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 Cage legends relive the years

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Posts : 334
Join date : 2010-06-10
Age : 34

PostSubject: Cage legends relive the years   Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:27 am

MANILA, Philippines - For sure there will be flashes of their old brilliance when Glen Rice, Chris Webber, Gary Payton and Mitch Richmond, NBA heroes from the 1990s, join their counterparts from the PBA for a fun but exciting one-game exhibition dubbed NBA Asia Challenge 2010 tonight at the Big Dome.

Gunslinger Rice and future Hall of Famer Payton banner the Red Team of coach Tim Cone, hooking up with PBA legends Vergel Meneses, Atoy Co and Allan Caidic against the Siot Tanquingcen-mentored White Team of Webber, Richmond and Pinoy greats Benjie Paras, Ronnie Magsanoc, and four-time PBA MVP Alvin Patrimonio.

The long toms of yesteryears are expected to rain again in the 7:30 p.m. match, especially with vaunted shooters Rice and Caidic on the same firing end.

“We got Trigger(man) on our team. And I’ve heard a lot about him (Caidic),” said Rice, who flashed his old shooting touch by making 10 straight treys in Wednesday’s practice. “Between the two of us, that’s gonna be a whole lot of three-pointers, hopefully.”

If Red has its pistoleros, the White crew can lean on the post up and inside moves of Webber and Patrimonio, who’s so thrilled to have the NBA legend around that he even asked the former University of Michigan icon to sign his collection of NBA trading cards.

“Imagine I’ll have Chris Webber, one of my favorites, as teammate,” the current B-Meg Derby Ace team manager said. “Last year, I had the opportunity to play against the NBA legends. But this will be memorable because I will be playing alongside our favorite NBA players.”

While the NBA and PBA legends are supposed to bring back good ‘ol memories, active players from the NBA Developmental League (D-League) and present PBA stars are expected to provide the fresh legs for the game.

Reinforcing the “oldies but goodies” are D-Leaguers Mark Tyndale and Richie Frahm, a former Talk ‘N Text import, and pro aces Ronald Tubid, Rico Maierhofer and Dondon Hontiveros for White; and D-League stalwarts Darnell Lazare and Chris McCray and local superstars Asi Taulava, L.A. Tenorio, Arwind Santos for Red.

The event’s entertainment side will be handled by the Miami Heat Dancers and the Heat’s mascot Burnie.



Chris Webber and Mitch Richmond were at the half court of the Araneta Coliseum. The six-foot-10 Webber was standing at the circle and was launching basketballs while facing the opposite direction yet from 47 feet away. None of them came close to slicing the cords but it didn’t matter. Webber was in too good a mood to not mind missing.

Over at the foot of the entrance to the court were Ronald Tubid, LA Tenorio, Rico Maierhofer, Dondon Hontiveros, Ronnie Magsanoc and Alvin Patrimonio.

Maierhofer, the 2010 Rookie of the Year, carried a plastic bag containing jerseys that bore the number 4. In the front of one jersey, it read “Michigan,” while the other had “Sacramento” on it. The pieces of authentic apparel bore Webber’s name on the back.

You know the doe-eyed look of wonder a kid wears when he enters Toys ’R’ Us for the first time? That was the look that Maierhofer, Tubid and company wore.

The PBA superstars had been reduced to fans. “That’s how we started anyway,” said Magsanoc who made no apologies for his overt giddiness. “I don’t care if Chris Webber is not the player he once was [after he had to undergo microfracture surgery that severely curtailed his explosiveness and athleticism]. Just him standing there is good enough for me. He is a legitimate NBA superstar!”

Despite his moniker “The Saint,” Tubid can hardly be characterized as one on the court. Known for his devil-may-care ways when the starting whistle is blown, he plays with unbridled passion that is oft mistaken for arrogance. But as he watched former Seattle Supersonics guard Gary Payton chat with NBA D-League player Chris McCray, he is once more that kid who used to pattern his game after the man they call “The Glove.”

“’Nung sinabihan ako na kasama ako dito sa exhibition game [the 2010 NBA Asia Challenge] naisip ko na mayroon din siguro akong nagawang tama sa mundong ’to,” quipped the man who is one-third of the trio that sportscaster Mico Halili dubs as “The Fast, the Furious, and the Fearless.”

“Excited ako. Pero sana may chance din ako bantayan siya.”

Magsanoc was also clearly pleased with this batch of NBA players who were genuinely happy to be in Manila. Their press conference on Tuesday was a laugh festival as the players, who were quite great interviews during their day, were joking, telling stories and very warm with the assembled media.

However, it isn’t only the PBA stars who are awestruck.

Payton looked up at the huge streamer with the“Thrilla in Manila” stitched on it. “Oh, I get to play in the venue where Muhammad Ali once boxed? Man—where one of the greatest boxing matches of all time was fought?” he said, referring to the storied Araneta Coliseum that has seen thousands of great sporting events.

“I played on every NBA court and in another country for the Olympics but how many NBA players can say that they played in the same venue where Ali once boxed and fought one of the greatest boxing matches of all time? Now that is like icing on the cake for my career.”

The 2010 NBA Asia Challenge is the second staging of the biggest NBA event in Southeast Asia and players like Payton and Glen Rice have heard how the Philippines is the mecca for hoops in Asia. Some time late last year, Rice played in a scrimmage with Smart Gilas Pilipinas in Los Angeles and he found the Filipinos not only talented but tough competitors as well. “We had to raise the level of our game—and have like six halftimes just to compete,” deadpanned Rice who took some ribbing from Payton for his age.

“You’re going to have to make it seven halftimes,” chimed in Magsanoc who was referring to the local legends also being long out of shape.


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