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Alab Pilipinas oust Hong Kong, reach ABL final

San Miguel Alab Pilipinas stormed to the finals of the Asean Basketball League Sunday evening by dethroning Hong Kong Eastern, 79-72, before a boisterous crowd at the Sta. Rosa Complex in Laguna......»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarApr 17th, 2018

ABL: Parks poised for back-to-back Local MVP awards

After a slow start in the 2018 ASEAN Basketball League season, Bobby Ray Parks Jr. once again finds himself as the favorite to claim the Local Most Valuable Player award. The San Miguel Alab Pilipinas star averaged 15.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in his second year in the regional league, while also helping the Philippine side reach the Finals this season. Parks holds the edge over fellow candidates Lee Ki of Hong Kong Eastern and Delvin Goh of the Singapore Slingers for the plum, which is set to be awarded on Wednesday before Game 3 of the 2018 ABL Finals at Sta. Rosa Multipurpose Complex. If the former NU Bulldog does claim the hardware, he will be the second lo...Keep on reading: ABL: Parks poised for back-to-back Local MVP awards.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 24th, 2018

San Miguel-Alab dethrones HK, gains finals berth

CITY OF SANTA ROSA, Laguna---San Miguel Alab Pilipinas coach Jimmy Alapag lost his final game as a pro almost two years ago in the most heartbreaking way to a team led by Justin Brownlee. Now working together at Alab, they have an opportunity to win a championship in the Asean Basketball League (ABL). With Alapag pushing all the right buttons and Brownlee continuing his superb play together with fellow import Renaldo Balkman, Alab clinched the first finals berth with a 79-72 victory over Hong Kong Eastern on Sunday night at City of Santa Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex. "It's funny because he hit the shot to beat our team in my final game," said Alapag, referring to Brownlee, who...Keep on reading: San Miguel-Alab dethrones HK, gains finals berth.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 17th, 2018

Ray Parks out to complete late dad’s ‘unfinished business’

STA. ROSA --- Helping San Miguel Alab Pilipinas reach the 2018 ASEAN Basketball League Finals, Bobby Ray Parks Jr. has a chance to complete his late father's unfinished business. "To be honest, his last mark was in the ABL and I was thinking about that even before all of this," he said after the Philippine side swept defending champion Hong Kong Eastern, 79-72, in Game 2 of the semifinals on Sunday. "Definitely. It's unfinished business, for sure." Parks Sr. was the first coach of the San Miguel Beermen franchise in the ABL back in 2012, steering the team to the championship round before losing to Indonesia in three grueling games. He wasn't able to complete his mission t...Keep on reading: Ray Parks out to complete late dad’s ‘unfinished business’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 16th, 2018

Lo Domingo’s breakout reminds us that Alab is deepest team in ABL

HO CHI MINH, VIETNAM – Alab Pilipinas put away Saigon last Saturday at the CIS Arena, finishing off a quarterfinals sweep that sends them back into the Final Four. Facing the tough, tough Heat and their rowdy, rowdy crowd, the Filipinos needed to play their best to come out on top. They did just that as Renaldo Balkman and Justin Brownlee both did their thing, Ray Parks Jr. and Josh Urbiztondo provided support, and even Pao Javelona and Pamboy Raymundo delivered contributions of their own. The star of Game 2, though, was sixth man Lo Domingo who had 21 points, six rebounds, and three assists in 25 minutes of action – bar none, his best game in the season. Lawrence Domingo escapes his defender for the JAM! #ABL8Playoffs pic.twitter.com/EkhVNhLEfa — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) Abril 7, 2018 It was also his thunderous throwdown that ignited the 10-2 blast that boosted the Philippines ahead for good. Asked about it post-game, he answered, “That dunk, I was kind of really bouncy in warmups. I had the lane there and that gave me a chance to do it so I did.” The six-foot-five forward would only continue his strong play from there, outmuscling the likes of Maxie Esho, David Arnold, and Moses Morgan and having his way inside. For head coach Jimmy Alapag, Domingo’s breakout was yet another proof that hard work pays off. “He’s been great for us for a while now and it’s great to see a young kid come in and work hard every day. It’s great see him reap the rewards of his hard work,” he said. For the Filipino-American from New Mexico, his breakout was just him doing anything and everything to help his team win. “I was just being patient, knowing that my time is gonna come. It’s already come now that it’s the playoffs,” he said. He then continued, “I feel like I’ve been playing hard all year and this is just something that comes from playing hard. In the end, I’m just gonna do whatever my team needs me to do.” With Domingo, Balkman, Brownlee, Parks Jr., Urbiztondo, Javelona, and Raymundo all on-point, Alab is indeed proving Heat point guard Akeem Scott’s statement that “they have a deep bench and it’s hard to beat a team like that.” They are going to need to keep proving that if they are to go through defending champion Hong Kong in the semifinals and then a Finals battle up against whoever among top-seed Chong Son of China, upstart Mono of Thailand, or rival Singapore. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 8th, 2018

Balkman, Brownlee deliver as Alab draws first blood vs Saigon

Renaldo Balkman and Justin Brownlee both did what was expected of them in the curtain-raiser for the playoffs of the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League. The rest of Alab Pilipinas only followed suit as they took care of business against visiting Saigon, 110-100, on Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. With their team opening the best-of-three quarterfinals series at home, the Puerto Rican and the American didn’t let the jam-packed crowd down and stood at the forefront of the attack for the Filipinos. Trailing by one at the midway mark of the opening period, Brownlee took on the scoring load and fired eight points in the 17-5 run that took away a 28-17 lead for his team. Balkman also did his part and already had an 11-point, 16-rebound double-double after the first two quarters. In the second half, Ray Parks Jr. and Dondon Hontiveros then joined in on the fun as the Alab lead ballooned to as much as 22, 97-75, early in the final frame. Akeem Scott still pulled Saigon to within 10, 96-106, inside the last two minutes only to see makes from Parks Jr. and Brownlee put them away for good. Parks Jr. topped the scoring column for the Filipinos with 24 points while Brownlee stuffed the stat sheet with 22 markers, 11 rebounds, and eight assists. Balkman was a force down low with 17 points, 20 rebounds, and six assists and was backstopped by Lo Domingo who had 18 markers and six boards to his name. Alab will travel to Vietnam next Saturday for a chance to sweep the series and move on to a matchup with second-seeded and defending champion Hong Kong. As always, that game will be on S+A, S+A HD, and sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/abl. Maxie Esho paced the Heat with a career-high 42 points while Scott and Filipino-American Mikey Williams chipped in 19 points apiece. However, they were unable to overcome the loss of head coach Kyle Julius who was ejected after incurring technical fouls, both for continuous complaining, in the first and second quarters. BOX SCORES SAN MIGUEL ALAB PILIPINAS 110 – Parks Jr. 24, Brownlee 22, Domingo 18, Balkman 17, Hontiveros 8, Raymundo 7, Sumalinog 6, Javelona 5, Celiz 3 SAIGON HEAT 100 – Esho 42, Scott 19, Williams 19, Morgan 16, Nguyen 3, Arnold 1 QUARTER SCORES: 30-24, 57-47, 90-72, 110-100 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 1st, 2018

Balkman fuels Alab Pilipinas to seventh straight win

For the fourth game in a row in the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League, Renaldo Balkman was the man for Alab Pilipinas. Scoring 13 of his 36 points in the final frame, Balkman put the Filipinos on his more than capable shoulders and carried them past very game home team CLS for an 80-73 win on Sunday at the GOR CLS Kertajaya in Surabaya, Indonesia. The Puerto Rican powerhouse also hauled in 10 rebounds and three blocks, but it was his outburst in the payoff period that spurred the Philippines to a seventh win in a row and 10th overall in 14 games. With Alab trailing by a point after three quarters, Balkman took matters into his own hands and had all but two points in an 8-0 run that snatched away a 67-60 lead for his team. Then with the Knights threatening anew at 70-71 inside the last six minutes, it was again the 6-foot-8 big man who pounded in five points, including a thunderous throwdown, in a 9-3 counter that re-upped the Filipinos’ advantage to 80-73. That edge would hold for the next 37 seconds. Flanking Balkman were Justin Brownlee, who was one assist shy of a triple-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds, as well as Ray Parks Jr. who chipped in 17 markers, four boards, and four assists. Extending its unbeaten run, the Philippines is now breathing down the necks of league-leading and defending champion Hong Kong and impressive rookie team Chong Son of China. For the Indonesians, Brian Williams showed the way with 24 points and 17 rebounds. BOX SCORES SAN MIGUEL ALAB PILIPINAS 80 – Balkman 36, Parks Jr. 17, Brownlee 16, Domingo 8, Urbiztondo 3, Raymundo 0, Celiz 0, Sumalinog 0, Hontiveros 0, Alabanza 0, Javelona 0 CLS KNIGHTS 73 – Williams 24, Edwards 17, Wuysang 13, Jensen 12, Lish 5, Enguio 2, Kurniawan 0, Hidayat 0, Nugroho 0 QUARTER SCORES: 25-19, 47-43, 59-60, 80-73 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2018

Standhardinger clutch as Hong Kong holds off Alab Pilipinas

Hong Kong Eatern's championship composure prevailed. The defending Asean Basketball League champions scored big road win over Alab Pilipinas Sunday, taking a close 92-89 decision at the MOA Arena to start the league's eight season. Losing 15-point lead, Hong Kong dropped a 9-0 run early in the fourth quarter, turning a 73-74 deficit into an 82-74 advantage to restore order against Alab. The Philippine team tried to rally again in the final two minutes and change, making it to within one point in the last 10 seconds following an and-one play from reigning local MVP Ray Parks Jr., but the Eastern Sports Club managed to hang tough for the victory. Fil-German forward Christian Standhardinger buried two clutch baskets for Hong Kong, the first a jumper to put the champs up, 90-86, and the final one a being layup to seal the final tally. Josh Urbiztondo had a chance to send the game in overtime with five seconds to go but his halfcourt heave went in and out......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 19th, 2017

Standhardinger, Hong Kong foil Alab Pilipinas comeback

Defending champion Hong Kong Eastern Sports Club proved to be the steadier team in the endgame as they held off Tanduay Alab Pilipinas, 92-89, in the 2017-2018 ASEAN Basketball League Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena. Christian Standhardinger showed why he is indeed one of the biggest recruits this year, scoring the final four baskets, the last of which an undergoal stab with 5.3 seconds to spare to hold off the Philippine side in his ABL debut. Josh Urbiztondo had one last shot to force overtime, but he missed a desperation three from halfcourt at the buzzer. The Fil-German forward topped Hong Kong Eastern with 26 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Reigning A...Keep on reading: Standhardinger, Hong Kong foil Alab Pilipinas comeback.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 19th, 2017

Alab Pilipinas wins vs Long Lions

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/20 March) &'8212;  Alab Pilipinas finally conquered top-seed Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions in a thrilling final meeting for the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) regular season at the jampacked University of Southeastern Philippines gym on Sunday night, March 19. Sampson Carter led Alab Pilipinas with 20 points and added seven rebounds while James Hughes contributed [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsMar 20th, 2017

Ramos, Parks sizzle as Alab torches HK Eastern | The Manila Times Online

PJ Ramos and Bobby Ray Parks Jr. shone as leading San Miguel Alab Pilipinas posted a bounce back win at the expense of Hong Kong Eastern, 87-75, in Season 9READ The post Ramos, Parks sizzle as Alab to.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJan 13th, 2019

ABL: PJ Ramos downplays his domination of 7 5” Sam Deguara

SANTA ROSA, LAGUNA -- Alab Pilipinas center PJ Ramos downplayed his matchup with towering center Sam Deguara as he and Alab Pilipinas got the better of the Hong Kong Eastern Lions Friday evening here. The 7'3” Ramos was mainly responsible for Alab's spirited 87-75 win, bouncing back after a devastating loss in Malaysia the previous game. He and 7'5” Deguara battled in the post and even stretched out to the perimeter as Ramos shot from beyond three-point distance 11 times but only made three of them. Ramos even coaxed Deguara to foul him several times in the first five minutes of the game, as the Maltan slotman racked up three quick personals. "I'm not worried with who I play. I play whoever, I play. You know what I'm saying? So everybody knows what I do, what I've done over the years. Doesn't matter who you are, who you're playing. I just go out and do my job," the Puerto Rican giant said after the game. In the end, Ramos was the victor in the matchup of the two biggest players in this side of the world, tallying 31 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists in 35 minutes of action. Deguara finished with 14 markers and nine boards in 22 minutes. Ramos brought out the full repertoire and also took over the last minutes of the game, capping off his big night with a spin move and a thunderous dunk that brought the house down. Teammate and compatriot Renaldo Balkman, who was last year's Defensive Player of the Year took care of Deguara in last year's Finals series, but there was almost a foot in height difference, but now it seems that Alab won't be having that problem again. "I've played with players like that before. So I'm not worried about it. I'm a veteran, I've been playing for over 18 years now. I'm used to everything," shared Ramos. "They've been talking about it. That's why they brought me here this year. They didn't have a big man last year, so I just try to help the team."   __     Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2019

Alab Pilipinas rebounds with rout of Hong Kong

        MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Alab Pilipinas bounced back from a first loss in their ABL title defense by routing the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions, 87-75, at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex on Friday, January 11. PJ Ramos took full advantage of fellow giant Sam Deguara's early foul trouble ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 11th, 2019

PBA: Marcial to look at previous decisions in Parks case

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial says that the league will use decisions in the past to shed some light on the situation of Bobby Ray Parks. Parks, the son of Ray Parks Sr., a former PBA standout, is still under contract with San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, which just began its campaign in the ninth season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL). The 6’4” guard is also a two-time reigning Local MVP of the multi-country league, and will remain with the team until the end of the season. It is similar to the situation of last seasons number one overall pick Christian Standhardinger, who honored his commitment with the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions until their elimination in the ABL semifinals against Alab. "Titignan namin kung may precedent yun, tapos apply natin kay Parks. Pinapa-check ko sa legal natin, kay Atty. Melvin Mendoza, kung napagusapan sa Board yun," Marcial said. "Ang rights niya na kay Blackwater, nagbigay ng tender offer. Kailangan anuhin yun ni Parks, paguusapan na lang kung paano yung laro niya sa ABL." Though Blackwater Gov. Silliman Sy would have wanted the second overall pick in this year's PBA Rookie Draft to suit up in the Philippine Cup, he is bracing for the worst-case scenario, waiting for the guard to see action later during the Commissioner's Cup. However, if San Miguel decides to release Parks early, the team will just have to let Marcial's office to decide on the matter. "I did talk with Ray and he will also respect the commissioner's decision. Lahat naman doon. Ang statement lang niya very clearly is, "Boss, when I applied for the rookie draft, sa page 2 nakalagay doon yung 'Do you have any existing commitment?' 'Yes, I have an existing contract with Alab in the ABL league to end sometime in May.'" Malinaw din siya, nakasaad naman yun to be fair with the boy," Sy said.   "We wait and see the next coming days kung ano ang decision ni commissioner. Pero Blackwater, with open arms, we would like him to play lalo ngayong kulang kami sa height." __ Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 8th, 2019

VOLLEYBALL IS LIFE: A look back at Philippine volleyball in 2018

Glorious victories, dynasties, historic feats, controversies and memorable moments once again highlighted another fruitful year for Philippine volleyball.   Now, let us take a look back in the year that was in volleyball:   DYNASTY Powerhouse teams continued to thrive in the country’s most popular collegiate leagues. Arellano University muscled its way back into the NCAA Season 93 Finals and met a newcomer in San Beda University. The Lady Chiefs did find the Lady Red Spikers as feisty opponents in their first championship meeting, needing five sets to survive San Beda in Game One. But it didn’t take long for Arellano U to stomp its class over the newbies to capture its second straight title and fourth overall crown in five years. De La Salle University painted UAAP Season 80 green after annexing its third straight title handing legendary head coach Ramil De Jesus his third grand slam in the country’s most popular and competitive collegiate league. Second year setter Michelle Cobb stepped up to the challenge of filling the big shoes left by Kim Fajardo and complemented the depth and firepower of DLSU. Far Eastern University, which advanced into the Finals for the first time after a decade, stood no chance against the onslaught of the Lady Spikers, which swept their way onto throne. University of Perpetual Help completed a four-peat in the NCAA juniors after sweeping Letran. Philippine Air Force snatched the Premier Volleyball League men’s Reinforced Conference crown and the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference title. Sisi Rondina cemented her legacy as the UAAP’s queen of the sands after completing a three-peat in women’s beach volleyball. Rondina wrapped her tour of duty with four titles in five years. The Tigers ruled the men’s division.       YEAR OF THE UNDERDOGS San Beda University made great strides in NCAA Season 93 after earning its first-ever Finals appearance behind the efforts of Cesca Racraquin and twins Nieza and Jiezela Viray. The Lady Red Spikers closed the elims with an 8-1 win-loss record and took down Perpetual in the semis. Languishing at the bottom half of the standings since the return of its women’s volleyball program in 2008, Jose Rizal University made history by advancing into the Final Four. Shola Alvarez capped the Lady Bombers’ remarkable season by pocketing the Most Valuable Player award.   Far Eastern University made it to the UAAP women’s volleyball Finals by booting out crowd-favorite Ateneo de Manila University in the semis.  For the first time in five years, the Blue Eagles found themselves in a very difficult position in the Final Four. With a twice-to-win disadvantage, the Marck Espejo-led Ateneo shocked FEU – a team that beat them twice in the elims – to march to its fifth straight championship appearance.      But the real underdog story belonged to NU. After three years of finishing runner-up to the Blue Eagles, the Bulldogs led by Bryan Bagunas finally got their long-awaited revenge as they swept Ateneo off its three-year reign at the throne.     OFF COURT STORIES, CONTROVERSIES University of the East parted ways with head coach Francis Vicente midway in Season 80 after three and a half seasons with the Lady Warriors. Vicente left for ‘personal reasons’ with a UE coaching record of 2-45 (win-loss). Red Warriors head coach Sammy Acaylar also resigned from his post midway in the season. University of Sto. Tomas hitter EJ Laure after months of speculations to the real reason of her sitting out UAAP Season 80 broke her silence by saying that needed time to recover from her right shoulder injury to end all the rumors circulating including an alleged pregnancy.    Sound bites, videos and clips that show collegiate players’ ‘human side’ made its rounds around social media that drew mixed reactions from fans.  Just like in the previous years, controversy filled the formation of the national women’s volleyball team. Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. initially named Ramil De Jesus as the national team coach but just two months after his designation, the multi-titled DLSU mentor resigned from his post citing ‘conflict of schedule’. Shaq Delos Santos took over De Jesus’ spot. Netizens went abuzz when the composition of the national team that participated in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games was released as fans give their different views on who should and should not be included in the roster.             LVPI named a new president in Peter Cayco of Arellano U to replace Joey Romasanta during the association’s election.   WRITING HISTORY Smart’s Cuban import Gigi Silva carved a world scoring record in the Philippine Superliga after scoring 56 points in a lost cause against Cocolife in the 2018 Grand Prix. Silva pounded 53 kills and had three aces to land her name in the fourth spot in the women’s world scoring record behind Polina Rahimova of Azerbaijan’s 58 points in 2015 while playing in Japan, American Madison Kingdon’s 57 (2017 Korea Volleyball League) and Bulgarian Elitsa Vasileva’s 57 (2013 Korea Volleyball League). Silva also surpassed the 55 points of Americans Nicole Fawcett (2013 KVL) and Alaina Bergsma, who led Petron to the 2014 PSL Grand Prix crown, (2016 KVL).     Not to be outdone, local volleyball star Marck Espejo had a 55-point explosion of his own in the Blue Eagles’ five-set Game 1 UAAP Final Four win over FEU. The five-time MVP pounded 47 attacks, had six kill blocks and two service aces for the Katipunan-based squad. Espejo scored 11 points in the deciding frame including Ateneo’s last four to seal the win in the match that lasted for two hours and 21 minutes. Espejo’s feat fueled Ateneo’s eventual semis series win over the twice-to-beat Tamaraws.  Espejo and DLSU libero Dawn Macandili were named as the Philippine Sportswriters Association’s 2017 Mr. and Miss Volleyball.     The Philippines saw three players make their mark in the international scene this year as Espejo and sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat were tapped as imports in Japan’s V. Premier League. Espejo is now playing for Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler while Jaja and Dindin suit up for Saitama Ageo Medics and Toray Arrows, respectively.     After 36 long years, the Philippines sent a women’s volleyball team to participate in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. The squad won against Hong Kong in straight sets in pool play in the country’s first Asian Games victory since defeating India in the 1982 New Delhi Games. The PHI advanced in the quarterfinals but went home empty-handed. The Filipinas ended up at ninth place in the AVC Asian Cup. Sisi Rondina and Dzi Gervacio made waves in the country’s hosting of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Manila Open after the duo barged in the quarterfinals. The tandem eventually bowed down to eventual champion Japan. The NU Bulldogs brought its bark into the international scene and howled its way to giving honor to country by winning the ASEAN University Games gold medal at the expense of Thailand. Volleyball proved to be the most talked about sport in the country as #UAAPSeason80Volleyball became the most tweeted sports hashtag in 2018.   SMASHING WIN, BLAZING VICTORY Creamline became the most successful club in the Premier Volleyball League this year after winning its breakthrough Reinforced Conference crown before following it up with a title romp in the Open Conference. Alyssa Valdez finally ended a two-year title drought after leading the Cool Smashers to the Reinforced Conference throne.   Creamline’s Michele Gumabao joined Binibining Pilipinas and represented the country im the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania, landing at the top 15.     Petron lorded it over in the PSL after winning the Grand Prix and All-Filipino Conference titles at the expense of archrival F2 Logistics, which ruled the Invitational Conference. University of the Philippines ended a 36-year title drought by claiming the PVL Collegiate Conference championship and followed it up by reigning supreme in the PSL Collegiate Grand Slam The SiPons tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons of Petron annexed their second straight PSL Challenge Cup beach volleyball title. University of Perpetual Help reclaimed the NCAA men’s title after taking down Arellano University as the Altas bagged it 11th title overall.           National University took back the title it lost last year in the UAAP boys’ tournament while De La Salle-Zobel bagged the girls’ mint. The Beach Volleyball Republic continued its advocacy of propagating the sport throughout the country.   END OF THE ROAD After winning three straight UAAP titles, the Lady Spikers bid goodbye to its Big Three in Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron and Dawn Macandili. Season 80 saw the end of the six-year Ateneo-DLSU Finals rivalry as the Lady Eagles bowed down to FEU in the semis. The Blue Eagles three-year reign ended at the hands of NU as Ateneo gave its farewell to its greatest men’s volleyball star Marck Espejo and prized setter Ish Povorosa.    NU’s four-year domination in the girls’ division was snapped by DLS-Zobel. After a dry 2018 PVL season, Pocari Sweat parted ways with its franchise player Myla Pablo as newcomer Motolite agreed to buyout the hitter’s last three contract years.      Thai coach Tai Bundit after five years and bringing two titles including a rare tournament sweep to the Lady Eagles finally called it quits after Ateneo’s campaign in UAAP Season 80. Creamline gave Bundit a farewell championship trophy in the PVL.      A NEW BEGINNING It was a colorful 2018, indeed, for volleyball but 2019 is another promising year for the sport. Can the Lady Chiefs complete a three-peat in the NCAA? Newcomers are sure to bring more excitement and interest in the UAAP. DLSU will try to extend its reign for another season while NU is looking for a repeat crown in the men’s side. Another season for the PSL and the PVL will open while the national men’s and women’s team will highlight the country’s Southeast Asian Games hosting.        --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 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 NewsDec 18th, 2018

PBA Board finish up 'productive' meeting in Hong Kong

The PBA Board of Governors convened for nearly three hours to take up critical issues in a meeting at the Marco Polo Hotel in Hong Kong last Thursday.  League commissioner Willie Marcial described the meeting as "productive" and said it will replace the regular session in the fourth Thursday of this month. PBA chairman Ricky Vargas and TNT alternate governor Patrick Gregorio arrived in Hong Kong late Wednesday from Bangkok where they attended an Olympic Council of Asia conference.  Vargas is concurrently the POC president and Gregorio, the POC secretary-general. It was a complete attendance when the Board met last Thursday afternoon. One of the key points of discussion was the PBA's participation in the FIBA 3x3 World Cup scheduled at the Philippine Arena on June 8-12.  SBP president Al Panlilio, who represents Meralco in the PBA Board, said the Philippine lineup will be disclosed before the end of the month.  A pool of players will be named along with the head coach.  Only four players will comprise the final roster. The Board also took up the recommendations of the PBA Competition Committee that met in the PBA office last Tuesday.  It approved the reduction of the 30-second timeout from three to two or one per half and allowing the touching of the backboard while attempting to block a shot.  Previously, it was an automatic goaltending call if a player made contact with the backboard in trying to block a shot.  However, a goaltending call will be made if a player makes contact with the backboard with no attempt to block in a shooting situation.  Regarding contact with the net on a shot attempt, the Board ratified the Committee's recommendation to call a goaltending only if the net is pulled so as to obstruct the conversion. Additionally, the Board designated Alaska governor Dickie Bachmann and legal counsel Melvin Mendoza to confer with former PBA players on the proposed partnership of the newly-organized foundation Samahan Ng Dating Propesyonal na Basketbolista ng Pilipinas. Marcial had previously met with officers of the foundation, including Atoy Co, Philip Cezar, Ed Cordero, Allan Caidic, Alvin Patrimonio and Art dela Cruz to discuss ways of assisting former PBA players who are in dire need of medical care......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 21st, 2018

PBA: Standhardinger in better mood as he joins Beermen from Hong Kong

Christian Standhardinger is almost here. The Fil-German forward, the no. 1 pick of the 2017 PBA Draft, is coming home to join the mighty San Miguel Beermen. Standhardinger had a flight today and is set to join the flagship SMC franchise for practice starting this weekend. Posting on his Instagram stories, Standhardinger thanked the Hong Kong Eastern basketball club for the seven months he spent with the team. "It was a pleasure playing for the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions, we had a great journey and it was a lot of fun," Standhardinger said. Unfortunately, while the former Long Lions headed into the current ABL season as defending champions, they got swept in the semifinals by, ironically, the San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas. More comfortable now than a couple of days ago when his ABL team was fresh from elimination, Standhardinger was jolly as he made his way to the airport to travel from Hong Kong to Manila. Standhardinger was worried about his baggage, saying he only had "300 bucks with me" and was hopeful that he won't be charged for his extra backpack. He also complained about Instagram stories' 30-second rule, saying it was "stupid" and "pointless." Yep, Christian's mood is definitely better now... expect he's just a litle upset on IG. The Beermen have no schedule yet for their title defense but the 2018 Commissioner's Cup will open Sunday, April 22, at the Big Dome.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 2018

ABL Finals: Coach Jimmy will have Alab at its best vs. Mono Vampire

Jimmy Alapag is never the type to choose his playoff opponents. He just goes up against whoever that is in front of him. And as his first very Finals opponent as head coach has been finally decided, Coach Jimmy's preparations take a more serious turn. His San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas got fortunate to have homecourt advantage in the ABL Finals; however, it doesn't mean his team drew an easier opponent. After all, it was Alab that took out the defending champion Hong Kong Eastern but it was Thailand's Mono Vampire that swept this season's top seed. "I've learned that basketball gods don't like it when you pick opponents," Alapag said on his Finals matchup. "[With Mono] You got a 7'5" [import] in [Sam] Deguara. [Michael] Singletary, another big time scorer. You got [Jason] Brickman, who I've been a big fan of for a long time, just how he controls the game. It's important for us that we're playing our best basketball," he added. As the Finals near, Alapag is looking at his wards to continue with the effort that allowed to go from 0-3 in the standings to the Finals. Alapag has a gritty group of players and he expects them to stand tough against an equally-gritty Mono Vampire. "When we were down, and people were looking at us and saying last in the ABL, it was their effort, their commitment every day to fight, scratch, and claw our way out of it," he said. "I’m just really proud of the guys’ effort. From our early struggles, it was tough. [Because of] our chemstiry, our guys really believed that we could get in the end. And that has been my message since the beginning, try to keep working every day to try to give us an opportunity until the end," Alapag added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 19th, 2018

Turns out, not being second-seed was a good thing for Finals-bound Alab

STA. ROSA, LAGUNA – Renaldo Balkman remained fired up even after Alab Pilipinas completed an emphatic semifinals sweep of now-dethroned champion Hong Kong. “Everybody kept talking about (how) they (were) the number one team,” he told reporters post-game. “Hey, they got a great team, but I know how good we prepared for these games and I think we had an edge on them.” Apparently, that edge is a winning streak which has now stretched to seven games, dating back to the tail-end of the elimination round. Then, the Filipinos won all of their last three assignments and gave themselves a good chance at the second-seed and the automatic advance into the semifinals. All they needed to happen was for Eastern to defeat Chong Son in their own last assignment. That didn’t happen, however, and Chong Son got the top-seed, Hong Kong got the second-seed, and the Philippines was relegated to the third-seed. That meant that there wouldn’t be any rest for Alab and they would be matched up with dangerous Saigon in the quarterfinals. For Balkman, continuing to play – and continuing to roll – was just what they needed. “Well, not being arrogant or what, I just know how my guys are. We’re playing well, we’re playing together, and I think the best thing that happened to us is that we played in the (quarterfinals),” he shared. He then continued, “If we sat home and rested, I mean, it would hurt us, but since we played in the (quarterfinals), we got better going into the (semifinals). Indeed, Balkman and company have only gotten better and better as they followed up a blanking of the Heat with a sweep of Hong Kong. Now, the Filipinos are back in the Finals of the Asean Basketball League. “I’m just really proud of our guys. They have fought and clawed their way into the Finals,” head coach Jimmy Alapag said. He then continued, “We have a confident group that deserves to be in the Finals. Like I’ve been telling them in the beginning, let’s give ourselves an opportunity, let’s get to the end and let’s see what happens there.” The Philippines will face either top-seeded Kung Fu of China or resurgent Mono of Thailand in the best-of-five championship round. Whatever happens there, Balkman promised that the show would go on. “The next step for us is to win the championship so we gotta prepare. I’m gonna tell it one more time, it’s gonna be another show whoever we gonna play,” he said. He then continued, “Win or lose, no matter what, it’s gonna be a show because it’s the last three games we got to win and it’s all over.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 16th, 2018

Standhardinger chooses to respect HK Eastern, refuses to talk about future after Alab sweep

MANILA, Philippines – After a stunning sweep by Alab Pilipinas over defending champion Hong Kong Eastern in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) semifinals, Christian Standhardinger’s crossroads with the Philippines has come to a full stop. However, in a true show of team loyalty, the Fil-German standout did not show an ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 16th, 2018