Saturday, May 31, 2008

Boston wins in Detroit, enters finals

The Detroit Pistons opened the fourth quarter with a ten point lead 70-60 on Richard Hamilton’s jumper and the motor city home crowd erupted in cheers and was already anticipating a Game 7 for the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Unfortunately the Boston Celtics had other things in mind as they regrouped to comeback with a paralyzing 23-6 run to close out the Detroit Pistons in the Palace in Auburn Hills with an 89-81 win and a ticket to 2008 NBA Finals.

Chauncey Billups came up with a big offensive game in the first three quarters but was shadowed by James Posey mostly in the fourth quarter . Billups lost his shooting touch as evidenced by missing two open triples but still managed to lead all scorers with 29 points. Richard Hamilton, bad elbow and all still scorched the nets with 21 pts but was nowhere to be found in the crucial minutes of the game.

The first half saw Kevin Garnett play awful and Rasheed Wallace play worse as both forwards was a combined 2/18 at the half. Ray Allen paced the Celtics with 15 first half points with Paul Pierce just on coast mode as the Celtics led 40-37 at the half.The third quarter saw the Pistons come alive as they pounded the Celtics defense with 31 third quarter points courtesy of Billups and Tayshaun Prince who fueled their drive to stay alive. The Pistons erased a 6 point deficit to end the quarter up by eight 68-60.

In the fourth quarter Kevin Garnett recovered his shooting touch and Paul Pierce who scored 27 points was simply unstoppable. The two conspired for the big Boston The last few minutes saw the Celtics convert most of their free throws to widen the gap after the Pistons misfired in spite of the open shots they got. comeback with big baskets and more importantly focus on the game despite the spotty officiating.

This is the 20th finals appearance for the Celtics with their last title coming in 1986 and their last finals loss coming in 1987 – from the Lakers.tThe table is set, it’s a Boston – LA finals which is what everyone is waiting for. Good luck to the Boston Celtics, a title will definitely give them their team the tag of the greatest turnaround in NBA history.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Lakers end Spurs' reign, enters NBA Finals

What does it need to close out the defending champs? Four letters K-O-B-E! The league’s MVP put an end to the reign of the San Antonio Spurs as he buried them in the fourth quarter with 17 of his game high 39 pts to lead the resurgent LA Lakers to a 100-92 win against the defending champions . The game is reminiscent of Game 1 in which the Spurs led by as much as 17 points this time, 33-16 in the 2nd quarter. Bryant led a 9-2 halftime close to narrow the gap and give a prelude of what was about to come.

The third quarter belonged to the Lakers as Bryant started his onslaught by scoring 9 points to catch up with the Spurs as Vladimir Radmanovic ended the quarter with a three pointer to give the Lakers the lead 64-63. The fourth quarter was definitely a show of offensive power by the Lakers as they buried the Spurs as soon as Bryant served notice with a three pointer to start that quarter. Everytime the Spurs would try to make a run, Kobe answered back while the rest of the team contributed in every little way.

Pau Gasol scored 12 pts, pulled down 19 rebounds, 9 on the offensive end plus four blocked shots. The supporting cast of the Lakers were a thing of beauty because they responded when the situation called for it. Lamar Odom scorched the nets with 13 points while Sasha Vujacic, Jordan Farmar and Radmanovic added 9, 8 & 8 points respectively.

Tim Duncan had a triple double with 19 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists but his individual brilliance was not enough to lift his team past the Lakers. Tony Parker netted 23 points and 4 assists while Michael Finley, Brent Barry & Kurt Thomas scored 13, 11 & 11 points respectively to offset the subpar offensive game of Manu Ginobli once again. Ginobli proved to be the barometer of the series since the only win that the Spurs had came when he scored 30 points.

The Lakers await the winner of the Boston and Detroit series and is primed up to meet the Celtics in most probably one of the most awaited encounters this year. Will the Lakers chalk up their 15th Championship ring? In the meantime, showtime takes a much needed rest.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Boston, a win away from 2008 NBA Finals

Its shaping up to be a Boston vs. LA final for 2008 NBA title. The Celtics saw their 91-78 lead in the final 9 minutes of the quarter disappear as the Pistons offense came to life while their defense became stingy. A paralyzing 23-11 run by the Pistons made them cut the Celtics lead to 102-101 with 8 seconds remaining. It was the final gasp of air for the Pistons as the Celtics converted four free throws and escape with a 106-102 win and take a 3-2 series lead and hopefully close the series at the Palace in Auburn Hills on Saturday (manila time).

Kevin Garnett was all business today as he grounded all his defenders to score 33 points. Ray Allen finally came out of his slump to aid Garnett and sizzle with 29 points built on his 5 of 6 shooting from beyond the arc. Paul Pierce added 16 points while Center Kendrick Perkins showed his value to the team as the fourth weapon as he added 18 points and 16 rebounds and 2 block shots. Rajon Rondo scored only 7 points but more importantly he tallied 13 assists as and distributed the ball well.

For The Pistons, Richard Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace (6 of 9 from 3 point land) were their usual selves as both scorers scorched the nets by scoring 25 and 18 points respectively. Finally 2004 NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups came out with this guns blazing to topscore with 26 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists, but his efforts were not enough to bail the Pistons to another road win. The biggest letdown for the Pistons so far in this series is Tayshaun Prince who continues to have a bad offensive game.

Now the Pistons have their backs against the wall and need to regroup to be able to go back to the finals which they last entered in 2005. Its step up time or step out for the Pistons as their inconsistencies surfaced and the Celtics took advantage of it. For the Celtics, its just like reliving the Old days as they summon the ghost or RED for his luck to rub on the Celtics.

Will Boston continue its storybook season and advance after Game 6 or do we see a Game 7 ending for these two teams? Lets wait and see.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

21st Awit Awards Preliminary Screening

One thing great about my job is the diversity that comes with it. This time the tabulation shifts to a different level as me and my STI mates this time tabulated votes for the Philippines Association of the Record Industry. (PARI) PARI was incorporated in 1972 but the AWIT Awards was instituted in 1987 and is a prestigious award giving body that gives recognition to Filipino performing artists and the people behind the making of recorded Filipino music. As sponsors we provided the computers and tabulation systems.

Various judges appointed by PARI arrived at the Club Filipino in Greenhills to listen to different categories and vote on who will be given awards like Album of the Year, Song of the Year and other categories. Seen here with me is multi-titled veteran songwriter Vehnee Saturno who was one of the judges. He must've listened to more than 50 songs at least.

I myself tested the tabulation proceedings and listened to a lot of songs also. While browsing through the songs nominated, my only disappointment was that a lot of them are revivals. Its a pity that there are just only a few acts that are original lately and the revivals out number newly composed songs. Next stop, the final voting by July, till then congrats to those who will qualify.

Slimmers World Bikini Philippines 2008

Pearl Kelly (left) and Maria Elena LopeƱa took the Ms. Slimmers World Bikini Philippines-International and Bikini Philippines-World titles respectively at the PICC last May 25. Imagine, their winnings were 400k (Lopena) and 300k (Kelly) respectively! WOw that's the best way to keep your body fit. Aside from that they will represent the Philippines in a similar competition before the year ends. (Watch it tonight at Studio 23 at 11PM)

One thing different in this competition is the Creative posing portion which I enjoyed a lot. It was a pity I opted not to watch the Pre Pageant in which everyone showed their best creative pose. The candidates were given the chance to show creative poses while an upbeat song was playing. This is the only Beauty Pageant I know of that does that.

One of my favorites with the creative posing part was the winner and one of the ten finalists Hannah Leah Pasadug who is shown here internalizing and showing to the public her sexy poses in this portion. I was literally drooling as she exited to the backstage.

Martin Nievera serenaded the girls with a medley of his most popular love songs which included one of my faves " You are my song!" His performance gave elegance to the show. Unfortunately, this was the only time I did not watch Martin Nievera sing.

That's me with my neighbor who happens to be Ms. Tourism Queen International 2006 Title Holder and one of the judges, Ms. Justine Gabionza. She is also a well known commercial model and former varsity volleybelle from UST.

Lakers beat Spurs lead 3-1

The Los Angeles Lakers has one foot on the door of the 2008 NBA Finals as their game long brilliance was rewarded with a 93-91 win over the defending champion San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers dealt the Spurs their first home loss and more importantly a commanding 3-1 series lead heading back to Staples Center where the Spurs did not have much luck in the first two games of the series.

Team offense is relatively hard to stop as the Lakers got going with a 22-8 start as Coach Phil Jackson’s starting unit scored at will in the first 7 minutes of the game. Kobe Bryant found a scoring partner in Vladimir Radmanovic as both scored 12 & 11 points respectively in the first half with Radmanovic going 5 for 7 from the field. Luke Walton came off the bench to score 9 points as the Lakers took control of the half 53-47.

Brent Barry took the scoring cudgels from Manu Ginobli who was nowhere to be found in the first half. Barry buried two three pointers and atoned for Ginobli’s offensive diet who was 0 out 4 in 17 minutes of play. It was Tony Parker and Tim Duncan carrying the fight for the Spurs as the tandem combined for 29 first half points with Parker dishing out 5 assists and Duncan blocking 3 shots. Amazingly the Spurs stayed in the fight because of their 17 of 17 free throw shooting.

The Spurs caught up with the Lakers in the last 4:41 to equalize 65-65 on Tony Parker’s jumpshot. After that the Lakers once again starring Captain Kobe and Lamar Odom ended the quarter with a 12-5 run to lead 77-70. In the final quarter, it was Odom time as Lamar scattered 8 points to give the Lakers enough breathing room with a 93-86 lead with 56 seconds remaining. The Spurs then got back on Manu Ginobli’s only three pointer and Parker’s lay up to crawl to within 2 points 93-91.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 28 points and 10 rebounds while Odom scored 16 points. The Spurs relied on Duncan’s 29 points, Parker’s 23 and surprise third scorer Brent Barry who sank 5 three pointers but missed the game winner with 2 seconds on the clock added 23 points. Nine out of Ten Lakers fielded in scored while four Spurs did not even contribute a single basket while the fifth one, Robert Horry only scored two points.

Next Stop, Staples Center for the right to the 2008 NBA title.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Paul Pierce scored on a lay up to finally cut the Pistons lead to five 73-78 with four minutes to go, the Pistons called a time out and the Celtics celebrate as they came alive after being down by as much as 14 points. After talking things out, the new Motor City Club suddenly clamped down on the Celtics and unleashed a paralyzing 16-2 run to take their second win and even the Eastern Conference best of seven series.

Richard Hamilton once again was unstoppable as he went 8 for 10 on the field and 4 of 4 from the stripe to score 20 points. The most notable contributor for the Pistons is former Nugget scoring machine Antonio McDyess who unloaded 21 points and pulled down 16 rebounds. Rasheed Wallace was his usual mean self as he scored 14 points on 6 of 9 shooting and also had 5 block shots.

The Celtics Big three was unproductive this time around as they combined for only 43 pts that came from their lackluster 11 for 38 shooting which translates to 28%. Most of their points came from the stripe. The Pistons bodied up on Kevin Garnett as he was held to six points in the first half. Chauncy Billups was “adequate” this time around as he scored 10 points and dished out 7 assists, the same assist total of Hamilton.

The Pistons started like a house on fire as they raced to an early 16-4 lead and the Celtics countered with a run of their own as Paul Pierce scored 7 points to cut the lead to five at the end of the first quarter. Jason Maxiell proved to be the Piston’s sparkplug in the 2nd quarter as he pumped in six of his 14 points to lead the reserves. The Pistons dictated the pace of the game the rest of the way with their signature trapping defense and smooth offense.

Now the Celtics are again pressured to respond with a win in their homecourt. But just they same they achieved their goal by stealing one in Detroit and hopefully win at least two in Boston if the series extends to a seventh game. Stay Tuned for Game 5 on thursday.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Spurs win Game 3 at home

In the Western Conference Finals, Manu Ginobli finally showed up! After being humiliated by the Lakers in a 30 point loss the other day, the Suh-Purs-Star finally rose to the occasion to score 30 pts and lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 103-84 conquest over the favored Los Angeles Lakers. More importantly, the win gave the Spurs breathing room and is back in the series as they trail 1-2 against the Lakers.

From a 30-all stand off in the second quarter, the Spurs used a 19-9 run anchored on the Big 3 to close the first half with a ten point lead 49-39. From that point the Spurs would quell any rally attempt made by Kobe Bryant and the Lakers as the Spurs started the fourth quarter with 10 unanswered points after Jordan Farmar connected on at three. Pau Gasol, who scored 15 points was scoreless in that quarter.

The most telling stat difference was the Field Goal % difference of 51.4% to 42.7 % in favor of the Spurs plus the 47.1 % Free Throw percentage of the Lakers and add to that the assists difference of 22 to 13 in favor of the Spurs again. This shows that the Spurs had better ball movement while the Lakers didn’t distribute that much.

Tim Duncan and Tony Parker supported Ginobli by scoring 22 and 20 points respectively as the Spurs responded with a win in their home court. Duncan also hauled down 21 rebounds and like Parker he also had 5 assists. Kobe Bryant was his usual self scoring 30 points while his supporting cast only had Gasol and Farmar (10pts) score in double figures.

Game 4 would be another crucial one for both teams as the Lakers try to take a 3-1 lead and the Spurs try to defend their home court and make a series out of this one by leveling the count at 2 wins apiece. Lets wait and see.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Ray Allen wasn’t his usual self, Paul Pierce was content in distributing the ball, Kevin Garnett sat out most of the first half after being whistled with two early fouls. The Detroit Pistons suddenly caught fire and unloaded a 13-0 bomb to erase the Celtics early lead. But then again it was just the first quarter. The Boston Celtics, criticized for losing six road games against the No. 8 seeded Atlanta Hawks and the No 4. Cleveland Cavaliers, sent a message to all NBA fans that when the chips are down and everyone saying that the series will be won by the Pistons after stealing one in Boston, The Celtics can win on the road if needed. The Celtics came back to life and showed the stuff reminiscent of their 31 road wins to beat the Detroit Pistons 95-80 and return home court advantage to the Celtics.
After scoring most of the points in their game 2 loss, the Big Three this time showed what the rest of the team is made as the reserves scored 24 points as compared to their paltry game 2 output. After the Pistons regained their bearing in the early minutes to lead 17-15, the Boston reserves starring veteran Sam Casell answered with a 10-0 bomb together with James Posey three pointers. From thereon the Pistons played catch up for the whole game.

There was a lot of reaching in fouls not called plus the physicality and pressure defense of the game but both teams controlled their turnovers and concentrated on their team defense and traps. The only bright spot on the Pistons side was rookie point guard Rodney Stuckey who revived the team when they were down by 24 points to score17 markers which was predicated on three point plays and steals. Just like their game 1 loss, Chauncey Billups was nowhere to be found as he scored just 6 points and was not much of a factor the whole game. Three Pistons scored double figures while six did it for the Celtics.

The confidence of the Celtics is certainly overwhelming, but remember this is a Piston’s team that responds well to debacles like this so expect game 4 to be the big deciding factor of this series. IF the Celtics win again then look for them to get in the finals while a win for the Pistons will definitely make both teams go the distance.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pistons beat Celtics in Game 2

In the NBA Play offs, once a team wins on the road, the series becomes more exciting. Today’s Eastern Conference Finals featuring the Top seeded Boston Celtics and the second seeded Detroit Pistons. Richard Hamilton followed up his game 1 brilliance with another spectacular performance to lead the six Pistons who scored in double figures to beat the Boston Celtics 103-97. Chauncy Billups came back to life to score 19 points after his lethargic first game but more importantly create the needed opportunities for his team mates.

The Pistons used the second quarter as their leverage to build a lead and have the Celtics play catch up. From a 20-all deadlock, Hamilton scattered 11 points through jump shots and runners as the rest of the Pistons ably supported him as they turned a 18-20 deficit to a 50-43 by halftime.

The Pistons were all business as Antonio McDyess dropped 15 points and plucked 8 rebounds, Rasheed Wallace sank 2 triples enroute to a 13 point 10 rebound game. Tayshaun Prince added 14 points and 8 rebounds while special mention also goes to Rodney Stuckey’s 13 points. The Big Three scored heavily with Paul Pierce netting 26 points Ray Allen had 25 pts and Kevin Garnett 24 points and 13 rebounds. Rajon Rondo had a near triple double with 10 pts, 9 Rebonds and 8 assists but was not as effective as what Billups did to his team.

Games 3 and 4 now goes to the Palace of Auburn Hills which will be the big test for the Celtics since they have not yet won on the road in the Playoffs. As loyalists would say, there is always a first time, it happened in this game who knows it might happen in Detroit. Stay Tuned.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Just like the sequel of a monumental blockbuster, all the ingredients of the previous movies were there but was done with a different perspective. As one critic would say it, everything was back there: “the pulpy plot, the sepia maps, the ridiculous bad guys, the cobwebby skeletons, and the cataclysmic, paranormal whirlwind at the climax.” All these ingredients were once again present.

For one, the 2nd World War was over and the movie is set in 1957 many many years after Indy got an autograph from the Fuhrer, but now its the cold war and the dark side is ruled by the Soviets. Just like any Indiana Jones movie, the film starts with an action scene that rocked the movie house. The movie opens in the sweltering heat of the Nevada desert where the Soviets disguised as american soldiers invade the weapons testing site of the USA. Indiana enters from the trunk of a car, exits on a rocket engine and closes out the movie's wildly action packed introduction coming out of a lead refrigerator that plummeted in the air with the mushroom cloud as his background.

In Raiders you saw thousands of snakes, here it was a battalion of giant ants. In the Temple of Doom, there was a will car chase where Short Round seen driving for Indiana, the scene resurfaced with a little twist of fencing. In the last Crusade Indy had to go through a maze of clues to get to the Holy Grail which is also seen here when Indy got through the clues laid down enroute to the climax of the movie.

My favorite character is Oscar winner Cate Blanchett who plays the Soviet Agent Irina Spalko. In Elizabeth she was the Queen with the British accent, now she portrays her character with a strong Ukranian accent that fits her role to the letter It’s as if she is really a Soviet.

In the end I all was simply very predictable, all I was waiting for was for Sigourney Weaver to come out. But then again the method by which everything was presented is what made the movie very exciting. I think no one plays Henry Jones Jr. or Indiana Jones better than Harrison Ford and unsatisfied as I may sound, the movie is still worth watching.

Mhel Garrido watching the movie Indiana Jones (picture above)
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