Advertisements


UAAP: La Salle now has its point guard of the future in Joel Cagulangan

Still with one year left to play for La Salle Greenhills, Joel Cagulangan has already committed to his college of choice. The NCAA champion and top point guard prospect will continue to wear green and white when he suits up for De La Salle University following his high school graduation next year. “Opo, sa La Salle po ako maglalaro; yung dream school ko po,” he told ABS-CBN Sports. The development was first reported by Go Archers.com. Cagulangan had for himself a breakout season in last year’s NCAA Juniors when he willed the Greenies to their first-ever championship. To do so, he and his team had to fight through a playoff for the fourth and final playoff berth, top-seeded and dynastic San Beda High School, and then defending champion Mapua High School. Through all of that, the 5-foot-9 playmaker left his heart out on the floor each and every game and his teammates only followed suit all the way to the title. Along with being a champion and Finals MVP, Cagulangan was also a Mythical selection, averaging 16.2 points in 42.7 percent shooting on top of 6.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2.3 steals. He will be back in the NCAA Juniors for the upcoming season as he and LSGH try to go back-to-back. Whatever happens from there, the recruit from Butuan will then move up to play for the Green Archers, steadying a spot that will be left behind by then by Kib Montalbo and Andrei Caracut. “Ang madadala ko po siguro dun, yung puso ko pa rin po,” he said. When he finally plays for La Salle, he will be teaming up with Aljun Melecio and incoming Jordan Bartlett to form a still fiery backcourt. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnMay 17th, 2018

Cagulangan reclaims top spot in Week 4 of NBTC NCAA 24

Joel Cagulangan of La Salle Greenhills has reclaimed the number one spot of the Chooks-to-Go NBTC 24 NCAA Edition.  The graduating guard had an inspiring performance against the JRU Light Bombers last Tuesday.  Held scoreless in the first half on 0-for-7 shooting as struggled to find the bottom of the net, last season’s Finals MVP would not go down with a fight. He lit up the scoreboard for 31 points, 18 coming in the final quarter and two overtime periods, to get the win for the Greenies. Cagulangan followed that feat with an 11-point, 7-asssist in the victory over the Letran Squires, as LSSGH now leads the standings with a 4-1 record.  For the second week in a row, Clint Escamis of the Mapua Red Robins earned the second spot. The Red Robins went 1-1 the past week with Escamis scoring a total of 56 points. Rounding up the top five are Milo Janao of the San Sebastian Staglets, Aaron Fermin of the Arellano Braves, and Joshua David of St Benilde.  Cagulangan's fellow Junior Blazer Inand Fornilos came in at sixth while Mac Guadana of the LPU Junior Pirates made his entry into the top ten to place seventh after putting up 26 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Mapua’s Dan Arches, EAC’s JR Illustrisimo, and San Beda’s Jade Talampas complete the top ten.  Here are the complete Week 4 rankings of the Chooks-to-GoNBTC NCAA 24: 1. Joel Cagulangan (CSB) (4) 2. Clint Escamis (MU) (2) 3. Milo Janao (SSCR) (11) 4. Aaron Fermin (AU) (1) 5. Joshua David (CSB) (14) 6. Inand Fornilos (CSB) (6) 7. Mclaude Guadana (LPU) (17) 8. Dan Arches (MU) (12) 9. JR Ilustrisimo (EAC) (20) 10. Jade Talampas (SBU) (N/A) 11. John Amores (JRU) (13) 12. Marwin Dionisio (JRU) (N/A) 13. Joshua Gallano (UPHSD) (10) 14. Marlon Espiritu (AU) (N/A)  15. Rom Junsay (AU) (3) 16. Kean Baclaan (SSCR) (7) 17. Karl Mariano (MU) (23) 18. Zach Estacio (SBU) (24) 19. Cjay Boado (EAC) (15) 20. Kai Oliva (SBU) (N/A)  21. John Barba (LPU) (8) 22. John Delos Santos (JRU) (22) 23. Sydney Mosqueda (CSB) (21) 24. Roseler Sarias (MU) (N/A) This year, there will be three separate editions of the NBTC 24 – one for the NCAA, one for the UAAP, and one for the CESAFI – to accommodate the Juniors calendar for the whole year.  After all three editions have been completed, a final list composing the top 24 players nationwide will then be chosen to participate in the annual NBTC All-Star Game in March......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 6th, 2018

Clint Escamis comes back with a vengeance to rule Week 2 of NBTC 24 NCAA Edition

Clint Escamis' NCAA 94 Juniors Basketball Tournament began with him fouling out and Mapua getting upset. And so, the graduating guard wanted nothing more than to come back with a vengeance in their next game. He did just that, and more, dropping 28 points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists all while leading the Red Robins to a convincing victory versus defending champion La Salle Green Hills. For that mighty rebound, Escamis jumped 15 spots in the Chooks-to-Go/NBTC NCAA 24 and now stands atop the Week 2 rankings of the best players in the tournament. Following Mapua's main man is Lyceum forward John Barba who continued his breakout season by stuffing the stat sheet with 30 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Joining them in the top five are two Arellano players who made their season debuts in style. Rom Junsay wasted no time in re-introducing himself to the NCAA Juniors with a career-high 34-point performance that put him as the third-ranked player in the league while teammate Aaron Fermin posted a powerful 10-point, 23-rebound double-double to claim fifth. Last week’s number one LSGH's Joel Cagulangan dropped to number three to complete this week’s top five. Positioned at sixth to tenth are Ezdel Galoy of Perpetual, Inand Fornilos of LSGH, John Amores of JRU, Dan Arches of Mapua, and Joshua David of LSGH. Second-ranked Milo Janao from San Sebastian experienced the biggest drop in this week’s rankings, falling from the second spot to the 15th spot. Here are the complete Week 2 rankings of the Chooks-to-Go/NBTC NCAA 24: 1. Clint Escamis (Mapua) (16) 2. John Barba (Lyceum) (10) 3. Rom Junsay (Arellano) (not ranked) 4. Joel Cagulangan (LSGH) (1) 5. Aaron Fermin (Arellano) (not ranked) 6. Ezdel Galoy (Perpetual) (3) 7. Inand Fornilos (LSGH) (4) 8. John Amores (JRU) (not ranked) 9. Dan Arches (Mapua) (not ranked) 10. Joshua David (LSGH) (not ranked) 11. Zach Estacio (San Beda) (8) 12. Mclaude Guadana (Lyceum) (22) 13. Joshua Gallano (Perpetual) (5) 14. RC Calimag (LSGH) (13) 15. Milo Janao (San Sebastian) (2) 16. Cjay Boado (EAC) (not ranked) 17. Marlon Espiritu (Arellano) (not ranked) 18. Yukihiro Kawamura (Perpetual) (11) 19. Lars Sunga (Arellano) (not ranked) 20. Jonnel Policarpio (Mapua) (not ranked) 21. Sydney Mosqueda (LSGH) (not ranked) 22. Karl Mariano (Mapua) (23) 23. Adrian Balowa (EAC) (not ranked) 24. Kean Baclaan (San Sebastian) (9) This year, there will be three separate editions of the NBTC 24 – one for the NCAA, one for the UAAP, and one for the CESAFI – to accommodate the Juniors calendar for the whole year. After all three editions have been completed, a final list composing the top 24 players nationwide will then be chosen to participate in the annual NBTC All-Star Game in March......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 2018

Triple-doubling Kai Sotto reclaims top spot in NBTC 24

After two weeks, Ateneo de Manila High School standout and 23 for 2023 Gilas cadet Kai Sotto has regained the honor as the top high school prospect in Week 7 of the National Basketball Training Center Chooks-to-Go 24. The NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 is a weekly ranking of high school players taking part in the UAAP, CESAFI-NBTC, MMBL, and FCAAF tournaments as well as the recently concluded NCAA competition. Sotto, who is undoubtedly the top young center in the country, lifted the Blue Eaglets to an 86-70 win over Nazareth School of National University last Friday with a stout statline of 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting, 16 rebounds, and 11 blocks. That was the first triple-double performance in the UAAP Juniors Basketball division since 2003. “I text him, he texts me and he texted me, ‘Coach, abangan niyo. Eto na, makikita niyo yung totoong Kai Sotto.’ True enough, he proved to be a man of his word," shared Ateneo head coach Joe Silva about the top Grade 9 cager in the country today. Blue Eaglets’ floor general SJ Belangel, who had 17 points, seven rebounds, eight assists, and five steals, remained as the top point guard but fell to number two overall. Rounding-up the top five are Joel Cagulangan of La Salle Greenhills, NCAA MVP and 23 for 2023 cadet Will Gozum of Mapua University, and UAAP MVP CJ Cansino of University of Sto. Tomas. After posting better numbers in Game 1, Dave Ildefonso of Ateneo rose to seven, overtaking NU's Rhayann Amsali. Making the biggest leap in the penultimate week of the rankings was NU's Terrence Fortea. Fortea, a member of the Batang Gilas squad that won gold in the 2017 SEABA Championship, rose from 19 to 14 after pacing the Bullpups in Game One with 21 markers. Here is the complete rankings after Week 7: 1. Kai Sotto, ADMU (2) 2. SJ Belangel, ADMU (1) 3. Joel Cagulangan, LSGH (3) 4. Will Gozum, MU (4) 5. CJ Cansino, UST (5) 6. L-Jay Gonzales, FEU (6) 7. Dave Ildefonso, ADMU (8) 8. Rhayann Amsali, NU (7) 9. Aaron Fermin, AU (9) 10. Clint Escamis, MU (10) 11. John Galinato, CKSC (11) 12. Inand Fornilos, LSGH (12) 13. Warren Bonifacio, MU (13) 14. Terrence Fortea, NU (19) 15. RJ Abarrientos, FEU (14) 16. Evan Nelle, SBC (15) 17. Joem Sabandal, ADU (16) 18. Beirn Laurente, UV (17) 19. Raven Cortez, DLSZ (20) 20. Miguel Oczon, NU (24) 21. Alex Visser, SHS-Cebu (18) 22. Mac Guadana, LPU (21) 23. Harvey Pagsanjan, HCHS (23) 24. Joshua Yerro, UV (22) The Juniors stars were ranked using the following criteria: league stats, impact in team, team record, leadership, defense, offense, and level of competition. These rankings will be used to determine the 24 players who will take part in the annual SM-NBTC High School All-Star Game on March at the MOA Arena......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 27th, 2018

“Can Aby your boyfriend?”: How Robert Bolick won Aby Maraño’s heart

Aby Maraño is everything you want in an athlete. She’s strong, driven and passionate about her sport. So, when basketball player Robert Bolick saw her play volleyball for the first time…he saw himself. The only difference was she was a three-time champion, two-time MVP and team captain, while he was merely a rookie and a bench warmer. Robert was also three years younger than her. Aby was way out of his league, it seemed. But, this young man was no loser. He was determined to shoot his shot and find some way to win her heart. His first move was to ask for a little favor from his former teammate, LA Revilla, who was the starting point guard of the DLSU Men’s Basketball team at the time. Robert needed LA to find out whether Aby had a boyfriend. Like he usually does on the hardcourt, LA delivered an assist to Robert in form of good news - Aby was single. Now, that Robert knew that his target was open, all he had to do was take a shot. And he took it at the most unexpected of moments. They were inside the school bus on the way back to DLSU after a Green Archers game in the UAAP. Aby, who was undergoing her on-the-job training with ABS-CBN Sports, the official broadcast partner of the league, hitched a ride with the team. There was a lot of joking among his teammates, but all Robert could think of was the soothing smell of Aby’s hair as he was seated right behind her. It was at that moment when Robert decided to crack a joke of his own. “Oy, Pre! Makinig kayong lahat!” announced Robert before motioning towards Aby. “Aby ka ba? Can Aby your boyfriend?” The entire bus erupted. It was as if they were back inside the MOA Arena where fans where screaming their lungs out. Robert looked at Aby’s face and sensed a positive reaction to his sudden revelation. “Ay. Parang kinilig ah,” he thought. As soon as they got off the bus, Robert and Aby shared their first dinner. When it was time to go home, Robert reminded Aby to take care and that they should continue communicating. “Text, text na lang tayo! Text mo ako ha.” he told her. “Paano kita ite-text? Wala naman akong number mo,” she replied. Little did Aby know that Robert didn’t ask for her number directly to avoid getting “busted.” His game plan worked as they started talking and spending time with each other more often. Upon Aby’s advice, Robert even asked her coach, the multi-titled Ramil de Jesus for permission to court her. Although Robert admitted that he was intimidated at first, he knew that he had no choice but to ask for Coach Ramil’s blessing to ensure a smooth passage to Aby’s heart. “Para sa akin naman, wala namang dapat katakutan pag alam mo na gusto mo talaga. Gusto ko naman si Aby eh.” Today, August 8, 2018, Robert and Aby are celebrating their 5th year anniversary together. A lot has happened in their lives since then. Robert has transformed himself into an accomplished athlete like Aby, winning three championships (1 UAAP title with La Salle, 2 NCAA titles with San Beda), a PBA D-League championship and MVP award among many accolades. They both have also become national team athletes as Robert was included in the “23 for 23” Gilas Pilipinas roster for the 2023 FIBA World Cup while Aby was named Captain of the Philippine Women’s Volleyball Team. “Hindi niya ako minahal dahil magaling ako mag-basketball. Minahal nga niya ako na bangko pa lang ako,” said Robert as he reminisced about everything he has been through with Aby throughout the past five years. While watching their careers blossom, following their love story is equally entertaining. The two are very open with regards to how they feel about each other. Aby even proudly declared during an interview on “Down the Line” that she would agree to marry Robert is ever he proposed to her.   We throw it back to an episode of #DownTheLinePH when @MrPureBusiness and @denniselazaro asked about Robert popping the big question to Tyang Aby! pic.twitter.com/NFGitS4TKE — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) August 8, 2018 Despite Robert and Aby being just 22 and 25 years old respectively, marriage has been a topic of conversation between the couple. “Sinasabi na nga niya sa akin na gusto niya na ‘Maraño-Bolick’ pag naglalaro siya,” revealed Robert. “Sabi ko naman sa kanya, ‘Take time lang. Total, five years na tayo magkasama. Di naman natin kailangan madaliin yan. Focus ka lang muna sa kung saan ka ngayon. Eventually, pag nag propose na ako, gusto ko yung ready ka na magka-anak.’” One of Robert’s biggest dreams in life is to be able to play with his future kids as a young father, preferably in his 20s. “Dream ko talaga na while naglalaro ako, makakalaro ko yung anak ko,” said Robert. “Kung magka-lalaki man lang ako, whatever na sport ang gusto niya, makakalaro ko man lang siya. Makaka-takbo-takbo man lang ako.” “Sabi ko kay Aby, ‘Tell me pag ready ka na.’” Only God knows what the future holds for these college sweethearts. But, right now, the King Lion and Tyang Aby are living their best lives. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2018

Bullpups bump off Greenies to get back on top of NBTC Division 1

Coming off a heartbreaking loss in the UAAP Juniors Finals just 21 days ago, the Nazareth School of National University Bullpups did not allow themselves to be on the wrong end of the history books once more, surviving a late surge by Joel Cagulangan and the La Salle Greenhills Greenies, 80-78, to claim the 2018 Exped Socks SM-NBTC National Championship, on Friday at the MOA Arena. This is the Bullpups' second national championship in the last three years. Moreover, this is Goldwin Monteverde's first major championship. "Siyempre very challenging talaga yung liga, from 32 teams, mage-end up ka sa number one. Masaya talaga para sa amin," shared Monteverde as the Bullpups had to go through Bacolod Tay Tung High School, Adamson High School, FilAm Sports, and Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu to get to the championship round. But it could not have been possible if it were not for the timely stops the Bullpups made to close out the game. After leading by as much as 13 points in the contest and 11 points with 4:33 left, Joel Cagulangan single-handedly powered the Greenies to an 11-0 run. The rally was capped by a strong drive to the basket by the top high school floor general in the country with 49.5 seconds left to knot the game at 77-all. Gerry Abadiano, though, was able to overpower Makoy Marcos to the rim, drawing a foul and knocking down both free throws to put the Bullpups up 20 seconds later. "As expected naman si Gerry talaga sa ilang beses na nakasama ko siya, even in tough games makikita mo na nagde-deliver siya," Monteverde beamed about Abadiano, who was his player in Adamson two years ago. "Ang maganda both ends of the floor, nakakapag-play siya ng good defense and at the same time, sa offense din." Off a timeout, Cagulangan was able to fish a foul from Paul Manalang. After making the first free throw, however, he muffed the second one. Mark Sangco was there for the offensive rebound, but Cagulangan's attempt was swatted away by Michael Malonzo. A split on the stripe by Rhayyan Amsali still gave LSGH a shot but Sidney Mosqueda struggled to give a good inbound that led to a desperation heave by Inand Fornilos that unfortunately did not go in. "Siguro for one, sometimes may mga bitter lessons din like yung last season namin sa UAAP, it boiled down to last two possessions," Monteverde recalled about Game 3 of the UAAP Juniors Finals that saw them squander a six-point lead late that led to a 58-63 defeat. Abadiano, who was crowned the Final's Most Outstanding Player, had 24 points, six rebounds, and two steals. Cyril Gonzales and Terrence Fortea finished with 12 and 11 markers, respectively. Cagulangan, who was named as the Most Outsanding Player of the tournament, led LSGH with 25 points. Fornilos, on the other hand, filled up the stat sheet with 18 poitns on 8-of-13 shooting to go along with 14 rebounds and four blocks. BOX SCORES NU 80 — Abadiano 24, Gonzales 12, Fortea 11, Amsali 8, Quiambao 8, Coyoca 5, Minerva 4, Tamayo 4, Malonzo 2, Oczon 2, Javillonar 0, Manalang 0. LSGH 78 — Cagulangan 25, Fornilos 18, Marcos 17, Sangco 7, Mosqueda 6, Espinosa 3, Lao 2, Cruz 0, Lapalam 0, Morales 0, Natividad 0. QUARTER SCORES: 23-23, 40-35, 63-54, 80-78......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 23rd, 2018

KAI-vals Series: Arellano s all grown up Aaron Fermin

It has become some sort of a cliché now that Kai Sotto is not yet done growing. Indeed, Ateneo de Manila High School’s 7-foot-1, 15-year-old still has three more years to tower over the competition in high school. That doesn’t mean, however, that the rest of the competition will just take that lying down. Here, we take a look at the players who are more than capable of challenging Sotto’s dominance – now and even onto the future. --- Coach Marvin Bienvenida bypassed Kai Sotto as the top overall pick in the first-ever NBTC All-Star Game Draft. Instead, the NCAA Juniors champion coach went with his prized ward in La Salle Greenhills in Joel Cagulangan. After all, in his eyes, Cagulangan’s heart is as big as Sotto’s physique. More than that, Bienvenida also already had it all plotted out how to match up with Sotto. The first step of his plan was to use his second selection on Aaron Fermin – all 6-foot-5 and 99 kg of him. Fermin was the pillar of Arellano High School and would have been the NCAA Juniors MVP if only his team had made the Final Four. Now, the NCAA’s arguable best big man will finally be matched up against the UAAP’s undisputed best big man. And when the NBTC All-Star Game rolls along, Sotto should expect not only a physically stronger Fermin, but a mentally stronger one as well. That comes from all he has learned from the Braves’ missed playoff bid. “Ang naging kulang ko po siguro (last season), kung lamang na ang kalaban, ako na ang unang pinanghihinaan ng loob,” he said. From that, Fermin and the rest of his teammates are already hard at work, gearing up for their mighty rebound next season. “Sabi nga po ni coach [Tylon Darjuan], ‘Dalawang taon na tayong malakas, bakit ganito nangyayari sa atin. Kailangan pa ba kayong pahirapan sa ensayo para palabasin character niyo,’” he shared. He then continued, “Ngayon, pinu-push niya kami na mag-ensayo nang mag-ensayo. Training namin, ‘di na tulad nang dati, sobrang pinapahirapan talaga kami ngayon.” And Fermin, long a player who has taken a backseat to the likes of Carlo Abadeza, Guilmer Dela Torre, and Marlon Espiritu, is all ready and raring to lead the way. “Handang-handa na po ako (maging leader). Sinabihan na talaga kami ni coach na kami na ang beterano, kami na ang aasahan,” he said. --- Fermin and Sotto will go head-to-head first in the SLAM Rising Stars on March 18 and then on the NBTC All-Star Game on March 23. The future of Philippine basketball will be LIVE and EXCLUSIVE on S+A, S+A HD, and livestream. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 16th, 2018

Belangel dislodges Ateneo teammate Sotto out of top spot in NBTC 24

The UAAP Season 80 Juniors Basketball Tournament closed out its elimination round with a bang, but as the day ended, one student-athlete stood head and shoulders above the rest of the competition. Ateneo de Manila High School's senior floor general SJ Belangel dropped a whopping 31 points against Nazareth School of National University, leading the Blue Eaglets to an immaculate 14-0 record en route to an automatic Finals berth. With this outing and the consistency he showed during the preliminaries, Belangel took over the top spot as the best high school prospect in Week 5 of the National Basketball Training Center Chooks-to-Go 24. The NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 is a weekly ranking of high school players taking part in the UAAP, CESAFI-NBTC, MMBL, and FCAAF tournaments as well as the recently concluded NCAA competition. Ateneo big man and 23 for 2023 cadet Kai Sotto dropped to second after sitting atop the ladder for the last four weeks. Rounding out the top five are La Salle Greenhills' Joel Cagulangan, Mapua University's Will Gozum, and Far Eastern University-Diliman's L-Jay Gonzales. For dragging University of Sto. Tomas to a playoff match against Adamson High School, CJ Cansino, who is bound to win the UAAP Jrs. MVP, went up to seven.  On the other hand, Baby Falcons ace Joem Sabandal also rose in the weekly rankings, going up to 16. Making the biggest leap this week is CESAFI MVP Alex Visser. Visser rose to 17th, four spots higher than a week ago.  The biggest loser this week is Baby Tamaraws off-guard RJ Abarrientos. The FEU-commit was a non-factor during his team's loss to the Tiger Cubs last Sunday resulting to a drop from eighth to 14th. Here is the complete rankings after Week 5: 1. SJ Belangel, ADMU (2) 2. Kai Sotto, ADMU (1) 3. Joel Cagulangan, LSGH (3) 4. Will Gozum, MU (4) 5. L-Jay Gonzales, FEU (5) 6. Rhayann Amsali, NU (6) 7. CJ Cansino, UST (9) 8. Dave Ildefonso, ADMU (7) 9. Aaron Fermin, AU (10) 10. Clint Escamis, MU (11) 11. John Galinato, CKSC (12) 12. Inand Fornilos, LSGH (13) 13. Warren Bonifacio, MU (14) 14. RJ Abarrientos, FEU (8) 15. Evan Nelle, SBC (15) 16. Joem Sabandal, ADU (17) 17. Alex Visser, SHS Cebu (21) 18. Terrence Fortea, NU (16) 19. Raven Cortez, DLSZ (18) 20. Beirn Laurente, UV (20) 21. Mac Guadana, LPU (22) 22. Joaqui Manuel, ADMU (19) 23. Harvey Pagsanjan, HCHS (23) 24. Maui Cruz, EAC (24) The Juniors stars were ranked using the following criteria: league stats, impact in team, team record, leadership, defense, offense, and level of competition. These rankings will be used to determine the 24 players who will take part in the annual SM-NBTC High School All-Star Game on March at the MOA Arena......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2018

SJ Belangel joins Ateneo teammate Kai Sotto in top three of NBTC 24

Ateneo de Manila High School's towering teen Kai Sotto and La Salle Greenhills' court general Joel Cagulangan remained the top two high school players in the NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24, but there was a lot of movement this week, including the rise of SJ Belangel. The NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 is a weekly ranking of high school players taking part in the UAAP, CESAFI-NBTC, MMBL, and FCAAF tournaments as well as the recently concluded NCAA competition. Belangel, the Blue Eaglets' graduating floor leader had a sensational week, helping steer his squad to an unblemished 10-0 record. With his exploits, he was the consensus third-ranked player of the week, leapfrogging NCAA MVP Will Gozum of Mapua University. Far Eastern University-Diliman do-it-all guard L-Jay Gonzales and Katipunan swingman Dave Ildefonso also moved up the ladder while University of Sto. Tomas ace CJ Cansino dropped to eighth after finishing fourth last week. Besides movement at the top, there were also a lot of debutatants in this week's list. Ateneo double-double machine Joaqui Manuel's workhorse type of game paid off as he was ranked 21st this week. After firing 51 markers last weekend, Bacolod Tay Tung High School's Harold Alarcon was named as the 22nd top prospect. Joshua Yerro of University of Visayas then rounded out the list. NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 End of Week 2 1. Kai Sotto, Ateneo Last wk rank: 1 2. Joel Cagulangan, CSB-LSGH Last wk rank: 2 3. SJ Belangel, Ateneo Last wk rank: 5 4. Will Gozum, Mapua Last wk rank: 3 5. L-Jay Gonzales, FEU-Diliman Last wk rank: 6 6. Dave Ildefonso, Ateneo Last wk rank: 8 7. Rhayann Amsali, NU Last wk rank: 7 8. CJ Cansino, UST Last wk rank: 4 9. Clint Escamis, Mapua Last wk rank: 9 10. Aaron Fermin, Arellano Last wk rank: 9 11. Terrence Fortea, NU Last wk rank: 16 12. RJ Abarientos, FEU-Diliman Last wk rank: 15 13. Inand Fornilos, CSB-LSGH Last wk rank: 11 14. Evan Nelle, San Beda Last wk rank: 12 15. Warren Bonifacio, Mapua Last wk rank: 13 16. John Galinato, CKSC Last wk rank: 14 17. Mac Guadana, LPU Last wk rank: 18 18. Raven Cortez, DLSZ Last wk rank: 19 19. Harvey Pagsanjan, Hope Christian Last wk rank: 20 20. Maui Cruz, EAC Last wk rank: 23 21. Joaqui Manuel, Ateneo Last wk rank: N/A 22. Harold Alarcon, Bacolod Tay Tung Last wk rank: N/A 23. Jancork Cabahug, UV Last wk rank: 17 24. Joshua Yerro, UV Last wk rank: N/A The Juniors stars were ranked using the following criteria: league stats, impact in team, team record, leadership, defense, offense, and level of competition. These rankings will be used to determine the 24 players who will take part in the annual SM-NBTC High School All-Star Game on March at the MOA Arena......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2018

NBTC 24 Week 2: Eaglet SJ Belangel catapults to top 3

MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo Blue Eaglets big man Kai Sotto and La Salle Junior Blazers point guard Joel Cagulangan continue to banner the Chooks-to-Go/National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) 24.  Ateneo's senior point guard SJ Belangel dropped 20 points that helped steer the Blue Eaglets to an unblemished 10-0 record. With ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2018

HEADS UP: 10 sporting events to watch out for in 2018

2017 has come and gone, and it delivered some exciting sporting moments that has every sports fan clamoring for more. Worry not, though, as 2018 looks primed to satisfy even the most die-hard Pinoy sports aficionado with its bevy of local and international sporting events. Let's welcome the upcoming year with 10 of the most exciting sporting events to watch out for this 2018.   NCAA 93 & UAAP 80 VOLLEYBALL The cagers are out, and the spikers are in. Volleyball season begins this January 4 with NCAA season 93, followed by the 81st season of the UAAP this February. NCAA volleybelles are once again ready to take center court, and the defending women's champion Arellano University Lady Chiefs, led by heavy hitters Jovie Prado and Regine Arocha are banking on their undisputed team play to propel them to another title. Playing inspired volleyball throughout the season, the Lady Chiefs stunned the thrice-to-beat San Sebastian Lady Stags in the Finals last year, ultimately ending Grethcel Soltones' collegiate career with a dud. Rising stars like San Beda's Ces Racraquin, JRU's Karen Montojo also make the upcoming NCAA volleyball season worth waiting for. UAAP volleyball begins a month later the NCAA tournament, but expect the field to be even more tumultuous. With no clear-cut number 2 team to challenge the two-time defending champions DLSU Lady Spikers, it will be a toss-up against basically the other seven schools to step up. Dangerous squads include the much-improved Adamson Lady Falcons, last year's pleasant surprise UST, the dynastic Ateneo Lady Eagles, and the intact NU Lady Bulldogs and FEU Lady Tamaraws. NBA ALL-STAR GAME & 2018 NBA FINALS The annual showcase of the NBA's brightest stars just got a major revamp. That's right, the league has done away with the traditional East-West teams, and will now have a playground-type pool selection of players between its two captains when the exhibition tips off in Los Angeles. This raises a lot of interesting questions: Will the captains pick their teammates or will they go with a more controversial pick and select a rival? Will we able to know the order of the draft? Will this actually work in making the game better? While answers to those questions might not be answered until a few months, one thing's for sure, the NBA Finals, the spectacle that actually counts, will be epic. Will we be treated to Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers Pt. 4? Or will another squad swoop in to spoil the party? The league has indeed improved, with surprising teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, the Indiana Pacers, the Detroit Pistons out in the East already staking claim to playoff spots, and the Wild, Wild, West staying true to its monicker. The Houston Rockets and the perennial powerhouse San Antonio Spurs are still the favorites to pull the rug under the Warriors, while the Oklahoma City Thunder is right behind. Either way, with months of hoops already invested in it, the NBA Finals will surely be another explosive one, as it always is.   HOMECOMING QUEEN Alyssa Valdez spent the majority of 2017 overseas, spreading her wings in Taiwan with volleyball club Attack Line. This 2018 though, The Phenom plans on staying in the Philippines, armed with two year’s worth of international experience to focus on her home club team in the Creamline Cool Smashers.  "Next year, I'm planning to focus sa Creamline. Just this year, I travelled a lot talaga. They supported me throughout, esepcially doon sa National Team stint ko. They sacrificed a lot for me talaga. I think I have to focus sa team ko talaga,” she said last week.Alyssa Valdez just got scarier.   PINOY HOOP DREAMS: REMY MARTIN, KOBE PARAS  Two proudly Pinoy ballers based in the U.S. set out this 2018 to continue shooting for our island nation’s humble hoop dreams. Kobe Paras is still serving residency this 2017-2018 season with the California State University-Northridge Matadors, but his development is sure to be a joy to watch. The 6’6” Pinoy swingman accomplished a tour of duty with Gilas Pilipinas earlier in the year, and many Pinoys saw why we should all be excited about high-flying forward. Remy Martin, a 5’11” point guard dazzled in his first few games with the Arizona State Sun Devils, with his athleticism, explosiveness and feisty defense. The Filipino-American cager is proud of his roots and hopes to represent flag and country with Gilas Pilipinas in the future.   WHO (OR WHAT) IS NEXT FOR MANNY PACQUIAO? The never-ending saga of what’s next for Manny Pacquiao looks like it'll seep into 2018.  Following a rather controversial loss to Australian boxer Jeff Horn, Pacquiao has been “courting” the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. for a rematch, even taking to Instagram to ”greet” MMA superstar Conor McGregor before finally admitting that he’s been in talks with the Irish fighter’s camp. Whether he actually retires from boxing for good, or takes on another foe in the squared circle, one thing’s for sure: we’ll all have our eyes on Manny Pacquiao’s next move.   2018 WORLD CUP RUSSIA™ After four years, the best of world football will once again converge, this time in Russia to crown the Kings of the beautiful sport. The stage is set, the groups are finalized, and the 32 squads are promising the best 30-day football extravaganza in the hopes of dethroning defending champions Germany this June. Some group stage clashes to look out for are Germany vs Mexico, England vs Belgium, Portugal vs Spain, to name a few. June couldn’t come soon enough.   CHRISTIAN STANDHARDINGER'S PBA DEBUT No PBA rookie has probably come into the league as pro-ready as the Filipino-German standout Christian Standhardinger. The 6’9” big man was the consensus top overall pick of the 2017 PBA draft, and was also at the center of the controversial trade that sent Kia Picanto’s rights to the number 1 selection to the already-dominant San Miguel. While the trade did go down, so did former commissioner Chito Narvasa. Standhardinger’s entry to the PBA has come at a cost, but San Miguel is more than ready to wait one more conference to bulk up their already stacked squad. Seeing Standharinger play alongside 6’11” center and reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo, versatile forward Arwind Santos, and the Beermen’s bevy of guards in Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, and Chris Ross, is definitely a sight to see, just look at how he's tearing it up in the ASEAN Basketball League.    2018 ASIAN GAMES INDONESIA The Philippines’ less than stellar performance at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games was met with widespread flak. Not directed at our athletes however, but aimed at our sports development and governing body for its subpar work in getting our sports representatives ready. While the 2018 Asian Games isn’t so far away, a handful of Pinoy medalists from the SEA Games are going into the continental meet with high hopes. After dominating the SEA Games’ triathlon event, our Filipino endurance athletes, led by gold medalists Kim Mangrobang, and Nikko Huelgas, are once again primed to take home hardware. Marathoner Mary Joy Tabal, and boxers John Marvin, and Eumir Marcial, all gold medalists at Malaysia, are all bright spots that could soon unravel into full-fledged stars come 2018.   GILAS PILIPINAS IN THE FIBA WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS It’s official, basketball is coming home to the Philippines this 2023 by way of the FIBA World Cup, but Gilas Pilipinas will first have to try its luck in the 2019 meet. After dealing with Chinese Taipei and Japan this 2017 for a perfect 2-0 slate in the qualifiers, Gilas Pilipinas still has to face the Japanese anew, and the powerhouse Australian team early in 2018. A good showing against these squads will help Gilas strengthen its bid to international basketball’s biggest stage before we actually host the event in six years’ time.   UAAP 81 BASKETBALL UAAP season 80 just came to an end, but the next season just got way more interesting. Aside from the title defense of the intact Ateneo Blue Eagles and their ongoing rivalry with La Salle, a certain move by a coach has shaken up the league. With Aldin Ayo reportedly accepting the job as the new head coach of the struggling University of Sto. Tomas, we might just be witnesses to the rebirth of the once proud basketball program under the fiery mentor. That, and the way the DLSU Green Archers can adjust from the departure of Ayo and former two-time MVP Ben Mbala, key cogs to their season 79 championship run. The tight race for the MVP award will also be one to watch, with Mbala gone, it’s up to the local stars to step up to the challenge......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2017

Cagulangan teams up with David to give LSGH its first-ever title

Joel Cagulangan has won at least three games for College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills in the NCAA 93 Juniors Basketball Tournament. It was only fitting that he was winning the championship for them as well. Cagulangan’s free throws coupled with Joshua David’s definitive defense energized the Junior Blazers right through now-dethroned champion Mapua University, 75-74, in a thriller of a triumph on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Now, Greenhills will be celebrating the first-ever championship in its school history. “We joined the NCAA in 1998 and for all the players who played since 1998 until today, this is for them,” a beaming head coach Marvin Bienvenida said. Trailing by one with less than a minute remaining, the 5-foot-9 point guard got a rebound and got a foul for his troubles. Sent to the line, he coolly converted both free throws to put his team up by one. At the other end, the Red Robins put the ball in the hands of red-hot Clint Escamis only to see David get two defensive stops on him in the same possession. “Nakukuha naman ng mga ‘to lagi yung bola,” Bienvenida said of his guards. The off-guard, standing at six-feet, was also sent to the line but muffed on both his charities. He made up for it at the other end, however, bothering towering Warren Bonifacio just enough as time was running out on Mapua. The ball ended up in the hands of Mike Enriquez, but his triple try went backrim. And so, CSB-LSGH reached the mountaintop after the steepest of climbs. “After the buzzer sounded, it seemed like I was in a dream. I cannot describe this,” the head coach said. They lost five of the last six games in the elimination round and had to win a knockout bout against resurgent San Sebastian College-Recoletos for the fourth-seed. Once there, they then downed top-seed and twice-to-beat San Beda High School to move onto the Finals. The championship experience of Mapua showed and yet, the Junior Blazers didn’t give up. At the forefront of it all was Cagulangan with 19 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and four steals while David had 26 markers, six boards, and two assists. Both will be back next season as they go for back-to-back championships. There, Bienvenida is shying away from what would now be new targets on their backs. “Yes, I could say we could be the favorite, pero ‘di naman basta-basta binibigay yun. Papaghirapan namin,” he said. For the Red Robins, Escamis topped the scoring column with 21 points. He will be left behind by all of graduating players Bonifacio, Mike Enriquez, Joaqui Garcia, Will Gozum, and Carl Lacap. BOX SCORES CSB-LSGH 75 – David 27, Cagulangan 19, Lao 8, Fornilos 6, Marcos 5, Lepalam 4, Mosqueda 3, Perez 3, Morales 0, Pedrosa 0, Sangco 0 MAPUA 74 – Escamis 21, Lacap 13, Gozum 12, Bonifacio 10, Enriquez 8, Ramos 6, Garcia 4, Jabel 0, Dennison 0, Arches 0, Sarias 0 QUARTER SCORES: 15-19, 32-44, 53-56, 75-74 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 24th, 2017

Seriously, where would LSGH be without Joel Cagulangan?

College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills is back in the Finals of the NCAA Juniors Basketball Tournament. For the first time in four years, the Junior Blazers will have a chance at winning their very first championship. For Inand Fornilos, who posted 16-point, 18-rebound double-double in their conquest of dynastic San Beda High School, Joel Cagulangan was the difference between the two teams – and the difference for the boys from Greenhills throughout the tournament. “Kung wala siya, ewan na lang kung saan kami ngayon. Isa talaga siya sa puso ng team,” he said He then continued, “Pag wala siya, parang magiging imposible. Pag nandun siya, kayang-kaya.” And it wasn’t the first time the five-foot-eight point guard has played big. In the eliminations, he has won for them three games by his lonesome. In Game 1 of the semifinals, against the Red Cubs no less, he had 27 points, six rebounds, and five assists as CSB-LSGH. “Last game, parang natulala na nga lang kami e,” Evan Nelle, his backcourt counterpart, said. Cagulangan was at it again in Game 2, dropping 29 points to go alog with nine assists, nine rebounds, and two steals. “Ang galing, grabe. Ang hirap i-stop. Game plan namin, siya lang din, pero ang galing e,” Nelle said. He then continued, “Contested naman lahat ng shots niya, pero sumu-shoot pa rin.” This, all while playing 52 of the 55 possible minutes in the triple-overtime classic. And for the Junior Blazers’ head coach, this was just the start for their main man. As he put it, “He’s just getting better and better. We haven’t seen the best of him yet.” —- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 7th, 2017

NCAA: Light Bombers take down Jr. Altas; LSGH still first

STANDINGS LSGH 6-1 MAPUA 5-2 ARELLANO 4-2 PERPETUAL 4-2 SAN BEDA 3-2 JRU 4-3 SAN SEBASTIAN 3-5 LPU 2-5 LETRAN 1-5 EAC 1-6 Jose Rizal High School is streaking for the first time in the NCAA 94 Men’s Basketball Tournament – and with that, has sent a statement about its contention. Following the lead of breakout player John Amores, the Light Bombers clobbered University of Perpetual Help in the earlygoing before holding on for a well-earned 84-72 win on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Amores tallied 18 points, seven rebounds, and three assists to show the Kalentong-based ballers the way to back-to-back wins – their first in the tournament. Now on a win run, JRU is just right behind powerhouses College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills, Mapua High School, Arellano High School, and San Beda High School in the standings. However, it was Marwin Dionisio who actually got the Light Bombers to a strong start by dropping all but two of his 10 points in the first quarter. He also totalled 12 rebounds just for good measure. Of course, the Junior Altas kept coming, but Amores and Gab Baluyut just did enough to keep them at bay. With the upset loss, Perps dropped to a  tie for third at 4-2. Main man Joshua Gallano struggled with just four points and three rebounds. Meanwhile, CSB-LSGH retained its top spot in the standings by dropping a 32-point hammer on Emilio Aguinaldo College, 103-71. Inand Fornilos turned in his best game of the season with a 26-point, 14-rebound double-double while Joshua David and RC Calimag each chipped in 12 markers for the now 6-1 Junior Blazers. Joel Cagulangan was relatively quiet once more, but was still felt everywhere with his 10 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and three steals. For the 1-6 Brigadiers, JR Ilustrisimo showed the way with 14 points and seven rebounds. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME CSB-LSGH 103 – Fornilos 26, David 12, Calimag 12, Cagulangan 10, Lao 8, Palencia 8, Cortez 7, Valenzuela 7, Sangco 4, Lopez 3, Morales 2, Arciaga 2, Natividad 2, Lepalam 0 EAC 71 – Ilustrisimo 14, Mejia 13, Rodrin 10, Encila 8, Boado 6, Murillo 6, Balowa 4, Sanosa 2, Quebral 2, Pascual 2, Sumagaysay 2, Calara 2, Lozano 0, Rivera 0 QUARTER SCORES: 25-14, 49-34, 84-47, 103-71 SECOND GAME JRU 84 – Amores 18, Baluyut 18, Vasquez 13, Dionisio 10, Fortuna 7, Ganut 6, Bucoy 6, Delos Santos 4, Portales 2, Icban 0, Macatangay 0, Garcia 0 PERPETUAL 72 – Orgo 23, Barcuma 10, Coloma 8, Galman 6, Galoy 5, Nunez 5, Ogunsanya 5, Gallano 4, Defante 4, Duka 2, Romilla 0, Kawamura 0, Dela Cruz 0 QUARTER SCORES: 24-13, 40-25, 70-49, 84-72 —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2018

Mapua’s Clint Escamis reigns anew in NBTC NCAA 24 Week 5

After getting tripped by San Beda, Mapua has taken flight once again in the 94th Season of the NCAA Juniors Basketball Tournament. Of course, at the controls of the Red Robins ascent is Clint Escamis. The graduating guard averaged 26.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 4.5 steals in their back-to-back wins over San Sebastian and EAC. Those numbers were, far and away, the best ones any player had for the week. And so, Escamis now finds himself atop the Week 5 rankings of the Chooks-to-Go/NBTC NCAA 24 – the second time he has been there in the last four weeks. Coming next after him is JRU’s rising star John Amores who fired 27 points, five rebounds, and four assists, in their upset of powerhouse Arellano. Amores, the frontrunner as the league’s Most Improved Player, also made one of the bigger leaps in the rankings by moving from 11th a week ago to second this time around. Rounding out the top five are King Brave Aaron Fermin, Perpetual pillar Joshua Gallano, and LSGH lead guard Joel Cagulangan. From outside the rankings, Mapua’s Jonnel Policarpio pumped in norms of 15.0 points and 13.0 rebounds to place at eighth – sandwiched between teammate Dan Arches and Arellano’s Rom Junsay at sixth and seventh, respectively, as well as LSGH’s RC Calimag and Perpetual’s Emman Galman at ninth, and 10th, respectively. Meanwhile, San Sebastian rookie stud Milo Janao and Lyceum stalwart Mac Guadana suffered big drops and now stand at 15th and 18th, respectively. Here are the complete Week 5 rankings of the Chooks-to-Go/NBTC NCAA 24: 1. Clint Escamis (MU) (2) 2. John Amores (JRU) (11) 3. Aaron Fermin (AU) (4) 4. Joshua Gallano (UPHSD) (13) 5. Joel Cagulangan (CSB) (1) 6. Dan Arches (MU) (8) 7. Rom Junsay (AU) (15) 8. Jonnel Policarpio (MU) (N/A) 9. RC Calimag (LSGH) (N/A) 10. Emman Galman (UPHSD) (N/A) 11. Inand Fornilos (CSB) (6) 12. Joshua David (CSB) (5) 13. Penny Estacio (SBU) (18) 14. Kean Baclaan (SSCR) (16) 15. Milo Janao (SSCR) (3) 16. Paolo Hernandez (MU) (N/A) 17. John Delos Sanos (JRU) (22) 18. Mac Guadana (LPU) (7) 19. Kai Oliva (SBU) (20) 20. Kent Pelipel (SBU) (N/A) 21. Cjay Boado (EAC) (19) 22. John Barba (LPU) (21) 23. JR Ilustrisimo (EAC) (9) 24. CJ Balowa (EAC) (N/A) This year, there will be three separate editions of the NBTC 24 – one for the NCAA, one for the UAAP, and one for the CESAFI – to accommodate the Juniors calendar for the whole year. After all three editions have been completed, a final list composing the top 24 players nationwide will then be chosen to participate in the annual NBTC All-Star Game in March......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2018

LSGH champion guard foregoes basketball for studies in Ateneo

Joel Cagulangan and Inand Fornilos are still main men while Joshua David and Ladis Lepalam remain as key contributors for College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills in its title defense. One starter from that championship-winning team, though, is no longer suiting up – as a player, at least. Starting off-guard Jacob Lao is now part of the coaching staff for the Junior Blazers – just a year after graduating high school. Last year, he averaged 4.7 points including one triple and 2.8 rebounds. He also chipped in eight points and four rebounds in their title-clinching Game 3 win. Now, in the ongoing NCAA Season 94, he can be seen huddling with the coaches and handing out advice to the players. Along with wearing a different uniform inside the court, apparently Lao is now also wearing a different uniform outside the court. – and not just a different uniform, but the total opposite of that which he has been used to wearing. Asked where he has taken his talents to next, he told reporters with a grin, “Ateneo.” Yes, the CSB-LSGH champion guard is now studying BS Management in Ateneo de Manila University. He hasn’t turned into a Blue Eagle just yet, though. “I chose studies this time over basketball because this time, I want to focus on studies muna,” he said. For Lao, it’s about time that he prioritizes the student aspect of being a student-athlete. “Ang thinking ko kasi talaga is that basketball is not forever. Gusto ko munang i-prioritize yung studies kasi I can adjust naman (if ever) I want to play,” he said. After all, the son of Frank Lao who owns the Choi Garden line of restaurants will have to be involved in the family business sooner rather than later. Lao’s decision has the full support of both his family and his former team. “I made the decision (last May), but before I made it, I consulted with everyone from [CSB-LSGH head] coach Marvin [Bienvenida] to my parents. Sabi nila, if tama sa akin, then go,” he said. And apparently, this decision has been in the works for a long time. “When we won the championship, naisip kong kahit anong mangyari sa Seniors, studies muna ako,” he said. While he’s walking away from basketball, for now at least, the former Junior Blazers will always have the memories of that first-ever championship they brought home to Ortigas. “More than the championship, it was the brotherhood. Kaya nga I asked coach Marvin kung pwede akong maging assistant kasi ang hirap iwan yung samahan namin,” he said. And when that time comes that basketball comes knocking on his door anew, Lao said he’s only winning to entertain it. As he put it, “If ever maglaro ako ulit, nandun lang naman yung basketball.” Perhaps, a visit from Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin just might do the trick? --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 13th, 2018

DA s 2018 NBA Offseason Rankings: The Top 10

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst Wonder what the rental market is like in San Luis Obispo, Calif. San Luis Obispo is, give or take a few miles, one of the closest cities that is near the midway point between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Given the events of the NBA’s offseason, it’s not hare to imagine national reporters are going to be spending a lot of time in California next season, bouncing back and forth between the Bay and L.A. Catch LeBron James and the Lakers on Wednesday and then, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and the Warriors on Thursday. The Western Conference only got stronger and deeper with James leaving Cleveland for a second time, this time to go to the Lakers. Add four of the top five Draft picks -- including No. 1 overall selection Deandre Ayton (Phoenix Suns), No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley III (Sacramento Kings) and international phenom Luka Doncic (No. 3 pick, acquired by Dallas Mavericks) -- going to Western Conference teams, and the talent disparity between conferences only seems greater. But did Eastern Conference teams take advantage of Cleveland deflating to make their teams better? And how effective were West teams in making their teams better prepared to at least compete with the Warriors? That’s where this year’s Offseason Rankings come in -- big, bold, definitive. You love them, if the amount of hate tweets and e-mails I get after they’re published are any indication. Every year, we rank how all 30 teams have done since the end of their respective seasons. We look at everything -- how they drafted, what trades they made, what players they signed in free agency, and for how much -- or if they didn’t participate in free agency much at all. We look at if they’ve changed coaches, executives, owners, or if they’re moving into a new building that can generate big revenues. And you have to decide which ones you liked the most. Here's what these rankings ARE NOT: A predicted order of finish for next season. It's an opinion that seeks to answer a question: is the team better now than at the end of last season? The ranking reflects the belief on whether, and how much, that is so. (I liked certain guys who were in the Draft more than others, so if your team took them, I probably weighed it more positively. Doesn't mean I'm right.) I do not expect the Suns, for example, to have a better record than the Celtics, just because they had a better summer. It is not a ranking of the teams in order from 1 through 30 right now; I do not believe the Mavericks are now a better team than Rockets. This is just one person’s opinion about offseason moves -- offseason moves only. Is your team better now than it was before? - If your team is ranked in the top 10, it doesn't mean I love your team.       - If your team is ranked in the bottom 10, it doesn't mean I hate your team. It's an opinion that seeks to answer a question: is the team better now than at the end of last season? The ranking reflects the belief on whether, and how much, that is so. (I liked certain guys who were in the Draft more than others, so if your team took them, I probably weighed it more positively. Doesn't mean I'm right.) What plays into the rankings: - This isn’t science. It’s an educated guess, weighing the impact both of the Draft and free agency, but also assessing whether teams got value in their free-agent signings. Overpaying the right player is as much a sin as signing the wrong player. A good new coach can coax some more wins out of a roster. But if a team’s players don’t believe in the system their team uses, the best Xs and Os on earth don’t matter.       - Teams that are rebuilding obviously have different priorities than teams making a championship push. That's factored in. So Chicago, for example, gets credit for adding young, affordable players as it stockpiles its talent -- but that talent has to fit together, as Wendell Carter Jr. does with Lauri Markannen. And a team like the Warriors that shows it’s willing to go deep into the luxury tax -- which most teams try to avoid -- in order to keep winning has to be commended, and its rankings reflect that commendation.       - Continuity matters here as well. The most successful teams usually not only identify a core group of players, they keep them together for a while, finding that sweet spot: everyone doesn’t get a max contract, but most get paid well enough to keep the train moving down the tracks. That reflects both good roster construction and good financial management -- and, again, is rewarded. The explosion in the cap means everyone has to spend; keeping your powder dry for another day doesn’t have as much cache as it used to. But you still have to manage your money wisely. Salary numbers, with a couple of exceptions, come from Basketball Insiders, whose Eric Pincus does the best job of anyone in the game of keeping track of all the moving financial parts, quickly and accurately -- which is why we use him at NBA TV during the Draft and free agency to tell us what the hell this all means. The Top 10 * * * 1. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER 2017-18 RECORD: 48-34; lost in first round ADDED: G/F Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot (acquired from Sixers); G Hamidou Diallo (No. 45 pick, 2018 Draft); G Devon Hall (No. 53 pick, 2018 Draft); F Kevin Hervey (No. 57 pick, 2018 Draft); F Abdel Nader (acquired from Celtics); C Nerlens Noel (two years, $3.7 million); G Dennis Schröder (acquired from Hawks) LOST: F Carmelo Anthony (traded to Hawks); F Nick Collison (retired); C Dakari Johnson (traded to Magic); G Rodney Purvis (traded to Celtics) RETAINED: G Raymond Felton (one year, $2.3 million); F Paul George (four years, $136.9 million); F Jerami Grant (three years, $27.3 million) THE KEY MAN: G Andre Roberson. This is real simple: with Roberson on the court last year, OKC’s opponent offensive rating was 99.2; when he was off, it was 110.7. The Thunder was a near-elite defensive unit when Roberson played and was awful when he didn’t. His Real Defensive Plus-Minus, per ESPN.com, was 4.34, second only to Utah’s Rudy Gobert (5.06). So when Roberson ruptured his patellar tendon in late January, the Thunder’s ability to use George as a weakside defender who could freelance and use his length to create deflections and turnovers (because Roberson had the strong side absolutely locked down) went away. Any chance the Thunder has next season to compete at the highest levels in the West will depend on the 26-year-old Roberson’s recovery and return to the lineup. THE SKINNY: None of us -- none -- thought George was going to stay in OKC. And we all thought Sam Presti and the Thunder were crazy for trading for him last year, because it was just going to be a one-year rental and he was going to be off to the Lakers in 12 months, and OKC would have nothing to show for its deal. But George’s presence helped convince Russell Westbrook -- also long rumored to eventually head back to Cali -- to sign a long-term deal with the Thunder. And OKC’s acquisition of Carmelo Anthony helped convince George that the Thunder was all in on competing. And even though OKC went out in the first round of the playoffs to Utah, its year-long courtship of George and his family paid off when PG-13 spurned L.A. once and for all to stay in the 405. Anthony ultimately wasn’t a good fit, but he brought back Schroder, who will give Billy Donovan a dynamic scorer off the bench that can give Westbrook a blow and keep OKC’s offense from immolating when Westbrook is on the bench, a common malady the last two years. The Thunder has been relevant in an incredibly small market now for almost a decade. With George and Westbrook and Steven Adams and, now, Schroder, all signed up through 2021, that remarkable run will continue for some time. 2. LOS ANGELES LAKERS 2017-18 RECORD: 35-47; missed playoffs ADDED: F Michael Beasley (one year, $3.5 million); F Joel Berry II; F Issac Bonga (No. 39 pick, 2018 Draft); G Jeffrey Carroll; F LeBron James (four years, $153 million); C JaVale McGee (one year, $1.4 million); G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (No. 47 pick, 2018 Draft); G Rajon Rondo (one year, $9 million); G Lance Stephenson; F Mo Wagner (No. 25 pick, 2018 Draft) LOST: C Thomas Bryant (waived); G Tyler Ennis (waived); F/C Channing Frye (signed with Cavs); C Brook Lopez (signed with Bucks); F Julius Randle (signed with Pelicans); G Isaiah Thomas (signed with Nuggets) RETAINED: G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (one year, $12 million); G Travis Wear THE KEY MAN: F Brandon Ingram. The third-year man should be the major beneficiary of James’ presence going forward. Driving lanes previously clogged with defenders should now be runway clear. Opponents who previously could close out strong on Ingram will now have their attention elsewhere. Ingram need only look at James’ last stop: per NBA.com/Stats, among players leaguewide who appeared in at least 60 games last season, three Cavaliers -- Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith and Cedi Osman -- were among the top 20 in the league in lowest frequency of having their closest defenders within two feet of them, meaning James created many wide open looks for teammates all season. Ingram vastly improved his range last season over his rookie one, shooting 39 percent on 3-pointers. But he only attempted 1.8 threes per game last season. That number will surely skyrocket in 2018. Ingram must ready to take advantage. That will make him that much more deadly as a driver. THE SKINNY: Team president Magic Johnson was tasked with landing a whale in free agency, and he and GM Rob Pelinka bagged Moby Dick in James. Their subsequent free agent moves once Paul George opted to stay in Oklahoma City were all short-term plays with an eye toward the promising 2019 free agent class, which include the likes of All-Stars Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker and DeMarcus Cousins. But that doesn’t mean Lake Show ’18 isn’t going to be the rip-roaringest circus this side of your standard Ozzy Ozbourne tour. What’s the over-under on the first time Rondo cusses out coach Luke Walton, or when we hear of a “spirited practice” that is code for “Lance ‘bowed ‘Bron in the neck and Walton sent everyone home”? The Lakers could be in The Finals or out in the first round, but what they decidedly will not be is boring. 3. DENVER NUGGETS 2017-18 RECORD: 46-36; missed playoffs ADDED: F Michael Porter Jr. (No. 14 pick, 2018 Draft); G Isaiah Thomas (one year, $2 million); F Jarred Vanderbilt (No. 41 pick, 2018 Draft); C Thomas Welsh (No. 58 pick, 2018 Draft) LOST: F Darrell Arthur (traded to Nets); F Wilson Chandler (traded to 76ers); F Kenneth Faried (traded to Nets); G Isaiah Whitehead (waived) RETAINED: G Will Barton (four years, $53 million); G/F Torrey Craig (two years, $4 million); C Nikola Jokic (five-year, $147.7 million contract extension) THE KEY MAN: G Jamal Murray. Denver ended all pretense that the full-time point guard job wasn’t his last season and his second-year numbers were very encouraging. Among regularly playing (60+ games) floor generals, per NBA.com/Stats, Murray’s .577 True Shooting Percentage ranked only behind D.J. Augustin, Kyrie Irving, Darren Collison and Kyle Lowry. No one doubts the still-just-21-year-old Murray can fill it up, and that the Nuggets don’t need a classic ball distributor to light up the Pepsi Center scoreboard. But they do need to get more credible defensively. So does he. THE SKINNY: A great offseason for the Nuggets, who did what they said they would -- keep Jokic off the market next summer -- while clearing roster spots and minutes with two trades, and simultaneously reducing their luxury tax bill for 2019. (The Chandler trade to the Sixers also created an enormous $12.8 million trade exception for Denver through August of 2019.) Jokic should anchor one of the most athletic starting quintets in the game -- along with Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, the re-signed Barton (penciled in for now as the starting three) and Paul Millsap. the Nuggets didn’t add much at the defensive end, which was their Achilles’ heel the last couple of seasons and the main reason they didn’t make the playoffs in 2017-18. Denver opted to strengthen a strength by bringing in Thomas, who’ll be in prove-it mode next season on a short deal with a coach that he knows from their Sacramento days in Mike Malone. Look for Malone to unleash Thomas on second units throughout the West. Porter Jr. was worth a flier at 14; he was the consensus likely first pick in the Draft a year ago, before his back injury took him out of all but a couple of games in his one season at Missouri. Denver can give him the entire year to rehab from two surgeries, the latest last week, and reset his clock for 2019-20. 4. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 2017-18 RECORD: 58-24; won NBA Finals ADDED: C DeMarcus Cousins (one year, $5.3 million); F Jacob Evans (No. 28 pick, 2018 Draft); F Jonas Jerebko (one year, $2.1 million); G Damion Lee LOST: C JaVale McGee (signed with Lakers); C Zaza Pachulia (signed with Pistons); Head of Physical Performance and Sports Medicine Chelsea Lane (went to Hawks) RETAINED: F Kevin Durant (two years, $61.5 million); F Kevon Looney THE KEY MAN: Brett Yamaguchi, Director of Game Operations/Entertainment, Oracle Arena. One doesn’t envy Yamaguchi, whose tasks will be twofold next season: create lifetime memories for the loudest and most loyal fanbase in the league, as the Warriors play their final season at Oracle Arena (aka Roaracle) -- they’re moving into the Chase Center, their tony new digs across the Bay in downtown San Francisco, come 2019-20. And, provide atmosphere and sizzle that will help coach Steve Kerr keep his veteran core from being bored out of its collective mind during the regular season while it waits for the playoffs and a chance at a three-peat. THE SKINNY: So, sure, the best team in the league adds one of the top two or three big men in the game in Cousins. But that’s the ancillary benefit of having such a dominant organization; everyone wants to figure out a way to get to the Bay. Cousins took less money to do so; now he can take his time rehabbing his torn Achilles tendon. If that means he’s not all the way back until All-Star, who cares? The Warriors will roll Kevon Looney, Jordan Bell and Jonas Jerebko out at the five in non-Death lineups until Cousins is ready. Meanwhile, Kerr has to keep his vets, but especially Andre Iguodala and Shawn Livingston, off their feet as much as possible during the regular season so they’ll be good to go from April through June. Losing Iguodala for the bulk of the 2018 Western finals was almost the Warriors’ downfall. 5. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES 2017-18 RECORD: 22-60; missed playoffs ADDED: F Kyle Anderson (four years, $37 million); G Jevon Carter (No. 32 pick, 2018 Draft); F Omri Casspi (one year, $2.3 million); F Jaren Jackson Jr. (No. 4 pick, 2018 Draft); C Dakari Johnson (acquired from Magic); G Garrett Temple (acquired from Kings) LOST: C/F Deyonta Davis (traded to Kings); G Tyreke Evans (signed with Pacers); F Jarell Martin (traded to Magic); G Ben McLemore (traded to Kings) RETAINED: Coach J.B. Bickerstaff THE KEY MAN: G Mike Conley. It’s no secret how vital Conley is to the franchise, so a return to form is vital for the veteran point, who’ll be 31 on opening night and who missed 70 games last season with a heel injury. Next season will be the third of Conley’s five-year, $150 million deal signed in 2016; remember when so many people thought the world would end when a small market like Memphis invested so much in him? Well, Conley has already dropped to fifth in the league in salary among point guards, behind Stephen Curry Curry, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Kyle Lowry. He’ll fall even further down the list next season, when John Wall’s massive extension kicks in, and Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker each get new contracts that could leap his. THE SKINNY: Memphis couldn’t have had a worse 2017-18 if it tried, and the Grizzlies compounded their on-court implosion by not trading Evans when everyone in the league -- seemingly, except for them -- knew he was going to walk in the summer if they didn’t. But, the Grizzlies’ front office recovered in a big way, selling the 18-year-old Jackson that he would fit right in despite not working out for the Grizz before the Draft, then doubling up on “Grit And Grind 2.0” by taking Carter, college basketball’s fiercest on-ball defender, in the second. Ownership was willing to let the front office use the full mid-level exception on Anderson, who isn’t the sexiest pickup to many fans but whose defensive numbers in San Antonio were outstanding. Temple is the ultimate good vet and locker room guy who will get a chance to play for Bickerstaff after the Kings opted to go with their young guys and he was likely out of the rotation. GM Chris Wallace was adamant that the Grizzlies could rebuild again around the aging Conley and Marc Gasol and that they wouldn’t trade Gasol after the latter’s difficult relationship with former coach David Fizdale. They did, and they didn’t. 6. PHOENIX SUNS 2017-18 RECORD: 21-61; missed playoffs ADDED: Coach Igor Kokoskov; F Trevor Ariza (one year, $15 million); F Darrell Arthur (acquired from Nets); C Deandre Ayton (No. 1 pick, 2018 Draft); F Mikal Bridges (No. 10 pick, 2018 Draft); F Richaun Holmes (acquired from 76ers); G George King (No. 59 pick, 2018 Draft); G Elie Okobo (No. 31 pick, 2018 Draft) LOST: Former interim coach Jay Triano; F Jared Dudley (traded to Nets); C Alex Len (signed with Hawks); G Elfrid Payton (signed with Pelicans); G Tyler Ulis (waived); F/C Alan Williams (waived) RETAINED: G Devin Booker (contract extension) THE KEY MAN: Ayton. Let’s not bury the lead here: he was the first pick overall for a reason, because he has franchise-turning capability. The Suns don’t need singles or the occasional double any more; they need someone to put them back on the map with big, sweaty, nasty four-baggers, night after night. (cc: mixed metaphor police.) It’s been a minute since Amar’e Stoudemire was at his destructive best, and the list of impactful bigs in franchise history is thin: Connie Hawkins, Alvan Adams, Tom Chambers, Charles Barkley, Stoudemire. Ayton has a chance to be as good as any of them, and better, and he’s a potential stash of Kryptonite down the pike to the Warriors dynasty. THE SKINNY: There’s the makings of a Jazz-like reimaging of the franchise in short order. Kokoskov not only comes from Utah’s staff, but has significant coaching chops outside of Salt Lake City. He’s been coaching since he was 24, and that was 22 years ago. He’s coached both around the world and around the NBA as an assistant and development maven, and he’ll be great at bolstering the confidence of the Suns’ young guys -- including Bridges, a mature and solid rook with collegiate titles from Villianova who’ll be able to grow quietly outside the huge media shadow cast on Ayton. Kokoskov will also make things a lot easier for Devin Booker offensively. But GM Ryan McDonough was also smart enough to surround the kids with some solid vets, starting with Ariza, who will help the Suns again become acquainted with a long-honored NBA concept called “defense.” 7. DALLAS MAVERICKS 2017-18 RECORD: 24-58; missed playoffs ADDED: F Kostas Antetokounmpo (No. 60 pick, 2018 Draft); G Jalen Brunson (No. 33 pick, 2018 Draft); G Luka Doncic (No. 3 pick, 2018 Draft); C DeAndre Jordan (one year, $22 million); C Chinanu Onuaku (acquired from Rockets); F Ray Spalding (No. 56 pick, 2018 Draft); F Ding Yanyuhang; LOST: G Kyle Collinsworth (waived); G Seth Curry (signed with Blazers); G Yogi Ferrell (signed with Kings); F Doug McDermott (signed with Pacers); F Jonathan Motley (traded to Clippers); C Nerlens Noel (signed with Thunder) RETAINED: G/F Wesley Matthews (picked up player option); F Dirk Nowitzki (one year, $5 million) THE KEY MAN: CEO Cynthia Marshall. The former AT&T executive was put in charge after Sports Illustrated’s explosive story last February detailing a toxic workplace for female employees on the team’s business side, with sexual harassment rampant and no relief forthcoming from the supervisors who should have provided it. Marshall has been fast at work changing the business side culture, as separate investigations of who was responsible for allowing the previous environment to fester wind down. After their results are made public, it will be Marshall who will have to both enact their recommendations and sell the public that owner Mark Cuban’s organization has been fumigated for good. THE SKINNY: Dallas is banking that the 19-year-old Doncic is not only the real deal, but that he can come out of the gate in the NBA after starring in Europe and immediately give the Mavs a boost. There’s a large body of work suggesting Doncic will do just that, and accelerate the Mavs’ rebuild. Second-year guard Dennis Smith Jr.’s improvements should also speed up, and Jordan’s presence should start to close the sieve that has plagued Dallas’s defense the last couple of years. Losing both Curry and Ferrell will hurt the Mavs’ guard depth, though, and Brunson won’t be able to work in slowly. 8. INDIANA PACERS 2017-18 RECORD: 48-34; lost in first round ADDED: G/F Tyreke Evans (one year, $12 million); G Aaron Holiday (No. 23 pick, 2018 Draft); F Alize Johnson (No. 50 pick, 2018 Draft); F Doug McDermott; C/F Kyle O'Quinn LOST: C Al Jefferson (waived); G/F Glenn Robinson III (signed with Pistons); G Lance Stephenson (signed with Lakers) RETAINED: G Cory Joseph (picked up player option); F Thaddeus Young (picked up player option) THE KEY MAN: Kevin Pritchard, president of basketball operations. He’s been instrumental in putting this team together -- first as Larry Bird’s assistant, but on his own the last year-plus since Bird left. Now Pritchard will have to deal with not just the expectations last season’s surprising turnaround season will create with fans, but with the incessant calls and texts one receives when one has a team in which six players among the team’s core are on one-year deals and free agents next summer. It is extremely difficult for a team so constituted to stay unified and keep pulling on the rope together. Human nature is human nature, and players (and their families, and their agents) need reassurances they’re part of the organization’s future, just like any drone from Sector 7G would. It’s hard to think about sacrificing minutes and shots when almost players are judged by are their numbers. Nate McMillan, meanwhile, is only concerned, as any coach is, with the game in front of him, tonight. Pritchard’s phone will rarely have an hour off next season. THE SKINNY: What does a team that surprised so many last season need? More depth, because there aren’t going to be a lot of nights off going forward. The Pacers filled in nicely with a bunch of under-the-radar players, getting Evans after a bounce-back season in Memphis and O’Quinn after good years in New York. McBuckets is running out of stops to show he can be a key contributor in the NBA, but everything is tailor made for him to succeed here: he’ll have all the space in the world playing alongside Victor Oladipo, Bogdanovic and/or Myles Turner, depending on the lineup. Holiday was very good value at 23 in the first round. And Oladipo is on his grind. The Pacers are as big a threat as anyone to Boston’s assumed ascension in the post-LeBron East. 9. NEW YORK KNICKS 2017-18 RECORD: 29-53; missed playoffs ADDED: Coach David Fizdale; G Mario Hezonja (one year, $6.5 million); G Kevin Knox (No. 9 pick, 2018 Draft); C Mitchell Robinson (No. 36 pick, 2018 Draft); F Noah Vonleh (one year) LOST: Former coach Jeff Hornacek; F Michael Beasley (signed with Lakers); C/F Kyle O'Quinn (signed with Pacers); F Troy Williams (waived) RETAINED: G Ron Baker (picked up player option); F/C Luke Kornet; C Enes Kanter (picked up player option); THE KEY MAN: F Kristaps Porzingis. It’s unlikely Porzingis will play much, if at all, next season, as he rehabs his torn ACL suffered in February. New York will be extremely cautious with a timeline, and in Porzingis’ absence, if more losing brings more figurative ping pong balls the Knicks’ way … well, they won’t complain about that, either. None if it matters if “The Unicorn” doesn’t regain his form, though. So much of the Knicks’ 2018-19 improvement, or regression, will take place off camera. THE SKINNY: Fizdale won’t have a mandate to try and win with a veteran team in his first season in New York, as was the case in his year-plus in Memphis. So he can implement his position-less/fitness regimen with the young Knicks without looking over his shoulder. New York’s planning for 2019, when it hopes to strike in a big way in free agency, but that doesn’t mean next season won’t be important. Knox will have a lot of light on him, especially after playing well during NBA Summer League, but the Knicks truly believe Robinson will make some contributions this season with his significant physical gifts. Both must continue changing the narrative in Gotham that the team’s new braintrust is rebuilding the brand the right way -- slowly, and correctly. Hezonja was a good low-cost flier for New York who’ll give Fizdale some small ball options. Hezonja came on strong the second half of last season for the Magic, who hadn’t picked up his third-year option and were hamstrung in what they could offer him as a result. 10. SAN ANTONIO SPURS 2017-18 RECORD: 47-35; lost in first round ADDED: G Marco Belinelli (two years, $12 million); F Dante Cunningham (one year, $2.5 million); G DeMar DeRozan (acquired from Raptors); C Jakob Poeltl (acquired from Raptors); G Lonnie Walker IV (No. 18 pick, 2018 Draft); F Chimezie Metu (No. 49 pick, 2018 Draft) LOST: F Kyle Anderson (signed with Grizzlies); G Danny Green (traded to Raptors); F Kawhi Leonard (traded to Raptors); F Joffrey Lauvergne (signed with Fenerbahce); G Tony Parker (signed with Hornets); G Brandon Paul (waived) RETAINED: C/F Davis Bertans (two years, $14.5 million); G Bryn Forbes (two years, $6 million); F Rudy Gay (one year, $10 million) THE KEY MAN: Coach Gregg Popovich. There is no way to tell, nor is it really anyone’s business, how Pop will cope with the loss of his wife Erin, who died in April during the Spurs’ first-round series with Golden State. But the NBA grind is an unforgiving one, and Popovich is adding Olympic team coach duties to an already taxing schedule. He knows best how he’s doing and you can only hope he listens to himself when or if he needs time away. THE SKINNY: Backed up against it with Leonard’s still-murky insistence for a divorce, the Spurs did as well as could be expected in getting a four-time All-Star who’ll play with a huge chip on his shoulder next season. DeRozan will certainly help San Antonio extinguish the offensive droughts that came when teams loaded up on LaMarcus Aldridge defensively. LA was sensational for long stretches last season, making second team All-NBA for the second time in his career. Belinelli, rookie Walker and Poeltl should lengthen San Antonio’s bench significantly and reduce the Spurs’ dependence on nightly brilliance from 40-year-old Manu Ginobili, if he comes back for a 17th season. Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. 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 NewsAug 8th, 2018

NCAA: Cagulangan continuing to lead by example for Jr. Blazers

Already a champion, already a Finals MVP, already a Mythical selection, and already committed to the college of his choice, it looks like there is nothing much left to do for Joel Cagulangan in his last season in the NCAA Juniors. That’s far from the truth for the main man of College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills, however. For him, his last season will be all about leading the Junior Blazers in their title defense. And in that regard, there is much still to do. “Sa ngayon, dine-develop ko pa lang yung pagiging laging vocal on and off the court,” he said. Now in his third and final year in the NCAA Juniors, Cagulangan has never been one whose voice could always be heard on the court – even more so, off of it. While he is well aware that being vocal is the only thing lacking in his game, he is also well aware that time and again, he has proven he can lead by example. That was just the case on Tuesday when CSB-LSGH was put under siege by vastly improved Jose Rizal High School. The graduating guard was held scoreless after the first two quarters, going 0-for-7 from the field, as they saw the Light Bombers mount a lead of as much as 16 at the midway mark of the third period. From there, however, Cagulangan, simply put, went off, and scored 31 points in 28 minutes – 13 coming in the final frame of regulation and five coming in the two extra periods. As it turns out, aside from the double-digit, something else detonated the ticking time bomb that was the 5-foot-9 scoring dynamo. As head coach Marvin Bienvenida put it, “Napadugo siya e. Sumabog ang labi.” Coach Marvin may have been referring to Cagulangan’s collision with JRU’s Vince Icban wherein the latter’s hand inadvertently hit the former’s lip. That only toughened up the De La Salle University-commit. “Pag nasusugatan, lalong tumatapang,” his mentor said. Now he has led the Junior Blazers to another comeback win, Cagulangan is nothing but confident they are on track for their ultimate goal. “Siyempre, ang gusto lang namin, yung mag-back-to-back. Sa dami kasi naming ga-graduate, mas magandang mag-iwan kami ng back-to-back para sa LSGH,” he shared. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2018

NCAA: LSGH gets back on track by keeping San Beda winless

STANDINGS PERPETUAL 2-0 ARELLANO 2-0 LSGH 2-1 LPU 2-2 SAN SEBASTIAN 2-2 LETRAN 1-1 MAPUA 1-1 JRU 1-2 SAN BEDA 0-2 EAC 0-2 College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills was well aware of what didn’t work and what they had to do to get back on track in the NCAA 94 Juniors Basketball Tournament. Joel Cagulangan and Sydney Mosqueda answered the call from the get-go as the Junior Blazers imposed their will on San Beda High School from start to finish for a 73-62 decision on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Mosqueda turned in his best game in recent memory with 15 points while Cagulangan stuffed the stat sheet with 14 markers, seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals. It was also those two who spearheaded the defending champions’ strong start. “Maganda yung start namin. I urged the boys to really start strong kasi we really tend to start weak so this time, we need to step up,” head coach Marvin Bienvenida said. Boosted by a 26-point opening salvo, CSB-LSGH cruised all the way to a much welcome bounce back to a 2-1 standing. “We’re hungrier for the win. Coming from a loss, ayaw namin mag-slide down,” Bienvenida said, referring to their sorry loss to Mapua High School the last time around. On the other hand, the Red Cubs remained winless after two games. Troy Valencia was their lone bright spot in this one with 10 points and seven rebounds. Meanwhile, Arellano High School forged a two-way tie for the top spot after making quick work of Lyceum of the Philippines University, 98-78. Lars Sunga scored 17 points to lead five other teammates in double-digits as the Braves used that balance to overwhelm their opponents and obtain back-to-back wins to start the season. Rom Junsay followed up his career game with 15 points in this one while Aaron Fermin remained a force inside with a 13-point, 20-rebound double-double. In the day’s other game, San Sebastian College-Recoletos grounded Jose Rizal High School, 92-78, to improve to 2-2. Their respective losses dropped the Junior Pirates to 2-2 and the Light Bombers to 1-2. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME ARELLANO 98 – Sunga 17, Junsay 15, Tempionuevo 14, Fermin 13, Formis 13, Espiritu 9, Sahali 6, Liangco 3, Cabili 2, Caniones 2, Tolentino 2, Domingo 0, Javier 0, Nepomuceno 0.   LPU 78 – Barba 24, Guadana 19, De Guia 9, Gudmalin 8, Jugar 6, De Leon 5, Omandac 3, Caringal 2, Tulabut 2, Cambi 0, Dejelo 0, Nocal 0, Pagdanganan 0, Ragasa 0, Santos 0. QUARTER SCORES: 18-16, 42-32, 65-51, 98-78 SECOND GAME    SAN SEBASTIAN 92 – Janao 23, Gomez 18, Baclaan 14, Bonalos 11, Balo 5, Pinero 5, Perez 5, Suico 4, Dela Cruz 4, Are 3, Cortes 0, Timbancaya 0, Loristo 0. JRU 78 – Amores 26, Icban 15, Delos Santos 9, Buno 8, Dionisio 6, Baluyot 5, Vasquez 4, Portales 3, Macatangay 2, Mendoza 0, Fortuna 0, Ganut 0, Garcia 0, Sy 0.  QUARTER SCORES: 23-16, 47-37, 69-60, 92-78 THIRD GAME CSB-LSGH 73 – Mosqueda 15, Cagulangan 14, David 12, Fornilos 9, Calimag 6, Palencia 6, Cortez 4, Lao 3, Morales 2, Sangco 2, Arciaga 0, Lepalam 0, Lopez 0, Natividad 0, Valenzuela 0. SAN BEDA 62 – Valencia 10, Estacio 9, Llarena 7, Alcantara 6, Talampas 6, Lazaro 5, Oliva 5, Sanchez 5, Ynot 5, Competente 3, Coyoca 1, Andrada 0. QUARTER SCORES: 26-18, 45-30, 57-50, 73-62. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 24th, 2018

NCAA: Escamis, Red Robins exact revenge on Jr. Blazers

STANDINGS PERPETUAL 2-0 ARELLANO 1-0 LPU 2-1 JRU 1-1 LSGH 1-1 MAPUA 1-1 SAN SEBASTIAN 1-1 LETRAN 0-1 SAN BEDA 0-1 EAC 0-2 This early in the NCAA 94 Juniors Basketball Tournament, the finalists from a year ago have faced off. It was the same close contest for Mapua High School and College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills, but the result was definitely different. Clint Escamis did the heavy lifting while Dan Arches and Jonnel Policarpio provided the backup as the Red Robins avenged their Finals loss to the Junior Blazers with a convincing 95-81 victory on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Escamis, who fouled out in his first game in the season, bounced back big-time with 28 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. “Ginawa lang talaga namin yung gameplan namin. Nagbunga naman yung preparations namin so credit talaga sa mga bata,” head coach Randy Alcantara said post-game. The graduating guard also stepped up when it mattered most, dropping 10 of his output in the final frame. It was Escamis’ highlight layup and triple that capped off a massive 32-11 tidal wave bridging the third and fourth quarters that broke open a tied tally of 59 all and built up a 91-70 advantage in favor of Mapua. Arches and Policarpio did their part during that run and the former finished with 16 points, five rebounds, and four assists while the latter ended with 15 markers and four boards to help the Red Robins get into the win column after experiencing an upset to start the season. Last year, CSB-LSGH bested Mapua in three games to capture its first-ever championship. Now, the Red Robins are nothing but determined to reclaim the crown they were wearing before last season. “Siyempre, may gigil, pero dapat composed. Siyempre, ‘di kami papayag na 0-2 kami,” Alcantara said. For the defending champions, Joshua David fronted the effort with 19 points and eight rebounds while Joel Cagulangan had 14 markers, seven assists, and six boards. They suffer their first setback after a tournament-opening win. Meanwhile, Lyceum of the Philippines University is now streaking after John Barba lifted them over Jose Rizal University, 88-87. Barba dropped 30 points, including the basket and bonus in the dying seconds that proved to be the difference for the Junior Pirates. He also had eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals in the Junior Pirates’ second straight win in three games. On the other hand, the Light Bombers lost for the first time in two games despite a career-best effort from John Amores who scored 32 points. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME MAPUA 95 – Escamis 28, Arches 16, Policarpio 15, Hernandez 11, Sarias 10, Mariano 10, Dennison 2, Diaz 2, Quimado 1, Smith 0 CSB-LSGH 81 – David 19, Cagulangan 14, Fornilos 14, Mosqueda 12, Calimag 10, Sangco 4, Morales 4, Cortez 2, Natividad 2, Lao 0, Valenzuela 0, Palencia 0 QUARTER SCORES: 21-17, 49-39, 72-61, 95-81 SECOND GAME LPU 88 – Barba 30, Guadana 21, Tulabut 10, De Leon 6, Caringal 6, Jugar 5, Omandac 3, Ragasa 3, De Guia 2, Gudmalin 2, Pagdanganan 0, Nocal 0 JRU 87 – Amores 32, Portales 13, Delos Santos 11, Buno 10, Baluyot 9, Vasquez 5, Dionisio 4, Macatangay 3, Icban 0, Mendoza 0 QUARTER SCORES: 23-24, 42-44, 65-60, 88-87 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 20th, 2018

LPU is still here to contend and, more importantly, to inspire

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 18-2 overall, top-seed after eliminations, runner-up YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: MJ Ayaay, Jaycee Marcelino, Jayvee Marcelino, Mike Nzeusseu, CJ Perez WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Germy Mahinay, Casper Pericas, Ranzhelle Yong GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Wilson Baltazar, Pipoy Marata WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM LPU? LPU, the first-ever team in the history of the country’s first and oldest league, to go 18-0 in the elimination round, did not lose a player of note as it tries again to capture its first-ever championship. Only veteran sniper Wilson Baltazar and heady guard Pipoy Marata have used up their eligibility and replacing them will be two among Team B standouts Casper Pericas and Ranzhelle Yong or former San Beda High big Germy Mahinay. That means that the core, the truly terrifying fivesome of Season MVP CJ Perez, Cameroonian powerhouse Mike Nzeusseu, team leader MJ Ayaay, and two-way twins Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino, is very well intact. Not only that, that truly terrifying fivesome is a year older, a year wiser and they have championship winning experience in both the Philippine Collegiate Champions League and the PBA D-League. Moreover, Pericas, a scoring guard who has been lighting up preseason leagues, and Yong, a do-it-all forward who had transferred from San Sebastian and Letran, wouldn’t be bad additions – so, as they say, the rich could only get richer. “There’s so much potential in this team. I think the lessons that we’ve learned just made us a better group. After that season, we won championships also and it’s just a testament to the fact that you have to stick to what works for you.” – head coach Topex Robinson WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM LPU? CJ Perez has been NCAA Season MVP and PBA D-League Conference MVP. While he is not one to say he wants another individual award, the mere fact that he could only improve will put him back in front of the pack in the MVP race. Alongside Perez, MJ Ayaay will also be showcased as head coach Topex Robinson has not shied away from saying that he and his staff would do all they could to help their graduating players get to the next level. “As much as possible, we want to build that tradition that we in LPU, we’re not just using you for our benefit. Our vision is to help you even after your college years. Again, it’s about giving back.” – head coach Topex Robinson But eyes, however, should be fixed on Jaycee Marcelino who, at times in the PBA D-League, looked like the team’s primary offensive threat. With that, he could very well ascend to the top of the list of the league’s best point guards. WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR LPU? LPU was THE feel-good story in all of college a season ago. “Our mindset is to make sure that we’re doing the right things. It’s not gonna be a guarantee na it’s gonna be a historic season for us and it’s not even a guarantee na we’re gonna be in the Finals, but what’s important for us is we continue what we started – building a program that will help these players in the future.” – head coach Topex Robinson The Pirates are now, no doubt, a powerhouse, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are yet to win the big one in their mother league. That makes them, at the end of the day, the underdog to defending champion and dynastic San Beda. “We don’t just want to follow Ateneo or La Salle which have successful basketball programs, but we want Ateneo and La Salle to also look at what we do.” – head coach Topex Robinson WHERE WOULD LPU BE AT THE END OF NCAA SEASON 94? It will be a rematch of San Beda-LPU in the Finals. The top two teams from last season are both intact and they will meet again for all the marbles in the championship round of this season. WHEN IS LPU’S FIRST GAME IN NCAA SEASON 94? LPU battles emerging rival San Sebastian on July 7 at the MOA Arena. You already know the story – Pirates mentor Topex Robinson is an alumnus and was a former head coach of the Golden Stags. As always, all of the #GalingNCAA will be on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, and livestream. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 28th, 2018