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Ex-Alaska import Chambers helps Pinoy educators in the US

Sean Chambers saw the bulk of his basketball career as an import for Alaska from 1989 to 2001, distinguishing himself as one of the most successful reinforcements in the PBA. Filipinos love him and he even called the Philippines his second home. Even with his jersey long been retired, Chambers is still giving something back to the Filipinos.   Now a middle school administrator back in the States in the Sacramento City Unified School District in California, the 52-year-old former cager is instrumental in helping Filipino educators land teaching jobs. “It’s pretty neat because right now within my district we have brought over 24 Filipino teachers to come work in our schools because we were short of teachers,” Chambers told ABS-CBN Sports on Sunday when he watched the 80th UAAP men’s basketball Final Four match between Far Eastern University and Ateneo de Manila University at the Big Dome. With 81 schools under SCUSD, Chambers said that Filipino teachers are very in demand and in his little way helped pave the way for Pinoys to land jobs as educators. “I was very instrumental to come out and recruit Filipino teachers to come over,” added Chambers, who works as dean of students in Fern Bacon Middle School. The six-time PBA champion, including four straight Governors’ Cup titles from 1994 to 1997, is on a 10-day trip in the country. He is currently working with the Aces as Alaska prepares for the 43rd PBA Philippine Cup on December 17. “I’m gonna be working with some of their bigs, some of the guards, some offensive schematics for a week and a half,” he said. Early Sunday, Chambers paid a surprise visit to the Gilas Pilipinas’ practice at the Meralco gym. “I was able, today, to go workout in the Gilas practice so that was an honor itself to be able to work out with the Gilas and an absolute honor to me,” said Chambers. “I believe the coaching staff led by coach Chot Reyes are doing an amazing thing,” he added. “They pay attention to the details, high level of concentration. The players are playing on a high level of expectations for playing for their country.” Chambers, obviously, rooted for FEU in the UAAP match and was even seated behind the Tamaraws’ bench where his former teammates Jojo Lastimosa and Johnny Abarrientos serve as assistant coaches. His visit was a good one as the Tams forced a do-or-die match in the semis with an 80-67 rout of the Blue Eagles.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnNov 19th, 2017

PBA: Mike Harris 'Couldn t care less' about his 44 point, 27 rebound effort

Alaska Aces import Mike Harris shrugged off his 44-point, 27-rebound performance that helped his team get the win over the still winless Columbian Dyip at the Cuneta Astrodome.  The scoring forward did it all, unleashing the full repertoire of slashing lay-ups, controrted shots and a couple of three-pointers. He definitely looked like one of the best reinforcements in the PBA Governors' Cup. For him, the gaudy numbers were never really the story, instead focused on the win that helped them inch closer to a twice-to-beat advantage in the first round of the playoffs. "[I] couldn't care less," Harris said jokingly. "The only thing for me is the win. We played really bad the last game against Magnolia which is I mean credit to them they're a really good team." Just like what his coach Alex Compton said that the team was not playing at the level they were expected to, the swingman echoed the sentiments and was kind of disappointed at some instances of the game. "It happens in the NBA sometimes. Top teams play bottom teams and you play down and instead playing to that level.  Being one of the candidates for Best Import of the Conference, norming 28.50 points, 21.13 rebounds, and 2.13 assists per game in eight outings, the 35-year old said that chasing individual awards is already past him and he is just focused on the ultimate team goal. As an international journeyman, having stops in the NBA and multiple teams abroad, Harris has tallied quite the resume, including the NBA G-League MVP back in 2010, another MVP in Puerto Rico's top league, and a title in China.  "Because ultimately winning a championship, one person can't win a championship. And so, that's not been my focal point. Mine's been to see the guys on the team, see what's their strength and weaknesses are and continue to help them develop their weaknesses and turn them into strengths." When asked if he is already among the long list of great Alaska imports that include Sean Chambers, Diamon Simpson, Devin Davis, and the like, the 6'5 Harris mentioned that he has not proven himself at this part of the world, but would happily want to.  "And like I said, it's one game at a time. That list, I'm pretty sure it's great. Those guys won a championship so we go to the regular season and we lose in the finals, I wouldn't put myself in there." __ Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 17th, 2018

Game-changing imports who raised the bar in the PBA

Imports are considered not only crowd drawers that invite national attention to the PBA. They are also game changers who raised the bar of play in the pioneering Asian pro cage league, with their incredible skills, breathtaking court wizardry, huge scoring might, and of course fantastic flights of fancy. Through the years, we’ve anticipated only the best from them, and definitely there are a few of them who really made their mark with their names etched in the annals of the league. One of them is Ginebra import Justin Brownlee, who bagged the PBA Best Import Award recently. Not flashy or flamboyant, Brownlee just gets the job done, leading Ginebra to the 2016 and 2017 Governors Cup, and just recently the 2018 Commissioners Cup. Aside from Brownlee, who were the other imports in PBA history that made a huge impact in the league and in the consciousness of this basketball-crazy nation? Here are some of the greatest imports ever to play in the country. 1. Cyrus Mann Cyrus Mann is remembered as one of the first prolific imports that played in the PBA, donning the Crispa Redmanizers jersey during its Grand Slam year in 1976 up to 1979. He provided that imposing presence in the paint with his 6’10” frame and was a monster off the boards, including those killer moves in the paint scoring at will against opponents. 2. Byron “Snake” Jones Memorable for his versatility and workhorse attitude, Byron “Snake” Jones was a journeyman, playing for three different teams in the PBA and leading two of them to championships. He played for the Toyota Comets in the PBA’s maiden season and won the First and Second Conference crowns and then went on to play for the U-Tex Wranglers and help them in bagging their first-ever title in the PBA Open Conference in 1978. He would then end his PBA journey with the Crispa Redmanizers in 1981. 3. Andy Fields Considered the first “resident import” in the league, Andy Fields has been called back frequently to play for his lone PBA team Toyota in his entire stint in the PBA. A feared shotblocker, midrange shooter, and rebounder, Fields led Toyota to three PBA championships, including the 1979 Invitationals, 1981 and 1982 Open Conference titles. 4. Norman Black Norman Black is simply called the import that gives his all in each game, one who was frequently labeled as “Mr. 100%.” He started his PBA career with the Teflin Polyesters in 1981, then began his connection with the San Miguel franchise in 1982 as its main workhorse and scorer, who would guide the Beermen to its second franchise title in the Invitationals the same year. He would then serve as import for Great Taste the next year, played again for the SMC franchise in 1985 under Magnolia Quench Plus, then suited briefly for Alaska in 1986. After returning to San Miguel in 1987, Black would then become a playing coach and eventually a coach who engineered its first Grand Slam in 1989. 5. Billy Ray Bates Billy Ray Bates is considered by many as the “best ever” who would fascinate everyone with monster dunks from the charity stripe years before Michael Jordan. Not only would he run rings around defenders, Bates would soar up, up away to score, and score without letup, hence the title “The Black Superman.” His debut stint with Crispa in its second Grand Slam year in 1983 was astounding and remarkable, as his unstoppable incursions, aerial shows, and powerful slams made him unforgettable to this day. Three years later, he would bring his greatness to Ginebra San Miguel and bag the 1986 Open Conference crown, which was the then-Palanca franchise’s first title. 6. Michael Hackett Loyal and dedicated, Michael Hackett is the gentle giant opponents feared. He is considered one of the most dominant forces in PBA history, who would just power his way through defenders at the paint and score at will. Playing for Ginebra San Miguel, Hackett is best remembered for being the first PBA player to score over a hundred points, 103 points to be exact, in a match against Great Taste in the 1985 Open Conference, wherein he won Best Import honors. In the next year, Hackett and fellow import great Billy Ray Bates collaborated to lead Ginebra to the 1986 Open Conference title.   7. Bobby Parks For most coaches, the late Bobby Parks was seen as the greatest not only due to the fact that he is the most decorated with seven Best Import awards, but also being the most hard working and coachable import ever. A gallant scoring machine yet a silent operator, Parks showed a wide variety of moves in his lane incursions in his prime that would leave defenders helpless, ending in mind-boggling baskets. Apart from his individual skills, Parks really completes his mission, giving championships to San Miguel Beer in the 1987 Reinforced Conference, and then Shell as its resident import with two titles, the 1990 and 1992 First Conference plums.      8. Tony Harris He might not be that much of an obedient trooper, but Tony Harris and his brand of play was simply breathtaking. As Coach Yeng Guiao decided during his time as coach of the Swift Mighty Meaties that they must let him be and ordered his court lieutenants to just pass the ball to him and make him simply wield his magic. And he did leave everyone in awe with his speed, agility, and power to score over all defenders thrown at him, hence the monicker “The Hurricane.” Proof of his incredible abilities is scoring 105 points, the single game scoring record that holds to this day, against Ginebra in the 1992 Reinforced Conference, wherein he would single-handedly cop the title for Swift. 9. Sean Chambers You could be charmed by his beaming smile when you meet him off the court, but when you meet him on-court, prepare for the worst beating. Though he’s not the heavy scorer type of an import PBA fans are accustomed to, Alaska’s “resident import” shows his class and might as a team player. He worked for the Milkmen in 13 seasons, giving them titles 6 times, yet only won the Best Import plum once—in the Reinforced Conference of Alaska’s Grand Slam year in 1996. The memory of what these imports brought to the league continues to delight true PBA fans through the years. And we see their legacy in such players as Justin Brownlee, who continue to show the example, the standard for other foreign players setting foot in the country to follow.     .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 13th, 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

Sean Chambers to UST?

With the UST coaching job vacant, several names have been mentioned with regards to taking over from Boy Sablan. La Salle head coach Aldin Ayo has been rumored to transfer for a while now but it seems like he's staying at Taft. Current Globalport mentor Pido Jarencio really, really, wants to come back but it appears UST would rather not go through that road again. A left field choice is Sean Chambers. The legendary PBA import, for some reason, has been linked to the job after he resurfaced a couple of weeks ago. It seems highly unlikely but you never really know. Stranger things have happened in the UAAP and in Philippine basketball in general. The rumor has had some traction though, enough for Ginebra head coach Tim Cone, Chambers' former mentor at Alaska, to talk about it among other things last week. "I don’t know. I had a lunch with Sean the day before he left," Cone said last week during Ginebra's grand fans day after defending the PBA Governors' Cup. "I don’t really know anything about it. But he’s got a family, he’s got kids, he’s got a wife, he has a good job. And it’s hard to bring him over here and make him settle here and get his kids in school. He got young kids I think 9 and 11 years old," he added. Chambers is currently a middle school administrator back in the States in the Sacramento City Unified School District in California. The PBA legend was in town a couple of weeks back and was seen watching the UAAP and several practices of Gilas Pilipinas. Still, if and when Chambers decides on coaching basketball, here or elsewhere, Cone believes his former import will do well. "I don’t know but Sean is a great guy, a great coach and a great motivator. He teaches the game the right way," the 20-time PBA champion said. "And if anybody picks him up, it would be great. It is actually my dream to bring him over and be part of my coaching staff. If anybody picks him up, they would love Sean," Cone added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 11th, 2017

Downer for Durham

For the third year in row, two-time Best Import Allen Durham failed to win his dream first championship in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). It was hard to swallow but Alaska, it played hard. It won three games in a row, it is very deserving of where it is right now What made it worse […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated News14 hr. 32 min. ago

Durham s chase for PBA title doesn t end in 3rd heartbreak

MANILA, Philippines – The third time wasn't the charm for Meralco's Allen Durham. But the two-time Best Import will keep on chasing that elusive PBA title even after the Bolts got the boot from the Alaska Aces in 4 games of their best-of-five semifinals series in the 2018 PBA Governors' ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 18th, 2018

Alaska import Mike Harris treats kids to fastfood joint

MANILA, Philippines – Alaska import Mike Harris has been applauded by PBA fans, but it's not exactly for basketball reasons. The Aces' prized reinforcement has gone viral after a video of him treating children at a popular fastfood joint surfaced on social media.  Right after a near triple-double outing to lift ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 17th, 2018

PBA: Romeo Travis wants redemption in return to Finals

The first time Romeo Travis came to the PBA, he won Best Import and took his team to the Governors' Cup Finals. Once he got there though, he got swept.  It wa a terrible way to end his maiden voyage to the Philipppines. It took Travis three years to make it back to the PBA and while he might not win Best Import this time, he still has his team in the Finals of the Governors' Cup. He wants to win it this time. "Last time I was here I laid an eg,, I played very bad in the Finals," Travis said after scoring a career-high 50 points for Magnolia in Game 4 to lead the Hotshots past two-time champion Brgy. Ginebra in the semifinals of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup. "I want redemption, that's why I came back," he added. The last time Romeo Travis was in the PBA Finals, he was with the Alaska Aces. Three years later, he's with the Hotshots. He's pretty good with his new team. "I looked at the roster and I seen they had good veterans and hungry young guys. It was a great mix. With me it was just an opportunity to gel with the team. I didn't want to take over, I just wanted to be part of the team," Travis said. "These guys have allowed me to be part of the team and that's what makes this team special, it's the chemistry. They know I'm not a guy that's going to demand the ball and curse at somebody if I don't get the ball. That's not who am I as a person and as a player. We're one unit right now, we're really clicking," he added. The Aces that Travis used to play with are one win away from the Finals as well and are on the verge of setting up a pretty interesting championship round. While Travis wishes his old teammates good luck, he couldn't care less if it's Alaska that moves on or if it's Meralco. "Whoever wins, we're happy to see them. Good luck to both teams," he said. "I don't have a preference. Good luck to Banchero, Vic Manuel... these are my guys. I hope they do well but I don't care who wins. Either way we're going to have to play them," Travis added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 17th, 2018

Mike Harris shares blessing after Game 3 win, takes street kids to fastfood joint

https://www.facebook.com/alma.agravantepangaibat/videos/2408431422532810 Alaska import Mike Harris continued winning even after the Aces's 104-102 win over Meralco in Game 3 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Thursday at Cuneta Astrodome. The Aces' import took a side trip to a popularfastfood joint beside the game venue and treated a few street kids to some hot meals. A couple of Facebook users uploaded photos and a video of Harris' touching gesture. https://www.facebook.com/rona.dawisan.9/posts/310764593096946 "Mike Harris with a big heat! Thank you @therealmh33 for treating the street children after the game!" posted Rona Dawisan on her Facebook account. "Small things like t...Keep on reading: Mike Harris shares blessing after Game 3 win, takes street kids to fastfood joint.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 16th, 2018

Romeo Travis drops 50 as Magnolia ousts Ginebra to enter PBA Finals

ANTIPOLO---Magnolia silenced the crowd and eliminated Barangay Ginebra, 112-108, in Game 4 to advance to the finals of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Friday at Ynares Center here. Import Romeo Travis unleashed 50 points, 21 in the fourth, and 13 rebounds to help Magnolia dethrone the Gin Kings, who have ruled the third conference for two straight years. The Hotshots recovered from their 107-103 loss in Game 3 and will face the winner in the other semifinals matchup between Alaska and Meralco. READ:Magnolia nears finals, overcomes Ginebra It took several pulsating moments for the Hotshots to finally oust the Gin Kings and it featured an irate Chito Victolero getting called fo...Keep on reading: Romeo Travis drops 50 as Magnolia ousts Ginebra to enter PBA Finals.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 16th, 2018

Alaska s Mike Harris all respect for Meralco s Reynel Hugnatan

MANILA, Philippines – Mike Harris engaged in an intense battle with Allen Durham as Alaska moved one win away from the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup finals, but it wasn't just the Meralco import who earned his respect.  Harris tipped his hat to the Bolts' Reynel Hugnatan after the 40-year-old veteran ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 16th, 2018

PBA: Alaska s Compton to Bolts after Game 1 loss: 'This is not a 7th seed'

The Meralco Bolts are not your average 7th-seeded playoff team. No. 2 Phoenix found out about that the hard way in the quarterfinals and no. 3 Alaska is quick to figure out that the Bolts are going to be a tough out in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup semifinals despite their team ranking that suggest they barely made the playoffs. While Meralco did just barely make the playoffs, the Bolts won six straight knockout games, including two against Phoenix, to advance to the semis. And while Meralco has taken a break from knockout games, the winning has continued and the Bolts now lead the Aces, 1-0, in the best-of-5 semifinals. "I thought Meralco was great, they deserved the win," Alaska head coach Alex Compton said after Game 1 Sunday in Antipolo. "This team's been to the Finals twice with the Best Import and a great coach. This is not a 7th seed, they just started out slow," Compton added of the Bolts. After eliminating San Miguel in the quarterfinals, things looked like they were starting to fall into place for the Aces. However, Compton insisted that his team would have to play better in order to shut down the Bolts and in Game 1, Alaska didn't deliver. That's why they're now down, 0-1. "We gotta be much better," Compton said. "I felt coming into this series that we had to play better than we did against San Miguel. We just didn't. And [Allen] Durham was awesome," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullitag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 12th, 2018

PBA: Durham says Bolts will keep do-or-die mentality

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal --- The knockout games finally stopped for Meralco but the winning has not. Prior to making the Governors' Cup semifinals for a third straight season, the Bolts survived a record six straight knockout games. Do-or-die situations naturally stopped for now as Meralco started its best-of-5 series against the Alaska Aces but the Bolts have kept that mentality of fighting for their season. It still works as Meralco took Game 1 Sunday at the Ynares Center here and are officially two games away from having another shot at its first PBA championship. "It is kinda nice to relax a little bit but we don't want to relax [too much]," reigning two-time Best Import Allen Durham said on the Bolts' much-needed break from knockout games. "It's been working for us, to keep the intensity up and keep playing the way we've been playing so we're gonna keep trying that [do-or-die] mentality that we've been having the past few games," he added. Durham and the rest of the Meralco team are definitely rolling right now. After a near-disastrous losing skid, the Bolts have piled up quality wins and are looking like the best team remaining this season. Whether or not their current winning streak actually leads to a title remains to be seen but the Bolts are ready to find out. "I think we're in a groove right now," Durham said. "Everybody's peaking at the right time. We're playing well right now so hopefully we just keep going and ride this winning streak out for as long as we can," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 11th, 2018

PBA: Durham s 30-20 carries Meralco back to the semis

That's six straight knockout games surived by Meralco. The Bolts are somehow back in the semifinals of the PBA Governors' Cup after scoring a pulsating 108-103 overtime win over no. 2 Phoenix in the knockout quarterfinals Friday at the Big Dome. Meralco erased the Fuel Masters' twice-to-beat edge in the quarters to make the Governors' Cup semis for the third straight year. Down to 1-6 after six straight losses in the elimination round, the Bolts have turned it around, winning six straight to advance. Meralco will now take on no. 2 Alaska in a best-of-5 series in the next round. Two-time Best Import Allen Durham had a monster game, finishing with 32 points, 21 rebounds, and nine assists. He led Meralco's comeback from a 16-point halftime deficit, allowing the Bolts to be in the game by the start of the fourth period.  Still, Phoenix would regain control and the Fuel Masters were actually up, 91-84, with three minutes to go in regulation but the Bolts unloaded a 10-0 run for a three-point lead with 19 seconds left. Jason Perkins saved Phoenix with a booming triple to tie and the Fuel Masters stopped Durham on the other end to force overtime. In the extra session, Baser Amer drilled back-to-back triples in a sizzling 8-0 start for Meralco. Calvin Abueva responded with five straight points to cut Phoenix's deficit to two points but Durham proved to be steady from the free throw line in the end as the Bolts pulled off the win. "What a hill that we had to climb to get to this point," head coach Norman Black said. "Every game for the last six was pressure-laden. There was not much room for error both on offense and defense. I'm really happy for the players," he added. After Durham, Amer came through for Meralco with 26 points, 23 in the second half and overtime. Chris Newsome added another 19 for the Bolts. For Phoenix, their breakout conference ends in disappointment. Despite taking the no. 2 seed and a twice-to-beat advantage, the Fuel Masters remain winless in the playoffs in their franchise history, going down to 0-6 overall. Perkins led the way with 24 points for Phoenix while Matthew Wright added 20. Import Eugene Phelps scored 18 points to go along with 23 rebounds, and seven assists.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 9th, 2018

PBA: Alaska dominates San Miguel to make semis

Alaska would not be denied this time. The Aces needed only one win to advance and they took care of business Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrdome, scoring a convincing 96-85 win over San Miguel Beer in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinals. After years of frustration against the Beermen, Alaska finally got one over San Miguel and the no. 3 Aces are going to the semifinals. Alaska will wait for the winner of the Phoenix-Meralco series in the next round. "I really didn't want to play Friday, I really don't wanna play them on Friday. That's not a good situation," head coach Alex Compton said on the sudden death showdown that would have happened if they lost. "June Mar is starting to get his groove back and Christian leads the league in scoring for locals. We're not the biggest team so that's not a good situation. We wanted to treat today as a knockout," he added. In an amazing display of impeccable defense, Alaska limited the high-powered San Miguel offense to only seven points in the third quarter and turned a one-point halftime lead into a 15-point cushion entering hte fourth period. The Aces then pounded on the Beermen, leading by as many as 21 points, 75-54, and cruised all the way to victory. Despite making his exit in the final quarter due to cramps, import Mike Harris still fired 25 points, 15 in the first, on top of 17 rebounds. Simon Enciso added 15 points and Vic Manuel was good for another 14. The Beermen, whose season once again ends in the quarterfinals of the Governors' Cup, got 19 points from Kevin Murphy. Christian Standhardinger finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds as San Miguel's top local.   The scores: Alaska 96 - Harris 25, Enciso 15, Manuel 14, Teng 9, Baclao 6, Exciminiano 6, Casio 5, Thoss 4, Banchero 2. San Miguel 85 - Murphy 19, Standhardinger 18, Lassiter 14, Santos 8, Nabong 8, Cabagnot 6, Fajardo 6, Ross 4, Heruela 2. Quarters: 23-19, 43-42, 64-49, 96-85.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 7th, 2018

PBA: Coach Leo sees no reason why Beermen should be ashamed after early exit

The season is over for the dynastic San Miguel Beermen.  Just like last year, they once again have a quarterfinals exit in the Governors' Cup, this time at the hands of the Alaska Aces, who have never won against coach Leo Austria until now. Call it an underwhelming season, but the reality is they're still a good team. MVP frontrunner June Mar Fajardo was unavailable for the majority of the final conference, but returned in time to virtually secure his fifth straight MVP award, the most in history.  For Austria, there's no crying over spilled milk, calling the 2017-18 PBA campaign a rousing success.  "You win some, you lose some. But I’m still proud of the team. Kasi in the last 4 years, 12 conferences, we’ve been in the Finals 7 times, and won 6 championships. I think we have nothing to be ashamed of." The Beermen dipped to as low as a 2-4 record this season and AZ Reid to injury, before enlisting the services of spitfire scorer Kevin Murphy and getting import-like performances from #1 Christian Standhardinger to gather themselves and end up with a sixth-place finish. Snipers Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot, along with Standhardinger were called for Gilas duty, and that left the team missing key players in some parts of the conference.  The four-time PBA Coach of the Year is not blaming that, but said that it had played a part in their preparation moving forward. "Well, I think everybody’s expecting us that we’ll get into the next round. We failed to do it. Congratulations to Alaska. They are deserving to win this quarterfinals." Now that the season is over, the team will be zeroing in on defending the Philippine Cup title, gunning for their fifth straight plum next season. Before that, five of coach Leo's players will be suiting up the nation's tricolors, namely Lassiter, Cabagnot, Standhardinger, Fajardo, and Arwind Santos. Those five will practice for the squad, and will fight for the coveted 12 slots.  Also in their minds for next year is how to improve through the draft. "We will try to improve our team dahil nowadays, every team in the PBA keeps on improving and improving and we could not be overconfident dahil alam natin na a lot of people are telling us, the All-Filipino is our conference."   "Of course, those four All Filipino championships are already in the past." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 7th, 2018

PBA: Marqus Blakely disappointed as he misses playoffs for the first time

It was not to be for the Marqus Blakely and the TNT KaTropa pairing.  The 2017-18 PBA season of the KaTropa had prematurely ended at the hands of the two-time defending conference champions Ginebra San Miguel with a deflating 112-93 loss Sunday evening at the Big Dome.  For the first time in his PBA career, the veteran import failed to make a postseason, a far cry from his glory days as the reinforcement of the Grand Slam San Mig Coffee team coached by none other than Tim Cone. Per PBA head statistician Fidel Mangonon III, it is also the first time since the 2015 PBA Governors' Cup that the flagship franchise of the MVP group failed to qualify to the playoffs. As the third import for the embattled conference which also saw a coaching change in the person of Bong Ravena and consultant Mark Dickel, Blakely knew that it was going to be a gigantic task to help tow the team to a top-eight finish. "We came together as a team. Got a couple of wins, but unfortunately, we didn't finish strong. That's one thing that veteran teams and teams with chemistry can do," Blakely said. "There's a lot of things going on in this conference. I think for what we had, the time that we had, we did all right. We did pretty well. I figured it takes a little bit more time and practice to get where we wanted to be." The Metuchen, New Jersey native however did not point fingers at anybody else but himself, for he believed that the team could get over the hump, but unfortunately for them, they could not. He also shared that he had a light moment with Cone, whom he has not seen since their Grand Slam finish back in 2014. "[I]t's just good to see him, talk to him. Unfortunately, he was on the other side. We just talked for a little moment." The decision on whether to return to the country or not as a player will not rely entirely on himself, but Blakely assures he'll be ready if any team calls him for another tour of duty. Meanwhile for Cone, Blakely will always have a special place in his heart since he was his second import since Sean Chambers back in 1996 to have completed the rare three-peat. "I have so many many fond memories of Marqus and how he turned around our program at that time. He came in and played with such heart and intensity. He’s defensive-minded and he turned everybody that way and how we played. He’s a great influencer," the winningest coach in PBA history said. "I have just tremendous feelings for Marqus. He’s a great guy. He’s a great competitor." Blakely meanwhile returned the love the seasoned coach gave to him. "I miss him, too," before ending it with a laugh.  __ Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 4th, 2018

PBA: Blackwater s Walker lets offense carve for himself in perfect shooting night

CITY OF BIÑAN -- The Blackwater Elite are back to their winning ways after dropping two straight games. Now at a 7-3 record, a chance for a top four spot and a twice-to-beat advantage is very much alive for one of the surprise teams of the PBA Governors' Cup. At the thick of it all, the powerful Elite offense went full throttle throughout the game, dropping 120 points on 53.2-percent shooting against the hapless Columbian Dyip. Import Henry Walker benefitted the most from the great offensive display, scoring 26 points on a lights-out display of 9 for 9 shooting from the field, including a perfect 3 for 3 clip from downtown. The former Boston Celtic and New York Knick credited the great offensive sets, and of course his teammates for helping him get the wide-open looks. "I just had some good looks and I was just able to capitalize on, you know, just playing within the offense and basically, today, using my teammates to get myself open instead of me trying to be the hammer at that point. I just let other guys take over and I just found ways to score within the offense," the 6'5" forward said of his shooting display. The longtime import also said that returning to the defensive intensity the team showed in their 4-0 start this Governors' Cup is pretty much his desire down the stretch. Facing the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Sunday, Nov. 4, for their final eliminations game, Walker added that defense will be their mantra in order to have a crack at his former coach Louie Alas, who he accompanied in the Alaska bench a few years back. "He's always ready and he doesn't shy away from competition and neither do his guys. We've got a tough challenge ahead of us." Walker also downplayed his spat with Dyip player Dan Sara midway through a blowout fourth quarter. The reinforcement claimed that the dimunitive San Beda product slapped the back of his head and that caused him to lose his cool.  "I mean, it is what it is. I shouldn't have been in the game at that point. It was over with and he's in there just playing hard. I don't blame him for that. No malice or anything like that but it is what it is. We got through, nobody got injured and everybody straight."   __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 27th, 2018

PBA: Road Warriors pick up crucial OT win over Alaska to stay alive

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal — The road to the playoffs is still open for NLEX. The Road Warriors picked up a crucial 116-110 win over Alaska Friday at the Ynares Center here, keeping them alive in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup. Snapping a losing skid, NLEX improved to an even 5-5 in the team standings, maintaining their place in the top-8 as the season winds down. Forcing overtime after a clutch Aaron Fuller lay-up in regulation, JR Quinahan finished the job for the Road Warriors come extra time. Quinahan drilled a booming straightaway three in the final minute to give NLEX a 112-110 lead. The Road Warriors then made a couple of stops on the other end before icing the victory from the free throw line. Import Aaron Fuller came through big time for NLEX, scoring 42 points and grabbing 22 rebounds. Three locals finished in double figures for the Road Warriors led by Quinahan with 15 points. Alaska got 35 points and 26 rebounds from Mike Harris and another 22 points from Vic Manuel but failed to finish things off in regulation. The loss delayed the Aces getting a playoff bonus as they remain at seven wins. Alaska also lost its grip on first place as their 7-3 record is now only good for joint third with idle Phoenix.   The Scores: NLEX 116 - Fuller 42, Quinahan 15, Galanza 8, Ighalo 8, Tallo 7, Baguio 7, Tiongson 3, Soyud 2, Fonacier 2, Taulava 0. Alaska 110 - Harris 35, Manuel 22, Casio 16, Enciso 10, Banchero 9, Teng 6, Racal 6, Baclao 4, Thoss 2, Exciminiano 0, Pascual 0. Quarters: 19-20, 53-43, 77-77, 99-99, 116-110.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 26th, 2018

PBA: Hotshots clinch 2x-to-beat after dominating TNT

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal — Magnolia gets its playoff bonus. The Hotshots are the first to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup playoffs after a sensational 116-103 win over TNT Friday at the Ynares Center here. Breaking away from a triple-time with Ginebra and Alaska, Magnolia took over solo first with an 8-2 mark. More importantly, win no. 8 formally clinched the coveted playoff bonus for the Hotshots. "Thankful because we’re commited to our game plan, we’re commited to our defense and we are committed to our execution on offense," head coach Chito Victolero said. "I just told to my players that we need to surpass the energy and aggresiveness of TNT. We know that they will go hard for this game. Kailangan din nila itong game na ito, itong panalo na ito. Yun lang, siguro medyo sinuwerte kami," he added. Magnolia started to pull away in the second period, turning to its signature defense after allowing 30 points in a high-scoring first quarter. While the KaTropa would recover to start the second half, the Hotshots landed the finishing blow in the fourth, leading by as many as 18 points to knock out TNT. Ian Sangalang led the way with 28 points while Mark Barroca added 21. Paul Lee flirted with a triple-double with 19 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. Import Romeo Travis also had a solid all-around performance, going for 18 points, 15 rebounds, and seven dimes. For the KaTropa, Terrence Romeo fired 23 points anD Troy Rosario added 21. Import Marqus Blakely had 17 points, 18 rebounds, and 11 assists in losing effort. TNT dropped to 4-6 with their back-to-back losses and are officially on the brink of elimination.   The scores: Magnolia 116 – Sangalang 28, Barroca 21, Lee 19, Travis 18, Melton 9, Jalalon 9, Reavis 4, Brondial 4, Dela Rosa 2, Herndon 2. TNT 103 – Romeo 23, Rosario 21, Blakely 17, Castro 13, Cruz 8, Trollano 7, Pogoy 6, Carey 4, Williams 4, Golla 0, Garcia 0, Reyes 0. Quarters: 33-30; 62-48; 89-78; 116-103.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 26th, 2018