Huwebes, Hulyo 17, 2014

UAAP Scenes: Opening Weekend

Best of the Weekend. The ultimate collegiate battle ground has been baptized for the 77th time in the history of Philippine sports. This is thrilling enough to be placed as "Best of the Weekend", especially for freshmen college students looking for something cool (and 'in') for social media.

Photo courtesy of GMA News

Saturday Results. The UE Red Warriors butt-bared the UP Fighting Maroons, 87-59. The FEU Tamarraws upset the DLSU Green Archers, 82-77. 

Sunday Results. The Ateneo Blue Eagles out-flew the Adamson Soaring Falcons, 79-57. The NU Ray Parks crushed the UST Growling Tigers, 59-40.

Worst of the Weekend. I know a lot of people wouldn't mind spending long times reading this, so I'll sum it up in seven figures. UST Growling Tigers and their 25 turnovers.

Heir Tolomia. The FEU Tamarraws probably felt worst when they knew about them locking horns with the DLSU Green Archers -the team to beat this season- in the main game of opening day. But fierce as they are, coach Nash Racela's boys are up to the challenge. After receiving a few jabs in the first half, and scoring just 2 points, Mike Tolomia decided to bare his "Heir To Romeo" mode and dropped 21 in the 2nd half. Tolomia's zone spark ignited fellow Moraytans Mark Bello and Russell Escoto to pick up dirt piles and help bury the Archers down. Tolomia and Bello combined for 43 points to outbro Jeron Teng and Almond "36 minutes" Vosotros.   

Demolition Nationale. With Bobby Ray Parks exiting the premises of his Bustillos home, the NU Bulldogs crashed down in preseason ranks. This season, they are out to prove how wrong that is, and they started last Sunday. Their unknowing prey, the Growling Tigers of UST. Gelo Alolino took the reigns early and scored 13 points for NU. Big gun newcomer Alfred Aroga posted 8 points while dominating the paint and magnetizing UST's cotton candy defense, allowing Alolino and Jeth Rosario to do damage from the outside. NU forced UST to commit, submit, give in, give up, and other words synonyming to surrender, to 25 turnovers. The results were clear, the Bulldogs are as hungry as ever, and the Tigers, as crazy as it is, are in need of players in all positions not named Karim Abdul.

Wise Scheduling. I'm not sure about how the UAAP came up with their round 1 schedule, but the UE Warriors opening their season hosting against UP is plain wise. Hosts should win first games. That simple. Thanks to Gino Jumao-as offensive outburst, Moustapha Arafat's 15 gigantic rebounds, and Roi Sumang's 6 lead assists. No, Moustapha Arafat is not related to Simba.

Ravena Up, Ravena Down. I don't want to take away anything from Ateneo's blowout on Adamson, but only three things are noteworthy from that game. Keifer Ravena's 22-point explosion, Keifer Ravena's two monstrous dunks, and Thirdy Ravena's rookie jitters.

Best of the Weekend (Fashion Edition). Despite losing a close game against FEU, the DLSU coaching staff sported green jeans! No question, these pants are better than their second half defense. Runner up to these greenies twinnies is NU Bulldogs center Henri Betayene's in-game goggles. In an era filled with stylish and technological arm and leg sleeves, a pair of round and thick goggles can very well give us goggle giggles. So, sit down Aroga! 


-I'm sure Roi Sumang's side burns will highlight at something this season. Wait and see.

-Turnovers trended last week. UST had 25, Roger Pogoy had 8.

-I'm a huge Nike fan, except for those Nike-made jerseys for DLSU, FEU, and Ateneo. Man, I wouldn't wear a jersey with our team name on my stomach, and my number on my pubis. Jeez.

-Kevin Ferrer posted un-Kevin Ferrer averages last Sunday. That includes 3.0 pukes.

-Aljon Mariano paid tribute to his jersey number in the worst possible time. 10 minutes lagging on defense, 10 points on 10% shooting. King Tiger.

-Those Adamson kids better grow up fast. That's per coach Kenneth Duremdes, who helped Marlou Aquino grow up a little faster. Marlou' son is playing under coach K.

-Anyway, we are just getting started. And no matter how long this season might be, I'm pretty sure there's always something that's longer. Right, NCAA?

Follow @lfredgarrido on Twitter. 

PBA Scenes: The 2014 PBA All-Star Friday

Best of the Night. Early in the third quarter of the Legends Game, Noli Locsin, at almost 85 years old, with each and every bit of his 375 pound torso, bent his heavily plastered knees, recharged his flying force through his sown meniscus, launched himself through the air and, in front of these heavily fascinated eyes of mine, slammed the leather through the innocent looking rim. That might just be a 2-point dunk but we all know that these times, everytime the Bee Gees hold a concert, it always sells out. I’m actually good at hiding meanings between the lines. Anyway, this is just pure fascination, so maybe it’s time to get into…

The Real Best of the Night. Justin Melton and Rey Guevarra, mano-a-mano. The PBA’s dunk contest has gone through its Dark Ages that featured a really weird Snorkel Dunk, to the KG Canaleta Era, to the birth of its Golden Age, which was baptized by last night’s eye-sweet, mouth watering, nerve whacking, between-legs-filled, bounce-pass-filled, jumping-over-everybody-filled, and epically epic duel. Quick Melt and Papa Rey ended up as Co-Champions when they finished the entire event with twin scores, which means that Chris Ellis will have to add up more skill points on dunking, at his real life My Player Mode.      

Worst of the Night. I don’t really get the point of Chris Ellis and Japeth Aguilar tanking the dunk contest. I mean, you don’t get a good draft position by doing bad at the dunk contest. No, really. Add the fact that 99.78 percent of Filipinos believed they’re actually bromancing in the event’s finals. Bruh. Well at least Japeth keeps a video of him missing huge, and open dunks, on his iPhone.

Shooting Shirt. Globalport’s sleeved jerseys look like a shooting shirt. The word there is “shooting”, which is basically the only way a player can win the Three-Point Shootout. Guess what, Mark Macapagal of the Globalport Batang Pier, wearing a shooting shirt-like jersey, dropped in 24 points to reclaim the shootout crown from Rain or Shine’s favorite Chris, in the PBA’s first ever shootout that featured a Moneyball Rack. Oh well, shooters wearing shooting shirts do nothing but shoot.

The Versatile. Mark Barocca of the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers munched on the Obstacle Challenge. Throughout, the Coffee Prince shot 6 of 6 field goals, cleared 12 of 12 dribbling lanes, and threaded 6 of 6 passes, all without a miss. What’s amazing is that he did them all in a time that was way faster than you reading this portion, you finishing to yawn, and you getting your corny friend’s senseless joke.

The Versatired. Except from Topex Robinson who actually has a built in battery charger, every PBA legend looked tired midway through warm-ups.

Absents. Four remarkable figures have absented themselves from the festivities. A.) I’m not sure but I think Terrence Romeo’s back backed-out from the Skills Challenge, or no one told him that it was supposed to be last night. Though it required passing, he could have made a difference in the Obstacles. B.) James Yap chose to spend Friday night with Baby James and do fatherly things to his motherly son. Excused. But he could have made a difference in the Three-Point Shootout. C.) Arwind Santos wasn’t able to join the dunk contest (yet again) for some reasons. That’s all. D.) It felt like my 960 bucks wasn’t worth it when I learned that Bal David won’t be in the Legends Game. But thanks to the dunk bros, it was all worth it.

PBA Stalwarts vs. PBA Greats Bits of the Night.

-This crazy pick-up game ended in a draw, 136-all.

-It involved 60 year olds and former Titos of the Year, then you’re wondering why there’s no overtime? Seriously?
-The game started after the Dunk Contest but the dunk dudes from the previous event weren’t really done yet.
-All in all, Rey Guevarra, Justin Melton, and Cliff “Ryan Bang” Hodge combined for a total number of dunks that equal your grandmother’s age.
-Include Noli Locsin’s dunk in there, of course.
-In the end, Rey Guevarra was the greatest and the stalwartest of ‘em all, scoring 34 points from 14 or so dunks, and grabbing 3 rebounds.
-And before I forget, Richard Del Rosario hit a crucial three-pointer that ignited the sleepy Lower Box.
-But the most crucial and clutchiest three came from Ronjay Buenafe, who tied the game at its final score with less than 6 ticks remaining.
-From my view, though wide open, Buenafe’s shot curved a little bit to the right, so I really thought it was not going in. And my eyes circled while it was actually going in. And it went in. Well I guess that’s why he’s the PBA player and I am the writer.
-Franz Pumaren had 0 points, which equaled Jeffrey Cariaso’s minutes.
-Aside from these, everything else was pick-up game clich├ęs.

Miyerkules, Pebrero 26, 2014

PBA Scenes: San Mig Super Coffee Mixers Win All-Filipino Cup Championship

Best of the Night. Reread the title of this entry. 'Nuff said.

(c) Nuki Sabio/PBA

Worst of the Night. The second quarter walkout. I get the whole rationale behind Rain or Shine's bench clearing, locker room-hitting move early in the second quarter. As a sports fan, I really think we all needed that just to add a lot more spice in the Finals. After all, we might be seeing the last game of this conference. I actually salute coach Yeng Guiao for the wrath just because I really expected this game to be special in one way or another. It's Game 6, you know. But then again, this appears beside the worst of the night header, and that's because of the sour consequences Rain or Shine is about to face. Commish Salud had it all set tomorrow. I believe this is gonna take a lot of money from the Painters' bank accounts, but we don't know any exact amount yet. Anyway, the funny side is that the Painters walked out of the court twice empty handed. Well, not really, they have the runners-up trophy on the second march. 

Final Score. Mixers 93-87 Painters

Finals MVP. Mark Barroca is the biggest little man among everyone who played their guts out in the Finals. After punching a lot of thighs tonight and scoring 24 points from 16 shots, Barroca, the Tamarraws kick-out, and former Gilas guard, wins the Finals MVP hardware. Nobody's gonna object on this because it's the Coffee Prince who actually pushed a lot of Potassium Chloride directly on the Painters' veins. With that I mean the big, clutch shots at end game. He dished 5 dimes too. So tonight, we didn't only saw the handling of the championship trophy to Marc Pingris, we saw the coronation of the next Coffee King. All hail!

Sweet Sixteen. Obviously, I'm not referring to coach Tim Cone's age in this one, but the number of championships he's won in the PBA... right now. As charged as always, Tim Cone overtook the great Baby Dalupan in terms of the number of rings kept in their cupboards. A couple of good news for the triangle system fans, I'm pretty sure that's not it for Tim Cone, and right now, his face will surely be etched in our imaginary PBA Mount Rushmore.  

Defense. Alright, after all, defense truly won the San Mig Coffee Mixers their Philippine Cup chip. The Mixers stopped the Painters' rhythm and disrupted their ball movements through out. Mixers went on to end the night shooting 50% from the field while limiting Rain or Shine to 39%.

Three-Point Slump. Both teams shot 20% from beyond the arc. How bad is that? San Mig drained 4 of 20 shots, Rain or Shine just nailed 6 of their 30. That wouldn't win them tickets at Timezone as well. The shooters went to sleep early this game. 

Worst of the Night Runner-Up. I remember stating that any ejection will be worst of the night. It still is if not because of that epic walkout. But this is easy, and I am sure that coach Yeng Guiao wouldn't mind receiving this runner-up header after he was ejected for throwing a ferocious bounce pass to referee Mariano. So in this epic night, coach Yeng Guiao delivered his usual numbers. One warning call, 2 technicals, one ejection, zero hair, and zero All-Filipino Cup title. Pretty tough way going home to Pampanga. 

Quote. All of the "Thank you's" you heard live or on TV. Nothing beats a celebration full of gratefulness. 


-Beau Belga and Paul Lee didn't wanna give in just yet. In the dying seconds, Belga and Lee scored most of their final points.

-Paul Lee, by the way, had 23 points. Pretty valiant.

-I really think the "on fires" tonight should go to Joe Devance and PJ Simon. Both tripled their Game 5 outputs. Duh. 

-Like any given night, Marc Pingris had stopped Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, Jeff Chan, Chris Tiu, Paul Lee, coach Yeng, coach Yeng's assistants, Painters' ballboys, Big Dome's mop boys, the cameraman sitting baseline, and apparently, everyone wearing dark clothes. Sakuragi is a defensive bull.

-Jerwin Gaco got a lot of swag celebrating in the dugout. He played for a total of 15 minutes this series, and even striked Yeng Guiao out, so he's got all the rights.

-Same with Rafi Reavis. At one point, I really thought he considers himself a candidte for MVP. Why not?

-Well, we need to let Cawaling and Holstein celebrate too because they are champs too, technically.

-If you're wondering, yes, Cawaling and Holstein are actual PBA players. I understand you though.

-All in all, this finals have been special. I don't know how, but it was.

The Commissioners' Cup starts next Wednesday. So that means the Mixers are really well rested.


Linggo, Pebrero 23, 2014

PBA Scenes: Rain or Shine Elasto Painters vs San Mig Super Coffee Mixers Finals Game 5

Best of the Night. Jeff Chan's 24 points and three bigtime 3-pointers. Chan led Rain or Shine's revolt on staying alive in their duel with the remaining Cojuanco-dog in the Finals. The Painters slapped the Mixers with an 81-74 win, pulled themselves to 2-3 series tally, and forced a Wednesday night blockbuster. Though Chan needed 16 shots to punch those points, his blaze illuminated Rain or Shine, who, at one point, were ten points down, by draining timely three's in the fourth quarter. It's not too common, but this series is looking like it's gonna be won through three-pointers. No offense to the old, and more common "Defense wins championships" saying. 

(c) Nuki Sabio/ PBA

Worst of the Night. Field goal percentages. Okay, I have to apologize for saying that 3-pointers will decide this series. Obviously, defense did a bunch of ranting tonight. A strong evidence to this would be both teams' field goal efficiency. San Mig Coffee shot 26 of 68 (38.2%) from the field, even beating the winning Rain or Shine team percentage-wise. The Painters drained only 28 shots out of their 74 attempts (37.8%). Talk about defense talking about doing the most talking.

Better Numbers. San Mig Coffee's statistician fans everywhere might be rejoicing over their team's dominance in game 5. Too bad, that's just statistics-wise. Mixers actually beat Rain or Shine in a lot of departments. Rebounding, 49-47, free-throw shooting, 75%-60.7%, fastbreak points, 12-7, and second chance points, 10-6. The final score is the only number taken though, so big sorry for San Mig Coffee.

Tiu-torized. I honestly shout my lungs out everytime Chris Tiu does something spectacular in the game earlier. Too bad for me, now I'm losing my voice. Chris Tiu, being the last Chris remaining in the conference, decided to step it up tonight in the name of every Chris in the league. The Atenean dropped 9 points from 4 shots, grabbed 3 rebounds, dished 2 assists, and sniped a steal, just in 17 minutes of play. It took him 8 games to find that groove, so this is beautiful inconsistency for my favorite Chris. He was a strong Player of the Game candidate until Jeff Chan happened. Good tragedy.

Brewed Veterans. James Yap and Marc Pingris combined for a good 36 points for San Mig Coffee's own revolution. Yap, who was playing intensely intense for the past 4 games, had 18 points and 6 rebounds, and even threatened the Elasto Painters with his deadly shooting late in the game. Pingris delivered his usual mountain-high performance despite being hurt when he sustained an eye injury from game 4. The former Finals MVP had 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Mixers. SMC fans are sure happy with that.

Quote. "We can not lose our sense of destiny. Even if we're behind, it's not yet over. We have to believe in ourselves and stay positive." - coach Yeng Guiao. This is one fatherly statement from coach Yeng Guiao, who, by the way, received a technical foul for calmly complaining, or maybe, the other way around.

Technical Counter. Speaking of which, Game 5 technical foul count is at 1. 


-Joe Devance had 7 points on 3 of 12 shooting night. Yes, the speaker is quiet, so his flat top is way higher than his output. His hair deserved more of those 34 minutes he was on the floor.

-Pingris scored 6 of his 18 points from whamming the rim. Eye injury, what?

-PJ Simon's defense was better than his offense in this game. Want a proof? He has no field goals in 31 minutes, and he blocked 2 shots. See?

-Jeff Chan probably made it up to their back to back missed game changing three's from games 3 and 4.

San Mig Coffee still dictates the series. Game 6 on Wednesday.  

Linggo, Pebrero 16, 2014

PBA Scenes: Rain or Shine Elasto Painters vs San Mig Super Coffee Mixers Finals Game 2

Best of the Night. San Mig Coffee's team defense really stood out tonight. They weren't shooting well, no one dominated offensively, but their defense did the most talking. In my humble opinion, Rain or Shine can almost sue the Mixers defense right now. They were harassed on national television. The evidence is strong. Anyway, Mixers even the series with an 80-70 win. It wasn't too close the whole game.

Worst of the Night. On the contrary, Rain or Shine's offense is tonight's worst. Jeff Chan led the team with 18 points, followed by Gabe Norwood's 8. All in all, as stated above, the Painters scored 70 points. That's far, far away from their average. Well, if you don't call that bad, then I no longer know what we should call it. Anyway, this is just another proof of the superiority of the Mixers' defense. On the consistent side of things, Chris Tiu had 0 points. C'mon, Chris. That's almost 5 games in a row. Wow.

Sakuragi. Marc Pingris was the best player of the game with 11 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks. He posted those numbers while rotating defense on Raymond Almazan, Beau Belga, Jeff Chan, and Paul Lee. As you can see, he outrebounded his points, had pretty numerous dishes, and marked multiple positions. Right now, it seems like Pingris is the only player who can do that. 

Technical Counter. Game 2 technical fouls: one. In case you missed it, coach Yeng Guiao finally had a technical foul in the finals! They were down big in a game for control and he's got heat. That's a perfect formula for a Yeng Guiao specialty.

Banger. I would like to commend Jerwin Gaco for stirring the perfect formula that I was talking about. In the second quarter, with the Mixers leading by a huge margin, Gaco got physical -this series is physical- with Painters' rookie Raymond Almazan. Of course, as a father, coach Yeng should set examples, and he did! That wasn't good though, as he puked out words that got him T'd up. Gaco kept it cool. Too bad he matched Chris Tiu's output. He might have been best of the night.

Quote. "We didn't shoot that well but we were defending well." - coach Tim Cone. I told you, Mixers' defense stood out in Game 2. That's the story.


-We've got awesome blocks in this game including one each from Paul Lee and Mark Barroca.

- This is a pretty nice trivia. Do you know who teaches Marc Pingris' post moves? Richard del Rosario.

-They lost this game, but coach Yeng Guiao said he's not worried. That's good news actually.

-That's it right there. See you on Game 3.

That's on Wednesday, by the way. 8pm.

Biyernes, Pebrero 14, 2014

PBA Scenes: Rain or Shine Elasto Painters vs San Mig Super Coffee Mixers Finals Game1

Best of the Night. 1.6 seconds remain in the fourth quarter. Ballgame tied at 80 apiece. Huddles are heated. One final play. Ball was dead out of bounds. Jeff Chan fakes right then rushed left, drawing a defender. That man just drilled back to back threes. All eyes were on him, all minds were expecting him to finish the game. Then Gabe Norwood threw the inbound, quick, and at the center of the paint. That was far from Jeff Chan. The leather was caught. The man was 6 foot 1, quick, and bald. In a rush, a shot was made easily, and in the open. Rain or Shine win, 82-80. Best of the night should be Paul Lee, Paul Lee's game winner, and Paul Lee giving Rain or Shine a series edge over the Mixers. No questions asked.

Worst of the Night. There are a lot of Chris playing in the PBA, and Chris Tiu is the last Chris standing. He hasn't been the best Chris out there, so being the last one left, he's got that chance to be the best. So did he? Uh, not really. 10 minutes, 3 turnovers, 0 points, and a heck of difficulty escaping Mark Barroca's defense wouldn't do that at all. So apparently, Chris Tiu is STILL the worst and only Chris in the game. At least he's got consistency.

Batman. Jervy Cruz is sick of weird uniform elements and accessories. He's a simple player with a simple get up. Unfortunately, his nose tasted the bitter bone of Alex Cabagnot's elbows. So apparently, he decided to wear a protective mask. Jervy loves to keep it simple, and it became cool. And cool became cooler when he went up for that offensive board and drained the game-tying shot with less than 30 secs remaining earlier. Remember that Paul Lee game winner? That wouldn't have been a game winner if not for Jervy Cruz' heroics. So a big applause for Jervy Cruz and Jervy Cruz's face mask.

Technical Counter. Game 1 technical fouls: One. The only T that's slapped was that final time out called by San Mig Coffee, who actually burnt all of their coolers right before Lee delivered the scissors. Don't let that number fool you, this series is physical as hell.

Speaker of the House. San Mig Coffee sure put up a fight tonight. And Joe Devance sure put up numbers tonight as well. JDV went for 17 points, a couple of big rebounds, a couple of big dishes, and one big flat top. No, that's not Iman Shumpert, boys and girls.

Quote. "We got lucky in the end. We set up the play for Jeff Chan, but it was Paul (Lee) who got open. Good recognition by Gabe Norwood." - coach Yeng Guiao. Be it lucky or perfectly executed, that final play was plain dagger. 


-San Mig Coffee is so effective without a real point guard starting the game.

-I'm not sure, but I think Alex Nuyles and Jeric Teng will soon have an explosive exposure in this series.

-Raymond Almazan is already exposed, so nevermind him.

-But Almazan threw down a beastly slam earlier, so let's mind him again. He needs to do that all the time.

-Jeff Chan was on fire in the fourth quarter. That is one bad news for the Mixers in this series.

-Beau Belga is now Rain or Shine's main man. That is two bad news for the Mixers.

-None is in the injured list in this finals. That's good news, right?

-There's no compression shirts in this series. This upsets me up honestly.

-Nothing really exciting about Game 1 when it comes to funny bones. We'll see about that come Game 2.

Game 2 of the Finals will be on Sunday at 4:30pm. Tell your friends.

Miyerkules, Pebrero 12, 2014

PBA Scenes: Barangay Ginebra San Miguel vs San Mig Super Coffee Mixers Game 7

Best of the Night. The San Mig Super Coffee Mixers, after a rough start to this season, and finishing at 5th seed, have knocked the top seeded Barangay Ginebra San Miguel out, 110-87, setting their dance against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters for the Jun Bernardino hardware. Are you kidding me? No further explanations. Next.

(c) Nuki Sabio/PBA

Worst of the Night. Is there anyone out there who actually thought Ginebra put up a fight? A few maybe. I'm going straight to the point, the league's top seeded team sucked tonight, and they did it at the expense of moving on to the Finals. That wasn't a great timing. So just based on that, Ginebra really stunk.

Big Game. 30 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 3-pointers. Aren't these the numbers James Yap was producing when he won those two MVP's? Yes they are. So tonight, apart from blaming his flames to his weird arm sleeve, Yap is really determined --and inspired-- to bury Ginebra six feet below the shiny and blue Big Dome floor. Anyway, James Yap, after all injuries, and personal infernos, looks fine.

Big First Quarter. If anyone asks you regarding who was the tone setter for this big Mixers win, he might just laugh hard if you happen to say Rafi Reavis' name. But truth hurts, and is funny at the same time. But nothing could take away the truth from that truth, and the truth is Rafi Reavis scored the first 8 points for San Mig Coffee and closed the opening quarter with 12. Of course, he went back to being Rafi and finished the game with 15 points, a couple of big rebounds, three nice fall downs, one thick headband, and two sweaty arm sleeves. 

Golden Mohawk. It's not official, but I think JayJay Helterbrand tried to pay homage to Asi Taulava in game 7. I don't know why, and I don't even know if he actually did, but those are cool threads right there. 

The Apostle. Peter June Simon descipled James Yap's performance with 28 points of his own. The vets have stepped it up really high tonight. Oh well, as they should.

Quote. "Really stunning performance by us. Great shooting! Wow! I didn't do anything, these guys did it all." - coach Tim Cone. Even coach Tim couldn't believe how his team shot lights tonight.


-Ginebra has set two PBA game attendance records. One was tonight. They lost both games. It's funny.

-24,883 gate attendance is a pretty huge number. Too bad, San Mig dropped the bombs, so there are lots of casualties. Puns.

-Mark Caguioa should have played that way from the beginning... of the season!

-You know what's higher than San Mig's morale right now? Joe Devance's flat top.

-Have you seen Justin Melton's pregame locker room dance? I won't attempt if I were you.

-I still believe Rafi Reavis was best player tonight.

Oh well, this ends the semifinals chapter of the PBA Scenes. But don't panic, a lot more is coming! The Finals chapter starts on Friday! The PBA All Filipino Cup Finals starts on Friday! That should be an awesome Friday the 14th! Now go tell your dateless friends to watch!