Tuesday’s Three Ts Are for Teng, Toroman, and the Three-Way

After the JUMP – commentaries on Jeron Teng choosing DLSU, Rajko Toroman leaving the Philippines, and the first big trade of the 2011-2012 PBA Season.

Jeron Teng to DLSU

The jacket makes it official: Jeron Teng is a Green Archer.
(image from GoArchers.com/Noli Eala)
With the exception of Chris Tiu, no blue-chip HS player from Xavier School has chosen to play for fellow Jesuit School Ateneo de Manila in the past decade.

Consider these:

Blue-Chip Xavier hoopsters by batch:

2001: Joseph Yeo went to De La Salle Univ. (DLSU)
2002: TY Tang went to DLSU
2003: Chris Tiu went to Ateneo de Manila Univ. (AdMU)
2005: Rejan Lee went to DLSU
2006: Woody Co went to Univ. of the Philippines (UP)
2008: Gab Banal went to DLSU (now he’s transferred to Mapua)
2009: Jeron Teng went to Univ. of Sto. Tomas (UST)
2010: Jett Manuel went to UP
2012: Jeron Teng to DLSU

*Gian Chiu, Ael Banal and Paulo Pe, who all played for the Ateneo HS Blue Eaglets, were originally from Xavier. Gian and Ael transferred after Grade 7 and Paulo after 1st year HS. Gian, if I’m not mistaken, and Ael now play in the US, while Paulo plays center for the UST Growling Tigers.

This has always bugged me because, like what I mentioned earlier, both Xavier and Ateneo are Jesuit schools. They are “brother” institutions. It stands to logic that students from both Xavier HS and Ateneo HS would have the desire to matriculate at the only Jesuit university in Manila, which is, obviously, Ateneo. And many, if not most, actually go that route.

Just not the ballers.

Most interesting are the cases of Tang and Banal. Tang because his family is reportedly close to the Jesuits. His brothers, elder bro Terrence and younger bro Thomson, both went to Ateneo. It was actually a bit of a surprise he “went green.” Some rumors swirled about playing time, or playing behind a certain LA Tenorio, being a big factor in his decision. Would’ve been awesome to see him orchestrate the “gunners” play with best friend Chris Tiu for the Blue & White.

Banal’s case is also interesting, since, at the time he chose DLSU, his family had considerable Ateneo pedigree. His father was famously known for steering the 2002 Blue Eagles to their first UAAP title after 13 years. Ael, his younger bro, was also playing for the Eaglets at that time. His other brothers also went to Ateneo. What could’ve been the deciding factor?

I guess we’ll never know.

Now we have Jeron Teng, arguably the biggest name who’ll grace the 2012 season as a rookie, deciding to wear La Salle green. Would’ve been wonderful seeing how he’d play alongside Kiefer Ravena and Greg Slaughter, but now he’ll play against them instead.

I don’t want to “analyze” his choice and lay out the competition he has for playing time on La Salle. I don’t want to go thru the nitty-gritty stuff. I just want to say that I was surprised he chose DLSU. I though UST would’ve been a natural choice, since his bro was there. I thought AdMU would’ve been good, too, because of the chance to play with Kiefer and Greg and be coached by Norman Black.

But something made him choose DLSU. And, honestly, it’s not a bad choice. DLSU is college basketball royalty. It has an enviable championship pedigree.

I just want to know what made him, and his other fellow Xavier hoops alumni, NOT choose Ateneo.

What is that something? Is it a matter of Xavier blue-chippers really not wanting to play for the Blue & White, or the Ateneo program not prioritizing the talent from the Blue & Gold? Or is it the school/basketball version of sibling rivalry?

Points to ponder, I guess.

Godspeed, coach Rajko!

We're worse off without coach Rajko Toroman.
(image from GMANews.tv)
I’m not privy to the inner workings of the deal between former Smart-Gilas coach Rajko Toroman, the Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) group, and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), but, generally speaking, I believe they (the MVP group and the SBP) should’ve done everything, and then some, to keep the highly respected Serbian tactician.

Yes, he came up short in steering our National Team to the gold in Wuhan, China last year, but maybe not even someone like Phil Jackson could’ve done that. Hell, maybe not even Phil Jackson could’ve made as big a difference coach Rajko did.

He changed things in our part of the basketball sphere. He was more than a coach who drew up plays and castigated erring players. He was more than someone who knew a lot about the international game. He was more than the shrug he does every time a ref makes a questionable call.

He was a game-changer, a mentality-changer. He made us understand that Pinoy ball had to adapt to the International game. We all knew it. We’ve all heard it. We’ve all seen how our brand of hoops just couldn’t cut it beyond our borders.

But coach Rajko made it happen. He made waves with Gilas. He won fans over. He won coaches over. He won players over. He won us over.

Now everything is just, well, over.

Whoever’s going to inherit his role for the new iteration of Smart-Gilas will have his work cut out for him. The pressure will be tremendous. His health will decline. His sacrifices will be unparalleled. And he’ll be under 24/7 scrutiny. Coach Rajko went thru all of these things, and still coming back to Gilas was his first choice. Too bad we didn’t give it to him.

There are three slots at stake for the 2014 FIBA Worlds.  We could nail one of those in the 2013 FIBA-Asia tourney, which, hopefully, will be held here at home.

It will be a tall order, a tough task. The road to that moment is riddled with uncertainties (Who will coach? Who will make up the core players? Will the PBA help? Who will be the new batch of Fil-Foreigners? Will Javale McGee replace Marcus Douthit?), but one thing is certain.

A sad thing.

We will not have Rajko Toroman on the sidelines.

Godspeed, coach. I hope you know you changed us.

PBA Three-Way: Llamados, Gin Kings and Energy

Kerby Raymudo moves to the Ginebra Gin Kings.
(image by Pranz Kaeno Billones/InterAKTV.com)
“The three-way trade was fairly sound and reasonable. The teams gave and received players and picks of relative even value and use for their respective purposes.” – PBA Commissioner Chito Salud, who approved the big trade last week.

So here’s how it all went down:

o   The B-Meg Llamados received JC Intal from Ginebra and a 2012 2nd round pick from Barako Bull.
o   Ginebra received Kerby Raymundo from B-Meg and Dylan Ababou from Barako.
o   Barako Bull received Ronald Tubid, Reil Cervantes, and a 2014 2nd round pick, all from Ginebra.

Some interesting facts that accompany this transaction:

o   Ababou will rejoin fellow rookie Allein Maliksi, who was also traded from Barako Bull to Ginebra in the previous conference.
o   This is already the second three-way in which these teams have been involved. The first one had Maliksi going to Ginebra, as mentioned above, and Maierhofer joining him from B-Meg.
o   Strangely enough, Barako Bull seems to be allergic to its rookie picks. Last year, they traded away the Blue Eagle duo of Nonoy Baclao and Rabeh Al-Hussaini, along with former Smart-Gilas standout Rey Guevarra, to another SMB franchise – the Petron Blaze Boosters. Now they’ve parted with two versatile forwards who have tremendous upside. If the SMB trio of clubs (Petron, B-Meg, & Ginebra) dominate in the remaining two conferences of this season, then maybe they should thank Bert Lina’s Barako Bull for the lift.

I think the Kings are big winners here. Ababou and Maliksi should give them a lot of flexibility at the wings, especially since they’ve parted with Intal.

Intal will be okay in B-Meg, but I don’t think he’ll be the game-changer he’s expected to be. At his best, he can be as good as Arwind Santos, but his normal state is just a flashier Gabby Espinas (I feel bad writing that about a former Blue Eagle). That’s not to say he’s bad, but he just hasn’t reached his potential yet. Then again, he just might blossom with guys like James Yap, PJ Simon and Josh Urbiztondo opening up the lane with their outside shooting. Who knows, right?

I think Barako Bull shot themselves in the foot here. If they hadn’t traded away all their rookie picks, they would have had a competent young core that could, arguably, be a serious playoff threat. Now they’re left with a mixture of young and old guys who might not mesh well. Danny Seigle, Tubid, and Cervantes all play relatively the same position, so it’ll be interesting to see who gets to see some burn, and who gets to ride the pine. 
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1 Comment

I chanced upon this article again after several years and I do remember several Xaverians being benched in the 90s. After Paolo Isidro fared well alongside Ticzon and Hizon, we saw Jean Alabanza and later, Eric Yao languish on the Blue Eagle bench. Ateneans have historically fared miserably on the Eagles line ups. I think Chris Tiu actually went to Ateneo on Athletic scholarship but even he initially found playing time hard to come by.