The "Sol Train" Sol Mercado of Barangay Ginebra joins Staying MAJOR for its 20th episode. Sol was the 5th pick in the 2008 PBA Draft. Since then, Sol was an All-Rookie team member, a 2x PBA All-Star and a recent PBA Champion. Sol has led the league in scoring and assists during his PBA career. He has also represented the Philippines in the 2013 Jones Cup. After playing for 5 teams in his first 7 years in the league, Sol has found a home with the league's most popular team, Barangay Ginebra. He has been a pillar in their resurgence, helping Ginebra win the 2016 PBA Governor's Cup and also in getting them back to the Finals of the Philippine Cup.
In this episode, Sol talks about the recently concluded Philippine Cup, before going into his background on how he got to the Philippines. Mercado later discusses his well-traveled career, before eventually settling in with the Ginebra Kings. Before taking Twitter questions, Sol talks about some of his coaches and teammates at Ginebra and the potential he see's in their team. Him and host, Eric Menk also take the time to talk a little NBA (the Sacramento Kings & the MVP race). You can follow Sol at the following social media handles: Twitter & Instagram @M3rcMyWords
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"Machine Gun" Kelly Williams joins Staying MAJOR for its 19th episode. Kelly grew up in Detroit, Michigan and gained fame playing for Detroit King High School in the famed Detroit Public School League. After high school, Kelly accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Division I, Oakland University in Michigan. After college, Williams came to the Philippines to pursue a professional basketball career. Drafted #1 in the 2006 PBA Draft, Kelly has gone on to have one of the all-time great careers in PBA history. He has racked up many awards over his career, including PBA Rookie of the Year, PBA Best Player of the Conference, PBA MVP, 5x PBA All-Star, 6x PBA Mythical team selection. Kelly has been a member of 6 PBA championship teams and is also a multiple time member of the Philippine National team.
In this episode, Kelly talks about Talk-N-Text's Philippine Cup finish before going into his background and PBA career. Kelly talks candidly about a sickness that he was diagnosed with in 2009 that threatened his life as well as his playing career. Although his dosage has decreased over the years, Kelly is still on medication to this day to keep his blood platelet level's normal. Despite still playing in the PBA, Williams has written an autobiographical book, "Rising Higher" and has recently picked up painting. Kelly currently plays for the TNT KaTropa in the PBA. They are preparing for the upcoming PBA 2017 Commissioner's Cup. You can follow Kelly at the following social media handles: Twitter: @kelwilliams21 Instagram: @kelwilliams21dot
Staying MAJOR is brought to you by A-Game After Sport Rubdown. For more on A-Game please visit https://www.agamesport.com Type in the promo code: EMENK30 to receive 20% off of your purchase!
In episode 18 of Staying MAJOR we are joined by sports media member, Carlo Pamintuan. Carlo works for Sports5, where he writes and also is a member of their television staff, calling games for PBA Rush on Cignal TV. Carlo also writes for Slam Philippines and spent time with Gilas Pilipinas in 2015 and 2016, documenting their journey under Coach Tab Baldwin. Carlo also does play-by-play for the PBA D-League, while also serving as a media director for the Asean Basketball League.
In this episode, Carlo talks about his media background before diving into the deep end with host Eric Menk to discuss the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup Finals, between the San Miguel Beerman and the Barangay Ginebra Kings. You can follow Carlo at the following social media links:
Twitter & Instagram: @carlo_pamintuan
Staying MAJOR is brought to you by A-Game After Sport Rubdown. For more information on A-Game please visit https://www.agamesport.com
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Host Eric Menk breaks down the wild Game 2 of the PBA's Philippine Cup Finals.
Link to YouTube channel:
Alaska Aces head coach, Alex Compton joins Staying MAJOR this week to preview the PBA's Philippine Cup Finals. Coach Alex was born in Makati, Philippines and after being raised and going to college in the United States, Alex returned to his country of birth to pursue a basketball career. After having a successful playing career, where he played in the MBA, PBL & PBA, winning numerous championships and awards, including an MVP and Finals MVP, Compton pursued a coaching career starting in 2006. After 8 years as serving as a PBA assistant coach, Alex became the head coach of the Alaska Aces. Since taking over at Alaska, Alex has made the Aces one of the most consistent teams in the league. Despite not winning the crown yet under Coach Compton, Alaska has been a pillar of the PBA playoff picture, making 4 Finals appearances.
In this episode, Alex talks about recent happenings at Alaska, before he discusses his upbringing. Compton then goes on to talk about why he got into coaching. In the second half of the show, Alex and host Eric Menk, review the PBA semifinals before previewing the PBA Finals. Finally, Coach Alex takes Twitter questions from the fans. Alex is currently preparing his team, the Alaska Aces, for the upcoming PBA Commissioners Cup.
Staying MAJOR is brought to you by A-Game Aftersport Rubdown. For information about A-Game, please visit:
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In the 16th edition of Staying MAJOR, Coach Jong Uichico joins the show. Coach Jong has guided PBA teams to 9 PBA titles, twice being named PBA Coach of the Year. Uichico was also the head coach of the Philippine national team that competed in the 2002 Asian Games. Jong currently serves as a PBA Analyst on Cignal TV.
In this episode, Jong talks about the life of the coach in the PBA, some of his past players and teams, & the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup semifinals where both series are locked at a 2-2 slate. Uichico then takes Twitter questions before answering the show's final, signature question. This is a great episode in getting perspective on the game from a veteran, multi-championship coach, through his eyes. You can follow Jong on Twitter at @coachjong
In episode 15 of Staying MAJOR, former PBA great and current PBA analyst, Ali Peek joins host Eric Menk to talk PBA Playoffs. Ali spent 17 years in the PBA, earning the nickname, "The Man Mountain". Over the course of his career, Ali was a 5x All-Star, a Best Player of the Conference and a member of 6 PBA championship teams. Ali current serves as St. Benilde's big man coach, while also covering PBA games on PBA Rush.
In this episode, Ali talks about his experience so far in coaching. He then goes on to talk a little about his upbringing and his PBA career. Peek shares a particularly special story about the day he was shot in the back of the head and his life since. The last 30 minutes of this episode, host, Eric Menk and Ali discuss the ongoing PBA playoffs and give their predictions on who will come out of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals. Finally, Ali takes Twitter questions and answers Eric's final question of the podcast. You can follow Ali on the following social media handles:
On this episode, Rafe Bartholomew joins Staying MAJOR to discuss his career and background before diving deep into a review of the PBA Philippine Cup elimination round and a look at the quarterfinal matchups. Rafe is an author and editor. He gained notoriety and acclaim in the Philippines for his book Pacific Rims. His writing has also been featured in the New York Times, Deadspin, Grantland among notable others. Since coming to the Philippines, Rafe has immersed himself in Philippine culture, learning the language and visiting many times. He is currently working on a 12-part documentary for CNN Philippines where he will document basketball at all levels and area of the Philippines.
In episode 14, we take the first 25 minutes to talk about Rafe's background, career and his love affair with the Philippines. The remainder of the show we review the PBA Philippine Cup elimination round. We go over my hits and misses in my preseason blog post and then we make our bold predictions for the quarterfinal round. We end the show by Rafe taking twitter questions from listeners of Staying MAJOR. You can follow Rafe at the following social media handles:
In the 13th episode of Staying MAJOR, Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes joins the show. Coach Chot is an 8-time PBA champion coach and a 5-time PBA Coach of the Year. Reyes has also led the Team Pilipinas and Gilas Pilipinas programs in the past, guiding the Philippines to a silver medal in the 2013 FIBA Asia tournament and leading the Philippines to a victory over Senegal in the 2014 World Cup. Not only has Coach Chot recently been named as the head coach of the Gilas Pilipinas national team program, but he is also the President and CEO of Philippine media conglomerate TV5 and Media5.
In this episode Coach Chot talks about his beginnings as a coach. Reyes goes on to discuss his teams of the past while touching on the current state of the Gilas Pilipinas national basketball program. You can follow Coach Chot Reyes at the following social media handles:
"The Cebuano Hotshot" Dondon Hontiveros graces Staying MAJOR's 12th episode. Born and raised in Cebu, Dondon has gained a reputation in the PBA for being one of the best shooting guards of his generation. His sweet stroke won him the PBA's 2007 3-point Shootout. It also has him ranked 4th all-time in the PBA for 3-point field goals. More than a shooter, Dondon is known for his work ethic, intelligence, and leadership. Now a 12x PBA All-Star, Dondon continues to inspire basketball players young and old as he is still active in the PBA at age 39. Hontiveros has represented the Philippines in international competition on numerous occasions dating back to the 2002 Busan Asian Games all the way up to the 2015 FIBA-Asia tournament.
In this episode, Dondon talks on a variety of subjects, including the Alaska Aces current standing, growing up in Cebu, his move to Manila, his favorite teammates from San Miguel, and the longevity of his career. He then answers Twitter questions, before talking about his future. Dondon currently plays for the Alaska Aces in the PBA, while running a series of basketball camps & clinics. You can follow Dondon at the following social media handles:
Gabe Norwood joins Staying MAJOR for episode 11. Gabe currently plays for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and is a multiple time member of the Philippine National Team. After being selected #1 in the 2008 PBA Draft, Gabe has gone on to become the PBA's Rookie of the Year, a 5x All-Defensive team member, the PBA's Defensive Player of the Year & an 8x PBA All-Star. On Gilas Pilipinas, Gabe has played a valuable role in being the team's top wing defender. He has competed in many international competitions including FIBA Asia and The World Cup of Basketball. In this episode, Norwood talks about his background which led him to professional basketball in the Philippines. He also discusses his career with Rain or Shine. Later in the episode, Gabe takes Twitter questions and talks about his business ventures outside of basketball. You can currently watch Gabe in the PBA as he suits up for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. Links:
Jayjay Helterbrand is one of the best point guards to ever play in the PBA. He, together with backcourt mate, Mark Caguioa formed one of the most feared backcourts in PBA history. Known as The Fast and the Furious, they reigned Barangay Ginebra's backcourt for the last 15 years. Over the course of his career, Jayjay was a 7x PBA All-Star, 2x Best Player of the Conference, PBA Final's MVP, & 2009 PBA MVP. Jayjay also represented Team Pilipinas in international competition in 2005, 2007 & 2009. Still showing he is a great player, Jayjay recently scored 11 points in the 4th quarter of Game 4 of the Governor's Cup Finals, on his 40th birthday to lead Barangay Ginebra to victory, which eventually led to their first championship in 8 years. He currently is playing for Barangay Ginebra, who is competing in the Philippine Cup in the PBA.
In this conversation with host and longtime teammate, Eric Menk, Jayjay reflects on his long career in the PBA for Barangay Ginebra. Helterbrand discusses his early life before coming to the Philippines, his rise to eventually becoming the PBA MVP, and dealing with the struggles of an aging professional athlete. In this 1 hour and 8 minute episode, Jayjay reveals several seldom heard stories and anecdotes about his career. This is a real inside look at the man who has won over the hearts of the Barangay Ginebra faithful. You can follow Jayjay on Instagram: @jayhelterbrand