Life begins at 40, and this seems to be true to the PBA as the oldest professional basketball league in Asia turns 40 years old when the 2014-15 season opens on October 19 at the brand spanking new Philippine Arena in Bulacan. We saw all the teams at the Tipoff! PBA Liga ng Bayan preseason games that were shown on TV. This time, it's for real.
As per tradition, the season kicks off with the opening ceremonies. Kia made the biggest splash when it announced that Jinkee Pacquiao will be the Sorento's muse. In addition, Sorento playing coach Manny Pacquiao invited Michael Buffer to attend. Will the ring announcer accede to the eight-division world champion's request?
Opening day games will have expansion teams Blackwater and Kia go up against each other, followed by Talk 'N Text and Barangay Ginebra. The spotlight in the first game will be on Pacquiao as he debuts as a playing coach in the league. The Elite, on the other hand, will feature the likes of Larry Rodriguez, Alex Nuyles, JR Cawaling, Paul Artadi, and Sunday Salvacion in their lineup.
WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao puts his title and his legacy on the line as he takes on the undefeated Chris Algieri in the morning of November 23 at The Venetian Macao.
The 35-year old Pacquiao sports a record of 56 wins, 38 of them by knockout, five losses, and two draws. On the other hand, the 30-year old American challenger has won all of his 20 bouts, eight of them finishing inside the distance.
Algieri is currently the WBO light welterweight champ, snatching the belt from Ruslan Provodnikov via split decision on June 14 this year. Pacquiao, meanwhile, was recently drafted by the Kia Sorentos and will be the team's playing coach in the coming PBA season.
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Philippine Men`s Basketball Team (Photo taken from Smart Gilas FB Page)
After an inspiring run at the recent 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, the Philippine men's basketball team returns to action once more as the Gilas Pilipinas compete at the 17th Asian Games Incheon 2014.
The Philippines is grouped with Asian champion Iran and Group B top qualifier India. A win here propels the Gilas to the next round.
Taking the place of Andray Blatche and Jayson William from the World Cup lineup are Marcus Douthit and Jared Dillinger. The indefatigable Jimmy Alapag heeds the call of duty one more time despite announcing his retirement from international competition twice before.
Photo screen shot from Davey Langit Twitter Account
The lineup is designed to dribble-drive and kick as well as to push the ball when the opportunity presents itself. Kamikaze small ball is what I call it. Nevertheless, forcing it inside in a halfcourt situation is a death sentence because of our obvious height mismatch, and that is why slashers like Paul Dalistan and Jayson William are forced to jack up threes.
Our style of play and philosophy, which is something that is unique to Filipinos, was apparent throughout the tournament. There are instances when players dribble without any purpose, which causes the offense to stagnate. When we ran out of options, we dump the ball to the best player.
Save for some draft day trades, the 2014 PBA rookie draft did not elicit much drama as Stanley Pringle was expectedly taken off the board by GlobalPort as this year's first overall pick. The Batang Pier followed this up by trading for San Mig Coffee's first round pick to nab Anthony Semerad.
Pringle was followed by Gilas Cadet players Kevin Alas (Rain or Shine), Ronald Pascual (San Miguel Beer from Barako Bull), and Matthew Rosser (NLEX). ABL campaigner Chris Banchero went fifth after being selected by Alaska.