Seigle busy in new role
One of the PBA’s greatest and mostliked players Danny Seigle is enjoying his new role as San Miguel Pale Pilsen Alab team consultant. At 41, he has made a smooth transition from star player to a bench position but pointed out the other day there is still no formal announcement of his retirement. “I haven’t made any formal announcement about retirement,” he said. “I’ve just been really busy with Alab. I’ll let you know if and when that happens.”
Seigle, a Hall of Famer at the NCAA Division I school Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, was the PBA’s rookie of the year in 1999 and played on eight PBA title squads with four Finals MVP awards. He suited up in 16 PBA seasons, 10 with the San Miguel franchise, two with Barako Bull and the last four with TNT KaTropa. Thrice, Seigle averaged at least 20 points in a season. Dynamite Danny was a crowd favorite known not only for his playing skills but also his high standard of sportsmanship.
With Alab, Seigle joins head coach Jimmy Alapag in a staff that also counts on Mac Cuan. Last season, Seigle saw limited action with TNT, averaging 1.9 points in 18 games. So the move to Alab was timely. And now that Alab is safely in the ABL Finals, Seigle is just three wins away from adding another milestone in his championship history.
A factor that Seigle singled out in analyzing Alab’s success is trust. “Other teams choose a shorter rotation but our trust in our guys allows us to go deep into our bench,” he said. “Every single player has seen time on the court and they all gave us crucial contributions at some point. Our depth has been the backbone of our success so far.”
A case in point is Alab guard Pao Javelona. In Game 1 of the semifinal series against Hong Kong Eastern in Wan Chai last week, Javelona got off to a poor start, missing a wide open three and flubbing a layup. But Alapag didn’t lose faith in the former NU guard. In the second quarter, Javelona buried a triple during a 9-0 surge that erected a 50-43 lead for Alab at the half. With 5.1 seconds left, it was Javelona who preserved Alab’s 98-94 victory by forcing a travel on Hong Kong hotshot Ki Lee.
Alapag’s trust in Javelona extended to Game 2 in Sta. Rosa last Sunday. Javelona repaid Alapag for it by delivering 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 23:35 solid minutes in Alab’s 79-72 win. Seigle said aside from Javelona who’s a starter, the Alab bench has responded “really well and given us what we needed when called upon.” He added, “We’re happy with the effort and hard work that they put in every day to prepare themselves.”
This afternoon, Seigle will join the Alab players and coaches in watching Game 2 of the semifinal series between Mono Vampire of Thailand and Chong Son Kung Fu of China via live stream at the City Club in Makati after morning practice. “They both have big centers (6-11 Justin Howard of Kung Fu and 7-5 Samuel Deguara of Vampire) to contend with and true point guards who execute their team’s system efficiently,” he said. “They’ve actually been great all year, equally talented and both teams deserve to advance. We’ll just have to wait for the outcome. Then we focus on strategy – like points of attack, defensive schemes, etc. We gave the guys two days off to rest their bodies and minds. We want them to be ready mentally just as much as physically.”
Seigle said, on a side note, what’s been impressive this ABL season is the Philippine talent showcased around the league. “Not only do they have major roles for their respective teams but I feel their skills have really impacted the league and made it stronger and more exciting,” he said. “I can’t help but feel pride watching them perform at such a high level regardless of the country they’re playing for.” Among the ASEAN heritage imports this season are players with Filipino roots like Jawhar Purdy, Joshua Munzon, A. J. Mandani, Michael Williams, Lawrence Domingo, Christian Standhardinger, Caelan Tiongson, Mikh McKinney, Jason Brickman and Paul Zamar.