* Here’s my final lineup for the RP NT bound for Tokushima, Japan for the FIBA Asia Men’s Championship:
* Jimmy Alapag – PG
The quickest, & fastest guy on the team, if not of all of Asia at the moment. Incredibly strong, great leaping ability. Can shoot the threes consistently, pass, break anybody off the dribble, everything you wanted in a PG, except for the height. W/ his other contributions to the team, though, that is offset most of the time.
* Mark Caguioa – OG
“The Spark” is absolutely indispensable to this team. Good range from the 3 pt. area, unstoppable off the dribble, plus that finger roll shot that is so hard to block, even at international level, that makes him truly world class. One of the team’s main go-to guys. Kinda small for his position at Asian level, but again, his other contributions tend to offset that.
* Danny Seigle – SF
The PBA’s “Walking Mismatch”, now needs to show his wares at the Asian level, alongside those other Asian stars of his height & play-alike, like the Bahrami Brothers of Iran, & El-Khatib of Lebanon. Kinda fragile, though, injury prone. But no doubt a very important cog for this team come the serious competitions in Tokushima.
* Kelly Williams – PF
Kinda undersized in terms of height & heft at the no. 4 spot at international level, but his amazing quickness & leaping ability tends to offset that. Plays w/ a lot of energy, his contributions on both ends of the court is indispensable to this team.
* Asi Taulava – C
The country’s only frontliner that can be considered as truly international caliber in terms of height, heft, & talent. I can’t imagine how the next RP team will be able to cope without someone of his caliber in the lineup. A bit slow, but his decent coordination, intelligence, hard working attittude & strong will on defense tends to offset that.
* Jayjay Helterbrand – PG
Doesn’t seem to have very good accuracy from the 3 pt. range, but good medium range jumper, & can beat anybody off the dribble. Good passer, an indispensable back up to Jimmy Alapag.
* Dondon Hontiveros – OG
Works very hard on defense, great from the 3 pt. area, plus all that international exposure seems to have made him fearless for those drive in & then pull up jumpers from the perimeter. Tends to get nervous at crunch time, though. But still a vital cog in the team’s no. 2-3 rotation.
* Gabe Norwood – SF
The only player on the team that could play the backcourt & can be considered as “international level” in terms of height. Good 3 pt. shot, great athletic ability, works hard on defense. Another truly vital cog in our no. 3 rotation.
* James Yap – OG
The team really needs to have a deep bench in order for Chot’s vision of a quick, running team that can shoot well in a halfcourt game to be effective, & James can certainly hit those shots from the outside when needed. A vital cog in the team’s deep 2-3 position.
* Kerby Raymundo – PF
A star in the PBA, but obviously a utility man at Asian level. Undersized for his position, not as quick or as high leaping as Williams. But is perhaps the best pure low post one-on-one player in the team. Works very hard, mentally tough & always tries to do his best to contribute to the team in any way despite his limitations. A shoo in for the team.
* Mick Pennissi – C
Soft, soft player, who hasn’t contributed much in terms of rebounding to the team despite his height & heft. Only in because he is 6’9″, & his ability to hit the 3 every now & then. His greatest contribution to the team, are probably those sharp elbows.
* Renren Ritualo – OF
Just one word to describe this guy: Shooter. And he lives up to it. The team’s no. 2 position is already a bit overloaded, though, but you just can’t ignore his ability to hit from the outside. Besides, the 3 pt. shot is always a relatively low percentage shot, so it pays to have a couple of good shooters out there on the bench in case you are in a tight spot. Not expected to play major minutes for the team, though.
* Eric Menk – C
Brought in to try to address the team’s weak rebounding issue against teams w/ quality big men, but just couldn’t hack it. A relatively wide body, but just not too effective against the “trees” out there.
* Ranidel De Ocampo – PF
Good height, good range, but undersized for his position at international level, & doesn’t have the quickness, coordination or leaping ability to make up for it. Contributions to the team have been very limited.
* Tony Dela Cruz – OG
Just hasn’t really done anything much to be included in the final lineup. His contributions to the team have been few, & far in between. It’d be hard to imagine him taking up somebody’s slot in the lineup who has much better numbers than he has.