In this Olympic summer, there is still a lot of talk about the fabled 1992 American Dream Team. While countries like Spain, Argentina, and France are contenders for Olympic gold, a lot of the Olympic chatter regarding hoops is whether this US team is better than the Dream Team.
Rather than weigh in my thoughts on that matter, I ask, whatever happened to Croatia?
Back in the 1980s and early 1990s, the splintered states of the former Yugoslavia – Serbia and Croatia regularly sent players to the NBA.
The silver-medal winning Croatian team in Barcelona that the Americans played twice had at that point two NBA players in the New Jersey Nets’ Drazen Petrovic and the Boston Celtic’s Stojko Vrankovic. Within two years, Toni Kukoc would join the Chicago Bulls while forward Dino Radja became a Celtic.
Kukoc became a star with the Bulls while Radja was for a couple of seasons, the lone bright spot on a Boston team that was dealing with life post-Larry Bird. READ MORE
When La Salle announced that Gee Abanilla was taking over the coaching reins of the Green Archers, some quarters raised their eyebrows. Who is this exactly?
For those whose basketball memory only goes back to the past decade, Abanilla is a relative unknown. However, he is a link to their glorious past. A past when La Salle first made a name for themselves in the UAAP. More than that, he was a part of the team that unseated Ateneo during its back-to-back reign during the late 1980s.
Abanilla honed his coaching chops backing up Franz Pumaren, first in La Salle, then will working as an assistant to Ato Agustin with San Miguel/Petron in the PBA. Some ever swear that he is one of the brains behind the Beermen/Blaze Boosters’ strong play.
Yes, the 1980’s. The old glory years. And Abanilla isn’t the only one making a comeback as Eduardo Cojuangco, the team’s former patron, is once more financing the team.
On the opposite side of the court is none other than an old hand of San Miguel’s. One who led them to arguably the finest run of any PBA coach not named Baby Dalupan – Norman Black. READ MORE.