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Gilas player to fans: No below the belt remarks against Korea…please

By JONAS TERRADO The South Korea cage team received praise on social media for cleaning its locker room after suffering a second straight defeat to Gilas Pilipinas at the conclusion of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers. A photo tweeted by Aldo Tong showed a very tidy locker room inside the Angeles University Foundation Sports and […].....»»

Category: newsSource: tempo tempoJun 21st, 2021

Gilas all-homegrown in Qatar FIBA play

Unlike opponents South Korea and Indonesia, Gilas Pilipinas will play the coming FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in its new location in Doha, Qatar without a naturalized player......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 29th, 2021

Gilas bracing for all-out stand vs Korea

Gilas Pilipinas vowed to be battle-ready for South Korea with or without the Asian power’s naturalized player, former PBA import Ricardo Ratliffe......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2021

Remember KYK’s kind words to Pinoy volleyball fans?

Filipino volleyball fans are the best in the world. They are extremely passionate, warm and very friendly.      Ask any foreign player who has played in the country about the local fans and the answer will be the same: it’s quite an experience. Even Korean volleyball star Kim Yeon-Koung experienced firsthand the one of a kind love of Pinoy fans for the sport. Three years ago KYK, who is one of the highest-paid and most popular volleyball stars in the world, came to the country to represent South Korea in the 19th AVC Asian Senior Women's Volleyball Championship. Fourteen teams participated in the competition held at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna and at the Muntinlupa Sports Center. South Korea played in both venues and Pinoy fans would fill the arena to watch and cheer for the Koreans. Even KYK was surprised for the amount of love she and her teammates received from the crowd. “I didn’t expect that there’s much people supporting me here in the Philippines. When I came here I’m really surprised that a lot of people are supporting me and they know me,” she said then. The Korean superstar even went as far as saying that the Filipino fans made her feel like playing on home soil. “Thank you so much to the Filipino fans, when I play here (it feels) like I’m playing at home. It was great to play here,” she said. KYK's most memorable experience was when she received a bouquet of flowers from a four-year-old boy after Korea’s bronze medal win. But aside from the warmth of the supporters, the Philippine national team in that tournament earned the respect of KYK and Koreans. Although the Jaja Santiago and Alyssa Valdez-led Filipinas bowed down to the powerhouse opponents in straight sets in the quarterfinals classification round, the gritty host squad forced Korea to field KYK throughout the whole match for the first-time in the tournament. KYK also admired the improvement of the PHI squad compared to their match in the 2015 edition. KYK sat out in the said encounter in China. Overall, KYK truly enjoyed her stay in the country. All thanks to the Filipino fans.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2020

FIBA: Mighty Jimmy and the shot that introduced Gilas to the World

This story was originally published on Feb. 24, 2019 It’s Saturday night at Mall of Asia and the arena is absolutely rocking. Eternal basketball rivals in the Philippines and South Korea are delivering another classic. Gilas Pilipinas is down to the final minute of regulation against its longtime tormentor in the second of two semifinal games. The national team is up by two, 81-79. The Philippines is hosting the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships where three tickets to the 2014 World Cup are at stake and the winner of this particular game gets one of those tickets. Given the rich history of both teams and what it would mean to the winner, this pivotal game has gone down the wire as everyone pretty much expected. Also knowing the history of both teams in international play, Gilas’ precarious two-point lead was not safe at all. A ghost was lurking in the background and a dreaded curse felt almost inevitable. Down to the final minute of the crucial grudge match between the Philippines and South Korea, guard Jimmy Alapag has the ball and a two-point lead. What he will do will help define not only his career but the legacy of the Gilas name as a national team.   WAKE-UP CALL Even before the Philippines-Korea game, Gilas Pilipinas already had to go through one emotional game early in its homestand for the Asian Championships. In a preliminary round showdown against Chinese Taipei, the Filipinos collapsed in the fourth quarter, allowing the Taiwanese to steal a morale-boosting 84-79 win. In 2013, the relationship between the two countries hit a rough patch over the death of one Taiwanese fisherman. In an updated May 17 report by CNN’s Jethro Mullen, “Taiwan has reacted angrily after one of its fishermen was killed by a Philippine coast guard vessel.” Taiwan had frozen applications from OFWs seeking jobs in its territory and the government of then President Ma Ying-jeou demanded an apology, among other things, from the Philippines. While the national basketball teams of both countries never really had any prior animosity with each other, tension was naturally present as both teams squared off in Group A action. Gilas Pilipinas and Chinese-Taipei both entered the showdown with identical 2-0 records and the winner would take control of solo Group A lead heading into round 2. Taking a good lead into the fourth quarter, the Philippines was outscored by 18 in the last 10 minutes and the national team took its worst home loss in quite some time. “At the time, it was a huge game for us. We understood what was happening in Taipei during that particular time. We really wanted to win for what our kababayans were going through at that time,” guard Jimmy Alapag said on that first home loss in the 2013 Asian Championships. “We didn’t get the job done, and it was tough especially to lose a game like that, it was a very emotional and it was a game that we knew we needed,” he added. The crushing loss meant that the Philippines had little room for error in round 2. While Gilas didn’t have any world beaters lined up in the second round, anything less than a perfect run would have meant an early clash with Asia’s established powerhouse teams in the knockout stages. On the other side of the bracket, defending champion China, Iran, and South Korea were battling for position and were expected to finish in the top-3. That means if Gilas Pilipinas failed to finish no. 1 in its group, the national team would have faced one of those teams in the quarterfinals. Gilas picked up a crucial win over Qatar in the 6th of August and the day after, the Philippines got some help from those same Qataris as they beat Taipei in a close decision. At the end of round 2, all teams finished with identical win-loss records but Gilas Pilipinas would take over first place after all tiebreaks were considered, barely edging out Taipei. The Philippines ended up avoiding defending champion China, Iran, and South Korea and instead got Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals. No. 2 Taipei drew China and the third-running Qataris were matched up with the South Koreans. “I think that was the moment we grew up and grew closer. I think that was the lowest of the lows, just because of the atmosphere and what was going on between both countries. It kind of felt that we let our end of the bargain down, you know what I mean? We’re on our home soil and we didn’t take care of business. I think that was one of those moments where we had to really check ourselves and find a way to make it right,” forward Gabe Norwood said of the Taipei loss. “But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. In tournaments like FIBA-Asia it’s important that you have short-term memory whether it was a win or a loss. We needed to let go of that game and continue to stay the course, keep our focus in the tournament,” Alapag added. On August 7, four days after Gilas lost to Taipei, the rift between the Philippines and Taiwan would reach a resolution and the latter country lifted its freeze hiring and other sanctions on the former. The Philippines also did issue on official apology over the death of the Taiwanese fisherman a couple of months prior and the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila recommended the pressing of homicide charges to erring members of the Philippine Coast Guard.   DARK HISTORY If the word “rival” is to be defined as a, “person or group that tries to defeat or be more successful than another person or group” then sure, the Philippines and South Korea are rivals. Both countries are rivals in the Asian basketball scene and they have been going at it for a very long time. But if the word rival can also mean “equal” or “peer,” is the Philippines really a worthy basketball rival to South Korea? The Philippines’ history with South Korea in terms of basketball is dark. Very dark. Consider the most high-profile matches between the two countries and you’ll see that the Philippine national team is just not at the level of South Korea. Or at the very least, Koreans always seem to reach 120 percent of their potential when they play Filipinos and we barely bring out 80 percent of our abilities when matched up against our East Asian neighbors. The 1998 PBA Centennial team, arguably the greatest Philippine team ever assembled, was demolished by South Korea in the Asian Games. A national team set up for gold only settled for bronze. Speaking of a bronze medal game, the original Gilas Pilipinas team lost a podium finish to South Korea in the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championships. That team squandered a double-digit lead and collapsed late. Of course, who can forget the semifinals of the 2002 Asian Games in Busan when Olsen Racela had the chance to put the Philippines up four but missed two free throws. South Korea would win with a booming triple at the buzzer off a broken play and would later take down China to capture the gold medal. South Korea is the Philippines’ basketball nemesis for all intents and purposes. A worthy adversary that always seem to emerge victorious at our expense. Still, all that previous disappointment didn’t seem to bother Gilas Pilipinas six years ago. The team was not scared and instead, they were excited even. One factor to greatly consider was that fact that the game was in Manila. It makes all the difference to play at home. “We understood the bad history that we had with Korea. We haven’t been very successful with them in quite some time but we knew from Day 1 that if ever we got an opportunity to play them at home, then we have a great chance,” Alapag said. “Man, pre-game, it was just the focus. Everybody was up for the challenge, I don’t think anybody was really nervous, I think it was just the anxiety... we wanted to get out there and do it already,” Norwood added. Playing at home had its perks for sure, but it also had its drawbacks. For all the painful losses the Philippines suffered at the hands of South Korea, it would have been devastating if Gilas actually took a beating in Manila. Stakes were extra high in this particular chapter of this long, ongoing saga. “There was always pressure, it was something that we acknowledged early. Playing at home, it’s great having that support but at the same time, there is some added pressure because you wanna make sure that you make our home crowd proud of the team that they watch and ultimately, win games,” Alapag said, making sure to note that the national team knew of the disadvantages of playing at home even before the Korea game. “It was there but it was something that we acknowledged and we wanted to make sure that we took advantage of the opportunity playing at home,” he added.   ALL FILIPINO, ALL HEART Once it was go time, the Philippines-South Korea game went about pretty normal, as you would expect any game from these two national teams. But even before halftime, an injury to Gilas center Marcus Douthit changed the complexion of the semifinals showdown. All of a sudden, the Philippines was without its anchor, without its best player. Sure, there were players on the Gilas bench that can come in and replace Douthit’s size but there was simply no one on the Gilas bench that can come in and replace his talent, production, and just overall presence. June Mar Fajardo was in that Gilas bench but it 2013, the would-be five-time PBA Most Valuable Player was just not at that level yet. It would have been easy for Gilas Pilipinas to fold like cheap furniture and succumb to the overwhelming pressure of trying to overcome South Korea to reach a stage very few Filipinos have reached before. Gilas didn’t fold and instead, the Douthit injury rallied the team even further. “Alam mo sa totoo lang, puso na lang yun eh. Nung nawala si Marcus talaga, sabi ni coach kailangan doble kayod tayo. Dahil sobrang dehado tayo kumbaga, wala na tayong import, wala tayong malaki,” forward Marc Pingris said. With Douthit gone, Ping ate up all of his minutes and worked by committee with guys like Ranidel De Ocampo and Japeth Aguilar to fill in the gaps. “As a player naman, kami nagusap-usap kami na kahit anong mangyari, lalaban kami. Yung time na yun, talagang patay kung patay,” Ping added. Despite losing its best player to an untimely injury, Gilas Pilipinas’ confidence in winning never wavered. With their collective backs against the wall, the Philippine national team played even better. Unlike the later iterations of Gilas Pilipinas, the 2013 team, aptly called Gilas 2.0, had the luxury of having actual preparation before the FIBA-Asia Championships. The amount of work that came before the tournament and the Korea game, the bond built over countless hours of training, all of that helped the national team avoid a monumental meltdown in front of a rabid Manila crowd. “We were such a close-knit team in terms of our chemistry, in terms of the talent that we had, so we felt confident even when Marcus went down early in the game. If you looked at our huddle, you had 11 more very confident guys, not just in themselves but more importantly, in each other,” Alapag said. “That just boiled down to the chemistry that we had. I don’t think any of us panicked, we were all confident in each other. We’ve all been into that situation with our PBA teams, having the ball in our hands and making a play. Knowing that we had five weapons on the floor that could make the winning play, I think it made us very confident and we were able to sustain our composure,” the former Gilas captain added.   THE GHOST AND ITS CURSE Shin Dong Pa, Hur Jae, Lee Sang-min, Oh Se-Keun, TJ Moon, and Cho Sung-min are just some players from the South Korean national team that inflicted incredible damage to the Philippines over the course of decades. The dreaded Ghost of South Korea takes form in these players and its curse is to give Filipinos the most heart-crushing loss possible. In 2013, the Ghost was Kim Min-goo and his curse was to beat Gilas Pilipinas in Manila. Despite losing Marcus Douthit and trailing by three points at the break, the Philippines started to turn the tables in the second half. Gilas Pilipinas unleashed Jayson Castro and the Blur led a blazing offense in the third quarter, finding a way to take a 10-point lead over South Korea, the Philippines’ largest of the night. But as the dust settled and Gilas holding a 65-56 lead entering the final period, an ominous figure would make his presence felt. The Korean Ghost has arrived and his name was Kim Min-goo. His curse? Beat Gilas Pilipinas in Manila. Kim was 22 and a senior in college when he made the South Korean national basketball team as a backup shooter in 2013. In nine games in Manila, Kim would play well enough to make the tournament’s All-Star team, averaging 12.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. He led Asian Championships with 25 three-point field goals, 10 came in the last two games and five came against Gilas Pilipinas. Kim drilled back-to-back triples to open the fourth quarter against the Philippines. Later, his fifth triple — a four-point play at that — pushed the Koreans to within a point, 72-73. South Korea would take over soon after as Lee Seung-jun dunked the basketball on a fastbreak. The Ghost has arrived and his curse is in effect. “Ako pumasok sa isip ko yun nung lumamang Korea, na putek ito na naman,” Pingris said. “Pero ang sabi ko, sayang yung opportunity, kaya naman eh. So sabi ni Jimmy samin, no matter what happens wag kami gi-give up. Pinaghirapan natin to at may goal tayo, this year aalis tayo,” he added, noting the team’s goal to get into Spain and compete with the world’s best national teams. Faced with the possibility of dealing with a devastating defeat, Gilas had enough mental fortitude to keep things going. Trust your system, trust your preparation, trust your crowd, trust your teammates, and more importantly, trust yourselves. “You’re never out of the game if you’re playing at home,” Norwood said as they stared a deficit late against their destined rivals. “I think that was our mindset, keep it close and just find a way,” he added. Jimmy Alapag found a way.   BORN READY Down 73-75, Jimmy Alapag was under heavy duress when he let go of a three-pointer from the left wing just in front of his bench. It was good to go. The Philippines was back on top by one as Alapag somehow managed to get his team to snap out of an initial shock following Korea’s strong fourth-quarter rally. The stage is now set for a wild finish and Jimmy will star in the final act of what has been an incredible show by Gilas and South Korea. “In situations like that, as an athlete and as a pro, that’s the situations that you dream about,” Alapag said.  “Those are shots that you practice when you were a kid. When the shot clock is winding down, to have an opportunity to knock down a shot. It’s a shot that I practiced thousands of times,” he added. After the Philippines and South Korea traded baskets for the lead, Alapag made perhaps the most underrated play in this crazy and emotional encounter between two basketball rivals. Tasked with inbounding the ball just near underneath his own basket, Alapag found his Talk ‘N Text teammate Ranidel De Ocampo for an open look at three. Swish. Gilas leads, 81-77, with 91 seconds to go. “Ranidel was my favorite target for a very, very long time in my career,” Alapag said on the play that most people probably don’t even remember. “Once I saw that he got open, I wanted to make sure that I gave him as great a pass as possible and Ranidel has been known for a long time to take care of the rest,” he added.   THE EXORCIST “Yeah, I was right under the basket,” Gabe Norwood says with a laugh when asked if he remembers the shot that changed the course of Gilas Pilipinas as a national team. Late in the fourth quarter of what was essentially a heavyweight bout, the Philippines just landed two strong haymakers but South Korea would refuse to go down without a fight, beating the count of 10 each time. Down to the final minute of a crucial grudge match with a World Cup berth on the line, Jimmy Alapag had his hands on the basketball as Gilas would go to its halfcourt set. Jimmy will never let go of said basketball. Up two, Jimmy did what Olsen wished he could 11 years prior. Up two against South Korea in a pivotal semifinal game, Alapag received a screen from Marc Pingris, which was enough to momentarily shake off Kim Tae-sul. With some room, Alapag drifted to his left and let a three-point shot fly. Boom. Gilas leads, 84-79, with 54 seconds to go. The shot would later be remembered as the one that ended the Korean Curse, the one that finally exorcised the Ghost. “The first thought that came to my mind was don’t miss,” Jimmy said of the clutch jumper. “That last one, Ping sets a good screen and I got a clean look. It’s a shot that myself, and Jayson [Castro], and Larry [Fonacier], and Gary [David], and Jeff [Chan], all of us, we practice that shot time and time again after practice. So you know, it was a shot that I was confident in but in that moment, all you’re thinking about was don’t miss,” he added. It’s one thing to be confident in yourself and to be confidednt in your preparation. It’s a different thing to actually perform under such pressure. As soon as Alapag managed to shoot his shot, Gabe Norwood did what any other good teammate would do and got in position to get the offensive rebound. You know, just in case. Gabe got the ball alright, but he got it after it swished through the rim. “When he put the shot up, I tried to crash for the rebound but I basically knew that it was going in,” he said. “I had probably the best view, I was right under the basket. I think caught it after it went through too,” Norwood added. Alapag checked out moments later as the Philippines went to its defensive lineup in order to stop another Korean comeback. South Korea turned to its most effective shooter in Kim and as he rose up to try and answer Alapag’s triple, Norwood met him at the apex for the game’s most dramatic stop. Gabe blocked Kim and Gilas would finish things off with a final Marc Pingris basket on the other end. A historic 86-79 win was complete. “I still get chills thinking about it, to look up and see grown men just breaking down. My wife was trying to hold my kids and she was holding back tears. It was just an awesome moment, the bond that we had on that team, the stuff that we did to get prepare, I think we poured it all out in that game,” Norwood said on the monumental victory. “I think it probably didn’t hit me until the final buzzer sounded. Not just for me but for the entire team, when that final buzzer sounded, it was such a special group of guys and the fact that we could share that moment with not just with each other but the entire country, it’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” Alapag added, savoring the moment of a Philippine win over Korea 28 years in the making.   THE INTRODUCTION Gilas Pilipinas would lose to Iran the next day in the Finals of the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships. The Philippines put up a fight but Hamed Haddadi would prove to be too powerful to stop. It would take another two years for Gilas to beat Iran but that didn’t really matter in the moment. The Philippines is headed to the World Championships for the first time in three decades. The Philippines has beaten South Korea and one singular shot has allowed the Gilas name to be known around the world. Jimmy wouldn’t say that though. At least not directly in that way. “For me, that shot was the biggest for my career. But really, it was our entire team. We’ve gone through so much and that was just one particular play that really culminated the entire game and all the contributions from other guys from Gabe’s defense, to Ping’s rebounding, to Japeth’s rim protecting, to Jayson and LA doing a lot of the legwork,” Alapag said. “Everybody had their part in contribution to the game. After the shot, after the buzzer sounded, it was just a very special moment for us as a team and for Philippine basketball to show that all of the sacrifices, all of the hard work, now it’s given an opportunity to re-introduce ourselves to the world,” he added. Jimmy wouldn’t say it, but his teammates would. That shot of his that beat South Korea in the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships introduced the Gilas name to the world. It announced that the Philippines has finally arrived. Gilas’ breakthrough overtime win a year later in Spain against Senegal — a game Jimmy pretty much decided late as well — made it known that Filipinos are here to stay on the World stage. “I would say so, it got us to where we wanted to be in the World Cup. I think we shocked some people there as well. But just the work that went in, I think it showed the country that we can get back to where we want to be as long as you work together,” Norwood said. “Yung puso ni Jimmy, grabe naman. Makikita mo maliit pero gusto lang niya talaga manalo. Ang liit pero parang lion pag nagalit eh, nandoon yung tiwala namin sa kanya. Ano pa ba masasabi mo, Jimmy is Jimmy Alapag,” Pingris would add.   [NOTES: At the time of original publishing, Gilas Pilipinas was fighting to make a return trip to the FIBA World Cup, this time in China in 2019. To secure its slot, the the Philippine national team needed to beat Kazakhstan in Astana plus a loss from Japan, Jordan, and/or Lebanon. One of the teams that can help Gilas is South Korea... ironically. Jimmy Alapag retired from national team play in 2014 and retired playing for good in 2016. He has since made himself a champion basketball coach in the ABL. Marc Pingris suffered an ACL injury in 2018 and is in the process of returning for his PBA team in the current 2019 season. Gabe Norwood is still in Gilas. He’s still an effective two-way weapon. He can still dunk and will stop your best player too.]   [Updated Notes: The Philippines beat Kazakhstan to make the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China. Gilas got help from... South Korea. The Koreans beat Lebanon on the road, allowing Gilas to advance to the World Championships outright with a victory over Kazakhstan.]   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2020

Kai Sotto in the 'NBA Radar' with G League stint

With Kai Sotto in the G League, all eyes will be on him. That's true for pretty much all local basketball fans as Kai attempts to become the first homegrown Filipino to play in the NBA. With Kai in the G League, NBA eyes will be on him as well. Just how well Sotto plays in the Select Team with other high-profile prospects like 2020 no. 1 Jalen Green could determine whether he gets drafted or not in a couple of years. "For now that was the best option because the people being the G League are also the NBA people. This is an NBA project," former Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes said on Coaches Unfiltered about Kai's most latest move in the US. "It was good strategically for Kai to be there so that he's already in the "NBA radar" and part of the NBA family. It's going to improve his chances of eventually getting drafted," he added. Kai in the G League gives the 7'2" teen the best competition he can get as he prepares for the NBA. Armed with height, youth, and skill, harnessing all that potential really takes priority. Well, that and making sure his body is built for the big boy league. "For me, it's not really the skills. I have no worry about Kai's skills, he has all the skills for a basketball player. I think he's gained 22 or 24 pounds already? [And] there's specific movements that their working on with his bio mechanics. Those are the little things their working on," coach Chot said of Kai. "Being around Jalen Green and all that, that means everyday he's going to get top-level competition. That's what Kai needs. He needs to toughen up, sa tagalog tawag natin kailangan niya mabugbog," Reyes added. — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 9th, 2020

Philippines-Korea are 'new and old school' basketball says Ratliffe

For someone who is neither Filipino or South Korean — by birth that is — Ricardo Ratfliffe sure has a pretty unique relationship with the two eternal Asian basketball rivals. After more than half a decade of playing as an import for the Korean Basketball League, Ratfliffe found himself in the PBA, playing a couple of stints for the Star Hotshots in back-to-back Commissioner's Cups. Ratliffe's PBA stints ended up being short, as he eventually got naturalized to play for the South Korean national team. Exposed to the basketball style of two different countries, Ratliffe says that there's a distinct contrast between the Philippines and South Korea. "I think the style of play in the Philippines is more like American style. It's more flashy and entertaining. I feel like you guys are going with the evolution," Ratliffe said on a recent appearance on 2OT with PBA broadcasters Magoo Marjon and Carlo Pamintuan. "In Korea, I think it's more of an old school style. People don't go out of their element. The Philippines is more like new school and I think Korea is more old school," he added. In about three years as a national team member, Ratliffe has become part of the ongoing Philippines-South Korea basketball saga. Ratliffe has two signature moments so far, the first was in the 2018 Asian Games when his squad took down a Gilas Pilipinas team led by Jordan Clarkson. [Related: Before 2018 Asiad meeting, Clarkson and Ratliffe actually go way back] The second came on the final day of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Ratliffe willed Korea to win a non-bearing road game against Lebanon, with the victory becoming the help the Philippines needed to advance to the World Championships. As if he wasn't popular enough among Filipino fans, that Korea win made Ratliffe all the more appreciated in the Philippines. "I think I had like about a thousand DMs [on Instagram]," Ratliffe recalled. "Right after the game I posted the Philippine flag with a heart on my story, so that everyone knew I was going out there to give it my all and I did. I thought I played decent, I didn't play my best game but I gave it my best," he added. [Related: Gilas has nemesis Korea to thank for FIBA World Cup berth] While he's become a legend in his own right in South Korea, Ratliffe says he won't hesitate to take his talents back to the PBA if given the chance in the future. Ratliffe never played a full conference with the Hotshots, but his arrivals always did boost the team. "I think it was a match made in heaven [with the Hotshots]," Ratliffe said. "I'm appreciative of the organization, the fans, and the whole country. If I didn't get the [Korean] passport, I'm going to the Philippines every season after I'm done with Korea until I retire. That was my plan," he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 16th, 2020

PBA: Lee on closed-door games: ' Nakaka-baba ng energy'

The PBA took one major step towards a comeback when it secured government clearance to have teams start practice. If the league does return this year following the COVID-19 pandemic, a "new normal" will have the PBA more than likely play with little to no fans inside the venue. Perhaps, the PBA may actually play behind closed-doors. From a player's perspective, the prospect of playing with no fans can be a little draining. "Medyo iba yung pakiramdam nun, kasi first time mangyari satin sa PBA yun," Magnolia guard Paul Lee said on playing without fans. "Pero na-try namin yun sa FIBA, sa Araneta di ba? Wala talagang tao. Iba yung feeling, nakaka-baba ng energy yung laro, naiisip mo parang nasa practice ka lang," he added. Lee was part of the Gilas Pilipinas team that played Qatar behind closed doors two years ago for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. At the time, the Philippines was serving one of its punishments for the Gilas-Australia brawl months prior. "Kailangan masanay tayo sa ganun," Lee said on a recent episode of the PBA's Kamustahan. "Yun lang pwede natin gawin eh, ang importante dito is maka-balik tayong lahat," he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 9th, 2020

Koepka among those who have to catch up in FedEx Cup

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer The question was perplexing to Brooks Koepka, perhaps because it was missing specific context or because it takes a lot to make him worry. He was asked going into the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head if he felt any sense of urgency. “Urgency for what?” he replied. Koepka missed three months after a knee injury in October when he slipped on wet concrete at the CJ Cup in South Korea and had to withdraw. When he returned, he played five times — his only top-20 finish was a tie for 17th in Saudi Arabia — and then the COVID-19 pandemic shut down golf for three months. Having played only four PGA Tour events, he was No. 213 in the FedEx Cup standings. The only time he didn’t make it to East Lake for the FedEx Cup finale was in 2015, when he missed a month with an ankle injury. He finished 35th. Koepka was unaware that history is working against him this year. In the last 10 years, Jim Furyk is the only player to be outside the top 200 in the FedEx Cup standings with nine events remaining and reach the postseason. “I just go play golf, just keep doing what I’m doing,” Koepka said that day. “I feel like I’m playing good, so eventually it will come.” He closed with a 65 at Harbour Town to finish seventh and moved up 56 spots to No. 148. And then he withdrew the following week from the Travelers Championship out of caution when his caddie, Ricky Elliott, tested positive for the coronavirus. He returns to the Workday Charity Open this week having slipped seven spots to No. 155. Six tournaments are on the schedule between now and the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Furyk in 2016 turned it around with a runner-up finish at the U.S. Open. Only one major and one World Golf Championship remain on the schedule. Koepka has company in that regard. British Open champion Shane Lowry spent most of his time on the European Tour late last year and into the first month of 2020, so he has only seven starts on the PGA Tour and is at No. 148. C.T. Pan, who played in the Presidents Cup, has missed seven of nine cuts since January and is No. 182. Sergio Garcia is at No. 122. One week can change everything. Dustin Johnson, who missed the entire fall recovering from knee surgery, was off to a slow start before the pandemic and missed the cut at Colonial upon his return. Two weeks later, he won the Travelers Championship and moved up to No. 22. Koepka still has the World Golf Championship at TPC Southwind, where he won last year, and the PGA Championship, where he tries to become the first player to win three straight times in stroke play. There is time. Plus, he's not one to sweat such matters. BONES ON THE BAG Matt Fitzpatrick came over from England for the restart of the PGA Tour, and caddie Billy Foster stayed behind. The idea was for Fitzpatrick to get used to the protocols, and then Foster would join him for the World Golf Championship in Memphis, Tennessee, and the PGA Championship in San Francisco. Fitzpatrick used Cayce Kerr for three tournaments. And then he got an offer he couldn’t refuse for two weeks at Muirfield Village: Jim “Bones” Mackay, the longtime looper for Phil Mickelson who now does course commentary for NBC Sports. “I was absolutely shocked,” Fitzpatrick said. “Everyone knows his place in the game and how well he’s done. Even just walking around here, people are excited to see him back and on tour. For me, I was very taken aback.” It wasn’t an accident. Fitzpatrick has an endorsement with Workday, whose CEO knows Mackay and suggested he reach out to Fitzpatrick. They will be working together the next two weeks at the Workday Charity Open and the Memorial. LET’S PLAY TWO Muirfield Village is hosting different PGA Tour events in consecutive weeks, which hasn’t happened in 63 years. The last time was in 1957, when Roberto de Vicenzo won the All American Open against an 83-man field at Tam O’Shanter Club in Illinois. Dick Mayer won the World Championship of Golf on the same course a week later. That was the 10th straight season that the All American Open and World Championship of Golf were held at Tam O’Shanter in successive weeks. Lloyd Mangrum was the only player to win both events in the same year (1948). According to the PGA Tour, there was one other tournament held on the same course in back-to-back weeks. That was in 1956, when the Dallas Centennial Open and the Texas International Open were held at Preston Hollow to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of Dallas being founded. Both events were never played again. DRIVE ON Maybe some of the PGA Tour players should borrow the “Drive On” slogan from the LPGA Tour. That’s all they’ve been doing since the restart last month in Texas. Russell Knox drove his RV from the north Florida coast to Colonial, and then back toward the Atlantic coast to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. From there, he and his wife went north to Connecticut to the Travelers Championship. At that point, they hired a driver (they were passengers) for the trip to Detroit, and now they’re in Ohio. But they had company. One of his closest friends on tour, Brian Stuard, also bought an RV. “We’ve been traveling along with him,” Stuard said. “Decided to do it and really enjoy it so far. Not sure if we’re going to continue to do that. Those were some long drives. But it’s worth it once you get it there.” And then there’s Viktor Hovland. The Norwegian played at Oklahoma State and still lives in Stillwater, so he decided to take the four-hour drive to Colonial. “Then I just kept on thinking, ‘Well, what if I just take my car to all these tournaments?’ I looked it up, it’s 16 hours to Hilton Head. It’s 13 hours to Connecticut. ... Yeah, been having a lot of fun so far.” He drove through the night from Fort Worth, Texas, to Hilton Head and didn’t feel great when he arrived. He took in some views from Connecticut to Detroit. “It’s really nice just driving through New York and Pennsylvania,” he said. “It’s really hilly and a lot of cool views on the way.” DIVOTS Matt Fitzpatrick is hopeful fans will return, especially for the Masters — not so much for him, but his parents. “I know my parents really want to come watch that one,” he said. ... The Senior British Open, canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will remain at Sunningdale next year. ... After his victory in Detroit, Bryson DeChambeau was listed as the betting favorite over Rory McIlroy in the three majors this year. STAT OF THE WEEK The last three PGA Tour events were won by players from the top 10 in world — Webb Simpson (9) at Hilton Head, Dustin Johnson (6) at Hartford and Bryson DeChambeau (10) at Detroit. The last time that happened was in the summer of 2018 when Johnson (1) won the Canadian Open, Justin Thomas (3) won the Bridgestone Invitational and Brooks Koepka (4) won the PGA Championship. FINAL WORD “I’ll be devastated if I don’t play well.” — Charles Barkley on playing the American Century Championship for celebrities......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 8th, 2020

Unfiltered Baldwin goes in on the PBA s 'big mistake' regarding format

Ateneo head coach and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas program director Tab Baldwin didn't hold back when he assessed the current landscape of basketball in the Philippines. Baldwin, the one-time Gilas coach who had the national team one win away from the Olympics, says that there is one glaring flaw with the way we do things here, particularly in the PBA. Coach Tab says that the PBA having only single-import conferences is a "big mistake." "We have one major flaw in the basketball landscape of the Philippines. It's a regulatory flaw and that is that in the PBA, we have three conferences with two of those are single-import conferences," Baldwin said. Coach Tab made the sizzling hot take on Coaches Unfiltered podcast. "This is a big mistake. We should never have a single import playing on a team," Baldwin added. The Ateneo mentor, who also serves as an assistant coach for the TNT KaTropa, says that imports here are given advantages by the league by way of officiating, which isn't the case for the very same imports should they play in other leagues. That inherently puts local players at a disadvantage. "So in other words, put it in layman's terms, a foul for a PBA player for a local player isn't a foul on an import, and the foul of an import, that same foul on a local player isn't a foul," Baldwin said. "So our local players are competitively disadvantaged in their ability to compete against the import players, and this is not the case in other countries," he added. Baldwin also went in on the PBA coaches, saying they're smart and doing the right thing by running their systems through the imports. However, Baldwin also said that PBA coaches can be way better if the import advantages are taken away and they're all forced to do more than just rely on one guy. "If you're a PBA coach, and you don't tactically run your systems through the import, you're pretty stupid because they are given all of the advantages. So the PBA coaches are smart lot. They're good basketball coaches," Baldwin said. "But they could be much better if they were forced to coach much more, I believe, I think then they would show their real talents. But I think that because of the way our imports are treated here, it's not sound thinking for a coach to not exploit what is obvious to every PBA coach, and that is to run your offensive systems through your import," he added. In the East Asian region, the PBA is the only major league that plays single-import tournaments. The CBA in China and the KBL in South Korea allows up to two imports per team. In the case of the CBA, teams can also employ Asian imports. The Japanese B.League allows up to three foreign players, not counting naturalized players that are considered as locals. For its 10th season, the ABL increased its import limit from two to three. The PBA likewise allowed up to two imports before, but has employed a single-import policy for a good two decades now. The 2016 Governors' Cup was the last conference when the PBA allowed teams to have two imports, with one having to be an Asian import. Not all 12 teams took the chance to employ one. Before that, the 2008 Fiesta Conference allowed the two lowest-ranked teams, then Welcoat and Coca-Cola, to have two imports but the second one had a height limit of 6'1". "I think that system it creates a false landscape for our basketball coaches and our basketball players," Baldwin said. "And I think it needs to be changed sooner rather than later," he added. Baldwin's comments on the podcast quickly drew the attention of the PBA, with Spin.ph chief Dodo Catacutan first reporting that PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial will issue a fine for Coach Tab for "statements detrimental to the league." A suspension for coach Tab is also being considered for his comments.     — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 12th, 2020

MLB: Players want more games, no more salary cuts

By RONALD BLUM AP Baseball Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball players appeared likely to propose increasing the number of regular-season games this year while holding to their demand for full prorated salaries, people familiar with their deliberations told The Associated Press. A day after Major League Baseball proposed a sliding scale of salary slashing for a pandemic-delayed season in ballparks without fans, the union held a conference call that included its executive board, player representatives and alternate player representatives, the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no details were announced. One of the people said many players were angered by the proposal teams made Tuesday. It was unclear when the union will respond to MLB's plan, the people said. Stars Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole would lose the most under MLB's plan, about 77% of the $36 million each they were set to be paid this season. In all, there are 133 players whose contracts call for salaries of $10 million or more, not including shares of signing bonuses. A big leaguer earning $1 million or less would keep at least 43% of his salary under the six-tier scale. That includes a share of $200 million earmarked for players that is contingent on the postseason being completed. About 460 of approximately 900 players on rosters and injured lists when spring training was stopped in mid-March due to the new coronavirus make $1 million or less. Trout and Cole would be cut to about $8 million each. Colorado’s Nolan Arenado would drop from $35 million to $7.84 million. “Interesting strategy of making the best most marketable players potentially look like the bad guys,” Milwaukee pitcher Brett Anderson tweeted. The players’ association called the proposal “extremely disappointing.” The union has argued players already accepted a cut to prorated shares of their salaries in a March 26 agreement and should not have to bargain again. MLB would like to start the season around the Fourth of July in empty ballparks and proposed an 82-game regular-season schedule. It claims teams would lose billions of dollars by playing with no ticket money and gate-related revenue. “This season is not looking promising,” New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman tweeted. “Keeping the mind and body ready regardless.” Union head Tony Clark has not commented publicly on MLB’s proposal and has said very little publicly since late March. Agent Scott Boras has repeatedly criticized MLB for proposing more salary reductions and has questioned the accuracy of management’s financial claims. “Hearing a LOT of rumors about a certain player agent meddling in MLBPA affairs,” Cincinnati pitcher Trevor Bauer tweeted Wednesday. “If true — and at this point, these are only rumors — I have one thing to say... Scott Boras, rep your clients however you want to, but keep your damn personal agenda out of union business.” Boras did not respond to a request for comment on Bauer’s remarks. “Working together to manage the public health issue has brought great solidarity among the players,” Boras said earlier in the day. “They are a strong united front and resolute in their support of the MLBPA.” A season with more games would lead to players earning a higher percentage of their original salaries. MLB says that without fans each additional game would result in a $640,000 loss. Brewers chairman Mark Attanasio told the Greater Milwaukee Committee on Tuesday “the be-careful-what-you-wish-for part is hours every day.” “It’s got to come together very quickly or we won’t be able to, we will just run out of time," he said. “To pay players at a full contract rate, pretty much 90% of that would go to pay them and wouldn’t cover any other costs.” Details of the plan have been disclosed to the AP by several people familiar with the proposal. They spoke on condition of anonymity because details had not been announced. MLB’s proposal says that within 48 hours of the ratification of an agreement for player compensation terms and health and safety protocols, the commissioner’s office would announce a proposed timeline for the resumption of the season. The resumption would include a training period of at least 21 days, and each team would be allowed a maximum of three exhibition games, all in the final seven days of the training period. Opening day would be in early July, and the final scheduled regular-season game would be no later than Sept. 27 — the same as in the original 2020 schedule. Issues such as roster size, trade deadlines, series length and treatment of the luxury tax would be delegated to a subcommittee. ___ AP Sports Writer Steve Megargee in Milwaukee contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 28th, 2020

Gilas survives Tunisian scare

Naturalized player Ange Kouame took charge as Gilas Pilipinas grinded out a 74-73 overtime win over African power Tunisia Thursday night in the King Abdullah Cup in Amman, Jordan......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated News32 min. ago

Federico Viñas and 'OutB Bathrooms, Trends for the First Time in America

Fans of the Uruguayan player and coach have complained about the lack of contracts in Apertura 2021 name of Federico Viñas and the hashtag #OutBaths.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2021

RJ Abarrientos admits pressure in living up to uncle Johnny s career

Knowing that his uncle is a tough act to follow, being a 12-time PBA champion, a PBA MVP, PBA Best Player of the Conference, and more individual accolades, the young Gilas gun admits its always at the back of his mind — to do as well, or even better than "The Flying A"......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 10th, 2021

Serbia s Boban Marjanovic thanks Filipino fans after Olympic qualifiers

Before Gilas Pilipinas flew back home from Belgrade, the young cagers shared a light moment with Marjanovic to show appreciation for the Philippine basketball fans......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 4th, 2021

Smart brings action real-time

Gilas Pilipinas is set for an uphill journey in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade starting tomorrow, and Filipino fans across the country have a chance to throw their unwavering support through real-time streaming on Smart Gigafest......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 30th, 2021

Gilas FIBA Olympic Qualifying games to be streamed on Smart Gigafest

Gilas Pilipinas is set for an uphill journey in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia starting Thursday and Filipino fans across the country have a chance to throw their unwavering support through real-time streaming on Smart Gigafest......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 29th, 2021

No Jokic but Serbia still a handful for PH

Gilas Pilipinas will get its hands full even against a Serbian team that will play without NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic and Bogdan Bogdanovic in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament slated from June 29 to July 4 in Belgrade, Serbia......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJun 25th, 2021

No time to rest for Gilas squad

With no time or luxury to savor its massive success against South Korea, youthful Gilas Pilipinas returns to the grind for its next mission against the likes of world power Serbia......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 21st, 2021

Gilas 5 frustrates Korea again, sweeps qualifiers

Dwight Ramos once again took charge for Gilas Pilipinas, this time firing 19 points as the hosts turned back Korea for the second time in five days, 82-77, at the close of  the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers at the Angeles University Foundation Gym in Angeles City Sunday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJun 20th, 2021

Gilas sweeps Korea

What fluke?.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 20th, 2021