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PBA: Nash says Castro asked for extra rest after infamous Gilas-Boomers brawl

Jayson Castro was DNP-rest Saturday for TNT against Rain or Shine. Head coach Nash Racela says his star point guard asked for a day off to help recover from the now infamous Gilas-Boomers brawl earlier this week in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. "Well, he needed time to recover. He talked to me before the game, he was asking for some rest," Racela said. "We were able to give it to Roger [Pogoy] in a way by lessening his minutes but just give him time to recover. Hopefully, he'll be ready for next round," he added. Castro for his part, says it was perfect timing to rest and recover considering the TNT-ROS game was pretty much no bearing. The Elasto Painters were no. 1 anyway and the KaTropa were set to a best-of-3 series in the quarterfinals. "Kinausap ko lang din si coach. Ready to play ako pero since nakita ko yung situation na kaya naman and at the same time the way Rain or Shine played parang relaxed sila," Castro said. "So might as well magrest na lang ako para makapagpahinga for the playoffs," he added. After barely making the Philippine Cup playoffs, Castro likewise mentioned that there's a collective sigh of relief for TNT now after locking up the no. 3 seed. "Nananalangin pa kami na manalo yung mga ibang teams. Parang twice-to-beat yung kalaban namin. This time number three kami, which is yun naman yung gusto namin, nasa Top 4 kami," he said. "Kung sinong makalaban namin okay lang naman, parehong top team naman sa PBA yun eh. At least best-of-three, may chance kaming makabawi just in case maunahan," Castro added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJul 7th, 2018

Jayson Castro asks for time to ‘recover,’ skips TNT’s final elims game

Jayson Castro missed TNT's final elimination round game in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup against Rain or Shine to rest, as per his head coach Nash Racela. According to Racela, Castro had to take a time off to "recover" from the brawl between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia in the Fiba World Cup Qualifiers last Monday. "He needed time to recover. Jayson talked to me before the game. He was asking for some rest," Racela told reporters on Saturday after the game. READ:Gilas players say sorry for failing to keep emotions in check leading to brawl Castro played a significant role in the free-for-all as he was seen punching Aussie big man Daniel Kickert in the face. The veteran point gua...Keep on reading: Jayson Castro asks for time to ‘recover,’ skips TNT’s final elims game.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 7th, 2018

FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: Chot stands his ground with Gilas, basically names Kickert as trigger

BOCAUE, BULACAN --- There's obviously more to the story of Gilas Pilipinas' ugly brawl against Australia Monday at the Philippine Arena here. But in the immediate aftermath of the free for all, the Philippine national team is standing its ground, basically saying that all they did was protect themselves. [Related: FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: Gilas-Australia match ends in ugly brawl] In a quick interview with a handful of media after the game, Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes says that they actually tried to restrain their players. But after continued extra activities from the Boomers, particularly forward Daniel Kickert, things just got out of control real quick. Coach Chot mentioned an incident even before the game started as both teams apparently got into it during warm ups. "I don't know if he was trying to get into our minds, if he was trying to start something," Reyes said of Kickert. "I have no... whatever his motive is, there was no excuse for him doing what he did during the warm- up. Nakakita na ba kayo na tinira yung kalaban sa warm-up? Sa lay-up line? Hindi pa naguumpisa tinira na tayo. What do you expect us to do?" he added. With the incident pre-game, Reyes said that they told their players to brush it off and focus on the game. Regardless of the Pinoy's apparent focus, the Boomers started to break the game wide open in the second half.  [Related: FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: Gilas loses to Australia by default after fight-marred game] And at the four-minute mark of the third period, things went south. After a physical sequence, RR Pogoy shoved Australia's Chris Goulding to the floor. That prompted Kickert to hit Pogoy, knocking him to the floor as well. Almost immediately, Jayson Castro and Andray Blatche went after Kickert and the Gilas bench followed soon after. In the end, a totoal of 13 players were ejected, nine from Gilas. The Philippines ended up losing by default. [Related: FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: Boomers regret ugly brawl with Gilas Pilipinas] Facing possible sanctions from FIBA, Reyes is ready to accept but he maintains Kickert had a huge role in all of it. "I don't know. It's up to FIBA in the end. We need to face those consequences, it is what it is. One thing I know about this team is that we're not gonna back down. We already restrained the players before the game. We told them wag na pansinin," Reyes said. "Then Kickert did all of those things at the start, sa warm-up line. We told them wag na pansinin, focus on the game. But you know, when he did that in th third quarter it was hard to restrain them anymore," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2018

Jayson Castro: Gilas not looking for fights

MANILA, Philippines – Add Jayson Castro to the list of Gilas Pilipinas players  and team officials who have apologized for the  infamous brawl  between the Philippines and Australia  in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifying game on Monday, July 2, at Philippine Arena in Bulacan.  The usually mild-mannered ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2018

Pogoy, Abueva break silence, apologize for FIBA brawl

MANILA, Philippines – A remorseful Philippine squad showed up for dinner. After Japeth Aguilar , Andray Blatche and Jayson Castro  posted their personal statements on social media, the rest of the Gilas players also apologized for figuring in a  bench-clearing brawl  with Australia during a sponsor-hosted gathering on Tuesday night, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2018

FIBA: Chot takes responsibility for ugly Gilas-Boomers brawl

MANILA, Philippines --- There's a saying that when teams win, it's on the players. When teams lose, it's on the coach. And after Gilas Pilipinas figured in an ugly brawl against Australia in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, the incident is definitely on head coach Chot Reyes. [Related: FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: Gilas-Australia match ends in ugly brawl] Reyes knows. "As a head coach ultimately, I take accountability and responsibility," Reyes said on SportsCenter Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the free for all at the Philippine Arena. Reyes also addressed the video that surfaced that showed him supposedly giving instructions to take down the Australian players by force. Chot denied such claims and downplayed the whole thing, saying the words were taken out of context. [Related: FIBA: Gilas boys starting to issue apologies for infamous brawl against Boomers] "Anyone who understands basketball, if you take offense with that statement, you don't know basketball," Reyes said. "That's number one. But number two, take a look at the statement, they're beating us on transition so foul early, don't give a layup, foul early, hit somebody, put him down so that the referees will call a foul. It's basketball, for me I'm not even bothered by all the bashers and all the negative feedback I'm getting on that. Every coach that you ask will tell you that's basketball," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2018

FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: Gilas loses to Australia by default after fight-marred game

BOCAUE, BULACAN --- After an ugly free for all, Gilas Pilipinas was left with only three players to go up against the talented Australians at the Philippine Arena here. With four minutes to go in the third period, a brawl broke out between the Philippines and Australia. After the commotion settled and reviews were done, four players from the Boomers were ejected. Thon Maker, Nathan Sobey, Daniel Kickert, and Chris Goulding were thrown out on the part of Australia. For Gilas, Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, Terrence, Romeo, Calvin Abueva, RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Japeth Aguilar, Matthew Wright, and Carl Bryan Cruz were ejected for disqualifying fouls, leaving Gabe Norwood, June Mar Fajardo, and Baser Amer to fend of themselves. The game naturally ended with an Australia win by default after Norwood and Fajardo fouled out. Final score was 89-53, leaving 1:57 on the clock in the third period. [Related: FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: Gilas-Australia match ends in ugly brawl] As it stands, Australia took over first place in Group B and will head to the second round of the Asian Qualifiers with a 5-1 record followed by Gilas Pilipinas (4-2) and Japan (2-4). In terms of the game before the brawl, Gilas kept it competitive after the opening 10 minutes but a 9-0 run by Australia in the second quarter opened things up. As the Boomers took a double-digit lead, the Philippines never recovered and the Australians cruising for a victory that could have been a fitting bounce back a suffering a shock upset at the hands of Japan last week. After nearly everything went right for Gilas in a dominant road win over Taipei, nearly everything went wrong for the Philippines in its home stand. Everything went wrong actually and the Philippines could be facing trouble with FIBA over the incident.   The Scores:   AUSTRALIA 89 — Goulding 20, Kickert 12, Dellavedova 9, Brandt 8, Maker 8, Kay 7, Lisch 7, Sobey 7, Gliddon 6, Drmic 5, Cadee 0, McCarron 0. PHILIPPINES 53 — Blatche 12, Fajardo 10, Castro 8, Aguilar 6, Romeo 6, Norwood 4, Pogoy 4, Amer 3, Abueva 0, Rosario 0, Wright 0.   Quarters: 23-18, 52-37, 89-53.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2018

Gilas Pilipinas By the Numbers: Release the Kraken

That's two teams Gilas Pilipinas has now swept in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Despite limited preparation once again, the national team only started daily practice last Monday for their Friday game in Taipei, Gilas Pilipinas dominated Taipei on their home floor, scoring a masterful 93-71 victory to start the third window of the opening round of these qualifiers. Despite first-quarter woes persisting, the Philippines played its finest game of the tournament to date, setting up the highly-anticipated rematch against Australia. But before the Boomers come to town, let's take a quick look back at Gilas Pilipinas' impressive win over the Taiwanese.   22 Number of points for June Mar Fajardo, his new FIBA career high. The Kraken came off the bench and played just a shade under 21 minutes for Gilas Pilipinas. He was dominant. Fajardo made nine of his 12 shots from the field and scored 11 points in the third period, helping Gilas Pilipinas establish its dominance. By the way, June Mar's previous FIBA high was 17 points, also against Taipei back in the first window. We're guessing Fajardo likes playing the Taiwanese.   14 Number of points for Terrence Romeo. In his debut game in these Qualifiers, the Bro also came off the bench, playing 25 minutes. With Kiefer Ravena suspended, Terrence has regained his spot as the main backup point guard for the national team, just behind his TNT teammates Jayson Castro. Against Taipei, Romeo was calm and cool, collecting 14 points on 54 percent shooting all while dishing out six assists. The Bro had zero turnovers.   51 Number of bench points for Gilas Pilipinas. The bulk came from Fajardo and Romeo of course but the rest of the bench came through as well with RR Pogoy adding eight points and Troy Rosario adding another five. Gilas' second unit came to play.   12 Number of turnovers for Gilas Pilipinas. Despite the slow start, the national team was never really erratic, they were just missing shots. Gilas did a great job of being in control all game. In comparison, Taipei had 22 giveaways.   14 Number of steals for Gilas Pilipinas. The Philippines was in control on offense but the national team was absolutely chaotic on defense. Gilas forced 22 turnovers, 14 from steals. Gabe Norwood led the pack with five, proving that he's still the country's premier defended. Andray Blatch had three steals as he capped a fine all-around performance. He also had two blocks to go along with 13 points and 12 rebounds, easily his most productive and active performance in the Asian Qualifiers.   4 Number of wins for Gilas Pilipinas in the Asian Qualifiers, same as Australia. With the Philippines dominant win and the Boomers' shock loss to Japan, the Gilas-Australia rematch will be for first place in Group B. Game is set for Monday, July 2, at the massive Philippine Arena.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 29th, 2018

The Blur proves his status as Gilas 'premier closer'

MANILA, Philippines --- Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes labeled Jayson Castro as his "premier closer" Sunday after the game against Japan in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. The Blur proved his coach right. With the Philippines holding on to a two-point lead late against the Japanese, Castro came through with a clutch floater under duress, giving Gilas an 88-84 lead with 10 seconds to go. Castro finished with only eight points, all in the second half. His "game winner" was his only make in the fourth period. That was more than enough for the Philippines to secure the win and move on to the second round of the Asian Qualifiers. "Siguro as a veteran, yung mga ganoong responsibility kailangan ko [i-grab], kasi yun nga, nakita ko naman na may advantage ako," Castro said. "Yung mga moment na ganoon, kapag beterano ka, dapat ikaw yung [kumuha]. So miss or make, yun nga, basta matira lang namin. Lucky lang na na-shoot," he added. Castro has played three games in these Qualifiers and for each game, he has been crucial in the clutch, giving the Philippines three wins to advance to the second round. The only game he missed due to an ankle injury was the road game against Australia earlier this weeek. Gilas lost to the Boomers. After being on the shelf, he made sure to be ready in the rematch against the Akatsuki Five. "Almost one week akong walang basketball din eh, totally rest lang 'yung mga couple of days. Sa Australia din ako nag-start mag-rehab, mga light work out lang," he said. "And then, last night lang 'yun, nag-scrimmage ako. Pero 'yun nga, sabi ko naman, ready ako just in case na gamitin ako," Castro added. Missing his shot against Australia, Castro is now looking forward to meeting the Boomers in July at the Philippine Arena. He is confident about the Philippines' chances of an upset. "Na-feel namin na may chance tayo eh, as long as maaga lang tayong mag-prepare and at the same time 'yun nga, makapag-training camp man lang, at the same time makapag-tune up game para ma-feel lang 'yung isa't isa ulit," Castro said, talking about Australia. "Parang 'yun ang kailangan para talunin 'yung Australia eh. Kasi alam naman natin na kaya natin sila," the Blur added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 25th, 2018

At least 15 players expected to show up for Gilas practice next week

At least 15 players are expected to show up Monday, Jan. 8, when Gilas Pilipinas officially opens camp to start 2018. According to head coach Chot Reyes, the team already got clearance from PBA OIC Willie Marcial for the release of the 15 players even if the league is just starting to pick up steam in the ongoing Philippine Cup. As per usual, Jayson Castro and June Mar Fajardo will lead Gilas to training to start the year followed by Calvin Abueva, Kiefer Ravena, and Gabe Norwood. The rest are Kevin Alas, Jio Jalalon, RR Pogoy, Matthre Wright, Allein Maliksi, Carl Bryan Cruz, Mac Belo, Troy Rosario, Raymond Almazan, and Japeth Aguilar. For now, Gilas training is limited to once a week every Monday however, do expect the national team to resume its normal schedule very soon. For the next window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, the Philippines (2-0) will travel to Australia to take on the Boomers (2-0) on Feb. 22. Three days later on Feb. 25, Gilas will host Japan at the MOA Arena.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2018

UAAP: Unbeaten Bullpups bury Jr. Warriors in 72-point hole

STANDINGS NU 5-0 Ateneo 4-1 Adamson 3-2 DLSZ 3-2 FEU-Diliman 3-2 UST 2-3 UE 0-5 UPIS 0-5 Nazareth School of National University is far from full strength and yet, it remains the standard of the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament. Gerry Abadiano and Terrence Fortea showed the way, but all of the Bullpups played their parts to perfection as they ran hapless University of the East out of the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City to the tune of a 72-point obliteration, 115-43, on Saturday. Abadiano and Fortea scored 17 and 16 points, respectively, to lead four other teammates in double-digits as they stayed spotless after five games. “Mas maganda yung movement ng bola namin kanina compared sa ibang games tapos yung defense naman, maganda rin from start to finish,” head coach Goldwin Monteverde said post-game. It was those two who got going right from tip-off and, alongside Reyland Torres and Kevin Quiambao, combined for 28 points in the first half. With just the four of them, NU already outscored all of the Junior Warriors at that point, 28-18. The Bullpups would not take their foot off the pedal the rest of the way even as Abadiano and Fortea rested on the bench for much of the second half. In the end, Torres had 13 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals while Quiambao had 10 markers, five boards, and two dimes. Little-known Menard Songcuya and Renzo Abiera also contributed 10 points apiece to help make up for the absence of Batang Gilas big man Carl Tamayo. “Yung process of becoming a team, yung biggest challenge pa rin namin is how to play together,” coach Goldwin said. Shane Dichoso paced still winless UE with nine points. In the day’s other game, Adamson High School topped University of Sto. Tomas in overtime, 77-74. Andrey Doria dropped half of his 14 points in the extra period to go along with a total of seven rebounds while brother Adam also added 18 markers, five boards, and three steals as the Baby Falcons forged a three-way tie for third-place at 3-2. Big man Lorenz Capulong also came up big with a 17-point, 14-rebound to make sure they overcame an off-game by main man Joem Sabandal who only had eight points before leaving the game due to an apparent left leg injury. For the Tiger Cubs, Mark Nonoy stuffed the stat sheet anew with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. He also had 10 turnovers, however, and as a team, they saw their 34 turnovers get converted into 21 points to fall to 2-3 in the standings. BOX SCORES THIRD GAME NU 115 – Abadiano 17, Fortea 16, Torres 13, Quiambao 10, Songcuya 10, Abiera 10, Gonzales 7, Alarcon 6, Vinoya 6, Buensalida 5, Javillonar 4, Enriquez 4, Dayrit 4, Felicilda 3, Mailim 0. UE 43 – Dichoso 9, Flores 7, Agbas 6, Almacen 6, Escamilla 5, Sullano 4, Dy Tioco 3, Alinsoring 2, Villarta 1, Tan 0, Lima 0, Gatdula 0, Santos 0, Tajonera 0, Mendoza 0. QUARTER SCORES: 27-10, 57-18, 92-30, 115-43. FOURTH GAME ADAMSON 77 – Ad. Doria 18, Capulong 17, An. Doria 14, Sabandal 8, Prodigo 6, Engbino 5, Santos 4, Hanapi 2, Barcelona 2, Dominguez 1, Nitura 0. UST 74 – Nonoy 20, Marzan 16, Benzonan 14, Casingcasing 12, Lina 10, Sumabat 2, Oliva 0, Manabat 0, Estrella 0, Amador 0, Dumlao 0, Dolendo 0, Gamboa 0. QUARTER SCORES: 25-15, 40-32, 53-43, 66-66, 77-74. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2018

June Mar on crucial missed free throws: 'Mintis lang talaga'

MANILA, Philippines --- After Jayson Castro beat the shot clock for an incredible three-pointer giving Gilas Pilipinas a 68-67 lead, the Blur found June Mar Fajardo down low for a possible score and a three-point advantage. Fajardo tried to dunk it but he missed. He was fouled though and June Mar had the chance to score the two points from the free throw line. Up one with 2:20 left in the game, the reigning four-time PBA MVP missed both. While Fajardo would redeem himself a couple of plays later, giving the Philippines its last lead of the game, 70-69, in the final minute, those two missed free throws would prove to be costly for Gilas Pilipinas and Iran would eventually go on to win with a final 9-0 blast. "Wala, nag-mintis lang talaga," Fajardo said when asked the free throws. "Nakaka-frustrate." Gilas Pilipinas has now lost back-to-back home games and each time, the national team had the chance to win. The Philippines just failed to execute down the stretch. "Nakakapanghinayang," Fajardo said. "Nandun na tayo, may chance tayo manalo. Na-shoot lang din nila yung mga crucial shots nila," he added. Gilas Pilipinas is now in danger of missing the FIBA World Cup. But as the national team deals with this disappointing loss, June Mar says all is not lost just yet. "Kailangan ng time, kasi galing kami sa iba-ibang sistema. Yun lang sinasabi ni coach, kailangan talaga mag-adapt agad kasi short period lang yung preparation. Nakakalungkot pero mananalo tayo as a team, matatalo tayo as a team," he said. "Kailangan matuto tayo sa game na ito," June Mar added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2018

Futility in Phoenix wears on Devin Booker

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com He is already a star at age 22 but on this particular play, Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker had role player instincts Sunday (Monday, PHL time) at Staples Center. The basketball bounced toward the baseline, beyond his reach, and he hustled anyway. And so the predictable happened: The ball beat him off the court and into the first row. Then the unthinkable happened: He grabbed his left leg and bent over in pain. The first player who rushed over to him yelled: “Book! Book! Hamstring?” ]It was thoughtful of LeBron James to check on Booker, even better if LeBron did this last summer as a free agent when Booker really could’ve use a hand. Instead, Booker is not only limping right now -- hopefully just temporarily for the team’s sake -- but also losing, something he has done more prolifically in Phoenix than get buckets. One of the shames of the NBA is how one of its breakout stars and franchise players is stuck on a habitually bad team, with no playoff shine in sight, and mostly invisible. Yes, only LeBron and Kevin Durant have reached 4,000 career points faster than Booker, but neither ever took Ls like this. Booker is now up to 136 in slightly over three seasons and once again the Suns, now 4-19, are on pace to be forgotten by Christmas. You could hardly blame their fans for getting their basketball fix these days by watching Duke games. All roads lead to the lottery, as it has since 2015 when Booker became one of the few draft decisions that actually worked out. But for Booker and the Suns, that’s some tough medicine, playing another 55 games, swallow many depressing nights along the way, and then pray the odds work in their favor come June. It’s fair to wonder how much of a toll this culture takes on Booker, who’s once again a player who demands a double team, averaging nearly 25 points a game and doing decently as a stand-in at point guard. Some perspective is needed, though. Booker signed a five-year, $158 million contract extension in July, giving plenty of living and den space for all the losing he takes home at night. Still, he said, "It sucks." Booker lost 58 games as a rookie, then 58 again, then 61 last year and may reach 65 or more this season. He’s lost 13 straight games twice, and the Suns once lost 28 of 30 with Booker on the floor. In an 82-game season, it shouldn’t be terribly difficult to put together, say, a four-game win streak. Booker is still waiting on that. For years the situation just wasn’t pretty in Phoenix and it’s only slightly less ugly now. Too many poor Draft picks have delayed progress and ruined the team. Former lottery picks Dragan Bender, Marquese Criss and Alex Len couldn’t earn rookie extensions and there was Phoenix's infamous point guard fetish of recent years when they went through Isaiah Thomas, Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight for little or nothing in return when they left. Sprinkle in some weird free-agent decisions -- like signing Tyson Chandler only to buy him out three years later -- and hilariously chasing LaMarcus Aldridge and it smacked of a team lacking both direction and a plan. Most of these moves were made by former GM Ryan McDonough and while James Jones represents a refreshing front-office change, he comes with little experience in that role. When you examine the fast-track of Booker, you get the best young scorer the league has seen since Durant and LeBron. You also get these numbers: Two, four and 47. That’s how many general managers, coaches and teammates Booker has had in less than four NBA seasons, heavy turnover storming all around him. “My whole career except for the NBA, I’ve been a winner,” Booker said. “I want to get back to that. I’m done with not making the playoffs.” Well, the circumstances say otherwise. The Suns are essentially holding tryouts for the future now, though. Chandler was the first one thrown overboard and if Phoenix could get anything for Ryan Anderson and his contract, he’d be next. For some reason Phoenix gave a head-scratching $15 million this season last summer to aging swingman Trevor Ariza. He's shooting 37.2 percent and scoring 9.9 ppg, taking minutes from young players. Among rotation players, the lone holdovers from 2017-18 are Booker, TJ Warren and Josh Jackson. Taking some advice he received from Chandler, who became a mentor, Booker believes it’s necessary for him to adopt a more forceful role on the court and in the locker room even if, from an age perspective, he needs more seasoning for that. But what are the alternatives, given the ever-changing lineup? “I’m doing more leading by example and being more vocal about it, holding people accountable and hold myself accountable too,” he said. It’s a chore trying to pick up others when, after taking yearly poundings, you need a hand yourself. This is the mountain Booker is up against. Again. “I know losing is tough on him because last year as a rookie I struggled with it,” said Jackson. “I’m just keeping my head on straight now. We show flashes but we need consistency.” Or you could say they need LeBron. And if Booker misses any extended time with a hamstring that has given him trouble before Sunday, well, as Jackson said: “Everybody knows we need him desperately. The sooner we get him back, the better.” With the possible exception of the Knicks, no franchise has splattered the concrete with the speed and consistency as the Suns. Before Booker was born, the Suns were a destination franchise, a place most players wanted to sign with, get drafted by and be traded to. The balmy winter weather was an obvious attraction but in the mid-1990s with Charles Barkley, and then 10 years later with Steve Nash, the Suns were also entertaining and won everything except a championship. Sellouts were common, the arena was a tough place for visitors and fans frolicked along with the Gorilla mascot. All this happened on Jerry Colangelo’s watch and prosperity under owner Robert Sarver is on hourglass time. At least Booker is locked up for four more years and there’s no danger of losing him, at least to another team, in the immediate future. They could lose him to frustration, though, fairly soon, especially when he sees other teams playing meaningful games and listens to other players during USA Basketball gatherings talk about what he’s missing. “I’ll do whatever I have to do,” Booker said, when asked about recruiting help in the near future. “I think Phoenix is a place where people can see the potential, see our young nucleus.” Unless there’s a reversal of fortune in the near future, Phoenix could remain a basketball wasteland and no player, not even Booker, wants to wallow in that. Problem is, until there’s a positive roster shakeup, the Suns lack enough to convince another superstar to sign up next summer or maybe even by 2020. At least when their lone star falls to the floor, as he did Sunday against the Lakers, Booker carries enough clout and respect to get a hand of a different sort from LeBron James. For now, that must do. Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2018

With lesson learned, Castro excited to lead PH again

Jayson Castro's back wearing the Philippine colors in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers a changed man after serving his three-game suspension that left him out of crucial games the team played in. The Philippines went 1-2 during Castro's absence and this led to Gilas Pilipinas going into a third-place tie with Japan toting similar 5-4 records. Castro said he's learned his lesson after he got involved in the brawl between Gilas and Australia when the two teams first met in the first round of the competition. The Philippines lost that game 89-53 after the team got dwindled down to three men---June Mar Fajardo, Baser Amer, and Gabe Norwood---and Amer was the last one to remai...Keep on reading: With lesson learned, Castro excited to lead PH again.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2018

Gilas Guiao to Jordan s Stiebing: 'I was challenging him to take my ass'

MANILA, Philippines --- One thing about head coach Yeng Guiao is that he's not going take anything from anyone. He will stand up for himself. Seriously, literally anyone familiar with the PBA knows that as a fact. Guiao and his Gilas Pilipinas were tested Wednesday at the Meralco Gym here as the national team's practice game against Jordan unfortunately ended with a commotion. As Jordan was protesting a foul call in the fourth quarter, things escalated to the point that the Jordan national team ended up walking out for good. The final incident was triggered after a Jordan player ended up throwing the ball on Scottie Thompson --- an action that merits automatic ejection in the PBA, much like what happened to Blackwater's Mike Digregorio a couple of weeks back in the 2018 Governors' Cup. While that action seems harmless enough and the penalty actually severe on a first look, the PBA Commissioner's office reasons that those plays can lead to fights. It almost did Wednesday. Guiao and Jordan head coach Joseph Stiebing got into an intense verbal altercation at mid-court and the visitors decided to end the game prematurely at the 6:26 mark of the fourth and with Gilas up, 82-73. "I felt that they were getting too rugged on us. Even in the beginning, even in the first game. Of course, it's also the responsibility of the referees to take control of the game. It's also my responsibility to keep my players safe. There's a lot of second motion happening, they were very rugged," Guiao said, narrating on how the game ended up from being a friendly to a near-brawl. "The coach [Stiebing] said he was ready to take my ass. I was challenging him to take my ass pero hindi naman niya ginawa," he added. Stiebing didn't deny that he had some choice words for Guiao but he said that those came during the heat of the moment. The Jordan coach for his part, was very particular about Guiao allegedly cursing at his players. Stiebing said he asked Guiao to stop but coach Yeng persisted. Stiebing's reasoning is that coaches cursing at opposing players could lead to fights breaking out. Which again, it almost happened Wednesday night. "When an opposing coach curses at your players and calls them names, I think that's crossing the lines, and I think that's what got me upset. I asked the coach earlier, I said, 'Please, don't talk to my players.' And then he did it again. I've had players before, if a coach curses at them, they'll go after them and start a fight. I think that's unprofessional," Stiebing said of Guiao. "And you know, I told the coach [Guiao] something that I shouldn't have said but I didn't curse at him and it was just at the heat of the battle. But I did ask him twice not to curse at my guys and he continued to do it even after that," he added. Guiao naturally defended Gilas and the actions of him and the national team in this tune-up game gone wrong. Coach Yeng insists that they didn't do anything wrong and that the least Jordan could have done was be respectful guests. Countless second motions don't make respectful guests says Guiao. "I don't know if they're really inherently rugged or dirty, they were accusing us of being dirty. I don't know what dirty things we did, hindi ko alam sinasabi nila. But sila, ang dami nilang second motion. Even that incident that triggered the whole thing, their player threw the ball at our player, which was unnecessary," he said. "They're our guest ano, maybe it's a two-way thing. But we did not do anything to them that they did not deserve. Ganun lang yun," Guiao added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 21st, 2018

FIBA WORLD CUP: Wright, Aguilar back in Gilas 12 vs. Qatar

Gilas Pilipinas' final 12 for Qatar is set. Team Pilipinas is bringing back Matthew Wright and Japeth Aguilar for the closed-door game Monday to continue round 2 of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Wright and Aguilar are no longer suspended by FIBA following the Gilas-Boomers brawl back in July. Joining the two national team mainstays for the clash againsr Qatar are Beau Belga, Alex Cabagnot, Paul Lee, JP Erram, Marcio Lassiter, Gabe Norwood, Ian Sangalang, Asi Taulava, and Scottie Thompson. Stanley Pringle is Gilas' designated naturalized player for the Qatar game, taking over from Christian Standhardinger who led the Philippines with 30 points and 12 rebounds in the loss to Iran last week. Aside from Standhardinger, the other cuts from the Iran game are Allein Maliksi, Raymond Almazan, and Greg Slaughter. "It is a welcome development that Japeth Aguilar and Matthew Wright are back in the Final 12 after serving their one-game suspension imposed by FIBA," the Samahang Basketkol ng Pilipinas (SBP) said in its statement Sunday announcing the lineup. Gilas is currently on a two-game skid in the Asian Qualifiers and its 4-3 record is good for third place in the merged Group F.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2018

Matthew Wright eager to shake off suspension stigma

MANILA, Philippines – It's all about putting the past behind now for Matthew Wright in his Gilas Pilipinas return in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Wright, who served a one-game suspension from FIBA for his role in the infamous Philippines-Australia brawl last July 2, is adamant to move forward ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 16th, 2018

FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers: Chot Reyes steps aside as NT coach

Gilas head coach Chot Reyes has announced that he is 'stepping aside' from the Philippine men's national basketball team and will focus instead in the national team program focused on the 2023 FIBA World Cup that will be co-hosted by the Philippines.  Reyes, in his third stint as the coach of Gilas, is serving a one-game suspension in international play for his remarks in Gilas' infamous brawl against Australia last July. The only five-time PBA Coach of the Year came out of retirement in 2016 after coach Tab Baldwin was removed after the 2016 Rio Olympic Qualifiers. Before that, Reyes resigned following Gilas' disappointing seventh-place finish at the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea, its lowest. "Now that the PBA has opened its doors fully to the SBP and the national team, it is time for me to step aside and contribute in a differenct capacity, focusing on the 2023 program," he said on an Instagram post. Reyes also expressed his best wishes to new Team Philippines head coach Yeng Guiao. "We are one with you. Once Gilas, always Gilas."         View this post on Instagram                   💪🇵🇭❤️ #oncegilasalwaysgilas #parasabayan A post shared by Chot Reyes (@coachot) on Sep 11, 2018 at 4:34am PDT Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 11th, 2018

6 10' AJ Edu excited for dream tandem with 7 2' Kai Sotto

Everyone is raving about the dream youth tandem of Kai Sotto and AJ Edu nowadays. On one side you have Kai, the 7'2" skyscraper that is still somehow growing. On the other end you have AJ, the 6'10" Fil-Nigerian who is supremely athletic. The Philippines has never had a combo quite like this before and there's legit reason to get excited about Batang Gilas' new frontline. Fortunately, we don't have to wait long as the U-18 national team with Kai and AJ will see action right away in the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championships in Thailand starting Sunday. Batang Gilas will go for a U-19 World Cup slot and we get to see the official debut of our newest, and perhaps best, Twin Tower combination. "Like the fans, I'm excited," Edu said when asked about him teamming up with Kai Sotto. "Everyone's been saying nicknames like Twin Towers and stuff and it's really cool. Me and Kai have a good relationship right now, on and off the court, and I think that can develop to something really good in the future," he added. For their first tournament together, Edu promises to go all out with Kai and the rest of the U-18 Batang Gilas crew. He also expects to mesh well with his equally-imposing counterpart as AJ is a natural power forward and Kai is a natural 5. Only great things will come from this towering combo. "I think we'll link well with him [Kai] being the 5 and me being the 4 so yeah, it will be good," Edu said. "We're going to give our hearts out," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2018

Expect another penalty for SBP after Asiad withdrawal

Expect more fines coming the SBP's way. By withdrawing from the 2018 Asian Games, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas should receive more penalties on top of the FIBA fines it got just one week ago from the ugly Gilas-Boomers brawl at the Philippine Arena. On Friday, POC President and PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas says its safe to expect a fine from the Olympic Council of Asia for the country's suddent pull out in the Asian Games slated for next month in Indonesia. "I think there will be a sanction which is probably in terms of monetary. I'm pretty sure there will be," Vargas said. "What I don't know is there will be a sanction outside of the fine," he adde. Following the FIBA decision last week, the SBP is set to pay a fine of P13 million for the Gilas-Boomers brawl. While there's an expectation of a fine, Vargas assures that there's no tension between the Philippines and Indonesia. Both countries, together with Japan, will co-host the 2023 FIBA World Cup. "I think they will understand what we're going through and the thinking process the SBP has done," Vargas said of Indonesia. "The relationship of SBP with the Indonesian Basketball Associationis strong and it will withstand this decision," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 27th, 2018

Jordan Clarkson to Gilas for Asian Games?

Maybe this time, Jordan Clarkson to Gilas Pilipinas actually happens. The Fil-Am guard of the Cleveland Cavaliers may finally suit up for the Philippine nation team as the Philippine Olympic Committee confirmed that Clarkson is in the 18-man lineup submitted to tournament organizers for the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. In a report by Rappler Tuesday, POC President Ricky Vargas says that Clarkson's name is indeed in the new Gilas pool for the Asiad. "Si Clarkson, nandoon sa listahan. That's true. We're interested in inviting Jordan," Vargas said via Rappler. Joining Clarkson in the Philippine pool is the core of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. TNT was supposed to banner the Philippine team in the Asian games but the KaTropa's core has been decimated by FIBA suspensions following the unfortunate Gilas-Boomers brawl earlier this month. The 2018 Asian Games will run from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2 in Indonesia......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 24th, 2018