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Mavericks broke the hearts of Miami’s Filipino fans


PhilBoxing.com




Instead of the “Big 3,” it was the “Big D” that dominated the just-ended NBA Finals with German superstar Dirk Nowitzki showing to all and sundry that you don’t need a “super” team to win a championship.

The Dallas Mavericks are the new NBA champions, proving to everybody, or almost everybody, wrong. And that includes majority of the Filipinos who picked the star-studded Miami Heat, who had LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, two of the most exciting players to have played the game, not to mention Chris Bosh.

And for sentimental reasons as well; the Heat from Biscayne Beach has a half-Filipino coach in Erik Spoelstra.

Coach Ryan Gregorio of the Meralco ballclub in the PBA, Asia’s first professional league, hit it right on the head when he said, by way of commenting on the Mavs’ title conquest: “The hype that the Big 3 (James, Wade and Bosh) generated all throughout turned out to be their ultimate downfall.”

“The pressure that they experienced was so overwhelming that they automatically succumbed,” Gregorio added in reference to what was expected of coach Spo’s boys to accomplish since LBJ made his decision to abandon Cleveland and join Wade and Bosh – win an NBA crown.

The boyish-looking bench tactician even blurted a suggestion, saying, “the formula is simple, get players who are willing to sacrifice individual glory for the benefit of the team goals. Dallas magnified this all season long. Truly, it was an inspiring victory for the Dallas mavericks.”

Sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan, Gregorio’s boss in the MVP Group of Companies, agreed wholeheartedly. “Ouch, That was painful! Got burned by the Heat,” Pangilinan, MVP to the sports and business world who was among the multitude who chose the Heat to emerge victors,said in a statement that had a wide range of meaning.

Gregorio’s and MVP’s assessments drew concurrence to a very few that placed their money on the Mavs in a pre-title series poll conducted by Malaya Business Insight – former Manila Congressman Harry Angping, former PBA commissioner Sonny Barrios, Philippine Olympic Committee vice president Manny Lopez, Dante Silverio, owner-coach of the now-defunct Toyota ballclub and former player and now Amateur Softball Association secretary general Danny Francisco.

And so did pro-Mavs ex-Far Eastern University coach Glen Capacio, Air 21 assistant manager Allan Gregorio and journalists Tessa Jasminez, Barbette Atienza, Nick Giongco and Benjie Santiago, who all predicted Dallas to win in Game 6.

Like Pangilinan, those who joined the pre-series Heat bandwagon – vice president Jojo Binay, PBA greats Alvin Patrimonio, Allan Caidic, Abe King, Atoy Co, former Pasig City Mayor Mario Raymundo, Philippine Olympians Association head Art Macapagal,TV-5 CEO Bobby Barreiro, former world boxing champion Gerry Penalosa and national dragon boat coach Nestor Ilagan – rued the Heat’s loss although expressing happiness for the Mavs, particularly Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and Jason Terry.

Coaches Jong Uichico of Barangay Ginebra and Norman Black of Ateneo, Elmer Yanga, team manager of the now-defunct RFM Corp. franchise, and Rain or Shine mainstay Gabe Norwood, likewise, joined Dallas’ celebration, but condoled in the loss of Spoelstra, whose Filipino blood came from mother Elisa hails from San Pablo City in Laguna.

Veteran sports scribes Jimmy Cantor, sports editor of Malaya Business Insight, Abante columnist Al Mendoza, Philippine Star Columnist Quinito Henson, Manila Standard’s Anthony Suntay, Marc Reyes of the Inquirer and Abac Cordero of the Star, Meralco assistant coach Boyet Fernandez, marketing man Reli de Leon , “We were tricked into believing Miami had ‘Big 3’, what they had was ‘Big Tricked’ pala,” Mendoza.

For International Olympic Committee representative to the Philippines Frank Elizalde, Dallas victory was “good for the old men.”


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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