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Tech, Sports, and Health. All that keeps TJ busy

Aug
21

To all the avid gamers out there, or simply those who have waited out so long, here’s a bit of big news.

Sony has just announced the brand spanking new Playstation 3 that now comes with a whopping 120GB hard drive yet it takes up 32% less space! I have a friend who almost shelled out $300 to buy an 80GB HD PS2 but he got lucky i got wind of this one.

nag south beach ka?

nag south beach ka?

The clincher is even though Sony amped up the HD capacity, it’s still selling it at $299.

Now for me, what made me to finally decide to get a PS3 sometime last year is a simple fact that a lot of people tend to overlook, it is practically one of the, if not THE cheapest bluray player on the market. And oh yes, its an awesome gaming console too. And now with 120GB of storage for you to put videos, music or whathaveyou, how can you go wrong with $299 or roughly less than P15,000?

Yes times are hard, but some may argue you can actaully save money by investing on a gaming console simply because it will keep you at home more often and lessen your “gimik consumption”

So go or no-go? Its up to you, but this new baby from Sony is indeed sexah =)

Its set to come out in the US in September. Read more from Engadget

Aug
21

In the last three games of DLSU we have seen them in a sort of nasty tailspin. Just when they got hot on a four game winning streak and capping it off with a heroic come from behind win vs UST in double overtime, they hit a hump. It must have been a nasty hump and seems to have them head backwards again. Yes arguably two of those losses were to arch rivals Ateneo who many would concede as clearly the stronger and more experienced team vs the Archers. But you have to look closer at the losses, not just the points, but also the effectivity of what they try to do.

As of August 20 DLSU was still the worst over all field goal shooting team in the league at 33.2%, and their 3 point FG shooting is at 3rd to the last at 24.9%. This is clearly attributed to the poor (maybe an understatement) shooting of their veterans like Mangahas, Malabes, Atkins, Villanueva, Ferdinand, and Co. Even the 2nd year player Bagatsing is part of this poor shooting parade.

DLSU has to be thankful to rookies and 2nd year players Webb, Bringas, Tolentino, Mendoza, and Andrada for keeping their heads above water. Given the limited time they get compared to the veterans, they have been relatively and respectfully effective for what is expected of them on the floor. Add to that given their limited time for Tolentino, Mendoza, and Andrada.

There are some highlites on the stat-line of DLSU. Yes they are still one of the best at forcing turnovers 22.8 per game for 2nd best. Then there’s the bench scoring where they are number one with 42 points per game, but you can thank the poor scoring from the veteran starters for that too. And of course they are the best in steals at 7.8 per game.

But if you look deeper and try to figure out why they are shooting and executing so poorly, you can come up with this arguement: Does Franz Pumaren’s very succesful systme still fit with his team today?

Yes you cannot argue with success. They are still last year’s runner-up. As they say, if ain’t broke don’t fix it. But hey, it looks broke to a lot of people right now.

The system of having a very strict operation on offense where almost every single play is called from the bench. You see numerous screens for shooters cutting from all places to free them up for outside shots and you also see post ups for the bigman. That daunted fullcourt press still gets steals and turnover points against the weaker teams like NU, UP, and even Adamsom. But it has not looked so daunted lately vs UST, UE, Ateneo, and FEU.

One can argue yes, they got that 4 game winning streak so they say it still works. But only 2 of those games were good wins, vs UP and NU. They struggled vs Adamson and barely won by a point 64-63. And we all know that double OT magical win vs UST that looked like they were beat after 3 quarters if not for a breakout performance from Arvie Bringas and once in a blue moon heroic shots from PJ Barua.

Heck I even heard a dentist say this last week, he is an old timer alum of DLSU. He said, “why is La Salle still running plays from 9 years ago? those were plays for Yeo, Casio, and Ren-ren. We have nobody anywhere near their caliber now.”

Agree or disagree? He has a point. Why would you do that to Malabes or PJ Barua who are in shooting slumps out of horror movies as they shot 13 out of 70 from threes in the first round? Its only rookie Sam Marata who is shooting well from 3 at 11 for 24 or 46%, but strangely he only averages 10 mins per game.

So here is an extreme that some people are playing with in their minds right now: Can you imagine DLSU running a free flowing “run & gun” system like UE or UST?

Do you think it will work? I think it has it’s merits simple because their current material aches for it. You have a talented rookie point guard in Tolentino who can blow by anybody in the open court. You have Joshua Webb who can run circles around anybody. You have Arvie Bringas who is undersized for a bigman (it makes me wonder how he lists himself as 6’5 but he’s clearly 2 inches smaller than Al Hussaini) but is quiker than most of them. You have a gutsy 6’2 off guard who has been your best 3 pt shooter this year in Sam Marata.

And this brings me to most old timer alums favorite arguement of benching those who deserve to be benched and give playing time to those who are waiting and willing for their time to shine. Malabes, Bagatsing, Barua, Co, and Ferdinand are just not themselves this year. As i’ve said before, its like the Space Jam aliens came in and sucked their joojoo out. They are all good and talented and i have seen them shine before, its just too cloudy so far for them in Season 72.

So who can they go to? Why not give more time for Tolentino (who only gets 8 mins pg), Marata (10 mins pg), Andrada (11 min pg) Mendoza (9 min pg), and Banal (6 min pg)

Let me tell you what i know about Banal while i’m appealing for these youngsters playing time. He was the sidekick of Jeric Teng in Xavier High where they totally dominated the Chinese league. They were an awesom one-two punch that did the damage from inside and outside. Yes both of them can play in and out. And their talent level is not that far apart. I give great credit to their HS Coach Lito Vergara (former UP coach) who helped mold them to what they are today. We all can see how awesome Teng can play and what he did to DLSU too. Banal is not as quick but he is smoother and smarter on the court. Heck, how could you not grow up with basketball smarts if your father is Joel Banal, ironically the man who denied Franz a 5th straight title in 2002.

So with a system that still seems tailor made for the Yeos, Cardonas, Casios, Allados, Gacos, and Mairhoffers, does DLSU need to stick with it or is it time for an emergency overhaul?

The major stumbling block of course would be time. I understand who difficult it is to teach a system, more so to do it mid-stream in a season that you have prepared so hard for for the past 6 or so months.

But with all due respect to the very succesful program of Cocah Franz of whom i still consider one of the best to ever coach in the UAAP, i will categoricaly say, sometimes change is a good thing. Now its up to them how much they are willing to change and when. It will take guts, and a lot of it. Specially if you opt to make that tough decision of benching some key yet underperfoming starters in liu of the younger yet likewise talented.

Would they go all out and make major changes? Give the PT to the younger and hungrier players? Or in instead of going to the extreme,could they meet halfway and adjust some time for some players and at the same time let them “loose” a bit and attack quicker to get easier shots?

Its still not too late for DLSU, they are still at 4 and 4, but with ADU and UST gaining steam and rythm, something DLSU has lost in the last 3 games, time is not on their side.

Lets see if they pull the trigger and make minor or major changes in their game vs UP this Saturday.

Good luck and all the best to DLSU!

Aug
15

Every time I’m assigned to cover an Ateneo – DLSU game, the production team wants me to put together a basic set of keys to winning for both teams. How i put this together is a combination of analyzing the team and player stats, the general trend of the team at the moment, and of course how they match up with each other. One game down and more to go. Nobody expected it to be one game apart. But here we are just hours away from the sequel for 2009. Below are the keys i feel are essential for each team to win. Alphabetical order now, so Ateneo first.

Ateneo

1) Move the ball, Move without the ball

So many times i noticed in the first half of the the first encounter that Ateneo lacked ball movement. Why? They settled for hitting Rabeh at the post and made an effort to space out well. They did that, and when the D of La Salle did collapse on him at the post, he’d kick it out. Problem was DLSU did a good job at rotating in the 1st half and was able to challenge the 3s of Ateneo that were not falling at the start.

We’ve seen Ateneo be effective too with players cutting to the basket and moving well without the ball. Rabeh is an above average passer off the double. They need to cut and show him the options to dump in the paint and not stand around and watch him. Or settle for one kick-out pass then one shot.

2) Defend the paint with intensity

Yes one may argue they had defenders in the paint when Webb kept cutting and slashing in there in the first half. But they were hardly their usual self. In that lackluster effort to play interior D in the first half, they hardly went to fully challenge Webb and the other slashers of La Salle. I even dared say on air that it seemed like a red carpet was rolled out for him and they welcomed him “openly”, literally. So for the next game I’m sure Ateneans will be praying that the bigs learned their lesson and challenge him and other slashers and block or if not alter their shots.

3) Limit turnovers

Ateneans don’t need to hear this more and more against La Salle. But its like a fact of life now. Its like you eat beans, you fart. You jump up and gravity brings you down. You play DLSU and they will force you to turnovers so you gotta take damn good care of that ball and break the press well. Although we gotta give credit where credit is due, Ateneo is in fact the #3 team in the UAAP with regards to limiting their turnovers at 16.4 per game . They just have to continue just that to get that win.

DLSU

1) Veterans need to show up, seriously.

I’ve heard so many folks, even DLSU alumni fans kid about the below par play of their veterans. Seriously, they need to file a missing persons report or check if there are aliens who stole their joojoo like in Michael Jordan’s Space Jam movie. Why? Coz we all know how damn good they are,how damn good they should and can be, and how damn good they should have improved this year. But for some odd reason with the absence of Rico and Jayvee, they have taken a step backwards in their development. Guys like Bagatsing, Malabes, Barua, Mangahas, Villanueva, Atkins, Co, and Ferdninand.

We all know how good they and how good they should be but i doubt anybody would argue that they have been significantly below par this year. Webb, one of the younger guys on the team is leading them in scoring even before his explosion last week. Mangahas yes is at 2nd on the team, but 8.4ppg? That’s not gonna cut if you are the guy expected to carry the team with Casio and Rico gone. Malabes has for some strange reason been really off. Many times you see him jack up an air-ball inexplicably even if he’s wide open. Bader is shooting only 24% this year, 16% from 3. And when you talk about good shooters who are strangely off, PeeJay Barua although he hit the 2 big threes vs UST, has been ice cold as well. He has shot 2 for 21 from 3, yes that is 9.5%. I like PeeJay, he was able to hit big shots in big games last year. I expected him more than the others to have a break out year with Casio gone, but sadly, we’re all still waiting him to bust out from hibernation.

2) Help and rotate quickly on D

DLSU is fully aware that they cannot match up man for man vs Ateneo at the post. Rabeh is just too big and gifted with his repertoire that Ferdinand, Co, Bringas, or Andrada cannot stop him one on one. But hey yeah Yutien had two awesome blocks on him. But they still need to help and collapse on Rabeh, if not even double team him when he gets too deep in the paint. When they do that, they have to be ready to rotate quickly on the perimeter to challenge Ateneo’s shots. They did that well for 3 quarters, just not in the 4th when Reyes and Salamat killed them with 3s.

3) Force turnovers and convert to TO points

This is the counterpart of Ateneo’s keys is a no-brainer. DLSU is still the best full court pressing team in the country. You will be amazed how many variations of a full court press the Pumarens have stashed in their playbooks. Its awesome. DLSU is second only to NU at forcing turnovers (24.6ppg) and converting it to turnover points (20.7ppg). But more than ever they have to turn up the juice and make this weapon their juggernaut against Ateneo, specially given the fact that as a team they have not been shooting well from the floor. So easy baskets off steals and in transition are likewise key for them to win.

So who will win? Heck i don’t do and never do fearless forecasts. Specially in Ateneo – La Salle games where we all know anything can happen, even the insane and magical.

All i ask for is a great hard fought game full of heart and intensity as we all bear witness to history as it continues to unfold before our very eyes.

See you all at the big dome or through the boob tube!

Comments are welcome! But be nice! 😉