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FIBA WORLD CUP: Gilas not overthinking do-or-die games

Gilas Pilipinas is in two must-win situations in Qatar and Kazakhstan for the final window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. There’s no two sides to it, if the Philippines just split the two games, there’s a very high chance that the national team will miss out on the World Cup later this year. Gilas Pilipinas is well aware of the pressure they’re facing on the road but the team is not obsessing too much about it. “Hindi na namin masyadong iniisip yun kasi wala naman matutulong kung mago-overthink ka,” head coach Yeng Guiao said. “We just have to relax,” he added. Not too relaxed though but the national team is focusing on things they can control. Things like team standings, especially results from the other group, the Philippines has no control over that. “We're just trying to focus on the game plan, the system, offense and defense, the match-ups,” Guiao said. “Pagdating namin doon [Qatar], mag-uumpisa na kaming mag-viewing so we have 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. We have 5 days to just keep running the videos and keep memorizing the plays of the teams, kung yun pa rin ang ira-run nila,” he added. — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnFeb 11th, 2019

Gilas not dwelling on pressure in fiba

There’s pressure on Gilas to sweep its last two games in the final window of the FIBA Asia/Pacific World Cup Qualifiers but coach Yeng Guiao said yesterday even if the national team’s fate is still hanging in the balance, he’s not making the players think about it......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated News3 hr. 27 min. ago

Yeng Guiao ‘confident, happy’ with Gilas roster ahead of final Fiba qualifying window

MANILA, Philippines---Gilas Pilipinas are on a tough bind in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers with the team sitting at the fourth place of Group F and needing to win their last two games. Head coach Yeng Guiao also has the tough task of leading the national team into the enemy territories of Qatar and Kazakhstan for their last games but the fiery head coach is unconcerned of the difficult order. "I'm confident and I'm happy with this group of guys," said Guiao after Gilas' 100-82 win over Meralco in a tune-up game Friday before their trip. Guiao added that he's proud of what naturalized center Andray Blatche had done to be in top physical shape for the coming window. "...Keep on reading: Yeng Guiao ‘confident, happy’ with Gilas roster ahead of final Fiba qualifying window.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2019

FIBA WORLD CUP: Nervous Thirdy preparing for Gilas Pilipinas role

Ateneo de Manila University star and UAAP Season 81 Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena is the only amateur included in the current Gilas Pilipinas pool. As if that’s not a big enough deal, Thirdy is also in the line-up during the time that the Philippine national team is under the most pressure. Currently sitting at fourth place in Group F, Gilas Pilipinas is faced with two must-win situations as the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers draws to a close. Thirdy, who’s in the running to make the final 12 for the Philippines-Qatar and Philippines-Kazakhstan games, is naturally nervous. However, if he makes the main roster, those nerves will have to go away immediately because there’s simply no room for error once Gilas takes the court next week. “Unang-una medyo kinakabahan ako kasi first time ko sila makasama, lahat ng mga players ng Gilas,” Ravena said. “But kapag nandoon na, wala na room para kabahan, kailangan mag-perform ako,” he added. Thirdy’s slot in the final 12 is no sure thing. Even if he makes it, who knows how many minutes he’ll play in a national team stacked with international veterans. Still, the high-flying Blue Eagle is making sure he’s on his toes, ready to take flight when he’s number is up. “I need to prepare as best as a I can para if ever the time comes na kailangan ko, may role ako na kailangan gawin sa team, dapat ready ako,” he said. “I’m preparing the best I can to give back the to the trust na binigay ni Coach Yeng sakin in getting me and bringing me to the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers,” Thirdy added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2019

FIBA WORLD CUP: Guiao confident on Blatche fitting in with Gilas

On Monday, Gilas Pilipinas had to momentarily go back to life without Andray Blatche. The naturalized Filipino had to go back to China and will rejoin the national team Saturday as Gilas Pilipinas head to Qatar for the first of two games that will ultimately decide the country’s fate in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. With too little borrowed time with Blatche, Gilas remains optimistic that they’ve done enough to have Andray effective against Qatar and Kazakhstan in less than two weeks time. “Palagay ko nakuha na niya,” head coach Yeng Guiao said on Blatche’s grasp of his system. “Kahit noong pina-practice namin siya sa NLEX team, he has a very good understanding of the system,” he added. Blatche feeling comfortable and actually liking Guiao’s new system in Gilas certainly helps. Preparation is already hard with the national team coming together on such short notice. Making drastic changes — or not having key guys adapt — certainly would have made things even more difficult. “Siya mismo naman sinasabi niya na gusto niya yung sistema, he can get used to it very easily,” Guiao said. “Importante din na magustuhan niya, mas mahirap turuan yung isang tao sa isang bagay na hindi niya gusto. At least ito gusto niya, he's making an extra effort to learn,” he added. With an extra couple of days without Blatche present, GIlas will still have Blatche involved one way or another. “Ang gagawin namin, magvi-video kami ng mga practice namin, papadala namin sa kaniya,” Guiao said.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2019

Be ready for WADA tests

Gilas players who are seeing action against Qatar on Feb. 21 and Kazakhstan on Feb. 24 in the sixth window of the FIBA Asia/Pacific World Cup Qualifiers should be forewarned that random drug testing will be done after both games......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2019

FIBA WORLD CUP: Blatche is Gilas’ game changer says Guiao

Reinforcement has arrived for Gilas Pilipinas in the name of Andray Blatche. The naturalized center has rejoined the national team as Gilas prepares for the 6th and final window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Gilas needs two wins to have a chance at earning a spot in the World Cup and Blatche should be the one that gives the Philippines its edge. “He’s going to be the game changer,” Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao said of Andray Blatche. “He's bringing in a lot of confidence, he's really lifting the morale of the team just because of his abilities,” he added. Even though Blatche only had his first official practice of the year with Gilas Monday, he’s coming along nicely says Guiao. Blatche has dropped by practices of NLEX and Rain or Shine over the weekend and that’s helped his accelerate his familiarization with Guiao’s system. The away games over at Qatar and Kazakhstan will be the first for Blatche under Guiao. “He's picked up on the plays really quick. One reason he practiced this morning with NLEX, we ran the same plays. On Saturday, he practiced with Rain or Shine we ran the same plays. So he's putting enough time and repetitions to be able to memorize the plays,” Guiao said. “I think he's just doing fine with the absorption of the system and the patterns, and getting to know the rest of the guys,” he added. Even as Gilas tries to make the most out of its with Blatche, Guiao is impressed with what he’s seeing so far. Andray is certainly set up to live up to his role as the national team’s game changer. “Nakita naman natin he's going to demand the double team definitely. I don't think there's anybody in the Kazakhstan team or the Qatar team that can stop him one-on-one,” Guiao said of Blatche. “We saw what his abilities are. He's an inside, outside guy. He's a very versatile player who can shoot and who can pass,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2019

FIBA WORLD CUP: Two road wins a must for Blatche, Gilas

Andray Blatche is back and he knows what he’s in for. As it stands Gilas Pilipinas holds an even 5-5 record in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. That’s only good for fourth place in the now competitive Group F. With two games remaining, both on the road, the Philippines is in a must-win situation for both. Andray Blatche is well aware of that. “For sure, everybody in this country knows the importance of these next two games,” Blatche said. “I know all my teammates know how bad we need this next win.  So it’s a do-or-die for us and I know we’re gonna give our all and leave everything on the court and come home with the two wins,” he added. Finishing his first official practice with the national team, Blatche says he’s doing fine. Adjusting to coach Yeng Guiao’s system has been fluid for the naturalized center. He’s even taken time to drop by practices of NLEX and Rain or Shine to speed up the process. “His offense is more of going off instinct, you know. Just gotta be in the right spots at times and then after that, you just play basketball. You know this is I think my third.. my third day here where I’m going over offense everyday. So it’s coming to me easy,” Blatche said of Guiao’s system. “It was like clockwork. It was like clockwork because, you know, I know what guys on this court are capable of doing and I know which guys are shooters, which guys are the slashers. His offense, like I said, is based off just knowing your teammate and knowing what they’re gonna do next and instinct. And that actually works out in my favor for me,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2019

FIBA WORLD CUP: Blatche rejoins Gilas Pilipinas for first official practice of 2019

Gilas Pilipinas finally shifts into higher gear. Naturalized center Andray Blatche has officially rejoined the national team Monday after arriving to the country late last week. Blatche is in town as the national team prepares for the sixth and final window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Gilas Pilipinas currently has a 5-5 record and sits fourth in Group F. Gilas has two road games coming up against Kazakhstan and Qatar and to say that both games are a must-win would be a major understatement. If the Philippines is to make the World Cup for the second straight time, the national team has to get the job done on the road. Joining Blatche in practice were Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, Scottie Thompson, RR Pogoy, Mark Barroca, Troy Rosario, Poy Erram, Raymond Almazan, and June Mar Fajardo. Also in attendance but didn’t participate were Paul Lee and Japeth Aguilar. Lee is nursing a hand injury while Aguilar is recovering from a sprained ankle.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 4th, 2019

Ibibigay ko yung best ko, time ko, puso ko -- Barroca

Magnolia guard Mark Barroca is very much pumped-up to don the national colors once again after eight years. So when head coach Yeng Guiao called for the team’s first training session for the sixth and last qualifying window for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, the 32-year old Magnolia Hotshots backcourt star was one of the early players to arrive at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. Unfortunately, the training session turned into just an orientation with just 10 players showing up and just six including Barroca participating in a quick shoot around.           But it didn’t dampen Barroca’s return as a member of the national team. “Sobrang excited ako makapaglaro dito. Sabi ni coach kanina ‘yung commitment nga sobrang kung meron pang 200 percent na commitment, ‘yun committed ako, so why not?” said Barroca, a pioneer of the then Smart Gilas program. “Bibigay ko talaga ‘yung best (ko), bibigay ko yung time ko dito ngayon na makapaglaro ulit.” Barroca last played for the national team back in 2011 during the FIBA Asia Championship where the country placed fourth.     “Siyempre as a player, lahat ng players gusto mag-national team so ito napili din ako so ibibigay ko yung best ko, yung time ko, yung puso,” said Barroca. “’Di na rin ako nagi-expect na makuha dito pero kinuha nila ako siyempre sobrang saya ko rin sobrang tine-treasure ko ‘yung pagkakuha nila dito sa akin. Alam mo yun, na-pump up ako e na kinuha nila ako,” he added. Barroca was joined by Roger Pogoy, Marcio Lassiter, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo, Poy Erram, Raymnond Almazan and Japeth Aguilar. Paul Lee and Scottie Thompson skipped the first training day while naturalized player Andray Blatche has yet to arrive in the country. Back-up naturalized player Christian Standhardinger has recently stated that he’s focused on recovering from knee injury and playing for San Miguel in the ongoing 2019 PBA Philippine Cup. Gilas is preparing for two must-win games against Qatar on February 21 and Kazakhstan on February 25. The national squad will fly to the Middle East on the second week of Ferbuary for a series of tune up matches. Gilas dropped its last two games on nail-biting fashions – against Kazakhstan (92-88) and Iran (78-70) last December. The national team is 1-3 in the last four games, and the two setbacks dropped the Philippines to fourth place with a 5-5 card in Group F behind Australia (9-1), Iran (7-3) and Japan (6-4).   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2019

FIBA WC: Jawo stresses teamwork for Gilas to advance

Former senator and Philippine national team mainstay Robert 'Sonny' Jaworski says that he would like to see Gilas Pilipinas achieve greater things through teamwork in the sixth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers this February. Sporting a 5-5 record, Gilas will have to work hard against Qatar and Kazakhstan, both road games that will ultimately decide whether the national team will advance into the next round of basketball's biggest international competition or not.  Jaworski, who was watching the Ginebra-San Miguel tussle at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum Sunday evening, stated the obvious by calling the next two games critical, but did impart a valuable lesson for coach Yeng Guiao's boys. "Sayang naman. So, we got to bring a lot of things together. And most importantly, yung maasahan ko yung kasama ko. Maaasahan ko yung kakampi ko, yun lang," the 72-year old shared. "The team spirit is very important. Learn as much as possible the good and the bad habits of each other, yun ang importante," he added. Now talking about the game, seeing his former team getting pummeled by the Beermen early on, Jaworski credited a familiar source of energy -- the sixth man -- as the one that helped the Gin Kings trim a 21-point lead to as low as five in the dying seconds of the game. "There were a lot of miscues. That's how the game rolls. Basta ang importante, the game got closer towards the end and I think the crowd made it that." When asked about coach Ginebra mentor Tim Cone's team struggles in the Philippine Cup, Jaworski magnified a key strategy in order to help the team get the wins in the league's most prestigious tourney. "Well, understand that the waterboy is important, so don't just rely on the import, you know? The waterboy is important and so are the other players. Get the pride going through. We cannot just rely on an import." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2019

Gilas re-opens training camp

Gilas Pilipinas starts on Jan. 21 its buildup for the final window of the FIBA World Cup qualifier where Team Phl looks to win “away” games versus Qatar and Kazakhstan to have a shot at making the world joust in China late this year......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 10th, 2019

Questions people are (probably) asking, as Philippine sports enters 2019 | ABS-CBN News

Can Manny Pacquiao add to his legacy? Will Gilas be able to qualify for the FIBA World Cup? How will the Philippines fare in the SEA Games?.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJan 5th, 2019

10 can’t-miss moments in sports for 2019

2018 is already in the books. Now, we look forward to the next chapters we’re all about to read in 2019. Laban Azkals in AFC Asian Cup – January The Azkals will enter historic grounds as early as January as they play for the first time in the AFC Asian Cup in 2019. Their ticket was booked after crushing Tajikistan in a 2-1 home victory early in 2018. With a world-renowned mentored on their side in Sven-Goran Eriksson and veteran national players, the Azkals will travel to the United Arab Emirates for the continental showdown. The Azkals kick off their 2019 AFC Cup Campaign on January 7th against South Korea, followed by a match against China PR on January 11th, before closing out the Group Stage on January 16th against Kyrgyzstan.  Newest season of the oldest professional league in Asia – January After just roughly a month of break from basketball action, the oldest professional league in Asia is back. The PBA will be kicking off its 44th season on January 13 with San Miguel defending its Philippine Cup title. Aside from that, marquee rookies such as CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, and Paul Desiderio are all set to play their first professional games with their respective teams. Up next on Pacman’s list – January The Filipinos will be treated to quality boxing as early as January 19 when Manny Pacquiao defends his WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Championship against challenger American Adrien Broner. After two years of fighting outside the US, Pacquiao will be back in Las Vegas to defend his title against a tough challenger in Broner. Just like old times, Freddie Roach will be back in Pacquiao's corner, this time serving as a consultant. Fanning the flames for a place in FIBA World Cup 2019 – February For the Philippines to be back in the FIBA World Cup, these are the things that need to happen: we must sweep out last two games then Japan must lose at least one of its last two games – giving us the third spot in Group F. Alternatively, we can pin our hopes on China winding up in the top four of its group – giving Groups E and F four berths apiece. Gilas Pilipinas begins its trek through that long and winding road away from home up against Qatar. All teams are teams-to-beat in UAAP 81 Volleyball – February The exciting and highly entertaining collegiate volleyball league is back on February 16. Things to watch out for? La Salle's bid for their fourth consecutive title, Ateneo's face post-Tai Bundit era, UP's confident aura coming off two major preseason championships, and UST's game-changing rookies. Eaglets-Bullpups Finals rematch or not – March Without a doubt, Ateneo and NU, the very same two teams that battled in the Finals last year, are the favorites to go all the way back to the champipnship round in the ongoing season. After all, the Blue Eaglets still have 7-foot-1, 16-year-old Kai Sotto and the Bullpups boast of the deepest roster in all of high school. After the first round of eliminations, however, it’s also clear that RJ Abarrientos-led FEU-Diliman and Joem Sabandal-fronted Adamson have other plans. For sure, something’s gotta give. Alab Pilipinas’ shot at history – April In the almost decade-long history of the Asean Basketball League, no team has won back-to-back championships. Alab Pilipinas is here to change that with the Puerto Rican pair of Renaldo Balkman and PJ Ramos showing the way alongside two-time Local MVP Ray Parks Jr. No doubt, this is the most talented team in franchise history and as such, nothing but a second straight title will be an acceptable outcome. The NCAA is five years away from its centennial celebration – July The first collegiate league in the country is approaching rarified air. Set to open its milestone mark 95th Season, the same old intensity is to be expected in the NCAA. The protagonists, however, may very well be different as all of last year’s Final Four teams will now be missing their main men – Robert Bolick for San Beda, CJ Perez for LPU, Bong Quinto for Letran, and Prince Eze for Perpetual. Is the UAAP 82 Basketball crown Katipunan’s to keep – September In Season 82, all teams will be seeking to nip the dynasty that the Ateneo Blue Eagles are trying to build. After going for back-two-back last season, all eyes will still be on them as their enter the season with an intact core. However, just like Season 81 it will not be a walk in the park with all contenders striving to match their caliber through massive recruitment, coach changes, and tough training camps. Filipino hospitality in SEA Games 2019 – November For the first time since 2005, the SEA Games will be played in Manila. That means that, at long last, our regional neighbors will yet again experience that world-renowned warmth of the Philippines and its people. Make no mistake, however, the Filipinos are all set to go all-out and dominate the medal tally – whether that be basketball in Manila or athletics and aquatics in Clark......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2018

Andray Blatche announces his return to Gilas Pilipinas

MANILA, Philippines---The Philippines will likely head into the final window of the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers with its full force after naturalized center Andray Blatche announced that he's back in the fold. In an announcement made through Theia Sports, h/t to Fiba, Blatche said he'll rejoin Gilas Pilipinas for their final two games of the tournament against Qatar and Kazakhstan. "It's confirmed! I'll be back to play for the Philippines in February!" announced Blatche. "Can't wait to win these two games for the best fans in the world!" The Philippines is in a precarious spot in Group F, holding on to fourth place a 5-5 record. Top three teams and the better of the four...Keep on reading: Andray Blatche announces his return to Gilas Pilipinas.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 29th, 2018

Reality check for Gilas

Losing back-to-back home games to Kazakhstan and Iran was a huge blow to Gilas with two games left in the FIBA Asia/Pacific Qualifiers for next year’s World Cup in China so that national coach Yeng Guiao faces the challenge of forming a cohesive unit to play the final sixth window on the road......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 26th, 2018

Basketball in 2018: The San Miguel takeover

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2018

THROWBACK: Top PBA rookie draft picks through the years

After 33 years, the tradition of PBA teams selecting promising players from the amateur ranks, patterned after the NBA draft process, heralded a balanced influx of talent to even out the league’s competitiveness. But what makes the draft process interesting is the choice of the number 1 pick, who is considered the most in-demand player seen to bolster the chances of the worst performing or a newly established team in the PBA. With Columbian Dyip’s selection of Lyceum stalwart CJ Perez as the number one pick in the 2018 PBA Draft,  let’s look back at the top draft picks through the years, from its beginnings in 1985 to the controversial selection last year, and how they made their mark in the league. 1985 – Sonny Cabatu Sonny Cabatu was the PBA’s first-ever number one draft pick, selected by the expansion club Shell Azodrin Bugbusters, which took over the Crispa Redmanizers franchise. An intense bruiser inside the paint, Cabatu was Shell’s starting center known as “Mr. Quality Minutes.” He would then play for Great Taste, Purefoods, Sarsi, and Ginebra in a respectable career. 1986 – Rey Cuenco A member of the guest Northern Cement Corp. (NCC) team coached by Ron Jacobs that played in the pro league’s 1984 season, Rey Cuenco was picked in the 1986 draft by another new, expansion ballclub Alaska Milkmen to lead their charge.  His pro playing career blossomed from 1989 to 1992 under the tutelage of Ginebra playing coach Robert Jaworski. In 1990, he was adjudged the Most Improved Player and part of the Mythical Second Team. He also became a member of the Big J-coached, first all-Filipino, all-professional “Dream Team” in the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing that won a silver medal for the country with Allan Caidic, Samboy Lim, Benjie Paras and Ramon Fernandez among others. 1987 – Allan Caidic Considered the greatest Filipino basketball marksman ever, Allan Caidic was already a big name before he strutted into the PBA. Having won titles for the UE Red Warriors and among the top players of the Ron Jacobs-mentored national team, the Triggerman was definitely one big prized addition for any team. And Great Taste, having the privilege of selecting first in 1987, made Caidic a hands-down choice. He would later suit up for San Miguel Beer and Ginebra San Miguel in a storied career. He had since become a PBA Hall of Famer and among the Top 25 Greatest Players of All Time. 1988 – Jack Tanuan A vital cog of the FEU Tamaraws and a member of the 1986 Seoul Asian Games squad that took home the bronze, Jack Tanuan was a feared scorer who made a living with his inside game. It was no surprise that new franchise Purefoods selected him as their top pick in 1988, in addition to other direct hires from the amateur ranks that formed their strong core—Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codinera, Jojo Lastimosa and Glenn Capacio—on top of having the Franchise, Mon Fernandez, as playing coach. He would later play for the Sarsi, Swift and Pop Cola teams under the RFM franchise, and later on for Sta. Lucia, Mobiline, and Alaska. 1989 – Benjie Paras It was the year of Benjie Paras, a valiant, hardworking center called “The Tower of Power,” who led the UP Maroons to its historic 1986 UAAP title. After being selected by Shell as the number one pick in the 1989 draft, Paras would achieve the impossible of being both the league MVP and Rookie of the Year, while being named to the Mythical Five. Paras along with fellow Hall of Famers Ronnie Magsanoc and long-time import Bobby Ray Parks Sr. became the triumvirate that led Shell to the First Conference championships in 1990 and 1992. And, even with the onset of Fil-foreign players in the PBA, Paras remained dominant and won his second MVP plum in 1999. 1990 – Peter Jao Peter Jao was the first Cebuano player to be drafted as a rookie top pick in the league, selected by Presto Tivoli. He would then become a member of Presto’s champion team in the 1990 All-Filipino conference with Allan Caidic and Gerry Esplana. 1991 – Alex Araneta The former Ateneo Blue Eagle suited up for Alaska Air Force/Milkmen until 1995, after which he was hired in the company as a management trainee, eventually becoming one of Alaska Milk Corp.’s sales managers. Of Alaska’s 14 championships in the league, Araneta was a veteran of 2 of them (1991 Third Conference and 1994 Governors’ Cup). 1992 – Vergel Meneses An ex-seminarian who became among the PBA’s Top 40 Greatest Players, the “Aerial Voyager” was known for his show-stopping moves and is considered among the best one-on-one players. The former JRU Heavy Bomber and 1995 PBA MVP was also a member of the all-pro Centennial Team coached by Tim Cone that won the William Jones Cup in Taipei and placed 3rd in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok. 1993 – Zandro Limpot After his years as a King Archer for De La Salle, Zandro Limpot entered the 1993 draft and was chosen first overall by the expansion ballclub Sta. Lucia Realtors.  Limpot was named Rookie Of The Year that season as well as reaping All-Star, Mythical Second Team and All-Defensive Team honors. Limpot won his first and only PBA championship (2006 Philippine Cup) with the Purefoods Chunkee Giants. 1994 – Noli Locsin Another former Green Archer, Noli Locsin was picked by Tondeña 65 as the league’s top draft pick in 1994. He became a 4-time PBA All-Star (1994, 1995, 1996, 1999) in a high-flying career with Ginebra. Bacolod-born Locsin was famous for his barrelling game before the arrival of Filipino-Americans in the PBA. Spent 6 seasons with the Ginebra San Miguel franchise; won the 1997 Commissioner’s Cup with Jaworski as coach. He later suited up for Pop Cola, Tanduay, Red Bull, Talk ‘N Text and Sta. Lucia. 1995 – Dennis Espino After leading the UST Growling Tigers to their monumental four-peat, Dennis Espino would later bring his winning ways to the PBA. Sta. Lucia got the first crack at the 1995 draft and picked him first overall to form a menacing one-two punch with Zandro Limpot, and later with Marlou Aquino. He had a sterling career with Sta. Lucia for 15 years and yielded the following achievements:  4-time PBA All-Star, 2-time All-Defensive Team, 2-time Mythical First Team, 2004-05 Defensive Player of the Year and 2007-08 Philippine Cup Finals MVP. He won the 2001 Governors’ Cup and the 2007-08 Philippine Cup for Sta. Lucia. 1996 – Marlou Aquino Picked by Gordon’s Gin as first overall in the 1996 draft, Marlou Aquino had an exceptional maiden year gave him Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Best Player of the Conference (1996 Governors’ Cup), Mythical First Team, All-Star and All-Defensive Team honors. He also became the second Ginebra player (after Dondon Ampalayo in 1986) to win the Rookie of the Year award.  Aquino then was part of Gordon Gin’s 1997 Commissioner’s Cup and Sta. Lucia Realty’s 2001 Governors’ Cup championship teams.  1997 – Andy Seigle The first Fil-Am top pick, chosen by Mobiline in 1997, Andy Seigle won Rookie of the Year and was part of the 1999 All-Star Game. The Scranton, Pennsylvania native was twice a member of the National Team in the 1998 and 2002 Asian Games and was one of the most dominant and best defensive players in the 1990’s era. 1998 – Danny Ildefonso  Danny Ildefonso was picked by San Miguel Beer first overall in 1998, the year he also won Rookie of the Year. One of only four pro players to win back-to-back MVP awards (2000 and 2001), Ildefonso had a prolific 15-year career with the San Miguel ballclub with 8 championships (1999 and 2000 Commissioner’s Cups;  1999, 2000 and 2011 Governors’ Cups; 2001 All-Filipino; 2005 and 2009 Fiesta Cups). He is among the PBA’s Top 40 Greatest Players. 1999 – Sonny Alvarado Selected by Tanduay as its top pick in the 1999 Draft, Sonny Alvarado was poised to dominate the league as a gritty Fil-Am all-around player. He was however embroiled in the “Fil-Sham” controversy, that revealed that he had filed two alleged birth certificates of his mother when he applied for the draft. This prompted immigration officials to initiate deportation measures against Alvarado because of such failure to directly prove his Filipino parental links. 2000 – Paolo Mendoza Paolo Mendoza was a hot-shooting guard who led the UP Fighting Maroons to two Final Four appearances from 1996-1997. He then applied for the 2000 draft and was chosen the overall first pick by Sta. Lucia Realty. Together with Dennis Espino and Marlou Aquino, Mendoza was one of the main factors behind the 2001 Governor’s Cup title win of the Realtors. 2001 – Willie Miller The diminutive Willie Miller is considered the first player from the PBA’s rival league, Metropolitan Basketball Association, to become the top overall pick in a PBA Rookie Draft, in which he was selected by the Batang Red Bull Thunder. He was part of three teams that copped PBA titles—Red Bull (2001 and 2002 Commissioner’s Cup), Alaska (2007 Fiesta Cup), and Talk ‘N Text (2015 Commissioner’s Cup). His career highlights in his 15 years in the PBA were 2-time MVP (2002 and 2007), 2-time Finals MVP, 9-time All-Star,  3-time Mythical First Team member, and 2014 Sportsmanship Awardee. 2002 – Yancy de Ocampo The “Post-Man” as he is called, Yancy de Ocampo is a shifty, reliable center who delivers the goods at crunch time. He was the number one draft pick in 2002 by the FedEx Express. He was part of several champion teams, namely Talk ‘N Text, BMeg Llamados, San Mig Coffee and eventually San Miguel Beer. 2003 – Mike Cortez The “Cool Cat” Mike Cortez, a former La Salle standout, brought his court savviness to the PBA after Alaska picked him first overall in the 2003 draft by and immediately went to work. Cortez helped the Aces win the Reinforced Conference that year. He would then move on to San Miguel Beer, and was part of a hefty push to win the 2007 and 2009 Fiesta Conferences. A journeyman in his 15-year PNA career, Cortez currently plays for the Blackwater Elite. 2004 – Rich Alvarez The Japan-born and U.S.-raised Rich Alvarez had a blast on his maiden year with Shell, which selected him first overall in the 2004 draft, collecting Rookie of the Year, All-Star, All-Defensive Team and All-Rookie Team honors. Played for 13 seasons in 8 different teams, Rich was successful in winning 4 championships with the TNT Tropang Texters (2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 Philippine Cups and 2011 Commissioner’s Cup) 2005 – Anthony "Jay" Washington This Zambales-born journeyman was first chosen by Air21 in the 2005 draft then traded to Talk ‘N Text. But his stint with San Miguel Beer made him flourish with two titles in the 2009 Fiesta Conference and the 2011 Governors Cup. He would return to the TNT Tropang Texters and help the, win the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup. He currently plays for the Rain or Shine Elastopainters. 2006 – Kelly Williams Picked first overall by Sta. Lucia Realty in 2006, Kelly Williams immediately made his presence felt that year bagging Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie Team honors. He first won a championship with Sta. Lucia in the 2007-08 Philippine Cup and would then lead his present ballclub, the TNT Tropang Texters to five championships, notably the three-peat Philippine Cups from 2010 to 2012, and the 2011 and 2015 Commissioners’ Cups. 2007 – Joe Devance While it was Welcoat that originally drafted Joe Devance as the first pick overall in the 2007 draft, he would earn the distinction of being the league’s winningest coach Tim Cone’s most trusted trooper. Devance has won nine championships with Cone as his coach, starting with Alaska (2010 Fiesta Cup), B-Meg/San Mig Coffee (2012 and 2014 Commissioner’s Cup, 2013 and 2014 Governors’ Cup and Philippine Cup); and currently, Ginebra San Miguel (2016 and 2017 Governors’ Cup, and 2018 Commissioners’ Cup).  2008 – Gabe Norwood Chosen by the only team has played for up to now, the Rain or Shine Elastopainters, as its number one draft pick in 2008, Gabe Norwood would then etch a rich career with his ballclub, having won 2 championships (2012 Governors’ Cup, 2016 Commissioner’s Cup). He had also notched numerous awards, including Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and was part of the All Star Game nine times, and the All-Defensive Team six times.  2009 – Japeth Aguilar   “Jumpin’ Japeth” starred for the Ateneo Blue Eagles for two years then moved to the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers during his university years.  In 2009, Aguilar was selected by Burger King and only played one game with the Whoppers, after which he was traded to Talk `N Text.  Japeth has become a Team Gilas mainstay since the beginning of his pro career, of which the Philippines’ participation in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain became one of his national team career highlights. 2010 – Nonoy Baclao   “Mr. Swat” was among the vital cogs of the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ back-to-back UAAP men’s basketball championships in 2008 and 2009. After college, Baclao led the Philippine Patriots as the inaugural champion of the 2009-10 Asean Basketball League (ABL) season prior to entering the PBA rookie draft. In 2010, Nonoy was selected by Air21 then he was traded to Petron (San Miguel) where he had one championship in his sophomore year in the league.  2011 – JVee Casio  The former De La Salle Green Archer playmaker who was Rookie of the Year (2003), Finals Co-MVP (2007) and Mythical Five member (2007 & 2008) in the UAAP was a Gilas pioneer before deciding to turn pro in 2011. By far Casio “G-Shock” is the shortest among the active PBA players to have been picked first overall by the Powerade Tigers. JVee was traded to Alaska Aces in 2012 and has since then became a mainstay in the team which he helped win the Commissioner’s Cup title in 2013. 2012 – June Mar Fajardo  The burly Cebuano was star center at the University of Cebu of which he steered to back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011 at the CESAFI league. “The Kraken” has played for only one team throughout his pro career in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) and the PBA – San Miguel. As one big reason to “Fear the Beer,” Fajardo gave San Miguel six championships to date and became the first and only PBA player to win the MVP award in four straight seasons (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017).  2013 – Greg Slaughter  “GregZilla” stomped rivals with his huge presence when he helped lead the Ateneo Blue Eagles to two consecutive UAAP championships in 2011 and 2012 -- completing a five-peat for the Loyola Heights squad. Picked by Barangay Ginebra in 2013, Slaughter got his pro career to a fast start with ROY and All-Rookie Team honors. He won 3 championships under coach Tim Cone (2016 and 2017 Governors’ Cups; 2018 Commissioner’s Cup). He also saw action for the first time with Gilas this year in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. 2014 – Stanley Pringle  Drafted by NorthPort Batang Pier, “The Beard” exploded into the local basketball scene with Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie team honors, after stints with Belgium, Poland, Ukraine and Indonesia ballclubs.  A 4-time All-Star (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), Pringle is considered among the best guards and high scorers in the play-for-pay league, gaining raves from other coaches and close followers of the sport.   2015 – Moala Tautuaa  He applied and went undrafted in the 2012 NBA draft, then moved to Asia to resume his basketball career by playing as an import for the Westsports Malaysia Dragons in the ABL.  After which, the Fil-Tongan made the “Big Mo(ve)” to the Philippines and spent a fruitful season with the D-League, ending up as its 2015 Foundation Cup MVP.  Talk N` Text selected Tautuaa as overall pick of the first round but traded him later on to NorthPort Batang Pier in 2018. 2016 – Raphael Banal  Since the first round of the 2016 PBA draft was dedicated to PBA teams choosing Gilas Pilipinas players to join their ranks, the regular draft started in the second round. Here, the Blackwater Elite chose as its first pick Raphael Banal, a contemporary of Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal in the Ateneo Blue Eaglets juniors team who went to the Hope International University-California for college.  His surname rings a bell, being the youngest child of former PBA player and TNT coach (2003 All-Filipino Conference champion) Joel Banal.  Yet “Ael” held his own in the PBA D-League for two conferences with Racal Motors.  2017 – Christian Standhardinger  The American-schooled Fil-German played in the ProA and Basketball Bundesliga tournaments in Germany as well with Hong Kong Eastern in the ABL.  Although he was selected by San Miguel Beer in the overall draft of 2017 in a controversial trade with Kia Picanto, the rightful owner of the number one pick, Standhardinger joined the Beermen in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup after completing his ABL tour of duty.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 18th, 2018

FIBA WC: Middle East tuneup for Gilas mulled

Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao said the national team could play tuneup games in the Middle East ahead of the sixth window of FIBA World Cup qualifiers in February 2019. FIBA WC: Middle East tuneup for Gilas mulled Source link: FIBA WC: Middle East tuneup for Gilas mulled.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsDec 12th, 2018

Philippines: No other option but thru backdoor

All is not lost, but Gilas Pilipinas would now need to sweep two games away from home to get a shot at a backdoor entry in the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 4th, 2018

June Mar on crucial missed free throws: 'Mintis lang talaga'

MANILA, Philippines --- After Jayson Castro beat the shot clock for an incredible three-pointer giving Gilas Pilipinas a 68-67 lead, the Blur found June Mar Fajardo down low for a possible score and a three-point advantage. Fajardo tried to dunk it but he missed. He was fouled though and June Mar had the chance to score the two points from the free throw line. Up one with 2:20 left in the game, the reigning four-time PBA MVP missed both. While Fajardo would redeem himself a couple of plays later, giving the Philippines its last lead of the game, 70-69, in the final minute, those two missed free throws would prove to be costly for Gilas Pilipinas and Iran would eventually go on to win with a final 9-0 blast. "Wala, nag-mintis lang talaga," Fajardo said when asked the free throws. "Nakaka-frustrate." Gilas Pilipinas has now lost back-to-back home games and each time, the national team had the chance to win. The Philippines just failed to execute down the stretch. "Nakakapanghinayang," Fajardo said. "Nandun na tayo, may chance tayo manalo. Na-shoot lang din nila yung mga crucial shots nila," he added. Gilas Pilipinas is now in danger of missing the FIBA World Cup. But as the national team deals with this disappointing loss, June Mar says all is not lost just yet. "Kailangan ng time, kasi galing kami sa iba-ibang sistema. Yun lang sinasabi ni coach, kailangan talaga mag-adapt agad kasi short period lang yung preparation. Nakakalungkot pero mananalo tayo as a team, matatalo tayo as a team," he said. "Kailangan matuto tayo sa game na ito," June Mar added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2018