Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jpop Brutally Thrases Kpop in Channel V Battle of Bands

When I first learned Channel V pitted (Japanese Pop) Jpop vs Kpop (Korean Pop), I was hesitant for I thought Southeast Asia is Kpop country. Every success Kpop has in Southeast Asia is reported religiously.

To my shock, Jpop artists thrashed their Kpop opponents in voting. Wow, it's unbelievable! I didn't expect that since Jpop isn't exactly the toast of most Asian entertainment sites (they usually concentrate on Cantopop and Kpop). The number of websites devoted to Kpop alone are many and regularly updated compared to Jpop ones. So, it's a great achievement as far as I'm concerned. The voting wasn't even close (with the exception of TVXQ, the only Kpop band who won), the margin of victory is about 3,000 (I'm too lazy to compute it this is an estimate). Of course, this is not an accurate measure of popularity in the region, but at least with Channel V audience it is.

Scandal defeated Girls Generation 10251 vs 8729. A very unlikely victory by Jrock chicks known for the opening song of Bleach

Yui beat Wonder Girls 12024 vs 7456. The margin of victory is astonishing. I'm starting to be a big fan of Yui anyway. The girl never seems to run of out of great songs.

Ayumi Hamasaki vs Boa 9859 vs 6945.

Mika Nakashima vs Rain 10253 vs 6542. The biggest surprise of them all. For some people, Rain rules Asia so I didn't expect this.

W-inds vs SHINEE 10639 vs 9276. Just look at W-inds and you know why they are popular with girls. They are also dressed up rather nicely.

Kat tun vs BigBang 14346 vs 10986. Battle of Boy Bands with Unique Fashion Sense. Whoever thought of pairing them is a genius!

Arashi vs Super Junior 37171 vs 33464 - This is probably the biggest match in the series. Arashi fans promised to make themselves known and they have succeeded. Congratulations! Make no mistake, Super Junior fans shouldn't be underestimated - they are many and loyal. They recently propelled their idols to top a music channel daily charts. However, this time they got beat.

In the leaderboard, Japanese boybands, Arashi and Kat-Tun place first and second in overall voting over TVXQ. Wait a minute, is this for real? Yes, it is. The fans of the two Jpop bands feel strongly enough to vote for their idols.

What is the moral of the story? Don't underestimate Jpop, just because it doesn't make much noise doesn't mean it's dying. Silent water runs deep, as they say.

I conclude Jpop is still strong in Southeast Asia (or wherever the scope of Channel V is) and has many loyal fans, capable of amassing together and influence online popularity voting.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Smart Gilas vs Talk N Text / Should We Expect Another Rumble?

Smart Gilas will play Talk N Text today at 2:30 pm. Should we expect another rumble or is just one of those ordinary Philippine Basketball Association games where everyone plays hard and shakes hand after game? On this matter, I don't know but this I know referees will closely inspect Smart Gilas again.

The battle for PBA Pride is still ongoing and any team in the league that loses to the development team will be the butt of jokes of Gilas' fans and scorn by PBA supporters. I'm sure Talk N Text don't want to be the first professional squad to fall to Smart Gilas so it will be another hard-fought game and probably with the same intensity as a playoff match. A practice match between the sister clubs was stopped after a brawl ensued with four Talk N Text players ganging up on CJ Giles. I do hope it won't happen again as much as I like boxing it has no place in the basketball court. I like physical games not dirty ones.

If Smart Gilas defense doesn't improve Talk N Text guards like Jimmy Alapag, Mac Cardona, and Jason Castro will eat them alive. It will be fun to see the best point guard in Asia, Jimmy Alapag vs Andy Mark Barroca, touted by some to be the "Mighty Mouse" successor.

Smart Gilas's shooting disappointed me the last time as it was so POOR. (except Jvee Casio). They uncharacteristically missed so many open shots I can't believe it. The development team should be at its best against the DEFENDING Champions Talk N Text as the latter loves to score and plays like Gilas too (matching excellent ball movements and pick and roll plays).

The PBA said it will investigate what happened in the Burger King Smart Gilas match for possible lapses and I agree. I'm hoping they will release their findings soon.

Update 10 - 22 -09: Talk N Text destroyed Smart Gilas 103 - 70

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Smart Gilas vs Burger King A Public Relations Disaster

Two days ago, the Burger King Whoppers scored a massive victory over Smart Gilas, 105 - 95. Immediately, some people think with this victory, Burger King and the Philippine Basketball Association trumpeted their superiority over the young upstarts. I'm sorry, but truth be told the game between Burger King and Smart Gilas was a PUBLIC RELATIONS DISASTER for the PBA and Burger King! If the franchise is using the PBA as a marketing vehicle, it should seriously rethink the image its projecting. With this spectacle, do you think neutrals would feel like eating in Burger King?

The first quarter of Smart Gilas vs Burger King match was a sorry sight. Four flagrant fouls were called in the 1st half alone. I've never seen this kind of thing happening in the PBA before. Even veteran commentator Andy Jao was shocked by what he's seeing (great job by Mr. Jao and Coach Del Rosario in calling the game). There's just a huge difference between hard-nosed defense and downright dirty. Luckily, in the second half, the referees gained control of the game. No more untoward incident happened.

Don't misunderstood me, I'm not pampering the development team. The Smart Gilas team is tough. They faced the likes of Jackson Vroman, Beshara, and other tough Asian cagers but didn't back down. Smart Gilas IS TOUGH, QUINITO, if they weren't they would react in an immature manner to every hard foul they received, INSTEAD, the players brushed it off. Wynne Arboleda can't even stand a heckling fan. In contrast, Smart Gilas cagers withstood being hit in the face, elbowed and undercut while making a layup without whining about it to the referees.

However, the intimidation tactics worked. "Our players became hesitant to drive to the basket and dive for the loose balls." wrote Chris Tiu in his blog.

Smart Gilas still has a long way to go.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Watch Bernabe Concepcion vs Yuriorkis Gamboa (Where) / Another Huge Test For Bernabe

Oh no, it seems after fighting Steven Luevano, Bernabe Concepcion (27 wins 3 losses 15 Kos) will face another formidable opponent, former Olympic gold medalist (Cuba) Yuriorkis Gamboa (16 wins 0 loss 14 Kos) on the 23rd of January, 2010 for the World Boxing Association World Featherweight Title. Concepcion vs Gamboa looks promising, and this will be the Filipino's second chance to win a Featherweight title and I do hope he takes advantage of this opportunity or he'll find up like Mayol and Rubillar, perennial title contenders and never the winners.

For Concepcion vs Gamboa, if the fight does materialize, the former should work on his defense as Yuriorkis Gamboa is one offensive-minded boxer and a powerful puncher (only two opponents survived him rest were kayoed). The good news for Concepcion is he won't have to chase Gamboa around as he can be sure the Cuban will confront him head-on. Besides, Concepcion has power too. He staggered Luevano in the last fight though he wasn't able to follow it up and finish the title holder. In his career, Gamboa has shown propensity to go down - Adailtan De Jesus, Darling Jimenez, and Marcos Ramirez (elbow) have knocked down the Cuban. However, Gamboa has shown resiliency to come back and win the fight. But, the point is Gamboa can be exposed. Unlike Gamboa's previous opponents, Concepcion fists' can end the fight fast.

Concepcion has many things to worry about Gamboa, the latter has speed, quickness, power and all other physical gifts. But in the ring, it only takes one good punch to finish your opponent off. Yes, this is a huge test for Bernabe Concepcion, but winning a world boxing title is never easy and he has to be confident with his ability. He can do it.

Where can we watch Concepcion vs Gamboa? So far, nothing has been finalized yet.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Japeth Aguilar Is Finally With Smart Gilas

The longest running basketball soap opera known as Japeth Aguilar is now solved! A week ago, many were shocked when Aguilar signed a one-year contract with Burger King but some experts already know what's going on. They reckon Japeth will sign with BK and will be traded to Talk N Text. It is actually one of the proposals fans came up when the hullabaloo broke out two months ago. So, it has come to fruition. Now, we waiting for the trade. Red Bull will allegedly act as the third party as direct trade between sister teams is not allowed in the Philippine Basketball Association. What will happen then? Talk N Text will release Japeth Aguilar, then he will be free to play for his favorite team, the Smart Gilas. No, this is the last part of Japeth Aguilar's long journey.

This is what I said back in August:

Remember this person - Manny V. Pangilinan. He owns Smart Gilas team and has shares in Burger King. He WILL sort this thing out. For an accomplished business executive, this conflict is nothing new to him. He will solve this crisis, most likely behind the scenes. Trust me. Everything will turn out fine in the end.

MVP convinced Japeth to sign the contract with BK as the young man is at fault too. I think MVP assured Aguilar that in the end he will get to play for Smart Gilas so he signed the contract and ta-da his dream of playing for his country is now fulfilled. In conclusion, the plan SAVED THE FACES OF EVERYONE! Congratulations to the person who came up with the plan! Why didn't they do this much earlier? There was so much vitriol thrown around because of this mess. *sigh*

Monday, October 12, 2009

Watch Philippine Patriots vs Singapore Slingers

Finally, the match up I really anticipate Philippine Patriots vs Singapore Slingers in the ASEAN Basketball League. The game is on October 18,2009 at 4:00 PM in Singapore. This is a great time too, for the Patriots to prove some people wrong and win the game. There are Filipino basketball fans who don't rate the Patriots highly esp. after its defeat against Smart Gilas. I think the line-up is good enough to beat the Slingers. Baguion, Coronel and Ybanez have the ability to contain any of the Slingers' guards esp. Al Vergara. Vergara is the Slingers' team captain and a strong play maker. He knows when to pass or shoot. I like it when he makes his opponents look better due to his pinpoint passes. The homegrown Singaporean guards still have a lot of growing up to do, basketball wise. But, it is better for the Philippine Patriots not to underestimate the Slingers as it has a 2-1 record over Philippine Basketball Association squads. They have what it takes to win.

Philippine Patriots need to tighten up on defense (like what they did to Satria Muda) and handcuff Jeffers and Leblanc. Satria Muda's import Alex Hartman was just limited to three points in the final half if the Patriots display this defensive intensity again they can stop both Jeffers and Leblanc. I would also be nice if Rob Wainwright stop forcing his shots as he tends to miss his open team mates.

So far Bajar, Vergara and Avenido are the best performing Filipino imports in the ABL.

We can watch Philippine Patriots vs Singapore Slingers on ESPN.

Philippine Patriots Asean Basketball League Schedule

Here is the Philippine Patriots schedule in the Asean Basketball League.

Philippine Patriots Schedule

10 6:00 PM @ Satria Muda Britama
18 4:00 PM @ Singapore Slingers
25 4:00 PM Thailand Tigers
31 4:00 PM Brunei Barracudas

7 4:00 PM Singapore Slingers
15 4:00 PM @ KL Dragons
21 4:00 PM Satria Muda Britama

1 4:00 PM Thailand Tigers
5 4:00 PM Satria Muda Britama
13 4:00 PM @ Brunei Barracudas
19 4:00 PM KL Dragons

6 8:00 PM @ Singapore Slingers
9 8:00 PM @ KL Dragons
17 4:00 PM @ Thailand Tigers
24 4:00 PM Brunei Barracudas

Source: Anthony Servinio
Note: Skeds subject to change without prior notice

I saw the Singapore Slingers against Brunei Barracudas game yesterday and I thought the Philippine Patriots have a chance of winning the championship. Some people say the Slingers are one of the strong favorites to win the first ABL championship along with Satria Muda and the Philippine Patriots are just the dark horses. Why do I think the Patriots can win it all? Against Singapore, Brandon Powell and Jason Dixon can neutralize Jeffers and Leblanc (Slingers' imports) which is important because the Slingers tend to rely on them for scoring most of the time, the locals are still raw. Pathman and Ng didn't deliver much in the game against the Barracudas. The Patriots' local players are stronger and more experienced than the Slingers. Not only that I think they are motivated to win. I saw that against Satria Muda where the Philippine defense is intense (almost all shots are challenged) and players dive for loose balls including the imports. If the Patriots continue with this attitude, they can win it all.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Smart Gilas vs Philippine Patriots / Line Up

Smart Gilas manhandled the Philippine Patriots 87 - 66. The team is still on a roll, since the Philippine Patriots will represent our country in the Asian Basketball League - I wish them good luck too.

Philippine Patriots Line Up

Khasim Mirza, Rob Wainwright, Froilan Baguion, Ricky Ricafuente, Erwin Sta. Maria, Nat Cruz, Dino Daa, former La Salle star Jerwin Gaco, Mark Andaya, Hafer Mondragon, Neil Raneses, Warren Ibanez and Christian Coronel and two imports Jason Dixon and Brandon Powell. The coach is Louie Alas.

Oh boy, The Singapore Slingers is the toughest team in the ABL, at least on paper. It faced three Philippine Basketball Association teams and lost only once to Ginebra San Miguel. Besides, they have been training for months and the players are quite familiar with each other. Kyle Jeffers (6-9) and Michael LeBlanc (6-6) are the Slingers' imports.

Updated 11 - 07 -09
Nonoy Baclao and Elmer Espiritu were recently added to the Patriots. They have been an excellent reinforcement.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Smart Gilas vs Powerade Team Pilipinas Result: Respect

Smart Gilas vs Powerade Team Pilipinas Result. What a great show of team basketball, hard nosed defense and determination Smart Gilas displayed last night? I never expected them to win - THAT BIG!!! The combo of CJ Giles and Japeth Aguilar is a huge headache for Powerade. It could really be frustrating playing against Smart Gilas. CJ Giles manning the paint and blocking shots. Everyone in Smart Gilas CAN SHOOT.

When Smart Gilas built a huge lead by halftime, I knew it would be hard for Powerade to recover because of the latter's poor shooting. James Yap and Jared Dillinger didn't give up, as usual, but one-on-one plays don't work against a well-oiled machine like Smart Gilas. Taulava and Thoss went missing too. It was Casio who was steadily held Gilas' wits in the early minutes of the first quarter when some of his team mates were lost. Quinito Henson was gloating in the first quarter when the "men" seemed to dominate the "boys" of Smart Gilas. But two straight three point shots wiped out Powerade's lead in the first quarter and Henson shut up. With nothing to talk about as "the boys" were whipping "the men", Quinito enumerated all the controversies the Gilas players got embroiled too. So this coming Philippine Basketball Association conference, Smart Gilas has to put up with bias refereeing and commentary. If they keep it up it will only fuel fan support for Gilas.

Smart Gilas boys' eager to prove something continued to rack up the points, putting up a twenty point lead in the third quarter. There was no let up in defense either as the paint was effectively covered forcing Powerade to shoot from outside or rely on occasional intrusions, the team totaled eight block shots in the game. Powerade seem to be clueless in defense failing to defend either on Ababou or Tiu who hit their shots. Aldrech Ramos also joined in the shooting party in the fourth. A Chris Tiu - CJ Giles alley op play basically finished Powerade with 2:16 left in the last canto, 90 - 67.

Days before the game, Coach Yeng Guiao was quoted as saying, "
When the game starts, there's really no holding back," said Guiao. "We will definitely go for the win badly as there's so much pride at stake. They (Gilas) want to earn respect, but we won't give it to them. If they were in our shoes, they would do the same."

It is fair to say, Smart Gilas got the respect that they deserve now.

This is a sad end to the Powerade Team Pilipinas. It seemed that people's frustration with the PBA was vented on them. When Andy Mark Barroca challenged Willie Miller to a one-on-one and won, I remembered Powerade's game against Chinese Taipei, when Miller did a crossover against Tien Li and nailed a three-point shot to win the match. It was a great day for Philippine basketball, I will never forget that. The defeat to Smart Gilas marked a sad end for Powerade Team Pilipinas, a team which was never given a decent shot to succeed in Fiba-Asia Championship.

I'll let Quinito Henson's comments pass. I will give him another chance. It doesn't sound good hating on the National team,
Mr. Henson.

Next game:

Smart Gilas vs Philippine Patriots 6:30 pm San Juan Arena

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Smart Gilas vs Powerade Team Pilipinas / Battle of Attrition

Smart Gilas vs Powerade Team Pilipinas though organized for a good cause, make no mistake, this is a chance for some people to get given and pawn somebody. Now, if that is the case, then the game is worth watching. Yeng Guiao, coach of Powerade, has been dishing brutal shots at Rajko Toroman ever since the Serbian took the job as Smart Gilas "project director". Though silent, Toroman proved his doubters wrong by leading the RP Developmental Basketball team to notable performances from winning the first competition it JOINED (ASEAN-China) to 5th place in Fiba-Asia Champions Cup. The two coaches met again when Burger King faced Smart Gilas in an exhibition match last February. Nothing was settled as the match ended up tied 95 - 95. Now, scores will be settled. Smart Gilas and Rajko Toroman take their basketball seriously. To them, there's no such thing as an exhibition game. They give their best.

"It’s all about winning. It’s a charity game but we will go out there to give them a very good fight. We will try to be competitive in the game and this is a big challenge to the young guys.” Toroman told the Business Mirror last Wedsnesday.

And if you don't agree with my assessment here's Coach Yeng Guiao, "Kapag nag-umpisa na, there’s really no holding back. It cannot be denied, there’s a lot of pride involved between these two national teams. It is also for bragging rights.

Though most Philippine Basketball Association teams don't take exhibition games seriously (Alaska Aces lost to M.Lhuillier team in Liga Pilipinas), the game against Gilas is a different thing. Some people reckon the PBA's pride is at stake - a defeat to Gilas is a disaster. It became more apparent last Saturday when news reports leaked that several Talk N Text players ganged up on Smart Gilas reinforcement CJ Giles. It was only a practice game between sister teams and if I'm not mistaken they do play together a lot. Rick Olivares reported that TNT was getting frustrated in the paint by the combo of Giles and Japeth Aguilar. Worse, Gilas was leading by ten!

"Sayang. We looked up to them (Talk ‘N Text) as big brothers practicing with them from the start, idolizing them on television. Nakakawalang respeto" unnamed Gilas' cager told Olivares.

I do hope this nonsense won't happen tonight. I want to see a great basketball game.

Smart Gilas vs Powerade Team Pilipinas: Battle For Respect

Here another quote from Coach Yeng: "When the game starts, there's really no holding back," said Guiao. "We will definitely go for the win badly as there's so much pride at stake. They (Gilas) want to earn respect, but we won't give it to them. If they were in our shoes, they would do the same."

Don't worry Coach, they will earn your respect, just like the rest of Asia when they played in the continental club championship.

Match ups

Taulava, Thoss, & Raymundo vs Giles & Aguilar
Arboleda vs Barroca
Yap vs Ababou

Smart Gilas should be wary of Cyrus Baguio's quick counter attacks, Yap's three point shooting and De Ocampo's elbows. Powerade is squad not just brimming with talent but with experienced players like Taulava, even Thoss could pose a problem for Smart Gilas as he is quick, agile and most importantly have great timing to grab those rebounds. The development team has the advantage of being together for so long. It will not be as easy as most people think this game will be. A very determined squad of PBA veterans is hard to beat, just ask Chinese-Taipei (see story below) and Japan. Hopefully, the young ballers of Smart Gilas will learn a lot from this game and prove some people wrong.

Watch Smart Gilas vs Powerade Team Pilipinas

CS9 / BTV will cover the game. I'm not sure when. Please check this site

Try CS9 at 6:00 pm Tonight.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Moon Eye's Plan / The Five Kages vs The Akatsuki

Naruto comic (manga) 466... So it all comes down to this: The Five Kages vs The Akatsuki! I didn't think they would meet this soon, but I'm not complaining. It means more action-packed chapters ahead, although seriously I prefer the fights in anime as it is more exciting plus there's this sound effect that adds up to the excitement. Naruto fans with High Definition Television will definitely enjoy this, as soon as it comes out in anime though.

As expected the Kages are tough, though none of them have impressed me so far. It is because we haven't seen them fight in full gear yet and they didn't notice the Aloe Vera, I mean Zetsu, who almost put their lives at risk. Yeah, they also had no idea about Danzo's mind control.

"I want to tell you my goal, the Moon's Eye Plan." Uchiha Madara.

Reflecting on Madara's statement amused me. Why? Well, he just announced his plan to his opponents. In the next chapter, he will even tell us about it. How convenient LOL! Maybe, he is THAT CONFIDENT about his plan or after telling them HE WILL WIPE THEM OFF. It actually makes sense!

We will talk about the match ups next week G.w. I would like Uchiha Madara to fight the Raikage and spank him hard. Don't you agree?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Watch Bleach Fade To Black (Where Can I Do That?)

Anybody knows where I can watch Bleach Fade To Black English Subbed? I scrambled fast when I saw a video of it on youtube but there's no english translation. All I see are Chinese subtitles. Boy, those people are quick! I hope by weekend an English translation will be released. Some fans estimate subbers release to be 2 - 3 days after the raw comes out. I hope they are right. I don't know about French, Spanish, and German translation release though.

There are sites where we can actually watch Bleach Fade To Black but all of it are still in raw form.

Bleach Fade To Black movie first came out in Japan last December, 2008. The story seems promising that it got me waiting for it. I do hope its worth the wait.