So yeah, another year ends in my journey. April 30has come again on the calendar sheets, and I usher in a brand new year of this journey called LIFE.

As the title states, I’m already 19 years old starting today. Well, this April 30 was a bit different than in previous years. In the past couple of years, I threw parties for all my close PEEPS. However, this year I spent my whole day with my entire family. Since I‘m saving my party money for the NBA game this October here in the Philippines. Because my team, the Houston Rockets will be playing in that game against the Indiana Pacers.

We went to SM North EDSA to have my birthday lunch at Shakey’s. Well, I didn’t ask for their birthday choir which they do on birthdays of people who dine on all their branches nationwide. Afterwards, we went buying a few clothing. Then before we went back home for the rest of the day. We bought some desserts like pastillas, brownies and ice cream to enjoy for the rest of the day. It’s a shame though I wasn’t able to take photos along the way since our camera has been lost and we can’t find it along our home for the past month. Though I didn’t get to spend it with other people in person, it was worth spending time with my family on my day. Add to that, I got a nice birthday win from the Houston Rockets as they won Game 4 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Playoffs 105-103 to keep their season alive. I was watching the game until halftime, but I had to bail out since we had to go on that trip for lunch. At least, they got the win and no brooms were sweeping on my birthday.

I’ll take this moment to thank those who remembered my birthday with all the greetings and best wisheson Facebook & Twitter, as well as those who texted my phone for their well wishes. You all have played a part in my life and I’m always thankful to each and every one of you. One thing that made my day is that I was greeted by my “crush” as well as a good old friend of mine. It truly made my day even special. Sorry I can’t throw a party this year because like I said earlier, I‘m saving for the game. I hope I can throw one next year as I finish the mission which is to graduate.

Of course, I’ll thank my familyfor always being there for me in my life from the start until the very end. Finally, I thank God that I made it through another year of my life, and I’ll always look up to you every step in my life. I’m hopeful that this year will be filled with a lot of blessings.

Danke! Merci! Thank You! Salamat!
19 years on, I still got a lot to prove.

"Texas Sized Sweep" in Hollywood.

In a battle of two of the most decorated and battled tested teamsin the Western Conference. The team from the Lone Star Statedealt a sweepon the team wearing the purple and gold for the second time in three seasons. As the steady San Antonio Spurs knocked off a injury-riddled Los Angeles Lakers out of the playoffs in a sweep to advance to the second round.

 Photos ©NBA
The Lakers dealt with a lot of injury issues throughout their short playoff run this season as they lost the big star in Kobe Bryant to a knee injury prior to the start of the playoffs. But it wasn’t only Vino who got the injury bug as almost every Laker player went through injuries throughout the season from Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Metta World Peace, Jodie Meeks to name some on a season where expectations on this star-studded lineup were very high and unfortunately, ends up on a massive tail-spin which will be remembered for many years to come. Last time the Lakers got swept in the playoffs was 2 years back when another Texas team, the Dallas Mavericks took them out in the second round on their way to the NBA championship. However the difference this year is that the Spurs swept the Lakers on the road. Unlike the Mavericks who swept the Lakers on their home floor.
The steady Spurs took out the Lakers by a margin of almost 19 points a game. Led by their veteran triumvirateof Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. The healthier Spurs took full advantage of the Lakers’ injury woes. Including two huge road victoriesto wrap the series. The Spurs also enjoy a huge supporting cast featuring Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Gary Neal, and Matt Bonner to name a few. Of course, directed by their long-time head coach Gregg Popovich. The Spurs are poised to put their six year Finals absence behind them and win it all as their Drive for Five continues.
The Spurs will face the winner of the series between the Denver Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors.
As for the Lakers, there are a ton of questionscoming up for them in the off-season as Dwight Howard will be a free agent this season. As well as a ton of players on the trading block and who knows what may happen to head coach Mike D’Antoni during the off-season.
Now here are the scores from all games of the series:
GAME 1 @ San Antonio: Lakers 79-91 Spurs
Lakers leaders:
Points: Howard 20, Nash 16, Gasol 16

Rebounds: Gasol 16, Howard 15, World Peace 6
Assists: Gasol 6, Nash 3, Blake 3

Spurs leaders:
Points: Parker 18, Ginobili 18, Duncan 17

Rebounds: Leonard 11, Duncan 10, Bonner 5
Assists: Parker 8, Splitter 4, Ginobili 3

GAME 2 @ San Antonio: Lakers 91-102 Spurs

Lakers leaders:
Points: Howard 16, Blake 16, Gasol 13, World Peace 13
Rebounds: Howard 9, Gasol 9, Blake 6
Assists: Nash 6, Gasol 4

Spurs leaders: 
Points: Parker 28, Duncan 16, Leonard 16
Rebounds: Leonard 7, Duncan 5, Ginobili 5, Bonner 5
Assists: Parker 7, Ginobili 7

GAME 3 @ Los Angeles: Spurs 120-89 Lakers

Spurs leaders:
Points: Duncan 26, Parker 20, Blair 13
Rebounds: Duncan 9, Blair 7, Splitter 6
Assists: Parker 7, Green 4, Joseph 4

Lakers leaders:
Points: Howard 25, Morris 24, Goudelock 20
Rebounds: Gasol 13, Howard 11, Hill 5
Assists: Gasol 10, Morris 5

GAME 4 @ Los Angeles: Spurs 103-82 Lakers

Spurs leaders:

Points: Parker 23, Leonard 13, Blair 13
Rebounds: Leonard 7, Duncan 6, Green 5, Blair 5
Assists: Ginobili 6, Joseph 6, Parker 4

Lakers leaders:
Points: Gasol 16, Goudelock 14, Jamison 12
Rebounds: Gasol 8, Howard 8, Clark 6
Assists: Duhon 7, Morris 6, Gasol 5

Spurs win series 4-0


The Champs just "Sweep the Deer"

Well, in what I will say as the most lopsided matchup I have ever seen in the NBA Playoffs. It’s the defending champions + best team in the NBA this season against a team who made it to the playoffs with a losing record. The defending champions proved to be too much for these “Young Deers” as the Miami Heat will continue their quest for a repeat as they knock off the Milwaukee Bucks in a sweep to advance to the second round.

 Photos ©NBA
The Bucks fought hard in this series as they kept it close against the Heat fueled by the bold statement guard Brandon Jennings gave prior to the playoffs, in which he said that they will knock the champions out of the first round. Well, last season, the 8th-seed in the East Philadelphia 76ers knocked off the top-seeded Chicago Bulls in six games, as the Bulls who lost Derrick Rose to a torn ACL in their Game 1 victory was never the same team that topped the NBA afterwards. The Sixers would have a nice battle in Round 2 against the Boston Celtics, they took them to 7 games before losing on the road. Unfortunately for Jennings and the Bucks, his statements backfired and the Heat just swept them out of the playoffs with big margins averaging almost 15 points a game.
LeBron James has been on a tear for the Heat, leading their chase for the repeat as he is well on his way to winning his 4th MVP Title and a second back-to-back after doing it with his old team, the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2009 and 2010. The spotlight may be on him, but he’s getting help with the rest of the infamous but star-studded trio of Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. As well as the rest of the roster from Ray Allen, Chris Andersen, Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Udonis Haslem to name a few. The Heat are a well-oiled machine and still the favorites to represent the East in the NBA Finals this season.
The Heat will face the winner of the series between the Brooklyn Nets and the Chicago Bulls in the second round. (As of the time of this writing, the Bulls lead the series 3-1, with Game 5 coming up tomorrow in Brooklyn).
As for the Bucks, they picked up hard lessons from this series. Especially on a season of transition as they switched coaches from Scott Skiles to Jim Boylan (which happened before in Chicago). They are one of the youngest teams in the NBA and still have a lot of room to grow in the years to come.
Now here are the scores for all games of the series:
GAME 1 @ Miami: Bucks 87-110 Heat
Bucks leaders:
Points: Jennings 26, Ellis 22
Rebounds: Ilyasova 6, Sanders 5, Henson 5
Assists: Ellis 3, Redick 3
Heat leaders:
Points: James 27, Allen 20, Wade 16
Rebounds: James 10, Bosh 7, Andersen 7
Assists: James 8, Wade 5
GAME 2 @ Miami: Bucks 86-98 Heat

Bucks leaders:
Points: Ilyasova 21, Dunleavy Jr 16, Sanders 14
Rebounds: Ilyasova 6, Sanders 6, Dunleavy Jr 6
Assists: Jennings 5, Ellis 5, Dunleavy Jr 5
Heat leaders:
Points: Wade 21, James 19
Rebounds: James 8, Bosh 6, Haslem 6, Andersen 6
Assists: James 6, Allen 4, Wade 3
GAME 3 @ Milwaukee: Heat 104-91 Bucks
Heat leaders:
Points: Allen 23, James 22, Bosh 16
Rebounds: Bosh 14, Wade 9, Andersen 6
Assists: Wade 11, Chalmers 8, James 6
Bucks leaders:
Points: Jennings 16, Sanders 16, Ilyasova 15
Rebounds: Sanders 11, Ilyasova 8, Mbah a Moute 6
Assists: Jennings 8, Ellis 6, Ilyasova 4
GAME 4 @ Milwaukee: Heat 88-77 Bucks

Heat leaders:
Points: James 30, Allen 16, Haslem 13
Rebounds: James 8, Chalmers 8, Allen 7
Assists: James 7, Chalmers 6, Miller 4
Heat win series 4-0

Back when OPM had a life of it’s own.

When I was browsing through my music playlist on my PC and on the iPod, I noticed most of my OPM (Original Pinoy Music) songs were from either the 90’s or the early 2000’s, with a small touch from the old classics of Apo Hiking Society and a few songs made in the late 2000’s. It made me think, how come I‘m not downloading much OPM songs today as I was before.

Well, OPM music has changed over the times. One thing I can’t get enough of OPM music on the playlist I have is the message of the songs in which some I can relate to in my life. Take for example, the late great “King of Rap” Francis Magalonaand his song “Kaleidoscope World” which shows that we live in a world full of color, both good and bad. Let us also not forget that he is a patriotic person in his songs from hits like “Mga Kababayan Ko, “Ito Ang Gusto Koand “Man from Manila”. Come and think of it also, his raps were clean and really sends a great message and an inspiration to many who have come to listen to their hits. He may have passed away, but his hits will live on many Filipinos for many years to come.

Francis M

Also, I’m a huge Parokya ni Edgar fan because their songs talk about life itself. Take for example “Harana” which talks about how Filipino men of the time woo a lady through singing to the tune of their guitars in front of the lady’s house. “Buloy” which talks about the everyday hardships of the average Filipino. Sayang” which talks about missing the opportunity to get the right person in life. “Barkada” which talks about the features of a tightly knit friendship with a bunch of people with different upbringings in life. As well as “Halaga” which talks about the importance of taking care of a good lady in life.

Parokya ni Edgar

Well, you don’t know Filipino music if you haven’t heard about the Eraserheads, dubbed as “The Beatles of the Philippines” for bringing songs that go straight to every Filipino. From their hits “Ang Huling El Bimbo”, “Alapaap”, “Tindahan ni Aling Nena“, “Toyang”, “Magasin” and a ton of others over their years as a band from the 1990s until they disbanded in the early 2000s.

There have been a lot of other noteworthy bands to include like Rivermaya, Hale, Cueshe, Sponge Cola, Sandwich, Bamboo, Kamikazee, 6 Cycle Mind, Silent Sanctuary who have also made great hits which can relate to a ton of people who have listen to their songs. Even with the changing times, I still listen to their hits, because they gave me a lot of inspiration to live my life to the fullest and brought me a lot of lessons about everyday life. Finally, one thing I like about those songs is that they came out of the blue and when the people behind those songs thought about it when they least expected.
Which brings me to the question, how come I’m not into OPM songs which come out at the present time? Unfortunately on my part, I don’t like watching music channels anymore because most of the times, they’ll put up a ton of Korean songs which I’m not into that much, unlike most people do nowadays. Right now, it’s unfortunate that if you’re going to be a singer here in the country, you must have the looks and the flair, while they don’t touch a lot on the music and the message of each song, which is a hit on the face on my end. Especially, music on my part, motivates and drives me to get better in life. Also, most Filipino singers nowadays just do covers of songs, and if they do come off with an original composition, it would not have a deep and strong message to show to the people. Don’t forget, there is no day here in the Philippines when the people do not put those people on the “Trending Topics” list on Twitter, not only here in the Philippines, but also Worldwide which can be somewhat an eyesore for some people including myself.
I remember Ogie Alcasid who is an advocate of OPM music. It’s good to see people still advocating the best of OPM music has to offer. I admire his passion and patriotic ideals in promoting Filipino music not only to Filipinos but also to other walks of life. However, nowadays based on the songs of the present OPM scene. It can be an eyesore and definitely not worth listening to on the radio, computer or mp3 players. However, these things can all change if the current artists can go back to the roots of OPM music in order to make hits that will touch a lot of Filipinos here and abroad.
As I wrap this entry up, I like to thank my buddy Sam for giving me the inspiration to write this entry today. It was all worth the talk we had last night about these things and I hope to see you around very soon. I hope the inspiration I gave you will be good for you to write your own blog like mine, and don’t forget to hook me up when you’re blog is live and kickin’
OPM will always be a part of every Filipino’s life

My homies for life.

Yesterday, I spent time with the MERALCO PEEPS on the birthday of one of our own, Gelo. Where for the last three years has been the unofficial” reunion party of the entire troupe. However, unlike previous years. Not every one was there as most of the troupe were having jobs during the summer time. It all happened in the afternoon at Dulcinea in Tomas Morato as we joined the other guests from his Thomasian friends (we‘re both in UST, but on different programs), and his family.

We spent time catching up with what‘s happening with our lives. Even to the point, we rant on each other including how I‘m always left out of the picture or the other things we pick on with someone from our troupe. It proves that sometimes, people never change. Even with all that’s been happening in our own lives since we took our own paths in college, the feeling is still the same. I got to admit, I was mostly silent for most of the afternoon. Because, I don’t have much stories to tell I have to say. Still, I’m always thankful to have them as company.

Photo ©Aldrin Dayauon

It was only for a short amount of time though as we never went way further into the night since we went our separate ways into the night. It made me think about next year when I hope to bring them in on my birthday and do something about it. I won’t do it this year though since like I‘ve been saying time and time again. I’m saving up on the ticket for the Rockets-Pacers pre-season game this October.

So once again, I‘ll thank the birthday dude Gelo for having us over again on his birthday this year. As well as to the MERALCO PEEPS who were there: Aldrin (the orginizer” as he created the event page on Facebook), JL, Quinn, Edison, Nur, Josh, Philip, Airam, Jolly and Siops. I hope to see you guys again soon as well as the other MERALCO PEEPS who weren’t with us yesterday.

Thankful for these great men.

Back in the PLAYOFFS for Red Nation.

 Photo ©facebook.com/houstonrockets

After three seasons of settling forwinning seasons but only good fort 9th place in the Western Conference standings. Red Nation, the Houston Rockets are back in the NBA Playoffs, and yeah as a member of Red Nation for over 10 years now since a 7’6” center from China named Yao Ming joined the Rockets and with the players that have come and go like Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley, Tracy McGrady, Shane Battier, Rafer Alston, Luis Scola, Kyle Lowryand Kevin Martin to name some, I’m excited to blog about the Rockets’ playoff run this year. Though there‘s the huge possibility it will be a short one. However, it‘s been four years since I wrote about the Rockets in the playoffs. I‘m gonna make this count.

In the First Round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs, the Rockets are seeded #8 in the Western Conference after suffering a final game defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers in L.A. to bump up to #7 in the standings. The loss still bites me, especially I suffered the wrath of rants by the Laker Nation here in the Philippines. Anyway, they will face the reigning Western Conference Champions and this year’s top seed in the West, the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It will be a fun matchup as last season’s Sixth Man of the Year and now the face of the franchise in James Harden will battle his former teamin the Thunderwhich are led by his  good ol’ buddies and co-Olympic gold medalists in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The spotlight may be on these three men. However, there is more to this match-up as both teams are two of the highest scoring teams in the NBA this season and both teams have very young rosters.The Thunder will have an advantage defensively as they are second in field goal defensebehind the Indiana Pacers and have more playoff experience than the Rockets. The Rockets will look to use their high-pace offense where they light up the scoreboard every game and look to make use of theirthree-point as they are among the league leaders in three points made as a team in the NBA.

The focus of this series may be the matchup between Harden vs Durant and Westbrook. But there are other players on both sides to watch out for.

For the Rockets, the first man to watch out is Jeremy Lin which will get a taste of the playoffs for the first time in his young but already storied NBA career, as he was unable to play for the Knicks during the playoffs with an injury, Lin played all 82 games this season as the starting point guard and has put up decent numbers, though a little low than his Linsanity numbers, he’s gotten better defensively as his steals went up and his turnovers went down. Also taking a first taste of the playoffs would be sophomore forward Chandler Parsons who is the only guy left from the Rockets roster last season, Parsons is the second best scorer for the Rockets after Harden and will be a factor for the Rockets chances in the playoffs. Omer Asik, one of the league‘s top rebounders has playoff experience, however his minutes were limited in Chicago serving as the backup center for the Bulls to Joakim Noah. Now, he’ll get starters minutes in the playoffs as the starting center of the Rockets. The rest of the Rocketsare making their first playoff appearance with the exceptions of Carlos Delfino, Francisco Garcia, James Anderson and a relic from the Rockets 2009 playoff run in one-time Most Improved Player Awardee Aaron Brooks who was instrumental in the Rockets playoff push in that season.

As for the Thunder, they’ll be looking to get back to the NBA Finals after a bitter conclusion last season at the hands of the Miami Heat. Aside from Durant and Westbrook, Serge Ibaka who has improved offensively to complement his great defense will also play a part in the Thunder’s playoff push. Harden’s replacement as The Sixth Man in OKC Kevin Martin will be the X-Factor for the Thunder as he has a polished offensive game but with a significant letdown on his defensive game. The Thunder will also look at Thabo Sefolosha and Ronnie Brewer who are two great wing defenders in the NBA today.

Season series recap: Thunder wins series 2-1
*Dates in Philippine time

Game 1, November 29, 2012: Rockets 98-120 Thunder
HOU: Points: Patterson 27, Rebounds: Asik 12, Assists: Lin 8
OKC: Points: Durant 37, Rebounds: Ibaka 9, Assists: Westbrook 9

Game 2, December 30, 2012: Thunder 124-94 Rockets
OKC: Points: Westbrook 28, Rebounds: Ibaka & Collison 10, Assists: Westbrook 8
HOU: Points: Harden 25, Rebounds: Asik & Smith 8, Assists: Lin 7

Game 3, February 21, 2013: Thunder 119-122 Rockets
OKC: Points: Westbrook & Sefolosha 28, Rebounds: Durant 12, Assists: Durant 11
HOU: Points: Harden 46, Rebounds: Asik 10, Assists: Lin 7

Series schedule:
Game 1: Rockets at Thunder, April 22, 9:30 am PHT

Game 2: Rockets at Thunder, April 25, 7:00 am PHT
Game 3: Thunder at Rockets, April 28, 9:30 am PHT
Game 4: Thunder at Rockets, April 30, TBD (Birthday game)
Game 5: Rockets at Thunder, May 2, TBD*
Game 6: Thunder at Rockets, May 4, TBD*
Game 7: Rockets at Thunder, May 6, TBD* 

This will be a fun series between the two high octane teams. I’ve been reading through the web about how this series will go. Majority will say the Thunder will win in 5 games. It’s true to say that the Rockets will be the underdogs in this series, because of the fact that the Thunder has more playoff experience and has better defense. However, despite all of these things and pundit talk about the playoffs, I’ll keep on rooting for the Rockets, as well in the history I have of being an NBA fan, most of the times, I eventually root for the underdog. Dating back in 2009 when the Rockets battled the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. Most people were rooting for the then Brandon Roy led Trail Blazers squad to win over the Rockets. However, the Rockets would take the series in 6 games which included a Game 1 victory in Portland which is also a tough city for opposing teams and it was the first time the franchise got out of Round 1 since 1997. So yeah, all I can do now is hope for the best and hopefully this will be a great series.

In victory or defeat, Red Nation for life!

The season is over for 14 teams, the other 16, welcome to the Playoffs.

It’s all over, ladies and gentlemen. The 2012-13 NBA regular season has come to an end, and for 14 teams who didn’t made it to the next stage of the season namely the Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings (who may have played their final season in Sacramento as the battle between the city and Seattle wages on), New Orleans Hornets (who will be renamed the Pelicans next year)and the Phoenix Suns out West. Out East,these are the Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, Cleveland Cavaliers, Charlotte Bobcats and the Orlando Magic. Their off-season begins today and would have to go through the draft lottery. Before we go further, here is a final look of the standings at the end of the regular season:

Western Conference:
1. THUNDER (60-22)
2. SPURS (58-24)
3. NUGGETS (57-25)
4. CLIPPERS (56-26)
5. GRIZZLIES (56-26)
6. WARRIORS (47-35)
7. LAKERS (45-37)
8. ROCKETS (45-37)
9. Jazz (43-39)
10. Mavericks (41-41)
11. Trail Blazers (33-49)
12. Timberwolves (31-51)
13. Kings (28-54)
14. Hornets (27-55)
15. Suns (25-57)

Eastern Conference:
1. HEAT (66-16)
2. KNICKS (54-48)
3. PACERS (49-32)*
4. NETS (49-33)
5. BULLS (45-37) 
6. HAWKS (44-38)
7. CELTICS (41-40)*
8. BUCKS (39-43)
9. 76ers (34-48)
10. Raptors (34-48)
11. Pistons (29-53)
12. Wizards (29-53)
13. Cavaliers (24-58)
14. Bobcats (21-61)
15. Magic (20-62)

*The April 16 (April 17 PHT) game between the Pacers and Celtics from the TD Garden was canceled following the tragic events that happened in Boston. Thus both teams, only played 81 games for the regular season.

As for the 16 teams that remain, their season continues with the 2013 NBA Playoffs where at the end of it all, two teams(one each from the West and East)will advance to play in the NBA Finals this June. We got some exciting first round matchupsthis season on both sides of the association.

Photo ©NBA.com

In the Western Conference, it will be the reigning Western Conference Champions and the best team in the conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder going up against the 8th seeded Houston Rockets. As former Sixth Man of the Year awardee and the NBA‘s 5th leading scorerJames Harden leads the Rockets back into the Playoffs for the first time since 2009 together with his new buddies in Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons and the rest of the high-scoring young guns from Clutch City. Harden and the Rocketswill battle against his former teammates in former three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and the rest of these young but battle-tested crew from Loud City in what will be a battle between two of the youngest teams in the NBA.

Next, it will be a battle between the two most decorated franchises in the Western Conference as the second seeded Southwest Division champions San Antonio Spurs battle the seventh seeded Los Angeles Lakers in a matchup that would have been perfect in the second round or the West Finals. As Tim Duncanwill once again lead these wily and battle tested veterans namely Manu Ginobili, Stephen Jackson, Danny Green, Tracy McGrady and the rest of the guys from the Alamo City to another shot at an NBA title, but that will not be easy as they will go to war against a team where most people who are into basketball would say the “deadliest” lower seed in NBA history as they face the Lakers who despite losing their superstar and the heart of their franchisein Kobe Bryant still pack a punch with Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and the rest of the men from Tinseltownare still a force to be reckoned with in the NBA Playoffs and can pull of massive upsets.

Also, in an interesting matchup, it will be the third seeded Denver Nuggets going up against the sixth seeded Golden State Warriors, as it will be a battle of two different styles of play with the Nuggets led by Ty Lawson and Andre Iguodala playing a balanced attack combined with plenty of athleticism as these men from the Mile High City will also enjoy an impeckable homecourt advantage with the high-altitude in Denver which has been a nightmare for visiting teams. But despite all of that, don’t count these boys from the Bay Area led by the high scoring backcourt of the Splash Brothers in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson who brought the Warriors back into the playoffs for the first time since 2007, they will also enjoy a great homecourt advantage as the Oracle Arena come playoff time is one of the loudest arenas in the NBA.

Finally to wrap up the Western Conference first round matchups, it’s a rematch of last year’s first round match-up as the fourth seededand Pacific Division champions Los Angeles Clippers will once again wage war against the Memphis Grizzlies. There are differences from the last time these two teams met as now the Clippers will have the homecourt advantage this time around and both teams underwent major personnel changes. However, these two teams still play the same way they played last season as the Lob City crew led by Chris Pauland Blake Griffin will battle the Grit ‘N Grind men led by their two big men of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.

Now, in the Eastern Conference, it will be the reigning NBA champions and the best team in the NBA at the end of the regular season, the top-seeded Miami Heat continue their quest for a back-to-back championship as they begin their playoff run against the eight seeded Milwaukee Bucks who are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2010. The Heat who have been dominant all-season long as testament to their 66-16 record, which includes their 27 game win streak which is second longest in NBA history will once again be led by their Big 3 in reigning MVP LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh as they will battle a Bucks team led by the backcourt duo of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis and will be joined by this season‘s shotblock king in Larry Sanders who made it into the playoffs despite having a losing record, it would be a tall order for these guys from Milwaukee to pick up a victory against these dominant men from South Beach.

Then, it will be an Atlantic Division showdown as two bitter rival cities will square off as the Atlantic Division champions, the second seeded New York Knicks will battle their rivals in the seventh seeded Boston Celtics. The Knicks will once again be led by the new scoring champion Carmelo Anthony as the Knicks have risen back to the NBA elite, a thing not seen in the Big Apple for a very long time. They will battle their rivals up north in Beantown as these veterans mixed with young blood led by Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett who have been playing without their star point guard in Rajon Rondo still have the heart to go to battle in the playoffs.

Also, it will be the Central division champions, the third seeded Indiana Pacers going up against the sixth seeded Atlanta Hawks. The Pacers, reclaimed the Central Division for the first time since 2004 when Reggie Miller was still in town. Even with the injury to their main man last season in Danny Granger, they found new life in All-Star Paul George as these well-rounded team from the Hoosier State would look to do better after getting to the second round last season. They will go up against the high flying Atlanta Hawks, in which hometown man Josh Smith has taken reigns as the leader of these men from the Peach State as the Hawks are once again set to make some noise in the Playoffs this year.

Lastly out East, in a good match-up, the fourth seeded Brooklyn Nets will square off against the fifth seeded Chicago Bulls. Post-season action is back in the New York borough of Brooklyn as the Nets will host a playoff game here for the first time since 1956 when the then Brooklyn Dodgers battled their cross-town rivals in the New York Yankees for the World Series. The Nets franchise is also back in the playoffs for the first time since 2007 when they still played in New Jersey. These men from the borough will be led by All-Stars Brook Lopez and Deron Williams, they will square off against the men from the Windy City which will be led by their strong starting frontline of Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah. The question remains however if their superstar guard in Derrick Rose play in the playoffs or will sit out until next season.

So that’s a little teaser of what will come within the couple of weeks here in the NBA. Now here is the schedule of games in the First Round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs. As of time of writing, the NBA has not assigned games to the networks carrying NBA games in the Philippines (ABS-CBN, Studio 23, Basketball TV, NBA Premium TV and Fox Sports):


#1 Thunder vs #8 Rockets (Season series: Thunder win series 2-1)
Game 1: @ Oklahoma City, April 22, 9:30 am PHT
Game 2: @ Oklahoma City, April 25, 7:00 am PHT
Game 3: @ Houston, April 28, 9:30 am PHT
Game 4: @ Houston, April 30, TBD
Game 5*: @ Oklahoma City, May 2, TBD
Game 6*: @ Houston, May 4, TBD
Game 7*: @ Oklahoma City, May 6, TBD

#4 Clippers vs #5 Grizzlies (Season series: Clippers win series 3-1)
Game 1: @ Los Angeles, April 21, 10:30 am PHT
Game 2: @ Los Angeles, April 23, 10:30 am PHT
Gmae 3: @ Memphis, April 26, 9:30 am PHT
Game 4*: @ Memphis, April 28, 4:30 am PHT
Game 5*: @ Los Angeles, May 1, TBD
Game 6*: @ Memphis, May 4, TBD
Game 7*: @ Los Angeles, May 6, TBD

#3 Nuggets vs #6 Warriors (Season series: Nuggets win series 3-1)
Game 1: @ Denver, April 21, 5:30 am PHT
Game 2: @ Denver, April 24, 10:30 am PHT
Game 3: @ Golden State, April 27, 10:30 am PHT
Game 4: @ Golden State, April 29, 9:30 am PHT
Game 5*: @ Denver, May 1, TBD
Game 6*: @ Golden State, May 3, TBD
Game 7*: @ Denver, May 5, TBD

#2 Spurs vs #7 Lakers (Season series: Spurs win series 2-1)
Game 1: @ San Antonio, April 22, 3:30 am PHT
Game 2: @ San Antonio, April 25, 9:30 am PHT
Game 3: @ Los Angeles, April 27, 10:30 am PHT
Game 4: @ Los Angeles, April 29, 7:30 am PHT
Game 5*: @ San Antonio, May 1, TBD
Game 6*: @ Los Angeles, May 3, TBD
Game 7*: @ San Antonio, May 5, TBD


#1 Heat vs #8 Bucks (Season series: Heat win series 3-1)
Game 1: @ Miami, April 22, 7:00 am PHT
Game 2: @ Miami, April 24, 7:30 am PHT
Game 3: @ Milwaukee, April 26, 7:00 am PHT
Game 4: @ Milwaukee, April 29, 3:30 am PHT
Game 5*: @ Miami, May 1, TBD
Game 6*: @ Milwaukee, May 3, TBD
Game 7*: @ Miami, May 5, TBD

#4 Nets vs #5 Bulls (Season series: Bulls win series 3-1)

Game 1: @ Brooklyn, April 21, 8:00 am PHT
Game 2: @ Brooklyn, April 23, 8:00 am PHT
Game 3: @ Chicago, April 26, 8:30 am PHT

Game 4: @ Chicago, April 28, 2:00 am PHT
Game 5*: @ Brooklyn, April 30, TBD
Game 6*: @ Chicago, May 3, TBD
Game 7*: @ Brooklyn, May 5, TBD

#3 Pacers vs #6 Hawks (Season series: Series tied 2-2)
Game 1: @ Indiana, April 22, 1:00 am PHT
Game 2: @ Indiana, April 25, 7:30 am PHT
Game 3: @ Atlanta, April 28, 7:00 pm PHT
Game 4: @ Atlanta, April 30, TBD
Game 5*: @ Indiana, May 2, TBD
Game 6*: @ Atlanta, May 4, TBD
Game 7*: @ Indiana, May 6, TBD

#2 Knicks vs #7 Celtics (Season series: Knicks win series 3-1)
Game 1: @ New York, April 21, 3:00 am PHT
Game 2: @ New York, April 24, 8:00 am PHT
Game 3: @ Boston, April 27, 8:00 am PHT
Game 4: @ Boston, April 29, 1:00 am PHT
Game 5*: @ New York, May 2, TBD
Game 6*: @ Boston, May 4, TBD
Game 7*: @ New York, May 6, TBD

*If necessary

In a few days from tonight, the quest continues for these sixteen teams, as they push their respective teams a step closer with every victory to the championship gold, and it all can be summed up with one line:

Win or Go Home