This news came out as a shock to all of us. I personally believe that there was an understanding between the national government, the National Telecommunications Company and the ABS-CBN network that the latter may continue operating while their operating license is being reviewed. The news that came out May 5 that the NTC sent a cease and desist order to shut down the multimedia magnate was “sneaky” to say the least.

The country needs press updates and news round the clock. The least the NTC could have done is to keep the status quo while the world is still dealing with this COVID-19 pandemic.

On top of the news, features, and marketing tips to help prevent the COVID-19 spread, ABS-CBN employs thousands of workers which, as of this moment, are deemed unemployed with the shutting down of its operations. Sports will also suffer from this closure as this network has tie-ups with the UAAP, the NCAA, and the Maharlika Pilpinas Basketball League.

Is the NTC move a power play-act to send a signal to the franchise that they are the dominant force? Does the national government have a hand on it? What happened to press freedom? A lot of questions arise amidst this most recent development. As of this writing, Congress is in the process of summoning the NTC to question their move.

I strongly believe that over the next few days, perhaps even before this article is published, that a compromise is met between all parties to keep ABS-CBN going. There may be some good and some not so good things happening on the background that we do not know of but one thing is certain, the country needs news and entertainment in today’s real-time world.

More on the Last Dance

This Netflix series is really interesting as it gives us locker room snippets of how the Chicago Bulls dynasty capped their magnificent 6 titles run in the ’90s.

Michael Jordan is really bullish even in practice. He treats scrimmages like an actual playoff game, pushing his teammates to do well on every play. He even goes face up with them on actions he deemed unnecessary during practice. He was a hard teammate to play with. That is such a unified response from every Bulls player … but he also drives them to do their best.

If you want to get the ball from Jordan, you have to be able to knock the shot down or create a great play. That’s the only way you will survive him as a teammate. He won’t give you the ball if he doesn’t trust you. That’s what Steve Kerr and John Paxson learned before they became second (or even third option) go-to guys in the clutch.

Despite being positioned as the author of the dismantling of this Bulls team, you’ve got to give it to then General Manager Jerry Krause. He gambled to bring in Toni Kukoc, Dennis Rodman and Ron Harper. All underrated players who became critical pieces to the second three-peat of this mighty dynasty.

Imagine how a great team like this needs to be great on every game even when Pippen held off some time in the 1997-1998 season due to contract concerns. A team with a guy considered as the G.O.A.T. will certainly still be competitive.

Will this Bulls team dominate in today’s NBA? I believe a prime Chicago Bulls versus today’s modern NBA teams will still shine and dominate as I am certain Jordan and head coach Phil Jackson will find ways to tweak the triangle to adapt and free up some space for Chicago’s shooters. MJ will most certainly sharpen his 3 point shot and the Bulls’ 3 headed monsters in the middle (Longley, Wennington, James Edwards) will alternate in protecting the rim. Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen will continue to hustle and play 48 minutes D. Paxson and Kerr (or even BJ Armstrong) will have a heyday shooting the lights out for every double-time Jordan gets.

Even if teams apply the zone defense against the Bulls, they’ve got too much talent and shooters to break it. Toni Kukoc is a known zone breaker in the EuroLeague.

The Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trailblazers, Seattle SuperSonics, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz were all championship-worthy teams who were unlucky enough to come across Jordan and the Bulls in that decade. If the Bulls weren’t in the finals picture, each one would have won the crown in those years, hands down.

The Bulls will always find ways to win and oh, one other very important thing, when the going gets tough, give the ball to Michael and “get out of the way”.

More Pro Leagues Opening Up

First, Taiwan opens its professional baseball league on empty stadiums with poster fans and robot drummers last month and now it’s Korea’s turn to open the KBO (Korea Baseball Organization) Tuesday this week. Seeing our neighboring countries start to open, albeit cautiously, sports in the region is a breath of fresh air. I believe the new norm will be half empty stands and a wide audience on television for sports leagues around the world. When the Enhanced Community Quarantine gets downgraded in Luzon, I think it’s fair that we start allowing our sports team to start getting in shape on closed-door gyms. It’s about time we start focusing on waking up the economy and sports in the country.

(The writer is a senior leader in the Business Process Outsourcing industry managing Philippine countryside operations)


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