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Gilas Could Join China, Kazakhstan in Asiad Hoops as Shuffle Looms

Gilas Pilipinas may not be in Group B of the Asian Games men’s basketball competition for long. No less than head coach Yeng Guiao said on Monday night that the organizing crew for the said tournament is eyeing a shuffle in the groupings that could see Gilas ending up with China and Kazakhstan in Group […].....»»

Category: newsSource: metrocebu metrocebuAug 8th, 2018

Top sports headliners in the year that was

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2018

Breaking Down Gilas vs Kazakhstan

From the get-go, it was obvious that this iteration of Gilas Pilipinas would be a bit different. Coach Yeng Guiao, who could have opted on a more offensively potent starting unit, decided to go with familiarity and defense, starting three players from the Rain or Shine core in Gabe Norwood, Maverick Ahanmisi, and Beau Belga, and inserting JP Erram at center and Stanley Pringle at the point guard spot. The effect was immediately evident, as the corner triple from Norwood off a Pringle assist in the first play of the game set the tone. The trio of Norwood-Ahanmisi-Pringle showed why they are probably one of the strongest, more athletic, quick, and defensive-minded perimeter trios that Gilas has fielded in recent years. Practically switching everything on the outside, they did not allow Kazakhstan any room to operate, nor to get any rhythm from the field while forcing multiple turnovers, with Ahanmisi getting two steals that led to transition layups early. It was a 12-2 start for the Philippines before Kazakhstan could blink. The only thing going for the opposing team was their offensive rebounding, albeit these only prevented further transition baskets from the Philippines, as the Kazakhs couldn’t convert on the put backs. One thing Gilas has to adjust to however, is the way the international referees call the game, as their bigs – Almazan and Belga – got into foul trouble early, and penalty situation allowed Kazakhstan to make some headway from the line despite shooting just 1/13 from the field in the first. It was a low scoring first quarter, with Gilas held scoreless for the last 4 minutes and Kazakhstan unable to capitalize on the penalty situation, missing multiple charities. The quarter ended 16-9, Philippines. The second quarter started with Kazakhstan giving up their 7th turnover, which would be a recurring theme throughout the game thanks to Gilas’ defensive pressure. With 6 steals through the first 15 minutes of the game, Gilas prevented their opponents from getting any rhythm offensively, despite Rustam Yergali coming out more aggressive on the offensive end.  James Yap came off the bench and poured in 7 points in the first half, hitting 1 of Gilas’ 6 first half triples. They were 6/19 from deep while holding Kazakhstan, who is known for their outside shooting, to 1/12 at the half. Defense was once again the key in the 2nd quarter, as Gilas allowed just 11 Kazakhstan points, with themselves scoring 25. They forced 15 turnovers with 11 steals total in the first half, scoring 18 turnover points as a result; while they themselves committed just 5 turnovers, yielding 0 turnover points for the Kazakhs. The only downside was they gave up 18 freethrows to Kazakhstan, who luckily only converted on 11 of them. The half ended with the Philippines holding a commanding 21-pt lead, 41-20. Stanley Pringle was impressive to say the least, running the offense and controlling the pace of the game, living up to the all the accolades thrown his way prior to the Asiad. Kazakhstan came out of the halftime huddle with a lot more urgency, employing full court pressure all throughout the 3rd quarter, and outscoring Gilas 9-5 in the first 2 1/2 minutes. They also continued to hold the rebounding edge, especially on the offensive glass. While the Philippines continued to pressure defensively, doubling the ballscreens, Kazakhstan was able to adjust, hitting the rolling big man on multiple occasions for easy undergoal baskets. It was here that Fil-German Standhardinger went to work, getting offensive rebounds and scoring on back-to-back baskets midway through the 3rd, despite picking up his fourth personal with still 4 minutes left in the quarter. This turned out to be Kazakhstan’s best quarter, and the only one where the breached the 20-pt mark, outscoring Gilas 23-20. Whether it was the adrenaline rush with the arrival of Jordan Clarkson in the venue or an earful from Coach Yeng at the end of the third, Gilas started out much better in the fourth, with Pringle once again leading the charge. He hit back-to-back baskets to get to his game high 18pts to start the fourth period; while Almazan – who had multiple skirmishes throughout the game – also hit back-to-back baskets. By the time Paul Lee hit his 3rd consecutive triple midway through the fourth – his only field goals of the game – the game had been blown wide open on a Gilas 20-9 fourth quarter run, 81-52. At that point everyone started getting into the scoring picture while they kept the defensive intensity and held Kazakhstan to just 16 points in the fourth for an emphatic 96-59 opening day win. It was an impressive start to the tournament for Gilas, despite the absence of Kazakhstan’s best player due to injury, and more so with all that had happened prior to arriving in Indonesia. They now have four days to prepare for a key matchup with powerhouse China. With Clarkson, they get not just another elite athlete on the perimeter, but a legitimate NBA talent in his prime. It will take a lot more than that however, as the game against Kazakhstan showed. There will be no room for error against the huge and athletic Chinese frontline, and their younger guards. Defensively they’ll have to communicate as well, if not better; and our bigs will have to work extra hard to box out their Chinese counterparts. We can’t give up too many fouls, as the Chinese are tremendously better free throw shooters, and putting our already thin frontline in foul trouble will further limit their ability to implement Coach Yeng’s defensive gameplan. Offensively, I’m confident we have the talent to compete or even surpass China in the perimeter, and everyone knows Coach Yeng is a master at bringing out the best in his players. If our guards can wreak havoc and break China’s perimeter defense, and we’ll be able to get open looks both inside and out. If our bigs, Belga, Erram, Standhardinger, Almazan, and Taulava can limit China’s 2nd chance opportunities and give us a decent amount of 2nd looks, then we definitely have a shot. This Gilas squad definitely looks promising. I’m sure glad we decided to send one.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 18th, 2018

ASIAN GAMES: I’m excited and I’m ready for the games -- Clarkson

NBA player Jordan Clarkson will finally get a chance to don the national colors. Although the Cleveland Cavaliers guard skipped the Philippines’ opening day assignment, Clarkson liked how the ragtag, hastily-formed Gilas Pilipinas played their hearts out against Kazakhstan in the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games. Clarkson, the country’s flag-bearer for the opening ceremonies on Saturday, arrived in Indonesia Thursday morning and went straight to GBK Basketball Hall to watch the game.      “I’m excited and I’m ready for the games. I’m very excited to know that I’m finally getting to do this, being able to play with my team and for the country, it’s definitely something I’ve been looking forward to,” said Clarkson. Despite missing a key piece, national team head coach Yeng Guiao steered the Rain or Shine core and PBA-reinforced Gilas to a convincing 96-59 drubbing of the Kazakhs to set a foot in the quarterfinals. Clarkson was impressed with what he saw. “(The team) is really good, fast, get up and down, shoot threes, fun style of play,” said Clarkson, who for the past three years was in the talks of playing for the national team. The Gilasto Painters, a portmanteau of Gilas and Rain or Shine’s PBA moniker, pounced on the hapless Kazakhs early and bullied their way to a dominating win, which saw all of Guiao’s 11 players contributing on offense.    Clarkson, whose eligibility for the Asiad was filled with drama, will debut on Tuesday against powerhouse team and gold medal favorite China.    “It’s a big game, every game is a big game,” he said. “We try to get the win every time we step on the floor so we just come here to compete and try to win.” Clarkson will now use the lull in action to familiarize with Guiao’s system and jell with the team.    “We got a few days of practice before the next game. I have to get used to how they do things here at least we have four days of practice so that I could get used to,” he said. Here is the full Clarkson interview:    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2018

Gilas 3.0 gives hope to a strong 'Gilastopainters' run in Asian Games

The Philippines is no stranger to sending a ragtag team to major international competitions. The last time we did it was three years ago and that team almost won a gold medal. That fact gives the "Gilastopainters" hope for the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia later this week. While Gilas 3.0 was amazing in its own right, the truth of the matter is that the Philippines could have certainly done better. But still, the Tab Baldwin-coached national team came one win short of the 2016 Olympics after it won silver in the 2015 FIBA-Asia Championships, eventually losing to host China in the Final. Center Asia Taulava, who was part of the 2015 squad and is again part of the 2018 Asian Games team, points to their run three years ago as something that this current group can replicate in Indonesia for the Asiad. "I know people don’t expect much from us cause the team’s been formed eight days before the tournament, but we’re gonna go out and compete," Taulava said. "We’ve been in this situation in 2015, when nobody expected us to get a silver medal with coach Tab. And you know, having Gabe, having some of the veterans mixed in with the young guys, it’s gonna be great. We just gotta go out there and work," he added. The general consensus when it comes to the goals and expectations for the 2018 Asian Games team is rather simple: finish better than 7th place. A loaded Gilas Pilipinas crashed and burned four years ago in South Korea and placed 7th. In 2018, anything better than that seems like a win but for the Gilastopainters, they're not just fighting to win 6th place or better. Obiously, they want something more. "Everybody’s saying 7th place. We’re not even thinking about that, we want a medal. Only reason why we all say yes to playing for the national team, it’s not just trying to be better 7th place. Nobody wants that. You know, our ultimate goal is always gold medal, we’re not settling for 7th place," Asi said. "We gotta remember we’re representing the country. We’re not just going there to represent ourselves. We’re asking our fans to please support us throughout this journey that we’re gonna be on. It’s gonna be tough, but it’s very doable," Taulava added. Gilas will make its debut in the Asian Games on Thursday, August 16, against Kazakhstan.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 13th, 2018

PBA honchos provide moral support to Gilas Pilipinas

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and board chair Ricky Vargas led the PBA delegation that flew to Doha, Qatar Tuesday, optimistic they would cheer for Team Philippines that would go on to secure a berth in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.  “I have talked to coach Yeng Guiao, and he is confident we can win and make the World Cup. And I believe him,” said Marcial. All the members of the PBA board, except Magnolia’s Rene Pardo, are with the group to provide moral support to Gilas Pilipinas as it tangles with Qatar Thursday in Doha then with Kazakhstan Sunday in Astana.  “We all know that the team is made up of PBA players. So the entire board is flying to Qatar to support the team. We all know in the board how important these two games are for us. We want to win these games,” said Al Panlilio, Meralco’s representative to the PBA board and also the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas. “I have talked to coach Yeng and Andray Blatche separately. They know the task at hand for us. For us to control our destiny, we have to win these two games,” Panlilio also said. “We’re confident especially with Andray Blatche back.” The Nationals and the Qataris square off at the Al-Gharafa Sports Club Multi-Purpose Hall in the Qatari capital. “Hopefully, the Filipinos in Qatar would show up and make it like a home court for us,” said Panlilio. “I hope everybody’s praying, supporting and following the team. We’ll be with them para maramdaman nila ang suporta natin.”   Twelve PBA players make the team with Blatche and Gilas cadet Thirdy Ravena. The PBA players are June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Poy Erram, Raymond Almazan, Troy Rosario, RR Pogoy, Marcio Lassiter, Gabe Norwood, Paul Lee, Scottie Thompson, Mark Barroca and Jayson Castro. Pogoy, however, will still be serving a FIBA suspension in the PHL-Qatar game. He is already free to join the team in their game against Kazakhstan......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2019

June Mar Fajardo says teamwork is key to propel Nationals

The PBA’s only five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo is convinced that if Gilas plays as a team against Qatar on Feb. 21 and Kazakhstan on Feb. 24 in the final window of the FIBA Asia/Pacific World Cup Qualifiers, a sweep is doable with the reward of advancing to the 32-nation conclave in China......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated 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

Gilas boys on freezing Kazakh weather: “Hindi naman siguro tayo papatayan ng heater doon”

It’s been cold in Manila recently, some people like it while some people don’t. But if a tropical country like the Philippines is experiencing unusually cold weather, you can just imagine the countries that do experience winter. It must be freezing. That’s the predicament Gilas Pilipinas has particularly when the national team goes on the road to battle Kazakhstan in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Gilas players are intrigued but prepared. “Yun nga sabi nga nila, sabi ko nga, so wala tayong magagawa kundi talagang maglalaro. Negative talaga, hindi naman siguro tayo papatayan ng aircon doon diba? Ah ng heater. So malay natin, hindi naman ganoon ang mangyayari,” guard Mark Barroa said. “So hopefully makuha talaga yung Qatar muna, bago pag-isipan natin yung Kazakhstan,” he added. For naturalized center Andray Blatche, the prospect of freezing temperatures in Kazakhstan mean nothing to him. Blatche has had his fair share of cold-weather places in the past so let’s just say he’s well acclimated. “It’s freezing cold in China, so it’s the same,” he said. “We practice in freezing gyms in China so I’ll be okay,” Blatche added. However, the rest of the Gilas boys don’t practice in freezing gyms so that’s why guard Scottie Thompson has a bit of a theory. It’s the most Scottie answer out there. “Siguro kaya ang lamig din dito [Meralco Gym], tino-todo na nila yung aircon para masanay kami,” Thompson said. “Yun din yung pinaka-battle namin – yung adjustment namin, yung katawan namin, yung lamig doon [Kazakhstan]. Adjustment na lang sa weather,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 5th, 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

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

Defiant Guiao keeps fate in Gilas World Cup bid: 'Alam ko kaya pa natin'

MANILA, Philippines --- When Yeng Guiao took over Gilas Pilipinas, his "contract" was to run until the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China. However, there's a very good chance that the Philippines might not even make it there. If that's the case, coach Yeng will step down from his post on his own. "When I took on this job, I stated very clearly that my objective and our goal is to bring this team to the World Cup," Guiao said. "I also stated that if I cannot bring this team to the World Cup, I'll walk away," he added. After Monday's crushing loss to Iran, Gilas falls out of Group F's top-3 for the first time. The Philippines has an even 5-5 record following back-to-back defeats and the country trails Australia (9-1), Iran (7-3), and Japan (6-4) in the standings. Only the top-3 move on to the World Cup and the Boomers have already secured their slot. The best fourth placed team also moves on but the fate of the two teams that happen to place in the top-4 in both groups will rely on China's final placing. As hosts, the Chinese have a sure slot in the 2019 World Cup. If China makes it to the top-3 of Group E, both fourth placed teams move on. China is currently no. 3 in Group E with a 6-4 mark. Still, while a chance to mak it to the World Cup is ever present, it doesn't take away from the disaster that was Gilas Pilipinas' final two home games in these Asian Qualifiers. "Well, of course we're disappointed, not just about the match but for the whole window," Guiao said after the Iran loss, which came days after the shock upset at the hands of Kazakhstan. "I still feel this is a strong team. I still feel if the chances are slimmer going to the World Cup but I still feel we can do it. Alam kong kaya pa rin natin," Guiao added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2018

Shock loss to Taipei in 2013 gives Gilas Pilipinas hope for recovery

MANILA, Philippines --- Gilas Pilipinas suffering a shocking upset at the MOA Arena actually has a precedent. Five years ago in the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships, the Philippines missed out on a Group A sweep after taking a five-point loss to Chinese-Taipei in an emotionally-charged game. The Filipinos had a history of winning against Taipei but on that fateful night in August of 2013, Gilas Pilipinas took a rather disappointing loss. Still, the Philippines would recover and actually win five straight games to qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Cup. On Friday, the Philippines took another shocking upset at the MOA Arena, this time against Kazakhstan. Gilas' four-point loss has put a damper on the country's road to the FIBA World Cup in China next year. And much like the Taipei loss five years ago, key figures in the national team hope that Kazakhstan loss becomes a turning point. "Katulad ng sinabi ni Gabe [Norwood] kanina, last time na may painful loss national team natin dito [MOA Arena] was against Taipei [in FIBA-Asia 2013]," guard LA Tenorio said. "After that what happened? It became our wake-up call, mas naging focused kami and we made it to the World Cup. It might be the same situation [now]," he added. Tenorio was part of the 2013 Gilas team that won silver in the Asian Championships. He was also part of the 2014 team that competed in the World Cup. LA is actually only making his return to the national team now four years later and he's hoping that Gilas realizes that one painful loss doesn't define the race to the World Cup. The Philippines didn't exactly lose ground in these Asian Qualifiers but the team's margin for error just got slimmer. Gilas can make a play for a top two spot in a couple of days actually, all they have to do to beat Iran in its final home game. "Yun lang, we cannot afford [to lose]. Yung margin of error namin is lumiliit. But we still have a chance," Tenorio said. "We can win at least 2 of 3 [of our last games] para World Cup ulit. We focus first on Monday then we'll see what's gonna happen sa next window," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 1st, 2018

FIBA WORLD CUP: Gilas Pilipinas absorbs shock upset from Kazakhstan

MANILA, Philippines --- Obviously, this is not the Asian Games. Kazakhstan scored a big-time upset Friday at the MOA Arena here, beating the Philippines, 92-88, in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Losing by 37 points to Gilas in Jakarta a couple of months back in the 2018 Asiad, Kazakhstan would frustrate the Filipinos on their home floor, making the Group F race all the more interesting. After Marcio Lassiter hit a triple to put the Philippines within two, 88-90, with 26 seconds to go, Rustam Yergali found Anton Bykov down low for a crucial layup, giving Kazakhstan a two-possession lead. With 12.7 seconds to work with, Gilas got LA Tenorio a wide-open three but the Ginebra playmaker missed. Bykov was fouled on the rebound but ended up missing two free throws as well but Kazakhstan's four-point lead was more than enough to hold on. With the shock win Kazakhstan win, Gilas Pilipinas is now tied with the red-hot Japan for third place in Group F with identical 5-4 records. Australia maintains pole position with an 8-1 mark after a win over Iran and the Boomers are through to the World Cup next year. Iran is second with a 6-3 record and will face the Philippines Monday in another crucial clash while Kazakhstan is fifth with a 4-5 mark with the Akatsuki Five up next in Toyama. Tied at 79 with 2:39 to go, Gilas took the lead after Tenorio buried a quick jumper of a timeout. However, it was quickly answered by Yergali with a triple for an 82-81 lead for Kazakhstan. Pringle pushed the Philippines ahead for the last time, 83-82, following a driving layup but Nikolay Bazhin scored four straight for Kazakhstan and the visitors took over for good. "Well of course we're disappointed," Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao said. "But we still have one game on Monday and we can't feel too negative about ourselves. I think we can salvage the situation if we're able to play a good game against Iran and learn from this game, the lessons from this game," he added.   STAN THE MAN Stanley Pringle carried the Gilas offense for the first five minutes of the third period, at one point scoring seven straight for a 51-50 lead for the Philippines. Pringle would keep the national team afloat, cashing in on two unsportsmanlike fouls from Kazakhstan to give Gilas a three-point lead before he headed to the bench with a minute and change left in the quarter. In total, Pringle scored 14 points in the third but it was not enough as back-to-back triples from Alexandr Zhigulin and Shaim Kuanov pushed Kazakhstan ahead, 65-62.   WE'RE PLAYING DEFENSE It was a slow start for the two teams, with the defense forcing bad shots on both ends. However, Kazakhstan was getting enough to take a 7-2 lead early before the Gilas responded with a 9-0 run sparked by the San Miguel Beermen. Marcio Lassiter first found June Mar Fajardo for an easy layup before Fajardo returned the favor, setting up his shooter for a booming triple. The Philippines took its first lead of the game after a layup from Lassiter and Fajardo scored on a hook shot to complete the run, forcing Kazakhstan to call a timeout down 7-11. Come the second quarter, the Kazakhstan defense swarmed Gilas, forcing a couple of turnovers in the first minute alone. Anton Bykov cashed in twice, giving the visitors a 23-18 lead and forcing the Filipinos to burn an early timeout. Matthew Wright  would then make things happen for Gilas, and his play was good for eight points as the Philippines forced another tie at 26-all. Still, Kazakhstan would keep its cool and back-to-back triples from Rustam Murzagaliyev from pretty much the same spot capped a 9-2 run for a seven-point lead. The Philippines managed to take over late in the first half, 39-38, with Scottie Thompson and Stanley Pringle sparking a 9-0 blitz. However, Kazakhstan managed to beat the clock for a one-point lead at the break. Pringle was the high man for the Philippines with 29 points while June Mar Fajardo finished with a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double. Marcio Lassiter added 13 points for Gilas Pilipinas. For Kazakhstan, it was Alexandr Zhigulin that led the way with a game-high 30 points while Anton Bykov was good for 20. Rustam Murzagaliyev has 11 points and Rustam Yergali dropped 10 points. The Philippines will next host Iran Monday while Kazakhstan is off to Toyama to take on Japan.   The Scores: KAZAKHSTAN 92 -- Zhigulin 30, Bykov 20, Yergali 12, Murzagaliyev 11, Kuanov 8, Bazhin 7, Marchuk 4, Chsherbak 0, Lapchenko 0, Gavrilov 0. PHILIPPINES 88 -- Pringle 29, Fajardo 14, Lassiter 13, Tenorio 8, Norwood 7, Thompson 6, Wright 5, Aguilar 4, Erram 2, Cabagnot 0, Belga 0, Slaughter 0. Quarters: 17-18, 40-39, 65-62, 92-88.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 30th, 2018

FIBA WORLD CUP: Gilas turns attention to Iran after shocking upset

MANILA, Philippines --- It was a rather disappointing day Friday for Gilas Pilipinas but the Philippines can't get too low about it as the national team has a bigger challenge coming up in a couple of days. Gilas' road to the 2019 FIBA World Cup was derailed a little bit after taking a shock 88-92 loss to the visiting Kazakhstan in round 2 action in Group F. [Related: FIBA WORLD CUP: Gilas Pilipinas absorbs shock upset from Kazakhstan] While the Philippines maintained a top-3 ranking, Gilas is now tied with red-hot Japan with identical 5-4 records. Gilas now draws no. 2 Iran (6-3) Monday, and that game could drastically alter the standings and could help decide which teams move on to China next year. "Of course we're disappointed," Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao said on the loss to Kazakhstan. "But we still have one game on Monday and we can't feel too negative about ourselves. I think we can salvage the situation if we're able to play a good game against Iran," he added. A win against Iran will have Gilas Pilipinas on the brink of the World Cup. However, a loss could prove cathastrophic especially if Japan maitains its momentum. The Akatsuki Five have won five straight games and will host Kazakhstan also Monday. The Philippines is expected to make adjustments for the Iran game and one key change is putting Christian Standhardinger in place of Stanley Pringle. Jayson Castro and Troy Rosario are also available for Monday and Gilas is looking to live up to its billing as the "best Philippine team ever" and forget about this upset at the hands of Kazakhstan. "We're still a long way off from being the team that we really want to be," Guiao said. "But I'm taking the responsibility naman for this game," he added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 30th, 2018

Gilas battles Kazakhs in FIBA WC qualifier

Almost unscathed at home turf, Gilas Pilipinas seeks another proud stand before the home fans, eyeing a repeat of its Asiad conquest of Kazakhstan in a bid to boost its FIBA World Cup qualifying drive at the MOA Arena tonight......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 29th, 2018

LOOK: Jr. NBA PH 2018 All-Stars get special send-off

Jr. NBA PH press release Oct. 8, 2018, Gatorade Hoops Center – Sixteen Jr. NBA All-Stars of the Jr. NBA Philippines 2018 presented by Alaska got a special send-off this year from Alaska Milk the day before they left for their NBA Experience Trip to Shanghai, China. The eight boys and eight girls who topped the Jr. NBA National Training Camp last May underwent a basketball clinic conducted by NBA Legend Cherokee Parks and WNBA player Alana Beard, with US Ambassador Sung Kim in attendance. The All-Stars will play against counterpart Jr NBA All Stars from Vietnam, India, Thailand, Singapore and Jakarta during the trip, do city tours and watch an official preseason NBA game live between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Dallas Mavericks. They will be accompanied by Coaches of the Year Tata Belangel and Hazell Yambot. Above, L -R are: 1st row): Prince Ray Alao, Christian Joi Mesias, Nathan Jan Jundana, Kim Aaron Tamayo, Ethan Rod Alian, Seven Gagate, John Lester Amagan, Manuel Luis Antonio Pablo 2nd row): E-Cow, Marielle Vigno, Madelyn Flores, Christine Nichole Venterez, NBA Global Partnerships Director Mae Dichupa, Gin Kayla Huelar, Aishe Mae Solis, Amber Esquivel, Kyla Mataga, Pauline Angelique Valle, Jr. WNBA Coach of the Year Hazel Yambot 3rd row): Jr. NBA Coach of the Year Mark Belangel, Alaska Power Camp Head Coach Jeffery Cariaso, Alaska Milk Corporation Sports Development Head Richard Bachmann, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, former NBA player Cherokee Parks, 4-time WNBA All-Star and Los Angeles Sparks Guard/Forward Alana Beard Fans can follow Jr. NBA at the official website www.jrnba.asia and Facebook at www.facebook.com/JrNBAAsia to learn more about the program as well as how to join and become a Jr. NBA All-Star in 2018. To learn more about Alaska Milk Corporation, visit www.alaskamilk.com and www.playph.com......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 8th, 2018

AVC Asian Cup: Pinays square off with Aussies in opener

The Philippine national women’s volleyball team begins its campaign in the AVC Asian Cup with an early test against a much taller Australian squad Sunday at the Korat Chatchai Hall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. Action in the Pool C match is set at 5:00 p.m. (Manila time). Team captain Aby Marano and Alyssa Valdez lead the way for the retooled Nationals, who are looking to win at least two games in the four-team group stage to advance in the quarterfinals. But it won’t be a walk in the park battle for the Filipinas as they will take on an experienced Australian squad bannered by middle blocker Beth Carey, who played for Cignal in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix. It will be the country’s first encounter with the Aussies since the 2015 AVC Asian Seniors Women’s Championship in Tianjin, China. Australia defeated the PHI, 25-18, 25-18, 24-26, 25-15.  After taking on Australia, the Nationals will face Iran on Monday before squaring off with Kazakhstan in a rematch of their seventh place battle in the Asian Games a couple of weeks ago. The top two teams after the round robin pool play will advance in the quarterfinals. Head coach Shaq Delos Santos is managing their expectations after losing half of his Asiad core.    Towering sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat are unavailable because of their commitments with their respective Japanese clubs, setter Kim Fajardo sustained a knee injury while De La Salle University players Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron and 2017 Asian Seniors Women’s Volleyball Championship 2nd Best Libero Dawn Macandili are in New York. Back for another tour of duty are Cha Cruz-Behag, Maika Ortiz, Mylene Paat, Denden Lazaro and Mika Reyes, who helped the PHI finish eighth in the Asiad. Joining them are Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Jasmine Nabor, Grethcel Soltones and Creamline’s Jema Galanza, Mel Gohing, Jia Morado and Risa Sato......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2018

ASIAN GAMES: Jordan Clarkson wants to play for Gilas again

In the 2018 Asian Games, Jordan Clarkson finally suited up for Gilas Pilipinas. Clarkson led the Philippines to 5th place in the Asiad, the country's highest finish in the tournament in 16 years. Jordan has his first international tournament under his belt and he's looking for more. "More to come!" Clarkson said in an Instagram post. "Can't wait for the next time I get to put the [Philippine] colors on. Laban Pilipinas! Puso!" he added. The entire experience, where he ended up battling with traditional Gilas rivals China and South Korea, was one to remember for Clarkson. "This experience was one I will never forget," Jordan said. "So blessed to play for the country and represent the flag and the people," he added. See Clarkson's full post below.   this experience was one i will never forget so blessed to play for the country and represent the flag and the people! loved playing for coach, along with my teammates/brothers building bonds that will hold strong. thanks for the opportunity and the support! MORE TO COME! CANT WAIT FOR THE NEXT TIME I GET TO PUT THE COLORS ON! LABAN PILIPINAS! PUSO! A post shared by Jordan Clarkson (@jordanclarksons) on Aug 31, 2018 at 7:18am PDT Here's to seeing Jordan in Gilas in the future.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 31st, 2018

ASIAN GAMES: Olympic champion China whips PHI

Powerhouse China easily dismantled Asian Games newbie Philippines in a 25-15, 25-9, 25-7 beating in the quarterfinals of women's volleyball Wednesday night at the GBK Indoor Hall. The 2016 Rio Olympics champions advanced in the semifinals in a collision course with Japan.  Xiangyu Gong had 16 points while Xinyue Yuan finished with 15 for the Chinese. Xiaotung Liu tallied 10 points while Chinese superstar Zhu Ting registered five points, playing in the first two sets before sitting out the third frame. Defending Asian Games titlist South Korea faces Southeast Asian giant Thailand in the other Final Four pairing. The Filipinas, who are making their return in the Asiad after 36 years, were relegated into the classification round for 5th to eighth place. Six-foot-5 Jaja Santiago led the way for the Filipinas with 16 points off 12 spikes, three kill blocks and an ace.  Team PHI will take on Kazakhstan on Friday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2018

ASIAN GAMES: It s the Philippines vs. Korea in a one-game knockout again

The Philippines will meet a familiar foe Monday in the 2018 Asian Games. Gilas Pilipinas will fight for a semifinals slot against none other than South Korea, the country's greatest rival in Asian basketball. New names will be featured in this age-old matchup with the Koreans led by former PBA import Ricardo Ratliffe, the country's naturalized center. On the other side, Gilas will have Jordan Clarkson on deck, the Fil-Am combo guard of the Cleveland Cavaliers who will play hi second game for Team Philippines. South Korea will enter the 11:00 a.m. game undefeated after sweeping through Group A  with relative ease. Meanwhile, Gilas has a 1-1 record at the Jakarta games, beating Kazakhstan by 37 before losing to China by two points.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 26th, 2018