NBA Train­ing Camps Open up

Palawan News - - OPINION - Marc Calumba SPORTS IN­TEL

Col­le­giate sea­son is also peak­ing in the South with the CESAFI games on­go­ing in Cebu City. Heavy fa­vorites in this group are the Univer­sity of sisayas reen Lancers, South­West­ern Univer­sity and the Univer­sity of Cebu.

‘ Tis the sea­son, Palawan. The high­est level of bas­ket­ball in the world, “The League”, the Na­tional Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion for­mally opened train­ing camps this week. Me­dia Day started Mon­day for most teams with first day of prac­tice and train­ing sched­uled Tues­day.

Me­dia day fa­vorites in­clude the souped up Golden State War­riors with new ad­di­tion DeMar­cus Cousins at­tend­ing none-con­tact train­ing. “Boo­gie” has un­der­gone achilles surgery and is ex­pected to work his way into the ros­ter mid-way through the sea­son. Once he gets cleared to play, ex­pect a very solid start­ing line-up for the War­riors with Steph Curry and Klay Thomp­son man­ning the guard spots, Cousins in the mid­dle, along with Dray­mond Green and Kevin Du­rant at the for­ward spots. All five play­ers are ca­pa­ble of scor­ing lights out dou­ble dig­its ev­ery game. They re­main sea­son fa­vorites to keep their cham­pi­onship streak go­ing this year.

Over in Lala Land, the Lak­ers new fran­chise fig­ure, Lebron James met the Los An­ge­les press for the first time as an of­fi­cial Laker on Mon­day. “The King” was mod­est in set­ting ex­pec­ta­tions for the new look Lak­ers which he branded as a young up­com­ing team, very ea­ger to learn and de­velop. Asked about his stand on the con­tin­u­ous build-up of their state ri­val Golden State War­riors, LBJ was cool enough to ad­mit that the Lak­ers can­not be com­pared to the War­riors who are al­ready a “made” team run­ning for their third straight NBA cham­pi­onship.

The West­ern Con­fer­ence is still loaded with the Hous­ton Rock­ets, San An­to­nio Spurs, Ok­la­homa City Thun­der, New Or­leans Pel­i­cans, Den­ver Nuggets, and Port­land Trail­blaz­ers look­ing to un­seat the de­fend­ing NBA cham­pi­ons. From the out­side look­ing in, you have the Dal­las Mav­er­icks, LA Lak­ers and the Clip­pers, along with the Mem­phis Griz­zlies and Min­nesota Tim­ber­wolves all ze­ro­ing in for a play­off berth.

Speak­ing of the Tim­ber­wolves, all-star Jimmy Bul­ter made it pub­lic that he wants out of the or­ga­ni­za­tion. The Wolves are keen on get­ting some­thing out of this re­quest than los­ing But­ler for noth­ing to free agency next sea­son. This may put a dent on Coach Tom Thi­bodeau’s drive for an­other play­off fin­ish but to counter this, they have in­vested heav­ily on their other all-star, up­com­ing big man Karl An­thony Towns. KAT will carry the Tim­ber­wolves on his broad shoul­ders this sea­son.

Shift­ing fo­cus to the East­ern Con­fer­ence, the Bos­ton Celtics are heavy fa­vorites to ad­vance to the NBA fi­nals this year. They have a solid pro­jected start­ing unit of Kyrie Irv­ing, Gor­don Hay­ward, Al Hor­ford, Mar­cus Mor­ris and Ja­son Ta­tum. A strong bench unit of Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown, Mar­cus Smart and Aron Baynes give head coach Brad Stevens a 9-man ro­ta­tion that can com­pete well with the league’s elite teams this year. Up to chal­lenge the Celtics are the young guns of Philadel­phia. The 76ers be­hind the duo of Joel Em­biid and Ben Sim­mons are ex­pected to reach the East­ern Con­fer­ence fi­nals.

Watch out for open­ing day tip off on Oc­to­ber 16, 2018!

Lo­cal Col­lege Hoops

The NCAA is start­ing to so­lid­ify fi­nal four con­tenders this time of year. We see the Lyceum Pi­rates, the San Beda Red Li­ons, the Le­tran Knights, the UPHR Al­tas and the Col­lege of St. Be­nilde Blaz­ers fight­ing for semi­fi­nal po­si­tion­ing with the Pi­rates and the Red Li­ons look­ing like a solid lock at the no. 1 and no. 2 spots. I con­sider the Knights a dark­horse to reach the fi­nals since I have seen them play dom­i­nantly against Ma­pua last week. They have a tall front court and a solid go to guy in Bong Quinto who can score points when Le­tran needs them. Of course Lyceum and San Beda are still fa­vorites with their deep ros­ters but they can­not lower their guard in the play­offs.

Over at the UAAP, the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines are at a los­ing streak with a 1-3 Win-Loss slate. Picked to have a solid sea­son this year, the Ma­roons fell vic­tim to other fi­nal four con­tenders early in the elim­i­na­tion round with losses to the Ate­neo, FEU and just re­cently, the Adam­son Fal­cons. These four teams along with the Dela Salle Green Archers and the NU Bull­dogs are poised to bat­tle for the cross over semi­fi­nals this sea­son 81.

Col­le­giate sea­son is also peak­ing in the South with the CESAFI games on­go­ing in Cebu City. Heavy fa­vorites in this group are the Univer­sity of Visayas Green Lancers, South­West­ern Univer­sity and the Univer­sity of Cebu.

All lev­els of bas­ket­ball in full swing!

SUBARAW PPUR Fes­ti­val Foun da­tion

Palawan, you may have no­ticed so­cial me­dia teasers and bill­boards high­light­ing this year’s Novem­ber 2-11, 2018 PPUR “Subaraw” Fes­ti­val al­ready. Your Puerto Princesa city govern­ment, the Puerto Princesa Un­der­ground River ad­min­is­tra­tion and the PPUR Fes­ti­val Foun­da­tion are heav­ily in­volved in mak­ing this a grander Na­tional event this year. Things are start­ing to pick up ap­proach­ing the dates and yes we ex­pect tourists from all over to head to our is­land on the first week of Novem­ber. Mark the week! Novem­ber 2-11. Happy Subaraw Fes­ti­val!

(The writer is a se­nior leader of the only Busi­ness Process Out­sourc­ing com­pany in Puerto Princesa. He also is the cur­rent Puerto Princesa Un­der­ground River Fes­ti­val Foun­da­tion Pres­i­dent. Watch out for this year’s big­ger and grander fes­tiv­i­ties pro­mot­ing bio-di­ver­sity and our her­itage sites)

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