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PBA: Blackwater fails to take advantage of import-less TNT

If the Blackwater Elite were to take any advantage against any opponent, it would be the import-less TNT KaTropa. Unfortunately for the now 0-6 Elite, the well-oiled machine that is the KaTropa flexed their muscles and blew out their opponents, 120-101.  For coach Bong Ramos, facing their import-less opponents was more of an advantage for the veteran-laden team, as their engines seemed to hum better after ousting import Jeremy Tyler. "Mas maganda pa nga silang walang import kasi they are easy to ano, kabisado nila yung sistema, yung import nila, nawawala e di ba?" Ramos said after the game.  "Matatawag nila yung plays nila na ginagamit nila sa all-Filipino na hindi nila ginagamit, limitado because they are adjusting to their import." With their struggles, import Jarrid Famous didn't help the cause, only scoring 11 points on a two out of five shooting clip. Despite the loss against an import-less squad, Ramos admitted that there were various kinks left to be straightened, as they could not match the offensive schemes TNT exhibited, which is virtually an All-Filipino team. "Kaya kung titignan mo, merong time na okay kami. Pag-rotate ko, bigla kaming bumabagsak. Doon makikita mo, hindi kami fluid. Wala kaming, yun nga. Hindi kami consistent." With the looming All-Star week starting Monday, the Elite will get some well needed rest -- and time to enhance their plays.  Ramos will certainly make the team work for the entire week, as they continue to search for the elusive win.  Despite their winless record, they could still theoretically make the playoffs if they win five straight, but if not, the newly-installed mentor will have just to promise another thing.  "Kung wala naman, we will still continue to play hard. Kasi nag-aaral kami. Yun naman ang sinabi ko. It's ano e. Work in progress kami. Kung ano man ang gagawin namin ngayon, ano na yun, tuloy-tuloy na yun for next conference."   __     Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnMay 18th, 2018

REINFORCEMENTS HAVE ARRIVED

Miss the PBA yet? Don't worry as there's more action coming your way starting Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. The 2018 PBA Governors' Cup will tip off this weekend and we have prolific imports in town, 12 of them to be exact. Get to know who they are before we start the third and final conference for this season.   Justin Brownlee --- Ginebra By now, Justin Brownlee needs no introduction but here goes anyway for the benefit of those who don't know him for some reason. Brownlee is a three-time PBA champion for the Gin Kings and a one-time Best Import. His first two titles came in the Governors' Cup. The first one was in 2016 when he hit "The Shot" in Game 6. The second one was last year when he led the barangay to a Game 7 win in front of more than 50,000 fans at the Philippine Arena. He's a Ginebra legend.   Allen Durham --- Meralco The reigning two-time Best Import is back for the Bolts and he's looking to complete some unfinished business. Durham has led Meralco to two Governors' Cup Finals in his previous two stints in the PBA but each time, the Bolts lost to Ginebra for the title. Is third time the charm for Allen Durham and Meralco?   AZ Reid --- San Miguel Arizona Reid won two Best Imports back when he was still with Rain or Shine and he won his first Governors' Cup title when he switched over to San Miguel. Now, the high-scoring import is back for the Beermen after a one-year hiatus. He has some business to finish here and at the top of the list is regaining his lost PBA championship.   Eugene Phelps --- Phoenix El Destructor first made a name for himself in the Governors' Cup. The Commissioner's Cup might not be his best cup of tea but when it comes to the season-ending conference, Eugene Phelps has proven before that he's a force to be reckoned with. With an upgraded local lineup and perhaps better durability this time around, El Destructor might just become extra destructive to the oppposition.   Henry Walker --- Blackwater The Elite made their second playoff appearance last year in the Governors' Cup with Henry Walker. As the no. 8 seed, they were a few minutes away from stunning no. 1 Meralco to go to the semis. Mr. Inspiration has provided nothing but positive stuff for Blackwater and with a longer build up, the Elite might be ready to take the next step in the Governors' Cup in order to salvage what has been a lost season.   Mike Harris --- Alaska The Aces are bringing in Mike Harris as reinforcement in the Governors' Cup. Harris has NBA experience with the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz. He has tremendous international experience and the PBA is only the latest in his long list of stops. He has a career average of 3.4 points in the NBA, playing a total of 54 games spread across five seasons.   Akeem Wright --- Columbian The Dyip will have 33-year-old Akeem Wright for the Governors' Cup. Wright was undrafted in the 2007 NBA Draft and since then, he's built an international career with stops in the Middle East and Europe.   Romeo Travis --- Magnolia A close buddy of LeBron James, Romeo Travis is back in the PBA. The first time, he played for Alaska and won Best Import but lost in the Finals to San Miguel Beer  back in 2015. Now, Travis will suit up for the Magnolia Hotshots. Travis of course is part of the LeBron's high school team at St. Vincent-St. Mary.   Olu Ashaolu --- NLEX We've seen Olu in the Commissioner's Cup as he played NLEX's last game of the conference as part of the team's prep for the Governors' Cup. Ashaolu played for Lousiana Tech and Oregon and college and went undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft.   Rashad Woods --- Northport The Batang Pier will go with Rashad Woods for the Governors' Cup. Woods has had memorable stints in Mexico and in the Middle East, where he's known as the "Arab Ace."   J'Nathan Bullock --- Rain or Shine Bullock is back for a second stint with ROS. Last season, Bullock and the Elasto Painters were eliminated in the quarterfinals but not after erasing TNT's twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs. Bullock will join a ROS team that will be coming off an Asian Games campaign in Indonesia.   Mike Glover --- TNT Glover was Globalport's replacement import for Globalport two years ago but now, he'll start for the KaTropa in the 2018 Governors' Cup. The hulking forward went for 25.6 points and 14.0 rebounds in his first PBA tour.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2018

No. 1 ranking means nothing for Durham and the rest of Meralco.

A year after 'The Shot', Meralco's revenge tour puts the team front and center in the 2017 Governors' Cup after the Bolts earned the no. 1 seed entering the playoffs. However, reigning Best Import Allen Durham says that everything is still practically the same as last year, when he led Meralco to an inspired Finals run as the no. 4 seed. After all, the Bolts are not the only good team in the playoffs now. The no. 1 and no. 7 teams are only separated by two games. 'I think SMB, and Ginebra, and TNT [are] playing good. We're not the only team that's playing good right now,' Durham said after another near triple-double resulted in a big win over the Beermen to wrap up the elimination round Sunday. 'We just gotta keep doing what we do and we can't worry too much about the other teams,' he added. Durham, who poured 35 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists against San Miguel, says that the real work only starts now in terms of Meralco's title run. No. 1 in the eliminations is good but no. 1 after the playoffs is better. Actually, it's the best. 'It feels good but they don't give you trophies for being no. 1 in the regular season,' Durham said. 'If you wanna be a champion at anything, it's not gonna be easy. Championship is in my mind,' he added. No. 1 Meralco, armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, will open the playoffs against no. 8 Blackwater next Tuesday.   br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 24th, 2017

ROS scores another big win ahead of PBA playoffs

Now the waiting game starts for Rain or Shine. The Elasto Painters handled their business to end the  elimination round of the 2017 PBA Governors' Cup, scoring a convincing 122-98 win over Blackwater Saturday at the Big Dome. ROS finished with a 7-4 record and whether or not the team ends up with a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals remains to be seen as there are three games left to play before the postseason unfolds next week. Up by only one at the break, the Elasto Painters turned the corner in the second half, pulling away from the stunned Elite to complete the 24-point win. Behind import J'Nathan Bullock and Raymond Almazan, ROS led by as many as 28 late in the game, 119-91. 'I guess we just wanted it more today. Everybody who came in the game stepped up. Basically I just told them that we have a chance on the top 4, the only way we can have that chance is to win,' head coach Caloy Garcia said. 'In the first half I thought we were just okay offensively but our defense wasn't there. In the second half I think we picked up especially when we went small ball, we started pressurind and they started turning the ball over. From there we got a good lead,' he added. Bullock fired 30 points to lead Rain or Shine on top of eight rebounds while Almazan added 20 points off the bench. Gabe Norwood finished with 15 points.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 23rd, 2017

Elite seek No. 5

Yeng Guiao reunites with his NLEX crew after close to three months, and how Blackwater deals with the national coach's return will determine whether the Elite can extend a franchise-best conference start in the PBA Governors' Cup on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. But Guiao is the one who's worried. And he has all the reasons to be so. "I'm excited to get back to coaching NLEX, but the problem is, Blackwater is the hottest team right now," Guiao said after prepping his Road Warriors for the first time since taking on national duty. Unbeaten Blackwater has never had it this good and will be coming into the 4:30 p.m. contest as the solid pick to nail a fifth win using import ...Keep on reading: Elite seek No. 5.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated News3 hr. 1 min. ago

PBA: The road gets tougher for Fuel Masters

Phoenix head coach Louie Alas knows the road will get tougher as they go deeper into the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup. With the Fuel Masters looking to secure a top four elimination round finish to secure a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, Alas knows that from here on out they must win as many games as they can in their remaining five assignments. The Fuel Masters climbed to solo second spot after claiming their third straight win over Magnolia, 95-82, Sunday at the Big Dome. Phoenix moved behind unbeaten Blackwater (4-0) with a 5-1 win-loss record.    Still, Alas doesn’t want to take his chances especially with the tournament’s format. “Hindi mo pa rin masasabi kasi dami namin sa taas e,” he said. “Puro one game lang behind sa amin.” “Iba ‘yung format ngayon. One to four is twice-to-beat,” added Alas. “So win as much as you can kahit nasa playoffs ka na.” The Fuel Masters’ difficult road ahead will start Saturday against Barangay Ginebra in Cagayan De Oro.   “Puro malakas (na ang kalaban) starting on Saturday against Ginebra,” he said. The Gin Kings are playing limp with a string of injuries but Alas is wary on Ginebra’s never-say-die spirit. “Ginebra alam mo naman ‘yan next man up ‘yan. Kahit five guys lang si coach Tim (Cone) maglalaro at maglalaro,” said Alas. “One breakdown lang sa depensa kaya natalo (against Blackwater last Friday), meaning kahit depleted sila kailangan A-game namin dalhin pa rin namin.” “So we’ll be tested again on Saturday,” he added. The match is slated to begin at 5:00 p.m.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 23rd, 2018

PBA: Elite shoot for share of first place

Already in their best start in franchise history, the Phoenix Fuel Masters go for more as the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup resumes play Wednesday. Phoenix is currently at 3-1 in the standings and the Fuel Masters are out to keep their fire burning, taking on the Meralco Bolts (1-2) in the main 7:00 p.m. game at the Big Dome. With import Eugene Phelps and Calvin Abueva leading the way, Phoenix looks like its finally ready to contend this conference and a win over Meralco, a finalist in the last two Governors' Cups, should help validate the team's status. Meanwhile, the Bolts look to recover from back-to-back defeats. In the first game at 4:30 p.m., Blackwater looks to share first place with two-time defending champion Ginebra. The Elite are 2-0 following victories vs. TNT and San Miguel. Blackwater will have winless Northport (0-4) on deck.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 18th, 2018

Walker, Pinto continue to push each other to be better

Things won't always be peachy between two competitive players like Blackwater import Henry Walker and star point guard Nard Pinto. The two would push each other to the limit that tempers somet.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsSep 7th, 2018

AZ Reid admits San Miguel took Blackwater lightly

In terms of history, no other team in the PBA can match up to San Miguel but for one night in the 2018 Governors' Cup humble Blackwater was able to write its own footnote. The Elite were able to stun the mighty Beermen, 103-100, for their second straight win and import AZ Reid knows why they lost to a team that bears little history. "We took them lightly, we didn't play the way we normally play, like the way we played in the first game," said Reid Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. "We played around, a lot of smiling, a lot of joking, so we lost." San Miguel was ahead 82-74 heading into the fourth quarter but the Elite chipped away at the margin throughout the peri...Keep on reading: AZ Reid admits San Miguel took Blackwater lightly.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 5th, 2018

PBA: SMB’s first loss no laughing matter for AZ Reid

Up by ten in the third quarter of their 2018 PBA Governor’s Cup matchup against the Blackwater Elite, Wedenesday, San Miguel committed the mortal sin of coasting. As they would come to learn the hard way, a ten point lead with more than a quarter left in the game isn’t always the safest cushion. The Beermen would go on to lose, 103-100 for their first loss of the conference, and for import AZ Reid, that first notch on their loss column is no laughing matter. Speaking to the media following their defeat at the Big Dome, the six-foot-five forward expressed his dissatisfaction with how they approached their opponents. “We took ‘em lightly.” Reid said. “We didn’t play the way we normally play, like the way we played in the first game. We played around, a lot of smiling, a lot of joking, so we lost.” While Reid finished with a team-high 26 markers to go with 12 boards, he feels that as the import, he needs to be the one shouldering the blame. In fact, Reid says he relishes the pressure. “Give me the blame, I like the pressure, it’s fine. Just give it to me, put the loss on AZ. It’s fine.” With about 29 seconds left in the third quarter, the Beermen had their biggest lead of the game, 82-72. Four minutes into the fourth quarter, the Elite were back on top after going on a 14-3 run. For Reid, the blown lead was simply a result of a decline in play as the game progressed. “We stopped doing what got us the lead. We started relaxing, chilling and thinking it’s funny, laughing around and joking.” “It’s unbelievable, man.” Reid added. As Reid and the Beermen head to the two-week break coming off their first loss of the conference, the Carolinian hopes that they can maintain a level of mental toughness and a sense of urgency the next time that they take to the courts. “We lost, okay, cool. It’s tough, it’s a very tough loss, we’ve got a long break, coming in 1-1, this game that we need, we lost. We just gotta regroup and hopefully everyone take it serious next time. We gotta stay tough, mentally tough, get a lead and not fold, not break. We broke tonight, and it resulted in a loss.” Reid added that inside the court, he isn’t about playing games, so to say. “Just play more serious. You saw the game, you see people were laughing and joking, it’s not a laughing and joking matter. If you wanna laugh and joke, you can laugh whenever you go home, but in between them lines, it’s not a game, it’s serious. I’m not gonna play around and joke and laugh with you when I’m out there.” “Like I said, put the blame on AZ. I’m the import, I take the blame, I’m used to it. I can handle it. Give it to me.” he stated......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 5th, 2018

PBA: Champion Ginebra goes for solo first before FIBA break

The protagonists from the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals are coming in hot in the Governors' Cup. Two-time defending champion Brgy. Ginebra is off to a 2-0 start in its latest title defense behind the continued brilliance of super import Justin Brownlee. On Wednesday the Gin Kings take on the winless Northport Batang Pier (0-3) as they look to take over no. 1 in the standings before the league goes on a break for the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Meanwhile, the Beermen had a rousing debut last week behind the tireless Christian Standhardinger. San Miguel will take on Blackwater as both teams shoot for their second win in as many games. The Ginebra-Northport clash is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Big Dome right after the 4:30 p.m. showdown of the Beermen and Elite.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 5th, 2018

What drives Blackwater’s import

Blackwater import Henry Walker never thought he’d make a living out of basketball when he was a kid......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 4th, 2018

TERRIFIC 12: Vanguardia-coached D-League All-Stars start prep for Macau invitational

The lone Philippine team in the upcoming Asia League Terrific 12 tournament is ready to start its preparations. Three weeks before the invitational meet in Macau, Team Philippines will start practice Wednesday as they look to make a splash against the top club teams from China, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. The Pinoy crew will be made up of a selection of PBA D-League players from Go for Gold and Che'Lu, the two teams that fought for the recently-concluded Foundation Cup. Handling the team is former Phoenix Fuel Masters head coach Ariel Vanguardia. "Yes, we start practice tomorrow," Vanguardia said in a message to ABS-CBN Sports. Foundation Cup champion Go for Gold will mostly make up the crew of the team listed as IECO Green Warriors with Gab Banal and Jai Reyes leading the way. Also in the team are Matt Salem, Ron Dennison, Kris Porter, and Rey Publico. Che'Lu's Jeff Viernes, MVP of the Foundation Cup, is also in the team. Teams in the Terrific 12 are allowed to have two foreign imports and the Green Warriors will have former PBA Best Import for TNT Richard Howell as the main reinforcement. Sam Logwood is the team's other import. The Terrific 12 is set for Sept. 18-23 at the Studio City in Macau and the Green Warriors will compete against China's Shandong Hi-speed Golden Stars, Zhejiang Guangsha Lions, Xinjiang Flying Tigers, and the Guangzhou Long Lions. Also in the tournament are the Chiba Jets, Ryukyu Golden Kings and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins from the Japanese B.League, The Korean Basketball League is represented via the Seoul Samsung Thunders and Mobis Phoebus while the Taiwanese SBL will send the Fubon Braves and the Yulon Luxgen Dinos. The Long Lions won the previous Macau tournament this year, the Super 8 back in July, beating both the NLEX Road Warriors and the Blackwater Elite along the way.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 28th, 2018

ASIAN GAMES: The curse lives as Korea beats Gilas Pilipinas again

Hello darkness, my old friend. The Korean curse strikes again and the Philippines took another demoralizing defeat at the hands of its greatest basketball rivals, this time in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. Gilas ran out of steam in the fourth quarter of their knockout quarterfinals game, losing 82-91 to South Korea, Monday at the GBK Basketball Hall. The Philippines and South Korea were set up for another wild finish after Jordan Clarkson hit a booming triple to put Gilas up one, 65-64, after three quarters. But it the fourth, it was all Korea as the defending Asian Games champions found rhythm through their string of offensive rebounds. Ricardo Ratliffe gave Korea the lead for good, 69-68, with a powerful two-hand slam and the rest of his shooters put the Philippines away. Jeon Junbeom, who didn't play meaningful minutes until the second half, scored three triples in the fourth, with the last one being a straightaway dagger that gave Korea an 89-76 lead with exactly two minutes to go. With the victory, the Koreans will move on the the semifinals on Thursday, leaving Gilas in the classification phase for the 5th-8th spots. Ratliffe led the way for South Korea with 30 points and 14 rebounds. He was in foul trouble in the first half with three fouls but the Philippines failed to follow up on that advantage in the second. Ricardo, a former PBA import for the Purefoods franchice, almost played all 40 minutes and was only subbed out late in the fourth to have his fingers taped. Heo Ilyoung and Kim Sunhyung added 17 points apiece for the defending champions. Gilas lost back-to-back games in the Asian Games and will bow out of the medal race. However, the Philippines needs only one win to improve upon its 7th-place finish from four years ago. Jordan Clarkson led Gilas with 25 points, 15 in another sensation third-quarter performance that gave Gilas an eight-point lead, but it wasn't enought for the win. The Fil-Am combo guard of the Cleveland Cavaliers is still looking for his first win for Team Philippines. Christian Standhardinger was brilliant off the bench again, scoring 16 points and grabbing nine rebounds as he went head-to-head with Ratliffe for most of the game. Stanley Pringle and Paul Lee finished with 14 and 11 points respectively for the Philippines.   The scores: Philippines (82) - Clarkson 25, Standhardinger 16, Pringle 14, Lee 11, Almazan 7, Norwood 3, Belga 3, Taulava 0, Erram 0. Korea (91) - Ratliffe 30, Kim 17, Heo IY 17, Lee SH 11, Jeon 9, Heo U 6, Lee JH 1, Park 0, Choi 0. Quarters: 18-22, 42-44, 65-64, 91-82.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 27th, 2018

PBA: Nash satisfied with new import s performance in debut

Despite just arriving yesterday, debuting TNT import Stacy Davis passed the first hurdle for coach Nash Racela in their loss against the Blackwater Elite. In his first game donning the flagship franchise's jersey, Davis scored 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in 40 minutes of action but gave away the ball six times and shot only 9/26 from the field. For Racela, it was a satisfying effort for the Pepperdine product, who replaced previous import Mike Glover, who only played one game before getting the boot. "It's not really easy for him. He traveled 22 hours. From the moment he arrived yesterday, 6am he went to fulfill the requirements ng mga medical. He then went to practice, so from the airport to Makati to practice, 12-2, then went to the PBA office for measurement. so, hindi talaga madali for him. I'm sure he'll get better as he plays more," the coach said after the game Racela added that his bad shooting night was understandable since he did not have enough time for his body to recover from the flight. When asked if Davis would also get the pink slip after this one, the former FEU coach emphatically denied it. "Hindi naman kami pwedeng every game magpalit ng import. I think it's not the right thing to do." Meanwhile for the 23-year old import, he rued that the team blew a late four-point lead before collapsing in overtime for the first-ever win by the Elite against the KaTropa in franchise history. "[I]t happens. I think that we did a good job playing as a team, especially with me only having one practice. I think that's something we can build off of. I think if that was the start that we had, losing a close game like that, I think that's a positive to look at," the 6'5 import said. As they face Alaska on Sunday, both hope a more productive effort will stem from the team, since they are staring at a 1-2 record to start the 11-game conference.   __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 24th, 2018

PBA: Hotshots end NLEX s perfect start

NLEX's perfect start is no more. Magnolia demolished the Road Warriors in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup, taking a convincing 102-72 win Wednesday at the Big Dome. An undermanned NLEX crew entered the game with a 2-0 mark despite missing several key pieces including its head coach and the Hotshots fully took advantage of that fact. Magnolia dominated all game, opening up a 31-12 lead in the first quarter and never let go.  "We prepared hard for NLEX's offense," head coach Chito Victolero said. "In their last two games, they averaged 113 points. We want to limit them under 90 and I'm proud of my players, they did a good job on defense," he added. Former Best Import Romeo Travis played his first PBA game in three years and scored 21 points and had 13 rebounds for the Hotshots. Mark Barroca was the top local for the Hotshots with 13 markers. For the Road Warriors, Olu Ashaolu finished with 21 points. The burly import will have to conced his roster spot to Aaron Fuller for now as he deals with a knee injury. Despite the loss, NLEX keeps first place for the moment with a 2-1 record.   The Scores: Magnolia 102 - Travis 21, Barroca 13, Simon 12, Gamalinda 10, dela Rosa 10 Reavis 8, Melton 7, Jalalon 6, Sangalang 5, Mendoza 4, Ramos 4, Herndon 2, Pascual 0, Brondial 0, Abundo 0. NLEX 72 - Ashaolu 21, Tiongson 8, Fonacier 6, Ighalo 6, Mallari 5, Quinahan 5, Rios 5, Paniamogan 4, Monfort 2, Baguio 2, Miranda 2, Galanza 2, Gotladera 2, Tallo 2, Marcelo 0, Soyud 0.  Quarters: 31-12, 55-30, 76-52, 102-72   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2018

PBA: Ginebra now the powerhouse, says San Miguel’s coach Leo

Ginebra put an end to San Miguel’s hopes for a Grand Slam this season. On Wednesday, Gin Kings dethroned the Beermen in six games in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. Leo Austria, the head coach of the now-dethroned champions, only had high praises for the new kings of the conference. “We fell short because they played like a well-oiled machine. They kept on running. They kept on passing. They kept on making layups,” he told reporters post-game. The multi-titled mentor then went on to single out Ginebra reinforcement Justin Brownlee who was a thorn on the side of San Miguel all throughout and had 31 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists, four blocks, and two steals in the title-clinching win. “I think the big factor is Brownlee – he can do it all. He can play the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (positions),” he shared. He then continued, “Any team will have a problem matching up with him because if you put bigger guys on him, he will play in the perimeter and if you put smaller guys, he will play in the shaded area.” And so, with the Gin Kings winning the Commissioner’s Cup and all set to defend the title in the upcoming Governor’s Cup, for the first time in a long time, the Beermen are seeing another team ahead of them. So much so that coach Leo said that Ginebra is the powerhouse for the next conference. “They’re the team to watch next conference because the import height limit is only 6-5 and they will have a lot of advantage because they have the size,” he said before mentioning Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Joe Devance, and even big guard Scottie Thompson as reasons. He then continued, “I’m thinking that they are really a threat. They are emerging as the powerhouse team.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2018

PBA Finals: First four games of series strange for Tim Cone

The winning margins of the Commissioner's Cup Finals series between defending champions San Miguel and challengers Ginebra have been completely outlandish. At the conclusion of the first four games, the final scores have been decided by an average of 30.3 points, including tying the record for biggest lead in a game in a Finals game, a 40-point advantage in Game 2. San Miguel's Game 3 win also tied the record for biggest winning margin at 38 in their 132-94 decision. With that said, the winningest coach in PBA history likened the series to the recently-concluded NBA Western Conference Finals between the top-seeded Houston Rockets and eventual champs Golden St. Warriors.  The first three games of the best-of-seven affair featured a winning margin average of 25.3 points, before getting close for Games 4 and 5, where Houston got the 3-2 advantage. He also added that this stretch of games had been a 'strange' one, an unprecedented one so far midway through the Finals clash. "I think what happens is we got two explosive teams. If you allow one team to get momentum, its really hard to break because they are that good," Cone said  The team that can grab momentum is the team that can get it rolling so far.  He also shares sentiments with the average PBA fan and pundit, but Cone clarified that he'll take the ugly win any time of the day. As for newly-crowned Best Import of the Conference Justin Brownlee, his first in four campaigns with the crowd darlings, the American coach called the awarding 'well-deserved' as the 6'4 5/8 swingman dominated in a field of bigger imports. For this conference, the height ceiling is 6'10 while the Governors' Cup is pegged at a maximum of 6'5. "He absolutely turned us around. A small import playing with the big boys. The last two championships we won he was the import he didn't win Best Import," the Ginebra tactician mentioned.  "We're really happy he got it this time around. Can't explain how a good person he is. He is a gentleman. He's so ferocious on the court but he's a gentle person." __ Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2018

PBA: Aggressive Brownlee shines for Ginebra anew

Coach Tim Cone wants his Gin Kings to be aggressive in these playoffs and in Game 1 of the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals against San Miguel, Ginebra did just that. Using an explosive start, the Gin Kings overwhelmed the Beermen to take an early 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series. Ginebra was already up by 15 in the first quarter and were up 19 at the break. Come the fourth period, the lead reached as high as 39 points. No one was more aggressive for the Gin Kings than import Justin Brownlee, who scored 29 points in the first half, 18 in the opening period. Shooting 89.9 percent from the field, Brownlee scored 42 points in total on top of seven rebounds and nine assists. "Coach, he's been talking about this series, the whole playoffs, that we gotta try come out aggressive and win game one," Brownlee said. "I was just trying to do exactly that: be aggressive, you know, look for my teammates, just try and take advantage of every advantage I did have. And let me got some shots going and gotta good rhythm," he added. Game 1 was Brownlee's second 40-point performance in three outings in the playoffs. Despite his high-scoring performances, Brownlee says its just a product of Cone's offensive system that allows him to flourish. "I like to credit the offense that coach Tim gives us. That’s number one. His offense, you know, there are a lot of different reads and things you could do out there with it. So I try to mix it up, and then, my teammates, they always try to find me. Whether it’s giving me a nice pass or giving me a good screen, and things like that," he said. "It just motivates me that they want me to score, they want me to be aggressive. I like it and I’m trying to embrace it," Brownlee added. For the rest of the series, he'll just continue to take whetever the San Miguel defense gives him and try to play his game. "I  just try to take whatever the defense gives me. Just try to run the offense, just try to stay aggressive," Brownlee said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 27th, 2018

SUPER 8: Long Lions survive Thunders to win crown in Macau

MACAU --- Guangzhou gets back at the only team to beat them in the Super 8 tournament. The Longs Lions took the title in Macau Sunday, surviving the Samsung Long Lions, 78-72, at the East Asian Games Dome here. Guangzhou lost a 16-point lead and was only up two on the Thunders in the final minute. However, the Long Lions had superior composure and made the needed free throws down the stretch to keep Samsung at bay. The Long Lions finish the tournament with a 4-1 mark, with the lone loss coming from the Thunders to end group play earlier this week. Guangzhou also beat the Blackwater Elite and the NLEX Road Warriors on their way to the title. Ju Mingxin led the Long Lions with 25 big points followed by Zheng Zhun who had 13 points and seven rebounds. For the Thunders, it was Lee Gwan Hee, a former PBA import for Phoenix, that came through, firing 34 points on 50 percent shooting.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2018

SUPER 8: Digregorio continues to believe in Blackwater

MACAU --- Late last season in the PBA, Blackwater was seen as a team on the rise. Blackwater was knocking on the door of the semifinals, as the then no. 8-seed Elite pushed no. 1 Meralco to the brink in the quarterfinals. The future looked bright for Blackwater. This current season, the Elite, with a top-5 All-Filipino player in JP Erram, missed the Philippine Cup playoffss due to bad quotient. Still respectable. But things fell apart in the Commissioner's Cup as a plethora of things, including a coaching change, doomed Blackwater. The Elite finished the tournament with a woeful 1-10 mark. They won their only game thanks to a last-second dunk by import Henry Walker. After that terrible stint, the Elite are busy preparing for the Governors' Cup, part of that buildup is the Summer Super 8 tournament here. In two games, Blackwater split its games with teams from South Korea and China. The Elite have the chance to advance against a team from Japan Thursday. The team is confident. "I'm confident. As long as the rims are 10 feet high and the ball still bounces, we're confident," guard Mike Digregorio said. "We have all the confidence in the world to win," he added. The rebuild has been a long process for Blackwater. But the team has more than enough talent to make it work. Digregorio has nothing but overwhelming belief on his team and previous close calls suggest that the Elite are on the verge of a breakthrough. The process just needs a little more push. "Every day is a work in progress. We had a coaching change and the Commissioner' Cup wasn't the conference that we wanted but I believe in this team, I really do," Digregorio said. "Last Governors' Cup we were knocking on the semis, last Philippine Cup we played really well. We're building towards coach Bong's system and adjusting to him. Every day is a learning process but we're getting better and we're working towards success," he added. There's success to be found in Macau and the Elite are one win away from advancing to the next round. They plan on doing so, obviously. "We plan on winning. We didn't come here to not advance. We're gonna come and win. We're building towards the Governors' Cup so I think we have the team to make noise in the Governors' Cup and also advance [here]," Digregorio added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 19th, 2018