The Pupule Barnstorming Tour resumes this lovely (a little rain, a little sunshine) with an awesome inter-league, preseason matchup at Richard Kitamura Fieldhouse.
I’ll blog as long as my phone battery holds out. It’s on 66 percent. It’s been only one week or so since coaches made their roster cuts. Very few teams look sharp this early in the season. It’s not even December yet. But ‘Iolani has some horses back and Dean Shimamoto continues to be one of the most nimble and effective basketball minds of our generation. Even if he still looks like he’s in college.
Hugh Hogland is one of the top post players in the islands. At last check he was 6-foot-8 and getting leaner and meaner.
Farrington? Allan Silva left for Saint Louis after more than a decade guiding the Governors. In his place: Steven Leopoldo. He’s been running the varsity boys hard. He’s already had success with the girls as an assistant and head coach. But it’s different in the boys game I this sense: much more athleticism and depth to work with.
When Leopoldo and his brothers played back in the day, Coaxh Harry Pacarro had his athletes running and pressing from start to finish. Platooning five in and five out. It was breathtaking at times, especially for opposing players. (I know because I was one of them.)
The Govs will look differently in February than they will today. Leopoldo and his staff have time. But if they develop into the vision of their head coach, it’ll be something special for the new generation – and some of us old futs – to see and enjoy.
I just wonder how if these current Govs have half the dedication and work ethic that Leopoldo and his family had for the game some 30-plus years ago. If they get close to that level, fans might see some run and gun scores this winter.
JV game just ended. ‘Iolani beat Farrington 46-40.
Raiders poised and executing nicely. Hogland with a big swat on defense as the Govs’ center tried a fastbreak layup. IOL leads 7-0.
Leopoldo sends three subs in, including freshmen Chris Afe (6-2) and PG Felcris Ahadain. Mosi Afe with three FTs. Time out FAR. IOL up 9-3.
Raiders close with a 6-2 run. FARRINGTON handled fullcourt pressure well but couldn’t score on Hogland in the paint. Robbie Mann and Zach Gelacio look sharp.
Chris Afe draws a charge from Mann with :04 on the clock and leaves the game after his head hits the floor.
Raiders are crisp even when The reserves are in. Govs making youthful mistakes now against the press – no surprise with a young roster.
IOL up 36-18 with :42 left when Hogland blocks another layup but lands awkwardly. Left ankle injury. Can’t put weight on it. He’s worked hard on the offseason. Jumping higher. Springy.
‘Iolani leads 40-20 at the break.
Govs much more comfortable now especially with Hogland out. Lead was down to 48-34 before Mann drive for an and-1 reverse layup. IOL leads 53-37 after three.
Reserves in for both teams. Actually, for the whole game as both coaches give their guys lots of minutes. IOL very fluid from top to bottom. Nice 4-out game with Hogland sidelined. FAR settled in with more time together. Nice potential.
FINAL: IOL 75, FAR 50.