Ultimate college hoops bible
SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson () - August 20, 2004 - 12:00am
Coca-Cola professional basketball coach Chot Reyes did something extraordinary recently. He ventured out of his specialty field and immersed himself in publishing.

An entrepreneur by heart, Reyes figured the best way to get involved in the business is to stay close to home which is basketball, of course.

It was Chot’s own thirst for a "serious" college hoops magazine that prompted his latest project. His idea was to produce a bible of sorts–an ultimate reference book for those who want to know about the UAAP and NCAA from top to bottom.

To get the ball rolling, Chot asked five Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) colleagues to share their views on the country’s major varsity leagues. Tim Cone, Joseph Uichico, Joel Banal, Alfrancis Chua and Binky Favis answered the call. Writer John Austria sat down with the distinguished cast, joined by Chot himself, and the freewheeling discussion became the subject of a feature called "Coaches’ Caucus."

The feature kicks off a loaded table of contents in Chot’s 92-page magnum opus "College Ball 2004," now available for P150 at Emerald Bookazine, Mio Magazine shop, RB Magazine Exchange, Magnet and National Bookstore.

It’s a magazine that has the elements of an annual, media guide, fanzine, statistics reference book and scouting report–all rolled into a neat package. To make it more appealing to fans of various persuasions, the magazine has four different covers–a take-off from the popular marketing strategy employed by the top US sports yearbooks like Street and Smith’s, Lindy’s, The Sporting News and Athlon whose covers vary depending on where they’re sold.

One cover has Arwind Santos of FEU, another Larry Fonacier of Ateneo, a third Joseph Yeo of La Salle and a fourth a collage of the stars of San Beda, San Sebastian, Letran and Mapua. So if you’re a Tamaraw fan, you’ll obviously pick the Santos cover for your precious possession. Chot also recruited top-notch sportscribes like Nelson Beltran and Joey Villar of The Star to contribute stories so readers get the total package.

"My personal and business coaching company, coachcom.inc., is publishing the magazine," says Chot. "We are in the business of creating champion teams–be it in the workplace, the home or the sports field. This is our passion. We believe we have a champion team behind ‘College Ball.’ And champion teams produce championship experiences. We hope you enjoy this."

Highlights of the magazine are the predictions of finish in the UAAP and NCAA by PBA coaches, a UAAP preview by broadcaster Mico Halili, an NCAA preview by Philippine Basketball League executive director Butch Maniego, an assessment of each UAAP and NCAA team by its coach, Chot’s analysis of each team’s pet plays (diagrammed for easy understanding), a profile of the Pumaren coaching brothers, analyses of marquee match-ups (Denok Miranda vs. L. A. Tenorio, Yeo vs. Mark Abadia, Paolo Hubalde vs. Jemal Vizcarra, Fonacier vs. Mac Cardona, Santos vs. Rey Mendoza, Marvin Cruz vs. Ramil Tagupa), a feature on the greatest college squad ever, the collegiate "all-dream" team made up of varsity stars who never made it to the pros, UAAP and NCAA individual and team statistics, the UAAP second round schedule and a story on Serbian Marko Batricevic of La Salle Greenhills high school in my own space entitled "Dean’s List."

What makes the magazine a must-read for college basketball fans is the breakdown of each team’s inside offense, outside shooting, defense, playmaking, rebounding, transition game and intangibles sprinkled with comments from experts. No other publication can boast of such an extensive and comprehensive overview.

The pictures are eye-catching, too. Never-before-published action shots of UAAP and NCAA stars are all over the magazine.

When Chot says he does things with a passion, you better believe it. "College Ball 2004" is proof of his enduring love for the game. The magazine is a class act.

"Never mind that we didn’t know the first thing about publication or the magazine business, let alone have any experience in this field, what mattered only was our passion," he explains. "For the game. For sport. For excellence."

If you can’t wait to get your hands on a copy at a newsstand, call Chot’s office at 687-3667 and find out the fastest way to pick up "College Basketball 2004." It’s a bible for keeps.

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