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He maybe one of the controversial player who played in the PBA but he is one of the greatest center who ever played in the game. He is not a Wilt Chamberlain but his dominance and power has proved to be a dark horse in the Philippine basketball league.
Born in March 2, 1973 and at age 34 he seems to be at par with the young and talented players in the league.
Paul Asi “ the Rock” Taulava towers his way to stardome as he dominates every game with a Shaq like performance. The League’s MVP in 2003 and a two time All Star MVP in 2004 and 2006 respectively.
A mainstay of the Philippine National team and a starting center for the Talk and Text Phonepals.
Right now Asi is making waves in the PBA scene as he was traded to Coca cola for equally big Ali Peek and some future draft picks.
This move maybe beneficial to Coca Cola tigers as they are in dire need of a dominant big man and Asi wants a change of scenery as the Phone pals offense switch to the run and gun type. Although Asi can run and is very athletic the Derrick Pumaren offense can be compared to the Phoenix Suns offense with Steve Nash replica Jimmy Alapag running the show. Asi switch to his defense more and in return cost him a slot for the Phonepals roster. Why the Phonepals did trade him? Well it’s simple it’s a marketing strategy. With Asi who has a year or two before he retires they will have to look for other options and by switching to the run and gun type of offense the transition would be not that difficult. Offense would come from Macmac Cardona, Anthony Washington and Jimmy Alapag. Ali Peek might not be as dominant as Asi but a big body could help them man along the paint plus Ali doesn’t cost that much in terms of salary.
In the Coca cola Tigers part Asi prove to be a vital weapon in their offense as the motion run offense by Binky Favis would be beneficial to Asi.
Scored 30 plus points on his debut with the tigers… Asi went back to his dominant days in the PBA. With the PBA season is still ongoing the future looks bright for both teams and is shining more on Asi…
The Lakers this start of the season is really looking good except for some constant boos in the crowd against Kobe. After a thrilling opener night where they lost to Houston the Lakers cruise to a 2-2 record beating Phoenix in a loop-sided victory in the process.
It’s not about Kobe anymore but it’s all about the team going through adversities and finding the right chemistry after the humored trade between Kobe and the Bulls.
Speaking of Adversities there is one player who has been through such a drastic experienced and now having the time of his life playing as a power forward/ center for the Lakers.
After being drafted by the Lakers in 2005 as a second round 37th overall draft pick, Ronny Turiaf was relieved and happy that he will be able to fulfill his life time dream to play in the NBA. But that dream didn’t seem to make it to reality as he was diagnosed of an enlarged aortic root from his heart while undergoing a physical checkup and needs to be operated. The Lakers have to negate his rookie contract and Ronny was devastated and was crushed as he was only given a glimpse of a dream he badly wanted.
He was a talented player with high hopes as his accomplishments made him a star in his country, joining the likes of Tony Parker, Mickael Pietrus and Boris Diaw.
After a successful Open heart surgery Ronny undergo rehabilitation and a new reason to live on and to fulfill the dream he have once had. With only 6 months after the surgery Ronny went back to basketball and signed with a CBA team since the Lakers expected him to be back in the 2006-07 season.
But LA offered Ronny a new contract and Ronny without question went on to sign with the Lakers, the team that believe in him, the team that welcomed him with open arms and so the rest was history. With his high octane energy Ronny is just so fun to watch with his defense and offense in the court. He made his own personal legend and by standing up when everybody expects him to be down he showed to us how we could conquer our own fears and making it by just believing and showing your best. I wonder if he could give some to his fellow players like Andrew Bynum who is slowly making waves in LA or to Kobe for some obvious reason.
Ever since we were young we always dreamed about what were gonna be when we grow old. Yah I also dreamed of becoming an astronaut like everybody does… hehehe I could still remember the movie ET when the boy rode his bike and fly unto the moon… I was so amazed that I tried it myself going to the top of our second floor house with my small kiddy bike then off I go down to the stairs and down to the canal near our house.. That was such an awful experienced not to mention loosing my two front teeth at such an early age… hehehe
I played basketball when I was in grade two and also dreamed of becoming the likes of Mr. no.23 if you know what I mean… but never really materialized the only achievement I had was being a champion in our CE team way way back in my college days.
I remembered a story that I really had to share to all of you.
There was a boy who dreamed of becoming part of the school varsity team. He played so hard and practice hard that somehow made quite an impression of the team’s coach. So because of his determination and work ethic he easily made the team’s roster. He has a supportive and loving dad that even in his practice his dad was there to support him. But because he was a newbie he was never given a chance to play in any of his team’s games. But he never gives up and his dad was always there in all of his games even though his minutes are limited. Until he reached on his senior year his minutes improved but there was no significant playing time given to him but his dad was always there cheering him up and encouraging him to play harder. One day his dad got ill and was suffering from a cancer which became malignant. The season was slowly ending and find themselves in a elimination game which was very important for them because a win might give them a clean ticket to the finals.
The day before the elimination game the boy’s dad died. His coach wanted him to rest because of all the emotional things he has been through it would not be proper to let him play on this state.
On the day of the game the team was down by 20 points at the end of the half. So it was merely impossible to catch up considering their fire house opponent which was the seasons favorite team. The coach was hopeless finding answers to all the mismatch they have. While they were on the locker room they were all surprised to see the boy on his uniform. Then the boy went to his coach crying and begging to let him play. The coach was touched and gives the boy the go signal and the fact that they are down by 20 points might as well give the playing time to the boy and somehow could heal his depression while losing his no.1 supporter …his dad…
Game time… the boy scored a lay-up made a steal and convert a 3 point shot. He was playing so well and he played good defense against taller and muscular opponents. In just 5 minutes of the 3rd quarter the gap was narrowed down to only a point. Then the scoring barraged didn’t stop there. The coach was so amazed and couldn’t believed what he was seeing. There were double teams and triple teams but he always find a way to score. He was like a boy possessed with fire on his eyes. Then the team won not to mention in a very convincing fashion. The boy was a judged the best player of the game and everyone was awed and full of appraised. Then the coach said to the boy “ you played well kid why now? We could have used your talent before” the boy with tears in his eyes hug his coach and told him “Coach my father was my greatest fan. He was there when I was down and he was always there to encourage me to play harder. He always goes to all my games and all my practices. You see coach my father was blind he never sees what I was doing but he believes in me.. and now that his gone. This is gonna be the first time he will see me play. I want to proved to him that because of him I am a better player and I am a better person.”
We all have our potentials and eventhough sometimes we loose faith and started to question ourselves always remember that we always have our dad up above guiding us helping us when everything seems impossible. He mold us into his likeness making us a better person with a determined heart.
During my growing up days I remember measuring my height through our wooden wall and mark the tip of my head with a line until I stop doing it when I started noticing a small improvement of my height. I became frustrated and was unhappy with each result my marker made. But I was fortunate that I was the tallest in our family…
The NBA produced the talented players around the globe and including also from the tallest and down to the Mugsy Bogues mini pincher size.
The tallest player who played in the NBA was a Sudan native who towers at 7’7” and with a wingspan of 8’6”, Manute Bol break history because of his height. I can even remember him shooting air ball threes… hehe He might have the height but the talent is scarce for this player. The last time I’ve heard about Manute Bol was in an ice hockey game in which he played for a charity game for his hometown.
Gheorge Muresan is a Romanian player who played in New Jersey and Washington. Muresan towers at 7’7” and has a wingspan of 7’10” he is a much talented center than Manute… he could block shots well and provided the ceiling for his team. A good low post player who also knows how to pass but unfortunately his career was cut short because of injuries he suffered on his legs.
Shawn Bradley and Yao Ming both towers at 7’6” but talent wise Yao Ming edges Bradley, Yao has good perimeter moves and shot blocking skills which creates double team and instant offense to the Houston Rockets. I just can’t imagine what his future son will be since he is married to a Chinese national team player who towers at 6’3”
Bradley in the other hand who wears a jersey no.76 and plays on the Philadelphia 76ers and has a height of 7’6” is a decent NBA player who one time lead in the block department. But above the entire most talented centers in the NBA there is only one player who is 7’1” but towers above any player who played in the NBA, Wilt Chamberlain broke the scoring record by making 100 points in a single game. He dominates the game and the best center who ever played in basketball who openly admits in having a multiple partner in almost every game he played. Wow I could imagine the no. of illegitimate children he has… hehehe
Height might be a factor but it doesn’t give you a ticket to instant greatness. A great player possesses the right attitude and determination. So it doesn’t matter how tall or short you are. It’s what’s inside you matters. Just like they say “height doesn’t matter”…
With all the preseason trades and the hype going into the NBA season, this year would be a better and more exciting NBA we could ever imagine.
The monumental trade between Kevin Garnet in Boston and the signing of Ray Allen down from the injured Greg Oden from Kobe vs the Lakers and the gambling referees. These are all feelers for the real drama to enfold right in our very eyes this coming season.
The East this time would be a more competitive and exciting teams to watch. With Boston trading top players for Kevin Garnet and acquiring Ray Allen to boost the young and energetic line up of Boston which already includes all star guard Paul Pierce.
Miami made a late off season trade involving five players including forward Antoinne Walker. In return they got a perennial slashing guard in Ricky Davis. Ricky would complement Wade and can also can come up in the bench and provide quality scoring minutes. Orlando Magic built their franchise in their emerging superstar Dwight Howard and the signing of Rashard Lewis would instill leadership to this team and could help in the offensive department as well and they could very well be a contender in the playoffs.
The bulls also got a good scoring center which could very well complete it’s already all star roster in the likes of Joaquim Noah and Gray.
I believe these playoffs would be a showdown against Miami and the Bulls versus the winner against King James Cleveland and Garnet’s Boston. Now that would be a mouth watering match up.
But all in all I still believed the West would capture the Larry O’Brien cup since the wests don’t have that much changed in their rosters. And Stability and chemistry really is a factor in winning the championship. If Kenyon Martin is healthy this would be a blow out season for Denver. The acquisition of Grant Hill and Strawberry would provide solid offense for the run and gun of Phoenix. The Lakers could be in trouble of an early exit if trade talks don’t prosper. The Houston rockets steve francis, Tracy Mcgrady and Yao Ming show solidify their spot in the playoffs with new talent Scola making his way to the NBA. But this year the reigning champions the San Antonio Spurs could very well repeat this year’s championship but it all depends on a healthy Duncan. But like they always say the ball is round… so we never know…
With much hype and anticipation going on in the opener for the Philippine Basketball Association come this Sunday, teams are making some good draft picks and off season moves which virtually stabilize and made them championship contenders or otherwise.
So basically it’s a free for all, do or die match for every team. I made some short analysis for teams to watch out for this coming All Filipino cup.
Alaska Aces– The reigning Fiesta Conference champions has quite an interesting line up with two bruise brothers Ken Bono and JR Quiñahan manning the center and forward spot position. The trade between Nic Belasco and Junjun Cabatu proved to be a not so fruitful trade since the 4 and 5 positions are already crowded with Sonny thoss, Reynel Hugnatan, John Ferriols, Eddie Laure and Anthony Delacruz fighting for minutes in the bench although Delacruz and Cabatu can play the 3 spot such talents in their 4 and 5 positions would be such a waste to be put in the bench. Some can even be a starter in other teams. But nonetheless it is still has a good line up with MVP Willie Miller leading the pack and all star Mike Cortez and veteran Jeffrey Cariaso.
Welcoat Dragons – The Dragons have a reason to celebrate since having the no.1 draft pick Joe De Vance the team automatically got a ticket in the playoffs. Scored 37 points in the pre season the future all star center who played in the University of Texas can score at will with good post moves and can shoot a pretty decent range from the outside is a price gem for Welcoat. But the question would be can the team keep up his intensity on the hard court? The Dragons have pretty good backcourt players with the likes of Froilan Baguion, Denver Lopez, Niño Gelig, Jireh Ibañez, Rob Wainwright and former Southwestern Cobra Jojo Tangkay. The acquisition of veteran forward Nic Belasco gave some leadership to this young team with Jay-R Reyes, Joey Mente, Jay Sagad, Adonis Sta.Maria, Donal Dulay and Ryan Araña completing the line up.
Sta.Lucia Realtors- with only 8 players remaining in their old line up basically this team can be considered a re-building team with 6 new players completing the line up. A backcourt tandem of former De La Salle star Joseph Yeo and unknown Fil-Am point guard Ryan Reyes from Cerritos College would be such a joy to watch together with rookie sensation Kelly Williams. This team is fast and provides a nightmare match up with the twin towers Marlou Aquino and Dennis Espino but can the team gel fast since acquiring those new players? Omolon and Paolo Mendoza can very well provide some inside and outside offense for this team but chemistry is a factor.
Coca cola Tigers – A very deep and good line up for the Tigers this coming All Filipino cup with Alex Cabagnot and John Arigo in the 1 and 2 spot with Kenneth Duremdes in the forward spot, Mark Telan and Ali Peek in the 4 and 5 position. The acquisitions of Cesar Catli and Mark Isip can very well provide youth and athleticism to this team. Gelling is not an issue for this team since there is not much change being made. With team manager the trigger man Allan Caidic doing a fantastic job there is such a great potential for them to be in the championship.
The Brgy. Ginebra Kings- The most popular team in the PBA has the most lethal back court players in the league right now. With fast and the furious Mark “the Spark” Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand leading the way. The acquisitions of Paul Artadi and Ateneo’s spit fire Macky Escalona could do enough damage with their run and gun type of offense. Rodney Santos is not on the roster right now and also workhorse Rudy Hatfield but mainstay Eric Menk, Ronald Tubid, Billy Mamaril, Johnny Abarrientos and Sunday Salvacion could very well compensate their loss to these players. A championship is already in the making for barangay Ginebra.
Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants – with Kerby Raymundo back from the roster this team has a reason to smile this conference. The loss of shooting guard Noy Castillo was immediately filled by Fil-Am sensation Brandon Cablay as he signed with the Giants in an off season move. This team has a complete line up from top to bottom with MVP contender James Yap, Peter June Simon, Marc Pingris, Jondan Salvador, Roger Yap, Richard Yee, veteran Rey Evangelista, Omanzie Rodriguez and Robert Sanz. The new acquisitions proved to be imperative in the Giants line up with Ardy Larong and point guard Chico Lañete since this two could play some quality minutes for the Giants all star line up. Chico could very well play the point guard position since Roger Yap is not a natural point guard.
Redbull Barako – I think Redbull got a steal in the 2007 draft by drafting Jojo Duncil a very athletic player from Sto.Tomas. He could very well play with Cyrus Baguio in the 2 and 3 position. The loss of Enrico Villanueva could very well be a factor as it leaves a vacuum in the 4 and 5 position. Enrico provides the Low post presence and Sharma, Bugia, Camaso and Pennisi are no where could compensate the intensity and muscle provided by Villanueva. They should find some good trades since they have a crowded 2 and 3 roster. A trade to Alaska for JR Quiñahan would make sense since JR nicknamed “Baby Shaq” could level up to Villanueva’s intensity.
Air 21 Express- A young and talented line up which has 8 new players with good acquisitions like Doug Kramer and the high flying JC Intal. A rebuilding team which has a lot of potential but a case of bigamy was filed to their young talented star Arwind Santos which could caused him his career. And that scenario could distract the level of playing to Arwind. A trade is rumored to be in the making but is there a team willing to take the risk? But situation aside this team could give some teams a run for their money but in playoff time can they keep up considering their raw and unexperience players. Well will just wait and see.
Magnolia Beverage Masters (former San Miguel Beermen) – With Dondon Hontiveros and Dynamite Danny Seigle back in the roster this already strong line up is tailor made for a championship. The drafting of 6’9 center Samigue Eman could very well provide ceiling for Magnolia as Durian Peña’s health is questionable. The acquisition of sweet shooting Larry Fonacier and Enrico Villanueva from Redbull proved to be a very excellent move since it provides more depth in their bench and experienced. Starting five for the Beverage Masters would be Olsen Racela, Dondon Hontiveros, Danny Seigle, Danny Ildefonso and Enrico Villanueva. Imagine their second five would be LA Tenorio, Chris Calaguio, Larry Fonacier, Gabby Espinas and Dorian Peña which can be a starting lineup in other teams. And did I mentioned Lordy Tugade, Samigue Eman and Jonas Villanueva in their bench? Wheew.. I can’t see Magnolia not winning a championship in that matter.
Talk and Text Phonepals – After a stint in the FIBA Asia three Talk n Text players are back in the lineup. Renren Ritualo, spit fire Jimmy Alapag and the Rock Asi Taulava can very well strengthen the Phonepals competitive lineup since grabbing the runner up in the recently concluded Fiesta Conference. The acquisition of Yousif Ajamal is fruitless since the Talk and Text lineup has already have Don Allado, Yancy de Ocampo, Anthony Washington and Harvey Carey who could provide enough muscle and post presence for the Phonepals. The backcourt offense would go smoothly with Alapag’s play making, Renren’s sweet shooting and Macmac Cardona’s slashing moves. This time a runner up maybe not so good for this championship made team.