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WATCH: FIBA brawl peacemaker Troy Rike donates to World Vision

MANILA, Philippines – A week after the bench-clearing melee between the Philippine and Australian basketball teams, Gilas Pilipinas cadet Troy Rike was off to World Vision Philippines to donate the P100,000 cash incentive from national team sponsor Chooks-to-Go.  Rike was given recognition for shielding Aussie player Christopher Goulding ........»»

Category: newsSource: rappler rapplerJul 10th, 2018

Gilas newbie Troy Rike praised for effort to pacify the mob during brawl

Troy Rike, the youngest player in the Gilas Pilipinas' 15-man roster for the third window of the Fiba World Cup Qualifier, was commended for his heroic effort during the brawl between the Phil.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJul 5th, 2018

Philippines basketballer Troy Rike gets cash reward for protecting Boomer Chris Goulding during brawl

via abc.net.au – As players wait on the outcome of a FIBA investigation into a brawl during a World Cup qualifier in the Philippines on Monday night, one player has received a cash reward for protecting Boomer Chris Goulding. According to Philippines media, Troy Rike received a commendation and a Read more ».....»»

Category: newsSource:  thepinoyRelated NewsJul 5th, 2018

Returning Rosario hopes to address Gilas’ needs vs Iran

Philippine head coach Yeng Guiao previously said that the team has to get bigger but at the same time quicker and more skilled once it goes up against Iran in the second round of the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers. And Guiao couldn't have timed his wish perfectly. Returning to the team is versatile big man Troy Rosario who's finished serving his three-game suspension Fiba slapped on him after getting involved in a brawl against Australia's national team in the previous round of the competition. At 6-foot-7, Rosario mainly plays power forward for his club team TNT in the PBA but he will be utilized as a small forward to defend against Iran's wings. He'll join Arwind Santo...Keep on reading: Returning Rosario hopes to address Gilas’ needs vs Iran.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2018

Fare hike, Gilas’ Troy Rike, Joyce Bernal directs SONA | Midday wRap

Today on Rappler:  P9 minimum jeepney fare starts afternoon of July 5. Gilas brawl mediator Troy Rike donates incentive. Joyce Bernal to direct Duterte's 3rd SONA. Executive Producer / Writer Lilibeth Frondoso Associate Producer / Publisher Marga ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 5th, 2018

Gilas brawl pacifier Troy Rike donates incentive

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas cadet Troy Rike followed up a good deed with another one. After acting as pacifier during the Philippines-Australia brawl  where he tried to protect Australia’s Christopher Goulding, Rike received a P100,000 incentive from one of Gilas' team sponsors. The Wake Forest product, however, decided to donate his ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 4th, 2018

PBA: League invites Gilas players for meeting regarding brawl

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has announced on its Twitter account that it will open up dialogue with the players involved in the fist fight against Australia at the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the Philippine Arena. The PBA, which had 11 of 12 players on its activated Gilas roster Monday night, will be conducting a closed-door meeting this Thursday to discuss the incident. Just in: PBA invites Gilas Pilipinas players to a closed-door meeting on Thursday to discuss the incident that happened in their game against Australia.#WeArePBA pic.twitter.com/FEaARTq3QG — PBA (@pbaconnect) July 3, 2018 Nine players from the Gilas roster, including eight PBA players, were thrown out of the game. They were namely: Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro, RR Pogoy and Troy Rosario of TNT, Carl Bryan Cruz and Calvin Abueva of Alaska, Matthew Wright of Phoenix, and Japeth Aguilar of Ginebra. Andray Blatche, naturalized import was also ejected for his role in the fight, while four-time reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo, Rain or Shine's Gabe Norwood, and Meralco's Baser Amer were retained on the floor for what the referee deemed as 'non-hostile' actions......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2018

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2018

Fil-Am forward from Wake Forest candidate for Gilas-Taipei match

Six-foot-7 Gilas cadet Troy Edward Rike is an option as a stretch forward in the 15-man Gilas pool that flew to Taiwan Monday for the Philippines-Chinese Taipei rematch in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 25th, 2018

Almost perfect attendance in Gilas practice before flying to Taiwan

Both Gilas Pilipinas and the Gilas cadets were out in numbers as they trained for the last time in Manila before going to Taiwan for the next round of qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Only the injured Mac Belo was not inside the Meralco Gym in Ortigas on Monday for the Gilas Pilipinas practice in preparation for the third window of the Asian Qualifiers from late June to early July. Naturalized player Andray Blatche was in action and was joined by skipper Gabe Norwood, Asia’s best point guard Jayson Castro, and four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo. Also there were Calvin Abueva, Baser Amer, Carl Bryan Cruz, Jiovani Jalalon, Allein Maliksi, RR Pogoy, Terrence Romeo, Troy Rosario, and Matthew Wright. The Philippine national team is scheduled to depart for Chinese Taipei a week from now and they will take on the home team on June 29. They will then head home to gear up for a matchup with powerhouse Australia on July 2 at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. Alongside the Gilas elite, Gilas cadets J-Jay Alejandro, Kobe Paras, Troy Rike, Prince Rivero, Ricci Rivero, and Abu Tratter were also present in practice. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 18th, 2018

Jordan s weight reaches farther than court in NC

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News15 min. ago

FIBA WORLD CUP: Blatche rejoins Gilas Pilipinas for first official practice of 2019

Gilas Pilipinas finally shifts into higher gear. Naturalized center Andray Blatche has officially rejoined the national team Monday after arriving to the country late last week. Blatche is in town as the national team prepares for the sixth and final window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Gilas Pilipinas currently has a 5-5 record and sits fourth in Group F. Gilas has two road games coming up against Kazakhstan and Qatar and to say that both games are a must-win would be a major understatement. If the Philippines is to make the World Cup for the second straight time, the national team has to get the job done on the road. Joining Blatche in practice were Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, Scottie Thompson, RR Pogoy, Mark Barroca, Troy Rosario, Poy Erram, Raymond Almazan, and June Mar Fajardo. Also in attendance but didn’t participate were Paul Lee and Japeth Aguilar. Lee is nursing a hand injury while Aguilar is recovering from a sprained ankle.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 4th, 2019

Blatche rejoining Gilas

Naturalized player Andray Blatche is set to arrive in the country Friday to join Team Pilipinas in its preparation for the sixth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifier. His arrival marks the first time the former NBA stalwart will join the national squad since getting involved in the ugly brawl with Australia seven […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJan 31st, 2019

Ibibigay ko yung best ko, time ko, puso ko -- Barroca

Magnolia guard Mark Barroca is very much pumped-up to don the national colors once again after eight years. So when head coach Yeng Guiao called for the team’s first training session for the sixth and last qualifying window for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, the 32-year old Magnolia Hotshots backcourt star was one of the early players to arrive at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. Unfortunately, the training session turned into just an orientation with just 10 players showing up and just six including Barroca participating in a quick shoot around.           But it didn’t dampen Barroca’s return as a member of the national team. “Sobrang excited ako makapaglaro dito. Sabi ni coach kanina ‘yung commitment nga sobrang kung meron pang 200 percent na commitment, ‘yun committed ako, so why not?” said Barroca, a pioneer of the then Smart Gilas program. “Bibigay ko talaga ‘yung best (ko), bibigay ko yung time ko dito ngayon na makapaglaro ulit.” Barroca last played for the national team back in 2011 during the FIBA Asia Championship where the country placed fourth.     “Siyempre as a player, lahat ng players gusto mag-national team so ito napili din ako so ibibigay ko yung best ko, yung time ko, yung puso,” said Barroca. “’Di na rin ako nagi-expect na makuha dito pero kinuha nila ako siyempre sobrang saya ko rin sobrang tine-treasure ko ‘yung pagkakuha nila dito sa akin. Alam mo yun, na-pump up ako e na kinuha nila ako,” he added. Barroca was joined by Roger Pogoy, Marcio Lassiter, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo, Poy Erram, Raymnond Almazan and Japeth Aguilar. Paul Lee and Scottie Thompson skipped the first training day while naturalized player Andray Blatche has yet to arrive in the country. Back-up naturalized player Christian Standhardinger has recently stated that he’s focused on recovering from knee injury and playing for San Miguel in the ongoing 2019 PBA Philippine Cup. Gilas is preparing for two must-win games against Qatar on February 21 and Kazakhstan on February 25. The national squad will fly to the Middle East on the second week of Ferbuary for a series of tune up matches. Gilas dropped its last two games on nail-biting fashions – against Kazakhstan (92-88) and Iran (78-70) last December. The national team is 1-3 in the last four games, and the two setbacks dropped the Philippines to fourth place with a 5-5 card in Group F behind Australia (9-1), Iran (7-3) and Japan (6-4).   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2019

Gilas with two injured big men as next Fiba window nears | Inquirer Sports

MANILA, PhilippinesAhead of a crucial stretch in the Fiba Basketball World Cup qualifiers, Gilas Pilipinasis looking at a few bumps in its preparation. Big men Raymond Almazan and Troy Rosario are bot.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJan 19th, 2019

‘Family-oriented’ June Mar Fajardo taught by mom to always stay away from trouble

BULACAN, Philippines---June Mar Fajardo returned to the venue that hosted a dark chapter in his illustrious career. San Miguel's jovial giant went back to Philippine Arena to collect his fifth straight MVP during the opening ceremonies of the 2019 PBA season six months after the Philippine national team got involved in one of the worst basketball incidents in sporting history. Gilas Pilipinas and the Australian national team got into a huge brawl late in the third quarter of their match in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers that saw basketball's governing body suspend a total of 13 players from both teams get suspended. Of the 13, 10 were from the Philippines but Fajardo wa...Keep on reading: ‘Family-oriented’ June Mar Fajardo taught by mom to always stay away from trouble.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 13th, 2019

Cebu event attempts to break 3x3 world record

It's all systems go for Chooks-to-Go and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas as they are set to break the world record for most number of participants in a FIBA 3x3 basketball tournament in Sisters of Mary School Boystown and Girlstown in Cebu this weekend. Currently, the FIBA-record for kids is at 1,114 participants while the overall record saw 1,898 players. For this two-day event, with 1,100 players from Boystown and 1,500 participants from Girlstown, the Philippines is well on its way to making history. More than breaking the world record, the vision of the event is to add federation points under Philippines' belt in the 3x3 stage. More points in the federation mean more chances of earning a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where 3x3 basketball will officially be a medal event. As of press time, the Philippines is at 55th place with 545,311 in the Federation Rankings. It has to be at least in the top eight to bolster their chances of qualification in the 2020 Olympics. But the possibility of breaking a record and qualifying for the Olympics is just a by-product, with the grander goal focused on building the foundation for the country's Olympic dream in 3x3 basketball. "With this event, we are hoping for two things," said Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas during the press conference for the event held at Bai Hotel in Cebu City. "One is to teach the sport of 3x3 basketball to these kids. Though it is just like indoor basketball, iba ang rules at skill sets needed for 3x3. And we are hoping to see that the kids of Boystown and Girlstown will grow up and be part of our league Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3," he shared. "More importantly, we hope that we could instill the importance of pride for country to these kids. With Kobe and Thirdy, both of whom have represented the country well, the participants tomorrow and on Sunday will find their role models in them," he added. Serving as mentors for the event are former 3x3 youth team players Kobe Paras and Thirdy Ravena. "We in the SBP continue to promote the time-tested values given by sports like hard work, respect for authority, following rules and regulations," added SBP executive director Sonny Barrios. "Lahat yun, if you expand and embrace it, the country, we think, will have a good future. It's our way of contributing to nation-building. The youth is the hope of the fatherland and we share this value with Chooks-to-Go.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2019

10 can’t-miss moments in sports for 2019

2018 is already in the books. Now, we look forward to the next chapters we’re all about to read in 2019. Laban Azkals in AFC Asian Cup – January The Azkals will enter historic grounds as early as January as they play for the first time in the AFC Asian Cup in 2019. Their ticket was booked after crushing Tajikistan in a 2-1 home victory early in 2018. With a world-renowned mentored on their side in Sven-Goran Eriksson and veteran national players, the Azkals will travel to the United Arab Emirates for the continental showdown. The Azkals kick off their 2019 AFC Cup Campaign on January 7th against South Korea, followed by a match against China PR on January 11th, before closing out the Group Stage on January 16th against Kyrgyzstan.  Newest season of the oldest professional league in Asia – January After just roughly a month of break from basketball action, the oldest professional league in Asia is back. The PBA will be kicking off its 44th season on January 13 with San Miguel defending its Philippine Cup title. Aside from that, marquee rookies such as CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, and Paul Desiderio are all set to play their first professional games with their respective teams. Up next on Pacman’s list – January The Filipinos will be treated to quality boxing as early as January 19 when Manny Pacquiao defends his WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Championship against challenger American Adrien Broner. After two years of fighting outside the US, Pacquiao will be back in Las Vegas to defend his title against a tough challenger in Broner. Just like old times, Freddie Roach will be back in Pacquiao's corner, this time serving as a consultant. Fanning the flames for a place in FIBA World Cup 2019 – February For the Philippines to be back in the FIBA World Cup, these are the things that need to happen: we must sweep out last two games then Japan must lose at least one of its last two games – giving us the third spot in Group F. Alternatively, we can pin our hopes on China winding up in the top four of its group – giving Groups E and F four berths apiece. Gilas Pilipinas begins its trek through that long and winding road away from home up against Qatar. All teams are teams-to-beat in UAAP 81 Volleyball – February The exciting and highly entertaining collegiate volleyball league is back on February 16. Things to watch out for? La Salle's bid for their fourth consecutive title, Ateneo's face post-Tai Bundit era, UP's confident aura coming off two major preseason championships, and UST's game-changing rookies. Eaglets-Bullpups Finals rematch or not – March Without a doubt, Ateneo and NU, the very same two teams that battled in the Finals last year, are the favorites to go all the way back to the champipnship round in the ongoing season. After all, the Blue Eaglets still have 7-foot-1, 16-year-old Kai Sotto and the Bullpups boast of the deepest roster in all of high school. After the first round of eliminations, however, it’s also clear that RJ Abarrientos-led FEU-Diliman and Joem Sabandal-fronted Adamson have other plans. For sure, something’s gotta give. Alab Pilipinas’ shot at history – April In the almost decade-long history of the Asean Basketball League, no team has won back-to-back championships. Alab Pilipinas is here to change that with the Puerto Rican pair of Renaldo Balkman and PJ Ramos showing the way alongside two-time Local MVP Ray Parks Jr. No doubt, this is the most talented team in franchise history and as such, nothing but a second straight title will be an acceptable outcome. The NCAA is five years away from its centennial celebration – July The first collegiate league in the country is approaching rarified air. Set to open its milestone mark 95th Season, the same old intensity is to be expected in the NCAA. The protagonists, however, may very well be different as all of last year’s Final Four teams will now be missing their main men – Robert Bolick for San Beda, CJ Perez for LPU, Bong Quinto for Letran, and Prince Eze for Perpetual. Is the UAAP 82 Basketball crown Katipunan’s to keep – September In Season 82, all teams will be seeking to nip the dynasty that the Ateneo Blue Eagles are trying to build. After going for back-two-back last season, all eyes will still be on them as their enter the season with an intact core. However, just like Season 81 it will not be a walk in the park with all contenders striving to match their caliber through massive recruitment, coach changes, and tough training camps. Filipino hospitality in SEA Games 2019 – November For the first time since 2005, the SEA Games will be played in Manila. That means that, at long last, our regional neighbors will yet again experience that world-renowned warmth of the Philippines and its people. Make no mistake, however, the Filipinos are all set to go all-out and dominate the medal tally – whether that be basketball in Manila or athletics and aquatics in Clark......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2018

Athletes to Watch Out for in 2019

Remember these names because for sure, they will be making the headlines this 2019. Kai Sotto The 7-foot-2 wunderkind of the Ateneo Blue Eaglets will be making major decisions in 2019. With opportunities opening up for him in Europe and USA, the current Grade 10 student of Ateneo High School has the option to leave the UAAP Juniors early to explore bigger stages. Billed as the nation's best bet to be the first Filipino homegrown NBA talent, there will definitely be a lot of eyes following this young man's every move.   Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras Former De La Salle Green Archer Rivero and former Creighton Blue Jay Paras are both set to make University of the Philippines' #AtinSeason82 bid more promising, as they finish their residency and finally play for the Maroons in the UAAP in 2019. Both players are expected to make immediate impacts in the history-seeking squad given Rivero's championship experience, Paras' athleticism, and both player's Gilas cadets background.   Kiefer Ravena 2018 was a tough year for national team player and NLEX Road Warrior Ravena after he was slapped with an 18-month suspension in FIBA and the PBA for testing positive for banned substances. Due to the suspension, Ravena has diverted his attention to other interests such as golf and volleyball but his days away from the hard court will be over come August 2019. By then, he will be taking the keys again for NLEX either in the PBA Commissioner's or Governor's Cup.   CJ Perez, Bobby Ray Parks Jr., and Robert Bolick The 2018 PBA Rookie Draft was full of quality guards, and these top three draftees are expected to make immediate impacts in their professional teams. Former NCAA superstars Perez and Bolick both already signed lucrative contracts with Columbian Dyip and Northport. On the other hand, after being drafted in the second pick by Blackwater Elite, the former UAAP MVP and ASEAN Basketball League champion and MVP Bobby Ray Parks Jr. is still in the middle of trade talks and negotiations.   Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio, and Joshua Pacio Team Lakay had a magical 2018 after producing four world champions in the Lightweight, Bantamweight, Flyweight, Strawweight divisions. However, as people say, defending a title is always tougher.  By 2019, all fighters will most likely have the tough assignment to keep their belts in Baguio City.   Manny Pacquiao Philippine sports fans will be treated to world-class boxing by as early as the second week of January, when Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao gets back in the ring to defend his WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Championship against American Adrien Broner. Pacquiao's long-time mentor Freddie Roach will also be back in his corner, serving as a consultant. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)   Eya Laure University of Santo Tomas' much needed reinforcement is finally here, with incoming rookie Eya Laure. The former star of the UST girls volleyball team will be making her debut in the senior's division in UAAP Season 81 this February 2019. In the preseason activities for the PVL and the PSL, Laure already proved that she will be a reliable scoring option for the Golden Tigresses - a perfect aid for graduating Sisi Rondina.   Michelle Morente Volleyball fans, it's time to get used to the sight of Morente playing in La Salle green. Last September 2018, the former Ateneo Lady Eagle already played for La Salle during the beach volleyball tournament. If she makes Ramil de Jesus' cut, the feisty scorer will bolster the Lady Spikers' title defense in the UAAP Season 81 womne's volleyball tournament.    Kath Arado La Salle's Dawn Macandili set the gold standard of libero greatness in UAAP. However, in 2019, libero extraordinaire Arado of the University of the East has every chance to prove that she might be the next to take the mantle of Philippine collegiate volleyball's best libero. For her UAAP Season 81 preparations, Arado played in two conferences of the Philippine Superliga at the same time - for UE in the Collegiate Grand Slam and for Generika Ayala Lifesaves for the All-Filipino conference. As a proof of her caliber, she swept all libero awards in both conferences.   Kat Tolentino With Jho Maraguinot's decision to not come back for the Ateneo Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 81, Kat Tolentino is expected to make the leap and be the number one scoring option for the blue-and-white. During their preseason preparations in the Premier Volleyball League under Ateneo-Motolite, rookie coach Oliver Almadro praised Tolentino for embracing her new role as the go-to girl. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2018

How your favorite sports stars celebrated Christmas 2018

It’s that time of the year when people gather with their families to celebrate the yuletide season together. For athletes, it means having some time off of training to binge on some Noche Buena and be thankful for all the blessings from the past year. From wearing matching sweaters, having rare family pictures taken, and sharing sweet messages, scroll down below to see what your favorite sports stars did during their well-deserved Christmas break. Merry Christmas to all from the #JamesGang👑👑👑👑👑 2.7m Likes, 21.2k Comments - LeBron James (@kingjames) on Instagram: "Merry Christmas to all from the #JamesGang👑👑👑👑👑" Merry CHRISTmas from the Curry Crew! Blessed beyond measure! #calichristmas 206.3k Likes, 872 Comments - Wardell Curry (@stephencurry30) on Instagram: "Merry CHRISTmas from the Curry Crew! Blessed beyond measure! #calichristmas" 🎄🎄🎄 367.1k Likes, 1,361 Comments - Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) on Instagram: "🎄🎄🎄" Merry Christmas from the Swaggy's 102.1k Likes, 345 Comments - Nick Young (@swaggyp1) on Instagram: "Merry Christmas from the Swaggy's" Merry Christmas to you! 147.9k Likes, 738 Comments - Damian Lillard (@damianlillard) on Instagram: "Merry Christmas to you!" Merry Christmas to you! 147.9k Likes, 738 Comments - Damian Lillard (@damianlillard) on Instagram: "Merry Christmas to you!" From the happiest place in the world, Merry Christmas from us to you! 🎄 10.2k Likes, 30 Comments - Julia Morado (@juliacmorado) on Instagram: "From the happiest place in the world, Merry Christmas from us to you! 🎄" My primaries ❤️💛💙 1,832 Likes, 8 Comments - Jerrili Malabanan (@jerrili33) on Instagram: "My primaries ❤️💛💙" First Christmas together 😍💕 I love you! 😘 700 Likes, 12 Comments - Eli Pasamante Soyud (@soyud_eli) on Instagram: "First Christmas together 😍💕 I love you! 😘" Merry Christmas 🎄🎁 488 Likes, 8 Comments - Troy Rike (@troyrike) on Instagram: "Merry Christmas 🎄🎁" Christmas 2018! 🎄🎅🏽⛄️❄️🧣 2,830 Likes, 32 Comments - Gabe Norwood (@gnorwood5) on Instagram: "Christmas 2018! 🎄🎅🏽⛄️❄️🧣" Merry Christmas from my family to yours! 🎄🎅🏽 512 Likes, 9 Comments - Chris Newsome (@new11new) on Instagram: "Merry Christmas from my family to yours! 🎄🎅🏽" Merry Christmas 🎄 317 Likes, 2 Comments - Richard Escoto (@rich_escoto) on Instagram: "Merry Christmas 🎄" Merry Merry 873 Likes, 17 Comments - Maika Angela Ortiz (@maikaortizz) on Instagram: "Merry Merry" Our first Christmas as a family of 4. It was a bit chaotic and tiring but certainly it gets better and happier as we grow in number. Just before this day comes to an end, hope you guys all had a memorable and joyful Christmas! Let's not forget that we are celebrating Jesus' birthday and that Christmas is really about giving and bringing joy to others. Merry Christmas!🎄🎄😊😊 6,035 Likes, 63 Comments - Chris Tiu (@chris_tiu17) on Instagram: "Our first Christmas as a family of 4. It was a bit chaotic and tiring but certainly it gets better..." Onesie party!! 678 Likes, 11 Comments - Chris Ross (@cmross6) on Instagram: "Onesie party!!" Staring at my favorite gift ❤️ @aldopanlilio12 2,648 Likes, 9 Comments - Michele Gumabao (@gumabaomichele) on Instagram: "Staring at my favorite gift ❤️ @aldopanlilio12" Merry Christmas 🎄❤️ 142 Likes, 1 Comments - Roma Joy Doromal (@romaaitalia) on Instagram: "Merry Christmas 🎄❤️" Merry Christmas everyone! 🎄🎁🎅🏽☃️ My favourite time of the year when families all come together to celebrate the birth of Christ. Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year. This is also my favourite time of the year because it is when we all get to excuse ourselves for indulging in a little extra food. Growing up in England, having a roast dinner is the norm, but after living in the Philippines for the last 10 years, coming back for Christmas and experiencing a roast dinner is always special 🎄🎅🏽☃️🎁🍖🥦🍽🥕🍗 #christmas #family #dinner #roast #love #happiness #delicious #santa #christmastree #holy #gifts #december 403 Likes, 15 Comments - Phil Younghusband (@philyounghusband10) on Instagram: "Merry Christmas everyone! 🎄🎁🎅🏽☃️ My favourite time of the year when families all come together to..." Merry Christmas from Sunny and I 🌻❤️🎄 9,416 Likes, 55 Comments - Dani Ravena (@daniravenaaa) on Instagram: "Merry Christmas from Sunny and I 🌻❤️🎄" Happy birthday, Jesus! 🙏🏻 Thankful for the gift of family. Merry Christmas everyone! 🎄 995 Likes, 11 Comments - Jeffrei Chan (@jeffreichan) on Instagram: "Happy birthday, Jesus! 🙏🏻 Thankful for the gift of family. Merry Christmas everyone! 🎄".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2018

Basketball in 2018: The San Miguel takeover

It was another good year for basketball in 2018. In the case of the Philippine Basketball Association, they literally took one full year to complete. One year and two days actually. That's a lot of basketball. And that's just one league. Basketball die-hards were truly blessed in 2018. To be honest, some of the things that happened literally only about five months ago, seem like a long time ago. That's how crazy this year has been. In order to try and fit everything together in this year-end review, let's do things by category. Let's play ball.   SAN MIGUEL TAKEOVER Just to be clear here, by San Miguel, we mean San Miguel Corp. SMC teams continued to lord it over in basketball in 2018, at least on this part of the world. The flagship Beermen extended their dynasty in the Philippine Cup, beating Magnolia for a record four straight All-Filipino titles. [Related: June Mar scores 42 as Beermen complete Philippine Cup four-peat] Considering how easy they won this year and with significant upgrades present, it looks like there's still no stopping the San Miguel Beermen in the most prestigious tournament the Philippines has to offer. One team that did stop the Beermen this year were the Gin Kings of Brgy. Ginebra. With super import Justin Brownlee saving the day once again, Ginebra stopped San Miguel's Grand Slam drive for the second straight season, capturing the Commissioner's Cup in six games at the expense of the Beermen. [Related: Gin Kings dethrone San Miguel after sensational Game 6 win] The Gin Kings stay winning with Brownlee, if the guys makes the Finals, he's pretty much right on the money. Ginebra is a perfect three-fo-three in the Finals with Brownlee as import and in five conferences with the super scorer, the Gin Kings have made at least the semifinals each time. In the Governors' Cup, we got Manila Clasico in the semifinals and for a change, it was Magnolia that came out on top in an absolute classic of a series. [Related: Hotshots dominate Alaska to win Governors' Cup] The Hotshots used that momentum to win their first title since their Grand Slam season, completing an SMC Grand Slam in 2018. It's the first time in history all three San Miguel teams won a title in the same year. That alone makes 2018 special.   SAN MIGUEL TAKEOVER PART 2 After Gilas Pilipinas pretty much imploded on its own (more on that later), the San Miguel takeover has finally extended to the national team. [Related: Pressure mounts for Guiao with "best Philippine team ever"] The SMC stars were finally full force with Gilas and while the wins have not come just yet, it's pretty cool to see guys like Marcio Lassiter, Scottie Thompson, Greg Slaughter, and the rest of them play with the Gilas regulars of the yesteryears.   SAN MIGUEL TAKE OVER PART 3 Going away from the PBA a little bit, San Miguel stays winning as Alab Pilipinas brought the Asean Basketball League title back to the Philippine. Alab, with Jimmy Alapag coaching and Renaldo Balkman and Justim Brownlee as lead import, beat Thailand's Mono Vampire in five games for the title. [Related: Alab Pilipinas lights it up for country’s first title since 2013] It's the first ABL title for the Philippines since you guess it, San Miguel Beer's 2013 title with head coach Leo Austria and Asi Taulava.   BASKETBRAWLS Now we're getting to the good stuff. In a year where commotions were a little more common than usual, one very specific commotion managed to stand out. Actually, it was no mere commotion. It was a full-on fight. Back in July, Gilas Pilipinas engaged the Boomers of Australia in a massive brawl that resulted in ejections, suspensions, and fines that cost millions of pesos. [Related: 10 Gilas players suspended for brawl with Boomers] It also led to a national team coaching change and the San Miguel takeover in Gilas that we talked about before. In between, we actually finally saw Jordan Clarkson in Gilas Pilipinas so that counts as a win even though we only placed 5th in the Asian Games. [Related: ASIAN GAMES: Is Clarkson actually worth all that trouble for Gilas?] Ultimately, the sad and unfortunate event that was the Gilas-Boomers brawl casted a bad reputation on the Philippine national team, one that Gilas might take a while to recover from.   DUST-ED Another rather unfortunate event this year was Kiefer Ravena's FIBA suspension. [Related: Kiefer banned 18 months for using PEDs] We all know the story so let's not dwell to much about such a tragic event. Let's just patiently wait for the Phenom's comeback. August 2019 can't come soon enough.   LOOKING AHEAD If you thought 2018 was hectic, wait until we get to 2019. The ABL is already in full swing and Alab's title defense should get into high gear as the new year starts. The PBA opens a new season in January. Also, Gilas still has some stuff on the way with the national team's FIBA World Cup chase. We also host the Southeast Asian Games so that's another two weeks of basketball. Other opportunities include the Asia League, NLEX and Blackwater did well in their Super 8 stints in Macau and it's interesting to find out who's going to represent the country in the emerging power in Asia. [Related: Asia League boss wants more PBA teams in his tournaments] If you thought 2018 was filled with great basketball, you're right. 2019 should be no different.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2018