(Hello, fellow hoops-crazy fan! In line with the upcoming FIBA-Asia Championship here in Manila FHM.com.ph will be releasing a series of stories designed to, well, get you more excited for these two weeks of international basketball and to make you the best bball-info-equipped bro at the inuman! Happy reading and Go Gilas Pilipinas!)
Basketball is a team sport, and we here at FHM really put a premium on teamwork (and not just in a ménage a trios). A cohesive unit will always be better than a star-centric one. Hear that, Carmelo Anthony? But at the same time, there will always be a standout in a team. The New York Yankees has Derek Jeter, The Avengers has Captain America (or Iron Man or Thor—let's not fight about this fellow geeks), N*SYNC had Justin Timberlake, and the Sexbomb Girls had Rochelle Pangilinan (and the shapely hips of Jopay Paguia).
The 15 competing teams in this year’s FIBA-Asia Championship are no exception to this. They all have players who are just more entertaining and more exciting to watch. Their physical assets, personality, and sheer individual greatness make their respective teams extra special.
That said, we've decided to list 15 local guys who should be intriguing to watch in the upcoming tournament, which will start on August 1. With the biennial tournament being held in our country for the first time in 40 years, this list serves as your first glimpse to exactly what kind of basketball players will descend upon Manila.
Again: This list is exclusively about the homegrown players, and we’ll have a separate one for the naturalized guys. We ranked them based on their matter of significance, just because we want to make it harder for ourselves. Let’s count ‘em down.
15. BADER MALABES - BAHRAIN
Age: 26 yrs. old
2011 FIBA-Asia Ave: 14.5 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 4.0 APG
Yes, he’s that trigger-happy guard who played for La Salle a couple of years ago and earned the distinction of being the Most Hated Player in Taft. But just when you thought his career was over, he found a home in, well, his home country. In the 2011 FIBA-Asia, he led Bahrain in scoring with 14.5 PPG—good for ninth in the tournament! Can you believe it? He couldn’t even crack the Top 30 in the UAAP! Clearly, there are other better players than him, but he’ll be more fascinating to watch because we sort of know him.