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Philippine Basketball

  1. Check yo'self before you wreck yo'self

    Don Allado - who is as far removed from being an Ateneo Blue Eagle as you could possibly get :-p but I'm going to write about him, anyway - has landed himself in some very hot water following a couple of Tweets about what I understand to be an alleged policy of game-rigging in the PBA. It seems that he cooled down since he made those posts, because he has since deleted them, retracted his statements, and publicly apologized to the league. Unfortunately, the damage has been done, and Mr. Allado has as of this writing been meted a fine of P0.5 million and a conference-long suspension.

    I'm not at all qualified to comment on whether or not he was telling the truth. Whether or not there really is something rotten in the state of the PBA - and it would be very serious business indeed if there were - is not the focus of this post. This post is all about why you should be careful what you do or say online or in public, because your big mouth just might come back to bite you on the patootie.

    Almost every day, I come across articles online about this or that public figure (and professional athletes figure very prominently in the mix) drawing flak for some ill-advised remark that would then require damage control. Or about how that naughty photo on Facebook just might cause you, the ordinary job-seeker, a job offer. And, of course, years of posting and modding on blogs and online fora have also taught me - from my own mistakes as well as from other people's - how important it is to watch what you say and how you say it.

    It's clear from all of those things I mentioned that social networking is still a new thing, even after all these years, and we still need to figure out how to use it properly. The Internet makes it very easy for anyone to gain an audience, so it is clearly very useful for people who are very upset and want to vent to any like-minded individuals who might be out there (as I imagine Mr. Allado was, and intended to do, when he posted those Tweets). Unfortunately, the Internet also makes it easy for this convenient audience to know when someone makes a mistake, and virtually impossible to 100% take back anything that might have been said wrong and/or misinterpreted. Therefore, so long as the Internet exists, there will always be a risk that someone out there will come across that Tweet/photo/post/whatever, and think you are stupid/ugly/racist/homophobic/whatever even if you are probably a decent person in real life. Even if you hide behind a username, as I do, you are accountable for everything you post online (and allow to be posted in connection to you).

    Add to this the fact that Mr. Allado is a public figure, which makes his audience much bigger and therefore places him under closer scrutiny than your average dude on the street. Furthermore, he is a prominent professional athlete and thus represents a team, a community, a league, and all the people connected to these entities (who now have to start everything they say with a disclaimer that Mr. Allado's sentiments do not necessarily reflect their own, or that of their organization*).

    (The situations are not the same, but this incident reminds me of the 2010 brouhaha when Rabeh Al-Hussaini publicly voiced his disappointment about not being drafted first by the PBA. I'm not saying he didn't have any right to be disappointed, but the incident did not make him look good and could have been a liability, especially so early in his pro career. That really affected me, because I was job-hunting at the time - and is also why I read all those articles about how poor Netiquette can hurt your job prospects. I'm also reminded of Jai Reyes Tweeting about game-fixing in the ABL, which he also retracted and apologized for. And chances are I'll still find articles about these things somewhere, if I wasn't too lazy to do so.)

    You take a big risk whenever you publicly mouth off about your employer - and being a celebrity is just like any other job. If you have a legitimate concern, then act in a manner that will get you taken seriously - and it's probably in your best interests to be discreet. Otherwise, you're going to have to find more constructive ways of venting your frustrations. (I hear Bejeweled is great for relieving stress.)

    Someone once described the Internet - or maybe just the forum where this statement was posted - as a place where you could just kick back and fling crap around. (That's not a direct quote, but I clearly remember the "crap" part.) Ideally, the Internet is indeed a place where people are welcome to learn and have fun, but crap-flinging is for less evolved creatures.

    And just in case anyone is thinking about accusing me of flinging crap around, let me clarify that I am not comparing Mr. Allado to a less evolved creature. I've tried my best to see things from his side, and I like to believe that his public expressions of regret ...

    Updated 07-06-2012 at 07:48 AM by 5FootCarrot

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    Philippine Basketball
  2. UAAP SEASON 75: *"CALL ME MAYBE" EVEN BEFORE IT STARTS ON JULY 14

    For four minutes of thrill or fame, anyone can post his/her own “Call Me Maybe” video on Youtube.

    “Call Me Maybe” is the hit song of 2012 with lyrics so simple yet catchy that has quickly propelled Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen to the top of the international music charts.

    To produce your own crazy video with Jepsen’s music in the background can be nice and fun for the young generation. *Often enough, their creative juices know no boundaries. *Bless them all for making a video of themselves as they really just “wanna have fun.” *Just like Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, gusto ko rin happy sila.

    There are some videos that can be very irritating and “corny,” though. *For one, self-made “Call Me Maybe” videos by local artists/entertainers of the KSP (Kulang Sa Pansin) variety turn me off instantly.

    My favorite “Call Me Maybe” video is the one that ABS-CBN Sports has produced for the star athletes of UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines) Season 75, which commences action on Saturday, July 14, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

    The Shoemart Group of Companies owns the MOA. *And National University, the host of this year’s UAAP competitions, is also owned by one of the sons of the venerable SM patriach Henry Sy.

    The Call Me Maybe” UAAP video is quite amusing, cool, and entertaining. **If there existed a list of the Philippines’ funniest video, this one should rate highly.

    The four-minute UAAP video showed the “lighter” side of the young, athletic gentlemen, some of whom are actually still in their teens (age 18 years or less) and look awfully shy with the bright camera lights so close to them.

    The video featured selected players from the eight member schools – “five-peat” title-seeking Ateneo de Manila University, National University, Far Eastern University, University of the East, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, Adamson University and the University of the Philippines.

    It was fun to see three former high school standouts from my alma mater Xavier School – Jeric Teng (US), Jett Manuel (UP) and college rookie Jeron Teng (DLSU) – showing a bit of their fancy footwork (on the dance floor) and clowning prowess.

    I am pretty sure the “Call Me Maybe” UAAP video would have reached one million hits or more by the time this column comes out.

    Is the video one of ABS-CBN Sports’ promotional campaigns for the 2012 UAAP wars?

    If, indeed, it is, I doff my hats to them. **For once, it got my family and relatives reunited.

    Finally, my Kapuso (loved ones) and Kapatid (brothers and sisters) have agreed to come together and attend the Kapamilya party that is the upcoming UAAP festivities (on Studio 23 TV).

    This early, my choices for the UAAP Final Four are: *1-Ateneo de Manila University, 2-National University, 3-Far Eastern University, and 4- a toss-up among the University of the East, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas and Adamson University. *

    With due respect to the Oblation, I have the University of the Philippines pegged at eighth and last.
  3. Rp hoops: After 40 years, olympic dream remains unfulfilled

    I still cannot get over the fact that it has been forty years since the Philippines last qualified for the men’s basketball tournament in the Summer Olympics.

    The Filipino cagers last suited up in the Olympics during the 1972 Munich Games.

    Admittedly, the establishment of a local professional basketball league – the Philippine Basketball Association – in 1975 prevented the country from sending its best players to any FIBA (International Basketball Association)-sanctioned competition such as the Olympics and World Cup of Basketball (formerly called the World Basketball Championship) for nearly two decades because of the games’ amateur status.

    Then again, the FIBA’s “open basketball” policy, which no longer distinguishes an amateur from a pro, has been in existence since the 1992 Barcelona Games.

    The truth of the matter is that international basketball has advanced by leaps and bounds through the years while Philippine hoops – despite the acquisition of Filipino-foreigners – has not progressed as fast as its high-profile Asian counterparts, let alone emerging contenders from outside the continent.

    If it’s any consolation, the Pinoys remain the basketball kingpins at the South East Asian level until now.

    * * *

    The Philippines has earned a berth in Olympic men’s basketball on seven occasions.

    These came in Berlin in 1936 (fifth place, 4-1 record); London in 1948 (12th, 4-4); Helsinki in 1952 (tied for ninth to 16th, 3-2); Melbourne in 1956 (seventh, 4-4 – where all-time Filipino cage great Carlos Loyzaga once faced American Bill Russell, who later was to become the winningest player in National Basketball Association history with 11 championships in 12 Finals trips during his 13-year NBA career), during in the tournament); Rome in 1960 (11th, 4-4); Mexico in 1968 (13th, 3-6); and Munich in 1972 (13th, 3-6).

    There were no Olympic Games in 1940 and 1944 due to World War II. It resumed in 1948 in London, which will be hosting the multi-sport quadrennial competitions once again late this month.

    During the inaugural 1936 Berlin Olympics, the Filipinos, who were captained by Ambrosio Padilla (who later became a Senator), settled for fifth place among the 21 participating teams even though they lost only once in five appearances.

    The Philippines drew a bye in the first round. It edged Mexico, 32-30, in the second round and blasted Estonia, 39-22, in the round of 14.

    In the knockout quarterfinals, the United States sent the Filipinos out of medal contention with an emphatic 56-23 decision (28-20 at halftime).

    In their first assignment during the classification phase, our boys crushed Italy, 32-14, to advance to the 5th-6th-place game where the Philippines defeated Uruguay, 33-23.

    The Philippines’ fifth-place performance remains the highest finish ever by an Asian country in Olympic men’s basketball history.

    United States whipped Canada, 19-8, in the gold-medal game while Mexico (which the Philippines beat in the second round) knocked off Poland, 26-12, for the bronze.

    Aside from Padilla, who later won a seat in the Philippine Senate, the members of the 1936 contingent were Charles Borck, Jacinto Ciria Cruz, Franco Marquicias, Primitivo Martinez, Jesus Marzan, Amador Obordo, Bibiano Ouano, John Worrell and Fortunato Yambao.

    Head coach of the team was Dionisio (Chito) Calvo.
  4. 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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  5. 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.
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