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Dan Palami: Finding hope through change



Dan Stephen Palami is one of the premier sporting figures in the country today. He is credited for the revival of Philippine football with his support for the Philippine men’s national football team, the Philippine Azkals.

Moreover, his United Football League club, Global FC, is one of the most successful teams in the league.

Despite all of his success in Philippine football, Dan Palami, who is also the team manager of the University of the Philippines men’s basketball varsity team, has not found success in the UAAP basketball tournament.

For the past few seasons in the UAAP, the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons has been on the lower echelon of the basketball tournament. Amidst the implementation of a new unorthodox coaching system, the UP men’s basketball team manager Dan Palami is taking a risk. But everyone knows Mr. Dan Stephen Palami has always been unorthodox in the way he does things.

The UP head-coaching search had dominated the sporting headlines for the past few months. When news broke out that former Ginebra import and strength and conditioning coach Joe Ward was named head coach, it gave optimism to the UP faithful. However, in a postgame interview after the Fighting Maroons’ win over the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals last Monday, Coach Ward told the members of the press that he does not know what his job title is. “I don’t know what my designation is. All five of us are coaches.”

When Tiebreaker Times told Mr. Palami about this, he told us that not having a definite head coach is something fresh and exciting. “I’ve always been unorthodox,” Mr. Palami told us. “It’s never been done before! It’s a mixture of the old and the new, the old being Coach Joe and Coach Poch [Juinio]. But we also mixed in Coach Allan [Gregorio] and Coach Mo [Gingerich], who just graduated. It is something different and, as of now, it brought a new sense of positivity and liveliness to the team.”

The UP men’s basketball team kept busy in the off-season, not just in recruitment, but also in joining a lot of outside tournaments. “UP has always been on the short end of the stick when it comes to recruitment. Everyone knows how tough it is to get into the school because of the strict academic curriculum. So we try to get what we can get and go from there.”

Mr. Palami added that joining the Filsports Basketball Association was needed for the team to build on a winning culture. “We joined the FBA, a small league, just to help with team building. These wins in the smaller leagues give the kids the idea of winning. Then now we have the Filoil [Premier Cup] to face tougher opponents. Right now, we have a three-game winning streak. Malaking bagay ‘yun because a win is a win, and that feeling will stick and give a positive energy to the entire team.”

Moreover, joining the smaller leagues helped develop the younger players, the recruits from last season. “The FBA definitely helped in the maturity of our younger players. It also gave our seniors a sense of leadership.”

There is also the notion that in building a team, everyone has to buy in to the idea of playing as one unit. When asked about the departure of Mikee Reyes from the varsity team, Mr. Palami stated that it brings a message to the players. “No one is indispensable. Even if you’re the best player, but don’t want to learn then what would become of the team? What we want to build is a team of players who are willing to learn and are coachable. That’s how we want our team to be.”

Finally, we asked the UP team manager about his expectations for the upcoming UAAP season. “Of course we want to get more than one win,” he said laughingly. But in all seriousness, “I think it is attainable. As an example during today’s game against Mapua, when they made that rally, the old UP would have folded. This team knows how to find ways to win. Hopefully, we win more games compared to last season.”[READ: Fighting Maroons outwit Mapua for first win]

In order to move forward, one needs to take risks. Will this different kind of system pay dividends? Only the future can tell.

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Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool



SMART Gilas Pilipinas’ third session for the second leg of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers ended early on Monday evening.

Prior to the end of the practice, head coach Chot Reyes talked to team veterans Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, and June Mar Fajardo. The outspoken mentor told the seniors of the team that he is cutting Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan from the pool.

“The reason why we’re dropping Abueva and Almazan for the second window is because they haven’t showed up,” lamented Reyes.

“It’s already our third practice at hindi pa sila nagpapakita. It’s simply a matter of disinterest.

“I guess they’re not interested so we have to move on we can’t wait for those guys,” he pointed out.

Both Abueva and Almazan were part of the teams that competed in the 2017 SEABA Championship, the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, and the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Only 10 players from the pool showed up for the team’s third session. And with the second leg exactly one month away, Gilas cannot let a slip up happen especially against Australia.

“Aside from those two we don’t know where Matt Wright is, while Allein [Maliksi] is attending a wedding in Australia. Other than that it’s really just an issue of Calvin and Raymond if they don’t want to be a part of the pool.” expressed Reyes.

“That’s the reason we’re dropping them for the second window.”

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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

23 for 2023 cadets fill up Gilas practice



With just 31 days until the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, only 10 players from the pool attended the team’s third session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym.

Suiting up in the session presided over by Coach Chot Reyes were June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, and Roger Pogoy. Carl Cruz and Jayson Castro were in attendance but were in street clothes.

Not present were Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, and Allein Maliksi. Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan have yet to attend practice.

Joining the seniors team to prep them up for the World Cup Qualifiers were 10 players from the 23 for 2023 pool.

Ateneo Blue Eagle Matt Nieto attended his first Gilas practice. Joining him were teammates Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena.

Completing the night’s cast were CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Will Gozum, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, and Juan Gomez de Liano. Joshua Sinclair watched from the sidelines as he is still recovering from an ACL injury.

Gilas will take on Australia in Melbourne on February 22. The Philippine will then host Japan three days later at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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San Beda fends off Letran for back-to-back wins



With seasoned setter John Carlo Desuyo steering the wheel to near perfection, the San Beda College romped to their second straight win.

The Red Spikers pulled double-digit outings from four players to upend archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22, and register their fourth win of the season, Monday early evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

It was the Knights, however, who started on the right foot, overhauling a 4-10 deficit to snag the first set. Better passing from liberos Aljune Centeno and Johnsen Timbreza resulted in kills from captain Bobby Gatdula.

Nonetheless, San Beda picked up the service game in the next three sets to ultimately finish off the blue-shirts.

Despite the win-loss record they currently sport, the Red Spiker playmaker admitted that t

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Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual



Photo by PBA Images

Michael Calisaan poured 20 points as he captained newcomer Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers to a decisive 83-70 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas to start their voyage, Monday evening at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Doing it all for the Revellers, the veteran forward provided the stability for his side as he shot 8-of-15 from the field while also hauling down nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the conference-opening win.

But it wasn’t all Calisaan as Che’Lu got contributions from all over its roster.

Samboy de Leon chimed in 16 markers and nine boards. RK Ilagan went 2-of-5 from threes to collect 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds, while big men Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo combined for 20 in the victory.

Despite the triumph, coach Stevenson Tiu gave all the praise to his players, noting the team’s lack of time preparing for the tourney.

“Nanalo kami dahil sa talent ng players. Medyo mali ko rin kasi nahirapan pa ako mag-adjust sa players. Hopefully, we play much better in the coming games,” he said.

The Revellers used a 16-4 run to finally break away from the Altas, taking a 77-60 lead with 4:03 to play as they punished their foes for their turnovers, turning Perpetual’s 30 miscues to 28 points in their favor.

Prince Eze anchored the Altas with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks in their first game under new head coach Frankie Lim.

Che’lu-San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Wangs-Letran Couriers on Monday, January 29 at 5:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, hope they can notch their first win when they take on Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters.

The Scores:

Che’lu-SSCR 83 — Calisaan 20, De Leon 16, Ilagan 13, Batino 10, Faundo 10, Bulanadi 6, Costelo 6, Calma 2, David 0, Lao 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0.

UPHSD 70 — Eze 15, Coronel 13, Villanueva 13, Jimenez 9, Charcos 7, Peralta 7, Gallardo 5, Pido 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Tamayo 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 17-22, 34-38, 59-53, 83-70.

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