BREAKDOWN! DRAFT EDITION!


BREAKDOWN! DRAFT EDITION (www.hoops.blink.ph)!

The Characters:
The Sydman: A ridiculously handsome man with the ability to create awe-striking sentences!
Chrisangelo: A living thing.

Scene starts when I was working… then out of nowhere, person PM-ed me and gave me reasons to ditch work temporarily!


Chrisangelo: Where do we start?
The Sydman: You tell me, pare.
Chrisangelo: We start with our updated mock drafts… pare! First question: Your draft sleeper?
The Sydman: Hmmm... I don't know actually. It depends on what team will pick what. All I know is that the best rookie will come from Burger King's center spot, Rain Or Shine’s center spot, and Sta. Lucia's guard spot.
Chrisangelo: But if you'll pick one player not named Aguilar, Cruz, Maierhofer, Ross and Sena?
The Sydman: You love Sena. What makes you think he won't end up like Aljamal, Dela Pena and Escobal?
Chrisangelo: Because he's talented! And he's huge… 6'6! Aljamal is only 6'3 and he's playing for
TNT! Dela Pena is overrated…
The Sydman: Aguilar will be usable, Jervy Cruz in ROS will be usable, and some SLR rookie named Arellano, Timberlake, or White could be top rookie.
Chrisangelo: Hell no.
The Sydman: For Sena, ending up in Alaska is roadkill.
Chrisangelo: Not Marcy. No way will SLR draft another guard! No fucking way dude!


Chris is such a foulmouth, no?

The Sydman: Yes way! Reyes is injury prone and Denok has no offense.
Chrisangelo: SLR needs a big guy. There aren't much in the draft since Ballesteros won’t be joining but they need someone to replace Marlou and Dennis so bad… and Kelly too! Ryan, Joseph Yeo, Paolo Mendoza and Denok will carry on. They badly need to strengthen their frontline! I don't care who they pick, if Sena is available they should get him. Matias or Edwin Asoro wouldn't hurt too. Or even Orlando Daroya! But please… No guards for SLR!


My take: Can’t see what the beef with Ballesteros is. Sure he’s 6’7, but if he’s that good, he should be in the Top 4 because of his size and skill.

The Sydman: Remember the 07 draft? Everyone wanted a SLR big man. Who did they get? Damn right… they picked Ryan Reyes instead of Quinahan, Bono, and the rest of the available frontline players.

This were my exact words from the 2008 Draft: Last time SLR had a Fil-Am PG, it was a disaster. Well Alex Cabagnot led the league in assists and steals… in Coke.

Chrisangelo: Well… yes. But now that they drafted a quality guard now's the time to address their need in their frontline especially with Kelly's health, Dennis's age and Marlou's GAME.

Uy o… a Marlou tirade. Pfft.

The Sydman: Free agency or trading is better. Sena will look lost there.
Chrisangelo: He'll do just fine.
The Sydman: SLR’s last picks were Jaime, Mamaclay, Gregorio, even Butel from the free agent pool. When they address their frontcourt, they pick up weaklings. Plus PBA teams have little respect for NCAA players except when they are dominant.
Chrisangelo: That's why they need to use this pick to get a quality big rookie. That's what Sena is! Pare you see how he schooled a 6'8 Ekwe in last year's finals?
The Sydman: Ekwe is no Taulava. Let's see him do that to even Thoss.
Chrisangelo: Well that's a start pare. Who has JR Reyes faced in the UAAP before he got drafted? I'm very well sure Don Yabut isn't Asi Taulava too.

I’ll just cut this since this is more of Chris’ fact-finding realization of his man-crush for James Sena.

Let’s just go to the next question.

The Sydman: Do you love James Sena? You can't see me!!! Woooooooooord life!
Chrisangelo: I'm just saying, he could be the next big thing. And in a draft class that lacks quality big men it's pretty hard to pass up on him
The Sydman: Haha! May man-crush!
Chrisangelo: WTF dude?
The Sydman: Anyway, for the sleeper, I'll go with… Matias. He’s a Larry Rodriguez style of player but with more post up and penetration. You know what, those NCRAA players, if you see one player that's good, he's definitely good. Take Ronjay, Gary David, and Larry…
Chrisangelo: You're biased! Larry Rodriguez IS NOT A NCRAA player! He played for PMI in CUSA! The league I was playing for!
The Sydman: Ok, fine, Division 3 School…

I forgot to ask this to Chris… this CUSA… since I don’t know this league… is this where the Matute Institute of Fashion Blow Dryers play?

Chrisangelo: How about former NAASCU MVP the guy from SLR? What's his name again… the guy who played for AMA?
The Sydman: Jaime? Dude he had skills but Boyet won't be safe merely using his skills.
Chrisangelo: Yes, Chito Jaime. I watched him once play. He's great… he's great… in NAASCU! Pero what happened?
The Sydman: He's a loss at that early 2nd round spot. Lawrence Bonus even if he played two games, was better than him. Unfortunately he plays the same position as Asi.
Chrisangelo: So that breaks your argument that when I see Div 3 School players who are great… will do great in the PBA! You're making things spin!
The Sydman: Guys like David, Buenafe, and Larry played well in the PBL. That's my argument. Look at my 2008 draft analysis. I said to Jaime’s coveting “what the hell”!

Actually, the first lines in my Jaime paragraph are “Oh no… tell me this is a joke”.

Chrisangelo: Alright, alright… next question.
The Sydman: My turn. Will there be a pick number 20?
Chrisangelo: No.
Chrisangelo: Yeng Guiao will pass.
The Sydman: Atta boy!
Chrisangelo: The draft class today is so laughable 16-20, should be forfeited.
The Sydman: I agree. Without Theophile, Timberlake, and the Smart Gilas contingent, nothing's good here.
Chrisangelo: Who's Theopile? He hasn't played in the PBL.
The Sydman: The guy playing in Liga.
Chrisangelo: Oh. I haven't seen him play. Walang Liga coverage sa TV namin.
The Sydman: Get it on NBN. Anyway, I think he replaced Dillinger in the Pampanga Buddies. Think Rob Wainwright with size. Pampanga is TNT’s farm team.
The Sydman: Anyway, if you're Coke, who will you get from the scrubs? You agree with me that their best 5 is surrounded by weaklings?
Chrisangelo: Yes. Hmm… Why would I be contented with scrubs? I'll try to work my way in the top 10! Possibly top 5.
The Sydman: Look, guys like Juntilla, Mark Yee, and Lanete came from the undrafted free agent pool. Surely, there's something for them there?
Chrisangelo: If he slips by everyone… Dino Daa or Ian Saladaga… should he slip by everyone too.

The Sydman: For me its Jim Viray and Josh Urbiztondo.
Chrisangelo: So by signing Jim Viray, they basically sign another RJ Rizada? That's like Ginebra signing Hans Thiele! Rafi Reavis squared!
The Sydman: Nah. Rizada excelled somewhat but come on, Macapagal and Telan are the only credible bench guys in that lineup! Alex Cabagnot is second in minutes played in the league last season because they have no credible point guard.
Chrisangelo: Yep that's why I'm asking them to try and move up. Risk Mark Telan! Try to move up to 5… and get Jervy Cruz.
The Sydman: No. Not Jervy!
Chrisangelo: Mark Telan plus next year's pick and another scrub for pick number 5… and Don Dulay if ROS gets him! Fair enough? Mark Telan is gettting old anyway.
The Sydman: Imagine him playing alongside Asi and Nic Belasco? I smell a bad rookie season!
Chrisangelo: That's the point! Playing with Asi and Nic… he's going to get Mark Telan's minutes too! So he'll play! Win win for both teams! Coke gets a young PF who can make it big in the near future! ROS gets a future pick and a veteran!
The Sydman: No! I think ROS is the better team for Jervy!
Chrisangelo: It's not about what's "better" for Jervy, the question is how Coke would try to move up!
The Sydman: Viva Santo Tomas!!!

This is me being irrational.

The Sydman: Coke could get Alaska's pick!
Chrisangelo: If they work for Alaska's pick, they should get Timberlake. That's a big IF. I don't think Alaska would bite though. Telan is old. Alaska's frontline is old. They don’t need another old guy.
The Sydman: I guess that's why they're trying to lure Enrico Villanueva for Miller.
Chrisangelo: Moving on… Japeth on the block?
The Sydman: TNT will get him eventually because MVP owns a huge chunk of percentage in the Lina Group of Companies’ stock.
Chrisangelo: So who do you think will they trade?
The Sydman: They package him for Ogie Menor and trade him for Yancy de Ocampo and Renren Ritualo… and maybe Gilbert Lao too.
Chrisangelo: What the fuck? Who the fuck cares about Lao?
The Sydman: He's managed by a pretty shady manager…
Chrisangelo: I'd like to see Ranidel and RItualo for Japeth
The Sydman: That will never happen.
Chrisangelo: Better question: would it be smart for BK to trade Japeth?
The Sydman: Yes. Because that means MVP won't pull out from their company.
Chrisangelo: For their chances of winning a championship?
The Sydman: Championship wise, we have to know first who they will get in the Pingris trade because if it is Enrico and another player then that could be good.

Remember that Enrico once drove Red Bull to league trophy.

The Sydman: If it’s KG Canaleta… fuck the world.

It’s not that I hate KG… I just think he’s underachieving.

The Sydman: Otherwise, Yeng Guiao is known for his inventiveness to make weaklings into greatness.
Chrisangelo: Except for one guy… the BIG MAC!
The Sydman: Marvin Cruz? Oh... Mac Andaya!
Chrisangelo: YES! Wait, I’ll go ahead. I’m a fair guy. You get to post the breakdown this time and get the fee!
The Sydman: No.
Chrisangelo: Alright… alright? You'll do it! Marlou says so!

And then here it is.

Tune in this August 2 for the Draft Proper.

Game Over!

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Sydman's Official 2009 PBA Draft Predictions

BY THE WAY: Arwind Santos was traded to the San Miguel Beermen for Marc Pingris, Ken Bono, and a future draft pick. Pingris won’t stay as a Whopper though as BK plans him to move back to Purefoods. The BK management is hoping Purefoods will give them a better player in return.

Analysis: Look at the bigger picture here: Sure, Bono averaged 3.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in two seasons in the PBA… try playing in one team that doesn’t respect rookies and another team that’s overloaded with talent. The Spiderman will play in a title-hungry squad but expect his MVP runner-up days be over!

Uh yes… the stronger payroll gets more top players that they could fit in their payroll while the poor franchises get poorer talent. The Barako Bull now is like the Shell franchise before they folded… reports flashed that the franchise has dealt Larry Rodriguez to Burger King and Jeff Chan to Rain or Shine (for 35-something vet Rob Wainwright and hottie Mark Andaya).

Gabby Espinas… you’re next!


Anyway… Initially, I included some names that would have bolstered the draft like Terrell Theophile, Josh Vanlandingham, Lance Convento, Ford Arao, and Jason Ballesteros. These guys are now out of the draft… which makes the depth seriously pathetic. The draft includes a lot of college players who would either freeze at the sight of their idols and would think that they are not worthy to play in this league while some of the Fil-Ams will strut their stuffs because they’ll think they’re better than the rest of the league only to find out that a career other than basketball is their safest bet for glory. As Chrisangelo pointed out, Convento will not join the draft which kind of bugs me because he’ll be “too old”. Same goes for Ford Arao. Other Fil-Ams messed up their papers. It seems like this is the trend every draft.

Imagine if Rob Reyes came in the Draft of 07 instead of last season’s draft… he could have been a marquee player now instead of being some bench guy in TNT.


Anyway, time to play the game!


GAME STARTS NOW!


1. Burger King – Japeth Aguilar (Western Kentucky; Ateneo)

We saw how good he is. He’s visibly raw but he leaps high, provides inside presence especially on the defensive end, and America gave him a semblance of offense. I am guessing that someone should throw a BK exec to a bridge if they trade Japeth for losers because his name is marquee at this point.


2. Shell – (forfeited)


3. Purefoods – Chris Ross (Marshall)

It could have been a hit or miss selection between Ross and Maierhofer. But with the pending trade that will give the Giants Marc Pingris, Ross will take the cake. I am guessing they’ll pick Ross to quench their eagerness to acquire a player that could either be a SF or a PG. Ross will give the Giants another backcourt scoring option.


4. Burger King – Rico Maierhofer (La Salle)

It’s a tossup between the 2 UAAP bigs. Maierfhofer gets the nod here because he has the ability to become a small forward because of frame and leaping ability. Think of him as the OTHER Arwind Santos in the PBA. Although… this pick could be great trade bait for the offense-hungry Giants… assuming they want to dispatch their underutilize vets.


5. Rain or Shine – Jervy Cruz (Santo Tomas)

Like I said, this is a great pick for ROS because yes, they got the best talent available and yes, they got the player that they need. At least with his entry, they won’t have to defend on shooter Allan Salangsang to be their backup center. For UST fans, they hope that Jervy Cruz won’t become the next Marvin Ortiguerra… and be the next Dennis Espino.


6. Alaska – Chris Timberlake (North Florida)

Remember the 2003 Draft where Alaska traded their tenth pick to TNT for Don Camaso that ended up to be Jimmy Alapag? Now with Kevin White in the draft, will the nephew cash in the nod that the uncle failed in getting, which is to play in Alaska? Well… NO. I rated Timberlake in the second round because there were a lot of quality big men in the draft, which is what the teams need at this moment. However, with Theophile and Vanlandingham’s withdrawal (or missing the deadline), the Oracle PG will come in handy. Despite the Aces’ intention to get a quality “big”, after Cruz, nothing else follows with marquee potential. LA Tenorio needs to have a backup and Timberlake could be that guy (actually if look at it, Tenorio’s minutes are plenty because Alaska has no PG relievers).

By the way, I think I saw him visit my unofficial mock draft. There is a way for him to move up, but that would mean him averaging 20 points and 10 assists with a 60 percent clip and 1tpg in the rookie camp. But even that splurge is good for only the Purefoods pick.


7. Sta. Lucia – Ronnie Matias (Manila)

Last year the Realtors picked up a slew of big men that basically hovered around in their bench. Matias is a notch higher than past draftees Kelvin Gergorio and Chito Jaime and is in the mold of Larry Rodriguez. The former UM forward will definitely flourish in a team lacking on offensive bigs. By the way, I mistook Matias in my unofficial draft as a slasher. I deeply apologize from that blunder.


8. Ginebra – Edwin Asoro (National)

Like I said, Ginebra needs a scoring big man and while James Sena is a candidate, Sena is not as pro-ready as Asoro. Asoro has swagger, a powerful first step, and a glide that could give the Kings another exciting player in their stable. Like I said, he reminds me of Nelson Asaytono and Don Camaso in their heydays so that is a big plus to this King NU Bulldog.


9. Burger King – Ogie Menor (San Beda)

As I said in my earlier mock draft, Menor is Ronald Tubid without the ego (he’ll likely acquire this two or three years of tenure). His defense is great, he knows how to make himself useful, and have you seen his hair? He could pull off a Mohawk… and he could pretty much pull off a Yeng Guiao-dictated “hard” foul.


10. San Miguel – Jobe Nkemakolam (Ateneo)

Its hard to put a name in this spot. Even if the Santos trade opened a spot for a rookie, you have to know that the rookie that will be picked will ride the SMB bench until the vets retire… or if his contract is done. Bono however was a PF and since Santos and Pingris cancelled each other out, the former Ateneo forward that played well in the finals will unfortunately be the season’s sacrificial lamb for the SMB franchise.


11. Red Barako Bull – James Sena (Jose Rizal)

Is this franchise still breathing? With all the trades they did, it’s a wonder that they have the money to even present their selves in the draft. Now that their future has been squandered (i.e. Chan, Rodriguez, Sharma), Sena could be a great player to acquire here (assuming he’s still available). But seriously… the league needs a talent check because it seems like the Bulls are purposely making their team weak so that the buyer would have to start from scratch in building the team. So much for the rant, a reason why he’s down in the second round is because the league had three unsuccessful NCAA to PBA crossovers (2007 – Yousif Aljamal, 2008 – Pong Escobal and Kelvin dela Pena).


12. Sta. Lucia – Marcy Arellano (East)

The Realtors could use a point guard with shooting and the UE star guard may be the answer. SLR is full of defensive guards but they seem to lack the scorers. Arellano could be used well here with Christian Coronel doing pinch hit jobs, Denok Miranda barely scoring, and Paolo Mendoza getting more ineffectual.


13. Red Barako Bull – Kevin White (California Junior College place... aka Jimmy Alapag's nephew)

Turning 26 this year, he hopes his genes will be enough for him to score a great spot in the rankings. While I hope he will, the nephew of Jimmy Alapag played a conference for Mail and More but his presence was hardly noticed. “Random team that would be leaving soon” will likely get a combo guard in their lineup with offensive abilities. White could be that guy? That remains to be seen.


14. Burger King – Orlando Daroya (Arellano)

While I doubt that this trade will still be available (PASS! PASS!), Daroya is in the mold of Mark Yee and Erick Rodriguez. The best part however in his game is that he is a big bulky man that could hit shots when able. Yes, he plays in the SG/SF position in the NCRAA but at 6’4, he is one of those players that could pretty much defend well against power forwards and under.


15. Rain or Shine – Roel Hugnatan (Adamson)

Ahh yes… the brother to brother team up… everyone wants that right? Not me. First of all, Reynel will eat Roel’s minutes. Also, Roel’s future would be better outside the rookie-ravaging Alaska camp. Roel is a bruiser, plus I am guessing he could be an excellent import stopper. If the Painters gets height, and these height guys get experience… they’ll be unstoppable.


16. Alaska – Dino Daa (Letran)

Hey! The moment ROS punks the Aces and takes the bro of their player, the Aces should take vengeance and seize the bro of the next team’s player. Yes, Daa might not be a player that will enjoy 30mpg for the Aces but they’ll lean on him at some point because he’s a utility guy that could be the next Merwin Castelo (with size that is).


17. Sta. Lucia – Francis Allera (Sto. Tomas)

Allera is one of those players that plays better in the PBL than in the UAAP. A hybrid, he can depend inside the paint and at the same time could provide clutch baskets outside the two-point range. While his ability to transform his game to the pros is limited, he could be the draft’s stunner if he’s picked by a team that lacks bench depth.


18. Ginebra – Benedict Fernandez (Far Eastern)

Ginebra will again pick a player that is fast and is SG/SF because at this moment, no big man could stand out. While I love Fernandez to be sent to Coke, its likely that a trade needs to happen so that Fernandez could blossom. Anyway, Ginebra likes players that could excite the crowd and at the same time as a long range arsenal. He’s not that effective on defense so that is one of the facets he needs to improve upon.


19. TNT – Mark Benitez (La Salle)

Remember the controversial forward that rid La Salle of a championship? Yup, he’s that guy! While most draftees at this point would do better by going undrafted, Benitez is something that TNT needs: a power forward . He’ll either stand side-by-side with Gilbert Lao (if he is still employed)… or massage Frankie Lim’s back wearing street clothes as a practice player. Do I hate him? No. He could be a good person. But for making the Archers give up their trophy… even if he’s also a mere victim… that kind of sucks especially in the respect area.


20. Burger King – Pass

I like to say Sean Co, the son of the former Great Taste forward Sunny Co, who played for Mapua in the NCAA and Pharex in the recent PBL conference, but let’s face it, Yeng Guiao has 17 holdovers and 5 draft picks this season. Anyway, if BK draft someone, I hope he sticks (I also this pick would be traded).


Players to Watch: Jim Viray, Charles Waters, Josh Urbiztondo, Jorel Canizares, Floyd Dedicatoria, Ian Saladaga, PJ Walsham, Jemal Vizcarra, Brian Faundo, Allan Evangelista, Rob Lagabala, and Chris Viardo.


There are some players like Jim Viray, Ian Saladaga and Josh Urbiztondo who are good players but aren’t considered as “drafting” material. I doubt if the trend will continue where the UAAP guys get more placing than the NCAA guys but we need to remind people that a lot of players like Mark Yee, Erick Rodriguez, Chad Alonzo, Dino Daa, Reed Juntilla, Don Dulay, and Al Vergara came to the league and earned a career despite not getting drafted.

In short, the draft is more of bragging material.

Coke owns no draft picks. Surely, they’ll be hoping to cash in on new blood.

Will my prediction prove spot on?

Tune in to the draft this August 2, thru Market! Market! or at CS9.

Until then, GAME OVER!

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SYDrified Reviews: Digiboxing


Last Friday our cable changed into what is now the new innovation for information – The Sky Cable Digibox.

For cable users, you could still deal with your regular cable… but some of the channels will be taken out (unless you love foreign channels, this will be no use for you). Installing Digibox, while the rates will go up, the viewer can pick a channel… which could pretty much be from Channel 5 to 164 (you’ll have to pay more to unblock premium channels like Discovery, the HBO Pack, among others).


And here is the rest of it.

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This was always been my “happy” moment. You see, this day is one of my most awaited. Every year, I’ll wait for the names to appear and I usually to this with a pen and paper and a hard book as “patungan”. I was first fascinated with the draft in 1993. I could still remember the first round back then…

1 STA. LUCIA – Jun Limpot
2 GINEBRA – Vic Pablo (pick later traded to Pepsi for Manny Victorino)
3 ALASKA – Johnny Abarrientos
4 PUREFOODS – Dwight Lago
5 PUREFOODS – Benny Cheng
6 ALASKA – Johnedel Cardel
7 POP COLA – Boyet Fernandez (pick traded to SLR)
8 ALASKA – Dickie Bachmann


Until the 2008 Draft, this was I think the best batch of any draft. These players became either superstars or excellent role players and even continued their basketball careers after retirement. In the second round of this draft, the Purefoods Hotdogs selected two players who would later enjoy success as a San Miguel Beermen. Olsen Racela is one time considered as the best point guard in the country whilst the Scavenger, Freddie Abuda became an excellent defensive specialist.

Through the years, those pieces of paper became Microsoft Word files and the internet has been a wealthy source of information to make the smarks (smart internet fans) ready to answer why this particular player needs to be the number one choice.


Anyway, at first glance, you’ll probably think that this year’s draft’s projected depth strength is weak, seeing that there are only four main draft players while the rest could either go number 5 or number 19.

But wait!

This draft, bolstered by big men and quarterbacks, has a deep pool of talents. Most of the talent involved could be used as projects while some could go back to Liga (where TNT has a farm team) or the PBL (where SMC has a farm team) to hone their skills further. While the draft would barely produce superstars, it is a draft that could give teams utility guys for the future.

(Finalizations will be updated a day before the actual draft)


FIRST ROUND:

1 BK – Japeth Aguilar: Obvious choice actually. Aguilar will fill BK’s lack of height. He could rebound and block and even as a benchwarmer in Western Kentucky, you know that whatever he learned in the school would produce a major upgrade from his Ateneo days. Hopefully he’ll be a scoring threat too. However, there are talks for him to go to TNT since he’ll also be a valuable asset for the Smart-Gilas RP team. Yeng Guiao has been pursuing this guy since his arrival from WKU and with the way the ball is rolling, the Whoppers would be crazy to give him up to the Texters. But then again, history has always been in favor to TNT bullying the Lina franchise with regards to their talents.

2 SHE – None: SHE stands for Shell. Obviously there’s no Shell now. Rain or Shine wants this pick but to PBA board vetoed them. If only the Painters paid a couple of million pesos more so they can acquire a potential draft bust. Hmmm…

3 PUR – Chris Ross: Purefoods lack offensive firepower from their PG spot and while Ross is not a PG, his size is saying that he is. The 6’0 scorer will fill give the Giants another scoring option. He’ll also be excellent trade bait if the trade involving Purefoods and Alaska takes place. But if Rico Villanueva becomes the person in the trade, then it would be logical for the Giants to pick up ceiling which makes Rico Maierhofer a darkhorse in this position.

4 BK – Rico Maierhofer: While this is a tossup between the UAAP bigs (unless Chris Ross is still available), grabbing the DLSU forward is better for Yeng’s squad. With the possibility of Japeth being traded, Maierhofer is long-armed, athletic and could blossom as a small forward w/ rebounding authority a la Arwind Santos. This could only be helpful if the Arwind trade rumor goes to full throttle.

Sidenote: Look at DLSU’s current state. They lack leadership. If only Rico played his final year…

5 ROS – Jervy Cruz: Getting the best talent available is a must in any draft and for ROS, this pick solves everything. The Painters will go to this draft with the intention of souping off their frontline. The former UAAP MVP will definitely benefit in this type of scenario. Problem is, at 6’4, Cruz is undersized to play center and even the low post. I doubt if his defense will be affected but certainly his offense will become limited.

6 ALA – Terrell Theophile: This solves Alaska’s lack of size with their aging “MBA” frontline. He is said to be an explosive frontline scorer and defender. Obviously Sonny Thoss is doing his part in the inside but he is more of a defender than a scorer. Certainly, his entry is a welcome sight for the Aces.

7 SLR – Josh Vanlandingham: Remember when two years back, SLR selected Ryan Reyes and everyone said “Damn it, you should have taken a big man?”! Well, I think its time for SLR to strengthen their offense by picking this combo guard. Josh is 6’4 and he could either strengthen the lack of offense in their PG spot (Miranda is good for orchestrating but is more of a passer than a scorer), or join Yeo and Reyes in a lightning quick 3-guard lineup!

8 GIN – Edwin Asoro: While I’m looking for the possibility of them selecting Robert Pressey, fact is, the guy may not even get his chance to play this season (I think it’s a requirement for foreigners to play in the PBL). With that said, the Kings had a roster glitch because except for Eric Menk, none of their big men are scoring big men (You can say Billy Mamaril but this happens once in 4 games). Asoro reminds me a lot of a young Nelson Asaytono or a younger Don Camaso. He has size, bulk and explosiveness. Surely, he’ll be a fan favorite if he develops properly.

9 BK – Ogie Menor: Gone from the Smart-Gilas team, I think it is safe to say that Ogie Menor should be an excellent trade bait for TNT. Menor is a San Beda Lion just like Yousif Aljamal and Pong Escobal, and he plays like a young Ronald Tubid. If he sticks with BK he’ll definitely be Yeng’s shooting “shooter” a la Junthy Valenzuela with the Whoppers.

10 SMB – Ford Arao: SMB loves to pick up their farm league players and with their massive collection of talents, they could strengthen their team by picking up Ford Arao. The guy is a project from a good school that could hurt you thru his defense. Yes, I know that SMB is insanely crowded but somebody has to be the designated sacrificial lamb and unfortunately it’s Arao. On the other hand, look at how Bonbon Custodio turned up in his rookie year.

Note: I don’t know if Arao will join the draft but he’s name is not in the Smart-Gilas roster (he didn’t sign), and he’s too old to hold out (he is allegedly waiting for Chris Tiu so that they could go up in the PBA together. You’ll have to wait for three years to join the draft? WHAT!?!).


SECOND ROUND:

11 BB – Chris Timberlake: Although the Bulls would be extremely lucky to get Timberlake this late in the draft Leo Isaac will surely thank the heavens for this pint-sized quarterback. At least the Bulls will acquire a full-time starter. Also, Timberlake looks like a mini version of Gabby Espinas. They’ll be the PBA version of Finlay and Hornswoggle (don’t know these two? Look them up!)

12 SLR – James Sena: I could be wrong (if he’ll enter) but I think Sena could be one of those NCAA players that will apply in the draft (a la Najorda and Dela Pena) despite still playing in the collegiate league (how come the UAAP couldn’t do that?). Anyway, the JRU Bomber could be the steal of the draft because he has that “marquee” mentality that could bolsten the Realtors bench especially with Kelly Williams’ blood disorder hampering his chances to play in the next season.

Note: If Sena is not included in the draft, Thiele and Ballesteros are notable replacements as SLR’s pick.

13 BB – Hans Thiele: Hey! A team filled with lanky dark-skinned bald guys! No shit! While he’s no offensive threat, he’s certainly a guy that could earn tenure in the league with his defensive intensity. A cross between Willy Wilson and Gabby Espinas, Thiele will give everything he’s got to get those Freddie Abuda plays. Obviously, Barako Bull will definitely shore up its frontline with the acquisition of these up and coming young guns.

14 BK – Marcy Arellano: If this UE alum ends up with the Whoppers, this means a season of practicing for Marvin Cruz (as a practice player unless he improves his standing to coach Yeng). Hopefully his scoring and orchestrating will see a great PBA future. Arellano’s part of UE’s disappointing 14-0 season (DLSU mocked their feat and won that season), and he hopes to be part of a championship team in the PBA.

15 ROS – Ronnie Matias: After filling up their need for the inside, the Painters could use a guy that has the capacity to become the next “Gary David”. Yes, Matias is a scorer that could help his team pile up points if asked. He’s also a great addition to the Painters’ bench as he can play the three small positions when guys like TY Tang and Sol Mercado are hurting.

16 ALA – Lance Convento: Aside from a scoring big guy, the Aces lack a credible quarterback to backstop LA Tenorio. Convento might be a longshot at this position but if he’s available, Alaska shouldn’t hesitate in picking this guy. He played a swell job as quarterback for PBL’s Hapee. This means Kelvin dela Pena will have a more strenuous route to PBA superstardom.

17 SLR – Orlando Darroya: Here’s again, an answer for SLR’s depth chart. While no big-named school produced him, his abilities could not be ignored. He can shoot, pass, and rebound. He may not be your typical power forward that could block, but this guy has also the capacity to switch from inside bruiser to outside sniper with a snap of the finger.

18 GIN - Francis Allera: This UST player plays better in the PBL than in the UAAP. Allera can play the forward positions and he could score perimeters usually seen with guards. He’ll create zero impact as a King? Well, not quite. While the Gins are flushed with scoring threats, they lack the guys that want to do the jobs “star players” hate. He’s also a good defender. His skills need polishing.

19 TNT – Benedict Fernandez: The FEU alum has his work cut out of him if he ends up in the bottom parts of the draft. TNT will not use him often but I think he’ll give them precious minutes off the bench. With Chot Reyes leaning on playing guys that could do offense and defense (poor Renren Ritualo), Fernandez will get a piece of the action.

20 BK – Jason Ballesteros: What? BK has FIVE PICKS IN THE DRAFT!?! My initial answer for this pick is “PASS” since Yeng Guiao will definitely NOT use this to his advantage. However, if he decides to pick up a player that would eventually go to the free agent pool, Ballesteros is a 6’7 beanpole that could collect the points and the boards in an instant. But as I have said, I doubt if Yeng Guiao will not use his “pass” button.


NO PICK: COKE – Coke unfortunately lost their pick in a trade that sent Billy Mamaril to the Tigers. Their second round pick was also lost due to the Joseph Yeo/Cesar Catli trade (wow, Coke bombed in that trade given how Yeo has improved and how Catli has been utilized). However the Tigers are a team yearning to improve their bench, particularly the guy to sub for Alex Cabagnot. This season Cabagnot is fielding in almost 37 minutes per game (only Kelly Williams averaged higher with 39mpg). Josh Urbiztondo and Ian Saladaga are great prospects. In their frontline, they could choose Neil Pascual, Roel Hugnatan, Dino Daa, Rino Berame, and PJ Walsham (although I just hope they’ll develop Lawrence Bonus). Jim Viray is PBA ready and he’ll likely play a la Reed Juntilla when acquired.

The good news is that most of the teams are now willing to look at those undrafted players. Jim Viray could find work in a Coke or Sta. Lucia uniform while Nick Stephens, big but inadequate in some aspects of his game, could end up playing for ROS and even Sta. Lucia. The worst choice for a team right now is going to San Miguel, Purefoods, BK, and Talk N Text. Barako Bull, Coke, Rain or Shine, and Sta. Lucia are the best places to see shining opportunities. Alaska and Ginebra are in desperate need for a scoring big man and the Aces, along with SLR and ROS could use a PG in their roster. Robert Pressey (Dorian Pena's younger half brother) could see his name in the draft but the verdict is still out for Charles Waters, Nick Stephens and Ramsey Williams… who were kind of duds the moment we last saw them.

Like I said, this is not the de-facto prediction. But this could pretty much be the way the draft should go.

But until then…

Game over.

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Back to Earth


After five successive victories, we lost.

While we are still 5 wins and a loss, this match was for a spot in the finals.

While our defense was effective at times, it was our offense that failed us. We were down 28-29 at the start of the second half but we ended the third quarter scoring a mere 3 points. The shots weren’t falling, our passes became predictable, turnovers were keys to our downfall and our opponents pulled every ploy to match us (In amateur rules, the clock runs despite deadball situations and “accidentally” kicking the ball to the other court (which is either a badminton court or a volleyball court) will not help matters. The game faded and settled at 70-47. While we cringe at this, we will face the other team that lost their series.

Our similarities basically stand with us sporting 4-0 records in the elimination phase, both have the combination of slashers and bangers, and both were reduced to fight for bronze honors because of a bitter loss.

6-1 or bust.

By the way, here is the last 3:25 seconds of our quarterfinal match, in which we won by 12 points (the game was too intense for me to make someone record it).

Game over!

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Errand-ness


This is more of an errand post more than anything.

Because this pretty much sums up what did last weekend.

I started my day with an errand search. My cousin from Florida (Can I say your name Andy?) contacted my cousins in Batangas because he wants to have two Francis Magalona shirts and a bunch of OPM songs. Luckily, l was going to spend time with Cindy to watch Transformers so that means I’ll make tuhog-tuhog the opportunity (pardon my St. Paul-ness).

I started MY TRIP to Trinoma where Cindy waited for me (obviously, I was late). Then before I traveled, Cindy insisted on watching Ice Age 3 instead of the special effects-infested flick. I was actually happy because I heard the reviews and it seems like Michael Bay tried to make Dawson’s Creek with robots. The story was said to be unbearable and it seems he used a bunch of tekkie gadgetry to awe the audience. Unfortunately for him, I hate those kinds of movies and I guess all I can say is Ice Age has that kiddie element that barely alienates the older audiences. The sci-fi-ness of the cartoon was left in the scenario but the story touched all the characters (Buck is annoying at some parts).

After Ice Age, we tried to look for FM shirts in Trinoma to no avail. Then Cindy suggested if we could go to Megamall where a Nike-Adidas sale is happening. We took an MRT to Megamall where we looked at a slew of people in search of obscenely non-pricy apparel. Since we didn’t see anything, we went to St. Francis Square where I saw a bunch of OPM songs. Gee, I am sorry… I’m condoning pirated goods but I also did a lot of renaming and ripping for those pirated CD’s to be inside a lone CD (I think its prison time or confiscation if they see you riding a plane and owning a bootleg CD). Anyway, we took a taxi and took a longer route to go to Robinson’s Galleria (our feet… tired… or shirts… sweaty).


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According to Francis Magalona’s Clothing Collection’s Multiply Site, the shop is located the third level of its West Wing. I saw my boss there and I asked her if she knows where the shop is. She didn’t know but a few steps later, I saw it. The place had no recognizable signage except for the three stars and the sun logo in the kiosk.

After a Max’s dinner, Cindy went home and I went to UST to play Dota with my friends.

After a ton of cursing… and Dota playing, I went home. I was ripping the CD’s and renaming them but after an hour I grew tired and slept.

I woke up around 8am to deliver the goods, as well as the errands my parents finished, and we headed to San Pedro, Laguna (to pick up some apparel my aunt asked)…

… And then eventually head to Batangas.

This is actually the part where my relatives asked me to shoot the eyeglass they bought for my cousin. My mom is modeling the glasses while I film it. The lenses used are Transition lenses (it becomes an instant sunglass when exposed to the sun).



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HINDI PINK ANG SALAMIN KO!


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I was shooting this after I burned all the OPM pirated CD’s I bought.

I am kinda leaning on finishing this piece without any semblance of an enlightening thought or an interesting finishing statement.

END.




(By the way, my father’s laptop has a small music library so Andy, medyo less-than-stellar ang mga other titles ng CD. Siguro learn to love 80’s OPM balladeers na lang.)

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2008-09 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: DECONSTRUCTING THE 2008 DRAFT

Before we try to ask ourselves whether Rico Maierhofer and Jervy Cruz could sustain their strengths to the pros… or whether Japeth Aguilar would play a major role in the Barako Bull’s lineup (being the weakest team)… or ask if Ronnie Matias, Marcy Arellano, Lance Convento, Ford Arao, Chris Timberblake, Ogie Menor, and Chris Ross could create big time impact… let us see who blazed the finest in this season’s crop of rookies.

Except for some bad seeds, I think he have one of the best rookie rosters since… well… five years ago! The depth of the draft was questionable at the start and while it did show, there are some players that could pretty much spearhead the future. Gabe Norwood and Solomon Mercado’s tandem (Fire and Ice) is awaiting their much anticipated lockup with the Fast and the Furious duo of Mark Caguioa (he will return next season) and Jayjay Helterbrand. Jason Castro and Jared Dillinger’s entry to Talk N Text tremendously diminished Renren Ritualo’s effectiveness. TY Tang’s Fiesta Cup playoffs showing is turning some heads while Bonbon Custodio’s Philippine Cup heroics are enough to make the guy a fan fave. Throw in a couple of hard workers like Larry Rodriguez and Jeff Chan, and add them with Yeng Guiao’s army of darkness comprised of Beau Belga, Erick Rodriguez, and Mark Yee.

So please turn your attention to this and let’s look at the best and the worst of the draft.

GAME STARTS NOW!


THE UNDRAFTED PLAYERS:

A lot of new names debuted in the 2008-09 PBA Season. Most of the players came from the Harbour Centre lineup while some were players picked around the PBL and the Liga.

LAWRENCE BONUS (Coca-Cola) – An undrafted player from the 2008 Draft, Bonus was signed by the Tigers to see their need in the inside with Asi Taulava and Nic Belasco were bothered by injuries at the end of the 2008 Philippine Cup. He played for a mere two games before settling in a reserve player. But improves, certainly that’s a BONUS! Haha! You’re not laughing. THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE FUNNY!

CHAD ALONZO (Purefoods/Burger King/Barako Bull) – The former Adamson ace debuted as a Giant in the Philippine Cup where he scored a couple of appearances. He was traded to BK where he blossomed on Yeng Guiao’s tutelage but he went to the reserve list upon Mark Yee’s entry. Undrafted in the 2006 Draft, he is now in Barako Bull in trade that also involved Carlo Sharma. Hey, 3 teams in one season is a great start right?

AL VERGARA (Purefoods) – Here’s another player that wasn’t picked in the 2006 Draft. He was the man behind the passes that were sent to either Yancy or Ranidel when they were still playing in St. Francis. He is a longtime Harbour Centre player who was actually the last player waived by Purefoods in their 2008 preseason camp. He turned this from bad to good as he replaced Jason Castro at the Singapore Slingers. In the Slingers’ offseason, he played for 8 games in the Fiesta Cup as a Purefoods Giant. He’ll likely return to Singapore where he is expected to play two more years.

ERICK RODRIGUEZ (Burger King) – He resembles that guy who had the same surname and the same built that played for the San Juan Knights (another guy not named Omanzie) whose only mission is to crack limbs and swear profanities at the opponents. The former Letran Knight that was snubbed in the 2006 Draft was sought by Yeng Guiao to backstop his newly-furnished Burger King Team. And yes, alongside Yee, Aaron Aban, and JR Quinahan, they form the “second chance” second team whose careers are now in full swing thanks to Yeng Guiao. He posted 20 points, his career high that was set during the Fiesta Cup Semis… not to mention a series of bumps and bruises towards his opponents.

MARK YEE (Burger King) – This was one of the players that I hoped would be drafted in the 2008 PBA Draft. Turns out, he wasn’t and the only refuge for this San Sebastian-Cavite standout was to languish in the Liga. Now Yee, while not a name in Manila, was a powerhouse at Liga. Playing for the Misamis Meteors he won MVP honors and the team captured the Liga crown for the second straight year. Actually he had to make the BK management wait for his services until after the championship. He was quickly signed and he played under the mentorship of Yeng Guiao where he did everything Yeng wanted. He smelled blood in most of his attacks firing multiple double-digit scoring nights for the Whoppers. And if smelling blood is strength, he also loves to extract blood. Just ask Wesley Gonzales.


THE DRAFT PROPER:

*The draft was a man missing because then Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao had too many draft picks.

19 CHRISTIAN CABATU (Sta. Lucia) – I love to tell everyone who this guy is… a second generation superstar who also has a brother playing in the pros… I really want to talk stuffs from this Sta. Lucia draftee… IF ONLY HE PLAYED IN THE PBA!!!

18 MARK CUEVAS (Red Bull) – This is the reason why Coach Yeng passed his other pick. THE DRAFT DEPTH WAS SUPERBLY WEAK! But looking back, I was hoping to see Mark Yee’s name to pop up in the festivities. Luckily Cuevas never got the chance to strut his stuffs and Yee looks poised to become Guiao’s newest project.

17 JEFF CHAN (Red Bull) – Chan’s decision to withdraw in the 2007 Draft made him something. He dropped in the drafting order to 17 though which means it could have been a wrong choice. Red Bull luckily didn’t think that and in fact they seemed lucky to see his name still available. Chan was also lucky to be in the now-called Barako Bull Energy Boosters… a team that is seriously talent-starved. He became their starting guard after Cyrus Baguio’s departure and critics should expect his game to luckily improve in his sophomore season. Too many words with lucky? Well… he’s part Chinese…

16 JONATHAN FERNANDEZ (Purefoods) – While Chan played solid, Fernandez played like there is no tomorrow (insert sarcasm here, haha). Seriously, whenever he gets the ball he either shoots it quickly (like the ball is a timebomb ready to explode) or gives it to some random living thing (like the ball is a timebomb ready to explode). Sure, he’ll probably play again in the next season, but his antics must improve if he wants to continue playing in the league. You put Gatorade in the tumbler… not Blend 45.

15 KELVIN DELA PENA (Alaska) – Before he came to the PBA, he was the NCAA MVP. Now except for his print, billboard and TV commercials where he models for an energy drink, he seldom appears on TV. Like what I have been saying in my past blogs, he is too raw for the PBA. The double whammy? He was drafted by Alaska, a team that finds no confidence in players’ aged under 25. At least he has modeling to fall back to…

14 CHITO JAIME (Sta. Lucia) – With all the players still available in the draft, they picked up a guy that played in AMA College (Division 3 leagues). Jaime is not bad… he’s just not electrifying (to think he came from a computer school). While I doubt his stock would improve if he decided to withdraw his application, he lacked fine tuning during his first season in the league. The former Toyota Otis banger will find it hard to break out from his weak rookie season.

13 CHOLO VILLANUEVA (Air21) – The first thing I thought when he was picked is that the Express wasted this pick for not picking someone better. Villanueva, except for his clutch shots that made him famous, was nothing more than a typical off-guard that has no quickness. He hardly comes in the court, more from playing in clutch situations, which is why his buzzer-beating shots are still unheard of in the league.

12 TY TANG (Rain Or Shine) – In my mind, I’ll leave Chan and Tang as the two biggest steals in the 2008 PBA Draft. I mean, Sta. Lucia and Alaska could have used his playmaking abilities but for his career, ROS was a great landing spot. He is used consistently throughout the season and in the Fiesta Cup playoffs, we might have experienced his breakout stint. Imagine him and Escobal trading places in the draft? Lucky TY! Poor Pong!

11 PONG ESCOBAL (TNT) – Speaking of Pong, I hated this pick but it was inevitable. Escobal played for Frankie Lim’s San Beda squad and he is also the team’s manager. I stated that Escobal is too raw for the league since he was also a victim of Beda’s no PBL policy. He didn’t do anything significant in his rookie stint and he looked like a boy wearing man clothes at TNT. The only way he could play is if Jimmy Alapag gets injured or retires. That’s not going to happen anytime soon.

10 KELVIN GREGORIO (Sta. Lucia) – While the UE forward was an OK forward, he is no power forward, which was what the Realtors would have wanted. Actually the Realtors needed a scoring point guard too, which is why the TY Tang snub baffled me. After playing in the Philippine Cup, he was unheard of in the Fiesta Cup. He excelled in one game but he didn’t even get the nod in playing in the playoff parts of the Fiesta Cup despite Kelly Williams’ loss to injury.

9 LARRY RODRIGUEZ (Red Bull) – This hard-working player out of PMI surprised everyone by becoming a first round choice. Like what I have been saying, Rodriguez plays like Freddie Abuda… but with offense. Had Leo Isaac trusted him more, he’ll probably have more stats in the minutes he played. He’s another example of how players, regardless of college, could play well in the league despite the handicap. I think there’s a trend of getting random unheard of players in the first round as token picks. Ronnie Matias… you’re next!

8 BONBON CUSTODIO (SMB) – Despite playing for their PBL farm team, the Magnolia Wizards, Custodio’s first round drafting was a shock. It shocked more when he was getting valuable playing time from this talent-loaded team. Bonbon was a prized catch while playing in UE but after that, his popularity waned significantly. While critics call his game erratic and somewhat like a dog in heat, often there is a sense to his madness. People are now seeing his game that was somewhat tarnished starting from the alleged game fixing he did when he was in college.

7 BEAU BELGA (Purefoods) – I stated also Belga’s need to fully establish his skills in the PBL… but I am currently eating my words. The fact that he twice scored in double figures in Purefoods makes him young… ready… and armed. Traded to Burger King, he looked more of a vet than a rookie with his dominating presence and armed with Yeng Guiao’s confidence. He must learn to level his emotions though. He is bound to be an enforcer in this league with the way Guiao is morphing him… and for his foes a 6’6 version of Noli Locsin ramming towards you is never a good thing.

6 MARK BORBORAN (Air21) – This UE slotman welcomed his drafting to Air21. After all, this was a team in need of inside presence. Problem is, he is too short and too thin to bang bodies which prompted the Express to deal him for burly sophomore JR Quinahan. Borboran suffered the same fate as Quinahan in Alaska as a seldom used NOW SMALL FORWARD called to court when a blowout has become eminent. Now I’m guessing that for incoming PBA rookies, you have to learn to play quick and versatile in order to move up in your stardom.

5 SOLOMON MERCADO (Alaska) – Mercado’s entry to club was a definite yearning to get a player to ease out Jeff Cariaso. However, when the Painters offered Joe Devance, trading him with Eddie Laure was an easy way out. Mercado’s stock sprinted to big time when he helped Harbour Centre capture another title! He became one of the main men of the Painters, partnering with top pick Gabe Norwood for their dreaded Fire and Ice combo. He was an able passer and an awesome scorer. The injury he suffered in the Fiesta Cup is only a minor setback in his long career. He’ll go far in this league if he improves his currently awesome game.

4 ROB REYES (TNT) – Nephew of former backup forward Eric Reyes, it seems like this is the route he’ll most likely be in. The big man laden roster of the Texters is hurting his chances to evolve! Hell, even GILBERT LAO gets more action than him and if this isn’t pissing him off, I don’t know what will! He barely gets minutes and while we saw potential in the Fiesta Cup, injuries hampered his promising rookie season. Also, he plays somewhat distracted or discounted in his current state. Can’t blame him since he tried hard to get his DOJ and Bureau of Immigration papers approved in thinking he’ll become a star in the league. Well at least he won a championship…

3 JASON CASTRO (TNT) – TNT decided to let go of Jay Washington to just get this pick. It ended up as Jason Castro, a tough-as-nails scorer coming out of Philippine Christian U. At first, the drafting of Castro was dimmed questionable because the 4-time PBL MVP had a live contract to play for the Aussie-based NBL’s Singapore Slingers. When news broke out that the Slingers bolted out of the NBL, Castro opted to pull out from his contract and concentrate on his PBA career. The Slingers offered some things to make him stay like participating in various tilts but Castro opted to decline (Al Vergara was sent to the Slingers as replacement). Castro’s great all-around play helped TNT in claiming the team’s Philippine Cup Championship. Faults? He should work more on his shot selections.

2 JARED DILLINGER (TNT) – Dillinger’s first appearance playing in televised Philippine soil was during his stint as a Pampanga Buddy during the maiden season of the Liga. He looked lanky and he has speed and the size to prove effective. The first move I saw from him was a grabbed a rebound, dribbled it from coast to coast, jumped from the free throw line, and scored a soaring lay-up in front of two defenders. This was after he applied for the PBA Draft (The Pampanga Buddies is Talk N Text’s Liga farm team comprised of former UST players, PBA discards, and Aric del Rosario). Although the much buzzed talk of him being a top pick was more of downplaying Norwood’s chances, he did made TNT a force to reckon. Inconsistencies may be one of his weaknesses but a slasher with the size of a power forward is pretty much his bread and butter.

1 GABE NORWOOD (Rain or Shine) – Hands down, this is the ROOKIE of the YEAR! When Chot Reyes convinced Norwood to plane to the Philippines, the George Mason standout quickly saw his potential rising. Even before he flew in, he became a member of the RP team. He is an unselfish player (which is almost annoying at times) who knows how to get the boards and finish shots with extreme passion. He entered a team lacking sense and he transformed it into overachievers. He gave the team a winning season, a record placing in the Philippine Cup and its first semis berth! The wins they got in this season alone were twice what the team showed in their first two seasons! Plus, he looks like Barack Obama. And the guy knows how to be funny (If you saw his dunk where he had a Barack Obama shirt on) … HOW COOL IS THAT!


THE “GREAT PICK” TEAMS:

3 RED BULL / BARAKO BULL – One pick was trashed and the other pick wasn’t even signed but Jeff Chan and Larry Rodriguez are two names to look forward to next conference. And with the way the Boosters’ season finished, a couple of neophytes should be seen in their mix.

2 TALK N TEXT – While Reyes and Escobal looked like duds, Castro and Dillinger picked up the slack. This pair of slashers gave the team youth, scoring options, and better team play that resulted to the team’s Philippine Cup championship.

1 RAIN OR SHINE – Norwood, Mercado, and Tang are the future of the PBA and how cool is the fact that they are in one team. All gave important contributions to the squad. Norwood is basically a headache for backcourt and frontcourt players with his all-around game, Mercado with his scoring, and Tang with his orchestrating. The trio’s entry turned the team from a bottom-dwelling squad to a championship contender.


THE “DRAFT BUST” TEAMS:

3 PUREFOODS – While Don Allado is a great player… just like some of Purefoods’ great players… they could have seen the future with Beau Belga. When he was gone, all they had was a jittery Jonathan Fernandez. Not good.

2 ALASKA – They decided to trade Solomon Mercado which was good because they got Devance but again, they just kept their rookies in the bench. Talk about developing players!

1 STA. LUCIA – First of all, they picked players that didn’t do anything to the team. Sure, guys like Eman and Rob Reyes aren’t used much but these are players playing in highly-talented rosters. Kelvin Gregorio didn’t displace Norman Gonzales, Chito Jaime did dislodged Philip Butel… to become Melvin Mamaclay’s seatmate and Christian Cabatu’s pedigree didn’t even put a random reserve guy out of his place! This guys didn’t even see justified action even when Kelly Williams and Ryan Reyes were hampered by injuries!


ROOKIE OF THE YEAR PREDICTION:
GABE F’N NORWOOD!!!

ALL ROOKIE TEAM:
1) Gabe Norwood
2) Jason Castro
3) Jared Dillinger
4) Solomon Mercado
5) Bonbon Custodio

ALL ROOKIE SECOND TEAM:
6) TY Tang
7) Jeff Chan
8) Larry Rodriguez
9) Beau Belga
10) Erick Rodriguez


Now I could be wrong, but the draft order could be from the 2008-09 Philippine Cup rankings. And I don’t who traded their picks for what but from the scheme of things, this is what the 2009 Draft should look like.

1 BARAKO BULL – Pick anyone you think will help your team… not unless you already gave it away because you only think of spending less than fixing your team to become contenders!
2 COCA-COLA – The team needs a slasher. For sure, Japeth Aguilar will end up with the Bulls so this means this order belongs to Chris Ross.
3 PUREFOODS – They probably have gave this away, but I think what they need is a dominant PG.
4 BURGER KING – The only thing they lack right now is a scoring big man. I am guessing this pick would either be Jervy Cruz or Rico Maierhofer.
5 RAIN OR SHINE – They are OK in all spots except for the center and PF spot.
6 GINEBRA – Again, they probably traded this but if they didn’t now is the time to shop for a big man.
7 SAN MIGUEL – They probably gave this away too, and I think they need to relieve a star hopeful from ending up in their overly-stacked lineup.
8 STA. LUCIA – As much as anything, it is time for the Realtors to acquire scoring help.
9 ALASKA – They need height. A backup big man should do the trick to foil their woes.
10 TALK N TEXT – I doubt if they still have this pick but again, I think its better for them to establish their other young guys like Aljamal and Escobal.


One lengthy piece that would be proven to be wrong or otherwise. Try looking again and maybe you’ll catch my take on the top performers of the 2008-09 season.

GAME OVER!

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