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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: abscbn abscbnJan 9th, 2018

Paras, Ravena, Perez, Sotto banner Reyes’ 2023 Gilas wishlist

This early, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes has come up with the list of players who are being considering for the 2023 Fiba World Cup squad. High-flying forward Kobe Paras, collegiate standouts Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo and CJ Perez of Lyceum, and high school prodigy Kai Sotto lead the list of young stars whom the decorated mentor touted as the future of Gilas. "By no means final but for now #23for23 # #thefuture #playlouderin2023 #basketballiscominghome," he tweeted on Friday morning. Also included in the list are San Beda's Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon, and Kemark Cario, Ateneo's Matt Nieto and Isaac Go, UP's Paul Desiderio and Juan Gomez de Liao, NU's J-Jay Alejandro, Joshu...Keep on reading: Paras, Ravena, Perez, Sotto banner Reyes’ 2023 Gilas wishlist.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

THROWBACK: Top PBA rookie draft picks through the years

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 18th, 2018

How exactly will the Gilas cadets in Filoil Preseason work?

The Gilas cadets will be using the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup as preparation for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. “Actually, this is the start of the long process to prepare for the World Cup in 2023. What a better way to start it than on our home ground – sa Filoil,” Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas deputy director Butch Antonio said. Already named to the Gilas cadets pool are J-Jay Alejandro, Jeo Ambohot, Robert Bolick, Kemark Carino, Paul Desiderio, Isaac Go, Juan Gomez de Liano, Will Gozum, Javee Mocon, Matt Nieto, Kobe Paras, CJ Perez, Thirdy Ravena, Ricci Rivero, Arvin Tolentino, Abu Tratter, and Ken Tuffin as well as high school stars Kai Sotto and Carl Tamayo. But as per Antonio, nothing is set in stone. “We have been given flexibility by Filoil. Ang gagawin namin, the pool will be part of it, a pool of 14 to 16 then plus-minus na yan,” he said. Indeed, that would be for the best as the Filoil Preseason is also traditionally utilized by school-based squads to gear up for the looming collegiate wards. With at least a dozen members of the Gilas cadets pool also lined up in school-based squads, it’s best to be flexible. And so, what happens when the Gilas cadets have a matchup with a school-based squad which a player as part of the pool? Say, when it’s the Gilas cadets versus Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon, and San Beda College? “It’s gonna be a weird setup when players are gonna play for their school teams and us, but hopefully, we’re gonna manage. When we play against Player A’s team, Player A will play for his team,” Antonio said. In our example then, Bolick and Mocon will suit up for the Red Lions up against the Gilas cadets. And if the Gilas cadets have a game and then a particular player has another game for his school-based squad within the day? “Now, if Player A has a game before or after us, he plays for his team and he will double-up (for the Gilas cadets). Nakausap na naman nina coach Chot [Reyes] and coach Jong [Uichico] most of the college coaches so we’ll manage na lang the minutes,” Antonio said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 17th, 2018

Kobe reinforces Gilas 5 in preseason cup

Kobe Paras is set to play his first meaningful minutes in almost a year when he joins the Gilas Pilipinas cadet squad seeing action in the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup which kicks off April 21. Team manager Butch Antonio bared that the popular off-guard will be arriving next week and will join fellow "23-for-2023" members in its early buildup for the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup. "Kobe will be basing himself in the Philippines in the meantime, and I'm very thankful and glad that Kobe is very committed to the Gilas program," Antonio said. Paras had an uneventful collegiate stint in the United States, first abandoning his commitment with UCLA and transferring to Creigh...Keep on reading: Kobe reinforces Gilas 5 in preseason cup.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 13th, 2018

7’0” Kai Sotto believes he needs to work harder to crack 2023 World Cup team

IT’S still five years from now and Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes already crafted the future composition of the national team seeing action in the 2023 World Cup, which the Philippines will be hosting along with Indonesia and Japan. Leading the squad are college standouts Kobe Paras, AJ Edu, Remy Martin, Robert Bolick, Thirdy Ravena, […] The post 7’0” Kai Sotto believes he needs to work harder to crack 2023 World Cup team appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJan 10th, 2018

HEADS UP: 10 sporting events to watch out for in 2018

2017 has come and gone, and it delivered some exciting sporting moments that has every sports fan clamoring for more. Worry not, though, as 2018 looks primed to satisfy even the most die-hard Pinoy sports aficionado with its bevy of local and international sporting events. Let's welcome the upcoming year with 10 of the most exciting sporting events to watch out for this 2018.   NCAA 93 & UAAP 80 VOLLEYBALL The cagers are out, and the spikers are in. Volleyball season begins this January 4 with NCAA season 93, followed by the 81st season of the UAAP this February. NCAA volleybelles are once again ready to take center court, and the defending women's champion Arellano University Lady Chiefs, led by heavy hitters Jovie Prado and Regine Arocha are banking on their undisputed team play to propel them to another title. Playing inspired volleyball throughout the season, the Lady Chiefs stunned the thrice-to-beat San Sebastian Lady Stags in the Finals last year, ultimately ending Grethcel Soltones' collegiate career with a dud. Rising stars like San Beda's Ces Racraquin, JRU's Karen Montojo also make the upcoming NCAA volleyball season worth waiting for. UAAP volleyball begins a month later the NCAA tournament, but expect the field to be even more tumultuous. With no clear-cut number 2 team to challenge the two-time defending champions DLSU Lady Spikers, it will be a toss-up against basically the other seven schools to step up. Dangerous squads include the much-improved Adamson Lady Falcons, last year's pleasant surprise UST, the dynastic Ateneo Lady Eagles, and the intact NU Lady Bulldogs and FEU Lady Tamaraws. NBA ALL-STAR GAME & 2018 NBA FINALS The annual showcase of the NBA's brightest stars just got a major revamp. That's right, the league has done away with the traditional East-West teams, and will now have a playground-type pool selection of players between its two captains when the exhibition tips off in Los Angeles. This raises a lot of interesting questions: Will the captains pick their teammates or will they go with a more controversial pick and select a rival? Will we able to know the order of the draft? Will this actually work in making the game better? While answers to those questions might not be answered until a few months, one thing's for sure, the NBA Finals, the spectacle that actually counts, will be epic. Will we be treated to Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers Pt. 4? Or will another squad swoop in to spoil the party? The league has indeed improved, with surprising teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, the Indiana Pacers, the Detroit Pistons out in the East already staking claim to playoff spots, and the Wild, Wild, West staying true to its monicker. The Houston Rockets and the perennial powerhouse San Antonio Spurs are still the favorites to pull the rug under the Warriors, while the Oklahoma City Thunder is right behind. Either way, with months of hoops already invested in it, the NBA Finals will surely be another explosive one, as it always is.   HOMECOMING QUEEN Alyssa Valdez spent the majority of 2017 overseas, spreading her wings in Taiwan with volleyball club Attack Line. This 2018 though, The Phenom plans on staying in the Philippines, armed with two year’s worth of international experience to focus on her home club team in the Creamline Cool Smashers.  "Next year, I'm planning to focus sa Creamline. Just this year, I travelled a lot talaga. They supported me throughout, esepcially doon sa National Team stint ko. They sacrificed a lot for me talaga. I think I have to focus sa team ko talaga,” she said last week.Alyssa Valdez just got scarier.   PINOY HOOP DREAMS: REMY MARTIN, KOBE PARAS  Two proudly Pinoy ballers based in the U.S. set out this 2018 to continue shooting for our island nation’s humble hoop dreams. Kobe Paras is still serving residency this 2017-2018 season with the California State University-Northridge Matadors, but his development is sure to be a joy to watch. The 6’6” Pinoy swingman accomplished a tour of duty with Gilas Pilipinas earlier in the year, and many Pinoys saw why we should all be excited about high-flying forward. Remy Martin, a 5’11” point guard dazzled in his first few games with the Arizona State Sun Devils, with his athleticism, explosiveness and feisty defense. The Filipino-American cager is proud of his roots and hopes to represent flag and country with Gilas Pilipinas in the future.   WHO (OR WHAT) IS NEXT FOR MANNY PACQUIAO? The never-ending saga of what’s next for Manny Pacquiao looks like it'll seep into 2018.  Following a rather controversial loss to Australian boxer Jeff Horn, Pacquiao has been “courting” the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. for a rematch, even taking to Instagram to ”greet” MMA superstar Conor McGregor before finally admitting that he’s been in talks with the Irish fighter’s camp. Whether he actually retires from boxing for good, or takes on another foe in the squared circle, one thing’s for sure: we’ll all have our eyes on Manny Pacquiao’s next move.   2018 WORLD CUP RUSSIA™ After four years, the best of world football will once again converge, this time in Russia to crown the Kings of the beautiful sport. The stage is set, the groups are finalized, and the 32 squads are promising the best 30-day football extravaganza in the hopes of dethroning defending champions Germany this June. Some group stage clashes to look out for are Germany vs Mexico, England vs Belgium, Portugal vs Spain, to name a few. June couldn’t come soon enough.   CHRISTIAN STANDHARDINGER'S PBA DEBUT No PBA rookie has probably come into the league as pro-ready as the Filipino-German standout Christian Standhardinger. The 6’9” big man was the consensus top overall pick of the 2017 PBA draft, and was also at the center of the controversial trade that sent Kia Picanto’s rights to the number 1 selection to the already-dominant San Miguel. While the trade did go down, so did former commissioner Chito Narvasa. Standhardinger’s entry to the PBA has come at a cost, but San Miguel is more than ready to wait one more conference to bulk up their already stacked squad. Seeing Standharinger play alongside 6’11” center and reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo, versatile forward Arwind Santos, and the Beermen’s bevy of guards in Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, and Chris Ross, is definitely a sight to see, just look at how he's tearing it up in the ASEAN Basketball League.    2018 ASIAN GAMES INDONESIA The Philippines’ less than stellar performance at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games was met with widespread flak. Not directed at our athletes however, but aimed at our sports development and governing body for its subpar work in getting our sports representatives ready. While the 2018 Asian Games isn’t so far away, a handful of Pinoy medalists from the SEA Games are going into the continental meet with high hopes. After dominating the SEA Games’ triathlon event, our Filipino endurance athletes, led by gold medalists Kim Mangrobang, and Nikko Huelgas, are once again primed to take home hardware. Marathoner Mary Joy Tabal, and boxers John Marvin, and Eumir Marcial, all gold medalists at Malaysia, are all bright spots that could soon unravel into full-fledged stars come 2018.   GILAS PILIPINAS IN THE FIBA WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS It’s official, basketball is coming home to the Philippines this 2023 by way of the FIBA World Cup, but Gilas Pilipinas will first have to try its luck in the 2019 meet. After dealing with Chinese Taipei and Japan this 2017 for a perfect 2-0 slate in the qualifiers, Gilas Pilipinas still has to face the Japanese anew, and the powerhouse Australian team early in 2018. A good showing against these squads will help Gilas strengthen its bid to international basketball’s biggest stage before we actually host the event in six years’ time.   UAAP 81 BASKETBALL UAAP season 80 just came to an end, but the next season just got way more interesting. Aside from the title defense of the intact Ateneo Blue Eagles and their ongoing rivalry with La Salle, a certain move by a coach has shaken up the league. With Aldin Ayo reportedly accepting the job as the new head coach of the struggling University of Sto. Tomas, we might just be witnesses to the rebirth of the once proud basketball program under the fiery mentor. That, and the way the DLSU Green Archers can adjust from the departure of Ayo and former two-time MVP Ben Mbala, key cogs to their season 79 championship run. The tight race for the MVP award will also be one to watch, with Mbala gone, it’s up to the local stars to step up to the challenge......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2017

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

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

Rappler Talk Sports: Kobe Paras joins PH team to Asian Games

  MANILA, Philippines – Kobe Paras gets to suit up for the Philippine men's basketball team anew, but this time, as one of the youngest players in the Gilas Pilipinas squad that's set to compete in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia this August. Rappler talks to the young standout as Paras ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 21st, 2018

Gilas Cadets crush Cardinals for third win

Robert Bolick debuted with a bang as he led the beefed up Gilas Pilipinas Cadets, 97-78, over Mapua University on Monday in Group A of the 12th FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The San Beda University star scored 13 points in his first game for the national squad, which won its third game in eight outings. Aside from Bolick, Fil-American Troy Rike and Ateneo stars Matt Nieto and Thirdy Ravena saw action for the Gilas Cadets for the first time. Rike, a recruit from Wake Forest, finished with 11 points and eight rebounds while Nieto and Ravena, who played for the Blue Eagles earlier in a 108-44 blowout win over Emilio Aguinaldo College, chipped in with nine and eight points, respectively, for the Gilas Cadets. Kobe Paras had 12.      “We’re just experimenting on some things. We played three bigs, it’s all experimental. You know it worked. We’re just trying to see how we can make use of all the Cadets players,” said head coach Jong Uichico. The Gilas Cadets went off to a good start to take control of the match early before closing it out with stronger finish. Cedric Pelayo and Eric Jabel scored 14 each while Lawrence Victoria and Daniel Aguirre posted 12 and 11 markers, respectively, for the 3-3 Cardinals. Meanwhile, the Red Lions banked on their crucial defensive stops by Donald Tankoua and the steady hands of Javee Mocon at the foul line in the last 50 seconds of the game to put a dent on De La Salle University's erswhile unbeaten record, 72-70, in the night cap. Mocon finished with 20 points while Tankoua had nine markers for SBU, which improved to 3-2 slate. Mocon broke a 68-68 deadlock with 48.8 seconds remaining with three free throws off a foul from Kira Samuel, who tied the game in the previous play. Tankoua made two defensive stops in the Green Archers' possesion - a block oon Samuel and a steal off an inbound pass.  Tankoua split his free throws with 21.5 ticks left to give the Red Lions a four-point cushion. DLSU saw its six-game winning streak snapped. Andrei Caracut finished with 20 points while Justine Baltazar and Samuel had 13 each for the Green Archers.              Box score: GILAS (97) –- Bolick 13, Paras 12, Rike 11, Nieto 9, Ravena 8, Tuffin 8, Tamayo 6, Alejandro 5, Sotto 5, Gozum 5, Tratter 4, Go 4, Tolentino 4, Mocon 3, Tolentino Vi 0. MAPUA (78) –- Pelayo 14, Jabel 14, Victoria 12, Aguirre 11, Lugo 9, Biteng 6, Bonifacio 5, Bunag 5, Gamboa 2, Nocum 0, Pajarillo 0, Serrano 0. Quarter scores: 25-21, 49-38, 72-64, 97-78.   SAN BEDA (72) -- Mocon 20, Tankoua 9, Eugene 8, Carino 8, Nelle 7, Tongco 6, Bolick 4, Soberano 4, Presbitero 2, Bahio 2, Cuntapay 2, Abuda 0, Doliguez 0, Cabanag 0. DLSU (70) -- Caracut 20, Baltazar 13, Samuel 13, Melecio 8, Santillan 6, Lim 6, Manaytay 2, Corteza 2, Go 0, Bates 0, Tolentino 0, Capacio 0, Dyke 0, Manuel 0. Quarter scores: 14-16, 37-30, 55-55, 72-70.   ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 4th, 2018

What do we expect from Kobe Paras in 2018 Filoil joust?

Now that he's back, everyone is curious to see how Kobe Paras plays on the floor. People don't have to wait long though as the high-flying combo guard is set to lead Gilas Pilipinas' campaign in the upcoming 2018 Filoil Flying V Premier Preseason Cup. The national team's opening assignment is already this Saturday against UAAP champion Ateneo de Manila University. According to coach Jong Uichico, who handled Paras in the 2017 SEA Games where Gilas won gold, Kobe is more than ready to go in 2018. "We know naman that he's gifted di ba? He can jump, he can shoot, he can put the ball on the floor," he said.  "He's still young pa naman so for sure that his maturity will come in time. But yung sipag niya, yung aggressiveness nandiyan. And that's one part of it already," Uichico added. And while Kobe is one of the tallest members of the cadet crew at 6'6", don't expect him to man the paint all that much in the Filoil joust. Winning the preseason tournament is not the main priority, it's adding to the team's experience that can be used in international tournaments. That means Kobe should play as if he's playing China, or Iran, or South Korea. "He can play any position but syempre we're looking at him not only for a local tournament eh. We're looking at international tournaments, kung saan siya makaka-fit, which is really the 2 or the 3 spot," Uichico said of Kobe. "Yes he might be good at the 4 spot but come international time he'll be too small at the 4 spot. We're really trying to look at him at the 2 or the 3 para sa international he'll be of use for the team," he added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 18th, 2018

Ricci s sole focus now is Gilas Pilipinas

After leaving De La Salle University, high-flying Ricci Rivero is practically a free agent. He's not in a rush to find a new school though. Ricci is taking his time. For now, his sole focus is with the Philippine national team, which is one item off his bucket list. Rivero will team up with the returning Kobe Paras to lead Gilas Pilipinas' youth brigade this year, starting with the 2018 Filoil Flying V Premier Preseason Cup. "I'm so excited nga kasi I wasn't able to play last time for the U-18 team," Ricci said. "Now syempre, I left La Salle, and then I don't know yet where I'm going so I told my parents na I want to focus on Gilas first, kasi it's my dream talaga to play for the national team," he added. Gilas Pilipinas will first see action on Saturday against Thirdy Ravena and his UAAP Champion Blue Eagles. Kobe, Ricci, and Thirdy in one game shoule be must see. In fact, Rivero says all Gilas games will be must see. "I'm so excited kasi I'm gona play again with Kobe," Rivero said. "Syempre, who doesn't want Kobe back di ba? Everyone's looking forward to watching our games kasi nga Kobe is going back," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 18th, 2018

Serious cadets wanting Filoil title is 'a good sign'

Just because they joined the Filoil tournament, it doesn't mean that Gilas Pilipinas is necessarily gunning for the title. With most of the #23for23 pool members seeing action, the preseason joust is just part of the master plan that's already in motion. However, several members of the team, mainly Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras, have expressed their desire to actually go after the championship and that's fine too. It's great, actually. "It's not the goal [winning title] but it's a good barometer for them," coach Jong Uichico said regarding Gilas' Filoil aspirations. "To think of winning the championship, that means they're taking the tournament seriously. That's a good sign," he added. The national team will open the preseason joust Saturday against reigning UAAP Champion Ateneo de Manila University. And so far, practice has been going relatively well for the cadet squad. "Okay naman, sa few practices that we've had, they showed naman the improvement," Uichico said. "Nilalagay namin ng unti-unti pero syempre we don't have that much time naman so pina fast-track lang namin lahat," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 18th, 2018

Kobe Paras upbeat on co-Gilas pool members

MANILA, Philippines — Kobe Paras is satisfied with his potential teammates when the 2023 FIBA World Cup fires off in the Philippines......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 10th, 2018

This is not your kuya s Gilas Pilipinas

Basketball continues to evolve and the Philippine brand is not exempted from it. With the release of the initial #23for23 pool for the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup co-hosted by the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia, one thing is for sure: Gilas Pilipinas will look a whole lot different in 2023 compared to the one that's currently trying to qualify for the 2019 World Cup. The future Gilas will still have a ton of shooters since that's one of the national team's greatest strengths but the future Gilas will also have a higher ceiling than any other Philippine team ever assembled ever. Seriously, one quick look at the initial #23for23 list and you'll see 10 players listed at least 6'6". Five of them are listed at least 6'8". Kai Sotto is already a legit seven footer at 15 while AJ Edu is an ultra-athletic forward that stands 6'11". The wings and guard spots are also filled with guys who are listed at 6'4". Guys like Kobe Paras, Thirdy Ravena, and even CJ Perez all have decent size to play at those positions. In the current #23for23 list, the shortest player is Ateneo's Matt Nieto at 5'10". Oh and almost all of the players in that list, including the supposed towers and anchors of the team, can shoot from the outside. It's the time of the basketball unicorn and it's about time the Philippines caught up. "We have to start somewhere," head coach Chot Reyes on putting up his list of players for 2023. "That's our dream for Philippine basketball for the longest time. Now we're starting that with that vision in mind, to have tall players who can still play, run, and shoot at the same time," he added. Following Gilas' first practice for 2018 Monday, it appears that the future can live up to potential. The room for development is there of course but the foundation seems solid for now. "Somebody was mentioning in the shooting drills na lahat nakaka-shoot ah. That's the reason why they're here," Reyes said. "They were all chosen for their shooting ability and that's what we're looking for. The ones that can shoot the long ball and still have the height," he added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

Kobe Paras, Thirdy Ravena banner 23 for 23 Gilas pool roster

MANILA, Philippines - The FIBA World Cup is coming back to the Philippines in 2023 and it is never too early to start preparing for it. Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes released a list of 23 players who will possibly see action in the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

Boystown Cebu breaks FIBA 3x3 record

With 1,380 kids signed up in the FIBA 3x3 Play app, the first of the two-day 3x3 basketball fiesta of Chooks-to-Go and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Saturday at the Sisters of Mary School Boystown in Minglanilla, Cebu was already a historic one. The feat erased the previous-FIBA record of 1,114 under-18 players. "We at Chooks-to-Go are really elated with the turnout. But this victory is not ours alone. It's the country's achievement," beamed Chooks-to-Go President Ronald Mascariñas, "I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the SBP and the sisters from SMS for making all of this possible." Aside from shattering world records, the event gave the Philippines much-needed federation points in FIBA 3x3 to hopefully qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics where the sport will officially be a medal event. SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, Gilas Pilipinas team manager Butch Antonio and Batang Gilas team manager Andrew Teh were in full force for the historic day. "We're glad that we're making history with these young kids," said Barrios, "It's very overwhelming and heartwarming that we got into this partnership with Chooks-to-Go and the Sisters of Mary nuns para magawa natin ito ng sama-sama." College basketball stars Kobe Paras and Thirdy Ravena who are Chooks' main ambassadors of the sport played a pick-up game with some of Boystown's best 3x3 warriors. The basketball operations in all of the 50 half courts in Boystown were headed by SBP's Mark Solano, Ryan Betia, Xander Gubat, Region XIII director Jerry Abuyabor, and Boystown athletic director Van Parmis. But Boystown Cebu, SBP, and Chooks are not done yet. On Sunday, in Girlstown in Talisay, Cebu, they target to completely topple the FIBA record of most 3x3 players regardless of age which was set at 1,898 participants......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2019

PBA 43 Review: Suspended surge at NLEX

The PBA's 43rd season was a loooooong one. Seriously, it started December of 2017 and it ended December of 2018. That's 12 months of almost non-stop basketball. But with the current PBA season finally drawing to a close, it's time we look back at how each team fared in 2018. Today, we take on the NLEX Road Warriors.   SUSPENDED SURGE After a problematic first season under new head coach Yeng Guiao, NLEX hit the jackpot in the 2017 PBA Draft. Armed with the no. 2 pick, the Road Warriors made the obvious choice and took guard Kiefer Ravena, arguably the most PBA ready prospect to make the jump in forever. He was PBA ready alright. Kief wasted little time in helping NLEX turn things around. With Ravena at the lead, the Road Warriors had their best tournament in the PBA so far and made the semifinals of the Philippine Cup, pushing the Magnolia Hotshots to six games. That’s pretty much the best part of NLEX’s season though. The Road Warriors failed to have a strong finish in the semis series against the Hotshots after Kevin Alas tore his ACL early in Game 5. With Alas out, NLEX’s emerging K&K backcourt tandem was decimated. And after Ravena’s shock suspension from FIBA, the K&K, and in essence NLEX’s whole season, was lost. Ravena was slapped with an 18-month ban by FIBA for doping. Ravena took a protein drink with prohibited ingredients prior Gilas Pilipinas’ home win over Japan in the 2019 FIBA Asia Qualifiers in February. The suspension covers all basketball activities, including the PBA. With that development, NLEX naturally spiraled out of control in the Commissioner’s Cup, leading to an early elimination. The Road Warriors did well enough in the Asia League Summer Super 8 in Macau, finishing in the semifinals, to help set up a strong run in the Governors’ Cup. But with most of its key pieces gone, NLEX flamed out in the quarterfinals and a season that started with so much promise ended in bitter defeat. Patience will be a virtue for NLEX moving forward, but once the Road Warriors finally feature a complete lineup, the team’s suspended surge can hopefully continue in 2019 and beyond.   NLEX ROAD WARRIORS in the 2017-2018 PBA Season Philippine Cup: 6-5 (6th place) Commissioner’s Cup: 2-9 (11th place) Governors’ Cup: 5-6 (8th place) Overall: 13 wins and 20 losses. Two playoff appearances, 1 Semifinals.   POST DRAFT NOTE: NLEX used two first round picks to select Paul Desiderio and Abu Tratter. Both rookies didn’t play one game for the Road Warriors. NLEX used the two rookies as trade bait and eventually nabbed center Poy Erram from Blackwater. Erram certainly gives the Road Warriors a top center and he should be instrumental in NLEX as the team waits to feature a complete lineup with the K&K tandem.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2019

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

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