Tag Archives: ncaa

The Blazers, after the 1st round

Photo via inboundpass

After their first eight assignments, the College of Saint Benilde Blazers pretty much look like what they were last season with a 2-6 mark. It hasn’t been pretty, but there were good signs that CSB can take into the next phase.

The Good

Carlo Lastimosa. NCAA’s leading scorer and arguably the most exciting guard in the league. After so many years of digging deep for talent, CSB finally landed an ace, one who can light up the scoring for the usually offense-deficient Blazers. Uncle Jolas must be proud.

Recruits from winning HS programs. Aside from Lastimosa, CSB struck gold acquiring kids from championship-caliber programs like Luis Sinco (Ateneo), Ralph Nayve & Al Amin (San Beda), Anton Sevilla (DLSZ) and JR Ongteco (Letran). This only means that the coaching staff can count on these guys to rub off a winning attitude to a team that has yet to add up to their first and only title in 2000.

Sophomore step-up. Second-year guards Mark de Guzman and Jan Tan has been steady on most occasions for CSB. MDG is the “energy guy”, excellent in terms of hustle and, of course, the nakaw plays. Tan, on the other hand, is a big man with range. What he lacks in terms of rebounding and size (more on that later), he makes it up through his silky jumpshots.

Why the 2-6 record??

The Blazers looked good in their two victories: their opening win against Arellano U and yesterday’s beating of Perpetual Help. In those two games, Lastimosa — with help from de Guzman, Tan and Tim McCoy — outplayed their opponents from start to finish.

In between these two victories, however, holes were exposed:

Turnovers. Against teams such as JRU, Letran and San Beda, the Blazers flaked in the face of tough defensive pressure. Usually resulting to 8-second violations and easy fastbreak points for the opposing squad, CSB was not able to keep up.

The Letran game was the most heartbreaking of all three, as it was a very winnable contest, what with Knight Kevin Alas out with an injury. Instead, kuya Junjun Alas came through and torched the Blazers.

Speaking of keeping up… in exciting contests against JRU, Mapua and the defending champs San Sebastian, the Blazers faced slow starts that saw them fall behind early, and in the process, had to play catch-up the rest of the way.

At the end of each of these games, the Blazers rallied but fell short. They lost to JRU by 9, to SSC-R by 1 *WOAH* and then to the Cardinals by 2 in OT. Ouch.

Rebounds. CSB is the worst rebounding team in the league. Even bigman-deficient Perpetual beat them in that category. It’s a shame, but it was evident from game one that the Blazers’ bigs are more comfortable hoisting up J’s rather than doing the yeoman’s work inside.

Them “veterans”. Seriously lacking are the veteran leadership that’s supposedly provided by captain Robbie Manalac and MC Abolucion. Manalac had his moments, but he has been largely inconsistent and looked lethargic on the defensive end. While Abolucion has contributed some timely scoring these past few games, his propensity to turn the ball over (via his And 1-like dribbling) has become a setback.

I hate to call out both guys. Knowing them personally, these guys are great people overall. However, I can’t help but point all these out as they are expected to be of great help for this young Benilde squad. Fortunately, there’s still time for them to do this.

What’s looking up?

If there’s anything worth taking through the Blazers’ foray into the second round, it’s their heart. No one thought that this squad would be able to push top-4 teams like JRU and Mapua to the scariest limit. No one thought that Lastimosa and co. rallied and almost defeated San Sebastian. Heck, even the terms “rally” and “CSB Blazers” ain’t never been associated up until this year.

The second round is the perfect way for CSB to channel their inner “Mr. Clutch” and actually win ballgames. They should put into mind that the old days of back-to-back 20-point losses are over. Now that they’ve experienced coming up short in contests, it’s now time for them to actually get over the hump.

In short, the next round is definitely looking up for Benilde. With some hole-reparation, as well as some good ‘ole muni-muni, I’m sure CSB still has that upset-mindedness in them.

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Gatorade Heroes (UAAP/NCAA )

Cool ad from Gatorade for the current college basketball season (click photo to enlarge).

via Bleacher’s Brew:

The UAAP players: Kirk Long (Ateneo), RR Garcia (FEU), Jeric Teng (UST), Alex Nuyles (Adamson), Kokoy Hermosisima (NU), Nico Elorde (DLSU), and Mike Silungan (UP).

The NCAA players: Pamboy Raymundo (San Sebastian), Borgie Hermida (San Beda), Nate Matute (JRU), Kevin Alas (Letran), Jett Vidal (Perpetual Help), Carlo Lastimosa (CSB), Isaiah Ciriacruz (Arellano), and Andretti Stevens (Mapua).

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My NCAA (86th Season) Predictions

I wouldn’t be officially covering the NCAA no more. Doesn’t mean I ain’t going to watch anymore, though. I love college hoops, and the NCAA has that unique energy that sets itself apart from its rival tournament, the UAAP (though I watch ’em too).

Anyways, here are my predictions:

1. San Sebastian Stags

2. JRU Heavy Bombers

3. San Beda Red Lions

4. Perpetual Altas

5. Letran Knights

6. CSB Blazers

7. Mapua Cardinals

8. Arellano Chiefs

9. EAC Generals

*I know pundits are putting the Blazers way down to about 8th or 9th, but I believe they’re better than that. I think the six-spot is just right.

Finals: SSC-R vs JRU (w/ a healthy Joe Etame)

Champs: SSC-R

MVP: Etame (JRU) OR Calvin Abueva (SSC-R)

ROY: Luis Sinco (CSB)

Mythical Five (still a toss-up. I think a player would have a bigger chance if his team ends up with a better record):

C: Etame/Sudan Daniel (SBC)

PF: Abueva

F: John Njei (JRU)/Isaiah Ciriacruz (AU)

SG: Jett Vidal (UPHDS)/Garvo Lanete (SBC)/Carlo Lastimosa (CSB)

PG: Borgie Hermida (SBC)/Argel Mendoza (EAC)/Pamboy Raymundo (SSC-R)

I’d have to alter this a bit, but I think I’ll just do it after the first round.

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For breakfast…

After a nice morning jog, I turned on the telly and discovered that we finally have an ESPN channel. I tuned in, just in time for the Philadelphia PhilliesShane Victorino to hit up a home run against a hapless LA Dodgers. Phillies are still up 9-3 in the 8th.

Jimbo Aquino might have missed the MVP boat via his suspension a few games back, but he made it just in time last week to carry the San Sebastian Stags to the finals against the San Beda Red Lions. Game 1 will be on later in the afternoon. Can’t wait. I’m going for the Stags in this one (I always root for the underdogs, y’know).

To adidas:  Yes, you promised to mail our KOTR race packets to our homes/offices during the week starting Wednesday (yesterday) and I’m going to be really patient on this and wait for them, but please, keep your promise and do mail them. We really want to prepare well and enjoy the race on Sunday. We do not want to experience hassle and dissapointment during the race, pretty much like what we’ve felt during last weekend’s expo. PLEASE, ADIDAS, MAIL IT TO US. Don’t piss us enough to do an anti-adidas video just like what Dallas Penn did.

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Go CSB lady spikers!

Good luck for tomorrow’s third and deciding championship match vs San Sebastian. Bring the volleyball chip home to Taft!

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Smart Gilas – Powerade Team Pilipinas benefit duel on Oct. 5

The two national teams will hold an exhibition game for the benefit of the victims of typhoon Ondoy on Monday, October 5 at the Araneta Coliseum. Smart Gilas is composed of collegiate stars, while Powerade Team Pilipinas will be banered by PBA giants.

Acording to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Noli Eala, the fundraiser, entitled “Pinoy Basketbol Kakampi Niyo”, will also pit a selection of UAAP and NCAA cagers against the amateur stars of the PBL and Liga Pilipinas.

Ticket prices are P200 for patron/ringside, P100 for lower box and P50 for upper A. Upper B and bleachers, on the other hand, will be free of charge.

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NCAA games tomorrow also postponed

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The NCAA has also canceled their schedule of games tomorrow, September 28, 2009, due to the harsh aftermath of typhoon Ondoy.

“Due to bad weather condition, games tomorrow (Monday) will be cancelled,” said NCAA Management Committee chair Jose Mari Lacson from hosts San Beda College.

The games tomorrow — CSB vs UPHD and JRU vs SSC-R, will be rescheduled on a later date.

Barring anymore hassle from the typhoon aftermath, the games on Wednesday will take place as scheduled.

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