Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rabeh, Seigle Blockbuster Trade Brewing?

Rumors are starting to circulate about a possible blockbuster trade. Patricia Hizon hints at it in a recent post in her blog, Locker Room, although she stops short of actually naming any teams or players that may be involved. She usually presents her rumors as guessing games, but she usually is also spot on with her rumors so there really may be something here.

One used to detonate
One's okay to slice through
One was faster to trigger
but would you trade these for something new?

One's got a double double game
One carried national pride
One was the quiet one
THere's something about the deal they will definitely hide
The word detonate looks like it's supposed to be a pun, and it could point to 'Dynamite' Danny Seigle, whose nickname definitely fits the part.

The post also suggests that the pieces exchanged would be older players on one side and young ones on the other. This is also hinted at by Seigle's San Miguel Beemen teammate Paul Artadi, who tweeted this earlier.

But who is coming back for San Miguel? Well, this tweet by Charles Tiu could hint at it being a couple of young studs from Air21.

So the names of Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Nonoy Baclao and Rey Guevarra were apparently discussed, although Allan Gregorio does categorically deny the rumors. But if you look at Hizon's clues, it might be referring to this group of players. Al-Hussaini is a double-double guy. Guevarra was part of the Smart Gilas team for a while. And Baclao seems like a quiet fellow.

So it looks like the package was something like Seigle, and maybe Joseph Yeo and Lordy Tugade for Rabeh, Nonoy and Guevarra. Hizon ends with this line, "After the day of pinoy power, we'll know if they'll call their bluff." Guess we'll find out if this blockbuster deal will push through, or if one team gets cold feet. Looks like an interesting deal for both sides, though.

UPDATE: A source says it will be Mick Pennisi, and not Lordy Tugade, involved in the trade, if it does push through.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Butiki Bullets: Thursday February 10

  • With the PBA Finals, where we were treated to some very good basketball, behind us, let's take the time to look at some of the less good, but still interesting, parts of Philippine basketball. Particularly, the semi-pro leagues of the PBL and the PBA D-League. I'm interested in seeing which league will end up playing a higher level. On one hand, some of the top collegiate stars have committed to the 6-team PBL, including Eric Salamat, Calvin Abueva, Paul Lee, Reil Cervantes and former PBL MVP Vic Manuel. The 11-team D-League has not announced much in terms of players, but the UP Fighting Maroons are being linked to the Powerade D-League affiliate. With two teams bankrolled by MVP, we'll probably see some San Beda players there as well. I'm thinking the D-League, by virtue of being connected directly to the PBA, will be able to draw more of the Fil-Am aspirants which could shift the balance in their favor.
  • Smart Gilas has submitted to the PBA a 17-man lineup from their training pool, that includes new faces Rayray Parks, Kiefer Ravena, Junmar Fajardo and Baser Amer. They'll have to trim that lineup down to just 14 names, but that could mean that one of these four names will make the final list, although them playing actual minutes might is no assurance. Still, the thought of seeing Parks or Ravena in a PBA game this early in their careers is very exciting.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Home Court Advantage and the PBA

In the NBA, this is what teams play 82 games in the regular season for. This can spell the difference between winning and losing a playoff series. This is what you want to be armed with going into a winner-take-all, loser-goes-home Game 7.

Home Court Advantage.

Now, obviously, there's no such thing in the PBA. Our franchises don't have their own arenas located in different parts of the country. There are no home crowds to cheer teams on (except maybe for Ginebra), and no away games where players have to endure heckling from courtside patrons (except maybe if you're Wynne Arboleda).

Most games are played in the Araneta Coliseum, but there's always a handful of games played in other venues. And sometimes, these other venues have an effect on certain players. Take Game 1 of the Finals, for example, in Victorias City. Jay Washington sat out most of the 2nd half with cramps. Mico Halili pointed to the idea that sometimes when your usual routines are broken, for example, by playing out-of-town, your body could react with cramps when you push it the way professional basketball players do. While I'm certainly not expecting most players to get cramps when they play in other venues, I got fairly curious if certain venues do play a factor despite the lack of a clear home-and-away dynamic.

This curiosity got piqued even further when I noticed a small pattern emerge in the ongoing PBA Finals series between San Miguel Beer and Talk N Text. The first two games of the series were played in Bacolod and at the Cuneta Astrodome. Both games were won by TNT. The next two games were played at the Big Dome. Both were San Miguel wins.

Digging into their earlier games this conference, I found that TNT sported an 11-5 (.688) record in games played at Araneta from the elimination round through Game 6 of the semis. In games played in other venues (which includes the Cuneta Astrodome, the Ynares Center and out of town games), they were a pretty impressive 4-1 for a .800 winning percentage.

In contrast, SMB sported a 14-4 record at the Big Dome for a robust .778 winning percentage, while they were a comparatively normal 2-1 (.667) outside of it.

If you add in those four finals games, then TNT is actually just 11-7 (.611) while San Miguel is at a much more comfortable 16-4 (.800) at the Coliseum. Away from Araneta, though, TNT is an almost unblemished 6-1 (.857 winning percentage) while SMB has struggled to a 2-3 record (.400).

So what does that tell us? Not much, really. All 3 of SMB's non-Araneta losses were to the same team, Talk N Text. Those losses could be more about the quality of opposition rather than the venue itself. Still, 16-4 at the Big Dome is a pretty impressive record for the Beermen. And that 6-1 of the Texters away from it also looks pretty darn good.

I'm not going to draw any conclusions from this, not with how small these sample sizes are. And it might be moot anyway since the rest of the series is probably scheduled to be at Araneta. But the pre-Finals Araneta-and-away splits do show that TNT probably would have fared better outside of the regular venue, and that SMB would have been pretty darn good back at "home".

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