In defense of Manny V. Pangilinan, sportsman | Inquirer Sports
Bare Eye

In defense of Manny V. Pangilinan, sportsman

/ 11:52 PM October 12, 2011

This serves as an apology to Manny V. Pangilinan, the country’s driven sports patron cum laude.
For the record, we should all be eternally grateful to this committed tycoon for his boundless kindness and generosity.
Unfortunately, my frantic call to reform the Smart Gilas national basketball team had been misconstrued as a criticism of Pangilinan and his program.
* * *
Sorry for that, I must admit my message had also been vague and garbled, the way it was received and interpreted by certain concerned parties.
I was trying to state, clearly as I could, the urgent need for improvement and redirection of the team.
In the process, it was impossible not to state the honest truth that coach Rakjo Toroman, although he had taught the team to play “with bearing and class” fell short in the final reckoning.
* * *
For the record, there was no mention on my part about totally discarding the system “inspired by the Northern Cement Consolicated (NCC) team of yesteryears.”
That program spearheaded by super tycoon Danding Cojuangco was indeed worth emulating.
There was nothing wrong in pursuing the thrust and format of the NCC program, which was obviously being tried by the Smart Gilas national team.
But it must also be stated here, clearly enough I hope, that in the case of Torman, he had the winning formula, the dream support, the players he wanted, not to mention the plot and theory.
Unfortunately, he failed to convert these to winning reality.
* * *
There was nothing wrong with the MVP program.
But there were glaring flaws in the Toroman system.
Complained one concerned reader: “What’s garbled about three of our top shooters going 0-21? Those were not forced or ill-timed shots… proof that it was a case of nerves, as Toroman implied.”
A review would show these shooters failed to find the mark trying from their so-called comfort zone.
What became doubly clear was the fact that these gunners got jammed and were rendered totally uncomfortable by opposing guards with sharper, stronger basics.
* * *
“Recah took Smart Gilas to task for not stopping what he himself called uncontainable jump shots; in short, it seems we are complaining about getting our hearts broken and blaming Toroman for it.”
To explain, those killer end shots in the game against South Korea became unstoppable only because our players were not equipped with the proper defensive basics.
Our stars could not do anything to contain opposing shooters who were scoring with glee propelled by the so-called wrong-foot take-off.
* * *
To specify, those impossible shots were not too different from the ones that had made Korea’s Shin Dong Pa a legend.
Of course, there was one great Filipino, the immortal Ed Ocampo, who was always there to contain Shin.
Ocampo rode on solid even-footed defensive skills, honed through tough hours on the football field.
OK, this opinion on the shortcomings of our team would predictably be contested.
However, there was another glaring flaw at the team middle, in the person of naturalized slotman Marcus Douthit.
* * *
“He was very predictable, a one-track attacker with an awful weak side,” said Dr. Fernando Carrascoso, who bared he had worked behind the scenes in helping plan, prepare and finally form Danding Cojuangco’s vastly successful NCC national team.
Carrascoso said they agreed to form the team only after they had gathered the right players that would suit designated roles.
NCC was not a hit-and-miss program.
Much unlike Smart Gilas which had to frantically grope for form until it hit the dead-end.

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TAGS: Manny V. Pangilinan, Philippines, Sports

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