Monday, February 10, 2014

Air Jordan XX9 (29)..Or Is It?

There is growing anticipation over Jordan Brand's next release, the Air Jordan XX9 (29). Some quarters say the Air Jordan XX9 is set to drop around September 2014. At any rate, there hasn't been any confirmation yet as to what the performance sneakers will look like. BUT this video somehow got my attention. Could it be the Air Jordan XX9? Check it out below. Pictures of other supposed colorways after the video.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

2014 Master Philippines 3-on-3 Challenge

Do you have what it takes to take on a 3-on-3 challenge? Those who do have what it takes are in luck. This 2014, Master is sponsoring a 3-on-3 challenge in select areas in the Philippines.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Jordan Super.Fly 2 Venom Green

I haven't seen this colorway of the Jordan Super.Fly 2 anywhere on the internet, so I suppose this one is yet to be released overseas (meaning, stateside). I could be wrong, though. But here in the Philippines, this just dropped today. At any rate, this CW of black, venom green and white (or perhaps "venom green" to be more specific) isn't too busy or loud. The laces look like some kind of snake, which isn't really bad either. Personally, the laces seem to have just enough flash on their own. But the shoe, however. The shoe. Well, I'm not really a fan of this colorway. But hey, someone somewhere could be.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pustahan: Pinoy Hoops Betting

Cover image of Rafe Bartholomew's book, Pacific Rims
Image from

It is a given that most Filipinos play for fun, which is perhaps the essence of playing for the love of the game. But sometimes things turn a notch higher. Sometimes there's that nagging need for extra spice, extra flavor to plain hoops, and I've had that feeling many times before. Who hasn't? Enter the idea of pustahan, or literally "betting" in the western world. When Pinoy hoopers challenge you to a game of pustahan, you know that shit just got real, one where all fouls are hard fouls, where you can curse and complain all you want without getting a technical, where each player is also technically a referee out to call your slightest error, and where trash talk is the preferred way of communication on-court.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Manila Clasico: San Mig Coffee Trumps Barangay Ginebra, 85-83

This is the Manila Clasico, the rivalry between the Barangay Ginebra and the San Mig Coffee Mixers (a. k. a. Purefoods in the 90s). Interestingly, the game was a close match throughout, and rightly so. While stats can prove useful to dissect the game, the first outing between Ginebra and San Mig Coffee in their best-of-seven series was more of a story of composure. Case in point: clutch and crunch time, the final two minutes of the neck-and-neck ball game.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Rain or Shine Massacres Petron, 103-95

There is no other word to describe it: it was a massacre. Petron Blaze Boosters' errors piled up one after another. Same story for their field goal attempts. Rain or Shine ran its offense quite well --- and run it did, dictating the tempo from start until the end.

One bad pass after another, Petron's first quarter was riddled with turnovers. It was as if every Petron player on the floor was out of sync. On the other hand, Rain or Shine was eager for a run-and-gun style of play. True enough, their transition offense gave them the lead halfway through the quarter as Petron was barely able to keep up with the pace. Rain or Shine's offensive rebounding likewise kept Petron at bay. Which is strange, given that Petron's Kramer and Fajardo were on the floor at some point. Perhaps Petron was not anticipating it, too, but Nuyles became a plus factor for Rain or Shine's offense early in the game.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Barangay Ginebra Dumps Alaska Aces, 108-95

Calvin Abueva and the Alaska Aces call it a day (or conference) after bowing down to Ginebra
Image from

From 6 apiece at the 9-minute marker, Ginebra rallied with 7 after a Tenorio swipe and bucket, a Baracael jumper, and three from the charity stripe. At 5:42, Ginebra unloaded another run at 13-0. For the rest of the first quarter, Ginebra dictated the tempo of the game. Baracael contributed 9 points, with one field goal from rainbow territory. Aguilar added another 8. Alaska on the other hand earned its living from the free throw line, earning 10 of its 21 points, 5 of which came from Espinas, Alaska's leading scorer in the first Q. Ginebra closed the first quarter with an 18-point advantage at 39-21.

Friday, January 24, 2014

PBA Post-Game Summaries: The Second Games

Things have been afire in the PBA 2014 Philippine Cup quarterfinals. In their first outing in a best-of-three series, Petron Blaze Boosters crushed Barako Bull Energy while San Mig Coffee Mixers surged past the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters. Meanwhile, the Alaska Aces took the first game against Barangay Ginebra, thereby forcing a sudden death match between the two. For its part, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters sent the Globalport Batang Pier packing for their early vacation after routing them in their first and last tiff for the conference.

In this post, I summarize the second games for the teams competing in the best-of-three series (Rain or Shine has already advanced to the semifinals while Ginebra and Alaska have yet to settle the score this coming Sunday).

Thursday, January 23, 2014

PBA Post-Game Summaries: The First Games

Marcio Lassiter of Petron jumps for a deuce over Barako Bull's Willie Miller.
Image from

The PBA 2014 Philippine Cup quarterfinals has officially begun. Having given my predictions two days ago, let's take a look at what happened during the first game for each contest.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Air Jordan 1 Black: Basketball Referee Shoes

In basketball, kicks are almost always associated with the players. But have you ever wondered about the shoes that referees wear on court? The rules usually dictate that the officials should wear black shoes, among other aspects of their outfit. With the release of the Air Jordan 1 in an all-black colorway, referees now have one more option to their arsenal of kicks. Or make that two since the Air Jordan 1 all-black comes in low and mid-top versions. The low-top sells for Php 5,295 a pair while the mid costs Php 5,995.

The low features the classic Air Jordan Wings logo at the heel, the jumpan logo on the tongue, and "23" at the lace tab/hole on the tongue. On the other hand, the mid has the jumpman logo at the heel the jumpman Air on the tongue. Click the image for a closer view of the Air Jordan 1 Black. More photos after the jump.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

PBA 2014 Philippine Cup Quarterfinals Predictions

After Meralco Bolts' ouster by the Alaska Aces in a win-or-go-home game, the die is cast and the lineup for the quarterfinals is now complete. Survivor team Alaska will be up against the people's champion, Barangay Ginebra. Armed with a winning streak record, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters is poised to duel with the Globalport Batang Pier squad. Petron Blaze Boosters and the Barako Bull Energy are set to duke it out in a best-of-three series. Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters and San Mig Coffee Mixers are likewise slated to burn the quarters in a series of three games.

Which teams will secure a spot in the semifinals? Which team will fizzle out in the quarterfinals? Here's my predictions for the PBA 2014 Philippine Cup predictions.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Nike Kobe 9 Elite All-Star Game (ASG): Possible Colorway Implementation

Despite the apparent dislike of many people over the high-top design of the Nike Kobe 9 Elite, there is no doubt that there is anticipation over the release of the "Masterpiece" this February 8. A few days ago, I've gone over the possible minimum retail price of the Kobe 9 Elite here in the Philippines. Recently, leaked information over at Nike Talk suggests that there will be an All Star Game (ASG) version of the Kobe 9 Elite. Based on the info, the Kobe 9 ASG is set to release this February 14 over at Foot Locker Europe. The shoes will carry a black base with accents of metallic gold and white. There are no photos yet of the actual shoes, so I decided to come-up with how they may look like. I may be wrong, of course.

Nike Kobe 9 Elite ASG possible colorway implementation

Will sneaker heads like this one? I don't know. A simple change in colorway will most likely not convince those who dislike the high-top KB9 Elite from changing preferences overnight. Be that as it may, the KB9 Elite ASG will most likely be a limited release. Which means availability is not that high, unlike general releases such as, say, most of the KB8 System colorways.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Justin Melton Two-Hand Alley-oop Slam

A few last seconds into the fourth quarter between the San Mig Coffee Mixers and the Petron Blaze Boosters, Alex Mallari of San Mig lobbed the rock for an alley-oop to rookie Justin Melton. Melton obliges and sends the leather down the rim with both hands. Check the video below.

The fascinating thing about this is that Melton is only 5'9" (others list him as 5'11", some others still 5'7"). In the Philippines, let alone in the PBA, in-game slam dunks are rarities. Probably because of the Filipino's typical short height and, quite often, the insufficiency of vertical leap as well.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

PBA Stats: Buckets Beyond the Arc, As of January 14, 2014

Yesterday, I dug into the PBA score sheets and gathered more information about the league's premier snipers. What I found out were not entirely out of this world. There were several interesting bits though.

Niño Canaleta of Air21 Express
Image from

Niño Canaleta of Air21 Express leads the league in terms of three-point attempts. He currently has 97. He also leads the league in threes made, which currently stands at 30. But at 10 losses and only 3 wins, Canaleta's efforts seem to be insufficient. He has 30.93% three-point field goal percentage, which is NOT one of the top-five in the league (his teammate Joseph Yeo has a better rate at 34.38% which, incidentally, is the best in Air21 Express). He takes a shot from rainbow territory once every 5.03 minutes, or 7.46 attempts per 37.54-minute outing. Each game, he nails a three about 2.31 times. In short, this guy just throws the rock everywhere, and for good reason. His team needs him to score more.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Age Statistics in the PBA for 2014

Age is but a number, so they say. Well, then so be it, I dare say. Having said that, I looked into the age statistics for the PBA this first quarter of 2014. The results were not entirely surprising.

Asi Taulava (Air21 Express), oldest current PBA player, nullifies the layup of Terrence Romeo (Globalport Batang Pier), the youngest in the league.
Image from

With the total of 155 players in the PBA, the average age in the league is 30.31 y/o. The age with the most number of players is 26 y/o listed with 15 players, which means that 9.68% of players in the league are in this age group (followed by ages 32, 31, and 28, each with fourteen players). About 45.16% of players in the PBA are below the average age while 49.03% are above the average age. Only 5.8% are in the average age.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Contra Barako Bull, Barangay Ginebra's Achilles Heel: The Zone Defense

If anything, Barangay Ginebra's recent game against the Barako Bull Energy reveals what could possibly be the Gin Kings' Achilles heel: the zone defense. Not their zone defense but that of their opponent's, not necessarily Barako Bull's.

Emman Monfort handling the rock.
Image from

To be sure, Ginebra trumped Barako Bull by seven points, 90 against 83, at the last whistle. Yet it took the smallest man on the floor, Emman Monfort (5'6", incidentally a former Barako Bull before being traded to Ginebra), to lift a team as big as Ginebra back on its feet in the last half of the final quarter.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Nike Zoom Hyperrev: Overpriced in the Philippines?

Today, major Nike outlets in the Philippines released the Nike Zoom Hyperrev. I've noticed many were anticipating for these shoes to release in the country. And why not? Full-length zoom at $120 is a steal these days. Except that, when the shoes finally hit the stores, they weren't really priced at $120. To be exact, they cost P7,995. Seven thousand and nine hundred ninety-five pesos. Such wow.

Jordan CP3.VII and Nike Zoom Hyperrev price comparison.

To put things in perspective, consider the Jordan CP3.VII, which costs $125. When the CP3.VIIs were finally released in the Philippines, they were priced at P6,795. What costs $125 were being sold for P6,795. That's the CP3.VII. And then we have the Nike Zoom Hyperrev, which, again, costs $120. But when they were released in the country, they were priced at P7,995. What cost $120 were being sold for P7,995. Something is terribly, terribly wrong here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Nike Kobe 9 Elite Masterpiece to Retail at P12,595?

Today, January 8, major Nike retailers in the Philippines will release the Flyknit Air Max. The confirmed price for these running shoes? P12,595. Twelve thousand five hundred and ninety-five pesos. I had to pick my jaw from the floor, not solely because of the obvious high cost, but because of what it entails for the price of the Nike Kobe 9 Elite "Masterpiece" once it hits the local shelves.

Nike Kobe 9 Elite Masterpiece, left. Nike Flyknit Air Max, right.

You see, the Flyknit Air Max retails at $224.99 in US Dollars. Meanwhile, the Kobe 9 is expected to retail this February 8 at $225. All things being equal, the price comparison can only imply one thing: the price for the Kobe 9 Elite will most likely be P12,595 as well. Ouch!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Filipino Retro Kicks: Black Superman

Last 2013 in the Kicks edition of Slam Magazine Philippines, Jay P. Mercado wrote an article about the on-court kicks of Filipino players in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). Except that the story covered the 70s to the 80s.

Black Superman by Grosby
Image from

Carrying the headline When Grosby and Kaypee Ruled the Game, it was a nod to the history of basketball performance shoes in the Philippines, a time when "local kicks -- proudly Philippine-made -- dominated the PBA sneaker game."

Monday, January 6, 2014

Once Upon A Time, There Was the MBA

In the Philippines, the Philippine Basketball Association or PBA is the basketball league of all basketball leagues. It's like the final frontier for every dreamer who wishes to play professional hoops in the country. It's like the NBA. But unlike the NBA, teams in the PBA represent companies instead of cities and other geopolitical divisions. There was a time, however, when the Philippines also had its version of the NBA where teams carry the names of cities and provinces. That league is the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association or MBA. Teams would actually travel across the country to compete, where one team hosts the visiting team. The players were also at par with their PBA counterparts, if not better. It was March of 1998 when the MBA formally began.

MBA official logo

Four years later, in July of 2002, the league was no more. It was good while it lasted, and somehow I miss watching basketball games for regional pride. Regional pride -- this is one thing that the PBA will never have. Will the MBA have its rebirth any time soon?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Tsinelas Kicks

In the Philippines, street ball is often exactly that --- basketball literally along the streets. Stick a hoop on the roadside and Filipinos will play ball all day long, rain or shine. Passing cars may temporarily stop the play, prompting players to step aside for a while, but it's no big deal. It's normal. It's part of the game, like an untimely timeout when everyone is already getting hyped.

Filipinos playing street ball, wearing the perfunctory tsinelas for kicks.
Image from

A regular fixture in these games are flip-flops, otherwise called overseas as step-ins, sandals, or go-aheads, among others.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Not Enough Time for Gilas Pilipinas

In his twitter account, Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes (@coachot) recently twitted this:

It readily appears that Coach Chot laments -- or perhaps he must have felt frustrated -- that the Philippine contingent to the FIBA World Cup may likely have insufficient time to prepare for the international tilt scheduled this September 19 to October 4. One month of rigorous training -- the whole of August, at most -- doesn't sound like much, especially when compared to the training period of the Philippine team's 'perennial rival,' South Korea, which Gilas trounced during the 2013 FIBA Asia. SoKor's training will start as early as April. What does this mean for Gilas Pilipinas?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Philippines' Basketball Marathon World Record Attempt

On March 25, 2012 at about 7pm, after 112 hours and 13 seconds of playing basketball, the Missouri Athletic Center bagged the record for the longest basketball marathon thus far. The final score from twenty-four participating players: 11,806 by Team Joplin against 11,620 by Team St.Louis.

This 2014, the Philippines, through the leadership of the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas, will attempt to break the record. Will Filipino cagers be able to surpass the record of the Missouri ballers?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

First Post: A Personal History

This being my first post, indulge me for a brief, if not a bit extended, incursion down memory lane, ergo, ruminations as to why I have decided to chronicle my basketball life and all things related to Filipino hoops.