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SEA Games: Gilas and Myanmar prove that indeed, “We Win As One”

MANILA — It’s already on the official theme song, “We Win As One” in these 2019 Southeast Asian Games here. After Gilas Pilipinas issued a 69-point beating to an obviously overmatched Myanmar side Saturday, the two national teams got together post-game and took a photo together. There will be winners and losers in the SEA Games but coming together and displaying proper sportsmanship takes priority. It’s not just about beating the other team up. Against Myanmar, Gilas certainly didn’t want to embarrass an opposing country that’s clearly just starting to find its way in the sport. By virtue of a 136-67 win, Gilas coach Tim Cone feels like the Philippines achieved that delicate balance of playing to win but at the same time, giving the opponents the respect they deserve. “We were trying to find a balance between playing the game hard and respecting the game and yet not trying to run up the score. We didn't want to run up the score and embarrass anybody,” Cone said. “Obviously, there's a big gap in talent between the two teams. But, you know, the SEA Games are all about competition and friendship. You compete through friendship. You try to gain friendships,” he added. Just as the official theme song of these SEA Games suggest, “yes we compete but the greatest feat is when we win as one.” It might look tough to look at the scoreboard now but Myanmar having multiple shots at Gilas Pilipinas can only help improve their own basketball program. It's just the same as when the Philippines plays far superior teams at the world level. “You're not trying to create enemies in the SEA Games. That's why we all come together and that's something we want to try to represent tonight. We want Myanmar to keep coming back and keep wanting to play and keep wanting to improve their basketball program,” coach Tim said. “We don't want to discourage them, and no one likes to be embarrassed. No one likes to be humiliated, so we just tried to be respectful and try to continue to play the game hard, create good habits going to the next game,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnDec 7th, 2019

SEA Games: “Play it right,” says coach Tim as Gilas battles Myanmar

MANILA — A high-powered Gilas Pilipinas will end the prelims of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games Saturday against Myanmar and well... it could get a little out of hand. For Myanmar that is. In the last two times both countries met in basketball, the Philippines beat Myanmar by a combine 202 points. Gilas Pilipinas beat Myanmar by 107 points in the 2017 SEABA Championships and the Philippines beat Myanmar again in the 2017 SEA Games by 95 points. Not much is known about Myanmar for the 2019 SEA Games here but this 2019 Gilas team looks better than both of the 2017 squads that dominated the Burmese. “Myanmar is not a basketball nation. So their team is not that strong. We recognize that,” Gilas head coach Tim Cone said. “We just wanna make sure we go out there and play it right, you know, continue to create good habits because after that we play the semifinals,” he added. Cone’s Gilas team is rolling to start the SEA Games here. The Philippines started group play with a 52-point win against Singapore. Gilas followed that up with a 41-point victory against a good Vietnam team. But even as Gilas is dominating, Cone is stressing that the national team should continue to develop good habits. Teams like Thailand and Indonesia are still waiting. Even a rematch against Vietnam could be on the horizon and Vietnam did prove that they can play Gilas tough. “We still have Indonesia with Rajko Toroman. Thailand, they’ve been beating up their opponents. They’re very dangerous,” Cone said. “We don’t wanna lose our habits playing against Myanmar and create bad habits going in against Rajko Toroman because these teams are always super disciplined and they can beat you at their discipline,” he added. After beating Myanmar by an average of 101 points in their previous outing, many are seeing another 100-point win for Gilas Pilipinas. Coach Tim says they’re not gonna go for that. They’re simply going to go for a win, it only counts as one anyway regardless of the final margin. “So we’re also not gonna try to run up the score. We’re not gonna try to impress anybody,” he said. “Again, we wanna respect our opponents. We wanna go out there and play hard, but we also don’t want to embarrass anybody, so we’re gonna be cognizant of that,” Cone added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 7th, 2019

SEA Games: “Can’t go wrong with a gold medal,” says Coach Tim

MANILA — Tim Cone literally has nothing else to prove in PBA basketball, as the winningest head coach in PBA history and with two Grand Slams, he’s earned that right. However, the 2019 Southeast Asian Games proved to be a different challenge for Coach Tim and the shiny gold that came with winning the whole thing has Cone geeking out. The first gold medal he won might as well outrank his 21 PBA titles. “You can’t go wrong with a gold medal,” Coach Tim said after his Gilas Pilipinas beat Thailand to end the SEA Games Tuesday. “My gosh, it’s something you remember for a long time. Maybe if you have like 10 gold medals, like [US Olympic swimmer] Mark Spitz so maybe that’s something, but if you get one? That’s incredibly special. I’ve won a few championships in the PBA and this ranks right up there if not the top,” Cone added. This SEA Games gold medal likewise puts in perspective coach Tim’s initial national team assignment two decades ago. Cone coached the Centennial Team, arguably the greatest Philippine team ever assembled. Despite winning bronze in the 1998 Asian Games, that national team stint left a hole in Cone’s coaching career. Coach Tim prepared the Centennial team for gold, only to not even a proper chance to fight for one. Getting his gold medal two decades later, that bronze medal on a higher level seems like it’s not too bad as well. “The bronze in the Asian Games, looking back on it it was special as well,” he said. “Again, just the whole experience of being here, being with these guys, the support of everyone in the country, SBP, Al Panlilio, Al Francis Chua, I mean and the support of the players, they were phenomenal. It was a great experience all around so you will remember this gold just for the experience,” Coach Tim added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 11th, 2019

SEA Games: Gilas shoots way to nice 69-point win over Myanmar

MANILA — For a while, Myanmar actually looked like it was up to something. And then Gilas just shot down any doubt whatsoever. The Philippines flexed its basketball muscles against Myanmar anew, taking a 136-67 win Saturday at the MOA Arena to end prelims action for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. In the opening period, Myanmar didn’t look like the team that lost to Gilas by a combined 202 points in two games two years ago. Gilas only took a 32-24 lead after one and it would have been only five if Marcio Lassiter didn’t hit a late triple. But that conversion from deep proved to be the sign as Lassiter and Mattew Wright shot the lights out in the second, leading Gilas’ 45-12 run. By halftime, Marcio and Matthew had a combined 10 triples and Gilas had a 77-36 lead. It was cruise control in the second half then as the Philipines got the 69-point decision for a clean 3-0 mark heading to the semifinals. Matthew Wright was the high man for Gilas, finishing with 29 points off eight triples. Vic Manuel added 24 for the Philipine while Troy Rosario was good for 16 points. Kiefer Ravena and Marcio Lassiter contributed 15 each. Gilas had 43 assists in the win, led by a team-high nine from Chris Ross. The Philippines also only had one turnover. Aung Myint led Myanmar with 28 points and seven rebounds. Gilas Pilipinas will take on Indonesia in the semifinals Monday.   The Scores: PHILIPPINES 136 -- Wright 29, Manuel 24, Rosario 16, Lassiter 15, Ravena 15, Aguilar 12, Slaughter 10, Tenorio 9, Standhardinger 6, Ross 0. MYANMAR 67 -- Myint 28, Ta 14, Justin 6, Aung 5, Tun Tun 4, Sar 4, La Ja 4, Zaw 2, Zaya 0, Wine 0, Oo 0, Htut 0. Quarters: 32-24, 77-36, 104-49, 136-67.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 7th, 2019

SEA Games: Pinoy spikers face Thais for championship berth

The Philippines is facing an uphill climb in its attempt to secure a gold medal round berth when it takes on defending champion Thailand in the semifinal of the 30th Southeast Asian Games men’s volleyball Sunday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City. Game time is at 3:30 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, iWant and via livestream. The Nationals are seeded second in the in the crossover, knockout Final Four after closing the Pool B elimination round with a 2-1 win-loss record, losing only to 2017 silver medalist Indonesia. But the straight sets loss to the Indonesians could prove costly as the Filipinos set up an early collision course with the unbeaten five-peat-seeking Thais. PHI head coach Dante Alinsurin hopes that his wards led by the tandem of powerhitters Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas will learn from their mistakes in the previous outing to stand a chance against the mighty Thais.   “Siyempre ‘yung mga mali namin, yung mga miscommunication namin sa court, siguro magtututok kami dun,” said Alinsunurin, whose squad scored only one kill block and one ace against Indonesia. The Nationals averaged 14 blocks and seven aces in their wins against Cambodia and Vietnam. Thailand topped Pool A after beating Singapore and no. 2 semis seed Myanmar. Indonesia and Myanmar will square off at 6:00 p.m. while the classification match between Singapore and Vietnam is set at 1:00 p.m.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 7th, 2019

SEA Games: Gilas has Vietnam next in big prelims showdown

MANILA — After starting the 2019 Southeast Asian Games with a 52-point drubbing of Singapore, Gilas Pilipinas is ready move forward through the preliminary stage. The Philippine national team will certainly keep its focus, as anything short of a gold medal here will be a monumental disaster. Up next for Gilas Pilipinas is Vietnam and the Vietnamese have been impressive so far, entering Friday’s clash with a clean 2-0 mark. Vietnam was Cone’s mystery team almost a week before the SEA Games and looks like Coach Tim’s early hunch was right. [Related: SEA Games: Gilas wary of unknown Vietnam] These Vietnamese are good. “We scouted Vietnam today against Myanmar, and they have six really good athletes on their team,” Cone said. “They're gonna be a much stronger opponent,” he added. The Philippines is the heavy favorites to win a 13th straight gold medal in the SEA Games. Gilas Pilipinas also sent a powerhouse crew, going all-PBA this time int he biennial event. However, as Gilas looks to dominate, proper mindset is still key. It’s much easier to underestimate an opponent and doing that opens you up for a historic upset. “We wanna make sure that we're coming out and we're respecting the game, that we're playing the game the right way, that we are respecting our opponents. You didn't see a lot of fooling around. We don't want our guys fooling around,” Cone said. “We're gonna try to play the game the right way. That's very important to us, to represent the country. We want people going back to their respective homes and saying wow, that team played with a lot of class. That's really been uppermost in our minds. Obviously, we wanna win too,” he added. Gilas Pilipinas vs. Vietnam, a crucial match to pretty much decide rankings for the next round, will tip off at the MOA Arena at 8:15 p.m. Friday.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 6th, 2019

SEA Games: Gilas shoots for twin golds in 3x3 basketball

3x3 basketball in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games conclude Monday at the San Juan Arena. The Philippines will shoot for twin gold medals in both men’s and women’s divisions. Gilas Pilipinas women are a perfect 3-0 after Sunday’s action with wins against Myanmar, Malaysia, and Indonesia. To end preliminary play, the Filipinas will take on Vietnam and Thailand in the morning. Meanwhile, Gilas Pilipinas is 4-0 in men’s play, taking down Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand. The national team will wrap up pool play against Malaysia and Cambodia. The medal rounds will then be played in the afternoon.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 1st, 2019

Gilas women clobber Myanmar in SEA Games 3x3 opener

Led by the towering Clare Castro in the paint, the Filipinas simply bullied their way against the Burmese cagebelles......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 1st, 2019

Gilas dominates Myanmar for 2nd SEA Games 3x3 win

With CJ Perez and Jason Perkins once again leading the way, the Gilas cagers took the 2-0 start to their gold medal campaign......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 1st, 2019

Gilas 3x3 belles sweep SEA Games Day 1 assignments

After making a statement win over Myanmar, 21-4 in their first game, the Filipinas had to grind out two close finishes against Malaysia and Indonesia......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 1st, 2019

SEA Games: Animam predicts 3x3 gold for Gilas women

MANILA — Confidence is pretty high for Gilas Pilipinas women to start the 2019 Southeast Asian Games here. The national women’s team swept Day 1 action of 3x3 basketball Sunday, picking up victories against Myanmar (21-4), Malaysia (15-13), and Indonesia (16-13). Moving closer to the medal rounds, Gilas women wants nothing short of gold. “Syempre ako I claim it,” Jack Animam said. “No. 1 na tayo, gold na to bukas. Sana keep on supporting us and keep praying for us na makuha talaga namin yun,” she added. With such a strong start, Gilas women’s gold medal hopes have validity. A first-place finish in the very first 3x3 basketball event of the SEA Games will be a nice reward for the fighting Filipinas after working so hard to reach this level of play. “Syempre masaya kami na lahat ng games namin today na-panalo namin,” Animam said. “Yung pagod namin, yung sacrifices namin everyday, unti-unti na siyang nagbubunga. Sana come tomorrow, matapos namin ng maganda itong 3x3,” she added. Gilas women (3-0) will play two more preliminary games Monday morning before the medal rounds start later in the day.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 1st, 2019

SEA Games: Gilas women overcome bruises for perfect 3x3 start

MANILA — Gilas Pilipinas women got a nice unbeaten start in women’s 3x3 basketball of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games but it wasn’t smooth sailing at all. After a dominant win to start against Myanmar Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Center here, Gilas women had to work to pick up victories against Malaysia and Indonesia. The Filipinas also had to deal with some minor injuries as Afril Bernardino hurt her left thumb late against Indonesia. “Sumabit siya sa one of the players ng Indonesia,” Bernardino said talking about her thumb. “Kumikirot pa rin siya, siguro di ko na lang iniisip yung sakit kasi lahat namain kami pinagtrabahuhan itong event na to. Pinaghandaan talaga namin to, hindi pa ito yung reason para mag-give up,” she added. After Afril’s thumb, there’s also Jack Animam’s eye that got compromised during the FIBA pre-Olympic Qualifying tournament in New Zealand. That injury cost her to miss the UAAP Season 82 Finals where her NU Lady Bulldogs completed an undefeated six-peat. The injury didn’t cause her to miss the SEA Games however, and she assures that she’s 100 percent good to go now. “Actually nakalimutan ko na may eye injury ako,” Animam said. “I’m happy to be back. I feel a lot better now. 100 percent healthy na, nothing to worry about,” she added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 1st, 2019

Gilas women destroys Myanmar in 3×3 play opening

Gilas Pilipinas Women’s Basketball Team dominates Myanmar, 21-4, to open its campaign on a high note in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 3×3 Women’s Basketball Tournament Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Arena, San Juan. Former FEU standout Clare Castro led the Filipinas as she racked up eight points while playmaker Janine Pontejos chipped […] The post Gilas women destroys Myanmar in 3×3 play opening appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsDec 1st, 2019

SEA Games: Gilas starts medal chase in 3x3 basketball

It’s finally gametime for Gilas Pilipinas' 3x3 teams in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. It will be ladies first as Gilas women open up the Philippines’ campaign in 3x3 basketball Sunday at the San Juan Arena, starting things off against Myanmar at 10:40 in the morning. The national women’s team will then get a break before matching up against Malaysia at 1:20 p.m. and wrapping up Day 1 with a 3:00 p.m. showdown opposite Indonesia. Gilas women will be made up of 3x3 veterans Afril Bernardino, Jack Animam, Clare Castro, and 2018 World Cup standout Janine Pontejos. In men’s play, Gilas Pilipinas will be taking on Indonesia at 11:00 a.m. followed by a game against Myanmar at 12 noon. Gilas will have two more games then, taking on Vietnam at 2:40 p.m. before concluding with a 3:40 p.m. showdown vs. Thailand. The men’s team will be bannered by CJ Perez, Chris Newsome, Jason Perkins, and Mo Tautuaa. This year marks the first time 3x3 basketball will be an official medal event in the Southeast Asian Games.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 30th, 2019

SEA Games: Gilas wary of unknown Vietnam

Gilas Pilipinas is locked in for its 2019 Southeast Asian Games opener against Singapore on Dec. 4 at the MOA Arena. The national team is even ready against possible playoff opponents like Thailand and Indonesia. However, two teams remain a little bit of a mystery for Gilas Pilipinas. After Singapore, Gilas will take on Vietnam and Myanmar to wrap up the elimination round of the SEA Games. Coach Tim Cone admits there’s not much material on those two countries. “The teams we’re not really seeing are Vietnam and Myanmar. We heard Vietnam could be good, but we don’t know that much about them yet,” he said. “Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, we have a pretty good handle on those guys,” Cone added. Despite not having that much material yet on Vietnam and Myanmar, the first order of business for Gilas is Singapore. The focus is to win that game first. Also, the national team is busy doing its own preparations, with two-a-days in full swing before they shift back to night practice at the MOA Arena two days before game day. “These guys are here to work, there’s no fooling around. Everybody’s been locked in, we’re still working,” Cone said.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 30th, 2019

EYES ON YOU, KID: NCAA 95 Jrs. players to watch

The first round of the NCAA 95 Juniors Basketball Tournament is over and done with. And with the second round already underway, we’re getting even more glimpses of the future of Philippine basketball courtesy of these players: MAC GUADANA – Lyceum of the Philippines University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 18.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.1 steals LPU is on the brink of its first playoff appearance in school history – and throughout its quest to do just that, Mac Guadana has been its constant. For a long time, the 6-foot playmaker has stood as the pillar for the Jr. Pirates, but now, he has taken the leap all the way up there as one of the best players in all of high school. The former Batang Gilas guard has been stuffing the stat sheet and is tops in steals, fourth in scoring, and fifth in assists in the league. Without a doubt, he can and he is doing it all in his fifth and final year in maroon and grey. Most importantly, LPU has only followed his lead all the way to a place well inside the playoff picture. Of course, it remains to be seen if the Jr. Pirates can continue their sail to treasure island. What’s certain, though, is that their 18-year-old homegrown star will keep giving his all for them. RHAYYAN AMSALI – San Beda High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.7 steals For four years running now, Rhayyan Amsali has been one of the most promising prospects in the Jrs. Now in his last year in high school, he has only brought over all the confidence and capabilities he had honed in National U all the way to San Beda. Now donning red and white, the 6-foot-3 forward has unleashed a more well-rounded game as he is actually the league’s best playmaker while at the same time, its third-best pilferer and fifth-best scorer. And if not for a controversial suspension, he would have also been the frontrunner for MVP as he has been a key cog for the league-leading Red Cubs. Still, what matters most for the now 18-year-old is another championship – and at the end of it all, he may very well be in select company of players who have won two titles in two different high schools in two different leagues. JONNEL POLICARPIO – Mapua High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.1 points, 10.6 rebound, 2.6 assists, 1.3 blocks The biggest reason Mapua has found itself in the bottom third of the standings is the inconsistency of main man Jonnel Policarpio. From missing the first three games due to personal problems to getting irregular playing time due to mental lapses, the 6-foot-4 energizer has only proven he has got much room for improvement when it comes to intangibles. Still, whenever he’s on the floor, Policarpio has always made his presence felt and that is very much evident with him being the MVP leader even after only playing seven games. However, the league’s top rebounder needs to prove he can stay on the court and lead his team to victory if he wants to have a hold of that top individual trophy and, more importantly, extend his team’s title reign. JUSTINE SANCHEZ – San Beda High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.5 points, 62.8 percent shooting, 7.5 rebounds Justine Sanchez is turning in a career year in his last year for San Beda. From coming off the bench a year ago to claiming a starting spot for himself, the long-limbed forward is on pace to be hailed as the league’s Most Improved Player. All the proof he needs for that is already there as he is an automatic finisher of set-ups by his teammates, with an astounding 62.8 shooting clip from the field. At the same time, though, he has also shown flashes of shooting and playmaking – showing that even the favorite for Most Improved Player looks like he can still keep growing. JOHN BARBA – Lyceum of the Philippines University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 20.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists Mac Guadana does it all, but if and when LPU needs a basket badly, it turns to John Barba. A fearless slasher that boasts of one of the best – if not the best – upper body strengths, the 6-foot-2 swingman can score however he wants once he gets to the paint. That is exactly why he is the league’s second-best scorer. Of course, Barba has to work on his shooting, but as of right now, that hole in his game is only offset by his energy and activity that allow him to haul in offensive rebounds and make good on second chance points. TONY YNOT – San Beda High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 10.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 steals Tony Ynot missed San Beda’s first five games due to a knee injury, but once he was good to go, he did nothing but make an immediate impact. A defensive specialist who made noise in the preseason with a poster block on Jalen Green, the Filipino-American blue-chip recruit in the US NCAA, he is only proving to be more of a two-way force now in his second season in red and white. The 5-foot-11 wing now has the confidence to let it fly from deep or venture inside the paint for a closer look, but when it all boils down to it, defense is and will always be his calling card. RC CALIMAG – College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 20.7 points, 23-of-60 from three, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals RC Calimag has always been in love with the midrange shot in his time in DLSZ and now in his second season in LSGH. The 6-foot-2 forward knocks those down at a respectable rate, but his transition into taking more threes this year has unlocked his entire offensive arsenal. Calimag is the league’s top scorer, with a bulk of his output coming from deep where he has hit 23 in total. Without a doubt, he has always been a deadly scorer, but with his outside shot now a legitimate threat, he has become an elite offensive player. JOSHUA RAMIREZ – Colegio de San Juan de Letran ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 15.1 points, 29-of-90 from three, 5.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists Joshua Ramirez’s game will not blow anybody away at all as he is yet to have a skill that will put him above everybody else. What the 6-foot-3 forward is, however, is an all-around player who will do whatever it takes to help out his team – if Letran needs points, he will be there; if Letran needs playmaking, he will be there; if Letran needs defense, he will be there. No doubt about it, he is the quintessential glue guy that any other team will want to have on their side. EMMAN GALMAN – University of Perpetual Help ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 19.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.5 steals One word perfectly encapsulates Emman Galman – gunner. The 6-foot-2 swingman is a volume shooter who has the greenest of green lights to take shots for Perpetual. That’s not a bad thing at all, though, because he actually makes good on many of those and finds himself as the third-best scorer in all of the league. SHAWN UMALI – Colegio de San Juan de Letran ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 9.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.4 blocks, 1.1 steals What Joshua Ramirez is from the perimeter, Shawn Umali is inside the paint for Letran. The undersized big man will not wow everybody, but his do-it-all game has been the engine that has kept the Squires running for two years now. And don’t let his 6-foot-4 height and wide frame fool you, he actually has great timing and is the league’s fifth-best shot blocker. HONORABLE MENTIONS Yukien Andrada – San Beda High School Gholam Garcia – Jose Rizal University High School CJ Saure – Colegio de San Juan de Letran Ezdel Galoy – University of Perpetual Help --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2019

THROWBACK: FIBA 1954—the Philippines’ pinnacle as third best in world basketball

No other Asian team could eclipse what the Philippines achieved in 1954.  And this is what is considered an accomplishment that spoke of the glory the country once had—something that we had long desired to duplicate.  Sixty-five years since this stellar bunch of Filipino basketball icons first strode into Ginásio do Maracanãzinho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on October 23, 1954, we still long for that moment, but have since made gargantuan steps in regaining that world basketball glory. It was the second FIBA World Basketball Championship, four years after the inaugural tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At that time, Asia wasn’t even in the map of international basketball, with only Europe and the Americas battling it out for dominance. It wasn’t really a surprise, considering how the sport hasn’t really reached that kind of popularity in the region for it to produce a world-caliber team. Favorite pastime Except of course in the Philippines, where basketball has already been the most popular pastime and already the source of national idols people fancy. Collegiate and commercial leagues were already drawing crowds, not to mention the everyday Filipino finding extreme joy swooshing that ball in a ring with an attached net—be it at the backyard or the neighborhood street—thanks to an overwhelming American influence that continues up to this day.  But what they really find so much delight is watching the country’s best players and ballclubs going at it—a sort of primetime top rating action drama in today’s parlance. And the main cast steps in while everyone howls or cheers, seeing San Beda’s Carlos Loyzaga’s “Big Difference” in scoring baskets with impunity from everywhere on the court or watching Letran’s Larry “The Fox” Mumar with his sly and cunning moves, running rings around the opposition for that easy two.  And, a Philippine team of basketball demigods? Insane. Silva’s 12 picks They did prove their wizardry and magic in their first shining moment—when they were called upon to play in the 1954 Manila Asian Games. True enough, they were unstoppable clinching the Gold against the Republic of China and earning the first-ever Asian slot in the Rio FIBA World Basketball tourney.  It was a team coached by the legendary Herminio “Herr” Silva, who despite his failing health, became that ingenious and innovative tactician who devised the “dash-and-dribble” and the vaunted zone and “freeze” defense that sent opponent plays in disarray.  Joining the Loyzaga and Mumar in Silva’s 12 picks from the original 24 selected by the country’s governing body were the “Rajah of Rebound” Francisco Rabat, skipper Tony Genato, Benjamin Francisco, Nap Flores, Florentino Bautista, Pons Saldana, Bayani Amador, Rafael Barretto, Mon Manulat, and Mariano Tolentino. Their poise even at the start of hostilities were already world-class. They would pound Paraguay without let-up behind Loyzaga’s 15 points in a 64-52 drubbing on opening day.  Their intensity in the first game, however, left them gasping in their second game the next day, facing a mighty host team and lost, 62-99. Despite the loss, however, they still advanced to the final round with their 1-1 slate in Group A, after Brazil ousted Paraguay, 61-52. The Filipinos will soon have its first acid test and face the United States on October 27 for its first assignment in the Final Round. The Americans, who lost to Argentina in the Gold Medal match in 1950 was definitely hungry for their first World title, but facing the Philippines proved to be their most challenging match.  Challenging the US It was a close match in the first half with the Filipinos giving the Americans a very hard time in executing their offense, trailing by a mere three points at halftime, 25-22, and even led with its largest margin at 31-26 at the start of the second half. But the US, bannered by the Illinois squad Peoria Cats, adjusted their offense and pulled away at 49-30, with three minutes left to play. The game ended with the US winning by a mere 13 points, 56-43, their lowest winning margin in the tournament.  Mumar topscored with 14 points, Loyzaga added 12, and Tolentino had 11, but the rest each had at most two points.  Eventual MVP Kirby Minter led the US with 15 points. The Philippines, despite the setback gained the respect of the world with their performance against the Americans that sent shockwaves across the tournament. Led by Flores, the Filipinos would then cruise past Formosa (now Chinese-Taipei), 48-38, on October 29. The following day, Loyzaga and Saldana each scored 20 points and Philippines clobbered Israel, 90-56. They would however lose to their Group A tormentors and hosts Brazil, 41-57. Sealing glory What really sealed their glory and place in history, however, was their successive victories against Canada, 83-76, behind Mumar’s 24 points, France, 66-60 with Loyzaga leading all scorers with 19 points, and the hotly contested match against Uruguay, 67-63 with Loyzaga bombarding 31 markers.  The match against France was memorable when Mumar had an altercation with the French behemoth 7-footer Jean-Paul Beugnot, who took issue with Mumar’s sly tactics as he defended him in a drive to the basket. Rubbing his eyes after he claimed to have been spat on, Beugnot could not do anything but notice Mumar scoring on a lay-up unmolested that sealed the win.  Already assured of the bronze, the Philippines still engaged Uruguay in a tough battle. In fact, Uruguayans had complained about the Filipinos’ rough play throughout their game.  It however spoke of the Philippines’ tenacity in getting the win, as Genato made the biggest defensive gem of all, limiting Uruguay sniper Oscar Moglia, who buried 37 points in a previous match against Canada, to a mere nine points. Loyzaga’s monster game was the key factor in the four-point win, with Mumar scoring nine, Tolentino and Barretto contributing five each, with Bautista and Manulat both had four, Rabat two and Amador one.  The US would eventually cop their first World title, manhandling Brazil in the final, 62-41. Loyzaga part of World’s Mythical Five Loyzaga ended the tournament as the second top scorer with a combined 148 points, with a 16.4 average, behind Canada’s Carl Ridd, who totaled 164, and became part of the World’s Mythical Five.  Looking back, the stature of this Philippine squad seems too lofty to even emulate, but we are slowly, yet even at a painstaking grind, getting close even with small baby steps to achieving that feat. With today’s Gilas Pilipinas already reaching unanticipated heights in this more challenging and competitive arena, especially with open basketball coming into play, the Philippines’ lost world basketball glory may soon reemerge. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2019

FIBA: Gilas Pilipinas on the lookout for automatic Olympic slot

The 2019 FIBA World Cup is a pivotal tournament for Gilas Pilipinas in a lot of ways. For one, it’s a chance for the national team to once again prove it belongs in the world stage. It’s the second consecutive appearance for Gilas Pilipinas in the World Championships. Five years ago they scored a breakthrough win. Now, the marching orders for Gilas is to advance to the next round. Second, the 2019 FIBA World Cup is the first, perhaps even the best, of multiple chances to book an elusive ticket to the Olympics. The Naismith Trophy is not the only prize at stake in the World Cup. The top finishers per continent will advance to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics regardless of final placing. For our side of the world, the no. 1 Asian team at the end of the World Championships, outside of Olympic host Japan, will get a spot in next year’s Summer Games. “Iniisip namin yun,” head coach Yeng Guiao said on the Olympic slot on the line in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. “It’s unlikely but just in case yung China hindi rin maka-pasok sa next round, then we have to compete for the next placing in Asia, baka maka-lusot tayo. That’s also at the back of their minds,” coach Yeng added. By virtue of being World Cup hosts, China got to pretty much pick its group. Naturally, the Chinese got into a bracket favorable to them, giving them a supposedly easier time to get into the next round and in effect, get a better finish. At full strength, China is still arguably the best true Asian team in the field and are the squad to beat for that Olympic spot. “As of now, very have very little control of that and tingin ko advantage na ang China dahil magaan ang grupo nila,” Guiao said. “But it is still an objective that’s worth pursuing,” coach Yeng added of the Olympic slot.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 28th, 2019

James Spencer ready, raring to don different kind of Pilipinas

James Spencer was made to wait a little longer for the golden opportunity to represent the Philippines. The Filipino-Australian came to the Philippines last year with the primary purpose of suiting up for Gilas Youth - then still known as Batang Gilas. "I've been eyeing the (youth) team since before I was even thinking to play college basketball out here. Batang Gilas was my first connection to the Philippines," he shared. However, he fell short of being eligible for the 2018 FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship in Thailand. "I got to practice with the team a bit before they went to the qualifiers. Unfortunately, my Filipino passport, basically, wasn't in line then," he recalled. Spencer made it clear, however, that his Filipino passport was actually good to go before that regional meet, but some complications apparently arose when it was forwarded to FIBA. The 6-foot-3 promising prospect would have been a much welcome addition to a Batang Gilas side that reached the semifinals of the qualifiers. Not only is he a big-bodied guard, he is also a knockdown shooter. He showed that sort of promise in last season's UAAP where he was part of the University of the Philippines' Cinderella run to the Finals. Spencer totaled two points, 10 rebounds, and 40 minutes in nine games that gave him a taste of how it feels like to have "Pilipinas" on his jersey. Fast forward a year and now, he is all set to contribute to Gilas Youth who will wage war in the 2019 FIBA Under-19 World Cup as he has been named into the 14-man pool going to Qatar for training camp and then to Greece for the tournament proper. For that, the 19-year-old is nothing but thankful. "Once the new coaching staff was in place, coach Sandy [Arespacochaga] gave me a call and said I should try out with my team. That's what I did and I've been given an opportunity to play in Qatar to play in a few tuneup games and participate in training camp," he said. He then continued, "From there, they're gonna make a decision on who will play in Greece. I'm just glad to be part of it all and I'm just excited to play for the country." And so, Spencer is now cherishing the golden opportunity to wear "Pilipinas" in international competition - "Pilipinas" without "Unibersidad ng" accompanying it. If and when he makes the cut for the national youth team, he hopes he can be part of the process that will smooth over relations between the Philippines and Australia. After all, a Fil-Aussie is the ideal candidate to prove that Filipinos and Australians can play nice once more. "I don't think people outside the Philippines understand Filipino hoops properly. I think it's something they really have to experience firsthand to appreciate how we play," he said. He then continued, "There might be that stereotype that we're rough players who are not skillful and just wanna be rough. But really, we're just physical." Whatever it is, Spencer promises to go all out for his family who have roots in Fairview, Quezon City. "I'm just happy for all of this and thankful my family is with me for all of this," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 17th, 2019

REWIND RANKINGS: Melecio, Rivero, and 16 NBTC All-Stars

The National Basketball Training Centre 24 is now on its third year and through its run, it has been graced by the likes of Kai Sotto, Joel Cagulangan, SJ Belangel, Carl Tamayo, Rhayyan Amsali, and Kevin Quiambao as top three talents. From 2018 onward, a selection committee made up of scribes from ABS-CBN Sports, ESPN5, Spin, and Tiebreaker Times have reviewed the best of the best in the NCAA, UAAP, MMBL, CESAFI-NBTC, and FCAAF and then ranked them in the definitive list of the most promising prospects in the Philippines. That list of names then became the final roster for the annual NBTC All-Star Game. Even before the NBTC 24, though, the grassroots national tournament has organized All-Star Games with 24 of the most promising prospects in the Philippines. And so, wouldn't it be fun if the All-Stars before 2018 will get the NBTC 24 treatment? In this space, the current selection committee will be retroactively ranking the NBTC All-Stars in their respective years from the game's debut in 2012 all the way to 2017. First up, it's the 2016 NBTC All-Stars - and you will be amazed at just how overflowing with talent this class is. --- 2016. This was when LSGH's Ricci Rivero was, hands-down, the best player in the NCAA, but was disqualified from individual awards due to his ejection in an elimination round game. And so, Mike Enriquez of Mapua swooped in to seize MVP, but interestingly, was left out of the NBTC All-Star Game. Over in the UAAP, DLSZ's Aljun Melecio was himself the undisputed top talent, but was no match for the 1-2 punch of Justine Baltazar and John Lloyd Clemente and the well-oiled machine that was National U. Still, never forget that the Bullpups swept the elimination round only to fall short of a perfect season as Melecio proved why he was Season MVP in Game 2 of the Finals. As always, all eyes were on the NCAA and the UAAP, but two of the most sought after recruits actually played outside those tournaments. Chiang Kai Shek's Jonas Tibayan was the most complete player in high school then and his end-to-end game was actually more than enough to let him suit up for the Gilas Pilipinas cadets in the 2017 Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship. Meanwhile, Tyler Tio was a one-man fireworks show for Xavier and his scoring sprees would lead him to be touted as the next pride of the Golden Stallions. We haven't even mentioned Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan who both made the UAAP Mythical Team, but would have to settle for places outside the top five in our Rewind Rankings as UPIS only had three wins to show - and of course, the NBTC 24 values winning first and foremost. In all, the 2016 NBTC All-Stars counted 10 players from the UAAP, six players from the NCAA, six players from other leagues in Manila, and two players from Cebu. The UAAP, likewise, dominated the top 10 with two Bullpups and a Jr. Archer landing in the top three. Chiang Kai Shek and Xavier also managed to snag two spots in the top six while the NCAA's highest ranking player was a Greenie at no. 4. This is the final NBTC 24 for 2016 - retroactively, that is: 1. Justine Baltazar, C, National U (white no. 11) 2. Aljun Melecio, G, DLSZ 3. John Lloyd Clemente, F, National U 4. Jonas Tibayan, F, Chiang Kai Shek (blue no. 18) 5. Ricci Rivero, G, LSGH 6. Tyler Tio, G, Xavier (white no. 11) 7. Evan Nelle, G, San Beda (white no. 10) 8. Javi Gomez de Liano, F, UPIS 9. Sherwin Concepcion, F, Mapua 10. Juan Gomez de Liano, G, UPIS 11. Sam Abu Hijleh, F, San Beda 12. John Galinato, G, Chiang Kai Shek 13. Jolo Mendoza, G, Ateneo 14. Jed Colonia, G, SHS-Ateneo 15. Gian Mamuyac, G/F, Ateneo 16. Germy Mahinay, C, San Beda 17. Rhayyan Amsali, F, National U 18. Harvey Pagsanjan, G, Hope 19. Jethro Madrigal, G/F, LSGH 20. Will Gozum, C, UPIS 21. Jancork Cabahug, F, UV 22. Marvel Jimenez, G, Hope 23. EJ Agbong, F, Adamson 24. Rendell Lee, G, Xavier.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 1st, 2020

A champion for women, Jack Animam wants ideal future for female athletes

Jack Animam is fighting the good fight. Animam is at the forefront the women's basketball revolution in the Philippines, and she has the wins and the trophies to prove that women ballers deserve the spotlight too. In an incredible run, Animam's NU Lady Bulldogs won a 6th straight UAAP title without losing a game. She also won two SEA Games gold medals, and was recently named as the Philippine Sports Association's Ms. Basketball. It was a fitting recognition for Animam to receive on Women's Month no less. "To all the aspiring athletes, not just for basketball, just continue what you want. Fight for what you want," Animam said. "Kung yun talaga yung gusto mo, then go for it. Don't be scared of the stereotype and the discrimination. Wala yun eh. As long as yung heart and passion mo [nandoon], yun pa rin ang mananaig," she added. Animam is heeding her own advice, continuing to blaze the trail not just for her but for her contemporaries. But as much as she fights hard now for her and her peers' benefit, Animam wants to set up a future where the women athletes after her won't have to go through the hardships they're dealing with today. "Marami na dumaan bago ako, marami mas magaling sakin. Pero nasaan na sila ngayon?" Animam said. "Dun sa susunod na generation, para ito sa kanila. After nila mag-college, kung hindi man ngayon, sana sa susunod na taon. Sana talaga magkaroon na tayo ng established women's league, kasi sobrang dami magbe-benefit," she added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 30th, 2020