Sunday, August 31, 2008

Achilles' Heel?

The way he limped off the court, the author and everyone else who was watching the game between Argentina and Greece knew that Manu Ginobili was in BIG trouble. The author even thought that Popovich must've choked while watching the NBA star in pain. The cause for his limping was the same ankle that got him into trouble during the postseason.

What's troubling the entire San Antonio Spurs is that the MRI showed that the 6th-man-extraordinaire needs a foot surgery. With the looming preseason of the NBA, Ginobili's injury could mean that the Spurs need a more reliable backup [the 7th man, I must say]. As far as the author could see on the current roster of the Spurs, the only possible player to fill in the job of Ginobili is Ime Udoka. There is one problem, however, Udoka is not offensively consistent. So, literally there is no one in Pop's lineup, who could play as aggressive and as good as Ginobili.

The foot surgery is scheduled next week and after that the team will determine when can Ginobili return.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Not Knowing What to do

Hmmm.. After the series of training that I've been attending, I kept asking myself. Where would I go next? Honestly, I don't know. But I'm really hoping I pass the next training.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Euroleague in NBA?

Now that the Beijing Olympic is over, the entries on this blog will be sluggish. But Halley will do her best to give you the juiciest news about the National Basketball Association and other interesting basketball leagues.

And yes, the author has found the juiciest news in the league which is the collaboration of the NBA with Euroleague. You heard the lady right. The Euroleague will set foot in America to play in the preseason games. The Lietuvos Rytas [Lithuania], FC Barcelona [Spain] and CSKA Moscow [Russia] could play against the Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers.

"We value the chance to partner with NBA teams in their own arenas. There are basketball fans of all types in North America whom we plan to entertain with our own distinct playing style. We are sure they will appreciate again that the international game has a lot to offer our sport," said Jordi Bertomeu, the Euroleague Basketball CEO.

It'll definitely be a blast! Can't wait for the next season. =)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Long-Awaited Gold

It has been three years and at last the Redeem Team of the United States has successfully redeemed their country in achieving the Olympic victory in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Basketball.

The undefeated team consists of Carlos Boozer, Jason Kidd, LeBron James, Deron Williams, Michael Redd, Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul, Tayshaun Prince, & Carmelo Anthony. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski along with assistant coaches Jim Boeheim, Nate McMillan, & Mike D'Antoni has managed to secure the winning combination of the team despite the threats posed by Spain, Argentina, Greece, & many others. "It's an unbelievable feeling to win a gold medal for your country," Bryant said.

Spain, on the other hand, gets the silver after losing 107-118 to the USA. Wade and Bryant were the two leading scorers with 27 & 20 points respectively. And Argentina, who's just been routed during the semifinals played against Lithuania for the bronze and won. “The guys went out and did what they had to do,” said Manu Ginobili, Argentina.

The game against the Spaniards was a bit shaky at first but as soon as the Americans found their rhythm, they were back with the lead and finally finishing the game off as the victors. With this win, the United States gets a total medal count of 110, 36 gold, 38 silver, & 36 bronze.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Unimaginable Twist

I am happy for Spain and the USA for advancing to the finals, but right now I'm very anxious about Manu Ginobili's twisted ankle. The sight of him in pain was unimaginable. “He was pretty bad. He was in pain,” said fellow-Argentine Carlos Delfino.

The injury took place during the early period of the first quarter. Suddenly, Ginobili was limping off the court and sat. The pain was all over his face. I actually wished, it was just a joke to trick the Americans. But it was no joke at all, he's badly hurt. Several tests must be taken just to make sure that his ankle is fine. Otherwise, the worst that could happen is to have him in a surgery.

I really hope he's fine.

USA and Spain Advances to the Finals

The Redeem Team of the USA redeemed themselves by routing Argentina in the semifinals. The Americans won 101-81 and now headed in a battle against the World Champions - Spain.

During the first quarter, the North Americans had their biggest lead and the South Americans was left befuddled by their poor offense and turnovers. But the situation almost flipped as soon as the second quarter began. The Argentines were getting the right shots while the Americans showing panic. Despite all the efforts from Luis Scola, Carlos Delfino, and the others, Argentina fell short and the Redeem Team just a game away from the Olympic gold.

Carmelo Anthony lead the US team with 21 points while Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, and Dwayne Wade each had 12 points. And Scola, for the S Americans, finished with 28 points and 11 boards. Also, Delfino was there fill out a vital place for his team by providing 17 points.

Prior to the game between the north and south of America, Spain thrashed Lithuania 91-86 for a chance to win the 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Basketball.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Semifinals: A Battlefield

I heard one of the commentators say, "It's everybody's game." I said, "No. It's Argentina's game." And yes! They won! Argentina enters the semifinals after an exhilarating 80-78 win against Greece.

Argentina finally enters the semifinals after defeating Greece - one of Europe's best basketball leagues, in the quarterfinals. The 80-78 win didn't come easy for the Argentines because they were trailing, sometimes by two points and sometimes by one. With the lead changes and scores so close as every minute goes, it was just so hard to determine who is better. And then, the Greeks showed their weak spot – the 3-point area. It was on that arc that the Argentines took advantage of the game and grabbed the lead off the hands of the Greeks. Among the best 3-pointers of the night were Manu Ginobili, with 24 pts, and Carlos Delfino, 23 pts. There’s just one thing that troubles me though with regards to Argentina. I know their good and I love them but they ought to tone down their turnovers, which were mostly caused by their reckless passes. I don’t know if it’s one of their strategies but for me it could cost them a game.

Overall, Argentina is balanced team. They have superb defense. They have great shooters in Luis Scola (TC), Ginobili, Delfino, Andres Nocioni, Pablo Prigioni, and a lot more. But they can’t have a lot of turnovers especially now that they’re in the semifinals and they’re about to face the still-undefeated team USA. And it’s kinda scary that I can’t feel the presence of Kobe Bryant anywhere. I bet KB24’s going to try and bring Argentina down once the game begins.

The Redeem Team [if ever I’ve mentioned Dream Team for the current basketball team of USA on any of my posts, my sincere apologies] of the USA looks so perfect but that’s all because no team has been able to reveal its weakness. Not even the tough Aussies. I just hope the Argentines make the semifinals for the US team harder. From what I can see, Argentina is the team that matches well with team USA. Just please...reduce the turnovers....

Tomorrow, the Beijing Olympic Gymnasium will be a battlefield.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quarterfinal Matchups

This is it! I'm talking about the quarterfinals of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Basketball. The final list of countries for the quarterfinals are set. First, let me present to you the four teams of each group.

Group A: Lithuania [4-1/A1], Argentina [4-1/A2], Croatia [3-2/A3], & Australia [3-2/A4]

Group B: USA [5-0/B1], Spain [4-1/B1], Greece [3-2/B1], China [2-3/B1]

Honestly, I'm impressed with team USA. Team USA is definitely the ultimate Dream Team of the country. Whoever it was that was behind the roster of team USA, I salute him! I really do. But I don't think the upcoming games is going to be easy for them. Well, I really hope Australia will give them trouble. Speaking of trouble, I'm a bit troubled with regards to Kobe Bryant. He is a member of team USA, right? Why can't I see his name on the stats, I just can't find his name. Where is he? I can't feel his presence.

Okay, now let's talk about Lithuania, Argentina, & Spain. I'm still can't believe how good the Lithuanians are, particularly Linas Kleiza. He's been on fire, lately. And the Argentines, as I admit to you my dear reader as my favorite, is more balanced than ever. Spain, who only lost to team USA, is very persistent which makes them very dangerous and even if I'm miles away from Beijing, I can see their hungry in winning the gold. I mean, every team is but Spain's aura is just too strong that I think they'll do everything just to win.

For Croatia, I think they haven't been very consistent both on their offense and defense. But there's not enough time to improve, though. Greece, on the other hand, was just lucky to have survived after being beaten by USA and Spain. But all in all, the Greeks have shown that they're good. The Australians have also proven that they have world-class players that just don't give up and that can be scary and tiring for their opponents.

And last but certainly not the least is China. To be honest, I never really thought China would survive the tough competition in Group B. But they did it, so, I'm giving them my full respect. I'm really expecting to hear loud cheers from the crowd once team China gets into the court. For the Lithuanians, who are planning on watching the game live at the courtside, I wish you all the luck to be heard.

These are the matchups for the quarterfinals:
  • Argentina [A2] v Greece [B3]
  • USA [B1] v Australia [A4]
  • Spain [B2] v Croatia [A3]
  • Lithuania [A1] v China [B4]

Russians Late Surge Came Too Late

I've been really worried about the game result between Argentina and Russians. Because I know Russians don't give up easily. I'm just so glad that the Argentines won 91-79, with Luis Scola setting the pace for his team and scored 37 points with eight boards. Andres Nocioni also added frustration to the Russians with his 100% shooting, which includes three 3-pointers and nine boards. Manu Ginobili also poured in 12 points and four assists. The Russians fought hard but it was too late even for Andrei Kirilenko -the NBA star, who finished with 23 points. Well, it's unfortunate for the Russians to not make it to the quarterfinals. I think it's just tough to win get a spot in a group full of great players and I'm not just talking about Argentina, okay. I'm also talking about Lithuania, Croatia, and Australia. All these teams are good! And you know what? Team USA will find their match soooon.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I Really Can't Miss This

Vamos Argentina!

Apart from the fact that they are the defending Olympic Gold Medalists, the Argentines prove to be one of the teams to beat in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Basketball. After throttling the Croatians with their defense, the Argentines finished off Iran to 97-82. The top scorers of the night were Manu Ginobili, with 32 points, and Luis Scola, with 20 points and seven rebounds. Despite the efforts of Iran particularly Hamed Ehadadi, with 21 points and 16 rebounds, it wasn't enough to pull out a win against the Argentines. The Argentines are IN in the quarterfinals but still they have to continue winning. What Juan Pedro Gutierrez have to say is, "Every game is important. We play Russia on Monday and it is important to win that game and avoid finishing fourth. They are European champions and it will be a tough game."

So, what's the fuss about being fourth in Group A in the quarterfinals? Well, it has something to with team USA who is currently on top in Group B. If in case they win against Spain who remains undefeated in Group B, they'll be the ones to face the fourth placer of Group A. I think teams from Group B should also worry about Greece, who lost against USA and Spain. And if the current standings don't change in both groups, Argentina will be the likely foe of the Greeks and that's the match that I really can't miss. Vamos Argentina!

Lithuania is Feeling Good

Whoa! That was one terrific game for Lithuania. And as for the Croatians, they simply didn't have enough power in defeating an undeniably good team. The Lithuanians thrashed the Croatians, 86-73, with Mindauqas Lukauskis pouring 20 points and Linas Kleiza of the Denver Nuggets finishing with 18 points and setting the 3-pt arc a hotspot for the Lithuanians.

The game was pretty tight during the first half and continued to the third quarter. But as soon as last quarter began, Kleiza began shooting three's and the Croatians were in their heels trying to make up for the large deficit that the Nuggets' star has done. And it was soon too late for the Croatians to defeat the Lithuanians, which remains undefeated with 4-0 in the record and clinching a sure spot in the quarterfinals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Basketball. But let's not get too excited, the Lithuanians still has another tough team to beat and that's the Aussies. =p

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Clash of the Titans

As I watched the game between Croatia and Argentina last night, I reminded myself that the Croatians are as good as the other teams, so it could be a close fight. But as the game continued, the Croatians were suffering both on the offensive and defensive ends of the game. The Argentines were in control of the game and seized the chance of taking the lead right on the first quarter. What's probably worse for the Croatians was the 9-point score during the second quarter, which was the result of their poor shooting. And when it comes to defense, the Argentines displayed the best they had, stopping the Croatians from scoring in double-digits.

Andres Nocioni was the Man of the Night for Argentina, posting 18 points and eight rebounds. Following him was the Toronto Raptors star, Carlos Delfino adding 15 points, mostly three's, and six boards, sealing the game for Argentina and ruining the perfect record of Croatia, who is now tied with the Argentines in Group A.

As for Group B of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Basketball, things are going smooth for the undefeated team USA. Team USA had no trouble defeating Greece 92-69 on Thursday, proving that they're better. I remember, the last time these two teams faced each other, it was the Greeks who ended up victorious. But since the Americans have proven that they're better and more mature, they deserve to be eventual winners of Group B if they win against Spainiards tomorrow, August 16. The court will definitely look like a battle field as soon as these two Group B titans meet.

The Toughest and most Exciting Preliminary

After the loss to Lithuania, Argentina got back into the game and defeated the Aussies 85-68. Manu Ginobili finished the game on top with 21 points. Luis Scola also finished strong with 17 points and seven rebounds. Fellow NBA stars that stood out are Carlos Delfino and Fabricio Oberto with 14 points and 12 points, respectively. The offensive display of the Argentinians left the Aussies with nothing but a huge deficit before halftime and lasted 'til the end of the game. Now, the Argentinians are 1-1 and must prove that they deserve a rightful place for the next round. Well, that would be tough because the team they're about to face is Croatia, which surprisingly doesn't have a loss yet. But hey, my faith on Argentina will not falter. They'll win this because everybody on the team is up on their game and with the balance they have, they'll continue to be stronger.

Spain, is proving the world that they are the World Champions because until now they stay undefeated with 3-0 just like team USA. The latest victim of the Spaniards was the Dirk-powered team of Germany. The game seemed so easy for the Spanish team particularly the part of containing the Germans to just 59 points. Looks like team the Spaniards are hungry for a more challenging competition, whom they'll be facing this Saturday, August 16.

As the preliminary round draws to a close, games get a little bit tougher for the teams and that's the time when the 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Basketball gets more exciting!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's All About Winning

The preliminary match of the 2008 Beijing Olympica Men's Basketball between Argentina and Lithuania left an air of excitement among Olympic viewers. The Lithuanians won, 79-75, against the defending Olympic champions. What's made everyone more excited was the following win of the Lithuanian team against Iran, 99-67. The team that has sitted at number four during the start of the Olympic is now at the top of Group A and certainly been showing signs that they're good.

Argentina, currently at number four of Group A, isn't the only team that's suffered a loss. China has just suffered a loss as well against Spain. The Spaniards eventually won, 85-75, against the Chinese despite their troublesome turnovers during the third quarter. Well, I think the host team needs to work harder or they'll find themselves out before the semis. The Argentinians, on the other hand, has to win the next game against Australia to stay on the right track. It's all about winning now.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

One World, One Dream

I haven't written any post here for quite sometime and that's because, hmmm... it's a long story. I might as well just forget about it. And yes, I've pretty much changed the layout of my blog, for a change. [wink]

What I'm writing about this time is the approaching 2008 Beijing Olympics, which my friends is about to happen this August 8, 2008 [8-8-8]. Yes, I'm excited. Who isn't anyway?! Of course, among the highlighted events that'll take place ing the Olympics and what I am and most of my fellow-NBA fans have been anticipating is basketball. Twelve teams will be battling it out for the Olympic Gold. So, who's in? On Group A: Argentina, Australia, Croatia, Iran, Lithuania, & Russia. On Group B: Angola, China*, Germany, Greece, Spain, & the U.S.A. Achieving the Olympic Gold is going to be hard this time especially for the defending Olympic Champions - the Argentinian team. And that's because of the more solid lineup of team U.S.A. and of course, you can't count out teams Spain, Russia, and Greece. There's also a women division for basketball, which includes Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Korea, Latvia and Russia on Group A. Group B includes China*, Czech Republic, Mali, New Zealand, Spain, and the U.S.A.

So, how does a team achieve the Olympic Gold? First, the 12 teams will have to trim down their number to eight, meaning the top four teams for each group will be the ones who are moving on to the knockout stage. During the knockout stage, the top four teams from both groups will face each other and the four winning teams will carry on to the semis. Then, the two teams who will survive the semis are going to battle it out on the Gold medal game. The team who wins will achieve the elusive Olympic Gold. So, which team's are you rooting for? Are you going for the Kobe-powered team U.S.A.?