Thursday, May 28, 2009

Is Fatigue a Valid Excuse?

I covered the 2nd game last night and one of the reasons that Alaska used was that they were tired which is why the energy was nonexistent. When I was part of the commissioner's office, teams complained all the time if they were scheduled consecutive playdates (ex: sunday then wednesday).

I'm not sure if the conditioning programs are not as comprehensive here but PBA players play maybe 50 games a year (18 elimnations plus playoffs in each conference). Those 50 games are spread out through 9 months which averages out to 5.5 games every month. It seems to me that playing less than two (2) games a week should be easy if you are in tip top shape and play basketball for a living.

The NBA players play back to backs all the time and play at least 2-3 games a week. I don't remeber players using fatigue as an excuse for not playing with energy. I realize PBA players get paid very little compared to the rest of the world but to play 4 to 5 games a month and get paid hundreds of thousands of pesos to do it aint so bad.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Does Lebron Have a Good Enough Supporting Cast?

Lebron's shot that saved Ohio will be played over and over for the rest of the NBA playoffs and many seasons to come. But can he do it seven (7) more times to win his first NBA Championship? Well, if we consider the composition of other winners, the Cavs are going to have a very difficult time.

The teams that have won have always had a superstar. It's a given. Magic Johnson, Julius Irving, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Dwane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Hakeem Olajuwon. In some cases, they had teammates who were in the same level. Moses Malone, Shaq and Kareem would certainly be in the same category in their prime. In Cleveland's case, Lebron fits the bill perfectly.

Most champions also has an all star on the same team. A player who's not a superstar but will undoubtedly be in the Hall of Fame. Scottie Pippen, Manu Ginobili, Kevin Mchale, Robert Parish, and James Worthy would be in that group.

There were some minor exceptions like Detroit but they still would have at least 2 Hall of Famers on their team but no true superstar.

I still don't see a second Hall of Famer in this year's Cleveland team. Lebron is awesome but he will have an off day here and there like everyone else. Another Cavalier will have to prove they can take over in a stage with this kind of pressure. So in the home of the Rock and Roll hall of fame, I think Cleveland needs to have a future Basketball Hall of Famer step up and join LBJ to get the Larry Obrien trophy.

This current Cleveland team is not that different from Pat Riley's Knicks and Shaq's Orlando team who got creamed in the Finals. Both had a superstar (Ewing/Shaq) but were surrounded by "almost hall of famers". The Cavs are fortunate that Orlando is kinda in the same situation where there is no clear cut Hall of Famer outside of Dwight Howard.

Where Amazing Happened

This has got to be the most entertaining Conf. Finals (East & West) in a very long time!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blue Eagles Pre Season

This was emailed to me by Jose Flores, a fellow Northwestern alumnus who was able to watch some tune up games by the Ateneo Blue Eagles in North America. Those who cheer for Ateneo might be interested.

"They did well esp. against bad calls esp. with UBC Thunderbirds. Blue Eagles were down by twenty points in the first quarter then won last three quarters but still lost 90-77. Against SFU in front of a full house of Ateneo fans we lost 85-77. Admu was down by three with ninety seconds left. Our boys missed ten foul shots. Salamat's three points was negated at the end of the Third with a second left. The boys should compete well in the UAAP. They do need a swingman like Oping Sumanilog. Two peat looks good."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Leap of Faith

Every once in awhile, you gotta step out of your comfort zone and see if you can spread you wings some more.  

When an opportunity knocks, you look closely who's on the other end and check if it's worth opening the door.  After a long decision process to determine pros and cons of leaving a job I love and taking on another with a lot of potential but laced with uncertainly and challenge, I ended up with more check marks under "pros".

I have done all I've wanted in sports broadcasting both in front and behind the camera.  I have covered and marketed the NBA and the PBA, started my broadcast career with the UAAP, and have been part of the team to the Beijing Olympics.  I marketed the 2006 World Cup, interviewed world class athletes, and have been involved in practically every big time sports relevant to the Philippines.  I have worked with the best people in sports: All the media, coaches, players, officials, executives and everyone else who makes our sports culture tick.  

I have been to Macau, Houston, New Orleans, Portland, Singapore, Las Vegas, Jakarta, Phoenix, Chicago, and all parts of the Philippines for my job.  Solar (and its other channels) as a brand is much stronger now compared to 5 years ago.  It has truly been awesome to be part of the growth and transformation.

Now it's time to expand my universe and give another genre a shot.  I will be joining the Fox International Channels next month to start an office here in the Philippines.  It is different (at least for me) but exciting.  I am anxious but confident.  And I'm hoping the ride will be just as fulfilling.  Thank you to everyone for all your support.  I will continue to be a huge sports fan.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Moving On

It has been a very fulfilling four (4) years working for Solar Entertainment as head of sales and marketing.  We tried a lot of things.  Some worked, some didn't.  Solar certainly is much bigger now since 2005 when I first started but I've decided to accept an offer from another company so it's time to remember why Solar was such a great experience for me.

10.  Great clients.  I was able to work with many in the media and advertising industry who know their stuff and how the television business works.

9.  Acquisition of the PBA.  The process of winning a tv coverage bid and the continuing efforts to improve the league was very satisfying.

8.  Great partners.  You can't get any better than working with the NBA, the PBA, the IOC, the PGA, Top Rank, GMA7, IMG, and many others who were very professional in the way they handled things.  It was also great to work closely with the sports media.

7.  Olympic Experience.  I was part of the team who brought the most comprehensive coverage to the Philippines and was able to generate the highest amount of sponsorships ever.  The experience in Beijing was also priceless.

6.  Covering the NBA Allstars and the China Games.  The learnings of running a big time sporting event and being part of the on cam talent pool for the international coverage is something I will never forget.

5.  Donaire/Viloria.  To know that you can mount a world class sporting event gives a lot of satisfaction from what I was a part of in Solar.

4.  Meeting NBA Superstars.  Being able to interview the likes of Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, and Dwayne Wade along with many other NBA players was a dream come true.  

3.  Great Team.  It was an honor to have worked with such a talented and competent group in Solar.  I have made some very good friends along the way and that is something I will always be thankful for.  From my bosses to the managers, the company is in good hands with visionaries and passionate people.

2.  BTV.  To conceptualize, launch, and implement Basketball TV was something I will always be proud of.

1.  Manny Pacquiao.  It was surreal to be right in the middle of the rise of the Pacman the last 4 years.  

There were others that deserve mention including working on the 2006 World Cup coverage in the Philippines, producing and hosting In The Zone (ITZ) and conceptualizing Sports Desk along with pioneering the Philippine Collegiate Championships (and maybe even more stuff that escapes my memory at the moment) but I decided to limit it to 10 things.

It was certainly a packed four years!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bad Boy Coach

I did spend my junior high, high school and college days in the Chicago area.  I did love watching the Bulls with MJ, Scottie, and Horace in the 80's.  I did hate the Detroit Pistons led by Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman and Chuck Daley.  They did thrive on being called the "Bad Boys" from the Motor City.  In general they weren't that athletic which prompted Daley to implement rough play as the only way to get the job done.  They orchestrated the "Jordan Rules" to specifically and physically slow down Michael Jordan.  It worked.  At least until the 90's.  The Pistons were the best team to end the 80's with two straight titles.

Chuck daily passed away this weekend and although I did not like him in Detroit, I did respect him as a coach.  I don't think his style was limited to physicality as he coached the first (and maybe only) Dream Team in 1992 which had a totally different philosophy.  You gotta give credit to coaches who identify their manpower and utilize a system custom fit for the talent he's been given.

So to one of the best coaches in basketball, Rest in Peace sir.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Just got word on some of the overnight ratings numbers for the most recent Pacquiao fight.  These telecasts never cease to amaze me because no matter how many ads are placed and however many complaints are raised, an incredible number of people still watch on GMA7.

The fight is only on pay per view everywhere in the world except in the Philippines where it is also available on Free TV but with tons of commercials.  Nobody wants to sit through ad after ad after ad, but with the amount the rights have gone up and only 5 hours or so to unload sponsorships, it is really a difficult situation.

Initial numbers indicate that the Pacman fight rated an average of 64% AMR (Average Minute Rating) garnering 87% SHR which I think is now the highest ever rated program in Philippine history.  It peaked at 68% AMR and 92% SHR.  The fights vs Larios and Delahoya also breached the 60% mark but were both a little lower than Hatton.  The other network's programming only rated about 3% AMR at the same time.  If you add the viewers on Solar (simulcast) and even the primetime airing on CS9, then almost everyone who had a TV on last May 3 practically watched the fight.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Can We Consider Pacquiao the Greatest Ever?

I have only been cognicent of boxing since the 80's so I really couldn't tell if he can be classified in the Greatest Ever category yet. But from the fighters I've seen from my generation, the Pacman is right up there with Mike Tyson, Suger Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler and yes, the great Muhammad Ali.
Of course the criteria used will make a difference but think for a moment where Manny is at this point of his career. He has won his last four fights in different divisions against champions. He has demolished the last three with the greatest of ease. He has charisma that attracts millions who idolize him and consider him a hero. Manny "retires" champion boxers. The only fighter who he has not sent into obscurity is Juan Manuel Marquez. The only that can stop Manny for boxing immortality is politics.

Is he the greatest ever? I think he's the greatest now. The greatest maybe even the last 20 years all things considered. I think if he wins a few more against future Hall of Famers like Mayweather Jr., talk of greatest ever is fair game.