Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, August 31, 2015

(Ideas) On defending the dribble-drive offense

On defending the dribble-drive offense
by rick olivares

While watching Taiwan play the Philippines last night in the William Jones Cup opener, I thought that they were in shambles defensively. I don't think they are too disciplined defensively and rely on their bigs like Quincy Jones and Tsing Wen-Ting to crowd the lane. They had moments but I thought their huge third period rally was also due to poor execution by the Philippines.

The offense is a thinking man's game and you need smart players to run it. To defend it, you need to even be smarter.

How does one defend the dribble-drive offense especially one run by the best point guard in Asia -- Jayson Castro?

First of all, these are ideas and not hard and fast rules by a coach. I have been doing my own studying of the game (watching a lot of games and practices of teams who run this). These are merely my observations.

You apply a lot of pressure on the ball handler. Make him cough up that ball and use up a lot of that shot clock count. To do that you need someone with the speed, size and strength to match up against Castro. I don't think Taiwan had that.

If you can be physical as what the referees will allow, do so. Bump here and there but not too much. Just enough to throw the opposing guard off his rhythm.

Defensive players have to switch off on every hand off and provide help defense. Every player must recognize not only where his man is but also the movement of opposing players. The idea of the dribble drive is to attack, create space, and find the open man. 

Play some zone. A 2-3 zone maybe even a 3-2 zone with the perimeter moving around like a shield will provide immediate protection from the drive.

When the ball is swung to one side, try to pressure the offensive team into keeping the ball there as opposed to moving it around. As the shot clock winds down, they will probably not take the best shot available. 

Having a very good rim protector helps too. Some one like Hamed Haddadi. 

Of course, it is all easier said that done. Am curious how Korea will play the Philippines knowing what they know.



On the Philippines' win over Taiwan

The Gilas Pilipinas "kids" are all right

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The Gilas “kids” are all right
by rick olivares

Pardon cribbing the title classic song from the Who but it is most apt. 

The 77-69 win by the Philippines over Taiwan to open their William Jones Cup campaign is massive.

Why? Because this is a team in transition. It wasn’t pretty but there are seldom pretty games. You do not learn much from blowouts. Games like Taiwan are where teams learn and build character. You hear coaches and players say that a lot but it is what it is. And teams, especially one that is undergoing manpower changes, need to play in big games. Forget the losses in their exhibition games. You’d rather lose those than the ones that really count.

And you have to give credit to Taiwan… they’ve got a good team. They aren’t the most athletic but they’re good.

Here are my first-game impressions.

The “kids” stood tall
Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva literally made massive impacts. 

Terrence finished with a team-high 18 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 steals. Abueva on the other hand finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block that went uncredited. We had some bad calls and we were even robbed of some stats.

Both provided hustle, firepower, and swagger. As I Tweeted, Taiwan and everyone else have not seen anyone like Calvin… small by international standards but terrible in more ways than one. I love the swagger. That tip of his away from the basket — that was sweet. The sort of playground move that he perfected as a youngster in Pampanga. 

I’ll say this though for Calvin… when he gets that ball you can’t wait to see what he will do with it. That’s a compliment that I reserve for the likes of Jayson Castro. What a talent.

Moala Tautuaa had a creditable outing. He was obviously getting his baptism of fire in a competition like this and he will no doubt perform better. Some of the fouls called against him are at most contestable. But that is international basketball for you. Tautuaa finished with 4 points and 9 rebounds.

The Philippines races to a 47-31 halftime lead with their offense and defense clicking. Taiwan responded in the third period by being aggressive and with Quincy Davis owning the lane. They levelled the count at 54-all that had their crowd rocking. Now this is what I liked the best — the Filipinos' response to the rally with Abueva and Romeo attacking the basket and big shots by Jayson Castro.

Grade: A

The best point guard in Asia lived up to his billing
16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 5 steals. None bigger than snatching away Taiwan’s last gasp attempt to tie the match in the endgame.

He was solid and it was his frenetic pace (along with Abueva) in the second period that gave the Philippines its lead. His ability to get in the lane poses so many problems for the opposition as he creates space and defensive switches.

When he returned to the fray after Taiwan’s comeback, he wasn’t able to get a handle on the game but he eventually did. 

Grade: B

The bigs performed creditably
You can look at this two ways — our bigs aren’t big enough and they performed well given the circumstances. Tautuaa and Asi Taulava fouled out. Marc Pingris and Sonny Thoss were in foul trouble. But the four collectively hauled down 26 of the team’s 44 rebounds; the same number as Taiwan yet they didn’t lose anyone to fouls.

On the offensive end, they were a little wanting but the international game has always favored the wingmen and guards. Nevertheless, if they can a little more they’d also ease the pressure on the guards.

Grade: C

The offense won this game
The offense was great in the even number periods and I thought this was what won the game more than the defense. Sure, there were three huge steals in the endgame but it was the willingness to attack in the interior again and be aggressive that helped swing the momentum back in the Philippines’ favor.

However, during that third quarter Taiwan blitz, the nationals mysteriously settled for going one-on-one and taking outside shots.

Grade: B- 

The defense was on and off but it showed up in the endgame
We were even on rebounds with 44 each and in both the offensive and defensive boards categories, 16:16 and 28:28. The Filipinos had a lot of more steals 14:4 and that made the difference especially in the endgame. 

Taiwan blocked more shots 4:1 (it should be 4:2) but that’s fine. At least at that point the team was attacking the basket.

Is the lack of ceiling a concern? Yes, it is. But it’s the first game. The team is learning to play together and adjust to new teammates and the inconsistencies of international calls (so what else is new when it is the same domestically).

Grade: C-

Good effort and fantastic response in a hostile environment. I loved how the team responded to head coach Tab Baldwin’s instructions especially in the endgame. They played smart basketball. Sure we lost our heads for a mad 10 minutes but that happens. In the end, its still a satisfying win.

Good job, team!



Ideas on defending the dribble-drive offense

Kaya are UFL Cup champs & it’s deja vu all over again

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Kaya are UFL Cup champs & it’s deja vu all over again
by rick olivares pic borrowed from aly borromeo's instagram

After Kaya annexed its first UFL Cup following a heart-stopping 4-2 penalty shootout win over tough Ceres last Friday, August 28, at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, there were some moments of “deja vu.”

First, there’s Nick O’Donnell the penalty stopper.
Right before the penalty shootout to decide who would take home the 2015 UFL Cup, Kaya midfielder Carlo Liay went up to goalkeeper Nick O’Donnell and offered perhaps the most encouraging words to his longtime teammate in the junior national team, Ateneo, and Kaya: “Dude, you got this. This is your thing."

The six-foot-two O’Donnell has made a name for himself as a penalty stopper and a championship winner. And he put that to the test on Friday night and delivered in a most spectacular manner.

Backtracking first, during the Ateneo Men’s Football Team’s improbable run to the 2012-13 UAAP Men’s Football Championship, O’Donnell alternated with Yu Murayama at goal. Come, the Final Four, Nick was handed the starting job while Yu was placed at forward in place of striker Jacobo Lorenzo who got injured. Lorenzo previously played for Kaya. 

From the Final Four (against La Salle) to the Finals (a best-of-three affair), Ateneo won all three matches via penalty shootout with O’Donnell at goal. 

This UFL Cup, O’Donnell alternated with Matt Silva before taking charge come the Round of 16. In Kaya’s last two matches, they defeated Stallion and Ceres both via… a penalty shootout.

When O’Donnell minded the net for Ateneo in 2012-13, it broke a seven-year drought for the Blue Booters. With O’Donnell at goal for Kaya, it ended a six-year title drought.

Said O’Donnell: Looking back now, it’s remarkable when you compare the two championships. It’s absolutely extraordinary. When you compare the stories and the routes to the titles, it’s amazing. Both teams (Ateneo and Kaya) had to face great adversity and overcome huge obstacles. Both teams went into the finals missing key players due to suspension or injury. Both teams struggled in the previous seasons and have been on championship droughts. Both teams had to beat rivals who normally had our number. Both teams won their respective championship titles through semi-finals and final game penalty shootouts. In short, a feeling of deja vu definitely. 

The is one holdover from the last two Kaya champs
There is only one holdover from the last Kaya UFL league champs in 2009 — Aly Borromeo  The longest-tenured Kaya player is also the last man standing for Kaya. Aly came on as a late substitute in UFL Cup Finals against Ceres and even converted on his chance during the PK shootout. 

Both teams had players trade places
And lastly, both Ceres and Kaya featured a few players who suited up for the other side at one point in their career.

Kaya had three — Jovin Bedick and Janrick Soriano who suited up for Ceres’ U-23 team and Joshua Beloya. Ceres had Jason Sabio and Nate Burkey although both were on the bench for the match.

The 2009 and 2015 Kaya champs both went undefeated.
When Kaya won the UFL in 2009 under head coach Mikee Carrion, they swept the league, 13-0. In their historic Cup win, Kaya finished as well with an immaculate slate, 8-0.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Darryl Dawkins: Conversations from Lovetron

This appears on the August 31, 2015 edition of Business Mirror.

Conversations from Lovetron
by rick olivares

When Dennis Rodman first came over to Manila with some retired NBA players for a game in 2006, I was working on the staff of the organizing committee that brought them over. Naturally, I tried to secure a interview with him no matter how short. We did speak and I have to admit that it was a rather friendly conversation more than an interview as it was held courtside during warmups and it lasted for roughly five minutes. It wasn’t anything story-worthy and being unable to get any anecdote and quote out of Rodman, I turned to the other former NBA stars. There was former Denver Nuggets star Alex English and Mikwaukee Bucks stud Sidney Moncrief but the one I wanted to speak with was Darryl Dawkins, the former Philadelphia 76ers center.

I grew up a 76ers fan before I switched my allegiances to the Chicago Bulls following Julius Ervings’ retirement. I was upset at Sixers management for trading Moses Malone away and for nearly sending Erving to another team. 

Dawkins was a part of that Sixers squad that I first followed in the late 1970s and it was back when they had that run, gun, and dunk line-up that tantalized and teased greatness but never achieved anything. 

This was before the age of cable television and the internet and any stories and death-defying feats by the Doctor and company were spread merely by word of mouth. Yet this is what makes this legend. 

And I wanted so badly to talk to this legend who was tons of fun and slew basketball rims. 

As it turned out, I did get to talk to him, twice, however briefly. One inside the locker room as we brought in some refreshments and bananas, and one very short one as he lumbered into the coach that was to take them to their hotel following the match.

The first one, quick as I only had five minutes, revealed a reflective man with his gift for gab.

Rick: You pre-dated Shaq with your famous dunks and fun-loving nature even playing with the Harlem Globetrotters. Was that your real personality that came shining through?

Darryl: People forget that I was a teenager entering the NBA. Didn’t play college ball. I was a kid in a man’s world. People wanted me to be Wilt Chamberlain but I was a kid. When I think back, whether it was a mistake to go straight to the NBA or not, well, I did what I had to do at that time. And when I got there, I wanted to be myself and have fun. And I did.

But thank you for saying that Shaq-thing. I don’t think anybody has ever said that to me.

Rick: You’re welcome. I’ll follow up on that thought about teens and pro basketball: should high school phenoms go to college first before going to the NBA?

Darryl: Definitely. Won’t hurt to mature a bit and learn more from the game through your college coach.

Rick: Those backboard breaking dunks — did you want to bring some more of them down?

Darryl: I tried to bring the funk every time but the NBA said I’d get a fine and a suspension. And we (the Sixers) lost both games where the backboard went down. So that was goodbye to that love.

Rick: What was it like playing alongside Dr. J?

Darryl: You know Bundini Brown?

Rick: Yeah. Muhammad Ali’s street poet of a cornerman.

Darryl: That’s a ways of putting it. The brother should have written verse for the Doctor, I’m telling you. Think of the poetry. I could put a name to my dunks but Julius… I have to stop at “amazing.” Bundini would be tongue-tied to describe Doc.

At that point, we had to cut short the interview because the dressing room had to be cleared of non-team personnel. I had so many more questions to ask in pursuit of a story that I hoped would match those that I read as a kid from Sports Illustrated and Sport, two American magazines I devoured in feverish pursuit of knowledge. All I had were a few quotes that weren’t enough to make a meaningful feature-length story.

After the match, I was able to get a picture with Dawkins and one last quick conversation.

Rick: I hope to visit Lovetron one day.

Darryl: Oh, you’ll love it there.

Rick: Great!

Darryl: Maybe I’ll even meet ya at the airport.

The man, not as spry as he once was, ambled up the bus and waved. 

Darryl Dawkins did make one more trip to the Philippines but I was out of the country when that happened. I silently kicked myself for missing that. There goes that Dawkins story I always wanted to pen.

Last August 27, Darryl, at 58 years of age, passed away due to a heart attack. As soon as I heard the news, I paused to pray for him and his family and reflect. I’ve interviewed a lot of NBA players and he was one of those who I was really thrilled to meet as a former Philly Phan. 

I still pains me to think that some of my fave Sixers — Dawkins and Steve Mix, never got to win a title. Odd choices considering Philly had a cast of stars like Doc, Doug Collins, the Boston Strangler, Mo and Little Mo, Bobby Jones, and When Philadelphia finally won it in 1983, they did so with Moses Malone playing center. Dawkins was sent to New Jersey while Mix went to the Los Angeles Lakers who played Philadelphia for that title that year.

I wanted to ask Darryl about being left out of the big prize and how he dealt with it.

And maybe it is just as well that I didn’t. Because, I’ll remember him — including that short five-minute interview with the man — for what he stood for. A pretty good yet entertaining and always quotable basketball player.

Friday, August 28, 2015

NCAA Season 91: How the Letran Knights are atop the NCAA (thus far)

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NCAA Season 91: How the Letran Knights are atop the NCAA (thus far)
by rick olivares

Letran looked to blow out the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals early in the first quarter as they raced to 22-6 lead after 6:40 played. Yet these Generals, not exactly the most talented but tough hombres, came charging back. 

The problem with spotting another team a huge lead is when you rally, you exert a lot of effort that sometimes leaves you gassed. The San Sebastian Golden Stags-Lyceum Pirates match that took place right before was just like that. The latter ran up a huge lead that they nursed all the way to the fourth period, the Stags found some toughness within them and actually led by seven before descending into a maze of errors that did them in. 

It was the same thing for EAC except they never led. Letran didn’t fold as McJour Luib and Mark Cruz led the Knights into the homstretch for an 86-76 win to go up to 9-2.

I didn’t rate Letran too highly heading into the NCAA season because I thought they struggled in the pre-season and didn’t look anywhere within the vicinity of fluidity that we see them now as they run their offense.

So how did Letran get to where they are at?

The head coach
You have to start with the first year head coach Aldin Ayo and his assistants led by Louie Gonzales. Ayo played for Louie Alas who is a very good coach so he learned from one of the best. Alas’ Knights, that featured Kerby Raymundo, Chris Calaguio, Jason Misolas, Billy Moody, Allan Salangsang, and Ayo to name a few won a title in 1998. So Ayo knows what it takes to win. 

His cool and calm demeanor helps these Knights play in a more controlled manner. The physical and punishing defense that was a trademark under Alas isn’t there. Instead it’s a more clinical full court press that chokes the life out of opponents.

Moving McJour Luib into the starting line-up
Luib was a solid player for the Squires before moving up to the seniors division. When the Knights started Kevin Alas with Mark Cruz as the backup, Luib was the third option. Sometimes fourth as Franz Dysam was still playing. Starting for the Knights this year while moving Cruz into a sixth man role was a masterstroke.

For one, it gave Luib confidence and he’s been magnificent running the one-spot. Plus, he’s a two-way player. Second, it gave the bench some scoring power. 

Rey Nambatac’s ascendancy.
Well, Rey Nambatac is a veteran now. And he is a lot deadlier. He’s like a smaller version of Kevin Racal who attacks the basket on drives or offensive putbacks or rebounds. Nambatac didn’t have a great shooting day against EAC even if he finished with 11 points. He did haul down 10 boards. Prior to Mark Cruz’ 29-point binge versus EAC, Nambatac has been the breakout star for Letran this season while averaging 16.6 points per outing (he fell to second behind Cruz in percentage points after the win over the Generals). Better to have more weapons heading into the Final Four chase, right?

The maturation of several role players
When Bong Quinto joined the squad, I thought that he was going to be another Andrei Mendoza, a bruising enforcer who lived to fight. This season, save for a few boneheaded players, he’s become a little more complete as a player. He scores, posts up, rebounds, plays sound defense, and makes nifty assists. He plays the three or the four and can finish the break.

Felix Apreku’s finally showing off some skills. Last year all he could do was rebound but in a reckless manner. He was athletic sure, but he was uncoordinated. He shows signs of that unpolished skill but he is playing better and has become an integral part of Ayo’s rotation. He hit the first two baskets against EAC today — the first an exquisite reverse layup off an offensive rebound and the second a bank shot after Jom Sollano found him wide open on the side.

The key pick up of Jom Sollano.
Very undersized center at 6’4”. But he is sound defensively. Has a decent mid-range shot and the active sort around the basket. The downside is when he goes up against taller centers, he always finds himself in foul trouble. He averages 3.11 fouls per game, most on Letran.

So that begs the question, do they have what it takes to go all the way and even beat San Beda?

Beating San Beda in the elimination round means nothing. The Red Lions are weaker now than at any point in their recent era of dominance. They are still prohibitive favorites to annex a sixth straight title. Letran needs every advantage it can get — twice-to-beat in the Final Four, and should they make it to the Big Dance, take Game One. It is difficult to beat San Beda when the going gets tough and when Ola Adeogun decides he wants to play basketball instead of coasting. 

Ayo and company have to be concerned about their defense as they are in the middle of the pack in all defensive statistics save for turnovers in which they force the most in the league. That is a result of their full court press though. But it is hard to sustain that kind of game for 40 minutes. Nevertheless, they need to improve on that aspect. After all, it is defense that wins championships.

Furthermore, Letran will need to have all cylinders firing and it cannot be one or two people. And they need to call an All Points Bulletin for Rey Publico who has gone missing (it doesn’t look good when newcomer Christian Balagsay is playing more minutes and matches than him). For now, their goal is the Final Four and any of the top two seeds. 

Danny Green on the Spurs' greener pasture

With Danny Green

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Danny Green on the Spurs' greener pasture
by rick olivares

Danny Green.

There are images, videos to be more precise, of Danny dancing to the House of Pain's classic "Jump Around" before matches when he was with the University of North Carolina -- skinny as he was back then -- and with the San Antonio Spurs. 

There are highlights, Vines, of Green drilling one jumper after another en route to helping the San Antonio Spurs to the 2014 NBA title. 

And there's wonder and amazement -- in a proud manner -- of how Danny Green took less money to stay with the San Antonio Spurs instead of going to another team that would have not only paid him more but also given him more playing time.

Last Thursday, it was a gregarious and engaging Green, now older and rounding out into prime form who is both a US NCAA and NBA champion, who met with the media at the Grand Ballroom of the Marriot Hotel in Pasay City. The San Antonio Spur in Manila for the NBA 3X Philippines event.

Green stated first his disbelief as being one of three Tar Heels to have achieved that double (the other two have surnames that go by Worthy and Jordan): "It's very humbling to be on that list and the two others guys on that list are really great players. For someone like me to be there is kind of surreal. It feels like I don't belong. But it is an honour and hopefully, I can do some more things so I can really belong."

While Green is generations apart from that sainted Tar Heel duo of James Worthy and Michael Jordan who were teammates on the 1982 US National Champions, he is currently playing with some teammates who will have their own wing at the Naismith Memorial one day. 

"It's amazing," gushed Green about playing alongside the San Antonio Spurs' Big Three of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker. "It's great. I've learned so much from them. It's amazing to share a locker room with them. Hopefully, one day, I can achieve half of what they've achieved and I'll be a pretty decent player. But to be a part of that and have that special bond with those guys who are my teammates and brothers is something I've dreamed about as a kid." 

Clearly, the San Antonio brass believes that Green can not only contribute to another title run but can be a prime player for them.

"I was comfortable," explained the six-year pro about his decision to re-sign with San Antonio instead of testing the waters of free agency. "I thought we had a pretty good chance of doing something special again in the future. Pop (head coach greg Popovich) did a great job of communicating the process and keeping me updated on what's going on and that we had a good shot at landing LaMarcus (Aldridge from the Portland Trailblazers) and we did. And it made my decision look a lot smarter. So, yes, it is home for me, and it is an easy decision. They gave me an opportunity. It is hard for me to leave." 

"I know the grass is green where I am at. I don't know how green it is in the other side but it is pretty green where I'm at."

Yet even if the Spurs are literally loaded for another huge run at the Larry O'Brien trophy, Green recognises that the Golden State Warriors, the reigning NBA champions will be hard to topple. The six-foot-six forward who insists that he is there to play defines first then take some jump shots agrees that the style espoused by the Warriors is where the game is headed. "Early on, it was post up and give the ball on the side. Now it is more perimeter-oriented shooting threes. The team that gets the most uncontested looks from outside stands a better chance of winning the game. Golden State winning the championship emphasised that more. You know they're a very perimeter-oriented team. Even going small ball with their bigs. (There's) Draymond Green playing the four yet he shoots threes. A lot of teams are moving in that direction with the faster pace." 

Even with the success of Golden State, Green believes that the Spurs remain contenders. "I like to think so. I know how they are building our team. Even if Pop doesn't stick around as head coach he'll be around the game for a bit and continue to do a good job of bringing in talent and new blood that will make us contenders. I would like at some point to be a focal point if that happens in the future. It would be great to keep Timmy, Manu and Tony around as long as we can. I think we can still be contenders."

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The unconstitutional residency rules are just the tip of the iceberg

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The unconstitutional residency rules are just the tip of the iceberg
by rick olivares

The Student-Athlete Protection Act or R.A. 10676 has been officially signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III.

While these uncharitable, abusive, and unconstitutional Residency Rules propagated by the various collegiate leagues around the country have been knocked out, there lurks even more danger.

And we have barely scratched the surface here.

I have reported on these during my two senate reports as well as in columns in different media.

Bondage over scholarships
There are many colleges that practice this. You would be surprised at what schools practice this. 

On some occasions when a student-athlete is unable to win in his or her event, they find their food allowances yanked. And sometimes even worse, their scholarships. 

The net result from this is that some of these student-athletes drop out of school because their family is unable to pay for the tuition fees.  They find themselves disillusioned and quite a few have taken solace in alcohol or drugs. I have spoken to a few parents of these former student-athletes and to say they are angry is an understatement. 

Now if they are made aware that the scholarship will be yanked at any time when they were being recruited then I highly doubt they would have gone to these schools. 

It is one thing to lose a scholarship because he or she flunked and it is altogether another thing when one doesn't win.

What do they wish to communicate to these youngsters -- that winning is everything and if you don't win you're a failure? Unfortunately, after a few years, no one remembers who took second or third place. If you say, have eight schools in the UAAP and 10 in the NCAA, what does that make of others? Losers? 

Those mysterious miscellaneous fees
When a student-athlete chooses a college, aside from the scholarship concerns, they should ask if there are any miscellaneous fees that need to be paid.

There are several U-belt schools are notorious for this. If a student-athlete is unable to win in his or her event, when it is time for them to secure their transcript of records, they are told first to pay for miscellaneous fees. 

Incredibly, they know nothing about this.  Again if they were told of this caveat during the courtship by school or athletics officials, I doubt if these student-athletes would have gone to them. 

When a student-athlete is being recruited, they should ask all these concerns and more. Everything should be very clear and under no circumstances must they agree to handshake deals. Everything on paper with proper signatures and witnesses. 

Tape all conversations with school officials if you must. This is for your protection. 

The problem with some of these student-athletes is they accept money because they come from poor families. By virtue of that and utang ng loob, they become slaves. 

Technically, there isn't anything wrong with offering some financial help because there are no rules against it. It might sound unethical but in the absence of rules then there is nothing wrong. 

And lastly, physical and verbal abuse.
Let's make this clear. I understand people get chewed out. Sometimes. All of the time. For mistakes. For stupidity. It's part of life and part of sports.

But when it involves kids, high school kids, it could be construed as abuse.

When a kid refuses to go to school, to play sports, or even step on the floor because of fear that is different. Now there are some kids with a low threshold for criticism but what I am driving at is shaming the kid no end. With degrading the kid to the point he or she is considering taking his or her life.

There are some coaches who physically beat up their players. Sometimes, they even ask the veteran players to inflict the beatings on their hapless teammates. 

There are several schools that do this -- one prominent UAAP and NCAA school including a known Chinese school. 

The Residency Rules are the tip of an iceberg of problems and abuses perpetuated by certain schools.  The government and DECS should conduct seminars for all student-athletes so they will be aware of their rights. In the same way the NBA conducts seminars for incoming rookies on how to handle the media, their finances etc the same should be done for student-athletes. 

If not ignorance of their rights and fear of unscrupulous school officials will continue this mad cycle of abuse and exploitation. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

More Rugby League matches on Setanta Sports Asia!

Rugby lovers! 

Eurosport has secured the exclusive broadcast and digital rights for a selection of Rugby League properties that will be shown on Setanta Sports Asia. 

The Rugby League has experienced global growth in the law few years and it is hoped that the game and its properties will find a new and bigger audience in the Philippines.

Some of the properties to be shown on Setanta Sports Asia include:
- the European Super League that is the top-level Rubgy League club competition in Europe
- Championship: the United Kingdom's second-tier Rugby League competition
- World Club Challenge: the annual Rugb League competition played between the top three clubs of the Australian National Rugby League and the European Super League.
- and lastly, two magazine shows -- "Full Time" and "Boots n' all" that features match previews, analysis, and interviews with some of the biggest names in rugby.

Next European Super League matches to be shown live on Setanta Asia:

Thursday 3 Sep Huddersfield v Castleford
Friday 4 Sep Leeds v St Helens
Thursday 10 Sep Castleford v St Helens
Friday 11 Sep Wigan v Hull
Thursday 17 Sep Leeds v Castleford
Friday 18 Sep St Helens v Wigan

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The latest PBA post-Draft Day trades.

After not getting approval of a Draft Day trade, Talk 'N Text finally acquired second pick Troy Rosario in a three-team, five-player trade after PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa sorted out all the proposals. The Tropang Texters acquired the 6-6 Rosario from Mahindra in exchange for sophomore guard Kevin Alas and veteran forward Rob Reyes. I don’t think TNT is done re-tooling with their ageing lineup.

Mahindra then sent Alas to NLEX in return for shooter Nino Canaleta and forward-center Aldrech Ramos.

Barako Bull acquired guards Josh Urbiztondo, balik-player Eman Monfort, and Jens Knuttel from Barangay Ginebra in exchange for Nico Salva and Barako’s 2016 first round pick.

The Energy weren’t done as they took Jeric Fortuna from San Miguel in exchange for Brian Heruela. That’s a bunch of point guards so I figure there’ll be more wheeling and dealing. Heruela, who SMB has coveted in no small part to the supposed lobbying of JuneMar Fajardo as he was the former’s college teammate with the University of Cebu, receives a rising stud of a guard. How that works out with Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross is anyone’s guess.

Monday, August 24, 2015


When a college basketball star fell all the way to the later rounds in yesterday’s PBA Draft, it sent a telling message.

Being drafted that late especially for a star player is a blow to one’s pride. It is almost as bad as not getting drafted when you think some lesser players went ahead. Furthermore, the late selection greatly diminishes one’s value and bargaining power. It can be a humbling experience.

The scuttlebutt is that teams did not want to have anything to do with the player not because of him per se but because of his manager who also handles another high profile star who recently went through some contentious contract negotiations.

Incidentally, two of this manager’s players did not suit up for their final year with their collegiate squad.

When you think about it, it has been a tough year – leaving his college team with a year left, being left off the national team, and now this… hopefully, he can redeem himself and show his worth.