Monday, October 29, 2007


BREEDING GIANTS? – basketballpilipinas China watch

I was researching rumors of 100 Chinese 7-footers being trained in their secret basketball camps around China and I got this report. A disturbing report I don’t know whether to believe it or not. There are two propagandas at work American and Chinese and I don’t trust them both. I’m very interested in Chinese basketball I’ve got a lot of files about it.

Chinese sports' giant question mark

Far from being a chance creation, Chinese basketball giant Yao Ming was knowingly bred for the sport, forced into it against his will and subjected to years of dubious science to increase his height, a new book claims.
The 2.28-metre Houston Rockets centre also underwent years of punishing training as one of hundreds of thousands of potential Chinese athletes who endure miserable childhoods in boot-camp conditions.
The revelations in Operation Yao Ming, by former Newsweek journalist Brook Larmer, are likely to raise further disquiet over China's Soviet-style sports system ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Larmer said Yao, China's first successful basketball export and its most famous face worldwide, was the product of a harsh and antiquated programme which has changed little since it was set up more than 50 years ago under Mao Zedong.
"Yao on one hand is this great symbol of China's modern advancement, a commercial icon that can stride across the Pacific and play the role of a bridge between East and West," he said.
"But he's still the product of this system which is one of the last bastions of socialism in China."
Larmer says Yao's birth had been anticipated for decades by Communist officials - desperate to boost national pride through sports - who had been tracking his family for two generations.
He describes a system where doctors armed with special growth-predicting manuals measure youngsters' bones and pubic hair to identify future athletes. Weightlifters must be squat with strong torsos; divers need tiny hips to minimise splash; basketball players must simply be tall.
"It's no accident that there have been generations of players who have continued to get taller," he said.
"One of the first NBA scouts was blown away when he went to northern China and saw more than 20 seven-footers."
Yao's grandfather, one of Shanghai's tallest men, was discovered too late for basketball but his son, the six foot nine Yao Zhiyuan, soon found himself dragged into the sports system.
There he was paired off with the six foot two Fang Fengdi, China's women's captain who had been a feared Red Guard during the murderous Cultural Revolution.
The two were encouraged to marry in a system with undertones of eugenics, the controversial gene-pool manipulation espoused by the Nazis and previously trumpeted by Beijing.
"It wasn't a national breeding programme, it was a desire among Shanghai officials for them to get together," Larmer said.

Monday, October 22, 2007



DLSU defeated ADMU 65-60 last Sunday to set up an encounter with UE on Thursday for the UAAP finals. DLSU won only two out of five meetings with ADMU this year – but in crucial and destiny-setting situations. Its DLSU’s victory in third meeting that saved them from unnecessary peril. The team’s mental toughness is legendary as it is unbeatable in twice-to-beat conditions (10 out of 10). It made the finals despite having a so-so lineup not the kind that dominated UAAP in late 90s and early this decade. Their achievement is proof of superior coaching. The team lacks both height and talent – but has the attitude and mental toughness to make up for it. I think it’s their hard work and strong belief in themselves that carried them against ADMU. Another reason for me not to put too much emphasis on stats as it is a historical record in a given time period besides it does not take into account a team’s determination and motivation.
ADMU is a showy and complacent team but a tall and talented one at that. Their underachievement is unbelievable. I reckon the Eagles is more talented and will be more menacing to UE than the Archers. Just look at their frontline Arao, Baclao, and Laterre – they are tall and powerful players that could do a lot of damage to UE. ADMU is on their way to becoming like FEU of Santos-Ysip-Barcellano-Rizada era. The FEU squad powered its way to three championship (including one which was stripped from DLSU) BY DOMINATING THE PAINT –blocking shots and controlling the rebounds (remember the 2003 championship against ADMU?).
UAAP should have given the season sweeper a twice-to-beat advantage in the finals like NCAA. It will take a lot for UE to shrug off rust after 2-week hiatus. Their opponent is well rested and sharp as well. So they entered the Finals immediately so what? It is not as if they won already, there is a possibility they could still lose. The step-ladder playoffs should be quickened if the other teams have to play almost everyday so be it – this should be their punishment for failing to stop a runaway team. Instead UAAP was not too much in a hurry unlike the PBA were the lower seeded teams suffer for their failure to win enough games in the classification. The lower seeded teams were given enough time to relax and thanks to the schedule should be sharper than the no.1 seed that has been collecting dust on the wayside. Building a perfect record in college basketball is a monumental achievement that should be given its due reward.


Will the FIBA rules be introduced IN THE PBA? – September 10, 2007
I HOPE SO. It means the league is 100% committed to regaining Asian basketball supremacy as naïveté in international rules is often one of our weaknesses. If PBA prepares the national team it might as well give its 100%. No more no less. As previous half-hearted preparations only resulted in massive disappointments, I think PBA should learn something by now. I’m joining the clamor (since time immemorial) for our defeats are getting to be unbearable. It’s not fun to see our players getting “outsmarted” as a pro-Jordan hack said in an Asian b-ball website by the opposition. I want the PBA to know this as it might convince them to revert to FIBA rules. If they don’t fine, their players are not the ones who look like clowns abroad. There are indications however that they would. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.
The most famous complaint against FIBA rules is its boring in my opinion though exciting players make exciting league. Team Pilipinas is the most exciting team in the Jones Cup and FIBA rules is being used. It will not stifle the game provided the players themselves play hard every night. Unfortunately I could cite few players who give their hearts out every game Tubid, Cardona, Taulava, Alapag and usually the rookies. The 10-, 15-year veterans at least some of them look like they are dragging themselves on the court – a sorry sight indeed. My hope is with the introduction of FIBA rules I could see more crisp passing and movement on all five offensive players.

PBA is now implementing modified FIBA rules – October 2007. I’m curious what will happen with these new rules will it make PBA exciting or not? My stand is players make exciting league.

My present verdict is – so far so good! October 18, 2007