes in the fledgling Thailand Basketball Super League (TBSL), was relieved by the national basketball federation following a four-year stint due to old age (he?s now 37 years old).

    This brings me to another point. If Douthit officially became a naturalized Filipino citizen on March 11, 2011, why did he have to play as an ?import? for Air21 Express in the professional Philippine Basketball Association league during the 2011-12 season?

    Was there a double standard committed? In the past, some players of Chinese descent who later became naturalized Filipino citizens (Fortunato ?Atoy? Co Jr., for example) also played in Asia?s first pro league but they were considered as ?local? players with no restrictions whatsoever. Is not the sauce for the gander also the sauce for the goose?

    Something is strange. I wonder aloud.
    Tags: henry liao Add / Edit Tags
    Categories
    Philippine Basketball
  2. Telkha Blitz is first ever Triple Threat Manila 3-on-3 champion

    Telkha Blitz survived a fiery comeback from long-range-shooting KP to win the first ever Triple Threat Manila championship, 20-14 on June 11 at Fishermall Playland, Quezon City. Telkha Blitz is composed of Fil Estrada, Raymond David, Carlo Saulog and Khalid Khalil.
    Former PBA player and San Miguel Beermen cager Christian Luanzon shared his experiences during his collegiate and PBA days to enlighten the players. ?We play to win, like the Mamba Mentality. We have to have the right mentality as an athlete?, reminded Luanzon. Mr. Pow Salud, founder of Powcast.net and the host of the event led the presentation of sponsors and media partners. Ms. Kriza Cawan, founder of Triple Threat Manila, welcomed the participants of the tournament in the monumental event.
    Joshua Morales, Christian Camargo and Richard Corpuz, members of Nitrous Image Crew, provided a dance number afterwards. The dance crew is set to compete in an international dance competition in Los Angeles California this August.

    Renowned 3x3 basketball champion player Rey Guevarra also shared his passion for the game in front of the 3-on-3 players. Equipped with various experiences in 3x3 basketball including representing the country in Japan and Qatar, he reiterated the importance of discipline in the sports.

    In the elimination rounds, 42nd Davis defeated Roxas Bullies 13-9, KP defeated Dons of the North 21-10, Team K defeated Team Monaco 13-9, AO 1 defeated Manila Hype 18-4, 42nd Davis defeated Manila Hype 16-7, KP defeated Team K 18-13, FEU-NRMF defeated AO1 21-18, Telkha Blitz defeated Monaco International 21-11, Tigers Pilipinas defeated Dons of the North 22-10, Phenoms Basketball defeated Roxas Bullies 12-11, 42nd Davis defeated Phenoms Basketball 15-11, KP defeated Tigers Pilipinas 15-13, FEU-NRMF defeated Manila Hype 13-11, AO 1 defeated Roxas Bullies 14-9, Telkha Blitz defeated Dons of the North 20-14, Monaco International defeated Dons of the North 19-17, FEU-NRMF defeated 42nd Davis in OT 14-13, Telkha Blitz defeated Team K 21-8.
    In the Semi-finals round, Telkha Blitz battered 42nd Davis, 20-9 while KP edged FEU-NRMF, 9-7. In the battle for third spot, 42nd Davis nipped FEU-NRMF in another overtime thriller 12-11, while Telkha Blitz defeated KP 20-14 to win the title. Khalid Khalil of Telkha Blitz emerged as the MVP of the tournament. Arman Cachuela of Team KP proved that height is not that all might, as he bested other competitors in the skills challenge.
    Triple Threat Manila would like to thank the following sponsors: Official Beverage Provider Melange Chocoffeetea atbp, Official Ball Provider Wilson Sports PH, Official Sports Merchandising Partner Toby's Sports, Official Sports Apparel RSR Athletics, Official Shirt Provider Drifit Factory Philippines, Official Marketing Collateral Provider Uniprint, Official nutritional supplement and health care product by USANA sponsored by an independent distributor Ms. Greyzie Bautista and Official Media Partner Powcast.net.

    Triple Threat Manila is a basketball development community wherein recreational and elite ballers are striving to raise the game to improve the ranking of the Philippines in 3x3 map, simultaneously raising their game from the streets and hopefully to the Olympics. The 3x3 Basketball is already an official part of the Olympic Basketball program starting with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Triple Threat Manila is owned and organized by Varxity Sports Consultancy, a total development solutions provider.
    Email the author at: paolomanuelfule@yahoo.com
    Categories
    Philippine Basketball
  3. Triple Threat Manila 3x3 elevates PH basketball to greater heights

    Twelve competitive teams are ready to rumble in the hard court for one of the most anticipated tournaments of the year, Triple Threat Manila: Shoot for history to be held at Fishermall Playland, Quezon City on June 11, 2017.
    Triple Threat Manila, a pre-season 3-on-3 tournament is set to showcase basketball talents for male ages 18-45 years old in a competitive round robin tournament that aims to foster camaraderie and raise the bar of 3x3 basketball in the country.

    The teams that will vie for the championship include 42nd Davis, Team Monaco, Team K, Phenoms Basketball, KP, FEU-NRMF Medicine, Dons of the North, Team Onesimus, 3x Tigres Philipinas, Telkha Blitz, Sasmuan All Star, and Free Agents.

    The goal of this basketball event is to create different world-class opportunities for all Filipinos to contribute to the development of 3x3 Basketball in the country and be recognized on the world map.

    Mr. Rey Guevarra is set to participate in the event to showcase his talents and share his passion in playing 3-on-3 basketball. Triple Threat Manila is set to have different 3x3 basketball tournaments every month that will also cater to collegiate basketball players in unserved areas in the country to raise awareness and promote the surging popularity of 3-on-3 basketball among young players. ?We would like also to give priority to those players who are talented yet overlooked or financially incapable in semi-professional and collegiate basketball leagues and be recognized from the streets to the world stage.? said Ms. Kriza Gia Cawan, Varxity Managing Director.

    Triple Threat Manila would like to thank the following sponsors: Official Ball Provider Wilson Sports PH, Official Sports Merchandising Partner Toby's Sports, Official Sports Apparel RSR Athletics, Official Shirt Provider Drifit Factory Philippines, Official nutritional supplement and health care product by USANA sponsored by an independent distributor Ms. Greyzie Bautista and Official Media Partner Powcast.net.

    Email the author at: paolomanuelfule@yahoo.com
    Categories
    Philippine Basketball
  4. PBA History: Homegrown Players with 50 points-or-more Games

    Among the most prolific offensive players in the 41-year existence of the local professional league Philippine Basketball Association, only seven ?homegrown? Filipino athletes were able to score 50 points or more in a single game during their distinguished careers.
    All seven players are no longer active in the PBA.

    Five actually broke the 60-point barrier ? ?The Triggerman? Allan Caidic , ?Mr. Excitement? Paul (Bong) Alvarez, William (Bogs) Adornado, Danilo Florencio and Abe King.

    As if scoring a 60 was not mind-boggling enough, two men ? Caidic and Alvarez ? even went over that mark to collect a 70 on separate occasions.

    This is truly a remarkable feat when one considers that their singular individual performances during the PBA?s early years could easily have been the total output of a team in a 48-minute game in today?s era.

    In one shining moment, Caidic chalked up 79 points in a game ? the highest ever by a homegrown Filipino player in league annals ? for Tivoli (Presto) on November 21, 1991. The former University of the East gunslinger also had a 68 for Presto on November 2, 1989.
    Alvarez tallied 71 points for Alaska on April 26, 1990. Adornado knocked in 64 scores for U-Tex on December 23, 1980; Florencio netted 64 points for Seven-Up on November 5, 1977; and King collected 60 points for Toyota on June 21, 1979.

    All the aforementioned efforts happened between 1977 and 1991.

    Of the six 60 points-or-more feats, four came on a winning note ? Caidic (79, Tivoli 162-Ginebra 149), Alvarez (71, Alaska 169-Shell 13, Caidic (68, Presto 175-Alaska 159 OT) and Adornado (64, U-Tex 126-San Miguel Beer 111).

    The two that were recorded in a losing cause: Florencio (64, Seven-Up 121-Toyota 136) and King (60, Toyota 142-Crispa 172).

    Venancio (Benjie) Paras and Fortunato (Atoy) Co Jr. are the two other homegrown Filipino cagers with 50-point games in the past.
    Paras, who has moonlighted as a comedy actor on television and in the big screen since his prime playing years, once made 50 markers with Shell in 1989.

    It was the year that the amiable 6-5 Paras became the first and only player in PBA history to secure Rookie of the year and Most Valuable Player honors in the same season.

    Like Paras, Co only had a single 50-point performance during his outstanding PBA career.

    Monikered ?The Fortune Cookie,? Co, who was famous for his difficult turnaround, fadeaway jumpers, got a 50 with the fabled Crispa Redmanizers franchise in 1979. He, too, gained the MVP plum that year albeit in a controversial fashion.

    Co was way behind Toyota?s Ramon Fernandez in the MVP statistical category but subsequently collected all the media votes ? following a get-together with the sports editors of the top national dailies by the late Crispa team manager Danny Floro ? to walk away with the MVP award.
    Tags: henry liao, pba Add / Edit Tags
    Categories
    Philippine Basketball
  5. PBA History: El Presidente's near Triple-Double Season

    Collecting 50 points in one game may be one of the measurements of offensive wizardry, yet some of the legendary players in Philippine Basketball Association history never reached the plateau during their illustrious careers.

    Strange but true, all-time PBA greats Robert Vincent Salazar (Sonny) Jaworski, Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio, all of whom were once recipients of the Most Valuable Player hardware during their heyday, never tallied a 50 at any time.

    Jaworski, a 6-foot-1 guard whose play epitomized the never-say-die spirit that defined the teams he later handled in pro coaching, chalked up his personal high of 34 with the famed Toyota franchise in 1980 at age 34.

    Needles to say, however, the Big J was more known for his rugged and gung-ho defensive skills than his offensive prowess.

    Jaworski, also monikered ?The Living Legend,? helped the Toyota Tamaraws win nine PBA conference championships in nine seasons with the Ricardo Silverio-owned franchise (from the league?s inception in 1975 until the team?s disbandment after the 1983 season). The Baguio City-born son of a Polish-American father Theodore Vincent Jaworski and an Ilocano mother Iluminada Bautista Salazar was voted the PBA MVP during the 1978 season when he posted averages of a career-high 20.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 1.8 steals in 55 games and Toyota snared two of the three conference championships at stake.

    Jaworski, the first playing coach in PBA history in 1985 with four more championships with the Ginebra San Miguel franchise, last saw action in Asia?s first-ever pro league in March 1997 in a game held in Dumaguete City, making him the oldest player ever to suit up in a PBA game at age 51.

    Jaworski won a Philippine Senate seat during the 1998 elections and served for six years (June 30, 1998-June 30, 2004). He turned 70 last March.

    Fernandez, a gangling 6-foot-5 center, was a teammate of Jaworski during the Toyota era. Fondly called ?El Presidente? for his elegant, silky-smooth offensive skills, Fernandez owned a career high of 48 points with the Tamaraws in 1980.

    The year that Jaworski earned his MVP award, Fernandez actually wound up as Toyota?s season scoring leader with 20.6 points along with 9.7 rebounds in 54 appearances. Like the Big J, he won nine title rings with and a league MVP trophy in 1982 with Toyota. Following Toyota?s disbandment, the Maasin, Southern Leyte native and product of the University of San Carlos hooked up with Beer Hausen in 1984 during which he captured a second MVP hardware with a career-high 27.8 scores, 11.2 boards, 9.9 assists, 1.55 steals and 2.09 shot blocks in 64 outings.

    It was probably the most dominant one-season individual performance in PBA annals with Fernandez, who netted 46 points at one time during the campaign, came just five assists short of a triple-double average. However, he was unable to steer Beer Hausen to any conference championships, winding up with only fourth-, second- and third-place finishes (arranged in order of conferences).

    Fernandez also would romp away with the PBA MVP honor with Tanduay in 1986 and Purefoods/San Miguel Beer in 1988 (getting 47 points with Purefoods in one game, one short of his career high), becoming the only player ever to win four MVP trophies with four different franchises.
    Fernandez, who hung up his jersey in 1994 after a record 19 PBA conference crowns, tried national politics during the 1995 mid-term elections but was soundly beaten in the senatorial polls.

    He subsequently relocated to Cebu City and ventured into various businesses.

    In July 1 this year, Fernandez, who turned 63 last October 3, was named one of the four commissioners of the Philippine Sports Commission under the new administration.

    Like Fernandez, Patrimonio also collected an all-time high of four PBA MVP awards during his entire 17-year tenure (1988-2005) with the Purefoods franchise, accomplishing the feat in 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1997.

    Known as ?The Captain,? the 6-3 forward chalked up a career-high 47 points with the Purefoods Hotdogs in 1991.

    Since his retirement, Patrimonio, who turns 50 on November 17, has acted as the team manager of the Purefoods franchise under different banners ? B-Meg Derby Ace, San Mig Coffee and now, Star Hotshots.

    It?s truly amazing that Fernandez (first), Patrimonio (third) and Jaworski (ninth) continue to rank among the top 10 on the PBA?s all-time scoring ladder until now even if neither of the three all-time greats registered a 50-point game during their remarkable careers.
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