When I first heard of the news that the Nokia RP U-18 team was joining the FilOil Flying V Cup, I thought that it would be a good exposure for the team. I thought they were capable of getting a couple of wins against the weaker teams but would lose to most, if not all, of the higher ranked teams.
After three games, they are tied with four other teams with 2-1 slates occupying the first to fifth places in Group B. In their first match, they faced the San Sebastian Stags, the reigning NCAA champions. My initial thought was kawawa naman yung mga bata, Baste agad yung kalaban. Lo and behold, the youngsters shocked the NCAA champs with a 93-88 overtime win. Blue Eaglet Kiefer Ravena torched the Stags with 30 big points, 9 coming in overtime. Oh and by the way, he was also the one who sent the game to overtime with a cold-blooded basket with foul from Calvin Abueva.
The Stags were leading by 10 with a little over three minutes left in the fourth period but the youngsters refused to stay down as the clawed back into the game courtesy of Ravena who single-handedly cut the lead to 3 with less than a minute left. Ravena sent the game to overtime and dominated the extra period securing a morale-boosting win for the Nokia RP U-18 team.
Their second game wasn’t as successful as they were beaten by the FEU Tamaraws. Arguably the best point guard league, RR Garcia, and import Pipo Noundou led the Tams to a 72-54 win over their much younger opponents.
They bounced back nicely against Mapua with a exciting 77-76 win. Ael Banal, son of Alaska assistant coach Joel, took it strong to the hoop after a couple of misses from the freethrow line by Mapua’s Allan Mangahas. It was a two on one fastbreak but Banal decided to get the basket himself against the much-taller Jason Pascual and it paid dividends. He converted on a lay-up that gave them the lead for good.
After three games, all I could say is that these boys are for real. Sure, the boys of San Sebastian may have played too relaxed, but a team composed of players all under 18 years of age should not be beating NCAA champions, relaxed or not.
With the mentoring of Eric Altamirano, the sky is the limit for these guysand as a Pinoy basketball fan, I’m happy that the pipeline of great Filipino balers isn’t drying up just yet.
PS: I would like to thank Polo Bustamante and Chuck Araneta for making me a guest author in this blog. We should do a podcast soon, you guys.
School just ended. What the hell am I thinking writing about Philippine College Basketball? Well, I’m getting my blogging feet back under me and I guess I should start with a topic that I’m most familiar with. Besides, I don’t want to write about the NBA Playoffs when I clearly have no skills in predicting winners.
The 2010 FilOil Flying V Tanduay First Five Invitational is in full swing and I have been following the tournament through articles, news and opinions on the web. I just want to share some thoughts about teams that have caught my attention.
UE Red Warriors
– The UE Red Warriors will have the most dynamic and probably the highest scoring back court tandem in Paul Lee and James Martinez.
– UE will be a purely perimeter team this coming season. Beyond Lee, Martinez and Raffy Reyes, I don’t see another option for this squad.
– Spacing will be a huge factor as there is no more Pari Llagas or Elmer Espiritu in the post. Ken Acibar and Erwin Duran will be the main post options
– I expect Paul Lee to be overworked as he is the lone playmaker in the team. Martinez and Paul Zamar are spot up shooters. Acibar and Duran don’t have the post moves of their predecessors and will rely on the dump pass from the guards.
– This team is DEEP. Besides having Gilas players like Aldrech Ramos and JR Cawaling in the fold, they have key vets in Reil Cervantes, Jens Knuttel and Paul Sanga. Young guns like RR Garcia, Chris Exciminiano and Pipou Noundou make up the core of this FEU team.
– Terrence Romeo, the high scoring rookie guard from the FEU Baby Tamaraws will be a key addition to this team as it gives them additional scoring punch to back up Garcia’s production.
– FEU and UE have quite a rivalry going on. Some people call it the Ateneo – La Salle rivalry of the east. FEU still hasn’t figured out how to win against UE (3 straight losses bridging UAAP Season 72 and the current tourney). They don’t have the personnel to stop Paul Lee.
– Tough defense and efficient offense will once again be the calling card of the Tamaraws. Now all they need to learn is poise and composure during big games.
San Sebastian Stags
– The Stags are parading the most diverse front line in the entire tournament. Calvin Abueva is an absolute beast who will out-muscle you for position to score or rebound. His post defense is solid albeit unspectacular. Matching Abueva is Ian Sangalang who’s post saavy and shot-blocking make him important on both ends.
– While the leadership of Jimbo Aquino will be missed, the Stags are a surprisingly mature team. They all follow the lead of their coach Ato Agustin. Agustin has really done wonders for this team and it shows with how his boys follow his gameplan to the hilt.
– Pamboy Raymundo benefitted from his PBL experience and I believe he will be the leader of this team. Agustin will need him to do more than just orchestrate the offense in the coming season.
San Beda Red Lions
– The San Beda teams of the past 4 years has always had the balance between perimeter players and post players. This year, Dave Marcelo, Jake Pascual and Sudan Daniel will anchor the middle. Providing the outside help will be Borgie Hermida, Garvo Lanete and Rome Dela Rosa.
– I think the most important player in the San Beda team for the coming season will be Hermida. He was the missing link in their failed four-peat run last season. He needs to take the reigns of this team and establish his role early so that the Lions can follow his lead.
– Dave Marcelo has the best footwork out of all the big men in the tourney. He knows his pivots and how to execute his moves under the basket.
– Kevin Alas will be the team’s leading scorer in the next season. This kid reminds me of Allen Iverson. Volume scorer who is creative with the ball. If he gets his step-back jumper down, he will be a dangerous scorer.
– That being said, he needs to improve his decision making skills and not hog the ball too much. He has the tendency to waste time in the possession dribbling aimlessly off screens.
– In order for Alas to be more effective he needs a shooter to spread the floor and a post player to clog the middle. Hopefully Jaypee Belencion and Jam Cortes can fill out those positions respectively.
UP Fighting Maroons
– Mike Silungan. Wow. Will he be the savior the UP basketball program has been waiting for?
– As if one scorer wasn’t enough, UP recruited a record-breaking guard from the JRU Light Bombers, Joshua Saret.
– A core of Woody Co, Martin Reyes, Magi Sison, Martin Reyes, Mark Lopez and Alvin Padilla along with Silungan and Saret will make UP a serious Final Four contender.
National University Bulldogs
– The entrance of the Sy Family into the institution has already helped their Basketball Program. Their improved recruiting has produced highly touted UST Tiger Cub Kyle Neypes and prized big man from the Letran Squires Glenn Khobuntin. I haven’t seen their other recruits yet. But two big names like that is a striking improvement for the Bulldogs.
Adamson Soaring Falcons
– Alex Nuyles is slowly reaching his potential. He was viewed as a dynamic scorer in the mold of a Cyrus Baguio. His injury last season slowed him down but he looks good and healthy in this current tournament.
– Adamson brings back the core of their UAAP Season 72 team that contended for the Final Four. Spitfire guard Lester Alvarez, Post scorer Jan Colina, shooter Roider Cabrera and Nuyles will be the focal point of the Falcons gameplan in Season 73.
– I’m interested to see how their prized recruit Austin Manyara performs.
La Salle Green Archers
– The Archers have unveiled another solid rookie haul bringing in Almond Vosotros, Jarelan Tampus and their homegrown talents Nico Elorde, Arnold Van Opstal, Luigi Dela Paz and Martin Reyes.
– I believe that this year’s rookie haul is better than last year’s haul because they are mentally tougher and not afraid to step up during big games. This was proved during the game against the Ateneo Blue Eagles where Almond Vosotros led the team in scoring and Dela Paz contrubuting in double figures.
– Simon Atkins and Ferdinand have improved and they are showing more toughness in this tournament than they did in the last UAAP Season. Atkins has really stepped up into a leadership role in this tournament.
– As much as I don’t like his swagger, Joshua Webb will be a very, very dangerous scorer in the upcoming UAAP season. His improved 3 point shot will force you to play him honestly and not sag off him.
– I personally envy La Salle for the sheer number of their homegrown talent on their team. They have Atkins, Webb, Ferdinand, Elorde, Dela Paz, Reyes and Aiki Herrera.
Ateneo Blue Eagles
– The Eagles are definitely a team in the middle of a big change. Having a Rabeh Al-Hussaini in the middle the past 2 years has definitely spoiled the team. They seem lost at times without their big man in the middle to dump it to.
– I also miss Jai Reyes and Noy Baclao. It’s becoming clear that the ball handling and the interior defense of the Eagles need shoring up. Monfort is more of a shooter than a playmaker and Eric Salamat can be turnover prone. No one has stepped up to fill the role of inside enforcer as of now.
– I’m surprised by the game of Jason Escueta. He may not be as tall as Al-Hussaini but he has very good fundementals in the post and has a sweet touch from the midrange.
– The Blue Eagles cannot rely too much on the three-point shot. They won’t be lucky every night.
– Ryan Buenafe is definitely out of shape as he easily gets winded and needs to be replaced more often than usual. However, he still remains to be the best playmaker of the team and his versatility is invaluable.
– Nico Salva is the most consistent scorer of the Blue Eagles and I’m predicting that he will be the focal point of the offense for the upcoming season. His variety of post moves and creativity on offense makes him a dangerous scorer and unpredictable on offense.
– The Eagles definitely need the Eric Salamat of the second half of UAAP Season 72 back. His energy on offense and his stingy defense not only help the team but it also gets the Ateneo crowd involved. He’s definitely the heart and soul of the team now.
Just some random musings on some college teams. I’m sorry if I missed out on some teams like the JRU Heavy Bombers, UST Growling Tigers and Arellano Chiefs. I don’t have that much information on these teams to have any striking thoughts about them. However feel free to comment and add any opinions on the aforementioned teams or any other teams that you want to speak about. Hopefully, any fans of these teams out there can give us some inside info on how your respective teams are gearing up for their respective school-year tournaments.
Basketball is a five man game. As much as you have superstars and lead players, you need five guys working as one unit out there to get the wins. LeBron can’t get triple-doubles if he’s got no Mo Williams open in the corner for the open jumper.
I have to admit, I have been VERY absent the past few months. When I started this blog, I had more time in my hands and I was been able to maintain it more often. But now things have changed. Work has piled up and I find myself with less time to blog. Also, WordPress is blocked in my office (DAMN YOU WEBSENSE!).
So, to help me keep this blog running, I’ve made a few trades and signed some free agents. Let me introduce my team.
AAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNDDDDDDD NOOOOWWWWWW… The starting line-up for your IV Point Play Blog!
At the editor position, he may be tough and plays no holds barred, but he’s got the flair and style of a point guard. I wouldn’t tangle with him in the post, baka kumain ka ng siko. Number 6, Chuck Araneta!
At the other editor position, he’s a straight shooter unlike no other. Leave him open and prepare to walk away because he will knock it down. Hailing all the way from Pampanga, Number 5, Carlo Pamintuan!
That’s my starting line-up right there. Hopefully, as a team, we can give you more activity, insight and opinions in this blog. While I’m still on the inactive list, look for my boys to hold their own.
Okay. It’s been quite a while (understatement!) since my last significant post. Life happens. But I’m BACK!
I missed the NCAA Tournament (BUTLER!), I missed the PBA Fiesta Conference Opening (ACE DERBY!) and I missed the new-look Ateneo Blue Eagles in the Fil-Oil Tanduay First Five Summer Tourney (I MISS JAI!).
Theres no way, I’m missing the FREAKIN, NBA Playoffs. Also, I’m watching the biggest Playoff Choker, Chris Webber, give his analysis on NBA TV and I theres no way I’m letting him give his predictions without dropping mine.
Sorry for the lack of activity lately. Such is the life of a part-time blogger and full-time employee. Been trying to get some blog time the past weeks. But trips to Cebu and Gensan (the day before the Pacman fight) have seriously eaten up my time.
We’ve also postponed From The Stands because of our schedules.
I have a couple of articles lined up and look out for it. I also have a Retro Sneaker article to be put up. Think of 1995-1996, which for me were the Golden Years of Basketball Kicks.
So leave a comment of shoes you had back then. Or sneaks you wanted or were lusting after back then. I remember lusting after the Nike Penny II.
Looking forward to hear from you guys!
Happy Month-sary, From The Stands! Sit with us on the stands as we discuss the massacre that was the PBA Finals, our Oscar picks, the surging Milwaukee Bucks and the worst PBA team names of all time. All that plus a large dose of haterade spewed on Joe Devance on the latest episode of From The Stands!
EDIT: My bad, made a mistake in editing the outro of the program. Sorry peeps! Will upload the full version tonight
EDIT AGAIN: Uploaded the correct version already. Download away!
We’re going to be discussing the Finals in our upcoming podcast, that’s for sure. But we’d also like to hear your thoughts on the series!
Feel free to leave any comments or points for discussion in the comments section about anything you may feel is worth discussing, and we’ll definitely dive into it in tomorrow’s podcast.
Hopefully we can limit our talk on Joe Devance to around 2 mins. Or try to lessen the hate… Whichever is easier to do!