Monday, January 26, 2009

Defense Wins Championships

The Finals of the KFC PBA Philippine Cup is upon us and the two best teams (if you go by the eliminations record) have made it for a best of seven (7) showdown. There are a few storylines in place for the series.

First, the coaches. Tim Cone and Chot Reyes are both former National Team Coaches. Chot was under Tim in Alaska before he achieved all his success in Purefoods, Sta. Lucia, Coke and now Talk 'N Text. Both are respected and are considered two of the best in the land today. Cone has more championships and finals' appearances but it's partly because he's also coached more years. Both are also the best of friends.

Second is the style these two teams play. Alaska is very deliberate and likes to play half court offense. TNT is very fast and likes to utilize the full court in orchestrating its offense. Alaska is one of the best defensive teams in the conference while TNT is one of the best offensively. They say defense wins championships so we'll see if that holds true in this case.

In a 7 game series, adjustment will be the key. I reckon sometimes Alaska's defense will dominate and other times TNT's offense will explode. This is why the coaching will play a larger role than normal in this matchup.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tejada Triumph

Some might remember the tragic Mother's day a couple of years ago when Eugene Tejada fell into a career ending injury at the Ynares Center in Antipolo while playing for Purefoods. Spine/Back injuries are the worst kind in sports and it was damn scary watching Eugene get carried off in a stretcher unable to move any of his body parts from the neck down.

Seeing the former PBA player walking last night during Dominic Uy's birthday party at Fiamma was one of the most encouraging sights for the new year so far. I can't imaging the amount of rehab, and hospital bills it took for him to get to the point he is at right now. I don't really know Eugene that well but I am definitely now a fan.

We are inspired mostly by great performances and incredible talent on the court. Eugene's comback is something to absolutely marvel at and admire.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Pacman Share

Reports have come out saying that Manny Pacquiao will not fight Ricky Hatton unless he gets at least 60% of the share in revenues for the May 2 fight. After all, he is the pound for pound king! The Hatton camp has threatened to file a case about the issue claiming that Bob Arum had already verbally agreed to a 50/50 on behalf of Pacman.

It seems to me that because of the potential Great Britain PPV market, a 50/50 share is very fair. Team Pacquiao needs to look at the take home, not the share. Getting 60% or even 70% of a fight that will gross less than half of the Hatton fight will give you much less than 50% of something huge. The larger share vs take home only massages the pride, not the pocket.

Another option is to have a 60/40 share for Hatton in Great Britain, then 60/40 Pacman everywhere else. But I reckon even with the 50% share, Manny will still take home his largest payday ever. "Para sa Bayan!", but the Money doesn't hurt I guess.

PBA TV Coverage Workshop

"There will always be room for improvement" was the message imparted by Bobong Velez, the former head of Vintage Enterprises who spoke earlier this week during a 3 hour workshop hosted by Solar in their main office in Makati.  It was a philosophy that propelled the PBA coverage in the late 80's and early 90's into the best sports entertainment available on television.  He praised the current coverage and encouraged everyone not to be complacent to improve even more.

Norman Black addressed the group as well as an analyst stressing the importance of credibility and making sure that commentators have to know more than the viewers.   Andy Jao touched on the duty to know the rules of the league to be able to convey them to the fans.  Ed Picson talked about the roles for the anchors and analysts during the coverage while Quinito Henson imparted how crucial it was to be prepared for a coverage.

The producers, directors, the commissioner's office, Solar managers along with the oncam talents attended.  Among the talents who attended were:  Norman Black, Paolo Trillo, Mico Halili, Magoo Marjon, Patricia Hizon, Vince Hizon, Peaches Aberin, Ed Picson, Quinito Henson, Jason Webb, Dominic Uy, Richard Del Rosario, Reema Chanco, Anthony Suntay, Ceska Litton, Vitto Lazatin, Marga Vargas, and Mica Abesamis.

For the most part, we talked about what was good with the coverage and what else needs to improve especially going into the semi finals.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

An Amazing Series

Some matchups are just made in heaven.  Even if you pit two good teams against each other, if the styles don't jive, it won't be entertaining to watch.  The San Miguel vs Barangay Ginebra quarterfinal series was one of those series where both teams just matched up perfect against each other.  

All three games went down the wire and all three games were so much fun to watch.  The heart, the hustle, the talent and the drama were all included in the mix.

Here's hoping for more perfect matchups in the semis and finals so that we can continue enjoying the best in sports entertainment!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008: A Frequent Flier Year

I started this blog in 2008, a year which was one of the most fulfilling professionally. I thank everyone who was part of the journey and made it such a good year. I actually hate travelling (especially with the tighter security checks) but this past year was definitely the busiest ever as far a travel goes. I took 10 plane trips (5 International) mostly for work with a couple as vacation.

I was able to visit NEW ORLEANS for the first time during the NBA All Star weekend. It was incredible to see some of the remnants of Hurricane Katrina and was inspired by what the city has done to recover from the major tragedy. I had a minor side trip back to my hometown of CHICAGO where I was able to watch a rare Bulls victory versus the Denver Nuggets.

Then there was BEIJING for the Summer Olympics. It was without a doubt an experience I will never forget as a sports fan. To witness the redeem team play, the closing ceremonies live, and other events in track and field was amazing as a sports fan.

Another trip outside the country included SINGAPORE to join the Beermen and Tropang Texters in the first ever official PBA game there. Most of the Filipinos in the small island watched and made the trip so much fun.

There were a few other trips to MACAU, LAOAG, BATANGAS, BORACAY and CAGAYAN DE ORO which were all work related. There were also nice change of pace trips by visiting BAGUIO, BORACAY (again) and BOHOL along the way.

Despite my dislike for travel, I will just be thankful that I have the opportunity to visity all these great places mostly as part of my job. It really is a dream job for the sports fan.