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  1. NU Bulldogs Prime Up for the 2014 UAAP Season

    Let's grow together.

    This is the message that the national University management is sending to cat-quick and defensive-minded swingman Chino Mosqueda, high-scoring 6-4 power forward JP Cauilan and 6-2 Iloilo native Kins Go, a trio of graduating members of the Bullpups team that annexed the UAAP juniors title last October with a perfect 16-0 record.

    Mosqueda, Cauilan and Go have been invited to play for the NU Bulldogs squad coached by Eric Altamirano.

    The elevation of the three players to the seniors ranks highlights the school's aggressive homegrown recruitment program for the upcoming UAAP competitions in July.

    Other rookie acquisitions by NU are Med Salim of Chiang Kai Shek College, Rev Diputado of the NCAA champion San Beda College Red Cubs and Arjan Dela Cruz of the Tiong Lian titlist Hope Christian High School.

    The Bulldogs currently are in Cebu for an invitational tournament.
  2. Angeles, Yaco power Junior Altas past CKSC, 84-54

    Gutsy Altas cagers Juan Carlo Antonio Angeles and GianYaco combined for 26 points to lead the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (UPHSD) LasPinas Campus in pounding the Chiang Kai Shek College high school dribblers in their Fr. Martin’s Cup match held at Trinity University of Asia in Quezon City, May 15.
    With coach Lester Del Rosario’s synchronized ball rotation and smart tactics, the Junior Altas squad finally put up the pieces for an indelible win over their opponent team. Hot shooter Sean Andrew Neri fired up 11 points, while John Carlo Antonio Angeles led all Perpetualcagers with 14 points. GianYaco drained 12, John Anthony Umali had 8, and Ken Mark Miranda poured in 7. JeszirSison finished with 9 points, Philip Given Yaco with 6, KhristianDanreb Tan with 5, and Gab Balatbat with 4. Kirk Adrian Gelogo, Kobe Camarillo, Jason Balisi and Karl Abartescored 2 points each.
    The UPHSD Junior Altas is composed of fresh talents with Mythical five awardees and brothers Gian and Philip Given Yaco from Davao, KhristianDanreb Tan and Kyle Manaligod from Isabela, LAPPRISA MVP Ken Mark Miranda from Pangasinan, and Juan Carlo Antonio Angeles also from Manila, a former Mapua Red Robin.
    The Father Edgar Martin Basketball Invitational Tournament, better known as the Fr. Martin’s Cup, is a pre-season basketball tournament in the Philippines for college and high school students. It gathers teams from various collegiate leagues, including the UAAP and NCAA, in a basketball tournament just before the start of their respective seasons. It was named after Fr. Edgar Martin, S.J., the former athletic moderator at the Ateneo de Manila University, and former Secretary-General of the Basketball Association of the Philippines. The tournament was established in 1994.
  3. Basketball in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s

    Basketball caught my fancy at an early age because of the Philippines’ dominance in the Asian scene that earned the Filipino cagers tickets to the Summer Olympics and World Basketball Championship (now known as the FIBA World Cup) during the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s.

    Traditionally, the national team candidates at the time would come from the post-graduate or commercial ranks.

    My eldest brother often would bring me to the games in the Philippine National Seniors basketball tournament (also known as the National Open), an-anything-goes tournament where players from the colleges and universities, government institutions, commercial clubs and even movie and recording companies competed for the national championship, and the popular Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA) league (the harbinger of the professional Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) circuit league that unwrapped in April 1975) with its All-Filipino and import-spiced dishes.

    The Yco Redshirts/Painters, which was owned by sportsman Don Manolo Elizalde, and the Ysmael Steel Admirals, which was owned by prominent industrialist Felipe (Baby) Ysmael, lorded it over in the National Seniors during the fifties and sixties.

    For the record, I bled red and always rooted for Yco come hell or high water.

    Spearheaded by burly slotman Carlos (Caloy) Loyzaga, the Redshirts/Painters put together a record seven straight national championships from 1954 to 1960. Then it was the turn of Ysmael Steel, bannered by Adriano Papa Jr., Jaime Mariano, Narciso Bernardo, Engracio Arazas, Alfonso Marquez and Manuel Jocson, to annex six consecutive titles from 1961 to 1966.

    In 1967, Ysmael Steel looked to duplicate Yco’s feat but losses to the Yutivo Opels and the Painters in the four-team, single-round championship phase eliminated the Admirals from finals contention.

    As a self-imposed punishment for their twin debacles, the Admirals and their head coach Valentin (Tito) Eduque showed up for their third-place game against Puyat Steel at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum with their heads cleanly shaved.

    The then-unprecedented “bald” act, of course, was duplicated during the mid-1990s when the entire Sunkist squad, from the players down to head coach Yeng Guiao to team manager Elmer Yanga, also showed up for a Philippine Basketball Association contest with bald heads following a disastrous defeat.

    The Yco Painters regained the National Seniors crown in 1967 by shellacking the Yutivo Opels in the championship game. Mentored by Loyzaga, the Painters were led by then-fresh college grads Robert (Sonny) Jaworski and Danilo Florencio and veterans Renato (Sonny) Reyes, Freddie Webb, Elias Tolentino Jr., Edgardo Roque, Edgardo Ocampo and Edgardo Gomez.

    The MICAA was the country’s top post-graduate commercial league from the late 1930s to the mid-1970s when the top ballclubs bolted to form the PBA in 1975. (The MICAA actually continued to exist, although as a farm league, until its demise in 1981.)

    At the time, the word “professional” officially did not exist in the local basketball vocabulary even if the players then were already receiving monetary compensation (termed as allowances) for their playing skills in the guise of work-related services to their mother companies.

    For example, a Meralco player drew his salary as a branch executive or an assistant manager of the utility company when, in actuality, the numbers on his paychecks were directly as a result of his playing basketball.

    Alfonso (Pons) Marquez comes to mind only because I remember seeing him way back in the 1970s working in one Meralco branch where I had been paying my electric bills. I was told Marquez was the branch manager there.

    Why the charade in the player’s (or employee’s) status at the time?

    It was done to keep a player’s amateur status intact, thus assuring his eligibility to see action in international events sanctioned by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) such as the Asian Basketball Confederation (now called the FIBA Asia Championship), Asian Games, World Basketball Championship (now known as the FIBA World Cup) and Summer Olympics.

    By 1990, the masquerade came to a halt as the FIBA introduced the “open basketball” policy that provided no distinction between amateurs and professionals.

    How I often watched the MICAA games as a teenager. To be able to witness the championship duels at the Araneta Coliseum from a “ringside” seat – it was called “ringside” at the time because most of the sporting events at the Big Dome were boxing-related; that section is now called “patron” – brought immense happiness to this hoops junkie.

    Those were the days, my friend. Yet, five decades later, the passion for basketball ...
  4. AC Troopers, beat USC, Win St. Isidore Cup

    AC Troopers, beat USC, Win St. Isidore Cup

    Veteran Ferdie Lusdoc scattered eight of his 48 points in overtime to lead the pro-dominated AC Troopers to a 104-96 victory over Cebu's Univerity of San Carlos in the one-game finals of the lst st. isidore before an overflowing crowd at the St. Bernard gym in St. Bernard, Southern Leyte.

    The ambidextrous Bohol-born Lusdoc earned tournament Most valuable Player honors.

    Former University of the Visayas guard Harold Cincoflores chalked up 17 points and ex-PBA journeyman Reed Juntilla and Eman Calo scored 12 and 11,respectively for the Troopers,who lost just once in six games (to Omega Pro) in the
    six-team four-day competitions.

    The USC Warriors had forced a five-minute extention when high-scoring Ian Ortega nailed a stunning triple just as
    regulation time expired. Ortega finished with 25 points for USC. Foreigner Espoir Tuyambi collected 22 points and
    Congo native Olago Shooster totaled 19 markers ans was named the tournament's Best Import.

    "Four-peat" National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)titlist San Beda College, led by Lance Abude and Franz Abuda and import Arnold Noah, whipped reigning Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI) champion University of the Visayas, 70-44, to claim third place.

    Omego Pro (2-3) ranked fifth and the University of Santo Tomas, which employed Aljon Mariano, import Karim Abdul and Louie Vigil but missed the services of Kevin Ferrer and Paolo Pe due to their Manila commitments,went 0-5 to place sixth and last.
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    Philippine Basketball
  5. 2014 NBA Finals: Spurs - Team United Nations

    Are the San Antonio Spurs America’s Team in their ongoing National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals duel with the two-time reigning league titlist Miami Heat?

    Maybe so since the oddsmakers have pegged the Spurs as the slight favorites to romp away with their fifth championship since 1999.

    Then again, maybe not since the majority of the players on San Antonio’s 15-man roster for the NBA Finals were not born in the United States.

    In contrast, the Heat are parading a 15-man all-American cast in their titular rematch with the Spurs. A year ago, when Miami retained its NBA crown following an epic 4-3 decision over San Antonio, the Florida club only employed a single non-American in its lineup in seldom-used backup center Joel Anthony, Anthony, a native of Montreal, Canada, was traded to the Boston Celtics last January.

    Nine of the 15 Spurs first saw the light of the day on non-American soil.

    And of the six “homegrown” players, four are marginals that have not gotten much playing time through the first three rounds of the playoffs and another that has yet to come off the pines after 18 games.

    The six “stateside” Spurs are Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles, California), Danny Green (New York, New York), Matt Bonner (Concord, New Hampshire), Jeff Ayres (Ontario, California) and Austin Daye (Mission Viejo, California, Damion James (Hobbs, New Mexico).

    While Leonard and Green are in the starting lineup, Bonner (6.1 minutes per game), Ayres (14 games, 4.2 minutes) and Daye (1 game, 6.0 minutes) has seen limited service and James has yet to see a second of action.

    The nine internationalists in the Spurs lineup are starters Tim Duncan (St. Croix, Virgin Islands), Tony Parker (born in Bruges, Belgium but raised in France) and Tiago Splitter (Joinville, Brazil), Sixth Man Manu Ginobili (Bahia Blanca, Argentina) and reserves Boris Diaw (Cormeille-en-Parisis, France), Patty Mills (Canberra, Australia), Marco Belinelli (Bologna, Italy), Cory Joseph (Toronto, Canada), and Aron Baynes (Gisborne, New Zealand).

    Aside from the U.S., eight countries are represented on the San Antonio roster – U.S. Virgin Islands, France, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Italy, Canada and New Zealand.

    For good measure, Spurs bench boss Gregg Popovich was born in East Chicago, Indiana to a Serbian father and Croatian mother.


    If the Spurs can’t be America’s Team, then they surely qualify as the NBA’s United Nations squad
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