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The Week That Was Season 4: Week 4 (July 20-26)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

We have a special edition of TWTW for this week. For this edition, we have a story from the ladies' side of the hardwood and a monumental moment in the high school ranks.

5. Start of a Miracle Run?

We kick off things from the UAAP Women's Basketball Tournament as the Ateneo Lady Eagles were off to a surprising start. The Lady Eagles, who were dead last last year, opened the season with two straight wins behind Danica Jose. The graduating Ateneo player had 18 points and eight rebounds against UP, while she completed a double-double of 22 and 13 against FEU. The early run by Ateneo, however, came to a heartbreaking end as UST dealt the team a 55-54 loss. Still, I remain optimistic that the Lady Eagles might make the Final Four.

4. The Dream Run Continues for Lyceum...

On the other hand, the miracle run of Lyceum continues with a 73-67 win against EAC in the NCAA. Dexter Zamora provided the endgame heroics for the Pirates, who are now in third place after Perpetual Help's loss to Arellano, with the game-winning layup and the game-saving rebound. With San Beda expected to finish first, the battle for second place sizzles.

3. ...And So Does Arellano's

Meanwhile, Arellano soars to second place in the NCAA after wins against San Sebastian and Perpetual. Leading the charge this past week is Gio Jalalon (Update as of July 28: He was recently named the Player of the Week). How about a Mark Barroca-like 21-point, 13-rebound, and seven-steal performance against the Stags? Now at second place below the only team that gave the Chiefs a loss, San Beda, Arellano is making a more serious run for the Final Four.

2. End of a Miracle Run

Back in the UAAP, the Ateneo Blue Eagles' own dream run got halted by NU to end the week. The buzzer-beating story had the Bulldogs trouncing the Blue Eagles, 64-60. Kiefer Ravena, who was hot in his first three games, went ice-cold in this one as he only made 13 points on 3/20 shooting. Another intriguing stat: Kiefer was 0/7 from deep. Regardless of the outcome, however, I would have Ateneo in this week's TWTW as the team actually played in each of the three playdates this past week. Ateneo's week started with a 97-86 beating of La Salle on Sunday. It followed with an 86-75 win against UP on Wednesday. And then, the loss against NU. The busy week, for me, was enough to put the Blue Eagles on top of my Power Rankings (more below). However, the Saturday loss against NU leaves UE, which had a week-off, as the only unbeaten team left in the UAAP. Up next for the Red Warriors, however, are no less than the defending champions, the De La Salle Green Archers, who finally made the winning column last Wednesday against, curiously, the Bulldogs, on Sunday.

McLaude Gaudana just can't hold back his
tears as Coach L.A. Mumar peps him up
after Lyceum High School finally won in the
NCAA Juniors. Anthony Servinio
1. A Breakthrough Win for Lyceum High

The top story of the week, however, came in the NCAA Juniors. Lyceum-Cavite High School finally notched a win in the NCAA prep wars after trouncing ICA, 59-57, in the Cavite Derby. Jun Cecilio scored the marginal basket for the Junior Pirates, who has shown improvement as their stint in the NCAA went on. From a team who once got bludgeoned by 157 points, Lyceum High has now pushed the likes of Letran High, JRU High, and Malayan High, all Final Four contenders this year, to the limit. About the team that gave the Junior Pirates that humiliating triple-digit losing margin? San Beda High, NCAA and Palarong Pambansa champ and all, only won by 25 against Lyceum High. The nastiest loss of the Junior Pirates so far was a 29-point beating by another surprising team, the Arellano University High School Braves. Anthony Servinio has more of Lyceum High's historic win. You can view it here.

NCAA Power Rankings Week 4

Rise of the Week: Arellano (+4)
Fall of the Week: Perpetual Help (-4)

1. Arellano (5-1; 2-0 this week)
2. San Beda (5-0; 1-0 this week)
3. Lyceum (4-2; 1-0 this week)
4. JRU (3-3; 1-0 this week)
5. San Sebastian (3-2; 0-1 this week)
6. Perpetual Help (3-2; 0-2 this week)
7. CSB (2-3; 2-0 this week)
8. Letran (1-4; 0-1 this week)
9. EAC (1-4; 0-2 this week)
10. Mapua (0-6; 0-1 this week)

UAAP Power Rankings Week 2

Rise of the Week: Ateneo (+3)
Fall of the Week: FEU (-5)

1. Ateneo (3-1; 2-1 this week)
2. NU (3-1; 1-1 this week)
3. UST (2-1; 2-0 this week)
4. UE (2-0; took a week-off)
5. La Salle (1-2; 1-1 this week)
6. FEU (1-1; 0-1 this week)
7. Adamson (0-3; 0-1 this week)
8. UP (0-3; 0-1 this week)


Some Reasons Why Kaya vs. Global is the UFL's "Clasico"

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why does the Kaya-Global derby make waves? Here are some reasons why.
Fox Sports (file photo)
If you are going to ask, "What is the real Manila Clasico?", you may get different answers. For many PBA fans, it's San Mig Coffee vs. Ginebra. For some others, especially those who were alive during the basketball league's primitive days in the 70's, it's Crispa vs. Toyota. For UAAP fans (and maybe other college sports fans too), it's Ateneo vs. La Salle. For NCAA fans, it's San Beda vs. Letran or EAC vs. Arellano if you date back to their days in the NCRAA. But many UFL fans would agree with me if I say that soccer-wise, the Manila Clasico would be Kaya vs. Global. With the two clubs battling in the UFL-Football Alliance Charity Cup Final on Saturday, I list down some reasons why this derby has spiced up the Philippines' top-tier soccer war.

1. Legacy

Kaya is one of the pioneering clubs of the UFL in 2003 (yes, the league has been in the mix for 11 years now). In fact, the club won the first two league seasons and is currently the winningest franchise of the league after winning its third in 2009. Global, on the other hand, went hot just as the league went mainstream in 2011 thanks to the rise of the Azkals. Global, composed mainly of national team players, won two UFL crowns in a span of three years including this year's championship.

2. Azkal Caps

Speaking of the national team, while the more popular members of the Azkals, i.e., the Younghusband Brothers, are on another club, the arguably top players of the Nationals are on either Kaya or Global. In fact, six players from each of the two clubs were chosen to join the pool that competed in the AFC Challenge Cup, where the Azkals finished second. Good thing the Coach Tom Dooley also looked at other clubs to bolster his roster, giving the likes of Stallion's Balut Doctora and Simone Rota national team appearances.

I almost forgot. Once upon a time, Global, whose owner Dan Palami also bankrolls the Azkals, were almost made up of Azkals players. On the other hand, Kaya has longtime national team skipper Aly Borromeo in it.

3. Memorable Meetings

What's a derby without wild battles? Remember Kaya's comeback from 0-2 down to spoil Global's last chance of stealing the 2013 title from Stallion? Or how about that 1-1 draw capped by Aly's first goal since returning from an ACL injury? Or maybe the entire 2012 UFL championship that boiled down to the final night (actually, both Kaya and Global faced separate opponents on that night, but seeing archrivals fighting for the silverware is fun to watch)?

4. Fans

The clubs' respective fan bases are somewhat different in characteristics. (Most of the) Mainstream soccer fans support Global, but (at least many of the) hardcore soccer fans support Kaya. Global calls itself "The People's Club" partly because many of its members are or were Azkals players, which most of the soccer fans right now are familiar with. But some can say that Kaya can also be called the "People's Club" thanks to how spirited its fans are, especially this special group of guys called "Ultras Kaya". You can see them chant and cheer out loud for the entire Kaya match, and even the other spectators get energized every time they hear them. While Kaya has the Ultras, Global has the "Force". The Global Force also does its job of making sounds to pump up Global. By the way, Ultras Kaya makes up majority of Ultras Filipinas, while the Global Force makes many of the members of the Kaholeros, both the official boosters of the Azkals. BTW, Global vs. Kaya games have been blockbusters attendance-wise.

There are still more reasons why Kaya vs. Global is arguably the best rivalry in the UFL right now. I don't know about you, but I can say that the Kaya-Global derby is indeed the UFL's version of the Manila Clasico.


Newbie Gaming: The Reason Behind the Cancellation

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Many still wonder why the Gilas' Last Home Stand featuring Gilas, of course, and a selection of NBA players was canceled at the last moment. The only thing they knew is that the NBA reportedly warned the likes of DeMar DeRozan and James Harden of possible sanctions if they push through with battling Gilas in a non-sanctioned game. It turns out, the league's warning is a legit one.

The reprieve is because of a certain part of the NBA's current Collective Bargaining Agreement which regulates what we call as "ligang labas". Article 23 of the CBA talks about off-season events. Let's look at some of the key points of the clause.

Section 1 is about exhibition games, and...

"Subject to the provisions of Paragraph 2 of the Uniform Player Contract (or the Services Clause of the UPC), players shall be required to participate in exhibition games between an NBA team and a non-member of the NBA at any location, within or outside the United States, subject to the following conditions:

a. The NBA shall supervise the arrangements made with respect to tournaments or series conducted outside the United States and the accommodations provided to NBA players participating in such foreign tournaments or series.

b. The NBA shall use its best efforts to establish an exhibition game schedule pursuant to which excessive travel will be avoided and reasonable periods of time between games will be allotted.

c. In any year in which it is played, the annual Basketball Hall of Fame Exhibition Game shall be considered as one of the eight exhibition games prior to the regular season referred to in Paragraph 2 (specifically Part D) of the Uniform Player Contract."

So, the NBA can allow its players to play in a non-NBA event as long as the league also gets a hands-on participation in the said event, whether it is played during the regular season, like the HOF Game, or the off-season, like the canceled Last Home Stand.

Speaking of off-season events, Section 3 is all about those. Part A is a clincher on why the GLHS was called off, and it says...

"a. No player may play in any public off-season basketball game, summer league, or public exhibition or competition of basketball skills (e.g., a slam dunk contest or a “tour” organized by an NBA business partner) (each a “basketball event”) unless such basketball event is approved in writing by the NBA for NBA player participation and complies with the terms and conditions of this Section 3...."

Earlier this month, the NBA organized the NBA 3X tournament in different locations in Pasay City with DeRozan and Wesley Johnson as two of the guests. Harden graced last year's edition, with him returning a few months later in another NBA-organized event, the NBA Global Games. Since both were league-sanctioned, the NBA did the job in making the games possible.

However, since GLHS was not NBA-sanctioned, it still needed the NBA approval, which, as you all know, did not come. Continuing Part A...

"...The NBA will consider an off-season basketball event for approval only if a request for such approval is submitted in writing to the NBA, and only if the arrangements made with respect to any such off-season basketball event are confirmed in writing to the NBA and satisfy the following requirements, in addition to such other reasonable requirements as the NBA may impose:

i. General Requirements

(1) The basketball event takes place on or after July 1, but in no event later than September 15 (or, in the case of a summer league, September 1);

(2) Prior to the basketball event, each participating player receives the express written consent of his Team to participate in the basketball event;

(3) The person(s) organizing the basketball event obtains disability insurance for the benefit of each participating player’s team, in an amount acceptable to the NBA (provided, however, that this requirement shall not apply to summer leagues); and

(4) The names and logos of the NBA and/or any NBA team are not used or referred to in connection with the basketball event, unless the NBA provides express written authorization for such use."

There's another off-season non-NBA event featuring an NBA star that took place recently, the Master Game Face Challenge with Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love, and apparently, Unilever met all these requirements, giving Love the green light to even participate in two side events.

About charity events, like GLHS, the NBA gives additional requirements:

"ii. Additional Charitable Game Requirements. The NBA will consider an off-season charitable game for approval only if, in addition to the general requirements set forth in Section 3.a.i above and such other reasonable requirements as the NBA may impose, the arrangements made with respect to such charitable game also satisfy the following:

(1) The Players Association approves the game (which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld);

(2) All proceeds from the sale of tickets to the game are used for charitable purposes;

(3) The game is officiated by NBA referees assigned by the NBA to officiate the game. The person or entity organizing the game will be responsible for paying the officiating fees and the actual expenses incurred for the referees’ lodging and transportation to and from the referees’ homes to the site of the game."

I did not see an NBA referee in GLHS. This alone killed the request of East-West.

"(4) There is at least one NBA team trainer and at least one physician present at the game;

(5) The name or likeness of an NBA player is not used, or referred to, in advertisements or promotions for or related to the game, except that if the organizer of the game is an NBA player, such organizer-player’s name or likeness may be used, or referred to, in such advertisements or promotions;

(6) Only current or former professional basketball players participate in the game."

Gilas composed of current pro players. Still, the third requirement suffices the denial.

"(7) The game is not accompanied by an exhibition or competition of basketball skills (such as a slam dunk contest), unless such exhibition or competition has been separately approved in writing by the NBA and the Players Association;

(8) Participating players are not paid or compensated (in excess of per diem and actual reasonable expenses incurred in traveling to and participating in the game);

(9) The organizer guarantees that the game will produce at least $100,000 for charity, and, if directed by the NBA and the Players Association, the organizer (or a third party if the organizer itself is a charity) posts security for such amount in a form satisfactory to the NBA and the Players Association which grants the NBA and/or the Players Association the right to sue to recover such amount for the benefit of the charity;

(10) The game is played in the United States or Canada."

The supposed game was slated to be played outside North America, so, "Denied."

"(11) The organizer agrees to provide the NBA and the Players Association with an audited statement of revenues and expenses, in a form acceptable to the NBA and the Players Association, within sixty (60) days following the game."

This requirement will now never happen because the event's already canceled.

Additional Note: The predecessor of GLHS, the Smart All-Star Weekend in 2011 featuring Harden, Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, and some others took place because the past CBA expired, i.e., the NBA was on a lockout, giving them green light to participate in non-NBA events without getting sanctioned. The lockout ended after the current CBA was approved by both the league and the Players' Association.

The entirety of Article 23 and the rest of the current CBA can be found here.


My Take on the Canceled Gilas Last Home Stand Event

The supposed Gilas Last Home Stand charity event featuring the Gilas Pilipinas and a selection of NBA players, some included in the USA Basketball pool being groomed for the FIBA World Cup next month, was canceled due to an apparent contract problem with the American players (more on that on Newbie Gaming).

Well, I actually got an invite for an Adidas event with Damian Lillard, one of the NBA stars in the Fibr All-Stars in the charity event. But because of the cancellation of the Last Home Stand, the Adidas event was canceled too. Now, the finger-pointing continues on who's to blame for the failed event.

I admit that it was a total turnoff. I also admit, though, that I was expecting a game and not an open workout. I had been to a Gilas open workout twice this year (and they were for free), so I understand those who got disgusted after finding themselves paying up to PHP23,000 only to see a drill session instead of a scrimmage.

However, I can't blame PLDT for this. After all, the company did not advertise a game. But the company can't blame us for assuming a game would take place.

That leads me to another factor here: the NBA "ban" on Lillard and co. The current league's CBA disallows its players from participating in what the NBA would consider as "ligang labas" unless proper requirements are met (again, more on Newbie Gaming). Kyle Lowry, another of the players tapped for the event, admitted that the NBA told them that fines and suspensions could be slapped against them if they pushed through with the games. But I can't blame the NBA, because rules are rules.

So the pressure is now on the organizing team. Maria Espaldon, the head of the East-West LLC, the one behind the Last Home Stand, admitted to Snow Badua of Spin that a request for the NBA to allow Lillard, Lowry, and the rest of the invited guests to play was actually made as early as April but was turned down by the league (Update: The NBA released a statement saying that East-West did not meet the proper requirements to get the exemption it needed, contrary to Espaldon's statement that all the requirements were met).

So, if the NBA has already said no to the request, then why still push through with the event? To make things worse, promotions for the event started by around June, two months after the request was denied. To cut the long story short, Manny Pangilinan thought everything was settled until the supposed gameday came. So yes, I think East-West is at fault here.

In the end, however, this is not the time to continually remind East-West of its mistake. The damage has been inflicted, but the past is past. Let's move on and continue to support Gilas, the PBA, and the NBA.


Garvo Lanete Shoots Back Shot from Halfcourt!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

If you're looking for someone to play a game of H.O.R.S.E., you might be in trouble if you will tap Garvo Lanete. The former San Beda Red Lion and current Gilas cadet threw a halfcourt shot backwards that went in, not even using the glass. Gilas teammate Jared Dillinger recorded the shot. Check it out here.
You know you're having a good day when...... #6kdownthedrain #imsorryguys #GilasPilipinas #gopro #PlsWatch from Garvo Lanete on Vimeo.

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