Category / Sports

Lakers Collapse June 13, 2008 at 6:13 am

Ouch! Lakers choked & gave up a 24 point lead and lost a home game to the Celtics. Their championship run is doomed as they are now down 3-1. What an unbelievable meltdown.

They don’t deserve to be champions with a historical collapse like this, especially when Boston held off the Lakers after they stormed back from being down 22 points in Boston. Celtics are the clearly the better team.

With the recent final-four loss by UCLA, this has been all too-depressing!

Round Mound May 23, 2008 at 2:37 pm

BarkelyI almost rolled on the floor laughing when reading this article in which an ESPN analyst refers to Charles Barkley as Round Mound of Profound… 🙂

Too hilarious!

Bruins Lost! April 7, 2008 at 8:03 am

UCLA basketball team lost to Memphis Tigers this past Saturday. Memphis proved to be the stronger team. UCLA offense was lacking once more, and unlike the regular season games, their defense wasn’t able to contain Memphis. Their guards were outstanding, forcing a running game and repeatedly exposing UCLA’s lack in speed with slashes & fast breaks.

This is tough for UCLA fans– 3rd straight final four losses in a row. People are starting to compare these Bruins to the Buffalo Bills. LA Times is already blaming Coach Howland. Reaching final four is still an outstanding accomplishment, but this is still a bitter pill! This plain sucks…

Let’s Bring It On! March 31, 2008 at 3:00 am

First the Bruins managed to pull another win after a trademark slow start against Western Kentucky. Blowing a 21 point lead, the UCLA guards were particularly ineffective against WKU’s press. In fact, they were just horrible in the 2nd half, repeatedly were pressured to throwing the ball away. The team finally managed to turn in a great end-to-end game against Xavier on Saturday. UCLA simply dominated Xavier to win the west regional and advance to the final four, 3rd straight time.

All #1 seeds made it which is a rarity. Now the real fun begins. At this level of competition, UCLA cannot afford an incomplete game. Any of these final four teams will punish a lackluster effort. UCLA will face Memphis in the semi-final. I’d rank Memphis as the best team in the country. They finished the season with a near perfect record (only 1 loss). The team is big, athletic and deep. UCLA’s defense which has been great all year long, will be key. And UCLA’s Collison will need to command the offense efficiently and open up the floor with his drives.

Let’s bring it on…

Bruins In Sweet 16 March 25, 2008 at 6:35 am

Alright! UCLA made it through the first weekend of March Madness.

The Bruins seeded #1 in the West regional and were given a favorable path to reach Final Four, especially with #2 Duke already out. The Bruins kept finding ways to come back and win games this season. But they have a bad habit of slow starts. That worries me– they’re playing with fire!

Barring injuries, they should make it to the final four, knock on wood…  Last year at this time, my friend Joe & I got tickets to watch the regional semi & finals here in HP Pavilion.

Go Bruins!

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Hoops and More Hoops March 3, 2008 at 8:22 am

I spent more time this weekend on basketball than normal. I started playing hoops again after about 6 months hiatus thanks to bum knee & shoulder. I’m convinced these two long-time injuries will not improve further, so I just strapped on a brace and just went at it. To the injuries added an ankle as I rolled my left ankle going for a steal. Sigh… but at least it’s not too bad and I should be okay for next week. 🙂 The Stanford Recreational center is a great facility with wide & open courts– very enjoyable.

Suzanne took the two girls to Disney on Ice, so I had the Sunday afternoon to myself. So I of spent it in front of the tube catching UCLA & Lakers games. Both were exciting close games and best of all both teams emerged victorious which made my day. A DVR would’ve helped, I had to flip between the channels since the games were aired at the same time. That was a bit annoying!

But, it’s all good…

Back To Hoops June 5, 2007 at 12:02 am

I injured myself playing basketball one September day last year– banged my knee and shoulder that afternoon. I could barely walk the rest of the weekend and for the next few months the knee just didn’t feel right. I could walk okay but many times I felt it was just about to buckle out on me, especially walking the stairs. As far as my shoulder, I had trouble just picking up Allison.

So I saw 2 different orthopedic surgeons. The first one in Los Gatos didn’t do jack! He simply felt the knee and the shoulder and tell me he didn’t find anything wrong and suggested me to rest up. After a few months and not getting any better, I went to see other surgeon. X-ray proved no structural damage of the shoulder or the knee. The doc did said my left knee plate is a bit looser than the other. He gave me a knee brace & gave me the green for light running.

So this past Saturday, I ventured back to the gym in Mountain View with my friend Allen and played some hoops with the rest of our gym buddies. It was the first time I played basketball in 8 months. I was rusty needless to say but was moving well. Of course I was huffing & puffing every minute but I still have a solid feel for the game so confidence was still there.

The sad truth is that you injure more readily and the body takes longer healing itself as you get older. Hoops are especially tough on joints. I was pretty resilient when I was younger. This is especially true considering I’m the dasher and slasher type. Except for one horrendous ankle injury in high school (I’ll save the disgusting graphic details of that evennt for another day), I’ve been fairly free of major injuries. Knock on wood…

I’m glad to be back playing again. It’s a game I love. I realized the other day that this represented the longest hiatus for me since I started playing ball in 6th grade!

March Madness: Final 4 Baby! March 26, 2007 at 3:14 am

Yesterday I made sure to give myself ample time getting to the regional final game between Kansas & UCLA. I also lugged my camera and my zoom lens. I was a bit worried because I was told that telephoto lenses are prohibited. I figured since I parked close by this time, it wouldn’t be too much of a walk if I have to go back to put away the camera. Luckily, I had no trouble entering HP Pavilion with it.

I first went down to the lower level to take some snapshots about 45 minutes before game time. I was trying to soak it all in before the crowd gathers and the craziness erupts. It was very neat; I was enjoying myself and happily snapping away. Kansas came out for their shoot around first, then out came UCLA. Luckily I was right ontop of the tunnel where the Bruins emerged, so I got a few shots of them coming out.

As tip-off drew near, I headed up to upper deck where our seats were located and settled in. Joe was already in his seat. The game started out pretty sloppily for UCLA. Kansas played tough defense and forced turnovers every other UCLA possessions. I was nervous but somehow the Bruins stayed close. The half closed with UCLA’s Josh Shipp nailing a 3 pointer as time expires, giving UCLA a 4 points lead.

UCLA played a much better 2nd half, forcing turnovers and playing tough defense. Aaron Afflalo was huge for the Bruins, making timely shots and stopping anything that resembled a run by Kansas. In the end UCLA won 69-55 in a prety exciting game. Here’re the some of the shots from the game.

Final Four, baby!

March Madness: UCLA Advances March 23, 2007 at 5:14 pm

I took off work early yesterday to watch the double header at HP Pavilion. The 2nd game with UCLA vs Pitt was the one I really wanted to see, so I left 30 minutes before game time and figured I’ll only miss the few minutes of the game.

Was I wrong. Downtown San Jose was like a zoo, swarmed with students everywhere. The parking @ HP Pavilion was full so I had to park in downtown 10 blocks away! I ended up missing most of the 1st half but still beat Joe to the game. It was a close game, Kansas ended up edging out SIU . The 2nd game was great to watch since the Bruins won and advances to Elite 8. It was fun rooting along with a lot of UCLA alums in the stand. I woke up today and found I lost half of my voice from screaming the nite before.

I’m looking forward going to Saturday game between UCLA & Kansas. Gonna give myself more time getting there and will be lugging my camera along with me!

March Madness: Sweet 16 at 11:27 am

Despite the fact that the Bay Area is hosting the regional final of the NCAA basketball tournament this week, I was planning to catch the games on TV. UCLA is one of the four teams in this bracket, naturally I was looking forward to the games. Tickets are notoriously hard to get, so I didn’t think about going to the games until my friend Joe called and suggested getting tickets. Joe found out that tickets unused by some of the schools will be available the day before the games.

So Joe & I headed down the HP Pavilion to try our luck scoring tickets. We lined up and each got a wristband with a number which unfortunately doesn’t guarantee us tickets. It just means we’ll get a chance! We both headed to a local Cajun restaurant for lunch and returned 90 minutes later when the tickets start going on sale. To discourage people camping out and get ahead of the line, they don’t go with the sequence numbers handed out. Instead they pick a random starting number and start from there. With our luck, the random number is ended up something like 50 after our number. This means we are one of the last 50 people in a line of hundreds! Not good…

They wouldn’t tell us up front how many tickets were available. So with the line so long, we both decided our chances were slim. We decided to give up. I tore up my wristband in despair and drove back to work. Half an hour later, I got an email from Joe’s Blackberry– he’s decided to stay it out after hearing from somebody that there’re a large # of tickets available. Joe’s patience paid off as he ended up scoring a pair of tickets.

We’re going to the games. It has been years since I went to an UCLA game. Awesome!

Ruined by The Bruins December 3, 2006 at 6:35 am

USC, ranked #2, only needed to win their last game of the season over UCLA to advance to the championship game. Everybody thought the Trojans’ offense was going to roll over UCLA like last year’s game! The stage for an upset was there. And the upset happened. I tuned in the 4th quarter and couldn’t believe the score. In the end, USC was ruined by The Bruins. ‘SC’s offense & their championship run were ultimately stopped by UCLA’s defense. I loved it, what a way to end the season!

Final Four @ Vegas April 3, 2006 at 3:09 pm

I spend this past Final Four weekend with a few buddies in Vegas. Planned this months ago without knowing UCLA would do well in the tournament. So the fact that they made to Final Four was just sweet, especially some of my buddies were my room-mates back in the UCLA days.

I expected that most people would root for UCLA since LA is only 4 hours away from Vegas. But it turned out there were more LSU fans; I guess folks were going for the favorites. I spent Saturday afternoon watching the 2 semi-final games with Jake & Vince. Most of us bet on UCLA and won!

I lugged my camera equipment around Saturday and managed some decent shots along the strip. The highlight was the night shots. I don’t normally get to shoot outdoor after dark. Plus, I got to try out my new monopod with the night shots. It’s definitely less of a pain than lugging a tripod. The combination of monopod & an image stabilization lens, I was able to shoot to 1/15 exposures using natural light. Cool…

I also managed to snap shots of a guy proposing to his girl in front of the fountains @ Belagio. I thought about offering to email them the pics. But decided not to, figuring that they would either be very grateful for capturing the moment or chew me off for “invading” their private moment. Sometimes, it’s just better to capture a moment with a memory, and not have proofs… 🙂

Final Four Bound! March 26, 2006 at 9:04 am

Man… another ugly game, but UCLA beat Memphis to advance to final four. The Bruin’s offense was shaky once again and missing a slew of free throws that could’ve blown the game wide open. Once again, their defense did their opponents in– shutting down a team that normally score in bunches on the run. Despite atrocious free throws, Ryan Hollins carried the offense for UCLA. He reminds me of Dan Gadzuric with his aggressiveness & his wingspan.

Woohoo….

March Madness March 22, 2006 at 11:46 pm

Ah… March madness, I love this time of the year, especially when UCLA wins. And tonite, UCLA’s victory against perenial cinderella Gonzaga was truly a classic.

UCLA is a young and inexperienced team this year and they played like it in the first half– bad shot selection and too many turn-overs. They were down as much as 17 points, dug a hole almost deep enough to bury themselves. But somehow the kids pulled out a victory, grabbing their first lead with 9 seconds left in the game. Unbelievable!

I saw Gonzaga’s Adam Morrison played a few times on TV this year and he impresses me. He reminds me of a young Larry Bird, the way he carries himself in the game. He’s a very smart player. Heck, he even has a wispy moustashe like Larry. Morrison isn’t as a pure long-range shooter like Bird though, not yet anyway… But I’m certain he’ll be an impact player in the NBA.

The game was one for the ages; I am so happy UCLA made it this far. 🙂 Go Bruins… One more on the road of final four baby!