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After shock loss to Blackwater, Slaughter says Gin Kings should always bring A-game

MANILA, Philippines — They’ve been touted as favorites in the PBA Philippine Cup with their towering big man back in the fold......»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarJan 13th, 2018

THROWBACK: Top PBA rookie draft picks through the years

After 33 years, the tradition of PBA teams selecting promising players from the amateur ranks, patterned after the NBA draft process, heralded a balanced influx of talent to even out the league’s competitiveness. But what makes the draft process interesting is the choice of the number 1 pick, who is considered the most in-demand player seen to bolster the chances of the worst performing or a newly established team in the PBA. With Columbian Dyip’s selection of Lyceum stalwart CJ Perez as the number one pick in the 2018 PBA Draft,  let’s look back at the top draft picks through the years, from its beginnings in 1985 to the controversial selection last year, and how they made their mark in the league. 1985 – Sonny Cabatu Sonny Cabatu was the PBA’s first-ever number one draft pick, selected by the expansion club Shell Azodrin Bugbusters, which took over the Crispa Redmanizers franchise. An intense bruiser inside the paint, Cabatu was Shell’s starting center known as “Mr. Quality Minutes.” He would then play for Great Taste, Purefoods, Sarsi, and Ginebra in a respectable career. 1986 – Rey Cuenco A member of the guest Northern Cement Corp. (NCC) team coached by Ron Jacobs that played in the pro league’s 1984 season, Rey Cuenco was picked in the 1986 draft by another new, expansion ballclub Alaska Milkmen to lead their charge.  His pro playing career blossomed from 1989 to 1992 under the tutelage of Ginebra playing coach Robert Jaworski. In 1990, he was adjudged the Most Improved Player and part of the Mythical Second Team. He also became a member of the Big J-coached, first all-Filipino, all-professional “Dream Team” in the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing that won a silver medal for the country with Allan Caidic, Samboy Lim, Benjie Paras and Ramon Fernandez among others. 1987 – Allan Caidic Considered the greatest Filipino basketball marksman ever, Allan Caidic was already a big name before he strutted into the PBA. Having won titles for the UE Red Warriors and among the top players of the Ron Jacobs-mentored national team, the Triggerman was definitely one big prized addition for any team. And Great Taste, having the privilege of selecting first in 1987, made Caidic a hands-down choice. He would later suit up for San Miguel Beer and Ginebra San Miguel in a storied career. He had since become a PBA Hall of Famer and among the Top 25 Greatest Players of All Time. 1988 – Jack Tanuan A vital cog of the FEU Tamaraws and a member of the 1986 Seoul Asian Games squad that took home the bronze, Jack Tanuan was a feared scorer who made a living with his inside game. It was no surprise that new franchise Purefoods selected him as their top pick in 1988, in addition to other direct hires from the amateur ranks that formed their strong core—Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codinera, Jojo Lastimosa and Glenn Capacio—on top of having the Franchise, Mon Fernandez, as playing coach. He would later play for the Sarsi, Swift and Pop Cola teams under the RFM franchise, and later on for Sta. Lucia, Mobiline, and Alaska. 1989 – Benjie Paras It was the year of Benjie Paras, a valiant, hardworking center called “The Tower of Power,” who led the UP Maroons to its historic 1986 UAAP title. After being selected by Shell as the number one pick in the 1989 draft, Paras would achieve the impossible of being both the league MVP and Rookie of the Year, while being named to the Mythical Five. Paras along with fellow Hall of Famers Ronnie Magsanoc and long-time import Bobby Ray Parks Sr. became the triumvirate that led Shell to the First Conference championships in 1990 and 1992. And, even with the onset of Fil-foreign players in the PBA, Paras remained dominant and won his second MVP plum in 1999. 1990 – Peter Jao Peter Jao was the first Cebuano player to be drafted as a rookie top pick in the league, selected by Presto Tivoli. He would then become a member of Presto’s champion team in the 1990 All-Filipino conference with Allan Caidic and Gerry Esplana. 1991 – Alex Araneta The former Ateneo Blue Eagle suited up for Alaska Air Force/Milkmen until 1995, after which he was hired in the company as a management trainee, eventually becoming one of Alaska Milk Corp.’s sales managers. Of Alaska’s 14 championships in the league, Araneta was a veteran of 2 of them (1991 Third Conference and 1994 Governors’ Cup). 1992 – Vergel Meneses An ex-seminarian who became among the PBA’s Top 40 Greatest Players, the “Aerial Voyager” was known for his show-stopping moves and is considered among the best one-on-one players. The former JRU Heavy Bomber and 1995 PBA MVP was also a member of the all-pro Centennial Team coached by Tim Cone that won the William Jones Cup in Taipei and placed 3rd in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok. 1993 – Zandro Limpot After his years as a King Archer for De La Salle, Zandro Limpot entered the 1993 draft and was chosen first overall by the expansion ballclub Sta. Lucia Realtors.  Limpot was named Rookie Of The Year that season as well as reaping All-Star, Mythical Second Team and All-Defensive Team honors. Limpot won his first and only PBA championship (2006 Philippine Cup) with the Purefoods Chunkee Giants. 1994 – Noli Locsin Another former Green Archer, Noli Locsin was picked by Tondeña 65 as the league’s top draft pick in 1994. He became a 4-time PBA All-Star (1994, 1995, 1996, 1999) in a high-flying career with Ginebra. Bacolod-born Locsin was famous for his barrelling game before the arrival of Filipino-Americans in the PBA. Spent 6 seasons with the Ginebra San Miguel franchise; won the 1997 Commissioner’s Cup with Jaworski as coach. He later suited up for Pop Cola, Tanduay, Red Bull, Talk ‘N Text and Sta. Lucia. 1995 – Dennis Espino After leading the UST Growling Tigers to their monumental four-peat, Dennis Espino would later bring his winning ways to the PBA. Sta. Lucia got the first crack at the 1995 draft and picked him first overall to form a menacing one-two punch with Zandro Limpot, and later with Marlou Aquino. He had a sterling career with Sta. Lucia for 15 years and yielded the following achievements:  4-time PBA All-Star, 2-time All-Defensive Team, 2-time Mythical First Team, 2004-05 Defensive Player of the Year and 2007-08 Philippine Cup Finals MVP. He won the 2001 Governors’ Cup and the 2007-08 Philippine Cup for Sta. Lucia. 1996 – Marlou Aquino Picked by Gordon’s Gin as first overall in the 1996 draft, Marlou Aquino had an exceptional maiden year gave him Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Best Player of the Conference (1996 Governors’ Cup), Mythical First Team, All-Star and All-Defensive Team honors. He also became the second Ginebra player (after Dondon Ampalayo in 1986) to win the Rookie of the Year award.  Aquino then was part of Gordon Gin’s 1997 Commissioner’s Cup and Sta. Lucia Realty’s 2001 Governors’ Cup championship teams.  1997 – Andy Seigle The first Fil-Am top pick, chosen by Mobiline in 1997, Andy Seigle won Rookie of the Year and was part of the 1999 All-Star Game. The Scranton, Pennsylvania native was twice a member of the National Team in the 1998 and 2002 Asian Games and was one of the most dominant and best defensive players in the 1990’s era. 1998 – Danny Ildefonso  Danny Ildefonso was picked by San Miguel Beer first overall in 1998, the year he also won Rookie of the Year. One of only four pro players to win back-to-back MVP awards (2000 and 2001), Ildefonso had a prolific 15-year career with the San Miguel ballclub with 8 championships (1999 and 2000 Commissioner’s Cups;  1999, 2000 and 2011 Governors’ Cups; 2001 All-Filipino; 2005 and 2009 Fiesta Cups). He is among the PBA’s Top 40 Greatest Players. 1999 – Sonny Alvarado Selected by Tanduay as its top pick in the 1999 Draft, Sonny Alvarado was poised to dominate the league as a gritty Fil-Am all-around player. He was however embroiled in the “Fil-Sham” controversy, that revealed that he had filed two alleged birth certificates of his mother when he applied for the draft. This prompted immigration officials to initiate deportation measures against Alvarado because of such failure to directly prove his Filipino parental links. 2000 – Paolo Mendoza Paolo Mendoza was a hot-shooting guard who led the UP Fighting Maroons to two Final Four appearances from 1996-1997. He then applied for the 2000 draft and was chosen the overall first pick by Sta. Lucia Realty. Together with Dennis Espino and Marlou Aquino, Mendoza was one of the main factors behind the 2001 Governor’s Cup title win of the Realtors. 2001 – Willie Miller The diminutive Willie Miller is considered the first player from the PBA’s rival league, Metropolitan Basketball Association, to become the top overall pick in a PBA Rookie Draft, in which he was selected by the Batang Red Bull Thunder. He was part of three teams that copped PBA titles—Red Bull (2001 and 2002 Commissioner’s Cup), Alaska (2007 Fiesta Cup), and Talk ‘N Text (2015 Commissioner’s Cup). His career highlights in his 15 years in the PBA were 2-time MVP (2002 and 2007), 2-time Finals MVP, 9-time All-Star,  3-time Mythical First Team member, and 2014 Sportsmanship Awardee. 2002 – Yancy de Ocampo The “Post-Man” as he is called, Yancy de Ocampo is a shifty, reliable center who delivers the goods at crunch time. He was the number one draft pick in 2002 by the FedEx Express. He was part of several champion teams, namely Talk ‘N Text, BMeg Llamados, San Mig Coffee and eventually San Miguel Beer. 2003 – Mike Cortez The “Cool Cat” Mike Cortez, a former La Salle standout, brought his court savviness to the PBA after Alaska picked him first overall in the 2003 draft by and immediately went to work. Cortez helped the Aces win the Reinforced Conference that year. He would then move on to San Miguel Beer, and was part of a hefty push to win the 2007 and 2009 Fiesta Conferences. A journeyman in his 15-year PNA career, Cortez currently plays for the Blackwater Elite. 2004 – Rich Alvarez The Japan-born and U.S.-raised Rich Alvarez had a blast on his maiden year with Shell, which selected him first overall in the 2004 draft, collecting Rookie of the Year, All-Star, All-Defensive Team and All-Rookie Team honors. Played for 13 seasons in 8 different teams, Rich was successful in winning 4 championships with the TNT Tropang Texters (2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 Philippine Cups and 2011 Commissioner’s Cup) 2005 – Anthony "Jay" Washington This Zambales-born journeyman was first chosen by Air21 in the 2005 draft then traded to Talk ‘N Text. But his stint with San Miguel Beer made him flourish with two titles in the 2009 Fiesta Conference and the 2011 Governors Cup. He would return to the TNT Tropang Texters and help the, win the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup. He currently plays for the Rain or Shine Elastopainters. 2006 – Kelly Williams Picked first overall by Sta. Lucia Realty in 2006, Kelly Williams immediately made his presence felt that year bagging Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie Team honors. He first won a championship with Sta. Lucia in the 2007-08 Philippine Cup and would then lead his present ballclub, the TNT Tropang Texters to five championships, notably the three-peat Philippine Cups from 2010 to 2012, and the 2011 and 2015 Commissioners’ Cups. 2007 – Joe Devance While it was Welcoat that originally drafted Joe Devance as the first pick overall in the 2007 draft, he would earn the distinction of being the league’s winningest coach Tim Cone’s most trusted trooper. Devance has won nine championships with Cone as his coach, starting with Alaska (2010 Fiesta Cup), B-Meg/San Mig Coffee (2012 and 2014 Commissioner’s Cup, 2013 and 2014 Governors’ Cup and Philippine Cup); and currently, Ginebra San Miguel (2016 and 2017 Governors’ Cup, and 2018 Commissioners’ Cup).  2008 – Gabe Norwood Chosen by the only team has played for up to now, the Rain or Shine Elastopainters, as its number one draft pick in 2008, Gabe Norwood would then etch a rich career with his ballclub, having won 2 championships (2012 Governors’ Cup, 2016 Commissioner’s Cup). He had also notched numerous awards, including Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and was part of the All Star Game nine times, and the All-Defensive Team six times.  2009 – Japeth Aguilar   “Jumpin’ Japeth” starred for the Ateneo Blue Eagles for two years then moved to the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers during his university years.  In 2009, Aguilar was selected by Burger King and only played one game with the Whoppers, after which he was traded to Talk `N Text.  Japeth has become a Team Gilas mainstay since the beginning of his pro career, of which the Philippines’ participation in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain became one of his national team career highlights. 2010 – Nonoy Baclao   “Mr. Swat” was among the vital cogs of the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ back-to-back UAAP men’s basketball championships in 2008 and 2009. After college, Baclao led the Philippine Patriots as the inaugural champion of the 2009-10 Asean Basketball League (ABL) season prior to entering the PBA rookie draft. In 2010, Nonoy was selected by Air21 then he was traded to Petron (San Miguel) where he had one championship in his sophomore year in the league.  2011 – JVee Casio  The former De La Salle Green Archer playmaker who was Rookie of the Year (2003), Finals Co-MVP (2007) and Mythical Five member (2007 & 2008) in the UAAP was a Gilas pioneer before deciding to turn pro in 2011. By far Casio “G-Shock” is the shortest among the active PBA players to have been picked first overall by the Powerade Tigers. JVee was traded to Alaska Aces in 2012 and has since then became a mainstay in the team which he helped win the Commissioner’s Cup title in 2013. 2012 – June Mar Fajardo  The burly Cebuano was star center at the University of Cebu of which he steered to back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011 at the CESAFI league. “The Kraken” has played for only one team throughout his pro career in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) and the PBA – San Miguel. As one big reason to “Fear the Beer,” Fajardo gave San Miguel six championships to date and became the first and only PBA player to win the MVP award in four straight seasons (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017).  2013 – Greg Slaughter  “GregZilla” stomped rivals with his huge presence when he helped lead the Ateneo Blue Eagles to two consecutive UAAP championships in 2011 and 2012 -- completing a five-peat for the Loyola Heights squad. Picked by Barangay Ginebra in 2013, Slaughter got his pro career to a fast start with ROY and All-Rookie Team honors. He won 3 championships under coach Tim Cone (2016 and 2017 Governors’ Cups; 2018 Commissioner’s Cup). He also saw action for the first time with Gilas this year in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. 2014 – Stanley Pringle  Drafted by NorthPort Batang Pier, “The Beard” exploded into the local basketball scene with Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie team honors, after stints with Belgium, Poland, Ukraine and Indonesia ballclubs.  A 4-time All-Star (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), Pringle is considered among the best guards and high scorers in the play-for-pay league, gaining raves from other coaches and close followers of the sport.   2015 – Moala Tautuaa  He applied and went undrafted in the 2012 NBA draft, then moved to Asia to resume his basketball career by playing as an import for the Westsports Malaysia Dragons in the ABL.  After which, the Fil-Tongan made the “Big Mo(ve)” to the Philippines and spent a fruitful season with the D-League, ending up as its 2015 Foundation Cup MVP.  Talk N` Text selected Tautuaa as overall pick of the first round but traded him later on to NorthPort Batang Pier in 2018. 2016 – Raphael Banal  Since the first round of the 2016 PBA draft was dedicated to PBA teams choosing Gilas Pilipinas players to join their ranks, the regular draft started in the second round. Here, the Blackwater Elite chose as its first pick Raphael Banal, a contemporary of Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal in the Ateneo Blue Eaglets juniors team who went to the Hope International University-California for college.  His surname rings a bell, being the youngest child of former PBA player and TNT coach (2003 All-Filipino Conference champion) Joel Banal.  Yet “Ael” held his own in the PBA D-League for two conferences with Racal Motors.  2017 – Christian Standhardinger  The American-schooled Fil-German played in the ProA and Basketball Bundesliga tournaments in Germany as well with Hong Kong Eastern in the ABL.  Although he was selected by San Miguel Beer in the overall draft of 2017 in a controversial trade with Kia Picanto, the rightful owner of the number one pick, Standhardinger joined the Beermen in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup after completing his ABL tour of duty.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News13 hr. 39 min. ago

Victolero, Magnolia undeterred by shock loss to Meralco as path to top 4 still clear

ANTIPOLO---Magnolia's 94-88 loss to downtrodden Meralco in the PBA Governors' Cup sure gave Chito Victolero things to ponder on, but it wasn't enough to rough up the team's morale. The topseeded Hotshots held a half-game lead over Barangay Ginebra prior to their game against the Bolts on Friday at Ynares Center here, but the surprising setback pulled them to a tie at 7-2. But Victolero was unbothered with the outcome knowing they can still clinch a twice-to-beat advantage, which is given to the top four teams, for the quarterfinals. "Our chance is still on our hands," said Victolero, whose team will still face TNT and the Gin Kings, in Filipino. "We won't rely on other te...Keep on reading: Victolero, Magnolia undeterred by shock loss to Meralco as path to top 4 still clear.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 19th, 2018

MAJOR POINT: Has the PBA Solved Its Draft Problem?

Late last week on October 12th, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) made an announcement that the PBA Board of Governors voted and agreed unanimously that starting 2019, the number 1 overall draft pick can no longer be traded and is exclusively for the worst team in the league to pick who they choose. At first glance, the PBA’s announcement looks like a solution to the draft problem that has gone on for over a decade. If you just read the headline or skimmed through the press release or an article written on the subject maybe you think the PBA has found its solution to the draft problem that caused division in the PBA Board and led to the hiring of a new commissioner after another draft debacle last year. Ever the skeptic, I read more than the headlines. Instead of skimming through the press release and articles, I read the fine print. After my readings and a few discussions with basketball people, do I feel the PBA has found a solution to its draft problem? I’m skeptical. I have questions. But before we get to my questions, lets take a look at how the PBA got itself in a situation where they had to make an actual rule that the worst team in the league CAN’T trade the number one overall pick: 2005: Anthony “Jay” Washington gets drafted number one overall by Air21 Express. Washington gets traded on draft day to the Talk ’N Text Phone Pals. Talk ’N Text was second in wins in the PBA in the three conferences leading up to the 2005 draft. 2008: The Talk ’N Text Phone Pals have picks 2 and 4 in the first round of the draft despite being tied for the most number of wins in the 2006-2007 season. They draft Jared Dillinger and Rob Reyes with those picks. TNT trades Jay Washington to the San Miguel Beermen and acquires the third overall pick, which turns out to be Jayson Castro. 2009: Japeth Aguilar is selected number one overall by the Burger King Whoppers. Aguilar plays one game for the Whoppers, before he is shipped to the Talk N Text Tropang Texters in a three-way trade also involving Barako Bull. Burger King was able to get Barako Bull’s 2010 (previously acquired by Talk ‘N Text) and 2012 first-round picks along with Talk ‘N Text’s 2013 and 2014 first-round picks. 2010: Noy Baclao and Rabeh Al-Hussaini are selected first and second overall by Air21 Express. Midway through their rookie season both Baclao and Al-Hussaini along with Rey Guevarra are traded to Petron Blaze in exchange for Danny Seigle, Dondon Hontiveros, Dorian Peña and Paul Artadi. Baclao and Al-Hussaini help the Petron Blaze win the 2011 PBA Governors’ Cup. Al-Hussaini wins Rookie of the Year. 2012: The Petron Blaze Boosters (from Barako Bull via Air21) select June Mar Fajardo number one overall. 2013: Barangay Ginebra (from Air21) selects Greg Slaughter number one overall. Barako Bull had the fourth, fifth and sixth picks in the first round. Barako Bull decides to trade away all three first round picks. The fifth pick turns out to be Terrence Romeo. 2014: Despite winning the Philippine Cup in a 4-0 sweep, Talk ’N Text lands the second and fourth picks overall and selects Kevin Alas and Matthew Ganuelas-Rosser before the 2014-2015 PBA season begins. Alas & Ganuelas-Rosser help Talk ’N Text win the 2015 Commisioner’s Cup. Kia Sorento with their first pick in franchise history selects Manny Pacquiao 11th overall. 2015: Despite winning the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup, Talk ’N Text has the number one overall pick (from Blackwater). Talk ’N Text selects Moala Tautuaa number one and then two days later trade for the number two overall pick, Troy Rosario (Mahindra). 2016: The “Special” Draft. Gilas players are selected behind closed doors. One Gilas cadet per team, not to be traded for two years. Draft order was never released to the PBA fans/public. 2017: The San Miguel Beerman, despite winning two championships, having the most wins and the best win percentage, select Christian Standhardinger number one overall after a trade from Kia. Losing out on the Standhardinger sweepstakes, TNT blasts Commissioner Narvasa for approving the trade. The PBA divides where seven teams declare they have a “loss of confidence” in Commissioner Narvasa. Five teams support Commissioner Narvasa. After a three-month stalemate, Commissioner Narvasa steps down and the PBA Board appoints a new commissioner, Willie Marcial. As you can see, it is a little more complicated than having the number one overall pick protected from a trade. While the number one overall pick has been traded seven times in the last 13 years, which has to be some kind of record, there have been other issues as well. And that is where my long list of questions begins: -    What’s to stop an already winning team from stacking up multiple first round picks other than the number one overall pick, like in 2008 and 2014? -    This "no trading of the top pick rule" becomes effective in 2019. Why the wait? Why can’t it apply this year? Columbian Dyip has the first pick this season. History says they could likely trade that pick to a championship team. Why do we have to go through this make-believe world another year? -    Hypothetically, how would the PBA handle this situation: Phoenix trades an active player to Rain or Shine for ROS’s 2021 1st round pick. Unfortunately, in 2020, ROS has a variety of injuries and acquires the number one overall pick. What happens then? Who gets the first pick? ROS or Phoenix? -    After the first pick is drafted, when does that player selected first become tradeable? Can it be traded after the draft? If not, for how long? Looking at the draft history of the last 13 years, you have to wonder, what were the objectives of teams like Air21, Barako Bull & Kia? Were those teams in the league to form competitive teams? Were they attempting to build championship teams? Why were those teams trading so many of their top picks? Columbian justified its trading of the number pick last year by saying they were going to play in an “unconventional” way. Their unconventional way has led them to five wins in 31 games so far this season. It has also earned them the number one overall pick for the second year in a row. The PBA Draft is supposed to be fun. It used to be fun. Before 2005, the PBA Draft was a legitimate event. It was something to look forward to. The idea of the draft is still special in theory. It’s a day where dreams come true. Drafted players lives change that day. Many times, the lives of a player's family change forever when their son or husband or father is drafted in the PBA. It's an opportunity for teams who have struggled to get better. It's supposed to give hope to teams drafting high and a challenge to teams drafting low. That is how the draft system is supposed to work. Unfortunately, in the PBA that system has been broke for a long time. I like the idea and the spirit of the draft. However, last year on my podcast, Staying MAJOR, I argued that the PBA should scrap its draft. That made me sad. It made me sad because I feel like the spirit of the PBA Draft has been lost. It's been lost by teams manipulating the system for the improvement of their individual team or their team's objective, but not for the betterment of the league. I’m tired of the PBA Draft getting hijacked every year. And now we have to likely go through it again this year. Even after what happened last year. Not being able to trade the number one pick sounds good. It’s a nice blanket statement. I even think it might be a step in the right direction. But, sometimes when you're bleeding, you need more than a band-aid. Fans aren’t naive. They can figure out what’s going on when year after year the rich get richer and the poor stay poor. Maybe some of my questions will get answered here as the draft approaches? Maybe Columbian Dyip won’t trade their pick again? Maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part? If there is a silver lining, it is at least the PBA and its Board have acknowledged that there is a problem. At least there was an attempt to fix it. I’d say vetting of new potential franchises, so the PBA doesn’t have members who want to trade their draft picks to already successful teams is the bigger issue, but hopefully this is a start of trying to level the playing field. Wouldn’t it be fun to have teams that haven’t won in a while, keep their picks and build contending teams? Or at least not give them to the already strong teams? Wouldn’t that be fun? Wouldn’t it be fun to celebrate the draft spirit of hope on draft day without trying to figure out how the best teams ended up with the top picks again? The PBA is a professional, competitive, sports league. That’s what it’s supposed to be. The PBA is supposed to be fun too. However, it’s NOT fun or competitive when the top teams keep picking high every year. That’s not real competition to me. So will the PBA’s new rule regarding the number one overall pick change anything? This year, no. Starting next year, maybe. I’d like to be optimistic that there will be change or that this rule will initiate an on-going conversation of how to make the draft better. Unfortunately, we still have a full year of waiting before we find out. Eric Menk played in the PBA from 1999 to 2016. Menk is a four-time PBA champion, three-time PBA Finals MVP and one-time PBA MVP (2005). He will be writing for ABS-CBN Sports weekly. Menk also has his podcast Staying MAJOR as welll as his own YouTube channel ......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2018

PBA: The road gets tougher for Fuel Masters

Phoenix head coach Louie Alas knows the road will get tougher as they go deeper into the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup. With the Fuel Masters looking to secure a top four elimination round finish to secure a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, Alas knows that from here on out they must win as many games as they can in their remaining five assignments. The Fuel Masters climbed to solo second spot after claiming their third straight win over Magnolia, 95-82, Sunday at the Big Dome. Phoenix moved behind unbeaten Blackwater (4-0) with a 5-1 win-loss record.    Still, Alas doesn’t want to take his chances especially with the tournament’s format. “Hindi mo pa rin masasabi kasi dami namin sa taas e,” he said. “Puro one game lang behind sa amin.” “Iba ‘yung format ngayon. One to four is twice-to-beat,” added Alas. “So win as much as you can kahit nasa playoffs ka na.” The Fuel Masters’ difficult road ahead will start Saturday against Barangay Ginebra in Cagayan De Oro.   “Puro malakas (na ang kalaban) starting on Saturday against Ginebra,” he said. The Gin Kings are playing limp with a string of injuries but Alas is wary on Ginebra’s never-say-die spirit. “Ginebra alam mo naman ‘yan next man up ‘yan. Kahit five guys lang si coach Tim (Cone) maglalaro at maglalaro,” said Alas. “One breakdown lang sa depensa kaya natalo (against Blackwater last Friday), meaning kahit depleted sila kailangan A-game namin dalhin pa rin namin.” “So we’ll be tested again on Saturday,” he added. The match is slated to begin at 5:00 p.m.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 23rd, 2018

PBA: Gin Kings dethrone San Miguel after sensational Game 6 win

Hail to the new kings. Ginebra finally knocked out San Miguel Wednesday as the Gin Kings scored a sensational 93-77 Game 6 win at the MOA Arena to claim the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup. Down 10 in the first half, Ginebra roared back in the second half, outscoring the Beermen in the pivotal third period, 27-8. San Miguel never recovered in the fourth and the Gin Kings won the best-of-7 series, 4-2. "For tonight, for one night at least we are the best team, I guess, for one night," head coach Tim Cone said. "Tomorrow, they'll be the best team again. But like I was saying earlier, it's just amazing that we were able to come back from that 1-5 start and then be able to match up with San Miguel in the Finals and win it," he added. Up seven in the third period, Ginebra unloaded a 9-0 run to take a 62-46 lead on the Beermen. Justin Brownlee was particularly great for the barangay, scoring 20 points in the second half, 10 each in the third and fourt periods, to help the Gin Kings pull away for good. The league's Best Import finished with 31 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists, four blocks, and two steals. Locals also came through for the barangay with Finals MVP Scottie Thompson scoring 12 points on top of 13 rebounds and five assists. Greg Slaughter (13 points), LA Tenorio (11 points), and Jeff Chan (10) also finished in double figures. In comparison, the Beermen only had June Mar Fajardo (29 points) and Renaldo Balkman (24 points) making an impact on offense. The star-studded local lineup of the Beermen shut down in Game 6. Alex Cabagnot, Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, and Christian Standhardinger combined for a grand total of 11 points. Ross, Lassiter, and Standhardinger went scoreless. It was also San Miguel's first Finals loss with head coach Leo Austra as the Beermen's Grand Slam bid ends at the hands of Ginebra for the second year in a row.   The Scores:  Ginebra (93): Brownlee 31, Slaughter 13, Thompson 12, Tenorio 11, Chan 10, Mercado 6, Ferrer 5, Devance 4, J. Aguilar 1  San Miguel (77): Fajardo 29, Balkman 24, Heruela 11, Cabagnot 6, Santos 5, Pessumal 2, Ross 0, Lassiter 0, Rosser 0, Vigil 0, Standhardinger 0  Quarterscores: 14-17, 35-38, 62-46, 93-77   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2018

San Miguel picks up momentum, sends Ginebra to 5th loss

San Miguel continued to build momentum after its disastrous start as it scraped past Barangay Ginebra, 104-97, in overtime in the PBA Commissioner's Cup Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena. The Beermen started the conference on a 0-3 spiral but has since won two straight to get to a 2-3 card while the Gin Kings lost back-to-back games and slipped to 1-5 to stay at the 11th seed. Reigning four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo found the lucky bounce in his turnaround jumper over Greg Slaughter to tie the game at 93-93 with 1.1 seconds left in regulation. MVP PLAY! June Mar ties it! 93-93 0.6 seconds left! #PBA2018 pic.twitter.com/lH7Az4iSIP --- Bong Lozada (@BLozadaINQ) June 3, 2018 R...Keep on reading: San Miguel picks up momentum, sends Ginebra to 5th loss.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 3rd, 2018

Brownlee back with Ginebra, Walker returns for Blackwater

Help is on the way for Barangay Ginebra. After a 1-3 start in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup, the Gin Kings have finally decided to bring back Justin Brownlee and replace Chuck Garcia. Agent Sheryl Reyes, who handles Brownlee, announced the return of the two-time PBA champion on her Twitter account. Mga ka barangay it's official Justin Brownlee is back ... ginebra's import once again .. watch him next game woot woot #teamreyes pic.twitter.com/xkdEWipwrx --- Sheryl Sanchez Reyes (@FemaleAgentSR) May 21, 2018 Interestingly, Brownlee's return will be against fierce rival Meralco on June 1 at Mall of Asia Arena. Ginebra and Meralco have faced each other in the last two Governo...Keep on reading: Brownlee back with Ginebra, Walker returns for Blackwater.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 21st, 2018

PBA: No revenge, just rejoicing for Paul Zamar in debut

BINAN, LAGUNA – Paul Zamar's dream came true on Friday at the Alonte Sports Arena here.  The now 30-year-old finally made his PBA debut in the 2018 Commissioner's Cup for Blackwater.  This, six years after he was drafted in the fourth round by Ginebra, but left unsigned.  As fate would have it, Zamar's first game in Asia's first pay-for-play league came up against the Gin Kings.  And at the 1:54 mark of the first quarter, he took the floor.  Right then and there, he had his first welcome to the PBA moment as it was league legend Mark Caguioa who approached him. Asked about it, he answered, "Sabi niya, 'Welcome to the PBA.' Sabi ko naman, 'Oo, ang tagal kong hinintay.'"  He then cotinued, "Surreal feeling for me."  Not that long after, he made good on his first PBA basket with a three at the 6:41 mark of the second quarter.  In the end, however, Ginebra came out on top of the Elite, 105-91.  And while his debut ended in a loss, the 5-foot-11 guard said he is nothing but glad that his PBA dream is now, at long last, a reality. "Okay naman. Enjoy naman, pero siyempre, gusto pa rin namin sana yung end result, panalo," he said.  Without a doubt, he took full advantage of each and every second he was on the floor, totaling 15 points built on four triples on top of six rebounds in 21 minutes of action. "Sa tingin ko, dapat ang attitude naman ng isang professional basketball player eh regardless (if) gamitin ka one minute or matagal, dapat ready ka," he said.  Of course, Zamar had an extra chip on his shoulder – up against the team where he should have begun his career with. "In general lang, excited ako to play in the PBA. Nagkataon lang na Ginebra lang first game," he said.  He then continued, "Sa akin, dream ko as a basketball player na makapaglaro sa PBA so I'm very excited. Bonus na lang na Ginebra yung kalaban."  Moving forward, he can rest assured that his debut is out of the way and he could focus on just getting better.  With that, the son of coach Boycie Zamar will have help once he gets home. "Hindi ko nga alam kung (nandito si coach Boycie), pero ang alam ko, kung 'di man siya nanood ng live, nanood siya sa TV. Looking forward sa comments niya sakin mamaya," he shared through chuckles.  Welcome to the PBA, Paul Zamar.  ---  Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 11th, 2018

PBA: After scuffle with Slaughter, Belo feels the love from Ginebra fans

BINAN, LAGUNA - In a rare show of emotion, Mac Belo had some sort of intense interaction with Greg Slaughter on Friday at the Alonte Sports Arena here.  Late in the third quarter of their matchup, Blackwater's Belo and Ginebra's Slaughter got entangled during a rebounding sequence.  Afterwards, the two exchanged words before walking away from one another.  Not long after, though, Belo went right back at Slaughter and the former flashed fingers – the particulars of which are up for debate – right at the face of the latter.  The Elite sophomore was slapped with a technical foul for second motion.  Asked about the intense interaction after the game, the usually stoic Belo answered, "Part of the game na lang. Siyempre, malaki siya so siguro, napasok lang sa isip ko na kasi, siyempre, natamaan din ako e."  He made it clear, however, that even with the Gin Kings all-out domination that eventually ended as a 105-91 win, what happened on the court stays on the court. "Yun lang yun. Wala lang yun," he expressed.  Still, right after the intense interaction and right until the final buzzer, Belo became the target of jeers from the obviously pro-Ginebra crowd.  And so, each and every time he touched the ball, several hecklers could be heard shouting sweet nothings at him. Reacting to all those, he said, "Wala. Hindi ko na pinansin. Nag-ano lang naman sila..."  He then paused before finishing his sentence, "...Paglalambing lang."   What matters for the Blackwater star now is that he and his side finally get going as they are winless through five games. "Ngayon, kailangan namin I-build yung character namin as winners. Kailangan naming mag-improve as a team with (new head coach) Bong [Ramos]," he said.  He then continued, "Kailangan buo kami, nasa isang page lang kami. Yun yung iwo-work namin."  ---  Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 11th, 2018

Poor-starting Gin Kings eye Slaughter

Greg Slaughter may finally suit up for the struggling Barangay Ginebra side, hoping to play in their next game against Blackwater on Friday at the Alonte Sports Arena in Laguna......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 8th, 2018

Slaughter likely to return on Friday, says Cone

Good news have been few and far in between for Ginebra this 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup. But after dropping to 0-2 in the team standings, the Gin Kings might be getting the break they badly need with the possible return of Greg Slaughter. "There's a possibility he might play Friday," shared Ginebra coach Tim Cone as he looks forward to Ginebra's game against Blackwater. Slaughter has been out since February with a strained hamstring. His imminent arrival will be a big boost for the Gin Kings, who lost to TNT, 92-96, on Sunday. Cone, though, said that he'll be treating Slaughter with caution as he rejoins team practices this week. "He still has to get through a few d...Keep on reading: Slaughter likely to return on Friday, says Cone.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 6th, 2018

Ateneo s Fab 5: The Fearless Underdogs of UAAP Volleyball

Newly-appointed head coach Roger Gorayeb looked at his line-up heading into UAAP Season 71. A champion mentor of NCAA powerhouse San Sebastian College - Recoletos, Gorayeb had in his hands a gargantuan task of rebuilding Ateneo de Manila University women’s volleyball program. Just a few months before, Ronald Dulay, the mentor before him landed a trio of blue chip recruits who were fresh from a successful stint in the Palarong Pambansa. Angeline "Dzi" Gervacio, Fille Saint Cainglet and Jamenea "Jem" Ferrer just joined the Katipunan-based squad. Gervacio and Cainglet were products of St. Scholastica's College in Manila while Ferrer was a gem from Hope Christian School under girl’s volleyball guru Jerry Yee. Looking at his 15-woman line-up with the season just a few months ahead, Gorayeb knew he needed to do something drastic. The roster just won’t do. Talking to then athletic director Ricky Palou and team manager Tony Boy Liao, the mentor told the team officials that he intended to cut five players from the list. One could just imagine the shock in their faces. “Nakita ko may line-up pero player-playeran lang yung ganoon bang tipo, 15 ata yun. Sabi ko ‘Magtatanggal ako ng lima then magre-recruit ako,’” he said. The three rookies were in. Middle Bea Pascual, Kara Acevedo and libero Steph Gabriel retained their spots. He needed more. “Sa mga tinira kong players, si Kara Acevedo sabi niya, ‘Coach mayroong player ang ICA (Immaculate Conception Academy) na gumraduate naka-exam na rito pasado.’ Sabi ko, ‘Sige papuntahin mo,’” said Gorayeb. It was Gretchen Ho. “Sa akin kasi ang talagang nagyaya sa akin si coach Ron Dulay. Si Kara Acevedo teammate ko and she’s been recruited by Ateneo. So one summer wala akong magawa naki-train lang ako noon tapos nagustuhan nila ang laro ko and then fourth year noong graduate na ako I passed the ACET then niyayaya na nila ako,” she said. “Then nagbago ng coach na si Coach Roger and dun niya ako nakita.”   “Pagdating ko ng March (sa Ateneo) wala na akong way para maka-recruit pa. Ang nangyari yung tatlo accepted na kaagad. Si Gretchen tinanong ko sabi ko, ‘ano ba ang laro mo?’ Sabi niya the usual panggitna, tres,” Gorayeb recalled. “So sinubukan ko pero ang laro niya tres hindi quick. Siya panggitna pero hindi quicker na gusto ko saka yung height niya (maliit). Kaya lang si Gretchen takbo ng takbo, mahilig magtatakbo so sabi ko sige pwede na yan. Wala namang player na during that time. So kinuha ko si Gretchen.” Gorayeb just needed just one more. “Ngayon nagkaroon ng STCAA (Southern Tagalog Calabarzon athletic association) eh kulang pa ako ng isa, wala akong panggitna. Ang gitna ko during that time si Bea lang tapos si Gretchen so wala akong pamalit. So naisipan ko may nakita ako sa STCAA,” he said. He spotted a lanky player from Canossa Academy-Lipa, Aillysse Nacachi. “Sabi ko kay Sir Tony pagtyagaan ko na lang ito kahit hindi naman kalakasan at wala naman na rin akong choice na makapili kasi rush ang pagdating ko dyan. Nakiusap lang sila sa akin na magbuo ako ng team kasi si Ronald nag-resign,” said Gorayeb. Another freshman could’ve had ended up with Ateneo, Hope’s libero Melissa Gohing. But a few obstacles prevented her from fulfilling her promise to join Ferrer in Ateneo. She instead chose to join the ladies in green and white in Taft.    SOMETHING PROMISING December 7, 2008. Far Eastern University Gym. Excitement filled the air. Fans, mostly volleyball purists and some who just came to support their classmates or were just curious to see a new spectacle after the basketball season ended, slowly settled in their seats for the women’s division’s second game. It was Adamson University, the previous year’s runner-up, which just visited the turf of their arch nemesis and defending champion FEU, which was led by that era’s finest and most popular volleybelle Rachel Anne Daquis. Fans wanted to see if the Lady Falcons still had the same firepower they had the previous season with the loss of top setter Janet Serafica and power hitter Sang Laguilles. A rookie-laden Ateneo squad should be easy pickings with Angela Benting, rookie Pau Soriano and libero Lizlee Anne Gata in the roster. Besides the Lady Falcons got the Lady Eagles’ number. Or so they thought. “Naalala ko nu’ng time namin sinasabi sa amin ng seniors namin na, ‘Hay naku ang lakas ng Adamson, never kami nanalo dyan,’” Cainglet, now happily married to film director Lino Cayetano and with three beautiful children, recalled.  But the Lady Eagles stunned Adamson in the opening set. The Lady Falcons took the next two frames. Ateneo stole the fourth.  “Ako naalala ko ano eh, parang alam namin na lahat kasi kami palaban. Nasa amin yun. Tapos binigyan kaming lahat ng chance to be in the first six so parang dream come true,” said Ho, now an ABS-CBN host. “Naalala ko rin na palaban kaming lahat kumbaga nothing to lose eh so ang ano namin, sumasabay kami sa laro and nu’ng nakita na namin na ‘Ay kaya pala natin ‘to guys. Kaya pala naming lumaban.’” Still, Adamson had the upper hand in experience. The Lady Falcons, used to pressure and were steady at crunch time, outlasted Ateneo.           The young Katipunan-based squad fell short, 25-22, 22-25, 15-25, 25-15, 8-15. But for the Fab 5, it was a loss that felt like a resounding victory. “Parang sobrang natutuwa kami and everybody in the crowd, kaya siguro kami natawag na Fab 5 kasi rookies kami pero kahit ganoon palaban kami,” said Ho. “Saka close game. Five sets yun.” However, it was the first of five five-set matches that Ateneo will drop that season including one in the second round against the Manilla Santos-bannered De La Salle University. “Pero ang problema di kami nananalo ng five sets. Parang ilan lang ang naipanalo namin na ganoon. Feeling ko na-overwhelm kami na ‘Uy nananalo tayo.’ May ganoong disbelief ng konti pero alam namin na may ibubuga kami,” said Ho. “Definitely, our rookie season was full of five-set matches. It was tough, we felt like we were so close, but still so far away. At some point, it gave us frustration also. We just couldn't figure out that time what is it that's still lacking because we couldn't win the five-set matches,” according to Nacachi. “People said, it was because the team was still so inexperienced. We still didn't have the tenacity unlike of those more matured teams. But we didn't take it as bad, it was a learning experience for us all at the end. We had to learn how to develop that finishing will to be able to win games like that in the future.” The Fab 5 finished their rookie season with a 6-8 slate at fifth spot.   ‘MAY MEDAL NA TAYO’ Gorayeb remembered on their second year the look on Pascual’s face in their last elimination game match against Adamson. Already wrapping up their first win over the Lady Falcons, Pascual was giddy. “Natatawa nga ako dyan kay Bea kasi papanalo na kami nu’n tapos sumesenyas na siya ng tres. Sabi ko, ‘Hoy anong ginagawa mo?’ Yun pala sobrang saya na niya kasi for the first time in 30 years magkaka-medal na sila,” he said. It was the most important match of the season for the Lady Eagles. With the Fab 5 already in their sophomore year, Ateneo was already making great strides. The Lady Eagles closed that season’s elims with five straight wins capped with a victory over Adamson. Ateneo posted a 10-4 win-loss mark to enter the Final Four legitimately. “Ang nangyari kasi nu’ng time nila Charo (Soriano) kaya sila nakapasok sa semis kasi may nag-squeal na si (Jacq) Alarca di pala naka-enroll nu’n kaya na-forfeit mga laro ng La Salle,” said Gorayeb. The Fab 5 proved that they were not just a bunch of much-hyped up pretty faces. They backed it up with their skills on court. It didn’t matter that Ateneo were swept by eventual champion University of Sto. Tomas in the Final Four.      But the podium finish of Season 72 was short-lived. Adamson got its revenge in the last game of Season 73 elims, bumping off the Lady Eagles in the podium finish. The loss put Ateneo in a collision course with the twice-to-beat DLSU, who could’ve completed an elims sweep if not only for a forfeited match against University of the East after UAAP found out that Carmela Garbin and Clarisse Yeung participated in a ‘ligang labas’ while the season was onoing, in the Final Four. Ateneo gave the Lady Spikers a scare before succumbing in another heartbreaking five-set match. The Lady Eagles finished fourth but that lone semis game gave Ateneo and its maturing Fab 5 enough experience to dream for something big – A ticket into the Finals.      ‘HINOG NA KAYO’ The first three years saw the gradual improvement for Ateneo. But Season 74 proved to be the turning point for the Fab 5. A fresh new recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school, who just completed a year of residency, came into picture and with the Fab 5 armed with years of experience, the Lady Eagles’ fate will forever be changed. Alyssa Valdez, a highly recruited open spiker just like Gervacio, Cainglet-Cayetano and Ferrer years back, gave renewed excitement for the Ateneo faithful. “Alyssa's joining with Ateneo was a great turning point for us. We needed as much support we can get, and Alyssa's entrance to the team was a great boost to the team's morale,” said Nacachi. “The girl is a powerhouse and we felt like with her presence, the team finally became solid.” “We were able to play around with the positions and the rotations, since we had different versatile open players who can also greatly play other roles,” she added. “We were also able to formulate a lot of plays and attacks because Alyssa can generally do all kinds; open, running, quick, name it all. She gave the team the power and the versatility that we previously lacked from the past seasons.” Social media was just gaining traction then but the Lady Eagles were already on the radar of volleyball purists through online forums. For the first time, Ateneo was considered a legitimate contender.   The Fab 5 proved it by winning 11 games in the elimination round, losing only to UST once and dropping two against the Lady Spikers. Valdez’s arrival gave Ferrer an even broader option on offense. It eased the scoring load off the shoulders of Cainglet and Gervacio, who was then moved to an opposite position. “I guess sakto lang din yung dating niya because by that time Kara Acevedo graduated so someone had to fill in her spot so coach Roger decided for me to move to utility or opposite,” said Gervacio. “And then sakto Alyssa naman could fill in the spot na other open spiker.” “So timing din na we had all the pieces put together at the right time,” she added. With a good performance in the elims despite missing a legit middle in Bea Pascual and the entry of Aerieal Patnongon barred by academic problems, Ateneo finished second and for the first-time was armed with a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semifinals. The Lady Eagles faced an experienced Tigresses side in the last stepladder semis stage. UST just came from a hard-fought four-set do-or-die match against FEU and were banking on their four-set win over Ateneo in the second round to force another sudden death. Ateneo’s date with destiny was sealed with a four-set win over the Tigresses, who then bid goodbye to Maika Ortiz and Judy Anne Caballejo. “Pinu-push na rin kami ni Coach Roger noon eh, ‘Hinog na kayo ngayon. Kasi dalawang taon na lang, kailangan makapasok na kayo sa Finals,’” said Ho. “Somehow senior na rin kami,” added Cainglet.  “Season 74 was really the target season for us to be in the finals and target even to win the championship,” according to Nacachi. “During this time, we were already thinking we could not afford to not go in the finals.” “So it was with our mindset and our level of commitment that we were able to finally reach our goal of reaching the finals,” she added. “We had enough experience that time already, and it was really time for us to show the level of game maturity the team had obtained from the past seasons.” But then they had to face an unbeaten team. Unscathed in 14 games, De La Salle University was poised to complete a perfect season. The Lady Eagles spoiled it. Ferrer outplayed DLSU setter Mika Esperanza, 57-42, in excellent sets as Ateneo handed the Lady Spikers its first loss after 25 straight victories in a come-from-behind 23-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-17, Finals opener win. Witnessed by 3,002 spectators inside the then The Arena in San Juan, all of the Fab 5 produced points. Cainglet had 19 behind Valdez’s 24, Gervacio scored 12, Ho had 10, Nacachi finished with five while Ferrer had one. Gorayeb made a big gambit and it worked. “Dahil sa wala kong panggitna, yung laro namin ng La Salle, ginawa kong quicker si Alyssa. Kasi si Alyssa nakakapalo. Nagulat si Ramil (de Jesus) dun.” It was a big win. A huge upset. Unfortunately, Ateneo needed to win two more.  DLSU held a thrice-to-beat advantage.   THAT SWAG After Ateneo made a miracle in Game One, fans began to feel a new rivalry born. The attendance spiked. From just 3,000 spectators, the gate attendance more than doubled its size. The interest was there. Fans of traditional powers began to notice the Lady Eagles as a rising team. For the first time, a squad with no previous championship experience except for a title during the Marcos era in a different collegiate league, made a giant jolt. Everybody wanted to see what these girls would do next.    The Lady Eagles, still high on adrenaline after their Game 1 upset, took the opening set in Game 2. But just like in their opener, a well-experienced DLSU squad adjusted to take the next three frames to move a step closer to a repeat crown. With then Rookie of the Year Ara Galang, Season Most Valuable Player Aby Marano, an intimidating Michele Gumabao and a very efficient Finals MVP Cha Cruz teaming up for the kill, the Lady Spikers ripped Ateneo apart in Game 3 in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22, 25-13. “Sabi nga ni Dzi na nadyan na lahat eh. So I guess noong Season 74 nandoon na pero may kulang pa rin,” said Ho. “I guess we we’re able to make it to the Finals pero wala pa kaming championship experience.” Ferrer agreed. "Siguro ang kulang yung championship experience kasi nasa La Salle na ‘yun eh. Ilang years na silang nagpa-finals, nag-champion and for Ateneo doon pa lang namin sinimulan," said the three-time Best Setter. Lacking championship experience is one thing, but Ateneo during that time wasn’t ready for DLSU’s most feared weapon: the Lady Spikers’ swag.  “They have that swag,” said Gervacio. “Everyone knows about it naman. It’s really coach Ramil’s style talaga kasi as I remember when we were first year, four out of six of the players inside the court were rookies and even if we go against the powerhouses UST, FEU, Adamson, hindi sila yung nakikita nyo na kapag championship na rivalry, na swag, angas, stare down. Pero La Salle talaga kahit sino ang kalaban nila they’ll bring that attitude inside the court.” That Finals series cemented a new rivalry that will become one of the most celebrated in the sport. “I think it also helped that Ateneo-La Salle basketball didn’t face also,” said Gervacio. “Siyempre nandoon ang hunger for the rivalry eh and timely din na its been Ateneo-La Salle na rin sa volleyball.”   CLOSING A CHAPTER The Fab 5 were now in their fifth and last year. They wanted to leave a winning legacy. The pieces were already there. Gorayeb had at his disposal five seniors, a rising star in Valdez, a sophomore middle in Amy Ahomiro, a versatile Ella De Jesus, a steady libero in Denden Lazaro and a new kind of weapon – a massive crowd that can turn any venue into a sea of blue.              As expected, the second installment of the Ateneo-DLSU rivalry was set into place. Both sweeping their semis opponents. The Lady Spikers crushed National University while the Lady Eagles shot down Adamson. Game One was a shocker. DLSU heading into the Finals are on a 14-game roll but were stunned in the first two sets with Ateneo stepping on the gas. But a string of miscues, mostly from the service line, did the Lady Eagles in as they allowed the Lady Spikers to force a decider. DLSU, smelling blood, punished Ateneo to eke out a 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-6, victory inside the Big Dome witnesses by 17,342-strong gate attendance. Then the series transferred to a newly-built, state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena that drew a crowd of 18,799. The first two frames were frustrating for the Lady Eagles.   Ateneo came back to life in the third set to gain a 9-5 lead. But DLSU easily erased it with Ateneo crumbling under pressure. The Lady Spikers were on an onslaught. Sophomore Galang pushed DLSU at matchpoint with a cold-blooded ace that went in a few inches from the baseline. The score, 24-16. It was a tense moment for the Fab 5. A long rally ensued in the next play. Gervacio, with all her might pounded a kill. Her hand making a great contact on the ball off Ferrer’s backset.     Smack! The ball ricocheted off the hands of DLSU’s Wensh Tiu before falling on the same landing area of Gervacio, who tried to dive for a dig together with Lazaro. DLSU swept Ateneo, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16. Game over.          “Kahit hindi kami nanalo alam naming ibinigay namin ang lahat namin, all-out talaga kaya wala kaming pagsisisi,” said Ho. It was the end of the Fab 5 era, but they left more than what any of them could have imagined. "I remember so many people or fans telling me that they started really watching UAAP Volleyball because of our batch. And that is really touching and fulfilling to know. Knowing that you were able to leave an impact like that to people. We were not able to bring even a single championship to our school, Ateneo, but we were able to touch a lot of people's hearts despite that," Nacachi shared. The Fab 5 closed a colorful chapter of Ateneo volleyball in tears. They were there during the Lady Eagles’ birth pains. They labored. They shed tears, blood and sweat. They laid the foundation for something big. The Fab 5 planted the seeds that would eventually bear fruit and would change the course of Ateneo women’s volleyball program forever. Glory didn’t happen during their time. It started in theirs.    Amidst the roar of the crowd, the falling confetti, banging of drums and the echoing chant of ‘Animo La Salle’ from the sea of green, the Fab 5 hugged each other tight. They found comfort in each other. It was their time to say goodbye. For those who remained – Valdez, Lazaro, Ahomiro, De Jesus – the defeat added fuel to their already blazing desire to bring glory for the blue and white. They were the next in line, heirs to unfinished business. WATCH: FAB 5 Reunion Part 1 and Part 2 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 2018

Prince Caperal always ready to step up for Barangay Ginebra

MANILA, Philippines – Prince Caperal was one of the few bright spots in Barangay Ginebra's 90-102 Game 1 loss to the San Miguel Beermen in their best-of-7 semifinals series Friday, March 9.  Without star center Greg Slaughter, Caperal provided quality minutes for the Gin Kings as he registered 8 points on a 3-of-6 shooting and 5 ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 10th, 2018

Still no timetable for return of Gregzilla

June Mar Fajardo was limited to a season-low nine points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists in Game 1 of the semifinals in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. And yet, San Miguel handily beat Ginebra on Friday with Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot, and even Von Pessumal doing the heavy lifting. Japeth Aguilar and little-known Prince Caperal did an admirable job up against the four-time MVP, but they and the rest of the Gin Kings just could not keep up with the rest of the defending champions. As such, the crowd favorites could have really used the difference-maker they have who can bring the same sort of impact as Fajardo. “He would really help out, obviously,” head coach Tim Cone told reporters post-game, referring to sidelined starting center Greg Slaughter. Slaughter, last conference’s Best Player, has been ruled out for over a week due to an ankle injury. And up until now, his return to action is yet to be determined. As Cone put it, “We don’t know yet. He’s day-to-day and we’re hoping to get him back at some point.” As it turns out, the seven-foot big man is has not even taken the court again ever since suffering the injury. “He hasn’t gotten back on the court yet. At this point, it’s still gonna be a couple of days, at least, before we get him back (on the court),” the multi-titled mentor said. Asked about his status, Slaughter himself said he couldn’t put too much pressure on his foot. “The swelling’s going down, but it’s still very painful. I can’t run or jump right now so obviously, I can’t play,” he said. However, the 29-year-old said he will be back out there to help Ginebra the moment doctors clear him to play. “As soon as I can, when they pain is bearable, I’ll be out there. Now is the time to play so I’m trying to get back in there, maybe (even) force it a little bit,” he shared. He then continued, “As soon as I can, I’ll go out there.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 9th, 2018

Ginebra survies ROS in triple OT in early playoff preview

In the wildest game of the season so far, Brgy. Ginebra walked away with a win to remember in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. The Gin Kings needed 63 minutes to dispose Rain or Shine, taking a tough 100-92 decision in triple overtime Friday at the Big Dome. After Ginebra gave up the first three points of the third overtime, the Gin Kings went on a closing run behind the clutch baskets of Sol Mercado and Jervy Cruz to seal the win. Mercado drilled a tough layup to push Ginebra ahead, 94-92, and after ROS missed four straight free throws in the final 90 seconds, Cruz buried a mid-range J for a four-point lead with 34 seconds to go. Rain or Shine could have ended the game in the second overtime but Raymond Almazan failed to complete an alley-oop play in the final 2.2 seconds. Maverick Ahanmisi also missed the follow up. The Elasto Painters also had the final crack at the basket in regulation and in the first overtime but failed to convert each time. Beau Belga missed a mid-range J and Almazan missed the putback in regulation and Belga also missed a wide-open three at the end of the first overtime session. "This is the first good thing that happened to us all whole conference long -- winning tonight's game -- and it took us triple overtime to do it against a team that's really didn't have much to play for," head coach Tim Cone said. Japeth Aguilar was the high man for the Gin Kings, going for 30 points and 17 rebounds in 51 minutes of play. LA Tenorio added 20 in just under 57 minutes of action while Joe Devance dropped 15 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists with 49 and a half minutes. Scottie Thompson had a 10-point, 17-rebound double-double in almost 40 minutes. Mercado ended up with 10 points and Cruz was good for six, four in the third overtime. As for ROS, Belga finished with 17 points while Gabe Norwood, the lone Elasto Painter to break the 50-minute mark, finished with 13 points. The loss didn't do much for the Elasto Painters as they already qualified for the playoffs. However, their loss enabled Ginebra to take over the no. 4 spot. Regardless of the result, Rain or Shine and Ginebra will meet in the best-of-3 quarterfinals anyway as the 4th-5th seeds. The Ginebra win also sealed the playoff for 8th between TNT and Phoenix, eliminating Blackwater in the process. If ROS had won, the playoff for 8th would have been between the Gin Kings and the Elite and it was the KaTropa that be dropped.   The Scores: Ginebra 100 - J. Aguilar 30, Tenorio 20, Devance 15, Mercado 10, Thompson 10, Cruz 6, Mariano 3, Caguioa 3, Ferrer 3, R. Aguilar 0. Rain or Shine 92 - Belga 17, Norwood 13, Ahanmisi 11, Daquioag 11, Washington 9, Almazan 8, Trollano 8, Borboran 6,  Ponferada 4,Nambatac 3, Maiquez 2,Matias 0. Quarter scores: 26-20, 46-34, 67-62, 80-80, 85-85 (OT1), 87-87 (OT2), 100-92 (OT3)   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 2nd, 2018

Bolts get back at Ginebra in the PH Arena to stay alive in the All-Filipino

BOCAUE, Bulacan --- Meralco and Ginebra delivered another classic at the Philippine Arena here. However, unlike Game 7 of the 2017 Governors' Cup Finals, it was the Bolts that took a crucial win Sunday, walking away with an 84-82 win to stay alive in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. Jason Ballesteros played hero for Meralco, scoring the go-ahead putback in the final 36 seconds after Chris Newsome and Reynel Hugnatan failed to find the bottom of the net for the Bolts. He also secured a crucial rebound on the other end and drilled one of two free throws with 17 seconds to go to help Meralco pull through. Japeth Aguilar missed a game-winning triple for the Gin Kings to end the contest. "It's just great effort from the guys just knowing the circumstances that had we lost today, we're out of the tournament," head coach Norman Black said. "The guys just came out there and played to get the win," he added. Coming out of nowhere, Ballesteros played 31 minutes and finished with seven points and a career-high 17 rebounds for Meralco. Meanwhile, Garvo Lanete led the Bolts in scoring with 19 points and Anjo Caram dropped 16, also a career high. Hugnatan and Newsome drilled 12 points apiece for the Bolts who are now tied with TNT and Blackwater for 9th place with identical 4-6 records. As for Ginebra, the Gin Kings failed to punch their ticket to the playoffs and are currently stuck in 6th place with a 5-5 mark. Japeth Aguilar led the way for the barangay with 20 points while Scottie Thompson added 17 and 13 rebounds.   The Scores: MERALCO 84 — Lanete 19, Caram 16, Hugnatan 12, Newsome 12, Ballesteros 7, Salva 5, Amer 4, Bono 4, Canaleta 3, Faundo 2, Sedurifa 0, Tolomia 0. GINEBRA 82 — Aguilar 20, Thompson 17, Slaughter 12, Mercado 10, Caguioa 6, Cruz 5, Tenorio 5, Devance 4, Mariano 3, Ferrer 0, Manuel 0. Quarters: 15-20, 45-38, 67-64, 84-82.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 18th, 2018

Ginebra snaps 3-game slide, deals San Miguel its 1st loss

Ginebra halted its three-game losing skid and dealt San Miguel its first defeat, 100-96, in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Despite missing Greg Slaughter in the rematch of last year's all-Filipino Cup Finals, the Gin Kings drew huge contributions from Jervy Cruz and unheralded big man Raymond Aguilar while also getting big games from LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar. Cruz fired 10 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter while Raymond Aguilar stepped up with 16 points. Tenorio had 23 points, four rebounds and six assists while Aguilar also scored 23 to go along with nine rebounds. "It was tough. Who would've thought that we can come out and wi...Keep on reading: Ginebra snaps 3-game slide, deals San Miguel its 1st loss.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 28th, 2018

Ginebra still waiting on Ferrer and Mariano to step up

Kevin Ferrer’s three with 2.8 ticks to go on the clock on Friday pulled Ginebra to within three points of Phoenix which led by as much as 24. In the end, time would run out before the Gin Kings would be able to complete the comeback. And in the end, that triple proved to be the only positive impact Ferrer would have in the game which eventually ended as the crowd darlings’ third loss in a row. The second-year forward scored 11 points, but also committed seven turnovers and was a non-factor in defending the likes of Jeff Chan and Matthew Wright. For head coach Tim Cone, much more positive impact from their wing players is needed if they are to turn it around. “We haven’t played well. We haven’t responded well to being undermanned,” he told reporters post-game. He then continued, “We expected guys to step up, specifically Aljon and Kevin. We wanted them to really step up, but they haven’t been capable of playing at the level that we want them to just yet.” Cone and Ginebra are still missing injured Greg Slaughter and Joe Devance as well as a fully-healthy Sol Mercado. That is exactly why they need many more contributors aside from Japeth Aguilar, LA Tenorio, and Scottie Thompson. Unfortunately, Ferrer has averaged 8.3 points and 3.3 turnovers while Mariano has normed 6.7 points and 3.3 turnovers in their three-game slide. Of course, Cone reminded everybody that Ferrer and Mariano are still youngsters. “They’re still young and we’re putting a lot of pressure on them. Their regular role is to be a support player, but we need them to come out and be one of our dominant players,” he said. He then continued, “Obviously, (that’s) asking (for) too much at this point.” The good news, though, is that the multi-titled mentor saw Ginebra’s famed “Never say die” attitude for the first time in the season in their failed comeback against the Fuel Masters. “I thought that (our) last group today fought well. This is the first time we’ve fought the whole conference,” he said. Now, the Gin Kings are hoping they could only build from this......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 26th, 2018

Ginebra s signature NSD didn t work, again

For the fourth straight game in te 2018 PBA Philippine Cup, Brgy. Ginebra trailed by double figures. And for the third straight game, Brgy. Ginebra's "Never Say Die" attitude didn't work. The Gin Kings are now on a three-game slide following an 82-87 loss to Phoenix Friday. The score may indicate a close outing but that cannot be farther from the truth as the Fuel Masters jumped on the Gin Kings in the first half, at one part scoring 23 unanswered points. Phoenix led by as many as 24 in the game. It was only the fourth period when Ginebra fought back for real. It was too late. "We got back in the game a little bit. But Phoenix was never really threatened," head coach Tim Cone said following his team's latest disappointing loss. "Guys really have to step up and they haven’t been stepping up, if they’re not gonna step up then we have to look at somebody else," he added, noting on the fact that the Gin Kings continue to miss Greg Slaughter and Joe Devance and the rest of the team can't pick up the slack. While Ginebra is on a three-game skid entering a heavyweight matchup against defending champion San Miguel, Cone can take solace with the fact that the Gin Kings actually fought back this time around. Ginebra erased a 24-point lead and made it a three-point game in the fourth, albeit with only 2.8 seconds left on the clock. "It’s been a tough stretch, you don’t want to play this badly when you go down a couple of guys, you still want to come out. I thought the last group today fought well," Cone said. "That’s the first time we’ve fought the whole conference," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 26th, 2018

Blackwater looking for another statement win

After taking down Ginebra, Blackwater is out to pick up another statement win in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. The Elite get the main event of a double-header again as they face the up-and-down TNT KaTropa Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum. Fresh for issuing a beating to the Gin Kings, Blackwater looks to build momentum by shutting down TNT that's reeling from an out-of-town loss to San Miguel Beer. Tip off between the Elite (2-1) and the KaTropa (1-2) will be at 7:00 p.m. In the first game at 4:30 p.m., Phoenix (2-1) goes for three in a row vs. sliding Rain or Shine (1-2).   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018