Basket-Bullets: Basketball Doesn’t Stop

The London Olympics will take up a lot of our time
as the NBA sinks into the offseason.
(image from
We are in the midst of the NBA offseason. Pretty soon, the NBA Draft will come along, free agents will be gobbled up by this team or that, and the preseason games and season previews will take up our time anew.

Until then, however, do not fret, because there’s still a lot of basketball left for us to consume.

Unlike the actual players, writers/bloggers like me have no real offseason. Now that the NBA is done, I’m looking forward to the following events in the basketball calendar:
  • ·      The collegiate wars here in the Philippines. The 88th season of the NCAA just kicked off, and the 75th edition of the UAAP will do so in a couple of weeks, too. A lot of build-up has transpired over the past few months, and a lot of sports page headlines have been dedicated to this particular segment of Philippine sports. Will the San Beda Red Lions grab another three-peat despite not having prized recruit Julius Armon? Will the Ateneo Blue Eagles nail that elusive five-peat that only one other UAAP team has ever done? Will Jeron Teng live up to the hype? Will Norman Black’s swan song in the amateurs be sweet or bitter? With new media partner TV5/AKTV aggressively marketing the NCAA against the UAAP (at least in terms of game scheduling), will the collegiate scene’s intensity heighten or wane? It’s going to be one helluva season!

Ray Parks and Kiefer Ravena will renew their rivalry
when the UAAP opens on July 14, 2012.
(image by Jan Dizon/Filoil Flying V Sports) 
  • ·      Aside from the NCAA & UAAP, the PBA Governor’s Cup is also about to enter the deep waters as teams jostle for the top six spots that will ensure entry into the next round. As of this writing, nine teams are still in the running for the semifinals, which itself will be a single-round robin affair. Only the Alaska Aces, having won just one of their previous eight matches, have been eliminated. After this conference, it’s also worth looking into if the San Miguel franchises (B-Meg, Ginebra, and Petron) will eventually lend some of their players to the National Team, which is bankrolled by the MVP group of companies, rivals to San Miguel in all things corporate.

  • ·      Another thing in the horizon is the performance of our National Teams. Currently, our U18 squad is competing in the 2012 SEABA U18 tourney in Singapore, which serves as a qualification leg for the 2012 FIBA-Asia U18 Championships in Mongolia. Our “Select” team will also be competing in the 2012 SEABA tourney, which is the qualifying leg for the 2012 FIBA- Asia Cup, formerly known as the FIBA-Asia Stankovic Cup. The FIBA-Asia Cup will determine which 4 teams will automatically join the hosts (hopefully US!!!) in the 2013 FIBA-Asia Men’s Championships. The placings in the FIBA-Asia Cup will also determine which FIBA-Asia subzones will get additional berths in the Men’s Championships. Another significant FIBA-Asia joust in the calendar is the 2012 Champions Cup that will be held in Lebanon from October 13-21.
Can Oh Se-Keun and the Koreans spring a big surprise
in the Olympic Qualifiers in Venezuela?
(image by Milad Payami/
  • ·      On a broader scale, the final qualifying tournament for the 2012 London Olympics will be held in Caracas, Venezuela from July 2-July 8. Two Asian teams are competing here – Jordan and South Korea (should’ve been US!!! #bitter). Three Olympic tickets are up for grabs here, with the European (Macedonia, Greece, Lithuania, and Russia) and South American (Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela) squads described as clear favorites. Once that’s done, of course, then we have the ACTUAL London Basketball tourney to write about. In terms of sheer talent, Team USA is clearly a cut above the field, but other nations like Argentina, Spain, or maybe even the home team of Great Britain can pull off a few surprises.
Juan Carlos Navarro and Pau Gasol will banner Spain's bid
in the 2012 Olympic Basketball competitions.
(image from
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