Gary David is my MVP

The PBA MVP may be the most misleading MVP award in all of Philippine basketball; mainly because there has never been an archetypal PBA MVP and really, the most valuable players from conference to conference are the imports. 

The award, as a concept, is impossible to put in a box. You will never find a consensus definition of it. Parang love lang.  We each have our own understanding.

It can be given to the leader of the best team that year (Alapag 2011), or to the best player on the best team (Johnny Abarrientos 1996), or to the season’s best player (e.g. Kelly Williams 2008), or to the second best (Willie Miller 2007)[1], to the most popular (James Yap 2006)[2], to the most dominant (Asi Taulava 2003, Danny Ildefonso 2000, 2001), or to the “Dahil Wala Lang Mapagbigyan Ng Award” MVP (Willie Miller, who by the way averaged 9ppg in 2002)[3].

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“AH! MALAS! PUMASOK TIRA KO!”

The PBA Most Valuable Player is construed in a different manner every year. The award adapts. It changes essence. The only premise is that the winner has to be valuable in his own way. He has to belong to a winning team and be essential to the team’s success. His team ultimately has to win enough games.

How many is enough? You ask.

 Well, every winner of the award has either brought his team to at least two playoff appearances or won a championship that year.

Gary David failed to do either this year. That’s why I understand why he shouldn’t win the Dekada ’70-Mano Po-like race to the MVP against Mark Caguioa. Gets ko. Ginebra won enough, Powerade didn’t (Powerade finished with a 14-18 W-L record in all of the eliminations this year). In fact, Mark “The Spark” had my vote a few days ago. I even almost wrote an “It’s about damn time Mark Caguioa is MVP” article.

But it felt like I was forcing the award on Mark. Kasi parang ibibigay mo lang sa kanya. Pimples literally popped all over my face every time I try to unearth sound reasons why he should win. “Bakit ba dapat si Mark Caguioa ang MVP?” I asked myself.  Ultimately, the overriding sentiment is that Powerade didn’t win enough; that’s why we’re giving the MVP to the second best player of the season whose team went to the playoffs in all of the three conferences.

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PBA fans who make fan arts like this one are DA BEST!

But I want my MVP to take it — to grab the award like The Worm grabs rebounds[4]. I want to be gung-ho about my MVP. I want him to own the season.

Despite a losing record, despite only making the playoffs once this season, Gary David flat out owned the season!

The 2011-2012 Powerade Tigers were built like a complicated Ducati Monster, with missing and compromising parts, and with features tailored to a specific type of driver, and Gary David happened to be the only person who could have driven the motorcycle to a win in a race against F1 racecars. Only Gary David’s greatness could have lifted the Tigers’ inept lineup this season. No one else’s confidence and self-belief could have fooled Will Antonio, Rudy Lingganay, Celino Cruz, Francis Allera and co. into believing they could win any game.

And that’s Gary David’s amazing impact. He defended like Melo[5], and he was never a good passer nor a good playmaker, but he made his teammates play loose and confident because they knew they had a shot at beating anyone. Going into a game with Gary David on your side is like going into a 2-against-5 bar fight with an MMA fighter. Beyond the 25ppg average (Last time a local averaged at least 25 a game over a full season? Alvin Patrimonio back in 1992) and the way he stretches the floor and attracts attention, that’s Gary’s true value and that’s why he’s head and shoulders above the second best player this year.

Ten years from now, I’m sure we will all remember the 2011-2012 season for Gary David’s Hands-on-Fire Game versus B-MEG, for the game-saving buckets he drained against Rain Or Shine, for the 19 straight games he scored 20 or more, for the “I’m gonna say Cinderella run because it simply was a Cinderella run” run by Powerade in the Philippine Cup. Everyone fed off of his energy — including AKTV and PBA’s ratings. An afterthought turned iconic player produced iconic moments and a watershed year for the whole League. Ten years from now, this season’s top-of-mind player will be Gary David. No effin doubt.

And if anyone argues that Powerade didn’t win enough, I agree with you. Pero dapat mas ma-appreciate niyo ‘yung pagBUHAT na ginawa ni Gary Davidthis season. After all, he brought a used-to-be cellar-dwelling lineup to the Philippine Cup Finals. Against any local who played exceptional in an import-laden conference, shouldn’t we give more weight to that?

I thought so.


[1] Second to Mark Caguioa who averaged 24.6 ppg 5rpg and 4apg in only 30 games that season.

[2] This had a “Pacquiao win over Marquez” feeling over it. The popular choice won. People were even crediting half the award to Kris Aquino.

[3] If you’re counting at home, Willie Miller won two asterisk MVP’s. This one had a humongous asterisk on it. Teams had 2 imports that year because the League’s best formed the Hapee Toothpaste candidates’ guest team for our national team.

[4] I almost put “grab the award like he’s grabbing Kate Upton’s bosoms”. I figured you’d have to be gentler.

[5] Powerade Assistant Coach Charles Tiu admits that Gary David sometimes takes possessions off on defense for him to have energy on offense — a trade-off they don’t mind. I don’t either.

My meaningful convo with Jojo Lastimosa’s alter-ego

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Apparently, Jojo Lastimosa, a.k.a. “The Fourth Quarter Man”, has an alter-ego who comes up clutch on Twitter to save your boring, “I’d rather touch myself” nights. Go, try to blabber with him and you’d find out that he takes the stupidest questions from the most foolish people like me.

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Don’t you think Jolas had enough machismo to be the lead guy of Hagibis? Imagine the leather vest on him. Imagine a customized 1/4 leather shorts on his sexy legs. Malamang laglag na panti ni Tita Baby mo kung nangyari yun.

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There was only one problem though, the gloves wouldn’t fit him.

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Kung kasing-laki lang ng kamay ni Jolas ang kamay ni James —- tapos na. It’s over. Sexy legs + sexy hands = Totoy Mola!!!

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There just has to be some type of workout to get those legs right? Right?

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Nice, but naughty.

Follow @NotJolas!

Jawo Felt Horny, Basketball-Horny

Last Sunday night, my manyak friend messaged me in Facebook.

“Bro. Muntik na ako labasan.”

No, it’s not what you think. He wasn’t telling me how he almost pulled off a Cream Pie Surprise on his girlfriend. It wasn’t even about my friend touching himself and practicing the Squeeze Maneuver over a 5-minute movie co-starring Lisa and Julia Ann (No, they’re not sisters).

He was actually trying to make me comprehend the depth to how much pleasure he had over watching the Ginebra-Petron game, and Sonny Jaworski’s jersey retirement that preceded and catalyzed it.

Shit. I don’t blame him, or any other human being who reached basketballgasm; because that game, more than any other I remember this season, was the most brutally beautiful of all!

You can bring up the Hands-on-Fire Game by Gary David vs. the Llamados, or Game 7 of the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup Championship between TNT and B-MEG (The Denzel Bowles Game), or every game of the TNT-Petron Semis of the Philippine Cup, as the most exciting and the most emotional games of this season; but that Ginebra-Petron game was the most beautiful to watch.

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Let me explain.

Think of a time when you brought your chick to the basketball court to see you play. You felt hyped right? It was like you drank 10 bottles of Cobra. You wanted to show how much machismo you had. You wanted to impress her so much to the point that she felt horny. And with all that energy to please her, you actually felt focused and you played better than you normally would.  Last Sunday night, that chick was JAWO; and everyone on the basketball court, even the players and coaches on both benches tried their darn hardest to impress him.

What happened when everyone played to get Jawo basketball-horny?

  1. Arwind Santos seemed like he cared for the first time this conference. He also threw the sharpest elbow in the business at Enrico Villanueva’s chest for good measure.
  2. For the first time in a long time, Enrico Villanueva didn’t suck and he reminded us that he was once a legit MVP contender.
  3. We saw “Hey, I’m for real.” games from Dylan Ababou and Rico Maierhoffer.
  4. Siot Tangquincen and Ato Agustin both coached their socks off. They played a chess match fit for the PBA Finals — it was as if they were down to King vs. King.
  5. Mark Caguioa played the best defense I have ever seen from him. That just showed how much he wanted to win the game for Jawo and for the People.

Above all these, what struck me the most was how the game was played. It was played at a fast and graceful pace that highlighted every player’s skill set. The players played hard like they were college kids once again and they were unbelievably physical too. The more I recount what happened in that game, the more I start to realize that the game was resembling of my father’s description of how Crispa-Toyota games were played.

The depth of line-ups, the physicality, the pace, and the energy with which the game was played harks to the PBA’s golden era. And it was only fitting that Jawo was there sitting, watching, smiling like a girl, and feeling basketball-horny — because he deserves to. He knows that’s how he played the game; and that’s how Pinoy basketball should be played.

I bet, like my friend, muntik narin siya labasan.

 

 

 

WARRIOR OF THE HIGHEST ORDER


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The biggest domino of Boston’s off-season just fell, signing a 3-year $34M brand new contract. Stephen A. Smith had this to say:

KEVIN GARNETT IS A WARRIOR OF THE HIGHEST ORDER! IF THERE’S ANYONE WHO DESERVES EVERY CENT, IT’S HIM! HE DOESN’T CHEAT THE GAME OF BASKETBALL!

Yup. Stepehn A. hit it right on the exclamation point. That’s why KG is my boy. He NEVER EVER cheats the game of basketball.

Walang Basagan Ng Trip: How my Mamita and everyone in my family found out that I am schizophrenic

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My Mom, utterly bored from the Pacquiao-Bradley undercard, decided to watch Game 7 of the Heat-Celtics Eastern Conference Championship with her three sons and two of my Am-boy cousins. I don’t know what the hell went into her mind, but this was like me watching Englebert Humperdinck with my Lolo and Lola.

 She sat beside me on my cousin’s Lazy Boy couch. Mamita witnessed how I was screaming at the screen, at a certain Brandon Bass, trying to teach this NBA player the proper way to defend Cyborg LeBron. “Tangina Bass! Bobo mo! Sag lang, sag off! Make him take the jumper! Fuck!” (#HOFSHMH hand on face, shake my head)

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Yes, I was repeatedly going ballistic at the TV screen, as LBJ kept on leaving B-Bass in the dust during the waning moments. (as if he was an MMDA official trying to flag down an 18-wheeler driven by someone hell-bent on running him over). For me, the very slim chance of my rage magically sending electric signal to knock some sense into him was the only thing I, and the Boston Celtics were hanging on at that point. That was dumb, but I was counting on it out of desperation.

But LeBron finally figured it out. He knew he was the best player on the court and he was acting like it; so much so that Mother compared her to Michael Jordan (maybe the only basketball player she knew before LeBron and James Yap, and after the Crispa-Toyota guys). At that point, with The King going berserk, all what’s left was for that deep Mortal Kombat voice (FINISH HIM!) to prompt His Highness and Friends to send my C’s to their Fatality.

Their apparent demise was causing involuntary movements on my body. It seemed like I was a schizophrenic on an insane interval, and I could FEEL everyone laughing at me with restraint. Even though my eyes were as focused on the screen as if I was watching HD porn, the gravity of them taking pleasure at my vulnerability was annoying, because I thought it was affecting the outcome of the game. Their reactions pushed me to my emotional edge. I was about to break down.

And then, with less than sixty ticks left in the game, my eyes started to get full and puffy. And then I saw Doc Rivers teary-eyed. I was teary-eyed too. And then out of nowhere, Mamita tried to comfort me, “Bab (her term of endearment and short for “Baboy” because I used to gobble two Big Macs when I was a kid), Okay lang ‘yan.” And just like that, IT happened. Those three words hit home.

I started to sob. I tried to hold them back, but the tears kept falling like Shane Battier’s 3’s. Everyone instantly stopped laughing and there was awkward silence in the room. They were shocked that I cried over a basketball game. I’ve created a force field that repelled everyone from me — including Mamita.

So she silently left the room like a ghost. I guess my sadness pushed her away. But if there was one certain thing she walked away with, it was this realization: Wow. That’s how much my son cares about the Boston Celtics.

——————-

Tsismis spreads like cold peanut butter (uneven with some details left out) and fire in the Raya clan. That’s why I was prepared to take the crybaby jokes the next day.

With the typical all-girls private school accent, my sister launched the barrage, “Ku-yuh, why do you care-uh so much about Boston?”

I stared them down with KG eyes and said, “I’m a Celtic!!!”.  And then I pumped my chest so hard and followed up with, “Bakit ikaw baliw na baliw ka kay Katniss?! Walang basagan ng trip!”

World of Red Bull Commercial

“I want to wake up every morning with a passion. I want to wake up with a smile on my face on my face, and be able to say I love what I do…. You can dream about it or you could go out and make it happen.”

Isn’t this what we all want?

Something To Remind Me Of Greatness

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Back in February, when Linsanity was at its peak, I messaged my Tita in New Jersey to get me a Jeremy Lin game shirt.

I got the shirt 5 months after when the fever has died down. Medyo laos na si Jeremy Lin and my Tita poked fun at me, “O, eto na yung shirt. Sayang naman ‘tong regalo ko sayo, laos na si Linsanity!”

I paused and thought of a smart reply to make her and myself feel better about the gift.

“Ok lang po. At least I have something to remind me of greatness!”

So when days like today (Monday) make us feel lazy as Juan, when it’s easier to watch the NBA Finals than to work, when it’s easier to prolong breaks than to finish a report, I have this gift to remind me of what Linsatiy was/is about.