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PDEA s Aquino sees good collaboration with BOC under Guerrero

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino considers the appointment of Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Administrator Rey Leonardo Guerrero to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) as a “welcome development.” Source link link: PDEA's Aquino sees 'good collaboration' with BOC under Guerrero.....»»

Category: newsSource: manilainformer manilainformerOct 26th, 2018

In cahoots? PDEA chief explains photo with fired drug-linked agents

MANILA, Philippines – He was there acting in good faith, he said. Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Director General Aaron Aquino explained on Monday, December 3, the controversial photo of him and fired law enforcers now linked to illegal drugs. Flashed before the Senate session hall for mere seconds, the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2018

PDEA defends photo of chief, drug suspects

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) sees nothing wrong with the presence of its chief, Aaron Aquino, in a party with law enforcement officers implicated in the alleged smuggling of a ton of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu into the country......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 27th, 2018

PDEA chief: Having PNP back in anti-drug campaign is ‘good news’

          Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino welcomed on Wednesday President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to return the Philippine National Police (PNP) as the key implementer of the government's crackdown against illegal drugs.   "We respect and adhere to the decision of the President," Aquino said in a text message to INQUIRER.net.   Aquino said his wish to have the PNP back in the anti-drug campaign was a "good news" to the PDEA with the agency's limited funds, equipment, and manpower.   "But having the PNP and other law enforcement agencies back is [good] news PDEA. In fact...Keep on reading: PDEA chief: Having PNP back in anti-drug campaign is ‘good news’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 22nd, 2017

Jordan s weight reaches farther than court in NC

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CHARLOTTE -- Unlike Mark Cuban and James Dolan, the host of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game was voted in 14 times to participate and played in 13. Quite different from Micky Arison and Glen Taylor, the team owner whose arena and city will be the center of All-Star 2019 averaged 20.2 points in those 13 All-Star appearances, was named MVP three times and posted the first triple-double in the game’s history (1997). And not at all like Steve Ballmer and Joe Lacob, the guy most often credited with making Charlotte All-Star worthy this weekend ignited the annual Slam Dunk Contest with his takeoff from the foul line in 1988. He also regularly irritated former NBA commissioner David Stern into a series of fines for golfing when he should have been sitting through mandatory Friday media sessions. With a level of celebrity as arguably the game’s greatest player ever, morphed now into an off-radar role as owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan remains as famous, as popular and as successful as any or all the active All-Star participants who’ll cavort at the Spectrum Center in the city’s Uptown business district. Ain’t no other NBA owner who can say that. “You think about all these wealthy, successful owners in our league,” said Hornets president Fred Whitfield, “no one knew who any of them were, really, until they bought their team. Everybody in the world knew who Michael Jordan was before he bought his team.” Jordan’s place in the All-Star galaxy in the coming days is reflective of his unique position among those who oversee the NBA’s 29 other franchises. His impact on the team, on its fans, on their city and on the state in returning to his native North Carolina -- he grew up in coastal Wilmington before attending college in Chapel Hill -- to anchor and lend stability to the Hornets will be on full display, even if he’s hard to spot this weekend. It’s all a reminder, too, of the old movie line from a remarkably blessed character, wondering “What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams?” Most don’t dare to imagine playing in an All-Star Game, never mind hosting one as the owner of the local team. “No,” Jordan told some Charlotte reporters Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), coming forward for one of his few appearances of the week. “As a kid growing up here in North Carolina, the first thing [was] playing basketball. And then things evolved from there -- from the University of North Carolina to Chicago. Obviously you know the history from that. “[The] opportunity to represent North Carolina in an All-Star Game from a different seat is truly amazing. It tells the path that I have taken. It gives me great pleasure to give that back to the community. It’s been a long-traveled road.” The celebration of the league’s brightest stars, and the ubiquitous banners and signage devoted to it will make it even harder than usual to visibly spot signs of Jordan’s ownership of the Hornets. For a typical regular season game, you might spy a flag emblazoned with his well-known “Jumpman” logo. Occasionally he’ll watch part of the game, rarely all, from seats at the end of his team’s bench, though he’s as likely to retreat to his suite atop the arena’s lower bowl. An in-game, timeout scoreboard video meant to stoke the crowd includes shots of GM Mitch Kupchak (“Architect of Champions”) and coach James Borrego (“Elite Pedigree”) but ends right about the time you expect some dramatic silhouette of His Airness to appear. It’s as if Jordan is as protective of his brand in running the Hornets as he is in maintaining its exclusivity in the marketplace. Doesn’t matter, though. His fingerprints are all over the franchise, as a basketball team, as a business enterprise and as a member of the community. On court, Jordan trusts his team Jordan’s greatest notoriety as an owner in a basketball setting may have come in December, when he was courtside for a tense game against Detroit. Guard Jeremy Lamb drained a 22-foot jumper with 0.3 seconds left, sending reserves Malik Monk and Bismack Biyombo onto the floor in celebration of what would be a 108-107 home victory. Trouble was, that sliver of time on the clock. Too many men. The Hornets were whistled for a one-shot technical foul and Jordan impulsively smacked Monk lightly, twice, on the back of the head. Any other owner does that, the player’s agent might file a grievance with the players union. Jordan does it and, thanks to his in-the-trenches, in-the-fraternity credibility, it comes across as a goof. “A tap of endearment,” Jordan called it later in a statement. “It was like a big brother and little brother tap. No negative intent. Only love!" Said Monk: “Big, big, big brother. But it was nothing. He was just playing.” The arc of Jordan’s career and his reputation as a stone-cold competitor make it OK if he wants to vent -- or swipe -- when things don’t go the Hornets’ way. Doesn’t matter that Jordan, who will turn 56 on All-Star Sunday, is old enough to be any of his players' dad. He still carries himself like an athlete, and their frame of reference remains, “That’s Mike.” “I’ve seen kids come up through camps,” said Buzz Peterson, Charlotte’s assistant general manager under Kupchak. “You could say Julius Erving, you could say Larry Johnson, Karl Malone, whatever, and the kids’ eyes are like, ‘Who?’ But you say Michael Jordan, they’re gonna know. That’s the separation there.” Peterson is among Jordan’s closest friends -- he beat him out as North Carolina’s prep player of the year in 1981, won an NCAA title with him as a Tar Heels teammate and is described by those who know both as someone who can disagree with the boss while staying comfortably in the inner circle. For Borrego, Charlotte’s first-year coach, interviewing to run Jordan’s team could have been intimidating. “We’re all human beings -- there’s a presence that comes with ‘Michael Jordan’ when he’s around,” Borrego told NBA.com in January. “But it’s healthy. He comes with a competitive spirit that you feel. “Michael was straight with me from Day 1. When I interviewed, he said, ‘I’m going to give you space to do your job. Whatever you need, you come to me. I’ll give you the resources you need.’ He has not tried to interfere one time. I feel his full support. … We’re starting to speak each other’s language, which is pretty healthy for us now.” Jordan keeps the coach apprised of his interactions with players, Borrego said. Other coaches should have such a resource at the ready. Hornets guard and 2019 All-Star starter Kemba Walker probably has benefited most from Jordan’s counsel. They text frequently, a pinch-me arrangement to this day for Walker. “I grew up wearing Jordans, grew up wanting to be like Jordan,” Walker said recently. “So for me to get this opportunity to be on his team means the world to me. He’s the one who believed in me -- I had no idea where I was going to go on draft night and he traded up for me. I’ve always heard the story, he was the one who actually drafted me. So it’s unbelievable. “He’s such a good dude. He understands what it is to be good. His delivery is always good. Only in a positive way, honestly.” Said rookie wing Miles Bridges: “You think there’ll be a lot of pressure having MJ as an owner. I’d seen how he got on his teammates when he played. So I was nervous, thinking if I had a bad game, he’d go at me like, ‘What’re you doing?’ But after meeting him and bonding with him, I feel like he’s the coolest owner out there. I don’t feel any pressure, I feel like he wants the best for us.” Big man Frank Kaminsky typically sits at the end of the bench, which puts him cheek to cheek with Jordan when he’s courtside. “He’s talking about what he’s seeing out on the court. Talking to the refs,” Kaminsky said. “Things other players don’t necessarily see. He still thinks the game. “You see things on the court that he sees. One game, the roll, pocket-pass, skip to the corner was open. He was saying that. We made an adjustment in a timeout, but he saw it a couple plays before that. At the end of that game, we had a big play that was a roll, pocket-pass, into the corner that put the game away. It worked the way he’d seen it.” The Hornets’ struggles during Jordan’s tenure as owner wouldn’t suggest it -- the last time this organization won a playoff series (2002), Jordan still was a player -- but there is a prestige to playing for his team. It’s not unlike being welcomed onto the list of elite athletes who endorse Jordan Brand. “I’m one of the lucky ones who’s in both,” Kaminsky said. “You’re talking about the most iconic player in sports history -- I might be biased because I grew up in Chicago -- but when you have his approval, it means a lot. You have it in the back of your mind that he wants you here.” Head smack or no head smack. Jordan grows as owner, businessman Basketball is a zero-sum game and the NBA is full of stars, even if none shines quite as brightly as Jordan. But business has room for negotiation and compromise, and deals get struck daily that leave both sides happy. There, Jordan has been beyond clutch. Funnel down everything he’s accomplished -- six NBA championships, the league’s highest career scoring average (30.1), five MVP awards, six Finals MVP, 10 scoring titles, nine All-Defensive team nods -- and it invariably ends with clammy hands. The “wow” factor is real and the Hornets are extremely careful about leveraging it. “It gives our organization a certain cachet,” said Whitfield, another longtime friend who goes back more than 35 years with Jordan. “For him to be majority owner, for him to do it in his home state as a local hometown hero, and to be able to come back and not just lead the team and the rebranding from the Bobcats to the Hornets, but his commitment to the community in giving back, it’s something that’s so special.” That’s a lot to unpack. When Jordan initially signed on with the Hornets, he did so as head of its basketball operations in 2006, purchasing a small minority stake in the team. The team was bad, the business was worse and trending down. “Back in ’08-09, the economy was in the tank and I was mandated to ‘displace’ 42 of our executives here on the business side,” Whitfield said. “When Michael bought the team, we were losing $30 million a year.’ Brought back into the league in 2004 two years after the original Hornets (1988-2002) were moved to New Orleans by reviled owner George Shinn, the Charlotte expansion team was owned -- and nicknamed -- by Bob Johnson, a co-founder of the BET television network. The Bobcats excelled only at losing and were 122 games under .500 in their first five seasons. The front office was understaffed, Spectrum Center (then known as Time Warner Cable Arena) needed renovations almost from its inception and there was a real sense that, if a buyer with deep pockets and a commitment to the area weren’t found, the franchise could be moved. In March 2010, Jordan ponied up the cash to become majority owner. But it says something that the deal stands as one of the few, if ever, instances of an NBA franchise being sold at a discount. Johnson paid $300 million for the team; Jordan purchased it for $275 million. Forbes.com recently had Charlotte worth $1.25 billion -- which ranks 28th. And Jordan reportedly has one of the biggest stakes of all NBA owners, with his share estimated at upwards of 90 percent, possibly as high as 98 percent. That’s a lot of success in nine years, despite the basketball team’s mostly middling performance. “With MJ being with the team, you got instant credibility in the marketplace,” said Pete Guelli, the chief operating officer who started on the job about 10 months before Jordan took ownership. “There had been a lot of uncertainty previously, but with his brand and his resources and his commitment, that just dissipated immediately. It was much, much easier to walk in the door and tell people about our vision for this franchise.” Rebranding the team as “Hornets” gave the franchise an existential boost -- it suddenly had a history again, complete with records, archives and true alumni. The arena got a makeover and, per Guelli, is credited for events there that generate an alleged $1 billion in revenues for local businesses. “Fortunately, we’ve been profitable pretty much since [Jordan took over],” Whitfield said. “That’s huge, especially since we haven’t gotten where we want to be on the basketball side.” Closing a new kind of game now It’s hard to overstate Jordan’s added value, not so much as some corporate or financial whiz but as a presence who brought instant motivation and energy to the staff. He imported executives with whom he had developed relationships at Nike or in other ventures and, after taking early criticism for an uncertain level of involvement, has been more diligent in recent years. “I love seeing him sitting at the end of the bench encouraging his players when he attends a game” said Charles F. Bowman, Bank of America’s market president for Charlotte and North Carolina. “And as a business person what impresses me is that he has empowered his management team to focus not only on the court but also on building bridges with the community. “He had a vision for where he was taking the team and a clear plan to get there. He has hired good people, gives them latitude to make decisions and he expects them to perform. Michael is unique -- the best player ever who is determined to keep getting better year over year as an owner.” The NBA has gotten a taste of Jordan’s growth and transition at some pivotal times. This is the legendary voice of the players who, during rancorous negotiations in the 1998 lockout, countered Washington owner Abe Pollin’s gripes about losing money by telling Pollin to sell his team. By the lockout of 2011, Jordan had moved to the other side of the table. But several members of the National Basketball Players Association’s executive committee saw him not as an opponent or turncoat but as a role model: someone who had transformed himself from employee to employer at the game’s highest level. “The players understood, he had been in their shoes,” Whitfield said. “He’s not forgetting what it meant to be a player. He was in the process of learning what it meant to be an owner.” When the current collective bargaining agreement was negotiated with commissioner Adam Silver and union director Michele Roberts leading the talks, Jordan was an active, powerful voice. He is an influential member of the NBA’s labor relations and competition committees. One Charlotte insider spoke to Jordan’s clout with his fellow owners in getting this weekend’s showcase -- jeopardized by a political squabble in 2017 -- back onto the league’s short list. “There’s no All-Star Game here in Charlotte if it’s not for MJ,” the person said. Last summer in Las Vegas, Silver lauded Jordan for his ability to straddle the basketball and business worlds. “He brings unique credibility to the table when we're having discussions [with the players],” he said, “and even just among the owners, he's able to represent a player point of view… Michael can say, 'Well, look, this is how I looked at it when I was a player, and these are the kind of issues we need to address if we're going to convince players that something is in everyone's interest.’ ” Jordan’s powers of persuasion apparently have been even more impressive in Charlotte and North Carolina. The executives are careful about relying on him too often -- Jordan’s most precious commodity, now that his net worth is estimated to be upwards of $1.7 billion -- is his time. But when they need Mariano Rivera to walk in from the bullpen, he is lights out. “We’ve had corporate sponsors at a golf outing, and he’s been there, maybe stayed at one hole to tell off with everybody,” Whitfield said. Or they’ll invite certain corporate sponsors to one of a few games each season in which “Club 23” is up and running at the Spectrum Center, a private club built for such purposes. They get a chance to visit, talk with and pick Jordan’s brain on the Hornets and much more. “We’ve closed all those deals,” Whitfield said. Then there was the time a local CEO wanted to finalize a sizeable sponsorship deal with the team, and had his No. 2 invite Jordan over to their headquarters for the meetings. Whitfield told the tale: “This guy says, 'You have to come to our office. Our CEO is the man in our business.' But we’re like, 'Nah, typically, CEOs come and meet in Michael’s office or in ‘Club 23’ over here.' He said no, that wasn’t going to work for them. “So Pete Guelli said, 'Let’s make a deal: We’ll take your CEO and drop him off in Beijing. And we’ll drop off Michael in Beijing. Then we’ll see who more people gravitate to. Whoever gets the least people, he has to come to the other guy’s office.'” Point made. Point taken. Said Whitfield: “The guy says, ‘You know what, I got it. We’ll be over 10 o’clock Friday morning.’” A community he calls home The Michael Jordan who once seemed determined to float above cultural and political frays as the most prudent way to serve commerce has not held back in recent years from making his presence felt. He has been more philanthropist than activist and, let’s face it, in times of the most dire need, cash beats talk every time. Charity and investing in the community can be good for business, sure. Making that a priority after Guelli’s arrival and Jordan’s purchase helped the Hornets build bridges with fans and merchants that Shinn and the original franchise’s departure had torched. More than that, though, giving back for Jordan and his team at this point in his life was the right thing to do. And do, and do, and do. The list of charitable and civic efforts Jordan and the Hornets have undertaken is long, with few outside the region or state aware of most of it. Among the highlights: - Donating $2 million to relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence, particularly meaningful because of the damage it did in Jordan’s hometown of Wilmington. - Dedicated $7 million in partnership with Novant Health to fund two Michael Jordan Family Clinics, set to open in Charlotte in 2020. - Serving as Make-A-Wish’s Chief Wish Ambassador since 2008, while donating more than $5 million to the organization. His relationship with Make-A-Wish began more than 30 years ago. - Contributing $5 million as a founding donor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. - Addressing the issue of police shootings and community policing in 2016 by donating $1 million each to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. After the hurricane in September devastated so many homes and businesses in and near Jordan’s roots, he wanted to do more than to stroke a fat check. In a meeting covered by The Associated Press, he met with Stephanie Parker and her family, including four young children, after they lost their apartment in two feet of flooding. A call from the director of the Cape Fear chapter of the Red Cross brought them together. The meeting took place at a Lowe’s home improvement store. “I look around the corner, and it’s Michael Jordan. ‘Oh my God!’" Parker said. “I look at my kids, ‘It’s Michael Jordan!’ I’m not going to lie, some tears came in my eyes, because the first thing that went through my mind was when I was younger, his last game when he was on the Chicago Bulls team, and that flashback just came right in my mind.” Afterward, Jordan was coaxed by the Charlotte Observer to talk about why that disaster resonated so deeply for him. “You gotta take care of home,” he said. “Wilmington truly is my home. Kept thinking about all those places I grew up going to … You don’t want to see any of that anywhere, but when it’s home, that’s tough to swallow.” There’s basketball, there’s business and then there’s real life, which sometimes intrudes in the most desperate ways. “We didn’t know how many people in our community were hungry,” Whitfield said. “There are people in dire need, and it’s special to have that hometown hero have in his heart that ‘This is where I can help.’ “It gives not only him as a person but our organization a platform to really speak out. That commitment is what has made him a special owner, and why he’s even more beloved in our community.” Winning title No. 7 drives Jordan now To date, Jordan’s greatest achievements have come elsewhere, at least since his baseline shot as a freshman propelled North Carolina to the 1982 NCAA championship. Those Bulls championships, the “Dream Team” magnificence, his partnership with that sneaker company in Beaverton, Ore., his Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, shooting “Space Jam,” all of it -- his legacy has been crafted with others, for others, mostly far from home. (For the record, Jordan, his wife Yvette and their two daughters own a mansion outside Charlotte and an estate in south Florida). “Look, this has always been home for him,” Whitfield said. “Even though he was drafted by Chicago, WGN became a very popular station. And he just continued to elevate, so people in this state were proud to say, even though he’s a Bull, we love him. When the Bulls would come here and play at the old Coliseum, these fans who were avid Hornets fans were all pulling for Michael Jordan. “He’d score, they’d cheer loudly. The Hornets would score, they’d cheer loudly. North Carolina always felt like he was their native son who went off and achieved greatness.” Coming back first to head the franchise’s basketball operations and then as owner, Jordan’s role -- in light of the modest results on the court -- has been custodial. Yes, the club’s improved financial stability is important. But for this driven winner and NBA owner unlike all others, custodial isn’t going to cut it for long. “He did an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine a while back,” Peterson said, “and the question was asked, ‘What would you like to do?’ And he said, ‘Win a seventh championship. Win as an owner.’ So for me, every day, I’m thinking, here’s a close friend and you want to make your friends happy, right? So each day I think, do the best you can to reach this goal for him.” Said Hornets wing Nicolas Batum: “I understand. He wants to win. He wants to compete since he was born.” It hasn’t been for lack of trying, although Jordan has made sure to keep fiscal responsibility high on every agenda. The team’s payroll for 2018-19 is approximately $122.3 million, which ranks near the middle of the NBA pack. “That Michael Jordan is one cheap dude,” said an impassioned cab driver on a recent airport run. “He’s only going to spend so much and the players they get shows it.” The Hornets never have spent into the league’s luxury-tax, and if Walker is retained when he hits free agency this summer, he’ll likely become the first Charlotte player to sign a full maximum-salary contract (though the five-year, $120 million deal Batum landed in 2016 came awfully close). Injuries and dubious moves have taken a toll, a situation that Kupchak, Borrego and their staffs have been tasked with fixing. Jordan, by all accounts, is engaged yet patient, with a playoff berth and potentially a record above .500 within reach. “I’m sure he feels like,” Whitfield said, “if he were still 30 years old and could lace ‘em up and get out there, he’d help us get over the hump. I think he would cherish it as much or more than the first six. Because I think he realizes how hard it is to get it done. “But it doesn’t bother us if the fans see his frustration sitting next to our bench. It’s important to us that they see he’s not only invested, he’s vested in what our team is trying to do. They can relate to him because they’re feeling that same frustration.” Jordan is theirs again and that’s what matters. For basketball, for business, for community and in time, just maybe, in championship. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and 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 NewsFeb 16th, 2019

PBA D-League: Bulanadi, Valencia-Baste sink Marinero in OT

Valencia City Bukidnon-San Sebastian College Recoletos scored its breakthrough win in the 2019 PBA D-League, repulsing Marinerong Pilipino, 110-104 in overtime Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig. Allyn Bulanadi starred for the Golden Harvest, dropping a game-high 32 points, 12 coming in the big 28-point third quarter assault for his side before scoring four more to put the game away in extra time. He also had nine rebounds, three blocks, and two assists as he emerged as the new go-to-guy for San Sebastian. Coach Egay Macaraya, though, felt that the credit shouldn't be given solely to Bulanadi given how good the team recovered after squandering a 14-point fourth quarter lead. "Isang factor si Allyn, but everybody, noong extension, hindi nag-give up ang mga bata. I guess yun ang bini-build namin ngayon, building character ng Baste," he said. "Nakita ko na 'di kami nag-give up and that's the very thing na I'm very happy." Valencia-Baste looked poised to run away with the win after taking an 84-70 lead, but Mike Ayonayon and Art Aquino conspired to bring Marinerong Pilipino back in the game and tied it at 100 just as the regulation clock expired. But Bulanadi had other plans as he commanded the finishing kick the Golden Harvest needed to score the breakthrough and gain the first victory in the Foundation Group. RK Ilagan also added 28 points on a 5-of-9 shooting from threes, while also collecting seven rebounds, six assists, and three steals, while JM Calma scattered nine points, 10 boards, and two dimes for Valencia-Baste. The loss spoiled Ayonayon's 23-point night, as well as the 19 points and five rebounds from Aquino as the Skippers fell on their season opener. BOX SCORES VALENCIA-BASTE 110 -- Bulanadi 32, Ilagan 28, Calma 9, Villapando 8, Capobres 7, Dela Cruz 6, Are 5, Altamirano 5, Sumoda 4, Desoyo 3, Bonleon 3, Calahat 0, Tero 0, Loristo 0. MARINERONG PILIPINO 104 -- Ayonayon 23, Aquino 19, Wamar 15, Rodriguez 15, Santillan 12, Asistio 9, Mendoza 6, Reyes 3, Serrano 2, Victoria 0, Bonifacio 0, Bunag 0. QUARTER SCORES: 30-26, 50-53, 78-68, 100-100, 110-104......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2019

Ateneo plotting to play Isaac Go more as a power forward

Isaac Go’s shots just continue dropping at the Ynares Arena in Pasig. On Thursday, Go fired 21 points, 12 coming from behind the arc, to shoot Cignal-Ateneo de Manila University to a 28-point rout, 103-75, of Go for Gold-College of St. Benilde. This, just weeks after he averaged 10.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in their semifinals series up against San Beda University and then dropped 15 markers and three boards in their Finals triumph over University of the Visayas in the 2019 Philippine Collegiate Champions League. Still, Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin wants to see more from his talented big man – especially as he heads to his last playing year in the UAAP. “He’s gonna shoot the ball better this year, but he’s gonna do other things as well. We’re working on his inside game and we’re working on his ability to put it on the floor,” he said. He then continued, “We want him to be an international 4-man.” Yes, coach Tab sees the 6-foot-8 Go, a center in the Philippines, more as a power forward in international play. And the gentle giant only welcomes the idea proposed by his mentor who has spent much of his career around the world. “It’s a challenge because, as you see, a 6-foot-8 center isn’t really gonna perform well unless you’re really athletic, really strong. We have a lot of 5s in Poy [Erram], June Mar [Fajardo], Japeth [Aguilar], Andray Blatche, Christian Standhardinger,” he shared. He then continued, “So the goal would be to try to get taller in the 4, or maybe the 3. The goal is to play, of course, for the Philippines and if that’s my way to do it, I’ll have to get better.” Indeed, both in the D-League and the PCCL, Go has been busting out more dribbles and drives than usual to go along with his long-range missiles. Of course, this is only the beginning of his transition – and coach Tab reminded everybody of exactly that. As he put it, “He’s got a long way to go. He’s got a lot of mobility and agility to work on, he’s gotta get better defending the perimeter, he’s gotta get better putting the ball down.” He then continued, “There’s a lot of work in progress. He can shoot the ball and that’s a good asset, but there’s more to his game that we have to work on and develop.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2019

UAAP Season 81: Starless FEU, a good problem

Far Eastern University lost two of its primary scoring options from last year but veteran setter Kyle Negrito sees it as a good problem heading into the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament. The Lady Tamaraws saw the exit of open spiker Bernadeth Pons last year and will miss the services of opposite hitter Chin-chin Basas due to a shoulder injury. The duo had a combined 27 points per game average in Season 80. For Negrito, the absence of their stars opens a window for others to step up and it could be an advantage for FEU rather than a handicap.     “Ang nakikita ko pong kagandahan ng team namin ngayon is ‘yun nga, parang walang pinaka-ano talaga, pinaka-star player. So, kami bilang player, parang goal namin sa sarili namin na parang maka-contribute kami in any way,” she said. “Kailangan, kami sa sarili namin, alam namin na dapat naaasahan kami,” added Negrito, who averaged 6.79 excellent sets per frame last season. FEU is coming into the season full of confidence after its runner-up finish last year – the Lady Tams first championship appearance since winning it all a decade ago. “Last season po, syempre, umabot kami ng Finals so para sa akin, ‘yun ‘yung pinakamaganda talagang nangyari sa team namin, is ‘yung nakarating kami ng Finals,” said Negrito. The lessons they learned last season and in their pre-season performances including a runner-up finish in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference, Negrito added, geared them up for the battles ahead. “Syempre po, ayaw naman namin babaan ‘yung narating namin last year. Kung kayang… syempre, kung kayang i-maintain or talagang mag-champion, talagang pipilitin po naming mag-champion,” Negrito said. Aside from Negrito, other veteran returnees are Jerrili Malabanan, Celine Domingo, Heather Guino-o and libero Buding Duremdes. Promising rookies led by Lycha Ebon are expected to make their presence felt for the George Pascua-mentored squad. This year, Negrito vowed, the Lady Tams will keep on charging. “Ngayong season, season lang with no regrets. Talagang all-out every training, every game. No regrets season,” she said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2019

P90 million worth of shabu

The Bureau of Customs–Port of NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) turn over on Feb. 12 to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) a shipment of the illegal substance shabu estimated to be worth P90 million......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2019

FIBA WORLD CUP: Guiao says Gilas ready for extreme Kazakh weather

It’s something they have no control over but Gilas Pilipinas remains wary of Kazakhstan’s extreme weather conditions. In super simple words, weather in Astana will be freezing. It’s going to be below zero as the Philippines wraps up its 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers schedule in Kazakhstan in less than two weeks time. “We’re trying to condition their minds and bodies na sobrang malamig, it’s something which we usuall do not experience dito sa atin, kahit mag-abroad ka man,” head coach Yeng Guiao said. “It’s our first time to play in such conditions,” he added. Gilas obviously can’t replicate the conditions in Kazakhstan while in Manila, it’s just impossible. So for the meantime, the national team will be doing everything to prepare save for actually playing in a giant freezer. “Pinaghanda lang namin saila, especially with their cold weather gear,” Guiao said. “The heavy jackets, the shoes, yung mga gloves. Baka dalawang araw lang kami dun pero yun nga mahirap yung dalawang araw na wala kang acclimatization. We’ll see,” he added. Whether or not Gilas actually sees a dip in performance in freezing cold weather remains to be seen. Gilas will just have to deal with the weather once they get to Astana. The good thing is that the national team will be ready regardless. “Mahirap sabihin how big a factor it is, since this is the first time we’re going to be in such situation as a team,” Guiao said. “Physically and mentally, I think they’re [Gilas] ready. They have to toughened up and play in a extreme condition,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2019

House reports on Dengvaxia differ

What a difference a leadership makes. Before the House of Representatives committees on good government and health on Wednesday voted 14-4 in favor of a report recommending graft, technical malversation and grave misconduct charges against former President Benigno Aquino III, former Health Secretary Janette Garin, former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and others for the P3.5-billion dengue vaccination program, Dinagat Rep. Kaka Bag-ao had questioned the report's conclusions. Liable vs exonerated Bag-ao wondered why the new report found Aquino liable while the earlier draft prepared by the panel led by Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel had exonerated the former President. ...Keep on reading: House reports on Dengvaxia differ.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2019

Noynoy Aquino questions House committee recommendation to sue him

MANILA, Philippines – Former president Benigno Aquino III on Friday, February 8, reacted to the House committee report that recommended the filing of criminal and administrative charges against him and his former Cabinet officials over the procurement of the Dengvaxia vaccine. On Wednesday, February 6, the House committee on good government ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2019

Boxing: Aston Palicte and camp waiting for title rematch with Donnie Nietes

After starching previously-undefeated Puerto Rican Jose Martinez in just two rounds back in late January, Filipino super flyweight contener Aston "Mighty" Palicte is back in the title picture.  The 28-year olf native of Bago, Negros earned a mandatory challenger spot after knocking out Martinez in the second round of their WBO super flyweight title eliminator, and now he's ready to challenge for the belt once more.  Fittingly, the man holding the WBO's 115-pound title is a familiar face in four-division titleholder Donnie "Ahas" Nietes, who Palicte already faced back in 2018 for the then-vacant WBO title.  Of course, the bout ended in a controversial split draw. Nietes would fight for and caputure the title just months later, defeatign Japan's Kazuto Ioka via split decision in Macau on New Year's Eve.  For Palicte, the prospect of once again challenging his fellow Negrense is all about doing his job and achieving his ultimate goal of becoming a world champion. "Sa akin naman, unang-una, ayaw ko din sana na Pinoy yung kalaban ko, kasi dalawang Pinoy, pero sabi ko nga, wala eh, trabaho ‘to eh," Palicte told ABS-CBN Sports. "Eto yung trabaho ko, alam din naman nila Donnie yun eh. Siyempre, sports lang, trabaho lang." In a perfect world, Palicte would rather find a way to capture a world championship without having to challenge Nietes, which could mean even more world championships for the Philippines.  "Kung may ibang paraan na hindi kami mag-lalaban [pero makakapag-champion ako], mas maganda yun," he explained. "Para yung may isa na Pinoy na champion, tapos kung manalo yung isa pang Pinoy na, kunyari ako, sa iba, world championship sa iba, at least dadagdag na naman yung Pinoy [na world champion] diba?" How it stands however, Palicte is the next in line for the WBO title, which means that to become a champion himself, he'll have to go through Nietes. For the Roy Jones Jr-promoted talent, he's just waiting to see what materializes in the next few days or weeks.  "Ang sakin, gaya ng sinasabi ko sa kanila, hindi ko iniisip kumbaga, sana kaming dalawa ni Nietes [yung maglaban], una hindi ko gusto yun, pero kung mangyari yun, kung gusto talaga ng promoter ko at promoter niya, manager niya at manager ko, wala naman ako magagawa kasi boxer ako. Kailangan ko sundin kung ano yung desisyon nila, nung promoter ko at ng manager ko." "Talagang nag-hihintay lang ako sa kung ano gusto nila," he continued.  While the WBO has ordered a rematch between the two Negros-born pugilists, Dennis Gasgonia of ABS-CBN News reports that Nietes' promoter ALA Promotions will be looking at the options, which could include a unification bout with the other 115-pound titleholders.  Palicte's long-time manager Jason Soong knows full well that a do-over with Nietes is far from set in stone, and he says that he understands the Cebu-based stable's desire to go after the division's bigger stars.  "I understand where they’re coming from, especially with Donnie being an older boxer, I guess he’s going towards the later part of his career, so I understand where they’re coming from, but walang personalan, it’s boxing, but there’s a reason why we’re the mandatory challenger," Soong elaborated. "If they don’t want to fight us, they’ll have to probably vacate the belt, because I don’t think the WBO is going…just the way the WBO is addressing this, the fact that they’re coming out with statements right away, and then the official letters are being circulated, I think the WBO is very serious that when it’s a mandatory, it’s a mandatory." "I don’t think they’re playing around with that," he added. Much like Palicte, Soong reiterated that the desire to go after Nietes stems from the simple fact that he is the one holding the belt.  "I understand them, but kami, we’re happy because we feel like we earned it, bottomline. It’s not like we chose him as an opponent, nagkataon lang na he holds the belt. Even that for me, them fighting for that belt, for me it’s also, that’s what I’m questioning, because [Donnie and Aston are] one and two, and they leapfrog us and then they fight for the belt and we’re left with the eliminator, but for me, sige, we took it. We took it and we’re here now." While the next step for Palicte remains unclear at this point, Soong is confident that his ward's next fight will be one for a major world championship.  "I’m excited, because I think no matter what happens, Aston’s next fight will be for a world championship, whether it’s with Donnie or with someone else. I’m excited." Should Nietes end up vacating the WBO title, Soong sees a scenario wherein Palicte could end up facing Mexican star Juan Francisco Estrada for the title in what he considers a 'dream fight'.  "Well, if he vacates it and we’re in the championship, the one next ranked is Estrada," Soong said. "That would be, ever since Aston was a contender, [Estrada] was actually our dream match, and I think their styles, Estrada was the main event in the last SuperFly 3, and it was always our dream matchup, one because he’s a big name and we think it would be a very good, very entertaining fight, and I think we would do well against a fighter like that.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2019

House panels want charges vs Aquino, Abad, Garin over Dengvaxia mess

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Two House committees recommended the filing of criminal and administrative charges against former president Benigno Aquino III and his ex-Cabinet officials over the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine. On Wednesday, February 6, the House committee on good government and public accountability as well as ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2019

PDEA files raps vs parents of minors in drug den

MANILA, Philippines --- The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has filed criminal complaints against parents of minor drug suspects caught in a drug raid in Navotas.   PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said on Wednesday that the parents violated Section 10 (Other Acts of Neglect, Abuse, Cruelty, Exploitation) of R.A. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.   He also said that Article 59 (Criminal Liability of Parents) of Presidential Decree 603 was also breached   "Filing the appropriate charges will serve as a warning to parents for their neglect and letting their child roam the streets, ...Keep on reading: PDEA files raps vs parents of minors in drug den.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 30th, 2019

Kvitova-Osaka: Australian final from different perspectives

By John Pye, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Petra Kvitova has shed her tears. The tears, for a long time private, were in a very public arena this week. A violent home invasion that caused serious knife wounds to her left hand was a punctuation point in her career, as she sees it. There's the before — two Wimbledon titles — and her "second career" — which so far is highlighted by her run to Saturday's Australian Open final. What she is focused on now is winning her first Grand Slam title since Wimbledon in 2014. To get there, she'll have to beat 21-year-old Naomi Osaka, the U.S. Open champion who is on a 13-match winning streak in the majors. "To be honest, I'm still not really believing that I'm in the final," Kvitova said. "It's kind of weird, to be honest, as well, that I didn't know even if I was going to play tennis again." Kvitova was 21 when she made her Grand Slam breakthrough at Wimbledon in 2011 and was a star on the rise, much like Osaka is now. Unlike Osaka, she lost in the first round in her next Grand Slam. There were ups — including a second Wimbledon title — and downs in tennis until that until the horrible ordeal in December 2016 that could have derailed her career, or worse. For a while she was confident being alone, she remembered, until one day she left the locker room at a tennis club in Prague and told her support crew "yeah, it was a good one today that I really felt OK." Her doctor didn't tell her at the time of concerns about the scarring on her surgically repaired left hand that could hinder her return to top-level tennis. In retrospect, Kvitova said it's good she didn't know. "It wasn't only physically but mentally was very tough. It took me really a while to believe," she said. "It was lot of, lot of work ... a lot of recovery, treatment. You know, it was — I think that's kind of the sport life help me a lot with that. I just set up the mind that I really wanted to come back, and I just did everything." She missed the 2017 Australian Open during three months off the tour. She returned at the French Open and had a second-round exit there and at Wimbledon before a bright spot in her comeback, a quarterfinal run at the U.S. Open. But that was the peak for two seasons. She was out in the first round at Melbourne Park last year and at Wimbledon, and third rounds the French and U.S. Opens. Minor setbacks, all things considered. "The mental side was there, and I really needed to be strong and not really thinking too negatively about it," said Kvitova, who is now on an 11-match winning streak. "Yeah, it's been long journey." Kvitova and Osaka have never played each other. Osaka has been watching Kvitova for a long time, though. "I've watched her play the Wimbledon finals. I know what a great player she is," Osaka said. "To have the opportunity to play her for the first time in a final of a Grand Slam is something very amazing." Osaka, whose mother is Japanese and father is from Haiti, has been a star in Japan since she beat Serena Williams in the final of the last U.S. Open. And her fan base has grown, as has her physical condition and mental strength. That was crucial when she had to come back from a set and 4-1 down against Hsieh Su-wei in the third round, when she spiked her racket in frustration. Wins over No. 13 Anastasija Sevastova, No. 6 Elina Svitolina and 2016 U.S. Open finalist Karolina Pliskova followed. Now, she's aiming to be the first woman to win back-to-back majors since Serena Williams in 2015. "It definitely helped knowing that I won the U.S. Open," she said, "because I knew that I had the ability to win that many matches, play for that long." Both players are aiming for top-ranking with a win, and both will have plenty of support in Rod Laver Arena. Kvitova will be a sentimental favorite, particularly after her tearful on-court acknowledgment of success in her "second career" after her quarterfinal win over Australia's Ash Barty. She was asked Friday if she could sense that the crowd knew her story and was behind her. "I don't know. They are not screaming it," she said, smiling. "Hopefully I can find some of them to be on my side.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 25th, 2019

PBA: Calvin wants CJ to keep pushing: “Rookie pa lang”

Calvin Abueva is well aware of the Beast and Baby Beast comparisons between him and CJ Perez. He knows it, he sees it. He does not care pretty much, at least on court. Off of it, he’s good with his junior. But once both of them are playing, it’s all business. “Hindi ko naman masa-suggest na ganito gawin mo, hindi naman ganoon. Hindi naman kami magka-teammate di ba,” Abueva said. “Magkalaban kami sa court. Ang akin lang, sa labas, kapatid ang turing ko sa kanya, walang personalan sa akin. Walang personalan. Ang sa amin, sabi ko nga, improve mo pa ang sarili mo, sa laro mo,” he added. CJ Perez sizzled in his PBA debut, firing 26 points, 24 in the second half, as his Columbian Dyip took down 4-time champion San Miguel Beer. Against Phoenix, Perez was limited to 10 points though he did have eight rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocks. The Dyip lost however. In their win, Abueva fired 18 points on top of nine rebounds, three assists, and three steals. “Ang sa akin naman, I want to win the game, hindi [match ups] lang ang pinag-uusapan. Eto yung game na mananalo kayo, hindi yung keso ganyan, keso ganito, ilang points ka, ilang points ako,” Abueva said.  “Ang bitter naman siguro noon. Ang ina-ano dito, kung ano yung team na mananalo, di ba?” he added. Still, the comparisons are fair to say the least and Abueva acknowledged it. Well sort of. “Actually, noong college nakikita ko. Pero wag siyang masyadong guarantee sa mga nilalaro niya ngayon,” Abueva said. “Dapat, i-force niya pa, i-push niya pa, para mas mag high level pa yung galawan niya sa loob. Kasi rookie pa lang eh, rookie pa lang. Siyempre marami tayong nai-isip about sa rookie, pero improve mo muna ang sarili mo sa pro, bago ka mag-high level. Okay. Thank you,” Calvin added. — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 23rd, 2019

Home Php160.5 Million Worth of Shabu, Kush, Ecstasy Intercepted in Port of Clark, Pampanga, 2 Consignees Arrested

A total of Php160,540,000 worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride, popularly known as shabu; kush, a hybrid marijuana; and ecstasy, a party drug, was intercepted in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga. Two consignees were arrested as a result of the anti-drug operations. Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron N. Aquino said that the dangerous drugs were […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJan 23rd, 2019

PBA: Kevin Alas sees improvement in NLEX return

Returning NLEX Road Warriors guard Kevin Alas sees that his team and even himself still need fine tuning as the action in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup continues to unravel. Alas, who is playing in his first game since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last March, came off the bench and contributed 12 points and 4 assists in 29 minutes of playing time. However, his side was not able to carve out a win against the gritty Rain or Shine Elasto Painters side, falling 96-87 at the Cuneta Astrodome Friday evening. “It felt good pero syempre I wanted the win sana kasi we've been doing well sa offseason. They were the better team, personally. But sa akin personally it felt good kasi 8-10 months ako nawala,” said Alas. The team also paraded new big man Poy Erram, who added 10 markers and 5 rebounds to the team. Though it may it may not be impressive numbers in Erram's debut for his new squad, the former Ateneo big man sees opportunity, as he stressed improvement of chemistry with one another. Alas also shared that he was almost sleepless in anticipation of his return, as it was comparable his feelings before his own pro debut some few years back. With his return to the squad, Alas knows he still has a lot to improve upon as he will only get better in time. “I felt comfortable naman kanina. Pero siguro yung hangin ko kulang pa kasi iba yung hangin na nakukuha mo sa practice iba eh so kanina I felt kulang na kulang pa yung hangin ko,” he shared.   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 18th, 2019

Australian men s tennis hit by infighting, Twitter rants

By Dennis Passa, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The situation seems mostly nasty these days in Australian men's tennis. Compared with the genteel nature of past stars like Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall and more recently, the likes of Pat Rafter over-ruling line calls and giving points to his opponents long before video replays existed, Australian men's tennis is filled with Twitter rants, calls by one player for Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt to resign, embarrassing on-court comments. And, to make matters worse, few decent results. The exception, in a big way, is Alex de Minaur, who advanced to the third round at the Australian Open and will play 17-time major winner Rafael Nadal on Friday. And John Millman gave a top performance before losing Wednesday in five sets to Roberto Bautista Agut. After that, it's not pretty. Sure Hewitt wasn't always the consummate "good bloke" — as Australians like to say — in his day, arguing with chair umpires and fellow players and media, but he seems mild mannered compared with the likes of the self-imploding, dynamite-like duo of Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios. After Tomic lost in the first round, he called on former No. 1-ranked, two-time major winning Hewitt to resign as Davis Cup captain. The two have been feuding for more than a year after Tomic claimed that Australia couldn't win without him and Hewitt countered by saying Tomic wouldn't be chosen for further international duty as long as he was in charge. Tomic's form wouldn't see him chosen anyway for Australia's Davis Cup first-round tie against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Adelaide in February, but Tomic went a bit further, suggesting Hewitt has a personal interest in players he is promoting. "No one likes him anymore," Tomic said of Hewitt. "We have a lot of issues that not a lot of players are happy about. We all know who those players are. Myself, (Thanasi) Kokkinakis, (Nick) Kyrgios." Hewitt wasn't about to get involved in a stoush with Tomic, saying it was "Bernie being Bernie and losing and going on and complaining." After Tomic's comments, Kokkinakis and Kyrgios denied that they had any issue with Hewitt, but Kyrgios's Twitter comments on Wednesday night during de Minaur's match appeared to suggest otherwise. Kyrgios posted a screenshot on Instagram of Hewitt doing television sideline commentary from de Minaur's players' box during the Australian player's five-set win over Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen. Kyrgios posted a poll to his followers, asking whose match Hewitt was watching. He provided two options: "Demon" (de Minaur's nickname) and "No one else". Australian No.2 Millman and No.3 Matt Ebden were playing second-round matches at the same time as de Minaur. Kyrgios appeared to suggest that Hewitt only is interested in de Minaur, the teenager who Hewitt has been mentoring along with his Spanish coach Adolfo Gutierrez. Tomic and Kyrgios reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals as teenagers — Tomic in 2011, Kyrgios in 2014 — but neither has been past that stage at a major since. Kyrgios, who is Australia's fourth-ranked player now, removed his Instagram post not long after. He also criticized Hewitt during the Brisbane International for not watching him or Kokkinakas play. John Newcombe, who won seven Grand Slam singles titles in the 1960 and 70s, including Wimbledon three times, urged Hewitt not to get involved in the argument. "I said to Lleyton the other day: 'Things that are being said and all that, take the high ground," Newcombe told the Australian Associated Press. 'You don't have to defend yourself. Everyone sees what you're doing out there.'" "The general public can see what Lleyton's doing, but every time Bernie (Tomic) gets a microphone he attacks Tennis Australia or someone in it." Millman said after his loss to Bautista Agut that he's felt "quite well-supported by the captain, by the coach, by the support staff," but said he liked Tomic, describing him as "larrikin," and Kyrgios, a "top bloke." Perhaps Millman has the best solution. "This stuff," Millman said, "it's in one ear, out the other.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2019

EYES ON YOU, KID: UAAP 81 Jrs. players to watch

The first round of the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament is over and done with. And we can’t wait for the second round to get started just so we could get even more glimpses of the future of Philippine basketball courtesy of these players: KAI SOTTO – Ateneo de Manila High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 25.3 points, 62.1 shooting, 12.7 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, 2.7 assists For the first time in his three years in Ateneo, Kai Sotto is, bar none, the most dominant force in the UAAP. In his first year, he took a backseat to Juan Gomez de Liano and SJ Belangel then as a sophomore, he was overtaken by CJ Cansino. Now, however, there is no doubt that the 7-foot-1, 16-year-old is the best player in the league – tops in scoring, rebounding, and blocking. And for good measure, just as he is a sure shot inside the paint, he also has the soft touch to make jumpers. Don’t send him to the line either as he makes good on 70.8 percent of his shots from there. Yes, Sotto is an end-to-end force that nobody could match not only in the UAAP, but in all of high school. RJ ABARRIENTOS – Far Eastern University-Diliman ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.4 points, 5.0 assists, 4.1 rebounds RJ Abarrientos had already committed to FEU’s Seniors squad, but later backtracked to use up his last year of eligibility in the UAAP Juniors. Safe to say, FEU-Diliman only welcomed him back with open arms and then proceeded to provide him the stage to shine the brightest he has ever been. A complementary player to the likes of Kenji Roman and L-Jay Gonzales before him, the nephew of Philippine basketball legend Johnny now runs the show for the Baby Tamaraws to the tune of a scoring clip and an assist total both third-best in the league. And even as he is now the primary playmaker for the green and gold, Abarrientos remains a dead shot as the league’s top marksman from three. All in all, the 5-foot-11 stocky guard is the most college-ready player in high school (of course, we’re not counting Kai Sotto who’s not only looks like he's college-ready, but pro-ready as well). CARL TAMAYO – Nazareth School of National University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 11.5 points, 54.3 percent shooting, 9.3 rebounds, 1.8 blocks Due to various injuries, Carl Tamayo has only seen action in four out of seven games NU has played thus far in the tournament. Each and every time he’s on the court, however, the 6-foot-7 only delivers the goods on offense as a paint presence as well as a threat from the perimeter. At the other end, Tamayo also stands strong inside and outside and is actually third-best in terms of blocks. The Cebuano has all the tools to go toe-to-toe with Kai Sotto, but will need to work on his strength and conditioning so that he may leave the injury bug that has been biting him far behind. MARK NONOY – University of Sto. Tomas ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 18.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.7 steals UST looked like it had hit the jackpot in unearthing CJ Cansino and then unveiling him as a dominant force in Season 80. Only, the Tiger Cubs look like they have hit the jackpot again in discovering Mark Nonoy out of Negros Occidental and then developing him into their new all-around shining star in Season 81. In just his first game in the UAAP Juniors, Nonoy dropped 31 points. Just two games later, he tallied a triple-double of 17 points, 16 rebounds, and 12 assists. Now, he is second-best in points and assists and third-best in steals in all of the league. More importantly, with their 5-foot-8 playmaker fronting the effort, UST has stayed in the conversation of playoff hopefuls in the ongoing season. GERRY ABADIANO – Nazareth School of National University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 13.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists Nothing about Gerry Abadiano’s game will jump out at anybody. In fact, nobody will be able to find him in the top five of any statistical category. In the same light, however, he also does not have any weaknesses that will jump out at anybody. The 5-foot-9 lead guard just does whatever his team needs from him and he does it well. That is exactly why he has become to be heart and soul of a Bullpup side with championship aspirations. More than that, Abadiano’s biggest contribution will not be seen in any stat sheet as he has turned out to be the leader that the blue and gold deserves. JOEM SABANDAL – Adamson High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals Joem Sabandal can make difficult shots with the best of them – whether that be willing a layup through defenders or willing a jumper in the face of a contest. That ability has thrust him into the role of being the main man for upstart Adamson and into the recognition as the fifth-best scorer in the UAAP Juniors. Make no mistake, however, the 5-foot-11 guard is not a score-first, second, and third player as he also contributes in the rebounds, assists, and steals departments for the Baby Falcons. Just like any young player, shot selection is a point for improvement for Sabandal, but the fact of the matter is, he’s already well on his way into being a dynamic scorer. TERRENCE FORTEA – Nazareth School of National University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists Looks like all Terrences have a scorer’s mentality as NU’s Fortea wants to get buckets just as much as San Miguel’s Romeo. The good news for the Bullpups is that Terrence Romeo is just one of the hopeful trajectories 18-year-old Terrence Fortea’s career can take. Like Romeo, Fortea is a sniper from deep (second-most triple total with 20) and an even better shot from the line (best free throw clip at 82.6 percent). He also has that handy floater that can frustrate defenses that close out on him. Best of all, though, the 5-foot-10 Batang Gilas stalwart is still learning the ropes on being more of a facilitator. And when he masters that, he may very well exceed his namesake. AP MANLAPAZ – Adamson High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 10.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.0 blocks, 1.3 steals While Joem Sabandal is Adamson’s go-to-guy, it’s actually little-known teammate AP Manlapaz who is in the top five of the MVP race. And with a closer look, there’s every reason for him to be there as he, put simply, stuffs the stat sheet for the Baby Falcons – averaging a points-rebounds double-double to go along with marks from assists, blocks, and steals. Safe to say, long-limbed forward Manlapaz has been anonymous before the season, but without a doubt, will only keep making noise on both ends. BISMARCK LINA – University of Sto. Tomas ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 11.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 1.0 assist Bismarck Lina is one of only three players to be averaging a double-double in the UAAP Juniors. As their man in the middle, the cousin of school legend Kevin Ferrer sees to it that UST does not get bullied in the interior as whether it be offense or defense, he is a threat at the rim. Most of all, the 6-foot-6 Lina, the second-best rebounder in the league, is always at the right place, at the right time to complete defensive stops or to clean up a teammates’ miss with a rebound. JORDI GOMEZ DE LIAÑO – University of the Philippines Integrated School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 11.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist Jordi is the best-shooting Gomez de Liano – or so he says. Of course, numbers do back him up as at just 15-years-old, he already has the third-best triple total in all of the UAAP Juniors. At the same time, however, the younger brother of Javi and Juan has a long ways to go as while he already stands at 6-foot-5, he is also reed thin and can get muscled through by anybody and everybody. More than that, his team is winless in the season. Nonetheless, it’s good to know that both the shooting and the confidence, both GDL trademarks, are already there – and it’s just a matter of time before Jordi grows into his body. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2019