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No abandoning ship: Disappointed Gilas Cadets stay focused on buildup

MANILA, Philippines – After a woeful showing in the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup, the Gilas Cadets still vie to stay focused on their goal of developing the team’s chemistry.  The Cadets – the young national pool formed for the 2023 FIBA World Cup – absorbed their ........»»

Category: newsSource: rappler rapplerMay 16th, 2018

Gilas cadets focused on SEAG buildup

TAIPEI – Thanks to the leeway provided by the PBA, Kiefer Ravena and nine other Gilas men here can now fully concentrate on their SEA Games preparation, and.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 21st, 2017

Gilas last Filoil game leaves Uichico disappointed: We didn t play hard enough

Gilas Pilipinas cadets ended an up-and-down campaign in the Filoil Preseason Cup on a winning note after beating Emilio Aguinaldo College, 82-69, on Tuesday night.........»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJun 13th, 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

Blatche heard the bashers so he bounced back big time for Gilas

MANILA, Philippines --- Andray Blatche has been subject of criticism for his continued struggles in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifers. Well, he heard all of those and responded Sunday with his best game so far for Gilas Pilipinas, leading the Philippines to a pulsating 89-84 win over the visiting Japanese at the MOA Arena here. Blatche submitted his finest performance of these Asian Qualifiers so far, going for a team-high 18 points on top of 16 rebounds and five assists. The naturalized Filipino was emotional after a game, letting out a passionate roar at midcourt as the Philippines defended homecourt anew. Gilas is also through to the next round of the Qualifiers with the win. "It felt great. To advance, and definitely for being bashed the last 36-48 hours, [it felt great] just to get a win and get some of it off my shoulders," he said. "[It felt great] just to know I was able to help us get to the second round," Blatche added. Blatche has been through a tough stretch for the Philippines. In the opening window back in February, an out-of-shape Blatche played his worst game in a Pilipinas jersey against Taipei. This time around, Blatche is in better shape but is coming off an injury. The two games against Australia and Japan were his first pair of acutal in-game action since last year. "It feels great. For me, it actually feels great to get this win and play sort of well," he said. "t's been a long time since I've been playing on the court, just my second game since the first [window]. But this big for us to advance in the second round, I'm about to go back to China and start the [CBA] playoffs," Blatche added. With a better performance this time out, Blatche is not overly concerned about his critics. He says they'll find new ways to bash him. However, he's concerned about getting better for Gilas and the third window plust the second round of the Qualifiers will be the perfect place for him to once again prove that the trust placed on him is worth it. "I feel like I could do a lot better. It's a rhythm thing, I'm starting to get my rhythm back, starting to get my legs back. It was for of me trusting my injury, I left it alone and said forget it, if I hurt mysef I hurt myself. It's about confidence," he said. " I'm sure they're [bashers] going to find something else. But you know, all I can do is to continue getting better, stay focused," Blatce added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 25th, 2018

EYES ON YOU, KID: UAAP 80 Jrs. players to watch

The first round of the UAAP 80 Juniors Basketball Tournament is over and done with. And we can’t wait for the second round to get started just so we could get even more glimpses of the future of Philippine basketball courtesy of these players: CJ CANSINO – University of Sto. Tomas (yellow jersey with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 27.6 points, 43.5 percent shooting, 14.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.7 steals (yellow jersey number 27) CJ Cansino has single-handedly made University of Sto. Tomas matter again – and that’s not an exaggeration. Through his sheer will, the Tiger Cubs find themselves well inside the playoff picture at the end of the first round. The long-limbed forward is an all-around weapon who can get his shots inside the paint, from the perimeter, and even from the charity stripe where he has already scored a mind-boggling 60 points – that’s out of 76 attempts, giving him a 78.9 percent shooting clip from there. It’s not just scoring where he makes an impact, though, as he also can also make plays for teammates like scoring guard Kobe Palencia as well as disrupt plays for opponents. And oh, the six-foot-two graduating player is also tops in the league in rebounding – yes, he has more rebounds than the next kid on our list. The even better news for UST? Cansino wants to stay for college. KAI SOTTO – Ateneo de Manila High School (blue jersey number 11) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.9 points, 52.5 percent shooting, 12.7 rebounds, 4.9 blocks (blue jersey number 11) All eyes have been on Kai Sotto ever since he was discovered in the Jr. NBA. Now in his second season for currently league-leading Ateneo de Manila University, he has given all of us more than enough reason to never take our eyes off of him and all of his now 7-foot 1-inch stature. A legitimate inside presence the likes of which the high school ranks have never seen before, Sotto is unstoppable in getting points near the basket and collaring rebounds from anywhere inside the paint. And yeah, the kid atop our list has more rebounds than him, but nobody in the Juniors can touch the 15-year-old’s rim protecting ability. 34 blocks through seven games? That’s unheard of! The even better news for Ateneo? He’s just in Grade 9, that’s three more seasons of eligibility after this one. SJ BELANGEL – Ateneo de Manila High School (white jersey number 0) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.3 points, 50.6 percent shooting, 5.6 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals (blue jersey number 0) Sotto has been getting all the attention, but just like a year ago, Ateneo has been SJ Belangel’s show to run. The kid who famously scored 99 points back in his hometown of Bacolod is now a complete player. The scoring has always been there for Belangel, but it’s his now pinpoint passing that is the more welcome development for the still undefeated Blue Eaglets. It doesn’t hurt either that the 18-year-old is doing nothing but living up to being a floor leader. L-JAY GONZALES – Far Eastern University-Diliman (yellow jersey number 0) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.6 points, 9.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.6 steals (yellow jersey number 0) No doubt, the shots have yet to fall for L-Jay Gonzales as he is only shooting 32.4 percent from the field. Just like what he showed in his starmaking stint in last season’s Finals, however, it has again become clear that he doesn’t have to score to make an impact. In all of the league, Far Eastern University-Diliman’s main man is first in steals, second in assists, and fifth in rebounds. And there’s one thing we all learned last season, it’s never to count out the Baby Tamaraws and their do-it-all guard. DAVE ILDEFONSO – Ateneo de Manila High School (white jersey number 10) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.9 points, 42.7 percent shooting, 8.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.4 steals (white jersey number 10) Dave Ildefonso is not top five in the league in anything – he is well inside the top 10 in many things, though. With Sotto, Belangel, and the rest of Ateneo’s stacked lineup, it’s easy to forget that they have a versatile player who can score from all over the floor while also defending the opposing team’s forwards and guards. And among all of high school, the son of Philippine basketball legend Danny Ildefonso has one of the most college-ready bodies – he can bump with the best of them and he can move with the best of them. That is exactly why make no mistake about it, Dave Ildefonso has been a key cog in the Blue Eaglets’ ascent to the top of the leaderboard. RHAYYAN AMSALI – Nazareth School of National University (blue jersey number 13) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 13.0 points, 43.2 percent shooting, 8.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.1 steals As expected, there has been an adjustment period for Nazareth School of National University and new head coach Goldwyn Monteverde. That hasn’t stopped Rhayyan Amsali from producing as expected, though. Already having proven himself as an all-around offensive weapon, the third-year forward is now displaying the development of his defense to the tune of a third-best steals total. RJ ABARRIENTOS – Far Eastern University-Diliman (green jersey number 17) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.0 steals FEU-Diliman is already fortunate to have somebody like L-Jay Gonzales and yet, they actually have two of that kind of player on their roster. RJ Abarrientos can do the very same things his Finals MVP teammate can, but when focused, has proven himself to be an impactful 3-and-D swingman. The nephew of “Flying A” Johnny Abarrientos will never have the ball in his hands all that much, but when he does, good things happen more often than not. JOEM SABANDAL – Adamson High School (blue jersey number 21) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.3 points, 45.9 percent shooting, 6.7 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 2.2 steals A new day has dawned upon Adamson High School and serving as the brightest ray of light is Joem Sabandal. The heady guard is best in the league in assists, second in steals, and third in points – doing anything and everything in his power to keep his team afloat. The journey back to the heights they once reached is far and long, but the Baby Falcons are nothing but glad that they already have the person to steer them there. AGEM MIRANDA – University of the East (white jersey number 4) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 17.9 points, 41.1 percent shooting, 8.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.1 steals University of the East remains winless Round 1, but unlike a year ago, there is reason to watch and there is reason to hope. Agem Miranda has made the most out of his opportunities on a talent-lacking squad and has opened eyes on how his all-around game will translate if given more help. The one-and-done guard will have to find that out on some other team, but at the very least, he has energized the Junior Warriors back on track. RAVEN CORTEZ – De La Salle Zobel (green jersey number 6) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.6 points, 64.2 percent shooting, 10.9 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, 1.1 assists It looks like Boris Aldeguer, the mentor who molded Joshua Webb and Arnold Van Opstal into promising big men, has finally gotten his hands on his next project. There is no doubt that Raven Cortez is raw, even rawer than Ateneo’s Sotto, but his size and skill give him all the potential in the world, much like Ateneo’s Sotto. The Batang Gilas member may not have an outside shot just yet, but he has already put his 6-foot 7-inch frame to good use as the second-best blocker and fourth-best rebounder in the league......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2018

Wozniacki beats Pavlyuchenkova to retain Pan Pacific title

TOKYO (AP) — Caroline Wozniacki overwhelmed Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 7-5 to retain her Pan Pacific Open title on Sunday. The victory gives Wozniacki, also champion in Tokyo in 2010, her first title of the year. The Dane had lost all six of her previous finals in 2017. 'This was my seventh final of the year — it gets harder to get that last win,' said world No. 6 Wozniacki, who has now won at least one title every year since 2008. 'I've been putting myself in a position to win all year. It was really important for me to stay focused and positive.' Wozniacki had crushed world No.1 Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals and a similar score looked on the cards here Sunday. 'The court suits my game. She plays powerfully so it was important for me to make her move around early on. In the first set everything was going my way. In the second set she served better, so it was tricky for me to break.' The first set lasted only 20 minutes as Pavlyuchenkova struggled to get a foothold. 'I was really disappointed in the first three games,' said the Russian. 'I felt I was a bit unlucky and really believe if I had turned those points round and won the games, it may have been a different match. I was a little down on myself and missed more than I should.' The Russian fought harder in a second set that went with serve until the 12th and final game. Yet she failed to earn a break point in the match and appeared outclassed in her first Premier-level final since Moscow in 2015. Semifinal opponent Angelique Kerber was the only seed she faced this week before third-seeded Wozniacki. 'It's disappointing to lose no matter which round it is, even more disappointing in the final,' said Pavlyuchenkova, who needed three sets to win all four of her matches en route to the final. 'I felt a little flat due to the previous matches. I didn't have so much energy left.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 24th, 2017

Mac Belo not returning to FEU, focused on Gilas Cadets program - agent

Mac Belo not returning to FEU, focused on Gilas Cadets program - agent.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 30th, 2016

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News9 hr. 40 min. ago

PBA: James Yap proves he’s still got big game

Looks like James Yap is not done. Signing a fresh three-year deal with Rain or Shine in the offseason, Yap started 2019 with a masterful performance, leading the Elasto Painters to a first win in the Philippine Cup against NLEX. Yap fired four triples on his way to a game-high 20 points. While he’s getting up there in age and the game miles starting to pile up, Yap says it pays off to always stay ready. “Ako naman kasi, ready lang. Nagpapa-kundisyon naman ko sa sarili ko,” Yap said. “Sinabihan din ako ni coach na ready ako this conference, so tumatak sa isip ko yun. Kumbaga excited din ako. Kailangan ready, kasi sinabihan ka din ng coach mo,” he added. After an early exit in the previous season’s Governors’ Cup, Yap says him and his team are focused. Rain or Shine’s early prep has paid off, leading to a nice start in the new season. “Actually hindi kami masyado nakapag-pahinga nung offseason, halos tuluy-tuloy yung practice namin. Pumunta kaming Bahrain, naglaro kami dun, mga kalaban namin tatlong import,” Yap said. “Siguro nadala namin in this game, and then syempre nung na-out kami last conference, di naman namin makakalimutan yun. Every practice, nakikita ko lahat kami focused kasi kailangan bumawi. Alam namin lahat ng player kung anong pakiramdam nung ma-out, di makapasok sa quarterfinals,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 18th, 2019

Alkhaldi eyes gold this time

There's something noticeably missing in Jasmine Alkhaldi's medal collection from past Southeast Asian Games. And after amassing one silver and 11 bronze medals for the past three editions of the Games, the two-time Olympian thinks that the circumstances are ripe for her to finally nail that coveted gold. "I'm hoping that this will be my time," said Alkhaldi before officially kicking off her buildup for the 11-nation meet that Clark, Subic and Manila are hosting from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. The 25-year-old will fly to Europe within the week and will stay there for a month for a two-leg training. Alkhaldi actually won a gold medal in her SEA Games debut in 2013, but her victory in ...Keep on reading: Alkhaldi eyes gold this time.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 16th, 2019

5 Filipino seafarers missing in Hawaii | Philstar.com

5 Filipino seafarers missing in Hawaii Philippine Star Five Filipino seafarers are still missing after abandoning their burning ship off the waters of Hawaii two weeks ago, the Department of Foreign.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJan 15th, 2019

‘Family-oriented’ June Mar Fajardo taught by mom to always stay away from trouble

BULACAN, Philippines---June Mar Fajardo returned to the venue that hosted a dark chapter in his illustrious career. San Miguel's jovial giant went back to Philippine Arena to collect his fifth straight MVP during the opening ceremonies of the 2019 PBA season six months after the Philippine national team got involved in one of the worst basketball incidents in sporting history. Gilas Pilipinas and the Australian national team got into a huge brawl late in the third quarter of their match in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers that saw basketball's governing body suspend a total of 13 players from both teams get suspended. Of the 13, 10 were from the Philippines but Fajardo wa...Keep on reading: ‘Family-oriented’ June Mar Fajardo taught by mom to always stay away from trouble.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 13th, 2019

Gilas re-opens training camp

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

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 10th, 2019

Ronaldo scores twice as VAR helps Juventus to 2-1 win

By Andrew Dampf, Associated Press ROME (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as runaway leader Juventus escaped with a 2-1 win over Sampdoria in Serie A on Saturday with help from the VAR. Ronaldo's second goal, a penalty, was awarded by the VAR for a questionable handball. Then Sampdoria had a stoppage-time goal chalked off by the Video Assistant Referee. Sampdoria thought it had become the first visiting Serie A club to score more than one goal at the Allianz Stadium in more than a year when Riccardo Saponara's shot went in off the underside of the crossbar, but replays showed the play was offside. "I like (the VAR) a lot because it reduces the number of mistakes," Ronaldo said. "It's not easy for the match officials to analyze everything that goes on. We just have to let them get on with their jobs." Ronaldo had put Juventus ahead two minutes in with a bouncing shot and Fabio Quagliarella equalized with a penalty before the break to become the first player to score in nine consecutive Serie A matches since David Trezeguet accomplished the feat with Juventus in 2005. Ronaldo's decisive penalty came in the 65th after the VAR decided that Alex Ferrari had used his arm, even though it appeared as if the defender kept his arm next to his body and didn't move it toward the ball. The double gave Ronaldo 14 goals in 19 matches this season to move one ahead of Genoa's Krzysztof Piatek atop the league scoring chart. Ronaldo has maintained his form since leaving Real Madrid in the offseason, despite being the subject of a rape allegation in the United States. Kathryn Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit in Nevada in September claiming Ronaldo raped her in his Las Vegas hotel room in 2009. Police reopened an investigation into the allegation at her request. Ronaldo has denied any wrongdoing. Aiming for a record-extending eighth straight league title, Juventus set a record of 53 points at the season's halfway mark with 17 wins, two draws and no defeats. The Bianconeri remained nine points ahead of second-placed Napoli, which beat Bologna 3-2, and 14 points ahead of third-placed Inter Milan, which won 1-0 at Empoli. "The first half of the season has gone really well," Ronaldo said. "We've won nearly all our games and we're a solid side but there's still a long way to go. We must stay focused and keep working away if we want to achieve great things." After a winter break, Serie A resumes Jan. 19. WE'RE ALL KALIDOU Napoli fans and players showed their support for defender Kalidou Koulibaly during the win over Bologna after the Senegal international was subjected to racist chants this week. With Koulibaly suspended, Napoli fullback Faouzi Ghoulam warmed up wearing the Senegal international's No. 26 shirt. Fans held up photos of Koulibaly and anti-racism banners with the hashtag label #SiamotuttiKalidou, which translates as "We're all Kalidou." Koulibaly had monkey noises directed at him throughout a match against Inter Milan on Wednesday at the San Siro Stadium. Against Bologna, Dries Mertens scored the winner two minutes from time with a shot from beyond the area after the hosts had twice given up the lead. Arkadiusz Milik scored twice for Napoli but Federico Santander replied to his first and Danilo equalized after his second. The victory meant Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti got the better of Bologna counterpart Filippo Inzaghi, his former striker at AC Milan. NO FANS The visiting section was empty for Inter's win at Empoli. Local authorities banned away fans after an Inter supporter died following clashes with opposing supporters outside the San Siro stadium before the match against Napoli. Keita Balde scored midway through the second half with a scuffed shot that went in off the post. Inter will also play its next two home matches behind closed doors, plus there will be a partial closure for the club's third home game, as punishment for the clashes and racist chants. OTHER RESULTS Lazio remained fourth following a 1-1 draw with Torino in which both sides finished with 10 men. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored the equalizer for Lazio after a penalty from Andrea Belotti. Gonzalo Higuain broke a two-month scoring drought by netting the winner as AC Milan ended a four-match streak without a victory by defeating Spal 2-1. Roma won 2-0 at Parma with second-half goals from Bryan Cristante and Cengiz Under. Josip Ilicic came off the bench to score a hat trick in Atalanta's 6-2 win at Sassuolo. It was Ilicic's third hat trick in 2018 — matching Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero for the record in Europe's top five leagues. Udinese won 2-0 against Cagliari with goals from Ignacio Pussetto and Valon Behrami. Emanuele Giaccherini scored with a curling free kick as last-place Chievo Verona beat 10-man Frosinone 1-0 for its first win of the season. Genoa and Fiorentina shared a 0-0 draw......»»

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

Basketball in 2018: The San Miguel takeover

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2018

Commissioner Bernie Sumayao comments on Davao Aguilas exit, state of Philippine Premier League

Not even a month into his new job as the commissioner of the Philippine Premier League (PPL) - the Philippine football club league that will take the place of the Philippines Football League or PFL - Bernie Sumayao is already facing some challenges, the latest being the folding of the Davao Aguilas FC Football club.  It was reported in early December that the Davao-based club, which features Azkals stars Phil and James Younghusband among others, would be withdrawing from the newly-rebranded club league.  Sumayao stated that he had recieved and accepted Davao's request for withdrawal. “I have been informed about the withdrawal of the Davao Aguilas, and have received it with a heavy heart. When an important team departs the league, it is always a cause of concern." Davao finished second-runners up in the 2018 PFL tournament, behind only Kaya FC-Iloilo and two-time champions Ceres-Negros FC. With Davao's exit however, Sumayao shared that there are those that are interested in participating in the PPL.  "However, we have also been approached by a number of teams that have expressed strong interest in joining the PPL. We are currently evaluating the merits of each applicant." Sumayao continued by saying that he knew exactly what he was getting into by taking over the Philippine club football scene.  "When I first approached the PFF about taking over the reins of the Philippine Football League, I knew about the difficult challenges that it was facing. I felt, like most football fans, that the league was at a crossroads. There was no revenue being generated, no national sponsorship, no TV media, limited attendance at the stadiums, numerous restrictions being enforced on fan activity inside the stadiums, and many more factors that would have challenged the very existence of the league." "I knew there was no 'quick fix', and that the road to recovery will take some time. I also knew that in order to get back on track, we have to have a more professional and structured approach to operating the league. Most importantly, the league needs to take very good care and listen intently to the concerns of its stakeholders – the Federation, the owners of the teams, the players, and most importantly, the fans. The fans are the fuel that drives the engine. Without the fans, even the most organized league will never survive,” he continued.  Sumayao then went on to elaborate what he believes is necessary for the PPL to prosper in the country.  "The league will only prosper when we start to understand and implement the concepts of discipline, accountability, responsibility, and unity. These are not merely words, but are a way of life and the path to success. I have stepped in at a very difficult time. It was either witness the decline of Philippine pro football as a distant observer, or start working and do something about it. I chose to do something about it. I also believed that the league should be a concerted effort of the teams that participate in it. This is where it becomes important to have a unified stance, strength in numbers. Where politics need to give way to discipline and compassion. In order for the league to prosper, the team owners must also be able to make sense of the financial burden it has to undertake and somehow find a way to recover their investments. It must have the help and support to generate its own revenue, which will lead to financial independence. All of this will take time, but we need to start now. It all starts with a small step with all stakeholders moving in the same direction.” Finally, Sumayao clarified that the PPL is in no means a reincarnation of its predecessors, but instead a whole new entity that is fully focused on brining club football to an elite level in the Philippines.  “The PPL is not a reincarnation of the UFL, PFL or any other previous leagues. It is a new, neutral, independent league whose main objective is to contribute to the development of football in the country. It is also the gateway to the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup. We are not here for the money nor the glory. We have no political or opportunistic hidden agendas. We are here to work for the country. That is why I have always been appealing, especially to the many frustrated fans, to stay positive and never give up hope. Change is never easy. But it is a catalyst of progress. So I am appealing to all the stakeholders of football in the Philippines to support change and adapt. Let us move past all the criticisms and negativity and embrace change in the pursuit of progress and stability.” “The PPL will soon actively engage in news dissemination, give periodic updates about its plans on the development of the league, and conduct regular communication exchanges for fans on social media. See you all at the PPL kick-off on March 2019," Sumayao concluded.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 17th, 2018

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 6th, 2018

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2018

Gilas Pilipinas’ ‘lack of maturity’ showed in heartbreaking loss to Iran

For a moment, it looked like Gilas Pilipinas had it, but only to watch it slip away when it mattered most in a game it badly needed against a regional rival in Iran before a stunned hometown crowd. "Well, of course we're disappointed, not just about the match but for the whole window. We knew Iran was a tough team even without (Nikkha) Bahrami and (Hamed) Haddadi. We knew that they were a big team,"national team head coach Yeng Guiao said during the post-game press conference Monday night. "For a while there we thought we had a really good chance of winning the game. For the most part of the game we were holding on to a small lead and we were on the verge of breaking out. It just did...Keep on reading: Gilas Pilipinas’ ‘lack of maturity’ showed in heartbreaking loss to Iran.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2018