* RP’s “6th Man” crowd was present in this game as the Big Dome was easily at 90% of its full capacity.
* Almost everybody in the RP team put on a show during the pre-game warm ups with slam dunks because of the huge crowd, w/ Williams, Norwood & ALAPAG coming up w/ the most impressive dunks. And boy, can Jimmy REALLY sky even w/ his 5’8″ height. His most spectacular dunk, was bouncing the ball off the floor, then catching w/ one hand & slamming it in. That got the crowd hyped up. I got a video of those dunks, will try to upload it later at youtube.
* I never realized how animated Chot Reyes can be during the game, pacing back & forth at the halfcourt, gesturing wildly w/ his hands, & even going over the out of bounds line most of the time. Good thing the refs just sort of ignored it.
* Got to watch the game live at the Araneta coliseum.
‘Syrian National Team’
* Terrific game by Madantley, easily establishing himself as one of the best in Asia. Despite the Chinese’s impressive athletic ability, they just couldn’t stop him, no matter how hard they tried.
* This Syrian team showed a great passing game at their half court game to break the Chinese’s defenses, & it worked most of the time.
‘Chinese National Team’
* The game announcer kept pronouncing Wang Bo’s name as, “Wang Bu” (reverse of the word, “buwang”, tagalog for “crazy”), & that really got the crowd going each & every time.
‘Syrian National Team’
The Syrians have quite a tall frontline, 7’0″, 6’10”, 6’10”, but unlike Jordan or Qatar, their big men are not of high quality. They seem to lack athleticism, they’re not quick, nor are they great leapers. Hence, despite their height advantage, we were able to match up with them in terms of rebounding.
About the only bright spots in that team really were the 6’10” Coreea, who was almost unstoppable underneath on offense, and Mike Madanley, who we couldn’t find a solution to almost all game long, but who faded in the end game.
‘RP National Team’
I felt we played with a severe handicap, ith “The Spark” and Helterbrand sitting on the bench for some reason. Along with James Yap and Danny Seigle, that’s four of our starters sidelined in this game. Good thing Ren-Ren Ritualo was able to play well after being given major minutes. A nice opportunity also for Tony Dela Cruz to stamp his mark for this team, but he ended up a bust.
No doubt this is the flashiest game for the Nationals judging by the no. of dunks from both Norwood and Williams. Those guys really showcased their leaping ability in this game.
Just when I thought Williams had effectively eased off Kerby from playing major minutes in this team, Kerby comes out with the crucial one-on-one baskets in the endgame.
* Another “ironic” game for us. In the 1st half, both teams played a 2-3 Zone, where we buried them w/ our 3 pt. shooting. In the 2nd half, both teams played man-to-man, & it was Vogel’s turn to bury us w/ 3 pt. shots. We couldn’t go back to the 2-3 Zone, because first, Vogel was shooting the lights out; And 2nd, they were playing both of their PG on the floor at the same time, guys who are quick, could move around the ball, & who could shoot.
* Unbelievable 3 pt. shooting by Vogel, who at 6’11”, was literally having a shoot out w/ the 6’0″ Ren-Ren Ritualo. He must’ve had 6-7 3 pt. shots all throughout the game. Tired out at the end, though (he never sat down during the game) & missed his last 2-3 attempts from that range.
* Ren-Ren is really making a strong case to be included in the final lineup w/ that 5 out of 9 (?) shooting from the 3 pt. range. If he plays the next 3 games like this, expect him to be a shoo in to the team.
* I liked the way Peter Martin & Richard Del Rosario commentated on the game at ABC 5. They were not biased, always using the stats for analysis, & providing a good number of information about the players & teams.
‘Lebanese National Team’
* Lebanon’s half-court offense is just very predictable, all the way from the Jones Cup. It’s just El-Khatib all the way, from the scoring, to the passing plays.
* They also seemed to complain a lot in this game, despite the fact that they had about twice more free throws than the Chinese (thirtysomething compared to 15+ only for China). It even seemed El-Khatib expected a foul to be called every time he drove to the basket. In contrast, the Chinese were very gracious about the calls, even if so many fouls were called on them.
* With all those complaints about the officiating, I feel that the Lebanese were trying to offset their shallow bench & predictable plays by playing more physical & hopefully getting the fouls, which is exactly what happened.