Tuesday, September 30, 2008



CESAFI All-Stars vs. San Miguel Beermen

In addition to the Manila-based picks, these are the CESAFI players in Toroman's wish list.

Harry Von Lañete,
Chris Diputado
Chad Harlow Villanil
Luther Luke Justiniani
Emel Rowe

Gregory Slaughter
Junmar Fajardo

Other players were not named in the Sunstar report.

These players were invited to attend Toroman's three-day basketball workshop in Manila from which the cagers would get the chance to be selected in the national team pool. I use Cebuano loosely here for some players might be originally from Mindanao or other areas but Cebu-based I hope you don't mind.

I hope we could watch the scrimmages come November. Somebody cover it and upload to Youtube. Please!!!

As much as I would like to watch CESAFI I can't for all college basketball leagues covered are from Manila.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Where do they get these giants (Slaughter is the other one)?

I got intrigued by the name Junmar Fajardo (University of Cebu Webmasters) as his name keeps popping up in news sites. I checked his credentials and boy talk about massive potential. I posted an article about him on the other site as I don't have much time. Coach Rajko Toroman will be going to Cebu soon to scout for more talents and I hope Junmar gets picked for the national pool. The poster in Philstar.com is correct - Toroman will be surprised at the height of the Southern Philippine players.

Wow, Cebu is really producing giants nowadays. I remember when Gregory Slaughter was new people in Youtube began bashing him as overhype and a joke. Now the guy developed into an unstoppable force even winning the MVP award in the CESAFI All-stars. Many doubters became believers. Still the question is when will Fajardo and Slaughter be picked for the national team? The answer I want to hear is either NOW or SOON (as players in Toroman's team).

If these big guys are trained properly, then there'll be no need for a naturalized player in our national team in the future (though we need one in the immediate term).

I'm also interested in 6-4 Emel Rowe the offensive weapon for the University of San Carlos Warriors. I've also heard a lot about this guy. I will feature him soon.


USJR (85) — Amores 16, Justiniani 15, Gudez 15, Ponce 11, Delfino 10, Pogoy 6, Gabas 4, Malinao 2, Villaver 2, Bibera 2, Pateño 2

UC (80) – Fajardo 30, Abella 16, Ramos 11, Quilantang 11, Pao 8, Luceño 4, Mohamad 3

UV (72) – Dennison 22, Lao 11, Diputado 10, Lanete 10, Slaughter 10, Cincoflores 4, Villanil 3

USC (52) – Rowe 11, Bautista 8, Cantonao 8, Padillo 7, Cortes 4, Bakker 4, Joven 4, Llanto 4

Credits: The Freeman

So it will UV and USJR in the CESAFI basketball finals. The best of five series will start on Wednesday at the Cebu Coliseum. Good luck on both teams!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Toroman has no idea yet how basketball politics affect player choices here

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) hired Serbian Rajko Toroman to coach the Philippine national team to the 2012 London Olympics according to an article from the Philippine Star. The contract will take effect on October 15. His job is to handle the non-PBA national team and to assist in the development of local coaches. Coach Toroman will go to Cebu to scout for more talents. So far the opposition hasn't railed the decision at the moment.


Rabeh Al-Hussaini
Nonoy Baclao
Chris Tiu
Ryan Buenafe
Rico Maierhofer
Jayvee Casio
Ogie Menor
Jake Pascual
Mark Sena
John Wilson
Arvie Bringas ( still in high school!)
Kelvin dela Peña

The PBA will stop representing the country after 2010 World Championship. So we will be the only basketball-loving country in the world whose professional league doesn't want to represent their country. I wonder if the NBA and the Euroleague players could represent their country why can't ours? The SBP was forced to use the Northern Cement type of preparation rather than the established norm WORLDWIDE in which a country's best players which are usually in the pro leagues play for their flag because of...you know the reason short-sighted leaders.

Manu Ginobili played for his country in the Olympics despite having an injury. He doesn't have to be told what to do. He knows his duty. The San Antonio Spurs tried to dissuade him but couldn't. In fact, it's a no-brainer for Ginobili. If he could play he will play for his flag.

I think the PBA should change its name to EBA (Entertainers Basketball Association) after 2010. What's the use of this league anyway? Yes to entertain! Then, they should stop using the country's name since they are already set on turning their backs away from representing this proud nation.

There are people who actually believe it's not the PBA's job to represent the country. With thinking such as this, no wonder our country's in the dumps.

The biggest problem now is how to keep these talented amateurs from turning pro and earn millions. Coach Toroman wanted Kevin De La Pena but the guy's is already with the Alaska Aces in the PBA so one talented player lost already because of this inane set-up. The players will sign a contract with SBP to continue their national service even when they are in the professional league. But what about the late bloomers (players who prospered later in the professional league but was missed out by SBP)? What should we do with these players? Just imagine if they could be the missing piece of our national team but can't play because they weren't part of the SBP pool of players?

So I have one more reason not to watch the PBA. I mean why would I watch a league which doesn't even want to be bothered representing the country? They know how important basketball is to the Filipino people but the league can't even share the players!

I'm sorry to the people involved in the PBA. I'm just airing out my grievances to this cold-hearted stance I hope you understand.

I do wish the next leader of the league has more sense of responsibility towards the country like Mr. Eala was. I love the PBA more back when he was Commissioner. He communicated to the Filipino people that the PBA cared about the country's honor. It was well-received. After the Tokushima stint and all the Team Pilipinas players were back to their mother teams the league experienced an upsurge in attendance because of their heroic performance in the FIBA-Asia tournament. Know we know Alapag, Helterbrand and Raymundo etc. are world-class players. I salute Mr. Eala. Thank you sir!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Not Yet Final. Guiao's Wish List

Team Pilipinas previous games highlights

Here are some of the players Coach Yeng is seriously considering to include in the national team:

Mark Caguioa
Jayjay Helterbrand
Jimmy Alapag
Kelly Williams
Gabe Norwood
Willie Miller
James Yap
Cyrus Baguio
Ryan Reyes
Japeth Aguilar
Asi Taulava
Mick Pennisi
PLUS a naturalized player

Only one naturalized player is allowed per team (FIBA rules).

So far the reaction from fans (Philstar comments section and interbasket) was lukewarm esp. on Taulava and Pennisi because of their ages (35 and 33 years old respectively). Like most Team Pilipinas fans, I'm wondering when will the powers-that-be in Philippine basketball use Gregory Slaughter (the real big man from Cebu)? I think the guy needs to get the experience now. How about that super rookie Ryan Buenafe? I agree with most fans' assessment that our team's a bit old.

According to the Philstar report, Coach Yeng will finalize the line-up after the PBA Philippine Cup (however the pool will already be in place before the said tournament will end).

There are bound to be changes in the line up as this is not final yet. I do hope Coach Yeng bring along Arwind Santos and Lourdy Tugade.

By the way, since there are no reports to the contrary it must mean Coach Yeng Guiao is still the coach of Red Bull. What? I thought lessons were already learned about hiring a part-time national coach. Oh well...

When are they going to start training? We all know time is of the essence.

"We’ll begin once I realize that this is not a dream," Guiao said in an interview with GMA News.

Friday, September 26, 2008


It's about time!

Yeng Guiao in a Press Conference

Yeng Guiao was appointed as the Philippine national team coach yesterday according to a report from the Philippine Star. His main responsibility is to guide the country in qualifying for the 2010 World Championship in Turkey. He knows the formidability of the task at hand but is willing to take it.

“I’m nervous at this point because I know the task is daunting, the responsibility great. I accept it wholeheartedly. It’s a big decision by the commissioner. I don’t want to disappoint him and the country in general in terms of putting up a good performance,” Guiao told the Philippine Star.

Coach Yeng already has a firm vision of his team in mind preferring "quick running team which can shoot and defend well".

I like Coach Yeng's style anyway. He prefers to stick to the system rather than rely on star players and has led his Red Bull team to semifinals appearance in the process. I'm glad the decision came more swiftly than I expected (after the recent hulaballo). Of course, some observers (in Gameface.ph) see this appointment as a way to appease the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines which strongly opposes foreign coaches. Some howls of frustration were expressed as the national team players will adjust to a new system again. Some people objected Guiao's selection because of his inexperience in international play (see comments below the source Philstar article). To counteract this, he asked the PBA Commissioner to form an advisory panel composed of former national coaches. Hopefully, it will materialize as he needs all the help he could get.

Congratulations Coach Yeng Guiao!

I'm looking forward to his lineup. Unlike previous coaches, he will do away with tedious tryouts and will choose players able and willing to serve the country.

It would be an awkward moment when he and Dondon Hontiveros meet again if he picks the latter to the national team hehe...(he got entangled with Dondon during a PBA game months ago).

Flashback - Yeng Guiao was a strong contender to coach Team Pilipinas in 2005 but was beaten by Chot Reyes' detailed plan for the national team.

I prefer a foreign coach to handle Team Pilipinas now but the responsibility of forming the national team rests on the PBA which of course will select its own.

Thursday, September 11, 2008



yeah, it's him - the small guy who dunked

Ryan Wetherell is a Filipino-Canadian from Calgary, Alberta. He originally favored hockey but after seeing Space Jam moved to basketball. His basketball skills didn't go unnoticed in his home country as there were two Canadian university teams after him but decided to play in the United States with the University of Southern California Trojans squad.

Our national team needs big men preferably 7 feet and above. Unfortunately, he is only 5-10 and will compete with other talented small Filipino guards if ever he decides to come here. By the way this is the article about Wetherell on the Trojans website:

He's the perfect walk-on. At least that's what USC men's basketball coach Tim Floyd thinks.

"I hate to use that term, because I don't refer to him as a walk-on - I consider him a scholarship guy," Floyd said. "We ask him to do everything everybody else does. I've got all the confidence in him as a player - he just hasn't had much of an opportunity. Had we been able to give him a bunch of minutes early in the year, we'd be reliant on him right now for some minutes during games."

He's Ryan Wetherell, the 5-foot-10 Canadian half-Filipino walk-on. His name is Wetherell, but it might as well be "weather all" - he's been through it all, and he's weathered it well.

In addition, his stats don't inspire confidence. Here are his stats courtesy of Yahoo which pegged Wetherell's height at 5-11. The national team needs an excellent point guard in the mold of Jimmy Alapag and Jayjay Helterbrand.

Coach Eric Altamirano on so-called prospects:

When looking for prospects, we must remember to verify if the player indeed has Filipino roots. Interview the parents or immediate relatives to trace the roots of the player. Do some extra research on the Filipino community they live in. Even in today’s international basketball scene, where naturalized players abound, this corner believes that a drop of blood is very important, meaning the Filipino lineage. Determine if the said player is deeply rooted in Filipino values. Sadly, some of Filipinos abroad lose not only their nationally but the values and traditions that go with it. I truly believe the player who’s playing for the country should have an understanding of what his mother country stands for. Lack of such discernment could mean half-hearted effort .

For Full Story

Coach's right, it's not enough that they have Filipino blood. They should show interest and commitment to play for the national team.

Credits: Gresan Cadao tip

Saturday, September 6, 2008



Gregory Slaughter - the Giant Guy from University of the Visayas

Watch the training pool of the RP Youth Team in action. This is for the NCR region. Tryouts were also conducted nationwide in an effort to find the best of the best young cagers in the country. It is in preparation for the Southeast Asian Under 16 Championship next year. I'll keep you posted, my readers.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Wins final match

Philippines won its final game against Lebanon 74 - 63 to finish seventh in the FIBA-Asia Under 18 Championship (assuming it is really an under 18 tournament with overage looking players abound). Great job by our boys! Better than the seniors who got 9th place last year.

4-Ryan Roose Garcia 178 cm G
5-Joseph Laslee Terso 178 cm G
6-Ian Paul Sangalang 200 cm C/F
7-Matthew Wright 188 cm G/F
8-Jaypee Mendoza 191 cm F
9-Samuel Joseph Marata 188 cm G/F
10-Frank Golla Jr. 193 cm C/F
11-Mark Joel De Guzman 183 cm G
12-Joseph Emmanuel Tolentino 182 cm G
13-Philip Paredes 196 cm C/F
14-Norberto Brian Torres 200 cm C
15-Gabriel Banal 190 cm F

Members of Team PILIPINAS.


An air of warmth and familiarity filled the Azadi stadium as the RP and Lebanese Youth squads went through their pre-game drills. Gab Banal and Ahmad Ibrahim even threw their arms over each others’ shoulder and laughed as they talked like two buddies planning a night out.But when horn signaled the call of battle, friendships were put aside and the two armies collided with such ferocity that no one could predict who would prevail in the end and be declared 7th...



The score is 74 - 63 not 74-63

TEHRAN (FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Men): China pulled away from a level position in the third quarter to beat Korea 106-97 and bag the fifth position on Friday.

Incidentally, China and Korea had played for the title two years ago at Urumqi.

Philippines overcame initial hiccups to beat Lebanon 74-73 for the seventh place.


7th place play-off

Philippines 74 (Mark De Guzman 15, Matthew Wright 11, Jaypee Mendoza 10) bt Lebanon 63 (Ahmad Ibrahim 14, Hassan Maatouk 10, Raph Akl 10). Quarterwise Scores: 17-18, 40-34, 52-48.

S Mageshwaran

corroborated by this post at Interbasket

maybe he should have added overs while he is at it!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Team Pilipinas still have to fight on!

7:43 pm MST - Just in, China defeated the Philippines in the 5th place classification match today 86-63 according to the website Iranbasketball.org. More details will be presented later.

The boys gave a good account of themselves in this tournament. I hope they forget this loss and continue to fight on. If my sources are correct, they have to battle Lebanon tomorrow for 7th place due to today's loss. Any team from this bracket which would come out unbeaten will get 5th place. Our team will finish no higher than seventh if we win the two remaining matches.

Not much was expected from these boys but they played with their hearts out and should have finished higher. On the other hand, China blew their opportunity to defend their crown - no thanks to their baby coach with childish tantrums!LOL. What the coach needed was a little restraint since he has a strong team anyway. China could still beat Syria and in fact leading before the infamous walkout.

Korea defeated Lebanon 93 - 72 in another classification match. Team Pilipinas will still meet these two teams again if my analysis is correct.



Mohammad Hassanzadeh (player): we played very bad, we underrate philippines, and i am so sorry

Mohammad Jamshidi (player): we lost to our mistakes, but no problem, this match is not important

Pouria Kazemi (player): we underrated philippines and we lost to their speed.

Nebojsa Raicevic (Iran's coach): this match is not important, but we tried to win, today i must rested some players, our best player Emad Salmani is injured and i couldnt use him.

Philippines coach: amazing match , we played very well, we show our class , Iran is a very strong team , i am sure they will win the tournament.

Not the comments you would expect from a team playing in a "game that is not important", aren't they?

the fact that Iran's top guns played limited minutes is Iran's problem, not ours because they are the one who had an "L" in their win-loss record.

Bottomline: We played with our best, therefore we deserved to win.

Comment from Philstar.com

It was so easy for some pseudo-basketball writer from FIBA-Asia to say the other team didn't take it seriously. He didn't even interview the players - just stick to Cricket!!!

I agree we deserved to win. Victories are reserved to those who want it the most and to think away the credit from our boys is, dishonesty!

Team Pilipinas will meet China in 5th-6th place classification. China got booted out of the semifinals because of the childish boycott their coach instigated in the match against Syria. It got no points from the ill-advised caper. FIBA awards two points for a win and one point for a loss. Why FIBA awards points for losing is beyond me!

The consolation bracket the Philippines are playing in also has CHINA, KOREA and LEBANON – strangely, the Gold medallist, Silver medallist and bronze of the last tournament! In that order.China is in it because they “walked out” in protest over their game with Syria in the Quarter Finals thus suffering the penalty of getting 0 points on a three-way tie. Korea is in it because they lost to Iran and Japan. Lebanon is in it because.. well...they lost to China and Kazahkstan. We are in it because in the whole tournament... we’re the only ones who have beaten the top seeded team – Iran who may eventually... become tournament champions.The talk going around is that Iran cannot claim to be the best team here because they never got to play China. And China claims it can beat Iran. If we beat China tomorrow, which we’ve already done recently,We have the strange honor of claiming that we are the unqualified “best team” in Asia...for full story

HAHAHA! Not all best team gets to win the competition remember Holland in World Cup 1974 and 1978. China may fire the coach then.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008



Philippines squeaked past Iran 85 - 84 in Group 2 of FIBA-Asia Under 18 Championship. It actually should have been 88 - 84 but the notoriously partisan or blind FIBA referees didn't see any goaltending violation from RR Garcia's shot. Fortunately this is a no-bearing game but the host will probably win the tournament as referee support, I mean hometown support is intense and could push them through.

The coaching staff was quick to notice that after only one minute of play, the scoreboard indicated that # 15 Gabriel Banal already had one foul to his credit – even if he hasn’t set foot on the court yet. That glitch was corrected.

Not even disgraced former NBA referee Donaghy can do that LOL!!!

Despite the Cricket / FIBA reporter's downplaying the boys' achievement, the host Iran gave a good fight. Here's the first-hand account of the Team Pilipinas' heroic struggle, courtesy of rpyouth.com:

The 4th quarter was a fitting finale. Down by 10 points 54-64 with 7 minutes of play left, The RP Youth were like wolves onto the smell of blood. They stalked their Iranian prey relentlessly exchanging baskets, running the fastbreaks, and when the opportunity to strike came up, RR Garcia hit two consecutive 3 pointers and Mark de Guzman converted on his own steal to bring the Philippines breathtakingly close 62-64 with 2:01 seconds remaining. De Guzman stole the scene again by hitting a 3-pointer and hussling on the inbound to effect a steal and a no-look assist to Matt Wright who finished it off with a layup 76-79. Frank Golla also came to town with a power drive that drew a foul. He converted both freethrows to bring Iran’s lead down to 1 point 81-82 with 29 seconds remaining. This is where we pick up the scene described at our article’s start. After Garcia’s phenomenal shots, a foul was called on Iran’s # 9 Jamshidi as he pulled on Marata’s shirt at inbound with 6 seconds left. Garcia went to the line to take the penalty shots but Iran protested and demanded that Marata should be the one. Marata sank both freethrows hitting “nothing but net” amidst the ear-shattering roar of the Iranian crowd.

Great job boys! The boys showed a lot of heart and courage! They are way better than the PBA squad which faltered against Iran one year ago in FIBA-Asia Championship for men. Coach Franz Pumaren is a genius with a unique ability to imbibe mental toughness on his players (his DLSU team is known to overachieve due to their mental strength and massive self-belief). He is truly the right coach for the youth team. The lessons he gave to his boys are valuable esp. when they represent the senior team in the future.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Japan wins 86 - 78 over the Nationals

Japan U18 cruised past Philippines U18 in Day 5 of FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Men. Taking the full control of the game the team overcame Philippines U18 86:78. Yusoke Karino paced all the winners with 25 points. Makoto Hiejima netted 22, Kaito Ishikawa scored 14 and Daichi Taniguchi added 12. Norberto Torres top-scored in defeat with 24 points. Matthew Wright ended up with 17 and Joseph Tolentino posted 11. The winners kept their hopes of making the semifinals for the first time in a decade. Japan, now need a win against Korea, to make the last four grade.

For Full Story

FYI, Buenafe and Salva were invited to the RP Youth try out, and they did attend initial practices. However, from the grapevine Ateneo discouraged them from joining the RP team by dangling offers very hard to refuse. Why are they playing for Ateneo and not for the flag? Ask the people behind it. Their loyalty to the Philippine flag is next to their loyalty to the school flag. Not surprising though for Black who is not really brown.

Comment from Philstar

If the allegation is true, Ryan Buenafe would have been a massive help for our national cause. Despite being a rookie in the UAAP, Buenafe played very well this season, I will not be surprised if he made the Under 18 team. It's just too bad there were other concerns which prevented this talented player from representing the country. To think some schools preach about love of country and nationalism but can't walk the talk. I hope they stop lecturing when they can't make the sacrifice themselves.

This month would have been perfect for the Seniors National Team to start organizing for next year's FIBA-Asia championship for men (September 1-9 according to Wikipedia). I think its time to buckle up and work. One of the excuses routinely presented by losing Team Pilipinas' batches is lack of preparation. No official word yet from the PBA (which I reckon isn't too excited about participating in FIBA competitions) about the national team coach and the Commissioner is taking his sweet time. Other national teams don't have problem with team work for the players know each other since they were in the youth team. The Nationals don't have that luxury. In addition PBA players are hardheaded, I mean unfamiliar with FIBA rules which make them look like amateurs when playing abroad. The National team really needs a long time to correct those issues. I think Asia is alloted three places for the FIBA World Championship 2010 so a third place finish is enough to book a place in Turkey. Can Team Pilipinas do it? OF COURSE, if they take preparations seriously - as in start now. Experience tells us even a six-to-nine month of training isn't enough but what could we do? It would nice for our team to train continuously (after the debacle last year) even for once-a-week however due to many issues it didn't materialize.

The PBA just wants out of the National team - it would have been better if Noli Eala was still Commissioner. Noli understood the importance of basketball to the Filipinos and wanted the PBA to always represent the country since the best players are there. He also knows it would be good for the league if the national team plays well too.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Philippines lose

Philippines lost to Korea 98-80. By the way, the writer in FIBA-Asia should just stick to Cricket. His write-ups are absurd.

Chinese coach Li Chunjiang went berserk. He protested so much for what he perceived as dubious call against him (he received a technical foul with 6:13 left of the third quarter with China leading 46 - 41). Li led the walkout of his team. The match commissioner tried to pacify and bring back the Chinese squad but they adamantly refused to return. The referee forfeited the call in favor of the Syrians with a 20-0 scoreline. This is the alleged problem with Asian sports in general - too many shady activities - happening off the court. Some experts say this will persist for a long time. I wonder how many players participating in this tournament are really under 18 years of age.

Here is another view of the episode:

My guess is that the closeness of the score of this game had something to do with the refereeing being biased in favor of the Syrians.

The rivalry between West Asians and East Asians appears to be reflected in calls by referees, which is why I felt that Iran would win this tourney just as China easily won the last junior tourney when it played at home.

Is this just simple bias? Are payoffs involved? Who trained these referees? Donaghy?
You know what? These countries receiving perceived help from the referees are also notorious whiners and complainers because maybe they know what's happening behind the scenes and don't want to be the recipients of it.