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Focused on Gilas, Ricci Rivero says he hasn’t talked to prospective schools

As of the moment, Ricci Rivero is currently Philippine college basketball’s hottest commodity......»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarApr 16th, 2018

Hindi nasayang ang (pagsama sa) practice -- Rivero

Despite missing the cut in the national men’s basketball team’s final roster for the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games, Ricci Rivero remains thankful for the opportunity to train under head coach Yeng Guiao. Guiao announced the final lineup Friday after the squad’s practice at the Meralco gym. Unfortunately, young talents Kobe Paras and Rivero didn’t make the lineup as well as Talk ‘N Text guard Don Trollano, who sacrificed his spot for Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson despite the eligibility of the NBA player still in doubt pending the petition of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to the Indonesian organizers to include him in the Asiad roster.        “Actually wala (sama ng loob), nothing against anyone sobrang thankful pa rin ako,” said Rivero. “I talked to coach Yeng sabi ko, “Sobrang thank you for this opportunity.” “Kasi sobrang dami kong natutunan. First, yung mga kuya and then next sina coach Yeng kasi sobrang hands on nila,” added Rivero. “Si coach Yeng kasi nakikita ko sobrang galing niyang mag-develop ng player, in a short time sobrang dami kong natutunan sa kanya. So yun sobrang thank you.” Rivero was present in all the five practice sessions of the Nationals, which started Monday. Rivero rushed into the Meralco gym Monday after landing in Manila following the University of the Philippines’ training in Serbia. In the end, Rivero was thankful for the rare chance to vie for a spot for the tricolors. For me hindi (nasayang ang pag-ensayo), sobrang thankful talaga ako na yun nga naging part ako nito,” he said. “Nu’ng una pa lang naman na narinig ko sobrang thankful na ako, gusto ko siyempreng makasama pero siyempre di ba PBA players na yan and hindi naman sila basta-basta. Sobrang thankful ako, hindi nasayang ang (pagsama sa) practice.” The Nationals that will try to surpass the seventh place finish of Gilas in the 2014 Incheon Asiad will be led by the core of Rain or Shine in Chris Tiu, Maverick Ahanmisi, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, James Yap, and Gabe Norwood. Completing the team are JP Erram, Christian Standhardinger, Paul Lee, Stanley Pringle, Asi Taulava and Clarkson.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

23 for 23 Gilas cadets competing in 2018 Filoil Preseason

The preparations for the 2023 FIBA World Cup is set to begin early. The 23 for 2023 Gilas Pilipinas cadets are set to compete with the top collegiate teams in the country in the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup. "To kickstart our preparations for the 2023 World Cup, we will be competing in the Premier Cup," Gilas head coach Chot Reyes confirmed. As they have either exhausted their eligibility or not committed to any school, Ricci Rivero, J-Jay Alejandro, and Abu Tratter will be the mainstays for the team.  On the other hand, as a compromise to their schools for the tournament, the rest of the cadets will only be allowed to join Gilas if their school does not have a scheduled game for the day. "The lineup is not yet final but we are hoping that all the 23 for 2023 cadets here will be allowed to play," Reyes added. The rest of the pool will include Robert Bolick, Kemark Carino, and Javee Mocon of NCAA champion San Beda College; Isaac Go, Matt Nieto, and Thirdy Ravena of UAAP champion Ateneo de Manila University; Kenneth Tuffin and Arvin Tolentino of Far Eastern University; Paul Desiderio, Juan Gomez de Liano, and Will Gozum of University of the Philippines; CJ Perez of Lyceum of the Philippines University; Jeo Ambohot of Colegio de San Juan de Letran; Kai Sotto of Ateneo High School; and Carl Tamayo of Nazareth School of National University. This would not have been possible without the support of Chooks-to-Go and Smart Communications. "We would like to thank Chooks-to-Go and Smart for their continued support. Also, we are grateful to their schools for lending their student-athletes for the national cause," Reyes expressed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 9th, 2018

Kobe Paras upbeat about the Gilas Pilipinas 2023 squad he ll eventually lead

If you ask Filipino forward Kobe Paras to describe what all the early developments for the Gilas Pilipinas squad for the 2023 FIBA World Cup make him feel, you'll get one word: Happy. Paras, who was one of the more prominent names among 23 young players listed by the Philippine national basketball team head coach Chot Reyes to be part of the early training pool, expressed his approval of the group of guys, even if some are visibly left off of the list because of their commitment to other squads. "I’m happy with the group of guys. I know there are a lot of guys that aren’t on the list," Paras said in an interview with Steve Angeles of ABS-CBN News North America during the Los Angeles Clippers' Filipino Heritage Night. "It makes sense if they’re not on the list because of their teams or whatever rules but I’m happy with it."  One player who fit that bill was De La Salle University's flashy forward Ricci Rivero, who was left off the list after his school urged its players to focus on their rebuild next UAAP season. Even then, the 6'6" Paras, who's more or less baptized by Coach Chot to be destined to be the face of the nationa team sounded both honored and excited about his inclusion to the squad, who'll represent the Filipino tricolor five years from now, as the Philippines co-hosts the international basketball meet with Indonesia and Japan. "I’m happy that coach picked me as well. I love representing my country so I’m just really happy that he chose me for that," said the U.S.-based Paras. "I saw the other day they practiced." Aside from local, homegrown talents included in the "#23for23" pool like Thirdy Ravena, CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, and Isaac Go, a couple of Filipino-Americans also made the list. Remy Martin, a rookie point guard for the Arizona State Sun Devils, and Dwight Ramos from the California State-Fullerton Titans, were names present in the preliminary pool. As a fellow Pinoy cager in a foreign land, Kobe is nothing but eager to meet, and eventually play his contemporaries. "I haven’t talked to Remy [Martin] or what’s his name from Fullerton...Dwight [Ramos]," Kobe said. "I think I’m going to play him too. I gotta talk to Dwight but I’ve seen Remy play. I need to talk to them though. Because we’re representing L.A. and the Philippines so it’s going to be cool."  Here's the full video interview of Kobe Paras:  .@_kokoparas enjoyed being at .@LAClippers Filipino Heritage Night and he also expressed his happiness about being on SBP #23for23 He hopes to also speak to .@3wight and .@1Remy_Martin1 soon 🇵🇭🏀🌊 .@abscbnsports .@ABSCBNNewsSport .@ABSCBNNews pic.twitter.com/e8GcUq1Luf — Steve Angeles (@StevieAngeles) January 9, 2018.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

Ricci Rivero, Andrei Caracut not closing any doors on Gilas tour of duty

Of the 23 players on Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes’ wishlist for 2023, four are from UAAP champion Ateneo de Manila University and three are from NCAA champion San Beda College. Five hail from foreign schools while National University has three players, Far Eastern University and University of the Philippines have two apiece, and all of Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Lyceum of the Philippines University, and Mapua University have one each. Aside from now-graduated Abu Tratter, nobody else is representing De La Salle University in Reyes’ wishlist. According to sources, Andrei Caracut, Ricci Rivero, and Santi Santillan were also all considered for the wishlist for 2023, but were ultimately left out for undisclosed reasons. Still, both Mythical selection Rivero and former Rookie of the Year Caracut are hopeful they can make the cut when the Gilas roster is finally made official in five years. “Ipipilit ko yan kahit anong mangyari kasi pangarap yan ng lahat ng player,” Rivero said. “Kaya lang, kung ayaw nila, wala akong magagawa.” Caracut could only agree. “Wala pa namang kumausap sa akin, pero siyempre, gusto ko. Lahat ng players naman, gusto yun,” he expressed. Keep believing, 2023 is still a long ways away, boys. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

UAAP Finals Flashback: The last time an Ateneo-La Salle championship series went the distance

The UAAP season 80 men’s basketball tournament will boil down to one final game. The Ateneo Blue Eagles, then armed with a 1-0 Finals lead, looked poised to win the title in Game 2 when they took a commanding 21-point lead over the De La Salle Green Archers early in the first half. But the defending champion Green Archers, sparked by a feisty Kib Montalbo, an inspired Ricci Rivero, a dominant Ben Mbala, and a resurgent Andrei Caracut, rallied past the Blue Eagles to tie the series and force a winner-take-all game slated this Sunday, December 3.  And now, we’re faced with the two sweetest words in UAAP basketball: Game Three. The last two times an Ateneo-La Salle Finals clash was pushed to a deciding game was back in 2001, and 2002, more than 15 years ago, with both schools splitting the spoils.  Let’s look back at the epic clash between the Blue Eagles and the Green Archers in the 64th and 65th season of the UAAP men’s basketball Finals that went the distance, as a preview of the upcoming chapter of this historic rivalry. -- 2001: A DLSU Odyssey Since Ateneo and La Salle’s last Finals clash back in 1988, the two squads went on separate paths before rekindling their storied rivalry. The Blue Eagles took home the title back in ’88, but the Green Archers scored back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990 before UST and FEU burst into the UAAP basketball scene for much of the decade. Behind sweet-shooting guard Ren-Ren Ritualo, and the crafty Don Allado powering the Franz Pumaren-led Green Archers, La Salle was fast becoming a dynasty, scoring a three-peat from 1998-2000. Meanwhile, Ateneo was deep into its so-called “dark ages”, with their title drought stretching into 13 years, but the best was yet to come heading into season 64. UAAP 2001 FINALS, GAME 1: La Salle 74, Ateneo 68 With DLSU focused on extending its dominance by claiming its fourth straight championship, the rebirth of the rivalry was on. Ateneo, with its best collection of players in a long time, had the best possible chance to put an end to the dark ages. The Green Archers proved why they were three-time defending champs, showing their championship poise by going on a huge fourth quarter run to down the Blue Eagles and to move one win away from their four-peat. UAAP 2001 FINALS, GAME 2: Ateneo 76, La Salle 72 With their backs against the wall, Ateneo forced a deciding match behind a masterful 22-point performance. by blossoming big man Enrico Villanueva.  It was also Villanueva who found Magnum Membrere for a three-pointer to put the game away and to keep the Blue Eagles alive. The victory also marked Ateneo’s first win over DLSU that season, after three attempts. UAAP 2001 FINALS, GAME 3: La Salle 93, Ateneo 88 The deciding game was a shootout between DLSU’s Carlo Sharma and Ateneo’s LA Tenorio, who dropped 22 points, and 30 points respectively. Sharma’s production was a career-high for him, and it came at the best possible time. He made 11 of his 22 markers in the fourth quarter, helping the DLSU Green Archers claim their fourth straight UAAP championship. It was a fitting end to Ritualo’s collegiate career, who got his number 4 jersey retired after leading La Salle to a rare four-peat.   -- 2002: Ateneo's Great Revenge Revenge was the main storyline in the UAAP season 65 Finals. For Ateneo, it was redemption for the previous season’s devastating loss at the hands of De La Salle.  Meanwhile, the Green Archers wanted to exact revenge to the Blue Eagles, who stained their undefeated record at the final game of the elimination round, to deny a sweep, and an outright Finals berth for DLSU in a  shocking 83-71 win. UAAP 2002 FINALS, GAME 1: Ateneo 72, La Salle 70 With unfinished business from last year, Enrico Villanueva took over late in the game, scoring Ateneo’s final ten points to seal Game 1 for the blue side. This game served as a huge statement not just for the Blue Eagles, but also for Larry Fonacier whose iconic block on Mark Cardona proved to be the difference maker to help move Ateneo one win away from redemption. UAAP 2002 FINALS, GAME 2: La Salle 85, Ateneo 77 Again, championship poise proved to be La Salle’s edge against an Ateneo squad that was deemed as “tense” in Game 2. After struggling in the first game, Mike Cortez was sat down by Coach Franz to have a talk, reminding his ward that as a veteran, he should lead his teammates by example. Facing elimination, the Green Archers, and Cortez were on fire to start the second game, taking a commanding 18-point lead over Ateneo by the end of the first half, 50-32. Cortez finished with 21 points as De La Salle evened up the series to force a deciding Game 3. UAAP 2002 FINALS, Game 3: Ateneo 77, La Salle 70 With DLSU gaining momentum from a convincing Game 2 win, a five-peat looked imminent heading into the third and final game of the season. Timely baskets from Wesley Gonzales and then-rookie LA Tenorio early on helped the Blue Eagles take the lead, however slim, over La Salle heading into the payoff period, 56-52 for the first time in the Finals series. Enrico Villanueva, the season MVP, put on a career-defining performance in final game as a Blue Eagle, finishing with 14 points, 11 rebounds, capped off by four assists, and two steals as they hold off a fierce rally by DLSU to bring home the title back to Katipunan for the first time since 1988. The win was an apt send-off for Villanueva, who helped Ateneo halt fierce rival La Salle’s consecutive championship run to four titles......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2017

Athletes to Watch Out for in 2019

Remember these names because for sure, they will be making the headlines this 2019. Kai Sotto The 7-foot-2 wunderkind of the Ateneo Blue Eaglets will be making major decisions in 2019. With opportunities opening up for him in Europe and USA, the current Grade 10 student of Ateneo High School has the option to leave the UAAP Juniors early to explore bigger stages. Billed as the nation's best bet to be the first Filipino homegrown NBA talent, there will definitely be a lot of eyes following this young man's every move.   Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras Former De La Salle Green Archer Rivero and former Creighton Blue Jay Paras are both set to make University of the Philippines' #AtinSeason82 bid more promising, as they finish their residency and finally play for the Maroons in the UAAP in 2019. Both players are expected to make immediate impacts in the history-seeking squad given Rivero's championship experience, Paras' athleticism, and both player's Gilas cadets background.   Kiefer Ravena 2018 was a tough year for national team player and NLEX Road Warrior Ravena after he was slapped with an 18-month suspension in FIBA and the PBA for testing positive for banned substances. Due to the suspension, Ravena has diverted his attention to other interests such as golf and volleyball but his days away from the hard court will be over come August 2019. By then, he will be taking the keys again for NLEX either in the PBA Commissioner's or Governor's Cup.   CJ Perez, Bobby Ray Parks Jr., and Robert Bolick The 2018 PBA Rookie Draft was full of quality guards, and these top three draftees are expected to make immediate impacts in their professional teams. Former NCAA superstars Perez and Bolick both already signed lucrative contracts with Columbian Dyip and Northport. On the other hand, after being drafted in the second pick by Blackwater Elite, the former UAAP MVP and ASEAN Basketball League champion and MVP Bobby Ray Parks Jr. is still in the middle of trade talks and negotiations.   Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio, and Joshua Pacio Team Lakay had a magical 2018 after producing four world champions in the Lightweight, Bantamweight, Flyweight, Strawweight divisions. However, as people say, defending a title is always tougher.  By 2019, all fighters will most likely have the tough assignment to keep their belts in Baguio City.   Manny Pacquiao Philippine sports fans will be treated to world-class boxing by as early as the second week of January, when Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao gets back in the ring to defend his WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Championship against American Adrien Broner. Pacquiao's long-time mentor Freddie Roach will also be back in his corner, serving as a consultant. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)   Eya Laure University of Santo Tomas' much needed reinforcement is finally here, with incoming rookie Eya Laure. The former star of the UST girls volleyball team will be making her debut in the senior's division in UAAP Season 81 this February 2019. In the preseason activities for the PVL and the PSL, Laure already proved that she will be a reliable scoring option for the Golden Tigresses - a perfect aid for graduating Sisi Rondina.   Michelle Morente Volleyball fans, it's time to get used to the sight of Morente playing in La Salle green. Last September 2018, the former Ateneo Lady Eagle already played for La Salle during the beach volleyball tournament. If she makes Ramil de Jesus' cut, the feisty scorer will bolster the Lady Spikers' title defense in the UAAP Season 81 womne's volleyball tournament.    Kath Arado La Salle's Dawn Macandili set the gold standard of libero greatness in UAAP. However, in 2019, libero extraordinaire Arado of the University of the East has every chance to prove that she might be the next to take the mantle of Philippine collegiate volleyball's best libero. For her UAAP Season 81 preparations, Arado played in two conferences of the Philippine Superliga at the same time - for UE in the Collegiate Grand Slam and for Generika Ayala Lifesaves for the All-Filipino conference. As a proof of her caliber, she swept all libero awards in both conferences.   Kat Tolentino With Jho Maraguinot's decision to not come back for the Ateneo Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 81, Kat Tolentino is expected to make the leap and be the number one scoring option for the blue-and-white. During their preseason preparations in the Premier Volleyball League under Ateneo-Motolite, rookie coach Oliver Almadro praised Tolentino for embracing her new role as the go-to girl. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2018

Kobe Paras: It ll be fun to face Ateneo in the Finals

Incoming Fighting Maroon Kobe Paras said that it would be fun to see the University of the Philippines and Ateneo de Manila University clash once again in the championship series of the UAAP. However, Paras then added that the Blue Eagles should open their doors, close the main thoroughfare and declare the bonfire on Saturday as a bond between the adjacent higher institutions of learning.  "Ateneo, sama mo naman kaming mga Iskolar ng Bayan. Because basketball brings us together. So why don't just have a bonfire of UP and Ateneo together? Sa lahat ng Fathers ng Ateneo, mahal ko kayo. #OneBigFight #UPFight. Sarado natin yung buong Katipunan. Throw a big party," the 21-year old said in an interview with Mico Halili on 'The Score'. Kidding aside, Paras admitted that it 'pissed him off' that he was not able to play for the Maroons this year, who made a surprise run to the UAAP Season 81 Finals. However, he says he looks forward to playing with UAAP Season 80 Mythical Five member Ricci Rivero in leading the squad perhaps back to the Finals once again, and make sure to make the Iskolar ng Bayan proud of their exploits. "I didn't really have to be a part of [the magical season]. But something inside me that people were talking about is why UP was going to the Final Four is because of me and Ricci," he shared. "Everytime people say that to me, I tell them, don't focus on me, focus on the present. Focus on Season 81. My guys really did some big things and I'm proud of them. Not have one, but Ateneo deserved the championship this year." Paras also talked about his haters and how he deals with them everyday. "You just got to live your life. Whatever you do, people are going to respond in a negative or positive way. Do something that makes you happy." See the rest of the interview below:.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 13th, 2018

UAAP: Juan GDL s promise for next year: UP will be in the Finals

Juan Gomez de Liano was a man of his word in the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament. In the offseason, he said that the University of the Philippines would end its 21-year playoff drought. On November 14, 2018, that came true as the Fighting Maroons booked a ticket to the Final Four as the third-seed. “I promised ever since offseason na we’re gonna make the Final Four. Here we are,” he said then. They didn’t stop from there and made a run to the Finals which was a pleasant surprise for just about everybody. Only, once there, State U ran into a wall named Ateneo de Manila University which swept them for back-to-back championships. First Finals appearance, first Finals loss. Fo sho, GDL brothers @javigdl22 and @juan_swish9 will only be better from this. #UAAPSeason81 pic.twitter.com/CMV0JH30rh — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) Disyembre 5, 2018 Though that video didn’t look like it, Juan GDL remained upbeat about the future for UP. So much so that he was ready and raring for a new promise. Asked about their prospects for next year, he answered, full of confidence as always, “UP will be in the Finals, definitely.” It’s difficult to doubt the Mythical selection as, even with the graduation of team captain Paul Desiderio, the Fighting Maroons remain stacked for foreseeable future as flanking him are still Season MVP Bright Akhuetie, kuya Javi GDL, Will Gozum, and Jun Manzo. More than that, they will also be welcoming with open arms a pair of Gilas cadets in Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras. “We’ll be good. I think we’ll be good,” Juan GDL said. Of course, that is never a given and the all-around playmaker said State U will still have to work hard to live up to its billing. “With Ricci and Kobe, yeah. One thing we gotta do is how to jell together, that’s the most important thing,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 6th, 2018

FIBA WORLD CUP: Gilas going Stanley for KAZ; Stan vs IRI

Despite not yet giving a final 12-man lineup for the Philippines-Kazakhstan and Philippines-Iran FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Nov. 30 and Dec. 3, respectively, Gilas coach Yeng Guiao says the team has made up their mind for their naturalized players. The fiery coach says the team was "90-percent" sure that they would be fielding in explosive guard Stanley Pringle of the NorthPort Batang Pier against Kazakhstan on Friday November 30th, where his scoring is expected to be a factor. Gilas will then be utilizing the services of San Miguel big man Christian Standhardinger to match up with the tall and phyisical Iran frontline on Monday, December 3rd.  Guiao also added that at this point, 10 players have been decided but the last two slots will be still be determined before the submission of the names to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Wednesday afternoon. He further explained that choosing among the most stacked roster the Philippines has seen in recent memory has been quite difficult. "We're trying to cover all the bases at this point. These are the games that will really matter. Importanteng laro na we will be judged, we will be defined by the games that we will play in the next few days," shared the national team coach. The penultimate full practice at the Meralco Gym before Gilas faces off against Kazakhstan was held Wednesday morning and was attended by 17 of the 19 players in the pool, namely Jayson Castro, Matthew Wright, Beau Belga, Scottie Thompson, Ricci Rivero, Gabe Norwood, Marcio Lassiter, June Mar Fajardo, Poy Erram, and Arwind Santos. Also in attendance were Alex Cabagnot, Troy Rosario, LA Tenorio, Paul Lee, Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter, and Pringle. Standhardinger (illness) and Kai Sotto (school) were not present. The final full practice for Gilas before the Kazakhstan tussle will be Thursday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena.  __ Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2018

Guiao has more or less figured out Gilas 12 and lineup to be revealed soon

National team head coach Yeng Guiao will take his sweet time before naming his final Gilas lineup for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. For the new window starting Nov. 30 against Kazakhstan. Guiao had 20 players to choose from in a pool largely considered as perhaps the "Best Philippine team ever" assembled. That number is now down to 19 with Ian Sangalang begging off due to nagging injuries and the next time that number is trimmed again, it's straight to 12. At least for the first home game against Kazakhstan, five will be cut from the list that has June Mar Fajardo, Christian Standhardinger, Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot, Arwind Santos, LA Tenorio, Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, Paul Lee, Poy Erram, Stanley Pringle, Matthew Wright, Beau Belga, Gabe Norwood, Ricci Rivero, and Kai Sotto. Jayson Castro and Troy Rosario are only eligible to play for the next game against Iran on Dec. 3 while in the case of Standhardinger and Pringle, the two of them can't play together so one of them is a guaranteed cut for each game. "Baka diretso na kami sa dose," Guiao said on the cuts he has to make for the national team. "Siguro sa Wednesday or Thursday, diretso na yan sa dose. Meron na kaming idea pero di niyo pa malalaman kung sino," he added. In the 12 spots he has to fill for Gilas, coach Yeng says he and his staff has about half figured out. The recent series of tune-up games against Jordan and Lebanon has strengthened his belief on who should be on the team but as for the final announcement, that will come soon enough. "More or less may idea na kami, unti-unti nang nabubuo at nakikita na namin," Guiao said. "The tune-up games were a big factor in choosing the players," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 27th, 2018

Academics first: Kai Sotto skips Gilas tuneup vs Jordan

MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto is living up to what a student-athlete is.  The 7-foot-1 wunderkind skipped Gilas Pilipinas' tuneup against Jordan on Monday, November 19, to focus on his exams at the Ateneo de Manila High School this week. Fellow Gilas cadet Ricci Rivero clarified why Sotto was absent ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 20th, 2018

Ricci Rivero and Kai Sotto join Gilas Pilipinas training – Manila Video

Gilas Pilipinas began its preparation last night at the Meralco gym for the upcoming FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, which will be held from November 30 to December 3. 12 players out of the 20-man training pool were present on the first day of practice: June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos of… link: Ricci Rivero and Kai Sotto join Gilas Pilipinas training – Manila Video.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsNov 13th, 2018

Kai Sotto, Ricci Rivero can still make Gilas final 12, bares Yeng Guiao

MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto and Ricci Rivero's inclusion in Gilas Pilipinas' 20-man pool for the fifth window of the World Cup qualifiers is not just solely geared towards their development. National team head coach Yeng Guiao bared that the two promising young stars have a chance to secure a ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 13th, 2018

Sotto welcomes physicality, ready to fight for slot

Kai Sotto may be the youngest among the 20-man Team Pilipinas pool but the Ateneo de Manila University high school center knows that his ‘kuyas’ won’t go easy on him. The towering 16-year old cager boldly said that he welcomes the challenge of going up against experienced pros. Even if it means absorbing the physical nature of their game. “Sana ibigay nila ang lahat nila,” said the lanky 7-foot-1 Sotto. “Dahil siyempre kaya naman ako nandito para maramdaman ‘yung mga bagay na yun. Para ma-experience din kung paano talaga maglaro ‘yung players sa ganitong klaseng level.”      Sotto was one of the 12 players who attended the first practice session of Team Pilipinas, which is preparing for the two home games against Kazakhstan and Iran in the fifth window of the 2019 World Cup Asia Qualifiers. “Sobrang happy and sobrang excited ko na mag-practice rito and makilala yung mga teammates ko rito and looking forward na maraming matutunan sa kanila,” said Sotto, who already donned the national colors under the Batang Gilas banner. Sotto was joined another young player in University of the Philippines Ricci Rivero. Also in attendance were Talk ‘N Text’s Jayson Castro and Troy Rosario, San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos, Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga and Gabe Norwood, Phoenix’s Matthew Wright and Blackwater’s Poy Erram. Included in the pool are Barangay Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, LA Tenorio and Scottie Thompson and Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang and Paul Lee. The six though skipped practice with their teams clashing in the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals Game 2.    SMB’s Christian Standhardinger and NorthPort’s Stanley Pringle have yet to arrive for practice as of posting time. Head coach Yeng Guiao said that Sotto and Rivero have the same equal chance as the pros to secure a spot in the final 12-man lineup. “Meron, meron (chance). Actually, the reason they’re here is they’re one of the guys with the opportunity to fight for a slot in the 12-man lineup,” said Guiao. “So kahit na sabihin natin na ang basic purpose natin is for their development, who knows?” “Hindi natin alam baka magpakita sila,” he added. “So I’m not discounting that possibility. It might be a little bit remote but it’s still a possibility.” For Sotto, getting a call up for the pool is already an honor. Whatever the decision of Guiao come the final cut, the experience will definitely improve Sotto’s game for the future.   “Dream ko na makasama sa talagang team and itong pagsama sa pool. Pero kahit ano man ang kalabasan positive lang ako dahil kahit papaano 16 pa lang naman ako,” said Sotto. “Kahit anong mangyari dito alam ko naman na magandang bagay yun para sa akin. Mag-pray lang ako na kahit anong mangyari magiging successful itong Team Pilipinas.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 12th, 2018

Dream come true as Kai Sotto set to practice with Gilas, Yeng

    MANILA, Philippines – Among the 20-strong Gilas Pilipinas pool  chosen by new head coach Yeng Guiao, 16-year-old rising star Kai Sotto stands out above the rest. Well, for one, he’s the youngest pool member by at least 4 years next to pool mate Ricci Rivero. And of course, in case anyone still needs ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 11th, 2018

FIBA WORLD CUP: Pressure mounts for Guiao with 'best Philippine team ever'

Upon the announcement of Gilas Pilipinas' new 20-man pool for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, talks about how this is the best Philippine team ever assembled have surfaced as well. And with good reason. The lineup currently looks like this, for those who missed it: Jayson Castro Paul Lee Stanley Pringle Alex Cabagnot LA Tenorio Matthew Wright Marcio Lassiter Ricci Rivero Scottie Thompson Gabe Norwood Troy Rosario Arwind Santos Japeth Aguilar Greg Slaughter June Mar Fajardo Beau Belga Christian Standhardinger JP Erram Ian Sangalang Kai Sotto It's certainly the tallest, most imposing, and perhaps most balanced pool in the whole of Gilas Pilipinas, and this is without regulars Andray Blatche, Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva, and RR Pogoy. So talks about how this is the best Philippine team ever assembled have some traction and members of the team are feeling it now even before their first practice session. Because if this is truly the Avengers version of Gilas Pilipinas, they have no reason not to impress. There's no Thanos in the Asian Qualifiers. "You know, you feel a little bit of pressure. Dapat malakas yung team na ito," head coach Yeng Guiao said of his national team. "On paper, it looks lke that [best Philippine team ever] but on paper is always different sa actual so nadadagdagan yung pressure sa akin pag ganoon. Though sabi ko nga, nandiyan naman parati yan [pressure], but we'll try to whip it into the best team that people expect it to be," he added. The best Gilas team ever can prove itself soon as the Philippines hosts Kazakhstan and Iran in the 5th window of the Asian Qualifiers. It's imperative for Gilas to score a sweep for a number of reasons. First, a sweep protects home court and second, beating Kazakhstan and Iran likely clinches Gilas' spot in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Finally, it's a chance to showcase what a unified national team can do. "Ang importante naman dito is manalo tayo sa Kazakhstan at sa Iran eh. Yun lang muna kasi I think pag nangyari yun, malaki na chance natin sa World Cup which is the ultimate objective anyway," Guiao added. With full support of the PBA and SBP, Gilas Pilipinas can form the ultimate team everytime. Now, it's just time to win. "Naniniwala ako na the strength of the national team is proportional to the strength of your professional league eh. Pag malakas ang professional league mo sa isang bansa, lumalakas ang national team mo because your pool really comes from your professional players, so it’s going to be a reflection of the PBA," Guiao said. "That responsibility is on our shoulders and we hope we can live up to it," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 8th, 2018

NBA Asia Managing Director Levy: We don t take the Pinoy fanbase lightly

The Philippines is unique, among the countries Scott Levy, NBA Asia Managing Director, handles. Tasked to oversee the development and expansion of the NBA's strategic initiatives in Asia (with the exception of Greater China and India), the Philippines is a different situation for Levy, compared to say, Thailand, or Malaysia. Unlike other countries in the region, basketball is well-engrained in the local Philippine culture, as is the NBA. In that regard, the job is easy. But diehard fans, and this country is full of diehard NBA fans, want different things, and want much more of it. And Levy and the rest of the NBA Asia office know it's important to keep them happy. Speaking to reporters as part of a roundtable Q&A session, Levy admitted that satisfying Philippine demand continues to be the biggest challenge. Citing the league's local TV partners, which include ABS-CBN, Solar, and FOX, as well as the implementation of League Pass via mobile companies Smart and Globe, Levy said, "We want to make sure that there are enough games, and that there are enough outlets [to get those games], that people can continue to interact and really get to know [the NBA] beyond maybe what the scores are. "We want to bring more players here, bring the real experiences. So we bring NBA players during the year, we bring NBA legends (the league directly brings around 3-4 players and legends to the country each year), we have dance teams, we have mascots [so that] people can get very close to the game." This differs very much from other countries in Asia. Whereas in other countries, NBA Asia devotes resources to growing the game, often teaming up with local governments' sports ministries, there's no need to teach the basics here. "That just means we take a higher level approach to coaching and make sure that there's another step that they may [take]," said Levy, who cited the example of bringing in Fil-Am coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat into the Philippines to help impart higher-level coaching techniques. Because the country is further down the line in terms of hoops techniques, the league's Jr. NBA program which is presented in the Philippines by Alaska, has played a huge role in recent years. "Nearly two million kids have come through the program...to improve their skill level. Many of our players have moved on to play in the UAAP, in the NCAA. Some are now in the PBA. So we want to contribute to the existing strength of the basketball community here," Levy said. It hasn't always been smooth sailing though. Recently, ventures like the NBA Cafe and the NBA Stores in the Philippines saw their licenses expire and close. For Levy though, it's similar to the familiar "shoot your shot" maxim in hoops. "We're willing to try things and if they're successful, great, we'll continue them," he said. "But if we think there are better ways to engage, we'll do that." Levy added that while the physical stores may be gone, fans can still purchase NBA merch through NBAStore.com, and other places like Nike, Toby's and Titan. Levy also applauded how knowledgable local fans are with regards to players and teams. While it's often thought that a large chunk of Pinoy fans are Lakers fans, Levy said that when you look at the data, it's winning teams that are able to capture the attention of Filipinos, with the obvious exception of teams in areas with large Filipino communities, such as San Francisco and the Golden State Warriors. "For me, here in the Philippines, we don't have to do much more than just make sure the players and the teams are exposed, because Filipino fans understand great play, and they understand great players. And when teams win, or players do amazing things, they become popular here," he said.   Looking ahead to the future, Levy believes that mobile will still be the way to go, though with a caveat. "As the streaming speeds continue to improve...then we'll be able to deliver more content," Levy said. "We'll continue to adjust the delivery of our product as the speeds improve." He added that the league wants to look into more basketball mobile games, even locally or regionally developed ones, to help educate fans on players and give them more ways to interact. To sum it up, Levy once again reiterated that the Philippines is "incredibly important," to the Association. "It probably is the market with the highest fan affinity for basketball, and that's daunting. To satisfy everybody, that's a full-time job. "We don't take the fanbase here lightly. We are focused on making sure that everybody is happy with what they have available and we're listening for the things that we need to do better."   Without a doubt, that's music to the Philippine fans' ears. SIX SHOTS Here are six other topics Levy touched on during the interview: 1. On the Philippines hosting another NBA Global Games "The challenge with [the Global Games] is always, there's 15,000 people in that building, and there's a hundred million Filipinos that we're trying to engage around the NBA. So while the games are great, we are really spending our time figuring out how we can engage a hundred million Filipinos. "But it's always in consideration and hopefully at some point in the future, we'll be able to bring the game back here again." 2. On the impact of a full-Pinoy player making it in the NBA "That question has always perplexed me, because the fanbase here is so strong already. I mean clearly Jordan Clarkson is very popular here, but he's not the most popular NBA player [in the Philippines]. So would a Filipino player be the most popular player? If he was the best player in the NBA, he'd probably be the most popular player, but if he's not, I think Filipinos will follow that player, and will continue to follow the best players in the NBA because that's the expectation here in the Philippines - 'I'm looking for the best players and the best teams and that's who I want to follow.' "But [by] the number of people who are playing in this country, I think it's just a matter of time before we have multiple local Filipinos playing in the NBA. It's definitely going to happen. The game is getting better, the coaches are getting better, the level of talent in the PBA continues to go up, and there are more Filipino players coming to the US and playing in university [NCAA] so it's definitely going to happen." 3. On the passing of FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann "I personally knew Patrick and there was nobody that spent more time and energy and basically dedicated their life to the sport of basketball and had such a great impact on the sport of basketball around the world. It’s a tragic loss. Personally, I will miss Patrick and he worked very closely with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum. They had just seen him in a FIBA conference in Xi’an, China a few days before and typically with Patrick he was off in Argentina in another basketball event. I mean, he just, he was tireless in his efforts and he had tremendous success and it’s a tremendous loss to the entire basketball community." 4. On the NBA expanding the game towards female fans in the Philippines. "[For the Jr. NBA PH program] our goal is always 50-50, boys-girls. We haven’t yet achieved that here in the Philippines but again, working closely with the schools, working with Alaska, working with SM...the percentage continues to increase. I'm not exactly sure what the [numbers are] last year, but it's still too low. "I think that’s why it’s a little bit of frustrating here. In countries like Thailand and Indonesia, where, well Thailand has more than 50 percent girls, and in Vietnam and Indonesia it’s over 40 percent right now. So, again, our goal is 50-50. This sport is gender neutral, we bring WNBA players into market, we’ve done that many times already and now we’re going into schools to really try to encourage young girls to play the game." 5. On giving tips to local leagues to become more successful "We’re not here to dictate how a league should be run. What we’re trying to do is understand where we can be helpful, if they’re looking for assistance in building an arena, we’re happy to help with that. If they’re looking [at] how to enhance ticket sales, how to expand the live in-arena experience. Whatever it is that they may ask for our assistance, we are here to help. We support local basketball in every way we can but we’re not being prescriptive in saying this is how you should run a league in the Philippines. There’s way more knowledge on the ground here in the country than we have about what’s successful here." 6. On sports stars from other leagues interacting with NBA players "Our players are incredible. They are global icons, they’re incredible on social media which continues to grow their fanbase….because our players are active on social and they’re interested, personally interested in fashion and technology and gaming, and music and they have relationships with Jay-Z and with Usher, with every other top performer and other athletes are also interested because they’re fans. So when we do an event in London, we get calls from players on Chelsea, and on Tottenham and on Liverpool and on Man U and say “Hey, we wanna come to the game because we wanna see these athletes play. "So, anytime there is an athlete that is a fan of the NBA we will look to engage them. We work with all other sports leagues and we’re also fans. Our players are fans. There’s an opportunity to go to Camp Nou in Barcelona, our players want to be there. So, this is more driven by the players, their personal interests in other sports and other athletes and luckily our athletes are generally pretty popular around the world, and we’ll encourage that engagement and facilitate some particularly social media moments where Neymar comes into the locker room and exchanges a jersey with Steph Curry. We had Ronaldinho wearing a Carmelo Anthony jersey, dribbling a basketball on his head. All these moments are really special for the crossover fans from one sport to another. But it’s really driven by our players’ personal interest or other athletes’ personal interest in basketball.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 25th, 2018

He almost made it – Guiao on Rivero

National men’s basketball team head coach Yeng Guiao has nothing but praise for young cager Ricci Rivero. Although Rivero was one of the three players cut from the final roster that will participate in the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games set to begin on August 18, Guiao was impressed with the skills and potential of the University of the Philippines cager.        “(Kay) Ricci, I'm really impressed. I think he can dominate college basketball with his talent, with his skills,” said Guiao, who announced the team’s Final 12 Friday after the squad’s training at the Meralco gym. The mentor revealed that Rivero, who helped lead De La Salle University to the UAAP throne in 2016, almost made the cut but the squad needed to open a spot for the possible inclusion of Cleveland guard Jordan Clarkson. “He actually almost made it in this team. Konting-konti na lang kaya lang sabi ko nga there has to be a slot for Jordan Clarkson in case he’s available and we’re able to comply with all the requirements,” said Guiao. Before his announcement, Guioa talked to Rivero.   “I just told him I was impressed with what he can do,” he said. So impressed with Rivero, Guiao offered Rivero a chance to train with his PBA squad NLEX. “I actually invited him to practice with Rain or Shine (sic) baka mas ma-hone pa ang skills niya,” said Guiao of Rivero, who is serving his one-year residency with the Fighting Maroons. “I know he’s not playing this year. I know he’s practicing and if he wants to play in a different level the NLEX practice is open for him,” said Guiao.   ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

PBA: Asiad stint is ROS sacrifice for flag and country

The core of the Rain or Shine team to be handled by coach Yeng Guiao will comprise the Philippine team set to see action in the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia. At least seven to eight Elasto Painters will be included in the pool of players to be submitted by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC), together with three members of the Gilas cadets, a few big men from NLEX, of which Guiao is the coach, and Fil-Am and NBA stalwart Jordan Clarkson. The SBP in consultation with Guiao, is looking to submit the list to INASGOC by Friday. “We’ve been way past the deadline so we’re pushing him, rushing him (coach Yeng) to really come up with the lineup already,” said SBP president Al Panlilio, who was joined by league commissioner Willie Marcial, and Rain or Shine board representative Atty. Mamerto Mondragon during a mini-press conference that followed the regular monthly PBA board meeting on Thursday. During the meeting, the board formalized its approval of Rain or Shine as the lead team that will overlook the country’s campaign in the August 18 to Sept. 2 Asian showcase. Panlilio said Guiao has the list of Rain or Shine players he’d like to be part of the team along with cadet players Ricci Rivero, Kobe Paras, and Abu Tratter. For good measure, the SBP official said Guiao is also working out on possibly getting some of NLEX’s big men be included in the pool. “I spoke to coach Yeng kanina and he was even thinking of including Asi (Taulava) to help out in guarding the big guys from the other teams,” said Panlilio of the veteran center, who played during the 2002 Asiad in Busan, South Korea. As for the 6-foot-5 Clarkson, the SBP president said it’s all up to INASGOC whether to approve his accreditation or not if indeed, the Cleveland Cavaliers stalwart is eligible to play under the Asiad rule. The short window of forming a team for the quadrennial meet has also forced the PBA to stand by its earlier decision to just send one ball club to the Asiad so as not to affect the schedule of the season-ending Governors Cup. TnT Katropa was originally the one tasked to form a team bound for Indonesia, but begged off at the last minute following the melee that marred the FIBA World Cup qualifier between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia. “Pinag-usapa pa last board meeting na one team lang para hindi masira ang schedule. One team naman lang talaga ang policy nun,” said Marcial. In this regard, Panlilio expressed how grateful the SBP is to both Rain or Shine and the PBA for again addressing the call for flag and country. “I’d like to thank Rain or Shine for really stepping up to the plate in their commitment to our Gilas program, at least in the Asian Games,” said Panlilio, who is also Meralco’s representative to the league board......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 26th, 2018

Recruitment coup testament to UP’s commitment to produce results

University of the Philippines is arguably the most hyped about team in the UAAP at the moment, but fans have to wait another year to see the team's top prospects in action. WithGilas cadets Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras, two of the most talked-about young talents in Philippine basketball, now on their program, the Diliman team became an instant favorite for years to come. Rivero and Paras can only play in Season 82 but UP head coach Bo Perasol said the recruitment of the two players is a testament to the school's goal of competing in the highest level. "Kobe brings an excitement to the community, to the supporters of the team, because when you have a high caliber player like K...Keep on reading: Recruitment coup testament to UP’s commitment to produce results.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 12th, 2018