From Inquirer.net




I usually do sports things.

Like basketball, boxing, billiards and DOTA 2.

Yes, dammit… e-gaming is a sport.

I have never written about gymnastics before.

Carlos Yulo is a ninja.

I wonder what kind of training you need to do that requires you to spin around in the air like some sort of toy propeller and then lightly touch the mat and do another spin in the air like a toy propeller.

The dude is awesome.





And I like to think that I would restrain my emotions at the sight of girly floor exercises but… this guy made gymnastics cool. Look, any type of sport that requires a person to have a visible bulge in the groin and the said sport isn’t a combat sport is well… unlikely for men. But this guy says otherwise. I can’t even split… much less tumble in all directions.

Caloy Yulo, the first Pinoy World Gymnastics Champion in 41 editions, did things I never saw in the brief time I followed the sport. The international tiffs usually feature gymnastics as some sort of filler. We don’t know the sport… but especially back in the 90s, parents allow little girls to do ballet or splits. Yulo’s first two moves were typical but when he displayed those moves that lightly touch the mat and unleash another round of spins, it was gold.

And not only that. I loved how he thanked his Japanese coach after he got the score and constantly tugged on the Philippine flag in his shirt. The government sucks – I mean I guess as far as the 2000s go – when it comes to supporting the athletes. Alex Pagulayan and Wesley So distanced their selves from the country during international tiffs because they were never given support. Critics and online trolls rant at the fact that we’re never good in basketball but at the same time, can’t even endorse a noteworthy alternative to get funding.

And despite Hidilyn Diaz’s efforts to make it big in the global stage, we just can’t give her something to get inspired on.

But then we have Diaz… and now Yulo to go wicked sick in our quest to win our first gold medal in the Summer Games.

Hopefully instead of showering recognition on Yulo for his meteoric rise, support will come to give him better resources to achieve his dream. I guess it’s best for him to train outside the confines of the country but at least give him motivation like allowance or something. If e-gamers have nutritionists as well as physical therapists in their facilities, maybe Yulo can have the same things as well. During the time of Bea Lucero, Milo supported her even until when she switched to taekwondo. Yulo is only 19 and if Milo wants to have another face to put on their drinks, then they have this guy.  

If you’re looking for standard bearers for our quest for the 2020 Olympics, look no further than Yulo. The future looks bright for this young man and if we have someone like this, it would be insane to not use him to his full potential.

Sure, I bet it’s hard to watch gymnastics while holding a beer and screaming curses at the set but the moment when he showed respect to his coach is everything you want to see in a Karate Kid-like movie.

Let’s just ride on his high and let everything fall into place.

He knows what needs to be done so let’s do whatever we can to support him.

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Hi Cassidy Railey.

Wazap.

Your dad likes to blog and aside from documenting your adorable movements, I chronicle a lot of your important moments.

Remember the time when you allowed yourself to vomit from a kid.

Tadah.

It happened around October 13, 2019 at SM Hypermart Pasig. You’re learning how to become a goofy, little critter and you had a playpen friend that coughs a lot and in your words… sounded Japanese.

Anyway, he hit you and you for some insane reason, fell to stairs part of the playpen.

And then that kid hurled on you.

I think he just hit you on the pants but I saw a lot of vomit falling to your direction. You were telling the kids that the baby just spat a lot of things on you and the kid’s guardian was a bit embarrassed.

And then I rode your ass for about half an hour because you could have averted that if you just stayed away from the kid. I mean… the kid was coughing at you… without covering his mouth.

And he’s not even a girl.

Your Daddy will make you remember all the things you didn't know you need to know!!! 

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I am at UP Town Center. This is the third time I’ve been here and the second time I’m with my wife and kid.

Also, the first time I am going to buy a Funko Pop with my wife and kid here.

The first Pop I bought here is Metallica’s James Hetfield and I think I am going to look for a TV figure… or probably Toby from The Office. I have been stalling on the character because I already have a Michael Scott Pop and I don’t really like doubling on characters.

Although, I am so in love with the Selina Meyer special edition presidential Pop.

But maybe I am going to look for a new line. If I see a Yuyu Hakusho special edition character… I am going to buy that sumbitch. If I see Britta Perry’s Funko Pop, I will not “Britta” the opportunity.

Maybe the Guns and Roses trio?

Or hell… maybe the Miami Vice line is now available.

It’s not.

But perhaps.

An hour later, I bought two pops.

One is for my niece and the other is a Jim Henson Pop holding a Kermit the Frog puppet.

I was looking at pops… and they fell.

It sucked.

The owner was kind enough to let me be but the attention I caused was damning. I wasn’t going to buy the Fortnite pop but I had to. I tried to converse about pop while sweating a river and it felt like hell.

I HATE CONSEQUENCES!!!

But then again, I bought two pops as mentioned.

I will part with the Fortnite pop but I’m pretty sure that I’ll have something for Jim Henson. I am going to pair him up with my Bob Ross pop and once I get my Bill Nye pop, then I will have a trio of childhood favourites.

But yeah... I promise not act all clumsy as f*ck again.

END







My October 6 ESPN fantasy basketball draft was conducted poorly.

Not going to lie but some participants arrived late, the draft became offline, and the thing I hate the most is that I had to help my opponents and at the same time plan for my strategy and at the same time, do admin work.

So I like picking late in H2H points leagues because I would rather have a strong second round pick than an unpredictable but strong early first rounder but the key to the strategy’s success is to not get catfished by your friend/opponent. At 17th, I selected Nikola Vucevic because he is a double-double magnet. I got my first dual-positioned player in LaMarcus Aldridge at number 24 and I completed my draft with Tobias Harris, Buddy Hield, Reggie Jackson, Bojan Bogdanovic, Dj Augustin, Joe Harris, and PJ Tucker.

When I finished third in the same tourney, I had Aldridge, Augustin, and Joe Harris in my lineup. I always had my eye on Vucevic because he is a big man that can help fantasy teams in almost all categories.

But I think I had my received a boost when ESPN gave Tobias Harris a SF tag.

At the start of the draft… or at least when I made my cheat sheet, Harris is only a PF. ESPN, unlike Yahoo, is notorious for being tight-fisted in terms of positions. This is why getting Tobias that extra position is important especially in a 20-team, 9-rostered league. I also have concerns in my SF position. Bojan played awesome in Indiana but I don’t know if he can replicate this in Utah.

I also don’t know how Tobias will mesh with Joel Embiid and Al Horford but fact of the matter is, he’s a starter.

And that’s awesome.

I will also change my weekly gameplay. Daily leagues require teams to have an expendable slot to obtain additional points but I think it’s better to hunt on possible options and keep them in the long run. I’m probably looking at some of the rookies and a couple of injured vets that could be available in February like Jusuf Nurkic and Klay Thompson.   

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I think I am going to twin draft this Sunday.

It sucks… it absolutely does.

I will participate in an ESPN fantasy basketball draft on October 13 at around 9pm and then I will participate in a Yahoo fantasy basketball draft on October 13 at around 9pm.

So yeah, I am really screwed.

I have two days to sway people to move one draft to an earlier schedule or to move one draft to a later schedule.

Now ain’t that pretty. 

END 





Sydrifiedblog sucks at the moment.

And it’s probably my fault.

I haven’t been blogging lately and for some reason I am fine about this because… I have a lot of things in my mind right now.

First up, there are a lot of things “sydrified” on the internet right now and when I bought a domain, I didn’t think of this factoid. Through nearly two decades of blogging, I tried Multiply, Live Journal, Weebly, Blogger, Wordpress, Wix and Squarespace… I think. Back then I was able to score publisher deals with Powerade, weekly columns on NBA Philippines and Philippine Star and man would I kill for at least 800 views per day.

I know this is not a lot… but it’s tons better than the views I am getting at the moment.

So yeah, I am seriously contemplating on another name.

END 



Cain Velasquez is a beast inside the octagon and apparently, he could be bringing his talents to the WWE or even in AEW.

In his debut match in AAA back in August, the two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion did a bunch of innovative slams and flips in his first match – including a hurricanrana with the aid of the ropes against Taurus. The match, which also had the likes of AEW’s Cody and TNA’s Killer Kross, ended with Velasquez locking in the Kimura Lock on Texano Jr.  

The dude is a luchador!

WITH THAT BUILT!

Although, his UFC contact gives him a bunch of restrictions – the most important of which is his inability to perform any physical moves inside of the United States. The violence cap is understandable as for sure, Cain is going to be ratings draw in any promotion he will sign with… and UFC wants none of the other wrestling promotions.

And that’s the thing. The two promotions want him with perhaps WWE getting the slight edge since Fox, the new home of Smackdown, is the same network as that of the UFC matches. But then again, Cain is going to be a major draw in AEW. And with a kind-of relaxed schedule and an open-field to become a main event player, it’s just right to consider AEW as a possible destination as well.

Is Cain going to get the same deal as that with Brock Lesnar? Moreover, is this some sort of mark’s dream-like how people are lining up to see the possible return of CM Punk to WWE television?  

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There is an alleged move to shorten PBA activities to two conferences. For a while, it made no sense, especially with how the Philippine Cup and the Fiesta Conference looked. The Fiesta Conference paraded imports of unlimited height and of course, their entries disrupted how basketball worked in the land.

The worst problem to happen in this scenario is how the centers were developed. Doug Kramer once spoke about this and I guess Jojo Lastimosa saw this coming during the Fil-Am invasion of the late 90s and the early 2000s as part of the PBA Players Union. Famed power forwards like Alvin Patrimonio, Nelson Asaytono and Noli Locsin had to develop their outside shooting with the entries of Eric Menk, Asi Taulava and Davonn Harp. Back in the collegiate leagues and in the PBL, teams had to contend with the likes of Sam Ekwe, Sudan Daniel, Ola Adeogun, Karim Abdul, Emmanuel Mbe and Ben Mbala. Big men that were once focal points during their high school careers were forced to become defensive stoppers with an undercooked offensive game.

But now, Philippine basketball needs to have time for preparation. Also, our local players can compete with the Fil-Ams as well as the big imports. Even if Justin Brownlee is an awesome force and there is still time for June Mar Fajardo as well as Kai Sotto to develop, our naturalized player needs to dominate in the paint.

So yeah, the two-conference setup with the second being a conference of imports with unlimited height is a good move for the league.

But then… now what?

From this point until the 2023 FIBA World Cup qualifiers, SBP needs to align with the other Asian countries to create something awesome. I think a decade and a half ago, there was this thing that was called the Philippine Collegiate Champions League. It was initially made up of the best college teams from the different collegiate meets in the Philippines. This is where we caught a glimpse of discoveries like UV’s Greg Slaughter and JR Quinahan, UC’s June Mar Fajardo and UM’s Samigue Eman. Non-UAAP and non-NCAA players like the De Ocampo brothers were also highlighted.

Basically, while the ASEAN Basketball League is serving its purpose, we need to create pocket tournaments for our squads.

For example, after the second conference, let’s have the teams play pocket tournaments either here or abroad. For example, let’s have three PBA teams play in an extended version of the Jones Cup, then have three PBA teams play in the Terrific 12, the FIBA Champions Cup and heck, let’s just arrange our schedule to fit the ABL season. I think it’s also going to be a good thing for the league to have pocket tourneys with either the under-23 players or their main roster.

We can even have a mini-joust against the top MPBL teams and even the top college squads to see once and for all, if the trolls would still think that we're better off represented by the Maharlika boys than the PBA stars.  

I guess the major point here is exposure. If we can’t have the best teams play in our land, then we need to go to theirs instead. The European teams are successful because the teams are co-dependent with each other. We play the Asian leaders with little to no rehearsals – and this is why we still can’t figure out how some of their teams work. This must not be the case.

And it’s not just for our sake – as we need to make the Iranians, Chinese, Japanese, Jordanians, Lebanese, Koreans, and others realize that they need us also. Asia, since the current incarnation of the FIBA World Cup, struggle in the major meets.

Just take DOTA 2 as a comparison. I know there is a whole lot of difference with regards to these two sports but ever since they introduced The Majors as well as The International, they have since enjoyed a high level of competition. I believe the right mix of local and international competition should make Philippine basketball awesome.

But then here’s the bad part of this dream scenario.

MONEY.

I think it’s time for the PBA to have multiple owners for single franchises. In how I perceive this vision, I am not talking about pocket tourneys for Gilas Pilipinas players as well as the champion teams. The proper way to globalize the PBA is by exposing everyone to the style of a lot of squads. We have a lot of players that are good at international tourneys but are lost in the PBA shuffle. First up, let’s have some of the former Gilas Pilipinas players like Jason Ballesteros, Raymar Jose, Garvo Lanete, Von Pessumal, and Carl Bryan Cruz. At one point in their careers, they did well in international outings.

The thought of finding a diamond in the rough in these pocket tourneys could also be a good thing for Philippine basketball. What if Jeron Teng becomes a revelation in one pocket tourney or we discover that for some reason, defensive ace Ping Exciminiano is a good pawn to unleash against the continent’s perimeter guys?

Contrary to a lot of trolls, weak-minded critics (those who only complain without a semblance of a noteworthy solution) and pessimists, I still believe our best sport is basketball. We will never have a World Cup in football, volleyball and even baseball in the coming decade but we have the resources as well as (believe it or not, trolls) the talent. People forget that the current basketball program is just ten years old. Before Iran started their ascent as Asia’s top dogs, they also had trouble with their lineup. Sure, these past few years have been trying but it’s not that dire.

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Calvin Abueva has been released from Willie Marcial’s proverbial doghouse and will now be able to join the Phoenix Fuel Masters.

This year has been hell for the former almost-PBA MVP. After an awesome rookie season, Abueva has had a tumultuous career. Sure, while he is a two-time Mythical Fiver as well as a one-time Second Teamer and a one-time Best Player of the Conference, he has been caught on cam for expressing pleasantries towards a female fan, doing WWE finishers on his opponents, airing domestic fights in public… and going incognito in team practices only to show up in non-sanctioned events.

BUT!

The Beast has a leash and he can only join team practices. Marcial granted the former Gilas Pilipinas star practice player access in order for him to stay in game shape.

Oh snap.

I think Marcial could use Abueva in PBA advocacy events. Call him ambassador or if you’re a hater… a mascot BUT The Beast is still The Beast and perhaps this is a good way for Abueva to earn pay. I don’t know how the Phoenix Fuel Masters will get their investment if Abueva is a practice player but I’m pretty sure they want this guy to play especially since they had Paolo Bugia tagging along with The Beast.

Abueva is about to turn 32 next February. I want to say that he’s all good now because Abueva could have been vital cog if he got the Gilas Pilipinas FIBA World Cup call. I know his antics are far from acceptable but when thinking right, Calvin is an exceptional player.

And I am not the only one who’s saying this… with the Youtube page of Sports5 as evidence.  

I mean… the trolls asking for an Abueva lifetime ban are the same peeps who are asking for his team re-entry.

That’s how crazy our FIBA World Cup stint was.

END




The name of this piece has the word “hard sell” at the front. If you’re living in a rock, I am pretty much pitching an idea that hopefully would stick in the minds of powerful people.

Anyway…




Gilas Pilipinas failed to get an Olympic qualifier invite.

I guess it’s understandable since the team placed last on the tourney.

It sucks.

Wait… I will try to veer away from saying “suck”.

It blows.

And it sucks.

Haha.

So we have all these speculations on which coach to choose after Yeng Guiao understandably stepped down. Must we return to the old dribble-drive system that has been our staple since the days of Rajko Toroman? The system gave Chot Reyes great success. Should we invite Tab Baldwin again? This is also a possibility since having him at the helm gave the team more confidence. Or how about tapping the services of Tim Cone again? I bet he wants to get back at Asia for what happened during the last time he handled the RP Team.

Whoever it is, he needs to tag with Leo Austria

... 

... 

What?

Further reinforced by the recent showing of the San Miguel Beermen in the Terrific 12 (as they were the last Pinoy team to be eliminated in the Macau-based tourney), I don’t know why we are sleeping on the league’s first Rookie of the Year as our national team coach. I know he has a lot of flaws as a coach but at the same time, his resume speaks for itself. 

Ever since he came to San Miguel, the team became perennial title contenders. 

Austria’s first big title came in the international arena as well. Okay sure, the ABL is probably the baby food of international tourneys as compared to the NBA, Euroleague and even the PBA for that matter but it is a great kick-starter for global campaigns.

Take, for instance, June Mar Fajardo. The Kraken first got acclaim when he got name-dropped for the first incarnation of Smart-Gilas. With that said, just like Calvin Abueva and Paul Lee he stayed away from the program and focused on perfecting his brand in the ABL. Fajardo battled imports and wide bodies from all shapes and forms and almost a decade later, he holds the record for most PBA MVPs.

If you think about it, Leo Austria had a hand in those MVPs. Seeing how Fajardo and in some ways, Kai Sotto challenged their counterparts when they get the means to score, having a coach like Austria could be vital to properly integrate the awesomeness of June Mar Fajardo. 

He almost led the Adamson Soaring Falcons to a UAAP title in which Eric Camson kind of became equal to Greg Slaughter

Let that sink in. 

And here’s another reason – Terrence Romeo. A season ago, we almost wrote off Bromeo from Gilas Pilipinas because of his antics. He wanted the spotlight, he missed a lot of practices, he disrespects authority and in some ways, we saw San Miguel as punishment. I mean… how can he hog the spotlight if he’s teammates with a five-time MVP at the peak of his career? But nowadays, we are puzzled as to why Romeo is contented with his current setup. San Miguel all of a sudden reaped the award of a changed man. TNT got duped in some ways because they could have crippled SMB’s death lineup but instead settled for Brian Heruela and David Semerad. I know both players are doing well in TNT but as mentioned, instead of weakening the beast, they just made him more invincible. Romeo’s scoring is constantly increasing and he is happy coming off the bench and sitting out fourth quarters with the payoff of a title.

He just won Finals MVP!

And now he is dazzling a lot of club teams in Macau!

Leo Austria also had the hand in this.

The best reason why Gilas Pilipinas needs Leo Austria is plain and simple. He is one of those coaches who know how to make his peeps comfortable. Sure, some players like Gary David or Chris Lutz or Arnold Van Opstal might disagree but they are pretty much-isolated cases if you think about it. Players like Ronald Tubid, Chico Lanete, Yancy de Ocampo, and Paul Zamar are happy sitting on the bench with championships as compensation. There are players like Romeo, Christian Standhardinger, Von Pessumal and nowadays Arwind Santos who could start for other teams and act like prima donnas but aren’t at all pissed with the diminished minutes they are experiencing. Even June Mar suffered a benchwarmer’s role during the Governors’ Cup of last season.

This is basically how a typical national team looks like. Some players will start and some can just watch. When they come in though, they know to deal with the task at hand. San Miguel’s death squad has June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot, Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, Terrence Romeo, Christian Standhardinger and more or less Von Pessumal plus the import.

This lineup is kind of like a typical national team squad! 

With Austria at the helm, they could have a pro-level coach that doesn’t try to devalue their past exploits. I hate the fact of turning superstars into role players. If you have twelve stars in your lineup, maybe they can do something cool with these players? I don't like hating people but the thing I hate about the 2019 Gilas Pilipinas squad is that their coach couldn't motivate them to go insane on the court. It's as if they are afraid to make mistakes and at the same time, they are too battle-worn to give a damn (another reason why as if CJ Perez and Robert Bolick are the only ones playing like all-stars). 

Sure, Yeng Guiao once coached Gabe Norwood, Paul Lee and Raymond Almazan in Rain or Shine, but do we really think they played their best under his tutelage?

Lee played under 30 minutes under his watch and his gameplay is a bit controlled. And it’s not like Paul Lee can’t lead a team. Just like Romeo, Lee kept his swagger from his Lawrence Tiongson days at UE and at Cobra Energy in the PBL to his current incarnation with Chito Victolero in Magnolia.

Meanwhile, we have yet to determine the gameplay of Rakenrol Almazan under Norman Black but unlike in Rain or Shine, he will get more minutes than what he got with the Elasto Painters.

The worst-hit is definitely Gabe Norwood. Sure, we see him as a defensive specialist but the last time he averaged in double figures in a PBA season was before Yeng Guiao replaced Caloy Garcia as Rain or Shine coach. The Norwood we know now is different from the Norwood that partnered with Solomon Mercado and Jay-R Reyes. Come to think of it, Yeng Guiao should have brought Beau Belga to China because he is pretty much the only player in Gilas who would whole-heartedly respond to whatever his former mentor wants.

And I guess this is how I am going to close out this piece. Prior to the entry of Austria to the fold, San Miguel was experiencing Petronovela. It’s the thing when players think they are star players and despite all the talents in the squad, they just can’t win a title. There are a lot of reasons why that phenomenon happened. For starters, San Miguel forced their early 2000s stars to sit in the sidelines even if they are still capable to deliver. I mean… how many “next Olsen Racelas” we had during that span? And then, remember when Santos, Cabagnot and Jay Washington had leadership issues? How about Beermen OGs like Danny Ildefonso and Danny Seigle speaking on the record about their disdain on the situation they were placed? Also, remember the Petronovela “curse” that happened with Marcio Lassiter and Dondon Hontiveros because the world is out to seek “vengeance” for all the lopsided trades?

Remember how it all ended when Leo Austria started to employ his presence?

Sure, if actual research on the current ways of coaching is needed, then we should just hire consultants and put a premium on scouts. Austria has a tendency to "choke" when the odds are in his favor. For example, Lance Stephenson and Salah Mejri routing the Beermen in the Terrific 12 tourney. This is where you pad his team with the best coaching deputies available. During Reyes’ run as Gilas coach, he had a platoon of peeps serving as scouts to check out the competition. I think this is one of the problems of Yeng Guiao’s squad. In some ways, this also became a problem for Gregg Popovich. In American football, they have offensive and defensive coordinators. I think Gilas Pilipinas can employ that as well.

Heck, if you just check out any random NBA game console, you have a surplus of lineup choices.

Perhaps, people could point out his iffy championship capability during import-laden tiffs. This is where the awesomeness of the MVP teams would step in. The SMC teams dominate the MVP teams in terms of local talent but with the exception of Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman, the MVP teams kind of have the edge in taking top imports. So just imagine if Austria gets dibs on an awesome naturalized player like what he got when the Beermen obtained the services of Chris McColough?

Guiao made his PBA coaching debut in 1990 and in nearly 30 years has delivered seven championship titles. Leo Austria made his PBA coaching debut in 2004 and from 2013 (when he coached the San Miguel Beermen in the ABL) to September 2019, the former Shell star had won nine titles.

Guiao is used to play unwanted overachievers and turning them into champions like his Red Bull and Rain or Shine teams. Austria meanwhile, coaches best with a team of all-stars and creates beautiful harmony in the process as what we've seen at the SMB camp. 

Last time I checked, we bring the best Pinoy players in the tough tourneys. 

If I’m a Gilas Pilipinas representative, perhaps now is the time to check out the coaching awesomeness of Leo Austria.

Especially if he nails a grand slam title… two consecutive two-titled seasons isn’t a great feat in itself.  

END