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Endings and beginnings

Even as we continue to live in this time of a worldwide pandemic, what is good is the world of sports is beginning to awake.

Fact is, there are events here and abroad that have concluded, at the same time that there are those that have just begun.

For women’s volleyball, the Philippines sent two teams, REBISCO and Choco Mucho to the Asian Women’s Club Volleyball championship in Thailand. The teams were composed of young and veteran players in the running for slots in the national team for the Asian championship.

But just as the competition there has moved to the next phase, both our teams have ended their participation after losing all their games in their respective groups, just to show you the high level of play in the tournament.

Fans were naturally disappointed, hoping for maybe slots in the next phase. But then, on my side, I was not really surprised. Just look at the world rankings in volleyball and you will know what I mean about the disparity in reality against the fans’ expectations.

The national women’s  team is a work in progress right now. It will take time, but the realistic side of me will still ask, why have we not moved up to now at the international level? Enough said.

There is a similarity in women’s basketball. We sent our Gilas team to Jordan for the FIBA-Asia Women’s Cup.

The result? We retained our slot in the Group A side in Asia after beating India in our very last game, all the other games the girls played, we lost by wide margins. But then again, look at the world-ranked countries in the field, most of them are in the Top 10 in the Tokyo Olympics.

What is the point? Both women’s volleyball and basketball are in the same boat as far as preparation and training of the team are concerned. The advantage of women’s volleyball, though, is its big fan base compared to women’s basketball.

Which is also why volleyball had commercial leagues in the past, while basketball still has to move off the ground for its own commercial league.

Leaving the distaff side of the sports, the NBA  has just started its pre-season games, with seeded teams Los Angeles Lakers facing off against the Brooklyn Nets.

Unfortunately, both teams opted to rest their big guns, and with the recent revamp and buildup by the Lakers, the result was a lopsided victory for the Nets.

But I agree with the predictions. On paper, these two teams should be up there, ahead even of the defending champion Mikwaukee Bucks and last season’s runner up the Atlanta Hawks.

But the NBA deserves a full piece just to dissect and discuss the different contenders and the player trades that happened, a lot of them major trades, with some, like Ben Simmons, still a question mark.

Back to the local scene in basketball, the PBA has ended its quarterfinals and just started its semifinal series for the remaining four teams.

TNT and super team San Miguel Beer are facing each other, and if Game 1 is the basis, with the former edging out the Beermen by a single point, fans are in for a close series. But I will say, too, that the Beermen can blow out TNT in the remaining games and reach the finals anew.

The other semifinal series, also featuring an MVP Group versus San Miguel Corporation faceoff, has Magnolia squaring off against Meralco, with the SMC team taking Game 1.

But just like the NBA, I believe the subject deserves a longer dissertation. Looking at the odds and again, the “who will win-who will lose” guessing game.

By the time you read this, it is either the teams that won Game 1 will be up 2-0, or the losing teams have evened up the best-of-seven series. My wild guesses, the Beermen will tie the series, while Magnolia will be up 2-0.

I am not betting any money, though, on these “fearful” predictions, okay?

Topics: Lito Cinco , women’s volleyball , REBISCO , Choco Mucho , Asian Women’s Club Volleyball championship , Thailand
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