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Beermen avoid another collapse to tie Finals vs. Magnolia

No comebacks this time around. San Miguel Beer has tied the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, scoring a convincing 92-77 victory over Magnolia Sunday at the MOA Arena. Game 2 followed the same script as Game 1 just two days ago as the reigning three-time defending champions jumped on a commanding lead in the second half. San Miguel led by as many as 21 in the third period only to see the Hotshots storm back to cut it down to seven early in the fourth. Magnolia held the Beermen scoreless in the first four minutes of the final period. However, unlike in Game 1, San Miguel had an answer, turning to its pair of MVPs to restore order. Arwind Santos first hit a booming three for the champs first score of the fourth then June Mar Fajardo added a fastbreak layup for an 80-68 lead. Magnolia never threatened after that. "We learned our lesson from the last game we lost," head coach Leo Austria said. "Almost the same thing, we're able to lead. Last time lumamang kami ng 20 points hinabol nila, I have to give credit to the players talagang ayaw nila magpatalo," he added. Arwind Santos was sensational all game long for the Beermen, scoring a game-high 24 points on top of eight rebounds. More importantly, he hit six timely three-point shots to help San Miguel hold off Magnolia. Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot scored 16 and 15 points respectively while Fajardo submitted a 12-point, 13-rebound double-double. After the Hotshots got off to a 6-0 start, the Beermen settled down and went to work, taking a double-digit lead at the break, 48-35. The lead ballooned to as many as 21, 71-50, early in the second half. For Magnolia, it was Mark Barroca that led the way with 18 points while Paul Lee added 13. Game 1 hero Ian Sangalang was limited to only 11 points. Game 3 will be on Easter Sunday as the Finals will take a mini-break in observance of Holy Week.   The Scores: SAN MIGUEL 92 — Santos 24, Lassiter 16, Cabagnot 15, Fajardo 12, Heruela 10, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, Ross 5, Mamaril 4, De Ocampo 0, Vigil 0. MAGNOLIA 77 — Barroca 18, Lee 13, Sangalang 11, Dela Rosa 7, Ramos 7, Jalalon 6, Pascual 4, Reavis 4, Brondial 3, Herndon 2, Simon 2, Mendoza 0. Quarters: 19-17, 48-35, 75-57, 92-77.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnMar 25th, 2018

PBA: Magnolia beats SMB but Hotshots still stuck with 7th seed

At least the Hotshots are on a winning streak heading into the playoffs. Magnolia beat defending champion San Miguel Saturday at the Big Dome, 101-97, but the Hotshots are still stuck with the no. 7 seed in the 2018 PBA Commissioner' Cup. In order to avoid a playoff disadvantage, Magnolia needed to win by at least 14 points. They were 10 points short. Thus, Magnolia (6-5) will have Alaska (8-3) for the quarterfinals starting Monday with the Aces holding a twice-to-beat advantage. The Beermen (6-5) are relegated to the no. 6 seed and will face no. 3 TNT (8-3) in a best-of-3 quarterfinals.  SMB-TNT of course, is a rematch from the 2017 Finals. "Very happy pa rin ako because it affords us momentum going to the playoffs," head coach Chito Victolero said. "Pag nanalo ka naman laging masaya eh. Di mo naman pwedeng sabihin na nanalo kami, di pa kami masaya," he added. Magnolia recovered from an early 11-point deficit to frustrate the champs. The Hotshots took an eight-point lead in the middle of the fourth, which was enough of a cushion to hold on for the win in the end. Wayne Chism led the way with 21 points as he moves to 2-0 in his short Magnolia stint so far. Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang added 14 points each for the Hotshots. San Miguel got 31 points from Renaldo Balkman but it was not enough.   The Scores: Magnolia (101): Chism 21, Lee 14, Sangalang 14, Barroca 11, Herndon 10, Jalalon 9, Melton 8, Brondial 5, Dela Rosa 4, Simon 3, Gamalinda 2, Reavis 0, Ramos 0 San Miguel (97): Balkman 31, Fajardo 18, Santos 13, Lassiter 12, Ross 9, Cabagnot 9, Nabong 5, Rosser 0, Heruela 0 Quarter scores: 29-27, 45-44, 78-76, 101-97   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 7th, 2018

PBA: June Mar Fajardo thankful for winning San Miguel as he is set to bag 5th MVP

San Miguel Beermen star center June Mar Fajardo shares that he is in a gratified mood as he is set to be awarded his fifth straight PBA MVP at the Leo Awards this Sunday at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. No other person in the 43-year history of the first professional basketball league in Asia has won the prestigious award five straight times, as the 6'10 center is set to make history once more, besting the previous record shared with Alvin Patrimonio and Ramon Fernandez.  Fajardo credited his success to the smashing performance of his team, which added another title to their hardware, their 25th overall, also a PBA record. "Hindi ko talaga akalain na mananalo ako ng MVP. Ang ine-expect ko na mag-i-improve lang ako pero yung mga awards, hindi talaga, hindi ko inisip. And kung maipanalao ko yun, lima na. Sobrang blessed," the Pinamungajan, Cebu native said. June Mar Fajardo, who is expected to run away with his 5th straight MVP is thankful for a winning culture in the San Miguel Beermen. "Sobrang suwerte ko na nandito ako sa San Miguel, suwerte ako na magagaling yung teammates ko."#PBA2019 • @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/EREsOd0F60 — Philip Martin Matel (@philipptionary) January 10, 2019 The #1 overall pick of the 2012 PBA Rookie Draft had another stellar season in the books, posting averages of 20.6 ppg, 12.4 rpg, and 1.2 bpg in 47 outings. He also had a career-high 42 points, which went along with a cool 20 rebounds in San Miguel's championship clincher over Magnolia in Game 5 of the Philippine Cup Finals at the MOA Arena last May, earning him his second Finals MVP overall. The amiable center won two Best Player of the Conference awards in the recently-concluded season, and possibly could have swept it, if he had not gone down with a stress fracture after the Commissioner's Cup Finals series loss against Ginebra last August. Despite all that, his figures were dominant enough to earn him another individual award, which reflected to another successful campaign for the Beermen the past season.  "Sobrang swerte talaga na nasa San Miguel ako kasi malakas yung San Miguel, lagi kami nasa playoffs so malaki yung chance na manalo ako kasi nasa playoffs," shared Fajardo.  "Siguro kung nasa ibang team ako, siguro hindi ako mananalo ng MVP. Sobrang swerte ko na nandito ako sa San Miguel, swerte ako na magagaling yung teammates ko." He also showered praise to runner-up Stanley Pringle, who had dazzled the league with his stellar play as one of the most, if not the most skilled guard in the 12-team association. With targets in their backs, especially with the way how the team retooled themselves as they gear up for another season, Fajardo hopes they could ward off every major challenge and win another Philippine Cup title. "Yun yung goal namin pero alam naman namin na hndi ganoon kadali maipanalo yung championshio kasi yung ibang teams, palakas na ng palakas. Naghahanda sila before Christmas, nag-start na sila sa practice," bared the beanpole.  "Kailangan lang namin na pagbutihin one game at a time. Goal namin muna makapasok sa playoffs hanggang sa umabot kami sa finals." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2019

Top sports headliners in the year that was

From the FIFA World Cup to the NBA, the PBA to the UAAP and NCAA, the Asian Games to Manny Pacquiao, volleyball to MMA, the past 12 months truly was a great year for Filipino sports fans.   Here are some of the most memorable sports headliners that bannered the year that was.    San Miguel Corporation dominates PBA San Miguel Corporation owned 2018. For the first time in the history of the Asia’s first professional basketball league one company dominated all three conferences of the PBA. The San Miguel Beermen annexed their fourth straight Philippine Cup title against sister team Magnolia last May, while Ginebra rode on undersized do-it-all forward Justin Brownlee to the Commissioner's Cup title at the expense of San Miguel last August. Then it was Magnolia's time to shine in December. The Hotshots dismantled Alaska in six games to complete SMC’s domination of PBA 2018. Outside of basketball, SMC also made its presence felt in volleyball as Petron bagged the Grand Prix, Challenge Cup (beach volleyball) and the All-Filipino Conference in the Philippine Superliga.   Kai Sotto stands tall as Ateneo takes title vs NU Kai Sotto became a household name in 2018 as the 7'1" wunderkind showed off in the UAAP Season 80 juniors' basketball tournament. The eventual Finals MVP was a beast in Game 1 of the Finals against the NU Bullpups, tallying a triple-double of 22 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 blocks in the 86-70 win, the first of its kind since 2003. Ateneo finished the season almost unscathed at 16-1, with their lone loss in Game 2 of the series, a very chippy one to say the least. In Game 3, Sotto came up clutch, scoring the go-ahead basket, 60-58, with about 30 seconds left as Ateneo came away with the 63-58 win to take the title.  SJ Belangel, Joaqui Manuel, Dave Ildefonso and Jason Credo, and coach Joe Silva all appeared in their last games for the Blue Eaglets.   DLSU completes three-peat; NU dethrones Ateneo  The UAAP Season 80 volleyball tournament was filled with lasting memories that will surely be remembered for a long time. Numerous upsets in the eliminations, great games, and much more were the name of the game for the women's tournament. However, a long-time rivalry was rekindled when two-time defending champs De La Salle Lady Spikers met 29-time title holders FEU Lady Tamaraws for all the marbles last May. Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron, and Dawn Macandili all ended their careers on a high note as they swept graduating Bernadeth Pons and the Lady Tamaraws in two straight games to win their third straight title. Graduating libero Macandili was named Finals MVP for the first and final time in her collegiate career.  Behind their magnificent floor defense and some stellar play from Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas, the NU Bulldogs also swept three-time defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles to reclaim a title they last enjoyed in Season 76. Espejo, a five-time UAAP MVP, had an awesome performance for the world's record books, scoring a record-55 points to force the FEU Tamaraws to a do-or-die Final Four. The Blue Eagle legend had played his last, and has since suited up for a semi-pro team in Japan's topflight volleyball league.   Alab fends off Mono Vampire to claim ABL title San Miguel-backed Alab Pilipinas were such a glorious sight to see in the eighth season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) last March. Coached by perennial fan favorite Jimmy Alapag in his very first season, the trio of Renaldo Balkman, Justin Brownlee, and Local and Finals MVP Bobby Ray Parks to their first title in home soil. Alab faced Thailand-based Mono Vampire, who were led by Mike Singletary, towering Sam Deguara, Fil-Am Jason Brickman and Pinoy Paul Zamar. In the very same day as the coronation of the UAAP volleyball championships, Alab took home the crown in a rousing 102-92 victory in Sta. Rosa, much to the delight of the home crowd. Balkman, the league's Defensive Player of the Year led Alab in scoring with 32, while Brownlee added 24 of his own. Parks added 13 markers. The two imports played in the PBA for the Commissioner's Cup, where Balkman (San Miguel) and Brownlee (Ginebra) would face each other in the Finals.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Warriors send LeBron packing to Los Angeles The Golden St. Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers locked horns in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season after the two teams were pushed to the brink in the Conference Finals. Both teams were down 3-2 and won Game 7 on the road to win their respective conferences, with both teams banking on experience to forge another bout in the championship series. Game 1 was undoubtedly the most exciting game in the series as LeBron James had an epic performance of 51 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.  However, JR Smith's blunder at the end of regulation became the lasting image of that game, as he dribbled out the clock with the score tied at 107-all. The defending champions rode the surge and took the opening game, 124-114. Stephen Curry's brillant performance throughout the series was overshadowed by Kevin Durant's dagger in Game 3, a few feet away from the spot where he launched the go-ahead three in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals. Durant was named as the Bill Russell Finals MVP after norming 28.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, and 7.5 apg in the four-game sweep, demolishing the Cavs 108-85 in the series finale last June. It would also be the last game LeBron James had in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform, as he bolted for the Los Angeles Lakers almost a month later.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) France rules 2018 FIFA World Cup The most-coveted title of the beautiful game returned to France after two decades. The youthful French squad celebrated their conquest soaked in a downpour in Moscow after a 4-2 victory over first-time finalist Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup last July. Teenager Kylian Mbappe stood out in the French team composed of a bunch of 25 and under players. Speed, strength and youth became France’s biggest asset during the quadrennial football spectacle watched by almost 3.5 billion viewers around the world.  The 19-year-old migrant scored one of the four goals in the championship match to become the second teen to score a goal in the Finals after the legendary Pele back in 1958. France defeated Belgium in the semifinal, 1-0, while Croatia outlasted the favored Russians in penalty shootout, 4-3 (2-2). The French team also displayed diversity, with players born of migrant parents including Alphonse Areola, whose parents are both Filipinos working in France.   Pac on top, The Filipino Flash returns The most-celebrated Filipino athlete continued make the headlines this year. Manny Pacquaio stripped Lucas Matthysse of his WBA welterweight world championship belt with a seventh round technical knockout win in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in July. Pacquiao split with long-time trainer Freddie Roach during his build up for the Matthysse bout back in April but confirmed their partnership once again for the 40-year old boxer’s title defense against Adrien Broner next year. Nonito Donaire Jr. announced that he would be going back down to super bantamweight after a loss to Carl Frampton in April for the interim WBO Featherweight belt and would be taking part in the World Boxing Super Series' super bantamweight tournament.  Matched up in the quarterfinal round against Ryan Burnett back in November, Donaire scored what many consider an upset, winning via TKO after the Irishman suffered a back injury to snatch the WBA (Super) Bantamweight World Championship.  Up next for Donaire will be WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion Zolani Tete of South Africa in the semifinals.           Pinay power in the Asian Games   The Philippines participated in the 18th Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia that ran from August 18 to September 2. A total of 272 athletes that participated in 31 sports represented the country in the quadrennial meet with Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers and medalist Margielyn Didal marching as flagbearers in the opening and closing ceremonies, respectively. Rio Olympian Hidilyn Diaz gave the PHI its first gold medal in women’s -53 kg. weightlifting. Five days after Diaz’s victory, the trio of Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go accounted for the women’s golf team mint. Saso also bagged the individual gold. In Palembang, Didal rolled her way into winning the women’s street skateboard gold. The celebrated men’s basketball team started out strong after routing Kazakhstan but lost by two-points to China in the group stage. The Gilas Pilipinas squad advanced in the quarterfinals but bowed down to South Korea by nine points eventually settling for a fifth spot in the classification phase after wins over Japan and Syria. The PHI finished with a 4-2-15 gold-silver-bronze haul and landed at 19th spot, three places higher that its 2014 finish in Incheon, South Korea.      Red Lions roar, Blue Eagles soar San Beda University continued its mastery over the NCAA as it annexed its third straight title and 22nd overall. The Red Lions grabbed its 11th crown in 13 years at the expense of Lyceum of the Philippines University. It was one-sided championship series – just like in their Finals meeting last year – with the San Beda ripping the Pirates apart in Game One with LPU playing sans its best player in CJ Perez, who was banned for one game after failing to notify the league of his intention to join the PBA Draft. Perez returned in Game 2 but even his presence didn’t stop the Red Lions from painting the NCAA red once again. In probably one of the most memorable UAAP season in recent years, Ateneo de Manila University won its second straight crown. Ivorian tower and Rookie of the Year 6-foot-11 Ange Kouame made an immediate impact for the Blue Eagles complementing the already stacked Ateneo squad led by Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena. But the glory of Ateneo was overshadowed by the Cinderalla story of the team it vanquished in the Finals. Climbing up from the cellar in the past years, University of the Philippines made history by making it in the Finals for the first time since winning it all in 1986. But before their championship stint, the Fighting Maroons ended a two-decade Final Four drought. UP then shocked twice-to-beat Adamson University with both games decided by game-winners. Ateneo came in the series as the title favorites but overwhelming support from a very hungry UP community and underdogs fans backed the Fighting Maroons. But in the end, it was the Blue Eagles championship experience that prevailed.       Pinoys make wave in MMA Fighters under Team Lakay flexed their muscles in One Championship. Flyweight star Geje Eustaquio opened the year with an interim championship win over former champion Kairat Akhmetov in Manila back in January. Eustaquio then defeated two-time champion Adriano Moraes in Macau last July to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.  Joshua Pacio earned the ONE Strawweight World Championship last September after a unanimous decision win over two-time champion Japanese Yoshitaka Naito. Kevin Belingon dropped former world title challenger Andrew Leone with a now-famous spinning back kick in April. He followed it up with a dominating win over then-two division world champion Martin Nguyen to capture the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion. Belingon ended the five-year reign and seven-year winning streak of of long-time bantamweight king Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes in November via split decision.  Eduard Folayang outclassed Singaporean contender Amir Khan at ONE: Conquest of Champions in Manila in early December to bag the ONE Lightweight World Championship for the second time in his storied career.  BRAVE Combat Federation Bantamweight World Champion Stephen Loman successfully defended his title twice in 2018.  Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera needed only 64 seconds to knockout hard-hitting Italian challenger Mauro Cerilli in Manila early December to remain the king of the ONE Championship heavyweight kingdom.    Petron, Creamline rule respective club leagues Creamline claimed its breakthrough championship in the Premier Volleyball League by sweeping PayMaya in the Reinforced Conference Finals series last July. Alyssa Valdez finally ended a two-year title drought with the Cool Smashers' victory. Creamline opposite hitter Michele Gumabao was named Miss Globe-Philippines during the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 last March. Gumabao represented the country in the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania last October and won the Miss Social Media and Dream Girl awards while landing a spot in the Top 15.     The Cool Smashers completed a sweep of the PVL’s Season 2 after claiming the Open Conference crown at the expense of Ateneo-Motolite via an emphatic series sweep this month. In the Philippine Superliga, Petron reigned supreme in the Grand Prix after taking down archrival F2 Logistics last May. Petron extended its supremacy in the sands after the tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadethn Pons defeated Dhannylaine Demontano and Jackielyn Estoquia of Sta. Lucia in the Challenge Cup final last May. The Cargo Movers got its revenge in the Invitational Cup, toppling the Blaze Spikers in a series sweep last July. Petron wrapped the year with the All-Filipino Conference in its pocket. The Blaze Spikers won its first 14 games before dropping Game 2 of the Finals. Petron swept F2 Logistics in Game 3......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2018

Basketball in 2018: The San Miguel takeover

It was another good year for basketball in 2018. In the case of the Philippine Basketball Association, they literally took one full year to complete. One year and two days actually. That's a lot of basketball. And that's just one league. Basketball die-hards were truly blessed in 2018. To be honest, some of the things that happened literally only about five months ago, seem like a long time ago. That's how crazy this year has been. In order to try and fit everything together in this year-end review, let's do things by category. Let's play ball.   SAN MIGUEL TAKEOVER Just to be clear here, by San Miguel, we mean San Miguel Corp. SMC teams continued to lord it over in basketball in 2018, at least on this part of the world. The flagship Beermen extended their dynasty in the Philippine Cup, beating Magnolia for a record four straight All-Filipino titles. [Related: June Mar scores 42 as Beermen complete Philippine Cup four-peat] Considering how easy they won this year and with significant upgrades present, it looks like there's still no stopping the San Miguel Beermen in the most prestigious tournament the Philippines has to offer. One team that did stop the Beermen this year were the Gin Kings of Brgy. Ginebra. With super import Justin Brownlee saving the day once again, Ginebra stopped San Miguel's Grand Slam drive for the second straight season, capturing the Commissioner's Cup in six games at the expense of the Beermen. [Related: Gin Kings dethrone San Miguel after sensational Game 6 win] The Gin Kings stay winning with Brownlee, if the guys makes the Finals, he's pretty much right on the money. Ginebra is a perfect three-fo-three in the Finals with Brownlee as import and in five conferences with the super scorer, the Gin Kings have made at least the semifinals each time. In the Governors' Cup, we got Manila Clasico in the semifinals and for a change, it was Magnolia that came out on top in an absolute classic of a series. [Related: Hotshots dominate Alaska to win Governors' Cup] The Hotshots used that momentum to win their first title since their Grand Slam season, completing an SMC Grand Slam in 2018. It's the first time in history all three San Miguel teams won a title in the same year. That alone makes 2018 special.   SAN MIGUEL TAKEOVER PART 2 After Gilas Pilipinas pretty much imploded on its own (more on that later), the San Miguel takeover has finally extended to the national team. [Related: Pressure mounts for Guiao with "best Philippine team ever"] The SMC stars were finally full force with Gilas and while the wins have not come just yet, it's pretty cool to see guys like Marcio Lassiter, Scottie Thompson, Greg Slaughter, and the rest of them play with the Gilas regulars of the yesteryears.   SAN MIGUEL TAKE OVER PART 3 Going away from the PBA a little bit, San Miguel stays winning as Alab Pilipinas brought the Asean Basketball League title back to the Philippine. Alab, with Jimmy Alapag coaching and Renaldo Balkman and Justim Brownlee as lead import, beat Thailand's Mono Vampire in five games for the title. [Related: Alab Pilipinas lights it up for country’s first title since 2013] It's the first ABL title for the Philippines since you guess it, San Miguel Beer's 2013 title with head coach Leo Austria and Asi Taulava.   BASKETBRAWLS Now we're getting to the good stuff. In a year where commotions were a little more common than usual, one very specific commotion managed to stand out. Actually, it was no mere commotion. It was a full-on fight. Back in July, Gilas Pilipinas engaged the Boomers of Australia in a massive brawl that resulted in ejections, suspensions, and fines that cost millions of pesos. [Related: 10 Gilas players suspended for brawl with Boomers] It also led to a national team coaching change and the San Miguel takeover in Gilas that we talked about before. In between, we actually finally saw Jordan Clarkson in Gilas Pilipinas so that counts as a win even though we only placed 5th in the Asian Games. [Related: ASIAN GAMES: Is Clarkson actually worth all that trouble for Gilas?] Ultimately, the sad and unfortunate event that was the Gilas-Boomers brawl casted a bad reputation on the Philippine national team, one that Gilas might take a while to recover from.   DUST-ED Another rather unfortunate event this year was Kiefer Ravena's FIBA suspension. [Related: Kiefer banned 18 months for using PEDs] We all know the story so let's not dwell to much about such a tragic event. Let's just patiently wait for the Phenom's comeback. August 2019 can't come soon enough.   LOOKING AHEAD If you thought 2018 was hectic, wait until we get to 2019. The ABL is already in full swing and Alab's title defense should get into high gear as the new year starts. The PBA opens a new season in January. Also, Gilas still has some stuff on the way with the national team's FIBA World Cup chase. We also host the Southeast Asian Games so that's another two weeks of basketball. Other opportunities include the Asia League, NLEX and Blackwater did well in their Super 8 stints in Macau and it's interesting to find out who's going to represent the country in the emerging power in Asia. [Related: Asia League boss wants more PBA teams in his tournaments] If you thought 2018 was filled with great basketball, you're right. 2019 should be no different.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2018

PBA Finals: Alex Compton sick to the stomach as he sinks to 0-5 in Finals

ANTIPOLO CITY, RIZAL -- After another loss in the PBA Finals, his fifth out of five appearances, coach Alex Compton admitted that the feeling of frustration gets to him every time the Alaska Aces bow out of the championship series. Compton, who is 0-5 in the Finals, set a new record for most Finals appearances without a victory, extending his torment against San Miguel Corporation-backed teams. The Aces lost to the San Miguel Beermen in three heartbreaking series, with them bowing their heads down every time. Alaska lost to San Miguel for the first time under Compton's watch in the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, an epic seven-game showdown which was not decided up until the final buzzer.  San Miguel and Alaska then faced each other once more in the Governors' Cup Finals that same season, where the Aces and import Romeo Travis were swept 4-0 by the same squad. His squad then faced the Paul Lee-led Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the Commissioner's Cup Finals the very next season, where they lost in six games. It also featured a Paul Lee dagger, with the guard drilling the game-winner from the baseline, a similar shot Lee drilled in Game 5 of this series over two years later.  Despite all this, they held their head up high and faced dreaded San Miguel the very next conference, and they looked like they had the series in the bag, up 3-0. However, the Beermen established history and won the next four games to become the first PBA team ever to climb back in a run now immortalized as the 'Beeracle'. Fast forward to Wednesday evening. Magnolia used its choking defense to get easy baskets and it became the difference in the 102-86 clincher at the Ynares Center here.  "Right now I feel sick to my stomach, but you know, the bottom line is, if you don't win the championship in the PBA, you lost. So it's all of us, we lost in the Finals. 11 teams lost to Magnolia, we lost in the Finals. That's how it works," the mentor said after the season-ending loss. "I think what's particularly painful about the Finals loss is that you're there. It's that you're there. It's always frustrating." Even though he has not won a Finals series just yet, Compton knows that it is a better feeling to have fought hard but fell short than a disastrous season like the previous one. The former pro also lamented if the ball did not sail to Paul Lee's hands in Game 5, which led to the Best Player of the Conference drilling the game-winner with 1.3 seconds left to take the 79-78 win at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.  "But when you're there, when you're a blocked shot, loose ball away from winning Game 5, when you're there, everything just feels... it's more painful in a sense." With the PBA season set to start January 2019 and end January 2020, there will be no real offseason, since the three-conference tournaments will have long breaks due to the sixth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, and the South East Asian Games set to be held in the country November.  In a team with no real superstars, they rely on Compton's system and Alaska's culture to get wins, but of course, it would be difficult to be good if the players are nicked and banged up due to injuries.  How will Alaska deal with the long and winding road that is the PBA season? "So, the question is how do you handle a pre-season going into another 14-month season, that's due to end late January of 2020. There might be a little bit of triage early on."   __     Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 20th, 2018

PBA Finals: Magnolia completes San Miguel Grand Slam

ANTIPOLO CITY, RIZAL -- Call 2018 the year of San Miguel. Per PBA head statistician Fidel Mangonon III, this is the first time that the triumvirate of the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) clinched all three conferences, an unprecedented display of dominance by one corporation in the league. The Beermen annexed their fourth straight Philippine Cup title against sister team Magnolia last May, while Ginebra rode on undersized do-it-all forward Justin Brownlee to the Commissioner's Cup title at the expense of San Miguel last August. It was Magnolia's time to shine. And they were not very shy of expressing their intentions. "Ayaw naman naming masira na sabihing kami hindi nakarating doon. Talagang pinilit naming makuha rin ito. At alam namin kapag umabot ng Game 7, medyo delikado tayo namin sa Alaska," Hotshots team governor Rene Pardo said during the championship celebrations at the Ynares Center here.  The Hotshots looked like a team on a mission from the tip-off of Game 6, opening up the game with a 12-0 blitz to blow the game wide open. Alaska tried numerous times to cut the lead down, but the Hotshots were relentless towards the final buzzer, and hoisted the Governors' Cup trophy for the very first time in four years, the last of their Grand Slam conquest. On why it took so long to win a title once again, leading to discontent and unhappiness from their fanbase, Pardo reminded them that the team had been gutted following Tim Cone's departure for sister team Ginebra a few years back. "Having a new coach is always different. It’s a challenge so tinyaga namin nun. After Jason [Webb], then Chito [Victolero]. We really adjusted Thank God, nakaisa. Sana meron pang mga kasunod," the official hoped.  Pardo, a fixture in the Hotshots' bench during the games, praised Victolero for steadying the ship as he led the team to two Finals appearance and a title, and in turn has earned the admiration and respect of his players. Now that the season has ended, Magnolia is on the hunt to challenge the retooled Beermen, who acquired bona fide scorers Terrence Romeo, Paul Zamar, and Ronald Tubid in three separate trades. Unlike the moves of their maiden sister team, Pardo assures that they won't be following the steps of San Miguel and much more build on the team that they had constructed over time. "We’re happy with them. In fact, most of them have been renewed already... May kasabihan nga, why fix it if it’s not broken. Nananalo kami, bakit namin guguluhin?"   __     Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 20th, 2018

PBA: Clutch Paul Lee shows up on both ends to save Magnolia s title chances

Magnolia was on the brink of an epic Finals collapse. The Hotshots have lost all of their 17-point lead in Game 5 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals and Romeo Travis' strong drive for a go-ahead layup was emphatically denied by Best Import Mike Harris. Alaska's Kevin Racal has dived for the loose ball but somehow, someway, Paul Lee managed to snag the leather and dribble his way to an open baseline. Lee, the newly-awarded PBA Best Player of the Conference, shot a mid-range jumper in rhythm. He swished it and gave the Hotshots a 79-78 lead with 1.3 seconds to go. It was his only score in the second half as he finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Magnolia would go on and win, taking a crucial 3-2 lead in the Finals. "I took the chance eh, kasi wala na eh down kami. Yung small details na ganun, yung mga 50-50 ball, yun yung mga nagpapanalo ng laro. Nakuha and then na-convert ko, so it gave us a win," Lee said on his series-defining save. "Struggle ako buong series offensively, pero yung coaching staff and the whole team, lagi nila sinasabi na next shot, next shot, papasok din yan. Tinira ko lang, luckily yung timing maganda siya. Sobrang bait talaga ni Lord alam mo yun? Sa kanila na eh, tapos ganun yung naging end nung game. Wala na akong hiling, napaka-gandang panalo nun," he added on his version of The Shot. A couple of plays before, Lee had another brilliant save that helped set up Game 5's wild finish. Down two, Lee managed to stop a 3-on-1 Alaska break before finding Ian Sangalang on the other end for a game-turning three-point play. That play gave Magnolia a 77-76 lead with 18 seconds to go. "I won't give up in any play, hanggang walang pito or di stop yung game. Yun naman tinuro samin from the start, hanggang di pumipito or walang deadball, tuluy-tuloy lang," Lee said. "Ayun nag-end up sa magandang play pa ganun lang yung mentality namin," he added. With Game 6 on the horizon, Lee knows it's going to be doubly hard and he wants the Hotshots to try and stay sharp. A title is on the line after all. "It's gonna be hard next game, yun yung pinaka mahirap na game. We need to prepare and of course wag namin kalimutan na mag-enjoy din sa laro," Lee said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 14th, 2018

PBA: Harris after big Alaska win: 'We just prevented a sweep'

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal --- Now we have a series. Despite taking a dominant 29-point win in Game 3 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals Sunday, the Alaska Aces are still actually down in the series, 1-2. Alaska's 100-71 victory over the Magnolia Hotshots at the Ynares Center here only counts as one and the Aces only did enough to avoid a possible sweep. And so Alaska is not going to celebrate this game much, despite finally breaking out following back-to-back bad outings. "I think they knew we weren't gonna quit. I think this is one of those games that we needed to win, if they won this game they go into Game 4 trying to close it. Now both teams are able to refocus," Harris said of Game 3. "We haven't done anything, we just prevented a sweep. I think now we got their attention a little bit more but they have our attention as well, they're leading 2-1," he added. Harris has mirrored Alaska's performance as a whole so far in this series. The leading Best Import candidate struggled in the first two games before dominating Game 3. Harris scored 36 points in Game 3, 22 in the third period. At one point in the third quarter, Harris scored 18 straight for Alaska and the Aces pulled away for good. "I got a couple of shots to go in, very fortunate to finally hit some outside shots. Good thing my teammates, they know what I'm capable of and they just told me to keep shooting," Harris said. "Today was just one of those days," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 9th, 2018

PBA: Standhardinger has challengers for BPC in Lee and Banchero

San Miguel's Christian Standhardinger now has some competition for the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Best Player of the Conference award. After the initial return at the end of the elimination round, San Miguel's top pick was the overwhelming favorite to win BPC with an average of 43.1 statistical points, way ahead of Ginebra's Japeth Aguilar. [Related: PBA: Standhardinger overwhelming favorite to win BPC] However, Standhardinger's final stats dropped to an average of 41.9 SPs after the Beermen's ouster in the quarterfinals. That fact will ultimately factor if he wins BPC or not. Making strong cases for the BPC are Magnolia's Paul Lee (31.64 SPs) and Alaska's Chis Banchero (31.56 SPs) as both the Hotshots and the Aces are in the Finals and both of them are in the top-5 in the stats race. Going into the Finals, Lee averages 17.64 points, 4.43 rebounds, 3.14 assists and 1.86 steals while Banchero puts in 14.4 markers, 4.6 boards and tournament-best 7.13 dish-offs and 1.0 steal. Standhardinger leads the tournament in scoring (22.8) and rebounds (13.4) in a strongest showing by a rookie in years. Also in the top-5 for BPC are Northport's Stanley Pringle (34 SPs) and Ginebra's Japeth Aguilar (32.9 SPs).   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 25th, 2018

REINFORCEMENTS HAVE ARRIVED

Miss the PBA yet? Don't worry as there's more action coming your way starting Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. The 2018 PBA Governors' Cup will tip off this weekend and we have prolific imports in town, 12 of them to be exact. Get to know who they are before we start the third and final conference for this season.   Justin Brownlee --- Ginebra By now, Justin Brownlee needs no introduction but here goes anyway for the benefit of those who don't know him for some reason. Brownlee is a three-time PBA champion for the Gin Kings and a one-time Best Import. His first two titles came in the Governors' Cup. The first one was in 2016 when he hit "The Shot" in Game 6. The second one was last year when he led the barangay to a Game 7 win in front of more than 50,000 fans at the Philippine Arena. He's a Ginebra legend.   Allen Durham --- Meralco The reigning two-time Best Import is back for the Bolts and he's looking to complete some unfinished business. Durham has led Meralco to two Governors' Cup Finals in his previous two stints in the PBA but each time, the Bolts lost to Ginebra for the title. Is third time the charm for Allen Durham and Meralco?   AZ Reid --- San Miguel Arizona Reid won two Best Imports back when he was still with Rain or Shine and he won his first Governors' Cup title when he switched over to San Miguel. Now, the high-scoring import is back for the Beermen after a one-year hiatus. He has some business to finish here and at the top of the list is regaining his lost PBA championship.   Eugene Phelps --- Phoenix El Destructor first made a name for himself in the Governors' Cup. The Commissioner's Cup might not be his best cup of tea but when it comes to the season-ending conference, Eugene Phelps has proven before that he's a force to be reckoned with. With an upgraded local lineup and perhaps better durability this time around, El Destructor might just become extra destructive to the oppposition.   Henry Walker --- Blackwater The Elite made their second playoff appearance last year in the Governors' Cup with Henry Walker. As the no. 8 seed, they were a few minutes away from stunning no. 1 Meralco to go to the semis. Mr. Inspiration has provided nothing but positive stuff for Blackwater and with a longer build up, the Elite might be ready to take the next step in the Governors' Cup in order to salvage what has been a lost season.   Mike Harris --- Alaska The Aces are bringing in Mike Harris as reinforcement in the Governors' Cup. Harris has NBA experience with the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz. He has tremendous international experience and the PBA is only the latest in his long list of stops. He has a career average of 3.4 points in the NBA, playing a total of 54 games spread across five seasons.   Akeem Wright --- Columbian The Dyip will have 33-year-old Akeem Wright for the Governors' Cup. Wright was undrafted in the 2007 NBA Draft and since then, he's built an international career with stops in the Middle East and Europe.   Romeo Travis --- Magnolia A close buddy of LeBron James, Romeo Travis is back in the PBA. The first time, he played for Alaska and won Best Import but lost in the Finals to San Miguel Beer  back in 2015. Now, Travis will suit up for the Magnolia Hotshots. Travis of course is part of the LeBron's high school team at St. Vincent-St. Mary.   Olu Ashaolu --- NLEX We've seen Olu in the Commissioner's Cup as he played NLEX's last game of the conference as part of the team's prep for the Governors' Cup. Ashaolu played for Lousiana Tech and Oregon and college and went undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft.   Rashad Woods --- Northport The Batang Pier will go with Rashad Woods for the Governors' Cup. Woods has had memorable stints in Mexico and in the Middle East, where he's known as the "Arab Ace."   J'Nathan Bullock --- Rain or Shine Bullock is back for a second stint with ROS. Last season, Bullock and the Elasto Painters were eliminated in the quarterfinals but not after erasing TNT's twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs. Bullock will join a ROS team that will be coming off an Asian Games campaign in Indonesia.   Mike Glover --- TNT Glover was Globalport's replacement import for Globalport two years ago but now, he'll start for the KaTropa in the 2018 Governors' Cup. The hulking forward went for 25.6 points and 14.0 rebounds in his first PBA tour.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2018

Compton: Alaska will be motivated by more than just quest for redemption vs SMB

  Alex Compton and his Alaska Aces have waited more than two years for this chance to come again, for them to once and for all be able to bury the ghost of the 2016 PBA Philippine Cup Finals collapse which ultimately gave birth to San Miguel's "Beer-acle." So when Compton watched at ringside on Wednesday night and saw how the Beermen sewed up a Final Four clash with his Alaska crew in the Commissioner's Cup, a fair question to ask the Aces coach was: "Would redemption be the biggest driving force for you in this series?" Compton sounded sincere enough when he said that it wasn't. "Will it be sweet beating them?" Compton asked the Inquirer. "Of course it will be, beca...Keep on reading: Compton: Alaska will be motivated by more than just quest for redemption vs SMB.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 12th, 2018

PBA: Mission accomplished for San Miguel Beer

Defending champion San Miguel Beer had a pretty challenging conference so far so despite taking a disappointing loss to Magnolia to end the elimination round, head coach Leo Austria is still fortunate. For one, the Beermen are in a best-of-3 series. Following a nightmare 0-3 start, San Miguel avoiding a playoff disadvantage is a win in the eyes of Austria. "Parang unfortunate to fortunate dahil na-achieve pa rin namin yung mission namin to get in the best of 3. Parang nagpalit lang ng kalaban," coach Leo said. San Miguel was all but locked in a showdown with Meralco but after the dust settled Saturday, the Beermen will have an early Finals rematch against rival TNT starting Monday. That should be good. "It will be hard considering every series of San Miguel against TNT, we always beat them eh. I'm sure they're thinking differently because they know they have to redeem themselves," Austria said of the KaTropa. But San Miguel finding its way to a best-of-3 series is the huge win for the champs. Following a 0-3 start, finishing in the top-6 is a mission accomplished. "That's what I told the team, guys mission accomplished because from 0-3, we were able to get into the best-of-3. Kung swerte siguro naka-tie pa kami sa 2-4. Masaya na rin kami na umabot kami dito," Austria said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 7th, 2018

PBA: Good guy Tony dela Cruz reflects on storied career after being honored by Alaska

​After a long and storied career in the PBA, Tony dela Cruz was honored by the Alaska Aces in a special ceremony during halftime of the Aces-Magnolia Hotshots tussle at the Big Dome Sunday evening. The UC Irvine product, who was brought in by the Shell Turbo Chargers in 1999 as a direct hire, enjoyed 11 fruitful seasons with Aces before officially announcing his retirement in 2017, along with veteran sharpshooter Dondon Hontiveros. A recipient of the PBA Sportsmanship award in 2006, he could boast of a record that could be comparable to that belonging to Wilt Chamberlain. If the Big Dipper could boast that he did not foul out in his 14-year NBA career, dela Cruz could also be proud of not incurring a single technical foul throughout his PBA journey. "I’m super proud of the way I carried myself each and everyday on the court so no matter how many awards I wished I would’ve won of course, I would’ve won 20 championships and a million MVPs but it’s just the fact I know what I did in my career and the fact that I am proud of how I played each and everyday in practice, super, super like proud," the now Aces assistant coach said after the game. Also included in the halftime tribute was a video montage containing tributes from former Shell teammates Rob Wainwright, Chris Jackson, Rich Alvarez, and former team governor Bobby Kanapi. The 39-year old said that he could not contain his emotions from the messages showered upon him, and was moved by the compilation. Looking back, the 6'5” dela Cruz said that his proudest moment in the PBA was their championship win over Ginebra in 2013, and the 2010 PBA Fiesta Conference Finals series win over the San Miguel Beermen, where he played with sore eyes in Game 6, the series clincher. He also recalled how he was called for his lone flagrant foul, a landing spot foul on Dennis Espino.  "I went into the commissioner’s office and he said we’re not judging you as a person, just the action and I said it was fair and I apologized to Dennis there was no harm but again, maybe I wished I would’ve gotten a couple more technicals to like feel some of my frustration but just super proud that I can look back at my career and really, really happy," he quipped. Now bringing a lot of experience to the table as an assistant coach under Alex Compton, he hopes to get better and get more experience while being on the sidelines. "I just want to continue to learn. But everyone keeps making jokes, letting me know how much weight I’ve gained but like Don Allado said, ‘You know what, I played so many seasons in the PBA, I have the right to eat whatever I want.’" "But again, I think the biggest transition is being in shape. I do wanna get out there and play with the guys sometimes but I think the biggest transition for me is wanting to be knowledgeable but at the same time, curious about how to get better at basketball." With no less than team owner Wilfred Uytengsu in attendance for the honor, longtime Alaska public relations manager CK Kanapi told Spin.ph's Gerry Ramos that the honor bestowed upon dela Cruz was not a formal jersey retirement, unlike the likes of former players Jeff Cariaso, Bong Hawkins, import Sean Chambers, Jojo Lastimosa, and three-time MVP Bogs Adornado. __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 10th, 2018

PBA: All-Filipino rulers get Grand Slam orders from SMC bosses

San Miguel's winning tradition endures. Following a 4-1 Finals conquest of Magnolia last week, the Beermen celebrated an unprecedented fourth straight Philippine Cup title Tuesday at the San Miguel headquarters in Ortigas. Establishing an undeniable All-Filipino dynasty and once again making their case as the greatest team in PBA history, the marching orders for the Beermen are simple now: go after the franchise's second Grand Slam. And after last year's failed attempt at a triple crown, San Miguel seems more determined to get the job done this year. However, even if the Beermen are chasing for more glory, the company's big boss would like to remind his flagship team to be grounded all the time. "Yun naman po ay pinagdadasal," SMC President Ramon S. Ang said in his speech, referring to the Grand Slam. "Sa awa ng Diyos, baka sakaling manalo tayo," he added. Still, while RSA is taking the humble approach, it always pays to be confident in your abilities. "What's next? Patikim pa lang ito. Sabi nga nila, one down, two to go." President of San Miguel Brewery, Inc., Bobby Huang said in his speech. With yet another dominant showing in the All-Filipino, the Beermen are certainly in position to go all the way this season. And their chances appear to be better now compared to last season as Fil-German forward Christian Standhardinger is set to join the team sometime in the Commissioner's Cup.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 10th, 2018

Arwind and his best 'Swakwords of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup

Arwind Santos is a lot of things. Champion basketball star, most valuable player, fashion icon, recording artist, Feng Shui believer, and self-proclaimed DJ, Arwind is a pretty impressive fellow. Arwind is also pretty articulate. His #Swakwords have become legendary on Twitter. His #Swakwords in person are just as great, if not even better. When scribes ask for "two minutes" from a certain player, it's for one specific topic most of the time. If you're lucky, you get two topics. But when it comes to Arwind, a two-minute interview can give birth to five separate stories. Sometimes you don't even have to ask. He'll tell you himself Whether it's funny, controversial, or both, Arwind will give you something. Sometimes they make perfect sense, sometimes you'll ask yourself, "Ano daw?" That's Arwind Santos for you. He's the gift that keeps on giving. And in the Philippine Cup, Santos was on fire all conference long. These are the very best of Arwind's #Swakwords in the 2018 All-Filipino.   "San Miguel Beermen, ang pinaka-masarap sa lahat." In an explanation that only begged for more questions instead of giving out answers, Arwind uttered this brilliant line after the San Miguel Beermen won a fourth straight Philippine Cup title. Clarifying his earlier statements regarding rubbing alcohol, Arwind just... he didn't exactly make sense here. "Siguro yung alcohol na yun, walang iba kundi San Miguel Beermen, ang pinaka-masarap sa lahat," he said. Speaking of that rubbing alcohol...   "Ang tagal na naming di nakakatikim ng alcohol. Rubbing alcohol." Up 3-1 in the Finals, Arwind really, really wanted to celebrate already that's why he wanted to finish things off by Game 5. He might have slipped in his comment, probably he wanted a more PG answer. However, rubbing alcohol? Really? He didn't exactly make sense here again. But it's Arwind, this counts as gold.   "Gusto na naming mag-puyat." In the most childish motivation ever, Arwind uttered this line before the rubbing alcohol comment. By the way, all of this happened in the same interview. Again, up 3-1 in the Finals, Santos really, really, wanted to finish things off by Game 5. Why? Because he wants to stay up all night already, that's why. "Kami, gusto na namin mag-celebrate ng Friday. Gusto na naming mag-puyat," Arwind said as the Beermen took a commanding 3-1 lead in the Finals against Magnolia.   "May mga shadow eh. Parang yung lima nagiging walo." Frustrated after losing a game to Ginebra in the semifinals, Arwind Santos post-game rant was equal parts creative and hilarious. Implying that the Gin Kings once again got the better of the calls.... actually, the only thing he didn't actually say was the the referees favored Ginebra. That's what he was trying to say and he got fined P25,000 for it. "May mga shadow eh. Parang may mga shadow yung mga players kanina eh. Parang yung lima nagiging walo," Arwind said, obviously referring to the officiating. "Parang ganun eh, kaya nahihirapan kami bantayan kasi lima yung kalaban pero nagiging walo. Ewan ko kung sobrang bilis kaya may shadow?" he added, wondering on the mysteries of life.   "Siguro yung brief ko na lang ang magiging green, at least hindi na bawal yun kasi hindi nakikita." Technically, he said this last season but this line came from Arwind's undying love for anything green. However, the San Miguel Beermen's uniform don't match with the color green so if the PBA, for some reason, implemented a rule regarding acceptable color combinations, Santos says he's going to follow it for sure. Well... "Kung sakaling mangyari yun, susunod ako sa rules. Siguro yung brief ko na lang ang magiging green, at least hindi na bawal yun kasi hindi nakikita. May mga paraan naman sa mga ganung bagay," Arwind said. Feng Shui says green is Arwind's lucky color so...   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 9th, 2018

June Mar will never let San Miguel down

San Miguel has its full trust on June Mar Fajardo. And more often than not, the star center delivers for San Miguel. The reigning four-time league MVP once again came through for the Beermen Friday for Game 5 of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, leading San Miguel to a fourth straight All-Filipino title. In a double-overtime classic, Fajardo scored a playoff career-high 42 points to go along with 20 rebounds, powering San Miguel's comeback from 23 points down to stun the Magnolia Hotshots. He was named Finals MVP as well. "Ever since, kilala ko si June Mar eh," head coach Leo Austria started when talking about his prized ward. "Sometimes pag tinatanong namin yan, 'June Mar, mananalo ba tayo?' 'Coach, mananalo tayo.' You can see it naman from his facial expression," Coach Leo added. June Mar was practically unstoppable after the third quarter of Game 5. He scored 14 points in the fourth period and another 12 in overtime, eight in the second extra session. "That's the sign na he wants to finish this championship dahil alam niya na pagod na pagod na siya. He wants to have vacation dahil remember guys, during Holy Week, nasa bahay lang kami, kanya-kanyang nagpapa-kundisyon instead of going back to their respective families," Austria said. Fajardo was one of the San Miguel players who didn't get to go home. He stayed in Manila while his parents were in Cebu. Ever the team player, June Mar deflected credit once again despite being clearly the best player on the floor. "Thankful ako sa teammates ko na hindi kami nag-give up," he said. "Hinahanap ako ng teammates ko eh kailangan ko mag-produce, buti pumapasok tira ko. Dami ko mintis nung first half buti pumasok na nung fourth until the end," Fajardo added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 7th, 2018

PBA Finals Game 5 By the Numbers: Next challengers, please

The latest challenger has fallen. San Miguel Beer extended its All-Filipino dynasty Friday, beating the Magnolia Hotshots in a double-overtime classic foe Game 5 of the Philippine Cup Finals. The Beermen won the series, 4-1. And before we move on to the inevitable Grand Slam talks again, let's take cues from the Beermen themselves and celebrate this title first. And by celebrate, we mean another round of By the Numbers.   4 Number of Philippine Cups won by San Miguel Beer in four years. Literally no team has ever done that before so yes, that's another historic achievement for the Beermen.   25 Total championships for San Miguel, the most in PBA history. No one even comes close to the Beermen. The team's tradition of winning is incredible.   6 Number of titles for San Miguel in the past 10 conferences. This current San Miguel dynasty started when head coach Leo Austria took over, the guy is a perfect 6 out of 6 in the PBA Finals. There's no end in sight for this amazing run for the Beermen.   42 Total points for Finals MVP June Mar Fajardo in Game 5. The Kraken was unstoppable as the Beermen rallied for the win, scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter and another 12 in overtime, including eight in the second extra session. 42 points is also June Mar's playoff career high and most points scored by a local in the Finals since Jayson Castro scored 44 three years ago.   2 Number of steals needed by Chris Ross to complete the first quadruple-double in PBA history. Ross narrowly missed the mark, finishing with 13 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, and eight steals.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 7th, 2018

PBA: Hotshots 100 percent not enough to handle SMB

The Hotshots waited so long and worked so hard to finally reach the PBA Finals. And when they got there, they were smashed by the almighty San Miguel Beermen. Seriously, in five games, Magnolia trailed at least 20 three different times and in the clincher, they blew a 23-point lead and lost in double overtime. If not for an incredible comeback in Game 1, the Beermen would have swept Magnolia. Instead, San Miguel won the Philippine Cup via a gentleman's sweep for a second year in a row. Still, Chito Victolero, playing in his first Finals a head coach. couldn't be more proud of his wards. "Wala na akong mahihiling sa mga players ko. Usapan naman namin, 100 percent effort. Sumobra pa nga eh," he said after the Hotshots lost the All-Filipino, 1-4. "Our goal is a grind out game, we achieved that. We stayed close. Two overtimes. Breaks of the game lang," Victolero added. The final two games of the series were games Magnolia wanted says Victolero. The Hotshots just couldn't pull it off. And after this experience, Victolero hopes his team can comeback healthy and try again next time. Hopefully, with a better result as well. "Hindi nakalusot," he said. "Sana makabalik ulit kami sa ganitong situation with a complete lineup," Victolero added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 7th, 2018

Formidable Beermen notch historic win

June Mar Fajardo carried San Miguel Beer through two tension-filled overtime extensions for a 108-99 win against Magnolia in Game 5 of the best-of-seven finals of the Philippine Basketball Association Season 43 on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. Fajardo, fresh from emerging as the league’ sixth straight Best Player of [...] The post Formidable Beermen notch historic win appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsApr 7th, 2018

Best of all time

June Mar Fajardo went full throttle on a night San Miguel Beer cemented its legacy as one of the greatest---if not the greatest--- PBA teams of all time. Playing like a man on a mission, Fajardo delivered one of the finest individual performances in Finals history as the Beermen rallied from 23 points down to outlast Magnolia in Game 5, 108-99, in double overtime and wrap up their fourth straight Philippine Cup crown at Mall of Asia Arena. The reigning Most Valuable Player exploded for a playoff career-high 42 points and grabbed 20 rebounds, becoming the first local to pull off such a feat as the Beermen won their fourth consecutive game of the series after dropping the opener....Keep on reading: Best of all time.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 7th, 2018