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PBA: Ginebra, NLEX already change imports for Commissioner s Cup

The 2018 Commissioner's Cup is yet to start and two PBA teams already changed imports. Brgy. Ginebra decided to let go of temporary import Shane Edwards as the former Alaska reinforcement asked for a leave to attend some sudden personal issues. According to resident agent Sheryl Reyes on Twitter, who represents Edwards, her client asked for permission to return home to deal with his emergency back home in the US. 6'10" Charles Garcia is now Ginebra's import for the mid-season joust. Garcia is an NBA G-League veteran, last playing for the Austin Spurs in the 2016-2017 season. Meanwhile, NLEX also replaced imports as Arnett Moultrie is yet to arrive, held up by his team in Bahrain. Instead, the Road Warriors will go with Adrian Forbes, a 6'10" Jamaican, for the meantime as they await the development surrounding Moultrie.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnApr 20th, 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

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

PBA 43 Review: What’s Blackwater’s ceiling?

The PBA's 43rd season was a loooooong one. Seriously, it started December of 2017 and it ended December of 2018. That's 12 months of almost non-stop basketball. But with the current PBA season finally drawing to a close, it's time we look back at how each team fared in 2018. Today, we take on the Blackwater Elite.   SUPER ELITE Blackwater’s first two conferences were frustrating and forgettable. The Elite’s Philippine Cup as frustrating as Blackwater just couldn’t catch a break. Towards the end, the team had to rely on others in order to advance to the playoffs. Usually, those kind of scenarios don’t end well. It didn’t end well for Blackwater. The Elite missed the playoffs due to inferior quotient. The team didn’t even have the chance to play for a knockout, that’s how bad their quotient was. The Commisisoner’s Cup was worse. Blackwater finished with a 1-10 record and the only win came during a last-second dunk by import Herny Walker. The Elite needed a change of scenery, they needed a spark. Enter Asia League. Blackwater competed in the Super 8 tournament in Macau along with NLEX. And while the Elite were plagued witn inferior quotient once again and missed the semifinals, the team played well and forged some strong chemistry. It was evident when the Elite returned for the Governors’ Cup and Blackwater had its best conference to date. There was still some growing pains for the team, they missed a twice-to-beat edge by one game, but the Elite have made themselves into a true playoff contender. Blackwater has since made changes to its team, but for the upcoming season, it appears that the Elite have a higher ceiling to reach. That’s super.   Blackwater ELITE in the 2017-2018 PBA Season Philippine Cup: 5-6 (10th place) Commissioner’s Cup: 1-10 (12th place) Governors’ Cup: 7-4 (5th place) Overall: 13 wins and 30 losses. One playoff appearance.   POST DRAFT NOTE: Blackwater had quite a haul in the 2018 PBA Draft. Following an approved trade, the Elite got their hands on Paul Desiderio and Abu Tratter for JP Erram. The loss of Erram hurts for sure but Abu joins a versatile frontline that also has Raymar Jose and Mac Belo. That’s a young core but it helps build Blackwater’s future. Desiderio is a strange case as the Elite have more proven players ahead of the rotation. Still, the former UP captain should take over the spot of Paul Zamar in the team. Blackwater technically still has the rights to no. 2 pick Bobby Ray Parks Jr. Pending any deals, the Alab Pilipinas MVP is still headed to the Elite once he jumps to the PBA for real.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2018

Top sports headliners in the year that was

From the FIFA World Cup to the NBA, the PBA to the UAAP and NCAA, the Asian Games to Manny Pacquiao, volleyball to MMA, the past 12 months truly was a great year for Filipino sports fans.   Here are some of the most memorable sports headliners that bannered the year that was.    San Miguel Corporation dominates PBA San Miguel Corporation owned 2018. For the first time in the history of the Asia’s first professional basketball league one company dominated all three conferences of the PBA. The San Miguel Beermen annexed their fourth straight Philippine Cup title against sister team Magnolia last May, while Ginebra rode on undersized do-it-all forward Justin Brownlee to the Commissioner's Cup title at the expense of San Miguel last August. Then it was Magnolia's time to shine in December. The Hotshots dismantled Alaska in six games to complete SMC’s domination of PBA 2018. Outside of basketball, SMC also made its presence felt in volleyball as Petron bagged the Grand Prix, Challenge Cup (beach volleyball) and the All-Filipino Conference in the Philippine Superliga.   Kai Sotto stands tall as Ateneo takes title vs NU Kai Sotto became a household name in 2018 as the 7'1" wunderkind showed off in the UAAP Season 80 juniors' basketball tournament. The eventual Finals MVP was a beast in Game 1 of the Finals against the NU Bullpups, tallying a triple-double of 22 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 blocks in the 86-70 win, the first of its kind since 2003. Ateneo finished the season almost unscathed at 16-1, with their lone loss in Game 2 of the series, a very chippy one to say the least. In Game 3, Sotto came up clutch, scoring the go-ahead basket, 60-58, with about 30 seconds left as Ateneo came away with the 63-58 win to take the title.  SJ Belangel, Joaqui Manuel, Dave Ildefonso and Jason Credo, and coach Joe Silva all appeared in their last games for the Blue Eaglets.   DLSU completes three-peat; NU dethrones Ateneo  The UAAP Season 80 volleyball tournament was filled with lasting memories that will surely be remembered for a long time. Numerous upsets in the eliminations, great games, and much more were the name of the game for the women's tournament. However, a long-time rivalry was rekindled when two-time defending champs De La Salle Lady Spikers met 29-time title holders FEU Lady Tamaraws for all the marbles last May. Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron, and Dawn Macandili all ended their careers on a high note as they swept graduating Bernadeth Pons and the Lady Tamaraws in two straight games to win their third straight title. Graduating libero Macandili was named Finals MVP for the first and final time in her collegiate career.  Behind their magnificent floor defense and some stellar play from Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas, the NU Bulldogs also swept three-time defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles to reclaim a title they last enjoyed in Season 76. Espejo, a five-time UAAP MVP, had an awesome performance for the world's record books, scoring a record-55 points to force the FEU Tamaraws to a do-or-die Final Four. The Blue Eagle legend had played his last, and has since suited up for a semi-pro team in Japan's topflight volleyball league.   Alab fends off Mono Vampire to claim ABL title San Miguel-backed Alab Pilipinas were such a glorious sight to see in the eighth season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) last March. Coached by perennial fan favorite Jimmy Alapag in his very first season, the trio of Renaldo Balkman, Justin Brownlee, and Local and Finals MVP Bobby Ray Parks to their first title in home soil. Alab faced Thailand-based Mono Vampire, who were led by Mike Singletary, towering Sam Deguara, Fil-Am Jason Brickman and Pinoy Paul Zamar. In the very same day as the coronation of the UAAP volleyball championships, Alab took home the crown in a rousing 102-92 victory in Sta. Rosa, much to the delight of the home crowd. Balkman, the league's Defensive Player of the Year led Alab in scoring with 32, while Brownlee added 24 of his own. Parks added 13 markers. The two imports played in the PBA for the Commissioner's Cup, where Balkman (San Miguel) and Brownlee (Ginebra) would face each other in the Finals.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Warriors send LeBron packing to Los Angeles The Golden St. Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers locked horns in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season after the two teams were pushed to the brink in the Conference Finals. Both teams were down 3-2 and won Game 7 on the road to win their respective conferences, with both teams banking on experience to forge another bout in the championship series. Game 1 was undoubtedly the most exciting game in the series as LeBron James had an epic performance of 51 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.  However, JR Smith's blunder at the end of regulation became the lasting image of that game, as he dribbled out the clock with the score tied at 107-all. The defending champions rode the surge and took the opening game, 124-114. Stephen Curry's brillant performance throughout the series was overshadowed by Kevin Durant's dagger in Game 3, a few feet away from the spot where he launched the go-ahead three in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals. Durant was named as the Bill Russell Finals MVP after norming 28.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, and 7.5 apg in the four-game sweep, demolishing the Cavs 108-85 in the series finale last June. It would also be the last game LeBron James had in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform, as he bolted for the Los Angeles Lakers almost a month later.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) France rules 2018 FIFA World Cup The most-coveted title of the beautiful game returned to France after two decades. The youthful French squad celebrated their conquest soaked in a downpour in Moscow after a 4-2 victory over first-time finalist Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup last July. Teenager Kylian Mbappe stood out in the French team composed of a bunch of 25 and under players. Speed, strength and youth became France’s biggest asset during the quadrennial football spectacle watched by almost 3.5 billion viewers around the world.  The 19-year-old migrant scored one of the four goals in the championship match to become the second teen to score a goal in the Finals after the legendary Pele back in 1958. France defeated Belgium in the semifinal, 1-0, while Croatia outlasted the favored Russians in penalty shootout, 4-3 (2-2). The French team also displayed diversity, with players born of migrant parents including Alphonse Areola, whose parents are both Filipinos working in France.   Pac on top, The Filipino Flash returns The most-celebrated Filipino athlete continued make the headlines this year. Manny Pacquaio stripped Lucas Matthysse of his WBA welterweight world championship belt with a seventh round technical knockout win in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in July. Pacquiao split with long-time trainer Freddie Roach during his build up for the Matthysse bout back in April but confirmed their partnership once again for the 40-year old boxer’s title defense against Adrien Broner next year. Nonito Donaire Jr. announced that he would be going back down to super bantamweight after a loss to Carl Frampton in April for the interim WBO Featherweight belt and would be taking part in the World Boxing Super Series' super bantamweight tournament.  Matched up in the quarterfinal round against Ryan Burnett back in November, Donaire scored what many consider an upset, winning via TKO after the Irishman suffered a back injury to snatch the WBA (Super) Bantamweight World Championship.  Up next for Donaire will be WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion Zolani Tete of South Africa in the semifinals.           Pinay power in the Asian Games   The Philippines participated in the 18th Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia that ran from August 18 to September 2. A total of 272 athletes that participated in 31 sports represented the country in the quadrennial meet with Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers and medalist Margielyn Didal marching as flagbearers in the opening and closing ceremonies, respectively. Rio Olympian Hidilyn Diaz gave the PHI its first gold medal in women’s -53 kg. weightlifting. Five days after Diaz’s victory, the trio of Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go accounted for the women’s golf team mint. Saso also bagged the individual gold. In Palembang, Didal rolled her way into winning the women’s street skateboard gold. The celebrated men’s basketball team started out strong after routing Kazakhstan but lost by two-points to China in the group stage. The Gilas Pilipinas squad advanced in the quarterfinals but bowed down to South Korea by nine points eventually settling for a fifth spot in the classification phase after wins over Japan and Syria. The PHI finished with a 4-2-15 gold-silver-bronze haul and landed at 19th spot, three places higher that its 2014 finish in Incheon, South Korea.      Red Lions roar, Blue Eagles soar San Beda University continued its mastery over the NCAA as it annexed its third straight title and 22nd overall. The Red Lions grabbed its 11th crown in 13 years at the expense of Lyceum of the Philippines University. It was one-sided championship series – just like in their Finals meeting last year – with the San Beda ripping the Pirates apart in Game One with LPU playing sans its best player in CJ Perez, who was banned for one game after failing to notify the league of his intention to join the PBA Draft. Perez returned in Game 2 but even his presence didn’t stop the Red Lions from painting the NCAA red once again. In probably one of the most memorable UAAP season in recent years, Ateneo de Manila University won its second straight crown. Ivorian tower and Rookie of the Year 6-foot-11 Ange Kouame made an immediate impact for the Blue Eagles complementing the already stacked Ateneo squad led by Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena. But the glory of Ateneo was overshadowed by the Cinderalla story of the team it vanquished in the Finals. Climbing up from the cellar in the past years, University of the Philippines made history by making it in the Finals for the first time since winning it all in 1986. But before their championship stint, the Fighting Maroons ended a two-decade Final Four drought. UP then shocked twice-to-beat Adamson University with both games decided by game-winners. Ateneo came in the series as the title favorites but overwhelming support from a very hungry UP community and underdogs fans backed the Fighting Maroons. But in the end, it was the Blue Eagles championship experience that prevailed.       Pinoys make wave in MMA Fighters under Team Lakay flexed their muscles in One Championship. Flyweight star Geje Eustaquio opened the year with an interim championship win over former champion Kairat Akhmetov in Manila back in January. Eustaquio then defeated two-time champion Adriano Moraes in Macau last July to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.  Joshua Pacio earned the ONE Strawweight World Championship last September after a unanimous decision win over two-time champion Japanese Yoshitaka Naito. Kevin Belingon dropped former world title challenger Andrew Leone with a now-famous spinning back kick in April. He followed it up with a dominating win over then-two division world champion Martin Nguyen to capture the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion. Belingon ended the five-year reign and seven-year winning streak of of long-time bantamweight king Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes in November via split decision.  Eduard Folayang outclassed Singaporean contender Amir Khan at ONE: Conquest of Champions in Manila in early December to bag the ONE Lightweight World Championship for the second time in his storied career.  BRAVE Combat Federation Bantamweight World Champion Stephen Loman successfully defended his title twice in 2018.  Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera needed only 64 seconds to knockout hard-hitting Italian challenger Mauro Cerilli in Manila early December to remain the king of the ONE Championship heavyweight kingdom.    Petron, Creamline rule respective club leagues Creamline claimed its breakthrough championship in the Premier Volleyball League by sweeping PayMaya in the Reinforced Conference Finals series last July. Alyssa Valdez finally ended a two-year title drought with the Cool Smashers' victory. Creamline opposite hitter Michele Gumabao was named Miss Globe-Philippines during the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 last March. Gumabao represented the country in the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania last October and won the Miss Social Media and Dream Girl awards while landing a spot in the Top 15.     The Cool Smashers completed a sweep of the PVL’s Season 2 after claiming the Open Conference crown at the expense of Ateneo-Motolite via an emphatic series sweep this month. In the Philippine Superliga, Petron reigned supreme in the Grand Prix after taking down archrival F2 Logistics last May. Petron extended its supremacy in the sands after the tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadethn Pons defeated Dhannylaine Demontano and Jackielyn Estoquia of Sta. Lucia in the Challenge Cup final last May. The Cargo Movers got its revenge in the Invitational Cup, toppling the Blaze Spikers in a series sweep last July. Petron wrapped the year with the All-Filipino Conference in its pocket. The Blaze Spikers won its first 14 games before dropping Game 2 of the Finals. Petron swept F2 Logistics in Game 3......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2018

PBA: Ginebra can t win it all says Justin Brownlee

ANTIPOLO CITY, RIZAL -- For the first time in the Justin Brownlee era, Ginebra won't be making the Governors' Cup Finals. However, his team still got a title in Brownlee's third season with the team, a much tougher hill to climb in the Commissioner's Cup, where imports are taller by two inches than this conference. Brownlee was his usual self, tallying 32 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the season-ending 112-108 loss to rivals Magnolia Hotshots at the Ynares Center here. The agreeable import knows they had targets behind their backs this conference, and their opponents had found the key that ended their two-year reign. "You definitely can't win it all. The two championships, the Governors' Cup that we won two in a row was great. A great one. But we understand that trying to win another one, it was going to be very tough," Brownlee shared.   "And like I said, we lost to a really tough team. Magnolia showed why they previously won championships. They showed like they're going to win another one." It was a great season for the 6'5” forward, winning titles in the Asean Basketball League as a member of Alab Pilipinas along with Renaldo Balkman, then defeating his former teammate in the Commissioner's Cup in six games. So what's next? Will he rejoin Balkman and towering 7'2 import PJ Ramos to the fold? "Not sure. Probably just rest and have my body checked out. See if a few nicks and a few pains here and there. Just trying to make sure that my body's healthy and go from there." Brownlee also tipped his hat off to opposing reinforcement Romeo Travis, who scored a career-high 50 points on virtually one leg, carrying himself, and his squad through a Grade 2 hamstring strain. "I had played against him before a couple of years ago in France. He was a great player. He can definitely shoot the ball. His mid-range. Definitely gave us a lot of problems the whole series." "He's an incredible player. He could do many things. He showed why he's an import in this league tonight." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 17th, 2018

PBA: Lee welcomes double duty with Magnolia and Gilas

After a dud in the Commissioner's Cup, the Hotshots are officially back to competing for titles. Magnolia beat Blackwater Tuesday to advance to the 2018 Governors' Cup semifinals. It's the fifth time in six conferences that the Hotshots have made the semis with Lee. "Happy, we have a chance na makapag-laro ulit sa Finals," Lee said. Magnolia's resident hotshot led the team in scoring against the Elite, pouring in a game-high 22 points. It was Lee that buried the final two free throws to seal a 103-99 victory over Blackwater. "Prepare lang kami ng maiigi," Lee said as he and the Hotshots look forward to the semifinals against either Ginebra or NLEX. It was a big day for Lee as aside from advancing to the semis, it was also announced that he's included in the new 20-man pool for Gilas Pilipinas. Lee welcomes the double duty that should come with playing for Magnolia and competing for a Gilas slot. "Embrace mo lang kasi pag iniisip mong mahirap, lalo ka lang mahihirapan," he said. "Ready lang ako lagi, hintay lang kamo ng call kung kailan start ng practice. Sa ngayon, focus muna ako sa Magnolia," Lee added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 6th, 2018

PBA: Can Brownlee and Gin Kings win a title as no. 1 seed?

Brgy. Ginebra is going for another title. The Gin Kings go for a three-peat in the PBA Governors' Cup and their playoff journey in 2018 will start against NLEX Tuesday. After beating TNT Sunday, Ginebra locked up the no. 1 seed in the season-ending joust with their 9-2 record a full game better than the nearest contender. However, being the no. 1 seed doesn't mean much for the Gin Kings. Last week after winning Manila Clasico, Ginebra head coach Tim Cone said that being a no. 1 seed is just "pogi points" and just adds more pressure to a team. [Related: PBA: Cone says no. 1 seed is just "pogi points" but is he right?] Super import Justin Brownlee agrees. "I definitely agree, you come at number 1, you will [sometimes] get a little complacent and a little less hungry," Brownlee said Sunday. "And teams, they're gonna be gunning for you for sure. We know that," he added. The last time the Gin Kings were no. 1 in the PBA with Justin Brownlee, they missed out on the Finals, losing to TNT in the semifinals of the 2017 Commissioner's Cup. In each of their three titles with Brownlee, the Gin Kings' highest seeding was 3rd. After the disappointment from a year ago, Ginebra would look to have a different result as the no. 1 team now and they look to complete a Governors' Cup trifecta. "We're lucky we've been in this situation before," Brownlee said. "Hopefully, from the last time, we can learn from it and we can be better," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 4th, 2018

MAJOR POINT: Has the PBA Solved Its Draft Problem?

Late last week on October 12th, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) made an announcement that the PBA Board of Governors voted and agreed unanimously that starting 2019, the number 1 overall draft pick can no longer be traded and is exclusively for the worst team in the league to pick who they choose. At first glance, the PBA’s announcement looks like a solution to the draft problem that has gone on for over a decade. If you just read the headline or skimmed through the press release or an article written on the subject maybe you think the PBA has found its solution to the draft problem that caused division in the PBA Board and led to the hiring of a new commissioner after another draft debacle last year. Ever the skeptic, I read more than the headlines. Instead of skimming through the press release and articles, I read the fine print. After my readings and a few discussions with basketball people, do I feel the PBA has found a solution to its draft problem? I’m skeptical. I have questions. But before we get to my questions, lets take a look at how the PBA got itself in a situation where they had to make an actual rule that the worst team in the league CAN’T trade the number one overall pick: 2005: Anthony “Jay” Washington gets drafted number one overall by Air21 Express. Washington gets traded on draft day to the Talk ’N Text Phone Pals. Talk ’N Text was second in wins in the PBA in the three conferences leading up to the 2005 draft. 2008: The Talk ’N Text Phone Pals have picks 2 and 4 in the first round of the draft despite being tied for the most number of wins in the 2006-2007 season. They draft Jared Dillinger and Rob Reyes with those picks. TNT trades Jay Washington to the San Miguel Beermen and acquires the third overall pick, which turns out to be Jayson Castro. 2009: Japeth Aguilar is selected number one overall by the Burger King Whoppers. Aguilar plays one game for the Whoppers, before he is shipped to the Talk N Text Tropang Texters in a three-way trade also involving Barako Bull. Burger King was able to get Barako Bull’s 2010 (previously acquired by Talk ‘N Text) and 2012 first-round picks along with Talk ‘N Text’s 2013 and 2014 first-round picks. 2010: Noy Baclao and Rabeh Al-Hussaini are selected first and second overall by Air21 Express. Midway through their rookie season both Baclao and Al-Hussaini along with Rey Guevarra are traded to Petron Blaze in exchange for Danny Seigle, Dondon Hontiveros, Dorian Peña and Paul Artadi. Baclao and Al-Hussaini help the Petron Blaze win the 2011 PBA Governors’ Cup. Al-Hussaini wins Rookie of the Year. 2012: The Petron Blaze Boosters (from Barako Bull via Air21) select June Mar Fajardo number one overall. 2013: Barangay Ginebra (from Air21) selects Greg Slaughter number one overall. Barako Bull had the fourth, fifth and sixth picks in the first round. Barako Bull decides to trade away all three first round picks. The fifth pick turns out to be Terrence Romeo. 2014: Despite winning the Philippine Cup in a 4-0 sweep, Talk ’N Text lands the second and fourth picks overall and selects Kevin Alas and Matthew Ganuelas-Rosser before the 2014-2015 PBA season begins. Alas & Ganuelas-Rosser help Talk ’N Text win the 2015 Commisioner’s Cup. Kia Sorento with their first pick in franchise history selects Manny Pacquiao 11th overall. 2015: Despite winning the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup, Talk ’N Text has the number one overall pick (from Blackwater). Talk ’N Text selects Moala Tautuaa number one and then two days later trade for the number two overall pick, Troy Rosario (Mahindra). 2016: The “Special” Draft. Gilas players are selected behind closed doors. One Gilas cadet per team, not to be traded for two years. Draft order was never released to the PBA fans/public. 2017: The San Miguel Beerman, despite winning two championships, having the most wins and the best win percentage, select Christian Standhardinger number one overall after a trade from Kia. Losing out on the Standhardinger sweepstakes, TNT blasts Commissioner Narvasa for approving the trade. The PBA divides where seven teams declare they have a “loss of confidence” in Commissioner Narvasa. Five teams support Commissioner Narvasa. After a three-month stalemate, Commissioner Narvasa steps down and the PBA Board appoints a new commissioner, Willie Marcial. As you can see, it is a little more complicated than having the number one overall pick protected from a trade. While the number one overall pick has been traded seven times in the last 13 years, which has to be some kind of record, there have been other issues as well. And that is where my long list of questions begins: -    What’s to stop an already winning team from stacking up multiple first round picks other than the number one overall pick, like in 2008 and 2014? -    This "no trading of the top pick rule" becomes effective in 2019. Why the wait? Why can’t it apply this year? Columbian Dyip has the first pick this season. History says they could likely trade that pick to a championship team. Why do we have to go through this make-believe world another year? -    Hypothetically, how would the PBA handle this situation: Phoenix trades an active player to Rain or Shine for ROS’s 2021 1st round pick. Unfortunately, in 2020, ROS has a variety of injuries and acquires the number one overall pick. What happens then? Who gets the first pick? ROS or Phoenix? -    After the first pick is drafted, when does that player selected first become tradeable? Can it be traded after the draft? If not, for how long? Looking at the draft history of the last 13 years, you have to wonder, what were the objectives of teams like Air21, Barako Bull & Kia? Were those teams in the league to form competitive teams? Were they attempting to build championship teams? Why were those teams trading so many of their top picks? Columbian justified its trading of the number pick last year by saying they were going to play in an “unconventional” way. Their unconventional way has led them to five wins in 31 games so far this season. It has also earned them the number one overall pick for the second year in a row. The PBA Draft is supposed to be fun. It used to be fun. Before 2005, the PBA Draft was a legitimate event. It was something to look forward to. The idea of the draft is still special in theory. It’s a day where dreams come true. Drafted players lives change that day. Many times, the lives of a player's family change forever when their son or husband or father is drafted in the PBA. It's an opportunity for teams who have struggled to get better. It's supposed to give hope to teams drafting high and a challenge to teams drafting low. That is how the draft system is supposed to work. Unfortunately, in the PBA that system has been broke for a long time. I like the idea and the spirit of the draft. However, last year on my podcast, Staying MAJOR, I argued that the PBA should scrap its draft. That made me sad. It made me sad because I feel like the spirit of the PBA Draft has been lost. It's been lost by teams manipulating the system for the improvement of their individual team or their team's objective, but not for the betterment of the league. I’m tired of the PBA Draft getting hijacked every year. And now we have to likely go through it again this year. Even after what happened last year. Not being able to trade the number one pick sounds good. It’s a nice blanket statement. I even think it might be a step in the right direction. But, sometimes when you're bleeding, you need more than a band-aid. Fans aren’t naive. They can figure out what’s going on when year after year the rich get richer and the poor stay poor. Maybe some of my questions will get answered here as the draft approaches? Maybe Columbian Dyip won’t trade their pick again? Maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part? If there is a silver lining, it is at least the PBA and its Board have acknowledged that there is a problem. At least there was an attempt to fix it. I’d say vetting of new potential franchises, so the PBA doesn’t have members who want to trade their draft picks to already successful teams is the bigger issue, but hopefully this is a start of trying to level the playing field. Wouldn’t it be fun to have teams that haven’t won in a while, keep their picks and build contending teams? Or at least not give them to the already strong teams? Wouldn’t that be fun? Wouldn’t it be fun to celebrate the draft spirit of hope on draft day without trying to figure out how the best teams ended up with the top picks again? The PBA is a professional, competitive, sports league. That’s what it’s supposed to be. The PBA is supposed to be fun too. However, it’s NOT fun or competitive when the top teams keep picking high every year. That’s not real competition to me. So will the PBA’s new rule regarding the number one overall pick change anything? This year, no. Starting next year, maybe. I’d like to be optimistic that there will be change or that this rule will initiate an on-going conversation of how to make the draft better. Unfortunately, we still have a full year of waiting before we find out. Eric Menk played in the PBA from 1999 to 2016. Menk is a four-time PBA champion, three-time PBA Finals MVP and one-time PBA MVP (2005). He will be writing for ABS-CBN Sports weekly. Menk also has his podcast Staying MAJOR as welll as his own YouTube channel ......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2018

PBA: Energetic Standhardinger runs away with Player of the Week honors

Tireless San Miguel Beer rookie big man Christian Standhardinger secured his first Cignal-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week following his impressive conference debut in the 2018 Governors’ Cup against NLEX. Just a few hours after landing in Manila following his stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the Jakarta Asian Games, the 6-foot-8 Standhardinger suited up the moment he arrived at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. His presence no doubt energized a San Miguel side that missed the services of four-time league Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo. The Cebuano slotman came in with a protective boot due to a right shin fracture he sustained in the Commissioner’s Cup. But the Beermen hardly needed the services of the SMB star center as Standhardinger pumped in a PBA career-high 36 points, to go along with 11 rebounds as the Beermen clobbered the NLEX Road Warriors, 125-112 on Saturday. The hard-banging Standhardinger showed no signs of fatigue though he was just a day removed from registering 27 points and 13 rebounds for Gilas in its 54-point rout of Syria to finish fifth place in the Asian Games. Instead, the former Nebraska and Hawaii standout came out with a lot of energy, making his first six attempts on the way to finishing 14-of-17 from the field in close to 28 minuets of action. Standhardinger won the weekly citation after beating Ginebra forward Japet Aguilar, Magnolia guard Mark Barroca, Jio Jalalon and Rome dela Rosa, Phoenix forward Jason Perkins, TNT’s Jayson Castro and NLEX’s Ken Ighalo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 5th, 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

Kings of the clutch

For a change, Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer made the ongoing PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals more interesting. The Gin Kings engaged the Beermen in a nip-and-tuck battle last night before escaping with a thrilling 87-83 victory for a 3-2 edge in the series that featured blowouts in the first four games. "I guess everybody got what they wanted, it was a close game," said Ginebra coach Tim Cone as the Kings moved within a game of clinching the series before a sellout crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday night. "I remember calling a timeout and told them, 'guys it's all about playing great defense and making stops,'" added Cone, whose team efficiently responded by stifling R...Keep on reading: Kings of the clutch.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 5th, 2018

PBA: Best Import is nice but Brownlee wants another championship

Finally, in his fourth PBA conference, Justin Brownlee is Best Import. Brownlee added the individual award Friday prior to Game 4 of the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup. The all-around dynamo for Brgy. Ginebra beat Renaldo Balkman for the award and it's Brownlee's first Best Import award since coming to the Philippines in 2016. He previously lost twice to Allen Durham in the Governors' Cup while Charles Rhodes won the award last year in the Commissioner's Cup. "Man, it's a great accomplishment," Brownlee said of his new Best Import award. "It's prestige this league [has], and the great imports that have played in this league," he added. Finally taking the Best Import award is nice but Brownlee has bigger and better things in mind. He's looking to add to his PBA championship collection. Brownlee already has two and getting a third one is top priority. Brownlee's Gin Kings are two wins away after Ginebra beat San Miguel in Game 4 to tie the best-of-7 Finals, 2-2. "It's a great accomplishment for myself," Brownlee said on the Best Import award, which he followed up with 37 points in the Game 4 victory. He also had 11 rebounds and seven assists. "But I don't wanna get caught up into that. Of course it's great, but the task at hand is trying to win the championship," he added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 3rd, 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: 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

PBA: Grand ROS reunion a possibility for Asian Games

Rain or Shine and head coach Yeng Guiao are about to be reunited and it should feel so good. Following the FIBA suspension of most of its core, TNT will no longer represent the Philippines in the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia. Instead, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, the no. 1 seed in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup, are all but set to take over in the quadrennial event. Coaching the team will be Yeng Guiao of the NLEX Road Warriors. Before his stint with NLEX, coach Yeng handled ROS and led the team to two PBA titles. In a report by PBA Press Corps president Gerry Ramos of Spin.ph, coach Yeng is all set to be in charge of the Asian Games team and he wants some of his old players back to complete a quick ROS reunion. Guiao reportedly wants Magnolia's Paul Lee and Ginebra's Jeff Chan back though it would be a longshot considering the Gin Kings are yet to even start their Commissioner's Cup Finals series against San Miguel. The last time coach Yeng handled a Philippine team was in 2009 with Powerade-Pilipinas that competed in the FIBA-Asia Championships. Regarding the Asian Games, and the state of Gilas Pilipinas in general, the PBA Board will meet Thursday. The meeting should give more clarity on the numerous topics and issues surrounding the national team.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 2018

PBA: Balkman not too concerned about Finals matchups: 'There s no I in team'

The 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals will have its share of intriguing matchups. At the top of course is the highly-anticipated clash between June Mar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter at the center spot. After that, imports Renaldo Balkman and Justin Brownlee will square off as the former champion teammates now dispute another title. But for Balkman, none of those matchups matter. For him, the most important one of all is the obvious one and that's San Miguel vs. Ginebra. "There's no I in team," Balkman said. "We gotta play as a team, I gotta play with my team, with my teammates. We gotta play team basketball," he added. It doesn't mean that Balkman is dimissing the individual matchups though. But for the upcoming Finals, the team that plays better as the unit should ultimately score the championship. That's what counts in the end anyway. "There's no one-on-one out there. May the best man win. And whoever plays team basketball and come out there and play together and plays great defense thats who will win the championship," Balkman said. "At the end of the day, win, lose, or draw, whoever wins we'll still gonna be friends, brothers -- whatever you're gonna call 'em -- on and off the court. But I know it's gonna be a dogfight out there when we go in between those four lines," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 2018

PBA: It’s gonna be a show – Brownlee on matchup with Balkman

From being Alab-Pilipinas’ dynamic duo, Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman will be going at each other’s throats when Barangay Ginebra challenges defending champion San Miguel Beer for the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup title.     Brownlee braces for a tough grind when he and the Gin Kings battle the star-studded Beermen led by Balkman in the best-of-seven title series starting Friday. “Balkman, seeing his talent and his skillset, what he can do for them, he's probably one of the best imports to play in this league as well,” said Brownlee, who had 12 points and 17 rebounds in Ginebra’s Finals seat-clinching 96-94 Game 4 win over Rain or Shine in the best-of-five semifinals on Monday. “I know its gonna be tough, it’s gonna be exciting especially for the fans, just gotta be ready for Friday,” added Brownlee. Brownlee and Balkman played together during the 2018 ASEAN Basketball League. The duo helped Alab-Pilipinas capture the crown at the expense of Mono Vampire-Thailand in a thrilling five-game series.   “Man, just a couple of months ago, me and him, was like Batman and Robin,” Brownlee said. “But... Like I said, its gonna be exciting for the fans, it's gonna be a treat for them, and hopefully, like one of his favorite quotes, it's gonna be a show. I hope it will be just that.” Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone expects fireworks when these two imports collide. “Well, I'm sure in the beginning, there's gonna be a little giggles and laughs between the two of them, maybe a few high fives, privately,” said Cone. “But once the series gets going, I tell you, those guys, they're so competitive, the two of them.” “They're gonna be mortal enemies out there by the time it's done and good,” he added. “They're former teammates, but I think they're really gonna go at each other.” One could just imagine what would be the first conversation between these friends who will try to carry their respective teams in the Finals. “I don't know how the first few minutes is gonna be. I'll probably text him later, I don't know how will I text him but I'll just congratulate him and tell him give it his all and I will do the same,” said Brownlee.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2018

SUPER 8: Inside the Asia League s grand basketball plans for the region

MACAU --- The Summer Super 8 is just the beginning. The Asia League may only have eight teams, including two Pinoy teams, in its tournaments now with the Super 8, but the FIBA-recognized offseason competition platform for club basketball is targeting bigger and better things. All for the continued development of basketball, particularly in this part of Asia. Matt Beyer, CEO of the Asia League, noticed a couple of years back that there's pretty much no international club-to-club basketball competitions in Asia so he made some things happen. While football has tournaments like the UEFA Champions League, basketball has no such thing. There's the FIBA Champions Cup, but that includes all of Asia. What the Asia League tries to focus on is the East Asia and Southeast Asian territory, where top teams from China, Korea, Japan, and the Philippines can go after each other in high-level tournaments. "I just think there's a huge lack in international club-to-club basketball competition in Asia," Beyer said. "And if you look at China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Chinese Taipei, if you add the population of these geographies, it's over 2 billion people. So there's a lot of fans but no high level club-to-club competition. That's the reason this was created," he added. For Beyer, Macau seems to be the perfect setting to stage such tournaments and for the Summer Super 8, he's looking at it as something that could become Asia's version of the NBA's Las Vegas Summer League. Asia League has eight teams competing for the Super 8 this year with two teams each from China, Korea, and the Philippines plus one each from Japan and Taipei. Next year, the Super 8 may no longer be as the plan is to have 16 teams see action. "What we're aiming for is to become the East Asian version of the Las Vegas summer league," Beyer said. "Our July events, we will expand the scale of the teams. The eight teams this year, I wanna have 16 next year and that means more PBA teams if that's logistically possible," he added. Speaking of the PBA, the Asia League is aggressive is trying to work with getting Filipino teams to its events. Why? Pinoy teams attract crowds and they generally perform well with these kind of tournaments. For the ongoing Super 8, both NLEX and Blackwater ended up with identical 2-1 records. The Road Warriors are in the semifinals and the Elite missed the playoffs by one basket and ended up with an inferior quotient. And despite group play being played on weekdays, a decent Filipino crowd have showed up to watch the action at the East Asian Games Dome. "We started the dialogue with the PBA and Commissioner Willie (Marcial)," Beyer said. "We're trying to coordinate being able to make things work with the schedule and have teams released for the tournaments or just fit into the windows where they're available. I think we can work it out long term and I think this is good for the PBA and to the teams to play against different types of teams for a technical perspective and it should help to get the news out about PBA teams in other markets," he added. Aside from the Super 8 this year, the Asia League also has the Terrific 12 coming up in September. More than the number of teams involved, that tournament should be fiercer with club teams being allowed to have imports. Beyer ideally wants to have the PBA participate in that as well but with the Governors' Cup ongoing at that time, it might be difficult at least for this year. Still, the Asia League wants Pinoy teams, but not just any Pinoy teams. That's why Alab Pilipinas has been in consideration to compete in September though it's yet to be seen if Jimmy Alapag's crew can join. Ultimately, Beyer's goal is to have the Asia League be a hub for teams across Asia to compete with one another in such a way that their own mother leagues aren't being disrupted. The Asia League wants its July event to be the premier offseason joust. "The ideal situation that I look at is the July event be the summer league and expand it to 32 teams in three years. And that becomes the premier offseason forum just like the Las Vegas summer league is in the West," Beyers said. "September, we can't expand it above 12, that might be a little too big but let's see how it goes. That's gonna be the biggest preseason party for teams. We're gonna have the best rosters, tons of media, and broadcast on over 30 platforms all over the world," he added. That seems grand enough for the Asia League but there's more. Soon enough, full integration is going to be Beyer's target. "What we want starting the 2019-2020 season is to have integration into the seasons. What I look at is a pilot project where we take teams that are on the region and put them into two small groups that play home and way through the season, maybe one game per month to start," Beyer said. "And then we do a Final Four event, probably here in Macau to start. And then maybe that Final Four event can be like Euroleague Final Four before it moves around the region at an annual basis. That would be what I like to see. That would require a deep partnership with FIBA and the associations like the PBA," he added. Ultimately, the Asia League would like to stay true its mission to raise the standard of basketball in the region through greater collaboration with different leagues. It helps that for the current Super 8, teams are in it to win it and are taking things seriously. There should be more to come. "This isn't a one off tournament. We want to have a series of events. FIBA's mandate is a little different than ours but I think the goal is the same, we want to develop basketball and make the level of competition better in the region," Beyers said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 21st, 2018

Victolero rues multiple change of imports as Magnolia fails to reach semis

MANILA, Philippines – Playing with 4 different imports in an 11-game conference played a huge factor in Magnolia failing to reach the semifinals of the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup, Hotshots head coach Chito Victolero lamented.  The Hotshots saw their streak of 4 straight semifinals apperances halted after absorbing a ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 10th, 2018

PBA: Wayne Chism relying on Paul Lee to help adjustment with Magnolia

Wayne Chism made his 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup debut Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena, helping the Magnolia Hotshots to a 116-89 win over his former team NLEX. Chism made an immediate impact as he filled the statsheets with an all-around impressive performance highlighted by 27 points and eight rebounds to help the Hotshots to a 5-5 record.  It was a welcome sign for the Hotshots, as they welcome already their fourth import in this conference alone, after Vernon Macklin, Curtis Kelly, and Justin Jackson. Now, as the eighth-seeded Hotshots try to make a push for the postseason, Chism hopes to fit in just quickly, and he's counting on a longtime teammate in Paul Lee to help with the adjustments.  "That's very easy, 'cause me and Paul have been together, we've been together for three, not together for one of 'em, so it was great to be back out there with Paul to teach me more things about the other guys and about this organization and how to play with these guys." Chism and Lee played together in Rain or Shine for two conferences back in 2014-2016. Lee was traded to Star/Magnolia in 2016.  Now, the 6-foot-9 Tennessee native hopes to be able to recreate the success that he and Lee had during Rain or Shine's Commissioner's Cup Finals run back in 2015.  "I'm here to help the team win and build confidence with the team and help them get their confidence back." Chism said.  Talking about his predecessors, Chism says that he can't say anything bad about the imports that came before him during the conference.  "I can't [talk down about] the other imports because they did a good job while they was here. It's just, with the coaching staff, it didn't work out." Chism maintains that he has one job with Magnolia, and that's to help.  "I'm here to help the guys, not to take over anything from them or take anything from 'em, just like today's game, the game was very very fast, everybody was moving the ball, everybody was touching and scoring the ball, so that shows the team is getting back the chemistry that they used to have." Magnolia will have a shot at securing a spot in the post season when they take on Magnolia on Saturday, July 7th at the Araneta Coliseum. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 4th, 2018