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BEST OF 5 PART 5: You have made them proud, Red Lion pride

Read Part 1 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the San Beda Red Lions here. Read Part 2 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the San Beda Red Lions here. Read Part 3 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the San Beda Red Lions here. Read Part 4 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the San Beda Red Lions here. --- San Beda College has been setting the standard in the NCAA men's seniors basketball tournament for the last 12 years. We can even argue that they have been doing the same for all of college basketball in the Philippines. From top-tier talent to top-level coaching, anything and everything has been coming together for the Red Lions over the past dozen years. That is exactly why what was once a short list of known names as Mendiola’s pride now includes Yousif Alajamal and Sam Ekwe, Borgie Hermida and Ogie Menor, Sudan Daniel and Semerad twins Anthony and David, Baser Amer and Garvo Lanete, Ola Adeogun and Art Dela Cruz, and Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon. INSPIRED PLAY Still, more than just winning, something has to be keeping them going in a dynastic run that has them winning 10 of the last 12 NCAA championships. For San Beda, without a doubt, that would have to be its community. So much so that Bolick, coming off one of the most impressive individual seasons in recent memory, will be maximizing his eligibility to keep playing for the red and white. “It’s my responsibility to give one more year for San Beda. The way they treat me, mula sa teachers, sa fathers, sa tao sa cafeteria, sa guards, kahit sino-sinong nandun, grabe lang,” he shared. He then continued, “You’re inspired to play for them because they have the passion.” LEAVE IT ALL ON THE FLOOR In 2016, Bolick won championships in the NCAA, in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Championship, and in the PBA D-League where he was also hailed as MVP. With several clutch shots littered throughout those tournaments, many have said that he was already more than ready for the PBA Draft. Still, the man they call “Big Shot Bolick” decided to, literally, give his all to the Red Lions. “Credit to the school. I love San Beda and I will stay for one more year for them,” he said. THEN AND NOW Mocon, who will also be coming into his fifth and final playing year, echoed the same sentiments. “I will always treat San Beda as my home. I was only a walk-in, but this school welcomed me with open arms and shaped me into the athlete and the student I am today,” he said. While his running mate guard has only been in Mendiola for a little over three years after transferring from De La Salle University, the versatile forward has been starring in red and white ever since high school. And when his time as a Red Cub came to an end, there wasn’t even a question if he was staying or not. For Mocon, the winning tradition backed by all-out support from the community was more than enough reason. “San Beda has pushed me to become the best. Because of this community, we continuously aim for championships and that has been seen through generations and generations of players,” he said. He then continued, “It is with pride and honor that I played for this school.” YOU’RE ALL I NEED With all out support comes sky-high expectations. As the glory of a 12-year dynasty and counting gets greater and greater, so does the burden of keeping it going get heavier and heavier. For Bolick, though, that is exactly the way they want it to be. “Losing is not an option and the option is high every time, pero ako, I want to compete. I like to play in that kind of situation,” he said. He then continued, “Kasi nga grabe yung support nila kaya I hope to win one more championship for them.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJan 1st, 2018

Lao hopes to join UP teammates Desiderio, Dario in the PBA

He may have taken the road less travelled, but Kyles Lao has no regrets with the path he took in his basketball career.   Opting to forego his final playing year in the UAAP, the former Xavier standout missed on a chance to be a part of the UP Fighting Maroons, which reached the Finals of the recently-concluded Season 81 cage wars and finished runner-up to defending champion Ateneo.   But rather than look on what could have been, all he feels is pride with what his alma mater was able to accomplish.   "A part of me is happy and proud na UP overcame the culture of losing and became a finalist this season," Lao said as the Fighting Maroons reached the championship round for the first time since 1986.   It doesn't mean that Lao drew the short end of the stick, too.   The UAAP Season 76 Rookie of the Year have made the most of his time away from Diliman, suiting up for AMA Online Education in the PBA D-League and Manila Stars in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), and now, will be making the biggest gamble of his career as he enters the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.   "Instead of going back to UP, I've joined a lot of commercial leagues, MPBL and D-League which I've learned a lot from. My teammates and coaches imparted a lot of knowledge on me, on how I prepare myself and how I approach the game," said Lao at the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum presented by San Miguel Corporation, Tapa King, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) at Tapa King-Cubao on Tuesday.   "I'm not saying na hindi ko siya makukuha sa UP, but it's not a bad path that I took. I have no regrets because this is where I am now," he said.   Lao is one of the 48 hopefuls who are set to infuse new blood to the 44-year-old professional league through the annual rookie draft proceedings, set on Sunday at Robinson's Midtown in Ermita, Manila.   Coming in confident on what he feels is "the best shape of his career," Lao also wouldn't mind linking it up with former UP brethrens in Paul Desiderio and Diego Dario, both of whom are also making the leap to the pros, wherever that team may be.   "Syempre, I would be happy. Being with familiar faces isn't bad in any case,” said Lao.   “I know how Paul and Diego play and within the system of any coach, I know I can jell with them easily. To be given the chance, it will be reminiscent of our UP Maroon days kung bibigyan kami ng pagkakataon," Lao added.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News12 hr. 5 min. ago

PFF President Nonong Araneta reveals exciting times ahead for Philippine football

Mariano “Nonong” Araneta is pumped up for Philippine football, and it's easy to see why. The Philippine Football Federation president has divulged exciting details of the federation's plans to develop the national training center in the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite. Plus the Azkals are also getting ready for a busy few months ahead. Araneta is keen on ramping up the federation's partnership with the Manila Jockey Club in SLLP, where the FIFA Artificial Turf Pitch is situated. Already a training ground for youth national teams and club sides, Araneta says that lighting towers will soon be installed that will permit nighttime play. “We are just waiting for AFC because the lights will be bidded out,” Explains Araneta. “Hopefully they will be installed by the end of the year.” The lights will feature an intensity of 900 lux, more than the accepted 800 lux minimum for televised matches. The lights will complement the hundreds of new seats that have already been put in place around the pitch. But that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what the PFF has planned for Carmona. “We have spoken to Manila Jockey Club about transferring our headquarters there,” says Araneta. “We are ready to start the bidding and construction.” The PFF is planning to purchase a 3000 sqm parcel of land within the San Lazaro Leisure Park and build a complex with dormitories, classrooms for coaching and referee courses, and a gym. “The funds are ready, initially we will be getting US$1.5 Million from FIFA,” says Araneta, who says the federation will be selling their current building in Pasig to help fund the move. But Araneta says that another option is available, to buy a different 2000 sqm plot of land beside the artificial pitch that is separate from the 3000 sqm parcel. There a grandstand could be constructed, transforming the pitch into a stadium. The headquarters could then be situated under the seating while the other site houses the dorms, classrooms, and gym. More fields are also in the pipeline in the training center. Araneta says that two artificial turf mini-pitches measuring 40 by 20 meters will be made right beside the main pitch. These will also be lighted and can accommodate recreational play and festival competitions. Incredibly, there will be yet another pitch in the training center, a natural grass regulation field within the Manila Jockey Club's racetrack. “That is for our national teams so that if they are set to play on grass, they can train there,” explains Araneta. The middle of the racetrack already has a grass area where football is played. Manila Jockey Club and PFF have yet to decide if the new grass pitch will be a brand new one or if the current surface will be improved. “We want our activities to be there,” declares Araneta. “We have already had coaching seminars there. Schools can also use our facilities. The pitch is there to be used not to be seen,” he adds with a chuckle. Araneta is a former national team player himself and is also optimistic about the near future with the Azkals. The squad is facing two big tournaments in the coming months: the AFF Suzuki Cup in November and December and their maiden appearance in the AFC Asian Cup in January 2019. Araneta says the Azkals will travel to Bahrain during the September FIFA window to play a Bahraini club side, likely on Sept 7, before tangling with the Bahrain national team on September 11. There will also be a FIFA window in October, and Araneta says the Filipinos can enjoy at least one friendly at home. Araneta hopes that Rizal Memorial will still be available before it gets spruced up in preparation for the country's hosting of the 2019 SEA Games. “Our fans will get to watch our new team,” said the president with evident pride. Crunch time begins in November, with the Azkals in a five-team round-robin group with a new home-and-away format. The Philippines will host Singapore in Bacolod's Panaad Stadium on November 13 before playing either Brunei or Timor Leste away four days later. The two ASEAN minnows will square off in a two-legged qualifying series in September to to determine who makes the group stage. On November 21 the Azkals entertain Thailand in Panaad in what promises to be a mouthwatering contest, before closing their group stage against Indonesia, probably in Jakarta, on November 25. The semis will run from December 1 to 6, with the two-legged finals being held on the 11th and 15th. After a quick Christmas break the team jets off to the Middle East on December 26, where final preparations for the Asian Cup will commence in earnest. There are plans to play in Qatar against either a club team or their national side, and then perhaps a game in Kuwait before the team goes to the United Arab Emirates. The group schedule is as follows: January 7 against Korea Republic in Dubai, January 11 versus China in Abu Dhabi, then January 16 against Kyrgyzstan in Dubai. The top two will advance to the knockout round, but the Philippines can also sneak through as one of the better third-placers. But the senior national team isn't the only competition Pinoy football fans can focus on this year. The boys U15 national team were in action while the U16 girls play in an AFC competition. The U19 men also played in the AFF U19 Championship, where they beat Singapore 2-1. The senior ladies team also notched a win against the Lion City in their AFF tournament. Araneta says the very successful PFF Women's League from last year will be run again, and that the PFF also plans a youth league. Both will be partly funded by FIFA. Of course the Philippines Football League will continue, with a League and Cup phase. The realization of these plans will be one of the achievements of Araneta's presidency. Another will be his membership in the 33-person FIFA Council, which acts as a board of directors of the organization. Araneta was recently in Russia to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup along with other council members. Araneta is one of six Asians in the FIFA Council, alongside members from China, Malaysia, Korea Republic, Bahrain, and Bangladesh. He is the first Filipino to serve in this level of leadership in FIFA. The Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo native freely explains the benefit the country can enjoy from this connection. According to Araneta “we have firsthand information on funding, and the Philippines is part of the body that will decide on what's best for football.” He says that in the next cycle of FIFA funding he might be able to acquire an additional US$ 2 million for the development of the training center. The PFF President also enjoys the inside track when it comes to acquiring development funds from the Asian Football Confederation, since he also serves as the Chairman of the AFC Finance Committee. “All budgets pass through us. We know the funding, the revenues. We know when to ask for projects. Like the lights in Carmona, that was approved by the AFC development committee,” continues Araneta. But being part of the FIFA Council is not all glitz and glamor, confesses Araneta. He mentioned a recent Council meeting in Bogota, Colombia, that necessitated an arduous 33-hour trip through Europe for a stay that lasted just two days. Sometimes deliberations in FIFA meetings can stretch for as long as six hours. Immediately after the Bogota confab he jetted off to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for another meeting. “It's no joke,” says Araneta, who is 64 years old. But the former striker and defender has no complaints and reveals his motivation to keep on going at the job. “I went to the Youth Football League. I visited the Allianz National Youth Futsal Invitational. You see the kids playing there, you see kids play everywhere. The enthusiasm of the players is what keeps me going.” - RELEASE.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 18th, 2018

Players react to Gilas vs. Australia brawl

What was supposed to be a non-bearing FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers meeting between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia ended in infamy, as a massive brawl ultimately put a stop to the game, Monday evening at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.  With Australia up 31 midway through the third quarter, things got physical between Gilas player RR Pogoy and Australian players Chris Goulding and Daniel Kickert, eventually erupting to a bench-clearing brawl that saw punches, kicks, water bottles, and even chairs get thrown.  Bench-clearing brawl between Gilas and Australia. pic.twitter.com/RotOFNiMgl — Camille B. Naredo (@camillenaredo) July 2, 2018 The incident, of course, became viral almost instantly.  Andrew Bogut, and Australian former NBA player and national team member obviously wasn't pleased with the events that took place.  MAN WTF!!! Disgusting — Andrew Bogut (@andrewbogut) July 2, 2018 Cameras caught a number of Gilas players, led by Marc Pingris, taking a selfie as the officials sorted things out. This didn't sit well with Bogut either.  Blokes taking a team selfie after all that. Down 31. Yep. They really just took a team selfie. — Andrew Bogut (@andrewbogut) July 2, 2018  Being the hosts, it certainly wasn't a good look on the Philippines' part, and a number of former Gilas players and current PBA players expressed their dismay as well.  Embarassing… — Jimmy Alapag (@JAlapag3) July 2, 2018 Roommate!! 😩🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️ — L.A Tenorio (@LA_Tenorio) July 2, 2018 Can’t believe some people are proud of this.... 🤦🏽‍♂️ wrong sport! — Solomon Mercado (@M3rcMyWords) July 2, 2018 Junemar tho... what a beast! And didn’t feel the need to throw one punch or throw any chairs to show his pride. #4timeMVP — Solomon Mercado (@M3rcMyWords) July 2, 2018 Embarrassing!!! — Chris Ross (@cmross6) July 2, 2018 This is unfortunate. — joe devance (@jdv_38) July 2, 2018 Aleast we won the rumble not sure about the game!! — marcus douthit (@DouthitMarcus) July 2, 2018 As a player, what would u do if u are hit or u see ur teammate get hit on the face? U cant just back down. Goes for both 🇵🇭 and 🇦🇺 players. Im not saying that the fight is a good thing. Tough situation really. #GilasPilipinas — Jai Reyes (@jaireyes5) July 2, 2018 This is embarrassing — alex cabagnot (@askcabaggie) July 2, 2018 Congrats .. yall just made shaqtin a fool — alex cabagnot (@askcabaggie) July 2, 2018 Wow man....😔 — Kel Williams (@KelWilliams21) July 2, 2018 Christian Standhardinger, a former Gilas player himself, took to Twitter to stand up for his basketball brothers.  If you attack one of us, you attack all of us! THAT WAS A CHEAP SHOT AGAINST POGOY. I hope nobody got seriously injured. — Chris Standhardinger (@cstandhardinger) July 2, 2018 Wag nalang tayo magmalinis lahat.. kung ikaw yung nasa court at nakita mo yung teammate mo na sadyang sinaktan matutuwa ka?? Isip tayo!! Wag tayo puro embarrasing!! Oo panget tignan masisira name ng bansa pero wag paagarabyado lalo na sarili natin bansa to!! — Ronald Tubid (@ront71) July 2, 2018 Other members of the Philippine basketball community also took to Twitter to share their two cents.  This is not gonna be good for our country in the long run 😕 — Thirdy (@ThirdyRavenaaa) July 2, 2018 😳 — Kib Montalbo (@kibmontalbo) July 2, 2018   It's just so difficult to keep your cool in a crazy situation like that (I probably couldn't) I've always had the highest regard for JMF and Gabe pero lalo pang tumaas ngayon. (And Baser too) — Jason Webb (@Jason_Webb_Phil) July 2, 2018 Even NBA Rookie of the Year runner-up Donovan Mitchell, who was in Manila just a few weeks ago, caught wind of the fiasco. Yo @ThonMaker14 out here tryin hit dudes wit the flying knee😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 — Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) July 2, 2018 Thon Maker, a player for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Australian National Team, was seen on camera attempting a flying kick on Gilas guard Terrence Romeo.  Speaking of Romeo, the fan-favorite was unapologetic as he stood up for his Gilas teammates as well.  Dun sa mga kapwa namin players na nag sasabing embarassing kami wala kaming paki alam sa inyo . Kami mag kaka teammate sa loob kailangan namin mag tulungan. Hindi namin pwede pabayaan yung isat isa. Kung embarassing kami sa mata niyo bat di kayo mag convert ng australian. — Terrence Romeo (@tbvromeo) July 2, 2018 Kahit anong sabihin niyo nag lalaro kami para sa isat isa para sa kapwa natin pilipino higit sa lahat para sa bayan. Hindi niyo alam ang sacrifice namin Kung para sainyo mali tulungan namin yung kakampi namin sinasaktan problema niyo na yun basta kami walang iwanan tapos!!! — Terrence Romeo (@tbvromeo) July 2, 2018 In the end, 13 players were ejected, with nine of them coming from Gilas Pilipinas.  The game continued, with Baser Amer, Gabe Norwood, and June Mar Fajardo being the lone Gilas players not to be ejected.  The game waa called eventually, with Australia winning 89-53.  According to FIBA, disciplinary proceedings will be opened and decisions, and most likely sanctions will be handed out in the coming days.  Following the incident that occured in the third quarter of the Philippines-Australia game on Monday in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers, FIBA will now open disciplinary proceedings against both teams. The decision(s) will be communicated in the coming days. — FIBA media (@FIBA_media) July 2, 2018.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2018

LA Clippers fans celebrate win, Pinoy culture in Filipino Heritage Night

As the injury-plagued Los Angeles Clippers topped the Atlanta Hawks via a game-winning three-pointer by C.J. Williams, 108-107, Filipino fans in attendance had a deeper reason to celebrate. Despite the heroics of the remaining Clippers players, the real star of the night was Philippine culture, as the LA squad celebrated Filipino Heritage Night (Tuesday PHL time). Who you got tonight, me or @djeman? @LAClippers 🙌🏾 #filipinoheritagenight pic.twitter.com/cWqQ2bcVcl — apl.de.ap (@apldeap) January 8, 2018 Tonight's Starting 5️⃣ 🇵🇭» @j3vans1_ 🇵🇭» @TeamLou23 🇵🇭» @C_Will21 🇵🇭» Wesley Johnson 🇵🇭» @DeAndre#FilipinoHeritageNight pic.twitter.com/tRpwf0f41a — LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 9, 2018 From before tip-off, to the post-game festivities, the annual Clippers Filipino Heritage night presented an All-Star cast. #ClipperNation, stay in your seats for tonight’s halftime performance by @apldeap.#FilipinoHeritageNight 🇵🇭 pic.twitter.com/wl0cGA605d — LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 9, 2018 Jessica Reynoso of The Voice Philippines kicked off the night with the U.S. national anthem, and in between timeouts Filipina Clippers Spirit Dancer Kyla made sure the Staples Center was beaming with Pinoy Pride. Celebrity b-ball game! Team @djeman vs Team @apldeap. Who you got?#FilipinoHeritageNight 🇵🇭 pic.twitter.com/B5sFF1c21M — LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 9, 2018 Allan Pineda or Apl de Ap of the pop group Black Eyed Peas not only got the crowd going during halftime, he was also part of the Filipino celebrity game that drew cheers from rising star Kobe Paras, who also attended the festivities. "Just proud to be Pinoy and our people representing LA," said the musician. "It’s great to be here to celebrate our heritage. Just introducing our culture around the world." Indeed, it was definitely a win for both the Clippers, and for the Filipino community in L.A......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

Hard work, family, and tocino the key ingredients to Fil-Am cyclist’s success

Coryn Rivera, said to be the only cyclist with Filipino roots to be taking part in the European circuit, is back at where it all began for her. “It’s good to be back,” she said with a small smile during her welcome lunch on Monday at the Shang at the Fort in Taguig. The name Rivera resonated with Filipinos when she won the Prudential RideLondon Classique a year ago. Then, her origins were unknown until ABS-CBN’s Gretchen Ho, who was part of the country’s delegation in London, inquired about them. While now an American citizen, the 25-year-old’s parents are full-blooded Filipinos who remain proud of their roots. Their eldest of two children only shares the same sentiment. “It’s cool to be a person with an ethnic background. I think I’m the only one with Filipino blood to be there (European circuit),” Coryn said. Rivera is now part of professional cycling team Sunweb which is very much active in the European circuit. In all of her races, a big part of her preparation remains Filipino to the core. “I still love tocino and tapa for breakfast with banana ketchup. I’m still very much into Filipino culture even though I was born in the (US),” she said. Of course, it has been parents Wally and Lina who have made sure that such is the case. “Breakfast is very important so I would make sure she always had her rice and tocino,” the latter shared. With that simple yet loving act, the elder Riveras have made it clear that they are fully behind their big-time source of pride who only stands at 5-foot-3. And clearly, that has made all the difference in the world. “We always support Coryn. I think that’s why she succeeds – because we support her 110 percent,” Lina said. That all-out support has impacted Coryn in more ways than one. “She saw us work hard to get to where we are. We also don’t spoil our kids – we make them work hard to get to where they are,” her mother said. She then continued, “We do everything on our own and she’s just the same way.” Indeed, it has been the example set by her hardworking parents that Rivera follows to this day wherever she is – be that in the Tour of Flanders in Belgium or in the hills of Tagaytay. “My parents are role models. They are hardworking and that’s what I want to be,” she said. And so, the American citizen cyclist remains Filipino at heart – even though she is yet to string together a Tagalog sentence. Asked about the native language of her parents, she answered, “I understand it really well, but as far as speaking it, I’m still practicing.” Good thing then that she will have some time to practice as Rivera will participate in the upcoming PRUride PH 2018 from January 11 to 14 in Subic, Zambales. Backed by British life insurer Pru Like UK, PRUride PH 2018 is expected to be one of the biggest cycling events in the country as it will be spread over two areas and span two weekends. In Subic, veteran pedal-pushers such as George Oconer and Marella Salamat will join Rivera in taking part in the 160 km PRUride Professional Road Race. The event continues a week later in McKinley West in Taguig where next iterations of the Criterium races first held a year ago will ensue. PRUride PH 2018 has been sanctioned by PhilCycling, the national governing body for the sport of cycling. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 8th, 2018

PBA: Compton livid over 'low blows' from Magnolia

Coach Alex Compton didn't even have time to sit first before he started his post-game barrage right after Alaska's big Game 4 win in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals. Fresh from a 90-76 decision to tie the best-of-7 series at 2-2, Compton lashed out on the apparent dirty plays from Magnolia players. "First I'm glad we won but second, if we're gonna get punched multiple times and there aren't calls or suspensions, I've got a problem. You all saw it right?" Compton said. "Somebody punched Mike in the testicles, somebody punced Chris in the testicles. At what point is it gonna get called? That's literally a low blow. I'm not happy about that one bit," he added. It has been a physical game, as it was the whole series. However, on the part of Alaska, the tipping point came in the fourth quarter when guard Chris Banchero went down in pain. TV replays showed that Mark Barroca punched Banchero in his nether regions after a free throw play. No foul was called and fortunately, things didn't escalate any further. "It's dirty basketball," Compton said. "To call it anything else would be a lie, and I'm not a liar," he added. Granted, Compton believes that Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero is not out there barking instructions to his players to go after opposing player's balls. However,the Alaska mentor is adamant that there should be things to be done for those kinds of actions. "Maybe punches don't merit suspensions anymore. We'll see. I'm curious what will happen. I don't think I should get in trouble or fined for saying that, because I have a right to protect my players," Compton said. "I'm proud of my guys because we made a deal. You have to be able to take a punch for our team and not throw one back. I'm proud to be part of our team," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News12 hr. 5 min. ago

UP titos Ronnie Magsanoc, Benjie Paras congratulate '16Strong

Gone are the days that Ronnie Magsanoc, Benjie Paras, Eric Altamirano and Joey Guanio are the only benchmarks of University of the Philippines basketball greatness. In the UAAP Season 81, Paul Desiderio, Bright Akhuetie, Juan Gomez de Liano and the rest of the modern day Fighting Maroons made history by making it back in the Final Four since 1997 and the Finals since 1986. Now, just spectators and UP titos, both Magsanoc and Paras just can't help but feel very proud of the achievement. "Doon palang sa makarating sa Final Four yung manalo pa lang sa La Salle, very happy saka very proud sa nagawa ng mga bata sa kanilang Coach Bo [Perasol], sa lahat ng sakripisyo nila, sa lahat ng mga tumulong, naramdaman mo na nagbunga," said Magsanoc, "It was the realization na they were in the right direction saka natutuwa ako na nabuhay yung pride sa community." "Congratulations to Coach Bo, his coaching staff, his players na nagpakahirap para dito. We're here, we are still here to support in other ways," chipped in Paras. If the two had it their way, they would not want any exposure anymore as the 1986 champions thinking that this year is no longer their time. They said that this is the #16Strong's time. But when ABS-CBN Sports pressed them for some sort of reaction or message regarding this year's splendid run of the Maroons, they tipped their hats off to two entities: the coaching staff and the UP community. "[Hindi na ako nagulat sa dami ng tao.] Expected na yan na once pumasok sa Final Four ang UP, or any other team, pag pumasok yun, talagang buhos lahat ng support and for that team to win again and in the Finals," Paras said. "More than gulat eh natutuwa talaga ako para sa mga players kasi you see people coming together for them. Maski naman noon, mayroon naman talaga na mga loyal fans pero ito kasi it has bridged three decades of different generations eh," Magsanoc added. "The coaching staff has done an outstanding job from the players na tinatawag na 16 Strong, whatever happens here we will be very proud of the Fighting Maroons so nagpapasalamat kami kasi they have put the fight back in the Maroons after a long time," Magsanoc said. Season 81 was a year of rewriting history for the Fighting Maroons - Final Four, Finals, MVP. With that, both UP legends expressed that against Ateneo de Manila University, win or lose, the #16Strong are legends. "Whatever happens in the series, I think they have cemented themselves sa legacy ng school, nung sport, sa UAAP. Job well done for Coach Bo and the Fighting Maroons including the staff," Magsanoc shared. This year proved that UP basketball is no longer just about Magsanoc, Paras, Altamirano, and Guanio. They are now joined by names like Desiderio, Akhuetie, and Gomez de Liano. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 4th, 2018

UAAP: Adamson s future is still secure with rising point guard Jerom Lastimosa

Adamson University's Jerom Lastimosa closed his first playing year in the UAAP with tons of emotion. The Soaring Falcons found themselves getting booted out in the semifinals for the third straight year. Lastimosa could have been the Falcons' hero after making the game-tying triple with 2.6 left in regulation. It was Lastimosa's shot that forced an extra five minutes to decide who will advance to the Finals to take on defending champions Ateneo. "Pagkashoot ko ng three points sa gilid po, yung mindset ko is sa amin talaga ibibigay ni Lord," he said. Come the overtime, Lastimosa gifted Adamson a six-point cushion after sinking another triple with 2:39 left in the additional period. He displayed poise and control during the crucial moments of the match. But in the end, the Maroons gobbled up the lead as Adamson failed to find a reply. "Pero hindi pala [ito] sa amin. So sad," he said. Lastimosa was heartbroken after failing to overcome Adamson's Final Four curse. For three straight years in the Franz Pumaren era, they have always made it to the Final Four only to settle for third place. Lastimosa was seen bawling beside graduating senior Sean Manganti during the singing of the Adamson University Hymn.  "Yung pinakita lang namin na laban kanina, actually, magandang laban pero talaga eh talo pa rin, nagkulang kami sa -- hindi abot sa five minutes po," said the recruit from Dumaguete while holding back tears. To focus on the silver lining of the heartbreak, Adamson will still have the services of the 5-foot-10 point guard for at least two more years. "Pagbutihan ko lang sa loob ng [playing years ko]. Mamatured ko pa rin yung mga laro namin pa. Iaangat ko pa para mas maganda yung laro," he said. In just his first year as Adamson's point guard, he posted averages of 7.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. His rise is a manifestation of the program that Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren has always been proud of. From a little known point guard from Asian College in Dumaguete, Lastimosa is now building his name as a reliable point guard in the UAAP. "Whoever heard of Jerom Lastimosa? I don’t think even a single dot in the radar, he was noticed," said the Adamson mentor. "I think he’s gonna be valuable, his name is gonna be mentioned and will always be in the conversation. He had some mental mistakes but that’s part of being a [20]-year old kid out of the province. I don’t think he even imagined himself playing in this situation and earning some big minutes," Pumaren added referring to Lastimosa's 20.7 minutes per game. As manifestation of the trust bestowed upon the young player, he was tasked to make the last shot of the season with 6.6 left but it clanked off to the side of the rim. No worries for the Adamson faithful however, as Lastimosa has still more years to perfect the shot. For him, he is just very thankful for the UAAP experience he has been having so far. From getting his minutes to playing in front of an Araneta Coliseum brimming with nearly 21,000 fans, "Actually, yung paglipat ko dito is hindi ko talaga ine-expect na maco-contain ko yung laro ko galing sa Dumaguete [papuntang UAAP]," said the Adamsonian. "Syempre rookie ako, first time ko dito sa UAAP tapos ganun yung crowd kadami saka sobrang blessed ko rin kasi first time ko yun maglaro sa UAAP na sobrang daming tao tsaka nagpapasalamat kami sa crowd namin," Lastimosa said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2018

Rough road: Brown says 76ers not yet among East s royalty

By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — At home, they can beat anybody. On the road, the Philadelphia 76ers only beat themselves. That’s what they did Sunday night (Monday, PHL time) in Brooklyn, committing an NBA season-high 28 turnovers in a 122-97 loss. A team that was expected to be among the Eastern Conference contenders is only 6-5, and the 76ers are 0-5 outside Philadelphia. “We are not, right now, at this present moment, amongst the royalty in the East and we understand that,” coach Brett Brown said. “And it’s a badge that we want. It’s in us. But at this moment, after 11 games, that’s not where we are. And that’s OK. “This group does have fight, this group does have pride and we will find a way to move on, move up, move forward and that’s my job.” The 76ers were routed at Toronto, Milwaukee and Boston, but those are three of the top teams in the conference. The loss in Brooklyn, their most lopsided of the season, was such a pitiful performance — Brown called it “unacceptable”— that the coach made sure to stress that it was an outlier for his team. The 76ers handed the Nets 39 points off their miscues, which contributed to Brooklyn’s whopping 40 more shot attempts. “It’s not Golden State. We shouldn’t lose a game to Brooklyn by that many points,” said Joel Embiid, who finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds but got only eight shots and was pulled midway through the fourth quarter. “We didn’t compete.” Brown knows the Sixers have to change their ways to have any success away from home. “To win on the road, you better not turn it over at the rate that we’ve been turning it over. You better have an incredible focus on rebounding,” Brown said. “Historically, like, those are the tenants of road wins. “And I think that togetherness, that toughness, the ability to take punches and still come out on the other side, that is part of growth. We don’t have that right now.” Philadelphia was 22-19 on the road last season, when it won its last 16 games overall and went 52-30 before reaching the second round of the playoffs behind Embiid and Ben Simmons. That strong finish has been followed by a shaky start, and players agreed with Brown’s tough talk about their effort Sunday (Monday, PHL time). But he insisted afterward the 76ers wouldn’t overreact and would move on. They’ll try to do that Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) at Indiana, another team ahead of the 76ers in the East. A victory smooths out a rough road that’s left them puzzled. “I don’t know what it is,” Simmons said, “but I think we just need to step it up.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 5th, 2018

Kiteboarder Tio eyes Olympic gold in 2024

After bagging the Philippines’ first silver medal at the recent 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Argentina, 17-year old kiteboarder Christian Tio is eyeing a gold medal finish at the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics. “Kiteboarding will be an Olympic sport in 2024 in Paris, that’s part of the plan,” said Tio, in the press conference on Monday at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. Tio was joined by Philippine Sports Commission Commissioners Arnold Agustin and Celia Kiram, YOG Chef de Mission and Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation President Jonne Go and Tio’s mother Liezl Mohn. “I got six more years to prepare and get better every day,” added the Filipino-Norwegian athlete.   Go intimated that she was really banking on Tio upon she learning that he qualified for the Youth Olympics.   "I looked over his credentials and had a gut-feel he will deliver,"she said. Agustin congratulated Tio “for giving us our first medal in the Youth Olympic Games, since we participated in 2010” and assured him of PSC’s full support in his campaign going to 2024. Tio shared the silver medal in the men’s kiteboarding twin tip racing with Toni Vodisek of Slovenia while Deury Corniel of Dominican Republic won the gold. “With all the postponements happening for the finals race due to the inclement weather, I was already expecting for a fourth-place finish or just the bronze. But, I just went all in and made it through,” said the Boracay-native Tio. “I am very proud of Christian for what he’s achieved,” said his mother Liezl, who is also a kiteboarder and who introduced Christian to the sport at the age of seven. Meanwhile, Kiram shared that by virtue of Republic Act 10699, Tio is set to receive two million five hundred thousand pesos (P2,500,000.00) in cash incentives, with his coach receiving the equivalent of fifty percent of Tio's incentive. Incentives of Tio and 2018 Asian Paragames medalists will be awarded at the Malacañang Palace next month......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2018

Borrego: Hiring female coaches shows NBA trending right way

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wants more women throughout the league. He’s getting his wish. In recent days, two significant moves were made, with Kristi Toliver being added to Washington’s staff of assistant coaches, and Chasity Melvin getting hired as an assistant coach with Charlotte’s G League affiliate in Greensboro, North Carolina. Those hires are signs of progress. Few seemed to notice, which also is not all bad. Women are a becoming a bigger part of the league now than ever before. The hires of Toliver and Melvin were not overlooked; it just no longer seems like such an unusual thing to bring a woman into the fray of an NBA club, probably because the likes of San Antonio assistant Becky Hammon, former Sacramento assistant Nancy Lieberman, Dallas assistant Jenny Boucek, Clippers G League assistant Natalie Nakase and Memphis analyst Nicki Gross took care of the first wave of trailblazing. “I think it’s great and I think it’s great for the NBA,” said Charlotte’s James Borrego, the league’s first Hispanic full-time coach. “It speaks to our league, the diversity, the openness, the inclusion and I’m proud to be part of that, part of a league that’s open to that. I’ve been around Becky Hammon for a number of years now. These are bright women that belong in our league.” Certainly, there’s much more progress to be made, including in business offices around the league — as well as on the sidelines. There’s never been a female NBA head coach, though Hammon — a longtime part of the staff in San Antonio, where Borrego was before taking the Charlotte job — seems on the cusp of breaking that glass ceiling. Only three women have been hired as full-time NBA referees, though Natalie Sago and Ashley Moyer-Gleich will get games this season and are already highly respected by many peers. Borrego expects the numbers of women in the league to increase. “They’re here to stay,” Borrego said. “That’s not going anywhere. It’s only going to trend in that direction.” SCORING UP If you think there’s been a lot more scoring than usual in the NBA this season, you’re right. Granted, six days of basketball is a small —and statistically insignificant— sample size in a six-month season. But teams averaged 106.3 points per game last season, and they’re off to an average of 113.3 points so far this season. Should that average somehow hold up over the course of a full season, it would be the league’s highest since teams averaged 116.7 points in 1969-70. “This is a new age of basketball and this is where we are,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “The days of games in the 80s are probably done. Everything’s spread out. It’s freedom of movement. There’s four attackers and often times five three-point shooters and there are missiles flying everywhere.” For perspective: There were eight instances in October 2017 of teams scoring 130 or more points. So far in October 2018, there’s been nine — with 10 days of play left this month. But big numbers hasn’t meant every game is a rout. There’s already been 12 games this season decided by three points or less. G LEAGUE CHANGES Over the next few weeks, more details will likely come out about the G League’s plan to offer $125,000 contracts to elite prospects who aren’t yet eligible for the NBA draft. Much of the details remain unclear: who will get them, how they’ll get them, how many deals will be offered. Another murky part of all this is how the players will be assigned to teams. What would make the most sense is for the G League to go back into the NBA’s past for an answer there. The last territorial pick in the NBA was in 1965, but that’s the road the G League needs to go down now. For a league that’s still looking to grow, imagine the possibilities of putting a potential star with plenty of potential near his hometown. It’ll generate interest, which the G League surely could use. GAMES OF THE DAY If you’re going to watch only one game per day this week, we recommend: — Wizards at Trail Blazers, Monday (Tuesday, PHL time): John Wall and Bradley Beal in one backcourt, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in the other. — Clippers at Pelicans, Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time): Anthony Davis averaged 29.8 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks against the Clippers last season. — Knicks at Heat, Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time): New York’s David Fizdale coached on the Miami side of the rivalry for years as a Heat assistant. — Celtics at Thunder, Thursday (Friday, PHL time): Oklahoma City took leads into the fourth quarter against Boston twice last season, and went 0-2. — Bucks at Timberwolves, Friday (Saturday, PHL time): Milwaukee was one of the teams rumored to be in the Jimmy Butler sweepstakes in recent weeks. — Lakers at Spurs, Saturday (Sunday, PHL time): LeBron James’ teams are 5-1 when he scores at least 30 at San Antonio, and 1-14 when he doesn’t. — Warriors at Nets, Sunday (next Monday, PHL time): Stephen Curry put on a dynamic show in Brooklyn last season — 39 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists. MILESTONE WATCH Spurs coach Gregg Popovich enters this week two wins shy of 1,200 for his regular-season career. He’ll be the fifth NBA coach to reach that milestone. ___ AP Sports Writer Schuyler Dixon in Dallas contributed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2018

Eight breakout players who wowed in PVL s Collegiate Conference

Collegiate volleyball won’t be around until the second semester but the recently-concluded Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Collegiate Conference on ABS-CBN S+A gave us a glimpse of what the girls may be raring to give us once their tournament in their respective leagues finally open. Some girls came out of nowhere to really provide the fireworks in the conference and came away with new fans and admirers thanks to their impressive play on the floor. As the PVL’s Open Conference is about to part its curtains, let’s take a look at the eight collegiate volleybelles who totally captured our hearts thanks to their display of heart and skill.   1.) Tonnie Rose Ponce, Adamson University (Tonnie Rose Ponce (libero) made a mark in the last PVL Collegiate Conference when she bagged a Mythical Six award) Adamson head coach Air Padda is proud of Ponce, her team’s libero, for being the best cheerleader of her teammates on the floor. Even with her small stature, she plays big with a fighting spirit that has endeared her to the fans. It still came as a surprise, however, to the dimunitive Ponce, to be named as one of the Mythical Six and the conference’s Best Libero. Maybe not for Padda, who has always seen the leadership potential of her squad’s cheerleader.   2.) Rosie Rosier, University of the Philippines (The sophomore Lady Fighting Maroon was instrumental in ending the school's 36 year major title drought in the PVL Collegiate Conference) Rosier was instrumental in breaking the UP Lady Fighting Maroons’ 36-year championship drought as the sophomore carried the team on her back in a thrilling five-set Game 1 match with the FEU Lady Tamaraws. She pumped in 15 points via 13 attacks to have probably one of her best birthday celebrations to date, and followed it up with a 10-point output in Game 2 to help her squad bring home the Collegiate Conference crown.   3.) Milena Alessandrini, University of Santo Tomas (Second year Golden Tigress Milena Alessandrini powered the Thomasians in the FInal FOur ddespite nursing a shoulder injury) UST’s Fil-Italian tower introduced herself to Filipino volleyball fans when she won Rookie of the Year in UAAP Season 80. While it’s not easy to be on a different land where everyone speaks a different language, Alessandrini has been quick to adapt to what the coach wants done on the floor based on her performance in PVL. Her best game happened in the Battle for Third against Adamson where she broke out with a 31-point outing, a sign of things to come for the Golden Tigresses’ campaign in the coming UAAP wars.   4.) Celine Domingo, Far Eastern University (Celine Domingo followed up her stellar UAAP season 80 campaign with a masterful PVL Collegiate Conference under Coach George Pascua) Veteran setter Kyle Negrito is FEU’s top player and Jerrili Malabanan is their main weapon, no doubt, but Domingo is poised to take over the team as she continues to make an impact in the net in the recently-concluded PVL Collegiate Conference. The conference’s First Best Middle Blocker has been one of Coach George Pascual’s reliable players that are expected to carry the scoring duties now that super senior Bernadeth Pons’ career with the school is over. Too bad she was set back by a knee injury in Game One of the Finals against UP, which also sidelined her in Game Two.   5.) Jan Daguil, College of Saint Benilde (Jan Daguil (16) was one of the surprises for CSB in the PVL Collegiate Conference) With their MVP, Jeanette Panaga, moving on from her school career, the College of St. Benilde Lady Blazers are hard-pressed to find a replacement. So far, Marites Pablo has emerged as the biggest candidate, but not too far behind is Daguil, who has come up big for them when they needed the points the most. During their battle for a Final Four spot in the recently-concluded PVL Collegiate Conference, Daguil led her team with 15 points, all on kills, to turn back the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Lady Stags.   6.) Joyce Sta. Rita, San Sebastian College-Recoletos (Joyce Sta. Rita is the only holdover remaining for the Lady Stags but she is determined to be their main pillar) Sta. Rita is the only holdover from Coach Roger Gorayeb’s compact 7-woman squad from a year ago in NCAA Season 93, where she was named Second Best Middle Blocker. That did not stop her from being an example to her new teammates as she fought in each set and match to keep the young Lady Stags competitive even if they failed to notch a single win.   7.) Satrianni Espiritu, San Beda University (Satrianni Espiritu (10) looks to be the final piece of the puzzle for the SBU Lady Red Spikers) Everyone talks about SBU stars Cesca Racraquin and the Viray twins. But another player that should be acknowledged is Espiritu, who consistently chipped in to keep the Red Lionesses in contention with her consistent showing game in and game out. If her PVL Collegiate Conference showing translates to the incoming NCAA wars, the other ladies better be shaking in their shoes as the Red Lionesses will be a mighty force to be reckoned with. 8.) Cindy Imbo, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (With Bianca Tripoli out of commission, Cindy Imbo stepped up in the last PVL Collegiate Conference) Bianca Tripoli is the main pillar of strength for the Lady Altas. It was a shame that she had to limp off the PVL Collegiate Conference due to a mild tear in her quadriceps. Carrying the load for her during her absence is Imbo, who displayed her scoring abilities while their captain was injured. In a crucial game against favorite FEU Lady Tamaraws, Imbo fired away 15 points to lead the team. While they did not win the match, it showed her capability to step up when needed. Watch for these ladies when the 2018 seasons of the NCAA and UAAP women’s volleyball tournaments begin. Meanwhile, stay tuned for more scintillating volleyball action once the PVL resumes with their Open Conference this Saturday (September 22) on S+A, S+A HD, and via livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 19th, 2018

UAAP: Coach Bo apologizes to UP for getting ejected

The University of the Philippines will not have head coach Bo Perasol in its next assignment on Sunday opposite University of Sto. Tomas. Coach Bo will have to serve a one-game suspension after he incurred a disqualifying foul in the Fighting Maroons’ 79-87 loss to Ateneo de Manila University on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum. As per the UAAP’s house rules, an ejection would then merit a one-game suspension to be served in the next assignment. For that, the always amiable mentor was the first to take blame. “I was emphasizing to my team na composure and I apologized to them because I was the one who first lost it,” he told reporters post-game. He then continued, “No matter what happens, I have to be accountable to them. No matter how bad the calls are going to be, it’s all part of the game.” Coach Bo was reacting to what he felt was a non-call near the midway mark of the final frame. Then, UP’s Bright Akhuetie tried to dunk on Ateneo’s William Navarro, but missed the attempt. In the eyes of the State U mentor, a foul should have been called and that’s why he was seen rushing at the referee. As he put it, “I think it was an obvious call for me. I think Bright got fouled in there.” He then continued, “I don’t know what was in their minds, but I wanted to make sure they understand. I’m not going to stand there and watch (us) lose because (referees) are not calling it.” Still, Coach Bo had to acknowledge that he probably took it too far. “I just have to be better as a coach. I have to make sure that I will be with them during those times,” he said. Rallying around his ejection, UP came as close as five, but ultimately fell to the defending champions. For that fight, their ejected coach was nothing but proud. “I have to commend my guys for fighting against the defending champions. I think that we made sure that we fought hard,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 12th, 2018

Here s why Chris Webber should be in the Hall of Fame

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst C-Webb needs to be in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. My Turner colleague Chris Webber has always brought out polarizing opinions -- first as a player, and now as a broadcaster. And I’m not objective when it comes to him, either. I love the guy. He’s a true student of the game, not afraid to speak his mind on and off the court, and is someone whose love for the game knows no equal. It’s just a matter of time before he gets his chance to run a team, either in the front office or as a part-owner. But it will and should happen. And, after his impactful career as a player, he should be enshrined in Springfield. Everyone’s criteria for the Hall is different. To me, getting in the Hall as a player requires a yes answer to two questions: 1) were you among the very best at your position for a substantial period of time during your career, and 2) did your presence and/or play change the game in a meaningful way while you played? (This is why a guy like Sixers guard Andrew Toney, in my view, is HOF-worthy, even though “The Boston Strangler” played from 1980-88 and was limited significantly by injury in two of those seasons.) Webber is a “yes” to both of those questions. In the NBA, Webber was a five-time All-Star, four times with the Kings, and was Rookie of the Year in 1993. He was first- or second-team All NBA four times. His career PER of 20.9 is the highest of any non-retired and Hall of Fame eligible player that isn’t currently in the Hall. (Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett each have higher PERs than Webber, and each is an obvious HOF lock, but they aren’t Hall of Fame eligible until 2020.) Webber’s career PER is better than those of Hall of Famers including Allen Iverson, Bob McAdoo, Ed McCauley, George McGinnis, Billy Cunningham, Steve Nash, David Thompson, Connie Hawkins, Alex English, Walt Bellamy, Cliff Hagan and many others. Yet in his fifth year of eligibility, Webber was again passed over by the Hall of Fame voters this year. That needs to change. His impact on the game, from high school to being a member of the “Fab Five” at Michigan in college and during his 15 NBA seasons, is undeniable. The Hall encompasses all of a person’s basketball achievements, and Webber’s career is Hall-worthy. At Country Day High School in Michigan, he led his team to three state championships, averaging 29 points and 13 rebounds per game his senior season, when he was a consensus national player of the year. He then decided to cap an incredible recruiting class, which had three of the top 10 players in the country, among a group of freshmen that came to be known as “The Fab Five.” (Also on that Michigan team was a junior guard who averaged 2.9 points per game, who had no future as pro player, but who carved out a place for himself nonetheless in the NBA -- Rob Pelinka, who became a high-powered agent representing the likes of Kobe Bryant before becoming the Lakers’ General Manager in 2017.) “The Fab Five”, like it or not -- and, I liked it very much -- changed basketball forever. And Webber was the lynchpin of those Michigan teams that reached consecutive NCAA championship games in 1992 and ‘93. Across the board, the Fab Five had long-lasting impact. Aesthetically, they were vanguards, wearing long, loooong shorts that became all the rage throughout basketball.  And while trash talking has been at the heart of hoops for generations, Michigan raised it to a team-wide art form. It drove traditionalists crazy, while kids watching at home loved it. They were the accelerant to the “one-and-done” era, even though none of them left Michigan after their freshman season. But seeing five freshmen start games and play the lion’s share of minutes rippled throughout the college game. Going forward, teams didn’t just recruit blue-chippers, they put them on the floor immediately. What John Calipari does annually at Kentucky now is but the logical conclusion to what Michigan started, and every Power 5 team in college basketball has had to follow suit or get left behind. Of course, “The Fab Five” era wound up being star-crossed. I’m well aware of the penalties assessed to the Michigan program because of the money that Ed Martin gave to players, including Webber. The university vacated the ‘92-93 season, including all of its NCAA Tournament games that year, and took down the banners commemorating “The Fab Five” and their two Final Four runs. (Michigan also vacated all of its games from 1995-96 because of Martin’s associations with other players on teams during those seasons, and its ‘93, ‘96 and ‘98 NCAA Tournament appearances, as well as its ‘97 NIT title and ‘98 Big 10 Tournament championship.) It’s obvious to me that if not for his involvement with Martin, Webber would have been on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team, which won the gold medal in Australia, as well -- another potential feather in his cap that would bolster his Hall of Fame credentials. I will say, as delicately as I can, that there are coaches and players in the Hall that have been accused of doing some of the very things that got Michigan and Webber in so much trouble. That, in and of itself, should not be disqualifying. Webber’s NBA career also did not include a championship. But he was just as impactful on the pro game. Beginning in Golden State and Washington, C-Webb was a category all his own -- a big man with catcher’s mitts for hands who could pulverize in transition, yet was also an incredibly deft passer, both from the post or out front. As a rookie, Webber elevated Golden State from a 34-48 record in 1992-93 to 50-32 the next season. Traded to Washington after that one season with the Warriors, having conflicted mightily with Coach Don Nelson, Webber helped get the then-Bullets to the postseason for the first time in nine years. Once there, the Bullets went toe-to-toe with the defending-champion Bulls in a tough, three-game first-round series in ’97. But it wasn’t until Webber was sent to what was then the equivalent of Siberia in the NBA -- Sacramento -- that his game reached full flower. Playing with another excellent passing big man in Vlade Divac, and a flashy savant of a point guard in Jason Williams, Webber and the Kings were the vanguard of the modern NBA game, coming to fruition years before the Suns’ Seven Seconds or Less attack led by one of last week’s Hall of Fame inductees, Steve Nash. The Kings moved the ball with flair and purpose. The Warriors have changed the game forever by stretching the floor to the breaking point for opposing defenses with their 3-point proficiency, but even they didn’t have what Sacramento possessed -- two bigs who could initiate and finish from anywhere inside the 3-point line. No one could do what the Kings could do, and with Webber, Sacramento changed almost overnight from perennial joke to perennial championship contender. The Kings made the playoffs six straight seasons, reaching the Western Conference finals in 2002 before losing in controversial fashion to the Lakers in seven games. Webber’s knee injury during the Kings’ semifinal playoff series with Dallas in 2003 marked the beginning of the end for him and the Kings. If he hadn’t gotten hurt, Sacramento probably would have beaten the Mavericks and played San Antonio in the West finals. And while San Antonio would have been favored in that series, the Kings would have had a chance, with the winner facing the Nets in The Finals that year. And a championship would also have made C-Webb’s pro career look much different. But, that didn’t happen. It doesn’t matter, though. Webb’s career stands on its own merits. At all levels, he has had impact and changed the game, and he deserves to have his moment in the sun in Springfield. Sometimes it takes players of merit a little longer, for various reasons -- think Spencer Haywood, or, this year, Mo Cheeks. Chris Webber is a Hall of Famer, and it isn’t a close call. Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 11th, 2018

LeBron James says in Kaepernick reference: I stand with Nike

By JOCELYN NOVECK, AP National Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Clutching his young daughter in his arms, LeBron James said he stands with Nike, a clear reference to the company's Colin Kaepernick ad campaign. The basketball superstar — and new Los Angeles Laker — made the remarks as he received an award Tuesday for both his style and his philanthropy from Harlem's Fashion Row. The fashion collective partnered with Nike for the New York event, both a fashion show and an awards ceremony that focused on diversity in the fashion world. The evening culminated in the reveal of the latest LeBron James Nike basketball shoe: a women's sneaker designed by three female African-American designers and inspired by strong African-American women. In emotional remarks, James paid tribute to the three women in his life — his mother, wife and 3-year-old daughter, Zhuri. He noted how his mother had raised him alone, and given him "a sense of pride, a sense of strength, a sense of no worry." "Because of you, Gloria James, I'm able to be in a position today where I can give back and showcase why I believe African-American women are the most powerful women in the world." The NBA star, who was wearing one of his favored shrunken-fit shorts suits by designer Thom Browne, called his daughter "my rock." "People always told me if you ever have a girl, she'll change you," said James, who also has two sons. "I was like, nobody's changing me, I'm a man." But she did, he said. "Not only did she change me, she's made me a better person," James said. "A more dedicated person, a stronger person, I guess a more sensitive person." Closing his remarks, he said he stood "for anybody who believes in change." He added: "I stand with Nike, all day, every day." Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, unveiled his first ad of the new campaign Monday. "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything," it said. The new endorsement deal has sparked vigorous debate, with some fans expressing displeasure over the apparel giant's support of a player known for starting a wave of protests among NFL players against police brutality, racial inequality and other social issues. Some angry fans were even burning and cutting out the signature swoosh logos on their gear — and posting the results on social media. But Kaepernick and his Nike campaign, which marks the 30th anniversary of Nike's "Just Do It," received plenty of support from the fashion world in attendance Tuesday. Bethann Hardison, an activist for diversity in fashion and a former supermodel who was also honored by Harlem's Row, said she was happy with Nike's move. "It's such a divided situation in our world right now," she said of the negative reaction by some fans. "But I'm such a huge, huge, wholehearted supporter of Colin that I'm very proud that someone understands what he's done and (is giving) him some kudos." Prominent African-American designer Tracy Reese said she loved the new Nike campaign. "It was tastefully done," she said. "And really, this is the time to stand up for what you believe in. Colin Kaepernick has done that and I think that we need to follow his example and really go where the heart leads, instead of where everybody expects you to go." Also honored at the ceremony were Harlem streetwear designer Dapper Dan and stylist Jason Rembert. A fashion show highlighted the work of designers Kimberly Goldson, Undra Duncan and Fe Noel, who together helped create the new shoe......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 6th, 2018

Worth a thousand words: NBA photographer Andrew Bernstein details his best shots

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com Andrew Bernstein knew he wanted to be a sports photographer or maybe a documentary filmmaker. Trouble was, he recalled recently, his school at the time – the University of Massachusetts Amherst – offered courses in neither photography nor film. Not exactly a well-planned start to his chosen career. So Bernstein transferred to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. And once the native of Brooklyn stepped off the plane into 85-degree sunshine, he was hooked. Thus began a professional path that has taken him around the world, yet kept him Los Angeles-centric as the NBA’s senior photographer. A part-time job as an assistant to Sports Illustrated shooters helped Bernstein score his first NBA gig as a photographer the 1983 All-Star Game at L.A.’s famous Forum. He’d eventually serve as team photographer for the city’s Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers and Kings, but it was in his work for the NBA that Bernstein made his greatest mark. In 1986, Bernstein helped create NBA Photos as the league’s in-house licensing agency, for which he served as senior director until 2011. He chronicled Team USA through its 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic championships, and has worked 36 NBA Finals and All-Star Games. Next month, his hardcover collaboration with Kobe Bryant -- “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play” -- will hit bookshelves everywhere. This week as part of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, the 60-year-old photographer will be honored as a recipient of the 2018 Curt Gowdy Media Award. To shed light on his craft and share some behind-the-scenes tales, Bernstein -- prior to heading to Springfield, Mass. -- talked with NBA.com about some of his favorite and most famous images. Come fly with him ... Details: Michael Jordan soars with several Lakers in futile pursuit at the 1988 Hall of Fame preseason game between Chicago and Los Angeles at the Springfield Civic Center. Bernstein: “It was one of those crazy moments -- in those days, I could only do one remote camera. Now I can do almost an infinite number because it’s all done by radio. But back then, you had to hard-wire into the strobe [lighting] system for the big flashes, and you could only fire one. I chose the one shooting through the glass, behind the backboard. A lot of things could have gone wrong. His hand could have been in his face. He could have been out of the frame instead of just on the edge. I could only take one shot every four seconds [with the strobe] -- it’s not like I could lean on the motor drive and then pick one frame out of 10. … But it became known as “Come Fly with Me.” It did kind of define him at the time as being able to fly.” Back story: Bernstein added: “If you have a microscope, you can actually see me on the other side of the court, sitting there with a little trigger button. Then there’s the trivia question of all time -- who’s the other guy? That No. 3 happens to be [University of Virginia star and NBA role player] Jeff Lamp.” MJ: Champion, finally Details: Michael Jordan and his father, James, in the visitors’ dressing room at the Forum, after Game 5 of the 1991 Finals. Bulls 108, Lakers 101. Bernstein: “The network would do the trophy presentation in the winning team’s locker room, and the visitors’ side at the Forum was about the size of a closet. There seemed to be a thousand people in there, and all hell was breaking loose. I got up on top of a table in the middle of the room for a vantage point. When they came back live from a commercial, they wanted to have Michael on -- but they couldn’t find Michael. Some sixth sense said, ‘Look to your left,’ and there he was, in the locker, hugging that trophy, crying his eyes out with his dad next to him. I always felt, if he’d had to play that whole season for free to get to the mountain top, he would have. I knew this was a special moment. I banged a couple of frames really quick.” Back story: After James Jordan was murdered in 1993, Bernstein got a phone call from Michael’s office saying he “would love it if I made a print and sent it to him,” Bernstein said. “Which I did. I was very close with my dad and Michael Jordan knew him -- my dad was with me through the entire Dream Team experience [in 1992]. And I knew his dad. So it was a poignant moment in my career to have him request that photo. If I had to pick one photo to put on my tombstone, this would probably be it.” ‘Mamba’ coiled to strike Details: Shot from a camera suspended in the rafters at the Forum, a Hasselblad 120mm with a 350mm lens. “A heavy rig,” Bernstein called it, anchored with multiple clamps and safety cables on the catwalk, aimed straight down. Bernstein: “I love the composition of this photo and how everything just came together. The Forum had that beautiful Laker-gold ‘key.’ This was young Kobe, his first or second year, and he was a dunk machine back then. Look how he’s cocked back like that and flying thorugh the air, the basket right there. All the elements came together. When I saw this the next morning -- I had to take the film to the lab after the game, drop it off, then go back in the morning after sweating it out all night, hoping that I’d see something like this -- I was like, ‘Wow!’ All the preparation, hours and hours, setting the equipment up, and it all paid off.” Back story: It’s not common to see the top of a player’s head and the bottom of his sneakers in the same shot. Bernstein knew he had to share it and, thanks to the large-format film, he knew he could share it big. “As soon as I saw this,” he said, “I immediately made a giant print for Kobe -- I mean, like 50 [inches] by 70. Huge. I framed it and drove it to his house. He was living with his parents in Pacific Palisades at the time. I hope he still has it. I had given players like Magic [Johnson] and whomever 8x10s, but I never had framed something I was super-proud of.” Old Kobe ‘dunking’ again Details: Kobe Bryant, deep in his career, before a game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in January 2010. Bernstein: “During a long East Coast trip, the Lakers had played the night before in Cleveland and were at the Garden less than 24 hours later. Kobe was banged up that year. This was an hour and a half to game time, and he was literally willing himself to play that night. Both ankles are in ice. He’s got the finger in a little cup of ice. During my pregame routine, walking from the locker room to the training room, I just saw him there. Other guys were coming and going, but he was in this meditative state. I took one frame -- God forbid the click of the camera disturb or distract him. Phil [Jackson] called this ‘The Thinker,’ like Rodin’s sculpture.” Back story: A skilled photographer learns how quickly how to be unobtrusive, a “fly on the wall.” Said Bernstein: “You have to, to get behind-the-scenes intimate photos of players away from the bright lights, and what goes on in the bowels of the arena or during travel. In 2009-10, Phil and I collaborated on a book called ‘Journey to the Ring,’ which took the Lakers from media day to whenever their season would end. They ended up winning it all that year, which was unbelievable for the project. The photos were in black-and-white, which was a conscious decision Phil and I made.” Photographer, shoot thyself Details: Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bernstein before the 2016 NBA All-Star Game, Western Conference locker room at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. Bernstein: “This was his last All-Star Game and it was a true Kobe love-fest. I spent the entire weekend just with him, followed him everywhere he went. I mean, I didn’t cover it like I normally do for the NBA, and NBA Photos was very generous for letting me cover it through him. It was a beautiful weekend. He took it all in and was very appreciative. His humility came out -- a lot of people don’t think Kobe is humble, but I think he was. And he was very grateful, that he had an impact on all these All-Stars who were grateful to him.” Back story: The locker room was closed to the media, but as the league’s guy, Bernstein always has special access. “A couple of people were coming over to get photos with him -- Gregg Popovich, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul and a couple others,” the photographer said. “And I just jumped in myself. Very, very rarely -- I mean, four times in our 20 years together -- did I jump in the picture with him. But I couldn’t resist.” Shadowing the superstars Details: Another overhead shot at the Forum, this time during the 1991 Finals, with Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan fighting for what eventually will be a rebound. Bernstein: “With this angle, it’s always a crap shoot what you’re going to get. The rim could be blocking a guy’s face. Somebody could be too far under the basket. The focus point is so critical -- you have to be right on where it’s focused. As for the shadows, if you can imagine lights in each corner of the court, way up high. It just depended on where the players were placed. If one of them is blocking the light on one side, you get a shadow off to the other side. It’s always dramatic with the strobe. But just to get these two icons in the same frame was difficult.” Back story: Just as the famous parquet court at Boston Garden looked so iconic on TV and from afar, the Forum was best viewed from a distance. The paint worn off the top of the rim by balls and hands was something few ever saw. “The Forum was a dump,” Bernstein said. “The walls were caked with dirt. Nobody ever cleaned it. They used to feed us under the stands where the rodents were. It was like a Hollywood impostor, and it’s in Inglewood, which is not your glitzy Hollywood location. But they made it look good on TV. It was a tough place to work, I have to tell you.” Brothers in arms Details: A fisheye lens captures the moments immediately after Game 5 of 2017 Finals, with Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry front and center. Bernstein: “I’ve gotten good at getting out and being the first guy in the scrum. When a championship is won, I sharpen my elbows and just go for it. I try to be right next to the TV guy and well, I guess people know me and I make my way to wherever I have to be. This particular time, I knew there had to be a moment in there where Curry and Durant had an interaction. And it was amazing -- they’re almost like one body. It’s Kevin’s first championship and Steph is so happy for him as his teammate. And the pressure that was on the whole team to win this championship. I love this picture. It shows so much about the way I work and how I think about what I need to do in the moment.” Back story: Bernstein’s camera captured Durant’s mother Wanda to the left, crying and enjoying the moment. But a few seconds earlier, he said, “his mom came up and grabbed him by the front of the jersey. She kept yelling, ‘We did it! We did it!’ That’s a great picture too.” ‘Uncoachable?’ Unforgettable Details: Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson share a moment after beating the Magic in Game 5 and winning the 2009 NBA championship at Orlando’s Amway Arena. Bernstein: “If you remember the 2008-09 season, there was a lot of pressure on Kobe. People had been saying that he couldn’t win without Shaq, Phil had actually written that he was ‘uncoachable.’ But there’s such a paternal father-son thing going on in this picture. … I know I’ve got to go to the star player immediately at the buzzer. So I ran out and found Kobe. Phil and he had just come together and they were hugging, which is a nice picture. But I knew the instant after a hug can be just as special. Something told me to wait till after the hug -- because [with the limitation of the strobe lights] I can’t shoot rapidly -- and bing! They broke the hug and Phil’s looking like, ‘Job well done, son.’ And Kobe has this amazing look of relief and sense of accomplishment and exhaustion.” Back story: Bernstein said this is the only print of his work that his wife, Mariel, allows him to hang in their house. “We have three teenagers [at the time] who basically were the same age, all within a year of each other, and when all hell was breaking loose at our house, we’d stand the kids in front of this photo. My wife would say, ‘Look at that! If those two guys can get along and be respectful, we can do it in this house.’ ” Forever linked Details: The Celtics’ Larry Bird and the Lakers’ Magic Johnson fight for rebounding position along the foul lane at Boston Garden in the 1987 Finals. Bernstein: “This is probably my most well-known image, other than the one of Jordan hugging the trophy. Remember, these guys played different positions. They never really matched up. You’d never see Magic D-ing up Bird like you would with Michael or Isiah Thomas. And you’d never, ever see Bird D-ing Magic. I had to be unbelievably conscious of when they were on the court together, where they were on the court and somehow, if they would end up in my frame. The only times, honestly, I could ever get them in the same frame was the ‘captains’ meeting’ five minutes before tip at center court, shaking hands, and a free-throw situation. When, by the grace of God, they would line up facing me. That’s what this was. Back story: Just as Bird and Johnson were linked literally, arm in arm, in this photograph, their careers were linked figuratively through the NBA of the 1980s. “It kind of defined the era,” Bernstein said. “These two great guys intertwined, neither of them looking superior to the other. Jostling for position, just like the Celtics and the Lakers did. I love this picture, and I know both of those guys love it. This picture is hanging in the Hall of Fame.” Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 4th, 2018

What sport teaches us: “We are peacebuilders, not warriors”

“A proud Bangsamoro.” That’s how Jana Pugoy Isla, 19, describes herself. And sport is the platform she’s chosen to express that pride. Through sports she tries to advocate peace to youth in her native Maguindanao. She’s doing her part in developing future leaders who understand the differences but focus on the commonalities, in bringing forth […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsSep 2nd, 2018

POC President Vargas all praises for Pinoy athletes in Asiad

JAKARTA — Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas is all praises for the Filipino athletes who competed in the 18th Asian Games and bagged four gold, two silver and 15 bronze medals. Vargas, who was installed as POC president along with Abraham Tolentino as chairman in a special election only last February, congratulated members of the delegation despite disappointments in many fronts. After 17 days of competition, the 227-athlete delegation improved on the 1-3-11 gold-silver-bronze haul in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and put the Philippines to its best performance in eight years—since its 3-4-9 harvest in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. “‘Yung mga atleta natin can stand proud on the medal stand. We have really improved our medal tally from one gold, three silvers and 11 bronze medals. We've done better,” Vargas said. “Ang atleta talaga ang magdadala, kaya the athlete needs all the support. They get the blame, they get the reward, but our role is to really support the athletes. They are the most important part of the equation,” said Vargas in paying tribute to the athletes. All of the Philippines’ gold medalists in the games are women, with the youngest at 17 years old — golfer Yuka Saso, who is joined by fellow golfers Bianca Pagdanganan, 21, and Kaye Lois Go, 19, and skateboarder Margielyn Didal, 19. Even the oldest of them all in weightlifting icon Hidilyn Diaz is still a millennial at 27. “The women in sports are really giving us so much pride. So we should really look at parity and bring in more (of them) in sports. They have proven that they can win,” Vargas said. From 22nd place in the 2014 Asiad, the Philippines improved by three notches to no. 19 this time, still behind Southeast Asian Games rivals Thailand (12th, 11 golds, 14 silvers, 46 bronzes),  Malaysia (14th, 6-12-15) and Vietnam (17th, 4-16-18). Vargas, the head of the sport of boxing, had a silver from flyweight Rogen Ladon and two bronze medals from light flyweight Carlo Paalam and middleweight Eumir Marcial — a result which the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines president gave him “mixed emotions.” “From the sport that I lead, I’m frustrated not by how the boxers performed, but how the results were judged,” Vargas said, ruing the judging in the games, which seemed to have favored boxers from Uzbekistan, the home country of International Boxing Federation interim president Gafuk Rakhimov. “When boxing presidents and athletes come to your dugout saying that you won, it gives you a sense that injustice has been done. When the crowd from Indonesia and some from Thailand were cheering for the Philippines, then there must have been something wrong that had happened,” Vargas said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 1st, 2018

Robert Bolick now a scholar of the Kiefer Ravena school

Always one to strive for greatness, Robert Bolick was looking at how to improve right after he recorded his career-high a week ago. “Gusto kong matuto nang matuto nang matuto hangga’t kung sino yung pwede dyang makatulong sa game ko. No limit naman yung dreams and expectations mo sa sarili mo e ako, gusto ko, dun sa taas e,” he told reporters after dropping a personal best 24 points last Tuesday. Then, he reached out to PBA star and San Beda alumnus LA Tenorio, who was calling his first game for the S+A panel, for tips. Also, he revealed his plans to get-together with one of basketball’s shining stars. “Mine-message ko rin si Kiefer kasi ‘di naman siya naglalaro this time so may free time siya and pwede niya ako turuan,” he shared. Just two days later, Bolick got what he wanted. As it turns out, Ravena went to Mendiola to work out with him. As much aa we can say about his game, he still works harder than everybody else. Much respect. Ps. Remember when u guarded me during your rookie year? Ha. Psych. 🤣 Goodluck, 👑🦁 pic.twitter.com/ACl2uK1oEB — Kiefer Ravena (@kieferravena) Hulyo 26, 2018 For that, the King Lion is nothing but thankful. “Medyo busy lang talaga siya, pero nagpapasalamat ako na he made time to come to school. Nagpapasalamat lang ako na tinuruan niya ako ng libre at walang bayad,” he said. He then continued, “He’s a big part of my game. Lahat ng mga tinuturo niya sa akin, ginagawa ko rin.” Ravena is not even halfway into his 18-month suspension in the PBA in FIBA and so, he has all the time in the world to help out Bolick. Help out Bolick, Ravena did. “Nakakatulong talaga yung training with him. Marami siyang drills na itinurong bago sakin,” the former said, already feeling like a better player after their training session. The graduating guard is only hoping that would not be their last get-together. “Hopefully, if ever libre siya, magcha-chat naman siya sa akin,” he said. Ball’s on your court now, “Phenom.” “Big Shot Bolick” is just waiting for a follow-up training session. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2018

PBA: No regrets for Vic Manuel as Alaska ousted from Commissioner s Cup

Vic Manuel's magical Commissioner's Cup run is over. Emerging as one of the top offensive threats for the Alaska Aces, he scored 20 points in 11 straight games, including a career-high 35 markers against the Magnolia Hotshots. His flawless moves on the post have been a revelation, mentored by one of the best centers the league has ever had, Danny Ildefonso. During the eliminations, the 'Muscle Man' normed 24.2 ppg on 58.2 FG%, 6.4 rpg, and 0.9 apg, which made him a frontrunner for the Best Player of the Conference award. However, things started to change in the semis where his 20-point streak was cut short abruptly in Game 1 against San Miguel, where he just tallied 16 points.  Not a bad outing, really.  Unfortunately for Manuel, it became a turning point in the race which counts statistics through the semifinals, thus elevating reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo to the overall leader in the tally, including a 26-point, 12-rebound, two-assist, two-block performance in the series closer. For Manuel, an earlier exit than what he had expected was not a problem for him, as he proved himself to one of being the most feared weapons of coach Alex Compton's balanced attack. "Pero yun nga sabi ko, proud talaga ko sa team namin, sa mga teammates ko, lahat kami nagtulong tulong kasi hindi lang naman ako. Lahat kami nagtulong tulong para makarating dito." "Masaya na ako, naipakita ko. Okay na ako doon. Yun nga sabi ko, nakapasok kami sa semis. Kahit na na-short kami. Ayun lang kuntento na ako. Masaya na ako," the hulking forward added after the game. With key guys like Calvin Abueva (suspension), minutes and assists leader Chris Banchero (family emergency) and original import Antonio Campbell (called up to play in the NBA Summer League), Manuel was proud his team was able to hold the fort and fought tooth-and-nail against the reigning champs. Despite the great performance this conference, the 6'4 forward dispelled questions that his showing has elevated him to the upper echelon, vowing to keep grinding until he proves himself otherwise and avoids injury. Being one of the focal points of the Alaska offense in their rough-and-tumble semis, Manuel was given the go-signal by coaches Compton and Ildefonso to pace the attack, and that has given him a renewed sense of pride for himself. Now that his Commissioner's Cup journey is over, Manuel hopes to be included in the national team's replacement squad for the second window of the FIBA Qualifiers and finally don the 'Pilipinas' jersey for five-on-five, full-court basketball. "Bakit hindi? Syempre tutulong tayo sa bansa natin. Ready lang ako kung tatawagin nila ako. Syempre willing naman ako para maglaro sa Pilipinas. Sa 3x3 nga, ininvite nila ako naglaro ako, doon pa sa Gilas? Syempre, mas masarap maglaro sa 5-on-5, alam natin yun." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2018