Kerby Raymundo earned his rightful spot in RP’s starting five and became a major factor in making our Olympic dream alive as we win over the Chinese, 79-74. Thank you, Lord. I was praying real hard for the shots to just fall in. Jimmy Alapag was all over the floor with his daredevil drives to the basket and long three-point shots. The guy kept on pressing the team to help him out. And they did.
Mark Caguioa who was trying to drain his shots in this tournament came to the rescue in the dying seconds of the final period. He finally made a crucial basket that gave the team enough cushion to post our first win over the Chinese National Team in a very long time. Kelly Williams was truly amazing with his hustling defense. His key steal from a Chinese bomber on the final play completely sealed the win for us.
Much has to be done tomorrow to beat a tough Jordanian squad but I believe in our team to come out in their best fighting form and win it. Our win over China has created an ample breathing space for us to regroup. Tomorrow, I just hope that we don’t need to catch up for the entire duration of the match not like our first two games.
- Take the ball strong to the hoop, ma-tapalan man, okay lang. I just noticed that our players are quite afraid to take a chance to take the ball strong to the hoop. It is our chance to fish for fouls and have our opponents pay for it. Kerby Raymundo showed his fearlessness by putting the big Iranian and Chinese defenders to the test.
- Enough of the fancy dribble, learn to rotate the ball. One of the fewest things that I agree with my “favorite” commentator, Chino Trinidad, was his observation on the kind of play that we employ. We just love to display our dribbling skills and this consumes a lot of time for us to execute. We have four players on the floor and it takes five to win a ballgame. Just to credit the team, there has been some improvement in passing the ball. Now the hard part comes…
- I don’t know why but I cannot figure out those easy shots that weren’t going in. There was an Asi dunk that wasn’t. There was a Caguio teardrop shot that wasn’t. The ball went inside the ring and just rippled around and went out of it. Fuck. But it could be part of a big adjustment on our team. They just have to build on our hard-earned win and make those shots.
- Too much emphasis on the puso of our players, we have to play sound basketball as well. Our commentators particularly Mr. Trinidad has been very emphatic on mentioning the playing hearts of our players. I don’t know why he keeps on saying that. I don’t know if that’s the only thing he could say. It’s already annoying. I would rather listen to Andy Jao’s analysis than to Chino’s pa-kanto boy talk. Could somebody please resurrect Mr. Joe Cantada? The heart to win is equally important as the right skills and strategy.
- Our defense could hold on its own but we need more hustle. Our players should play like Kelly William’s brand of defense– magpapakamatay para makuha ang bola.
Anyhoo, in this tournament, everybody can be coach 🙂 I credit Coach Chot Reyes* for raising our level of confidence in beating teams that we thought were unbeatable. Tomorrow might spell out another achievement for our team. It all starts in believing and this time, playing to win.
*Oh, I have to correct myself, it wasn’t Coach Reyes who was complaining of the uncalled traveling violation in the game against Iran but it was Mark Caguioa. In Fiba rules, the bench’s technical foul is slapped on the coach. Lupit mo, Coach Chot for clearing this.