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Firstly, it is fervently wished Talk N Text’s Jeth Troy Rosario gets to fully recover from his injuries and get back to the hardcourt the soonest 100% healthy.
According to TNT Team Manager Gabby Cui, Rosario suffered spinal shock that caused him to feel only 70% sensation on his left leg and an open finger dislocation that may may need surgery.
That being said, this mentality the PBA carries, that of making the game more physical to make fan experience better, admittedly has its pros and cons.
Yet, this style of play takes again another toll. The bad kind. It happens the most exciting player in the 2021 Philippine Cup finals was almost taken out of commission, possibly for a long period, by a silly foul in the name of physicality.
This is crap. Just when Rosario is beginning to create a vibe similar to Japeth Aguilar’s.
Troy Rosario was on track to lead the next big things; hopefully, he still is
It was noticeable some of the Philippines’ best basketball players are starting to get it. A lot started creating their own personal brand and display unique skills at a rate more than what they normally do. These caused eyes of multiple basketball leagues notice Pinoy cagers.
The fact that the Japan B. League came calling and signed a good number of current and future Filipino superstars is a testament to this fact.
The Philippine Basketball Association and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas might not like it but this talent exodus might be something they have to live with and adjust to from this point onwards.
In the end, it’s for the benefit of the viewing public. If every players starts to improve their skills on a personal level, it will redound to the players, teams and the leagues. Really, because better skills attract more viewers, thus, more income opportunities from viewership, bigger payday for parties involved.
And Troy Rosario, intentionally or not, is currently leading the charge to empower the remaining players to greater heights.
In this regard, allow me dear readers to tell you of a saying I heard from Filipino basketball coaches in the past: “Mag layup ka. Hindi three points ang dunk, baka ma injure ka pa!” [Just lay it up. A dunk is not worth three points, you might even get injured!]
I’m not disputing that. That is, of course, statistically true. And getting injured in the name of showmanship is indeed a bad choice.
But strictly imposing that on players is also selfish. To the players, fans, and team.
This mentality is limiting players to reap maximum rewards of their potential, fans to enjoy their favorites, and teams to build a lasting loyal fan base.
It is because sports is still entertainment and entertainment is more than just winning games. Its filling stadiums and increasing viewers of games.
Letting a player who can dunk or who can consistently connect a shot from half court do those things during an actual game can accomplish these.
Can we use our imagination for a minute and picture what twist could occur in the careers of Terrence Romeo or Paul Lee if they can dunk…
Or June Mar Fajardo or Ranidel de Ocampo’s if they can dunk over defenders…
Or Japeth Aguilar, JC Intal, or KG Caneleta’s if they have a consistent long range shot…
So Rosario starting to exhibit dunks during breakaways more often is now adding another layer to his arsenal. This will definitely do nothing but increase the stock of Rosario.
Let’s go, Troy! Many will surely love to see you do more of that stuff. It doesn’t hurt anybody if you also dunk over a defender please? Not even the defender. Don’t forget to continue sinking those threes and defend opponents with import characteristics too.
And hopefully, he’ll aim high. Gilas will be all over him after this showing. But if his considering to play abroad, he should not settle for Japan, Australia or Europe. He’s got an NBA body and a skill set suited for a swingman in that league. NBA scouts can now watch anybody play through the internet, you know.
Personally, I like to see him just improve his skill set as much as he can, always display the result in the games he plays, and let the chips roll where they may. Many might be pessimistic about this statement but I truly believe Rosario could be the answer to who will be the first homegrown talent to play in the NBA.
Not to be forgotten, acts like Rosario’s tenacious attacks to the rim will help the PBA manage a possible talent drain and a diminishing audience interest in games due to the imbalance of teams and lack of talent display.
The NBA gets this concept. It now protects superstars from getting unnecessary injuries because they are just different form the rest. It understands general fans will not watch Golden State without Stephen Curry or the Brooklyn Nets without Kevin Durant.
Dunking, shooting half court shots, and displaying handles will make games enjoyable to watch. Even in blowouts. That is why every remnant who making the game fan-friendly with showmanship will greatly help the PBA be around.
At the end of the day, sayings that a dunk and a layup is worth two points and a 25-foot and a half-court shot is both worth three are absolute truths as far as the scoreboard is concerned.
But to say that they are true in all aspects is totally false.
And to say the difference is negligible is an extreme understatement.
Fans will always love to watch dunkers, or long distance bombers or ankle breakers with nasty handles and the like more than those who just go along the motion.
Rosario being almost unavailable for the rest of the finals, and even beyond, due to an unnecessary foul just dampens the viewing experience.
I will take Jackson Corpuz to his word that he did not intend to commit the lousy foul. But that doesn’t give him the excuse for the damages the costly foul has done.
If forced to weigh, do you think there would be something good coming out in general if Magnolia wins a championship at the expense of the losing of Rosario for a lengthy period?
To respond, imagine watching the same teams TNT and Magnolia continue battling without Rosario, Mikey Williams, Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang… It does not provide the same viewing experience, right?
It’s not just about the teams, it’s both about the players and the teams composing an entire league.
Believe me, it would be more beneficial to Corpuz, Magnolia, the PBA and SBP if Rosario will be playing healthy, stuffing the ball through the net while he is still playing in Philippine shores.
Just like TNT should salivate battling Lee who lets go of those long triples that consistently bite the rim.
By Armando M. Bolislis
Photo from PBA Images