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PBA: Brownlee will be in Ginebra for a long, long time

Coach Tim Cone has jokes on his Best Import Justin Brownlee. After Brownlee helped lead the Gin Kings to a third PBA title, Cone was asked how long he plans to keep Justin with Ginebra. "He's done," Cone answered. "We don't want him anymore. Ayaw ko na, bad attitude na," he added. The greatest head coach in PBA history as kidding around of course. He doesn't want Brownlee out. In fact, he plans to keep him in the barangay as long as humanly possible. "He is special, and we're gonna keep him as long as he can stay healthy and as long as he can continue to play," Cone said of Brownlee. "I think he's the measuring stick of all the other imports at this point," he added. Since arriving in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup, Brownlee has now won three titles for Ginebra in four conferences. He's owned the Governors' Cup, where the height limit is 6'5". Now, Brownlee has a title, and a Best Import award, in the Commissioner's Cup, where PBA teams are free to bring in reinforcements of all shapes and sizes. For his part, Justin wants to be a ka-barangay for a long time too. "I wish forever," he said when asked how long does he see himself repping the Gin Kings.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnAug 10th, 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

PBA Finals: Magnolia completes San Miguel Grand Slam

ANTIPOLO CITY, RIZAL -- Call 2018 the year of San Miguel. Per PBA head statistician Fidel Mangonon III, this is the first time that the triumvirate of the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) clinched all three conferences, an unprecedented display of dominance by one corporation in the league. The 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. It was Magnolia's time to shine. And they were not very shy of expressing their intentions. "Ayaw naman naming masira na sabihing kami hindi nakarating doon. Talagang pinilit naming makuha rin ito. At alam namin kapag umabot ng Game 7, medyo delikado tayo namin sa Alaska," Hotshots team governor Rene Pardo said during the championship celebrations at the Ynares Center here.  The Hotshots looked like a team on a mission from the tip-off of Game 6, opening up the game with a 12-0 blitz to blow the game wide open. Alaska tried numerous times to cut the lead down, but the Hotshots were relentless towards the final buzzer, and hoisted the Governors' Cup trophy for the very first time in four years, the last of their Grand Slam conquest. On why it took so long to win a title once again, leading to discontent and unhappiness from their fanbase, Pardo reminded them that the team had been gutted following Tim Cone's departure for sister team Ginebra a few years back. "Having a new coach is always different. It’s a challenge so tinyaga namin nun. After Jason [Webb], then Chito [Victolero]. We really adjusted Thank God, nakaisa. Sana meron pang mga kasunod," the official hoped.  Pardo, a fixture in the Hotshots' bench during the games, praised Victolero for steadying the ship as he led the team to two Finals appearance and a title, and in turn has earned the admiration and respect of his players. Now that the season has ended, Magnolia is on the hunt to challenge the retooled Beermen, who acquired bona fide scorers Terrence Romeo, Paul Zamar, and Ronald Tubid in three separate trades. Unlike the moves of their maiden sister team, Pardo assures that they won't be following the steps of San Miguel and much more build on the team that they had constructed over time. "We’re happy with them. In fact, most of them have been renewed already... May kasabihan nga, why fix it if it’s not broken. Nananalo kami, bakit namin guguluhin?"   __     Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 20th, 2018

Ginebra kicks off PBA Governors’ Cup with win over Columbian

Barangay Ginebra started off its conference the right way with a cool 96-84 victory over hapless Columbian in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. The Gin Kings not only started the final conference on the right track but they also extended the Dyip's agony to four straight losses. After going back and forth in the first three quarters, the Gin Kings were eventually able to pull away in the early part of the fourth breaking away from a 66-66 tie with an 18-6 run for the 84-72 lead with 3:23 left in the game. Japeth Brownlee then knocked down two three-pointers to give Ginebra a 94-78 lead with 1:13 remaining. "It took us a long time to get going a...Keep on reading: Ginebra kicks off PBA Governors’ Cup with win over Columbian.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 31st, 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

Justine Brownlee: I want to be naturalized

Aside from playing for Brgy. Ginebra 'forever,' Justin Brownlee also wants to be a Filipino and be in the Philippines 'permanently.' Brownlee has been playing in the PBA for Ginebra since 2016. He has also represented the Philippines in the Asean Basketball League alongside Renaldo Balkman where they bagged the gold. This year, he scored his third Ginebra championship and the PBA Best Import award. With all of that success factored in, ABS-CBN Sports asked if he considers the Philippines as his basketball home. Brownlee did not take any of it. Instead, he topped it. "Not only basketball [home]. I want to consider it my home. Period." "You know, I wish I could live here all year round but unfortunately, [I can't] because of government rules and things like that but I wish I could be at home permanently," he said minutes before he spent quality time with fans Sunday afternoon in the Ginebra Victory Party held in Pasig. Team Governor Alfrancis Chua added on this. He joked during the program saying that Brownlee is no longer going to be an import next conference. "Hindi na si Brownlee ang import dahil gagawin na natin siyang Pilipino!," he joked which prompted the fans to chant GI-NEB-RA. But Chua then clarified with the media that if ever Brownlee's naturalization pushes through, it has nothing to do with his basketball career but more on his personal life. After all, naturalized Filipinos can not still play in the league as a local. "Sinabi ni Brownlee sa amin kaharap ang buong team, ‘Boss, I want to be naturalized.’" "Brownlee loves the Philippines. He told me many times na kung matapos siya ng paglalaro, he wants to stay in the Philippines and he wants to be naturalized. To make the long story short, he loves the Philippines and he wants to stay here for good." Chua then alluded to the likes of Norman Black who stayed in the Philippines for good after a stellar import career. Brownlee's feelings towards the country just goes to show how great it is to play for the Filipino hoops community. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @cruzdanine.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 12th, 2018

PBA: Brownlee will be in Ginebra for a long, long time

Coach Tim Cone has jokes on his Best Import Justin Brownlee. After Brownlee helped lead the Gin Kings to a third PBA title, Cone was asked how long he plans to keep Justin with Ginebra. "He's done," Cone answered. "We don't want him anymore. Ayaw ko na, bad attitude na," he added. The greatest head coach in PBA history as kidding around of course. He doesn't want Brownlee out. In fact, he plans to keep him in the barangay as long as humanly possible. "He is special, and we're gonna keep him as long as he can stay healthy and as long as he can continue to play," Cone said of Brownlee. "I think he's the measuring stick of all the other imports at this point," he added. Since arriving in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup, Brownlee has now won three titles for Ginebra in four conferences. He's owned the Governors' Cup, where the height limit is 6'5". Now, Brownlee has a title, and a Best Import award, in the Commissioner's Cup, where PBA teams are free to bring in reinforcements of all shapes and sizes. For his part, Justin wants to be a ka-barangay for a long time too. "I wish forever," he said when asked how long does he see himself repping the Gin Kings.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 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: Is Justin Brownlee the greatest Ginebra import ever?

Justin Brownlee continues to work his magic for Brgy. Ginebra. After the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup, Brownlee now has three PBA titles in four conferences. The league's Best Import is a perfect 3-for-3 in the Finals. Since 2016, Brownlee and Ginebra have enjoyed nothing but success together. If he had his way, Justin would like to keep repping the barangay forever. "I wish forever," Brownlee said when asked how long he sees himself playing for Ginebra. "But I don't know man. Just see how it goes. I hope for a long time, but I'm just gonna see how it goes," he added. Ginebra's third championship with Brownlee has to be the hardest though. The Gin Kings started the conference at 1-5, losing their first two games with Brownlee. But then Ginebra caught fire, and with Justin leading the way, the barangay made it all the way to the Finals. Once it was time to challenge the mighty Beermen, Ginebra overcame a 1-2 deficit to dethrone San Miguel. "I kept saying, the team you know, the morale of the team, everybody was staying positive, everybody was still came to work every day very hard, and everybody still sustained their confidence even though we were 1-5," Brownlee said. "It felt like, I can just remember going to practice and the confidence of the team, it felt like we were 5-0. I feel that's a big thing we had this conference, everybody just stayed positive and just kept working hard even though we were down," he added. Many people are starting to call Brownlee as the greatest Ginebra import ever, his numbers and his accomplishments certainly help him make his case. Justin is happy with that but that's not what makes him go. Tomorrow, he'll be right back to work. "Man, that's a great compliment, I definitely love the compliment. You know I don't like to think of myself like that," Brownlee said. "I just want to keep doing good, and just keep working hard, and whatever comes with that, you know I'll take it," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2018

PBA: Happy for Justin Brownlee, Renaldo Balkman is no sore loser

Renaldo Balkman’s redemption tour with San Miguel in the PBA did not end with a championship. Balkman and the Beermen were at the wrong end of a six-game Finals conquest finished by Ginebra on Wednesday. The Puerto Rican reinforcement had long stated that a championship was the ultimate goal for his return to Asia’s first pay-for-play league. When it didn’t happen, though, he was pure class. “It’s all good, man. It was a hard battle, but they came out with the win and congratulations to them,” he said. Of course, Balkman was feeling pain of losing, but in the end, had nothing but praise for the Gin Kings. “I’m a little frustrated, of course, cause, I mean, we lost a championship game, but at the end of the day, you can’t win them all. I’m not a sore loser, give all credit to them,” he said. He then singled out Ginebra counterpart Justin Brownlee who had 31 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists, four blocks, and two steals in the title-clinching win. As he put it, “Congratulations to my man Brownlee. B and B, you know what they say, well-deserved.” He even told the reporters to pass that message to Brownlee himself. “Make sure he knows that, you know what I mean,” he said. Balkman and Brownlee played together for half a year in Alab Pilipinas where they won a title in the Asean Basketball League. In the PBA, however, Brownlee got the better of Balkman. For the San Miguel import, this is far from the end of the road. “What can I say, man. Maybe next time,” he said. Next time, as in next season? “If I’m available next year and they want me, of course, I have no reason to say no. If I do it, it will be another great year for me to come back and redeem myself,” he said. And if that does happen, Balkman had one promise. “If I come back next year, I’ll be stronger and much better,” he expressed. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2018

PBA: Tim Cone knows lights-out Game 1 will stir up the beehive for SMB

Ginebra head coach Tim Cone says that the Gin Kings did everything on their part to steal the first game against the San Miguel Beermen in Game 1 of the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals. With such a game plan, Ginebra filled the chambers with 61.5-percent shooting, including a scorching 13 out of 25 from downtown. Even he can't help but marvel at his team's shooting display, opening the post-game press conference with a hint of surprise. "We were firing on all cylinders, and we kinda got them on their heels early and just never let up. Those games happen. They happen in the Finals, they happen any time," the winningest coach in PBA history said. Cone added that the team's fiery offense never stopped from the get-go, as the lead ballooned to as large as 39 (119-80), midway through the fourth quarter, merely cascading their strong start. In a dominating Game 1 victory, the American coach expects San Miguel to come out firing for Game 2 on Sunday, and expects their opponents to launch a haymaker from tip-off. "But all we did basically was stir up the bee hive, and they're gonna be coming back, sting us big time in Game 2. But at least we came out, we were aggressive, and we played with confidence." Cone again was quick to shower praise to versatile import Justin Brownlee, who again did a masterful performance with 42 points on 85.7-percent shooting, adding nine assists, seven rebounds, two blocks and a steal.  "Basically you can't stop him one-on-one, so they're gonna have to get another defender, and we'll have to read that, see where it's coming from, and try to figure out how to battle it." As for Game 2 on Sunday, Cone obviously does not expect the team to be that hot again, but he hopes a little bit of luck come again at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. The long-time coach even took one of his former team's mantras to the Ginebra locker room, and it could not be more apt.  "Yesterday ended last night. So, this game ends tonight, tomorrow is a whole new day. So we can't let this success here affect the success going forward. It's too easy to think that, 'oh, we've arrived.'" Calling adversary Leo Austria as an excellent one in terms of adjustments, Cone could only hope how his team can do as he expects his opponents shifting to fifth gear next time around. "If I told you I'd have to kill you. Kidding aside, I think that we'll see ... That's the problem with winning a game in a series rather than losing. When you win a game, the reaction all goes to the other team, they make the adjustments, then you gotta come into the game and be ready to adjust to their adjustments." "...But we're not gonna come in doing exactly the same thing, either. We're gonna try to change some things up and try to keep them unbalanced." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 27th, 2018

Ginebra ends month-long skid thanks to Brownlee s near triple-double

MANILA, Philippines – Justin Brownlee did not see his masterful effort go down the drain this time as Barangay Ginebra returned to the winning track in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup for the first time in almost a month. Brownlee delivered a near triple-double of 23 points, 22 rebounds and ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 9th, 2018

Ray Parks Jr. on PBA Draft plans: Never say die!

The future as seen in Ray Parks Jr.’s crystal ball remains murky. Yes, he has committed to play for the Mandaluyong El Tigre in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, but whether or not he will get to play there is yet to be determined. And with the next season of the Asean Basketball League still a long ways away, it’s safe to say the newly crowned champion and back-to-back MVP will not be seeing action there anytime soon. And so, that leaves one more big league – the first and oldest pay-for-play league in all of Asia, if you will. As to playing, at long last, in the PBA, though, Parks Jr. remains non-committal. What he’s already comfortable saying now is that he’s here to stay in the Philippines. Asked if he thought he has reclaimed his place among the top young talents in the country with his stellar showing in the ABL, he answered, “Was I gone? That’s all I gotta say.” He then continued, joshing with the reporters surrounding him while he was at it, “I can’t say I’m back. I never left. I got no love for the past couple of months? A’ight, talk about this, come show me some love the next couple of months.” And when PBA Draft time rolls along some time in September to October, the 24-year-old said he will have an ABL championship and two ABL Local MVPs to show everybody. “Keep talking about this and come (PBA) Draft time, we’ll see,” he said. He also added, “Never say die!” That last statement, he has left us to interpret by ourselves. If we use his post for Alab Pilipinas teammate Justin Brownlee, however, then we would have an idea of what he means.   Word cant even amount to how talented and humble this guy is🙏🏾..Definitely a stand up guy and just a great guy on and off the court.. @magicbrown32 im not gonna make this long bruh,just want to say i appreciate you for coming back to manila to put on a shower not only for Ginebra fans but also the entire Philippines 🇵🇭......ill be seeing you soon 😏 #NSD A post shared by Bobby Ray Parks Jr. (@ray1parks) on May 4, 2018 at 2:46am PDT So you say Never say die, Rayray? --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 14th, 2018

Coach Tim angry at himself, real proud of his players

Ginebra’s campaign in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup has come to a close. With no answers for three-time defending champion San Miguel, the Gin Kings fell in the best-of-seven semifinals, 1-4. Still, the crowd favorites come away from this series with their heads held high – just like head coach Tim Cone told them to. “Sabi niya sa amin, he was proud of us. Sa dami ng pinagdaanan namin this conference, we still fought ‘til the end,” Japeth Aguilar told reporters post-game. He then continued, “’Di naman kami nagkulang. Malakas lang talaga ang San Miguel.” Aguilar mentioned how, throughout the conference, they played with key cogs Joe Devance, Sol Mercado, and Greg Slaughter sidelined for spells. In the eyes of Cone, that kind of fight merits much credit. As he put it, “Japeth really stepped up and we also got great performances from Prince (Caperal) and Raymond (Aguilar). Sol (Mercado) played real well tonight and Scottie (Thompson) was just incredible all series long.” Thompson had his second career triple-double in the series-ending Game 5 while Caperal and the two Aguilars did an admirable job in filling up for the injured Slaughter. Still, San Miguel proved to be too much for majority of the series – and the multi-titled mentor was the first one to take responsibility for letting it happen. “I’m angry that I didn’t do enough for them. I’m angry that I couldn’t win the games for them,” he said. He then continued, “I’ll be angry at myself and I’ll be real proud of our guys.” For now, Ginebra will just lick its wounds and head into the next conference hungrier. “Sana ma-maintain namin iyong health ng bawat isa. We're looking forward to Justin Brownlee coming back and ayun, we'll take a break muna and just look forward for the next conference,” Aguilar remarked. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 17th, 2018

Ranking the possible 2017 Governors' Cup Finals pairings

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 4th, 2017

Gin Kings issue emphatic statement to start semis against TNT

Now, Ginebra is the undisputed team to beat in the 2017 Governors' Cup. The champs issued an emphatic statement to start their semifinal series against no. 2 TNT, scoring a dominant victory Monday at the Big Dome for a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 affair. Making a late run in the first quarter to create separation, the Gin Kings rode the momentum all the way to the finish, leading by as many 34 points in the second half. 'They beat us up in the elims and we got them today,' head coach Tim Cone said, referring to TNT's crushing 121-92 win to end the elimination round last Sept. 23. 'Game 2 is probably going to be exciting. One way, we're happy that we're able to play like this because we're able to beat them. On the other hand, we just filled their bag with a whole bunch of motivation going to Game 2,' Cone added, already looking ahead for the next game. The Gin Kings unloaded a quick 10-0 run in the first quarter for a 27-19 lead, establishing control over a TNT team that just came from a grueling quarterfinal series against Rain or Shine. Using its superior size, Ginebra pounded on the KaTropa all game long, breaking the game wide open in the third period and early in the fourth. With the final 12 minutes pretty much garbage time, the Gin Kings still managed to put up a 113-79 lead as their defense held the KaTropa to only two points in the first six minutes of the quarter. Import Justin Brownlee led seven Ginebra players in double figures with 21 points on top of eight rebounds and five assists. Joe Devance was the top local with 19 points while Greg Slaughter came off the bench to drop 16 points, seven boards, and five dimes. For TNT, Glen Rice Jr. powered the offense with 26 points while Jayson Castro dropped 16, 11 in the opening period. However, the KaTropa's top-2 weapons combined to commit 13 of the team's 22 turnovers. Game 2 of this series will be on Wednesday at Batangas City.   The Scores: Ginebra 121 - Brownlee 21, Devance 19, Slaughter 16, Caguioa 13, Tenorio 10, Aguilar J. 10, Cruz 10, Thompson 7, Mercado 7, Mariano 4, Taha 4, Helterbrand 0, Aguilar R. 0. TNT 94 - Rice Jr. 26, Castro 16, Pogoy 12, Tautuaa 7, Carey 6, Nuyles 6, Rosario 5, Williams 5, Semerad 5, Hernandez 3, Reyes 2, Chua 1, Golla 0, Lingganay 0, Seigle 0. Quarterscores: 31-22, 60-48, 95-75, 121-94.   br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 2nd, 2017

Brownlee against SMB: The twice-to-beat, it was huge for us

The main storyline of the Governors' Cup quarterfinals matchup between Ginebra and San Miguel was the Gin Kings' bid for back-to-back titles vs. the Beermen's Grand Slam chase. Something had to give and unfortunately for the flagship SMC franchise, their Grand Slam count remains at only one. With Ginebra's rousing victory Wednesday night, a twice-to-beat edge certainly helped the Gin Kings big time, easing their pressure by just a little bit. Ironically, Ginebra has Govs' Cup rival Meralco to thank for its playoff bonus. As a matter of fact, the Gin Kings can also send a thank you note to sister team Star. Just last Sunday, the Bolts took care of San Miguel to wrap up the elimination round. If the Beermen won that game, they would be a top-2 seed and Ginebra will face Star in the quarterfinals. And you all know that crazy things happen everytime there's Manila Clasico in the playoffs. Instead, Ginebra secured the no. 3 seed with the Meralco win and made the most out of its unexpected blessing. 'The twice-to-beat, it was huge for us,' import Justin Brownlee said after the Gin Kings eliminated San Miguel following a convincing 104-84 win. 'Anytime you get an advantage over a team like that [Beermen], coach [Tim] he always tells us to take advantage of opportunities. Tonight, we had one of the biggest opportunities all conference long and we took advantage of it,' he added. The turning point of the game obviously came in the second quarter when Brownlee fired 16 points, breaking the game wide open in favor of the defending champions. Brownlee, who is in his third stint with the barangay, said that there were specifc instruction on him to set the tone early. And he did. 'Coach wanted me to come out and be aggressive, don't leaving nothing on the floor and just go all out,' Brownlee said after finishing with 37 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocks. 'That was our main thing, just come out aggressive from the first to the fourth quarter. I think we did a great job on both ends but especially on defense. It gave us the opportunity to separate,' he added. With another trip to the semifnals, Brownlee is looking forward to continue winning and complete Ginebra's title defense. 'At this point, it don't even matter. I was actually looking at the first half of the Rain or Shine-TNT game and Rain or Shine is playing at a high level. We all know what TNT can do so either way it goes, it's going to be a tough fight,' he said on their potential opponents in the next round. 'We're not hoping for either team, it don't matter who we play, we'll try to win,' he added.   br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 27th, 2017

Fil-Am ABL star Jason Brickman sets sights on the PBA

Fil-Am playmaker and former ABL star Jason Brickman is now setting his sights on joining next year's PBA Rookie Draft. Brickman, who was the floor general of last year's ABL finalists Mono Vampire, is looking to find clearance and be able to play in Asia's first pro basketball league. The 27-year-old guard is eligible to forego a PBA D-League stint by the time he gets drafted next year, following in the footsteps of teammate Paul Zamar, Christian Standhardinger, and Stanley Pringle, who had stints in the inter-country league before joining the PBA. "Just I'm hopeful to get into the PBA. Something I've always wanted to do and right now is the best opportunity to do that so that's another reason why I came out here," Brickman said.  The former Long Island University Brooklyn star led the US NCAA Division I with 8.5 assists per game in his junior year, before increasing it to 10 per contest in his senior season.  He also became only the fourth player in men's Division 1 history in handing out 1,000+ assists for their collegiate career. However, before his possible PBA stint, Brickman will be joining Mighty Sports and represent the country in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Tournament in UAE this Feb. 1-9.  He will help coach Charles Tiu in dictating the offense, and will be supported by imports Lamar Odom, Justin Brownlee and Randolph Morris. Also with the team are PBA D-League Finals MVP Gab Banal, former ABL star Fil-Am Jason Brickman, UAAP standouts Juan Gomez de Liano and Santi Santillan, #23for23 member Troy Rike, Jeremiah Gray, Roosevelt Adams, Angelo Wongchuking and CSB high-flyer Justin Gutang, the latter serving as reserve. In his third stint with the Caesar Wongchuking-sponsored squad, he said that he is very happy that he'll be representing 104 million Filipinos once more in an international tournament. "I think it's a great opportunity to represent the Philippines. We have a lot of good local players. Obviously, good imports," shared Brickman.  "There's gonna be some very good teams there. Great competition as well. I'm looking forward to play and do whatever I can to help the team," he added. Known for his playmaking, he assured that he won't be changing his role for the team that drafts him, for he believes a pass-first mentality is his biggest strength. After the tournament, Brickman will solely focus on preparing for the Rookie Draft, and see where it goes from there. __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 28th, 2019

2018: The year of collegiate champions and people s champions

From Katipunan to Mendiola, from Intramuros to San Marcelino, and from Morayta to Las Pinas, the year 2018 will be tough to top. That goes for both the NCAA and the UAAP as both leagues learned that it all begins here before experiencing unparalleled heights. Now, it’s high time for look back at the year that was in collegiate basketball. New year, new regime Before we can look back, however, we first need to look ahead as several new eras are already underway even before the year has ended. Over at La Salle, American coach Jermaine Byrd has been tapped with the hopes he can do to the Green Archers what American-Kiwi mentor Tab Baldwin has done for Ateneo. The same task of a turnaround is also what’s expected from the new hires of Mapua in Randy Alcantara, EAC in Oliver Bunyi, and Arellano in Cholo Martin. Immediate impact Alongside talented tacticians, however, teams need talented players. Fortunately for a handful of teams, they got just that from their first-year players. Ateneo won back-to-back championships all while featuring a brand new paint presence in Ivorian tower and Rookie of the Year Ange Kouame. While being a force is already a given for any 6-foot-11 player like Kouame, both CJ Cansino and Dave Ildefonso also exceeded expectations in their rookie seasons for UST and NU, respectively. Over in the NCAA, Filipino-American high-flyer Justin Gutang propelled CSB just right outside the playoffs while Rookie of the Year Larry Muyang helped re-establish Letran as a powerhouse. The Walls of Intramuros are up again Speaking of Letran, it’s nothing but a welcome development to see them contending once more for the first time since their magical season and championship in 2015. Head coach Jeff Napa, at long last, has a team he can call his own and the Knights look like they will be big, big threats for the foreseeable future. Of course, size was never the advantage for neighboring LPU and rather, they have run-and-gunned their way to back-to-back Finals. With new head coach Randy Alcantara, Mapua is nothing but hoping it can finally catch up with its fellow Intramuros occupants. Started from the bottom, now we’re here Just four years ago, Adamson and UP were cellar-dwellers and were fighting over wins that were meaningless in the standings, but meaningful to their morale. Now, the two teams have just figured in classic semifinals series with both games going down the wire. In the end, it was the Fighting Maroons who advanced to the Finals, but the Soaring Falcons have nothing to be ashamed of, especially as they were one of only two teams that had downed champion Ateneo. Controversy, controversy The on-court action in both the NCAA and the UAAP was, without a doubt, intense. The same can be said, however, for the off-court happenings. The NCAA season started with San Sebastian being forced to forfeit a couple of its wins due to RK Ilagan playing in a commercial league, continued with Perpetual also being questioned about having players who suited up in a different commercial league, and ended with LPU main man CJ Perez getting suspended in Game 1 of the Finals. The UAAP had its share of colorful events with Thirdy Ravena getting suspended and therefore, getting disqualified from individual awards as well as FEU being indirectly helped into the playoffs by the untimely injuries to Adamson’s Jerrick Ahanmisi and Sean Manganti. 2 MVPs, 1 alma mater It’s a universally accepted truth that Prince Eze deserved the NCAA MVP and Bright Akhuetie deserved the UAAP MVP. What’s funny is that, at one point in time, those two were actually teammates over at Perpetual. Yes, the Altas had both Nigerian tower Eze and Nigerian powerhouse Akhuetie seeing action for them for two seasons. Even more, they were also teammates with now Ginebra star Scottie Thompson for one year. Of course, the NCAA MVP and the UAAP MVP agreed that they had to go their separate ways so that both of them can spread their wings and fly. Good thing they did. Good thing they did. Just another season in the office for San Beda So much happened in the NCAA season – LPU’s continued contention, Letran and Perpetual’s resurgence, CSB and San Sebastian being darkhorses. In the end, however, San Beda left no doubt that it was still their kingdom by blanking the Pirates in the Finals. With that, the Red Lions extended their league-leading title total to 22 – with half coming in the last 13 years. We can talk about all the teams and all the players we want, but at the end of the day, the NCAA title will still go through Mendiola. Blue Eagle, still the king At the end of the first round of the UAAP season, Ateneo found itself in a three-way tie for the top spot with FEU and Adamson. By virtue of having lost to both the Tamaraws and the Soaring Falcons, the Blue Eagles were actually in third-place entering the second round. From there, however, Ateneo never lost – and was never even threatened – all the way to back-to-back championships. They did that, with court general Matt Nieto injured for most of the second round and do-it-all forward Thirdy Ravena incurring a suspension as well. Come the Finals, however, Ateneo just unleashed both Nieto and Ravena and ultimately, took the fight out of UP. Her-story for Lady Bulldogs These are the most important numbers for the NU Lady Bulldogs at the end of the UAAP season: five straight championships, 80 wins in a row. Yes, NU has not dropped any of its last 80 games dating back to 2014. With that, they not only eclipsed the 72-game winning streak of the Adamson softball squad, once the longest winning streak in league history, but also ran way past it. Oh, that winning streak – and the five-peat, for that matter – is still ongoing. That’s short of saying that the Lady Bulldogs will only continue to make history next year. Indeed, up was where the Fighting Maroons went From 2007 to 2015, UP only won 13 times out of 126 games. Those days have been self-depreciatingly called “the dark days.” In the recently concluded UAAP season, the Fighting Maroons finally found light at the end of the tunnel. First, at 7-6 with one game to go in the elimination round, they already registered their best showing in 14 seasons. Then, at 8-6 to end the elims, they claimed their first Final Four berth since 1997. Then, in discarding Adamson’s twice-to-beat advantage, they won in the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. Then, by doubling down against the Soaring Falcons, they climbed to their first Finals since 1986. In the end, UP’s Cinderella run didn’t get a happy ending at the hands of Ateneo. But maybe, just maybe, the Fighting Maroons actually aren’t Cinderella. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 22nd, 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

Jett Manuel proud of his boys as UP finally makes UAAP Final Four

Although not being able to personally bring the UP Fighting Maroons to the UAAP Final Four, Jett Manuel was just as happy as he learned of his team's feat. The boys from Diliman have made the postseason for the very first time since 1997, when they were led by the late Bryan Gahol, Joseph "Ogie" Gumatay, and Paolo Mendoza.  Since then, the squad has experienced heartbreak for the next two decades, including a few winless seasons. Manuel, who donned the maroon and white from 2010-16 was not spared from UP's mediocrity, compiling an overall 10-60 record in his five-year playing career, including two 0-14 seasons and the infamous UAAP Season 77 bonfire back in 2014, which celebrated their only win of the campaign. The former team captain admitted that he was following the game while his team, Ginebra, was at shootaround at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, trying to keep their season alive, facing archrivals Magnolia in Game 4 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup semifinals. "Well, I was secretly following the game throughout my pre-game preparation. Di nga ako nag-pre-game shooting para mapanood ko yung game," Manuel shared. UP was already up by 23 when the opening jump took place for Game 3, so Manuel had a good feeling his alma mater had made it and never knew the actual final results until much later. Despite not leaving the bench the entirety of the game, Manuel went home a happy man as the Fighting Maroons downed the DLSU Green Archers, 97-81, while Ginebra forced a Game 4, 107-103. "I’m sad na I wasn’t there in person, but at least I got the win here today." But before some of his former teammates, now the veterans of the squad entered the hardwood, Manuel relayed a good luck message for the team, who were playing at the Mall of Asia Arena. "I spoke to Paul [Desiderio], I spoke to Diego [Dario], to Gelo [Vito] this morning, just telling them good luck, and yung usual ano, I mean, I’m always there for them. I’m just really happy for them. Yun lang talaga." The licensed engineer also shared how he expected that one day his teammates will bear the fruit of his squad's labor, an accomplishment the UP community has eagerly waited for a very long time. "Me personally, leaving UP with that goal na I wanted to leave something behind, leave a culture behind and try to start something, which will eventually lead to this." However, Manuel felt mixed emotions that UP's victory came at the expense of the Green Archers, where his younger brother, Joaqui plays for as a rookie. "...50-50 yung puso ko eh. I’m Maroon-blooded as well as a Manuel. So at the expense of my brother, yeah, I feel sad, but I’m more happy now that finally, finally [UP made it]." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 15th, 2018