Padim shares his ideas
I was viewing Video game 5 of the Boston-Toronto video game, won by the Celtics for a 3 -2 lead and keeping alive my prediction of a Celtics’ win in 6 games, and a commentator mentioned that three-point shots were choosing a lot of video games now in the playoffs. And I kept in mind the discussion on the exact same subject I had just the day before over the phone with an old-school basketball defensive gamer, a real stopper of offending players on the opposing teams. Old-timer basketball fans, including me, will keep in mind Padim Israel, the attractive product of Ateneo de Manila in the mid 1970s. After all, Padim was with the group that won back-to-back NCAA titles in 1975 and 1976, together with the similarity then future PBA players, too, Steve Watson, Joy Carpio, Fritz Gaston and Bambi Kabigting, another defensive expert like Padim. He remembers the reality that I was the extremely first sportswriter then to do a feature on him, which is why despite the passage of time, we remain comfy with one another, even after his retirement in 1993 after 12 seasons in the PBA in a profession that started with Crispa and had stints with Tanduay, Purefoods and Presto. Along the method, he made a slot in the All Defensive group, was a Most Improved Player and became part of a second Legendary Group in the PBA in the mid 80s, aside from earning numerous championships, consisting of Crispa’s Grand Slam. And perhaps that was the reason when we discussed the current NBA playoffs, he admitted he is really detached with the present PBA now and follows the NBA more. Padim does not like three-point shots, saying it appears like NBA video games are truly more on long-distance shooting now, with everybody wishing to shoot 3s that the other elements and skills of basketball like post plays are being forgotten, though he accepts that basketball is a shooting game. Which is another reason why even if LeBron James is his preferred player, he thinks the Clippers have an extremely great chance to win this year. They are 2-1 against Denver since this writing. In truth, he is very amazed with Kawhi Leonard, who shoots more in the two-point zone or drives to the basket than take those rainbow shots. But pushed for a definite choice, he limited it to stating the Leading 4 teams should be the Lakers, Clippers, Celtics and the Heat. My “untrustworthy” crystal ball informed me prior to the playoffs started that Boston, the LA Lakers, the LA Cllppers and Milwaukee would be in the Final 4. But Jimmy Butler and the Heat made a phony out of me as they rounded off the Bucks, 4-1, to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Back to Padim, whose decision to become a Christian pastor after his PBA profession came as a huge surprise considering his great appearances and legions of female fans, we also wound up comparing his period with the existing players. He admitted that present day PBA players are larger, taller, more athletic with more endurance and have a higher level of skills. His generation’s edge, he says, remains in “diskarte” or “gulang” together with being more physical. Padim is a semi-retired as a pastor, however is still readily available on call from time to time and is a pulpit minister evangelist with the Living World Christian Churches of Cebu International. He described his ending up being a pastor as a call from the Lord and started with a cravings for the word of God, ultimately becoming a desire to share and teach it. He stays gladly wed to starlet Rio Locsin, with the marriage blessed with three daughters, all single and still coping with the couple in Las Pinas. When there is opportunity, he plays with his remote-controlled cars and trucks in a parking area in Muntinlupa, but with the pandemic, he hardly ever heads out of the home. My final memory of Padim is he was a cerebral player and when I had that interview with him many pounds and black hair back, he was the only player I have actually met to have used the word paradigm, a word that a lot of his contemporaries may have a difficulty of understanding and spelling. Great to have actually reconnected with the man. By the way, tomorrow, Friday, I will be committing the local government of Mandaluyong for its public hospital, around 100 boxes of face masks and several gallons of alcohol, thanks to people, who assisted, particularly Michael Yulo, Atty. Rob Avenida, my kids JM and Janis, former PBA gamer Mike Advani, Alex Wang, Paco Catholic high school batchmates Kid Samsin, Sari Razon, a confidential batchmate and Wendy Ann Dizon. God bless you all!