FIBA By the Numbers: The future is now for Gilas

Gilas Pilipinas' new era is off to a fine start thanks to the national team's impressive road win against Indonesia to open the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers. With a relatively younger group than that previous iterations, Gilas took a while to get going but got the job done without too much trouble in the fourth quarter nonetheless. Pending new announcements for their cancelled home game against Thailand, the Indonesia road win is Gilas' last game and we'll have to wait a good nine months before the national team takes the court again. [Related: FIBA: Thirdy stars as Gilas pulls away late in win over Indonesia] With that, here's a nice ol' By the Numbers to help ease us through a much-needed Gilas break.   23 Total points for Thirdy Ravena in his first game back in Gilas Pilipinas. Thirdy just added to his stock as the most coveted Pinoy prospect outside of Kai Sotto with this performance with the national team. Ravena led Gilas with 23 points, all in the first three quarters of the win against Indonesia. Up until the national team opened the floodgates in the fourth quarter, it was Thirdy that was getting buckets for Gilas, keeping Indonesia at bay. On top of his 23 points, Thirdy also had eight rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. The future is now for the former Blue Eagle.   11 Total players in the scoring column for Gilas Pilipinas in the win against Indonesia. Thirdy's scoring outburst kept the Philippines ahead, but Gilas' balanced attack eventually overwhelmed the hosts in Sunday's 30-point win. RR Pogoy got hot in the fourth and finished with 16 points while CJ Perez, Kiefer Ravena, and Juan Gomez de Liano all scored in double figures as well. Only Isaac Go didn't score for Gilas but he did have seven rebounds in almost eight minutes of action.   15 Total steals for Gilas Pilipinas against Indonesia. Interim head coach Mark Dickel likes his team to play defense and that was pretty evident in the way Gilas was aggressive in their first game to start the Asia Cup qualifiers. Gilas recorded 15 steals in a game where Indonesia had 16 turnovers. Seven players had at least one takeaway with CJ Perez and Kiefer Ravena leading the national team with four steals each. Dwight Ramos and Poy Erram had two apiece.   32 Largest lead of the night for Gilas Pilipinas. Indonesia was within four, 51-55, late in the third before Gilas ended the quarter with a 12-2 blitz for a 67-53 lead. Come the fourth quarter, RR Pogoy started out hot and Kiefer Ravena and CJ Perez helped add the finishing touches as the national team cruised to a big road win in the Asia Cup qualifiers.   26 Total fouls on Gilas Pilipinas. It wasn't all smooth sailing for Gilas as the Pinoys were called for a grand total of 26 fouls Sunday. Early penalty situation in the second and third quarters allowed Indonesia to stick around as they connected on 20 out of 23 free throws. Eight Gilas players had at least two fouls though no player fouled out.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnFeb 24th, 2020

FIBA: June Mar key part of Gilas despite Asia Cup pool snub

The initial 24-man lineup for Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers is out and it has a mix of amateur and PBA players. Counting the five players taken during the special Gilas Draft last December, there are 13 amateurs in the new Gilas pool. The rest are made up of PBA players, including the returning Marc Pingris. Curiously enough, many-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo is not in the initial pool. Accoring to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Al Panlilio, Gilas is looking at fielding the younger players of the pool first. “As we said in the recent past, this is a development plan for the national team in preparation for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup,” Panlilio said in a statement first relayed by sportscaster Paolo Del Rosario. “It’s the early days in our program so we wanted to test youngsters who may be deserving of a shot in future big tournaments,” Panlilio added. Panlilio also believes that June Mar deserves an extended break after following his previous national team stints and brutal PBA schedule with San Miguel Beer. Still, the SBP says that the Kraken is an integral part of the Gilas program. “Fajardo remains a big part of the future for the Gilas program,” Panlilio said. “He will in fact be at his peak form when the WC2023 comes along. We will need his dominance and international experience and we assure all his supporters that they will see Fajardo wearing a Gilas jersey in the near future,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2020

The Next Phase for the UAAP Season 82 Graduates

UAAP Season 82 gave us one hell of a basketball season. And now that it’s over, some of the players we’ve been rooting for over the years are now moving on to the next phase of their lives. So, what’s next for these athletes? Let’s take a look at some of the guys we’ll be missing on the UAAP court come next season. Isaac Go Isaac Go ended his UAAP career with three championships under his belt. Now, he’s the first overall pick in the Gilas round of the 2019 PBA Draft. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine to be in this position. I’m just grateful and excited at this point,” said the PBA’s top rookie. And while Go has always said that he wanted to immediately take his talents from college basketball to the pros, Isaac now has to take a detour for yet another huge hoops opportunity—to don the blue and white for the national team. Isaac isn’t doing too bad for an athlete who was once referred to as a “big, fat kid.”   Rey Suerte Rey Suerte only spent one season in the UAAP, but he certainly made it count by averaging these numbers: 17.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. He seems to have left a lasting impression, as Suerte is now a member of Blackwater after being selected as the second overall pick in the Gilas round of the 2019 PBA Draft. Some may say that luck is a factor in such accolades, but it’s hard work that put Suerte in this position.   Renzo Subido Renzo Subido made sure that his name won’t soon be forgotten in UAAP lore when he nailed the shot of his life right in front of UP’s Bright Akhuetie. This dagger sent UST to the UAAP Finals, giving the Tigers the chance to dethrone the Ateneo Blue Eagles. And while it didn’t end the way he wanted, Subido remains grateful for all the opportunities, especially now that he’s a member of NorthPort Batang Pier.   Thirdy Ravena One major name was conspicuously missing from the 2019 PBA Draft—Thirdy Ravena. The three-time Finals MVP decided to skip it altogether to focus on training overseas and possibly competing in international leagues. This is the same route his brother Kiefer Ravena took when he graduated from UAAP competition. The elder Ravena trained for a year in the US and had a short stint in the NBA G-League before joining the PBA. Regardless of what Thirdy does, the future seems bright for Ateneo’s former top star. The UAAP memories will live on, but these athletes are now moving on. While you may not be an athlete, you may relate to their story if you’re looking to make the leap to the next phase of your career, too. Jobstreet can help you do that and #FindTheJobYouLove. As one of the leading employment marketplaces in the Philippines, Jobstreet has aided thousands in transitioning to the next phase of their lives. Let Jobstreet do the same for you by clicking here.   Thank you Isaac, Rey, Renzo, Thirdy, and all the athletes who’ll be moving on from the UAAP. We’ll always be grateful......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2020

Gilas Pilipinas, SBP moving on from Blatche

MANILA, Philippines – Naturalized player Andray Blatche may not be a part Gilas Pilipinas' future plans anymore.  Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio bared they are looking at other prospects to fill in the naturalized player spot as the country gears up for the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 4th, 2020

Next Gilas Pilipinas coach remains a question mark

MANILA, Philippines – It's still a guessing game as to who will call the shots for Gilas Pilipinas in future international tournaments. Even the interim coach who will guide the Philippines team in the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in February has yet to be determined by the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 4th, 2020

20 for 20: Pinoy Sports Personalities to Watch in 2020

As we enter a new decade, ABS-CBN Sports takes a look at 20 Pinoy sports personalities destined to shine in 2020.    Kiefer Ravena After an 18-month wait, Kiefer Ravena is finally back in basketball. Despite only playing in the PBA’s third conference, his impact was immediate, leading NLEX to the number 1 seed in the Governors’ Cup. The Road Warriors didn’t advance sure, but if Kiefer can impact a team that way in limited time, wait until you see what he can do with a full offseason.   Alex Eala At just 14 years old, Filipina tennister Alex Eala is already turning heads, and she’s yet to turn pro. With a runner-up finish at the ITF Mayor’s Cup in Osaka, Japan and her first ITF Juniors title in Cape Town, South Africa, Alex has had quite the fruitful year, leading to a career-best 11th-place ranking in the ITF Juniors table to finish the year.  Heading into 2020, Eala now has her sights set on turning pro as she plans to join more professional tournaments to raise her ranking even more. Expect the young tennis star to make even more headlines in the coming year.     Bryan Bagunas A vital cog in the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Bagunas is considered as one of the best Filipino volleyball players in this generation. Eyes will be on his blossoming international career playing as an import in the Japan V. Premier League.         Margielyn Didal While already a household name in Philippine skateboarding due to her success in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Margielyn Didal made even more waves in 2019. The 20-year old Cebuana reached the semifinals of the 2019 SLS World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and captured gold in the 2019 National Championships and the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.  Didal is currently looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and if she can do so, it’s highly likely that the Pinay skater can become an even bigger star in the industry.    Marck Espejo After his spectacular collegiate career with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Marck Espejo's colorful career as part of the men's national volleyball team and in the club league continues to blossom. Just like Bryan Bagunas, Espejo will be showing his skills internationally with a stint in Thailand following a historic silver medal finish at the 30th SEA Games.   Yuka Saso After a decorated amateur career that saw her  participate in major tournaments such as the Ladies’ European Tour, the Summer Youth Olympics and claim top honors in the 2018 Asian Games, 2018 and 2019 Philippine Ladies Open, and the 2019 Girls’ Junior PGA Championship, 18-year old Pinay golfer Yuka Saso finally made the jump to pro in November of 2019.  With even more competitions in store plus a 2020 Tokyo Olympics berth in her crosshairs, it’s quite likely that we hear more about Saso in the coming months.  Carlos Yulo Perhaps no other young athlete in the Philippines shot to stardom faster than gymnastics phenomenon Carlos Edriel Yulo. After a gold medal finish in the floor exercise at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Yulo hauled in even more hardware in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, taking home two more gold medals and five silvers.  Yulo’s spectacular 2019 earned him a spot in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and if his SEA Games and World Championships performances are any indication, Caloy is bound for another podium finish on the biggest stage there is.   Eya Laure Last UAAP season’s rookie of the year will return as the heir apparent of Season 81 MVP Sisi Rondina. With her national team stint, all eyes will be on the younger Laure as she reunites with older sister EJ as they try to bring University of Sto. Tomas back in the Finals after falling short last year. Hidilyn Diaz 2019 was another big year for Olympic silver medalist weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, highlighted by her first ever gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Diaz also finished with silver medals in the 2019 Asian Championships and a bronze in the 2019 World Championships.  All those podium finishes are crucial in Diaz’s quest for another Olympics berth in 2020. Should the 28-year lock up another spot in the Summer Games in Tokyo, we could see another Olympic medal coming home.    Kat Tolentino  After initially announcing that she would not come back for her final season in the UAAP, Kat Tolentino changed her decision and will suit up for the Ateneo Lady Eagles once last time, providing a great morale-booster in their bid for back-to-back titles. Tolentino’s leadership will be tested as she will be leading a young team.      Joshua Pacio 23-year old Joshua “The Passion” Pacio proved to be the brightest spot for Philippine MMA stable Team Lakay in 2019. After opening the year with a questionnable decision loss to Yosuke Saruta, Pacio silenced any doubts in the rematch and regained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a highlight-reel headkick knockout. Pacio would follow that up with another masterful performance, this time with a second-round submission win over top contender Rene Catalan before the end of the year.  2020 is shaping up to become another banner year for the rising Pinoy star, as he’s scheduled for another title defense on January 31st in Manila, this time against former champ Alex Silva of Brazil. A win for Pacio will solidify his claim of being the best strawweight ever in ONE Championship history.     Louie Romero The Adamson University freshman displayed great potential during the pre-season when she piloted the Lady Falcons to title win in the PVL Season 3 Collegiate Conference. Romero is expected to be a gem of a setter for the young Adamson squad hoping make a return in the UAAP Final Four. Manny Pacquiao While eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao is certainly in the twilight of his professional boxing career, 2019 showed that he is still one of the best around. A successful title defense over Adrien Broner followed by an impressive dismantling of the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman to capture the WBA’s primary world title proved that even at 40, Manny Pacquiao is still a big name in the sport.  With Pacquiao targeting an early return in 2020, more big names are lined up to fight “the People’s Champ”, including names like Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and even a title-unification bout against Errol Spence. Still, the biggest fight that is out there proves to be a rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr, granted that “Money” finally bites.    Faith Nisperos A key addition for the repeat-seeking Ateneo de Manila University. The highly-touted rookie hitter will add height and firepower for the Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball. In the previous PVL Collegiate Conference, Nisperos flashed her scoring prowess, exploding for 35 points in one outing.   Robert Bolick The two best rookies of 2019 were CJ Perez and Robert Bolick. We know what we can expect from CJ, but Bolick is an interesting case as 2020 will be his return from knee injury. Bolick could still win Rookie of the Year, but even if he doesn’t, his return to Northport could push the reloaded Batang Pier from a Cinderella team to full-on PBA title contender.   Joshua Retamar His playmaking skills as well as his efficiency on net defense during the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games makes him a setter to watch out for come UAAP. Retamar is an asset for National University’s three-peat bid.       Kai Sotto The Philippines' 7-foot-2, 17-year-old is opening eyes as he suits up for Atlanta-based The Skills Factory - so much so that he has already gotten interest from quite a few US NCAA schools. Before Sotto continues breaking the glass ceiling for Filipinos, though, he will go home for a while to wear the flag with Mighty Sports-Pilipinas in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.   Jema Galanza Coming off a great outing to close the PVL Season 3 highlighted by copping the Open Conference MVP award, expectations are high for Jema Galanza as Creamline aims to reclaim the PVL Reinforced Conference crown and complete an Open Conference three-peat.      Kobe Paras Many questioned just what the 6-foot-6 tantalizing talent would bring to the table for UP - but more often than not, he had all the answers as he led the Fighting Maroons to their second straight Final Four. In the end, Paras was actually the steadying force State U needed in what was a hyped up season. They may not have made it back to the Finals, but they still got much more motivation as they run it back for next year.   Pat Aquino What's next for the most decorated mentor in women's basketball? Pat Aquino followed up a six-peat for National U with the Philippines' first-ever gold medal in women's basketball in the SEA Games. Without a doubt, he will only continue steering the sport forward especially as the likes of UST and FEU are already gearing up to put up greater challenges in the new year.   Isaac Go Isaac Go is technically not the no. 1 pick of the 2019 PBA Draft but he is without a doubt, the no. 1 prospect of the year. His top selection from the special Gilas Pilipinas Draft is proof of that. Gilas Pilipinas has the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on deck in 2020 and as a new era dawns on the national team, all eyes will be on the biggest piece for the future that’s already drafted into the new Philippine squad......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

2019: To sweep or not to sweep in collegiate basketball

The 2019 collegiate basketball season will always be remembered as the time when all of NCAA defending champion San Beda, UAAP Men’s defending champion Ateneo, and UAAP Women’s defending champion National U were trying for season sweeps. Two of them did it, one of them didn’t. All in all, though, that storyline that had something to do with history defined NCAA 95 and UAAP 82. A tale of two leagues – when it comes to foreign student-athletes NCAA 95 was the last season wherein the Grand Old League’s 10 member-schools were still able to trot out foreign student-athletes. This, after more than a decade of the likes of Sam Ekwe, Sudan Daniel, Allwell Oraeme, Prince Eze, and Mike Nzeusseu setting the bar higher for big men. Over in UAAP 82, Beninese ball of energy Soulemane Chabi Yo and Ivorian tower Ange Kouame jostled throughout the tournament for the recognition as top individual player. In the end, Chabi Yo followed in the footsteps of Cameroon’s Ben Mbala and Nigeria’s Bright Akhuetie as Season MVPs. The NCAA will go local from here on out while the UAAP will still parade promising prospects from overseas – what’s certain is that both leagues will go all-out to ascertain that the action will never stop. Rising stars become shining stars Robert Bolick left San Beda with a big, big hole at point guard – only for Evan Nelle to waste no time proving the Red Lions remain in good hands. UST’s fast and furious attack needed a fast and furious playmaker – and the Growling Tigers got just that in the form of Mark Nonoy. In his first year as FEU’s lead guard, L-Jay Gonzales showed time and time again why he was always seen as the next one in the Tamaraws’ long, long line of great guards. The story of the season in terms of guards, however, has got to be Fran Yu who came out of nowhere to energize Letran to a pleasant surprise of a championship. UP might 2019 was the first time in a long, long while – or maybe even ever – that UP was considered a shoo-in for the Final Four. The Fighting Maroons had just ended a 32-year Finals absence and a 21-year playoff drought last year and came into this season still with Bright Akhuetie, Jun Manzo, and Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan, but also now with Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero. In all, State U lived up to the hype and made it back-to-back Final Four appearances, but at the same time, fell short of fulfilling the promise of its fully loaded line-up. Still, continued contention is nothing but a welcome development for Diliman which had been experiencing dark, dark days for far too long. Gilas Pilipinas calling With Tab Baldwin overseeing the program, Gilas Pilipinas will try once more to take a long-term, big-picture view – especially with the 2023 FIBA World Cup looming large. With that, the American-Kiwi mentor tapped on five collegiate standouts to form the foundation of the national team – Ateneo’s Isaac Go and Nieto twins Mike and Matt, UE’s Rey Suerte, and San Sebastian’s Allyn Bulanadi. And with that, the Philippines is yet again leaning on the best of the best of collegiate basketball to wear the flag and do the country proud. It’s a new day, it’s a new generation The NCAA hit home runs in each and every one of its coaching changes. Bonnie Tan raised banner no. 18 for Letran in his first year. Randy Alcantara has Mapua prepped and primed to take flight. Louie Gonzalez has given JRU an attitude. Oliver Bunyi and Cholo Martin have EAC and Arellano, respectively, headed in the right direction. The same cannot be said for the UAAP as both of its new head coaches found themselves on the outside looking into the playoff picture. Jermaine Byrd had La Salle fighting, but ultimately failed to find a finishing kick. UE also kept coming with the leadership of Lawrence Chongson, but eventually ended eliminated. Teeth out, claws out, all-out UST has a proud program in basketball, but only had nine wins to show in 42 games from 2016 to 2018 That all came to an end in 2019 as Aldin Ayo had the Growling Tigers, well, growling from the get-go. Bombing away at their opponents and forcing them to keep up, Espana made its mark as a legitimate contender that made it all the way to the Finals. There, they were sent away by Ateneo’s championship-winning machine, but the future remains bright for the black and gold with all of Season MVP Chabi Yo, Rookie of the Year Nonoy, captain CJ Cansino, Brent Paraiso, and Sherwin Concepcion, among others, coming back for more. Fitting farewell for Ateneo’s championship core Thirdy Ravena. Isaac Go. Mike Nieto. Matt Nieto. Adrian Wong. Those five left Ateneo on top of the world – having claimed a three-peat as well as completed a historic season sweep. And without a doubt, those five were also the catalysts in this new golden age for the Blue Eagles – a golden age which has seen them set and then raise the standard for team glory time and time again. Katipunan will have a tough time moving forward from those five, but at the same time, having the likes of Ange Kouame, Will Navarro, Gian Mamuyac, and SJ Belangel just waiting in the wings makes it easier. Who run the world? National U has not lost a game in 2,270 days. National U has not lost a game in 74 months. National U has not lost a game in six years. The last time head coach Pat Aquino had to lift up the spirits of his Lady Bulldogs was back in October 5, 2013 when they bowed to La Salle in the winner-take-all Finals Game 3. Since then, the blue and gold has been the gold standard of women’s basketball all while giving its opponents the blues. That didn’t change this year as behind Jack Animam and Rhena Itesi as well as welcome additions Kelli Hayes and Camille Clarin, National U continued to have all the answers – even for back-to-back Season MVP Grace Irebu and UST. Shock the system Letran was, in no way, given a chance to deny archrival San Beda’s bid for a perfect season – or much more, win the championship altogether. But the Knights didn’t listen and took that chance themselves, catching just everybody by surprise by taking Game 1 and dealing the Red Lions their first defeat in the season. San Beda bounced back in Game 2, but in the decider, Jerrick Balanza, Bonbon Batiller, Larry Muyang, and Yu just willed Letran to the title. Now, the Knights are kings for the 18th time – and indeed, they had no import, but had no problem. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 23rd, 2019

Yeng Guiao steps down as Gilas Pilipinas head coach

MANILA, Philippines – Yeng Guiao will no longer call the shots for Gilas Pilipinas in future tournaments as he stepped down from his post following a winless campaign in the FIBA World Cup in China.  The Philippines finished dead last in the global hoops tilt after failing to notch a ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 11th, 2019

Guiao: Shooting, quality big men what Gilas Pilipinas needs in future

MANILA, Philippines – The FIBA World Cup revealed the ugly truth of how far Gilas Pilipinas falls behind basketball superpowers.  Winless in 5 games, the Philippines will finish the global hoops showdown dead last out of the 32 participating nations after tallying the worst point differential in the entire tournament ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 10th, 2019

FIBA World Cup By the Numbers: Reality check for Gilas

In the end, not even Gilas Pilipinas’ best start in the 2019 FIBA World Cup ended with a win. The Philippines bowed to Iran Sunday to end the World Championships. Gilas Pilipinas will head home from China with five losses. Gilas will also come home wih valuable lessons learned from a tough trip. Let’s wrap this thing up with a final By the Numbers for Team Philippines.   -147 With a 0-5 record, Gilas Pilipinas is guaranteed to finish in the bottom four of the 2019 FIBA World Cup. As of right now, the Philippines is in last place. Japan (-115) and Jordan (-132) still play one game and if they both win, Gilas will finish last. If they both lose, they need to have worse point differential than the Filipinos or else, the Philippines will keep its last place finish in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.   6 Total three-pointers connected by Gilas in the opening period. It was the best shooting start for the Philippines in the World Cup, making 6/11 from deep in the first 10 minutes. Then Gilas went cold. The national team went 5/16 the rest of the way and lost by 20.   24 Total points scored by Gilas in the opening period. The Philippines trailed by six to Iran after one, 24-30. Gilas only scored 26 in the second and third quarters however and the Iranians put the game away. After three, Iran was up, 75-50, and ended the game with a 95-75 win.   12 Total points for Andray Blatche. In what could be Andray’s final game for Gilas, the big man shot 4/12 for 12 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists. He also had five fouls, the last two being technicals in the fourth quarter that led to his ejection.   4 Number of years before the next World Cup in 2023. The Philippines will co-host with Japan and Indonesia, with Manila serving as the primary. Gilas is qualified for that World Cup but it would take quite a few changes in order to not see a repeat of this 2019 performance. We’ll see if that’s the case in 2023.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 8th, 2019

FIBA: Despite horror World Cup, “exciting times” ahead for Gilas says Gabe

The 2019 FIBA World Cup was a harsh eye-opener for Gilas Pilipinas and the national team will surely take some valuable lessons home after going 0-5 in China, losing by a combined 147 points. Effort is certainly not a question but Gilas Pilipinas may have to rethink its ways on how to handle FIBA tournaments in the future in order to avoid an embarrassing result like this one. The countdown is set to four years for Gilas as the Philippines will be the primary host of te 2023 World Cup. After a horror 2019 tournament, things should get brighter for the national team. It certainly can’t get darker than this one. “I think it’s exciting times for Philippine basketball,” team captain Gabe Norwood said, looking ahead. “To host an event as big as the World Cup, even though it’s four years away, it’s very exciting,” he added. Excitement can only get you so far and while Norwood is not in charge of putting things together four years from now, he knows that Philippine basketball will have to put its best foot forward for the 2023 World Championships. “You gotta get the best players available ready in the next four years,” Norwood said. “We got a lot of young talent in our country, our youth program is doing really well. It should be interesting to see how the groups play out and everything. But I think everybody can look forward to a fun athmosphere in Manila,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 8th, 2019

FIBA World Cup By the Numbers: Gilas Pilipinas still searching for the elusive win

It’s getting difficult to put an positive spin on Gilas Pilipinas’ horror campaign in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. After a latest beating, this time at the hand of African champion Tunisia, the Philippines has lost four straight games in the World Championships. Granted, the celebrated 2014 team also lost four straight games to start the World Cup but the way the 2019 team has been losing is simply just demoralizing. Here’s a breakdown of Gilas’ latest defeat, By the Numbers style.   1 Total number of players in double figures for Gilas Pilipinas against Tunisia. It seems like the Philippine offense didn’t make the trip to China as the national team has been finding it extremely difficult to get buckets in Foshan and Beijing. In the loss to Tunisia, no local cracked double figures and Anray Blatche was the lone double-digit scorer for Gilas with 24 points. Troy Rosario came next with eight markers.   -127 Gilas Pilipinas’ +/- rating in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The Philippines is quite literally the worst team in the World Championships through Friday’s results. No team in China has a -100 rating, only Gilas. If Gilas ends up with a 0-5 record, the national team may actually end up as the worst in a 32-team field.   28 Total points for Gilas in the fourth quarter for Tunisia, the Philippines’ best in the World Cup so far. Gilas put together its best scoring effort in the final 10 minutes against the African champions but granted, Tunisia was already in cruise control after building a 28-point lead. The Philippines is actually scoring well in the fourth quarter in China, averaging over 24 points in four games. It still usally doesn’t matter however.   10 Total points for Gilas in the first quarter against Tunisia. The Philippines scored one point for every minute in the opening period against the Tunisians. Gilas was down 17 after the first. Gilas is averaging 12.8 points in the first quarter in China and the performance against Tunisia was the national team’s second worst. The Philippines is trailing by an average of 15.5 points per game after the first quarter alone, and if you’re shooting that bad from the floor, that’s usuall a recipe for disaster.   40 percent Total shooting percentage for Gilas Pilipinas against Tunisia. It’s actually Gilas’ best shooting night in the World Cup and the still lost by 19 points, that about sums up the Philippines performance in China. Gilas will try to at least take one win home when they end the World Championships Sunday against Iran.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 7th, 2019

Kiefer Ravena optimistic Gilas future

Gilas point guard Kiefer Ravena said the other day the Philippines can still recover to become No. 1 in Asia despite the spate of setbacks in the FIBA World Cup but it will take a protracted period of training to reach the high level of competitiveness that is evident at the global stage......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 6th, 2019

FIBA World Cup By the Numbers: Gilas’ heart breaks again

The 2019 FIBA World Cup continous to be a punishing tournament for Gilas Pilipinas. After enduring a combined 105-point beatings at the hands of Italy and Serbia, the Philippine national team suffered yet another heartbreaking loss, this time to Angola in overtime. With that, Gilas has been swept out of contention in the World Championships and will head to the classification phase to play two more games. All is not loss for Gilas, but the Angola loss stings, perhaps even more than the 46-point decision to Italy or the 59-point beating suffered against Serbia. 5 Number of years since Gilas Pilipinas’ breakthrough overtime win against Senegal in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Five years to the day, Gilas tried to replicate that success by winning its first World Cup game in overtime against a different African team. Instead, Angola got the victory in extra time and the Philippines’ winning streak against African nations in the World Championships has been snapped. 23 Total points for Andray Blatche in the loss to Angola. After scoring only a combined 20 points in the losses to Italy and Serbia, Blatche came to play, finishing with 23 points and 12 rebounds against Angola. 17 Total points for CJ Perez against Angola. Perez continues to impress in the World Cup, once again emerging as the top local scorer for Gilas. CJ has increased his scoring in each of the three games in China and while he botched what would have been a game-winning play in regulation, it was also Perez that gave the Philippines a chance to win in the first place, sinking a clutch triple to force a 73-all tie against Angola. 33 percent Total field goal percentage for Gilas. Offense has not been good for the Philippines in the World Cup as the national team struggled to get buckets in Foshan. Against Angola, Gilas played catch up for almost the entire game mostly because they couldn’t put together any decent runs on offense. 10 Total three-pointers for Gilas Pilipinas. Gilas connected on six triples from the fourth quarter onwards but it was still an ugly shooting performance for the national team. The Philippines was only 4/24 from deep at halftime and finished the game at 10/46, which is only 21.7 percent. Gilas is shooting below 20 percent from deep for the whole tournament, and is the second-worst out of all teams in the World Cup.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 5th, 2019

Impressive rookies

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the other day he’s over the moon with the performance of Gilas rookies C. J. Perez and Robert Bolick in the FIBA World Cup here and it’s a positive sign for the future of Philippine basketball in the international realm......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 5th, 2019

Future bright for Gilas Girls after bronze finish in FIBA 3x3 U18 Asia

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas Girls proved they are a force to be reckoned with in the continent after clinching the bronze medal in the FIBA 3x3 U18 Asia Cup in Cyberjaya, Malaysia. And in order to achieve the feat, the Philippines took down no less than top seed ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 26th, 2019

FIBA: Every win counts for Gilas Pilipinas as World Cup nears

Gilas Pilipinas’ first game against Australia’s Adelaide 36ers has served its purpose. The Philippine national team got valuable input as it played its penultimate tune-up game ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China. Against an athletic 36ers team, Gilas got a glimpse of things that work and things that won’t within their current system. “I felt like it was a good practice for us. Good practice game,” center Andray Blatche said. “We see some of our weaknesses and some things we got to fix and be better at,” he added. Against the 36ers, Blatche posted strong all-around numbers of 19 points, 18 rebounds, and nine assists. The stat that carried more weight though is the number nine, which was Gilas’ final margin of victory against Adelaide. “Overall I feel like we competed, we stayed in the game, no matter how tough times got, we didn’t lose our composure,” Blatche said. “And we came away with the win and that’s the most important thing, the win,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 23rd, 2019

Kai Sotto now officially listed at 7 feet and two inches tall

Kai Sotto is reaching near true unicorn status. Kai, seen as the can't-miss future of Philippine basketball, has grown to an imposing 7'2" according to a post EWP in Atlanta that was re-posted in Sotto's stories.         View this post on Instagram                   @kzsotto Kai grew an extra inch. @p3sportscience P3 keeping tabs. A post shared by EWP (@eastwestprivate) on Aug 12, 2019 at 11:18am PDT Sotto is back in the US to resume his overseas training as he tries to get a shot at making it to the NBA. Kai recently came back to Manila to rejoin Gilas Pilipinas Youth as they prepared for the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece. [Related: Gilas Youth closes campaign in 2019 World Cup at 14th-place] The former Ateneo High School star led the World Cup in blocks as Gilas Youth finished the World Championships in 14th place, beating China......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 13th, 2019

2019 FIBA U19 World Cup Preview: Philippines vs New Zealand

The Philippines finally had a breakthrough in the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup in Heraklion Greece, beating Asian rivals China, 86-72, to be assured of at least 14th place in the biennial competition.  Their final game today will be against another team from the FIBA Asia zone -- New Zealand, which placed 2nd place overall in last year's 2018 FIBA U18 Asia Cup in Thailand and defeated Senegal last night, 87-71.  It will be a tough final assignment for coach Sandy Arespcochaga's wards, who are coming in riding high with confidence after their convincing triumph over the Chinese. The Filipinos bucked the limited minutes of Kai Sotto in that encounter as the 7'2” prized center was saddled with foul trouble and could only register 5 points, 2 rebounds, a 1 block in 13 minutes of play. Answering the call were Dave Ildefonso, Carl Tamayo, James Spencer, and Rhayyan Amsali, all of whom scored in double-digits for the Philippines.  Needless to say, it'll take another supreme team effort today if the Filipinos are to stave off what should be a very strong challenge from the Kiwis, who likewise put up a convincing win yesterday against the Senegalese.  In that match, versatile guard Flynn Cameron stood out. The DePaul University Blue Demon has been inconsistent in Heraklion, but he had his best game yet against Senegal, scoring 19 points on top of 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 7 steals, and 2 blocks.  Another Junior Tall Black to worry about is Euro-based Max Darling, who plies his trade for Croatia's KK Vrijednosnice Osijek. The 6'6” inside operator is one of the most athletic players in the entire field, and he has been on a tear in New Zealand's last two games, averaging 19.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per outing. Don't be surprised if he tries his hand at slowing Kai down in the paint.  Speaking of Kai, he has stumbled out of the top 10 most efficient players in the tournament after last night's below par showing, and it would be great to see him bounce back in a big way here.  The former Ateneo Blue Eaglet is among the youngest studs in Heraklion and will still be eligible for the next U19 World Cup should the Philippines qualify anew. He is currently averaging 12.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks per game, but he will likely need even better numbers against New Zealand if Gilas Youth is to end its campaign on a bright note.  He'll expect much help from the aforementioned Ildefonso and Tamayo, who really played with aplomb against China. Ildefonso was nearly unstoppable, shooting 7 out of 12 from the floor, including 4 triples en route to an impressive 21-point, 7-assist, 6-rebound stat-line. Tamayo, for his part, was splendid with 20 points and 6 rebounds while hitting 3 triples. If those two guys can puncture the hoops again and complement Kai's inside game, the Philippines has a fair chance of finishing 13th place overall......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 7th, 2019

2019 FIBA U19 World Cup Preview: Philippines vs Argentina

It was a nightmare of a start for Gilas Youth on Day 1 of the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup as prized big man Ariel John Edu injured his knee in a very bad way barely two minutes into the first quarter of the team's tournament opener against host Greece.  And though the Philippines fought gallantly, even leading by seven points after the first canto, they just couldn't keep the Greeks at bay for long and succumbed to a deeper Hellas quintet by game's end, 85-69.  Now the Filipino boys face even stiffer competition against the 3rd best team from last year's 2018 FIBA U18 Americas Championship -- Argentina.  The Argentines landed on the U18 Americas podium just behind perennial powerhouse Team USA and defending U19 World Champion Canada. Led by Virginia big man Francisco Caffaro and head coach Maximiliano Seigorman, Argentina won four of their six games en route to their top three finish.  On Day 1 of the current U19 World Cup in Crete, Argentina had to scramble in the end to survive a big challenge from Russia in overtime, 86-84. Prolific guard Juan Ignacio Marcos paced the victors with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals, while Caffaro led them in scoring with 17 points on 7/12 FG shooting.  It's obvious that coach Sandy Arespacochaga's crew will have to focus on containing those two guys tonight, and that task will be made even more difficult with Edu's apparent ACL injury (compounded by a meniscus tear and hairline femur fracture).  That will effectively double the pressure on wunderkind Kai Sotto to do a yeoman's job around the basket while also throwing a wrench into the projected rotation of the Gilas Youth coaching staff.  Now back-up guys Geo Chiu and Carl Tamayo will have to work extra had and play extra minutes to fill Edu's void and complement Sotto's game as much as they can.  This is where Gilas Youth is feeling the pinch of a couple of key absences in the frontline. One is De La Salle-Zobel's 6'8" beanpole Raven Cortez, who could have given the team even more ceiling, length, and athleticism had it not been for his own needed recovery time in sick bay.  Another is 6'10" Filipino-American Quentin Millora-Brown, who just committed to US NCAA Division 1 program Vanderbilt. Millora-Brown was approached by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas officials to woo him into playing for Batang Gilas as early as 2016, but he just couldn't get his paperwork in order before his 16th birthday, rendering him ineligible to play as a local for the Philippines in the future.  A lot of pressure will also be on the Philippines' guards, namely Gerry Abadiano, Dave Ildefonso, and Miguel Oczon. They were solid against the Greeks last night, but it will take even better play from them if they hope to pull the rug from under Argentina tonight.  Even more crucial will be the play of Fil-Italian Dalph Panopio, who, at times, looked flustered last night and who seemed unsure of his place in the team's system. If Panopio bounces back with a big game tonight and cancels out Marcos's production, Gilas Youth will have a shot at a monumental upset.  After everything, though, needless to say as it may seem, much of the Pinoys' collective fate will rest on Sotto's shoulders. The 7'2" slotman had a respectable outing against Greece's generally smaller frontline, but against a big name like Caffaro, the former Blue Eaglet has to deliver the goods in a big way. It'll be easier said than done, of course, as Argentina is expected to thrown their platoon of bigs, which, apart from 7'0" Caffaro, also includes 6'9" Bautista Lugarini and two guys Sotto faced at last year's U17 World Cup -- Juan Francisco Fernandez and Tomas Chapero, both also standing 6'9"......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 30th, 2019

James Harden happy to see the likes of Kai Sotto aspire to make it to the NBA

Houston Rockets star James Harden is more than delighted to see international talents aspire to one day reach the NBA as well.  The seven-time All-Star is currently in the Philippines for the adidas Free to Harden Manila 2019 tour, and was able field some questions from the media, Wednesday morning.  One of the questions that Harden was asked was what he thought of young basketball players like our very own Kai Sotto working hard to make it into the league, and what they needed to do to actually realize their dream.  The 7-foot-2 Sotto, who is currently with Gilas Youth for the FIBA U-19 World Championship in Greece, trained in the United States with the intention of pursuing an NBA career in the near future. "Amazing, not just Filipino, but international players, there’s so many international players who are making it into the NBA, it’s great," Harden said during the media interviews. "We’re taking the NBA not just for the US, but worldwide, and it gives kids, not just Filipino, not just in China, all over the world the confidence like ‘Look at my Filipino buddy who made it into the NBA. Look at my Chinese buddy who made it into the NBA. I have the confidence, I have the chance and the opportunity to make it. If I work hard, if I focus, if I keep my head right in school and stay in the gym, I can make it to the NBA too!’ so globally, the game of basketball is at another level." With Harden's steady rise to superstardom all over the world, more and more young hoopers have grown to appreciate Harden's unique style of play. All over the globe, more and more kids have started practicing the stepback jumper or the EuroStep in traffic after seeing Harden execute those moves to perfection.  Harden admits to having also learned those moves from ones who came before him, and hopes to see the next generation of hoops stars also take those moves or create their own moves and make them even better.  "Honestly, it feels great. Those moves, I learned them from someone. I watched Dwyane Wade, Manu [Ginobili], as far as the EuroStep, Paul Pierce had a crazy stepback, so I watched those guys and I learned, and I just studied and I tried to figure out ways to do those moves and be better at them, take those moves to another level, that’s what I’ve done, especially for the stepback."  "Hopefully, these kids, they’re studying and watching the game of basketball and they’re finding was to be better and hopefully they’ll take those moves or create different moves and take their basketball game to another level," he added.  Speaking of confidence, "The Beard" touched on seeing kids having confidence in their game as somewhat a motivating factor. He shared a story of a kid that he met in his most recent trip China that showed an impressive level of confidence at such a young age.  "Back when I was in China, I seen this little kid, who was maybe 7 years old, and he could shoot the ball and he had so much confidence. He hit a couple of shots in a row in front of like 5,000 people in an arena, and I was like ‘You know what, let’s see you make another shot, you can have my shoes.’ and he was like ‘Alright!’, and just shot it with so much confidence, and when he made it, it was like he knew he was going to make it already." "That’s what I love to see, that motivates me to continue to go out there and do it at a high level because you got kids that really follow and pay attention to what you’re doing and your every move, so that keeps me going," Harden continued. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 26th, 2019