Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What This NBA Draft Class of 2013 Brings to NBA

The NBA 2013 draft class is one of the weakest draft class since 2000 and it only gets weaker when almost 1/3 of the projected 1st round players decides to return for one more year in college. The most notable player who decides to return is Marcus Smart who is projected as top 3 pick. Followed by James Micheal McAdoo, Willie Cauley-Stein, Gleann Robinson III, Mitch McGary, Dario Saric, Doug McDermott, CJ Fair, Isaiah Austin and Alex Poythress. Imagine the lost of these players in the draft class which means some of the projected 2nd rounder mixed up with the first rounder. So if a team have a late 1st round pick is likely draft a player which is supposedly 2nd rounder quality.

One more indication that this draft class is so weak is that there is no clear who is going on to the top pick. Scouts can't find anyone with a franchise player talent. From the start of the year there are debates between 4 players who were involved in the top pick, Noel, Zeller, Muhammad and McAdoo.
Those 4 are promising players before the season start but at the end of the season, all those 4 have something in doubt. McAdoo decides to return to college for junior year though even if he decides to join this year's draft, he's probably out of the top pick discussions. Muhammad's questionable potiential after he struggles on UCLA. Zeller's strength and defense deficiencies hurts his stock down to several spots.
Noel's raw offensive ability makes plus a big blow when he suffer from torn ACL made him uncertain in the #1 spot. And there goes the wild cards: Alex Len, Ben Mclemore, Victor Oladipo and Trey Burke which don't have the quality to be a Top Pick.

As we look back to 2000 NBA draft, there are a couple of players who are having a solid careers. Kenyon Martin the former #1 pick, 2 former six man of the year Mike Miller and Jamal Crawford, and the most notable 2nd round steal: Micheal Redd. Also Hedu Turkoglu, Kenyon Dooling, Quetin Richardson, Eddie House and Deshawn Stevenson were a solid picks. These players made impact to the teams they played. They were maybe not a franchise player but help provide solid contribution for their team. This years draft class teams could find much needed help in Oladipo, Porter, McLemore and Carter-Williams. It will just depend on what system they will play and how will they be able to maximize their potentials. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Petron Signs Governor's Cup 2013 Import: D-League Standout Elijah Millsap

After months of waiting and intense scouting, the Petron Blaze Boosters finally have an import for the upcoming 2013 Governor's Cup competition in the PBA. The said import played for LA D-Fenders at the D-League as a guard and stands 6'6" tall. It was San Miguel Executive Noli Eala who confirmed the news over the weekend.

According to Eala, Millsap will be joining the team once the Summer League is over at the NBA. His expected date of arrival will be on July 25.

During his stint with LA D-Fenders, Millsap produced an average of 17.2 points in addition to his near 6 rebounds per game. He has played a total of 44 games for the LA D-Fenders thus far, in which he posted the aforementioned numbers. If his family name rings a bell, he is the younger brother of Jazz forward Paul Millsap.

Head coach Olsen Racela has not leaked any information about Millsap while negotiation is still ongoing. Thus, the media thought all along that they were negotiating with Othyus Jeffers because the team wanted to keep their negotiations top secret until such time that the contract has been finalized. Jeffers, on the other hand, is also a veteran in the NBA wherein he formerly played for the Spurs, Wizards, and the Jazz.

When asked about the reason behind their decision to pick Millsap as Petron import for the 2013 PBA Governor's Cup, he cited versatility. They wanted an import that can play "at both ends of the court". After all, they just recently traded Jay Washington to GlobalPort so they wanted to fill in that gap. They are also looking to play Arwind Santos and Elijah Millsap in the same power forward positions.

Stay tuned for more updates on import signings at the upcoming PBA 2013 Governor's Cup.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Miami Heat Crowned 2013 NBA Champions & Twitter Reactions

The much anticipated and closely followed finals series between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs has reached its conclusion today with the former taking the crown for its first back-to-back championship. The series was highly fought that no team has established a back-to-back win, until Miami did so today in the most crucial game of the season. Lebron James, also season MVP, performed in the clutch with key baskets such as his two-point shot with roughly 30 seconds in the game that put the lead up to four points. Meanwhile, Manu Ginobili also suffered several lapses and unforced errors down the line that ruined the chances of the Spurs to make a come back.

In addition to winning the championship trophy, Lebron James also earned the honors of Finals MVP during the awarding ceremony after the game. Meanwhile, the social media sphere had been closely following the series, too, wherein fans and NBA players or personalities alike gave their two cents about the development of the series, and most especially the pivotal Game 7.

Here are some of the player reactions at Twitter:

And the funniest tweet/reference of them all...

Are you happy with the outcome of the NBA Finals series this year?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

PBA 2013 Trade Updates

A new trade has been approved by the PBA Board Directors early this week, which is a three-team trade deal involving Barako Bull Energy Cola, Talk N Text Tropang Texters, and Meralco Bolts. There are also five players involved in the said trade deal involving the aforemention teams namely Don Allado, Sean Anthony, Jared Dillinger, Ronjay Buenafe, and Gilbert Bulawan.

The final result of this three-way trade is as follows:

Barako Bull acquires Ronjay Buenafe and Gilbert Bulawan;
Meralco Bolts acquire Don Allado and Jared Dillinger;
Talk N Text acquires Sean Anthony

In another news, Jay Washington has gotten his wish to be traded from the Petron Blaze Boosters lineup. In the trade deal that has been approved by the PBA, the two-time Best Player of the Conference awardee will soon be suiting up for the GlobalPort Batang Pier. His request for a trade has been on hold for a long while now and was sparked by the lack of playing time, along with the dismal performance by his team during the past few conferences in the PBA (despite having a talent-laden lineup).

The team's dismal performance and his limited minutes has contributed to Jay Washington posting his lowest season average (8.2 points) since entering the league. Washington isn't one to be shy about venting his frustration about his position in the team and has since requested for a trade. In exchange for releasing Jay Washington to GlobalPort, Petron acquires the rights to their second round draft picks for 2016 and 2017, as well as rookie Jason Deutchman.

GlobalPort head coach Junel Baculi is positive about the acquisition of Jay Washington because they needed the boost inside the paint, something of which Jay Wash has been unable to do since the Petron lineup is filled with other big men in the likes of Arwind Santos and Jun Mar Fajardo.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

FIBA Asia 2013 Draw

The Smart Gilas Pilipinas team is currently in Lithuania undergoing a training camp in preparation for the upcoming FIBA Asia competition, of which the country will be hosting this year. But while the team is away, the draw for the FIBA Asia 2013 competition was conducted last Thursday to finalize the groupings for the competing teams. The competition will take place from August 1 to 11 in Manila.

As hosts, the Philippines exercised their right to select the group of which they wanted to become a part of. And in doing so, Coach Chot Reyes, together with his assistant coaches, opted to be part of Group A wherein they are joined by Chinese Taipei, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. This will be their grouping for the Preliminary Round of competition. Three teams will be moving on to the second round of competition from the Group A wherein they are set to meet with the top teams from Group B.

The Group C is dubbed as the clash of the big guns as the top three teams in FIBA Asia were a part of - China, Korea, and Iran, all of which combine a total of 19 gold medals in the history of FIBA Asia championships.

The draw ceremony was presided over by FIBA Asia Secretary General Hagop Khajirian wherein he announced, "the successful completion of the Draw Ceremony, the stage is set for the competition at the 27th FIBA Asia Championship, the biggest event in FIBA Asia." The FIBA Asia Championship will serve as a qualifying tournament for the FIBA World Cup.

To see the full list of groupings, you can check below:

Group A

Chinese Taipei
Saudi Arabia

Group B

Hong Kong

Group C


Group D


What do you think of the Smart Gilas Pilipinas' chances in the FIBA Asia tournament?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

PBA Ready to Expand with 2 More Teams and Governor's Cup Update

The Alaska Aces was crowned champions of the recent PBA Commissioner'sCup finals wherein they defeated Brgy. Ginebra in a 3-0 sweep. But as the league officials are prepping for the upcoming FIBA Asia competition that the country will be hosting, they are also looking to make improvements in the upcoming Governor's Cup conference. One of the major steps taken by league commissioner Chito Salud is to express that he is open to the idea of adding new teams in the PBA.

Comm. Salud clarifies, however, there are no teams currently in line to join the league - it's just a possibility that is being presented as of the moment. He said, "I think we're ready to bring in two more teams, considering the quality and quantity of the players out there."

The PBA commissioner has also confirmed that there are two groups that are proposing entry into the league. However, their proposals are being reviewed if they do have the sustainability to operate a franchise in the PBA. He also cited the record live attendances at the games during the recent Commissioner's Cup conference that has helped the league to go on an upswing. For this, the PBA commissioner's office has received inquiries from various companies on how to obtain a franchise in the league. A team owner for a D-League team (although Salud refused to spill out more details on this) had expressed intent to join the PBA.

The PBA is being viewed by business owners as a good launching pad for business investment. After all, it has one of the biggest audience shares in the local TV. The fact that not one team has dominated the competition over the past two years, meaning no team has swept the crown in all three conferences, had been a positive indicator of parity among all franchises.

Meanwhile, PBA Comm. Salud has also rescheduled the Governor's Cup to make way for the upcoming FIBA Asia tournament. All of the league owners had agreed to these changes. This will allow the Smart Gilas Pilipinas, which consists of mainly PBA players, to have at least two months of unhampered training.

From the original May to July 2013 schedule, it has now been moved to August to October 2013. To be specific, the Governor's Cup will open on August 14, 2013 and is expected to end on the final week of October. Imports will be fielded in to help teams in the competition although there will be a 6-foot-5 height limit imposed on these imports.

Below are the suspected imports that will be asked to reinforce their respective teams in the PBA 2013 Governor's Cup conference:

Returning imports:

Talk N Text - Tony Mitchell
San Mig Coffee Mixers - Marqus Blakely
Rain or Shine - Arizona Reid
Air 21 - Zach Graham

New imports:

Barako Bull - Mike Singletary
Brgy. Ginebra - Dior Lowhorn
Alaska Aces - Wendell McKines

Imports currently in negotiation:

Petron Blaze - No definitive option yet from their list of potential reinforcements after initial attempt to tap former RoS import Arizona Reid failed.
Global Port - The team is currently negotiating a deal with former RoS import and former Best Import awardee Jamelle Cornley.
Meralco - They had not finalized a deal with Mario West just yet, although negotiations are ongoing and he is their top option.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Gilas Pilipinas Adds Belga Into the Lineup, Joins Training Camp


Smart Gilas Pilipinas is in the thick of its preparation for the upcoming FIBA Asia 2013 Tournament, which the team will be hosting this year. After head coach Chot Reyes’ announcement via Twitter that the Smart Gilas Pilipinas had been un-invited to this year’s Jones Cup tournament, the team is looking for other ways to train and prepare for the upcoming FIBA Asia Championship. And as part of the team’s effort to boost their lineup, Rain or Shine center Beau Belga had been added into the lineup. Belga will replace Slaughter in the lineup, who was kept by his amateur team from joining Smart Gilas’ stint at a Lithuanian camp. 

As of now, Beau Belga is bent in getting the right fitness level so he can be in shape for the upcoming competition that Smart Gilas will be joining in. Head coach Chot Reyes recently named him as the latest inclusion into the Smart Gilas training pool. The 225-lb center has also made a few adjustments in his lifestyle to ensure that he will have faster rate at improving his conditioning, especially since it is his dream to become a national player. 

However, Beau Belga was unable to join the rest of the team as they flew to Lithuania because he is still processing his visa. Once that is good to go, he will be able to join the rest of the team in the succeeding preparations for the FIBA Asia competition. 

The training camp in Lithuania will last for two weeks wherein they will have a series of tune-up games against top Lithuanian ball clubs. Coach Chot Reyes admits that this training camp is nothing like the competitive sharpness they will get when competing at the Jones Cup tournament, of which they had been uninvited. 

Aside from the competitive training they will get, Chot Reyes is also hoping that players will bond and improve their team chemistry, on and off the court, as a result of this trip. Four players, though, won’t be making the trip namely Jared Dillinger, Sonny Thoss and Ryan Reyes, due to their respective injuries. Meanwhile, Kelly Williams had been taken out of the lineup due to his recurring blood disorder.
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