You women swoon over gorgeous athletes (especially this month on Cosmo.ph--just check out Cosmo Online Hunks!). We know you love their smokin' bods and flaming passion, but, admit it--if you're a non-sporty chick, you can get a little lost when they whip out the sports terms. You don't even have to be dating a hot athlete--just date any ordinary hot dude, and he's bound to be a sports fan. Almost all guys are. Whent s-p-o-r-t-s crops up into the conversation, your initial reaction may be to change the topic, and then avoid talking sports with him altogether. But, being able to appreciate his passion is a total turn on; guy's dig a chick who can join in the conversation.
Here's your chance to impress him with your knowledge (even just a little bit) of sports. In preparation for UAAP's Official Opening tomorrow, we'll be giving you a series of primers on must-know basics and current events in four popular sports—basketball, football, volleyball, and swimming--just in case the dude you're seeing decides to take you to one of the games on a date. We'll begin with the most popular of them all in the Philippines, basketball, and post the rest in the next three days.
Time. The game is split into four quarters. Ten minutes each for amateurs and 12 minutes for pros.
Players. There are five per team: two guards, two forwards, and a center.
- The point guard is most often holding the ball and calling the plays.
- The shooting guard usually scores without handling the ball too much.
- The center (often the biggest guy) keeps the other team away from the basket and rebounds.
- The power forward supports the center, rebounds, and plays just below the ring.
- The small forward can do things that both the guard and center do.
Points. One shot gets two points, unless it comes from behind the three-point line (the big arc), then it's three points; a free throw gets one point.
Why is the referee blowing his whistle? It's probably one of these violations:
- Foul (the ref raises a closed fist) - If any player gets too physical with another.
- Offensive foul (the ref motions his closed fist forward--like punching the air) - If a player on the offensive team gets too physical or initiates contact with the other team.
- Unsportsmanlike foul (the ref raises his fist, while his other hand grips the wrist area of the closed fist hand) - If a player intentionally hurts another. Based on how bad it was, the ref decides if it's a penalty 1 (the player sits on the bench for three minutes) or a penalty 2 (he's out of the game).
- Technical foul (the ref forms a "T" with his hands) - If a player or coach constantly argues or disrespects the referee.
- Jump ball (the ref raises two thumbs) - If two players from opposing teams hold the ball at the same time for two-three seconds, without one of them gaining possession of it.
- Traveling (the ref moves his closed fists in front of him in a circular motion, like a dance step) - If a player takes more than three steps without dribbling, or jumps up with the ball and lands still with the ball.
- Penalty– A team can only get five fouls (for amateurs) or six fouls (for pros) per quarter. If they get more, they go into penalty. From then on, the other team gets two free throws per foul.
- Turnover– When an offensive player commits a violation (like any of the above), and the other team takes possession of the ball, hence "turning it over."
- "Jumper" – short for jump shot.
- "Teardrop" – a very high-arching shot.
- "Rainbow jumper"/"Downtown" – The three-point arc is called the rainbow area. When a player shoots from there, they say it's "from downtown!" It can also refer to a shot that draws an arc in the air from his hand to the basket.
- "Crossover"– when a player moves swiftly from one direction to the other.
- "Dime"/"Assist"– a pass to a teammate who immediately scores.
- "Foul trouble"– when a player is close to being disqualified because of fouls.
- "Alley-oop"– The ball is passed and caught in midair by a teammate.
- “And-one” (the ref presses an invisible button in the air) - If a player is fouled, but is still able to shoot, he gets the points for his shot, plus one free throw. So that's usually two points "and one."
- "Buzzer beater"– a shot that made it right after time expires. (Once the buzzer sounds, the ball should already be in the air for it to count.)
Current events to tune into:
The NBA Finals just finished early June, where the Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat for the title. It’s the first title for the Dallas Mavericks.
Smart Gilas, the official national basketball team made of college standouts (like our beloved Chris Tiu) recently competed in the televised FIBA-Asia Champions Cup that wrapped up early this June. They got a fourth-place finish. (FIBA is the governing body of basketball in the world.)
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) season opened last week, and the UAAP season officially opens tomorrow, July 9, followed by the first men's basketball games on July 10.
Famous people to know:
- Michael Jordan is called the GOAT (aka, Greatest Player Of All Time), known for his gracefulness in the air, hence, "his airness." He played shooting guard, was a member of the Chicago Bulls, and had six championships with them. (He's now retired from the game.)
- Kobe Bryant is one of the most popular successors of Jordan (he plays the same position). Kobe plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. He's won a three-peat and a couple more back-to-back just last year.
- LeBron James is another huge successor to Jordan. He plays small forward, but is graceful in the air, too. Last summer, he moved to the Miami Heat.
- James Yap is the most popular player in local professional basketball. He was once the husband of Kris Aquino. When he was playing for the University of the East in college, he was known as a deadly shooter. He was then picked by the Tender Juicy Giants (later known as B-Meg Llamados).
- Keifer Ravena is a well-known player from the high school ranks and is now joining the Ateneo Blue Eagles. He's the son of former PBA player Bong Ravena.
- Greg Slaughter is one of the most talked about players in the UAAP. He played with Smart Gilas and University of Visayas. This year, he'll play a season with Ateneo.
The Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles are in the spotlight as current champions, now gunning for their fourth straight championship. Their basketball program is said to be one of the best.
The De La Salle University Green Archers are fierce rivals of The Eagles and a perennial Final Four contender, known for their "vaunted pressing defense"--meaning they pressure the offensive team even before they put the ball in to play.
The Far Eastern University Tamaraws are a historically successful basketball program. They're big contenders to the title, and have lent many players to the national program.
We hope you now actually know when to cheer and when to boo with your guy (and which team to boo). Watch for our crash course on football, swimming, and volleyball in the next three days!