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gameface_one
06-13-2006, 07:55 AM
Toyota Otis, Harbour gird for ‘total war’

PBL fetes Rain or Shine
mb.com.ph


BEING A veteran of so many epic championships, Harbour Centre’s LA Tenorio knows very well what to expect in Game 3: Total war.


With their 2006 PBL Unity Cup finals series against Toyota Otis tied at 1-1, Tenorio even likened today’s crucial game to a chess match where both gladiators are expected to make some brilliant moves - much sharper and deeper this time - in order for them to inch closer to the Promised Land.

"It’s a must-win for both of us, so I expect another fierce battle," said Tenorio who, along with Chico

Lanete provided the much-needed fireworks in the fourth that helped repulse Toyota Otis’ smoldering comeback and gutted out a 78-63 win.

"I know Toyota Otis will come back strong so we have to match if not better the Sparks’ intensity," said Tenorio who deftly set the table for the Port Masters while Joseph Yeo and Lanete provided the other menus.

His battle with equally exciting Boyet Bautista is expected to provide a heart-warming side story in the series where both protagonists are out to nail their first championship.

In Game 1 which Toyota Otis won, 68-51, Harbour Centre’s offense was so pathetic and disorganized — blamed it to lack of ball movements and horrendous shooting.

Yeo, Tenorio and Lanete – all deadly from the 3-point area – typified Harbour Centre’s atrocious shooting as they missed their target by wide margins. Yeo even missed all his six tries from the 3-point zone while Lanetewas eerie silent, failing to buy a single basket.

But what gave Harbour Centre coach Jorge Gallent the fits were some silly moves of his players.

But in Game 2, Gallent was flashing his demure smiles as his boys played the way real boys should be – similar to the toughness and dogged determination of Mt. Everest climber Leo Oracion.

"In Game 1, we played like kids but now we’re starting to play as big guys," said Gallent. "We have to be real smart and tough."

Yes, mental toughness will spell the difference when the two teams try to cancel each other again starting at 3 p.m.

Meantime, the league will pay tribute to Rain or Shine, formerly Welcoat, in recognition for its outstanding achievement in the league, having won six titles in 10 finals appearances.

After 10 years of playing in the country’s premier amateur basketball, Rain or Shine, owned by Raymund Yu and Terry Que, whose successful partnership paved the way for the team’s dynasty, will leave the league and hope to bring its winning legacy in the pro league.

Though they failed to leave they way they envisioned it - on a high note, Yu and Que are nonetheless satisfied with their performance.

Even Toyota Otis coach Louie Alas agreed that Yeo, Lanete and Tenorio hurt them most.

"We have to contain the three and limit Harbour’s production to below 60 points," said Alas. "We also have to be mentally sharp."

Prior to Game 2, the Toyota Otis Sparks have limited their rivals to below 60 points and won five straight games, including a masterful three-game sweep of Rain or Shine in the semis.

Yeo scored the bulk of his 25 points in the first half while Tenorio and Lanete took charge of the team’s business in the last two quarters to finish with 16 and 14 points, respectively.

Aside from allowing Yeo to produce some midair magic, the Toyota Otis Sparks shot poorly from the field as they could hit only 29 percent of their shots.

gameface_one
06-13-2006, 07:56 AM
Harbour Centre slight pick in Game 3

First posted 03:57am (Mla time) June 13, 2006
By Jasmine W. Payo
Inquirer



Editor's Note: Published on page A21 of the June 13, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer


WHEN Harbour Centre’s top guns finally got going, coach Louie Alas knew his Toyota Otis had a problem.

Thus, stopping Joseph Yeo, LA Tenorio and Chico Lanete will be the prime concern of the Toyota Sparks today when they clash against the Portmasters in Game 3 of the PBL Unity Cup Finals at the Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque City.

“It’s okay even if their other players deliver, so long as it’s not those three players,” said Alas. “We have to contain them. We’ll be having a hard time if they always finish in double figures.”

Yeo unloaded 25 points, Tenorio added 16 and Lanete had 14 as the Portmasters tied the best-of-five title series with a 78-63 victory.

“I told (Yeo and Tenorio) that this is the last time I’m going to coach them since they’re going to the pros already, so they have to step it up,” said Harbour Centre coach Jorge Gallent.

Although the backcourt trio carried most of the scoring load, Gallent said the rebounding and defensive contributions of big men Rob Reyes, Rico Maierhoffer and Chad Alonzo also keyed the win.

“If we don’t play as a team against Toyota, we won’t be able to beat them,” noted Gallent. “I think we’ve been sharing the ball well.”

For Alas, the Sparks also have to step it up at the defensive end as in their 68-51 Game 1 triumph last Thursday.

“We gave up 70-plus points -- that’s too much,” he said. “It was the first time in five games. We always try to limit our opponents below 60 points.”

And unlike the Sparks’ balanced charge in the series opener, only Aaron Aban and Boyet Bautista hit the mark in Game 2.

Joe Devance, just minutes after bagging the Most Valuable Player plum, shot only six points in a woeful 2-of-16 shooting.

gameface_one
06-13-2006, 07:57 AM
Harbour Centre, Toyota back to square 1

The Philippine Star 06/13/2006

With their title series now reduced to a best-of-three affair, expect a war when Harbour Centre and Toyota Otis clash today for the go-ahead victory in their title showdown in the PBL Unity Cup at the Olivarez Sports Center.

The Port Masters fought back from a 17-point (51-68) setback in Game One by burying the Sparks, also via a rout Saturday — a 78-63 victory that evened their best-of-five playoff at one game apiece.

Though the first two games were decided in lopsided fashions, observers believe the pivotal Game Three, set at 3 p.m., is likely to go down-to-the-wire since both teams have seen and studied the strength and weaknesses of each other.

Adjustment will be a key factor and the ability to execute their respective game plans will spell the difference between victory and defeat in today’s crucial encounter expected to draw in another packed crowd.

"It’s a must-win for both of us, so I expect another fierce battle," said Harbour Centre’s LA Tenorio who, with Joseph Yeo and Chico Lanete, stepped up in Game Two after a so-so stint in the series’ opener.

"I know Toyota Otis will come back strong so we have to match if not better the Sparks’ intensity," said Tenorio.

In Game One, Harbour Centre’s offense was so pathetic and disorganized, enabling the Sparks to run them over to the ground with their run and gun game.

Yeo, Tenorio and Lanete — all deadly from the 3-point area — typified Harbour Centre’s struggle as they miserably missed their target all day. The spitfirish Yeo even flubbed all his six tries from the trey while Lanete was held scoreless.

"In Game 1, we played like kids but now we’re starting to play as big guys," said Harbour Centre coach Jorge Gallent. "We have to be real smart and tough."

Toyota Otis coach Louie Alas agreed that Yeo, Lanete and Tenorio hurt them most.

"We have to contain the three and limit Harbour’s production to below 60 points," said Alas. "We also have to be mentally sharp."

Prior to Game 2, the Toyota Otis Sparks had limited their rivals to below 60 points and won five straight games, including a masterful three-game sweep of Rain or Shine in the semis.

Yeo scored the bulk of his 25 points in the first half while Tenorio and Lanete took charge of the team’s business in the last two quarters to finish with 16 and 14 points, respectively.

Meantime, the league will pay tribute to Rain or Shine, formerly Welcoat, in recognition for its outstanding achievement in the league, having won six titles in 10 finals appearances.

gameface_one
06-13-2006, 07:59 AM
Montana’s jewel doesn’t fade, he just goes away
By Bill Velasco
The Philippine Star 06/13/2006

When the Montana Jewels lost the battle for third in the PBL Unity Cup last Thursday, it not only ended their season, but also put a period on the career of guard Alex Compton who, at age 32, has nowhere else to go.

"This is my last contract in the PBL, and the PBA has said no, so yes, I am retiring," Compton told The STAR in an interview at his home last week. "There were still some things I would have wanted to do, but I’m also excited to see what’s next for me out there."

Compton was the only Philippine-born foreigner allowed to play in the Philippine Basketball League, and, after four years, the PBL said he could no longer skirt the rules that govern other players, despite his impeccable character both as a player and a person. Meanwhile, his attempts to be allowed to play in the PBA have not met with success.

Compton, a graduate of Cornell, first came to the Philippines in 1998 to play for the Manila MetroStars in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association. Eight years later, he has won an MBA title and Most Valuable Player trophy, represented the Philippines, and taken his PBL team to a title in 2004. Gradually, though, the toll of playing heavy and increasingly physical minutes resulted in various injuries that either kept him out of action or slowed him down.

‘All I can say is what a ride," Compton says. "I just feel so blessed to be playing basketball and get paid for it. And eight years is quite a run."

Compton, who was born in Makati when his parents (who were both teachers) were teaching in Cavite, looks back with fondness on the country he has spent his career in, a country he will always call home.

"I know that, wherever I end up working, I will always call the Philippines home," the 5’11" guard said. "There is something about the closeness, the belief in a big family, the ability to joke around and smile at things, that jibes with who I am as a person. It all boils down to the people. When you embrace a culture, like I have, and it embraces you back, that’s something."

Reminiscing, the Champions for Christ guard and local product endorser recalls the closeness he has shared with many fellow players, most notably MetroStars teammates Romel Adducul (now of Barangay Ginebra) and Peter Martin (now a team manager in the PBL).

"I’d give Pedro (Martin) assists for dunks, and he’d protect me on the court. Pretty good deal, isn’t it?" Compton laughs. "I guess it’s like when there’s war or something, and you share that kind of experience, you form a bond. You know you’ve all sacrificed and pushed each other, and even if we don’t see each other, we can just pick up."

Though he’s been grateful for all the colorful experiences he’s had as an adopted "Filipino" who speaks the language more fluently than most locals, the player known as "The Heartbreaker" both for his looks and his killer jump shot still expresses wishful thinking that he could have closed out his career with a PBA title.

"Yeah, I would have wanted that, that was one of my dreams," Compton said. "At first, I said I would play with whoever would take me. But now, two of my best friends — Romel and Eric Menk — are with Ginebra, so I would’ve wanted to play with them. They’re both great big men, and you need that to win. As a guard, I know how important they are to a team."

Compton is now taking a well-deserved break, partly to help heal the back spasms that kept him out of Games 2 and 3 of the PBL Unity Cup semifinals. Then he will head to the US for some training, and join a Champions for Christ squad that will tour South America. Still the Heartbreaker will leave his heart in the Philippines.

gameface_one
06-13-2006, 07:59 AM
Harbour, Toyota 5 in crucial Game 3
abs-cbnnews.com

Being a veteran of so many wars, Harbour Centre’s LA Tenorio knows very well what to expect in Game 3: Total war.

With their 2006 Philippine Basketball League Unity Cup finals series against Toyota Otis tied at 1-1, Tenorio even likened Tuesday’s crucial game to a chess match, where both players are expected to make some brilliant moves—much sharper and deeper this time—in order to inch closer to the Promised Land.

"It’s a must-win for both of us, so I expect another fierce battle," said Tenorio who, along with Chico Lanete provided the much-needed fireworks in the fourth that helped repulse Toyota Otis’ smoldering comeback en route to a 78-63 win.

"I know Toyota Otis will come back strong so we have to match if not better the Sparks’ intensity," said Tenorio, who deftly set the table for the Port Masters while Joseph Yeo and Lanete provided the points.

Meantime, the league will pay tribute to Rain or Shine, formerly Welcoat, in recognition for its outstanding achievement in the league, having won six titles in 10 finals appearances.

After 10 years of playing in the country’s premier amateur basketball, Rain or Shine, owned by Raymund Yu and Terry Que—whose successful partnership paved the way for the team’s dynasty—will leave the PBL and hope to bring its winning legacy to the Philippine Basketball Association. Frank Calapre

Game Tuesday (Olivarez Sports Center)

3 p.m.—Toyota Otis vs. Harbour Centre

freak
06-13-2006, 10:50 PM
who won? i left the game in the 3rd with Harbour still leading.. ???

gameface_one
06-14-2006, 07:17 AM
Casio sparks Toyota Otis

First posted 02:34am (Mla time) June 14, 2006
By Jasmine W. Payo
Inquirer



Editor's Note: Published on page A25 of the June 14, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer


THE Game, late in the third quarter, was slowly slipping from the grasp of the Toyota Otis Sparks. That was when JV Casio decided to take matters in his own hands and put his team within threshold of the PBL Unity Cup title.

Casio waxed hot from beyond the arc late in the third quarter, greasing Toyota Otis’s path to an 83-80 victory over Harbour Centre and a pivotal 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series yesterday at the Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque City.

Casio came off the bench to bury 15 of his 21 points from the three-point area and lead four Sparks in double figures.

“The bench decided the game for us,” said Sparks coach Louie Alas. “Casio played well even in practice yesterday. He shot 10 three-pointers and missed only two.”

Alas also commended forward Ardy Larong, who shot nine of his 13 points in the final period.

The Sparks also spoiled the efforts of Harbour Centre’s Joseph Yeo, who finished with a game-high 28 points, and LA Tenorio, who had 19.

The Sparks took a 10-point lead at intermission but quickly saw their 40-30 advantage diminish to a point, 40-39, when Yeo and Tenorio opened the second half with a 9-0 tear.

With the Portmasters wresting both momentum and control, pushing the Sparks behind at 48-53, Casio fired three straight triples that gave Toyota a 57-53 lead and his teammates the belief that they could pull this one out.

Earlier, the league honored Rain or Shine, formerly Welcoat, for its outstanding 10-year stint.

Former players Romel Adducul, James Yap, Marc Pingris, Yancy de Ocampo, Ronald Tubid, Don Allado, Denok Miranda, Mark Isip, Estong Ballesteros and Ato Morano graced the tribute for the franchise, which will debut in the Philippine Basketball Association this October.

The scores:

TOYOTA OTIS 83 -- Casio 21, Larong 13, Andaya 10, Daa 10, Aban 9, Devance 8, Coronel 8, Aldave 2, Bautista 2, Fajardo 0, Alcaraz 0, Rodriguez 0, Oreta 0.

HARBOUR CENTRE 80 -- Yeo 28, Tenorio 19, Reyes 9, Maierhofer 7, Alonzo 7, Chia 4, Gaco 4, Gamboa 2, Lanete 0, Dy 0, Coching 0.

Quarters: 15-19, 40-30, 58-55, 83-80

gameface_one
06-14-2006, 07:18 AM
Toyota Otis on verge of 1st title
mb.com.ph


By REY C. LACHICA

IF BOYET Bautista is Toyota Otis’ super sidekick, Jayvee Casio is “super sub.”


The wily guard from La Salle strung up three straight three-point shots in the third and added another one in a meat-grinder payoff period yesterday as Toyota Otis outlasted Harbour Centre, 83-80, and moved within the threshold of ruling the 2006 PBL Unity Cup at the jampacked Olivarez Sports Center.

Almost forgotten after a scoreless performance in the first two games, the 5-foot-10 Casio delivered the killer blows this time that enabled him to outshine his more popular La Salle teammates on the other bench — Joseph Yeo and Rico Maierhofer — and give them a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five title series.

The Toyota Otis Sparks, who finished dead last in the Heroes Cup last February, can clinch their first-ever title with another win Thursday.

"We’ll go for it," said Toyota Otis coach Louie Alas. "But we have to intensify our effort."

Toyota Otis’ win came on a day Rain or Shine finally bid goodbye to the league after a decade of excellence where the Elasto Painters won six titles in 12 finals appearances.

Even Alas had a gut feeling that Casio will finally explode this time.

"Even during our practice the other day, he was shooting well from way beyond the 3-point arc," said Alas who drew 21 points from the very same player who knocked Far Eastern University in a gripping UAAP championship two years ago.

Actually Toyota Otis’ bench did the trick for Alas this time.

Even the seldom-used Ardy Larong made his presence felt in the series by coming up with 13 points, nine of them in the fourth, while Mark Andaya, a back of MVP Joe Devance, also made good account for himself by scoring 10 points.

"Our bench did it and I just hope they will continue to shine," said Alas.

Behind 48-53 late in the third quarter, the Toyota Otis Sparks went to Casio who readily responded by knocking in three straight triples that gave them a 57-53 lead going into the final 10 minutes.

The Sparks even padded their lead to 65-57 on another triple of Casio.

After Casio, Larong took charge, scoring on jumpers and set plays to the delight of Toyota Otis supporters.

Bautista was held to just two points but his creative plays helped Toyota Otis repel Harbour Centre’s spirited comeback. He dished out six assists and grabbed five boards in 31 minutes of action.

Yeo’s explosion negated a spectacular undergoal drive of LA Tenorio that brought the house down. Even Devance was caught flat-footed with what Tenorio did.

gameface_one
06-14-2006, 07:18 AM
Toyota toys with H Centre, nears crown
By Joey Villar
The Philippine Star 06/14/2006

Toyota Otis showed its depth and talent as it drew strength from two unlikely heroes to subdue Harbour Centre, 83-80, yesterday and move in the threshold of capturing its first-ever title in the PBL Unity Cup.

JV Casio came out smoking after going scoreless in the first two games of the best-of-five title series, exploding for 21 points, including 15 from behind the arc, to spark the Sparks’ romp that moved them closer to a dream title bid, 2-1.

Toyota Otis guns for the jugular in Game 4 tomorrow.

"I made a mistake of not fielding him early in Games 1 and 2," said Toyota Otis coach Louie Alas in Filipino, referring to Casio. "We know he’ll deliver because he was great in practice before this game."

Also dishing out a surprisingly solid game for the Sparks was Ardy Larong, who never saw action in Games 1 and 2 but proved his worth by firing 13 points, including nine in the fourth quarter that thwarted the Port Masters’ repeated rallies.

"He’s fifth in my big man rotation so when Eric (Rodriguez) got into foul trouble early, I had to use him. And I’m glad he delivered," said Alas of his forward from Cebu City.

The flashy tandem of Joseph Yeo and LA Tenorio played true to form and fired 28 and 19 points, respectively, for the Port Masters who fought back from a 10-point deficit at the turn to grab a 53-48 lead late in the third period.

But Harbour’s Fil-Am Robbie Reyes sprained his left ankle in a collision with Toyota’s Mark Andaya in a fast break play, leaving the Port Masters without a dependable big man.

The Sparks pounced on Reyes’ absence with Boyet Bautista imposing his will inside and kicking out a pass when double-teamed to a wide open Casio, who hit three straight triples to spark a run that the Port Masters failed to match.

With Yeo connecting from the outside, the Port Masters dictated the pace early, leading by as many as seven points in the first half.

But a 16-2 run at the end of the second quarter turned a 24-28 deficit into a 40-30 Toyota lead.

During that run, Harbour coach Jorge Gallent and JA Coching were assessed a technical foul apiece, resulting in a 6-0 binge on four consecutive foul shots by Christian Coronel and a short jumper by Mark Andaya.

Earlier, the league paid tribute to the Welcoat Paints franchise in a heart-warming gathering of past and present players and coaches who once donned the Paint Masters uniform.

Commissioner Chino Trinidad presented the special trophy to Welcoat matriarch Margaret Yu and dynamic franchise owners Raymund Yu and Terry Que in recognition of the team’s significant contribution to the league.

"The trophy may be small, but it represents how huge the contribution of this franchise is to the league," said Trinidad.

Among those who attended the ceremony were former coach Junel Baculi, now with Hapee Toothpaste, and current PBA stars Rommel Adducul, Ronald Tubid, James Yap, Marc Pingris, Don Allado, Yancy de Ocampo and Dennis Miranda.

gameface_one
06-14-2006, 07:32 AM
Sparks inch closer to PBL title
abs-cbnnews.com

By FRANK CALAPRE, The Manila Times Correspondent

Unheralded JV Casio and Andy Larong delivered when needed most as Toyota Otis outlasted Harbour Centre, 83-80, Tuesday to inch a game away from its first Philippine Basketball League title in the 2006 PBL Unity Cup at the Olivarez College Sports Center in Parañaque City.

The 5-foot-10 Casio scored 21 points, hitting three straight three-pointers in the third period and another one in the fourth to lift the Sparks to a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five championship series.

"During our practice yesterday, the whole team was teasing JV Casio, saying tomorrow is your day, and he delivered. It may be because of the team’s expectations on him," said Toyota Otis coach Louie Alas.

Casio also had two rebounds, while Larong, who was scoreless in the first two matches made 13 points. Mark Andaya and Dennis Daa added 10 points each for the Sparks.

Alas said they will go all out on Thursday to end the finals series and wrap up the Sparks’ first PBL title since joining the developmental league in 2004.

"That’s what will always be in our mind every game, especially on Thursday. We really play to win all the time," added Alas, the former head coach of Talk ’N Text in the Philippine Basketball Association.

It was not an easy win for the Sparks, as the Port Masters grabbed the lead several times, the last at 53-48 on a fiery 23-8 blast ignited by Joseph Yeo and LA Tenorio with still 1:57 remaining in the third period.

The Scores:

TOYOTA OTIS 83—Casio 21, Larong 18, Andaya 10, Daa 10, Aban 9, Devance 8, Coronel 8, Aldave 2, Bautista 2, Fajardo 0.

HARBOUR CENTRE 80—Yeo 28, Tenorio 19, Reyes 9, Maier-hofer 7, Alonzo 7, Chia 4, Gaco 4, Gamboa 2, Lanete 0.

Quarters: 15-19; 25-30; 58-55; 83-80.

Games Wednesday (Olivarez Sports Center)

3 p.m. – Toyota Otis vs. Harbour Center

gameface_one
06-15-2006, 07:39 AM
Toyota Otis guns for clincher

First posted 03:30am (Mla time) June 15, 2006
By Jasmine W. Payo
Inquirer



Editor's Note: Published on Page A21 of the June 15, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer


WHERE was JV Casio before he exploded with 21 points?

Toyota Otis coach Louie Alas admitted he let the young, streaky shooter sit on the bench longer than he should have. He apologized for his oversight in Game 3 last Tuesday and Casio brought the Sparks within a win of the PBL Unity Cup championship.

With a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five title series, the Sparks try to clinch their first ever crown in the league when they collide with the Harbour Centre Portmasters in today’s Game 4 at the Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque City.

Gametime is set at 3 p.m. with Harbour Centre coach Jorge Gallent boldly predicting a deciding fifth game.

“The series is not yet over, there will be a Game 5,” said Gallent.

Casio, tapped by Alas late in the first quarter, unloaded 21 points to cap a sizzling performance by the Toyota Otis second stringers, who outscored the Portmasters’ bench, 62-16, en rout to an 83-80 victory.

He shot 5-of-6 from the three-point area, including three straight triples in a pivotal run late in the third period that kept the Sparks ahead for good.

Another substitute, Ardy Larong, finished with 13 points and two blocks in only 14 minutes of action.

Although the Sparks had no problem scoring, Alas said the team must also raise their defensive game.

“It’s hard to beat Harbour two in a row if they score that high,” he noted. “We have to limit their production to less than 60 points for us to close the series.”

Gallent also called for a strong defensive effort from the Portmasters.

“We have to be extra careful next time,” he said. “We have to beat their defense. To win Game 4, my big men will have to play solid defense.”

For the second straight game, Harbour Centre’s star guards found their rhythm early. Joseph Yeo fired 28 points, while LA Tenorio finished with 19.

Fil-Am center Rob Reyes, however, remains a doubtful starter after twisting his left ankle in the third quarter.

Toyota Otis claimed the series opener with a 68-51 victory, but Harbour Centre leveled the series with a 78-63 triumph in Game 2.

gameface_one
06-15-2006, 07:40 AM
Toyota Sparks gun for first PBL crown
By Joey Villar
The Philippine Star 06/15/2006

It will be a question of desire as Toyota Otis tries to wrap it all up for its first PBL Unity Cup crown and Harbour Centre seeks to force a decider and live another day in Game Four of their title showdown at the Olivarez gym today.

"We’ll definitely go for it," said Toyota coach Louie Alas, moments after the Sparks pounded out a tough 83-80 victory in Game 3 that gave them a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five series with the Port Masters.

"But it’s hard to beat Harbour Centre twice in a row with the way they’re playing so we have to prepare really hard. We have to be real smart," said Alas. "We have to limit their production to just 60 points or below."

It was the first time in their last six wins that the Sparks prevailed despite allowing their opponents to score 60 points or more.

That’s partly because Alas was able to pull off another ace in his sleeve when JV Casio exploded for 21 points to spark the Sparks’ victory.

For Harbour Centre, however, the Game 3 loss was just another setback.

"The series is not yet over, there would be a Game 5," said Harbour mentor Jorge Gallent.

But for the Port Masters to force a sudden death, Gallent said they have to play solid defense.

"We have to be extra careful next time, we have to beat their defense. But for us to win Game 4, my big men must play tough inside," he said.

But with Fil-Am Robbie Reyes a doubtful starter, Gallent’s other big men must step up big.

The 6-foot-4 Reyes, a force to reckon with underneath, sprained his left ankle after colliding with Dennis Daa in a fast break play midway in the third quarter. His absence told heavily on Harbour Centre’s downfall.

"It helped us in a way," said Alas.

If the Toyota Otis Sparks prevail, they’ll become the first team to win a championship after finishing dead last in a previous conference. That’s a record of sort, according to some league old timers.

Though they know the mission isn’t easy, Alas and company are going all out to accomplish the feat – at all costs.

gameface_one
06-15-2006, 07:43 AM
Toyota Otis goes for jugular
mb.com.ph




TOYOTA OTIS coach Louie Alas says he wants to finish the series today in order for them to finally savor the sweetest sensation of all – the championship victory.


His Harbour Centre counterpart Jorge Gallent, however, vows that there will be a Game 5 and no multi-colored balloons to fall and streamers to unfold today.

Quite interesting.

But if that’s part of their psywar, then that’s still music to the ears of everybody – whether they’re for Toyota Otis or they’re for Harbour Centre.

No one can blame Alas and Gallent for their fearless forecasts since both coaches have really worked so hard to reach this stage.

So when they meet again today, expect more drama, lightning-fast action and stuff like booming treys and midair magic to highlight Game 4 of the 2006 PBL Unity Cup title series at the Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque City.

Game 3 was marked by several jaw-dropping shots, among them the spectacular lay-up of Harbour’s LA Tenorio that left MVP Joe Calvin Devance shaking his head in disbelief and the three-point explosion of Toyota Otis’ Jayvee Casio.

"We’ll go for the jugular," said Alas moments after steering the Toyota Otis Sparks to a thrilling 83-80 win that put them on solid grounds to win their first-ever crown since joining the league two years ago.

If the Toyota Otis Sparks prevail, they’ll become the first team to win a championship after finishing dead last in a previous conference.

Though they know the mission isn’t easy, Alas and company are hell-bent to accomplish the feat – at all costs.

"It’s hard to beat Harbour Centre twice in a row with the way they’re playing so we have to prepare really hard. We have to be real smart," said Alas. "We will try to limit their production to just 60 points or below."

The game Tuesday the first time in their last six wins that the Toyota Otis Sparks prevailed despite allowing their opponents to score 60 points or more. And Alas was not happy about it.

Good thing Alas managed to pull off another ace in Casio when the team needed it most.

The cool but deadly Casio, almost forgotten after being scoreless in the first two games, came through three straight treys in the third period that buried the Port Masters for good.

Gallent offered no excuses for their collapse, saying Toyota Otis’ transition defense caught his charges off-guard, especially his big men.

"We have to be extra careful next time. We have to beat their defense," said Gallent. "The series is not yet over, may Game 5 pa yan. But to win Game 4, my big men will have to play solid defense, di lang talon ng talon."

Joseph Yeo and Tenorio delivered huge numbers again but their effort went down the drain –no thanks to the offensive spark provided by Casio and the creative plays made by Boyet Bautista.

Even seldom-used Ardy Larong had his share of great moments as he scored 9 of his 13 points in the fourth while Mark Andaya outshone buddy Devance this time as he contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds.

freak
06-15-2006, 11:58 PM
Astig! Harbour Centre extends the series! Great game from Lanete and great offensive rebounding throughout the whole game by the Port Masters.

gameface_one
06-16-2006, 07:12 AM
Harbour Centre forces deciding Game 5

First posted 03:20am (Mla time) June 16, 2006
By Jasmine W. Payo
Inquirer



Editor's Note: Published on page A31 of the June 16, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer


HARBOUR Centre is not all LA Tenorio and Joseph Yeo, after all.

With backup playmaker Chico Lanete pumping in 20 points, the Portmasters repulsed the Toyota Otis Sparks, 73-55, yesterday and forced a deciding Game 5 in the PBL Unity Cup Finals at the Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque City.

Lanete teamed up with the Portmasters’ substitutes to give Harbour a 17-point lead at the half, 39-22, then scored nine points in a critical stretch in the final period that moved his team beyond recall, 69-50.

“Our defense was great,” said Harbour Centre coach Jorge Gallent. “We started well and ended well. Whatever we did right today, we have to do again in Game 5.”

The decider is set at 3 p.m. tomorrow, also at the Olivarez Sports Center.

Tenorio remained superb in the series, delivering nine of his 16 markers in the second half. And while Yeo admitted his shooting was off, the Harbour ace still proved a factor with eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.

The Portmasters shone on both ends of the court that they hardly felt the impact of Joe Devance’s biggest game in the series. Devance, the Most Valuable Player of the conference, finally asserted himself with 16 points and 13 rebounds.

The Sparks also missed starting forward Aaron Aban, who sprained his wrist in Game 3.

Led by Devance, the Sparks rallied from 43-25 to move within 48-40 on a JV Casio shot. But Toyota Otis couldn’t get any closer than that.

From a 58-48 lead, the Portmasters uncorked an 11-2 rally with Lanete scoring six points for a 19-point bubble, 69-50, with only 2:20 left.

With the Harbour Centre stars on the bench, the Portmasters’ second unit led by Lanete outscored the Sparks, 15-4, at the start of the second quarter to grab a 31-15 lead.

The scores:

HARBOUR CENTRE 73 -- Lanete 20, Tenorio 15, Alonzo 8, Reyes 7, Chia 6, Maierhofer 5, Arana 5, Gaco 5, Dy 1, Yeo 1, Coching 0.

TOYOTA OTIS 55 -- Devance 16, Aldave 8, Alcaraz 6, Bautista 6, Casio 5, Fajardo 3, Daa 3, Andaya 2, Rodriguez 2, Coronel 2, Larong 2, Oreta 0, Cabahug 0.

Quarters: 16-11, 39-22, 50-40, 73-55

gameface_one
06-16-2006, 07:14 AM
Port Masters live for death match
By Joey Villar
The Philippine Star 06/16/2006

Harbour Centre gave Toyota Otis a dose of its own medicine as it shackled its rival all game to fashion out a 73-55 rout yesterday and force a deciding Game 5 in the PBL Unity Cup Finals at the Olivarez gym.

The Port Masters came through with practically the same defensive effort the Sparks have been dishing out in the series, putting the clamps on key Toyota gunners early on before holding on to victory that sent the best-of-five series into a winner-take-all match.

The sudden death is set at 3 p.m. tomorrow.

"Our defense was great today and that was the key," said Harbour Centre coach Jorge Gallent, now in the threshold of steering the Mikee Romero-owned franchise to its first-ever title since joining the league last year.

Chiko Lanete made up for a scoreless outing in Harbour Centre’s 80-83 setback in Game 3 Tuesday as he fired 20 points, including nine in the fourth quarter when the Port Masters doused cold water on a late rally by the Sparks.

"He really stepped up today, I hope he’ll play the same in Game 5," said Gallent of the former Lyceum College standout.

Lanete’s heroics also more than made up for Joseph Yeo’s miserable outing. Yeo muffed all his eight attempts from the field and made six errors to finish with just a point in 28 minutes of action.

The former La Salle standout, however, atoned for his awful shooting by dishing out assists and coming up with a couple of steals and rebounds.

"He (Yeo) told me as early as the second quarter that he’s going to pass the ball because he’s unlucky," Gallent said.

Conference MVP Joe Devance came up with a 16-point, 13-rebound performance but Toyota Otis sorely missed the offensive fire and defensive punch from Aaron Aban, who was sidelined by a right wrist injury.

With Yeo struggling, Lanete and Chad Alonzo stepped up and combined for 17 points to give the Port Masters a comfortable 39-22 halftime lead.

During that stretch, the Port Masters forced the Sparks to miss 22 shots in 32 attempts and turn the ball over 12 times.

Jec Chia, who struggled in the first three games, came alive this time, firing six points and plucking four rebounds to help Harbour seize control early.

gameface_one
06-16-2006, 07:15 AM
Harbour five forces a Game 5
abs-cbnnews.com

By FRANK CALAPRE, The Manila Times Correspondent

Chico Lanete and LA Tenorio scored 15 of Harbour Centre’s 23 points in the fourth period to lift the Port Masters to a huge 73-55 win over Toyota Otis on Thursday and forged a rubber match for the championship of the 2006 Philippine Basketball League Unity Cup at the Olivarez College Sports Center in Parañaque City.

The Port Masters took advantage of the Sparks’ 12 turnovers in the first half to erect a huge 19-point lead, which they preserved until the buzzer to level the best-of-five series at 2-2.

Lanete’s triple triggered a fiery 23-11 breakaway by the Sparks, who could only reduce the gap to 9 points, 55-46, with only 6:42 remaining in the fourth game of the series.

"Our defense today was remarkable. We started well and we ended well," said Harbour Center coach Jorge Gallent.

Gallent said it would surely be a down-the-wire battle for the crown on Saturday, with neither team enjoying a psychological advantage.

"For sure on Saturday it’s going to a tough game. But we will do our best to win the series. What we did today, we will do it again in the rubber match," added Gallent, whose Port Masters are seeking their first championship since joining the league—together with the Sparks—in 2004.

Toyota Otis won Game 1, 68-51, but Harbour Centre exacted vengeance, 78-63, in the second game before the Sparks took a 2-1 series lead via a close 83-80 victory in the third match on Tuesday.

The Sparks tried to move closer in the last five minutes of the match but to no avail, as the 5-foot-11 Lanete took the cudgels for the Port Masters, firing two straight baskets to widen the gap back to 18 points, 68-50, only 2:48 left in the game.

"All the boys stepped up, and that’s what I asked of them before the game, especially the De La Salle and Ateneo boys. Thank God they responded," Gellent stressed.

Lanete finished with 20 points on top of four rebounds and two assists, while Tenorio scored 15 points, nine in the second half. Forward Richard Alonzo made 8 points.

Filipino American Joe Devance was the only Toyota Otis player who scored in double digits with 16. Key reserves Jonathan Aldave and JP Alcaraz could only finish with 8 and 6 points, respectively.

The Scores:

HARBOUR CENTRE 73–Lanete 20, Tenorio 15, Alonzo 8, Reyes 7, Chia 6, Maierhofer 5, Arana 5, Gaco 5, Dy 1, Yeo 1.

TOYOTA OTIS 55–Devance 16, Aldave 8, Alcaraz 6, Bautista 6, Casio 5, Fajardo 3, Daa, 3, Andaya 2, Rodriguez 2, Coronel 2, Larong 2, Oreta 0.

gameface_one
06-17-2006, 11:41 AM
Harbour, Toyota face off for crown

The Philippine Star 06/17/2006

Harbour Centre coach Jorge Gallent was right on the dot when he predicted that their PBL Unity Cup title series with Toyota Otis would go the full route.

Now he’s saying they’d win it all.

The Port Masters and the Sparks clash in a winner-take-all match for the PBL Unity Cup crown in what promises to be a classic Game 5 between two teams with contrasting styles.

"I told you there’ll be a Game 5," said Gallent after his wards bashed the Sparks, 73-55, Thursday to force the do-or-die match. "Now I’m telling you we’ll win this one."

That’s easier said than done.

For Toyota, a squad that thrives in set-up plays in the half-court, is no stranger to sudden deaths.

"We won the NCAA titles twice, both via deciding games. This is no different, I know the boys are used to this pressure and I expect them to come through," said Toyota Otis coach Louie Alas.

However, the Sparks would probably have to get the job done without top gun Aaron Aban, who averages 13.4 points and 4.3 rebounds in the series, but sprained his right hand in Game 3 and didn’t see action in Game 4.

"If Aaron was around, they (Port Masters) can’t dominate the boards. He really wants to play, in fact, he was pleading, but I did not allow him because it might just be aggravated," said Alas.

For Harbour Centre, a defensive fast-breaking team, execution, both in offense and defense, will be the key.

"It’s hard to do it but the one who make proper plays and adjustments will win the series," said Gallent. "No ifs and buts about it, that will decide the series."

"If we want to win the series we have to be sharp on both ends of the court. If we can’t execute our plays, then we will have a hard time stopping Harbour Centre," said Alas.

"It’s hard to be a champion, it’s like threading the eye of the needle," said youthful Harbour Centre team owner Mikee Romero, thrilled over the prospect of the franchise winning the title in just their third conference.

Focus will be on Harbour’s prolific troika of LA Tenorio, Joseph Yeo and Chiko Lanete while expect Toyota Otis to lean again on Fil-Am Joe Devance, Boyet Bautista and, if he’s healthy to play, Aban.

Lanete made up for a scoreless Game 3 by firing 20 points in Game 4 while Tenorio added 15. Yeo was held to just a point but made up for the scoring slack in other departments.

Devance, a former standout of Division I school University of Texas-El Paso, on the other hand, came out of his shell in Game 4 with a big 16-point, 13-rebound effort but didn’t get the needed back-up support with Bautista struggling and Aban injured.

gameface_one
06-17-2006, 11:42 AM
Harbour, Toyota Otis clash for crown

First posted 02:27am (Mla time) June 17, 2006
By Jasmine W. Payo
Inquirer



Editor's Note: Published on page A22 of the June 17, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer


WHEN Joseph Yeo couldn’t get his shots to fall early in Game 4, Harbour Centre’s top gunner vowed to make up for it in some other ways.

“He said he was unlucky, so he’ll just contribute in other areas,” said Portmasters coach Jorge Gallent. “He ended up getting the most rebounds in the team, and he had many assists.”

So for Gallent, it will all be about attitude when Harbour Centre and Toyota Otis dispute the PBL Unity Cup in a rubber match at 3 p.m. today at the Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque.

“If we play with the same attitude, we can close it out,” said Gallent. “The desire was there from the beginning and we can’t reach this stage if we don’t have character.”

Holding a 2-1 lead, the Sparks bungled the chance to bag their first title when the Portmasters, who are also seeking a maiden crown, convincingly claimed Game 4 with a 73-55 triumph last Thursday.

Point guards LA Tenorio and Chico Lanete pushed the series to a deciding Game 5 by combining for 35 points for Harbour, which got a measly point from Yeo.

The Sparks, who won the odd-numbered games of the series, also missed the services of starting forward Aaron Aban due to a sprained wrist.

“If Aaron was around, they wouldn’t have dominated the boards,” said Sparks coach Louie Alas. “He really wanted to play.”

The Portmasters won the battle off the boards, 51-37, despite the presence of the Sparks’ 6-foot-7 centers Mark Andaya and Fil-Am Joe Devance.

The Portmasters bench also outscored the Sparks’ relievers, 42-23.

Alas said everything will boil down to execution.

“If we want to win the series, we have to be sharp on both ends of the court,” he said. “If we can’t execute our plays, then we will have a hard time stopping Harbour Centre.”

After Toyota Otis claimed the opener at 68-51, Harbour Centre leveled the series in Game 2 with a 78-63 victory.

The Sparks then moved on the verge of winning the crown with an 83-80 win in Game 3, but the Portmasters and forged a winner-take-all match with a 73-55 win.

gameface_one
06-17-2006, 11:43 AM
All or nothing for Toyota, Harbour
mb.com.ph




ONCE AGAIN, the Philippine Basketball League (PBL) title series goes the full route.



It’s not surprising since both Harbour Centre and Toyota Otis are evenly matched and both are seeking their first major crown.

Game time is 3 p.m. at the Olivarez Sports Ceter in Parañaque City.

Though the series was marked by three blowout wins, today’s do-or-die match for the 2006 PBL Unity Cup title is expected to be different.

"Mahirap pala mag-champion, para kang pumapasok sa butas ng karayom," said Harbour Centre team owner Mikee Romero, tired but excited with the prospect of becoming one of the fastest squads to win a title in the country’s premier amateur basketball league.

For Harbour Centre Coach Jorge Gallent, Game 5 will no longer be a question of heart and who wants it more, saying: "The desire was there right from the beginning and we can’t reach this stage if we don’t have a character."

The most critical part of the game and the one that most likely decide the outcome of the series, Gallent said, is proper execution – offensively and defensively – and mental toughness.

"It’s hard to do it but the one who makes proper plays and adjustments will win the series," he said.

Toyota Otis coach Louie Alas agreed.

"If we want to win the series we have to be sharp on both ends of the court. If we can’t execute our plays, then we will have a hard time stopping Harbour Centre," said Alas, who admitted that they were practically dominated in almost all departments by the energetic Port Masters.

Working behind a slick running game and a hard-nosed defense – big thanks to the inspired performance of LA Tenorio and the resurrection of Chino Lanete – the Port Masters forced a deciding Game 5 after a 73-55 win the other day.

With top gunner Joseph Yeo struggling, Tenorio and Lanete rose to the occasion to bail Harbour Centre out of trouble for the second time this series. Yeo scored only a charity after missing all his eight shots from the field.

Tenorio was again at his element, coming through with clutch plays just when Toyota Otis was threatening to pull away in the first period. His court wizardry in the fourth also gave his teammates extra push to stop Toyota Otis’ comeback.

"LA wants to leave the league a winner that’s why he’s doing his best. I just hope he will carry us again," said Romero who negotiated to bring together La Salle and Ateneo players to his team.

Criticized by Harbour supporters for his lackluster performance in Game 3 where he was held scoreless, Lanete acquitted himself by scoring a game-high 20 points Game 4 to help his team tie the series.

During the same game, the Toyota Otis Sparks hardly showed the brilliance that won them Games 1 and 3. Compounding the team’s awful shooting and numerous turnovers was the absence of Aaron Aban who was out with a sprained hand.

Without Aban, Toyota Otis’ defensive rotation suffered.

"If Aaron was around, they (Port Masters) can’t dominate the boards. He really wants to play, in fact, he was pleading, but I did not allow him because his injury might get worse," said Alas.

gameface_one
06-17-2006, 11:46 AM
Harbour, Toyota Otis in do-or-die Game 5 shootout for PBL title
abs-cbnnews.com

Game Saturday (Olivarez Sports Center)

3 p.m. – Toyota Otis vs. Harbour Centre



Series recap:

Game 1: Toyota Otis 68, Harbour Centre 51

Game 2: Harbour Centre 78, Toyota Otis 63

Game 3: Toyota Otis 83, Harbour Centre 80

Game 4: Harbour Centre 73, Toyota Otis 55

(Series tied at 2-2)



Once again, the Philippine Basketball League title series goes the full route. It’s not surprising at all, considering how intense the desires are of both Harbour Centre and Toyota Otis to win their first-ever crown.

Though the series was marked, if not dulled, by three blowout wins, Saturday’s do-or-die match for the 2006 PBL Unity Cup title is expected to be different.

"I didn’t realize it’s so difficult to become a champion, it’s like passing the eye of a needle," said Harbour Centre’s youthful owner Mikee Romero, obviously tired but excited with the prospect of becoming one of the fastest squads to win a title in the premier developmental league.

For Port Masters coach Jorge Gallent, Game 5 will no longer be a question of heart and who wants it more.

"The desire was there right from the beginning and we can’t reach this stage if we don’t have character," he said.

The most critical part of it and the one that will most likely decide the outcome of the series, Gallent stressed, is proper execution on offense and defense and mental toughness.

"It’s hard to do it, but the one who makes proper plays and adjustments will win the series," said Gallent. "No ifs and buts about it. That will decide the series.

Toyota Otis coach Louie Alas readily agreed.

"If we want to win the series we have to be sharp on both ends of the court. If we can’t execute our plays, then we will have a hard time stopping Harbour Centre," said Alas, who admitted they were practically dominated in almost all departments by the energetic Port Masters.

Working behind a slick running game and hard-nosed defense—big thanks to the inspired performance of LA Tenorio and the resurrection of Chino Lanete—the Port Masters forced a deciding Game 5 after scoring a 73-55 win on Thursday.

With top gunner Joseph Yeo struggling offensively, Tenorio and Lanete rose to the occasion to bail Harbour Centre out of trouble for the second time this series.

Yeo scored only 1 point on a free throw after missing all eight of his shots from the field.

Tenorio was again in his element, coming through with clutch plays just when Toyota Otis was threatening to pull away in the first period. His court wizardry in the fourth also gave his teammates extra push to stop Toyota Otis’ comeback.

"LA wants to leave the league a winner, that’s why he’s doing his best. I just hope he will carry us again," said Romero, the man largely responsible for bringing together De La Salle and Ateneo varsity players under his team’s aegis.

Almost cursed by pro-Harbour supporters for his lackluster performance in Game 4 where he was held scoreless, Lanete redeemed himself by scoring a game-high 20 points in a performance highlighted by three triples.

Besides being outrebounded, the Toyota Otis Sparks hardly showed the brilliance that enabled them to win Games 1 and 3.

Compounding the team’s awful shooting and numerous turnovers was the absence of Aaron Aban who was out due to a sprained hand.

Without Aban, Toyota Otis’ defensive rotation suffered.

"If Aaron was around, they [Port Masters] can’t dominate the boards. He really wants to play, in fact, he was pleading, but I did not allow him because it might just be aggravated," rued Alas.

Aban, who averaged 13.3 points and 4.3 rebounds a game, remains a doubtful starter. Frank Calapre

cub
06-17-2006, 07:53 PM
Harbour Centre are the new PBL champions..
Pivotal Player: Joseph Yeo
Finals MVP: L.A. Tenorio

full battle gear
06-18-2006, 02:40 PM
Harbour Centre bags PBL Unity Cup crown
Yeo leads lowest-seeded champs in victory

First posted 03:20am (Mla time) June 18, 2006
By Jasmine W. Payo
Inquirer


Editor's Note: Published on page A31 of the June 18, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

IT was a championship no one could have predicted.

Harbour Centre got the lift it needed from Joseph Yeo and became the lowest-seeded team to win a Philippine Basketball League title after its 73-66 victory over Toyota Otis yesterday gave the Portmasters the Unity Cup at the jampacked Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque.

It was a sensational feat for Yeo, named Pivotal Player of the series, as he pumped in 21 of his 28 points from beyond the arc in the classic encounter that decided the best-of-five series, 3-2.

Finals Most Valuable Player LA Tenorio also capped his impressive series-performance with 17 points, four rebounds and four assists.

“Joseph clicked from the outside, that was the factor,” said Harbour Centre coach Jorge Gallent.

It was a steep climb to the top for the sixth-seeded Portmasters, who were playing only in their third conference.

Before outlasting the top-ranked Toyota Otis, the young crew overcame Granny Goose’s twice-to-beatadvantage in the quarterfinals and knocked out Montaña in the best-of five semifinal series, also going the full route.

“We realized our dream,” said team owner Mikee Romero. “I thank Jorge Gallent and the boys, especially LA and Joseph.”

“We picked up in the second round of the season,” noted Gallent. “They realized that offense won’t win games but defense. We became a better defensive team.”

But clearly, it was offense that spelled the difference in Game 5.

The Portmasters drilled in 36 points from the three-point area, while the Sparks could only muster six. Five of Harbour Centre’s triples came in the opening of the fourth period that opened up a 68-57 lead heading into the final 4:50.

Yeo, the former La Salle ace who is entertaining thoughts of turning pro, hit four of his seven triples in that deciding run.

The Sparks still had time to catch up, but couldn’t come closer than five points the rest of the way even if the Portmasters missed seven of the next 15 free throws awarded them.

Also unfortunate for the Sparks was the absence of starting forward Aaron Aban, who sat on the bench for the second straight game due to a fractured wrist. Joe Devance, who won the MVP award, paced the Sparks with 14 markers.

Tenorio shot six points in a 12-5 run that turned an 8-6 lead into a 20-11 advantage.

Coming off the bench, JV Casio provided instant offense for the Sparks to cut the deficit by five, 20-15, at the end of the first period.

Still dictating the tempo, the Portmasters turned to Ryan Araña for a 29-22 edge, with 4:47 minutes remaining.

But the closing minutes of the first half turned out to be a different story. The Portmasters just couldn’t connect and trailed at 29-36 after the Sparks rolled to a 14-0 run.

When a Tenorio jumper ended the Portmasters’ scoring drought, a Yeo triple provided even more relief as they trimmed the deficit to a basket, 34-36, at halftime.

The scores:

HARBOUR CENTRE 73—Yeo 28, Tenorio 17, Alonzo 9, Arana 5, Chia 5, Reyes 4, Lanete 3, Coching 2, Maierhofer 0, Gaco 0.

TOYOTA OTIS 66—Devance 14, Casio 10, Oreta 8, Larong 6, Aldave 6, Bautista 6, Daa 6, Alcaraz 6, Coronel 2, Rodriguez 2, Andaya 0.

Quarters: 20-15, 34-36, 53-57, 73-66

full battle gear
06-18-2006, 02:43 PM
Harbour Centre completes difficult climb to throne
By Joey Villar
The Philippine Star 06/18/2006

In the end, it all boiled down to one man – Joseph Yeo.

Shackled in Game 4, the enigmatic Yeo yesterday played probably the biggest game of his life as an amateur, exploding in the fourth quarter to power Harbour Centre over Toyota Otis, 73-66, and to the PBL Unity Cup title before a huge weekend crowd.

Yeo, who will join the PBA rookie draft this August, sizzled with a series-high 28 points, including 13 in the final period where the Port Masters unleashed a killer run that sealed the 3-2 triumph in the series.

Yeo finished the game with seven three-pointers, each one of them drawing big cheers from the Harbour Center crowd.

Consistent all throughout the series, LA Tenorio also shone with 17 points, four rebounds and four assists that was enough to earn him the Finals MVP plum.

But biggest player of Game 5–the second straight in the PBL since Magnolia edged Rain or Shine early this year– was no other than Yeo.

Playing for all the marbles, Yeo struggled in the first half but found his rhythm in the second, particularly in the fourth quarter where he drained four triples in a 15-point barrage that turned a 53-57 deficit to a 68-57 lead.

The Sparks unleashed a desperate run, but the Port Masters managed to finish them despite sinking only five-of-12 charities in the end. "He told me before the game he’s fed with passing and he’ll bounce back here, which he just did," said Harbour Centre coach Jorge Gallent, who steered the franchise from the bottom early in the conference all the way to the championship.

Toyota coach Louie Alas said Yeo was the biggest difference.

"His three-pointers in the fourth quarter were crucial. He made the biggest difference," said Alas, referring to the former La Salle standout.

The absence of the versatile Aaron Aban, who sat out the second straight game because of a sprained right wrist, also hastened Toyota Otis’ downfall.

"I don’t want to use it as an excuse but it would have been different had Aaron played," said Alas.

Cellular phone snatchers also had a field day, victimizing a number of individuals including Harbour Centre team owner Mikee Romero.

But the youthful team owner surely didn’t mind as long as the title is theirs to keep.

The game was delayed for almost an hour because of the slippery court caused by the humidity inside the venue.

Janitors had to map the court at every opportunity to save players from any injury.

The venue, which could house 4,000, was so packed security guards and even policemen had to hold back fans who wanted to get in. Former NCAA management committee chairman Fr. Vic Calvo of Letran was among those who had difficulty getting in.

The Port Masters dictated the pace early as they led by nine, 20-11, in the first quarter.

They sustained the tempo early in the second at 27-19, but the Sparks unloaded a 17-2 blast to turn that deficit to a 36-29 lead late in the period.

A jumper by Tenorio and a triple by Yeo at the buzzer cut the deficit to 34-36 at the break.

full battle gear
06-18-2006, 02:44 PM
Harbour Centre captures crown
www.mb.com.ph

By Rey C. Lachica

JOSEPH YEO put on a dazzling show of shooting artistry yesterday as Harbour Centre repulsed Toyota Otis, 73-66, and finally realized its cherished dream in just so short a time at the Olivarez Sports Center.

Outshone by former La Salle teammate Jayvee Casio in Game 3 which Toyota Otis won, 83-80, Yeo made sure Game 5 would be his time to shine — by himself — as he unloaded four triples in a vicious 15-0 run in the first six minutes of the payoff period that handed Harbour Centre the 2006 PBL Unity Cup.

"This is great, finally we realized our dream," said team owner Mikee Romero. "I have to credit coach Jorge (Gallent) and the boys, especially LA (Tenorio) and Joseph for their inspired performance."

"Joseph promised me to take charge of Game 5 after a distressing one-point performance the last time out," said Gallent of his prized player.

And he did with aplomb.

The Port Masters, who joined the league three conferences ago, wrapped up the series, 3-2.

After a slow start, Yeo finished with 28 points on an impressive 7-of-12 shooting from the 3-point zone to emerge as the series pivotal player. He also had six rebounds, one assist and one steal to make up for his 2-of-11 shooting from the two-point region.

Tenorio also did well, his sniping kept the team afloat in the second quarter where the Toyota Otis Sparks came through with several spurts. For his consistency and calming influence, the wily guard emerged as the Finals MVP, enough to boost his stock in the coming PBA Annual Drafts.

For a while, Toyota Otis appeared headed for a big win after taking a 57-53 lead going into the finals 10 minutes but the Sparks uncharacteristically lost their focus and allowed Yeo to stage a one-man show that saw the crowd breaking into frenzied celebration.

In that startling stretch of run, Chad Alonzo also knocked in a triple after Yeo’s back-to-back triples.

That triple obviously took the sting out of the Sparks as they fell into a maze of errors and poor shot selection.

Toyota Otis’ first basket in the payoff period came with 3:24 left and it was scored by seldom-used Ardy Larong as the big boys of coach Louie Alas — Joe Devance, Boyet Bautista, Jonathan Aldave — struggled in the face of Harbour Centre’s swarming defense.

The absence of Aaron Aban hurt Toyota Otis’ cause.

Alas, however, accepted the loss like a true gentleman, saying: "Napabayaan namin ang three-point shots nila."

full battle gear
06-18-2006, 02:51 PM
Port Masters snuff out Sparks, claim first PBL crown
www.abs-cbnnews.com


By FRANK CALAPRE, Correspondent

Joseph Yeo fired seven three-pointers, four in the fourth quarter, as Harbour Centre survived a scary 73-66 win over Toyota Otis Saturday to capture its first Philippine Basketball League title, the 2006 PBL Unity Cup, at the Olivarez College Sports Center in Parañaque City.

With the Port Masters down by four points at the end of the third period, Yeo suddenly exploded with two straight triples to move them back on top, 59-57, still 7:59 remaining in the do-or-die match.

Yeo scored a game-high 28 points for the Port Masters, 13 in the fourth period, on top of six rebounds and a steal. LA Tenorio added 17 and Richard Alonzo made 9 points.

But what sealed Harbour Centre’s victory was their tight defense in the payoff period, holding the Sparks scoreless for five minutes and only nine points in the fourth quarter.

"It’s great to win the championship. I give credit to Joseph Yeo and LA Tenorio and the whole team," said Harbour Centre’s youthful owner, Mikee Romero.

"We really did a good job in limiting Toyota in the final period. I told the boys we can win the series if we play good defense," added Port Masters head coach Jorge Gallent.

Harbour Centre is one of the few teams in PBL history to win the crown in just three conferences since entering the league, having joined in the first conference of 2005.

The Port Masters showed superior firepower from the three-point area, hitting 12 of 23 attempts for a high 52 percent clip.

The Sparks, which won Games 1 (68-51) and 3 (83-80) could only hit 2 of 18 tries.

"The boys believed in themselves that they can do it, and that was the biggest factor in our victory," added Gallent, whose wards won Games 2 (73-55) and 4 (78-63).

The Scores:

Harbour Centre 73—Yeo 28, Tenorio 17, Alonzo 9, Arana 5, Chia 5, Reyes 4, Lanete 3, Coching 2, Maierhofer 0, Gaco 0.

Toyota Otis 66—Devance 14, Casio 10, Oreta 8, Larong 6, Aldave 6, Bautista 6, Daa 6, Alcaraz 6, Coronel 2, Rodriguez 2, Andaya 0.

Quarters: 20-15, 34-36, 53-57, 73-66.

full battle gear
06-18-2006, 02:57 PM
PBL Cover Story: Harbour Centre 73 : Toyota-Otis 66
www.mypbl.com


SIMPLY AMAZING.

Joseph Yeo put on a dazzling show of shooting artistry yesterday as Harbour Centre repulsed Toyota Otis, 73-66, and finally realized its cherished dream in just so short a time at the Olivarez Sports Center.

Outshone by former La Salle teammate Jayvee Casion in Game 3 which Toyota Otis won, 83-80, Yeo made sure Game 5 would be his time to shine – by himself – as he unloaded four triples in a vicious15-0 run in the first six minutes of the payoff period to rule the 2006 PBL Unity Cup.

“This is great, finally we realized our dream,” said team owner Mikee Romero. “I have to credit coach Jorge (Gallent) and the boys, especially LA (Tenorio)and Joseph for their inspired performance.”

“Joseph promised me to take charge of Game 5 after a distressing one-point performance the last time out,” said Gallent of his prized player.

And he did with aplomb.

The Port Masters, who joined the league three conferences ago, wrapped up the series, 3-2.

After a slow start, Yeo finished with 28 points on an impressive 7-of-12 shooting from the 3-point zone to emerge as the series pivotal player. He also had six rebounds, one assist and one steal to make up for his 2-of-11 shooting from the two-point region.

LA Tenorio also did well, his sniping kept the team afloat in the second quarter where the Toyota Otis Sparks came through with several spurts. For his consistency and calming influence, the wily guard emerged as the Finals MVP, enough to boost his stock in the coming PBA Annual Draft.

For a while, the Toyota Otis appeared headed for a big win after taking a 57-53 lead going into the finals 10 minutes but the Sparks uncharacteristically lost their focus and allowed Yeo to stage a one-man show that saw the crowd breaking into frenzied celebration.

In that startling stretch of run, Chad Alonzo also knocked in a triple after Yeo’s back-to-back triples.

That triple obviously took the sting out of the Sparks as they fell into a maze of errors and poor shot selection.

Toyota Otis’ first basket in the payoff period came with 3:24 left and it was scored by seldom-used Ardy Larong as the big boys of coach Louie Alas – Joe Devance, Boyet Bautista, Jonathan Aldave – struggled in the face of Harbour Centre’s swarming defense.

The absence of Aaron Aban hurt Toyota Otis’ cause.

Alas, however, accepted the loss like a true gentleman, saying: “Napabayaan naming ang three-point shots nila.”

Just like in Game 4 which they won pulling away, 73-55, the Port Masters, starring Robert Reyes, Ryan Arana and Tenorio, took several 9-point leads that had the pro-Harcour Center crowd chanting “Harbour! Harbour!, Harbour!.”

But the Toyota Otis Sparks, using a different defensive strategy and piling points behind their brilliant transition plays, took a 36-29 lead. In that stretch, the Port Masters bungled several open shots which the Sparks exploited to take the upperhand.

But a jumper by Tenorio and a triple by Yeo in a lightning-fast assault pushed the Port Masters to within 34-36 at the half.

Anticipating a classic championship, fans came in droves early and filled every available space of the coliseum. Thousands of fans who failed to enter had to wait for some spectators to go home before they managed to watch the thrilling action.

The scores:

Harbour Centre 73 – Yeo 28, Tenorio 17, Alonzo 9, Arana 5, Chia 5, Reyes 4, Lanete 3, Coching 2, Maierhofer 0, Gaco 0.

Toyota Otis 66 – Devance 14, Casio 10, Oreta 8, Larong 6, Aldave 6, Bautista 6, Daa 6, Alcaraz 6, Coronel 2, Rodriguez 2, Andaya 0.

Quarters: 20-15, 34-36, 57-53, 73-66.

gameface_one
06-19-2006, 11:42 AM
Harbour Centre destined to win
By Joey Villar
The Philippine Star 06/19/2006

Harbour Centre never really thought it could ever make it past the elimination stage of the PBL Unity Cup after a sputtering 2-6 start. In fact, coach Jorge Gallent had already thought of quitting while the quitting was good.

But one cannot argue with destiny. And for team owner Mikee Romero, his Port Masters were simply destined to win.

"It’s really a story book ending," said a jubilant Romero, the 36-year-old executive of the country’s largest bulk and breakbulk cargo handling port terminal after his gritty wards pulled off a 73-66 victory over the Toyota Otis Starks in their winner-take-all match and completed their improbable title run last Saturday.

"But I believe it’s our destiny," he added. "Because they were already counting us out when we were down."

Truly, the Port Masters dug their way out of a deep hole to scrape past the elimination and into a quarterfinal duel with 2006 Heroes Cup third placer Granny Goose.

Against all odds, the Harbour Centre quintet upended the Snack Masters twice and then stunned the heavily favored Montaña Jewels in the semifinals to barge into the championship round against the talented Toyota Otis Sparks.

The rest was history.

"When we were 2-6 in the elimination, I was so down I was thinking of resigning. I never told anyone but I was really thinking of it," said Gallent, a high school buddy of Romero at La Salle-Zobel.

"I’m just glad the management and my players never gave up on me, and that gave me strength," added Gallent, who won his first title as a coach after taking part in Tanduay Rhum’s eight-title romp in 10 straight championship appearances in the 90s.

LA Tenorio and Joseph Yeo, the strongest links to the Port Masters’ title conquest, also didn’t expect the team to reach this far.

"I remember last April that we were already planning to spend a long week in June in Cebu because I thought we’re not going to make it," said Tenorio, the former Ateneo standout named the Finals MVP, his first individual plum in a league as big as the PBL.

"During that time, I was also thinking of an early summer vacation because I was expecting we’ll be eliminated," said Yeo, the Pivotal Player of the title series, who erupted for 28 points in Game 5 in what could be the league’s biggest clutch performance.

And Romero was just thankful he had these three guys. "We wouldn’t have made it without LA and Joseph," said Romero. "And of course, how can I forget Jorge, who never gave up despite the team’s early disappointments."

Romero also made mention of the team’s five-man acquisition this conference that also proved to be the missing link in the franchise’s failed title bids in the last two conferences.

"I also have to mention Chiko Lanete, Gec Chia, Rico Maeirhofer, Ryan Arana and Allan Gamboa because they were the last pieces of the championship puzzle," he said.

gameface_one
06-19-2006, 11:43 AM
Harbour Centre recalls struggle to reach zenith
mb.com.ph




COACH George Gallent can now look back with fondness at the struggles his Harbour Centre team went through on its way to winning the 2006 Philippine Basketball League (PBL) Unity Cup last Saturday.


A slow start. A twice-to-beat drawback against Granny Goose in the quarterfinals. A match up with No. 2 seed Montaña in the semifinals. And a 1-2 deficit against top seed Toyota Otis in the finals.

To top it all, Gallent, a key player in the old Tanduay team that dominated the PBL in the mid-90s, almost quit while the Port Masters were in the middle of the tournament.

"It was so frustrating that I thought of quitting after we opened with a 0-4 record and a 2-6 card early in the second round," recalled the former Far Eastern U stalwart.

But a long, serious talk with youthful Harbour Centre team owner Mikee Romero changed the mood and the fortunes of the team’s title campaign.

During the talk, Romero reiterated his trust in Gallent and the rest of the Port Masters. He knew they could still pull it off. It was just a matter of having a little more time to allow the team to jell.

"Who would have thought LA Tenorio and Joseph Yeo would play under one team," said Romero, referring to the players who played for rival schools Ateneo (Tenorio) and La Salle (Yeo).

"Jorge was an unproven coach when we took him in," he added. "But I always stressed that I believe in them, which I think, was the key to our success."

After the talk, things began to pick up for the Port Masters.

They won four of their last six games to take the last quarterfinals berth. As the sixth seeded team, they had to beat Granny Goose Snackmasters’ twice when a single loss would have sent them home packing.

Against the tough Montaña five, the No. 2 team at the end of the eliminations, Harbour Centre defied the odds again and stunned the Jewels, 3-1, in their best-of-five semis series to earn a trip to the finals.

The team’s double overtime win over the Jewels in Game 3 was the turning point, according to Romero. "After that, I felt I was able to get the best out my players. They showed character."

But more work lay ahead. The Port Masters were up against the league’s top team in Toyota Otis, bannered by the conference’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Joe Devance.

Immediately, the Sparks showed why they were the favorites. They won two of the series’ first three games, giving them two chances to win their first PBL championship.

Their backs against the wall again, Gallent and Romero didn’t lose hope. Both believed that the team was destined to win the crown. They only had to look back at what the Port Masters had gone through.

Somehow, along the way, they were helped by some unexpected things.

For instance, Toyota Otis guard Aaron Aban, the most consistent Spark in the finals, sprained his left wrist and sat out the last two games of the series.

Without one of their most dependable players, the Sparks struggled against the deadly backcourt of Harbour’s Yeo and Tenorio. This was proven in the final quarter of Game 5 when Yeo torched Toyota Otis with four three-pointers in a 15-0 run that turned a four-point deficit into a 68-57 edge for Harbour.

"The absence of Aaron was really a big factor for us," admitted Sparks coach Louie Alas. "Si Aaron kilala ko. Kung nandun siya, he’ll volunteer na magtake-charge sa game especially when Harbour was in the midst of a big offensive nung fourth quarter. We really missed him."

Yeo was adjudged Pivotal Player of the series, finishing with a game-high 28 points on 7-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc. Tenorio, on the other hand, came through with 17 markers, four rebounds and four assists to run away with the series MVP award.

gameface_one
06-19-2006, 11:44 AM
Fierce college foes keep PBL champs afloat

First posted 03:13am (Mla time) June 19, 2006
By Jasmine W. Payo
Inquirer



Editor's Note: Published on page A34 of the June 19, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer


HARBOUR CENTRE coach Jorge Gallent had doubts early in the Philippine Basketball League conference, and even toyed with the idea of leaving the team.

“When we started with a 2-6 record (in the elimination), I was frustrated,” said Gallent. “I thought about resigning, but I never told [the team].”

It wasn’t only Gallent who admitted to almost giving up on his crew. Even his young stars predicted a dismal finish in the PBL Unity Cup.

“It looked impossible when we were at 2-6,” said hotshot guard Joseph Yeo.

“I never thought we’d reach the Finals,” added top playmaker LA Tenorio. “I already had plans to go on vacation with my friends. But the team peaked at the right time, we blended well. It was good timing.”

Indeed, no one expected the turnaround. Scrambling to place sixth in the eliminations, the young squad just barely made it to the playoffs.

Then the Portmasters started to whip the league heavyweights in games where they had been counted out even before the opening toss.

Ranged against top-ranked Toyota Otis in the Finals, Yeo and Tenorio fueled the Portmasters’ charge that rewarded Harbour Centre with the championship in a best-of-five series that reached full distance.

“When we beat Granny Goose twice (in the quarterfinals), that’s when I thought that we could do it,” said Gallent.

The consistently superb Tenorio averaged 15.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists to clinch the Finals Most Valuable Player plum.

Yeo secured the Pivotal Player award after unleashing 21 of his 28 points from beyond the arc to lead the Portmasters to a 73-66 victory in Game 5 last Saturday.

But the teamwork of the two former fiercest rivals in collegiate hoops turned out to be even more impressive than their individual performances.

“These two are my heroes,” said team owner Mikee Romero. “LA Tenorio of Ateneo, Joseph Yeo of La Salle. Who would have thought that we’d be able to bring them together? Who would have thought that they could win a championship together in a different kind of league? They showed they’re the top amateur players right now.”

gameface_one
06-21-2006, 08:06 AM
PBL to expand roster this year
mb.com.ph




DESPITE LOSING the Welbest franchise (Welcoat/Rain or Shine), the Philippine Basketball League (PBL) is likely to expand its roster.


This was bared by PBL Executive Director Butch Maniego during yesterday’s PSA Forum where he said PBL officials will strive to keep the league’s competitive balance during its 24th season later this year.

The Welbest franchise, said Maniego, has assured him that it will maintain a team in the PBL.

Maniego also said the league has recieved feelers from at least two companies who expressed interest to join the PBL later this year. At present the PBL is composed of Harbour Centre, Toyota Otis, Montaña, Magnolia, Hapee-PCU, Granny Goose and Teletech.

"We’re looking forward to a more vibrant, more competitive and more teams joining us next season," he said.

"The competitive balance in the PBL is as good as ever. That sends a good signal to everybody. And we hope to keep it that way," Maniego said.

The rise of Harbour Centre and Toyota Otis as the new powerhouse teams, according to Maniego, also augurs well for the PBL, especially at a time multi-titled Welcoat Paints is set to join the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

"Obviously, the PBL would not be the same without them (Welcoat). But based on the last finals, Harbour and Toyota have established themselves as the new powerhouse teams to look forward to," Maniego stressed in the public sports program sponsored by PAGCOR and Manila Mayor Lito Atienza.

The PBL’s season-ending conference proved to be a blockbuster, capped by a thrilling best-of-five finals between Harbour Centre and Toyota Otis played before a jampacked crowd at the Olivarez College Sports Center.

The Port Masters defeated the Sparks, 73-66, in the series that went the full route, to bag their first ever league championship.

The win boosted the enthusiasm of Harbour Centre team owner Mikee Romero, also a guest at the PSA Forum, who said they hope to follow in the footsteps of multi-titled Welcoat.

"Sila (Welbest franchise) ang naging guide namin. After all, sa kanila nagsimula ang Harbour during the time of Mr. (Raymund) Yu as PBL chairman. Parang mentoring ang ginawa nila sa amin," said Romero.

Fittingly, Romero shared the limelight with Yu and Welcoat co-team owner Terry Que who also attended the forum yesterday.

In 10 years, the Welbest franchise won a total of six championships in 12 finals appearances.

Yu said the ball club is not entirely leaving the league since it will still maintain a PBL team that carries a water-based sealant brand.

"But me and Terry will not be actively involve. Sila coach Caloy (Garcia) and Boy Lapid na ang magiging guide dito. And of course, we’ll continue with our tie-up with St. Benilde," said Yu.

gameface_one
06-21-2006, 08:08 AM
PBL wants to keep team parity in next loop
abs-cbnnews.com



In the light of the 2006 Unity Cup’s rousing success, Philippine Basketball League officials are determined to keep its competitive balance in its 24th season later this year.

"The competitive balance in the PBL is as good as ever. That sends a good signal to everybody. And we hope to keep it that way," PBL executive director Butch Maniego said in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the main function room of the Pantalan Restaurant in Manila, where he was accompanied by deputy commissioner Tommy Ong.

The PBL’s season-ending conference proved to be a blockbuster, capped by a thrilling best-of-5 finals between Harbour Centre and Toyota Otis played before a jampacked crowd at the Olivarez College Sports Center.

The Port Masters defeated the Sparks, 73-66, in the series that went the full route, to bag their first ever league championship.

The rise of Harbour Centre and Toyota Otis as the new powerhouse teams, according to Maniego, augured well for the PBL, especially at a time multititled Welcoat Paints is set to join the Philippine Basketball Association.

"Obviously, the PBL would not be the same without them [Welcoat]. But based on the last finals, Harbour and Toyota have established themselves as the new powerhouse teams to look forward to," Maniego stressed in the public sports program sponsored by Pagcor and Mayor Lito Atienza of Manila.

Even with the departure of Welcoat, Maniego said they are still looking forward to having eight teams when its 2006-07 season begins in November.

The Welbest franchise, according to him, vowed to maintain a farm team within the PBL, which they will be managing along with a new partner.

Add to that, Maniego said, the league is hoping to attract two or three more teams at the most to join member squads Harbour Centre, Toyota Otis, Montana, Magnolia, Hapee-PCU, Granny Goose and TeleTech.

"We’re looking forward to a more vibrant, more competitive and more teams joining us next season," he said.

gameface_one
06-21-2006, 08:10 AM
Welcoat to maintain PBL franchise, says team owner

First posted 03:20am (Mla time) June 21, 2006
By Jasmine W. Payo
Inquirer



Editor's Note: Published on page A24 of the June 21, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer


WELCOAT Paints won’t be totally pulling out of the Philippine Basketball League after all.

Welcoat will turn over the management duties of its amateur roster to Henkel, a German-owned company which debuts in the Philippine Basketball Association this October.

Sista, a Henkel brand of water-based sealant, will be the new name the team will carry in the PBL.

Caloy Garcia will be calling the shots for Sista, while Boy Lapid will be the team manager.

“Technically, we will still have a team in the PBL,” said Welcoat team owner Raymund Yu at the PSA Forum yesterday at the Pantalan Restaurant in Manila. “The franchise still belongs to us. We’ll lend it to [Henkel] in their first two conferences in the PBL.”

Leo Austria, meanwhile, will serve as head coach in Welcoat’s maiden campaign in the pro league.

“I think we’re ready for the PBA,” said team co-owner Terry Que.

Yu added that Welcoat plans to include free agents in its PBA roster led by Heroes Cup Most Valuable Player Jojo Tangkay of Rain or Shine, Froilan Baguion and Al Magpayo of Montaña, and Christian Coronel of Toyota Otis.

Austria earlier disclosed that Welcoat wants to elevate big men Jay-R Reyes, Junjun Cabatu and Samigue Eman from its amateur team.

While Welcoat gears up for its pro stint, 2006 Unity Cup champion Harbour Centre also begins its rebuilding process after the departure of key players LA Tenorio and Joseph Yeo.

“We were able to show the successful tandem of La Salle and Ateneo players,” said team owner Mikee Romero. “For our next team, we want to rebuild around La Salle and Ateneo players anchored on JC Intal and Rico Maierhofer. Hopefully they’ll be our future stars.”

gameface_one
06-21-2006, 08:11 AM
PBL keeping balanced field for next season

The Philippine Star 06/21/2006

In the light of the 2006 Unity Cup’s rousing success, Philippine Basketball League (PBL) officials are determined to keep its competitive balance come its 24th season later this year.

"The competitive balance in the PBL is as good as ever. That sends a good signal to everybody. And we hope to keep it that way," said PBL executive director Butch Maniego in the PSA Forum at the main function room of the Pantalan Restaurant in Manila, where he was accompanied by deputy commissioner Tommy Ong.

The PBL’s season-ending conference proved to be a blockbuster, capped by a thrilling best-of-five Finals between Harbour Centre and Toyota Otis played before a jampacked crowd at the Olivarez College Sports Center.

The Port Masters defeated the Sparks, 73-66, in the series that went the full route, to bag their first ever league championship.

The rise of Harbour Centre and Toyota Otis as the new powerhouse teams, according to Maniego, augur well for the PBL, especially at a time multi-titled Welcoat Paints is set to join the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

"Obviously, the PBL would not be the same without them (Welcoat). But based on the last finals, Harbour and Toyota have established themselves as the new powerhouse teams to look forward to," Maniego said in the public sports program sponsored by PAGCOR and Manila Mayor Lito Atienza.

Even with the departure of Welcoat, Maniego said they are still looking forward to having eight teams when its 2006-07 season begins in November.

The Welbest franchise, according to him, vowed to maintain a farm team within the PBL, which they will be managing along with a new partner.

Add to that, Maniego said the league is hoping to attract two or three more teams at the most to join member squads Harbour Centre, Toyota Otis, Montaña, Magnolia, Hapee-PCU, Granny Goose and Teletech.

"We’re looking forward to a more vibrant, more competitive and more teams joining us next season," he said.

full battle gear
06-24-2006, 01:58 PM
Harbour Centre: Tale of coming together
THE GAME OF MY LIFE By Bill Velasco
The Philippine Star 06/24/2006


The remarkable rise of Harbour Centre to the championship of the PBL Unity Cup is one of the most surprising comebacks of Philippine amateur basketball. Given up for lost after a bad start (losing their first four games), the team had to find a way to win, and quickly.

"We just had to come together," recalled team owner Mikee Romero. "You could see it in practice. You had the Ateneo players on one side, the La Salle players on another side, and the rest of the players. And we couldn’t force them to be together. It just had to happen on its own."

It came to the point that, during one particularly physical session, two of their frontline players actually came to blows. One of them landed a punch that produced a black eye, the other fought back with a karate chop that left the recipient gasping for breath.

"All of us on the coaching staff were rugged players, too," laughed team manager Rafa Dinglasan, a former De La Salle Green Archer. "So we let them go at it, get it out of their system. They weren’t going to kill each other."

True enough, after the emotions died down, the two giants apologized to each other and became close friends. That helped the team with the transition to winning.

"With superstars like LA Tenorio and Joseph Yeo, we knew it was just a matter of time," says Romero, who also plays for a three-time champion team in the La Salle alumni league. "It was going to happen. We just had to give them the right mindset, one game at a time."

So they won one game then another, and another, with the players slowly learning to trust each other. Instead of one hogging the ball, the guards started helping each other to score. Head coach Jorge Gallent’s system started falling into place.

"He (Gallent) was very down," Romero reveals. "I was in the States, and we spoke. I told him, just give me what you can. You can do it."

As the team started to develop its chemistry, the personal issues of some of the players had to be addressed. Aside from the spectacular array of guards, one of the keys was the rebounding of Fil-Am Robbie Reyes.

"He would get impatient when he didn’t get the ball," Dinglasan confirmed. "And when we were losing, he would complain. But we told him, on this team, we don’t need you to score. Just give us ten rebounds, and we’ll be happy."

One of the adjustments some of the players had to make was the physical play in the PBL. Even some of the former pros had to make the adjustments.

"I remember Gec Chia, when he first came over, was getting bumped a lot, and it hurt his game," Romero adds. "But he came alive in the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. He really helped."

To climb to the top, Harbour Centre had to survive the quarterfinals, and beat the top two teams in the league, the Montaña Jewels and, in the finals, the Toyota Otis Sparks. Neither was an easy task.

"We realized that, when you spread the ball around, you win," Dinglasan concurs. "Now, they were purposely looking for each other. And even when we had smaller players, they were outrebounding the other teams.

Tenorio, Yeo, Reyes, Mark Isip and Chico Lanete are bound for the PBA Draft, so the challenge for the Portmasters is to maintain the winning with a brand-new team next season, which starts in October.

"I like that challenge," says Romero. "I think that would be fun. We have to scout players really well. But I think we can do it."

Now, with a title under their belts, doing it again won’t seem so formidable a challenge.

gameface_one
09-16-2006, 11:49 AM
As we now move to the next conference, we are now locking this thread.

gameface_one
09-16-2006, 12:07 PM
PBL to unwrap surprise package
mb.com.ph




ARWIND SANTOS, Joseph Yeo, LA Tenorio and Kelly Williams will not be around when the Philippine Basketball League opens its 25th season in November.


But it’s all right.

The league, according to Commissioner Chino Trinidad, is ready to deliver and unwrap another surprise package to its fans, one that would make the departure of its marquee players just an ordinary occurrence.

"We’ve been doing that ever since, we gave them the chance to grow and nurture their careers. That’s our role," said Trinidad. "Now it’s time to look for someone we can help, and who knows, they can be of service to the country in future international events."

Well, there’s no need for Trinidad to look somewhere else.

For one, Jonas Villanueva of Far Eastern University is being trumpeted this early as the next important player of Magnolia Ice Cream.

There’s also JC Intal of Ateneo, Bonbon Custodio, Mark Borboran and Marcy Arellano of University of the East, Yousif Aljamal of San Beda, Roby David of Philippine Christian University and Jonathan Fernandez of National University.

Ken Bono of Adamson is also expected to throw in his weight around this time. Actually, the 6-foot-5 Bono and the high-leaping Intal are hotly contesting the MVP award in the UAAP.

And don’t forget the players from the South - they still remain a force to reckon with in amateur basketball.

Intal may suit up for Harbour Centre which is chasing its second straight title. The Port Masters, starring Yeo and Tenorio, beat Toyota Otis in the recent Unity Cup finals.

"We’re hoping to get him," said Harbour Centre owner Mikee Romero. "He’s the kind of player we want, very exciting and athletic."

The Port Masters are also eyeing some promising players, including one from the South, to cushion the impact of the exit of Yeo and Tenorio.

Villanuena, a 5-foot-11 guard from Bulacan, can bring stability to the team orphaned by Williams and Santos who emerged Nos. 1 and 2 in the recent PBA draft pick.

Aside from his leadership, Villanueva is also deadly shooter from afar. He averaged 14.7 points, 4.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game for the Tamaraws. He’s expected to produce the same solid numbers when he joins Magnolia in the coming tournament fittingly dubbed as the Silver Cup.

"We in the Magnolia camp is now excited to have him in the team. He’s a good player, we need a player of his caliber," said team manager Peter Martin. "With Jonas around, we’ll hope we can make it to the semis again."

The Wizards won the Heroes Cup last year but failed to make the Final Four of the Unity Cup last June.

Martin said Villanueva is not really a flashy player but he can surely make things happen for his team with his resolve and speed.