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  1. 2012 London Olympics: PH SCORES A FIRST

    Did you know that the Philippines is the first team to score at least 100 points in a single game in Olympic men’s basketball history?

    During the 1948 London Olympics, the Filipinos registered a 102-30 victory over Iraq in their opening assignment in Group B of the four-group, preliminary-round competitions.

    While Chile (100-1, Korea (120-20) and China (125-15, then represented by the Nationalist Republic of China or now called Taiwan) subsequently also reached the 100-point plateau against winless Iraq (0-5) in the same six-nation group, the rub of the schedule gave the Philippines the distinction of being the first team ever to score 100 points or more in Olympic men’s basketball annals.

    Note also that not a single entry in Group A (six teams), C (six teams, including the United States) and D (five teams) was able to hit the century mark at any time during the elimination-round phase.

    In fact, there were no other 100-point team performances during the competition.

    The U.S. bamboozled France, 65-21, to secure the gold medal. *Brazil whipped Mexico, 52-47, to settle for the bronze.

    Korea was the highest-ranking Asian squad during the London Games at eighth place.

    The Philippines, which was coached by Dionisio (Chito) Calvo and bannered by team skipper Felicisimo (Fely) Fajardo, his brother Gabriel (Gabby) Fajardo, Lauro (The Fox) Mumar, Manuel Araneta Jr. and Ramoncito Campos, ranked 12th.

    China placed 18th among a record-setting 23 participants.
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  2. 2012 London Olympics: *When Basketball was played on a Tennis Court

    Not known to many, men’s basketball was played in the Summer Olympics long before the sport became an official medal-winning event during the 1936 Berlin Games.

    At the 1904 St. Louis (USA) Olympics, an exhibition tournament was staged with five American teams in competition. *The Buffalo German YMCA club topped the event following a 39-28 decision over the Chicago Central YMCA squad.

    Another exhibition, an eight-team tournament, was held at the 1924 Paris (France) Olympics.

    The great moment for basketball arrived officially during the 1936 Berlin Games, following the establishment of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) in 1932 and its recognition as the official body of the game by the International Olympic Committee.

    Ironically, basketball made its debut in Berlin as an outdoor sport (and not indoor as generally considered). *It was staged on tennis courts of clay and sand.

    A total of 21 countries from four of the five continents (with the exception of Oceania) participated in the quadrennial showcase.

    Spain would have been the 22nd nation to see action but it withdrew from the entire Olympiad at the last minute on account of the outbreak of civil war.

    The United States thus gained its first Olympic victory with a default win over the Spaniards.

    The first game actually played by the 14-man U.S. squad was against Estonia. *The Americans handily defeated the Baltic state, 52-28 (26-7 at halftime) despite 21 points by Georges Vinogradov, whose sole job with Estonia was to shoot and shoot as he never went back to help out on the defensive end.

    Following victories over the Philippines (56-23/28-20) and Mexico (25-10/13-2), the U.S. earned its first-ever Olympic men’s basketball gold on August 14, 1936 with an easy 19-8 (15-4) decision over Canada in the championship game.

    The gold-medal encounter was marred by heavy rains and was entirely of fumbles and interceptions as players found it difficult to dribble on a court that had turned into mud.

    The Summer Olympics were canceled in 1940 and 1944 due to World War II. *

    In 1948, the quadrennial games resumed action.

    That year, a record-setting 23 countries took part in men’s basketball during the London Olympics. *The U.S. again grabbed the gold medal with a perfect 8-0 win-loss record. *Its closest game came in a preliminary-round contest against Argentina. *The Argentines, who would eventually finish only 15th overall, lost by just two points, 59-57, after leading by seven, 33-26, at halftime.

    The Americans went on to win the Olympic men’s basketball gold again in 1952 (Helsinki, Finland), 1956 (Melbourne, Australia), 1960 (Rome, Italy) and 1964 (Tokyo, Japan) before dropping a disputed 51-50 decision to the Soviet Union during the finals of the 1972 Munich Games that shattered their 63-game winning streak.
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  3. 30th london olympics - ph's magnificent eleven seek elusive gold

    Did you know that the Philippines has captured nine Olympic medals since the country first joined the prestigious quadrennial Summer Games in 1924 in Amsterdam, Netherlands?

    All of them, however, were either silver or bronze medals.

    With Mongolia having secured its first gold during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Philippines now holds the record for the most number of Olympic medals without a gold.

    Four years ago, the country was represented by 15 athletes that competed in 17 events across eight sports.

    Though several national records were broken in the swimming and weightlifting events, the Filipinos failed to secure a single medal for the third straight Olympiad.

    Worse, all of our athletes did not survive past their preliminary-round assignments.

    Overall, the Philippines has won two silvers and seven bronzes in Olympic history. *Of the nine medals, five have come from the sport of boxing.

    The Olympic boxing medalists are: *1-Jose Villanueva (bronze, bantamweight division, 1932 Los Angeles), 2-Anthony Villanueva (silver, featherweight, 1964 Tokyo – he is a son of Jose Villanueva), 3-Leopoldo Serrantes (bronze, light flyweight, 1988 Seoul), 4-Roel Velasco (bronze, light flyweight, 1992 Barcelona) and 5-Mansueto (Onyok) Velasco (silver, light flyweight, 1996 Atlanta – he is the younger brother of Roel Velasco).

    Other Filipinos who romped away with medals in the Summer Olympics are two-time winner Teofilo Yldefonso (bronze, men’s 200-meter breaststroke, swimming, 1928 Amsterdam, Netherlands; and bronze, men’s 200-meter breaststroke, 1932 Los Angeles, USA); Simeon Toribio (bronze, men’s high jump, athletics, 1932 Los Angeles, USA); and Miguel White (bronze, men’s 400-meter hurdles, athletics, 1936 Berlin, Germany).

    Roel Velasco is now the national team boxing coach, essaying the game plan of light flyweight Mark Anthony Barriga in the ongoing London Olympiad.

    A native of Davao del Norte, the 19-year-old Barriga earned an Olympic berth via the backdoor when his quarterfinal (final eight) opponent from China, Zou Shiming, eventually captured the gold medal in his division during the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Azerbaijan last September.

    Competition rules stated that the top 10 boxers from each division – the eight quarterfinal winners plus the two quarterfinal losers that were beaten by the eventual gold and silver medalists – would secure Olympic slots.

    Zou, a bronze medalist during the 2004 Athens Olympics and the gold medalist in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is the prime favorite to once again snare the gold in the light flyweight division of the Olympic boxing competitions in London.

    Barriga, whose first-round Olympic bout took place late last night (Manila time), is one of 11 Filipino athletes that are seeing action in the 30th London Olympics.

    The others are Rene Herrera and Marestella Torres of athletics, Jessie King Lacuna and Jasmine Alkhaldi of swimming, Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting, Mark Javier and Rachel Anne Cabral-dela Cruz of archery, Brian Rosario of shooting, Filipino-Japanese Tomohiko Hoshina of judo, and Filipino-American Danny Caluag of BMX cycling.

    God bless our Magnificent Eleven.
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  4. 2012 London Olympics - Men's Basketball Action Commences on July 30

    Men’s basketball in the 30th London Olympics opens hostilities on July 30(Manila time) with a maximum six-game schedule.

    The 12 participating countries have been divided into two groups of six each.

    In Group A are Argentina, France, Lithuania, Nigeria, Tunisia and the defending gold medalist United States.

    In Group B are Australia, Brazil, People’s Republic of China, Great Britain, Russia and Spain.

    Spain (EuroBasket), Argentina (Tournament of the Americas), Australia (Oceania), China (Asia) and Tunisia (Africa) emerged victorious in the FIBA qualifying tournaments in their respective zones to earn slots in the London Olympics.

    The United States, whose roster is again dominated by NBA stars (only University of Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, who was picked by the New Orleans Hornets with the first overall selection in last June’s NBA draft, has had no pro experience and was an 11th-hour replacement for the injured Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers) was an automatic qualifier due to its status as the reigning titlist in the FIBA World Cup of Basketball competitions – formerly known as the FIBA World Basketball Championship – and not because the Americans are the defending Olympic gold medalists.

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

    France and Brazil secured Olympic berths after ranking second in the EuroBasket and Tournament of the Americas, respectively.

    Russia, Lithuania and surprising Nigeria made it as the three wildcard winners from the Olympic qualifying tournament held in Caracas, Venezuela in the first week of July.

    Out of the 12 entries in Olympic men’s basketball, five are from Europe (Spain, France, Russia, Lithuania and Great Britain). The Americas have three representatives (United States, Argentina and Brazil) and Africa (Tunisia and Nigeria) has a pair. Oceania (Australia) and Asia (China) each only have a single entry.

    The Olympic men’s basketball event will utilize the same format as before.

    Each team will play five games in their respective groups during the elimination phase with a “rest” day after every play-date. The top four teams from each preliminary-round group will advance to the crucial quarterfinals that have a single-game knockout format. The four games – A1 vs. B4, A2 vs. B3, B2 vs. A3, and B1 vs. A4 – will be held on August 9 (Manila time).

    The semifinals, which involve the quarterfinal winners, will be played on August 11 (early morning in Manila). The matchups: The winner of B2 vs. A3 takes on the winner of A1 vs. B4, while the winner of A2 vs. B3 faces the winner of B1 vs. A4.

    The gold- and bronze-medal contest will be held on August 12 (night time in Manila).

    The July 30 games feature Nigeria vs. Tunisia, United States vs. France and Argentina vs. Lithuania in Group A, and Brazil vs. Australia, Spain vs. China and Russia vs. Great Britain in Group B.

    The games on August 1 (Manila time) are: Lithuania vs. Nigeria, France vs. Argentina, Tunisia vs. the U.S., China vs. Russia, Australia vs. Spain, and Great Britain vs. Brazil.

    The six-game bill on August 3 (MT) features France vs. Lithuania, Argentina vs. Tunisia, the U.S. vs. Nigeria, Australia vs. China, Brazil vs. Russia, and Spain vs. Gfeat Britain.

    On August 5 (MT), the games will be Tunisia vs. France, Lithuania vs. the U.S., Nigeria vs. Argentina, Russia vs. Spain, China vs. Brazil, and Great Britain vs. Australia.

    In the final playdate of the elimination round on August 7 (MT), it will be Tunisia vs. Lithuania, France vs. Nigeria, Argentina vs. the U.S., Australia vs. Russia, Great Britain vs. China, and Spain vs. Brazil.

    From where this Hoopster sits, he sees the U.S., Argentina, France and Lithuania advancing to the quarterfinals out of Group A and Spain, Brazil, Russia and Australia (or China) out of Group B.

    Four years ago in Beijing, China, the Americans registered an 8-0 record with a 118-107 victory over Spain in the gold-medal match.

    In the bronze-medal contest, Argentina defeated Lithuania, 87-75, to avenge its 79-75 loss to the Baltic State during the tournament opener for both teams.

    The final rankings in the 2008 Olympic men’s basketball competitions are as follows: 1-USA (8-0), 2-Spain (6-2), 3-Argentina (6-2), 4-Lithuania (5-3), 5-Greece (3-3), 6-Croatia (3-3), 7-Australia (3-3), 8-China (2-4), 9-Russia (1-4), 10-Germany (1-4), 11-Islamic Republic of Iran (0-5), and 12-Angola (0-5).
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  5. Uaap season 75: *brothers jeric and jeron teng to face off on august 4

    When talking about the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball competitions, avid fans of the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles and De La Salle University Green Archers are likely to mark their season calendars with a must-see check on the day that the two long-time nemesis face each other on the hardwood.

    The first of two Green vs. Blue encounters in UAAP Season 75 will take place on July 28 at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City. *The second playdate of their annual two-game duel will only be determined once the first round of the double-round elimination phase is over.

    Undoubtedly, any Ateneo vs. De La Salle showdown will be a major attraction in local basketball.

    For this Hoopster, though, the “swoosh” on his 2012 UAAP calendar is marked on August 4, the day the DLSU Green Archers clash with the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers in first-round action.

    The game’s significance: *The Teng brothers – fourth-year veteran Jeric for UST and rookie Jeron for DLSU – will cross paths for the first time ever in UAAP action.

    As best as can be determined, the August 4 game will mark the first time in UAAP or NCAA history that two siblings with be playing on opposite sides during the same game. *(Jeric and Jeron did suit up for their respective schools in an elimination-round game in the preseason Fil Oil/Flying V tournament but the two were not matched up against each other at any point during the Green Archers’ victory.)

    Through the years, local college ball has witnessed sets of brothers or twins playing for the same team during a season.

    In the ongoing National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) hostilities, brothers Kevin and Kristoffer (Junjun) Alas are on the roster of Colegio de San Juan de Letran under Knights bench boss Louie Alas, the duo’s dad.

    In the UAAP, there’s Arvie (a De La Salle defector) and Mark Anthony Bringas of the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.

    For the Teng brothers, who as high schoolers played together for Xavier School during the Golden Stallions’ 2009 Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association (MMTLBA) title squad, it’s an entirely different story.

    Jeric, who earned 2009 Tiong Lian Most Valuable Player honors as a high school senior, is in his fourth season with UST. He also was the UAAP’s Rookie of the Year in 2009.

    Jeron, who set a Tiong Lian record with three consecutive Most Valuable Player awards from 2010-12 and once exploded for 104 points in the Gold and Blue’s 164-74 shellacking of Grace Christian College in a January 5, 2011 Tiong Lian game for the highest individual score by a high school player in Philippine basketball history, is donning the DLSU colors for the first time as college ball’s most-coveted newcomer.

    Both Jeric and Jeron stand 6-2 and play the same swingman (shooting guard/small forward) position.

    It won’t be a surprise if the two are matched up against each other at some point during their August 4 face-off.

    And if De La Salle somehow manages to gain a ticket to the Final Four party, it is likely that Jeron will follow in the footsteps of elder brod Jeric by also romping away with the UAAP Rookie of the Year diadem. *
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