RP Ambushed by Iran, 75-69

* I’m so disappointed with this game. By the 2nd quarter, I was so disgusted at how our NT was playing, I wanted to give up watching the game. We were simply miserable out there, we just couldn’t seem to make our shots.

* I thought, “why the heck aren’t we making our shots? What’s the reason behind it?” One reason could be, of course, opening day jitters. Iran also was having opening day jitters, as evidenced by the tons of free throws they missed in the first half, but they obviously handling it a lot better than we were, judging by the way they were beating us out there on the court.

* Another could be just better individual defense by the Iranians. They were taller, & out of that height advantage they get the confidence that they could take us individually, or at least challenge our shots. By challenging each & every shot of ours, we were forced to hurry our shots, & under that pressure we were missing them.
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My Final Lineup For The RP NT

* Here’s my final lineup for the RP NT bound for Tokushima, Japan for the FIBA Asia Men’s Championship:

Starters:

* 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.
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RP Beats China, 79-74

* First, I would like to thank China, for sending their Team “B” in this tournament. We would have almost no probable chance of beating their Team “A”, but this Team “B” is different as it is a little bit more beatable.

* I was having 2nd thoughts of watching this game, but, well, then again, I thought, I need to see this through, after following the RP NT closely over the last couple of months.

‘Chinese Team B’

* Adiljan’s gambit of not pulling out players in foul trouble came back to haunt him in this game. Dr. Jao said its like a custom for foreign teams like SK & China, but it is a bad custom, one I hope they continue to keep. With their starting PG fouling out, this team simply DISINTEGRATED when the RP team started pressing them. Turnover after turnover after turnover, it allowed the RP team to climb back slowly in the 3rd quarter before finally getting the lead about halfway to the 4th quarter.

* This team also couldn’t muscle us underneath, we were able to keep pace w/ them in terms of rebounding despite their superiority in height.
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My 2007 Pilipinas Team Expectations

* The National team for the 2007 ABC competitions has been formed. The good news, is that it truly is a PBA All-Star squad. Plans have been made regarding the training, & tune up matches for this team leading to the actual competitions, & the preparations, as well as the costs, are quite impressive. For me, its time to set my expectations for this team.

* For Chot Reyes, of course his goal for the team will be to beat China. I expect nothing less from him. As a fan, though, I feel my expectation should be more realistic.

* I don’t think we can beat China, not w/ their NBA-caliber 7-foot Forwards & Centers, & 6’6″ Guards. Not in this lifetime, anyway. Not unless our players suddenly grow by at least 3-4″ in height each, & still retain the talent they have now. Since that is not going to happen, then I don’t think we can beat China in a serious title match.
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