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Almost perfect attendance in Gilas practice before flying to Taiwan

Both Gilas Pilipinas and the Gilas cadets were out in numbers as they trained for the last time in Manila before going to Taiwan for the next round of qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Only the injured Mac Belo was not inside the Meralco Gym in Ortigas on Monday for the Gilas Pilipinas practice in preparation for the third window of the Asian Qualifiers from late June to early July. Naturalized player Andray Blatche was in action and was joined by skipper Gabe Norwood, Asia’s best point guard Jayson Castro, and four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo. Also there were Calvin Abueva, Baser Amer, Carl Bryan Cruz, Jiovani Jalalon, Allein Maliksi, RR Pogoy, Terrence Romeo, Troy Rosario, and Matthew Wright. The Philippine national team is scheduled to depart for Chinese Taipei a week from now and they will take on the home team on June 29. They will then head home to gear up for a matchup with powerhouse Australia on July 2 at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. Alongside the Gilas elite, Gilas cadets J-Jay Alejandro, Kobe Paras, Troy Rike, Prince Rivero, Ricci Rivero, and Abu Tratter were also present in practice. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 18th, 2018

FIBA WORLD CUP: Perfect attendance for Gilas a week before Iran clash

Perfect attendance anew for Gilas Pilipinas. Practice resumed Thursday for the national team and all 16 players were present at the Meralco Gym, exactly a week before Gilas starts round 2 of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers on the road against Iran. Ginebra's Greg Slaughter, who tweaked his ankle against Northport in the PBA Governors' Cup Wednesday, didn't participate in active drills. He was wearing a brace to support his left ankle. JP Erram also didn't particapte in active practice.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 6th, 2018

HEADS UP: 10 sporting events to watch out for in 2018

2017 has come and gone, and it delivered some exciting sporting moments that has every sports fan clamoring for more. Worry not, though, as 2018 looks primed to satisfy even the most die-hard Pinoy sports aficionado with its bevy of local and international sporting events. Let's welcome the upcoming year with 10 of the most exciting sporting events to watch out for this 2018.   NCAA 93 & UAAP 80 VOLLEYBALL The cagers are out, and the spikers are in. Volleyball season begins this January 4 with NCAA season 93, followed by the 81st season of the UAAP this February. NCAA volleybelles are once again ready to take center court, and the defending women's champion Arellano University Lady Chiefs, led by heavy hitters Jovie Prado and Regine Arocha are banking on their undisputed team play to propel them to another title. Playing inspired volleyball throughout the season, the Lady Chiefs stunned the thrice-to-beat San Sebastian Lady Stags in the Finals last year, ultimately ending Grethcel Soltones' collegiate career with a dud. Rising stars like San Beda's Ces Racraquin, JRU's Karen Montojo also make the upcoming NCAA volleyball season worth waiting for. UAAP volleyball begins a month later the NCAA tournament, but expect the field to be even more tumultuous. With no clear-cut number 2 team to challenge the two-time defending champions DLSU Lady Spikers, it will be a toss-up against basically the other seven schools to step up. Dangerous squads include the much-improved Adamson Lady Falcons, last year's pleasant surprise UST, the dynastic Ateneo Lady Eagles, and the intact NU Lady Bulldogs and FEU Lady Tamaraws. NBA ALL-STAR GAME & 2018 NBA FINALS The annual showcase of the NBA's brightest stars just got a major revamp. That's right, the league has done away with the traditional East-West teams, and will now have a playground-type pool selection of players between its two captains when the exhibition tips off in Los Angeles. This raises a lot of interesting questions: Will the captains pick their teammates or will they go with a more controversial pick and select a rival? Will we able to know the order of the draft? Will this actually work in making the game better? While answers to those questions might not be answered until a few months, one thing's for sure, the NBA Finals, the spectacle that actually counts, will be epic. Will we be treated to Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers Pt. 4? Or will another squad swoop in to spoil the party? The league has indeed improved, with surprising teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, the Indiana Pacers, the Detroit Pistons out in the East already staking claim to playoff spots, and the Wild, Wild, West staying true to its monicker. The Houston Rockets and the perennial powerhouse San Antonio Spurs are still the favorites to pull the rug under the Warriors, while the Oklahoma City Thunder is right behind. Either way, with months of hoops already invested in it, the NBA Finals will surely be another explosive one, as it always is.   HOMECOMING QUEEN Alyssa Valdez spent the majority of 2017 overseas, spreading her wings in Taiwan with volleyball club Attack Line. This 2018 though, The Phenom plans on staying in the Philippines, armed with two year’s worth of international experience to focus on her home club team in the Creamline Cool Smashers.  "Next year, I'm planning to focus sa Creamline. Just this year, I travelled a lot talaga. They supported me throughout, esepcially doon sa National Team stint ko. They sacrificed a lot for me talaga. I think I have to focus sa team ko talaga,” she said last week.Alyssa Valdez just got scarier.   PINOY HOOP DREAMS: REMY MARTIN, KOBE PARAS  Two proudly Pinoy ballers based in the U.S. set out this 2018 to continue shooting for our island nation’s humble hoop dreams. Kobe Paras is still serving residency this 2017-2018 season with the California State University-Northridge Matadors, but his development is sure to be a joy to watch. The 6’6” Pinoy swingman accomplished a tour of duty with Gilas Pilipinas earlier in the year, and many Pinoys saw why we should all be excited about high-flying forward. Remy Martin, a 5’11” point guard dazzled in his first few games with the Arizona State Sun Devils, with his athleticism, explosiveness and feisty defense. The Filipino-American cager is proud of his roots and hopes to represent flag and country with Gilas Pilipinas in the future.   WHO (OR WHAT) IS NEXT FOR MANNY PACQUIAO? The never-ending saga of what’s next for Manny Pacquiao looks like it'll seep into 2018.  Following a rather controversial loss to Australian boxer Jeff Horn, Pacquiao has been “courting” the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. for a rematch, even taking to Instagram to ”greet” MMA superstar Conor McGregor before finally admitting that he’s been in talks with the Irish fighter’s camp. Whether he actually retires from boxing for good, or takes on another foe in the squared circle, one thing’s for sure: we’ll all have our eyes on Manny Pacquiao’s next move.   2018 WORLD CUP RUSSIA™ After four years, the best of world football will once again converge, this time in Russia to crown the Kings of the beautiful sport. The stage is set, the groups are finalized, and the 32 squads are promising the best 30-day football extravaganza in the hopes of dethroning defending champions Germany this June. Some group stage clashes to look out for are Germany vs Mexico, England vs Belgium, Portugal vs Spain, to name a few. June couldn’t come soon enough.   CHRISTIAN STANDHARDINGER'S PBA DEBUT No PBA rookie has probably come into the league as pro-ready as the Filipino-German standout Christian Standhardinger. The 6’9” big man was the consensus top overall pick of the 2017 PBA draft, and was also at the center of the controversial trade that sent Kia Picanto’s rights to the number 1 selection to the already-dominant San Miguel. While the trade did go down, so did former commissioner Chito Narvasa. Standhardinger’s entry to the PBA has come at a cost, but San Miguel is more than ready to wait one more conference to bulk up their already stacked squad. Seeing Standharinger play alongside 6’11” center and reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo, versatile forward Arwind Santos, and the Beermen’s bevy of guards in Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, and Chris Ross, is definitely a sight to see, just look at how he's tearing it up in the ASEAN Basketball League.    2018 ASIAN GAMES INDONESIA The Philippines’ less than stellar performance at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games was met with widespread flak. Not directed at our athletes however, but aimed at our sports development and governing body for its subpar work in getting our sports representatives ready. While the 2018 Asian Games isn’t so far away, a handful of Pinoy medalists from the SEA Games are going into the continental meet with high hopes. After dominating the SEA Games’ triathlon event, our Filipino endurance athletes, led by gold medalists Kim Mangrobang, and Nikko Huelgas, are once again primed to take home hardware. Marathoner Mary Joy Tabal, and boxers John Marvin, and Eumir Marcial, all gold medalists at Malaysia, are all bright spots that could soon unravel into full-fledged stars come 2018.   GILAS PILIPINAS IN THE FIBA WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS It’s official, basketball is coming home to the Philippines this 2023 by way of the FIBA World Cup, but Gilas Pilipinas will first have to try its luck in the 2019 meet. After dealing with Chinese Taipei and Japan this 2017 for a perfect 2-0 slate in the qualifiers, Gilas Pilipinas still has to face the Japanese anew, and the powerhouse Australian team early in 2018. A good showing against these squads will help Gilas strengthen its bid to international basketball’s biggest stage before we actually host the event in six years’ time.   UAAP 81 BASKETBALL UAAP season 80 just came to an end, but the next season just got way more interesting. Aside from the title defense of the intact Ateneo Blue Eagles and their ongoing rivalry with La Salle, a certain move by a coach has shaken up the league. With Aldin Ayo reportedly accepting the job as the new head coach of the struggling University of Sto. Tomas, we might just be witnesses to the rebirth of the once proud basketball program under the fiery mentor. That, and the way the DLSU Green Archers can adjust from the departure of Ayo and former two-time MVP Ben Mbala, key cogs to their season 79 championship run. The tight race for the MVP award will also be one to watch, with Mbala gone, it’s up to the local stars to step up to the challenge......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2017

EYES ON YOU, KID: NCAA 94 Jrs. players to watch

The first round of the NCAA 94 Juniors Basketball Tournament is over and done with. And with the second round already underway, we’re getting even more glimpses of the future of Philippine basketball courtesy of these players: CLINT ESCAMIS – Mapua High School (yellow jersey with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 23.3 points, 46.9 percent shooting, 5.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.7 steals Clint Escamis has spent his first two seasons under the leadership of the likes of Sherwin Concepcion, Mike Enriquez, Warren Bonifacio, and Will Gozum. Now in his third and last season in Mapua, he is proving that he is no slouch as a leader himself. The league’s top scorer and second-best steal-getter has carried the Red Robins right back up there in the standings – and they are the only team to have downed all f the traditional powerhouses in College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills, Arellano High School, and San Beda High School. This version of Mapua may not be as star-studded as it was in the last four years, but they may just have the brightest star in all of the league in their 6-foot-1 swingman. INAND FORNILOS – College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills (green jersey defending white jersey with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 11.4 points, 51.8 percent shooting, 10.9 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 1.0 assist On a team as fully loaded as CSB-LSGH, there has to be a workhorse – and Inand Fornilos has been just that and more. Just like he did in their championship campaign last season, he has been a force to reckon with on both ends of the floor for the league-leading Junior Blazers. The rebounds and defense have always been second nature for Fornilos, but this season, he has become better on offense. In fact, he already has a couple of 20-point games to his name – not bad for an undersized big man at 6-foot-2. Without a doubt, the graduating forward is doing all he can to make his former team regret ever letting him go. JOHN AMORES – Jose Rizal High School (blue jersey with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 20.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.0 steal And all of that is because of John Amores, the second-best scorer in all of the league and the undisputed main man of the daring Light Bombers – the only team that will be sweeping contending Mapua in the elimination round. JRU’s rise from the bottom half of the standings to the top four is nothing short of spectacular and that improvement is best personified by Amores who went from role player a year ago to go-to-guy this season. Give the Most Improved Award to the kid already because he’s ready and raring to take much more than that. JOEL CAGULANGAN – College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills (green jersey with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 15.3 points, 7.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 steals For the high standards he set a year ago, this season has been a quiet one for Joel Cagulangan. With the likes of Escamis and Amores flying high and CSB-LSGH teammates Fornilos and RC Calimag grabbing more headlines than him, last year’s Finals MVP has been under the radar. Quietly, however, he is actually the Junior Blazers’ leading scorer and the NCAA’s best assistman and fourth-best steal-getter. Yes, that’s just how the 5-foot-9 do-it-all dynamo rolls, making an impact even if everybody else doesn’t feel it. Just don’t forget that he could also choose to make everybody feel his impact, okay? AARON FERMIN – Arellano High School (grey jersey, #18) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.2 points, 53.5 percent shooting, 17.6 rebounds, 1.0 block If not for Arellano’s struggles last season, Aaron Fermin would have been MVP. If not for the Braves’ struggle in the ongoing season, Fermin would have been the league’s most tantalizing talent. Standing at 6-foot-5, graced with a wide frame, having timing on lock, and blessed with a non-stop motor, the graduating big man has all the tools to be a game-changer on both ends of the floor. Indeed, he had a stretch of games of posting a 15-point, 20-rebound double-double. Now, if only he could lift Arellano to much-needed wins and back onto a playoff push. DAN ARCHES – Mapua High School (yellow jersey with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.8 steals Mapua has long been defined by its talented big men, but now, it’s the guys at the wings who have taken center stage. Escamis has been their main man, but he also has a more than capable running mate in Dan Arches. All Escamis could do, Arches could do as well, only without the same sort of consistency. But hey, this is the first time he has been getting time with in his two years as a Red Robins so there’s nothing that all those reps couldn’t improve. And oh, he also has one thing going for him – a fine floater that he could bust out at any time that somehow, some way, has become automatic. JOSHUA DAVID – College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills (green jersey, with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.9 steals Imagine the dynamic between Escamis and Arches, and then translate that onto Cagulangan and his own partner-in-crime in Joshua David. Like Cagulangan, David could stuff the stat sheet. Like Cagulangan, David could do whatever CSB-LSGH needs for a win. The only difference is that unlike Cagulangan, David already has the size at 6-feet and a big body to make the same sort of noise in the Seniors. Of course, Cagulangan’s clutch genes are also on another level, but who knows? Maybe David is just waiting on the wings to seize those moments for himself? MILO JANAO AND KEAN BACLAAN – San Sebastian College-Recoletos JANAO’S ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 19.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist (yellow jersey with ball in first photo) BACLAAN’S ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 15.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.8 steals (yellow jersey with ball in second photo) It looks like San Sebastian College-Recoletos still wouldn’t be able to get over the hump this year, but the good news is that they remain on the right track. The even better news is that Milo Janao and Kean Baclaan, the two paving the way for them, are here to stay. That backcourt, by themselves, has fueled the Staglets to four wins – and still in the thick of things. While a long-awaited, much-wanted playoff berth is a long shot this year, perhaps it wouldn’t be so when both Janao and Baclaan get a year older and a year more determined to continue doing it all to win. MAC GUADANA AND JOHN BARBA – Lyceum of the Philippines University GUADANA’S ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 19.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists (grey jersey with ball in first photo) BARBA’S ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 17.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.7 steals (grey jersey with ball in second photo) Batang Gilas member Mac Guadana has become the NCAA’s constant – a 6-foot guard who could score at will while also doing his part in rebounding and playmaking. With him showing the way, Lyceum of the Philippines University has proven to be a far from easy out for three seasons now. They are still a ways away from legitimate contention, but the Junior Pirates have reason to believe that would be sooner than later as teaming up with Guadana is John Barba, a 6-foot-2 forward who just has a knack for willing his way to good looks inside. With those two, the boys from Cavite have two of the top six scorers in all of the league. Now, they just have to find the other pieces of the puzzle for their first-ever playoff berth. ROM JUNSAY – Arellano High School (grey jersey with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 19.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.6 steals Rom Junsay was one of the biggest keys to Mapua’s first-ever championship. That was two years ago, though, and since then, the 5-foot-6 has transferred to Arellano and is now only playing his first and last season there. Nonetheless, in just his first game in blue and grey, he wasted no time in reminding everybody about his talents, dropping a career-high 34 points. He and the Braves have trailed off from there, but just as Arellano is a sleeping giant no team wants to wake, Junsay is an active volcano just waiting for the perfect time to erupt. HONORABLE MENTIONS Jonnel Policarpio – Mapua High School RC Calimag – College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2018

Natauhan dahil kay Clarkson!

TINGNAN mo nga naman kung ano ang nagagawa ng isang Jordan Clarkson. Lahat ng mga manlalaro ngayon sa PBA ay gustong maglaro para sa national team. ‘Yan ang dahilan kung bakit perfect attendance ang mga huling practice ng koponan na magdadala ng bandila para sa laban sa Iran sa FIBA qualifying para sa World Cup… link: Natauhan dahil kay Clarkson!.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsSep 9th, 2018

Gilas cast complete in first practice as Scottie, Cabagnot arrive

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas' campaign in the fourth window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers is in full swing. Everyone from Yeng Guiao's 16-man pool was in attendance on Monday night, September 3, at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas, as the national team gears up for its clashes ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2018

TERRIFIC 12: Vanguardia-coached D-League All-Stars start prep for Macau invitational

The lone Philippine team in the upcoming Asia League Terrific 12 tournament is ready to start its preparations. Three weeks before the invitational meet in Macau, Team Philippines will start practice Wednesday as they look to make a splash against the top club teams from China, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. The Pinoy crew will be made up of a selection of PBA D-League players from Go for Gold and Che'Lu, the two teams that fought for the recently-concluded Foundation Cup. Handling the team is former Phoenix Fuel Masters head coach Ariel Vanguardia. "Yes, we start practice tomorrow," Vanguardia said in a message to ABS-CBN Sports. Foundation Cup champion Go for Gold will mostly make up the crew of the team listed as IECO Green Warriors with Gab Banal and Jai Reyes leading the way. Also in the team are Matt Salem, Ron Dennison, Kris Porter, and Rey Publico. Che'Lu's Jeff Viernes, MVP of the Foundation Cup, is also in the team. Teams in the Terrific 12 are allowed to have two foreign imports and the Green Warriors will have former PBA Best Import for TNT Richard Howell as the main reinforcement. Sam Logwood is the team's other import. The Terrific 12 is set for Sept. 18-23 at the Studio City in Macau and the Green Warriors will compete against China's Shandong Hi-speed Golden Stars, Zhejiang Guangsha Lions, Xinjiang Flying Tigers, and the Guangzhou Long Lions. Also in the tournament are the Chiba Jets, Ryukyu Golden Kings and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins from the Japanese B.League, The Korean Basketball League is represented via the Seoul Samsung Thunders and Mobis Phoebus while the Taiwanese SBL will send the Fubon Braves and the Yulon Luxgen Dinos. The Long Lions won the previous Macau tournament this year, the Super 8 back in July, beating both the NLEX Road Warriors and the Blackwater Elite along the way.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 28th, 2018

LOOK: Who should rep NBA teams in 3X competition?

With the NBA 3X Philippines Playoffs kicking off this weekend at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall, the mind inevitably drifts off to imagining how actual NBA players would do in a three-on-three competition. To aid that musing, here are our picks to represent the 30 NBA franchises, should the league decide to have such a tournament. Of course, this was easier for some teams, compared to others, and perhaps that challenge is what makes the mental exercise so intriguing. Disagree with our four-man selections? Let us know in the comments! Atlanta Hawks - John Collins, Taurean Prince, Trae Young, Vince Carter The Hawks go young with their squad, and could have even gone younger, plugging in rookies Kevin Huerter or Omari Spellman into their fourth spot. However, the very chance of 41-year-old Vince Carter dunking on people in a 3X game is too tantalizing to pass up. Boston Celtics - Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown The deep, deep Celtics have plenty of ways to go. You could field a defense-oriented squad with Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes leading the way, or go guns-blazing with Jayson Tatum. However, we're opting for a middle-of-the-road approach here, with the established superstars leading the way, plus the ultra-versatile Jaylen Brown filling the fourth seat. Brooklyn Nets - Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Joe Harris The Nets have acquired plenty of veterans in exchange for draft picks over their rebuilding process, and a Jared Dudley-Kenneth Faried-Allen Crabbe-Ed Davis quartet has some appeal. We're opting for some of their younger stars though, and you could definitely make the argument that D'Angelo Russell should be somewhere in the mix too. Charlotte Hornets - Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller, Nic Batum A pretty obvious selection for Buzz City here. We will possibly revise this if Malik Monk makes a second-year leap. Chicago Bulls - Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Wendell Carter Jr., Lauri Markkanen Sure Denzel Valentine and Jabari Parker have claims to a spot, but the above four are definitely the pieces Chicago seems to be building around long-term. Cleveland Cavaliers - Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr., Cedi Osman, Collin Sexton We'll pretend that Jordan Clarkson is off at Gilas practice and unavailable. Also, JR Smith not knowing the score might be more problematic in a 3-on-3 game, so he'll sit this one out. Dallas Mavericks - Dirk Nowitzki, Luka Doncic, Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan The Mavericks' two super-kids in Doncic and DSJ are obvious shoo-ins, as is the venerable Dirk. The fourth spot is a bit up for grabs, but I'm opting here for their offseason acquisition Jordan. Harrison Barnes though would be deserving of the spot too. Denver Nuggets - Paul Millsap, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic This is Denver's core and boy is it a powerful one, though Millsap will probably have to take on the bulk of the defensive chores. It's also tempting to figure out a way to add Isaiah Thomas, who has the potential to go off in such a tournament. Detroit Pistons - Andre Drummond, Blake Griffin, Reggie Jackson, Stanley Johnson Detroit's 'Big Three' of Drummond, Griffin, and Jackson are obvious shoo-ins. The question mark is the fourth guy. Henry Ellenson for a little jack-of-all-trades? Luke Kennard for shooting? In the end, I'm going with Stanley Johnson, crossing fingers that under new coach Dwane Casey, his stats will take a leap forward. Golden State Warriors - Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant With DeMarcus Cousins still iffy with his achilles tear, we'll have to "settle" for GSW's All-Star quartet. Also, we may have found the thing to start a little in-fighting among the Dubs - figuring out who of the four starts on the bench. Houston Rockets - Chris Paul, James Harden, Clint Capela, Carmelo Anthony Maybe there's a possibility that PJ Tucker would be a better fit than Melo, but Chris Paul says Anthony's in, and who am I to argue? Indiana Pacers - Victor Oladipo, Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, Bojan Bogdanovic The Pacers surprised many last season, and this quartet was at the center of their uprising. One extremely hard cut? New signing Tyreke Evans, though he would duplicate a lot of what Oladipo brings to the table. Los Angeles Clippers - Avery Bradley, Danilo Gallinari, Tobias Harris, Patrick Beverley, Injuries aside, this is a very potent four-some from the Clips. The Bradley + Beverley combo should put the clamps on anyone, while freeing up Gallo or Harris from downtown. Los Angeles Lakers - LeBron James, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma I was tempted to go with a Meme Team lineup of Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee, along with LBJ (and apologies to Michael Beasley), but let's go with the Lakers kids instead. The mix of youth and James' experience ought to be a potent combo.   Memphis Grizzlies - Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Chandler Parsons, Jaren Jackson Jr. Once upon a time, a Grit 'N Grind four of Conley, Gasol, Tony Allen, and Zach Randolph probably could have run away with this. Instead, we're hoping Parsons is healthy enough to spread the floor, and that Jackson Jr. is as impressive as he was in Summer League. Miami Heat - Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic, James Johnson, Josh Richardson There are plenty of ways to go with the Heat. Kelly Olynyk was a great addition last offseason. Hassan Whiteside, despite his clashes with the coaching staff, could still submit a dominant performance. A healthy Dion Waiters is a very 3x3-esque player. Oh, and if the Heat bring back Dwyane Wade, he's got to be a shoo-in. All of that said, I like this mix of players, but you can certainly change my mind. Milwaukee Bucks - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, Thon Maker The Greek Freak is the centerpiece of any squad you form out of the Bucks. With the way the court is shrunk, you can be sure Antetokounmpo will be everywhere, on both offense and defense. The challenge is finding guys to complement him. Middleton is the obvious pick, while Bledsoe versus Malcolm Brogdon is a bit of a toss-up. To round out the team, I can't help but give the nod to Maker, you know, just in case we need someone to unleash a Mortal Kombat-esque flying kick. Minnesota Timberwolves - Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Jeff Teague Coach Thibodeau wouldn't reallllly consider a Butler-Taj Gibson-Derrick Rose trio right? *pause* Let's move on. New Orleans Pelicans - Jrue Holiday, Anthony Davis, Nikola Mirotic, Julius Randle This is as jumbo a line-up as you can get here, with Holiday being the only real guard, and that's what makes this Pelicans team so intriguing. New York Knicks - Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Tim Hardaway Jr. The Knicks go young with Zinger, Frank and the rookie Knox. The only real question is the fourth player. You could make the case for Enes Kanter, or even the resurgent Trey Burke, but my pick here is for THJ for more perimeter scoring. Oklahoma City Thunder - Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Steven Adams, Andre Roberson When this four-some were on the court last season, the Thunder slapped opposing teams into straitjackets and tossed them away into some dark cell. If Roberson's healthy again, this group will probably do the same in 3X. Orlando Magic - Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, Jonathan Isaac, Mohamed Bamba It's all about the wingspan for the Magic. Philadelphia 76ers - Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Robert Covington, Dario Saric We're going to trust the process here, and roll out the 76ers' core group. Sure you might want JJ Redick to address the lack of a true knockdown shooter, or roll the dice on the possibility of Markelle Fultz looking like a number one overall pick, but it's hard to argue with the skillset of this four. Phoenix Suns - DeAndre Ayton, Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, Trevor Ariza The first three in the desert are all young and unpolished to varying degrees. That's why we're rounding out Phoenix's squad with veteran Trevor Ariza, in order to show this group how to notch W's. Portland Trail Blazers - Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, Zach Collins Obviously you go with the Dame-CJ one-two punch. Nurkic, after signing his extension, is a lock too. The question comes with the fourth chair. Evan Turner? Seth Curry? Mo Harkless? Ultimately, my pick is second-year player Zach Collins, as the team could use his hustle, and a guy who doesn't really need a whole lot of touches. Sacramento Kings - De'Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III We're going young again here, and it's hard to argue with this Kings quartet. However, don't sleep on Harry Giles, who red-shirted what would have been his rookie season last year. He is primed to break out, based on his Summer League performance. San Antonio Spurs - LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Dejounte Murray The Spurs throw out a veteran squad, with the exception of the long-armed, defensively-stout Murray. Patty Mills might be a better option if you're worried about the team's lack of shooting, and you could certainly debate slotting in Pau Gasol for Rudy Gay as well. Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby In the regular season, the Raptors thrived thanks to a deep bench, but that's not an option in 3X. Instead, we'll make defense their calling card, as highlighted by new get Kawhi Leonard. Pairing "The Klaw" with Siakam and Anunoby turns any game into a defensive slugfest, and of course, Lowry is there to run the show. Utah Jazz - Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Joe Ingles, Ricky Rubio You could very well make the argument that this is the second-best squad in this field. Washington Wizards - John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Dwight Howard Guys, when even John Oliver is making fun of Dwight Howard, you know we've all gone too far. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or ABS-CBN Sports......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 24th, 2018

Almost perfect attendance for first ROS-Pilipinas practice

With time not on their side, Rain or Shine-Pilipinas starts its preparation for the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. The national team got their first team practice down Monday at the Meralco Gym with head coach Yeng Guiao presiding over everything. Present in Monday's evening session were Rain or Shine's Gabe Norwood, Chris Tiu, Beau Belga, James Yap, Raymond Almazan, and Maverick Ahanmisi. Also in attendance were Asi Taulava, Paul Lee, Stanley Pringle, Don Trollano, and Kobe Paras. JP Erram was also present but didn't up while cadet Abu Tratter joined training despite not being in the lineup. Cadet Ricci Rivero managed to catch up after coming straight from the airport. Rivero was with the UP Fighting Maroons in a training camp at Serbia. The lone absentee was San Miguel Beer's Christian Standhardinger.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 6th, 2018

Red Lions maul Cardinals to stay unbeaten

    MANILA, Philippines –  Defending champion San Beda extended its perfect run in NCAA Season 94 with an 88-70 blasting of Mapua in the men's basketball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Friday, August 3. The Red Lions unleashed a 12-2 run, 61-49, off the hot hand of Gilas cadet ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2018

UAAP champion Ateneo to represent Philippines in 2018 Jones Cup

If winning the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup and figuring in a tour against the national teams of Greece are not enough, UAAP defending champion Ateneo de Manila University is also set to be the Philippines' representatives in the 40th William Jones Cup. This will be the first time in a while that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will be sending over a collegiate team to represent the country in the invitational tournament. "We wish the Ateneo Blue Eagles good luck in this endeavor. They will be representing our country to the best of their will," SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said. The tournament will begin on July 14 at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City, Taiwan. The Blue Eagles will be composed of Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, Matt Nieto, Mike Nieto, Aaron Black, Raffy Verano, Adrian Wong, Anton Asistio, Gian Mamuyac, Jolo Mendoza, Angelo Kouame, Tyler Tio, William Navarro, Patrick Maagdenberg, Jawuan White, and SJ Belangel. The team's chief tactician will be Tab Baldwin and he will be joined by Sandy Arespacochaga, Gene Afable, Gabby Severino, Yuri Escueta, Ford Arao, Alton Lister, and Jon Jacinto. Last year, the Gilas cadets finished in fourth place in the 10-nation meet, finishing with a 6-3 record. And just like last year, Ateneo will also be backed by Chooks-to-Go this time around. "Of course, we are elated that are brand will be supporting this team. We will do our best to support the Blue Eagles in this journey," company president Ronald Mascariñas said. The Philippines has won the tournament five times. The last time the country topped the Jones Cup was back in 2016 with the import-laden Mighty Sports-Philippines......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 6th, 2018

Gilas upbeat vs Taiwan despite lack of practice

Gilas Pilipinas departs at noon today for Taiwan for its third and last “away game” in the first round of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, seeking a repeat of its “home” win over Chinese Taipei in a bid to firm up its spot at second place behind mighty Australia in their group......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 24th, 2018

Limited practice stunts Gilas

Gilas head coach Chot Reyes said yesterday the national team will begin daily practice only when it arrives in Taipei on Monday while the Taiwan squad has been busy playing tune-ups in South Korea since last week......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 18th, 2018

Kobe joins Ricci, rest of '23for23 pool for Gilas practice

Kobe Paras is not wasting any time. Arriving in the country at six in the morning, Kobe joined Gilas Pilipinas in practice at 8:00 p.m. Monday at the Meralco Gym. Paras, part of the #23for23 team, will join the national team as they prepare for the 2018 Filoil Flying V preseason joust. Joining Kobe in practice are Ricci Rivero, CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Vince Tolentino, Javee Mocon, Jeo Ambohot, Arvin Tolentino, Prince Rivero, Juan Gomez de Liano, Will Gozum, and Kenneth Tuffin. J-jay Alejandro didn't participate as he deals with an injury. Gilas Pilipinas, with Kobe anc co., will debut in the Filoil tournament on Saturday against Ateneo De Manila, the reigning UAAP Champions.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 16th, 2018

Kobe set to come home to bolster '23for23 team in 2018 Filoil joust

Kobe Paras is coming home. The son of former PBA Rookie-MVP Benjie who recently turned pro, Kobe is flying to the Philippines to bolster the Gilas Pilipinas #23for23 crew that will see action in the upcoming 2018 Filoil-Flying V Preseason Premier Cup. Head coach Chot Reyes confirmed the development via a Facebook post from Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas, the national team's chief backer. "Kobe needs to play, not just practice. The more actual games he gets, the better he'll become. That's why we're including him in our Filoil and Jones Cup rosters," Reyes said from the release. Following an underwhelming freshman season at Creighton, Kobe transferred to Cal State Northridge with hopes of playing next season in the US NCAA Division 1. However, Paras never suited up for the Matadors after deciding to go pro earlier this year. The Filoil stint should be Kobe's first action since his decision. Kobe is set to arrive this weekend to join the national team in practice.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 11th, 2018

Blatche leads complete Gilas to practice

An in-shape Andray Blatche has once again led Gilas Pilinas in its continued preparation for Australia and Japan in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. On the second day of the Philippine national team's daily practice session Tuesday at the Meralco Gym, Blatche was at the forefront of a complete Gilas crew, a first in 2018. Blatche was joined in training by team captain Gabe Norwood, June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro, Calvin Abueva, Troy Rosario, Allein Maliksi, RR Pogoy, Japeth Aguilar, Matthew Wright, Kevin Alas, Carl Bryan Cruz, and Jio Jalalon. Kiefer Ravena and Mac Belo were also in attendance but didn't partcipate in drills. Unlike their session on Monday, the national team ran more sets Tuesday including a three-team scrimmage. Joining the senior Gilas crew were CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Arvin Tolentino and Kenneth Tuffin from the #23for23 pool as well as the African selection led by Ateneo center Chibueze Ikeh. The Philippines will face Australia in Melbourne on Feb. 22 before hosting Japan on Feb. 25.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2018

Andray Blatche raring to bounce back for Gilas Pilipinas

After a terrible showing for Gilas Pilipinas last November, Andray Blatche is raring to bounce back for next week against Australia and Japan. Out of shape during the first window when the Philippins challenged the Japanese and hosted Chinese Taipei at home, Blatche has been working out in China where he plays for the Xinjian Flying Tigers. For the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, the naturalized Filipino showed in great shape and is ready to go. "I just worked out twice a day the whole time in China preparing for this," Blatche said Tuesday after practice. "The last time I was here, the last two games, I was way out of shape and I couldn't perform the way I wanted to and it bothered me and I was very frustrated and I dedicated myself to this window," he added. Whil Blatche is in better shape now compared to last time, Gilas head coach Chot Reyes says that his big man still has a lot to work on between no and next week when the national team takes on Australia in Melbourne. "Well, I liked his movement. You could see by the way he’s shooting the ball and his offense that he’s slowly getting in shape. But I think he still has to improve some more his ... he has to get his game legs under him, because before he came here, he was with his team in China but he was on the reserve list so he wasn’t really playing games," Reyes said of Blatche. "He was continuously practicing but he’s not in real game shape. We have a week before the Australia game to get him back into that. But the problem is we’re not able to play actual games, and the only way to get in game shape is to play actual games. That’s the dilemma that we’re facing," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2018

Troy Rosario rejoins Gilas Pilipinas practice

Troy Rosario was a pleasant surprise on Tuesday as he rejoined Gilas Pilipinas in practice at Meralco Gym. Still recovering from his awkward spill in TNT's game against Phoenix on Wednesday, the versatile forward was up and about as coach Chot Reyes enjoyed a full attendance for the session. Andray Blatche participated in his second session with the team and was joined by veterans Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo, and Gabe Norwood. Also present were Japeth Aguilar, Allein Maliksi, Kevin Alas, Roger Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Roger Pogoy, Carl Bryan Cruz, and Calvin Abueva. Mac Belo also attended but remained in the sidelines, nursing a leg injury. Kiefer Ravena was also pre...Keep on reading: Troy Rosario rejoins Gilas Pilipinas practice.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2018

Andray Blatche leads Gilas first closed-door practice of 2018

Ten days before the Philippines challenges Australia in the first round of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, Gilas Pilipinas finally started its closed-door daily training sessions Monday at Greenhills. Led by naturalized center Andray Blatche, who arrived in the country Friday night, the national team went to work as they prepare for the Boomers on Feb. 22. Solo Group B lead will be at stake in that titanic showdown in Melbourne. Joining Blatche for his first full practice with Gilas this year is team captain Gabe Norwood. Also in attendance were Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo, Calvin Abueva, Matthew Wright, RR Pogoy, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, Jio Jalalon, Carl Bryan Cruz, and Abu Tratter from the #23for23 pool. Japeth Aguilar didn't participate in drills but was in attendance as well.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2018

Ricci finally practices with Gilas Pilipinas

After taking a leave of absence from De La Salle University, Ricci Rivero was a full participant in Gilas Pilipinas practice Monday at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas. Only an observer during the national team's first training session of the year last Jan. 8 as well as last week, Rivero was finally in a Pilipinas jersey and ready to go, a couple of days after his request to take a leave from La Salle's basketball team was made official. Rivero ran some sets with the national team and his official inclusion to the #23for23 pool seems to be already official at this point. Joining Rivero in practice from the #23for23 pool were Juan Gomez De Liano, Kai Sotto, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, Kenneth Tuffin, Javee Mocon, Paul Desiderio, Will Gozum, and Karl Tamayo. As for the senior squad, Jayson Castro and June Mar Fajardo led the way together with Troy Rosario, Mac Belo, Allein Maliksi, Carl Bryan Cruz, Kevin Alas, Kiefer Ravena, Japeth Aguilar, and team captain Gabe Norwood. RR Pogoy and Matthew Wright were in attendance but didn't paticipate in practice.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2018

Looks like Ricci Rivero is cleared to join Gilas Pilipinas

Looks like Ricci Rivero is finally cleared to join Gilas Pilipinas. The high-flying La Salle star was present in practice again Monday, however, he was in street clothes anew and was merely an observer. Good news though, it appears that it's only a matter of time before he officially joins the Gilas pool. It's just that La Salle has to make the final announcement. "He came to tell us that he’s been allowed. But we haven’t gotten any official word yet from La Salle, we’re just waiting," head coach Chot Reyes said regarding Rivero. "That's why he came here," he added. Rivero was not included in the initial #23for23 pool released by Reyes for the national team. La Salle apparently asked Gilas to exclude its current players during that time as the Green Archers were in transition following head coach Aldin Ayo's move to UST.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 29th, 2018