Impromptu Chat with the Basketball Coaches (May 31, 2020)

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Roundtable discussion with the coaches: Ariel Vanguardia, Rassel Racelis, Paolo Pagkalinawan, Ezequiel Valles, and me.

With the rescheduling of the Online Charity Auction benefiting Freelance Basketball Coaches, several of the participating coaches, Coach Ariel, and I spent the rest of the session touching on a myriad of topics:

20:12 mark – Thoughts on the restart of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

28:45 mark – Possible NBA return date.

32:30 mark – Which among the professional sports will start first?

33:10 mark – Will this be the last LeBron James championship run?

33:56 mark – GOAT (Greatest of All-Time) discussion. Continue reading “Impromptu Chat with the Basketball Coaches (May 31, 2020)”

Early Morning Quiz [NBA All-Star Game Edition] (February 17, 2019)

With the 68th edition of the National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star game right around the corner, I decided to put my basketball knowledge to the test by answering the question, “Name all of the NBA All-Star Game MVP’s under 6 minutes.”

But this wasn’t just any ordinary online quiz as I stacked the proverbial playing field against me by answering it on my cellphone–which more or less eliminated the possibility of constantly scrolling down to see the progress of my answers–at the crack of dawn (6:24 am to be precise).

So here is how I did: 54.9%

Needless to say, I was quite disappointed as I could have scored a few more points with “Johnson” but my answer didn’t seem to register.  Maybe I should have written “Magic” or maybe–I was still half asleep–and DIDN’T write down “Johnson” or “Magic.”  But no excuses!

Here is my personal evaluation broken down into five blocks:

2013 Chris Paul!  Really!  He won it?  I wouldn’t have gotten this under six minutes for sure.

Still smarting over not getting “Magic Johnson” on my score card.

Julius Erving? Maybe I would have also gotten George Gervin, Dave Cowens, and Willis Reed with more time.  I remember going over the Celtics greats one-by-one before abandoning the list in favor of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team.

Big O, Rick Barry, and George Mikan….maybe if I had a little more time.

Mikan for sure but not Paul Arizin or Ed Macauley.

Oh, I almost forgot!  Happy 56th birthday to the GOAT Michael Jefferey Jordan!

That Porzingis Deal (February 1, 2019)

Trade Breakdown

New York Knicks – Receive Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, two future first-round draft picks[i], and $68 million worth of salary cap space.

Dallas Mavericks – Receive Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and a $12.9 million trade exception.

Ray Spalding is waved to create a roster spot. Continue reading “That Porzingis Deal (February 1, 2019)”

Understanding Markelle Fultz though my own injury (January 31, 2019)

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All in the name of pain relief: There is a several strategically placed Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) electrode pads underneath my towel draped hot packs.

The story so far…

After a decorated high school career and a so-so one-and-done freshman year with the Washington Huskies, the Philadelphia 76ers (#3) swapped draft positions with the Boston Celtics (#1) prior to the 2017 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft in order to select heralded 6’3″ point guard Markelle N’Gai Fultz.

On paper, Bryan Colangelo–then the 76ers President of Basketball Operations–had assembled a young, talented, and exciting team[i] with Fultz being groomed as one of its pillars.  But after only four games to start the 2017-2018 NBA regular season, it was reported that Markelle Fultz would be out indefinitely due to “shoulder soreness and scapular muscle imbalance.”

The injury was described to be so severe that ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was quoted as saying, “(Fultz) literally (could not) raise up his arms to shoot the basketball.”  In mid-March 2018, after a great deal of speculation surrounding his health, Markelle Fultz rejoined the 76ers and even posted a triple-double (13 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in 25 minutes) on the last day of the regular season to become the youngest ever to accomplish the feat (19 years and 317 days).

Markelle Fultz opened his sophomore season as the 76ers starting shooting guard before losing his position to newly acquired Jimmy Butler.  Shortly after, Fultz went on indefinite leave from the 76ers in order to care for his ailing right shooting shoulder–diagnosed a neck and shoulder injury called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS).

A better understanding

Whenever Markelle Fultz would come up in conversations with other basketball aficionados, I have to admit, I was highly critical for one reason or another.  But when I started developing my own shoulder problems late last year, I started to become more sympathetic to Markelle’s health situation. Continue reading “Understanding Markelle Fultz though my own injury (January 31, 2019)”

Damian Lillard’s Adidas Take On Summer Tour (#DameTimeManila) Press Conference (June 14, 2016)

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#DameTimeManila Press Conference – Clockwise: Adidas pulls out all the stops on this incredible backdrop. | A smiling Damian Lillard.  A rare shot considering his stoic demeanor. | As close as I could get. | Thank you Adidas Philippines for this awesome backpack. | Thanks to NextJam for the souveneir ticket. | A photo of the Media Registration tarpaulin at the Kerry Sports Arena.

It was past two in the afternoon when Damian Lamonte Ollie Lillard, the Portland Trailblazers dynamic 6’3’’ point guard, made his way to the seating area of the Kerry Sports Arena in Shang-ri La The Fort, Bonifacio Global City for his Manila press conference. The two-time NBA all-star took several questions from the media and this was what I asked him:

Dr. Tedi Villasor: “Hi Dame. We have a lot of aspiring high school, collegiate, and professional (basketball) players. Could you give us in your opinion what are the five qualities that they should possess to be really good basketball players?

Damian Lillard: “Off the top of my head, I would say that number one would have to be character. If you have high character, you work hard, be a good teammate, coachable and…all of the intangibles that go along with it.

 Having a good work ethic…wanting it more. Keep advancing in the levels of the game. Get your team to improve (towards) a championship.

 Third is…being competitive. Some guys keep raising (their) level (of play).

 Fourth, be honest with yourself. It is very important to be honest with yourself when it comes to weaknesses. You might be in a situation where you have to be that guy in the last six or seven games. Understand who you are and understand the situation you are in. Continue reading “Damian Lillard’s Adidas Take On Summer Tour (#DameTimeManila) Press Conference (June 14, 2016)”

Jason Kidd’s 100th triple-double: Destiny will have to wait (February 10, 2008)

Originally posted in one of my old blogs back in February 15, 2008.

February 10, 2008.

Despite a sudden torrid downpour of snow as we walked towards the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey—I could feel it in the cold air.

This afternoon’s match up between the New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks was going to be a good one.

Or at least I hoped it would be a good one, if only for two reasons.

  • Super courtside seats!!!
  • Triple-double #100 (Kidd had the opportunity to record his 100th career triple-double that afternoon and finished with 13 points, 14 assists, and six rebounds—falling short of the feat by 4 caroms).

Some of the highlights: Continue reading “Jason Kidd’s 100th triple-double: Destiny will have to wait (February 10, 2008)”

Review: Indiana Pacers @ Brooklyn Nets (February 3, 2016)

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Clockwise: The Atlantic Av-Barclays Center subway station | It rained all day today. | It’s Game Time at the Barclays Center | The Concourse. Breathtaking! | Photo opportunity with Jason Kidd’s retired jersey. My Paisanos Burger dinner. Due to safety concerns, the concessioner didn’t provide me with the bottle cap of my drink. No doubt the result of the 2004 brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

New York – With the last leg of my US trip coming to a close, I felt that I had gone out and done practically everything that I had set out to do with the exception of catching an NBA game. While in California the week before, I had hoped to see the Warriors in Oracle Arena[i]. But as luck would have it, Golden State was in the middle of back-to-back games in Philadelphia (January 30) and New York (January 31).

I missed them by—placing my index finger ever closer to my thumb—this much as I only flew to New York the following evening. So my options now were either seeing the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden (February 2) or visit the spanking new home of the Brooklyn Nets: The Barclays Center (February 3).

It was an easy choice. The Nets. As I had never been to Barclays before[ii].

Game Day

Following the concierge’s instructions to the letter, I took the suggested two trains and found myself in the Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center stop—right below the Barclays Center. I was prepared for my trip up to that point, but what I didn’t expect was the proximity of Barclays to the subway’s entrance. Now, I knew it was nearby. But I didn’t expect it to be that near! By my estimation, it was only a few feet away from the subway! Continue reading “Review: Indiana Pacers @ Brooklyn Nets (February 3, 2016)”

Review: The 36th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF)

From L to R: #AntFam at #MIBF2015 | Batman: Under The Red Hood TPB and Batman: Arkham Origins Limited Edition Strategy Guide | The Graphic Novel section of Fully Booked in MIBF 2015 | It isn't a scam! Robert Kiyosaki is coming to Manila! | Indy's Artline Stix's inspired doodle. | Everyone seems to have found something.
From L to R: #AntFam at #MIBF2015 | Batman: Under The Red Hood TPB and Batman: Arkham Origins Limited Edition Strategy Guide | The Graphic Novel section of Fully Booked in MIBF 2015 | It isn’t a scam! Robert Kiyosaki is coming to Manila! | Indy’s Artline Stix’s inspired doodle. | Everyone seems to have found something.

With what has become an annual event, the #AntFam marched to the 36th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) at the SMX Convention Center with excitement in our eyes: Indy gushed at the overwhelming sight of all the books; Daryl made a bee-line for the nearest adult colouring books; while I headed for Fully Booked’s impressive graphic novel section.

Fully Booked’s Instagram account gave me a head’s up on what to expect: a formidable selection of Marvel, DC Comics, and Independent books.  I immediate scanned the Batman and Spider-Man sections and the first trade paperback caught my eye was Judd Winick’s Batman: Under The Red Hood.  For those of you that may not know, the character of Jason Todd (The Red Hood), the second Robin, was killed off in the late 80’s and remained in that state until he was resurrected in 2005.  I didn’t think anything of it until my interest in the character was piqued when I finished Batman: Arkham Knight and subsequently completed the DLC (Downloadable Content) Red Hood Story Pack.  It really helps when you give the character an actual voice (Doesn’t he sound so much like Anakin Skywalker when he rants?) but I digress–I had been looking for the Batman: Under The Red Hood TPB for quite some time now and I finally held it in my hand.[i]

I took a moment and looked around; it seemed as if every people I saw had anywhere between two to five books under their arms.  I guess when twenty percent is knocked off any price tag, it just makes our ability to spend seemingly more judicious.  I finished off my book haul for this year’s book fair with a Batman: Arkham Origins Limited Edition Strategy Guide[ii] and Idan Ravin’s The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Heads of Basketball’s Best Players.[iii]

Continue reading “Review: The 36th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF)”