Impressive

Smart Gilas had an impressive debut on its return stint in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) by beating the reigning Philippine Cup Champions Philippine Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters on their own up-tempo game, 103-98 moments ago. The Philippine national team started strong in the first quarter going 17-3 in the first few minutes and ending the game with a 15-3 rally.

I was particularly delighted with the way Gilas executed their offense. It seems that they have almost mastered coach Rajko Toroman’s system. Seven players contributed in double digits highlighting an unpredictability in the scoring department. They knew how to quickly adjust to the kind of defense their opponents throw at them. The quarterbacks were confident that they could easily hurdle the mid court line when pressured. Besides, the Gilas looked organized in execution on both ends of the floor. Checking on the stats, they were able to limit TNT’s outside firepower to just 21.4% on a 6 of 28 shooting while making 9 of 23 of their own beyond the arc. Moreover, the Gilas outrebounded TNT 58-50.

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Road to redemption

Basketball has been loved by Filipinos from all walks of life from the time it was introduced by the Americans in the early 20th century. History tells us that Philippines first participated in international basketball in the Far Eastern Championship Games in 1913. The Filipinos had been dominating  the game in the six nation athletic meet from its inception until its last edition in 1934.

In 1936, the Philippines first participated in the Olympics at Berlin in Germany finishing at fifth place from a pool of 23 counties worldwide. Likewise, it finished third in the 1954 World Championship in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. To date, these are the best records that any Asian country has ever accomplished at the world stage. Continue Reading »

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Holding on?

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Photo Courtesy: Sportsnewsunlimited.com

Smart Gilas national basketball team will vie for the lone Olympic slot on September this year with Rajko Toroman at the helm. Now I doubt if it’s worth holding on to him.

Right after the debacle at the Asian Games in Guangzhou last November, SBP Executive director Noli Eala tweeted that he wouldn’t comment on anything yet pending a stakeholders’ meeting. Reading between the lines, Eala probably was referring to the coaching issue which was plagued by critics with  the dismal 6th place finish. Scores joined the clamor for a coaching change since Toroman could not lead the team to at least a semi-final appearance. Some, however, insisted that since the ultimate goal of this program is winning the crown at this year’ FIBA-Asia Championship in Wuhan, China, it is therefore logical to keep Toroman at the helm until at the end of the program. Continue Reading »

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Year ender: China’s return to the throne

China Asian Games Basketball

Photo Courtesy: Newshopper.sulekha.com

After two successive setbacks in the Asian championships, China regained the golden scepter in basketball in this year’s edition of Asian Games. In 2007 FIBA – Asia Championship, Iran captured the title in Tokushima, Japan after trouncing Lebanon in the finals. The Chinese, who sent their B team, wound up 10th. Two years later, the latter bowed to the Iranians in an unexpected blowout.  It was their best team which represented the tourney minus Yao Ming.

This year at the Asian Games held in Guangzhou, China held tight to edge out the hard fighting South Koreans to regain the Asian crown.

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Basketball at 2010 Asian Games final rankings

Basketball at 2010 Asian Games final rankings

Date: November 12-27, 2010

Host nation: China

Rank                      Team

1                           China

2                           South Korea

3                           Iran

4                           Japan

5                           Qatar

6                            Philippines

7                            Jordan

8                            North Korea

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Better late than never

It has been more than a month since I did my last post and I have missed quite a number of developments in the Asian cage scene. On the local front in particular, the PBA Board of Governors’ approval last month for the inclusion of three PBA players donning national colors for the Guangzhou Asiad boosted the country’s campaign for a decent finish in the biennial event.

In my previous post dated September 3, 2010 (PBA must grant SBP’s request), I reasonably pointed out the PBA’s role in the formation of the national team. I was disappointed when, prior the Board meeting, that there were stakeholders who were not in favor of granting the SBP’s request for the inclusion of the three players namely Asi Taulava, Kelly Williams and Sol Mercado to the national squad. The board meeting, however, yielded positive results.

Now that this issue has been resolved, there are more reasons to smile than to be worried at all. With it, as a staunch supporter of the SBP and the Smart Gilas, I wish to express my gratitude to the PBA Board of Governors. It may be late to do so but it’s better than never at all.

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The Asian Watch: Final Rankings

38795_1452844654955_1648460455_1085861_4571989_n-300x22521Photo Courtesy: FIBA.com

2010 FIBA-World Championship final rankings (Asian Teams)

Date: August 28 – September 12

Host Nation: Turkey

No. of Teams: 24

Rank                       Team

16                          China

19                          Iran

20                          Lebanon

23                          Jordan

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Back to back

USA-BBall-logoPhoto Courtesy: NYSportsJournalism.com

Team USA beat host Turkey 81-64 for the crown in the 2010 FIBA-World Championship in Istanbul last night. The Americans have now won two straight major international tournaments, with the gold medal feat in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

I was proven wrong once again. I never thought they could reach the finals of this prestigious competition. In my post dated August 14, 2010, I predicted Team USA would be booted out in the semis. However, they hanged tough to survive the previously unbeaten Lithuania. Continue Reading »

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The great escape

38795_1452844654955_1648460455_1085861_4571989_n-300x2252Photo Courtesy: FIBA.com

In my previous post dated August 14, 2010, I made a bold prediction that Team USA would have to survive a knockout quarterfinal game via a close margin and eventually lose in the semis of the ongoing FIBA-World Championship in Turkey. It turned out to be the other way around.

In the Americans’ Round-of-8 game against Russia, Team USA handled the 2007 European Champions to an 89-79 decision to arrange a semi-final duel against Lithuania. In the semis, the Americans started strong, protected the lead and eventually unleashing its strength from both ends of the floor to finish off the former Soviet state 89-74. Continue Reading »

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PBA must grant SBP’s request

As reported, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Board of Governors meeting was rescheduled to September 15 in Bangkok, Thailand. Among other things to be discussed is the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ (SBP) request for the inclusion of the three PBA players in the national pool. The Asian Games in Guangzhou, China is less than three months away and the national federation has to make crucial decisions.

Based on the performances in the recent tournaments participated by the Philippine national team, it obviously needs some key players to fill in some missing pieces of the puzzle. By the way, RP team finished fourth among seven teams in the 32nd William Jones Cup in Taipei last July and fourth as well in the FIBA-Asia Stankovic Cup in Beirut last month. Continue Reading »

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