Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2015 Philippine Cup Preview: Alaska Aces

Will Coach Alex #LetAbuevaBeAbueva ?
(Photo courtesy of Sports5)
Head coach: Alex Compton
Players: Samigue Eman, Chris Banchero, Cyrus Baguio, Calvin Abueva, Sonny Thoss, Ping Exciminiano, Paolo Bugia, Vic Manuel, Eric Menk, Dondon Hontiveros, RJ Jazul, JVee Casio, Tony de la Cruz, Gabby Espinas, Josh Vanlandingham, Rome de la Rosa (R)

After an unexpected divorce with its (now former)  head coach, the Aces look to win anew under head coach Alex Compton who is reportedly shying away from the Triangle OffenseThis approach is going to prove to be rather interesting, since it wasn't THAT long ago wherein the Aces sacked another former head coach for doing just that-- dumping  the team's patented, tried-and-tested offensive philosophy of XX years instilled by now San Mig Coffee Mixers' grand slam coach Tim Cone.

Looking at the roster, the Aces were able to add a few pieces who have that right balance of being an exceptional basketball athlete (which is quite big with the franchise when you look at most of their acquisitions over the years) and quality locker room guy (with Abueva and maybe buddy Espinas being the only firebrands). Veterans Menk and Vanlandingham will address certain needs on the floor-- a quality backup for franchise cornerstone Thoss on the block and a wing defender/ shooter to spell veteran wings Hontiveros and De La Cruz.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Winning (and losing) with dignity

Under fire: Gilas head coach Chot Reyes
(Photo courtesy of InterAKTV)
The public outrage on Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes, for his failure to lead Gilas Pilipinas to a medal finish in the recently concluded 2014 Asian Games, is indeed unfair, yet also well-deserved.

Defenders of the five-time PBA Coach of the Year awardee are quick to point out how "well" his team did in the also recently concluded 2014 FIBA World Cup (considering we finished with a 1 win, 4 losses record), citing that there's little the fashion-forward coach could do given the fact that the tools at his disposal-- his players, are either hurt or exhausted. However, the two other Asian teams that went to Spain with Gilas (Iran and Korea) fielded an even more intact line-up while we added new reinforcements: Marcus Douthit and Jarred Dillinger.

The offensive and defensive sets, one cannot argue that Gilas ran and stuck to the game plan to a "T." Did they tire themselves out of games in the first 3 and a half quarters much like they did in Spain? Probably. Did the team let opponents come storming back in by playing a deliberate, fast paced, game of runs offense that often found Coach Chot Reyes not calling for a timeout and instead having his players weather the proverbial storm?