Wednesday, January 28, 2009

NU-PBA Draft

Breaking News! Discarding nepotism and politics, adjusting to the times, adapting a more aggressive innovative role, the PBA announced that they are expanding to a total of 12 teams next year! In light of this development, the commissioner-not-named-Sonny added that with the new era in Philippine basketball there should be necessary changes for the league. The commissioner-not-named-Sonny announced a free-for-all free agency and the richest draft in league history to follow. The order has been set (for lack of creativity, the commissioner-not-named-Sonny decide to do it alphabetically via team name) and the teams have retained (or hired) their coaches.

Additionally, the commissioner-not-named-Sonny also said that the tournament (quadruple-round robin) is a “one-time deal” only. Meaning that after the season, everything will go back to normal and players will go back to their original teams (Much to the chagrin of the crowd present in the proceedings) Finally, the commissioner-not-named-Sonny made a slight tweak regarding league rules: Article 4.8B Suspensions – Player/s can now be suspended and fined by the commissioner’s office if that player/s suffers an injury throughout the season. Meaning, either players play through pain or just stop the acting and pretending that they have injuries. Ergo, it’s now “win now, baby” (as heard from the commissioner himself) time for most of the ball clubs. With the first pick of the PBA Dream Draft…

PG – Dennis Miranda/ Cholo Villanueva
SG- James Yap/ Bon Bon Custodio/ Gherome Ejercito

SF – JC Intal/ Larry Rodriguez
PF - Ranidel de Ocampo/ Mike Hrabak
C – Mick Pennisi/ Rob Reyes

PG – Jay Jay Helterbrand/ Marvin Cruz/ Egay Billones

SG – Junthy Valenzuela/Rodney Santos
SF – Tony de la Cruz/ Cesar Catli PF- Leo Najorda/ Allan Salangsang
C – Asi Taulava/Mark Isip/ Ervin Sotto

PG - LA Tenorio/ Chris Pacana / Macky Escalona

SG - Don Don Hontiveros/ / Denver Lopez
SF – Kelly Williams/ Ronald Tubid/ Jason Misolas
PF – Jay-R Reyes/ Willy Wilson
C – Sonny Thoss / Yancy De Ocampo

PG -Olsen Racela/ Topex Robinson/ Ronjay Enrile

SG – Cyrus Baguio/ Jojo Duncil
SF – Gabe Norwood/ John Arigo/ Chito Jaime
PF – Arwind Santos/ John Ferriols
C – Dorian Pena/ Junjun Cabatu

PG – Ryan Reyes/Jonas Villanueva/ Chico Lanete

SG– Mac Cardona/ Kelvin Dela Peña
SF – Gabby Espinas/ Sunday Salvacion
PF - Homer Se / Dennis Daa
C – Erik Menk / Adonis Sta Maria

PG – Alex Cabagnot/ Paolo Mendoza / Paolo Hubalde

SG – Willie Miller/ Jireh Ibañez/Magnum Membrere
SF – Nelbert Omolon/ Mark Macapagal
PF – Jay Washington/ Ricky Calimag
C– Carlos Sharma/ Rafi Reavis/ Mark Andaya

PG – PJ Simon/ Jeffrei Chan/ Celino Cruz

SG - Jeffrey Cariaso/ Chris Calaguio/ Jonathan Fernandez
SF – Jared Dillinger/ Larry Fonacier/ Melvin Mamaclay
PF - Mark Telan/ Norman Gonzales
C – Enrico Villanueva / Samigue Eman/ Lawrence Bonus

PG–Wynne Arboleda/ Roger Yap/ Christian Coronel

SG – Mark Caguioa/ Ronjay Buenafe
SF – Lordy Tugade/ Mark Borboran
PF – Harvey Carey/ Rich Alvarez C – Dennis Espino/ Kenneth Bono/ Paolo Bugia

PG - Mike Cortez/ Ryan Araña/ Warren Ybañez

SG – Gary David/Ren Ren Ritualo/ RJ Rizada
SF – Danny Seigle/ Yousif Aljamal/ Richard Alonzo
PF – Nic Belasco/ Eddie Laure
C– Ali Peek/ Marlou Aquino/ Beau Belga

PG – Jimmy Alapag/Paul Artadi/ Tyrone Tang

SG – Solomon Mercado/ Kelvin Gregorio/ Aaron Aban
SF – Mark Pingris/ Mike Holper
PF – Reynel Hugnatan/ Douglas Kramer
C – Kerby Raymundo/JR Quiñahan

PG –Jason Castro/ Donald Dulay/Froilan Baguion/Pong Escobal

SG – Joseph Yeo/ Rob Wainwright/ Aris Dimaunahan
SF - Niño Canaleta/ Wesley Gonzales
PF – Don Allado/ Jondan Salvador
C – Joe Devance/ Billy Mamaril / Alex Crisano

/Dream Rant

i am a sad story.

"Leaf by leaf, page by page. Throw this book away."

- Ben Folds Five in Smoke.

There is no rest for the wicked. Not even a soul to keep, and no more heart.

SMB Postmortem

After dissecting the guards play it’s now time to tackle San Miguel’s rotation on the wings and the paint.

Don Don Hontiveros – Just when we thought the loaded line-up of San Miguel has shattered much of Don Don’s swagger and confidence, the Cebuano guard made sure he finished the year with a bang--- that he did, first against Ginebra continued his mad streak against Talk N Text. Relatively inconsistent in the eliminations and sub-par (by Hontiveros standard) but quietly effective in that stretch, he stepped it up in the latter part of the season showing Siot and the rest of the Beermen fans why he is so oh-important to this team.

In game two versus the Kings, he scored 35 points then followed it up with 34 points in the clinching game. To rehash, in both these games the Beermen were trailing and none of these stats are the garbage-type of production. Then against TNT, he continued his scoring spree with a 39-point output in game three and being a constant number option all throughout the series not to mention defending the likes of Cardona, Alapag and Dillinger. Clearly, Don Don has become the most important and valuable player in the SMB camp right now. He is effective on both ends of the floor and a grizzled veteran that could replace Olsen as the on-court leader.

Lordy Tugade – Much has been said about “unfair” trades in the league where certain player X (serviceable) is shipped for player Y (a scrub)--- for economical reasons. With Tugade, not only they unloaded Tugade’s contract but they also traded a player who San Miguel thought could be a consistent contributor on both ends of the floor. Despite the numbers, Tugade has become sort of a black hole on offense and defense for the Beermen. Sure, the numbers are there (20 points or more thrice, double digit scoring 13 times in the eliminations) but he gets those numbers at such an ineffective rate. He attempted 139 three-pointers (44 made for 39 per cent) out of 272 total shots for the season meaning almost half of his shots are from beyond the arc despite the fact that he is a good penetrator (62 of 132 2FGM, or 47 per cent) and hits his freebies as well.

This lack of effort brings me to my point: why acquire a player that is redundant with one of your stars (Don Don)? Tugade can be effective in SMB’s system but he has to know his role on offense and should take more responsibility defensively. Provided that he had spotty minutes versus Talk N Text, but SMB was still competitive in those games despite his injury.

Danny Seigle – How things turn quickly. Three months ago this dynamite had zero capability to explode. Then the playoffs came, and boom! he’s was near to his old dominant self. After playing just 5 games (First three and last two) in the eliminations, Seigle reintroduced himself to the PBA fans with his knack for scoring the basketball. The much-maligned forward scored 16 points in 20 minutes in their first knockout game against Air 21 then followed it up nicely with over 10 markers and 4 caroms per outing in the best-of-three series against Ginebra. However, it was just the beginning of a nice ending to the conference for Danny S. He scored 29 points in game four and followed it up with 32 points in the overtime loss in the final game. He was even rebounding the ball grabbing 8 rebounds or more in half the games.

So the big question is… Is Danny Seigle really back? Maybe, maybe not. Such an unsure conclusion only mean that San Miguel SHOULD aggressively trade him now. Try to ship him (and his contract) when his value is at an all-time high (at least during the injury days) and the campaign for a Trade-DS idea should start now. Getting a young prospect is the ideal situation, but a couple of (high) picks will do as well. The real question remains, how loyal is SMB to a (once) franchise player like Seigle…

Marc Pingris – If not the injury to Dorian Peña, Pingris would never have gotten off the bench consistently in the playoff round specifically in the TNT series. As SMB went small (Pingris played the PF spot most of the time), he produced not surprisingly some eye-popping numbers. He scored in double digits four times (11,11 in the first two, and 28 16 in the last). However, it was in the rebounding end that he can be most appreciated. In the last 5 games he grabbed at least 7 boards including a 12-rebound effort for a double-double in Game Five.

Much has been said already of Siot’s benching of Pingris in the final minutes of the final game. All under the bridge now, but Siot should wake up and smell the coffee: Ping brings energy to the table. To do that, he has cut minutes with the other bigs (clue: DS) to give Pingris his rightful consistent time on the court.

Jay Washington – Similar to Pingris but much more addicted to the outside shot is J-Wash. The Fil-Am had solid minutes for the entire year (14.7 PPG, 9.4 RPG and 1.1 BPG) but it was against Talk N Text that he really played his best. Vengeance errr.. versus his former team he upped those averages to 19.6 PPG, 11.6 RPG and 1.4 BPG. Ok, there was that missed easy lay-up in game six that could have changed the complexion of the ending or the ill-advised threes here or there (just a 30 per cent shooter from beyond) or a needed improvement from the line (49/79 FT’s, or 62 per cent).. But clearly the package of a versatile forward is there for the run and gun system of Siot.

Dorian Peña – The monster rebounder was badly missed by the Beermen against the Texters. He did play two games in that series but was very ineffective in very limited minutes. While a very bad free throw shooter (Just above 56 per cent), his real value comes from eating the glass either offensive or defensive. He is also quite effective against smaller defenders as well (Please, don’t foul him) and is quite potent inside the paint. To a run and gun team, a rebound starts everything. To a run and gun team, wild misses are expected. Peña is quite effective in starting the break (defensive rebounds) and re-starting an offense (offensive rebounds).

Mick Pennisi – Another new acquisition this year is the Pennisi. The formerly very hated, now just a little hated center from Red Bull has been serviceable to say the least for SMB. Unlike Peña, he is more comfortable playing outside and is one of the few centers in the league that can hit the 3 point shot. But at what cost? This year, Mick took 144 three-pointers and made 44 of them--- respectable at a 33 per cent clip. On the rebounding end, he’s done as nicely as well at 7.2 per game. Again, the question at what cost? Height is might but he shouldn’t be taking too many three pointers. In a team that features already high-volume shooters from the perimeter, do you really need another player (who is supposedly a big man) to take those shots away? Does he fit the system? Probably, to an extent. But will a Dorian Peña type of player be a more fit and be more valuable to SMB? Probably so.

Other players in the team are Wesley Gonzales and Kenneth Bono who played sparingly in the playoff rounds and the eliminations. Both players showed they can be effective when given the minutes. Then, there are the likes of Chris Calaguio, Eman Samigue and even Danny Ildefonso waiting on the bench.

Conclusion: What’s the final deal, then? Who stays? Who goes? First, lest we forget Siot Tanguincen did a horrible job in the TNT series (and a number of games in the eliminations) but we should also remember that this is the same coach who stuck to his troops when the going got tough (Later part of the elims when SMB was struggling, then the pair of wild card games and the comeback victories against the Kings). The point here is, he is still a young coach who is just learning the ropes (albeit the hard and painful way)… Much like this SMB team. Give him another shot (another conference), after all, a third or fourth place finish is still respectable (albeit painful to accept)

For the Fiesta Cup an important-laden tournament here’s a proposal for Siot and how he should handle the rotation (For the management, omitted players should mean they should have been traded before the conference even begins)

PG – Villanueva/Custodio (Cortez/Baguion)
SG – Hontiveros (Calaguio)
SF – Pingris/Gonzales (Tugade/Seigle)
PF – Washington/Bono (Ildefonso)
C - Peña/Eman (Pennisi)

Whilst the PG lineups looks thin (Again, Baguion is replaceable but the team do need a respectable third string guard if anyone gets injured) and Custodio can be paired in the back court with Jonas, there might be a need to find a second (real) point guard. A deal for Seigle (or Tugade, only one should go if no quality players are taken in return) can net a good guard that can play the point. Handling the paint job are Washington and Pena (and when he slides to the four, Pingris) but there is now the need to develop the likes of Bono and Eman even further with the aging players in Pennisi, Ildefonso and Seigle. Even if no trades are made, it is vital for San Miguel to start inserting them in the rotation or the selection of Eman and trade for Bono will just look like wasted efforts. Ideally, this should what the team depth chart and rotation look like (*Again ideally, the import must be able to slide to the 2-spot, meaning he has to have ball handling skills; Another option is get a natural SF import but that can be redundant with the likes of Washington/Pingris already)

PG – Villanueva/P G*/ Custodio/3rd-string PG
SG – Hontiveros/Custodio/Calaguio/Gonzales/IMPORT
SF – IMPORT/Pingris/SF**/Gonzales/ Hontiveros
PF – Washington/ /Pingris/Bono/
C - Peña/Pennisi/Bono/Eman/
* netted from a Seigle/Tugade trade
** Who ever is not traded between Seigle/Tugade

And the system? More run and gun!