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  1. Battle Royale: Miranda, Angeles register double-double as HCHS nip UPHSD in PCABL

    By: Paolo Manuel C.Fule

    Last summer, they were team mates. Today, they are rivals—but only for this game.
    Best buddies Ken Mark Miranda and Juan Carlo Antonio Angeles put up a show, each now on the other side of the fence, as Hope Christian High School edged out University of Perpetual Help System Dalta Junior Altas, 73-68 in the Philippine Chinese Amateur Basketball League (PCABL) held at Philippine Buddahcare Academy in Quezon City, August 21.
    Both wearing the same jersey number 15 and mostly guarding each other throughout the course of the game, Miranda and Angeles answered each other’s buckets before the final buzzer sounded to close the third quarter at 61-51 in favor Hope Christian.
    Ken Mark ‘SuperMark’ Miranda scored 13 points with 20 rebounds, 1 block and 1 dime while his team mate Tzaddy Rangel chipped in 28 points with 14 rebounds and 4 blocks. Miguel Yang, who scored 9 points for HCHS sealed the win for his team when he poured his last 2 free throws in the last 6 seconds of the game. Hope Christian now climbs to 2-1 in the tourney.
    JC Angeles, who now averages 19 points per game since their season started, scored 28 points with 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal for this game. Jerome Dometita fired 13 points while Shawn Labisores added 8 points for the Perpetual Help Junior Altas who are still in the hunt for a win after three games in the tournament.
    “I really gave my best. But stats are just numbers. What matters to me is getting the win. But it’s still a great team effort”, said JC ‘Prince Altas’ Angeles of UPHSD.
    “It was a good game, but we need not rest on our laurels. We should do better in our next games ahead. I should improve more on my defense and just continue doing what I do best, I think it will just be a bonus if I gain points”, quipped Ken Mark Miranda of Hope Christian High School.
    The Scores:
    Hope Christian High School (73) Rangel 28, Miranda 13, Quiambao 11, Yang 9, Jimenez 5, Celis 4, Pagsanjan 3, Carino 0, Devara 0, Jacob 0, Tiu 0.
    Perpetual Help (6 Angeles 28, Dometita 13, Labisores 8, Abarte 7, Arches 4, David 4, Gelogo 2, Rocero 2, Inigo 0, Coloma 0, Sape 0, Loso 0.
    (Photo credit to Mr. Warner David)
  2. Let Lee Leave

    Rain Or Shine has always prided itself as a "family" kind of PBA ball club. They're close knit, made up mostly of players who are not big names, and who do not really draw max contracts. Somehow though they've been real contenders, even winning a PBA title a couple years ago. This is an organization with a lot of pride, and a lot of heart. One would think any player would be just thrilled to be on this team, getting a break when he normally would not on the teams loaded with bigger names.

    Sooner or later though, a big name will indeed emerge from the Elasto Painters. Right now, no name is bigger than Paul Lee.

    Lee was the second overall pick of his draft class just behind Gilas national team mainstay JV Casio. He had a pretty good amateur career, both as a UE Red Warrior and as part of the Tanduay company teams in the now-defunct PBL, the last being Cobra Energy Drink. If I was drafting Number 1 that year I would have taken Lee over Casio. Lee eventually would be named the PBA Rookie Of The Year, besting the man picked ahead of him. Lee is also now part of the retooled Gilas national team representing the country in the FIBA World Championships in Spain. If there is a bigger name on the Rain Or Shine roster now I've not heard of him.

    Head coach Yeng Guiao, widely credited as having been the man who brought out the best in Lee, announced about a month back that they are offering the maximum contract allowed under PBA rules to Lee. That came to a little over P15 million over three years, or some P5 million per year.

    Apparently that is not enough for Lee.

    “Ngayon pa lang sinabihan na namin sila (Rain Or Shine management) that Paul Lee has expressed his desire to be traded,” said Lawrence Chongson. Chongson was Lee's coach in UE and in Cobra. He is also the adviser / manager / father figure in Lee's life, and has been acting as his agent since Lee turned pro.

    "Ever since naman wish ko talaga sa Rain Or Shine mapunta si Paul, and luckily sila nga nag-draft sa kanya," Chongson remarked some time back right after Lee's drafting. Things did work out very well for the 6-foot combo-guard as he developed into the focal point for the Elasto Painters.

    Understandably this has not sat well with the firebrand Guiao. “Naniniwala ako na bagama’t sinasabi ni Paul 'yun (desire to be traded), pwede pa ring mag-iba ang isip nya,” Guiao told reporters during the 2014 PBA Rookie Draft in Manila over the weekend.

    Guiao made it pretty clear who he thought put Lee up to this, Chongson. “Malaki ang role niya (Chongson) dyan kasi siya ang naga-advise. Siya nagpapatakbo ng negosasyon,” Guiao said.

    Before this thing turns into a bigger soap opera than the current load of guano on prime time, let me offer a simple solution: Let Lee leave.

    Seriously. Just let him walk. Or trade him. Or whatever. But he needs to leave. And Rain Or Shine needs to let him. Here's why:

    1) Guiao has done it before.

    Guiao, ever since, has always said that when guys no longer have it in their heart of hearts to play on his teams then he lets them go. He did it with Sol Mercado already when he first came to the Elasto Painters. He almost did it again this time with their starting center Beau Belga, when Belga and his agent played some hard ball on his contract negotiation. Belga eventually re-signed and stayed. Mercado was let go.

    2) Time to face the fact that the PBA is a big money league, not made for small money teams.

    Look at the dominant teams in the PBA now. San Mig Coffee just completed a Grand Slam, Tim Cone's second such career feat. Cone had a perfectly happy, nearly two-decade relationship with Alaska, and Fred Uytengsu, the Alaska team owner, is even his brother-in-law. Yet Cone left Alaska to coach San Mig. Cone's dependable big man in Alaska, Joe Devance, followed him there. LA Tenorio, who won a championship while in Alaska, is now with Barangay Ginebra. Gee, why do you think three guys who won a title together on a family-style team all left?

    3) Lee has every damn right to make the most bank he can in his career.

    Unless Rain Or Shine is offering at least 20% ownership stake in the company to Lee, there is no way he will ever earn as much with the Elasto Painters as he could with any of the big-spender teams, period. P15 million over three years sounds like a lot of money, and it is. Unless you compare it to P15 million plus bonuses equivalent to a whole year's salary across the board for championships won. Win just one championship a year (out of three) every year for three years and you effectively double your income. As generous as Rain Or Shine makes itself out to be, I doubt they would ever give Lee that kind of bank.

    4) Lee will most likely never be as valuable as he is right now.
    ...
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  3. The Bo Perasol System, what is it, really?

    Quote Originally Posted by roborat View Post
    Bo Perasol = Dindo Pumaren/ Gee Abanilla (2009-2012)
    Gets the best recruits but does not know how to develop/utilize their strengths and abilities. Baka bumalik na lang sa San Beda si AT pag di ma develop ni Bo.
    I haven't posted in ages.

    Please allow me to say my piece. When the season started, we all knew that we are dehado - size, maturity, gulangan. Except perhaps for the monetarial and crowd support, Ateneo doesn't have any edge against the defending champs and the import laden squads of the Ubelt schools.

    Though us as Ateneans have believed that we could do a miracle run, a Cinderella ending against all odds - similar to the legends of the non-stop One Big Fight cry in the olden day.

    And here we are. To paraphrase our good friend Jem Bengzon, here we are. Contenders.
    Last year, at this very same moment, the team standings had in the specific order this way: FEU, NU, DLSU, UE, Ateneo, UST. In 2002, this time around, the team standings had DLSU, UE, FEU, NU, Ateneo. But we all know how these seasons ended.

    We are in a good shape. Heck, give Bo and Ronnie a Slaughter in the middle and we still lose 3 games thus far, I'd be worried.

    We're in for a magical ride. We're halfway the Cinderella run.

    As a supporter of the Ateneo, I'm in for this. Should we not end up as the victors, we know that we played our heart out.

    Hang on, boys. Bonfire in October. MVP knows what he is doing. In Bo, I trust. In the Ateneo spirit, I believe! ANIMO ATENEO!
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  4. Gadzooks! I've Been Drafted! (2014 Edition)

    This 2014 PBA rookie draft was supposed to be the Stanley Pringle draft, in that supposedly the only true and sure PBA talent in this draft class was the Filipino-American pointguard who led the Indonesia Warriors to the Asean Basketball League title. Let's see how the draft worked out.

    1st Round

    1. GlobalPort Batang Pier - Stanley Pringle

    Pringle is the prize of this draft without question, without doubt. At 27 years old he is a bit long in the tooth for a rookie, but his experience all around the basketball world are unmatched by any other draftee. He has the size, strength, overall athletic package and moxie to become the next great PBA guard.

    2. Rain or Shine Elasto Painters - Kevin Alas

    With the Paul Lee Soap Opera going into full swing the Painters needed to draft out of need. Kevin Alas says he is a pointguard, but the scouting reports on him say otherwise. He is nowhere near the league of Lee although he should be a better option than Lee's backup, former Gilas mainstay Chris Tiu.

    3. San Miguel Beermen - Ronald Pascual

    This is a gamble for any team, but the Beermen are probably the team that can most afford it. Both of Pascual's ACL's have been injured, and that was a red flag for many teams looking at him. In spite of those injuries he remains a top-flight athlete at the 2/3 spot and can even take a stab at being a 1/2. He can nail three-pointers as easily as he can dunk two-handed. Here's hoping his knees hold up.

    4. NLEX Road Warriors - Matthew Ganuelas

    Ganuelas is an elite athlete but not exactly an elite talent, so think of this more as NLEX keeping it all in the family, since Ganuelas came from their D League team. At best he becomes Gabe Norwood. More likely though he becomes a taller Chris Ellis.

    5. Alaska Aces - Chris Banchero

    Banchero helped lead San Miguel to a couple of ABL titles, but he failed to make as much noise as expected in the D League. He's probably an improved version of Jonas Villanueva. He's lucky to have landed on a team with a good coach who knows where he is coming from.

    6. Barangay Ginebra San Miguel - Rodney Brondial

    Brondial will never be confused for an elite player regardless of position. But with Billy Mamaril getting long in the tooth, this was a smart pick for the Gin Kings. Brondial will get plenty of chances everyday to hone his game in practice versus Greg Slaughter and Japheth Aguilar.

    7. GlobalPort Batang Pier - Anthony Semerad

    Team owner Mikee Romero always loved him those versatile multi-role forward types even back in the old PBL, i.e. Rico Maeirhofer, Reil Cervantes and Jerwin Gaco. Semerad fits that bill, and brings a better shooting touch than any of those other guys.

    8. Barako Bull - Jake Pascual

    Pascual lands on a team with needs across the board. He will likely see minutes right away as a rookie at both forward spots. He'll have to adjust quickly to the strength and speed of PBA forwards. he knows how to play though and should learn on the job quickly.

    9. Rain or Shine Elasto Painters - Jericho Cruz

    Yet another pick that is meant to alleviate the impending departure of Lee, Cruz might actually be a better player overall than Alas, his new teammate. Cruz is more capable of playing the point and shows a better driving game than the volume-shooting Alas.

    10. Barako Bull Energy - David Semerad

    The other Semerad is reunited with former San Beda teammate Pascual, and the two should make adjusting to PBA life easier for each other. This Semerad is the more inside-oriented one, going harder after rebounds and playing the lanes. He's got the body to withstand the banging, but will de tested on the defensive end.

    11. KIA Motors, Inc. - Manny Pacquiao

    Yes. Shut up. Its none of your business.

    12. Blackwater Sports - Juami Tiongson

    This pick might be a marketing move for the personal care company than a basketball pick. Tiongson blossomed into a legit starting pointguard for a UAAP champion, but hardly has the chops to be a career PBA player. If there was any justice in this world this should have been Nard Pinto or Juneric Baloria. Tiongson should bring in the fans though.

    2nd Round

    1. Alaska Aces - Rome Dela Rosa

    A smart, hardworking player going to a team that loves those types. It should be interesting to see if Dela Rosa gets along with former NCAA nemesis Calvin Abueva. Dela Rosa will play 3/2 lot in the PBA, and needs to work on his handles and passing to succeed.

    2. Rain or Shine Elasto Painters - Kevin Espinosa

    Ah, so that's where he's been. Espinosa is so old Sam Ekwe was still playing in the NCAA when he moved ...
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  5. Flops and Fouls

    Much has been said about flopping and freethrows and fouls. Working definitions are definitely in order.

    In basketball, a foul is an infraction of the rules more serious than a violation. Most fouls occur as a result of illegal personal contact with an opponent and/or unsportsmanlike behavior. (Wikipedia)

    A flop is an intentional fall by a player after little or no physical contact by an opposing player in order to draw a personal foul call by an official against the opponent. (Ibid)

    If a player is in the act of shooting when fouled, or when the fouling player's team is in penalty, freethrows are awarded to the fouled player.

    If we were playing in an ordinary pickup game, you call fouls on the opposing players as you see it and normally the other guys, while resentful, will just let it slide and get back to you by calling their own fouls as they see it.

    In an organized game with game officials drawing fouls is sometimes employed as a tactic especially when a team is down. When you draw a foul you stop the clock, and if the other team is in penalty, you get a chance to score on freethrows without the clock moving.

    This is where it gets contentious.

    Some players argue over "superstar" calls, or calls supposedly made to favor the superstars in a given league / tournament. One sportswriter once famously said that when Michael Jordan was playing for Chicago, and the game is on the line, and of course the Bulls go to Jordan, do not even exhale in his direction. Gary Payton of Seattle and Bryon Russel of Utah can both attest to this personally.

    In the UAAP the Ateneo, especially during its 5-Peat title reign, was often seen as benefiting a lot from superstar calls, with some quarters going to the extent of claiming the entire Ateneo squad must have been made up of superstars at the rate they often got the benefit of fouls called on opponents.

    Ask an Ateneo fan though and they will likely tell you that the entire UAAP had it in for them during their dynasty years and had so many non-calls against Ateneo opponents it is a wonder they won five straight championships.

    In the ongoing Season 77 wars this came into focus in the aftermath of the Ateneo-UE game in Round 1. Kiefer Ravena, the current Ateneo superstar, was given 25 freethrows out of 45 total given to the Ateneo as a team. UE in that game was given 30 freethrows. "That is just too many for both sides," rued current league commissioner Andy Jao, a long-time fixture of Philippine basketball. 64 fouls total were called in that game. Ravena would score 19 of his career-high 38 points from the stripe.

    Roi Sumang, the UE superstar, joined the ruing. "Ganun talaga, parang sobrang respect ng refs kapag Ateneo at Lasalle," he said after that game. Sumang scored 30 points in this game, in a shootout with Ravena.

    Let's focus on Ravena, since apparently this all came to a head with what he did in the UE game. Throughout Round 1, Ravena had 77 freethrow attempts, and so far after 10 games he's been given 91 freethrows.

    Using simple arithmetic that means Ravena averaged 11 freethrow attempts per game in Round 1. Since then he's only been given 14 freethrows over three games so far in Round 2. That means he's getting less than five freethrow attempts per game so far in Round 2. That's quite a drastic cut, from 11 to five, a greater than 50% drop.

    There are a few explanations for this:

    1) I'll start with the conspiracy theory first since that seems to be the most popular. Ravena was flopping like a fool throughout Round 1. The referees were all buying it, so they kept giving him freethrows. No less than the Commissioner, after the UE game, decided that was the last straw, and he's cracked down on the flops, hence the drastic drop in freethrows for Ravena so far in Round 2.

    2) Ravena himself has changed his style of play in Round 2. He's driving less and settling for jumpers more. Maybe there is some truth to this. Ravena after 10 games is shooting under 36% from the field and under 30% from three-point range, and far and away leads the leagues in shots attempted. There's less chances of getting fouled if you settle for jumpshots instead of attacking the basket.

    3) Defenses have finally adjusted to Ravena. Paolo Javelona perhaps best personifies this. His NU Bulldogs swept Ravena and the Ateneo for a second straight season, with a 60-64 victory in Round 1, and a dominating 66-76 walloping just over this weekend. In both games Javelona and the rest of the NU defense found ways to take away Ravena's first step, clog the driving lanes, jam the passing lanes, and generally just plain make life miserable for him. Ravena has shot a combined 10-41 from the field in two Season 77 games versus NU.

    Have other players gotten ...
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