IT'S beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
With still 42 days to go before the most awaited day of the year, you can see Christmas
You can always tell when it's getting close because television stations start making their
countdown, and stores, parks and streets, especially in the more-affluent areas like Makati and
Quezon City are now adorned with brightly-colored Christmas lights and decorations.
It makes us like Christmas above anytime of the year.
It’s still a little too early to think about our Christmas wish lists but this is also the
time I usually think about them.
Santa Claus is also now busy going over the wish lists in the Philippine Basketball
Association (PBA) to see what he should give.
Now a house divided, the PBA now needs the gift of wisdom from Santa before the
The 12 PBA teams now almost evenly divided on the issue of alleged bias and favoritism by
Commissioner Chito Narvasa might as well ask for this gift to be able to resolve their differences
and find a win-win solution before the holiday season.
It is a nice gift to have because the PBA, Asia's first play-for-pay league, and its teams
have been a regular source of first-class sports entertainment since 1975.
Not seeing your favorite players on your favorite teams on your favorite league simply
because the PBA Board of Governors can't rise above personal interests is not a good thing.
You wouldn’t want that to happen with the league’s 43rd season set to open on Dec. 17 or
exactly a week before Christmas.
Our favorite PBA teams also have a lengthy Christmas gift list, keeping Santa busy in
checking it twice and finding out who's naughty and nice.
San Miguel Beer, the league’s most successful team with 24 titles and more than 1,200 wins,
asked for a dominant player who could be the next league superstar and box-office draw.
In particular, the Beermen asked for a player who can play alongside four-time PBA MVP June Mar
Fajardo and form a “Twin Tower” combination that can bring more titles in the coming year.
Well, the Beermen must really be nice -- not naughty -- that they found 6-8 Fil-German
Christian Standhardinger under their Christmas tree.
Giving someone as big and as talented as Standhardinger for the Beermen is like giving a
gift to a man who already has everything.
But that’s OK, fans. San Miguel’s chief rival, Talk N Text, had their big holiday in 2015
with prized rookies MoalaTautuaa and Troy Rosario.
If you ask me, NLEX (Kiefer Ravena), Blackwater (Raymar Jose), Phoenix Petroleum
(Jason Perkins) and Alaska Milk (Jeron Teng) all received what they wanted during the annual
rookie draft long before Christmas.
It should a lso be merry Christmas for Globalport with veteran coach Pido Jarencio
returning to the bench. But with several new faces in the line-up to join old reliables Terrence
Romeo and Stanley Pringle, the best gift the team needs right now is the gift of patience.
Even Santa knows it is going to take a while to develop team chemistry.
As to crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra, Santa could drop them off another dependable
guard who could take the place of the now-retired Jayjay Helterbrand.
Jett Manuel, who was selected No.12 by the Gin Kings, could become a welcome Christmas
There should also be more star power for Star, Rain or Shine, Kia Picanto and even
PBA Governor’s Cup runner-up Meralco.
Adding young and experienced players who can play multiple positions, like Fil-Am
sensation Robbie Herndon for Star and NCAA veteran Rey Nambatac for Rain or Shine will be
If you are a loyal PBA fan, Santa has one guarantee to make you happy: more exciting
games from more exciting players for the coming PBA season.
* * *
If you’re an avid basketball fan, there’s no place to go on Friday but the San Juan
gym where the winner-take-all championship games of the 2017 Metro Basketball Tournament (MBT)
pitting Quezon City against San Juan (North) and Mandaluyong against MMDA (South) will be played.
Both games will showcase the talents of some of the best young players 23 years old and
below as they try to lead their respective teams to the chmpionships.
Don’t miss the games.
NOTES -- Happy birthday to Purefoods Hotdogs’ “Dynamic Duo” of Alvin “The Captain”
Patrimonio (Nov. 17) and Jerry “Defense Minister” Codinera (Nov. 14). Patrimonio and Codinera,
two of the more prominent members of the “PBA’s 25 Greatest Players”, also formed one of
the most dominant duos in Asia’s first play-for-pay league from 1988 to 1991. `