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PBA D-League: Paraiso helps UST ward off NAASCU champ St. Clare

Ironcon-UST boosted its 2019 PBA D-League playoff hopes with a cardiac 78-75 win over St. Clare College Virtual Reality Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig. Dave Ando buried the go-ahead undergoal stab with 20.4 seconds remaining, before Brent Paraiso sealed the win with two free throws in the final 4.3. Junjie Hallare tried to heave a hail mary three to force overtime, but his shot went way short as time expired Paraiso scored 14 points, five rebounds, and four assists for Ironcon-UST, while Mark Nonoy and Rhenz Abando chipped in 13 points in the victory. "We just executed the game plan and the players did not deviate from the game plan kasi yun yung tendency ng mga bata. They just executed," said coach Aldin Ayo. Ando and Renzo Subido also combined for 20 to improve the Growling Tigers' slate to a 6-2 record in the Aspirants Group. They missed the services Beninese forward Soulemane Chabi Yo, who is down with a flu. Ironcon-UST survived a late spurt from Irven Palencia, who scored all of his eight points as St. Clare rallied back from a 73-67 deficit. Joshua Fontanilla top-scored for St. Clare (5-3) with 19 points, as Rojay Santos got 16 points built on five triples. Meanwhile, Valencia City Bukidnon-San Sebastian remained in the hunt for the Foundation Group top spot, dismantling CD14 Designs-Trinity, 105-82. Emmanuel Bonleon stepped up for the Golden Harvest, uncorking 20 of his 23 points in the first half as his side took the 36-23 lead at the end of the first period. Allyn Bulanadi was at his lethal self with a team-high 28 points, alongside six rebounds, three steals, and two assists, while JM Calma had a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. It was the Golden Harvest's fourth straight win and pulled them once again on level with CEU at the no. 1 spot in the group at 7-1. Clark Derige paced the winless CD14 Designs-Trinity (0-9) with 22 points and five rebounds. In the day's other game, FamilyMart-Enderun finally broke through, drubbing AMA Online Education, 116-94. Valandre Chauca hit eight triples on his way to 24 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists as five others got to double-digits to help the young Titans nab their first win in the developmental ranks and halt a six-game losing skid. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME VALENCIA-BASTE 105 -- Bulanadi 28, Bonleon 23, Calma 16, Dela Cruz 10, Ilagan 9, Desoyo 4, Villapando 4, Calahat 4, Tero 3, Sumoda 2, Loristo 2, Are 0, Altamirano 0, Baclay 0. CD14 DESIGNS-TRINITY 82 -- Derige 22, Tayongtong 19, Barua 10, Balucanag 8, Biteng 6, Medina 6, Vitug 4, Juanico 4, Ortega 2, Mabayo 1, Tadeo 0, Chua 0, Dela Cruz 0, Ingel 0, Juico 0. QUARTER SCORES: 36-23, 69-48, 85-68, 105-82. SECOND GAME FAMILY MART-ENDERUN 116 -- Chauca 24, Escoto 17, Vidal 17, Gatdula 14, Sacundo 13, Hayes 12, Gotladera 8, Dela Cruz 5, Mariano 4, Nunez 2, Dungan 0, Tancioco 0, Oebanda 0. AMA 94 -- Munzon 30, Johnson 24, Parcero 13, Sayat 8, Estibar 6, Alao 5, Dela Rosa 4, Asuncion 3, Sabile 1, Catequista 0. QUARTER SCORES: 31-26, 64-52, 81-78, 116-94. BOX SCORES THIRD GAME IRONCON-UST 78 -- Paraiso 14, Nonoy 13, Abando 13, Ando 10, Subido 10, Concepcion 7, Bataller 4, Marcos 4, Huang 3, Herrera 0. ST. CLARE 75 -- Fontanilla 19, Santos 16, Lunor 11, Hallare 8, Palencia 8, Rubio 7, Pare 4, Ambuludto 2, Bolos 0. QUARTER SCORES: 18-11, 37-33, 60-57, 78-75......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnMay 16th, 2019

From Cellar-Dweller to Contender: Basilan s phenomenal rise in the MPBL

Coming off a rough 2018-19 MPBL Datu Cup campaign, Basilan Steel-Jumbo Plastic has no way to go but up, with the help of Phenom Sports, its new management team. Phenom, led by Jax Chua, took over Basilan late last season when the Steel have already spiraled down to the bottom of the MPBL and finished the tournament tied with Rizal for the last spot of the Southern division behind a dismal 7-18 win-loss record. From there, Phenom rebuilt the team, starting with the coaching staff that has what it takes to maneuver a losing team to a victorious one. “Coming in, ‘yung outlook naming sa team, we want to bring a winning culture ditto sa Basilan. We took the challenge kahit alam naming cellar-dweller noong Datu Cup,” said Chua, who also serves as the general manager of the Steel. Coach Jerson Cabiltes took the helm for Basilan, alongside deputies Noy Catalan, Florian Pineda, Arnold Oliveros, Jinino Manansala, Joseph Guion, Migs Montero, and Dands Javier. Then came the task to build a team that exhibits the same qualities of the Basileños: determined, full of perseverance, hardworking, and has something to prove. Phenom, who also ventured into player management aside from sportswear-making, then made the moves to improve Basilan’s lineup by taking players who are no big names but can contribute in a variety of ways. “To have a winning team, not necessary naman to get big name players. Ang hinanap namin ay mga hardworking players who will buy into the system at magsa-sacrifice talaga,” Chua said. The management retained veteran Dennis Daa for his leadership while activating Cris Dumapis, who has emerged as a reliable force in the paint. They then acquired the services of shifty playmaker Hesed Gabo and sharpshooting big man Jay Collado from Quezon City, marksman Jhapz Bautista from Makati, high-leaping Bobby Balucanag and Shaq Alanas from Pasay, sparkplug Gab Dagangon from Bataan, and Michole Sorela from Navotas. They also signed PBA veterans Jonathan Uyloan and Anthony Bringas alongside Irven Palencia, an integral cog for St. Clare in NAASCU, who is also managed by Phenom. Philip Manalang, Mark Trinidad, Ar Raouf Jilkipli, Junjie Hallare, Darwin Lunor, Jett Vidal, Melgar Murillo, Harold Ng, and Reiner Bazan completed the lineup of Basilan. The Turnaround When the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Cup opened, the retooled Basilan started on the right foot with two straight wins against Bicol and Pampanga. But when the adrenaline ran out, the Jumbo Plastic-backed squad saw its win-loss standing at 9-8 midway through the season. Then Basilan scorched the league in its remaining 13 games, tallying 11 victories while only losing two matches. The main reason for the brilliant playoff push? The arrival of Phenom-managed collegiate talents in Allyn Bulanadi, NCAA Season 95 leading scorer and San Sebastian College-Recoletos superstar, and Philip Manalang, lead floor general of University of the East. Bulanadi, a 6-foot-3 up-and-coming star, played in the Steel’s last seven games in the elimination round on an impressive 21.71 points on 46 percent clip and 4.5 rebounds averages. Meanwhile, Manalang is a sparkplug off the bench who brings the tenacity on the defense all while contributing on the other end in various ways. Basilan entered the playoffs with a 20-10 record, good for the third spot in the tough Southern division just behind top seed Davao Occidental and second-ranked Bacoor. “Our main goal was to for a competitive team and we want to redefine Basilan through basketball. In this way, I think we have garnered so many fans and inspired yung buong Basilan province that’s why I think we have already succeeded in redefining Basilan,” Chua said. But the grind did not stop for the Steel as they marched into the postseason with the whole Basilan province rallying behind their backs. In the quarterfinals, Basilan swept Iloilo advancing into the semifinals, with a daunting task of beating second seed powerhouse Bacoor City. The Steel survived a grueling three-game series against the Strikers, coming up on top despite having home-court disadvantage for Games Two and Three. In the division finals, Basilan faced the toughest team in the South, the Davao Occidental Tigers. But Basilan showed, again and again, its heart, escaping Game One with a 74-72 victory at the Davao Sports and Tourism Complex in Tagum City. And with a shot to glory and barging into the National Finals, Basilan looked to become South kings in front of their huge following at Lamitan City Gym in Game Two, but the Tigers have other plans, spoiling Basilan’s home court and surviving with an 81-76 win. Game Three was supposed to happen last March 14, but MPBL decided to suspend the Division Finals due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “Nandito na rin kami eh, we are not here to participate lang. Given the chance and we will gladly take it. We will go all out to bring more pride to the Basileños and to repay the trust na binigay sa amin ng leaders ng Basilan especially Congressman Mujiv Hataman, Mayor Julz Hataman Governor Jim Hataman Salliman and Councilor Hegem Furigay,” added Chua. Will Basilan Steel continue their astounding playoff run to the National Finals or will Davao Occidental retain its crown in the South? No matter what, Basilan has already won the hearts of the Basileños and the whole MPBL fanbase with its tremendous turnaround from a lowly team in Datu Cup to a powerhouse in the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season. More than Basketball But “Redefining Basilan” is more than basketball. Phenom Sports not only wanted to turn around people’s perception of Basilan the basketball team but give Basilan the province the appreciation it deserves. Basilan has been a hotbed of misconceptions due to the armed conflicts that happened there, but those were the days and the province has moved on. “Right from the start na nakapunta ako sa Basilan, sobrang iba nito kasi akala natin magulo ang Basilan, ang mga tao iba ang ugali pero hindi. Basilan has been enjoying a long peace na. For more than 15 years now under the leadership ng mga Hataman, naging maayos, naging focused sila sa peace and progress,” Chua on Basilan province. And basketball has played a huge part in giving the young Basileños a dream to hold on. “Yung mga kabataan, nabibigyan ng chance na mangarap na maging katulad ng idols nila,” said Chua. “They want to be the next Allyn Bulanadi, the next Hesed Gabo, the next Irven Palencia. This is what basketball is giving to the Basilan people.” The Steel has built a cult following in Basilan and it is the best feeling a player could feel. “Paglapag pa lang ng pier, everybody knows the players. They follow them like rockstars, like celebrities. They send food to the hotels, they watch our practices. Ganoon kamahal ng Basilan yung mga players nila. They saw a hardworking team who really represents Basilan’s culture - the determination, the perseverance and the hard work of the Basileños,” Chua concluded. But how did Basilan Steel get popular in the province? Meet the team behind Phenom Sports. Phenom is all-in in redefining Basilan and that’s why they have a team to do so. They have photographers in Marl Castro, Thel Suliva, and Michael Ordoñez who captured in-game pictures and the team’s interaction with the fans. Rion Balin and Jeff Palaganas are the videographers who make the video highlights of the Basilan players for the fans. Juls Claudio and Dands Javier are graphic artists who create the posters and other publication materials to be posted on the team’s social media accounts. The latter also serves as the marketing man of Phenom. Emma Bueno and Joseph Guion complete the team as coordinator and director, respectively. In a span of just a year, Phenom Sports has reached its goal of redefining Basilan, turning it to #BasilanRedefined......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 19th, 2020

Eight-man CEU proud to have given their all against PBA D-League champ Ateneo

CEU's uprising against heavily favored Cignal-Ateneo was quelled, once and for all, in Game 4 of the 2019 PBA D-League Finals. There, the Scorpions got waylaid, 66-98. Still, the runners-up are nothing but proud of what they had done. "First of all, I would like to congratulate Ateneo. They were supposed taao win talaga and even at the start, they were the favored team," head coach Derrick Pumaren said. He then continued, "We've accomplished a big accomplishment. In spite of an 8-man lineup and 7-man rotation, we still made it here." Indeed, the fact that CEU, with eight players in the line-up and seven players in the regular rotation, even got to Game 4 was already a pleasant surprise. "We wanted to extend the series and keep giving a good fight, but the fatigue factor really got to us," the veteran coach said. He then continued, "I just tried to push them, but hanggang doon na lang e. Wala nang maibibigay." The Scorpions were down to half of their initial roster after they dismissed eight players due to alleged game-fixing at the end of the elimination round. Still, they marched forward to the playoffs where they downed higher-seeded Go for Gold-CSB and St. Clare-Virtual Reality before facing off with the Blue Eagles in the five-game Finals. And in the championship round, CEU pulled off the biggest upset of the season - stealing a 77-74 win from right under the nose of Cignal-Ateneo in Game 2. Just for that alone, Coach Derrick said they will return to Mendiola with their heads held high. As he put it, "I didn't want them to be complacent dahil nakapasok kami sa Finals, but I told them na in my book, you're already a champion because you’ve done something incredible. We have nothing to be ashamed of because we overachieved." He then continued, "Sa akin, champion na sila. I know Ateneo is a very good team, very well-coached, very well-disciplined. Take nothing away from them, pero we're CEU and we were able to steal a game." With that, the Scorpions will be heading into the next conference of the PBA D-League with their confidence as high as it has ever been. "We were able to steal a game from Ateneo and we can use that as a springboard for the next conference. Hopefully, we'll have enough time to fill (out the rest of the roster)," their mentor said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 27th, 2019

UST bows out of contention in PBA D-League care of FamilyMart-Enderun

Also-ran FamilyMart-Enderun eliminated Ironcon-UST with a huge 81-74 win, Thursday in the 2019 PBA D-League at JCSGO Gym in Cubao. Fighting for pride, the Titans weathered a huge fourth quarter attack from the Growling Tigers to end their maiden campaign on a high note and finish with a 2-7 slate. "They want to prove something and they accepted their roles for the good of the team," said coach Pipo Noundou. Valandre Chauca carried FamilyMart-Enderun with 31 points on a 5-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc, alongside five rebounds and two assists, while Marvin Hayes just almost tallied a triple-double with his 18 points, 12 boards, and seven assists. The Titans jumped on the Growling Tigers, taking a 25-11 first quarter lead and extending it to 19 numerous times in the third frame. But Ironcon-UST rallied back behind Soulemane Chabi Yo, slicing the deficit to as low as four, 68-7, with 4:57 left. That was when FamilyMart-Enderun went to its starters as it respinded with an 8-0 spurt to grab an 80-68 advantage courtesy of a Hayes lay-up with 1:09 remaining. The Growling Tigers' shock loss sent them out of the playoffs and gifted St. Clare College-Virtual Reality the no. 2 seed, which comes with a twice-to-beat advantage, in the Aspirants Group. Che'Lu Bar and Grill also booked the no. 4 seat in the process. Chabi Yo's effort of 25 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks went down the drain as Ironcon-UST bowed out of the tourney. Mark Nonoy got 18 points, four assists, and three boards as the Growling Tigers finished sixth due to owning the inferior quotient in the five-way tie. Meanwhile, Valencia City Bukidnon-San Sebastian locked up the top seed in the Foundation Group with a 91-80 win over Diliman College-Gerry's Grill. JM Calma started off hot for the Golden Harvest with his 15 first half points before ending up with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks. RK Ilagan shot a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe to wind up with 23 points, six rebounds, six assists, and three steals while Allyn Bulanadi did it all to finish with 18 points, six boards, four assists, three steals, and three blocks. The win locked the Golden Harvest at no. 1 in the group as they head to the crossover quarterfinals with a twice-to-beat advantage against Che'Lu Bar and Grill on Monday. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME FAMILYMART-ENDERUN 81 -- Chauca 31, Hayes 18, Gotladera 6, Kouakou 6, Vidal 6, Dela Cruz 6, Nunez 3, Gatdula 3, Dungan 2, Escoto 0, Mariano 0, Sacundo 0, Veloso 0. IRONCON-UST 74 -- Chabi Yo 25, Nonoy 18, Abando 9, Asuncio 6, Concepcion 6, Bataller 6, Paraiso 4, Ando 0, Marcos 0, Yongco 0. QUARTER SCORES: 25-11, 46-34, 70-56, 81-74. SECOND GAME VALENCIA-SAN SEBASTIAN 91 -- Calma 26, Ilagan 23, Bulanadi 18, Dela Cruz 6, Bonleon 5, Calahat 4, Altamirano 4, Sumoda 2, Are 2, Villapando 1, Loristo 0, Tero 0, Desoyo 0. DILIMAN-GERRY'S 80 -- Gandjeto 29, Torrado 14, Pacheco 11, Mahari 10, Bauzon 5, Brutas 5, Brill 4, Sombero 2, Darang 0, Tay 0. QUARTER SCORES: 21-7, 37-28, 68-55, 91-80......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2019

Hayward helps Jazz hold off LeBron, beat Cavs

em>By Kareem Copeland, Associated Pres /em> SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Gordon Hayward went blow for blow with LeBron James in the second half to help the Utah Jazz beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-92 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Hayward had 22 points and went back and forth with James during a decisive third quarter. James brought the Cavs back from a 15-point halftime deficit before Hayward drove the lead back to 14. Hayward had 11 points while the Jazz used a 16-0 run midway through the quarter to lead 74-60. The Cavs had a 17-0 roll after halftime thanks an aggressive James and his 13 third-quarter points. Trey Lyles had eight straight points, including a pair of three-pointers, in the fourth quarter to help the Jazz hold on. James finished with 29 points and Kyrie Irving added 20 for the defending champs. The Jazz led 56-41 at halftime after closing the second quarter on a 10-0 run highlighted by Hayward's alley-oop and three-pointers from George Hill and Rodney Hood. Utah dominated the second quarter 27-12 while shooting 50 percent in the first half. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Cavaliers: /strong> /em>Cleveland is 8-3 against Western Conference opponents. The Cavs shot just 36.5 percent and 29.0 percent from behind the arc. James is 5-9 on the road against the Jazz. em> strong>Jazz: /strong> /em>Rudy Gobert posted his franchise-best 25th consecutive game with 10-plus rebounds (14). He added 11 points for his 27th double-double this season. strong>DEBUT /strong> Kyle Korver made his first appearance with the Cavs after being traded in a deal that sent Mike Dunleavy, Mo Williams, a protected first-round pick and cash considerations to the Hawks. He scored two points and grabbed three rebounds in 17 minutes. 'I've always felt the better the players are around me, the better I can be,' Korver said. 'And this is the most talented team I've ever been on.' strong>HEALTHY /strong> The suddenly healthy Jazz started Hill, Hood, Hayward, Derrick Favors and Gobert for just the sixth time this season. The Jazz are now 5-1 when that unit starts. 'It's different, that's for sure,' Jazz coach Quin Snyder said about having the full roster available. 'I hesitate to say it's more challenging. It's different for the players, too. We'll have to find out more about ourselves and guys individually and how they play together.' strong>QUOTABLE /strong> 'First thing I told him when he walked in the locker room the other day was, `If you want to fit in, shoot the ball every time you get it,' James said of Korver. 'Soon as it touches your hand, shoot it. We don't care.' 'We've got about four guys who have the ultra-green light. J.R. [Smith], Kev [Love], now Kyle, Channing [Frye] and Champ [James Jones]. And then you've got green lights for Kyrie. Then you have like a flashing light for myself. I've got to make sure I get everybody involved so I can decide if I want to stop at the light or I can just cruise through there. So, the fluorescent light guys, they can do whatever they want. They have no other responsibilities besides let it go.' strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Cavaliers: /strong> /em> Travel Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) to face a struggling Portland Trail Blazers team that had lost seven of 10 entering Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). em> strong>Jazz: /strong> /em>Host Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) in a matchup between two of the league's best centers. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2017

In or out of pool, Chloe Daos never sank, always swam

For the second season out of her three thus far, Chloe Daos is Ateneo de Manila University's top female athlete. Daos was hailed as The GUIDON-Moro Lorenzo Sportswoman of the Year alongside three-time champion and Finals MVP in men's basketball Thirdy Ravena who got the Sportsman nod. "Being recognized alongside Thirdy just truly makes me humbled and grateful," she said about her honor, her second in three years. "Never in my life would I have ever imagined getting this award and now, I get it for the second time so it's just unreal." With the Sportswoman of the Year award, the 20-year-old taking business management also received the recognition as Ambrosio Padilla Athlete of the Year - Ateneo's honor for being an achiever both as a student and as an athlete. Daos registered a QPI (Quality Point Index) of 3.75 for the second semester of the last school year. This, all while she won all seven of her events in the swimming competition in October of last year and wound up with a league record in the 200m butterfly. Without question, it was a tall task to balance time in the pool and in the classroom, but she was able to do so with much thanks to determination and discipline. "I was able to do it through giving equal importance both to academics and my sport. I do this by setting a schedule for the day and trying my best to follow it," she shared. This determination and discipline was rooted in previous failures which the three-time MVP made sure to learn from. Back in her sophomore year, Daos got a grade of C+ in calculus. "That was a six-unit course which had long exams every other weeks. I found it difficult to fully grasp because of my busy schedule," she said. Of course, getting to go to her dream school and join her dream squad was just the extra fuel to the former Athlete of the Year's already burning fire. "Back when I was in high school, I trained with the Ateneo swim team. When it was time to decide for college, I chose to go here because I looked up to several members of the team," she recalled. She then continued, "I wanted to be a part of that positive atmosphere they created." From then on, setting her sights on greater and greater heights in and out of the pool has been second nature for Daos. "I always try to focus on my goals, on why I started swimming in the first place. This helps me have something to work towards to," she said. And her second Sportswoman of the Year citation may very well be far from the end of it all as she has one more year of eligibility as an athlete and classes as an undergraduate student. As she put it, "To be honest, I haven't really decided on what to do for the future, but for now, I will just go on to my senior year in college with the same mindset." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 1st, 2020

Igorot heritage helped keep Team Lakay strong throughout quarantine

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions all over the world not just in terms of physical health, but mental health as well.  With home quarantines and restrictions being placed just about everywhere in the world, people have needed to adapt and adjust to essentially living inside a bubble.  Fortunately, some countries have slowly started to ease restrictions and get back on their feet, and the Philippines is one of them.  Since March, the whole of Luzon has been on Enhanced Community Quarantine, but after the May 15 deadline, a number of cities and provinces have transitioned into General Community Quarantine. Restrictions are still very much in place, but slowly, things are starting to move towards a new normal.  Throughout that time, members of Team Lakay have managed to keep themselves safe and in shape with the help of home workouts and committing to daily training regimens.  (READ ALSO: Mark Sangiao pleased to see Team Lakay wards maintain fitness even during quarantine) The Baguio-based mixed martial arts heroes have also managed to keep themselves not just physically healthy, but mentally healthy as well, and they believe that their Igorot heritage has a lot to do with how they’ve managed to keep their well-being in check throughout the pandemic.  “The Igorot people are known to be resilient, self-sustaining, village-oriented, and we are used to simple living,” said Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao. “Even in times like these, people don’t get hungry because we take care of each other. You go out and you’ll see free vegetables stocked out on the road, and we don’t hoard them, we only get what we need so that everyone has something on their tables.” “Remember that during the war, Cordillera was able to sustain themselves because of the strong ties that we have here, coupled with the patience and the resiliency that we have,” he added. (READ ALSO: Team Lakay mentor Mark Sangiao looking forward to re-opening gym once lockdown is lifted) For former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang, obedience has been a key part in staying safe.  “The Igorot people are obedient, we make sure to follow our figures of higher authority, especially our elders.” “We also practice what we call ‘binadang,’ which means helping those in need, which is very important during times like this,” he added. As for former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon, self-reliance is an important trait among the Igorot people.  “As a proud Igorot, we are taught to be self-reliant and fend for ourselves during trying times. We are also very obedient and respectful to our leaders,” Belingon stated. Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio echoed Belingon’s sentiments about the Igorot people being self-reliant as well.  “Being an Igorot, most especially the genes and the lifestyle that we live has really helped us during this pandemic,” said Eustaquio. “We are very resilient people, we hold our pride high. We can survive and we can adapt on our own,” “We’ve managed to stay strong throughout this period because I believe that the Igorot people are naturally healthy people,” explained ONE featherweight contender Edward Kelly.  ”The Igorots are physically strong because we are very hard workers, and that helps make our immune system strong as well. Having a strong immune system is very important nowadays so that we don’t get sick with the virus,” Kelly added. For ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio, discipline and obedience has been a major part in keeping Baquio and the Benguet province one of the least affected areas.  “The Baguio-Benguet area was somehow one of the places with the least amounts of cases of people that have tested positive for the coronavirus, and I believe that it’s because of how disciplined the Igorot people are,” said Pacio.  “We listen and we take seriously what the government says. We stay at home and we don’t go out, and we make sure that our health and safety is a must,” the champ added......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 26th, 2020

GREATEST PERFORMANCES: Afril Bernardino s almost quadruple-double

One more steal, one more steal and Afril Bernardino would have had the first and only quadruple-double in the history of the UAAP. National University's do-it-all guard tallied a triple-double of 17 points, 10, rebounds, and 10 assists at the end of their 78-42 demolition job of fellow contender Far Eastern University in the UAAP 79 Women's Basketball Tournament. At the same time, she also wound up with nine steals - falling just one shy of a feat as rare as available tickets in an Ateneo-La Salle game. Nonetheless, that game put on display all that made Bernardino one of the greatest talents the league has ever seen. As she always does, she made her presence felt all over the court from the get-go and made good on a free throw to cap off their 21-5 start. The 5-foot-7 playmaker would not let her foot off the pedal from that point and led the reigning and defending champions in a 31-9 third quarter tsunami that drowned the Lady Tamaraws once and for all. In the end, it was just another win, the 45th in a row for National U dating back to 2014. It was also just another evidence forwarded by Bernardino for the case of her being the undisputed MVP at season's end. Post-game, though, true to form, head coach Pat Aquino also made it a point to give credit to their total team effort. As he put it, "Afril almost had a quadruple-double, but without her teammates, hindi niya magagawa yun. The fact na palaging may Jack (Animam) and Gemma (Miranda), malaki yun." Indeed, Miranda had 21 points and nine rebounds while Animam had 15 points and 10 rebounds to provide backup. Still, that wasn't even the first time the then-21-year-old flirted with a quadruple-double. In an earlier game in that tournament, she collected 22 points, 11 steals, 10 assists, and seven rebounds in the Lady Bulldogs' 103-49 beatdown of University of Sto. Tomas. At the end of that game, Coach Pat could only sing the praises of his prized ward. "Siguro, siya yung pinakamagaling ngayon sa college," he said. Make no mistake, though, the multi-titled mentor again made it a point to mention Bernardino's teammates, "Again, I told her na without her teammates, she could not do this." Without a doubt, National U is a well-oiled machine that has churned six consecutive championships and 96 straight wins and counting. It was Bernardino who set the standard at how exactly that well-oiled machine should be run. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 25th, 2020

Temp to Champ: Justin Brownlee s Magical PBA journey with Ginebra

(This story was originally published on January 31, 2020) With Barangay Ginebra's recent title win in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup, Justin Brownlee is now a four-time champion. In just under four years, Brownlee has completely captivated Ginebra and its legion of fans. Brownlee's influence extends beyond the barangay, one can only hear the continuous calls for him to become Gilas Pilipinas' naturalized player as proof of his influence. He is well-loved not just because of his on-court ability but more so because he is genuinely a good human being. But for all of Brownlee's brilliance in the PBA, everything almost never actually happened. He wasn't even supposed to stay here, let alone come.   THE TNT CONNECTION In 2011, Paul Harris came to the PBA and won the Commissioner's Cup title with the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters. They beat Barangay Ginebra in the Finals after six games. Also in 2011, Harris was playing in the NBA D-League for the Maine Red Claws and one of his teammates was Justin Brownlee. The link has been established long before the Gin Kings cashed in. "To be honest, very ironically, the only person who ever told me about the Philippines was Paul," Brownlee told ABS-CBN Sports. "After he played with Talk 'N Text, we played together in the NBA D-League and I knew Paul before but I really met him when we played in the D-League. He had a lot to say about the Philippines and the way they loved basketball and the way he just won a championship," he added. After his 2011 championship, Harris would come back for a couple more stints with the Tropang Texters. But in 2016 for the Governors’ Cup, Harris would switch teams. Five years after taking them down for the Commissioner’s Cup title, the former Syracuse forward was now suiting up for Barangay Ginebra. Unfortunately, Harris’ Ginebra tenure lasted only one game after he injured his thumb at the Mall of Asia Arena. The Gin Kings were now scrambling and Ginebra had to make a call for a replacement. It was Justin Brownlee that answered. The rest is history. "He told me if you ever have a chance to play in the Philippines, you should really take it," Brownlee said of Harris' advice. "It was my first opportunity for Ginebra so I took it. It's just crazy, because it was for him being injured [that I got a call],' Brownlee added.   3 AND D As a 22-time PBA champion, coach Tim Cone has an eye on players that can do well in the Philippines. Coach Tim knew that Justin Brownlee would have success in the PBA the moment he laid his eyes on him. "I remember scouting him in the NBA Summer League and thought, 'Wow, that guy would really do well in the Philippines,'" Cone said of Brownlee. "But he was a little bit more one-dimensional back then. He was more of a just a 3-and-D guy, he was a stretch four, shot a lot of three-points. He proved he could play bigger guys and play against bigger guys even though he was only 6'5". Those kind of guys usually do well here," the champion mentor added. From the time Brownlee first entered the PBA as Paul Harris' replacement as Ginebra import in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup to now, Cone was proven right. Brownlee turned out to be quite successful in the PBA. With more championships than playoff series lost, he shows no signs of slowing down. About four years in, teams still can't check Brownlee and there's a reason for that according to Cone. "The thing about Justin that impressed me is that while he's been here, his game has improved so tremendously," Coach Tim said. “I was talking to my son who lives in San Francisco. And we were talking about, you know how great Justin is and how hard it is to defend them and how happy I am that he's on my team. I would hate to have to try to guard him on the other side.” "Reminds me a lot actually a Bobby Parks, you know, when I was trying to figure out ways to guard Bobby Parks. Just could not find ways. He always would find a way to beat you and that's exactly what Justin does," Cone added, pretty much giving Brownlee one of the ultimate seals of approval for a PBA import.   WRONG LEAGUE Justin Brownlee could have been a star anywhere else in the world. He was already in the NBA D-League, he could have gotten an actual shot in the NBA if he stayed long enough for what it's worth. But he found himself in the PBA with Barangay Ginebra. The Gin Kings certainly hit the jackpot with him and they're not letting Brownlee go. "The one thing my son said, he said, 'Sorry, dad. But you know, Justin's in the wrong League. He shouldn't be in the PBA. He should be in the NBA, playing as a star somewhere, if he had  been given a chance,'" Coach Tim recalled about a conversation he had with his own son about Brownlee. "He's an NBA-caliber guy. I don't think there's any doubt. He'll be back next year and I think he'll be better even next year than he was this year," Cone added. Brownlee could have been a star anywhere else but the Philippines has become a second home for Brownlee. He will remain a Gin King as long as the barangay wants him to stay. “It’s just the mentality, to be honest. It starts with the ‘Never Say Die’ mentality. Just seeing how the people can come together and motivate other people to do something positive. All the way from the boss, to Coach Tim, to each player, it’s all about coming together,” Brownlee said on what allures him to Barangay Ginebra. “Thet [first] championship was great of course, but for me to come back, it was more so the culture. How the people treated basketball here and the relationship I started building with my teammates, and Coach Tim and the whole management. Over the championship, those are the things I love most, the real reason why I came back. Even if we never won, if I was asked to come back, I would come back in a hurry,” Justin added.   TEMP TO CHAMP Justin Brownlee most definitely made a name for himself in the Philippines with four Finals appearances, four PBA championships, one Best Import award, most three-pointers ever made by an import, and “The Shot.” For a replacement import, that's not too bad. Brownlee's legacy here is set, when he comes back for more, he’s just going to continue to make his case as the PBA’s GOAT import. But for all of Brownlee's brilliance in the PBA, everything almost never actually happened. He wasn't even supposed to stay here, let alone come. “My contract was only for one month,” Brownlee told ABS-CBN Sports on his first stint with Ginebra all the way back from the 2016 Governors’ Cup. “I didn’t know the full details of Paul’s injury at the time. I just remember they [Ginebra] wanted me another month, and it just turned into the rest of the conference. “ “It wasn’t even to stay for the whole conference [first contract]. It was very unfortunate that Paul got hurt but the opportunity presented itself to me and I tried to just take advantage of it the most I can,” Brownlee added. He took advantage indeed.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2020

Shaq: Call off NBA season, crown no champ

Los Angeles -- Retired four-time NBA champion Shaquille O'Neal says the league would be smart to call off the halted 2019-20 campaign and avoid crowning a champion that would carry an "asterisk.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 12th, 2020

Cabagnot creates pipeline for Filipino promising prospects in North America

With Kai Sotto making a name for himself in the US while showcasing his skills for Atlanta-based The Skills Factory, it may very well be just a matter of time before a full-blooded Filipino is playing in the NBA. Even better, there are also several promising prospects with Filipino blood who have a shot of their own - chief among them Jalen Green who has made a groundbreaking decision to jump from high school straight to the G League. Indeed, the Philippines is slowly but surely marking its territory in global basketball - and that just means that, slowly but surely as well, more and more avenues have to be built to facilitate that. One of those avenues is newly founded Fil-Am Nation Select, a program that aims to "provide a platform for exposure and education about the process of playing in the Philippines." "We have the talent. We just need to build the platform and awareness so more Filipino-foreigners can definitely be identified as being Filipino," founder Christian Gopez said. Gopez kickstarted Fil-Am Nation Select in December 2019 with the help of cousin Alex Cabagnot.         View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Fil-Am Nation Select (@filamnationselect) on Jan 21, 2020 at 12:49am PST According to the program, it aims to answer the age-old questions of Filipino-foreigners regarding citizenship, passports, and playing for Gilas Pilipinas. As Gopez put it, "Our ultimate goal is to be the one-stop shop to discover all Filipino-foreign athletes across the globe. We are already working alongside Gilas especially about the key factor of holding dual citizenship." He then continued, "We also hope to provide more options for all colleges in the Philippines to be able to recruit from our platform." Thus far, Fil-Am Nation Select has hosted a visit from head coach Pat Aquino of five-peat UAAP Women's champion National University. In all, the program came to be because Gopez and Cabagnot, the longtime point guard of dynastic San Miguel Beer, wanted to make noise for Philippine basketball in North America. "We talked about how do we get Philippine basketball more exposure here in the US and Canada. Here with us, all Filipinos can showcase their talents and be recognized at our events," the former shared. He also added, "Just to clarify, however, we are not agents. We are a platform that helps agents and recruiters to seek players." To be part of the program, Gopez said that young talents aged 10 to 18 should attend at least one of their regional camps in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Hawaii. The best of the best, 25 each for boys and girls, would then be invited to a summit where college coaches from the Philippines would also be. In the future, those regional camps would then be expanded to Arizona, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Seattle. And even further, Fil-Am Nation Select may very well reach Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg in Canada as well as Australia, Italy, and United Kingdom.         View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Fil-Am Nation Select (@filamnationselect) on Apr 18, 2020 at 8:50am PDT --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 28th, 2020

PBA Best Imports: Marqus Blakely, Grand Slam Champ

Local players are not the only ones that have become stars over the years in the Philippine Basketball Association. Foreign players reinforcing teams, or those they call imports, can be just as beloved. An import playing in the PBA is expected to deliver big numbers, however, production is not the only criteria that makes one successful in basketball on this side of the world. Winning, charisma, and actual love for the PBA and its fans also heavily go into it. The Best Imports will be recognized in name, but the truly great ones that have made their mark here are more than just one-hit wonders. In this series, we take a look at some of the reinforcements that have truly made a home in the PBA. Let’s kick things off with Best Import, Marqus Blakely.   Mr. Everything Marqus Blakely most recent stops in the PBA were with the TNT KaTropa and Blackwater Elite. And while he’s proven to still be one of the better imports in the league during those stints, both ended with no playoff appearances. Even Blakely’s final stint with Star, his original PBA franchise, didn’t exactly end on good terms. With the Hotshots struggling with a 1-3, Marqus was let go for Joel Wright. Still, Star didn’t really fare better and they finished the conference with a 2-9 mark.  Despite Blakely’s rather unceremonious exit with Star, he was given an emotional send-off by his teammates. That’s because even while his later performances have been underwhelming, the work he put before more than makes up for it. Plus, it’s not like he’s been bad with his more recent outings. He was still the same Mr. Everything. A terror for opponents on both ends, Blakely first burst into the scene in the 2012 Governors’ Cup, joining a B-Meg team that just won the Commissioner’s Cup championship. Averaging 22.4 points, 13.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.7 steals and 2.6 blocks per game, Blakely and the Llamados would make it all the way to the Finals, but would lose to Rain or Shine in seven games.   Grand Slam With some unfinished business, Blakely would return to the PBA in the 2013 Governors’ Cup for B-Meg, then renamed as the San Mig Coffee Mixers. Blakely improved his shooting and averaged just a shade under 24 points on top of almost five assists per game. He also still consistently provided 15 rebounds, two steals, and two blocks for San Mig Coffee. Blakely would win his first and only Best Import award at the end of the conference. Faced with another Game 7 in the Finals, the Mixers would beat Petron for the title and San Mig Coffee will bring back Blakely for next year. By the time Marqus suited up for San Mig Coffee for a third time in the 2014 Governors’ Cup, the Mixers have won another two titles and were on the verge of a Grand Slam. Blakely’s numbers dropped in 2014, most notably his scoring. But his rebounding was up to 15.7 boards per game and his veteran presence and established chemistry with his local teammates were unmatched as he led the Mixers to a do-or-die win in the Finals against Rain or Shine to complete the Grand Slam. It’s pretty crazy to think about that Blakely only has one Best Import award to his name. In the grand scheme of things, he does only have two championships in eight total conferences in the PBA, his later stints as a late replacement import hurting his overall numbers. However, very few can match Blakely’s impact to a team, especially during his first three tours of duty with the Purefoods franchise. Fewer imports can also claim to winning a Grand Slam in the PBA like him. That alone makes Marqus Blakely truly one of the Best Imports in the PBA. Best Import, Marqus Blakely: - Eight PBA conferences for B-Meg/San Mig Coffee/Star, TNT, and Blackwater - One-time Best Import - 2-time Champion - Grand Slam winner   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 17th, 2020

BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 3

In case you missed it: BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 1 BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 2 --- Pingoy Rule: Never settle. --- Jerie Pingoy was one of the best players to play in UAAP Jrs. - in recent history, at the very least. "One of the best players I've ever seen," Far Eastern University-Diliman head coach Mike Oliver said about his former prized ward. "He was the complete package - maganda ang range, can slice through defenses, can create his own shot or for his teammates, and also a good defender." If you don't want to believe in the mentor he won a championship with, believe in the fact that in the last two decades, the 5-foot-11 point guard was one of only two players to have hoisted the MVP trophy in back-to-back years. And it's not like he wasn't a winner either as he capped off his high school career by besting defending champion Nazareth School of National University and bringing the Baby Tamaraws to the promised land for the first time since the late '80s. If that still isn't enough for you, then know that the then-mentor of those Bullpups still has not forgotten about the playmaker who dethroned them. "Magaling talaga. Mataas ang basketball IQ. Very smart point guard," Jeff Napa answered when asked about Pingoy. Actually, that was why Napa took a chance on the now-forgotten 25-year-old in the 2020 PBA D-League Draft and the former signed up the latter for Karate Kid-CEU. Pingoy may have strayed far from the promising path he had been on, but deep down, the player who once put up per game counts of 21 points on top of 5.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.1 steals as a graduating guard in high school is still there. WELL-DESERVED There was no question back then that Pingoy was special. Everybody thought so and that was why he also got to wear the flag for the national youth team. There's no question as well that after all that had happened since then, FEU still holds a special place in Pingoy's heart. "I was happy nung nandun ako sa FEU. Mga teammates ko, mga Bisaya rin kaya masaya kaming lahat," he shared in a phone interview. He then continued, "Actually, kung iisipin ko ngayon, yung high school yung pinaka-close ako sa teammates ko." When it came to the next step in his young career, though, he had more than just basketball to think about. With the decision ultimately coming down to either moving up to FEU's Srs. squad or moving on to Ateneo de Manila University, Pingoy kept his family in mind. "Ateneo gave me an opportunity na matulungan yung family ko. I wasn't thinking of myself lang that time," he shared. "Kami, coming from nothing, as in wala talaga, poorest of the poor kami sa Cebu. The opportunity was there e, why not grab it?" Years later, the Cebuano admitted that alongside the prospect of playing for the dynastic Blue Eagles and studying in Ateneo, his would-be allowance was more noteworthy compared to if he would have stayed. "May pagkakaiba sa allowance talaga. Ako naman, wala akong idea at all nun kundi to help my family," he said. He then continued, "Sa Cebu, wala kaming bahay, nakikitulog lang kami sa lola ko. Kaya naisip ko lang na basta, at least, maiangat ko man lang kahit konti ang pamilya ko through my allowance." WORTH IT Make no mistake, though, it wasn't all about allowances. Pingoy believed that his future in terms of basketball shone brightest with Ateneo. That's because the one-time champion and back-to-back MVP in the UAAP Jrs. had the full faith of the Blue Eagles' main men. Then-King Eagle Kiefer Ravena, undoubtedly a big influence on the blue and white's recruits, said that Pingoy was to be the cornerstone of their new era. As he put it, "It was a transition from Coach Norman [Black] to Coach Bo [Perasol] and we were trying to rebuild the program. He was one of the first recruits talaga that Coach Bo wanted." He then continued, "We saw what he was capable of and we wanted that sa team." Perasol, who spent three years in Katipunan before moving to neighboring University of the Philippines, himself shared the same sentiment. "He was one of the best talents of his batch. The best point guard and a proven winner, hands down," he said. He also added, "He was worth it despite any complication." WHAT IF Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. With his momentum stopped dead in its tracks by a two-year residency, Pingoy had a tough time transitioning to the Srs. level and, ultimately, officially only played one year for Ateneo. And yet, he has no what ifs. Asked if he ever thinks about what would have happened if he had decided otherwise, he answered, "Hindi e, hindi ko talaga naisip yung ganun. I never put in my mind na sana, nag-stay na lang ako. As in wala. 'Di ko naisip yun. Never." Until now, Pingoy is proud to say that Ateneo is a big part of the more well-rounded player he has become. "Scoring machine ako nung high school, pero naging mature lang ako maglaro nung natuto akong maging point guard talaga. Sa Ateneo ko lang talaga natutunan yung how to be a facilitator, how to be a leader," he said. While, of course, he has been humbled by all that had happened, he had already learned humility from the very first time he donned the blue and white. "Hindi pwede sa Ateneo na gusto mong star player ka agad," he said before mentioning the Blue Eagles' backcourt filled by Ravena, Nico Elorde, Juami Tiongson when he arrived and then later included the likes of Anton Asistio, Hubert Cani, and Matt Nieto. He also added, "Dahil dun, tinanggap at naging masaya akong maging role player muna." If only Pingoy had also learned how to play his role off the court just as much as he did on it. NEXT ON BEST-OF-5 SERIES: THE PINGOY RULES: "Yung laro ko nung last year ko sa Adamson, medyo bitin. 'Di naman ganun laro ko. Ang laking factor na naoperahan akong hindi successful." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 10th, 2020

BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 3

In case you missed it: BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 1 BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 2 --- Pingoy Rule: Never settle. --- Jerie Pingoy was one of the best players to play in UAAP Jrs. - in recent history, at the very least. "One of the best players I've ever seen," Far Eastern University-Diliman head coach Mike Oliver said about his former prized ward. "He was the complete package - maganda ang range, can slice through defenses, can create his own shot or for his teammates, and also a good defender." If you don't want to believe in the mentor he won a championship with, believe in the fact that in the last two decades, the 5-foot-11 point guard was one of only two players to have hoisted the MVP trophy in back-to-back years. And it's not like he wasn't a winner either as he capped off his high school career by besting defending champion Nazareth School of National University and bringing the Baby Tamaraws to the promised land for the first time since the late '80s. If that still isn't enough for you, then know that the then-mentor of those Bullpups still has not forgotten about the playmaker who dethroned them. "Magaling talaga. Mataas ang basketball IQ. Very smart point guard," Jeff Napa answered when asked about Pingoy. Actually, that was why Napa took a chance on the now-forgotten 25-year-old in the 2020 PBA D-League Draft and the former signed up the latter for Karate Kid-CEU. Pingoy may have strayed far from the promising path he had been on, but deep down, the player who once put up per game counts of 21 points on top of 5.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.1 steals as a graduating guard in high school is still there. WELL-DESERVED There was no question back then that Pingoy was special. Everybody thought so and that was why he also got to wear the flag for the national youth team. There's no question as well that after all that had happened since then, FEU still holds a special place in Pingoy's heart. "I was happy nung nandun ako sa FEU. Mga teammates ko, mga Bisaya rin kaya masaya kaming lahat," he shared in a phone interview. He then continued, "Actually, kung iisipin ko ngayon, yung high school yung pinaka-close ako sa teammates ko." When it came to the next step in his young career, though, he had more than just basketball to think about. With the decision ultimately coming down to either moving up to FEU's Srs. squad or moving on to Ateneo de Manila University, Pingoy kept his family in mind. "Ateneo gave me an opportunity na matulungan yung family ko. I wasn't thinking of myself lang that time," he shared. "Kami, coming from nothing, as in wala talaga, poorest of the poor kami sa Cebu. The opportunity was there e, why not grab it?" Years later, the Cebuano admitted that alongside the prospect of playing for the dynastic Blue Eagles and studying in Ateneo, his would-be allowance was more noteworthy compared to if he would have stayed. "May pagkakaiba sa allowance talaga. Ako naman, wala akong idea at all nun kundi to help my family," he said. He then continued, "Sa Cebu, wala kaming bahay, nakikitulog lang kami sa lola ko. Kaya naisip ko lang na basta, at least, maiangat ko man lang kahit konti ang pamilya ko through my allowance." WORTH IT Make no mistake, though, it wasn't all about allowances. Pingoy believed that his future in terms of basketball shone brightest with Ateneo. That's because the one-time champion and back-to-back MVP in the UAAP Jrs. had the full faith of the Blue Eagles' main men. Then-King Eagle Kiefer Ravena, undoubtedly a big influence on the blue and white's recruits, said that Pingoy was to be the cornerstone of their new era. As he put it, "It was a transition from Coach Norman [Black] to Coach Bo [Perasol] and we were trying to rebuild the program. He was one of the first recruits talaga that Coach Bo wanted." He then continued, "We saw what he was capable of and we wanted that sa team." Perasol, who spent three years in Katipunan before moving to neighboring University of the Philippines, himself shared the same sentiment. "He was one of the best talents of his batch. The best point guard and a proven winner, hands down," he said. He also added, "He was worth it despite any complication." WHAT IF Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. With his momentum stopped dead in its tracks by a two-year residency, Pingoy had a tough time transitioning to the Srs. level and, ultimately, officially only played one year for Ateneo. And yet, he has no what ifs. Asked if he ever thinks about what would have happened if he had decided otherwise, he answered, "Hindi e, hindi ko talaga naisip yung ganun. I never put in my mind na sana, nag-stay na lang ako. As in wala. 'Di ko naisip yun. Never." Until now, Pingoy is proud to say that Ateneo is a big part of the more well-rounded player he has become. "Scoring machine ako nung high school, pero naging mature lang ako maglaro nung natuto akong maging point guard talaga. Sa Ateneo ko lang talaga natutunan yung how to be a facilitator, how to be a leader," he said. While, of course, he has been humbled by all that had happened, he had already learned humility from the very first time he donned the blue and white. "Hindi pwede sa Ateneo na gusto mong star player ka agad," he said before mentioning the Blue Eagles' backcourt filled by Ravena, Nico Elorde, Juami Tiongson when he arrived and then later included the likes of Anton Asistio, Hubert Cani, and Matt Nieto. He also added, "Dahil dun, tinanggap at naging masaya akong maging role player muna." If only Pingoy had also learned how to play his role off the court just as much as he did on it. NEXT ON BEST-OF-5 SERIES: THE PINGOY RULES: "Yung laro ko nung last year ko sa Adamson, medyo bitin. 'Di naman ganun laro ko. Ang laking factor na naoperahan akong hindi successful." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 10th, 2020

BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 3

In case you missed it: BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 1 BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 2 --- Pingoy Rule: Never settle. --- Jerie Pingoy was one of the best players to play in UAAP Jrs. - in recent history, at the very least. "One of the best players I've ever seen," Far Eastern University-Diliman head coach Mike Oliver said about his former prized ward. "He was the complete package - maganda ang range, can slice through defenses, can create his own shot or for his teammates, and also a good defender." If you don't want to believe in the mentor he won a championship with, believe in the fact that in the last two decades, the 5-foot-11 point guard was one of only two players to have hoisted the MVP trophy in back-to-back years. And it's not like he wasn't a winner either as he capped off his high school career by besting defending champion Nazareth School of National University and bringing the Baby Tamaraws to the promised land for the first time since the late '80s. If that still isn't enough for you, then know that the then-mentor of those Bullpups still has not forgotten about the playmaker who dethroned them. "Magaling talaga. Mataas ang basketball IQ. Very smart point guard," Jeff Napa answered when asked about Pingoy. Actually, that was why Napa took a chance on the now-forgotten 25-year-old in the 2020 PBA D-League Draft and the former signed up the latter for Karate Kid-CEU. Pingoy may have strayed far from the promising path he had been on, but deep down, the player who once put up per game counts of 21 points on top of 5.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.1 steals as a graduating guard in high school is still there. WELL-DESERVED There was no question back then that Pingoy was special. Everybody thought so and that was why he also got to wear the flag for the national youth team. There's no question as well that after all that had happened since then, FEU still holds a special place in Pingoy's heart. "I was happy nung nandun ako sa FEU. Mga teammates ko, mga Bisaya rin kaya masaya kaming lahat," he shared in a phone interview. He then continued, "Actually, kung iisipin ko ngayon, yung high school yung pinaka-close ako sa teammates ko." When it came to the next step in his young career, though, he had more than just basketball to think about. With the decision ultimately coming down to either moving up to FEU's Srs. squad or moving on to Ateneo de Manila University, Pingoy kept his family in mind. "Ateneo gave me an opportunity na matulungan yung family ko. I wasn't thinking of myself lang that time," he shared. "Kami, coming from nothing, as in wala talaga, poorest of the poor kami sa Cebu. The opportunity was there e, why not grab it?" Years later, the Cebuano admitted that alongside the prospect of playing for the dynastic Blue Eagles and studying in Ateneo, his would-be allowance was more noteworthy compared to if he would have stayed. "May pagkakaiba sa allowance talaga. Ako naman, wala akong idea at all nun kundi to help my family," he said. He then continued, "Sa Cebu, wala kaming bahay, nakikitulog lang kami sa lola ko. Kaya naisip ko lang na basta, at least, maiangat ko man lang kahit konti ang pamilya ko through my allowance." WORTH IT Make no mistake, though, it wasn't all about allowances. Pingoy believed that his future in terms of basketball shone brightest with Ateneo. That's because the one-time champion and back-to-back MVP in the UAAP Jrs. had the full faith of the Blue Eagles' main men. Then-King Eagle Kiefer Ravena, undoubtedly a big influence on the blue and white's recruits, said that Pingoy was to be the cornerstone of their new era. As he put it, "It was a transition from Coach Norman [Black] to Coach Bo [Perasol] and we were trying to rebuild the program. He was one of the first recruits talaga that Coach Bo wanted." He then continued, "We saw what he was capable of and we wanted that sa team." Perasol, who spent three years in Katipunan before moving to neighboring University of the Philippines, himself shared the same sentiment. "He was one of the best talents of his batch. The best point guard and a proven winner, hands down," he said. He also added, "He was worth it despite any complication." WHAT IF Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. With his momentum stopped dead in its tracks by a two-year residency, Pingoy had a tough time transitioning to the Srs. level and, ultimately, officially only played one year for Ateneo. And yet, he has no what ifs. Asked if he ever thinks about what would have happened if he had decided otherwise, he answered, "Hindi e, hindi ko talaga naisip yung ganun. I never put in my mind na sana, nag-stay na lang ako. As in wala. 'Di ko naisip yun. Never." Until now, Pingoy is proud to say that Ateneo is a big part of the more well-rounded player he has become. "Scoring machine ako nung high school, pero naging mature lang ako maglaro nung natuto akong maging point guard talaga. Sa Ateneo ko lang talaga natutunan yung how to be a facilitator, how to be a leader," he said. While, of course, he has been humbled by all that had happened, he had already learned humility from the very first time he donned the blue and white. "Hindi pwede sa Ateneo na gusto mong star player ka agad," he said before mentioning the Blue Eagles' backcourt filled by Ravena, Nico Elorde, Juami Tiongson when he arrived and then later included the likes of Anton Asistio, Hubert Cani, and Matt Nieto. He also added, "Dahil dun, tinanggap at naging masaya akong maging role player muna." If only Pingoy had also learned how to play his role off the court just as much as he did on it. NEXT ON BEST-OF-5 SERIES: THE PINGOY RULES: "Yung laro ko nung last year ko sa Adamson, medyo bitin. 'Di naman ganun laro ko. Ang laking factor na naoperahan akong hindi successful." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 10th, 2020

BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 3

In case you missed it: BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 1 BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 2 --- Pingoy Rule: Never settle. --- Jerie Pingoy was one of the best players to play in UAAP Jrs. - in recent history, at the very least. "One of the best players I've ever seen," Far Eastern University-Diliman head coach Mike Oliver said about his former prized ward. "He was the complete package - maganda ang range, can slice through defenses, can create his own shot or for his teammates, and also a good defender." If you don't want to believe in the mentor he won a championship with, believe in the fact that in the last two decades, the 5-foot-11 point guard was one of only two players to have hoisted the MVP trophy in back-to-back years. And it's not like he wasn't a winner either as he capped off his high school career by besting defending champion Nazareth School of National University and bringing the Baby Tamaraws to the promised land for the first time since the late '80s. If that still isn't enough for you, then know that the then-mentor of those Bullpups still has not forgotten about the playmaker who dethroned them. "Magaling talaga. Mataas ang basketball IQ. Very smart point guard," Jeff Napa answered when asked about Pingoy. Actually, that was why Napa took a chance on the now-forgotten 25-year-old in the 2020 PBA D-League Draft and the former signed up the latter for Karate Kid-CEU. Pingoy may have strayed far from the promising path he had been on, but deep down, the player who once put up per game counts of 21 points on top of 5.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.1 steals as a graduating guard in high school is still there. WELL-DESERVED There was no question back then that Pingoy was special. Everybody thought so and that was why he also got to wear the flag for the national youth team. There's no question as well that after all that had happened since then, FEU still holds a special place in Pingoy's heart. "I was happy nung nandun ako sa FEU. Mga teammates ko, mga Bisaya rin kaya masaya kaming lahat," he shared in a phone interview. He then continued, "Actually, kung iisipin ko ngayon, yung high school yung pinaka-close ako sa teammates ko." When it came to the next step in his young career, though, he had more than just basketball to think about. With the decision ultimately coming down to either moving up to FEU's Srs. squad or moving on to Ateneo de Manila University, Pingoy kept his family in mind. "Ateneo gave me an opportunity na matulungan yung family ko. I wasn't thinking of myself lang that time," he shared. "Kami, coming from nothing, as in wala talaga, poorest of the poor kami sa Cebu. The opportunity was there e, why not grab it?" Years later, the Cebuano admitted that alongside the prospect of playing for the dynastic Blue Eagles and studying in Ateneo, his would-be allowance was more noteworthy compared to if he would have stayed. "May pagkakaiba sa allowance talaga. Ako naman, wala akong idea at all nun kundi to help my family," he said. He then continued, "Sa Cebu, wala kaming bahay, nakikitulog lang kami sa lola ko. Kaya naisip ko lang na basta, at least, maiangat ko man lang kahit konti ang pamilya ko through my allowance." WORTH IT Make no mistake, though, it wasn't all about allowances. Pingoy believed that his future in terms of basketball shone brightest with Ateneo. That's because the one-time champion and back-to-back MVP in the UAAP Jrs. had the full faith of the Blue Eagles' main men. Then-King Eagle Kiefer Ravena, undoubtedly a big influence on the blue and white's recruits, said that Pingoy was to be the cornerstone of their new era. As he put it, "It was a transition from Coach Norman [Black] to Coach Bo [Perasol] and we were trying to rebuild the program. He was one of the first recruits talaga that Coach Bo wanted." He then continued, "We saw what he was capable of and we wanted that sa team." Perasol, who spent three years in Katipunan before moving to neighboring University of the Philippines, himself shared the same sentiment. "He was one of the best talents of his batch. The best point guard and a proven winner, hands down," he said. He also added, "He was worth it despite any complication." WHAT IF Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. With his momentum stopped dead in its tracks by a two-year residency, Pingoy had a tough time transitioning to the Srs. level and, ultimately, officially only played one year for Ateneo. And yet, he has no what ifs. Asked if he ever thinks about what would have happened if he had decided otherwise, he answered, "Hindi e, hindi ko talaga naisip yung ganun. I never put in my mind na sana, nag-stay na lang ako. As in wala. 'Di ko naisip yun. Never." Until now, Pingoy is proud to say that Ateneo is a big part of the more well-rounded player he has become. "Scoring machine ako nung high school, pero naging mature lang ako maglaro nung natuto akong maging point guard talaga. Sa Ateneo ko lang talaga natutunan yung how to be a facilitator, how to be a leader," he said. While, of course, he has been humbled by all that had happened, he had already learned humility from the very first time he donned the blue and white. "Hindi pwede sa Ateneo na gusto mong star player ka agad," he said before mentioning the Blue Eagles' backcourt filled by Ravena, Nico Elorde, Juami Tiongson when he arrived and then later included the likes of Anton Asistio, Hubert Cani, and Matt Nieto. He also added, "Dahil dun, tinanggap at naging masaya akong maging role player muna." If only Pingoy had also learned how to play his role off the court just as much as he did on it. NEXT ON BEST-OF-5 SERIES: THE PINGOY RULES: "Yung laro ko nung last year ko sa Adamson, medyo bitin. 'Di naman ganun laro ko. Ang laking factor na naoperahan akong hindi successful." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 10th, 2020

BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 3

In case you missed it: BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 1 BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 2 --- Pingoy Rule: Never settle. --- Jerie Pingoy was one of the best players to play in UAAP Jrs. - in recent history, at the very least. "One of the best players I've ever seen," Far Eastern University-Diliman head coach Mike Oliver said about his former prized ward. "He was the complete package - maganda ang range, can slice through defenses, can create his own shot or for his teammates, and also a good defender." If you don't want to believe in the mentor he won a championship with, believe in the fact that in the last two decades, the 5-foot-11 point guard was one of only two players to have hoisted the MVP trophy in back-to-back years. And it's not like he wasn't a winner either as he capped off his high school career by besting defending champion Nazareth School of National University and bringing the Baby Tamaraws to the promised land for the first time since the late '80s. If that still isn't enough for you, then know that the then-mentor of those Bullpups still has not forgotten about the playmaker who dethroned them. "Magaling talaga. Mataas ang basketball IQ. Very smart point guard," Jeff Napa answered when asked about Pingoy. Actually, that was why Napa took a chance on the now-forgotten 25-year-old in the 2020 PBA D-League Draft and the former signed up the latter for Karate Kid-CEU. Pingoy may have strayed far from the promising path he had been on, but deep down, the player who once put up per game counts of 21 points on top of 5.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.1 steals as a graduating guard in high school is still there. WELL-DESERVED There was no question back then that Pingoy was special. Everybody thought so and that was why he also got to wear the flag for the national youth team. There's no question as well that after all that had happened since then, FEU still holds a special place in Pingoy's heart. "I was happy nung nandun ako sa FEU. Mga teammates ko, mga Bisaya rin kaya masaya kaming lahat," he shared in a phone interview. He then continued, "Actually, kung iisipin ko ngayon, yung high school yung pinaka-close ako sa teammates ko." When it came to the next step in his young career, though, he had more than just basketball to think about. With the decision ultimately coming down to either moving up to FEU's Srs. squad or moving on to Ateneo de Manila University, Pingoy kept his family in mind. "Ateneo gave me an opportunity na matulungan yung family ko. I wasn't thinking of myself lang that time," he shared. "Kami, coming from nothing, as in wala talaga, poorest of the poor kami sa Cebu. The opportunity was there e, why not grab it?" Years later, the Cebuano admitted that alongside the prospect of playing for the dynastic Blue Eagles and studying in Ateneo, his would-be allowance was more noteworthy compared to if he would have stayed. "May pagkakaiba sa allowance talaga. Ako naman, wala akong idea at all nun kundi to help my family," he said. He then continued, "Sa Cebu, wala kaming bahay, nakikitulog lang kami sa lola ko. Kaya naisip ko lang na basta, at least, maiangat ko man lang kahit konti ang pamilya ko through my allowance." WORTH IT Make no mistake, though, it wasn't all about allowances. Pingoy believed that his future in terms of basketball shone brightest with Ateneo. That's because the one-time champion and back-to-back MVP in the UAAP Jrs. had the full faith of the Blue Eagles' main men. Then-King Eagle Kiefer Ravena, undoubtedly a big influence on the blue and white's recruits, said that Pingoy was to be the cornerstone of their new era. As he put it, "It was a transition from Coach Norman [Black] to Coach Bo [Perasol] and we were trying to rebuild the program. He was one of the first recruits talaga that Coach Bo wanted." He then continued, "We saw what he was capable of and we wanted that sa team." Perasol, who spent three years in Katipunan before moving to neighboring University of the Philippines, himself shared the same sentiment. "He was one of the best talents of his batch. The best point guard and a proven winner, hands down," he said. He also added, "He was worth it despite any complication." WHAT IF Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. With his momentum stopped dead in its tracks by a two-year residency, Pingoy had a tough time transitioning to the Srs. level and, ultimately, officially only played one year for Ateneo. And yet, he has no what ifs. Asked if he ever thinks about what would have happened if he had decided otherwise, he answered, "Hindi e, hindi ko talaga naisip yung ganun. I never put in my mind na sana, nag-stay na lang ako. As in wala. 'Di ko naisip yun. Never." Until now, Pingoy is proud to say that Ateneo is a big part of the more well-rounded player he has become. "Scoring machine ako nung high school, pero naging mature lang ako maglaro nung natuto akong maging point guard talaga. Sa Ateneo ko lang talaga natutunan yung how to be a facilitator, how to be a leader," he said. While, of course, he has been humbled by all that had happened, he had already learned humility from the very first time he donned the blue and white. "Hindi pwede sa Ateneo na gusto mong star player ka agad," he said before mentioning the Blue Eagles' backcourt filled by Ravena, Nico Elorde, Juami Tiongson when he arrived and then later included the likes of Anton Asistio, Hubert Cani, and Matt Nieto. He also added, "Dahil dun, tinanggap at naging masaya akong maging role player muna." If only Pingoy had also learned how to play his role off the court just as much as he did on it. NEXT ON BEST-OF-5 SERIES: THE PINGOY RULES: "Yung laro ko nung last year ko sa Adamson, medyo bitin. 'Di naman ganun laro ko. Ang laking factor na naoperahan akong hindi successful." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 10th, 2020

BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 3

In case you missed it: BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 1 BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 2 --- Pingoy Rule: Never settle. --- Jerie Pingoy was one of the best players to play in UAAP Jrs. - in recent history, at the very least. "One of the best players I've ever seen," Far Eastern University-Diliman head coach Mike Oliver said about his former prized ward. "He was the complete package - maganda ang range, can slice through defenses, can create his own shot or for his teammates, and also a good defender." If you don't want to believe in the mentor he won a championship with, believe in the fact that in the last two decades, the 5-foot-11 point guard was one of only two players to have hoisted the MVP trophy in back-to-back years. And it's not like he wasn't a winner either as he capped off his high school career by besting defending champion Nazareth School of National University and bringing the Baby Tamaraws to the promised land for the first time since the late '80s. If that still isn't enough for you, then know that the then-mentor of those Bullpups still has not forgotten about the playmaker who dethroned them. "Magaling talaga. Mataas ang basketball IQ. Very smart point guard," Jeff Napa answered when asked about Pingoy. Actually, that was why Napa took a chance on the now-forgotten 25-year-old in the 2020 PBA D-League Draft and the former signed up the latter for Karate Kid-CEU. Pingoy may have strayed far from the promising path he had been on, but deep down, the player who once put up per game counts of 21 points on top of 5.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.1 steals as a graduating guard in high school is still there. WELL-DESERVED There was no question back then that Pingoy was special. Everybody thought so and that was why he also got to wear the flag for the national youth team. There's no question as well that after all that had happened since then, FEU still holds a special place in Pingoy's heart. "I was happy nung nandun ako sa FEU. Mga teammates ko, mga Bisaya rin kaya masaya kaming lahat," he shared in a phone interview. He then continued, "Actually, kung iisipin ko ngayon, yung high school yung pinaka-close ako sa teammates ko." When it came to the next step in his young career, though, he had more than just basketball to think about. With the decision ultimately coming down to either moving up to FEU's Srs. squad or moving on to Ateneo de Manila University, Pingoy kept his family in mind. "Ateneo gave me an opportunity na matulungan yung family ko. I wasn't thinking of myself lang that time," he shared. "Kami, coming from nothing, as in wala talaga, poorest of the poor kami sa Cebu. The opportunity was there e, why not grab it?" Years later, the Cebuano admitted that alongside the prospect of playing for the dynastic Blue Eagles and studying in Ateneo, his would-be allowance was more noteworthy compared to if he would have stayed. "May pagkakaiba sa allowance talaga. Ako naman, wala akong idea at all nun kundi to help my family," he said. He then continued, "Sa Cebu, wala kaming bahay, nakikitulog lang kami sa lola ko. Kaya naisip ko lang na basta, at least, maiangat ko man lang kahit konti ang pamilya ko through my allowance." WORTH IT Make no mistake, though, it wasn't all about allowances. Pingoy believed that his future in terms of basketball shone brightest with Ateneo. That's because the one-time champion and back-to-back MVP in the UAAP Jrs. had the full faith of the Blue Eagles' main men. Then-King Eagle Kiefer Ravena, undoubtedly a big influence on the blue and white's recruits, said that Pingoy was to be the cornerstone of their new era. As he put it, "It was a transition from Coach Norman [Black] to Coach Bo [Perasol] and we were trying to rebuild the program. He was one of the first recruits talaga that Coach Bo wanted." He then continued, "We saw what he was capable of and we wanted that sa team." Perasol, who spent three years in Katipunan before moving to neighboring University of the Philippines, himself shared the same sentiment. "He was one of the best talents of his batch. The best point guard and a proven winner, hands down," he said. He also added, "He was worth it despite any complication." WHAT IF Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. With his momentum stopped dead in its tracks by a two-year residency, Pingoy had a tough time transitioning to the Srs. level and, ultimately, officially only played one year for Ateneo. And yet, he has no what ifs. Asked if he ever thinks about what would have happened if he had decided otherwise, he answered, "Hindi e, hindi ko talaga naisip yung ganun. I never put in my mind na sana, nag-stay na lang ako. As in wala. 'Di ko naisip yun. Never." Until now, Pingoy is proud to say that Ateneo is a big part of the more well-rounded player he has become. "Scoring machine ako nung high school, pero naging mature lang ako maglaro nung natuto akong maging point guard talaga. Sa Ateneo ko lang talaga natutunan yung how to be a facilitator, how to be a leader," he said. While, of course, he has been humbled by all that had happened, he had already learned humility from the very first time he donned the blue and white. "Hindi pwede sa Ateneo na gusto mong star player ka agad," he said before mentioning the Blue Eagles' backcourt filled by Ravena, Nico Elorde, Juami Tiongson when he arrived and then later included the likes of Anton Asistio, Hubert Cani, and Matt Nieto. He also added, "Dahil dun, tinanggap at naging masaya akong maging role player muna." If only Pingoy had also learned how to play his role off the court just as much as he did on it. NEXT ON BEST-OF-5 SERIES: THE PINGOY RULES: "Yung laro ko nung last year ko sa Adamson, medyo bitin. 'Di naman ganun laro ko. Ang laking factor na naoperahan akong hindi successful." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 10th, 2020

BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 1

Pingoy Rule: Never give up. --- Jerie Pingoy is not a disappointment. He is disappointed in himself, no doubt about that, but he is not a disappointment. Not just yet - so he says. "'Di ako susuko na makapag-PBA. I still want to prove to everyone na kaya ko pang makipagsabayan," he said, full of confidence, in a phone interview. "Kasi nakikita ko pa sa sarili kong kaya ko pa eh - as in, kaya ko pa. Sana, sana mabigyan ako ng chance to prove na I'm still worthy." Many dream of playing in the PBA, but only a few get to do so. Even fewer get to do so after going missing in action for more than a year. The last time we saw the 5-foot-9 point guard, he and Adamson University were at the wrong end of the University of the Philippines' breakthrough in 2018. No, that's not right. The last time we actually saw Pingoy was in the now-suspended 2020 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup where he played two games with Karate Kid-Centro Escolar University. "Sa ngayon, I'm trying to come back. Since bata ako, gusto ko mag-PBA, pero sa ngayon, sa nakikita ko sa sarili ko, kailangan ko magdoble-kayod para dun," he said. "Ang hirap pa ngayon, nawala ako ng (higit isang) taon kaya mas lalong dapat ipakita kong worthy akong mapunta dun." In between his last game as a Soaring Falcon and his first one with the Scorpions, indeed, it seemed as if the 25-year-old just went off the grid - something that would have been thought to be impossible years ago when he was still the toast of high school basketball and a hoped-for contributor in collegiate hoops. GOOD OLD DAYS "One of the best players I've ever seen. He was the complete package," Mike Oliver, Pingoy's head coach at Far Eastern University-Diliman, answered when asked to look back at his former ward. Oliver would be one of the few people who would have a good grasp of the top talents at the high school level as he was a champion coach there as well as mentor of Batang Gilas. "It was a transition from Coach Norman [Black] to Coach Bo [Perasol] and we were trying to rebuild the program. He was one of the first recruits talaga that Coach Bo wanted," Kiefer Ravena, Pingoy's teammate in Ateneo de Manila University, answered when asked to recall one of the prized prospects he helped recruit. Ravena would be one of the people who would know a thing or two about the Blue Eagles' recruitment plans in the early '10s as, of course, playing with him would have been one of the reasons why a player would want to wear blue and white. "We're just scratching the surface of what he can do right now. If he will just follow what we're trying to teach him, he will be a better all-around player," Franz Pumaren, shot-caller at Adamson University where Pingoy transferred to, said right after one of the better games he had in college. Pumaren would be one of the few people who would have the power to make somebody believe that his system leads to wins and championships - and the power to judge the potential of a player. NEW YEAR, NEW ME After two years in Adamson, though, Pingoy decided against playing his fifth and final playing year in the UAAP and decided to instead nurse his troublesome left foot back to full strength. Along with that, for the good of his mind, he decided to stay away from all the noise. And so, for more than a year, not much was heard from Pingoy nor did he hear anything from anyone. That was until Karate Kid-CEU came calling by getting him in the 2020 PBA D-League Draft. With his up-and-down collegiate career a thing of the past, Pingoy was nothing but grateful for yet another shot. "I'm so thakful sa CEU kasi sobrang inaalagaan nila ako. Sina Coach Jeff [Napa] pati mga boss dun, tinutulungan talaga nila akong mabalik yung career ko," he said. So much was he grateful that he wasted no time in returning their trust in him. In fact, in just a month, he was able to shed off excess fat - something he has been known to be unable to get away from in his last years in college - and shape up. "After practices, may workout pa ako and dahil dun, from 250 lbs., naging 211 lbs. na lang ako nung may D-League pa. Ngayon, tuloy-tuloy pa rin and 197 lbs. na lang ako," he was glad to report. He also added, "Kailangan nasa 170 lbs. Sana makuha." HERE WE GO AGAIN Just when it looked like all was finally coming together for Pingoy, however, COVID-19 turned into a pandemic and forced the D-League, as well as all other sporting events, to be postponed. And with the crisis continuing, it is yet to be determined when the developmental league would resume - or if it would even resume considering that all but one of its 11 participating teams are college-based. This is just the latest challenge in a young career that has already been through several starts and stops. Start with back-to-back UAAP Jrs. MVPs as well as a championship in FEU-Diliman. Stop with brand new residency rules from high school to college. Start with the starting point guard position in your first game in Ateneo. Stop with a logjam of point guards and then academic deficiencies. Start with a long-awaited breakout as a two-way player for Adamson. Stop with a foot injury that failed to fully heal. Start with Karate Kid-CEU taking a chance on you. Stop with COVID-19 shutting down anything and everything. Still, Pingoy chooses to see the silver linings. "I think it's God's plan. Hindi yung virus ha," he shared with a laugh. He then continued, "For me, sinasabing bago ka maglaro ulit, kailangang fit na fit ka. Dapat, 'di na ganun kataba. Dapat, ipakita sa CEU na kahit walang training, ready pa rin." For sure, his future is yet to be written - and only his hand is holding the pen. Still, it could not be argued that after all those starts and stops, the very first one remains to have left the biggest mark. NEXT ON BEST-OF-5 SERIES: THE PINGOY RULES: "Nasasayangan ako sa years na 'di ako nakapaglaro. Kung nakapaglaro ako nung mga yun, mag-iiba yung takbo ng panahon." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 8th, 2020

SUPER SHOWDOWN: 13 season sweep vs 20 perfect run of Bullpups

Not only has Nazareth School of National University gone undefeated through the tournament in UAAP Boys Basketball, it has actually done it twice in the last seven years. The Bullpups did it in 2013 as Jeff Napa guided and Hubert Cani led them in warding off all oncomers and winding up 16-0. Seven years later, head coach Goldwin Monteverde's well-oiled machine stamped its class on all its opponents en route to an unbeaten title defense. With that, the Sampaloc-based school can now boast of having, arguably, two of the top teams in high school history. Head-to-head, though, which squad's season sweep was more impressive? That, that is exactly what we will delve into in ABS-CBN Sports' Super Showdown. In grading the greatness of each team's perfect run, we will be judging them in five categories (frontcourt, backcourt, coaching, depth, and level of competition) with a boxing-style 10-point must system determining the decision. FRONTCOURT Carl Tamayo is the best big man to come out of high school in recent history. The 6-foot-7 modern big man's averages of 11.6 points and 9.3 rebounds in the elimination round were ho-hum, but he unleashed his true self in the Finals where the posted a per game double-double of 19 markers and 18 boards. Put 6-foot-8 Kevin Quiambao and his norms of 12.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.4 blocks beside that and the '20 National U team had two of the most talented towers in all of the Jrs. division. Coach Jeff, a well-renowned big man whisperer, has his bigs prepared to the utmost in each and every game, but '13 Bullpups' JP Cauilan, Mark Dyke, and Kins Go are just no match for the power and potential of the Tamayo-Quiambao pairing. That gap more than made up for the inexperience of '20 National U's wings in Harold Alarcon, Reyland Torres, and Nat Tulabut when matched up opposite the battle-tested wiles of Enzo Battad and Chino Mosqueda from the '13 Bullpups. Advantage '20 Bullpups, 10-8 BACKCOURT Cani, without a doubt, underwhelmed in his college career, but there was always a reason why several squads were interested in him coming out of high school. Simply put, he was a true-blue-chip recruit and his 24.5-point, 7.0-assist, 4.0-rebound, and 2.0-steal averages when it mattered most made him nothing but worthy as Finals MVP. Make no mistake, Terrence Fortea and Gerry Abadiano are true-blue-chip recruits in their own right, but the '13 version of Cani was just on another level - a big guard who can make plays as well as take matters into his own hands. Backstop him with steady Philip Manalang and '13 National U trumps the '20 Bullpups guard rotation of Fortea, Abadiano, Ernest Felicilda, and Steve Nash Enriquez. Advantage '13 Bullpups, 10-9 COACHING Both Coach Jeff and Coach Gold are undisputed master-builders in high school. Napa transformed National U from a once-league doormat into a dynasty while Monteverde has been a winner anywhere and everywhere, be it Chiang Kai Shek College or Adamson High School or with the Bullpups. Coach Jeff's trademark has long been mining raw big men and molding them into forces while Coach Gold has always had total team effort as his signature. Considering the lineups of the two teams, though, it was Napa who got the most out of his players. Cani was the '13 Bullpups one and only shining star, but Coach Jeff had perfect roles for do-it-all Cauilan, monster rebounder Dyke, and two-way swingman Mosqueda. On the other hand, Coach Gold had tantalizing talents in Abadiano, Fortea, Quiambao, and Tamayo, among others, and then made them all work in a system. And so, the slight edge here goes to Napa who turned scraps into a machine - but still, it should never be disregarded how masterful it was that Monteverde let his constellation of stars shine bright in their own ways. Advantage '13 Bullpups, 10-9 DEPTH There is no debate that the National U of '20 will blow the '13 Bullpups out of the water in terms of total talent. The National U of '20 had Tamayo and Fortea coming off the bench for crying out loud all while Quiambao and Abadiano made sure they started strong. Even more, the likes of Alarcon, Torres, and Felicilda never got headlines and highlights, but were actually the grease that made sure the juggernaut was running as well as it should. In comparison, the '13 Bullpups, more often than not, went eight-deep with Cani flanked by Battad, Cauilan, Dyke, Go, Manalang, Mosqueda, and John Rey Lapiz. Man-for-man, the National U of '20 was just fully loaded as promising prospects Enriquez, Kenji Duremdes, and Echo Laure are only just waiting for their turn at the controls. Advantage '20 Bullpups, 10-8 LEVEL OF COMPETITION The '20 National U won by an average of 25.8 points and only had three single-digit wins through the tournament. The '13 Bullpups, meanwhile, won by an average of 12.5 points and had 10 single-digit wins through the tournament. That alone doesn't tell the full story, though. The '13 Bullpups' road to a season sweep was actually rockier as it featured matchups with Ateneo de Manila University with Aaron Black, Jolo Mendoza, Thirdy Ravena, and Nieto twins Mike and Matt; Far Eastern University-Diliman with Brandrey Bienes, Wendell Comboy, Richard Escoto, Christian Fajarito, Marvin Lee, and Domingo twins JJ and JS; De La Salle Zobel with QJ Banzon, Aljun Melecio, Brent Paraiso, and Renzo Subido; and even Diego Dario and Joe Gomez de Liano's the University of the Philippines Integrated School and Raymar Caduyac's University of the East. And yet, they were able to take care of Thirdy's Blue Eaglets by an average margin of victory of 12.5 points in the Finals. That was the same average margin of victory for '20 National U opposite FEU-Diliman which went to war led by Cholo Anonuevo, Jorick Bautista, and Penny Estacio. While Anonuevo, Bautista, and Estacio are tantalizing talents, they are only coming into their own and far from the player that Season MVP Thirdy was for Ateneo. No doubt, talent was all over the league even past those '20 Finalists in the form of Adamson High School with Season MVP Jake Figueroa and Matty Erolon; Ateneo's Josh Lazaro, Lebron Lopez, and Forthky Padrigao; University of Sto. Tomas' Jacob Cortez and Bismarck Lina; and UPIS' Sean Torculas, Jordi GDL, and Ray Allen Torres. In all, however, the level of competition in 2013 was higher as '20 National U didn't face a team as talented as Thirdy's Blue Eaglets or a more complete team than the Baby Tams. Advantage '13 Bullpups, 10-8 FINAL SCORE, a draw at 46-46.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 24th, 2020

MPBL: Rizal signs up Cebuano scorer Eloy Poligrates

Rizal-Xentro Mall looks to bounce back after a disappointing sophomore campaign during the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season. To begin their rebuild, the Golden Coolers, who ended with a 7-22 slate last season, signed known Cebuano scorer Eloy Poligrates for the fourth season of the league. "No one wants to end last on the rank of course, so after meeting with the owners, we all agreed that we have to build a more competitive squad," said Rizal-Xentro Mall team manager Anj Anzores. "So signing Eloy, is really a big step especially all teams are rebuilding. Getting him early is an advantage, at least we already secured a guy that we know will be of great help." Rizal-Xentro Mall knows what it is getting from the enigmatic 6-foot guard. Coming off a turbulent time with Cebu-Casino Ethyl Alcohol that saw him play just six games, Poligrates decided to play in the PBA D-League for Marinerong Pilipino. During the Aspirants' Cup, Poligrates went on to average 21.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.6 steals per game, leading the Skippers to a second place finish. Poligrates went on to sign with Val City but played just four games there. Besides Poligrates, Rizal also signed 2019 NAASCU Rookie of the Year Nikko Panganiban. Panganiban, a 20-year-old guard out of Our Lady of Fatima University, averaged 18.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game during the 2019 season of NAASCU. Big man Mark Benitez, who averaged 12.0 points and 7.2 rebounds during the Lakan Season, also signed a two-year extension with the Golden Coolers. "We are talking to several collegiate and NBL players as well that we can't name pa because they are still awaiting approval from their mother teams," Anzores said. Rizal-Xentro Mall though will have a new head coach as JV Gayoso will not return for the fourth season of the Chooks-to-Go-backed league......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 22nd, 2020