PBA: Rookies who flourished in the Philippine Cup

PBA Rookies are the building blocks of the league’s future.

While not all of them are expected to make an impact right away, they are all picked with the idea that they would become rotation players. However, there are some transcendental talents who would become integral parts of their respective teams’ success right off the bat.

It’s fitting that the first season that a rookie must face is the Philippine Cup, where teams can’t rely on imports to beef up their rosters.

Here are some of the rookies who helped their respective teams to playoff appearances in their first conference over the past five years:

PG Kiefer Ravena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drafted By: NLEX Road Warriors, 2017
School: Ateneo De Manila University
PH Cup Stats: 16.9 ppg 5.7 apg 3.7 rpg 2.1 spg

The second overall pick in the latest draft was as good as advertised as he’s leading NLEX in a league-best four game win streak. His all-around game and clutch performance that have been a staple in his UAAP career was surprisingly carried easily in the PBA.

SF Jeron Teng

Drafted By: Alaska Aces, 2017
School: De La Salle University
PH Cup Stats: 13.0 ppg 4.2 rpg 1.8 apg 1.1 spg

A rival of Ravena’s during their UAAP days, Teng is having a decent start to his PBA career. While he may not be leading the team in any category, Teng has been able to plug himself as an essential piece in Alaska’s playoff bid.

PG Jio Jalalon

Drafted By: Star Hotshots, 2016 (Gilas Special Draft)
School: Arellano University
PH Cup Stats: 10.8 ppg 4.5 rpg 3.8 apg 1.3 spg

Jalalon was part of the separate draft that was exclusive to the Gilas Pool members. He was a spark off the Hotshots bench and was having a tremendous season despite playing just 21.9 minutes per game. His contribution was crucial as Mark Barroca’s production dipped with the arrival of Paul Lee.

PG Matthew Wright

Drafted By: Phoenix Fuel Masters, 2016 (Gilas Special Draft)
School: St. Bonaventure (USA)
PH Cup Stats: 17.9 ppg 7.1 rpg 3.8 apg 2.2 3PM

Another product of the special draft, Wright asserted himself right at the get-go for the Fuel Masters. He helped Phoenix to a sixth-place finish in the eliminations to advance to the quarterfinals, but couldn’t pull off a win against Jalalon and the Hotshots.

PF Troy Rosario

Drafted By: Mahindra Enforcers, 2015
School: National University
PH Cup Stats: 15.6 ppg 6.7 rpg 1.7 3PM

Rosario’s start was marred by controversy, having never suited up for the team that drafted him, as he was shipped out two days later to Talk N’ Text. There, he would form a frontcourt with another highly-touted rookie as the Texters begin their first season without Jimmy Alapag, who served as the team manager following his first retirement early in the year.

C Moala Tautuaa

Drafted by: Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters, 2015
School: Chadron State (USA)
PH Cup Stats: 13.2 ppg 5.2 rpg 1.9 apg

The most coveted rookie in the 2015 draft, Tautuaa was seen as a franchise player they could build around following Alapag’s departure. He and Rosario helped TNT in reclaiming their spot in the playoffs, after failing to qualify in the Governor’s Cup, giving the Texters a renewed hope for their future.

SG Stanley Pringle

Drafted by: GlobalPort Batang Pier, 2014
School: Penn State (USA)
PH Cup Stats: 14.0 ppg 6.7 rpg 4.7 apg 1.9 spg

The first overall pick in the 2014 draft did not disappoint, but at 27 years old, he was also the oldest player selected first at the time (Christian Standhardinger was 28 years old when he was picked first last year). Pringle formed a high-scoring backcourt with Terrence Romeo as they led the team to five wins after a combined two over the previous two conferences.

C Greg Slaughter

Drafted by: Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 2013
School: Ateneo De Manila University
PH Cup Stats: 15.7 ppg 10.2 rpg 1.9 bpg 53% FG%

The top overall pick in the frontcourt-heavy 2013 draft showed right away that he was ready for the big league, averaging a double-double in his first conference. He helped the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings to an 11-3 slate in the eliminations. However, they were stopped by the Star Hotshots and their own rookie, Ian Sanggalang.

SF Calvin Abueva

Drafted By: Alaska Aces, 2012
School: San Sebastian College
PH Cup Stats: 14.6 ppg 10.2 rpg 2.1 apg 1.6 spg

With top overall pick June Mar Fajardo nursing an injury for most of the Philippine Cup, it was Abueva who took the spotlight among rookies in his draft class. He finished his collegiate career as the only player in college basketball history to lead a league in points, rebounds, and assists, so it wasn’t like Fajardo was the only gem in the 2012 draft class.

Honorable Mentions:

While their Philippine Cup stats did not stand out as much, some rookies eventually found their groove to become important pieces for the teams they played on. They are:

June Mar Fajardo, Cliff Hodge, Vic Manuel, and Alex Mallari in 2012
Ian Sanggalang, Terrence Romeo, Justin Melton and Raymond Almazan in 2013
Kevin Alas and Chris Banchero in 2014
Chris Newsome, Scottie Thompson, and Art Dela Cruz in 2015
Carl Bryan Cruz and Roger Pogoy in the 2016 Special Draft

PBA Memorable Moments: 1997 Gordon’s Gin Commissioner’s Cup Celebration

It was the 1997 Commissioner’s Cup Finals, the most popular and charismatic franchise in the PBA, Ginebra (then playing under the Gordon’s Gin brand), had been waiting for a championship for so long.

Their last trophy was won way back in 1991 during the first conference, and come 1997 it was undeniable that the team with the biggest fanbase is already in a significant title drought. The previous conference, the 1997 All-Filipino was a bitter pill to swallow as they bowed to Purefoods in 6 games.

The Commissioner’s Cup would be their revenge, but it wasn’t a walk in the park as they faced last year’s grand-slam winning Alaska who were eager to right their ship and get back to last year’s glory.

To cut the story short, the Gin Boars were able to power through against the odds beating the Milkmen in six games and finally ending the title drought as majority of the fans in the stadium celebrated with the team.

It was pandemonium of a very happy and glorious sort. After the trophy was awarded, larger than life playing coach Robert “The Living Legend” Jaworski addressed and saluted the fans for their unwavering support as he dedicated the trophy to them.

Later in the dugout, the media interviewed the players who made up the team.

Because of this particular squad’s achievement of giving the PBA’s most beloved team a championship once again after a considerable time of disappointing campaigns, many of them became unforgettable individuals and instant PBA lore after all these years.

Here they are:

Bal “The Flash” David

The quick and tenacious point guard was instrumental as he epitomized the “never say die” culture of the team.

“Mr. Adrenaline” Jayvee Gayoso

An intense player who is a specialist from beyond the arc, his shooting touch came in handy during crucial moments.

Vince “The Prince” Hizon

Lethal from beyond the arc, can take it strong inside and has good court vision, don’t let The Prince’s was the good guy image fool you. He’s dangerous on court!

Enjoy their clip!

Benny Cheng

Gordon’s role player but has endeared to fans because he can light up from time to time.

Marlou “The Skyscraper” Aquino

Gordon’s Gin’s center who is a presence and creative inside the paint, he just opted to stay huddled in his designated space in the locker room during the interview.

Noli “The Tank” Locsin

The Player of the Game when they won the championship, who doesn’t look like he won the championship this time.

Noli Locsin was one of the most explosive players whose game belies his stocky appearance.

An inside force who can take the ball strong to the rim, his scene here was one of the most memorable and thought-provoking as he really seemed not in the mood to celebrate.

Chris King

Who can forget The Boars’ import, Chris King, who gave is all even if nursing a hamstring problem. He never wavered and continued on for the prize.

Here is clip with their respective moments:

The Aftermath: The Song

Such was the level of impact of their championship run that it inspired Gary Granada to release a special version of his “Pag natatalo ang Ginebra” song in homage to the monumental achievement.

So, we hope the memories came flooding back! It iss definitely one of the big moments in PBA.

FIBA: Can Gilas Pilipinas beat the Boomers?

Jhon Mark Trinidad

After a two game sweep of the first window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asia Qualifiers, Gilas Pilipinas will fly to Australia to continue the fight and to face the undefeated Boomers on February 22 at the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne. Both elite teams were able to outmatch the national teams of Chinese Taipei and Japan on their first two assignments. It will be the first FIBA-sanctioned match between Philippines and Australia since the merging of the FIBA Asia and FIBA Oceania zones.

Australia coach Andrej Lemanis has already named the 12 players who will don the green and gold at this month’s World Cup qualifier. Expected to lead the team is NBL’s Brisbane Bullets center Daniel Kickert who led the Boomers in scoring with an average of 18.5 points during the first window. Forward Mitch Creek from the NBL’s Adelaide 36ers is also another force to reckon as he averaged 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds. Aside from the two key players, also included in the Aussie team are Angust Brandt, Jason Cadee, Cam Gliddon, Christopher Goulding, Matthew Hodgson, Nicholas Kay, Kevin Lisch, Mitch McCarron, Nathan Sobey, and Jesse Wagstaff.

Meanwhile, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes has officially announced via twitter the list of 14 men who will bravely fight against the Boomers. This includes naturalized center Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, Jio Jalalon, RR Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Allein Maliksi, Gabe Norwood, Calvin Abueva, Carl Bryan Cruz, Japeth Aguilar, June Mar Fajardo, and Abu Tratter.

Australia is the reigning continental champion as they bagged the FIBA Asia Cup trophy last year with an unblemished record at Beirut, Lebanon. During the same competition, Gilas Pilipinas had a dismal campaign as they succumbed to placing 7th overall only. So far, the Boomers have easily dispatched every opposing Asian team they faced. Hence, it is no secret that Gilas Pilipinas will be the underdog of this match. To give us better insights, below is a table showing a comparison between the two rival teams based on the results of first two games of the Asia Qualifiers.

On paper, it seems like the Boomers are once again poised to add another victim on their record. The game will be played in front of their energetic home crowd. They have a higher FIBA ranking and they outclassed the Philippine team in terms of PPG, APG, 3 point field goals, and field goal shooting. However, nothing is absolutely certain in basketball. It may be a difficult battle to win for Gilas Pilipinas but beating the Boomers is never impossible. Here are five key factors that can help Gilas pull an upset against the powerhouse Australia on the road.

EVERYONE MUST BE A SCORING THREAT

Based from the first window of the competition, there are only three Gilas Pilipinas players who are averaging double digit points per game: Castro (20.0 PPG), Wright (11.5 PPG), and Fajardo (11.5 PPG). If the undisputed Southeast Asian basketball kings really want to slay a big dragon in Australia, all five on the floor must have a full display of their scoring arsenal and accurately fire at all cylinders. Defensive schemes by Australia are expected to slow down “The Blur” so guys like Japeth Aguilar, Jio Jalalon, and Carl Bryan Cruz need to step up their offensive contribution. If Gilas can keep the scoring game close to Australia, then there is higher chance of beating the reigning Asian Cup champion.

SPOT ON THREE POINT SHOOTING

Coach Andrej Lemanis and the Boomers are parading a tall and versatile line-up. As always, Gilas Pilipinas lagged way behind in terms of height match-up. The Aussie team is apparently taller at all playing positions. When faced against a taller opposition, Gilas Pilipinas historically finds it difficult to put an easy lay-up or at least go near the paint. The only way to compensate is for Gilas Pilipinas to have a near perfect shooting from the long distance. Consistent and efficient outside shooting will push the Aussie team to extend their defense up to the rainbow country, thereby giving Gilas Pilipinas enough space to operate under the shaded area. Castro, Wright, and Maliksi are the ones who Coach Chot Reyes expects to start the three points shooting party for the Philippine team.

IMPECCABLE DEFENSE

From the numbers, Australia is the better offensive team than Gilas Pilipinas. If the Boomers can’t be beaten by impressive scoring alone, then Coach Chot Reyes must devise various effective defensive tactics in order to slow down the Boomers. What Gilas needs is an impeccable defense, from the inbound, half-court, up to the paint. Every shot from Aussies must be challenged. If Gilas Pilipinas will have a hard time against Australia, then the Philippine squad must return the same inconvenience to the Boomers by giving them exhausting defense.

BANKING ON STRENGTH IN SPEED

Height has never been the winning advantage of Gilas Pilipinas. Despite the team’s shortcoming in that department, the team still finds many ways to win. Another key factor that can help Gilas Pilipinas in their campaign is to bank in its strength in speed. Castro and Jalalon are two players who can give this essential contribution. With speed spurts from these guards, Gilas Pilipinas is giving itself a chance to be one step ahead of its competitor and somehow, an opportunity to maneuver the pace of the match. He, who dictates the tempo of the game, wins the game.

“PUSO”

“Puso” or heart in English has been the major battle mantra of Gilas Pilipinas. With “puso”, the team was able to experience phenomenal success in international basketball scene. Perhaps, the most memorable one was when it defeated South Korea in 2013 at home soil to finally earn a ticket back to the Basketball World Cup after 36 long years of futility. “Puso” has done so much wonders for the Philippine squad. Hence, it will be a big boost if Gilas Pilipinas will bring this ultimate weapon to Melbourne and use it to accomplish what most basketball pundits say that is impossible.

Practically, Gilas Pilipinas must play a perfect basketball to finally let Australia taste their first defeat from an Asian country since last year’s FIBA zones merger. Whatever will be the result of the highly anticipated clash between the two teams, Gilas Pilipinas will return home to host the vengeance-seeking Japan on February 25 at the Mall of Asia Arena. So, can Gilas Pilipinas beat the Boomers? Your guess is just as good as mine.

Five of the most shocking scenes in the PBA

The PBA has been a storied league, no doubt. Now approaching it’s 43rd year, the association has already seen numerous moments of glory, defeat, and other milestones.

But today, we focus on five of the most shocking scenes in PBA history caught on TV. These are just some, there are definitely more, so feel free to add in the comments.

Here are our five, in no particular order:

Samboy Lim’s awkward fall.

Samboy Lim of San Miguel Beer was one of the most (if not the most) exciting players to set foot on the PBA court. HIs high flying abilities were really a sight to behold.

A game against Purefoods though turned out to be a nightmare as a hard foul from Jojo Lastimosa in mid-air made “The Skywalker” lose his balance go headfirst to the floor.

Good thing the accident was not as serious as initially seemed to be and he was able to return to action after days of recuperation.

But with Samboy’s profile as a player, having a very big fanbase, and the way he dropped to the floor, it definitely sent shockwaves in all sporting media across the nation.

Allan Caidic’s head injury

“The Triggerman” and sweet-shooting Allan Caidic had a scary moment in his career when he collided with teammate Nelson “The Bull” Asaytono mid-air as both went after an offensive rebound.

The bigger build of Asaytono made him get to the ball first, but the impact made Allan Caidic lose his balance hitting his head on the floor with such force that he involuntarily shook and vomited after the impact.

To add darkness and controversy to the scenario while it was unfolding, opposing coach Sonny Jaworski was seen gesturing the cut-throat sign.

With everything being caught on TV, and Allan’s unique talent as a shooter, it was a massive scare for Filipino basketball fans, not just for his contributions in the PBA but the national team as well as he really shines in the international stage.

Presto vs Anejo brawl

It was 1988. The brawl was triggered when Presto’s Philip Cezar was fouled hard by Anejo import Tommy Davis.

Tempers flared immediately with Cezar being retrained. Then, something might have been said to the other Anejo import, Joe Ward, that made him gone berserk.

Then all hell broke loose.

The scene eventually became a full on melee with flying chairs and even fans became involved.

Security seemed to be overwhelmed or non-existent that time as everything just unfolded without any resistance from guards or law enforcers.

With the event being caught on live TV, it was definitely a memorably shocking scene.

Wynne Arboleda assaulting a fan

Whatever triggered Arboleda for him to attack a fan, it was surely unexpected that the player would go all the way for a full-on assault.

No need for much explanation. It is what it is. Arboleda faced serious punishment from the league because of the way he acted.

Mick Pennisi’s shockingly funny flop

To end things on a lighter note, Mick Pennisi (then of Barako Bull) made the news not just locally but in the basketball world when he belatedly reacted to a ball thrown at him head-on by opposing player Will McDonald.

The exchange was technically a serious one since it stemmed from an exchange of dirty plays by Pennisi leading to McDonald’s unsportsmanlike reaction.

But whatever air of seriousness the scene could have led to eventually went down the drain,
being replaced by laughters instead (and a viral video) because of Pennisi’s (very late decision to) flop.

PBA playoff picture: NLEX clinches spot, six teams in contention for final seeds

The playoff race for the 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup just became even more cramped, with six teams in the running for the sixth to eighth spot.

Sunday’s games gave winning teams leverage in their respective playoff bids. NLEX’s 93-90 nail-biter win over the Blackwater Elite booked their ticket back to the playoffs, tied themselves with Alaska for the fourth seed and put a damper on the Elite’s bid. On the other hand, Meralco kept their hopes alive with a late-game 84-83 upset over Ginebra in the second game.

Ginebra needs to win their final game against Rain or Shine to assure themselves of a playoff spot. Blackwater, TNT and Meralco, who are all tied at 4-6, don’t have a lot of breathing room and can only hope to win their respective games and for Phoenix and GlobalPort (4-5) fall out and lose their next matches.

Blackwater’s next game will be against the Fuel Masters, who also have GlobalPort in their schedule after. TNT will need to put the clamps on NLEX’s top-three offense to stay alive, while Meralco has a tough challenge in Magnolia for their final match.

The Elite have the toughest odds to make it because of their schedule and due to the fact that they don’t have the tiebreaker against TNT and Meralco (assuming that the Fuel Masters and the Batang Pier bottom out). The Bolts also won’t have it easy with a second seed on their plate next.

Takeaways from NLEX-Blackwater, Ginebra-Meralco

Meralco and NLEX both grabbed wins in Sunday night’s PBA Philippine Cup games at the Philippine Arena.

Kevin Alas scored 25 points, grabbed eight boards and dished out five assists to lead NLEX to its fourth straight win, 93-90, and back to the playoffs.

In the second game, Jason Ballesteros’ putback and free throw in the game’s final minute helped the Bolts keep their playoff hopes alive with an 84-82 win.

Here are the numbers from tonight’s games:

NLEX Road Warriors 93, Blackwater Elite 90

1. Kevin Alas finished what Kiefer Ravena started. The latter scored 13 of his 23 points in the first quarter before cooling down along with NLEX, while Alas matched Blackwater’s scoring output as a team in the fourth period by firing 16 of his game-high 25 points.

2. Blackwater’s top-three defense dictated the game for three quarters but fell short. They held their opponent to only 38 percent shooting from the field (against the Elite’s 43 percent) and even outrebounded them (62 against NLEX’s 47), but failed to key on shooters, as the Road Warriors buried 14 treys on 42 percent for the game.

3. Despite the loss, JP Erram had a big game for himself down low. The big man managed to score 14 points and grab 17 rebounds. Raymar Jose was also efficient in limited minutes for Blackwater, tallying 14 points and nine caroms in only 18 minutes.

Meralco Bolts 84, Ginebra San Miguel 82

1. Ginebra outrebounded Meralco, 55-47, but the biggest board of the game arguably came from Jason Ballesteros, who scored on a putback off a Chris Newsome miss. He tallied 17 rebounds, including six on the offensive end, and had more than Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter combined (15).

2. Coach Norman Black shuffled his rotation tonight as he opted to limit Baser Amer (18 minutes) and Nino Canaleta’s (12 minutes) playing time. Garvo Lanete and Anjo Caram saw an increase in action and came through; Lanete poured in 19 points on three treys, while Caram added 16 points and three boards.

3. LA Tenorio and Scottie Thompson, both in the top 10 in minutes played, didn’t get a lot of rest again tonight due to Ginebra’s thin depth on the guard spots. Thompson did most of the heavy lifting with an all-around gem of 17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Tenorio, on the other hand, had a rough outing as he only scored five points (with a three as his only field goal), six rebounds and three dimes.

Alas career-high, Ravena carry NLEX fightback against Blackwater

Kevin Alas’ career high 25 points highlighted by a crucial 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter that proved to be the momentum changer helped the Road Warriors complete a fightback against Blackwater, 93-90, in PBA Sunday at the Philippine Arena.

NLEX’s massive backcourt

The duo of Kevin Alas and Kiefer Ravena literally carried the Roadwarriors combining for 48 points of the team’s 93 which really tells how big the two guards are in this game.

Elite level lapse

Despite Blackwater getting a big second quarter surge, they weren’t able to sustain the lead heading into the business end of the game.

Blackwater simply weren’t able to convert their chances leading to the end of the third quarter up until the early part of the fourth as the lean spell provided a window for NLEX to pounce on the  opportunity to get the lead that they never relinquished despite the Elite’s efforts.

Tight finish

NLEX’s lead wasn’t safe though heading into the end of regulation as Blackwater did everything to pull stops and maintain a close gap.

But in the end, after a nervous exchange of plays, the Road Warriors were able to hold on for the win as Blackwater’s final attempt from beyond the arc that could have forced an overtime came to naught.

Image courtesy of PBA.ph

All-Time Filipino-Chinese Greats Who Played on the PBA Hardwood

The PBA, in its more than 40 years of existence, has seen several Filipino-Chinese players grace its hardwood. However, while many of them made their mark, there are a few who stood out among the rest.

In celebration of the Chinese New Year, FOX Sports Philippines names five of the best “Chinoy” ballers that played (or continues to play) in the country’s top basketball league.

Samboy Lim

Samboy Lim isn’t called the “Skywalker” for nothing. He’s an offensive force to be reckoned in the PBA back in the 90s due to his athleticism and high-flying skills. Lim’s fearless and kamikaze drives also made defenders think twice guarding him.

Injuries limited Lim’s career to just nine seasons; and despite never winning MVP, he is considered one of the greatest players in Philippine basketball. He was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 2009.

James Yap

The man with a million moves is known as one of the best clutch performers in the league. During his peak years, he was even called as the “Face of the PBA.”

A 14-time All-Star, Yap won seven PBA championships and two MVPs in 12 seasons with the Purefoods franchise before being traded to Rain or Shine. He is also only the 14th local player in league history to join the 10,000-point club, putting him in an elite company with the likes of Alvin Patrimonio, Ramon Fernandez and Robert Jaworski to name a few.

Fortunato “Atoy” Co Jr.

Atoy Co’s speed, versatility and on-court movements made him one of the deadliest scorers (and shooters) in the league. He had his glory days with the Crispa Redmanizers from 1972 to 1984, during which he won 13 championships including two Grand Slams.

The Fortune Cookie, a member of the 25 Greatest Players in PBA history, is the league’s third all-time leader in field goals made (5580) and fourth in the most points scored (12,994).

Lim Eng Beng

Lim Eng Beng is a legend to the Filipino-Chinese community, thanks to an illustrious career adorned with multiple awards. A renowned prolific scorer, he starred for De La Salle University from 1971 to 1974 before taking his talents to the pro level.

Among Beng’s notable accomplishments in the PBA are being named in the Mythical Five (1978), winning the Sportsmanship Award (1980) and eclipsing the 5,000-point threshold (1982). He is also a member of the league’s 25 Greatest list.

Paul Lee

A dangerous three-point shooter and an elite slasher, Paul Lee earned the nickname “Angas ng Tondo.” He was picked second overall by Rain or Shine in the 2011 draft and eventually won the Rookie of the Year honor.

A mainstay of the Philippine Basketball Team, the 29-year old is best remembered for knocking down three pressure-packed free throws with no time remaining to defeat a young China squad and give Gilas Pilipinas the bronze medal in the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup.

TBTh : Classic sports-influenced PH adverts

Since it’s Thursday, we throwback once again with five memorable sports-influenced advertisements from the past.

Let’s get straight into it:

Metrobank ET featuring PBA star Paul Alvarez (1991)

Such was the pull of basketball during those years that a product (in this case, an automated teller machine service) utilized the star power of a basketball player to promote its new banking service.

Cash, banking, automated teller machine -> basketball.

It really does make complete sense!

Alaxan featuring Manny Pacquiao (2010)

Pac-Man at the height of his powers. It refers to one of his training methods where he undergoes a series of pain control training as part of his preparation for upcoming fights.

It ends with Manny showing his multiple titles that at the time were really under his possession.

Moral of the promo: No pain, no gain for Manny Pacquiao. So don’t fear pain.

Gatorade “Striker” featuring Emelio “Chieffy” Caligdong (2011)

It was a time when the Philippine national football team was at its peak of its popularity.

Around a year after that fortuitous and watershed victory of the squad against ASEAN powerhouse Vietnam in Hanoi, the Azkals were sharing the spotlight of the sporting landscape.

One of the leaders of that team was lethal striker Chieffy Caligdong who inspired spectators and future footballers because of his talent and goalscoring ability during crucial matches.

San Miguel Beer featuring Danny Seigle, Danny Ildefonso, Olsen Racela, Nic Belasco, Samboy Lim, and Hector Calma (2000s) 

A promo highlighting the passion of the Filipinos for basketball it prominently featured the current San Miguel PBA team of the time with cameos of their legends.

Arguably one of the most epic sports-centric advertisements.

Milo featuring Bea Lucero, Mon Fernandez, Christine Jacob, Monsour del Rosario, and Lydia de Vega (2004)

This advert contains a powerhouse cast of Filipino sporting icons, especially Ramon “El Presidente” Fernandez and Lydia de Vega.

This 4oth anniversary edition of Milo definitely takes the cake for this edition of classic TVC’s.

That’s it!

Hope you enjoyed. Game ON!

Playoff chances for every PBA team in the 2017-2018 Philippine Cup

There are only a few games left until the playoff matchups are decided, but we still don’t have a clear picture of who would be able to snag the last spots. Right now, it’s a tight race from the 4th to the 10th seed, with at least four of them in danger of missing the quarterfinals.

Today we’re taking a look at how the teams are faring in the standings and how the rest of their schedule will stack up with their chances of making the top eight.

LOCK FOR PLAYOFFS: San Miguel Beermen, Magnolia Hotshots, Alaska Aces

These three teams lost in their last games, but they are just too hot to fall off their wheels and suddenly slide out of playoff contention. San Miguel’s (6-2) next three games will be against Alaska, Kia and Rain or Shine, and you can rely on them to beat at least two of these teams.

Magnolia’s (6-3) on a two-game losing skid, but this is no cause for alarm. They have the league’s best point-differential (+8.1); having such a balance on both offense and defense will help them snap out of this funk, and facing the mettle of two teams desperately vying for playoff position (GlobalPort, Meralco) should be a good test.

Alaska (6-3), who has been steady all conference long, might have a preview of a possible matchup in the quarterfinals with either the Elasto Painters and the Beermen, the two teams in their scope for their last two games.

ALMOST THERE: Rain or Shine, NLEX, Barangay Ginebra

If not for their respective win streaks, they wouldn’t have this cushion to work with in their final games. These three have a slightly safer chance of hitting the playoffs with the momentum that they built, but a slip or two would be fatal for them.

Rain or Shine is riding a three-game winning streak. Notching two more with their schedule would be quite a challenge as they’re facing Alaska, San Miguel and Ginebra, but getting one or two would make them a virtual lock for the quarterfinals.

NLEX is performing better than the next two teams on their schedule (Blackwater and TNT), but the KaTropa is an elite team stuck in the cold and might be a possible trap that can ruin their chances.

Stringing together two more victories for Ginebra (5-4) against Meralco and Rain or Shine is also probably easier said than done, but they finally might have figured things out on both ends of the floor after a slow start to this conference.

BLOODBATH RACE: GlobalPort, Phoenix, TNT

This is where things get exciting. With three more games left on their plate, GlobalPort has the best chance among these teams to land a playoff spot. They have one of the league leaders in Magnolia and the cellar-dwelling Kia up in their next two; they can already have one in the bag, and stealing a win over the Hotshots would be massive for playoff positioning. Their final game will be against Phoenix but they’re hoping to have the upper hand and momentum when they meet on March 2.

TNT and Phoenix, on the other hand, are in tight spots. TNT’s (4-6) last two losses have dealt a blow to their playoff chances, and they have the surging NLEX, who won of their last three, up next. They’d have to rely on Phoenix and GlobalPort to flop in their next games to even make the top eight.

The Fuel Masters hold the last playoff spot and are in a decent position to fend off the KaTropa with a more favorable schedule. Getting the business done against the 3-5 Blackwater and a mixture of both a TNT loss and a couple of defeats by GlobalPort against Rain or Shine and Phoenix themselves would make them a surefire lock for the eighth seed.

DON’T COUNT ON THEM: Blackwater, Meralco, Kia

Barring any big upsets, these three teams have a slim to none chance of making the playoffs. Blackwater’s next draw is Kia, but they’d need a couple of upsets against NLEX and Phoenix (plus losses from other teams in the 7th to 9th seed) to even snag a spot.

Meralco, meanwhile, shot themselves in the foot with three consecutive losses and are in more of a bind, needing massive upsets against Ginebra and Magnolia to even put them in conversation.

Kia has been treated as a doormat this conference, and teams vying to get better playoff position should pick up easy wins against them.

Image source: PBA.ph