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    Ricky Relosa says current PBA players taller and better, but too soft

    May 27, 2020
    Article Summary

    Former PBA bruiser Ricky Relosa says present-day players are taller and more athletic, but way softer than those from his era.

    In the eyes of former PBA banger Ricky Relosa, the game of basketball has truly evolved through generations.

    "Malaki na ipinagkaiba ng laro namin nuon sa laro ngayon,” said Relosa, using a popular television horror show and stable of teen idols during the 80s to stress his point. Nung time namin Regal Shocker ang players… ngayon Regal babies na. Masyado nang pampered."

    “Ang players ngayon, ang aarte. Kaunting tira mo, nakaarte. Sa amin nun, pag tinira ka, hindi ka pwedeng magpakitang nasaktan ka. Gaganti ka nun. Ang basketball noon, talagang physical at saka rugged,” he added.

    Relosa, one half of the famed ‘Bruise Brothers’ frontline partnership of Alaska alongside Yoyoy Villamin, stressed that the PBA had more viewers back in the day because Filipinos love seeing the game in its extreme physicality.

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    He also believes that the reason for the league's popularity in the early 80s to the mid- 90s was the ‘no harm, no foul’ rules.

    "Malaking bagay talaga 'yung ‘no harm, no foul’ guidelines noon nila (former PBA deputy commissioner)Tommy Manotoc, kasi hindi natitigil ang aksyon ng pito (whistle). Talagang players ang nagdidikta ng laro, hindi yung mga referee,” he said.

    "Ganyan naman kasi dapat ang basketball. Physical sport yan. Laro ang magde-decide ng outcome. Basta syempre, babantayan mo lang na huwag sosobra,” Relosa added in an interview on online sports show Go for Gold Interactive at Go4GoldPH Facebook page.

    Asked to name some players who are notorious for extreme physicality, the now 60-year old rattled off the names of Ramon Fernandez, Robert Jaworski, Abe King and Rambo Sanchez.

    "Si Mon Fernandez, mahirap bantayan. Kasi magaling ang footwork nya, titignan mong papayat-payat yun, pero ang hirap itulak. Matigas si Mon, mahirap depensahan,” he recalled.

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    "Yung buto nun, talagang masakit pag tinamaan ka. Kaya lagi kong siansabi nun, ‘Mon, pare, 'yung 45 mo, masakit.’ Pag tinamaan ako nun sa tadyang napipilipit ako,” added the former Toyota Corolla.

    But Relosa conceded that the PBA stars of the 80s and 90s will lose to the current stars in a fantasy showdown.

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    "Alam mo, mahihirapan siguro kami. Kasi kami noon, noong araw, laro lang kami. Wala kami 'nung magwe-weights at lahat eh. Ang mga players ngayon, talagang nagpapalakas, nagbubuhat sila ng bakal, para magpalakas,” he said.

    "Ibang klase ang conditioning nila ngayon. Mas malalakas sila ngayon. Saka mas matataas ang players ngayon. Imagine mo gwardya ngayon, 6-2, 6-4. Kami nuon sentro na 'yun. Ako 6-4 sentro na ko noon,” added the New Jersey-based Relosa.

    Still, Relosa feels today's players can be even better is they learn a little ‘gulang.'

    "'Yun ang kulang sa mga bata ngayon," he said. "Kami noon may gulang, hahawakan ang shorts (ng kalaban), hawakan ng braso para di ka makagalawa, 'yung tatapakan mo 'yung paa. Hindi tulad ng mga bata ngayon, malalakas pero kulang sa gulang.

    "Gulang nila pisikal eh. Hindi ganun,” he added.

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      Relosa, a former Most Improved Player and All-Defensive Team awardee who retired in 1993 after brief stints with Pepsi and Formula Shell, said there's a reason players of their generation never got to execute fancy layups and dunks.

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      "Nung time namin, hindi ka pwedeng mag lay-up o dunk ng exhibition gaya ngayon. Lilingon at lilingon ka sa likod mo kasi baka may tuhod na nakaumang sa yo. Pansinin mo mga video nuong araw, pagle-layup kami titingin kami sa likod.”

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