Tim Cone has finally decided on his Asian Games team and well...
FROM THE 2023 FIBA WORLD CUP:
JUNE MAR FAJARDO
So, what do you think?
Personally, there’s a nostalgia thing about Abueva and Romeo. For TR7, it’s a chance to get back to superstardom. Ever since he moved to San Miguel, Romeo has sort of lost his way. Yes, he had two championships with the Beermen but he also played in just 27 games in the last three seasons. I remember when Romeo was shocking and awing fans from all walks with his killer crossovers and devil-may-care drives. I still think his GlobalPort version is better than any of his iterations but if this Gilas callup would jumpstart his career, then I am up for it.
Also, Terrence Romeo kind of reminds me of Usopp.
Although, maybe Ginebra can conduit Romeo from San Miguel? While the drawback for Romeo is getting rid of his number 7, I think he’s a better fit there. Maybe the Beermen can “lure” Terrafirma into taking Stephen Holt in exchange for Simon Enciso, Von Pessumal, and ten second-round picks?
And then we have Abueva. The last time The Beast played in China, this led to a slew of suspensions. He got suspended professionally and personally and he really dug deep to get his life in order. This is why I wanted him to play in China. While I don’t know if he can contain himself from acting like a dick in Hangzhou, I hope he could. Abueva is at his finest when he needs to prove himself.
Of the four holdovers, the most important piece for me is Japeth Aguilar. The thing about Japeth Like It’s Hot is that the only coach who made him good is Tim Cone. If you look at his accolades, every championship he was featured prominently in came from Tim Cone’s guidance. Scottie Thompson is another Cone guy who could have a better stint with him in tow. I remember the Angola game wherein the cameras caught Cone calling Thompson as if to say that they need to bench him and he’s like okay with the decision. RR Pogoy is a shocker here because he is a Chot Reyes guy. With that said, he played in the 2023 FIBA World Cup as one of the key subs to the point guard or to Dwight Ramos.
Calvin Oftana should have played in the FIBA World Cup especially if they are just going to bench CJ Perez. In some ways, I would have been happy if Chris Newsome was in it as well – although he needs to have more pepper in his gameplay. For some reason, his awesome PBA version is still struggling to find its way in the international tilts.
Ange Kouame’s role is going to be interesting because with Gilas spamming their naturalized players, he’s going to do whatever he needs to help June Mar Fajardo at the center spot. In the China game, we saw how JMF can get himself going in the paint. Kouame can act as an AJ Edu clone here and that would be a good thing.
Justin Brownlee is going to do Justin Brownlee-like things. His performance will also answer the age-old question of having Clarkson or Brownlee on your team.
I guess all eyes will be on Tautuaa and Perkins. With Perkins, he’s the only player from the PBA’s small-market system. I guess he can be a non-SMC version of Jamie Malonzo. I like Perkins because while he wasn’t allowed to shine in his senior year because he played the same position as Ben Mbala, he used the PBA D-League as a sounding board to all of his UAAP frustrations and this worked like a charm. For Tautuaa, I thought he was a monster in the ABL but he hasn’t shown what he can do in the PBA. Anyway, I see a little Joe Devance in him so I guess if there is one person that could make this work, it’s probably him.