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Jalalon, Thompson steer ship for coach Jamike s NCAA First 5

Jamike Jarin called the shots for National University from 2017 to 2019. Before this, the fiery mentor was at the helm of San Beda University from 2015 to 2016. Through all of that, he has had a hand in the discovery and the development of young talent for his teams as well as the game planning for the opposing rising stars. Among all of those, who are the best of the best for him? Here is Jamike Jarin's NCAA First 5, as he told ABS-CBN Sports: JIOVANI JALALON Jalalon was the biggest obstacle in San Beda's championship run in Season 92. Called by Coach Jamike himself as the best point guard in college, "The Bus Driver" was both the engine and the fuel that drove Arellano to a Finals duel against the Red Lions. There, however, he was met by Robert "The Bus Stop" Bolick and the red and white reclaimed its throne. SCOTTIE THOMPSON Coach Jamike only caught Thompson at the tail end of his collegiate career, but Season 91 still saw the latter total seven triple-doubles. "Scottie was just an extraordinary athlete," the former could only say. It's pretty much a cliché now that University of Perpetual Help's proud product could do it all, but that's just plain truth. Without a doubt, Thompson was the first and foremost problem coach Jamike had to solve as San Beda had to split its two meetings with the Altas in that tournament. KEVIN RACAL Racal was a one-man wrecking crew at either end in Colegio de San Juan de Letran's Cinderella championship in Season 91. Even sweeter for them, they did all that at the expense of archrival San Beda. Still, Red Lions mentor Jarin could only acknowledge all the small things the versatile forward did that all added up into a big-time contribution that put the Knights over the top. JAVEE MOCON The Season 91 version of Racal turned out to be the template for what Mocon could be. And the all-around forward began blossoming under the watchful eye of coach Jamike - first as a sparkplug in the Season 91 Finals and then as a breakout star for all of Season 92. Mocon does it all, and that's all thanks to his fire and desire to always being better. "Javee just kept improving every year," Jarin said. ALLWELL ORAEME For his man in the middle, coach Jamike had to go with the Season MVP in the two years he was calling the shots for San Beda. "Oraeme was just the best when he played in the NCAA. Dominant," he said. Indeed, the Nigerian tower posted per game counts of 16.3 points, 20.3 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks in Season 91 and then 15.8 markers, 19.8 boards, and 2.3 rejections in Season 92 all while putting Mapua University on his back all the way to a return to relevance. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnAug 7th, 2020

K-Racs the glue that will hold together Coach Aldin s NCAA First 5

Aldin Ayo has been calling the shots for University of Sto. Tomas from 2018 to present. Before this, the always amiable mentor was at the helm of De La Salle University from 2016 to 2017. And before this, Coach Aldin was the head coach for alma mater Colegio de San Juan de Letran in 2015. Through all of that, he has had a hand in the discovery and the development of young talent for his teams as well as the game planning for the opposing rising stars. Among all of those, who are the best of the best for him? Here is Aldin Ayo's NCAA First 5, as he told ABS-CBN Sports: JIOVANI JALALON The Jalalon of 2015 was not yet the Jalalon of 2016 - you know, the one who drove Arellano University all the way to the Finals. Still, that younger Jalalon posed problems even for Coach Aldin and his "mayhem" in Letran. "A two-way player. He knows his role as a point guard," the latter said of the former. Jalalon's shine as a full-fledged superstar came in the season after Ayo left Intramuros, but the latter has always been a good judge of potential and saw just that in the former. SCOTTIE THOMPSON Unlike Jalalon, Thompson was already at the peak of his powers in Coach Aldin's one and only season in Letran. And so, the fiery tactician had a frontrow seat to the type of all-around impact University of Perpetual Help's proud product can have. "Very, versatile player plus good character," he said. Thompson fell short of winning a game against Coach Aldin's Knights, but without a doubt, the former won the admiration of the latter. KEVIN RACAL Racal does not necessarily get the shine that Mark Cruz - or Rey Nambatac, for that matter - does. However, it cannot be denied that the 6-foot-4 forward is the perfect personification of the versatility Coach Aldin seeks from his players. Whether it be defending Ola Adeogun, dogging Baser Amer, delivering an assist, or drilling a timely three, Racal can do it all - and he did it all to help Letran in its Cinderella run to the title. "He is a winner in all aspects," Ayo said. ART DELA CRUZ Adeogun was far from full strength, Amer got injured in the elimination round, and so, San Beda University's one and only constant was Art Dela Cruz. The do-it-all forward made his presence felt all over for the Red Lions and was the first and foremost reason why they stayed afloat despite the health of their other two big guns. In Dela Cruz, the red and white had, pretty much, what Coach Aldin had in Racal. "One of the most versatile players in college basketball. His basketball IQ is off the charts. He can be a point forward," the former Letran coach said. ALLWELL ORAEME Like all of the above, Oraeme can do damage both on offense and defense. "Rim protector on defense then on offense, he will be the recipient of the playmaking of Jalalon, Thompson, Racal, and Dela Cruz," Coach Aldin said, talking about the back-to-back MVP from Mapua University. Indeed, the Nigerian tower will not be forced to do much too much on offense with his four teammates all capable and confident of making plays - and will just expend his energy standing as a nightmare for opponents at the defensive end. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2020

Bolick bares coach Boyet s key to success - tireless scouting

Boyet Fernandez has brought home four championships to San Beda University. In fact, last year was the first and, thus far, only time he has missed out on a title as head coach of the Red Lions. Through it all, he has overseen the lighting up of shining stars such as Baser Amer, Ola Adeogun, James Canlas, Javee Mocon, and Calvin Oftana. Among all those, there is one standout who made the most out of the full faith Coach Boyet had in him. In his first year in red and white, Robert Bolick came to be known as an impact player at either end. Still, he was known more for his defense - becoming "The Bus Stop" to the "Bus Driver" Jiovani Jalalon - than his offense, even though at that time, San Beda was a run-and-gun team under Jamike Jarin. With Fernandez at the helm, however, the tables turned and the 6-foot-1 playmaker got into his groove on offense. The then-King Lion became a fearless gunner with the capability and confidence to score from all over their side of the court. In NCAA Season 93, he posted per game counts of 13.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists and saved his best for last, sinking elimination round-sweeping Lyceum of the Philippines University by his lonesome in the Finals. For reference, his averages from the season before were 9.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. Clearly, Coach Boyet unlocked something in Bolick. And up until present, the now-NorthPort lead guard is nothing but grateful for that. "Si Coach Boyet kasi, pro style ang ginawa niya sa amin e. Na-ready na niya kami para sa pros," he said in The Prospects Pod last Friday. He then continued, "Siguro, sa utak, si Coach Boyet ang isa sa pinakamautak na coach na nakilala ko kasi grabe siya mag-scout e." And all of that came to be thanks to the veteran mentor's tireless work ethic. "Siguro, kung pwede lang siya pumunta kunwari sa practice nina (LPU star) CJ [Perez], pupunta siguro yun," he said, through chuckles. He then continued, "Lahat, ini-scout e. Lahat, meron siyang film, mula Filoil (Preseason) hanggang ibang lugar. Minsan nga, sinasabi ko nang, 'Pano mo nakuha yan?'" Indeed, there have been more than a few times when reporters have seen Coach Boyet in the venue for the first game of the day even though the Red Lions were scheduled to take the floor for the third of the tripleheader. He has also been seen alongside his trusted assistants and trusty notebook in other leagues - whether it be preseason or in-season - doing his due diligence for their opponents. Without a doubt, Fernandez is one of the most hardworking - if not the most hardworking - mentors in all of college. "Yung work ethic talaga ni Coach Boyet, yun yung mapapabilib ka," his one-time prized ward said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 13th, 2020

WHAT IF… Back-to-back MVP Allwell Oraeme stayed in Mapua

History lesson: Mapua University was a legitimate championship contender for two years in NCAA Men's Basketball. In the time when the Grand Old League was as star-studded as it had been in recent history, there were the Cardinals who had one surefire superstar in Allwell Oraeme. Oraeme, a towering talent from Nigeria, then had several perfect pieces in his orbit as the likes of three-point threats Exi Biteng, CJ Isit, Darrell Menina, and JP Nieles spread out defenses for him to be able to make a living in the paint. Behind averages of 16.3 points, 20.3 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks, the then first-year player bested the likes of Art Dela Cruz of San Beda University, Bright Akhuetie and Scottie Thompson of University of Perpetual Help, and Jiovani Jalalon of Arellano University to convincingly claim the MVP award in Season 91.  Next year, he then normed 15.8 markers, 19.8 boards, and 2.3 rejections to get the better of big names such as Emilio Aguinaldo College's Hamadou Laminou and San Beda's Donald Tankoua as well as Akhuetie and Jalalon once more for another top individual player trophy. In those two seasons, Oraeme posted per game counts of 16.0 points, 20.5 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks - unfortunately, he could not push Mapua to the Finals as they fell to Season 91 champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran and then Season 92 runner-up Arellano in the Final Four. Still, with just two go-rounds under his belt, the then 20-year-old had three more seasons to play in red and gold. However, that wasn't meant to be. As ex-Cardinals head coach Atoy Co put it then, "Wala nang Oraeme. Nagpaalam siya at ang katwiran ay hindi na raw siya masaya sa Mapua kaya uuwi na lang daw siya sa Nigeria." Whispers were heard that some schools, including ones from the UAAP, were wooing him over to their side. Ultimately, though, the back-to-back MVP was never seen in action and never heard from again. In the years since, Coach Atoy could only lament what could have been for the Intramuros-based squad. Indeed, what could have been if, and only if, Oraeme decided to build on back-to-back MVP campaigns still in Mapua? If that would have been true, he would have seen action in a tournament that, pretty much, had a new look. Gone were Akhuetie, Dela Cruz, Jalalon, and Thompson and taking their places were Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon from San Beda, Prince Eze from Perpetual, and CJ Perez from Lyceum of the Philippines University. In NCAA 93, LPU memorably swept the elimination round to not only punch its first-ever playoff ticket, but its breakthrough Finals appearance as well. As the Pirates had all the answers for Perpetual's Eze, EAC's Laminou, and San Beda's Tankoua, it would not be farfetched that they also would have been able to take care of business against the Nigerian and his Cardinals. The other three playoff berths that year went to San Beda, Jose Rizal University, and San Sebastian College-Recoletos. Safe to say, only San Beda was the sure thing and Mapua, on the back of Oraeme, would have been able to replace the Golden Stags. Come the stepladder, Oraeme would turn in his best postseason performance yet and carry his team over the Heavy Bombers and to the next step in the ladder. Opposite the Red Lions, however, Bolick and Mocon would be much too much and stamp their class on the upstarts en route to upsetting LPU in the Finals. And so, Mapua falls short of the championship round anew. Still, finally having tasted a playoff win, Oraeme comes back for his fourth season, hungrier than ever and reclaims the MVP that Perez won the year before. NCAA 94 featured, more or less, the same cast of characters and so we fast forward to the Final Four where the Cardinals would be the fourth-seed behind top-seed San Beda, second-seed LPU, and three-seed Letran. Unfortunately, their Final Four opponent are the Red Lions, only this time, with Bolick and Mocon determined to close their collegiate careers with a big bang. Oraeme and his three-point threats would still be no match for that and they bow out yet again. The three-time MVP would then think hard about staying, but eventually ends up forgoing his fifth and final season to take his talents overseas. He wouldn't have known that NCAA 95 was actually his best shot, and the other's best shot, at a title as San Beda was to be a very, very young team led into battle by James Canlas, Evan Nelle, and Calvin Oftana. Still, Oraema would be showcasing his skills in Korea and in Europre, ala two-time UAAP MVP Ben Mbala. And as for Mapua, they still switch to Randy Alcantara for Season 95 who wastes no time enforcing a modern game plan that would lead to continued contention. In the end, the Cardinals would still be unable to hoist their first championship since 1992. However, they would still have a four-year run of legitimate title chances - led by a three-time MVP who may very well go down as the NCAA's greatest of all time. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2020

SUPER SHOWDOWN: Ayo s Mayhem Letran vs Tan s Big, Bad Letran

In the last decade, only one school has stood between San Beda University and its complete and utter dominance of NCAA Men's Basketball. That school? The Red Lions' archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran. In 2015, the Knights came from out of nowhere to put a stop to San Beda's search for a sixth straight title. Four years later, the Red Lions were going for a fourth consecutive championship and, more impressively, a season sweep only to be resoundingly rejected, yet again, by their archrivals. And so, Mendiola is home to 80 percent of total trophies since 2010. The other 20 percent, though? They are proudly presented in Intramuros. Come to think about it, though, which triumph over its fierce foe was sweeter for Letran? Here in ABS-CBN Sports Super Showdown, that is what we aim to answer. To determine who comes out on top between the blue and red's proud champions, we will be judging them in five categories (frontcourt, backcourt, coaching, level of competition, and shock factor) with a boxing-style 10-point must system determining the decision. FRONTCOURT The trademark of Aldin Ayo's very first championship team was that of playing much bigger than its expectations, its own size, and its, more often than not, bigger opponents. Ayo's nominal center was 6-foot-5 Jom Sollano while his regular 4-man was 6-foot-4 Kevin Racal. Off the bench, his first quote-unquote big was 6-foot-3 Felix Apreku. Still, those three played their roles to a tee and, along with the rest of the team, assembled a well-oiled machine that made the most of its speed advantage. Fast forward four years and "undersized" could no longer be used to describe Letran. In 6-7 Christian Balagasay, 6-6 Jeo Ambohot, 6-6 Pao Javillonar, 6-5 Larry Muyang, 6-4 Ato Ular, and 6-4 Mark Sangalang, Bonnie Tan finally had big, bad weapons in his arsenal. And for sure, those big, bad weapons flipped what was once a chink in the armor of the Knights into a super strength. And for sure, this department would be dominated by that rotation of ready and raring big men. Advantage 2019 Letran, 10-8 BACKCOURT The two teams' Finals MVP both come from the backcourt. Mark Cruz, like he has always done, came up big for Letran and averaged 17.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 3.0 steals Fran Yu, meanwhile, used the big stage and bright lights to break out to the tune of norms of 13.7 points, 6.0 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.0 steals. In those two, the Knights had capable and confident counters to San Beda's own primetime playmakers in Baser Amer and Evan Nelle. The edge here, however, would have to go to Cruz whose signature play in the winner-take-all Game 3 was not a shot. Rather, it was a setup - after driving through the lane and drawing defenders with under a minute left, he found Sollano open at the baseline. Sollano only made good on the assist and his shot proved to be the go-ahead basket for the title. Add Rey Nambatac's offense and Mcjour Luib's defense here and Ayo's Letran just had a more well-rounded backcourt compared to Tan's which also included Jerrick Balanza and Bonbon Batiller. Advantage 2015 Letran, 10-9 COACHING Ayo is one of the best collegiate coaches in all of the Philippines. He has seen Tab Baldwin win the last three titles in the UAAP, but it still wasn't that long ago when he won back-to-back championships with different teams and in different leagues. Time and time again, the youthful mentor has proven to get the most out of his players - from the Cruz-Nambatac-Racal triumvirate in Letran to Ben Mbala-Jeron Teng De La Salle University and now, University of Sto. Tomas with Soulemane Chabi Yo, Rhenz Abando, CJ Cansino, and Mark Nonoy. What he doesn't have, however, are the so-called "super friends" of Tan. Through the NCAA 95 Finals, NorthPort head coach Pido Jarencio and assistant Jeff Napa were sharing their mind with the Knights themselves during timeouts. They were informal additions to regular assistants Rensy Bajar, Lou Gatumbato, Raymond Tiongco, and Ginebra point guard LA Tenorio. Even more were behind the bench in Letran special assistant to the rector for sports development and San Miguel Corporation sports director Alfrancis Chua, NorthPort team manager Erick Arejola, Columbian governor Bobby Rosales and head coach Johnedel Cardel, and Magnolia governor Rene Pardo. Asked about all those behind his back, Tan answered then, "In business, you need partners to be successful and in sports naman, we need friends lalo na yung mga may alam kung paano manalo. Friends ko yan lahat so welcome sila - brainstorm and synergy kami." Still, it's already a given by this point that competition only fuels the already burning fire inside Ayo. With that, there is just no doubt that he would only push himself harder and farther in the face of Tan and his so-called "super friends." And the one-time NCAA and one-time UAAP champion coach much more motivated than ever is nothing but a scary thought. Advantage 2015 Letran, 10-9 LEVEL OF COMPETITION NCAA 91 was the year of "Kagulo sa NCAA." Then, six squads out of 10 had a legitimate claim to a playoff berth. So competitive was the field that Jiovani Jalalon and Kent Salado's Arellano University as well as a University of Perpetual Help side that had Scottie Thompson, Prince Eze, and Bright Akhuetie fell short of the Final Four. Illustrating the competition even further, the season's Finalists only had one member of the Mythical Team between them - San Beda's Art Dela Cruz. On the other hand, NCAA 95's playoff cast was completed a week before the end of the elimination round. Yes, there was a Red Lion team that automatically advanced to the Finals and had three out of five Mythical selections. Still, that tournament's fourth-seed was San Sebastian College-Recoletos who had an 11-7 standing. Comparing that to NCAA 91's fourth-seed in Mapua University who sported a 12-6 slate and the 2019 Golden Stags wouldn't even make the 2015 playoffs. Advantage 2015 Letran, 10-9 SHOCK FACTOR It was a shock to see Letran upset San Beda in Game 1 of the NCAA 95 Finals after the latter won each and every game in the elimination round, It was even more of a shock to see the Knights actually topple the dynastic and season sweep-seeking Red Lions. Still, there was always an outside shot of that happening. "Letran is one of three shoo-ins for the Final Four – as well as a strong contender to wage war in the Finals and even possibly, hoist the trophy," ABS-CBN Sports stated in its preseason preview for the blue and red then. "This fully loaded lineup has the makings of a dynasty-ender – what’s only up in the air is if it would be motivated enough to do just that." On the other hand, nobody, nobody at all aside from Ayo had Letran contending in NCAA 91 - much more, winning it all. As ABS-CBN Sports stated in its preseason preview then, "It remains to be seen if the Knights' fortified defense and added offensive firepower can overcome their lack of size especially against the Final Four teams, all of whom have only gotten bigger." Even when the Knights finally charged to the championship round, not that many gave them a chance. In fact, all that doubt became tattooed on the mind of Ayo whose first words in the post-game conference when they finally claimed the crown was, "Joey, follow your heart!" The fiery mentor was referring to the Philippine Star's Joey Villar who said in the leadup to the Finals that his heart wants to root for Letran, but his mind knows San Beda would win. He wasn't alone. Even Ayo had to admit that his players themselves didn't believe until the season was already underway. "Sa totoo lang, nung team-building namin nung preseason, nung tinanong ko kung naniniwala ba silang magcha-champion tayo, they laughed. Nung natalo lang namin yung JRU nung (second game of the season), dun lang sila naniwala.," he said then. Advantage 2015 Letran, 10-9 FINAL SCORE: 48-46 for 2015 Letran.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 21st, 2020

MVPs Oraeme and Mbala headline Collegiate Mythical Five

A pair of De La Salle University stars and three of the NCAA’s best players comprise the Mighty Sports Collegiate Mythical Five that will be feted on January 26 in the Collegiate Basketball Awards at the Montgomery Place Social Hall in E. Rodriguez Ave., Quezon City. The duo of Ben Mbala and Jeron Teng, who joined hands in leading the Green Archers to the UAAP championship last month, lead this year’s batch alongside Mapua Institute of Technology’s Allwell Oraeme, San Beda College’s Javee Mocon, and Arellano University’s Jiovani Jalalon. They earned a place in the best five selected by the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps and backed by Mighty Sports for their outstanding performances during the collegiate season.  Their inclusion in the Mythical Five also makes them as candidates for the Smart Player of the Year, one of the major awards in the event backed by Smart, Accel, Mighty Sports, MJM Productions, and Chooks to Go.  Mbala was named UAAP Most Valuable Player while Teng took the Finals MVP plum as the Green Archers won their ninth championship in near-perfect fashion, winning 16 of 17 games including a sweep of the archrival Ateneo de Manila University in the Finals. Meanwhile, Oraeme bagged his second straight NCAA MVP plum after carrying the Cardinals back to the Final Four. Mocon was one of the vital figures of the Red Lions’ successful championship run in the NCAA, sweeping Jalalon and the Chiefs in the finals held last October. Jalalon, now a PBA rookie, showed why he was one of the country’s top amateur cagers after carrying the Chiefs to their second Finals appearance in three seasons. Meanwhile, Aldin Ayo and Jamike Jarin were named Coach of the Year for leading DLSU and San Beda, respectively, to the championship of their own leagues. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2017

Coaching great John Thompson of Georgetown dead at 78

By JOSEPH WHITE AP Sports Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — John Thompson, the imposing Hall of Famer who turned Georgetown into a “Hoya Paranoia” powerhouse and became the first Black coach to lead a team to the NCAA men’s basketball championship, has died. He was 78 His death was announced in a family statement released by Georgetown on Monday. No details were disclosed. “Our father was an inspiration to many and devoted his life to developing young people not simply on but, most importantly, off the basketball court. He is revered as a historic shepherd of the sport, dedicated to the welfare of his community above all else,” the statement said. “However, for us, his greatest legacy remains as a father, grandfather, uncle, and friend. More than a coach, he was our foundation. More than a legend, he was the voice in our ear everyday.” One of the most celebrated and polarizing figures in his sport, Thompson took over a moribund Georgetown program in the 1970s and molded it in his unique style into a perennial contender, culminating with a national championship team anchored by center Patrick Ewing in 1984. Georgetown reached two other title games with Thompson in charge and Ewing patrolling the paint, losing to Michael Jordan’s North Carolina team in 1982 and to Villanova in 1985. At 6-foot-10, with an ever-present white towel slung over his shoulder, Thompson literally and figuratively towered over the Hoyas for decades, becoming a patriarch of sorts after he quit coaching in 1999. One of his sons, John Thompson III, was hired as Georgetown’s coach in 2004. When the son was fired in 2017, the elder Thompson -- known affectionately as “Big John” or “Pops” to many -- was at the news conference announcing Ewing as the successor. Along the way, Thompson said what he thought, shielded his players from the media and took positions that weren’t always popular. He never shied away from sensitive topics -- particularly the role of race in both sports and society -- and he once famously walked off the court before a game to protest an NCAA rule because he felt it hurt minority athletes. “I’ll probably be remembered for all the things that kept me out of the Hall of Fame, ironically, more than for the things that got me into it,” Thompson said on the day he was elected to the Hall in 1999. Thompson became coach of the Hoyas in 1972 and began remaking a team that was 3-23 the previous season. Over the next 27 years, he led Georgetown to 14 straight NCAA tournaments (1979-92), 24 consecutive postseason appearances (20 NCAA, 4 NIT), three Final Fours (1982, 1984, 1985) and won six Big East tournament championships. Employing a physical, defense-focused approach that frequently relied on a dominant center -- Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo were among his other pupils -- Thompson compiled a 596-239 record (.715 winning percentage). He had 26 players drafted by the NBA. One of his honors -- his selection as coach of the U.S. team for the 1988 Olympics -- had a sour ending when the Americans had to settle for the bronze medal. It was a result so disappointing that Thompson put himself on a sort of self-imposed leave at Georgetown for a while, coaching practices and games but leaving many other duties to his assistants. Off the court, Thompson was both a role model and a lightning rod. A stickler for academics, he kept a deflated basketball on his desk, a reminder to his players that a degree was a necessity because a career in basketball relied on a tenuous “nine pounds of air.” The school boasted that 76 of 78 players who played four seasons under Thompson received their degrees. He was a Black coach who recruited mostly Black players to a predominantly white Jesuit university in Washington, and Thompson never hesitated to speak out on behalf of his players. One of the most dramatic moments in Georgetown history came on Jan. 14, 1989, when he walked off the court to a standing ovation before the tipoff of a home game against Boston College, demonstrating in a most public way his displeasure against NCAA Proposition 42. The rule denied athletic scholarships to freshmen who didn’t meet certain requirements, and Thompson said it was biased against underprivileged students. Opposition from Thompson, and others, led the NCAA to modify the rule. Thompson’s most daring move came that same year, when he summoned notorious drug kingpin Rayful Edmond III for a meeting in the coach’s office. Thompson warned Edmond to stop associating with Hoyas players and to leave them alone, using his respect in the Black community to become one of the few people to stare down Edmond and not face a reprisal. Though aware of his influence, Thompson did not take pride in becoming the first Black coach to take a team to the Final Four, and he let a room full of reporters know it when asked his feelings on the subject at a news conference in 1982. “I resent the hell out of that question if it implies I am the first Black coach competent enough to take a team to the Final Four,” Thompson said. “Other Blacks have been denied the right in this country; coaches who have the ability. I don’t take any pride in being the first Black coach in the Final Four. I find the question extremely offensive.” Born Sept. 2, 1941, John R. Thompson Jr. grew up in Washington, D.C. His father was always working — on a farm in Maryland and later as a laborer in the city — and could neither read nor write. “I never in my life saw my father’s hands clean,” Thompson told The Associated Press in 2007. “Never. He’d come home and scrub his hands with this ugly brown soap that looked like tar. I thought that was the color of his hands. When I was still coaching, kids would show up late for practice and I’d (say) ... ‘My father got up every morning of his life at 5 a.m. to go to work. Without an alarm.‘” Thompson’s parents emphasized education, but he struggled in part of because of poor eyesight and labored in Catholic grammar school. He was moved to a segregated public school, had a growth spurt and became good enough at basketball to get into John Carroll, a Catholic high school, where he led the team to 55 consecutive victories and two city titles. He went to Providence College as one of the most touted basketball prospects in the country and led the Friars to the first NCAA bid in school history. He graduated in 1964 and played two seasons with Red Auerbach’s Boston Celtics, earning a pair of championship rings as a sparingly used backup to Bill Russell. Thompson returned to Washington, got his master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the University of the District of Columbia and went 122-28 over six seasons at St. Anthony’s before accepting the job at Georgetown, an elite school that had relatively few Black students. Faculty and students rallied around him after a bedsheet with racist words was hung inside the school’s gym before a game during the 1974-75 season. Thompson sheltered his players with closed practices, tightly controlled media access and a prohibition on interviews with freshmen in their first semester -- a restriction that still stands for Georgetown’s basketball team. Combined with Thompson’s flashes of emotion and his players’ rough-and-tumble style of play, it wasn’t long before the words “Hoya Paranoia” came to epitomize the new era of basketball on the Hilltop campus. Georgetown lost the 1982 NCAA championship game when Fred Brown mistakenly passed the ball to North Carolina’s James Worthy in the game’s final seconds. Two years later, Ewing led an 84-75 win over Houston in the title game. The Hoyas were on the verge of a repeat the following year when they were stunned in the championship game by coach Rollie Massimino’s Villanova team in one of the biggest upsets in tournament history. Success allowed Thompson to rake in money through endorsements, but he ran afoul of his Georgetown bosses when he applied for a gambling license for a business venture in Nevada in 1995. Thompson, who liked playing the slot machines in Las Vegas, reluctantly dropped the application after the university president objected. Centers Ewing, Mourning and Mutombo turned Georgetown into “Big Man U” under Thompson, although his last superstar was guard Allen Iverson, who in 1996 also became the first player under Thompson to leave school early for the NBA draft. “Thanks for Saving My Life Coach,” Iverson wrote at the start of an Instagram post Monday with photos of the pair. The Hoyas teams in the 1990s never came close to matching the achievements of the 1980s, and Thompson’s era came to a surprising and sudden end when he resigned in the middle of the 1998-99 season, citing distractions from a pending divorce. Thompson didn’t fade from the limelight. He became a sports radio talk show host and a TV and radio game analyst, joining the very profession he had frustrated so often as a coach. He loosened up, allowing the public to see his lighter side, but he remained pointed and combative when a topic mattered to him. A torch was passed in 2004, when John Thompson III became Georgetown’s coach. The younger Thompson, with “Pops” often watching from the stands or sitting in the back of the room for news conferences, returned the Hoyas to the Final Four in 2007. Another son, Ronny Thompson, was head coach for one season at Ball State and is now a TV analyst. ___ Joseph White, a former AP sports writer in Washington who died in 2019, prepared this obituary. AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich contributed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 15th, 2020

It s a Muyang-Sangalang fearsome frontcourt in Coach Bonnie Tan s NCAA First 5

Bonnie Tan has been calling the shots for Colegio de San Juan de Letran from 2019 to present. Before this, the always amiable mentor was at the helm for Lyceum of the Philippines University from 2011 to 2013. Through all of that, he has had a hand in the discovery and the development of young talent for his teams as well as the game planning for the opposing rising stars. Among all of those, who are the best of the best for him? Here is Bonnie Tan's NCAA First 5, as he told ABS-CBN Sports: LARRY MUYANG Muyang is the first and foremost reason Letran could no longer be called undersized. The 6-foot-5 behemoth is the very definition of a paint presence and is the pillar of the Knights' legitimate contention. Former coach Jeff Napa recruited and returned Muyang's confidence - and he only became better in his first year under coach Bonnie. IAN SANGALANG Before Muyang, there was another Kapampangan who made a living at the post. Sangalang used all of his 6-foot-7 frame to will his way inside and win a championship and an MVP. From the other sidelines, Coach Bonnie had, without a doubt, more than a few headaches thanks to him. JERRICK BALANZA Balanza is the homegrown star turned head surgery survivor. Having gotten through a life-threatening operation, the 6-foot-2 swingman no longer had any fear once he was cleared to play again. And in his last year, he only inspired his teammates to be just as courageous - all the way to the championship. ROBERT BOLICK Bolick was the biggest thorn on the side of Letran in coach Bonnie's turn as team manager. In fact, the 6-foot-1 playmaker went undefeated against San Beda's archrival. And so, coach Bonnie is nothing but relieved that "Big Shot Bolick" is now his lead guard over at NorthPort. JIOVANI JALALON The reason Jalalon was dubbed as "Bus Driver" by ABS-CBN Sports analysts was because he took everybody to school. And on more than one occasion, coach Bonnie and his LPU teams were taken for a ride by the primetime playmaker. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 17th, 2020

WHAT IF... Aldin Ayo stayed in Letran

History lesson: Aldin Ayo won back-to-back championships with two different teams in two different leagues. As a fresh-faced first-time head coach in the big leagues, he energized alma mater Colegio de San Juan de Letran all the way to the promised land in NCAA 91. Just months later, he then steered De La Salle University's Ben Mbala and Jeron Teng-led juggernaut to the UAAP 79 title. And so, Coach Aldin is one of the few coaches who could claim to have championships in the Philippines' top two collegiate leagues - and, most probably, the only one who could claim to have done it in succession. If there was one school and one squad where the youthful mentor would be a perfect fit, though, it could be argued that would be the Letran Knights. For one, Intramuros had been his home in his collegiate days. For another, the blue and red, despite having the second-most championships, actually enters each and every season as far from the favorite - that tag, more often than not, belongs to modern-day dynasty San Beda University. And what is Coach Aldin if not the ultimate underdog - a Sorsogon native who thrives on proving himself and proving doubters wrong. With that, let us try putting him still at the Letran bench for their title defense. Despite being the one sitting on the throne, they still would be far from the favorite as they would have lost Mark Cruz and Kevin Racal just as the Red Lions were getting Robert Bolick while Arellano University had Jiovani Jalalon and Kent Salado a year wiser. Still, "Mayhem" would remain in place - meaning they would not have to adjust to a new philosophy just like what had happened in the real world with new coach Jeff Napa. Even more, Coach Aldin would just unleash Rey Nambatac while also giving bigger burdens to Jerrick Balanza, Mcjour Luib, Bong Quinto, and Jom Sollano. Just as well, he would have had brought new recruits as determined as him to prove themselves. And with all of that, the Knights would have no problems whatsoever making it back to the Final Four - only this time as the third-seeded team following one-seed San Beda and two-seed Arellano. Matched up with the run-and gun Chiefs in the Final Four, they would be able to keep up and even triumph in Game 1. In the do-or-die Game 2, however, they bow to a side that, quite frankly, was the strongest on paper as it was led by, hands down, the best point guard in college in Jalalon and the most overqualified backup in Salado. The Finals then plays out just how it played out - with the Red Lions reclaiming the crown. In the end, Letran still falls short in its title defense even with Coach Aldin remaining at the helm. Nonetheless, there stayed order to all their "Mayhem." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 15th, 2020

GREATEST PERFORMANCES: Thompson-Jalalon s triple-double duel

Triple-doubles are rarities - and so, what is it called when two players each tally a triple-double in one game? A classic. Scottie Thompson and Jiovani Jalalon put on a show on September 4, 2015 as the former's University of Perpetual Help went at it with the latter's Arellano University in the NCAA 91 Men's Basketball Tournament. Of course, all of the Altas and all of the Chiefs were right there with them as the two teams duked it out every single second all the way through to double-overtime. When the final buzzer sounded, Jalalon and company triumphed over Thompson's crew, 84-77. At that point, Jalalon had turned in a 32-point, 15-rebound, and 10-assist masterpiece to edge out Thompson and his 24 markers, 12 boards, and 11 dishes. Yes, in that one game, two players put on a duel for the ages - a duel of triple-doubles. Even in the earlygoing, the contest was looking like it was going to be a classic as Thompson and Jalalon were firing on all cylinders right from tip-off. Perps was actually on the verge of winning, up 65-58 inside the last seven minutes before Jalalon had four points and an assist in Arellano's 10-3 rally at the end of regulation. Come the extra period, Jalalon only stepped harder on the gas, accounting for all of the points in the Chiefs' 11-2 run for a 79-70 lead. Thompson would not quit just yet and dropped five points in the last two minutes, but was turned back time and again by Jalalon who made good on all of his four shots from the stripe. In the end, Jalalon could only credit his triple-double to his will to win. As he put it, "Iniisip ko lang yung teammates ko. Hindi ko naman iniisip na habulin yung stats." He then continued, "Nagsipag lang talaga ako kasi kailangan naming manalo. Yun lang." And in the end, he came out on top of "Mr. Triple-Double" himself. For his part, Thompson had nothing but praise for the player who got the better of him in a duel of triple-doubles. "'Di naman talaga imposible yun kasi si Jio, all-around player. Gagawin din niya lahat para sa team," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 11th, 2020

WHAT IF… National U failed in must-win run to historic title

History lesson: From 1954 to now, National University only has two titles to show in UAAP Men's Basketball. The Bulldogs won it all in 1954 before going through a six-decade wait for another championship. The wait was finally over when the blue and gold side coached by Eric Altamirano and led by Gelo Alolino, Glenn Khobuntin, and Troy Rosario took home the trophy to Sampaloc. Without a doubt, it was a happy ending to a colorful story, but it was, also without a doubt, a shock to just about everybody. Sans back-to-back MVP Ray Parks Jr., National U wound up with a 9-5 standing at the end of the elimination round. That was pretty good, relative to the long-suffering squad, but that also meant they stood on level ground with University of the East. And if they were to get the better of the Red Warriors for the fourth-seed, they would then be matched up opposite top-seed Ateneo de Manila University and eventual MVP Kiefer Ravena and eventual Mythical selection Chris Newsome. The other bracket wasn't a slouch either as it featured a Far Eastern University with Mac Belo or a De La Salle University with Jeron Teng. Against all odds, though, the Bulldogs did it - coming out on top of UE, coming through against Blue Eagles twice, and claiming the crown in three games at the expense of the Tamaraws. At long last, Jhocson Street was to be the venue of a championship celebration anew. To do so, thought, they had to walk the knife's edge as, aside from the Finals, their first three games after the elims were all must-win. What if they failed there? What if, even in just one of those three tries, the odds proved to be insurmountable? While the Red Warriors, despite the presence of Roi Sumang and Charles Mammie, would remain to be a tall task, there's still a better than good chance that they still fall to Khobuntin, Rosario, and company. And so, we have the blue and gold moving on to a duel with Ateneo. On a high from staying alive, the Bulldogs have a good chance at still stealing the playoff game behind J-Jay Alejandro's breakout game. Game 2, however, should have been where, ultimately, their dreams were dashed. In the real world, National U eked out a two-point triumph over the Blue Eagles on the back of Alfred Aroga's 14-point, 12-rebound double-double. In the what if world, Ateneo shows them the door once and for all in the do-or-die game as Ravena comes out way more determined than his five-point, 2-of-10 effort in the first half. In the Finals, though, FEU gets the better of the Blue Eagles and wins the first of its back-to-back championships. Newsome still fails to graduate on the highest of highs, but at least, he gets to go out in the championship round. Ravena and Von Pessumal return for their fifth and final seasons hungrier than ever, but also fall short of going out on top. For National U, the waiting game continues - and with Khobuntin and Rosario graduating, making the Final Four in Season 78 wouldn't even be a certainty. They still do so, but will also still be booted out by Finals-bound University of Sto. Tomas. Just like the real world, the what if world will then see the exit of Coach Eric and the Bulldogs will be searching for a brand new mentor. It could have still been one-time NCAA champion coach Jamike Jarin, but it could also have been Jeff Napa who gets promoted after winning three titles in UAAP Jrs. What's certain is the National U Bulldogs would still be longing for its first championship since Ramon Magsaysay was President of the Philippines. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 3rd, 2020

PB(A)BL: Like a Dragon, Matthew Wright brought fire in Malaysia s dream season

Not all players take the same route going to the PBA, each player will have his own story to tell. This series will be about those who chose a different path, those who had to hustle overseas at one point in their careers before eventually landing in the PBA. Here, we take a look at current big-name PBA players who spent some time in the other major basketball league with Philippine teams in the region: the Asean Basketball League. They don’t have to play for a Filipino team, after all, the ABL is a great place where Filipino talents can shine even while playing for other countries. [Related: PB(A)BL: Chris Banchero's hot streak with San Miguel Beer] Today, we focus on Matthew Wright and his incredible one-and-done season with the Westports Malaysia Dragons.   Enter the Dragon Long before he ended up being a regular to Gilas Pilipinas, Matthew Wright actually already suited up for the national team via the U-18 squad in 2008. The Fil-Canadian then went home to Toronto and played in the NCAA tournament via St. Bonaventure. As a 25-year-old shooter, Wright got close to his other home when he suited up in the ABL for the Wesports Malaysia Dragons with his future Phoenix head coach Ariel Vanguardia and another prospect in Fil-Am Jason Brickman. With the Dragons, Wright set the ABL on fire with his scoring exploits. In his lone stint during the 2015-2016 season, Wright set the league record for most three-point shots made in one game at 10. He also set the record for most three-point shots made in a single season at 71 and his total points of 461 were the 4th highest of all-time and most by a non-World Import. Wright ended up being the ABL’s first-ever Heritage MVP, leading the league with an average of 23.1 points on 41.8 percent shooting from deep. He also added 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists. More importantly, Wright helped the Dragons to the no. 1 seed in the 2016 season with a strong 16-4 record. The crowning achievement was Malaysia winning its first, and so far, only ABL title by taking out the Singapore Slingers in the Finals, 3-2.   ABL to Gilas to PBA After leading the Westports Malaysia Dragons to the ABL championship, Wright was added to a Gilas Pilipinas pool that included guys like then amateurs Kiefer Ravena, Mac Belo, Ray Parks Jr., Kevin Ferrer, and Jio Jalalon. Wright was later named to the actual Gilas Pilipinas Cadets team and entered the PBA through the 2016 Draft. While no order was revealed, Wright joined the Phoenix Fuel Masters, reuniting with Dragons coach Ariel Vanguardia. Once in the PBA, Wright’s scoring exploits continued, in one game scoring 42 points, which was the most for a rookie since Eric Menk scored 43 for Tanduay since 1999. He finished second in the Rookie of the Year race and was part of the All-Rookie Team. The Fil-Canadian sniper also became a regular for Gilas Pilipinas since, consistently making the final team for tournaments like the SEABA Championship, the FIBA Asia Cup, and the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. In the 2019 season, his third with Phoenix, Matthew Wright led the Fuel Masters to a breakthrough semifinals appearance in the Philippine Cup as the no. 1 seed. He also ended the year as the league’s no. 2 scorer.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 6th, 2020

The Beast remains NCAA basketball s best moniker in 20 years

We have already gone through the most memorable monikers in the UAAP since 2000. Not to be outdone, of course, the NCAA has had its own nicknames to easily identify its shining stars. From Baser Amer to Rey Nambatac and from CJ Perez to Robert Bolick, the Grand Old League has been a grand old stage for tantalizing talents to make a name for themselves - and even more, make a nickname for themselves. Here, we have gathered the cream of the crop monikers for the NCAA in the last 20 years. First and foremost, there is not one nickname that had as much of an impact as this: THE ULTIMATE NCAA MONIKER Without a doubt, Calvin Abueva is a beast on the court. The now-Phoenix Fuel Master can make his presence felt anywhere and everywhere - and he has always done so even in his time in San Sebastian. Abueva was such a problem for defenses, even dynastic San Beda's, and that's exactly why it was just perfect to call him "The Beast." Also, did you know that "beast" is actually an anagram for Baste? How 'bout that, huh?! More than the perfect fit, though, Abueva's nickname has also had an impact quite like "Phenom" from the UAAP. After Abueva, San Sebastian just had to have more beasts in the form of "Baby Beast" CJ Perez and "Lady Beast" Grethcel Soltones. MONIKERS THAT FOLLOWED SUIT Perez's nickname isn't original - as already said, it came from Abueva's "The Beast." Still, "Baby Beast" is a perfect fit for the top overall pick in the 2018 PBA Draft - a player who can make his presence felt anywhere and everywhere. He just does it all while standing two inches shorter and packing 20 lbs. lighter than "The Beast." MONIKERS ABOUT DEFINING MOMENTS Once upon a time, Robert Bolick was a bench player in La Salle. Not getting his shot in his time as a Green Archer is his origin story - as he loves to tell. Fast forward to his donning the red and white for San Beda and Bolick got his shot. 2??3??PTS 0?? 6??ASTS 0??4??REBS Big Shot Bolick made sure San Beda punched a ticket to the #NCAASeason94 Finals! pic.twitter.com/8z5GYsNXRn — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) October 26, 2018 Once he did, not only did he deliver, he delivered big-time - hitting the biggest shots in the biggest moments in the biggest games. BIG. SHOT. BOLICK. #NCAASeason94 #GalingNCAA pic.twitter.com/votXDwW7xE — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) August 10, 2018 That is why he was "Big Shot Bolick." MONIKERS THAT GO TOGETHER Abueva already has the ultimate NCAA moniker - and still, he also has the best name for a group. "Pinatubo Trio" was an ominous moniker that denoted doom and gloom for San Sebastian's opponents. And it wasn't just scare tactics either. Abueva, Ronald Pascual, and Ian Sangalang are all Kapampangan and therefore, hail from Mt. Pinatubo, indeed. It was always just a matter of time before any of them - or worse for the rest of the NCAA, all of them - erupted. A close second was San Beda's "Bandana Bros" in James Canlas and Evan Nelle. With Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon gone, the spotlight, all of a sudden, shone on two guards who were just entering the second seasons. Still, Canlas and Nelle did nothing but take the challenge head-on - and the black bandanas on their foreheads game in and game out symbolized that the Red Lions' future was now. Unfortunately, "Bandana Bros" is no more, but we will always have that "new drip." MONIKERS THAT PLAYED ON GIVEN NAMES When an opportunity presents itself, you just have to take it. That's what happened with the names of these guys: Bright Akhuetie became "Mr. Brightside" Baser Amer became "The Hammer" Sudan Daniel became "Superman" Sam Ekwe became "The Equalizer" Rey Nambatac became "Stingrey" And Scottie Thompson became "The Pearl" (his full name is Earl Scottie Thompson) MONIKERS THAT ARE JUST… COOL Nothing much to explain here other than the fact that RJ Jazul, now of Phoenix, had one of the most unique nicknames in all of sports. "So Cool" encapsulated what he was as a lead guard for Letran - and it just so happened that it rhymed so well with his last name. All in all, "So Cool" RJ Jazul is just, well, so cool. HONORABLE MENTIONS Of course, how could we forget how both Mark Cruz and Borgie Hermida played way bigger than their actual heights. "Ant-man" Cruz came through time and time again for Letran while Hermida transformed into "The Mighty Kid" to take charge for San Beda. There's also "Master Chief" for Kent Salado to definitely describe how he led Arellano into remaining a tough out even after the departure of Jiovani Jalalon - much like how Halo's supersoldier stood strong in the face of The Covenant. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 27th, 2020

Mourning Scottie Thompson shares lessons from late Aric del Rosario

MANILA, Philippines – PBA star guard Scottie Thompson paid tribute to Aric del Rosario , saying the late great basketball coach is one of the biggest reasons behind his success in the professional ranks.  Del Rosario, who coached Thompson for the Perpetual Altas in the NCAA, died from cardiac arrest on ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 27th, 2020

Thompson on Tatay Aric: Ikaw naging dahilan kung anong meron ako ngayon

Aric Del Rosario has been many, many things for many, many people. Through and through, though, he will be the person who changed Scottie Thompson's life. And so, as the legendary coach passed away last Wednesday, the now-Ginebra Gin King shared just how much the always amiable mentor meant to him. "Isa sa pinakamalungkot at nakakagulat na balitang natanggap ko buong buhay ko," he began his Instagram post.         View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Scottie Thompson (@scot_thompson6) on Mar 26, 2020 at 1:59am PDT Thompson then went on to mention all the roles Del Rosario played in his life - and how the former was the one and only key to how far the former has come. "Tatay, papa, daddy, lolo, coach, at mentor Aric, maraming, maraming salamat sa lahat ng tinuro mo sa akin at sa lahat ng ginawa mo sa buhay ko," he said. He then continued, "Ikaw ang isa sa mga dahilan kung nasaan ako ngayon at kung anong meron ako ngayon - hindi lang pala isa sa mga dahilan, kundi ikaw ang naging dahilan." The coach fondly called "tatay Aric" was the one who turned a raw tireless workhorse from Digos, Davao del Sur into an all-around weapon who ultimately won NCAA MVP. And after a strong stint as the face of University of Perpetual Help, that raw tireless workhorse-turned-MVP took his talents to Ginebra and wasted no time becoming a fan favorite. All of that, thanks to Del Rosario's guidance. "Hanggang sa PBA, dala-dala ko pa rin ang lagi mong sinasabi - magsipag ka lang, maglaro nang maayos, magpakabait, and maging laging madasalin, may pupuntahan ka. Higit sa lahat, tanggapin mo anong meron ka ngayon," Thompson shared. He then continued, "Kung gusto mo ng higit? Pagtrabahuan mo. Dahil sa mga linyang yan kaya andito ako ngayon." For the now 26-year-old, "tatay Aric's" full faith was what led him to believe in himself. As he put it, "Simula nung nakilala kita at naging coach kita, lahat ng pananaw ko sa buhay, nag-iba. Lahat ng mga duda ko sa sarili ko kung kakayanin ko ba o hindi, nag-iba." He then continued, "Lahat ng pagsubok na dumaan sa buhat ko at hanggang ngayon, hindi ako nagduda sa sarili ko kasi tinuruan mo akong maging palaban at kayanin ang lahat." Even more, Thompson said Del Rosario's role in his life, and all his players' lives, extended even outside the court. "Ang pinaka 'di ko makakalimutan na lagi mong tanong sa mga player mong galing probinsya ay yung, 'May pera ka pa ba?' Laging sinasagot ng mga player na wala na kaya sarili mong perang galing sa bulsa mo yung binibigay mo," he recalled. He then continued, "Pinaparamdam mo talagang hindi ka lang basta coach. Pinaparamdam mong parang tatay ka namin kasi alam mong malayo kami sa pamilya namin." In the end, the former Alta only wished to be able to pay respects to his mentor - and that he and all those who loved "tatay Aric" would find a way to do so in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. "Ang mas nakakalungkot pa lalo is yung paano ka pa kaya namin madadalaw sa mga nangyayari ngayon, paano kaya namin madadamayan ang pamilya mo," he said. He then continued, "I pray na sana, makagawa kami ng paraan para makasama ka namin ulit." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 27th, 2020

NCAA Season 95: San Beda outlasts JRU in debut

Cesca Racraquin and Nieza Viray rallied San Beda University to a hard-fought 25-17, 22-25, 25-27, 25-14, 15-6, escape over Jose Rizal University to open their campaign in the NCAA Season 95 women’s volleyball competition on a high note on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The veteran duo came through with clutch plays in the fourth and fifth sets as the Lady Red Spikers overcame a 1-2 match deficit to turn back the gritty Lady Bombers.      “'Yun nga, JRU maganda rin talaga ginawa nila eh, habang kami may mga dapat ayusin,” said coach Nemesio Gavino, who is looking to steer San Beda back in the Finals following a runner-up finish two years ago. The Lady Red Spikers bounced back mightily in the fourth set after yielding the extended third frame before pulling away midway in the deciding frame.    “Sa paningin ng tao maganda 'yung laban pero para sa amin hindi,” said Gavino. “Pero nagpapasalamat ako kasi mga bata, hindi nagpapatalo 'yang mga 'yan. 'Yung experience talaga nandoon, nakita ko sa game.” Fourth year hitter Racraquin tallied 24 points off 20 attacks, three aces and a kill block while adding 22 digs for an all-around performance for the Mendiola-based squad. Viray finished with 21 points with all but one coming off spikes while Kimberly Manzano and Trisha Paras contributed 15 and 11 markers, respectively, for the Lady Red Spikers, who pounded 66 kills. Lynne Matias had 21 excellent sets for San Beda. The Lady Red Spikers broke away from a 4-3 lead in the fifth with five straight points for a 6-3 advantage. Racraquin made it a seven-point lead, 12-5, on an off the block hit before San Beda finished off the Lady Bombers with a 3-1 spurt capped by Manzano’s quick attack. JRU failed to capitalize on its opening day win over San Sebastian College to fall to a 1-1 slate. Dolly Verzosa led the Lady Bombers to 16 points while Mary Ruiz got 14.     ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 18th, 2020

Lowry scores 24 points, Raptors beat Cavaliers 117-97

TORONTO (AP) - Kyle Lowry kept injury-ravaged Toronto rolling along by finishing off 2019 with another 20-point performance. Lowry scored 24 points, Terence Davis matched his career high with 19 and the Raptors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 117-97 on Tuesday night. Serge Ibaka had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 14 points in his first start with Toronto as the Raptors recorded their fifth straight home win over the Cavaliers. Toronto won for the fourth time in seven games since losing starters Pascal Siakam (groin), Marc Gasol (left hamstring) and Norman Powell (left shoulder) to injury. Lowry, who did not speak to reporters, has scored 20 or more in eight of his past nine games. He had 14 in a Christmas Day loss to Boston. "Kyle Lowry is a Hall of Famer," Cleveland's Tristan Thompson said. "He's a five-time All-Star, Olympic gold medalist, an NBA champ. He's their backbone. "He keeps this ship running and he's playing at a high level. Kyle's a bulldog, he's going to compete every night. That's why his teammates always love him." Collin Sexton scored 22 points and Thompson had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who had won four of five. Kevin Love returned to the starting lineup with 10 points and 11 rebounds and Cedi Osman scored 14 points for Cleveland. Cleveland coach John Beilein said Lowry and Fred VanVleet deserved most of the credit for Toronto's latest triumph. "In today's game, two guards like that, despite their size, can dominate," Beilein said. "They really dominated the game today." The Raptors are 13-1 when they lead through three quarters at home. Toronto lost 98-97 to Oklahoma City on Sunday despite taking an 80-76 lead into the fourth. Sexton said the Raptors seemed intent on wiping away the memories of Sunday's defeat. "They had a chip on their shoulder," Sexton said. "They wanted to pretty much just beat us. You could tell from the very start of the game that they had a different type of energy." OG Anunoby and VanVleet each scored 12 points in the Raptors' second 20-point win over Cleveland this season. The Cavaliers lost 133-113 at Toronto on Dec. 16. Toronto had lost three of four, but won for the 14th time in 19 home games. The Raptors went 9-7 in December, their busiest month of the season. Hollis-Jefferson started in place of Anunoby, who shot 0 for 7 from 3-point range in Sunday's loss to Oklahoma City and had missed 17 of 19 from distance over his previous five games. "Seemed like it worked out OK, they both played really well tonight," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. "I liked the energy from both of them." The Raptors recorded an assist on nine of their 10 baskets in the opening quarter. Lowry fed Anunoby for a 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left to give Toronto a 27-25 lead after one. The lead changed 10 times in the opening quarter, but didn't change again the rest of the way. Lowry scored 11 points in the second and Toronto used six 3-pointers to outscore Cleveland 32-18, scoring the final seven points of the quarter to take a 59-43 lead at halftime. "We just buried ourselves at the end of that first half," Beilein said. Cleveland shot 2 for 12 from 3-point range in the second. Toronto led 86-69 through three quarters. TIP-INS Cavaliers: Love sat out Saturday's win at Minnesota because of a sore right hip. . The Cavs shot 10 for 38 from 3-point range. . Cleveland is 4-13 on the road. . The Cavs were 5-9 in December after going 3-12 in November. Raptors: Before the game, Nurse said his injured starters are still "a ways away" from returning. All three were injured in a Dec. 18 win at Detroit. . F Patrick McCaw left early in the first quarter after injuring his left leg but returned in the second. . Toronto held a 15-2 edge in bench scoring at halftime. WINNING MONTHS Toronto has posted a winning record in 20 consecutive calendar months, the longest streak in franchise history and the longest active streak in the NBA. The Raptors last had a losing record in a single month when they went 8-9 in January 2017. DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE Toronto led by double digits for the entire second half. DECEMBER DOUBLES All seven of Ibaka's double-doubles this season came in December. UP NEXT Cavaliers: Host Charlotte on Thursday night. Raptors: Visit Miami on Thursday night......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

NCAA 95 Finals: They never gave up -- Fernandez on San Beda

Defending champion San Beda University saw its 15-0 start evaporate then had to come back from seven points down and display composure under tremendous pressure in the waning seconds of the game to stay alive in the NCAA Season 95 Seniors basketball Finals series against a gritty Letran side. The Red Lions took Game 2 after a frantic race to the finish, 79-76, on Friday to force a rubber match at the MOA Arena. It may not be a pretty one but head coach Boyet Fernandez will take it anytime.   “A win is a win, we’ll take this one. I’m just relieved we got over this Game 2 and we won this one,” said Fernandez, whose wards dodged an upset attempt by the Knights. The mentor, who is looking to steer the Red Lions to a four-peat and their 23rd title overall, lauded his wards for showing great character. “I salute my players also. They really want to prove something today. That’s what character is. We had a loss. Everybody’s all against us but the players really don’t want to lose eh so credit to them,” he said. Season Most Valuable Player Calvin Oftana played the hero’s role late in the game, completing an and-one play to put San Beda up, 77-76, with 19.1 seconds left before the Red Lions made crucial stops to deny Letran of an early celebration.    Coming off a shocking Game 1 loss – the Mendiola-based squad’s first of the tournament – Fernandez knew they had to start right. His squad did it in the first 10 minutes, opening up a 15-0 gap and held it until halftime. But Letran fought back in the second half behind sniper Fran Yu, who turned a 25-37 deficit at the half to a 56-53 lead in the third. Yu continued his hot shooting streak in the fourth as the Knights opened a 66-59 lead with 7:42 left. Oftana rallied San Beda back, hitting a triple that ignited a 13-0 run for a 72-66 lead. The Red Lions got the breaks of the game after Yu suffered cramps. “Unang-una Letran did a good job tonight. They’ve been so ready for us, they know what we’re doing, credit to their coaches. Fran Yu, wow. We’re just lucky he got cramps,” said Fernandez. Clinching a morale-boosting win, Fernandez hopes his squad will use this to fuel the Red Lions in Game 3 on Tuesday. “I hope we sustain this one. Playing a tough team like Letran that will be hard for us but again I do thank my players, thank the Lord for this,” he said. “For giving us a chance, another game to fight for and hopefully we can show them again what is San Beda basketball on Tuesday. Sana may magandang pangitain sa Tuesday.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 15th, 2019

NCAA 95: Fran Yu hopes to be for Letran what Chris Ross is for SMB

With Colegio de San Juan de Letran protecting a one-point lead inside the last minute, Wednesday at MOA Arena, it forced San Beda University to settle for a triple try by Calvin Oftana. The shot hit back rim and in the ensuing rebounding sequence, it was the smallest player on the floor who hauled in the rebound. That was 5-foot-10 Fran Yu who got the board over the likes of Season MVP Calvin Oftana and Cameroonian powerhouse Donald Tankoua and even teammates and rebounding machines Larry Muyang and Ato Ular. As it turns out, he was just channeling his inner Scottie Thompson. "Basta naman precious, kailangan naming lahat kunin yung rebound. First half, puro sa kanila rebounds tapos lamang sila tapos nung second half, nakakuha kami ng rebounds at ayun, nanalo kami," he shared. He then continued, "At saka idol ko si Scottie Thompson - malakas mag-rebounds." More than Thompson, though, Yu said he wants nothing more than to emulate San Miguel two-way guard Chris Ross. "Yung pagiging point guard ni Chris Ross, yung wala yung score basta manalo yung team. Siya talaga pinaka-idol ko," he said. In the biggest game of his young career, the 21-year-old did just that - scoring just 10 points, but contributing six assists, three rebounds, and three steals. And for him, he was just doing his best to not let head coach Bonnie Tan down. "Sabi ni coach, kailangan kong may ma-prove sa Letran community. Yung chance na binigay ni coach sa akin, dapat suklian ko," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 12th, 2019

THROWBACK: The stunning San Beda-Letran Finals face-off in Season 91

With yet another important milestone in its more than a decade-long dominance in the NCAA, the San Beda University Red Lions seek their fourth straight men’s basketball crown in Season 95. But in their roar to four, San Beda would face not just an old rival, but also a heartbreaking tormentor in the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, which denied them a colossal, record-setting six-peat in Season 91.  While carrying a spotless 18-0 slate behind MVP Calvin Oftana, Evan Nelle, James Canlas-Kwekuteye and coach Boyet Fernandez that forced the stepladder semifinals, wherein Letran emerged as the rightful finals contender, carried by skipper Jerrick Balanza, Fran Yu, Larry Muyang, and coach Bonnie Tan, with victories over San Sebastian and Lyceum, San Beda would dread a repeat of that debacle.  But definitely, the veteran Knight Balanza, moreso AC Soberano and Donald Tankoua of the present San Beda roster, along with the 20,158 individuals inside the venue couldn’t forget that long, grueling championship night on October 29, 2015 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Storied nemeses They were already part of their respective varsity rosters, with the Knights coached then by Aldin Ayo and the Red Lions mentored at that time by Jamike Jarin, when the storied nemeses met in Game 3 of the Season 91 Finals that fateful Thursday. In each of their two previous successive Finals meetings in Seasons 88 and 89 with mostly the same lineup, the Knights would bow in three games to the Red Lions, which claimed their third and fourth consecutive titles since 2010. The first San Beda-Letran NCAA Finals match in half a century happened in 2007, with San Beda winning the crown—the Red Lions’ second straight title then after a 28-year title drought. After San Beda took its fifth straight title at the expense of the Arellano Chiefs in 2014, Letran got the chance to face the Red Lions again in the Finals of Season 91, and they would go all-out to stop their bitter rival’s date with history. A six-peat? No way, the Knights would assert in their march onto the Best-of-Three with a more formidable team under the new aggressive young coach Ayo, a former Letran player, in their bid to notch its first NCAA finals victory over the Red Lions since the heydays of the Lauro Mumar vs Carlos Loyzaga duel in the 1950s. And in the Season 91 Finals, Letran took the first game, 94-90, but San Beda emerged victorious in the second, 68-61, arranging the winner-take-all. Moment of truth When that moment of truth came, the Red Lions were reenergized with their Game 2 win and became confident in snagging that sixth straight title. Faced with this, however, the Knights remained solid and unperturbed in their iron-clad “Mayhem” armor. True enough, San Beda was shut out of focus in the beginning, as the Knights romped with a raging run-and-gun, leaving the Red Lions scoreless in a key stretch, 8-0, for a 16-7 early lead. Javee Mocon and Michole Sorela would finally provide the needed stops and lead a spirited comeback for the Red Lions. But Letran’s Rey Nambatac would drop a clutch basket to give the Knights an eight-point advantage at the end of the first quarter, 20-12. JP Calvo would continue Letran’s scorching offense in the second quarter, instigating a 10-0 run in the first minutes. But San Beda will answer a 5-0 spurt of its own behind Tankoua and Soberano’s steady shooting and consistency in the charity lane. The Knights’ high-octane offense held the Red Lions at bay, but the Mendiola dribblers’ 11-of-15 free throws would still keep Muralla cagers within striking distance. By the 1:14 mark, Roldan Sara converted a triple to give San Beda its first taste of the lead, 39-38, but Nambatac provided Letran the marginal lead at halftime with his two free throws, 40-39. See-saw battle The Lions would take over at the start of the third quarter, behind a string of baskets from Mocon and Art dela Cruz. The Knights, however, would answer with a nine-point blitz from Jomari Sollano to wrest the lead back at 51-48. Mocon would extend the see-saw battle with a putback and free throws, 52-51. But a 3-0 spurt, capped off by Kier Quinto’s twinner at the end of the period still placed Letran on top at the end of the third quarter, 54-52. By the first few minutes of the final canto, San Beda seemed frustrated by Letran’s incredible defensive game. And the Knights would dictate the tempo, preventing the Red Lions to wrest control. Letran’s offensive might was also a big factor, with Kevin Racal sinking back-to-back threes, halfway in the fourth.  Graduating players Baser Amer and Ola Adeogun would prevent a Letran pull away, keeping it a manageable four-point deficit, 60-64. But after Racal and Finals MVP Cruz’s assault from three-point land gave Letran what seemed an insurmountable 75-67 lead with 1:53 left, the Knights were silenced by a shocking 8-0 barrage by the Red Lions at the end of regulation, with Amer scoring the equalizer, 13.5 seconds left, to send the game to overtime.  Extended play During the extended play, Amer scored off a gallant incursion to pad an 82-79 lead, 1:28 remaining, setting off wild chants from the San Beda gallery. But these were then muted after four unanswered points coming from Racal’s two charities off an Adeogun foul and Sollano’s midrange jumper after a 24-second violation by the Red Lions, that put Letran in the lead once more, 83-82, with 32.6 seconds left. After successive misses by Amer and Dela Cruz, Adeogun fouled Sollano as the Knights regained possession, and the Letran center marched to the charity lane for two free throws with six seconds left. Sollano would sink the first, and flub the second. In the battle for the rebound, Letran’s McJour Luib and San Beda’s Dela Cruz were then assessed a controversial double-lane violation by referee Nestor Sambrano, who awarded ball possession to the Knights under FIBA rules of “alternating possession.” With 3.7 seconds left to play, and Letran leading at 84-82, Sara had no other choice but to foul Cruz, who would also split his charities.  First title in 10 years, championship steak ended Sorela would then miss a desperation attempt near mid-court as time expired, sending the Letran crowd to a frenzy, with the Knights bagging its first title in 10 years, breaking the hearts of Bedans everywhere as the Red Lions’ five-year championship streak has ended. Racal would top-score for the Knights with 24 markers, most of which in that key stretch in the endgame. Sollano had his career game of 19 points and seven rebounds, Cruz finishing with 14, and Nambatac, 13. Dela Cruz would lead the Red Lions with a near triple-double of 15 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists. He added a steal and two blocks in his incredible all-around game. Adeogun completed his duty in San Beda with a monster double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds. Fellow outgoing Lion Amer chipped in 14 points, which was similar to the output of the prolific Mocon. Will San Beda avenge this heartbreaking loss in their first Finals rematch against Letran since Season 91 and assert its remarkable dynasty or will the Knights frustrate the Red Lions anew and waylay them in an NCAA men’s basketball championship series for the second time in a row?  Watch Game 1 of the NCAA Season 95 Finals between the San Beda Red Lions and the Letran Knights starting on Tuesday, November 12, at the Mall of Asia Arena and live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, TFC.tv, TFC, iWant and livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 12th, 2019

PBA: June Mar and Almazan share PoW citation

The big men are lording it over in the PBA Governors Cup. June Mar Fajardo and Raymund Almazan made their presence felt inside in leading their respective teams to crucial victories in the period Oct. 14 to 20, earning for them as PBA Press Corps-Cignal Co-Player of the Week. This marks the second straight time two players shared the distinct honor after Troy Rosario of TnT Katropa and Alaska’s Jeron Teng last week. Rosario almost earned the citation again but fell one vote short of tying Fajardo and Almazan. The 29-year-old Fajardo scored 19 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and issued four assists as San Miguel Beer rallied past Columbian Dyip, 113-107. Fajardo scored nine of his output in the fourth quarter as he teamed up with import Dez Wells in overhauling an 82-91 deficit in the final eight minutes to steer the Beermen to their first victory over the upset-conscious Dyip in three outings this season. The Beermen improved their record to 5-1 overall for solo second. Not to be outdone, Almazan finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds as Meralco turned back Blackwater, 106-97. It's the second time this conference the former NCAA MVP out of Letran had been named Player of the Week. The Bolts remained at fourth place with a 4-2 card. Other considered for the weekly honor were the Barangay Ginebra trio of Japeth Aguilar, Stanley Pringle, and Scottie Thompson, Kiefer Ravena and JR Quinahan of NLEX, and Blackwater’s Mac Belo and Mike Digregorio prior to his trade to TnT Katropa......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2019