Thursday, December 3, 2009

Butiki Bullets: the comeback edition

We haven't had much time to blog about the Pinoy basketball scene lately, but basketball has certainly been busy in that time. Let's jump right into the headlines.

  • The PBA has been very interesting. The San Miguel Beermen have gone on to win nine straight games and are just a step behind Alaska in the standings. The last team to beat SMB? Smart Gilas in a no-bearing encounter. Meanwhile, Rain or Shine is finally starting to put things together. After being the last team to earn a victory in the conference, they've rattled off three wins in their last four games, including victories over last year's finalists Alaska and TNT.
  • Speaking of nine-game streaks, Mapua saw its own winning run snapped as they lost by 2 points in the PCCL quarterfinals against the San Beda Red Lions. The Cardinals put up nine in a row bridging the second round of the NCAA tournament, the wildcard phase of the PCCL and their first round victory over Greg Slaughter and the UV Lancers. Some measure of revenge, too, for the FEU Tamaraws. They advance to the semis of the PCCL after defeating the UE Red Warriors, the team that knocked the Tams out of contention in the UAAP. The PCCL has been fun to watch since the Philippine Patriots and Smart Gilas players were allowed to play for their schools. Nice to see the top programs beginning to take the tourney seriously.
  • The U-16 Nokia Pilipinas team missed the medals by one win, but finishing fourth behind the controversial Chinese squad, the Koreans and the much taller Iranians is pretty respectable. Kiefer Ravena continues to impress as he finished the FIBA U-16 tournament with a 17.6 point average.