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Ginebra snuffs Bolts to bag semifinals berth

Barangay Ginebra, behind Justin Brownlee’s huge performance, battered Meralco, 104-90, on Wednesday and cruised to the best-of-five semifinals of Season 43 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum. Brownlee tallied 36 points, six rebounds, nine assists and three steals while Greg Slaughter contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds to help the No. 5 [...] The post Ginebra snuffs Bolts to bag semifinals berth appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource: manilatimes_net manilatimes_netJul 11th, 2018

Alaska takes 2-1 lead over Meralco in PBA Governors’ Cup semis

Alaska moved within a win of a finals berth after withstanding Meralco, 104-102, Thursday in Game 3 of a thrilling PBA Governors' Cup semifinals series at Cuneta Astrodome. The Aces have now won two straight to pull ahead in the five-game showdown after the Bolts took the semis opener last Sunday. Mike Harris had another monster game for Alaska, unleashing 31 points, 24 rebounds and seven assists and. And it was Harris who knocked down the defining shots for the Aces in the clutch, first scoring on a three-point play off of his own missed three-pointer to put Alaska 103-100 with 16.1 seconds left. Allen Durham responded with a quick layup with 11 seconds remaining in the...Keep on reading: Alaska takes 2-1 lead over Meralco in PBA Governors’ Cup semis.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 15th, 2018

Lee leads Hotshots to semis after gaining Gilas pool berth

Tuesday night couldn't have ended on a better note for Paul Lee. Magnolia, after some gritty moments, is in the semifinals of the PBA Governors' Cup and the gutsy point guard, who put away Blackwater with two game-cementing free throws, earned another shot at the national team. Romeo Travis' triple-double was the fuel in the Hotshots' 103-99 victory over the Elite but Lee had a hand in the victory as well: He led all scorers with 22 points and plucked a rebound off a missed game-winning triple attempt by Blackwater's Nards Pinto before knocking down the two free throws that put the game beyond reach. Magnolia will have its hands full in the semifinals, with No. 1 Barangay Ginebra, ...Keep on reading: Lee leads Hotshots to semis after gaining Gilas pool berth.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 6th, 2018

PBA: Brownlee can’t be stopped as Ginebra closes in on Finals

Ginebra’s tidal wave in the first half proved to be more than enough to move it one win away from the Finals of the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. Justin Brownlee was a man on a mission from the get-go and spearheaded the Gin Kings’ wire-to-wire 75-72 win over Rain or Shine on Saturday at the MOA Arena. The American reinforcement dropped 44 points to go along with 16 rebounds, six assists, and five steals and was an unsolvable riddle for all of Gabe Norwood, Ed Daquioag, and Maverick Ahanmisi. Just in 23 minutes in the first half, he already had 25 points, eight rebounds, and three assists. By himself, he outscored the Elasto Painters who could only muster 23 points as a team. Still, Rain or Shine put up a last stand with Beau Belga’s long-range missile and Reggie Johnson’s short stab pulling them to within 72-74 with 9.8 ticks to go, but LA Tenorio’s split from the stripe coupled with James Yap’s missed triple tries closed the door on them for good. “What a brilliant comeback by Rain or Shine. We played a pretty game in the first half and then we made a bunch of mental mistakes (in the second half),” head coach Tim Cone said. “We just held on by our fingernails.” In the end, Ginebra’s lead that was once at 25 points proved to be more than enough for a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five semifinals. Tenorio was the only other Gin King in double-digits with 13 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. “We got a little bit too Justin-reliant. We have to be better at responding to what happened in the second half,” Cone said. They try to close out the Elasto Painters and claim the first Finals berth in the tournament in Game 4 on Monday at the Araneta Coliseum. Reggie Johnson paced Rain or Shine with 13 points and 22 rebounds while Raymond Almazan also contributed 12 markers and nine boards. BOX SCORES GINEBRA 75 – Brownlee 44, Tenorio 13, Slaughter 8, Chan 3, Ferrer 3, Aguilar 2, Devance 2, Thompson 0, Caguioa 0, Mercado 0, Cruz 0 RAIN OR SHINE 72 – Johnson 13, Almazan 12, Daquioag 11, Yap 9, Nambatac 6, Belga 6, Tiu 6, Ahanmisi 5, Norwood 2, Washington 2, Borboran 0, Ponferada 0, Torres 0 QUARTER SCORES: 24-10, 46-23, 61-41, 75-72 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 21st, 2018

Kings trip Bolts, gain semis; Beermen also in

Barangay Ginebra summoned all its offensive forces, from its smallest men to its biggest, as it rammed into Meralco’s power station at the height of a blazing run in the second half to fashion out a clinical 104-90 victory and secure a berth in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Final Four last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 11th, 2018

It’s GSM

Game today (Smart Araneta Coliseum) 7 p.m. -- Talk N Text vs. San Miguel BARANGAY Ginebra barged into the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals in explosive fashion, demolishing Meralco, 104-90 in Game 2 of their best-of-three quarterfinals series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night. The Gin Kings swept the Bolts….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsJul 11th, 2018

Brownlee dazzles as Ginebra sweeps Meralco to reach semis

MANILA, Philippines – For the nth time, Barangay Ginebra proves it has the upper hand over rival Meralco.  The 5th seed Gin Kings advanced to the semifinals of the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup by sweeping the 4th seed Bolts, 104-90, in their best-of-3 quarterfinals duel at the Araneta Coliseum on ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 11th, 2018

Solo leader RoS targets No. 1 quarters berth

Solo leader Rain or Shine eyes the No. 1 quarterfinal slot and an outright twice-to-beat bonus when it battles Meralco while Barangay Ginebra San Miguel aims to stretch its winning run to four, today, in Season 43 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum. The Elasto Painters (8-1 win-loss record) face the Bolts [...] The post Solo leader RoS targets No. 1 quarters berth appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2018

Barangay Ginebra Kings clinch semifinal berth

By Michael Angelo S. Murillo Senior Reporter THE Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings booked their place in the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup after completing a sweep of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in their best-of-three quarterfinal series with a 99-91 win in Game Two yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Faced a […] The post Barangay Ginebra Kings clinch semifinal berth appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMar 7th, 2018

Player of the Week: Garvo Lanete leading Meralco resurgence

Desperate times call for desperate measures. And for undermanned Meralco, it found a hero in Garvo Lanete, who kept the Bolts' flickering playoff hopes alive in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. Dead in the water a week ago, the Bolts somehow, remained in the hunt for a quarterfinals berth thanks in large part to Lanete, who has been leading his team in scoring the past couple of games. The former San Beda star, who has hit seven 3-pointers combined the last two games, averaged 21.5 points in victories over Phoenix and Barangay Ginebra to earn the PBA Press Corps Player of the Week honors. Lanete poured in 24 points on 4-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc in a 92-90 win over th...Keep on reading: Player of the Week: Garvo Lanete leading Meralco resurgence.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2018

De Ocampo down with strained left calf

Meralco forward Ranidel de Ocampo went down with a left calf muscle strain early in the opening quarter and won’t return in Game 3 of the best-of-seven 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals against Barangay Ginebra. De Ocampo aggravated a nagging calf injury he has been nursing since the semifinals with just three minutes in in the opening period Wednesday night at the Big Dome. The Gin Kings lead the series, 2-0. “Naramdaman ko lang nu’ng inatake ko si (Justin) Brownlee,” said the Bolts slot man who added that there was no physical contact when he strained the left side of his calf muscle. He was helped back to Meralco’s dugout with his calf wrapped with an ice pack. De Ocampo admitted that he has been feeling the pain since Meralco’s semis series sweep over Star Hotshots.  "Inilaro ko pa rin. Eto yung ginagamit kong muscle. Yun. Bumigay na siya,” said De Ocampo while talking to a group of reporters inside the Bolts’ locker room. “Mahirap din talaga pag inilalaro ng may injury.” De Ocampo left the venue during the third period. He’s set to undergo further tests at Makati Med.  “Meron eh (pop). Pupunta ako sa doktor ngayon,” he said. “Ngayon diretso na ko doktor. Punta akong Makati Med.” De Ocampo’s return to action is yet to be determined depending on test results. “Malalaman dun sa MRI at depende kung long srries,” said De Ocampo. “Di naman natin alam kung aabot ng Game Seven.” “Depende rin sa bilis ng paggaling,” he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2017

SWEEP! Bolts advance to the Finals after tough OT win vs. Star

Meralco's revenge tour is almost complete. The no. 1 Bolts advanced the the Finals of the 2017 Governors' Cup following a pulsating 91-88 overtime win over the Star Hotshots Thursday at the Big Dome. Meralco swept Star in the semifinals, 3-0, and will meet either defending champion Ginebra or sister team TNT in the championship round. After fighting through a stalemate in the first 48 minutes, the Bolts founf just enough offense in extra time to end the Hotshots' season. Jared Dillinger hit a booming three to break an 83-all tie before clamping down on defense to deny Star of multiple good attempts at the basket. Ranidel De Ocampo, acquired in a late-conference trade, then scored a long two with 1:21 to go to give Meralco a five-point lead. Cliff Hodge appeared to nail the dagger after hitting a triple with 18 seconds to go but Mark Barroca immediately took it back four seconds later for the final tally. Down three with seven seconds left, Star won a jump ball but Jio Jalalon's final attempt at a game-tying three was way off. Five players scored in double figures for Meralco led by import Allen Durham with 24 points on top of 19 rebounds and six assists. Cliff Hodge added 18 points and eight boards while RDO was good for 13 markers and seven rebounds. For Star, it was Mark Barroca that led the way as the veteran point guard fired 21 points to go along with 12 rebounds and eight assists. Marc Pingris added 16. However, a bummber for  the Hotshots was import Kris Acox who was practically a non-factor after only scoring four points in almost 35 minutes of play.   The scores: MERALCO 91 - Durham 24, Hodge 18, De Ocampo 13, Amer 10, Dillinger 10, Newsome 9, Hugnatan 7, Lanete 0, Tolomia 0. STAR 88 - Barroca 21, Pingris 16, Jalalon 12, Sangalang 8, Ramos 8, Dela Rosa 7, Reavis 6, Acox 4, Gamalinda 3, Melton 3, Simon 0. Quarters: 30-27, 54-43, 69-68, 91-88.   br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 5th, 2017

Ranking the possible 2017 Governors' Cup Finals pairings

The 2017 Governors' Cup semifinals is starting to take shape, and from the looks of it, things might be over earlier than expexted. That means, the Finals will have an earlier start that usual. Before that happens though, let's take time to rank all possible Finals matchups because that's always fun. Okay, here we go.   strong>1. Ginebra vs. Meralco /strong> Two words: The Shot. A rematch from the 2016 Governors' Cup Finals is the best way to go, simply because there's unfinished business here and both teams seem to genuinely despise each other. Of course, the defending champion Gin Kings remain as the favorites here as all key members returned from last year led by import Justin Brownlee. A big factor, literally, is the return of Greg Slaughter, whose mere presence makes Ginebra the team the that the best frontline in the league. On the other hand, the Bolts have been plotting all year long for this one shot at redemption. No offense to Jimmy Alapag but Meralco now has a better guard rotation with the team trading for Mike Tolomia and Baser Amer taking the next step towards his superstardom. All the key pieces are there too and they all look better than ever. Allen Durham somehow found a way to be even more dominant and Chris Newsome is now a more consistent all-around threat. Jared Dillinger is also back in harness (he missed last year's Finals) and is steady as ever while Ranidel De Ocampo, acquired in trade for the sole purpose of getting over that playoff hump is adjusting quite nicely. If this rematch were to happen, it might be better than last year. And last year was an instant classic.   strong>2. Meralco vs. TNT /strong> Basically all the elements from the first series but add more emotion. Emotion that's not exactly hate. If this series takes place, it should be awkward at first, after all, some of the Bolts key pieces, including their head coach, came from TNT. It's barely been a month since TNT traded Ranidel De Ocampo. Jared Dillinger was drafted no. 2 overall by TNT and he won multiple championships with the team. Assistant coach Jimmy Alapag has his jersey number retired with TNT and coach Norman Black's return to the PBA after his Ateneo dynasty in the UAAP was with the then Tropang Texters. Jayson Castro, Kelly Williams, and Ryan Reyes are the only members of the old TNT dynasty that still see actual minutes for the KaTropa currently. It's like a reunion of that old team but with new stars like Amer, Newsome, RR Pogoy, and Troy Rosario ready to break out. If this series takes place, all games are guaranteed to be emotional and close. Also, it would serve as a final tiebreaker between the two MVP teams. In the 2016 Governors' Cup semis, the Bolts took a 3-1 decision over the KaTropa to make the Finals. In the 2017 Commissioner's Cup, TNT won a 2-1 quarterfinal series over Meralco to make the semis and Finals. Those previous two matchups were yes, emotional and close. Now, imagine a tiebreaker with a title on the line.   strong>3. Ginebra vs. Star /strong> Manila Clasico fans were spoiled this season, as both teams have already played each other ten times. However, Ginebra has dominated the rivalry so far, winning seven of those games. At least for this season, the Gin Kings have proven that they are indeed the better team. And if this were to happen, it might be a repeat of the 2017 Philippine Cup semifinals where Ginebra won in seven games without ever leading the series. That was a close one, but with the way the Gin Kings are built right now and the way Star is playing, a Manila Clasico Finals might not live up to expectations.   strong>4. TNT vs. Star /strong> Again, take all the elements of Manila Clasico and tone them down a little bit. Actually, tone them down a lot. As of right now, this rivalry is dead. Simple as that. Also, both teams might not even get out of the semifinals. TNT is consistently inconsistent, and Star is hurting and has no offense. Sure, both teams are more than capable of rallying and making the championship round but with all the possible Finals pairings, a matchup between the KaTropa and the Hotshots is the least enticing.   br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 4th, 2017

Bolts gun for finals berth against Texters

Meralco seeks for a first ever finals appearance today when it battles Talk ‘N Text in Game 4 of the best-of-five semifinals of Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum. Game time is set at 7 p.m. Aft.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsOct 2nd, 2016

Gin Kings battle Aces for berth in semifinals

BARANGAY Ginebra and San Miguel Beer shoot for berths in the next round when they take on separate foes at the start of the quarterfinals of the 2016 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 22nd, 2016

PBA: Paul Lee captures his first-ever BPC plum

Paul Lee gets his first major individual award. Magnolia's resident hotshot won the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Best Player of the Conference plum Wednesday, edging out Finals rival Chris Banchero and stats leader Christian Standhardinger. Drafted second overall in the 2011 Draft, this is Lee's first BPC award ever and it's his highest individual award after previously winning Rookie of the Year and one Finals MVP award in 2016 Through the semifinals, Lee barged into the top-4 of the stats race, finishing with an average of 31.64 statistical points. Lee went for 17.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.1 assists through the semis. With Lee at the lead, Magnolia made it to its second Finals this season, dethroning two-time champion Brgy. Ginebra in the semifinals on the way. Lee bested Standhardinger and Banchero for the BPC award.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 12th, 2018

PBA Finals: Alaska punched in mouth in lackadaisical effort vs Magnolia

The Alaska Aces' 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Finals start has gone off the wrong foot. From tipoff, their opponents, the Magnolia Hotshots looked like a team one step ahead and zoomed to a quick 15-0 run to start Game 1. Furthermore, the swarming defense of Magnolia prevented the Aces from scoring for over the first six minutes, their scoring drought parched by two free throws by Kevin Racal. Coach Alex Compton's squad slowly fought back and trimmed the lead to 12 at halftime, 52-40, with Mike Harris' 17 points leading the way. However, the 35-year old reinforcement just scored three markers in the second half and lost, 100-84. "They hit us in the mouth, took us too long to respond and then once we made a run, we cut the lead in the second half to eight. Two bad mistakes and it came back to 13. They just played harder than us tonight," said Harris after the game. Alaska's poor start was deja-vu all over again for the team, as they also exhibited a nightmarish start against the seventh-seeded Meralco Bolts in Game 1 of the best-of-five semifinals, 97-92. However, they bounced back and won the next three to advance to the best-of-seven championship series. With a similar start, the former NBA player knows it's not too late to respond. "They punched us, but the best thing about getting punched is if that you're strong enough, you'll get up. Punches hurt. It will hurt tonight, sleep on it, and tomorrow forget about it." About his three-point effort in the second half, Harris just laughed it off, but noted he needs to be more aggressive if they want to tie the series in Game 2 on Friday. Three-point and free throw shooting were the main culprits in Alaska's loss, Harris lamented, his team just shooting 7/28 from downtown and a sub-par 19/32 from the line. With that said, Harris knows he must play better if they do not want to dig themselves in an 0-2 hole. "I'm not here to point fingers at anybody except for myself. So, it's me. I could get more offensive rebounds, I can get defensive rebounds, push it a little more, put a little bit more pressure on. Tonight they made the right reads, we didn't."   __     Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 6th, 2018

PVL: Cool Smashers out to seal Finals berth

Creamline is on the prowl to finish off PetroGazz and make a return trip to the Finals in Game 2 of the best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference semifinals series on Saturday. The 4:00 p.m. showdown at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan will air live on LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183 and via livestream. Behind the firepower of Jema Galanza and Alyssa Valdez, the Cool Smashers came back from a set down to crush the Angels, 28-26, 25-15, 25-13, 25-16, in the series opener Wednesday. Galanza exploded with 24 points on her 22nd birthday while Valdez had 18 markers in Creamline's second straight win over the Angels after sweeping PetroGazz in the second round of eliminations. Still, the Cool Smashers are wary of the Angels' determination to mount a comeback in the series. "Semifinals kasi, different battle 'pag ganito ng Final Four. Labanan na ‘to ng kung sino talaga may pinakagusto at sino talagang gustong makaabot sa pinakadulo," said Valdez, who wants to tow Creamline back in the championship round after winning it all in the Reinforced Conference.  "I think we have to remind ourselves na 'yung kalaban talaga namin lalaban at lalaban yan and kami naman we have to remain humble and we have to remain composed," she added. "Kung sinong mas composed, kung sinong mas kilala yung team nila I think yun ang mas lalamang." The Angels will try to extend the series to a decider on Sunday. But for PetroGazz to stay alive, the Angels must squeeze more from their veterans Jessey De Leon, who had 11 points in the series opener, Paneng Mercado, Jonah Sabete and Cherry Nunag. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 30th, 2018

UAAP: Former UP cagers congratulate Fighting Maroons for Finals trip

The celebrations are on. The UP Fighting Maroons wrote another chapter in this storybook season, climbing from a twice-to-beat disadvantage against the Adamson Soaring Falcons in the Final Four to advance to the UAAP Season 81 Men's Basketball Finals Wednesday evening. It is their first Finals appearance since 1986, on top of making the semifinals for the first time in 21 years. The current roster has accomplished something no previous UP team has done in decades. That is why former Maroons congratulated their team for doing a job well done. Ginebra guard and former UP team captain Jett Manuel could not express his happiness fully. WHAT A GAME!!! Happy beyond words!!! This is what the UP Community deserves!! #UPFight — Jett Manuel (@_jettmanuel) November 28, 2018 Dave Moralde of the Muntinlupa Cagers in the MPBL simply invoked his school's hymn to express his elation. UP NAMING MAHAL!! #UAAPFinals — Dave Moralde (@davemoralde8) November 28, 2018 From the other side of the world in Canada, JR Gallarza stayed up in the wee hours of the morning just to watch his beloved team make the championship series. Unfortunately, he slept through the epic second half and overtime but woke up to the most wonderful news.  I was keeping my family awake while watching the first half of the game so I closed my eyes for a bit... ...ended up waking up and UP is off to the finals?!?! This shit is so crazy. 21 years since the final four, 32 years since the finals...and I’m alive to witness all this?!?! — Role x Coach JR (@JRGallarza) November 28, 2018 He also wished his alma mater good luck against the defending champions Ateneo. EVERYONE LOVES A WINNER. EVERYONE LOVES AN UNDERDOG STORY. EVERYONE also LOVES CONSISTENCY. Keep the consistency up UP Family!!! The boys need it the most this weekend! 🏆 — Role x Coach JR (@JRGallarza) November 28, 2018 ABS-CBN Sports analyst Mikee Reyes shared a throwback photo when Gelo Vito, Jarrell Lim, and Diego Dario sported skinhead cuts to signify that they were rookies. How fast time flies. Back when Gelo, Jarrell and Diego were rookies, and Coach Mo was a player. Proud of u guys ❤️ Pag rookie ka, tradition na kakalbuhin ka. Ayan sila. Mga batang kalbo 😂@IAmGeloV @JarrellLim12 @Diego5Dario pic.twitter.com/r9Vk0FGgY9 — Mikee (@_mikeereyes) November 28, 2018 Former foreign center Ibrahim Ouattara sounded off the alarms for this Tagalog tweet. Exempted na kayo? Awwww sayaaanng. TAYO HINDEEEEE#Finalsbound #proudoftheboys#UPFIGHT #NOWHERETOGOBUTUP ✊🏾✊🏾 — Ibrahim ouattara (@ibrahouatt11) November 28, 2018 Former courtside reporter Niña Alvia called on the Maroons to recreate an iconic moment from years back. throwing it back to a couple of seasons ago (season 79), this was right after the @upmbt won against ateneo. it was the first time they won against the blue eagles in a decade (i think)! TARA, REMAKE???? hehehe #UPFIGHT pic.twitter.com/eb14xXklfB — Niña Alvia (@NinaAlvia) November 28, 2018.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 29th, 2018

PH Azkals hold Indonesians to scoreless draw, book Suzuki Cup semifinal berth

JAKARTA---As the final whistle blew at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, the Philippine Azkals hardly showed any emotion. A goalless draw with Indonesia was enough to send the Azkals to the semifinals of the AFF Suzuki Cup, but this was a team that knew it could have done better even with the tough conditions at the Indonesian capital. In truth, the Azkals had already sealed their entry to the next round before the end of their match with the Indonesians, with Singapore losing to Thailand, 0-3, in Bangkok. But the post-match reaction was a clear indication that they are never satisfied. "I thought we could have played better," said Azkals coach Sven Goran Eriksson, after the Filipin...Keep on reading: PH Azkals hold Indonesians to scoreless draw, book Suzuki Cup semifinal berth.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 25th, 2018

PBA: Travis, Lee and the text message that won Manila Clasico

It's late one Wednesday night and Romeo Travis casually avoids the media for an interview after Magnolia's Game 3 loss to Brgy. Ginebra in Manila Clasico. Travis is usually one of the last to leave the Hotshots locker room after each and every game. Usually, he's with his whole family as he exits the arena. He's usually also very approachable and is a joy to talk to, giving great answers to basketball questions and even the occassional life lessons here and there. Yeah none of that happened on this particular Wednesday night. Travis, with an in-ear headset on and a baseball cap, walks with a Magnolia staffer. The two of them casually side-step the media, using another player being interviewed as a sort of a hard screen in order to get free and get away. No one will get to talk to him until two days later.   SO WHAT HAPPENED AGAIN? After back-to-back monster games for Magnolia and a 2-0 lead in Manila Clasico, Travis had his worst PBA performance ever in Game 3. Travis struggled for 12 points, a career-low. While he scored consecutive lay-ups late in the fourth quarter to give the Hotshots the lead, the veteran forward fumbled an offensive rebound following a wild miss from Paul Lee. [Related: PBA: Brownlee scores 46 to save Ginebra's title] If he grabbed that rebound under the basket, it would have been easy two points for Travis. It would have been an easy two points and a tied game with four seconds to go in regulation. Magnolia lost by four instead. And while the Hotshots remained ahead in the series, 2-1, the Gin Kings were charging. Justin Brownlee just tied his career-high of 46 points in the win and it felt that Ginebra, the reigning two-time champions of the Governors' Cup, was actually up in the series and was ready to roll to another Finals appearance. Also, while it was no excuse, Travis turned out to be injured in Game 3, dealing with a bum hamstring. No one would know officially until two days later.   THE REVEAL "It's a grade 2 hamstring injury, since yesterday hirap na siya," Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero said of Travis two days later, right after the Hotshots recovered and beat Ginebra in Game 4 of the semifinals, sealing a Finals appearance. "I trust him, I believe in him. After that Game 3, ibibigay niya lahat. I love this guy and from the beginning, ibang klaseng leadership binigay niya sakin. Grabe ang puso nitong si Romeo," Victolero added of his import. Despite a bum hamstring, Travis soldiered on in Game 4 of the semifinals. Coming off a terrible Game 3 performance, it was actually Travis that carried the Hotshots. He had 11 points in the first quarter alone, one shy of his total the game before. [Related: PBA: Hurting Travis delivers game of his life with 50 points in Manila Clasico win] He had 29 after three quarters and finished things off with the first 50-ball of his whole career, leading a last-minute rally for the Hotshots to finally dethrone the Gin Kings. Fifty points from Romeo Travis was the reason that Magnolia won in Game 4, but it was an early-morning text that won Manila Clasico for the Hotshots.   THE TEXT "Me and Paul [Lee] talked this morning. Paul texted me at 6 a.m. and asked me if I was going to play," Travis said of the conversation he had with his star guard in the morning of Game 4. "I told him if I can play, I was gonna play. He was like if, 'you're playing, I'm playing.' We both decided at about 7:30 a.m. that we were gonna play and give it a go," he added. Over the course of the next 14 hours or so, Travis got clearance and dropped 50 points in a Magnolia win. Lee, bum right knee and all, didn't have the best of games by his standards but his clutch gene came through again, scoring big free throws late to make sure Travis' earlier work will not be wasted. "I texted him asking how he feels. He said he was gonna play so I was like let's go, let's get it," Lee said of the conversation he had with Travis prior to Game 4. "If you have an import like Romeo na he keeps on battling the pain, there's no reason na mag-give up ka kaagad, alam mo yun? (there's no reason you should give up that easily, you know)" he added.   A CHANCE FOR REDEMPTION After his 50-ball and big win over Brgy. Ginebra, Romeo Travis was noticeably emotional after Game 4. How can he not, he could barely walk the day before and he hasn't run since the win. "When you have a lot of pain and it's worth it [you become emotional]," Travis said. "I went through a lot of pain to play and it was worth it. That was emotional, to be able to make it through, get through the pain and make it worth it. It meant a lot to me," he added. Lee, who sent the text that won Manila Clasico, doubled down on his effort to back up his import. If Travis can play through his injuries and come through, he can too. "Kung makikita mo yung import mo na ganun, lumalaban, there's no reason to give up. Lahat lang kami kumuha ng lakas ng loob sa kanya," he said. Now that he's made it back to the Finals, Travis can win a title for Magnolia, something he didn't do three years ago when he was still suiting up for Alaska. [Related: PBA: Romeo Travis should be ready for Game 1 of Finals for Magnolia] Ironically enough, the Hotshots will face the Aces in the best-of-7 Finals set to start in two weeks. "Last time I was here I laid an egg, I played very bad last time I was in the Finals," Travis said. "I want redemption, that's why I came back," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2018