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Spreading the love: Minutes management the ROS way

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What do you think is the most important thing to a pro basketball player?

If you answered points and shot attempts, you’d be close but there’s something that’s valued even more than that.

Minutes. (Well, besides getting a huge-ass contract and tons of endorsements deals)

As they say, time is the ultimate equalizer. It’s what you do with your time that counts. In organized basketball, minutes are the medium through which the game is actually played. With exception to the occasional overtime barnburner, a pro game consists of 240 minutes, which have to be spread out amongst the five players on the floor.

Minutes management is an integral part of coaching and is the head coach’s ultimate trump card. Late to practice? Sit on the bench beside the ball-boy. Don’t want to rebound or play defense? No worries, I’ve got some guys on the bench who’d gladly eat up your time on the court. It’s those precious minutes of actual game time that a player craves for.

In the past, most coaches believed that the best way to maximize these minutes is to give them to your best players. After all, these are your most productive players, so why wouldn’t you want them to be on the court as much as possible?

San Miguel Beer follows this approach, as stars Junemar Fajardo and Arwind Santos log 35.0 and 37.6 minutes per game, respectively.  For those of you keeping count, those guys just won the last two MVP awards.

On the other hand, there are those who like to take the unconventional approach.
YengEnter coach Yeng Guiao.

Most fans hear the name Yeng Guiao and immediately think of the fiery coach who’s racked up record fines and thrown the dirty finger more than a few times.

Beyond all the antics though, you can see that Guiao has mastered the skill of managing egos and has everyone buying into the team mindset. He controls everyone’s minutes and keeps all his players (somewhat) happy with their playing time.

Just take a look at the season averages of his stars’*** playing time:

*** Don’t even get me started on how his team is star-less. Chan, Norwood, Lee, Belga are all stars, while pretty much everyone else would get quality minutes playing for any team in the league

ros minutes

Norwood25.0mpgLee20.6mpgChan27.6mpgBelga25.0mpgAlmazan23.5mpg

The list goes on and on. His team goes 13 deep and that includes 1st year and 2nd year players Raymond Almazan, Jeric Teng, and Jericho Cruz.

Contrast this to GlobalPort, who plays Alex Cabagnot and Stanley Pringle 34 minutes a night.

Of course, all of Rain or Shine’s players are talented and deserving of playing time. Guiao could easily play Paul Lee, a superstar by any measure, 30 minutes a night if he wanted to. Just imagine what Lee could do with a 50% bump in his minutes.

His per-30 line would be: (assuming of course, that he could sustain his production with more minutes).

Paul Lee per-30 averages
21 ppg4.5rpg4.4apg1.0spg

Yet, Guiao sticks to his system, keeping minutes spread out and putting in guys depending on match-ups. Why?!

The truth is there are some great benefits to spreading minutes throughout the lineup.

One, it helps keep everyone fresh, allowing them to maintain maximum effort. Guys who play heavy minutes tend to coast at certain points of the game, thereby not maximizing their minutes on court. Wouldn’t 100% output from a B-level player be better than 60% or 70% production from an A-level player? This also allows stars to be fresh during crunch time, helping them make better decisions and be more focused.

Two, spreading minutes helps teams make deep playoff runs. Rain or Shine has consistently been a semi-finals contender the past few years. Remember that the PBA has short offseasons, allowing players less time for full recovery, increasing the chances of injury. The deeper you go into the season, it no longer becomes solely a battle of skill and will but a battle of attrition. Who can stay on the court when it matters? By spreading minutes around, Guiao limits this risk and increases his chances of victory.

Third, this allows you to develop talent from within. For Rain or Shine, this might be the biggest reason why Guiao sticks to his style of minutes management. Teams like ROS and Alaska are at a disadvantage by being independent teams, as it makes it tougher to keep or gather elite talent. The only way to produce such talent is from within. However, time on the practice court can only do so much – players need game situations to improve.

It may seem like Rain or Shine has been lucky with the draft, but they’ve also been very good at determining who would fit their culture and whom they can develop into solid contributors. Just take a look at Jonathan Uyloan. A third (or fourth) string point guard buried deep in the backcourt rotation, Uyloan finally got his chance. Given the minutes, Uyloan has produced and is now a solid part of Guaio’s rotation.

The most important skill of Coach Yeng though is how he’s able to get all these guys to trust him and believe him when he says that buying into the team concept is what’s best for each individual.

Then again, if they don’t agree, he could always just yank their minutes or trade them away. I wouldn’t put it past him.

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1 Comment
  • adictscorner

    This is why I love coach Yeng and the teams he coaches.

Football

Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory

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Photo from the-AFC.com

2017 AFC ASEAN Zone Champions Ceres-Negros banked on their poise and composure from the spot as they knocked out Myanmar’s Shan United via a 4-3 penalty shootout (1-1 after extra time) triumph, Tuesday evening at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

The Negrenses punched their ticket to Brisbane, Australia after emerging the better spotkick takers. Four Busmen were on target, while two of their Shan Warriors counterparts fluffed their lines.

The two domestic champions were inseparable after 120 minutes, with the hosts holding their own against the Philippine champions. Ceres-Negros looked the more dominant of the two teams. However, they couldn’t make the advantage count where it mattered, as they failed to breach the sturdy Shan United defense inside the first two regulation halves.

The visitors were visibly more comfortable in the first half, but with the scores staying level at the break, the less-fancied Myanmar champions eventually found their footing in the encounter. While there were several half-chances from either side to open the scoring, both defenses remained defiant en route to unwanted extra time.

“It was a tough game. We weren’t ready to play 120 minutes because we only had four training sessions before the game but everytime we wear this jersey, we represent Ceres, we represent Bacolod, we represent the Philippines, so we have to give our best,” Ceres’ defender Carli de Murga elaborated to the Inquirer after the match. The Asian Football season has yet to start, and with both teams not too busy with pre-season preparations, rust and fatigue in a demanding affair were evident.

Come extra time, Ceres-Negros took the initiative when Stephan Schröck’s deflected effort went past the helpless Thiha Si Thu just three minutes into the first half.

Nonetheless, the hosts refused to go down without a fight, and their resilience was rewarded later in the opening half. Substitute Patrick Asare found the back of the net to restore parity in Yangon.

Another 15 minutes of goalless action took place in the second half as both teams looked more cautious, perhaps with the collective aim of avoiding a costly error or two. Among all the chances, Schröck’s in the 114th minute may have proved to be the closest to changing the scores, as his attempt shaved the post.

Shan United took to the spot first, where Asare made his penalty attempt count. Nay Lin Tun also made his, but not before teammate Chizoba smashed his attempt over Toni Doblas’ goal.

While the hosts squandered a shot, the visitors remained calm in front of a hostile Myanmar crowd. De Murga, Schröck and Mike Ott nailed their turns, with Marañon also not missing a vital kick from 12 yards.

It set up William Biassi Nyakwe, the man credited with the own goal when he deflected Schröck’s opener, with the chance to prolong his team’s campaign in the AFC Champions League. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t atone for his earlier mistake, as his attempt soared high and wide — much to the delight of the visiting team from Bacolod, the Philippines.

The reward for Ceres-Negros is a trip to Queensland, Australia, where they will seek to do one better than compatriots Global-Cebu. The 2016 Philippine champions also played against the Brisbane Roar, who dealt them a staggering 6-0 hammering this time last year. The match will be held at the Suncorp Stadium on January 23.

As for Shan United, a spot in the AFC Cup Group Stage awaits them and they may not have seen the last of Ceres-Negros just yet. If the Negrenses lose to either Brisbane Roar or Tianjin Quanjian, they will be reacquainted with the Burmese champions in Group F.

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Basketball

Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’

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Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas held for the 23 for 2023 cadets last Monday but he made sure to help out when the current batch needed him the most.

After helping the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers win the Sinulog Cup in Cebu a week ago, the 6-foot-7 Filipino-American did not hesitate to heed Gilas’ call as they were undermanned for their second session in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“I think it’s just an honor to put on this jersey, to be able to represent our country, to possibly represent our country in the future. It’s an honor,” shared the Laguna-native.

The 25-year old, who just celebrated his birthday last January 9, admitted that he was in awe of the talent inside the Meralco Gym. Like a fan, he wanted to take a few photo ops with the senior team’s Gabe Norwood and June Mar Fajardo.

“Actually, at first I was just shocked to see June Mar and Gabe, just to be able to be in the midst of them,” gushed the former DLSU Green Archer who will suit-up for Marinerong Pilipino in the D-League. “I even asked them for a picture, and hopefully they’ll still give me one.

“It’s just humbling, definitely.”

However, the work has only began for Tratter. With five years to go until the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the two-time UAAP champion plans to continue to do what he does best, being the same scrapper that he is and hopefully catch the eye of Gilas’ brass.

“I think just doing the dirty work, of course. Giving whatever the team needs, rebound or any steals, any thing a dirty player would need to pick up on,” he said.

“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”

Moreover, he continue answering the call when Gilas needs it as he himself is learning a lot from being surrounded by the country’s topflight cagers.

“Whenever I can. I want to be able to absorb all the information coming from here and hopefully apply it in the D-League and hopefully apply it on future practices, future games.”

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup

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Stronger than ever

Scoring sensation Terrence Romeo has been invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to join the Philippine team in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 World Cup, according to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson.

Romeo, who is currently out due to a right knee injury, has been rehabilitating his injury and is expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup campaign of the Globalport Batang Pier and the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“Baka sa second conference na ko makabalik kasi talagang gusto ko malakas ako pagbalik ko,” the 25-year-old shared during Chooks-to-Go Live last January 2.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios personally met with the 6-foot guard, inviting him to be part of the Philippine team.

Romeo has a lot of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.

Back in 2014, Romeo was part of the Manila West 3×3 team during the Manila Masters. He was adjudged as the tournament Most Valuable Player.

The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

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NCAA

Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win

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Shaking off a forgettable outing against the Perpetual Help Altas last January 11, the San Beda College Red Spikers vented their ire on defending champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers in four sets, 25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 26-24, and claimed their second win of the season, Friday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

“Sabi ng coaches kalimutan na yung talo,” shared captain Lorenze Santos of what transpired after that match.

So, in this game, the San Beda team poured on what they worked hard for to regain momentum. “Binuhos po namin lahat ng ginawa namin sa training [ngayon].”

After tight starts in all the first two sets, the Mendiola-based side pulled away to register the seemingly insurmountable 2-0 lead.

Nonetheless, summoning the heart of a champion and led by seniors Isaah Arda and Jethro Orian, the reigning champions pulled off gritty runs to snag the third set and making a tussle of the fourth.

Ultimately, Adrian Viray virtually ended the match with a vicious serve, which the Blazers failed to convert.

The prolific outside hitter finished with 17 points, 11 coming from attacks and five off blocks. Former skipper Mark Encino also registered 17 markers.

The Red Spikers (2-1) will face the Mapua University, also at 2-1, on Friday, January 19.

Orian was such a presence at the net, ending up with 20 points for the Taft-based squad.

The defending champions Blazers (2-1) will try to bounce back later that day against San Sebastian College (0-3).

The Scores:

SBC 3 – Viray 17, Enciso 17, Santos 11, Patenio 7, Amagan 7, Desuyo 3, Zabala 0, Genobaten 0, Manliclic 0, Casin L.

CSB 1 – Orian 20, Arda 18, Bacani 6, Basilan 4, Bautista 4, Magsino 2, Martinez 0, Garcia 0, San Miguel 0, Saldavia 0, Dy L.

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