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Joescoundrel
08-03-2006, 08:03 PM
I know this is an amateur basketball site, but doesn't every amateur want to be a pro some day? After all, the big hoop dream is always to make it to the Bigs, the Majors, the L some day.

Here's where we can talk about nothing but professional basketball. Talk about all of the latest developments in your favorite PBA, NBA, CBA, European League, Australian League teams. Talk about the leagues themselves. Talk about the hottest moves, the most mind-bending plays, the awesome dunks and blocks, the dope passes, the greatest games, the latest in the rules, all on this thread.

Let me start: Are there any Barangay Ginebra fans out there?

I have loved this team since time immemorial. Even when their best players were Sani Cabatu and Bennet Palad, and they won only once or twice every conference, they remained my favorite team. There is no other team that is as close to the ordinary Pinoy than the (former) La Tondena franchise. No matter how badly this team fared, no one ever took them for granted because of their never-say-die attitude and leave-it-all-on-the-floor hustle.

Sam Miguel
08-03-2006, 09:51 PM
This might be just the place to talk about the present Team USA who will see action in the Worlds in Saitama later this month. Apparently they blew Puerto Rico off the floor in a scrimmage 116-82. Considering the Puerto Ricans never seem to take scrimmages seriously this is perhaps just a so-so game. Still, it seems Mike Krzyzewski is bent on putting on a fullcourt press as the primary defensive weapon of the Americans, as he ordered a game-long press against Puerto Rico. Is this something that would work against the world's best teams? Undoubtedly America has superb athletes who can recover, hustle and bother all game long if need be, but this seems to be too radical a departure from the way these multimillionaires play in their beloved NBA. Of course I wouldn't want Lebron James or Dwayne Wade in my face for 40 minutes in a press, and neither do I want to run into Dwight Howard or Amare Stoudemire as their last shotblocking line of defense, but jeez, what the heck is Mike Krzyzewski smoking?

gameface_one
08-03-2006, 11:13 PM
It's been a long debate among Gameface.ph owners whether or not to open a forum for Pro Basketball. Inevitably, we know that amateur basketball will always have its conclusions in the pro circuits.

For now, we will allow this thread and observe how gamefacers will respond to the topic. Should there be an obvious clamor for more space and separate topics within Pro Hoops, then that'll be the time to create an exclusive forum for the same.

gameface_one
08-04-2006, 08:27 AM
PBA fines Cabagnot



Inquirer
Last updated 04:38am (Mla time) 08/04/2006

Published on page A26 of the August 4, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

PHILIPPINE Basketball Association commissioner Noli Eala yesterday fined Sta. Lucia Realty’s Alex Cabagnot P10,000 for every game he played in a summer league in the United States.

Cabagnot also faces stiff sanctions from Sta. Lucia if he fails to give a rational explanation for his sudden disappearance after the Philippine Cup.

The PBA had earlier verified reports that Cabagnot played two games for the LA Stars in the US league.

Eala reminded the sophomore guard that under league rules and the Players Uniform Contract, PBA players are prohibited from playing in any basketball game other than PBA-sanctioned games.

The Sta. Lucia management is contemplating on charging Cabagnot with breach of contract or banning him for life.

“Those are the possibilities that the company is considering right now,” a Sta. Lucia insider said. June Navarro

gameface_one
08-04-2006, 08:28 AM
More trades expected in PBA’s off-season


By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 04:38am (Mla time) 08/04/2006

Published on page A26 of the August 4, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE TRADE that caused a furor among some members of the Philippine Basketball Association’s board of governors recently is certainly not the last in the off-season.

Robert Non, San Miguel Corp.’s chief of basketball operations, said the three-way deal involving Barangay Ginebra, Coca-Cola and Air21 was just the start of several trades expected before the opening of the next season in September.

The Gin Kings acquired Rafi Reavis and Billy Mamaril from Coca-Cola plus the rights to Rudy Hatfield, while the Tigers got Manny Ramos, Ryan Bernardo and Kalani Ferreria on top of two second-round picks this year and a first-rounder next season.

As bridge, the Express landed Ginebra’s Aris Dimaunahan, who will serve as backup to starting point guard Wynne Arboleda, and the 6-foot-7 Ervin Sotto, who will be reunited with his St. Francis of Assisi College teammates Yancy and Ranidel De Ocampo.

“That trade is just the start of several trade-offs that could happen in the off-season,” said Non. “Dealing away its big-time players doesn’t mean Coca-Cola is on the way to disbandment.”

With the Gin Kings now filled with big men and Coca-Cola in need of extra ceiling in the paint, Non said both teams will have to engage in a few more deals to enhance their worth.

Most vocal critic

Though the eight-player swap has yet to be approved by the Commissioner’s Office, not a few team officials raised a howl over the issue, with Sta. Lucia Realty governor Buddy Encarnado the most vocal among them.

Encarnado said that should the trade push through, the parity among teams and the level of competition would be drastically affected. This, he said, could even spell the demise of the PBA.

But Non waved off Encarnado’s protests.

“They heard nothing from San Miguel when other teams traded their marquee players to strengthen their respective rosters,” said Non. “Why oppose our move when we did it the right way?”

Non was referring to the three-way trade involving Talk ‘N Text, Alaska and Air21 in the last conference that fortified the lineup of the Phone Pals, which got Renren Ritualo and Don Allado.

The Aces, who acquired Willie Miller and John Ferriols, also got the best end of the deal when Shell disbanded last season, Non pointed out.

Meanwhile, Chot Reyes will have able lieutenants Biboy Ravanes, Nash Racela and Aboy Castro in the San Miguel fold while Ginebra’s Siot Tanquingcen has now formally slid down as head coach Jong Uichico’s assistant for the Gins.

gameface_one
08-04-2006, 08:29 AM
SMC coaching staff reshuffled
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 08/04/2006

San Miguel Corporations continued its personnel overhaul with SMC basketball operations chief Robert Non announcing Wednesday a major reshuffle of bench tacticians and staffs of three teams under the food and beverage conglomerate.

Only the staff of coach Ryan Gregorio of the recently crowned All-Filipino champion Purefoods Chunkee was not affected by the revamp.

Jong Uichico, Siot Tanquingcen and Art dela Cruz were reunited at Barangay Ginebra, Chot Reyes, Biboy Ravanes, Nash Racela and Aboy Castro were sent to San Miguel Beer while Boybits Victoria, Richie Ticzon and George Ella were transferred to Coca-Cola to assist Binky Favis.

Uichico, with six titles under his belt with the Beermen, moved over to Ginebra, taking over the rein from Tanquingcen who slid down as assistant together with Dela Cruz and holdover Junno Sauler.

Reyes, with four championships to his credit, is back in the PBA to call the shots for the Beermen after being allowed to concentrate with his task at the RP training pool for over two years.

Ravanes was picked from Ginebra, Racela from Coca-Cola and Castro from the RP pool to once again work as deputies to Reyes. Their partnership produced the 2002 All-Filipino and 2003 Reinforced Conference championships for the Tigers.

"We just want them to be like our people in the company. We want them to be multi-faceted. How do you do that? You rotate them in different departments," said Non.

"In some extent, para rin itong pahiyang. We want all our teams to be competitive," Non added.

Informed of the revamp Wednesday, the coaches started working with their new teams yesterday except for Reyes and Castro who’re with the RP team in an invitational tilt in Qatar.

Tanquingcen took his demotion in stride. "I’m quite fine with it. I believe I still have a lot to learn from coach Jong who’s considered one of the best coaches in the land," he said

"Since I got here I’ve been preaching playing as a team to achieve our goal. I’m just a part of a team and I think I can show the players this by doing everything I can to help the team whether I’m the coach or assistant or ball boy. I would do everything I can to help our cause," he added.

Non stressed, though, that the coaches’ new appointments are not permanent.

"The coaches will be assessed every season or even on a per-conference basis," said Non.

gameface_one
08-04-2006, 08:29 AM
Eala to decide on controversial deal

The Philippine Star 08/04/2006

The PBA board of governors, after a lengthy meeting last night, has allowed commissioner Noli Eala to decide whether the controversial trade involving seven players from three teams should be approved.

The emergency board meeting that was held in the aftermath of the trade among Air21 and sister teams Ginebra and Coca-Cola lasted more than three hours. All teams were represented.

"After hearing their sentiments, the board agreed to let the commissioner decide. They also agreed to abide by my decision," said Eala, adding that the decision will come out in the next few days.

The trade drew some protests from a couple of ballclubs which claimed that it benefited Ginebra the most, in that it acquired marquee players like Billy Mamaril and Raffy Reavis from Coca-Cola, and through Air21.

Under PBA rules, sister teams are not allowed to make direct trades, explaining the presence of Air21 which acted as conduit and at the same time got Aries Dimaunahan and Ervin Sotto from Ginebra. — Abac Cordero

gameface_one
08-04-2006, 08:31 AM
Future NBA draftee training here
By Bill Velasco
The Philippine Star 08/04/2006

Don’t look now, but the country that taught us the game of basketball is starting to send players to the Philippines for training, and the first trainee is a future NBA first-round pick.

Larry Turner, a 6’11", 235-pound center from Tennessee State, arrived in the Philippines July 18, and is now training under the strict eye of Kirk Collier, skills coach of San Miguel Beer and Ginebra in the PBA.

"Larry’s college coach (Cyrus Alexander) was in college when I was a coach, and I was his skills trainer," Collier explains. "And he worked really hard; he had a lot of success. When he got Larry, Larry didn’t have that good a junior year. They said that he was an athlete, he was big, he was strong, but his skills weren’t that good."

Collier was contacted by Alexander’s then-assistant Jamal Brown, who has since been appointed head coach of South Carolina State University. Collier, who coached college basketball and ran basketball camps in the US, insisted that Turner, who averaged 4 points and 6 rebounds a game in his junior year after transferring from the University of Oklahoma, spend at least a month to six weeks here to get measurable results.

"In college, he has to play the five (center) position. So I’m working on his back-to-the-basket skills: his sealing, his footwork, make him able to use both hands, pivoting, up-and-under, quick spin, those kinds of things," Collier elaborates. "But if he makes it to the pros like the NBA - or even if he comes over here to play - he’s going to play a lot more four (power forward) or even a little bit of three (small forward). So he’s got to work on his face-up moves, too."

Tennessee State is expected to go far in the Ohio Valley Conference, but a large determinant of that will be the performance of their big man, who is built like NBA All-Star Ben Wallace, with a work ethic to match.

"My coach basically told me coach Kirk was the best," the amiable Turner recalls. "And now I know why. He knows basketball; he has a great understanding of the game, he’s very defined in the drills. So it’s going to work out fine."

"What I’m really going to focus on is teaching him the rhythm of the skills," Collier adds. "Once you get the rhythm of something, you’ll get a comfort level. So he’s going to get a lot of step-by-step teaching, but also a lot of repetition to support that. I think his biggest asset - aside from being athletic - is that he’s willing to learn, and he’s a purposeful worker. He doesn’t do a drill just to do it. He does a drill to get something out of it. I was elated to learn that he’s a quick learner, and that he has a high basketball IQ."

Aside from individual skills and plyometrics, Turner is also working out with the big men of both San Miguel and Ginebra, which Collier knows to be essential in his full absorption of what he is being taught.

"You have to have a culminating activity for your drills. You can drill, drill, drill, but you have to be able to apply that in a game. In the practices against Ginebra, against San Miguel, he gets to go against somebody and apply the skills he’s learned," says Collier, who first came to the Philippines five years ago as a skills coach for Red Bull. "You can learn the drill, but you won’t have the confidence to do it in a game until you’ve done it against someone playing defense."

The immediate goal is for the quick and muscular Turner to make a big impact on his college team, and the results have been very encouraging. Three NBA franchises already took a cursory look at him even before he came to the Philippines. But Collier believes that if Turner averages 15 to 16 points and 10 rebounds a game his senior year, most NBA teams will take a serious interest in him. Turner himself is hoping to be picked in the first round, though it doesn’t matter to him which team selects him.

"I’ll be blessed just to make it into the NBA," he says. "From there, we’ll see."

And when that happens, they will be surprised to find out that Larry got his moves from a coach in the Philippines, and may soon turn up on our shores (and Kirk Collier’s doorstep), for more of the same.

gameface_one
08-04-2006, 08:33 AM
NBA adopts rule changes for new season
abs-cbnnews.com

NEW YORK - The NBA adopted a rule change on Wednesday that ensures that teams with the best regular season records in each conference will not meet in the playoffs before the conference finals.

The Board of Governors also agreed to increasing the roster size for the playoffs and shortening time outs.

"Our owners are intent on making the playoff seeding more fair for all teams going forward and in quickening the pace of the end of games," said NBA executive vice president for basketball operations Stu Jackson.

The top four seeds in each conference will continue to be given to the three division winners and the team with the next best regular season record.

However, the four teams will now be seeded in order of their regular season records, ensuring that the two teams with the best records will not meet earlier than the conference finals.

The roster size for the playoffs has been raised to 15 from 13, with each team designating 12 active players and up to three inactive players prior to each game.

"The Board thought it made sense to allow teams to utilize the same 15-man roster in the playoffs that they use during the regular season," said Jackson.

If a team has two 60-second timeouts left in the last two minutes of regulation or in overtime, one of the two timeouts will be shortened to a 20-second timeout.

In addition, teams will have two 60-second and one 20-second timeout in overtime instead of having three 60-second timeouts. Reuters

Kid Cubao
08-04-2006, 10:48 AM
well it's about time they came round to that.

dati kasi, the NBA front office had given the top three seeds to division winners regardless of record, meaning a second-place team could not do better than the No. 4 seed--even if it had a better record than a division champion. in the 2006 playoffs, this old rule came under heavy criticism when the spurs and the mavs met in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, even though dallas had a far better record than division champions phoenix or denver. if you recall, that was a great, memorable series that took its toll on dallas when they later met phoenix in the conference finals and miami in the championship.

this time, the new system seeds the three division winners and the second-place team with the best record according to their win-loss total. sa ganitong paraan maiiwasang pagsasabungin yung top two teams sa bawat conference until the conference finals. this should have been plainly apparent right from the very beginning. why the league only thought of this arrangement now puzzles me.

joelex
08-04-2006, 01:06 PM
It's been a long debate among Gameface.ph owners whether or not to open a forum for Pro Basketball. Inevitably, we know that amateur basketball will always have its conclusions in the pro circuits.

For now, we will allow this thread and observe how gamefacers will respond to the topic. Should there be an obvious clamor for more space and separate topics within Pro Hoops, then that'll be the time to create an exclusive forum for the same.


it is great news to me that a thread has finally been started for pro basketball, especially local pro ball. The PBA may have lost some steam for a certain time a few seaosns ago, but the past 2 PBA conferences i thought have slowly brought them back to prominence, especially to the average basketball fans. I wish the younger fans of the game would again look at the PBA as the premiere basketball show in the country. It is kind of frustrating for a fan like me to watch a pick up game among high school kids and hearing them talk UAAP basketball and emulating UAAP players too. I hope the casual fan comes to realize that the UAAP/NCAA is still under the PBA as far as competition goes in the country. I wish the PBA would regain its popularity as it did in the 90's when college ball was just an afterthought for many. :)

easter
08-04-2006, 07:39 PM
About Team USA, their game against Puerto Rico is now showing at Solar Sports. 8)

gameface_one
08-04-2006, 10:18 PM
About Team USA, their game against Puerto Rico is now showing at Solar Sports.* 8)



US routs Puerto Rico in basketball friendly
abs-cbnnews.com



LAS VEGAS, Nevada - The United States thrashed Puerto Rico 114-69 here Thursday in a Basketball World Championships warm-up that launched the Americans' bid to regain global superiority in the game.The United States rode a 31-3 scoring spurt bridging the second and third quarters to the victory in the first of five exhibition games scheduled before the 2006 World Championships begin in Sapporo, Japan, on August 19.

The Americans received 18 points from Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets and 14 from Dwyane Wade of the world champion Miami Heat. Not only did they get the last phase of their World Championships build-up off on a good note, the United States avenged a stunning 92-73 loss to Puerto Rico at the Athens Olympics.


Team USA held just a 29-26 lead after a sluggish first quarter. After missing their first six shots and allowing two power layups by Daniel Santiago and a jumper by Carlos Arroyo of the Orlando Magic to fall behind, 32-29, the US squad took notice. While starting to step up their defense, the Americans created frequent turnovers and turned them into points. A 3-pointer by Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards with 1:50 left in the half capped a 19-3 run.The US turned 14 first-half turnovers into 19 points and held a 48-35 lead at the break.



When the second half started, the US continued its pressure defense, leading to a dunkfest. Two straight jams by LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers completed the Americans' huge burst just two minutes into the half.



The Americans now travel to Ghangzhou, China, to face Houston Rockets All-Star center Yao Ming and China on Monday and a Brazil on Tuesday.From there, the Americans venture to Seoul to take on Lithuania on August 13 and host South Korea on August 15. Once they arrive at the World Championships, the Americans will be aiming to re-establish themselves as the dominant force in international basketball.



In 1998, Team USA finished third at the World Championships with a team stripped of NBA stars by fallout from the lockout. In 2000, the Americans won the gold medal in the Olympics, barely beating Lithuania in the semi-finals and France in the final. In 2002, the US finished an embarrassing sixth at the World Championships, and they ended up with bronze at the 2004 Olympics. In the World Championships, Team USA is in Group D with Puerto Rico, China, Senegal, Slovenia and Olympic silver medalists Italy.



Only the winner of the 24-team World Championships and the Olympic hosts automatically qualify for the 2008 Games in Beijing.

gameface_one
08-04-2006, 10:19 PM
Stoudemire to miss World Basketball Championships
abs-cbnnews.com


LAS VEGAS - Phoenix Suns star Amare Stoudemire won't play for Team USA in the World Basketball Championships, and will instead stay home and continue his rehabilitation of his surgically repaired knees.
Team managing director Jerry Colangelo made the announcement hours before the US squad was to play an exhibition game against Puerto Rico here.

"During the past few days of our training camp we concluded that it would be difficult for Amare to continue with the rehabilitation he needs to do while the team continues its training in Asia," Colangelo said.

"He is not quite where he needs to be, and he needs to continue his work here in the States to get ready for the (NBA) season. He is also expecting the birth of a child, so we decided it would be best if he returned home."

Stoudemire played in just three games for the Colangelo's Suns in the 2005-06 season after undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee in October and another procedure to remove debris caused by wear and tear on his right kneecap in April.

Stoudemire's departure leaves 14 finalists for the 12-man squad that will attempt to earn a berth in the 2008 Olympics later this month in Japan. AFP

john_paul_manahan
08-05-2006, 07:21 AM
re: playoff seeding.

Why not just guarantee a playoff seat to the divisional winners?

gameface_one
08-05-2006, 11:32 AM
IN HUDDLE
PBA looking like an SMC league?


By Beth Celis
Inquirer
Last updated 03:05am (Mla time) 08/05/2006

Published on page A22 of the August 5, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

FIREWORKS were expected in last Thursday’s emergency board meeting called by newly installed Philippine Basketball Association chair Ricky Vargas at the Chateau 1771 on Ortigas Center.

Ricky was acting on a letter addressed to him and signed by four board members who were seeking clarification regarding the ownership of Coca-Cola, the status of its PBA franchise and the trading of its key players to sister team Ginebra, using Air21 as conduit.

Through the board chair, the four governors also urged PBA commissioner Noli Eala to look not only into the technical soundness of the trade but, more importantly, into the growing public perception that the PBA is a San Miguel Corp. league.

* * *

The people from San Miguel were adamant when they learned about the letter.

The trade was above board, they argued, and no rules were broken.

As to the status of Coca-Cola, talk of disbandment had no basis in fact, they said. These were mere rumors, even gossip.

“If Coke was disbanding, we would have informed the league a year in advance, which is the rule. We are aware of the rules,” said SMC sports division head Robert Non.

He was angry, just like the others from San Miguel. He said his blood pressure shot up because of the situation.

He was not the only one in that predicament.

Everyone seemed to be either angry or tense going into last Thursday’s meeting.

* * *

Personally, I didn’t know what to expect. Would some of the governors leave the board room sporting black-eyes and bruised lips? Would Ricky have to pay for broken glass and mirrors?

Deep down, though, I knew that my savage visions would not likely happen. In the past three decades, no matter how hot and volatile the situation was, a board meeting always ended peacefully. With everybody kissing and making up.

* * *

Fellow columnist Ronnie Nathanielsz and I were the only people from the media who stood vigil outside the function room of the Chateau.

From our table, we could see the governors, but we couldn’t hear what they were discussing. The doors were shut tight. It was also hard to tell from facial expressions if the discussion was getting heated.

Each time a governor would stand up to go to the men’s room, we would ask him if the fireworks had started.

The answer would always be the same: “Everything was cool. No one was losing his head.”

Finally, after almost two hours, chairman Vargas let us into the function room to announce what had transpired. By his side was the commissioner.

* * *

Ricky said the trade in question was being held in abeyance, upon the consensus of the board members who left it to the commissioner to make the final decision. Each governor was given a chance to speak out.

“The board has agreed to abide by the commissioner’s decision,” the chair said, as he announced that, contrary to speculations, Coca-Cola was not disbanding. It was made clear, though, that the Coke franchise belonged to Coke, not SMC.

Ricky said he now finds it imperative to start, as soon as possible, his plan to review the league’s constitution and by-laws.

After I left, Ronnie joined the governors who were, by this time, drinking San Miguel Beer and having fun. The tension melted.

* * *

Through the swigs, names of those who were being considered to form the committee on constitutional revision were mentioned, among them, lawyers Rudy Salud, Butch Cleofe and Melvin Mendoza, and Ronnie Nathanielsz.

The meeting ended late into the night on a harmonious note. Just like they did in the past.

Sta. Lucia’s Buddy Encarnado missed the bonding part, though. He had to leave early for a previous commitment.

All’s well that ends well, although I was told that the start of the discussions was very tense.

Ricky was happy to get a hundred percent attendance in his first meeting as PBA chair.

gameface_one
08-05-2006, 11:35 AM
Restraint of trade?
THE GAME OF MY LIFE By Bill Velasco
The Philippine Star 08/05/2006

PBA commissioner Noli Eala has been given the duty of deciding whether or not the three-team, seven-player trade involving Ginebra, Coca-Cola and Talk ‘N Text should be considered valid. This issue treads into a smoky, gray area in terms of what is allowed by the rules, and what looks bad for the league.

On the surface, each team in the PBA is owned by a major corporate entity, and is therefore a private concern. That means that, in terms of the assignment and disposition of its personnel, the teams can pretty much do whatever they want. This writer also raised the point regarding the issue of American coaches (regardless of who they are) making a living by coaching in the PBA. Bottom line, I said many years ago, the team is the one paying the person’s salary, coaching is an unregulated profession, and the team’s management is considered the best judge of what they must do to be competitive. The same holds true for whichever brand or product a PBA team chooses to represent.

The sudden shift of power from Coca-Cola - which made all three-conference finals just a season ago - to Ginebra, has raised several questions, mostly about the motive or justification for the trades. In the common fan’s mind, why would you trade a point guard who comes off the bench for a legitimate big man who starts the game? It doesn’t seem to make any sense. This is also what fuels speculation of the collapse of the team, which is seen to be unloading its marquee players.

I remember a brief time when - for parity’s sake - the PBA discouraged certain players to be teammates, like Mon Fernandez, Abet Guidaben and a handful of the league’s other outstanding centers. But in this day and age of more available players and a stronger free agent market, that would no longer stand.

There are several reasons why a strong team chooses to get weaker, as we have seen in the NBA and other professional leagues. One is to get the full advantage of the draft, if they were already in a position to get a rookie who can make an impact, or choose to trade for one. Another is to lower costs, since younger players have smaller salaries than veterans. A third reason would be to improve the team’s chemistry. A fourth, which some people express as their belief, is to get something for its players before folding the team.

The example set by the Shell Turbochargers planted the seed in people’s minds, as they disposed of their talent in exchange for marginal players in what was seen as lopsided deals to get more than what was on paper. Again, this was all perfectly legitimate.

But since each team also operates within the contexts of a league, anything they do has a social impact on the other franchises, as well. If any team profits from another team’s demise, or if a team profits from the dispersal of its players as it leaves the league, fans find it disturbing. It appears, for all intents and purposes, that the players are commodities (although they are contractually obligated to do what the team says, and play wherever their contracts end up).

There are several ways wherein teams use rules to gain an advantage. The strategic use of timeouts, fouls and even technicals is one way of gaining an advantage in games. Keeping significant players on the injured or reserved list longer than they should be can also limit a team’s effectiveness, and put it in better position in an upcoming draft. If you remember, in Michael Jordan’s second season with the Bulls, after he had fractured his foot, team management was discouraging him from returning to action with over a dozen games left in their schedule, because they wanted to move higher in the draft. Jordan refused, and this set up his 63-point outburst against the Boston Celtics in Boston Garden, without which Larry Bird wouldn’t have made the comment that he was "God, disguised as Michael Jordan."

The crucial issue here is how much teams are willing to be governed in the decisions that they make off the court. Just as the league has no clear jurisdiction over players’ and coaches’ behavior when there are no games, they will have to clarify their right to regular trades. Obviously, the rule of the majority will prevail in this case. It will help the PBA if Ginebra is always a strong team, particularly now when its two big men, Eric Menk and Romel Adducul, have had to undergo foot surgery. Historically, Ginebra has always been the league’s strongest draw.

The nagging question for common fans is: what gives with Coca-Cola? Long-time fans are now worried that their allegiance will be meaningless, if the team either disappears or is greatly weakened.

Once again, the gray area. On paper, the deals are legitimate and within the league’s rules. What needs to be clarified is how they will benefit the league as a whole, and the fans as its base.

gameface_one
08-07-2006, 07:57 AM
NBA’s greatest deal
THE GAME OF MY LIFE By Bill Velasco
The Philippine Star 08/07/2006

Now that the National Basketball Association is on its off-season, you can be assured that there is plenty of backroom dealing going on, with some players poised to walk away that much richer.

In the past, people have bugged their eyes out over some unusually stratospheric payouts. In recent years, Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal have turned heads with nine-figure deals. Before that, there was Michael Jordan’s $40-million one-year pact with the Chicago Bulls, Magic Johnson’s "lifetime" contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, and even Patrick Ewing’s New York Knicks’ contract that made him an automatic free agent the moment he was no longer one of the three highest-paid players in the league.

But what if you had a deal that would pay you dividends from the NBA forever? And on top of that, you didn’t have to spend a thing?

Mind you, there is such a deal.

Brothers Ozzie and Dan Silna bought the Carolina Cougars of the American Basketball Association for $1.5 million back in 1973. They foresaw that the ABA might not last long, and predicted that the NBA would want a stake in the league. They positioned themselves to have a piece of the pie. But the actual size of that slice would grow beyond their wildest dreams.

The Silnas searched for the largest city they could find without a major sports team, and moved their franchise to St. Louis, where the team was named the Spirits of St. Louis. Aiming to stay afloat with at least 5,000 season ticket holders, they only managed 3,800 fans per game in their final year, despite having talent like Moses Malone, Marvin Barnes and Maurice Lucas.

In 1976, the NBA Board of Governors met to arrange the ABA-NBA merger. But they only wanted four of the six ABA teams: The Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, New Jersey Nets (with Julius Erving) and San Antonio Spurs. Left out in the cold were the Kentucky Colonels and St. Louis. The Colonels’ owner, John Y. Brown, accepted a $3.3 million settlement. But the Silnas took only $2.2 million, on the condition that they would receive 1/7th of the television revenue of each of the four accepted teams. For all time.

In fact, the contract states "The right to receive such revenues shall continue for as long as the NBA or its successors continues in its existence." In other words, as long as there is an NBA, it will keep paying Ozzie and Dan Silna.

To be fair, in the beginning it wasn’t much money, and nobody thought it would be. NBA television was miniscule compared to the pacts that the NFL and Major League Baseball had. Initially, the contract netted the Silnas about $300,000 a year as the NBA struggled with low attendance, weak TV ratings and perceptions of drug use. But when the 1980’s came along, so did Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and a platoon of superstars who helped catapult the league into a global phenomenon.

"The process never even entered our minds of how high it would get," Ozzie Silna, now 74, said. "We just wanted a piece of the action."

In 1982, after several attempts by the original ABA members to break the contract in court, the Silnas came close to accepting a new buyout from the NBA. The offer was $5 million over eight years. The Silnas wanted $8 million over five seasons. The NBA disagreed. So the brothers have kept on cashing in. All told, the teams involved have spent at least $250,000 in legal maneuvers to cut the Silna brothers out of the pie. But the contract is ironclad.

Before the NBA’s last TV contract expired, the Silna brothers were estimated to be receiving anywhere from $13.5 to $15 million annually. The NBA makes checks out to 31 teams, even though there are only 30. With the new six-year, $4.6-billion deal with ABC/ESPN and TNT that started in 2002, the Silnas could earn them upward of $24 million annually. And without maintaining an arena, or paying players’ salaries or even having an office staff, they are making more than many of the league’s teams, although the Silnas are quick to say that teams have a large value in themselves, ranging from the Lakers’ supposed $529 million to at least over $200 million for the lowliest NBA franchise.

And we thought the players had it good.

gameface_one
08-08-2006, 10:51 AM
SMC-Pilipinas sputters anew against Qatar

Winless Filipinos finish dead last


Inquirer
Last updated 06:39am (Mla time) 08/08/2006

Published on page A22 of the August 8, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

DOHA, Qatar -- The SMC-Pilipinas squad gave it a final go but it just didn’t have the strength to finish the job Monday.

Playing their fifth game in as many nights, the Filipinos dominated the first half against world championship-bound Qatar before taking a 79-68 loss that left them dead last in a field of four in the Al-Emadi International basketball championship at the Al-Gharafa Sports Club here.

Later in the evening, African champion Angola defeated Latvia, 83-77, to claim the championship.

“Again, the fatigue factor set in,” said national mentor Chot Reyes.

“But remember, we played a team that has been together for years. All of us know that had we been able to practice more and send the best team here, we would've beaten Qatar handily.”

From a 20-20 standoff at the end of the first period, former Ateneo de Manila University teammates Larry Fonacier and LA Tenorio ignited a big tear highlighted by a Mick Pennisi four-point play to give SMC-Pilipinas a 38-26 bubble.

At halftime, the Filipinos still led, 45-35.

Fatigue, however, began to take its toll in the second half for the Nationals.

Successive three-pointers

Ali Saeed found his range, hitting three-pointers in succession to lead a comeback that had the hosts wresting the upper hand and going into the final quarter toting a 58-55 lead.

Another run at the start of the fourth canto gave Qatar a 68-59 edge and the Filipinos, playing without the hurting Kerby Raymundo, never recovered from that spurt.

Although winless in five games, the Accel-outfitted SMC-Pilipinas five is heading home with heads held high.

“I hate the losing, but I love the learning,” Reyes said. “The things we learned playing the African champions and a strong team like Latvia and even Qatar are unquantifiable. Two of these three are bound for the world championships.

“I’m sure the experience has made everyone on this team better individuals.”

Saeed led Qatar with 22 points while Willie Miller and Pennisi shared top scoring honors for the Filipinos with 11 points apiece.

“I take my hat off to Willie,” said Reyes of his prized backcourtman, who also led the team in rebounds (4) and assists (5). “I appreciate his taking on a leadership role on this team.”

Next stops for the Nationals are a two-game goodwill series against Asian powerhouse Lebanon in Manila on Aug. 13 and 16 and the title defense of the Sultan’s Cup in Brunei from Aug. 19 to 27.

The scores:

QATAR 79 -- Saeed 22, Ali 20, Daoud 12, Saleem 11, Sulaiman 5, Turki 5, Hamam 2, Abdulghader 2, Masoud 0.

SMC-PILIPINAS 68 -- Miller 11, Pennisi 11, Tenorio 10, Mamaril 9, Canaleta 7, Fonacier 6, Santos 6, Pena 4, Miranda 2, Yeo 2.

Quarters: 20-20, 35-45, 58-55, 79-68

gameface_one
08-08-2006, 10:52 AM
RP cagers still in limbo as Doha listup nears
By Abac Cordero
The Philippine Star 08/08/2006

No news is certainly not good news for the Philippines as far as its participation in the basketball competition of the Doha Asian Games is concerned.

As the deadline nears for the submission of the official lineups, the Philippines remains under suspension from the International Basketball Federation or FIBA.

The 15th Asian Games is set Dec. 1 to 15. And while cage teams from the other countries are in the thick of their preparations, the Philippines is still unsure if it’s going to field a team.

The Philippines was suspended by FIBA last year due to a dispute between the Basketball Association of the Philippines and Pilipinas Basketball, both claiming to be the rightful association in the country.

The BAP continues to lean on the recognition of FIBA of which it’s been a member for a very long time while the newly-formed PB is enjoying the support of the Philippine Olympic Committee.

Because of the suspension, the Philippines cannot participate in FIBA-sanctioned events like last year’s SEA Games, this year’s Asian Games or World Championship and even the 2008 Olympics.

The POC, under Jose Cojuangco, is moving heaven and earth to convince FIBA that Pilipinas Basketball, and not the BAP, is now the legitimate basketball body in the country.

At the height of the dispute, the POC expelled the BAP from its list of regular members. The POC general assembly voted unanimously for the BAP’s expulsion.

Commissioner Noli Eala of the Philippine Basketball Association, one of the four major stakeholders in Pilipinas Basketball, recently said that so far there’s no new development on the case.

"No news," said Eala.

"All I know is that there are continuous efforts from the Philippine Olympic Committee aimed at the lifting of the FIBA suspension and the recognition of Pilipinas Basketball," he added.

The FIBA Congress will meet this month in Japan where the FIBA World Championship is set from the 18th up to July 3. The RP suspension will be among the issues to be tackled by FIBA.

The FIBA will have to decide whether or not it would continue recognizing the BAP or it would finally give its blessings on Pilipinas Basketball, which has yet to name its set of officers.

Only then will the Philippines name its official representative in the basketball competition of the Asian Games.

Eala, however, stressed that the PBA is not going to be part of the Asian Games campaign because the quadrennial event is not included in its calendar this year.

"But the PBA will continue to support the RP team that is hoping to make it to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

That is our long-term objective," added the PBA commissioner.

gameface_one
08-08-2006, 10:53 AM
SMC-RP five ends Qatar stint winless
mb.com.ph




DOHA, QATAR — The SMC-Pilipinas will be coming home a badly beaten squad – no win in five games. But they have a consolation.


The aspirants of the RP team – tasked to bring back the country’s glory in international arena – will go home richer in experience and knowledge of international basketball.

Even against the team the country had beaten black and blue several times before, the SMC-Pilipinas players also blinked – not only once but twice.

Despite a hot start, the Filipinos still suffered a 68-79 loss to Qatar in the battle for third in the Al-Emadi International Basketball Championship at the Al-Gharafa Sports Club Hall here.

Later in the evening, African champion Angola defeated Latvia to rule the event.

From a 20-20 standoff at the end of the first period, former Ateneo teammates Larry Fonacier and LA Tenorio ignited a big tear highlighted by a Mick Pennisi four-point play to give SMC-Pilipinas a 38-26 bubble before going into the halftime break still up 45-35.

But things went awry for the SMC-Pilipinas squad in the second half it fell into a maze of errors. And worse, the shooting that gave them several 10-point leads in the first half deserted them.

That allowed Qatar to control the game as Ali Saeed found his range, hitting three-pointers in succession to lead the team’s mighty comeback.

They posted a 58-55 lead going into the final quarter. Another at the start of the fourth canto gave Qatar a 68- 59 edge and the Filipinos, playing without the hurting Kerby Raymundo, never recovered from that spurt.

"Again, the fatigue factor set it," said national mentor Chot Reyes.

"But remember, we played a team that has been together for years. All of us know that had we been able to practice more and send the best team here, we would’ve beaten Qatar handily."

Despite the setback, the SMC-Pilipinas five is heading home with heads held high.

"I hate the losing, but I love the learning," Reyes said. "The things we learned playing the African champions and a strong team like Latvia and even Qatar are unquantifiable. Two of these three are bound for the world championships. This team has learned so much about how basketball is played in different parts of the world.

"I’m sure the experience has made everyone on this team better individuals. Experience such as this will only make us stronger."

Willie Miller and Pennisi shared top scoring honors for the Filipinos with 11 points apiece.

"I take my hat off to Willie," said Reyes of his prized backcourtman, who also led the team in rebounds (4) and assists (5). "I appreciate his taking on a leadership role on this team."

gameface_one
08-08-2006, 10:53 AM
James stars as US downs Yao-less China
abs-cbnnews.com



BEIJING - Lebron James landed 23 points as the United States crushed China 119-73 in a world championship warm-up match in Guangzhou on Monday night.
America's band of NBA stars were just too strong for a China team lacking injured Houston Rockets center Yao Ming and former Dallas Mavericks, LA Clippers and Miami Heat player Wang Zhizhi.

The visitors raced to a 60-37 lead at the halfway mark and long before end of the game the enthusiastic support for the home team from the packed crowd was reduced to the odd cheer.

China, whose coach Jonas Kazlauskas had hoped to field Yao for the first time since he broke his foot in April, slumped to their fifth straight defeat in warm-ups.

Wang is nursing a strained ligament and China will be hoping the seven-footer will get some court time in the Stankovic Cup warm-up tournament later this week.

Team USA stay in the southern city of Guangzhou to play Brazil on Tuesday night before moving on to South Korea for two more warm-up matches against their hosts and Lithuania.

The basketball world championship starts in Japan on August 19.

gameface_one
08-08-2006, 11:17 AM
Ex-PBA players turn out for Welcoat tryout
mb.com.ph




SEVERAL FORMER PBA players who were either cut by their former teams, semi-retired or plain jobless were among those who tropped to yesterday’s tryout conducted by new PBA member Welcoat Paints at the Acropolis Gym in Libis, QC.


Welcoat is currently in the process of filling up its roster after the PBA allowed that only three of its players from the PBL can be elevated to the pro ranks without benefit of drafting or trade. These are Jay Sagad, Jay-R Reyes and Junjun Cabatu.

As a result, the Paint Masters are seeking the best available shooters, wingmen and backcourt players in the market.

Among those who answered the call on the first day of the three-day tryouts were former Coca-Cola gunners Ato Morano and Rob Wainwright. The two used to start for their former team.

The first batch of aspirants also included former Barangay Ginebra players Allan Salangsang and Estong Ballesteros.

The others were former San Miguel players Denver Lopez, Erick Canlas and Joey Mente, Coke’s Gilbert Lao, Alaska’s Rob Johnson, Red Bull’s Jherome Ejercito and the 7-footer EJ Feihl – the only notable center among the aspirants.

Al Magpayo and Froilan Baguion, drafted but were not signed in last year’s draft, also showed up along with former Welcoat players Jojo Tangkay and Erwin Sta. Maria.

Tangkay last played for Sta. Lucia some years back —Noli CRUZ

BigBlue
08-08-2006, 12:42 PM
^ this just goes to show how many good players there are out there. we really need more teams in the PBA.

bluebruiser90
08-08-2006, 01:10 PM
At least two more.* We're not even consdering the good players languishing at the end of the benches of PBA teams without any playing time. Any newcomer can probably form a competitive team just from a dispersal draft of all the PBA teams from a protect 8 list.

gameface_one
08-09-2006, 08:22 AM
Trade better option for anxious Adducul

The Philippine Star 08/09/2006

Rommel Adducul will most likely have more time riding the Ginebra bench following the team’s recent acquisition of power forwards Raffy Reavis and Billy Mamaril.

No wonder the former San Sebastian superstar, through his agent Ed Ponceja, has once again said he wouldn’t mind if he is traded to another team.

"We’re just waiting," said Ponceja yesterday.

"We’re waiting because we still don’t know whether Rommel would be traded or not. But we can’t do anything about it. It’s Ginebra’s decision," he added.

Adducul’s contract with Ginebra expires on Dec. 31, and prospects that it will be renewed have lessened with the entry of Reavis and Mamaril.

This is the reason why Adducul has shown so much anxiety recently. If he could have his way, he’d rather be traded before the new PBA season unfurls in October.

Reavis and Mamaril were part of the controversial trade involving five other players from within Ginebra, Coca-Cola and Air21.

Although a part of the trade was not approved by the PBA, the transfer of Reavis and Mamaril from Coca-Cola to Air21 and eventually to Ginebra is final.

As part of the trade, Ginebra also acquired the rights on Fil-American Rudy Hatfield who has expressed his plans to come back and play for the PBA after almost two years of absence.

With Erik Menk, Reavis, Mamaril or even Hatfield around, Adducul really has nowhere to go. The Gin Kings also have another big man in Andy Seigle.

As early as last year, Adducul had expressed his willingness to be traded by Ginebra since Menk has gobbled up most of his time on the floor.

But Ginebra opted to keep the former Asian Basketball Confederation All-Star, winner of two championships with the Gin Kings.

"We’ve done it before when Rommel asked to be traded," Ponceja recalled.

"That’s why we’re setting an appointment with Mr. Robert Non (head of the San Miguel’s basketball operations) this week," said Ponceja. — Abac Cordero

gameface_one
08-09-2006, 08:23 AM
PBA approves trades after revisions



Inquirer
Last updated 03:38am (Mla time) 08/09/2006

Published on page A25 of the August 9, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

AIR21 and Coca-Cola yesterday rectified their controversial three-way trade with Barangay Ginebra after it was junked by the Philippine Basketball Association over the weekend.

PBA commissioner Noli Eala approved the revisions after the three teams adhered to league rules on player trading.

In the end, the Tigers kept Manny Ramos, Kalani Ferreria, two second-round picks (2006) from Ginebra and San Miguel Beer, apart from the 2007 and 2008 first-rounders of the Express.

Air21 acquired the 2008 and 2009 first-round picks of the Tigers plus Ervin Sotto and Aris Dimaunahan in the exchange.

“I have now approved the trade among these teams after the revised proposal they submitted conformed to the rules of the PBA,” said Eala.

The irregularity in the trade sprang when Air21 retrieved its 2007 and 2008 first-round picks from Coca-Cola after dealing Ramos and Ferreria to the Tigers.

Based on the findings of the Commissioner’s Office, the Express initiated the trade by shipping Ryan Bernardo along with two first-round picks to the Tigers.

The Tigers exchanged Billy Mamaril, Rafi Reavis and the rights to Rudy Hatfield, whom the Express immediately sent to the Barangay Ginebra Kings, who swapped Aris Dimaunahan, Ervin Sotto, Ferreria and Ramos in return.

Eala said the lapse came when the Express traded Ferreria and Ramos to the Tigers and retrieved their two future first-round picks. June Navarro

gameface_one
08-09-2006, 08:29 AM
Hatfield wants to play again – Menk



By TITO TALAO
mb.com.ph



BARANGAY GINEBRA may not be rolling out the red carpet yet for Rudy Hatfield. But Eric Menk, his close friend, already is.



"It will be great to play alongside him again," said Menk, who teamed up with Hatfield at Tanduay Rhum years ago.

"There’s nothing sure yet but it looks like he’s coming back."

The rights to Hatfield was traded by Coca-Cola to Ginebra a week ago as part of a three-team, seven-player deal with Air21. Since then, his return has been a subject of high speculation.

"His fireman course will be over by Aug. 18 and so he could be back any day after that, if he decides to," said Menk, who watched the second day of the PBA rookie camp yesterday at the Philsports Arena.

Menk, nicknamed "Major Pain", said Hatfield, known as the "HBomb", appeared truly interested in playing in the PBA again.

Haftfield had picked Menk up from the airport upon his arrival in Michigan last month and stayed with Hatfield’s family in Detroit for a week before going home to Lansing.

"Rudy really wants to be a fireman. That has been his dream for a long time," said Menk. "Plus he also has a girl who’s really cool."

Menk said he has met the girl, an American, and believed Hatfield has been thinking of settling down.

Ginebra management and Hatfield haven’t talked yet, and newly-named Kings coach Jong Uichico, Menk said, has been with the team for only two days.

"Rudy hasn’t signed anything yet. And I haven’t talked to coach. I guess he’s still a little heartbroken," said Menk. "After all, he’s been with San Miguel ever since I’ve been here."

Menk said he has not exactly been pressuring Hatfield to return.

"It will be up to him. But it looks like he really wants to play again. And it will be great to have Rudy in the team."

Backup guards for the oft-injured Jayjay Helterbrand and Mark Caguioa could be in the priority list for the Kings, Menk said.

"Jayjay has been hurt lately and Mark is, well, Mark is Mark," said Menk laughing, a veiled reference to Caguioa’s tendency to bomb away from three-point range at every opportunity.

"You’re right. Coach Jong will not take that," Menk said.

gameface_one
08-09-2006, 08:30 AM
US beats Brazil, 90-86
abs-cbnnews.com



BEIJING - The United States survived a second-half onslaught to run out a narrow 90-86 win over Brazil in a world championship warm-up in Guangzhou on Tuesday.
The "Dream Seven" looked to be safely in control of the game when they took a comfortable 52-38 lead into halftime but there was to be no repeat of the 119-73 thrashing they handed out to China on Monday.

Sixteen unanswered points straight after the restart gave the South Americans a 54-52 lead and forced the US to dig out their best game.

The 10,000 crowd were now firmly behind Brazil but with Lebron James leading the way, the Americans battled back to take a slender lead which they defended as the clock ran out.

The US now move on to South Korea for two more warm-up games. Brazil stay in China for the six-nation Stankovic Cup warm-up tournament, which also features China, Australia, Greece, France and Germany.

gameface_one
08-09-2006, 08:32 AM
Welcoat undergoes a ‘paint-staking’ makeover


By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 03:38am (Mla time) 08/09/2006

Published on page A25 of the August 9, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

IT MAY be the pro league’s newest kid on the block, but in time it will breathe fire, the team’s co-owners say.

Welcoat, the Philippine Basketball Association’s latest addition, will be known as the Dragons when the ballclub makes its debut in the pro league’s 2006-07 season in October.

And officials of Asian Coatings Philippines, the team’s holding company which acquired the franchise rights of Pilipinas Shell, is said to be only too happy about the moniker.

A league insider said the PBA assigned the Dragons tag to lend Welcoat an intrepid identity and so that the ballclub can make a “strong marketing impact” with an excellent product recall.

Although Welcoat is still holding tryouts, co-owners Raymond Yu and Terry Que have elevated three players -- Junjun Cabatu, Jay-R Reyes and Ernie Sagad -- from the ball club’s Philippine Basketball League squad.

Yu and Que said they would also hire Jercules Tangkay, Welcoat’s top gunner in the PBL, and hope that Aaron Aban of Letran College, 6-foot-8 Mark Andaya and playmaker Boyet Bautista fall on their lap during the annual rookie draft on Aug. 20.

Welcoat, which will have Leo Austria as head coach and Caloy Garcia as assistant tactician, is expected to complete its maiden roster through free-agency and the draft.

Based on the initial tryouts Monday, Que said the Dragons are interested in signing up Froilan Baguion, Nino Gelig, Gilbert Lao and Adonis Sta. Maria, and “are also considering” the acrobatic Joey Mente, Rob Wainwright and Denver Lopez.

“Most likely, this will be the composition of the team,” said Que.

“As a new team, we’re not really expecting to defeat the league giants,” said Yu. “A respectable finish will be enough.”

The Dragons will also try its luck in the PBA dispersal draft on Aug. 10 where Welcoat can pick players left “unprotected” by the nine other teams. Each team is required to name 10 players on its protected list.


Que and Yu said Barangay Ginebra’s Rommel Adducul remains as the biggest missing link in the Welcoat lineup.

The 6-foot-5 Adducul helped Welcoat capture a championship in the PBL and is now being dangled as trade bait by Ginebra.

“He’s an exact fit in the Welcoat lineup,” said Que of the Ginebra slotman, whose right sheen had to be operated on before the playoffs of the recent Philippine Cup.

Adducul’s agent, Ed Ponceja, said his ward’s condition has improved and that doctors have allowed the player to use the treadmill.

Lawyer Mamerto Z. Mondragon, ACP’s corporate secretary, will be the Dragons’ governor in the PBA.

gameface_one
08-09-2006, 08:41 AM
Adducul in limbo but wants SMC to keep him


By JOEL ORELLANA, The Manila Times Reporter
abs-cbnnews.com



Romel Adducul is in limbo, as Barangay Ginebra management has yet to strike a deal to either keep or trade away the veteran center to other Philippine Basketball Association teams.

Adducul’s agent, Ed Ponceja, said his client is confused with the various reports about his status with the Gin Kings. He also confirmed that at least three teams are very interested in the former San Sebastian College star.

"Romel can’t make heads or tails with what he’s hearing, especially since [Ginebra] management hasn’t told him about their plans for him," Ponceja said.

"As much as possible, he would like to stay with any SMC [San Miguel Corp.] team," the agent added. "But if Romel can’t find a spot on any of SMC’s teams, he’s OK on any other team where he can help."

Adducul’s four-year contract with Ginebra, which he signed in 2003, is set to expire on December 31, and Ponceja said his client wants to end his career on whichever team he ends up with.

Besides Ginebra, San Miguel Corp. also holds the franchises of the San Miguel Beer, Purefoods and Coca-Cola squads.

Adducul’s status at Ginebra became shaky when the Kings acquired Billy Mamaril and Rafi Reavis in the big three-team trade it swung with Air21 and Coca-Cola.

He and Andy Seigle could be leaving the Kings soon, as Ginebra needs to unload a pair of players with big salaries to fit under the salary cap. Both earn close to the PBA maximum of P350,000 a month.

Ponceja mentioned Talk ’N Text, league newcomer Welcoat Paints and Philippine Cup champion Purefoods Chunkee as serious suitors for the services of Adducul.

One source said the Welcoat Paint Masters are very interested in their former star in the Philippine Basketball League, but they don’t have any player to offer to Ginebra for a possible trade.

"The team wants to make Adducul its manong [elder] because most of Welcoat’s players are young. He would be their ‘big brother,’" said the source, who requested anonymity.

The Giants could also be an option for the 30-year-old center, as he goes to the same Christian church as Purefoods’ stars Marc Pingris and Kerby Raymundo and team manager Alvin Patrimonio.

The Phone Pals are also looking for a back-up center. Adducul could fit the position, but Talk ’N Text do not want to part ways with Anthony Washington, the player that Ginebra wants in a trade.

In other PBA news:

* Commissioner Noli Eala has approved a new deal between Air21 and Coca-Cola that was previously nullified by the league for not conforming to PBA rules. It completes a three-way, 11-player deal that also involved Ginebra.

Under the revised trade, the Express traded Kalani Ferreria and Manny Ramos to the Tigers plus two second-round picks from Ginebra, one originally from San Miguel.

Coke kept Air21’s 2007 and 2008 first-round picks under the old deal but dealt its own 2008 and 2009 first round picks to the Express.

* Aby Santos turned in the first double-double performance in the PBA Rookie Camp while leading the White Team to 61-51 victory over the Yellow Team Tuesday at the Philsports Arena.

The 6-foot-4 forward scattered 20 points and cornered 10 rebounds as the White Team won despite the absence of top draft prospects Arwind Santos, LA Tenorio and Joseph Yeo.

gameface_one
08-09-2006, 08:49 AM
In simple terms
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 08/09/2006

The intricate eight-player, three-team trade involving Air21, Ginebra San Miguel and Coca-Cola was approved only partially by Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Noli Eala because of a rule disallowing a circuitous procedure where something given up is reacquired before the next succeeding season.

In simple terms without the legal gobbledygook, Eala’s decision means you can’t go full circle by giving up something and getting it back on practically the same deal. Taking the scenic route won’t legitimize the transaction particularly as it’s apparent an accommodation was made along the way to provide a conduit for Ginebra and Coca-Cola, so-called "sister" teams, to negotiate a trade.

Eala broke down the details of the trade and approved two of the three provisions. The only clause he rejected was Air21 sending Kalani Ferreria, Manny Ramos, a 2006 second round pick, a future first round pick to Coca-Cola for the return of the Express’ 2007 and 2008 first round picks and the Tigers’ 2008 second round pick.

What broke the camel’s back was the return of Air21’s 2007 and 2008 first round picks which were traded to Coca-Cola, along with Ryan Bernardo, for Rafi Reavis, Billy Mamaril and Rudy Hatfield’s signing rights to initiate the complicated deal.

Eala approved the first and second provisions of the trade. The second involved Ginebra trading Ferreria, Aris Dimaunahan, Ervin Sotto, Ramos, two 2006 second round picks and a future first round pick to Air 21 for Reavis, Mamaril and Hatfield’s rights.

Eala has left the door open for the three teams to revise the rejected provision but made it clear Air21 will not be able to regain the 2007 and 2008 first round picks until the next succeeding season.

Without the third provision, Coca-Cola winds up with Bernardo and Air21’s 2007 and 2008 first round picks while the Express welcomes Ferreria, Dimaunahan, Sotto and Ramos. Air21 also gets two 2006 second round picks and a future Ginebra first round pick. Ginebra walks away with Reavis, Mamaril and Hatfield’s rights.

Although Eala has approved two of the three provisions, it’s possible the entire deal may go down the drain if the three parties agree to return to Square One.

For instance, Air21 could throw a monkey wrench on the whole transaction by insisting on reacquiring its 2007 and 2008 first round picks. Coca-Cola could do the same by insisting on getting Ferreria, Ramos, a 2006 second round pick and a future first round pick. If the teams claim the outlawed third provision is an integral part of the trade, they could negate the entire transaction.

Eala summed up his decision clearly: "In relation to my decision on the three-way trade, I am not saying that this was a perfect trade. Rare is one. But in a league that is governed by rules, the presumption of good faith must always be respected sans evidence to the contrary. And when we presume good faith, we trust that teams enter into transactions not only their interests in mind to be more competitive and responsive to their teams’ needs but also to the greater interests of the league and the public."

Eala isn’t accusing any of the three teams of unfair collusion. Neither is he overstepping his authority as commissioner and curtailing the right of teams to engage in free trade. All he’s saying is the third provision goes against an existing PBA rule which must be followed.

Eala said hypothetically, the entire trade could be scrapped if the parties decide to start from scratch.

But yesterday, a source said Air21 and Coca-Cola had agreed to revise the third provision and save the trade. Part of the revised third provision would send Ferreria and Ramos to the Tigers in exchange for two future Coca-Cola first round picks. * * *
National coach Chot Reyes’ return to active duty in the PBA is a step in the right direction.

Since relinquishing the Coca-Cola reins to Binky Favis last year, Reyes has concentrated on what is in fact an ad-hoc job of organizing the national team when an opportunity to play crops up.

Reyes conducted weekly practices for national team players during the PBA season but never got a complete attendance because of conflict of schedules. His task was increasingly becoming a frustration. And without a regular team to coach, Reyes faced the grim possibility of getting stale.

San Miguel Beer was the perfect vehicle for Reyes to take over because previous coach Joseph Uichico was ready to reunite with ex-assistant Siot Tanquingcen in bringing his distinct brand of "cool" to Ginebra.

Reyes’ fiery style will surely shake up the Beermen who need a reawakening after finishing eighth in the last Fiesta Conference and placing fourth in the recent Philippine Cup.

As for Uichico, his temperament should calm things down at Ginebra which often operates on pure emotion. Uichico and Tanquingcen make a formidable tandem. They complement each other and with more pieces falling into place, Ginebra could be stronger than ever next season.

bigfreeze_bibby
08-09-2006, 08:49 AM
US beats Brazil, 90-86
abs-cbnnews.com



BEIJING - The United States survived a second-half onslaught to run out a narrow 90-86 win over Brazil in a world championship warm-up in Guangzhou on Tuesday.
The "Dream Seven" looked to be safely in control of the game when they took a comfortable 52-38 lead into halftime but there was to be no repeat of the 119-73 thrashing they handed out to China on Monday.

Sixteen unanswered points straight after the restart gave the South Americans a 54-52 lead and forced the US to dig out their best game.

The 10,000 crowd were now firmly behind Brazil but with Lebron James leading the way, the Americans battled back to take a slender lead which they defended as the clock ran out.

The US now move on to South Korea for two more warm-up games. Brazil stay in China for the six-nation Stankovic Cup warm-up tournament, which also features China, Australia, Greece, France and Germany.




Some comments regarding this game, I can't hardly imagine this team full of stars who are familiar in dealing with close end game pressure will succumb to turnovers and will miss crucial free throws. Gilbert Arenas missed 2 crucial free throws, even Joe Johnson, I think LeBron also missed free throws. The US team became lost when Dwyane Wade (I am not sure if he was injured too) and Carmelo Anthony (who didin't return anymore due to a hyper-extended knee) went out and sat on the bench. Bruce Bowen was hardly filled in wherein I felt that the team could have used his defensive talent against Marcelo Machado, Brazil's leading scorer in that game.

The US team got big breaks in the 4th quarter when a sequence of technical fouls were called against the Brazilian team. LeBron became passive again as I also felt that he should have taken over the leadership role without Wade and Melo inside the court. Hinrich bailed out the US team with his impeccable shooting from the trifecta region as well as in the free throw area. They were outhustled by Anderson Varejao alone, taking one rebound after the other from Elton Brand and Brad Miller.

There's much more to improve for this team in order for them to win the gold in the world championships in weeks time and good thing is that they'll face tougher exhibition opposition in the form of Lithuania this coming Monday if I'm not mistaken. I am not so sure though maybe team USA is not showing everything in their playbook as of the moment but in order for them to win the gold, they should do better than what they had shown last night or else, they might just fall short again and go through the olympic qualifiers next year in order to play for the 2008 Beijing olympics.

Kid Cubao
08-09-2006, 10:02 AM
my gut feel is that the US team will not be able to jell in time for the worlds. the most they can shoot for is to be more active on defense and let the points come as a result of their defensive intensity. this is not to say, though, that they won't win; if they do win, hindi pa yan ang kasukdulan nila.

bigfreeze_bibby
08-09-2006, 11:13 AM
my gut feel is that the US team will not be able to jell in time for the worlds. the most they can shoot for is to be more active on defense and let the points come as a result of their defensive intensity. this is not to say, though, that they won't win; if they do win, hindi pa yan ang kasukdulan nila.


I have to agree with you pare and at the same time, they should learn how to finish fast breaks without the flare. These players have the tendency to show boast their athletic capabilities during fast break which sometimes result in missed attempts just like last night, LeBron missed a crucial layup in a 3-on-2 fast break. One more thing, if they have to do it defensively, they must control the boards and be ready to run and gun everytime there is an opportunity. Deflections are important too since they can start running the break by stealing the ball coming from deflections.

joelex
08-09-2006, 07:50 PM
the US were bailed out in the Brazil game, thanks to the technicals called against Brazil...still lack shooters, and their 2nd unit is not too impressive..just hoping they could put things together in time for the worlds..

Sam Miguel
08-09-2006, 08:49 PM
Let's face it, this US team plays exactly like the NBA veterans they are: they will either have career games or they will only have so-so games. It would be unreasonable to expect them to come together as a team even with the so-called Vegas training camp some months back. I'd have to agree with Cubao that their defense has to be the generator of their offense. If they can make their press work consistently they will beat any team in a track meet. In the meantime they will have to figure out what to do when the game slows down, because they do not have the players that thrive in cutting up a zone and they do not have that requisite shooter to bust those tight international zones. Dwayne Wade and Lebron James might be able to penetrate from time to time but I seriously doubt they can consistently cut up the international zones on sheer athleticism. They need to have a consistent perimeter option to loosen up those zones. here's hoping Kirk Hinrich will be at least 95% by the time August 19 rolls around.

gameface_one
08-10-2006, 12:07 AM
Knicks announce deal with Jeffries
abs-cbnnews.com



WASHINGTON - The New York Knicks made it official, announcing the signing of Jared Jeffries a day after the Washington Wizards declined to match the Knicks' offer to the versatile forward.
New York used their mid-level exception on Jeffries, making the first year of the deal worth 5.2 million dollars and the total package worth about 30 million dollars.

Wizards president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld had seven days to match the offer for the restricted free agent.

"Jared's representative made it crystal clear that he preferred being in New York," Grunfeld said Monday. "We want players that want to be here and are excited about the situation."

Knicks president and coach Isaiah Thomas long has coveted Jeffries. Like Thomas, Jeffries starred at Indiana University.

Knowing his team needs to improve defensively after allowing 102 points per game last season, Thomas drafted hard-nosed small forward Renaldo Balkman in the first round of last month's draft.

But Balkman will not make the same type of impact as Jeffries, who gives opponents fits with his long arms and can guard small forwards as well as power forwards. The Wizards even gave Jeffries some minutes at center late in the season when Brendan Haywood and Etan Thomas were injured.

The 11th overall pick in the 2002 draft, Jeffries has career averages of 6.1 points and 4.8 rebounds. AFP

gameface_one
08-10-2006, 07:30 AM
Cortez inks new pact; Aces want Abarrientos back



Inquirer
Last updated 03:47am (Mla time) 08/10/2006

Published on page A22 of the August 10, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

MIKE CORTEZ, Alaska’s crack point guard, has signed a new three-year pact even as the Aces look into the possibility of rehiring one of the team’s former stars, Johnny Abarrientos.

Coach Tim Cone declined to discuss the financial terms of the deal with Cortez, whose backcourt partnership with Willie Miller is one of the strongest in the league.

Sources said John Ferriols and Sonny Thoss have inked contract renewals with the Aces while negotiations with Eddie Laure are underway.

Alaska is also interested in getting back Abarrientos, the Most Valuable Player in 1996 who helped Alaska win nine titles in the ’90s.

“We’re definitely exploring the possibility of having him back,” said Cone of the 36-year-old Abarrientos, whose contract with the Coca-Cola Tigers ends on Sept. 30.

Cone said team management is considering its salary cap, the available playing time to be given Abarrientos and what Coca-Cola could ask in return for Abarrientos.

“It’s still up in the air and we don’t know whether it’s their (Tigers) ball or ours,” said Cone during Wednesday evening’s rookie camp at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City. June Navarro

gameface_one
08-10-2006, 07:31 AM
Welcoat hires 3 crack ex-pros


By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 03:47am (Mla time) 08/10/2006

Published on page A22 of the August 10, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE WELCOAT Dragons are halfway through their manpower buildup for their maiden stint in the coming Philippine Basketball Association season.

After elevating three mainstays from their amateur squads, the Dragons have acquired three more players from a tryout among former PBA players which ended yesterday.

Player-agent Danny Espiritu said the Dragons have reached an agreement with Froilan Baguion, Gilbert Lao and the high-leaping Nino Gelig, who had impressed team owners Raymond Yu and Terry Que during the tryouts.

“It’s already a done deal. We can sign the contract even before this day (yesterday) ends,” said Espiritu.

Baguion, a peppery guard out of National University, will get a two-year deal with the Dragons along with the 6-foot-7 Lao and Gelig, who both played for the University of Santo Tomas Tigers in the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP).

Financial terms were not divulged but an Inquirer source said the three are bound to receive not more than P100,000 a month on the first year of the pact.

The three players will join Junjun Cabatu, Jay-R Reyes and Ernie Sagad, who were brought in by the Asian Coatings Phils. franchise from the Philippine Basketball League.

Welcoat’s top gunner in the amateurs, Jercules Tangkay, will also be included in the roster.

The Dragons hope to tap Adonis Sta. Maria, Joey Mente, Rob Wainwright and Denver Lopez during the PBA dispersal draft today.

Welcoat can pick the players left “unprotected” by the nine other teams in the dispersal draft. Each team is required to name only 10 players on its protected list.

The Dragons are hoping Ginebra’s Rommel Adducul would be available in the dispersal draft to fill their need for a veteran slotman.

In the rookie draft on Aug. 20, the Dragons expect to use their 10th and 11th picks overall either on Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s Aaron Aban, 6-foot-8 Mark Andaya or Boyet Bautista if these players are still available by then.

gameface_one
08-10-2006, 07:32 AM
Uichico still adjusting from beer to gin



By TITO TALAO
mb.com.ph

PILES OF San Miguel coaching shirts and Beermen practice uniforms and shorts are packed neatly inside the wardrobe cabinet of Jong Uichico, accumulated from 14 years of association with the Philippine Basketball Association’s No. 1 ball club, in terms of championships won.



"I began as an assistant coach to Norman Black in 1992," Uichico recalls. "You can say I’ve been a Beerman all my life, and so it will take some time to get used to not being one anymore."

A week after learning he no longer will call the shots for San Miguel starting next season, having been transferred to Barangay Ginebra, the league’s biggest crowd drawer, Uichico sits comfortably at ringside of the Philsports Arena during rookie camp.

Despite the oppressive heat inside the un-airconditioned venue that Tuesday afternoon, Uichico is able to crack jokes and laugh at his expense.

A few minutes earlier he was interviewed for television by Bulletin’s Dennis Principe, and the Q & A had been laborious.

"Mali-mali yung nasasabi ko; puro San Miguel pa rin," he says, laughing.

"It won’t take a day," Uichico says of the time he needs to warm up to his new job, the changed environment, and the latest challenge in his career.

"We have to build relationships, me and the players, the way we did with San Miguel. And these things don’t happen overnight."

A little over two months before the 2006-07 season begins in October is exactly what Uichico has.

"Right now, I haven’t started the blueprint for the team yet," he says. "I’ve just met them a couple of days ago. I still have to wait for the final decision on the trades before we can complete the final composition of the team."

Team practice will be mornings at Green Meadows in Pasig, where the Kings scrimmage, not Acropolis gym, where the Beermen do.

"Back to the good old days," Uichico says. "That’s where we and coach Ron (Jacobs) used to practice with San Miguel before we moved to Acropolis when it was refurbished."

Players, it has been said, are the extension of the coach’s personality. How then does he plan to merge his laid back style to Ginebra’s wild and wanton ways?

"That’s the big question. Do I bring my system into Ginebra or do I make use of what the players are used to doing?" Uichico says. "There are two schools of thought on that: Do I adjust to them or do I say ‘it’s my way or the highway?’ Or maybe a combination of both."

You wouldn’t want to end up like Larry Brown, a champion coach with the Pistons who failed miserably with the Knicks after he tried too much to impose his will on the players.

"Oh, yes, that has been in my mind. Maybe, just maybe, Larry Brown did that. But I can be flexible, you know," Uichico says.

Having sat on the other side of countless San Miguel-Ginebra games, Uichico has been able to study the Kings from up close.

"They seem to be out of control at times, yes, and so I’m hoping to put some semblance of structure within without taking away their brand of play."

Will the Kings’ horde of fans be a distraction to you?

"I want the crowd to be a plus factor, not be a negative influence on the team," he says. "A player can’t be too affected by the crowd. A balance has to be struck somewhere."

You’ve been referring to the Kings as "they" and "them." When will you start talking about them using "as" and "we?"

"Really? I didn’t know that. I guess it’ll take some time to really adjust. It can’t come overnight."

And what about your bedroom closet? Have you started taking out "old stuff" to make way for new sets of coaching T-shirts and practice uniforms?

"Oh, no! I will keep them there. Parang memorabilia, di ba?" he says with a laugh. Then, only in half-jest, Jong Uichico adds: "Malay mo, in the future, makabalik pa tayo sa San Miguel."

gameface_one
08-10-2006, 07:32 AM
Aces re-sign Cortez, plan to take back Abarrientos


By JOEL ORELLANA, The Manila Times Reporter
abs-cbnnews.com



Alaska has secured its top point guard Mike Cortez for three more years and is trying to lure back its old floor general, Johnny Abarrientos.

Aces head coach Tim Cone said Wednesday that the six-foot Cortez, a former De La Salle University star, inked a new three-year pact at the Philippine Basketball Association’s maximum monthly salary of P350,000.

The management is also close to renewing the contracts of John Ferriols, Sonny Thoss and Eddie Laure, the coach added.

"Overall, we made a commitment to the players that the team would be intact, so we are not looking for any trades," said Cone who himself got an extension from the Uytengsu franchise.

Meanwhile, Cone is hoping to bring back Abarrientos, the 1996 Most Valuable Player who turned 36 last July 17.

"The Flying A" and was one of the key ingredients of Alaska’s string of championships in the ’90s. His contract with the Tigers is set to expire on September 30.

Welcoat signs 3 players

In another development, Welcoat Paints signed three free agents to help kick off its maiden campaign in the coming PBA season.

The PBA’s newest team, to be called the Dragons, reached an agreement with Froilan Baguion, Gilbert Lao and Nino Gelig after team owners Raymund Yu and Terry Que were impressed with their performances in a three-day open tryout.

"It’s already a done deal. We can sign the contract even before this day ends," said Danny Espiritu, the three players’ agent.

Baguion, who played for National University, will get a two-year deal, the same as the 6-foot-7 Lao and Gelig, who both played for the UST Tigers in the UAAP.

Terms of the deals were not disclosed but a Sports Times source said all three will get not more than P100,000 on the first year of their contracts.

Ferriols and Thoss are expected to sign fresh deals, while Laure needs to be signed to fill the gap left by Reynel Hugnatan. The forward is still recuperating from an ACL injury he suffered in Game 7 of the Philippine Cup semifinals against Purefoods.

gameface_one
08-11-2006, 09:42 AM
Big men fill rosters of Alaska, Welcoat 5s


By JOEL ORELLANA, The Manila Times Reporter
abs-cbnnews.com




Alaska is just a couple of players away from completing its roster for the coming Philippine Basketball Association season.

After re-signing Mike Cortez to a three-year deal with the maximum salary on Wednesday, the Aces also came to terms with forwards Sonny Thoss, John Ferriols and Eddie Laure.

"The management really wanted to keep the team intact, and we feel these players will help us a lot in accomplishing our goals in the coming season," Alaska general team manager Joaqui Trillo said Thursday.

The 6-foot-7 Thoss was given a fresh three-year deal, the last two years earning him the maximum P350,000 monthly paycheck. The national team pool member is entering his third PBA season.

Ferriols and Laure were inked to two-year contracts each. Their signing with the team became necessary after top forward Reynel Hugnatan was sidelined for at least four months with a torn ACL.

"We are just happy to have them back in the team. We are now two to three players away from completing our team," Trillo added.

Dragons fill roster

Meanwhile, Welcoat Paints, the PBA’s newest ballclub, virtually completed its roster after netting three players from the dispersal draft Thursday.

The Dragons acquired big men Rob Wainwright and Gilbert Lao and guard Denver Lopez from the expansion pool held at the Ultra auditorium.

Team manager Boy Lapid said the team, to be coached by Leo Austria, now has 10 players. That includes free agents Jojo Tangkay, Froilan Baguion, Nino Gelig and Adonis Santa Maria and rookies Jay Sagad, Jay-R Reyes and Junjun Cabatu, whom they elevated directly to the pro ranks.

Lapid said they have already come to terms with Tangkay, Baguion, Gelig and Santa Maria, who made good impressions in their recent tryouts. He said Wainwright, Lao and Lopez also attended their tryouts.

gameface_one
08-11-2006, 09:43 AM
Welcoat picks three big men
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 08/11/2006

For 12 hours the other day, the Welcoat management and coaching staff discussed the make-up of a team that would be competitive in its maiden season and went on to pick three big men in the PBA dispersal draft held at the Ultra Auditorium yesterday.

The Dragons acquired Rob Wainwright and Gilbert Lao from Coca-Cola and guard Denver Lopez from San Miguel Beer.

"We mapped out our plan from 3 p.m. (Wednesday) to 3 a.m. (yesterday) and we’re satisfied with what we’re able to get in the draft," said Welcoat team manager Boy Lapid, accompanied by assistant coach Caloy Garcia.

"We’re almost complete now and we think we’ve formed a competitive lineup," Lapid also said.

The Welcoat ball club debuting in the coming PBA season has earlier acquired free agents Jojo Tangkay, Froilan Baguion, Niño Gelig and Adonis Sta. Maria, and rookies Jay Sagad, JayR Reyes and Junjun Cabatu whom the team elevated directly to the pros from its PBL roster.

The team is likely to complete its lineup with its 10th and 11th picks in the 2006 Rookie Draft slated Aug. 20 at Market! Market! in Taguig.

Lapid said the team to be handled by coach Leo Austria starts its training Aug. 16.

"We feel this is a fighting team although we would have been happier had we got our former players who helped us win championships in the PBL," said Lapid.

Rommel Adducul, Eddie Laure, Marc Pingris, James Yap, Don Allado, Renren Ritualo and Nelbert Omolon were among former Paint Masters they tried but failed to get in the blind draft.

"In three to five years, target pa rin namin na mabalik sila sa amin," said Lapid.

Other "protected players" eyed by Welcoat were Air21’s Ranidel de Ocampo and Niño Canaleta, Barangay Ginebra’s Eric Menk, Alaska Milk’s Sonny Thoss, San Miguel’s Dorian Peña, Red Bull’s Enrico Villanueva and Larry Fonacier and Sta. Lucia’s Alex Cabagnot.

Failing to seal player deals with Air21, Ginebra and Alaska, the Dragons had their initial success in getting Wainwright from Coca-Cola.

They then plucked Lopez from San Miguel then Lao again from Coke.

The three players apparently made good impressions in the recent tryouts conducted by the team.

Under the draft rules, Welcoat was given four chances to pick a maximum of two players from each team. The Dragons picked from a "blind" list personally kept by the league commissioner. The teams were called to protect only 10 players from their rosters.

gameface_one
08-11-2006, 09:43 AM
No big fish for Welcoat



By TITO TALAO
mb.com.ph

TWELVE HOURS of wasted time, it appears, for Welcoat Paints.



Hoping to breath fire during the PBA dispersal draft yesterday, Welcoat, using the ‘Dragons’ moniker, instead exhaled fumes of frustration after coming away empty in its bid to reacquire former Paint Master players to beef up its fledgling pro team.

"We are disappointed," said Dragons team manager Boy Lapid after the one-hour session at the Philsports auditorium. "We were hoping to land either Romel Adducul or Eddie Laure or some of our former players, but all were protected."

The dispersal draft allows an incoming PBA ball club to pick up personnel from a pool of players left "unprotected" by their mother teams.

Only the ball clubs and PBA commissioner Noli Eala know the names in the dispersal draft and the neophyte team has to go on a fishing expedition for a prized catch.

Welcoat cast a wide net, seeking ex-players James Yap, Marc Pingris, Don Allado, Renren Ritualo and Nelbert Omolon, among others, but the haul came up bare.

The Dragons did snare swingman Rob Wainwright and big man Gilbert Lao from Coca-Cola and point guard Denver Lopez from San Miguel Beer. But 12 hours of plotting ways and means to grab key players proved futile as their choices slipped off their grasp.

"Pinag-aralan namin from three in the afternoon kahapon hanggang three ng madaling-araw kanina ang dispersal draft, kaso di ni-release sina Rommel o si Eddie," said Lapid.

But as far as team owners – Raymund Yu and Terry Que – are concerned, they got what they wished for in the dispersal.

"Kuntento na rin ako sa napili namin," said Yu. "We hope to get our former players but we failed."

Que, on his part, said they have no other option but to accept the reality that they have to work doubly hard in their maiden campaign to avoid being labeled as the league’s "whipping boys."

"Okey na sa amin si Rob, Denver and Gilbert. Aayusin na namin kaagad ang kontrata nila," said Que.

Eala, who presided over the draft, said Welcoat needs to execute a player assignment form and have this submitted to the Commissioner’s Office.

"They now have the rights to the three players," Eala said. "If their contracts are live, Welcoat has to assume them. If not, then they can go ahead and negotiate."

The Dragons can trade the rights to their draftees, but not to their former ball clubs.

Welcoat was allowed to bring up with it from the Philippine Basketball League three players: Jay-R Reyes of University of the Philippines, Jun-Jun Cabatu of De La Salle and Jay Sagad of St. Benilde. They have also come to terms with Niño Gelig, Jojo Tangkay, Joey Mente and Froilan Baguion.

gameface_one
08-11-2006, 09:44 AM
DRAGONS’ BUILDUP
3 dispersal picks boost Welcoat



Inquirer
Last updated 03:49am (Mla time) 08/11/2006

Published on page A23 of the August 11, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

WELCOAT Paints picked up three more players from the dispersal draft, giving the Philippine Basketball Association’s newest ballclub a 10-player cast who will start working out on Aug. 16.

The Dragons acquired big men Rob Wainwright and Gilbert Lao and guard Denver Lopez from the expansion pool held yesterday at the Ultra Auditorium in Pasig City.

Team manager Boy Lapid said coach Leo Austria can now start whipping the Dragons into shape after earlier recruiting free agents Jojo Tangkay, Froilan Baguion, Nino Gelig and Adonis Sta. Maria to join rookies Jay Sagad, JayR Reyes and Junjun Cabatu.

Lapid said Welcoat had already come to terms with Tangkay, Baguion, Gelig and Sta. Maria, who made good impressions in recent tryouts.

“We’re satisfied with what we got in the dispersal draft. We talked about our plans for almost 12 hours at maganda naman ang kinalabasan (and the outcome was good),” said Lapid after the exercise presided over by league commissioner Noli Eala and attended by representatives from all 10 ball clubs.

“We tried to get our former players who helped us win championships in the PBL (Philippine Basketball League). They were protected by their teams but we hope to get them in three to five years’ time,” Lapid added.

Rommel Adducul, Eddie Laure, Marc Pingris, James Yap, Don Allado, Nelbert Omolon and Renren Ritualo were among the former Paint Masters they had hoped to get in the draft.

Other players chosen by Welcoat were Air21’s Ranidel de Ocampo and Nino Canaleta, Barangay Ginebra’s Eric Menk, Alaska Milk’s Sonny Thoss, San Miguel’s Dorian Pena, Red Bull’s Enrico Villanueva and Larry Fonacier and Sta. Lucia’s Alex Cabagnot.

All of them, however, were in the protected list of their respective teams.

“We’re happy. I think we already have a competitive team,” said Lapid.

Welcoat starts its training four days before the 2006 Rookie Draft set at Market! Market mall in Taguig City.

gameface_one
08-11-2006, 09:50 AM
Legaspi hopes to pick up pieces of shattered dream



By noli cruz
mb.com.ph




HE HAS just swished in a jumper and smoked a defender during warm-up when his agent Danny Espiritu called his name.The soft touch and the quick first step are still there.


Marlon Legaspi, a former first round pick, still has the weapons that made him a star in the amateur Leagues.

Legaspi and Rico Villanueva, now a big PBA idol, are considered as the top two big men in the draft three seasons ago.

They were selected one after the other in 2003, Villanueva by Red Bull at No. 7 and Legaspi by San Miguel at No. 8.They’ve gone separate ways since.

"Hindi ako gaanong nagamit sa San Miguel although expected ko ‘yun dahil andami kong kalaban sa p’westo," said Legaspi, counting among them Dorian Peña, Nic Belasco and Danny Ildefonso.

Villanueva, meanwhile, became the most dominant inside force of the Bulls after losing Davonn Harp to citizenship issue.

Legaspi, 28, is among the 26 players called back for the final day of Welcoat’s tryout at the Acropolis Gym in Libis, QC.

"Sana nga maituloy ko pa ang basketball career ko sa pro. Alam ko na kaya ko pang magpakita, breaks lang talaga ang kailangan."

He may soon get his wish.

Espiritu said Legaspi is among the six players eyed by the Dragons, Welcoat’s monicker.

"Apparently they’re impressed by his agility," said Espiritu.

But in a lineup released by Welcoat yesterday, Legaspi's name was not there.

Legaspi has been out of the big league in nearly two years. He suffered an ACL in the later part of the 2004-05 Philippine Cup while playing for Shell under coach Leo Austria.

"Sayang nga eh. Gumaganda na ang takbo ng career ko that time. Double digits na ang ini-iskor ko nun kaso bigla nga kong na-injured," said Legaspi.

gameface_one
08-12-2006, 08:08 AM
PBA board meeting in Macau
abs-cbnnews.com




The Philippine Basketball Association Board of Governors will put the finishing touches on its ambitious program this coming season when it holds a three-day meeting starting Saturday in Macau.

Also up for initial discussion in the Macau assembly is the proposal for the creation of a special committee that will review the league’s constitution and by-laws.

"The board, through its executive committee, has agreed to create the team that will be tasked to review the PBA by-laws and policies for the purpose of making it responsive to the times and make the league’s foundation stronger," PBA commissioner Noli Eala said.

Recommended to form the special committee are former league commissioner Rudy Salud, ex-PBA legal counsel Butch Cleofe, current legal counsel Melvin Mendoza, PBA operations chief Rickie Santos and veteran journalist Ronnie Nathanielsz.

Eala said the board intends to get the job done before the year-end.

In the meantime, newly installed board chair Ricky Vargas left ahead of the group yesterday. The remaining officials are to leave Saturday morning and will be met by Vargas, who will preside over the conference.

This marks the second time that the board is holding its annual board meeting oversees in an attempt to provide its members a cordial atmosphere—away from the hustle and pressure of their works in their respective companies. The board held its annual convention in Hong Kong in 2004.

On Thursday the executive committee, composed of Vargas (Talk ’N Text), vice chair Tony Chua (Red Bull), treasurer Lito Alvarez (Air21) and the league commissioner had already conducted preliminary talks.

"We went through the nitty-gritty. We talked about the budget and projections which will be the basis for the presentation in Macau," Eala said.

"The projections are good and it has satisfied the executive board," Eala added.

gameface_one
08-12-2006, 08:09 AM
The PBA chess game
THE GAME OF MY LIFE By Bill Velasco
The Philippine Star 08/12/2006

So much movement, so little time. Suddenly, there’s a lot of opportunity for players to find a slot on a PBA team. The arrival of Welcoat, the unloading of Coca-Cola talent, and the dispersal draft have shaken a lot of things up.

Ironically, with all the activity going on before the draft, Barangay Ginebra will be reduced to the role of audience member, after making huge trades that beefed up its frontline the past couple of weeks. Barring any last minute trades for picks, Ginebra will not be selecting any amateurs.

"Miron na lang kami (We’ll just be spectators)," chuckled a contented Allan Caidic, Ginebra’s team manager.

The Gin Kings will play against newcomer Welcoat Dragons on opening day.

Meanwhile, the vacationing Philippine Cup champion Purefoods Chunkee Giants have seen the big picture and are hoping to find a center to shore up their frontline.

"We still need a big man," confirmed Purefoods head coach Ryan Gregorio. "I just don’t know if anybody will still be available by the time we draft. We’ll probably have to get someone through trades." The Chunkee Giants will be drafting ninth, right before Welcoat.

Welcoat, for its part, has almost filled up its roster, but will likely still try to deal for a veteran center to help them challenge taller teams. Of the three big men they carried from their PBL line-up, JayR Reyes, Junjun Cabatu and Jay Sagad, it is only the former NCAA Most Valuable Player Sagad who plays the traditional slot. Reyes likes to run the floor, while Cabatu shoots from the outside. And none of them have any pro experience.

Meanwhile, Kelly Williams has been playing well in the on-going PBA Rookie Camp at the PhilSports Arena. Williams has shown great versatility in his short stint in the PBL, proving he can rebound with bigger players, score, and block shots. If his perimeter game improves even more, he’ll practically be able to play one to four in the PBA. Some other draftees may not be impressive in the rookie games simply because they’re still playing college ball and may be avoiding getting injured.

Some coaches are wondering if Letran point guard Boyet Bautista will make a big impact on the pro game. The former high school superstar has become a scorer once again in his last season with the defending NCAA champion Knights.

"Boyet’s game has really matured," says Bautista’s agent Danny Espiritu. "You could say he’s small, but he’s got a good outside shot, and is very quick. He’ll be a good pick."

Some other PBA draftees are staying in shape by playing in the 10th Danny Espiritu Cup, which is ending its first week of intense competition. Several NBC players are seeing action in the five-week tournament, wherein former senator John Osmeña’s team John O, is currently undefeated.

Incidentally, the legislator from Cebu told this writer that he is planning to organize a tournament for the players who are frozen out of the PBA, and ineligible to play anywhere else.

"We’re looking at putting up another league for players who can’t play in college anymore, haven’t been picked for the PBA, and are trapped by the age ceiling in the PBL," Osmeña revealed. "There are a lot of young men out there who are just looking for an opportunity."

Remember that several players got a second chance in the PBA because they were able to make an impression in other leagues like the PBL, MBA and NBC. * * *
All Filipinos in the Los Angeles area who are interested in joining a new basketball league are invited to check out www.angatfilambasketball.com. The site invites players to fill up a registration form to be drafted by any of the teams that will be formed. The site promises that the champion team will get a chance to play in Manila. What is most impressive is that the league will shoulder all the team expenses. Only amateur players will be allowed to try out. Print ads with additional details will be out this weekend. * * *
Today is the national finals of the 11th adidas Streetball Challenge at the Mall of Asia. Four boys’ and four girls’ teams from Metro Manila, Cebu, Baguio and Davao will play for the right to represent the country in the Asian Finals. Games start at noon.

gameface_one
08-12-2006, 08:09 AM
PBA board in Macau for 3-day annual meet
mb.com.ph





THE PHILIPPINE Basketball Association Board of Governors will put on the finishing touches on its ambitious program this coming season when it holds a three-day convention starting today in Macau.


Also up for initial discussion in the Macau assembly is the proposal for the creation of a special committee that will review the league’s constitution and by-laws.

"The board, through its executive committee, has agreed to create the team that will be task to review the PBA by-laws and policies for the purpose of making it responsive to the times and make the league’s foundation stronger," said Commissioner Noli Eala.

Recommended to form the special committee are former league commissioner Rudy Salud, ex-PBA legal counsel Butch Cleofe, current legal counsel Melvin Mendoza, PBA operations chief Rickie Santos and veteran journalist Ronnie Nathanielsz.

Eala said the board intends to get the job done before the yearend.

The board will also tackle the intriguing issues that just cropped up following the controversial trades involving San Miguel Corporation, Coke and Air21.

In the meantime, newly installed board chair Ricky Vargas of Talk ’N Text left ahead of the group yesterday. The remaining officials leave this morning and will be met by Vargas, who will preside over the conference.

This marks the second time that the board is holding its annual board meeting oversees in an attempt to provide its members an atmosphere that is cordial, away from the hustle and pressure of their work in their respective companies and home.

The board held its annual convention in Hong Kong in 2004. Newcomer Welcoat Paints is hosting the Macau meeting.

On Thursday, the executive committe, composed of Vargas (Talk n Text), vice chair Tony Chua (Red Bull), treasurer Lito Alvarez ( Air21) and the league commissioner had already conducted preliminary talks.

Also joining the meeting are Welcoat Paints owners Raymund Yu and Terry Que.

"We’re hoping that something new will come out after the meeting," said Yu.

"We went through the nitty-gritty. We talked about the budget and projections which will be the basis for the presentation in Macau," said Eala.

"The projections are good and it has satisfied the executive board," Eala added.

gameface_one
08-12-2006, 08:10 AM
IN HUDDLE
Hatfield, with new GF, not too keen on PBA comeback


By Beth Celis
Inquirer
Last updated 01:45am (Mla time) 08/12/2006

Published on page A22 of the August 12, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

“THE KID was intimidated,” was boxing analyst Recah Trinidad’s postmortem on the Brian Viloria-Omar Nino Romero titular fight in Las Vegas yesterday.

“Walang init, kulang sa sili,” was the way he described Viloria, who lost the World Boxing Council light-flyweight title to the Mexican via a 12-round decision.

Against the 30-year-old challenger, Brian was favored to win.

I texted Solar’s Peter Chanliong in Las Vegas to ask what Brian meant when he said that he “waited too long,” but got no reply.

* * *

People who attended last Thursday’s PBA dispersal draft at the PSC Auditorium in Pasig were perplexed.

They could not understand the rationale behind the choices Welcoat team manager Boy Lapid was making. They said it was more of a wish list than anything else.

Boy was picking the likes of Eric Menk, Rommel Adducul, Enrico Villanueva, Larry Fonacier, James Yap, Marc Pingris, RenRen Ritualo, Ranidel de Ocampo, Nino Canaleta, and other players who were sure to be in the protected list.

When the two-round draft was over, only three players were added to the Welcoat lineup: Gilbert Lao, Rob Wainwright and Denver Lopez.

* * *

“Nagbabakasakali lang kami. Who knows, baka hindi naisama sa protected list yung mga pinili namin,” said Boy, who disclosed that his picks were former Welcoat players.

“If not now, maybe we can get them back to our fold in the next three or four years. Hopefully.”

* * *

Looks like it will be very difficult to lure cager Rudy Hatfield back to the PBA.

To start with, Rudy is now a fireman. And in the United States, unlike here in our country, that job is very prestigious and high-paying.

Americans look up to firemen, perhaps more than they do law enforcers. The role of firemen in American society was best emphasized during the 9-11 tragedy where a number of firefighters were killed in the line of duty, while rescuing trapped victims from the rubble of the World Trade Center.

* * *

Aside from his new job, another factor that would probably go against Rudy’s decision to make a PBA comeback is the presence of a new love interest.

Rudy has a new girlfriend who he intends to marry, a veteran colleague intimated.

Rudy’s girl, he said, doesn’t want the cager-fireman to return to the Philippines.

I wonder if she knows about Rufa Mae. Could Rudy still be carrying a torch for her?

* * *

To get an idea on how the Aug. 20 PBA Rookie Draft would go, I dropped by the PhilSports Arena last Wednesday to take a look at the rookie camp. I also talked to coaches Al Chua of Sta. Lucia, Tim Cone of Alaska and Siot Tanquingcen of Ginebra, to find out who they had their eyes on.

I was particularly curious about Al’s choice because he was making the first pick. I got nowhere. Al was keeping his choice close to his chest.

I was surprised to find out that Ginebra had given up all its draft picks, and would need to choose reinforcements from the free-agent market.

Since Alaska is one of the last to pick, Tim said he has no idea who would be left available to him.

gameface_one
08-12-2006, 08:13 AM
Thoss key in keeping Alaska nucleus intact


By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 01:44am (Mla time) 08/12/2006

Published on page A22 of the August 12, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

SONNY Thoss will be the central figure in the Alaska frontline for several years.

The Aces made sure to keep the 6-foot-7 center over the next three seasons after signing him up to a fresh contract worth at least P12.4 million, a reliable source yesterday told the Inquirer.

Thoss was said to have inked a pact that would give him P337,500 in the initial year, excluding perks and the maximum allowable monthly salary of P350,000 in the last two years.

Aside from Thoss, the Aces also retained the services of playmaker Mike Cortez, John Ferriols and Eddie Laure to keep the team nucleus intact.

Cortez inked a maximum deal with the Aces spread over three years, while Ferriols and Laure agreed to two-year extensions with the latter getting at least P4 million in salaries. Financial terms on the contract of Ferriols were not divulged.

“We really want to keep the team intact and we feel that these players could help us accomplish our goal next season,” said Alaska team manager Joaqui Trillo.

With 10 players with live contracts in the Alaska lineup, including the seldom-used Banjo Calpito and Rensy Bajar, the status of Bong Hawkins depends on the Aug. 20 PBA Rookie Draft.

full battle gear
08-13-2006, 10:51 AM
Welcoat expects rough sailing in maiden stint
by June Navarro

Inquirer
Last updated 06:12am (Mla time) 08/13/2006

Published on page A24 of the August 13, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

WITH almost half of the players fresh from the amateur ranks and the rest pro discards, even the owners doubt whether the Welcoat Dragons could make an immediate impact in the Philippine Basketball Association this season.

Expecting rough times ahead, co-team owners Raymond Yu and Terry Que said they would propose a handicapping system where the Dragons could get a reinforcement taller than the prescribed height limit in the import-laced conference.

“Our immediate goal is to have a respectable finish for the first conference,’’ said Que of the Dragons’ initial test in the All-Filipino tournament kicking off this October.

“Hopefully, the PBA could come out with a handicapping system in the second conference where the weaker teams are allowed to get a taller import,” he added.

If the league pegs the import height ceiling at 6-foot-6, the Welcoat officials said they would lobby for a 6-foot-10 reinforcement at the most.

The Dragons have elevated rookies Junjun Cabatu, Jay Sagad and Jay-R Reyes from their amateur team in the Philippine Basketball League and also brought along Welcoat top gunner Jercules Tangkay, a free agent in the PBA.

After conducting tryouts last week and plucking three players from the dispersal draft, the Dragons have now added Froilan Baguion, Nino Gelig, Gilbert Lao, Rob Wainwright, Adonis Sta. Maria and Joey Mente to their roster.

Next week’s PBA rookie draft will complete the team’s roster. Selecting 10th and 11th overall, Welcoat plans to pick either Letran’s Aaron Aban, Mark Andaya or Boyet Bautista if they are still available by then.

“We will definitely struggle. I hope the PBA would give us the luxury of having a taller import so we wouldn’t be beaten up badly,’’ said Yu.

“Besides, getting a bigger import doesn’t guarantee anything and the talented ones would already be playing either in Europe or professional leagues in China or Japan by then.’’

In the early years of the PBA, teams were allowed to hire taller imports except Crispa and Toyota to maintain the balance of power in the league.

“It has been done before and the PBA can do it again,’’ noted Yu.

Leo Austria will coach the Dragons with Caloy Garcia as his assistant. Corporate lawyer Mamerto Mondragon was designated Welcoat governor while Boy Lapid will be one of the team’s managers.

full battle gear
08-13-2006, 01:44 PM
Welcoat wants Adducul, talks with Ginebra
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 08/13/2006

MACAU – Rommel Adducul could well be reunited with his former PBL mother club Welcoat Paints.

Joining the PBA in its coming 2006-07 season, Welcoat is now in hot pursuit of its former prized slotman around whom the team wants to build its lineup in its maiden voyage in the pro ranks.

The Asian Coating Inc. franchise is so keen on re-acquiring the services of the 6-foot-5 Cagayan native that it has dangled tempting offers to Barangay Ginebra for a possible trade deal.

Welcoat top honchos Raymund Yu and Terry Que cornered Barangay Ginebra board representative Robert Non for some discussions at an airport lounge on their way here yesterday.

The Welcoat officials, who are hosting the PBA board of governors’ three-day summit here, hope to settle their deal with Ginebra with regards to the services of Adducul before the Annual Rookie Draft set Sunday at the Market! Market! in Taguig.

Non said Welcoat’s offer looks okay but he’ll still discuss the matter with the Ginebra coaching staff led by Jong Uichico.

Welcoat is offering its first round pick next year in exchange for Adducul. With a shaky lineup, the Dragons could be cellar-dwellers in the 2006-07 season and may gain the No. 1 pick overall in 2007.

"The top pick prospects next year are Fil-Am Joe Devance and Rob Reyes. So it looks like Welcoat has a tempting offer to us," said Non."Sa akin okay na yan, but I’ll still consult my coaching staff."

"Sa amin na sana nila ibigay si Rommel. Kung sa ibang team baka makasakit pa si Rommel sa kanila. With us, there’s no harm done because we’re surely be the whipping boys," said Yu.

Welcoat’s rights for the No. 10 and No. 11 picks in the coming draft are the team’s other trade bait to Ginebra for Adducul. But this is not amenable to the Kings.

"Pinamigay na nga ni Jong yung draft picks niya this year eh," said Non, referring to the trade that had them giving away draft picks plus some players to get Billy Mamaril, Rafi Reavis and Rudy Hatfield from Coca-Cola in return.

Adducul, former MVP winner in the NCAA and the defunct MBA, has become dispensable at Ginebra following the arrival of Mamaril and Reavis. Apparently, also up for trade is 6-foot-9 slotman Andy Seigle.

Free agent Poch Juinio is another veteran center being seriously considered for the Welcoat squad to be handled by coach Leo Austria with Caloy Garcia and Bogs Adornado as his deputies.

Yu said Adducul’s poor free-throw shooting could well improve under the care of Adornado, the team’s shooting coach.

So far, Welcoat has recruited 10 players in Jay Sagad, JayR Reyes, Junjun Cabatu, Froilan Baguion, Jojo Tangkay, Gilbert Lao, Rob Wainwright, Denver Lopez, Adonis Sta. Maria and Nino Gelig.

full battle gear
08-13-2006, 01:46 PM
Adducul to Welcoat?
www.mb.com.ph

By TITO TALAO

MACAU (via Smart WeRoam) — The Welcoat Paints Dragons, it turns out, know how to claw their way back to the negotiating table and breathe fire into a frozen deal.

A few days after their bid to wrest former player Romel Adducul away from Barangay Ginebra via the dispersal draft turned up empty, the Dragons, teeth bared and tail sweeping, are back with a vengeance.

And this time, they didn’t send team manager Boy Lapid or assistant coach Caloy Garcia to do the job, but a pair of big guns who wouldn’t take no for an answer – team owners Raymond Yu and Terry Que.

Two months before the 2006-07 PBA season began, Robert Non, San Miguel Corporation basketball operations manager, experienced first-hand Welcoat’s double-teaming defense.

Moments before a PBA delegation led by Commissioner Noli Eala left Manila for this former Portugese colony where newly-named board chairman Ricky Vargas was waiting to preside over their first annual meeting yesterday, Non found himself "ambushed" by the Dragons owners.

Sandwiched by Yu and Que at a lounging section of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport minutes before departure, Non got a trade offer that he quickly turned down: Adducul for Welcoat’s 10th and 11th pick in the coming Aug. 20 rookie draft.

"I explained to them Ginebra has already given up its first and second round picks this year because it has no need for them," said Non.

A more tasty alternative needed to be served on the table, the SMC executive said.

How about Adducul for Welcoat’s first round pick in 2007?

Now unless head coach Leo Austria can work up a miracle and transform his Dragons into Godzilla-like beings, Welcoat faces a truly rough maiden season, and a shot at next year’s No. 1 pick. That could turn out to be Fil-Americans Joe DeVance or Rob Reyes or 6-9 local Samigue Eman.

The thought of losing their chance to fish in next draft’s pool briefly unnerved the two Welcoat bosses, but the idea of being reunited with Adducul proved nearly irresistible.

"They threw the ball back at me, and so I will be getting in touch with coach Jong (Uichico) to relay to him the proposal," said Non. "It’s his decision. But if coach Jong asks, I would have to say go for it."

Non said the Welcoat owners probably figured they’d rather have a legitimate center now than wait until next year.

Adducul had successful surgery to remove a benign cyst on his foot and has already started practicing with the Kings.

With Eric Menk starting at center, 6-9 Andy Seigle newly signed, Rafi Reavis and Billy Mamaril acquired from Coca-Cola, and Rudy Hatfield on his way back from a self-imposed sabbatical in the States, Adducul has become dispensable.

"We’re thinking about it," said Yu. "It’s very tempting."

Welcoat, which bought Shell’s franchise last year, has tried unsuccessfully to add former players like James Yap, Marc Pingris, Eddie Laure and Adducul to its fledgling lineup through the dispersal draft, but nobody was left unprotected by his mother ball club.

"Mahirap, baka puro trenta-trenta ang lamang sa’min pag dating ng laban," said Yu.

Adducul, a big-boned inside presence, could give them valuable muscle in their underbelly which the Dragons sorely lacked.

Asked about Adducul’s notoriety at missing free throws, Yu quickly replied: "We’ll be hiring (William) Bogs Adornado to teach him how to shoot foul shots."

gameface_one
08-14-2006, 07:53 AM
PBA dome? It’s about time
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 08/14/2006

MACAU — The Philippine Basketball Association’s long-time cherished dream to have its own home could finally be a reality in two to three years.

With giant corporations PLDT and San Miguel Corp. leading the bandwagon, PBA ball clubs have reached a consensus to pursue the ambitious project.

"This has been the PBA’s dream for a long time. We did a lot of fire-fighting the last three years. We’ve corrected our mistakes and we have to start planting seeds," said PBA board chair Ricky Vargas.

"I had an informal talk with (San Miguel’s) Robert Non. He said they also want the project to go now. San Miguel Corp. being receptive with the idea made me more excited about the project," Vargas added.

There was actually no resolution passed about the matter in the PBA board meeting Saturday. But the governors gave their nod on their dream project in an informal discussion yesterday morning.

There were reports PLDT chairman Manny Pangilinan and SMC big boss Danding Cojuangco had given their go-signal for the PBA to work on it. The two giant corporations could end up merging for this undertaking.

"We estimated the amount of money we’ve spent in coliseum rentals the last three years. Buo na ang PBA coliseum kung dito namin dinala yung rental fees namin," said Non.

At present, the PBA pays P200,000 for the use of the Araneta Coliseum per play date. Besides that, teams spend around P5,000 each almost everyday in gym rental for their practices.

The idea is to put up a state-of-the-art complex, housing the PBA dome, possibly a practice gym, fitness center and stalls where PBA clubs and other business entities can market their products.

Commissioner Noli Eala said the Quezon City government has offered to lease for 75 years its prime and sprawling property along Edsa corner Quezon Ave. Eala said they started talks with Quezon City Mayor Sonny Belmonte last year.

It’s actually been the PBA’s dream for a long time. The PBA went as far as making a feasibility study under the chairmanship of Sta. Lucia governor Buddy Encarnado. The project, however, was shelved as the league confronted problems on Fil-sham and drugs issues.

"I will pursue this. Hindi ako mapakali pag mayroon akong project," said Vargas.

"My spirit was dampened when I heard news that SM Corp. intends to build a coliseum. But my spirit was lifted when I found out that San Miguel wants to have our own," Vargas added.

Red Bull governor Tony Chua, who is to assume the board chairmanship next year, is willing to waive his turn just for Vargas to pursue and complete the project.

"I’m willing to wait or even waive my turn for the chairmanship. Kahit three seasons mag-chair si Ricky hanggang hindi tapos ang PBA coliseum, okay sa akin," said Chua.

Welcoat’s Raymund Yu pitched in his contribution by offering paints to be used in the entire complex.

gameface_one
08-14-2006, 07:54 AM
PBA to build own coliseum

Quezon City eyed as venue site

By TITO TALAO
mb.com.ph




Confirmation was made by PBA board chairman Ricky Vargas of the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals and a high-ranking San Miguel executive yesterday that informal talks have begun, exploring the possibility of building a permanent home for the 31-year-old pro league. The germ for the idea was sown at the time of former Commissioner Jun Bernardino and mushroomed during the term of board chairman Buddy Encarnado of Sta. Lucia Realty two years ago. It was briefly shelved as the PBA sailed through stormy seas, with Encarnado and his successor at the helm, Ely Capacio of San Miguel Beer, struggling to steer the ship past the roughs and to placid waters. “We were doing a lot of firefighting at the time,” said Vargas, senior vice president-HR of PLDT. “There were a lot of problems back then, like drugs and the Fil-Sham issue,” said Tony Chua of Red Bull, the board vice chairman. Through Encarnado’s and Capacio’s efforts, and the stewardship of Commissioner Noli Eala, who succeeded Bernardino, the PBA righted itself, achieving marked gains in public acceptance and gate receipts last season. The prevailing bright conditions apparently paved the way for a renewal of a long-time dream which has gathered dust in the PBA vault. Resurrecting a vision that manifested itself more than a decade ago, Vargas, who took over from Capacio, quickly set things in motion after he received word that San Miguel may be looking favorably to the construction of the PBA’s own house, a billion-peso project that could take at least three years to complete. “It dampened my spirit when I heard that SM was planning to build a coliseum,” said Vargas. “But it lifted my spirits back when I learned San Miguel was interested.” Robert Non, San Miguel basketball operations manager, said the growing cost of renting venues through the years makes it imperative to consider the construction of a permanent house. “When Chairman Ricky mentioned the possibility and we did some quick mathematics, it turned out we were paying nearly R200,000 per playing date,” Non said. “Multiply that by the number of games we played per season in the last 10 years and you get a fairly good idea how much we could’ve channeled to the construction of our own home.” Non said he would be making his recommendations to San Miguel Chairman Danding Cojuangco and president Ramon Ang when the PBA board returns from its first annual meeting today. According to Eala, the site of the projected venue would be the sprawling lot at the corner of Epifanio delos Santos Avenue and Quezon Avenue, a city-owned property Quezon City Mayor Sonny Belmonte is reportedly willing to lease for 75 years. “We had negotiations with the good mayor about a year ago and it could be high time to renew those talks,” Eala said at the conclusion of the five-hour board meeting which also tackled, among others, the budget and other proposed league projects. If completed, the PBA home would boast of state-of-the-art facilities, with shopping arcades and restaurants festooning its perimeters. “Everybody is excited over the prospect,” said Vargas. “And I intend to see it through its completion.” So excited that Chua, who would succeed the Phone Pals governor next year as board chairman, has offered to waive his watch in favor of Vargas to give continuity to the ambitious project. “I’m not joking,” said Chua, the Bulls representative to the board. “I’m willing to give up my term for Chairman Ricky. I’m even going to ask Joaqui Trillo (of Alaska) to do the same.” Trillo is up next for league chairmanship in 2008 after Chua. Raymond Yu, co-team owner of the neophyte Welcoat Dragons, also pitched in his contribution to the overall effort. “Sige, sagot na namin ang pintura,” he said.


Confirmation was made by PBA board chairman Ricky Vargas of the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals and a high-ranking San Miguel executive yesterday that informal talks have begun, exploring the possibility of building a permanent home for the 31-year-old pro league.

The germ for the idea was sown at the time of former Commissioner Jun Bernardino and mushroomed during the term of board chairman Buddy Encarnado of Sta. Lucia Realty two years ago.

It was briefly shelved as the PBA sailed through stormy seas, with Encarnado and his successor at the helm, Ely Capacio of San Miguel Beer, struggling to steer the ship past the roughs and to placid waters.

"We were doing a lot of firefighting at the time," said Vargas, senior vice president-HR of PLDT.

"There were a lot of problems back then, like drugs and the Fil-Sham issue," said Tony Chua of Red Bull, the board vice chairman.

Through Encarnado’s and Capacio’s efforts, and the stewardship of Commissioner Noli Eala, who succeeded Bernardino, the PBA righted itself, achieving marked gains in public acceptance and gate receipts last season.

The prevailing bright conditions apparently paved the way for a renewal of a long-time dream which has gathered dust in the PBA vault.

Resurrecting a vision that manifested itself more than a decade ago, Vargas, who took over from Capacio, quickly set things in motion after he received word that San Miguel may be looking favorably to the construction of the PBA’s own house, a billion-peso project that could take at least three years to complete.

"It dampened my spirit when I heard that SM was planning to build a coliseum," said Vargas. "But it lifted my spirits back when I learned San Miguel was interested."

Robert Non, San Miguel basketball operations manager, said the growing cost of renting venues through the years makes it imperative to consider the construction of a permanent house.

"When Chairman Ricky mentioned the possibility and we did some quick mathematics, it turned out we were paying nearly R200,000 per playing date," Non said. "Multiply that by the number of games we played per season in the last 10 years and you get a fairly good idea how much we could’ve channeled to the construction of our own home."

Non said he would be making his recommendations to San Miguel Chairman Danding Cojuangco and president Ramon Ang when the PBA board returns from its first annual meeting today.

According to Eala, the site of the projected venue would be the sprawling lot at the corner of Epifanio delos Santos Avenue and Quezon Avenue, a city-owned property Quezon City Mayor Sonny Belmonte is reportedly willing to lease for 75 years.

"We had negotiations with the good mayor about a year ago and it could be high time to renew those talks," Eala said at the conclusion of the five-hour board meeting which also tackled, among others, the budget and other proposed league projects.

If completed, the PBA home would boast of state-of-the-art facilities, with shopping arcades and restaurants festooning its perimeters.

"Everybody is excited over the prospect," said Vargas. "And I intend to see it through its completion."

So excited that Chua, who would succeed the Phone Pals governor next year as board chairman, has offered to waive his watch in favor of Vargas to give continuity to the ambitious project.

"I’m not joking," said Chua, the Bulls representative to the board. "I’m willing to give up my term for Chairman Ricky. I’m even going to ask Joaqui Trillo (of Alaska) to do the same."

Trillo is up next for league chairmanship in 2008 after Chua.

Raymond Yu, co-team owner of the neophyte Welcoat Dragons, also pitched in his contribution to the overall effort.

"Sige, sagot na namin ang pintura," he said.

gameface_one
08-14-2006, 07:55 AM
Board backs Vargas on PBA-owned venue


By Beth Celis
Inquirer
Last updated 03:44am (Mla time) 08/14/2006

Published on page A32 of the August 14, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

MACAU -- The vision of a coliseum owned by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) may become a reality sooner than expected.

In the annual PBA board planning session held here over the weekend, the governors expressed their support for the construction of the league’s permanent home, a project proposed by new chair Ricky Vargas of Talk ‘N Text.

The dream of having its own home for the league has been nurtured by many PBA commissioners and chairs before Vargas but it was only during the term of Sta. Lucia’s Buddy Encarnado, whose company is in the real estate business, that the plan took off the ground.

Feasibility studies were initiated at the time, but had to be shelved in view of bigger issues that needed to be addressed immediately.

“We were doing a lot of firefighting during Buddy’s time and completely forgot about the coliseum project,” said Vargas, who has asked the blessing of PLDT/Smart chairman Manny V. Pangilinan for the league’s most ambitious project.

gameface_one
08-14-2006, 08:00 AM
Anthony, Wade spark US past Lithuania
mb.com.ph





SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points and Dwayne Wade added 14 Sunday to lead the United States to an emphatic 111-88 win over Lithuania in a tuneup for the basketball world championships.


Anthony set the tone early with a slam dunk in the opening minutes that drew a huge ovation from the crowd, and LeBron James closed out the first half with a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to give the U.S. a 56-32 lead at the break.

Using a sensational effort on offense and defense, the Americans overwhelmed the Lithuanians and took a 28-point lead after the third quarter.

"Our game plan was to just keep the ball moving," said Anthony, who leads the U.S. in scoring over four exhibition games. "We know we can score from just about anywhere so we don’t have to wait for a fantastic shot."

Early in the final quarter, James brought the crowd to its feet with a dunk that made it 87-55. The Cleveland Cavaliers star gave the Americans a whopping 108-78 advantage with another massive jam with two minutes left.

It was a balanced effort on offense with seven players scoring 10 points or more. James had 13 and the United States also got big contributions from Joe Johnson (12), Kirk Hinrich (10), Antawn Jamison (13) and Chris Paul (10).

The United States improved to 4-0 in exhibition games leading up to the 2006 FIBA World Championships. After one more exhibition game against South Korea on Tuesday, the U.S. will head to Sapporo, Japan, for its opening game of the championships on Aug. 19 against Puerto Rico.

"I thought we played very good defense," said U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski. "Lithuania is a strong team and we were able to take them out defensively. I think we got better today by playing an outstanding team."

Wade, who had 10 points in the first quarter, hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the U.S. a 25-9 lead midway through the first period.

The United States defeated Lithuania 104-96 at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Lithuania, fourth in the FIBA rankings, didn’t look like the medal contender many expect them to be in Japan.

It was an impressive performance for an American team this is quickly adjusting to the wider lanes of international play. The United States finished sixth at the worlds in 2002 and third in 1998. The last time the Americans won the tournament was 1994.

The U.S. team brought 14 players to Asia. The roster must be reduced to 12 before the start of the world championships.

gameface_one
08-15-2006, 08:49 AM
PBA tries to diversify with weekly TV show
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 08/15/2006

MACAU — Inspired by its success last season, the PBA now wants to expand its scope of business, starting with producing its own show that would complement its main product — pro basketball.

Wrapping up its three-day planning session here, the PBA board of governors agreed to cash in on the league’s gains the previous season and venture into some projects that include a PBA entertainment show, a PBA publication and a PBA radio.

Focus, however, will be on the PBA Entertainment, a 30-minute once-a-week show to be featured outside the regular coverage by ABC-5 of the PBA games.

The PBA, the country’s No. 1 sports entertainment business now on its 32nd season, is putting up an initial budget of P6 million for this project, which it hopes to become a profit-generating endeavor in the near future.

"We’re all excited about this. We’re moving out of the box, we’re moving out of status quo and thinking of things we can do," said PBA board chair Ricky Vargas after the three-day conference hosted by new league member Welcoat Paint, headed by owners Terry Que and Raymund Yu.

"We want our huge presence in the market felt not only with respect to the people and fans but advertisers.

"We’re positioning the PBA as a brand icon. We’re pushing our players to become iconic or be more recognizable. This is why we’re investing in this business," said league commissioner Noli Eala.

"We’re excited with this entrepreneurial endeavor. We’re branching out. Eventually the goal is to make it profit centered," Eala added.

Vargas and Eala stressed, though, that the game will remain as their core business.

"We’ll not disregard our core business. We’re putting up PBA TV to complement interest in PBA games. Just like the movies, they become stronger because of talk shows," said Vargas.

"The idea is to enhance the league and bring the people to the venue," Vargas added.

Eala said their TV coveror ABC-5 promised to give them a 30-minute airtime once a week for free. "We’ll put up PBA Entertainment and sell it to advertisers," said Eala.

The PBA wants to be more aggressive and dynamic in the coming season that it also plans to invest in a PBA publication and PBA radio.

"We had our income last season and instead of giving it to the ball clubs, I suggested that we invest it in other businesses," said Vargas.

gameface_one
08-15-2006, 08:50 AM
PBA seeks future legends



By TITO TALAO
mb.com.ph



MACAU — Robert Jaworski’s aura. Ramon Fernandez’s grace. Samboy Lim’s energy. Alvin Patrimonio’s power.



Who among the current batch of Philippine Basketball Association superstars can stir public interest and pierce the national consciousness the way the above four legends did?

With the golden days now part of the glorious past, the PBA seeks to recreate that magical era when pro players were deified and the game was the national pastime.

Introducing PBA Entertainment.

A four-part promotional package covering television, radio, publication and the web, the ambitious project, to be bankrolled by an initial fund of R6 million, will be launched when the 2006-07 season begins in October.

PBA board chairman Ricky Vargas of Talk ‘N Text referred to it more as an investment than as a project.

"It will have a life of its own," he said.

Commissioner Noli Eala said the move is an integral aspect of the league’s 20-20 vision program which would target a 20 percent growth in attendance and income this year.

"We’re positioning the PBA as a brand icon," he said. "We want it to have a huge presence in the market."

The idea, Eala said, is to push the players to be "iconic" and more recognizable on TV and radio.

A 30-minute, once-a-week TV show on ABC-5 will be the cornerstone of PBA Entertainment.

"It should complement the product, enhance it, and lure the people into the venue," said Vargas.

TV production is not an entirely new fare for the PBA.

But this is the first time it will be taken to this magnitude, with the board having a direct hand in its operations.

"We are going out of the box, moving out of the status quo," Vargas said.

Both Eala and Vargas agree there is no need to launch a nationwide talent search for PBA Entertainment’s main attraction.

Purefoods Chunkee forward James Yap, a hoop-and-hype personality, is MVP material, what with his much-publicized romance and marriage to Kris Aquino, daughter of the former president, an actress, TV game show host and endorsing giant of Oprah Winfrey’s caliber.

The others may have to go through an audition session, however.

brian
08-16-2006, 12:25 AM
para sa akin, before all these....they should start by televising the rp-lebanon game tonight..aysus! primed up for the future eh they couldn't even focus on right here, right now!!! ???

Kid Cubao
08-16-2006, 05:58 AM
^^ tingnan nyo, ang dami pala nating nag-aabang ng telecast nito. makes you wonder if the PBA even recorded it for future viewing.

gameface_one
08-16-2006, 08:00 AM
Phone Pals boost stock with US tune-up games


By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 03:24am (Mla time) 08/16/2006

Published on page A25 of the August 16, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

PLAYING against some of the biggest names in the National Basketball Association can really boost a team’s morale.

Talk ‘N Text hopes to get a positive outcome from its tune-up games in the United States with some of the NBA’s best in preparation for its battle in the 2006-07 Philippine Basketball Association season.

With the tools in place, Talk ‘N Text coach Derrick Pumaren is confident that out of the team’s US sojourn, the Phone Pals can go deep into the playoffs of the two season conferences.

“They (Phone Pals) told me that if they could play competitively against the players in the NBA, the team could do better in the PBA,” said Pumaren after the Phone Pals held scrimmages with the likes of Andrei Kirilenko, Al Harrington, Jahadi White, Tyrone Lue, Dontae Jones and Marcus Williams in Los Angeles.

Aside from playing for five games in the LA Summer Pro League, the Phone Pals also attended a two-week clinic in Florida where they underwent skills tests in the morning and scrimmages in the afternoon with weights training in between.

“The confidence of the players is sky-high and we’re playing better as a team right now,” said Pumaren, whose Phone Pals finished eighth in the nine-team field in the season-ending Philippine Cup.

Injuries and a blockbuster trade that netted Don Allado and Renren Ritualo in the middle of the conference attributed to their downfall.

After returning home last week, the Phone Pals now plan to use what they have learned in a four-game stint in South Korea next month. The Phone Pals have 10 players at the moment after releasing Poch Juinio, Vergel Meneses and Chris Cantonjos.

gameface_one
08-17-2006, 09:06 AM
Import-less Kings compete in Brunei Cup

The Philippine Star 08/17/2006

Barangay Ginebra has decided to play without an import in its coming 2006 Brunei Sultan Cup stint, using the tournament as an initial test for its newly souped-up roster.

The Kings are fielding in Eric Menk, Mark Caguioa, Rommel Adducul, Andy Seigle, Billy Mamaril, Rafi Reavis, Sunday Salvacion, Mark Macapagal, veteran free agents Allan Salangsang and Egay Echavez and rookie free agent Christian Coronel from San Sebastian.

The team is leaving Monday for the Brunei joust together with the San Miguel-RP team which sets out for back-to-back championships.

The Kings and the Nationals are up against Darwin-Australia, the Jordan All-Star squad and club teams from Korea and Japan.

"We’re playing with an all-Filipino lineup so we can better gauge where or what aspect of the game we still need to build up on," said Ginebra team manager Allan Caidic.

Caidic stressed they’re yet to finalize their lineup for the coming 2006-07 PBA season despite the arrival of Mamaril and Reavis.

"We’re still studying our options. There are trade offers for Rommel Adducul but we’re not giving it serious thoughts. We would probably get clearer picture after the draft," said coach Jong Uichico.

At the moment, Ginebra hopes to toughen up at guard spots with Rodney Santos and Jayjay Helterbrand still in the injured list together with forward Mike Holper. — Nelson Beltran

gameface_one
08-17-2006, 09:07 AM
IN HUDDLE
PBA now wants own venue


By Beth Celis
Inquirer
Last updated 04:36am (Mla time) 08/17/2006

Published on page A24 of the August 17, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

COLORFUL gift bags with the “SMART Buddy” logo were on the conference table when the Philippine Basketball Association governors walked in for what was expected to be a marathon meeting at the huge function room of the posh Landmark Hotel in Macau.

Each gift bag for the governors contained a box. Inside it was a late model cell phone, a present from new PBA chair Ricky Vargas.

The note attached read: “An appreciation and remembrance for your presence in our first PBA board meeting in Macau to kick off the 2006-2007 season planning conference. This phone includes a Talk ‘N Text prepared SIMcard. If used with other SIMcard providers, phone will automatically self-destruct.” -- (signed) Ricky.

Needless to say, the unexpected gift caused a mild commotion, delaying the formal start of the meeting by a few minutes. Nobody minded, as the governors took a close look at their new acquisition and thanked the donor.

***

Among the plans approved by the board in the planning session were the reduction of ticket prices, review and amendment of policies, constitution and by-laws, a more vigorous media campaign and the production of a 30-minute television show designed to compliment the main product which is basketball.

The league is investing an initial P6 million for the project, which the board has billed “PBA Entertainment”. Next to the PBA venue plan, Ricky V. is most excited about this project.

The league will produce the television show which is envisioned to be income-generating.

***

The reduction in ticket prices actually started during Ely Capacio’s term when the general admission ticket was pegged at P5.

Ely said they had done some pencil-pushing prior to this and discovered that they were only making P20,000 net per game from the upper areas of the Araneta Coliseum.

Now I’m not sure if these figures include the upper box areas because in the Macau meeting, the board decided to reduce the cost of the upper box tickets by 30 percent.

By lowering the ticket prices, Ely said more people would be able to watch the game live, and this would look good on television and more palatable to advertisers.

***

For a while there, Ricky V’s spirit was dampened when he learned that SM’s Henry Sy also had serious plans to build a sports coliseum.

But with the positive, enthusiastic response of the board to the idea of the league having its own coliseum, his sagging spirit was lifted.

Ricky was particularly inspired when San Miguel Corp. showed interest in the plan, which Ginebra governor Robert Non had already broached to SMC top honchos Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco and Ramon Ang.

With the country’s two giant conglomerates joining hands to spearhead the billion-peso project, it is expected to be completed in the next three to four years.

“For all that money we poured into coliseum rental for the past 10 years, we should have been able to (already) erect our own venue,” observed Robert.

***

“We already have a site: the government-owned property at the corner of EDSA (Epifanio delos Santos Avenue) and Quezon Avenue in Quezon City. Actually, we had already negotiated with QC Mayor Sonny Belmonte last year for a 75-year lease of this property,” PBA commissioner Noli Eala disclosed.

The chair said he was willing to give up a championship to turn the project into reality.

Alaska’s Joaqui Trillo said he was willing to give up two.

Welcoat’s Raymond Yu, who generously co-hosted the Macau trip with partner Terry Que, pledged to subsidize the painting of the complex, while vice chair Tony Chua, next year’s chair, offered to decline his post in favor of extending the incumbent’s term.

Tony said Ricky should stay “in office until the venue is completed.”

***

While in Macau, Welcoat proposed a trade with Ginebra San Miguel: Rommel Adducul for the Dragons’ first and second round draft rights (10th and 11th picks) for the season.

Ginebra wanted next year’s pick.

New GSM coach Jong Uichico, who called from Manila, didn’t seem too keen on the trade.

***

gameface_one
08-19-2006, 09:28 AM
PBA preseason games last chance for free agents
abs-cbnnews.com


Rookie hopefuls who may not be picked or signed for the 2006-07 Philippine Basketball Association season have one more alternative left to make their way into Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league.

The league has lined up a series of preseason games prior to the start of the 32nd season, where all 10 teams, including rookie squad Welcoat, will be allowed to tap free agent players.

Considered free agents are players who are undrafted, unsigned or whose contracts were not renewed.

The games will be played for about three weeks, with team divided into two groups that will play in a single round robin. The top teams in each group clash in the finals. Each team is allowed an 18-man "may play" roster, which is either composed of the regular players, free agents and rookie draftees.

"We’re holding more extensive preseason games this time to allow teams still wanting in players the chance to complete their respective rosters," said PBA commissioner Noli Eala.

Veteran or rookie free agents interested to play are required to register with the Commissioner’s Office under the Operations/Technical Group headed by Perry Mertinez by August 23.

The 10 teams will be given a list of all enlisted free agents from which they can select.

In the event the services of a free agent is tapped by at least two teams, the Commissioner will have the sole discretion on which squad the player suits up.

Teams should have submitted their active 18-man preseason lineup by August 28. Each ball club is also allowed to have two reserve players outside of its official roster, whom it may alternate with anyone on the active list at any time before the preseason games start.

Eala stressed the preseason matches is a must for all teams since most of the games have been arrange with various organizers for charity fund-raising purposes.

Some of the games are also part of the league’s outreach and campus tour programs.

gameface_one
08-21-2006, 12:02 PM
Cabagnot faces life ban

The Philippine Star 08/21/2006

Alex Cabagbot could be gone for good.

The Fil-Am point guard has gone AWOL at Sta. Lucia and team official Buddy Encarnado said he’ll recommend to the PBA Commissioner’s Office that he be slapped a life-time ban in the league.

Encarnado declined a number of trade offers for Cabagnot.

"He doesn’t deserve to be in the PBA. May mga trade offers para sa kanya. Pero sabi ko huag. Kailangan turuan ng leksiyon ang bata," said Encarnado.

Cabagnot, a product of University of Hawaii in Hilo, left for the US without permission from the team management and coaching staff. Next heard, he played for the LA All-Stars in a Las Vegas tourney participated in by the Talk n Text Phone Pals.

"Magaaral na naman daw. Eh, baka gustong maging professor," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua in jest.

Sta. Lucia picked Cabagnot second overall behind Tony Washington in last year’s Rookie Draft. After the draft, Cabagnot had a disappearing act but was prevailed upon by some advisers to return. — Nelson Beltran

brian
08-21-2006, 07:31 PM
wag naman siguro lifetime ban...perhaps slap him a fine amounting more than what he initially earned in the pba and then ban him for 50 years...wag naman for life he he!

arjay_g
08-22-2006, 03:39 AM
Nah... I think tama lang yan. Nakakadalawa na eh. At parang nananadya na kasi. During the first instance, maybe it was forgivable, although hindi pa rin maganda yung ginawa niya nuon. But for a second time? Naman, hindi na siguro siya bata para akalain pang wala siyang ginawang masama.

Kung mag-aaral nga uli siya, bakit kelangan siyang umalis ng walang paalam? Dapat man lang, nagsabi siya sa koponan. Now, if he wasn't allowed by Sta Lucia to leave (a right that they have since Alex IS an employee for them), professionalism stresses that he must follow their rules. However, kung talagang gusto niyang mag-aral at sa tingin niya iyon ang mas nakabubuti para sa kanyang buhay, eh di umalis siya, pero dapat handa siyang harapin ang kung anumang kaparusahang maidudulot nun sa kanya.

I'm with Encarnado. turuan niyo na yan ng leksyon. Hindi kailangan ng Pilipinas ang isang manlalarong tulad niya. Kung sa koponan pa lamang niya ay hindi na siya makapagpakita ng kahit katiting na loyalty, pano mo pa aasahan na maging loyal iyan sa national team pagdating ng panahon. ( not that he was even considered to be part of the national team)

gameface_one
08-22-2006, 07:55 AM
Al’s well that ends well



By Ed Picson
mb.com.ph



THAT WASN’T a typographical error, Al of course refers to the Head Coach of Sta. Lucia Realty in the PBA. Alfrancis Chua has always been a colorful personality. As a player, he was easy to spot as he did so many things that caught the attention of everyone like when Coach Joe Lipa asked him to stop a formidable foreign opponent from scoring, he managed to foul the player right at the opening tip, bloodying the poor fellow’s nose, effectively taking him and his scoring out of the game. Purely accidental and unfortunate, of course, insists Al.


As a coach in the PBA, you couldn’t miss Al if you wanted to. He’s one of the most vocal, animated and recognizable faces in the league, helped in no small measure by his long, flowing locks which he cherishes with as much pride and care as his Harley Davidson.

At the annual PBA draft last Sunday, Alfrancis came away snickering like the proverbial cat that landed the mouse. Although his catch was hardly a rat, it being the sought-after Fil-Am Kelly Williams. Chua waxed romantic, effusive and even almost gloating, after successfully snaring the PBL stand-out from Michigan. A few days before the draft, word had gone around that Williams would only play for San Miguel and no other team.

A few days before, I had talked to Alfrancis and team manager Buddy Encarnado and both sounded exasperated at the same time expressing disbelief at the news. It turns out they were right in saying that Williams had never said it, and that this was just rumor being "floated by unknown sources with undetermined agendas."

Alfrancis and Buddy actually hied off to Cebu a couple of days before the draft to mull things over and clear their mind so as to arrive at a crucial decision in the light of the disturbing news. They then decided to ignore the talks and go for Williams, a decision they were glad they made, topped off by the fact that when their next turn came, they found Mark Isip also available.

Alfrancis is all praises for Williams, saying they had a long and fruitful talk with the player from Oakland University in Detroit, and found him easy to get along with, deeply religious and gentle. Present during that talk was Williams’ mother Andrea, a native of Danao, Cebu who still has a sister living in that progressive city. As a matter of fact, Sta. Lucia management is thinking of bringing Williams and the whole team to Cebu this week.

I also got to talk to Kelly on my radio show yesterday and he said he was excited to go back to Cebu which he visited for the first and last time in 1995. His mom went ahead yesterday morning and reported to Kelly that aside from his many relatives in Danao, his arrival was being anticipated by a good number of fans that this early, have taken pride in having him for a fellow Cebuano.

Chua believes that his team’s balanced mix of wily veterans and fresh-legged newcomers will ensure him a more competitive squad this year.

And he doesn’t think he needs to bloody any noses, although he did thumb his nose at the people he felt tried to drive a wedge between him and his prized find.

So I guess you could say that Al’s well now that all’s ended well?

* * * *

Another coach we talked with was Bo Perasol of Air 21. He picked the other much-anticipated draftee, Arwind Santos, out of FEU. Perasol says Santos is just what the doctor ordered for the Express to complement KG Canaleta and the de Ocampo brothers. Perasol also had a heart-to-heart talk with Santos in the presence of the latter’s wife Yvette, and came away satisfied that the young player’s heart was in the right place. He asked Arwind to talk before his new teammates, and he verbalized his understanding of his role as part of the team to which he was given a round of applause.

Asked by one of our listeners if Santos might be traded as what happened to Anthony Washington and Renren Ritualo, the Gensan-born coach said he saw no reason why that would happen. He says they really would have good use of Arwind in the team, and he felt he should stay.

What about the other draftees? Will there be more player movements in the month and a half before the next conference starts?

We’ll write about them in succeeding columns.

full battle gear
08-23-2006, 09:09 AM
PBA names Big Dome official venue
www.mb.com.ph


WITH HIGH hopes of sustaining the gains of a successful season, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is adopting two major innovations aimed to benefit the fans more.

Starting its 32nd season, the league will have the Araneta Coliseum as its regular playing venue every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

The move, however, may fully take effect by 2007 yet since the Big Dome already has some advance bookings for weekend concerts and activities for the rest of the year 2006.

The Big Dome is considered the original home of the PBA after holding its inaugural games on the venue on the night of April 9, 1975.

"We’ve decided to have the games played in a regular playing venue in order for fans not to get confused on where and when the games will be held on a particular day. Afterall, the fans are the lifeblood of the PBA," said Commissioner Noli Eala.

But Eala pointed out the league is not shunning away from playing in other arenas as it is likewise set to hold its Saturday games on non-traditional venues like the Olivares College gym in Parañaque, Ninoy Aquino Stadium and The Arena in San Juan.

In addition, the PBA is also slashing ticket prices at the upper box A section by 30 percent on weekdays while general admission is pegged at R5 only until the qualification phase of the Philippine Cup.

Last season, the league adopted the P5 ticket price for general admission section under its so called "Give Me 5" promo that was a big hit among PBA fans.

The league is also holding games outside of the country, with the 2006-07 season set to unfurl with an official match in Guam on Sept. 22 pitting Red Bull against Alaska. Right now, there are ongoing talks on possible visits by the league in Singapore, Dubai and Australia.

The PBA held an overseas game in Hong Kong last season during the recent Philippine Cup. Talk ‘N Text won that one over Purefoods, 88-66.

full battle gear
08-23-2006, 11:37 AM
Whom will FIBA bless?
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 08/23/2006

It seems certain the Federation Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) will finally lift the country’s suspension at the governing body’s World Congress in Tokyo on Aug. 28-29.

But unless officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) are on the same page, the decision to end the ban won’t mean a thing.

That’s because FIBA recognizes the BAP as its country affiliate and may not be inclined to withdraw the recognition for political reasons. The problem is the BAP has been expelled by the POC General Assembly as a National Sports Association (NSA) and has lost authority to function as a FIBA country affiliate. In place of the BAP, the POC has extended conditional recognition of Pilipinas Basketball as the new NSA – if it is accredited by FIBA.

In an effort to settle the dispute, FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann has invited officials of the POC, BAP and Pilipinas Basketball to attend the Central Board meeting in Tokyo this Sunday. He’s allowing two speakers from each side (POC and Pilipinas Basketball against the BAP) 10 minutes each to present their case before FIBA’s highest executive body.

Baumann is even reserving a conference room for the opposing parties to use in discussing and (hopefully) resolving their differences.

POC president Jose Cojuangco Jr. won’t be attending the meeting and will be represented by POC first vice president and Rep. Monico Puentevella and POC legal counsel Emigdio Tanjuatco. Also flying to Tokyo are lawyer Mon Malinao, Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) chairman Ricky Vargas and PBA commissioner Noli Eala.

"The thrust of our presentation is to show that Pilipinas Basketball truly represents the country’s major basketball leagues unlike the BAP which is just an empty shell, made up of individuals not leagues of long-standing," said Tanjuatco.

"We want to show that Pilipinas Basketball is composed of the sport’s major stakeholders, that there is consistency of its tournaments – not the kind that’s on and off – and that it has a wide geographical spread with associations in Benguet, Bicol, Cebu, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Zamboanga – from north to south."

Tanjuatco said the underlying message is Pilipinas Basketball serves the best interest of the sport in the country.

Unsure of the outcome of the talks, Tanjuatco said he hopes FIBA’s decision will be favorable to Philippine basketball. "I think it’s very clear that Pilipinas Basketball, not the BAP, represents the sport in the country," said Tanjuatco. "But only God and Baumann know what FIBA’s decision will be at the end of the meeting."
* * *
Welcoat coach Leo Austria, the PBA’s first-ever Rookie of the Year in 1986, returns to the league with a competitive lineup bolstered by freshmen Jay-R Reyes, Jun-Jun Cabatu, Jay Sagad, Abby Santos and Jireh Ibanes. Add to the mix the three veterans taken in the dispersal draft – Denver Lopez, Rob Wainwright and Gilbert Lao – and tryout survivors Nino Gelig, Adonis Sta. Maria, Joey Mente and Froilan Baguion (who was not picked in last year’s draft).

Then there’s fiery guard Jojo Tangkay who was Sta. Lucia’s second round pick in the 2000 draft. Tangkay, 29, will also make his PBA comeback after a four-year absence. He played for Sta. Lucia and Talk ‘N’ Text in 2001-02.

Seven-foot E. J. Feihl is trying out for a spot in the Dragons roster.
* * *
In filling out their application forms, several PBA rookie hopefuls had interesting notes. One of them indicated his date of birth to be July 20, 2006, making him only one year old for the draft. Another said he was Rookie of the Year twice in the UAAP – you’re only a rookie once, right. Four players left blank the space for civil status. One applicant wrote "Filipino" as his civil status.
* * *
For former World Boxing Council (WBC) superflyweight champion Gerry Peñalosa, age is not a handicap as he prepares to challenge International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight titlist Rafael Marquez on Dec. 2 in Dubai.

Peñalosa, 34, draws inspiration from George Foreman, Archie Moore, Jersey Joe Walcott and Takashi Koshimoto.

Foreman was 45 when he knocked out Michael Moorer to win the IBF heavyweight title in 1994. Moore was 39 when he outpointed Joey Maxim for the world lightheavyweight crown in 1952 and Walcott was 37 when he trounced Ezzard Charles for the world heavyweight belt in 1951. Koshimoto was 35 when he upset In Jin Chi for the WBC featherweight diadem last January.

Peñalosa turned pro in 1989 and has racked up a 50-5-2 record, with 33 KOs. He has won his last four assignments. Last month, Peñalosa beat Mexico’s Tomas Rojas on points in the Pacquiao-Larios undercard at the Araneta Coliseum.

After losing the WBC title in 1998, Peñalosa tried to regain the crown thrice but was thwarted each time by a series of disputed decisions.

Peñalosa now weighs about 123 pounds, five over the bantamweight limit, and shouldn’t find it difficult to make the weight once he begins hard training.

Peñalosa works out in his own gym on John Street at the Multinational Village. He instructs 10 to 15 students a day and also supervises the training regimen for his pro prospect Mike Farenas.
* * *
Solar Sports chief operating officer Peter Chanliong and Solar vice president for finance Ronald Tieng were recently in Las Vegas to finalize the network’s participation in the "Grand Finale" with Top Rank Promotions.

Superfeatherweight icons Manny Pacquiao and Erik Morales will slug it out in the climax of their boxing trilogy at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on Nov. 18.

It was agreed that Solar Sports would have telecast rights on the Solar Sports and Sports Plus channels; closed circuit rights covering theaters, commercial establishments and public venues; pay-per-view rights on cable; DVD and VCD rights; and 3G streaming on mobile phone and MMS/SMS downloads.

ABS-CBN would have telecast rights on free-to-air TV.

full battle gear
08-23-2006, 11:38 AM
NCAA boss is first ‘PB’ chief
By FRANK CALAPRE, The Manila Times Correspondent
www.abs-cbnnews.com


Barely a week before the FIBA Congress, the Philippine Olympic Committee-backed Pilipinas Basketball on Tuesday voted Bernie Atienza as its founding president in elections held at the Rockwell Club in Makati City.

Atienza, athletic director of the College of Saint Benilde and head of the National Collegiate Athletics Association’s management committee, was unopposed, chosen by a 25-man board to serve the newly formed basketball body for at least two years.

"Our next move is to appeal before the FIBA executive board to recognize the POC-recognized organization as the basketball body for the Philippines," Atienza said after the election of officers.

Also elected were Jose "Jun-Jun" Capistrano, representing the Universities Athletic Association of the Philippines, as vice president, and Mikee Romero of the Philippine Basketball League as treasurer.

Melvin Mendoza of the Philippine Basketball Association was tapped as corporate secretary and the PBL’s Tommy Ong as assistant treasurer.

The group’s new officers, plus Philippine Basketball Association commissioner Noli Eala and PBL commissioner Chino Trinidad, will confer with POC president Jose "Peping" Cojuangco Jr. at his Dasmariñas Village residence in Makati City on Wednesday.

Atienza said Pilipinas Basketball was given at least 30 minutes to present its side before the executive committee of the International Basketball Federation, or FIBA, on August 27 in Saitama, Japan.

However, Graham Lim, secretary general of the rival Basketball Association of the Philippines, said no such move was on the agenda of FIBA’s Congress, which reportedly will lift the country’s suspension from all events the federation sanctions.

According to Lim, the FIBA Congress will only act on a resolution from FIBA-Asia asking the world governing body to lift its suspension of the Philippines, which was triggered by the POC’s expulsion of the BAP from its ranks in June 2005.

Mario Tanchangco, a senior POC official and president of the sepak takraw association, on Tuesday said the national Olympic body would welcome the BAP back to the fold if it means the country would be allowed to send teams to international events again.

"If there’s a motion in the [POC general] assembly to reconsider the request of the BAP [to be reinstated in the POC], I will support it. If this is the way to fix the problem in basketball, why should we let it slip away?" said Tanchangco.

With reports from Gerald Peter Arce

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08-24-2006, 10:33 AM
SK Knights slip past Gin Kings

By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 03:04am (Mla time) 08/24/2006

Published on page A21 of the August 24, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

BRUNEI -- The SK Knights got the better end of the officiating and escaped with a 109-108 overtime squeaker over the Barangay Ginebra Kings yesterday in the 6th Shell Rimula Brunei Cup at the National Indoor Stadium.

Lim Jae Hyun calmly sank two free throws with two seconds left to seal the second win for the Koreans in three games after referee Gordon Phillips of New Zealand slapped a foul on Rafi Reavis

Reavis was inches away when he challenged Hyun’s pull-up jumper near the free-throw arc. Phillips blew his whistle from mid-court, several meters away from the action, while the two other referees, Goh Poh Seng of Singapore and Taiwan’s Chan Tai Sheng, who were nearby, didn’t make any call.

“It was a great game except for that call,” said Eric Menk. “You saw what happened. Rafi (Reavis) was inches away.”

Not only did the call cost the Kings’ first defeat after a big debut over Jordan, it also spoiled a sensational night for Mark Caguioa.

Simply unstoppable, Caguioa erupted for 46 points on 17 of 31 field goal shooting and was a vital figure in the extra period when the Kings grabbed a 108-107 lead down to the closing seconds. Caguioa also had 12 rebounds.

Menk added 25 points and pulled down nine rebounds, Reavis chipped in 12 and had seven rebounds while Sunday Salvacion finished with 13 points after nailing three of four from three-point range.

Imports Lou Roe and Kebu Stewart paced the SK Knights with double-double figures. Roe tossed in 37 points and hauled down 12 rebounds while Stewart had 18 points and 19 boards.

Moon Kyung Eun scattered 16 points and Hyun had 15, including the clinching free throws he made after missing his first four attempts from the charity stripe.

“This (SK Knights) is one team we don’t want to meet any more,” said RP assistant coach Aboy Castro, who subbed for head coach Chot Reyes.

Leading the six-team tournament with a spotless 3-0 record, the San Miguel-RP Team must win over the Gin Kings today to gain the top seeding going into the semis.

The scores:

SK KNIGHTS 109 -- Roe 37, Stewart 18, Eun 16, Hyun 15, Hak 12, Sak 9, Young 2, Hun 0, Man 0, Won 0, Chul 0, Han 0.

GINEBRA 108 -- Caguioa 46, Menk 25, Salvacion 13, Reavis 12, Adducul 4, Mamaril 2, Echavez 2, Coronel 2, Salangsang 0, Seigle 0.

Quarters: 23-24, 47-44, 76-71, 99-all, 109-108 OT

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08-24-2006, 10:34 AM
Welcoat keen on enlisting Adducul
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 08/24/2006

Welcoat remains in hot pursuit of Rommel Adducul, dangling another trade offer to get the services of the 6-foot-5 slotman from Barangay Ginebra.

Co-owner Terry Que said they’re willing to deal Junjun Cabatu, Abby Santos plus a future draft pick to acquire Adducul.

"We’re just awaiting for the return of Ginebra, which is participating in the Brunei Cup. The moment they return, we’ll seek another talk with them," said Que.

Earlier, Welcoat offered its rights for the 10th and 11th picks in the recent draft in exchange for the former San Sebastian main man, but Ginebra declined.

Ginebra, instead, asked for Welcoat’s first round pick next year, a deal which was unacceptable for the Asian Coating Inc. franchise.

Meanwhile, Air21 center Yancy de Ocampo, No. 1 pick in the 2002 Rookie Draft, finally agreed to a P3.6-million deal in one year with his mother club as he failed to get offer from other teams.

Air21 also tried but failed to strike a trade deal with other ball clubs involving De Ocampo. Red Bull, for one, nixed Air21’s offer for a De Ocampo-Lordy Tugade swap.

De Ocampo, however, will not be short-changed at Air21 as he stands to get P300,000 a month in the coming PBA campaign.

In another development, JayAr Reyes became the third incoming PBA rookie guaranteed of a maximum package for the next three years.

One of three players elevated directly to the pro ranks by Welcoat, the 6-foot-4 Reyes signs his P8.5-million contract during the welcome lunch prepared by the Welcoat management for its team Saturday.

The former UP Maroon will receive P150,000 a month this coming season, P225,000 next campaign and P337,500 in 2008.

Top pick Kelly Williams and No. 2 draftee Arwin Santos have got the same packages with Sta. Lucia Realty and Air21, respectively.

After closing its deal with Williams, Sta. Lucia settled its negotiation with No. 6 pick Mark Isip, guaranteeing the former FEU mainstay P5.5 million in three years.

No. 7 pick Aaron Aban and No. 9 pick Boyet Bautista have yet to negotiate with their drafters as they’re still playing for their school team, Letran, in the NCAA.

Coca-Cola draftees Joseph Yeo, RJ Rizada, Manuel Caceres, Chris Pacana, Michael Gavino and Ronjay Enrile, on the other hand, have yet to receive offers since Coke team manager Hector Calma is currently out of the country.

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08-24-2006, 10:34 AM
Koreans survive Caguioa heroics, edge Kings in OT

The Philippine Star 08/24/2006

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — The SK Knights overcame Mark Caguioa’s 46-point explosion to squeeze past the Barangay Ginebra Kings, 109-108, in overtime last night in the sixth Shell Rimula Brunei Cup at the National Indoor Stadium here.

Lim Jae Hyun made two free throws after New Zealand referee Gordon Phillips slapped a dubious foul on Rafi Reavis with two seconds remaining, and the Koreans went on to notch their second win in three outings.

"It was a great game except for that call,’’ said Eric Menk. "You saw what happened, Rafi (Reavis) was inches away.’’

Referees Chan Tai Sheng of Taipei and Singapore’s Goh Poh Seng were closer to the action but it was Phillips, stationed at mid-court, who blew the whistle.

The call cost the Kings’ their first defeat after a successful debut over Jordan and spoiled the night of Mark Caguioa.

Caguioa exploded for 46 points after going 17 of 31 from the field and was instrumental in the extension period when the Kings took a 108-107 lead. Caguioa also pulled down 12 rebounds, seven off the offensive board in an almost no-relief performance.

Menk tallied 25 points and plucked nine rebounds, Reavis chipped in 12 and had seven rebounds while Sunday Salvacion finished with 13 points after going three of four from beyond the arc.

Lou Roe led the Knights with 37 points and 12 boards and Kebu Stewart also had a double-double with 18 points and 19 boards. Moon Kyung Eun finished with 16 points and Hyun added 15.

"This (SK Knights) is one team we don’t want to meet any more,’’ said RP assistant coach Aboy Castro, who subbed for head coach Chot Reyes when the Philippines defeated the KSA All-Stars and the SK Knights.

With an immaculate 3-0 record, the San Miguel-RP Team must win over the Gin Kings today to nail the top seeding going into the semifinals.

The Kings escaped disaster in regulation after Hyun flubbed his charities with 1.9 ticks left and the game tied at 99-all.

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08-24-2006, 10:40 AM
Riley to return to coach Heat
www.abs-cbnnews.com

MIAMI - Pat Riley ended months of speculation on Wednesday by announcing that he would return to coach the NBA champion Miami Heat for another season.

The 61-year-old Riley issued a statement saying he would return to coach the team in 2006-07 after keeping his plans quiet over the summer.

"After winning the championship, I realized there's always something meaningful that happens in your life that becomes the primary point of your destiny," Riley said.

"Winning the championship showed me that I am definitely in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. I can't wait to get started."

The Heat have basically the same players who won the title returning this season, so Riley, who also serves as team president, wanted to be a part of Miami trying to repeat as NBA champions.

A former player, Riley took over the team in December after Stan Van Gundy resigned for personal reasons. It was his first title since 1988, fifth as a head coach and seventh overall. He won one as a player and another as an assistant coach.

Riley enters the season with 1,322 coaching wins, including 171 in the playoffs, ranking him second all-time to Lenny Wilkens. Reuters

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08-24-2006, 10:41 AM
Rumors persist of Adducul PBA trade
www.abs-cbnnews.com
By JOEL ORELLANA, The Manila Times Reporter

Deal or no deal?

Rumors persist that Barangay Ginebra’s Romel Adducul will be traded to Welcoat Paints, this time in exchange for rookies Junjun Cabatu and Abby Santos.

The Dragons’ coowner, Raymund Yu, was shocked to learn of the reported swap, although he admitted the trade will be fine with him.

"If anything more will happen [about the trade], perhaps it will be done after the Brunei tournament," Yu said, referring to the Brunei Sultan’s Cup where the 30-year-old center and Ginebra are competing.

He reiterated that the team needs a player of Adducul’s caliber to be competitive in its first season in the Philippine Basketball Association.

The player’s agent, Ed Ponceja, also learned about the report but said to his knowledge, no such thing has been discussed.

"But at this point, we’re not that optimistic anymore [of getting Adducul]. If we will get him, perhaps we only have a 30-percent chance to do it," Yu added.

Reports said that top officials from Welcoat and Ginebra met before the Rookie Draft last Sunday to discuss the new offer, with Adducul still in the middle of the negotiations.

The Kings, who must unload one player with a huge contracts to fit under the salary cap after it acquired Rafi Reavis, Billy Mamaril and the rights to Rudy Hatfield, want the Dragons’ first round pick in the 2007-08 season.

"We can give Ginebra our 2008 or 2009 first-round pick, but not next year," Welcoat coteam owner Terry Que was quoted as saying.

Cabatu, whose father, Santiago "Sonny" Sr. played for Ginebra in the ‘90s, was one of the three amateur players elevated by Welcoat from its Rain or Shine ballclub in the Philippine Basketball League along with Jay-R Reyes and Jay Sagad.

Santos, a 6-foot-4 forward out of University of the Philippines, was the franchise’s first rookie selection, at No. 10 overall.

Reyes, who will get a three-year maximum contract, plus Sagad, Santos, Jojo Tangkay, Denver Lopez and Joey Mente will ink contracts with the Dragons on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Santa Lucia Realty has offered Mark Isip a three-year deal, although details of the contracts were not disclosed. Isip was the No. 6 overall selection by the Realtors’ in the rookie draft.

Air21 has also signed Yancy de Ocampo to a one-year extension close to the maximum annual contract and Aries Dimaunahan to a one-year pact worth a little under P1 million.

full battle gear
08-24-2006, 10:41 AM
Korean squad edges Ginebra in overtime
www.abs-cbnnews.com

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - The SK Knights overcame Mark Caguioa’s 46-point explosion to squeeze past the Barangay Ginebra Kings, 109-108, in overtime Tuesday night in the 6th Shell Rimula Brunei Cup at the National Indoor Stadium here.

Lim Jae Hyun made two free throws after New Zealand ‘s Gordon Phillips slapped a foul on Rafi Reavis with two seconds remaining, as the Koreans went on to notch their second win in three outings.

"It was a great game except for that call," said Ginebra forward Eric Menk. "You saw what happened, Rafi was inches away."

Referees Chan Tai Sheng of Taipei and Singapore’s Goh Poh Seng were closer to the action but it was Phillips, stationed at midcourt, who blew the whistle.

The call cost the Kings their first defeat after a successful debut against Jordan, and spoiled the night for Mark Caguioa.

Caguioa went 17-of-31 from the field and helped the Kings take a 108-107 lead in the extension period. He also pulled down 12 rebounds, seven of them offensive boards, as he barely rested during the match.

Menk tallied 25 points and plucked 9 rebounds, Reavis chipped in 12 and had 7 rebounds while Sunday Salvacion finished with 13 points after going 3 of 4 from beyond the arc.

Lou Roe led the Knights with 37 points and 12 boards while and Kebu Stewart had 18 points and 19 boards. Moon Kyung Eun finished with 16 points and Hyun added 15.

"This is one team we don’t want to meet any more," said RP assistant coach Aboy Castro, who subbed for head coach Chot Reyes when the Philippines defeated the KSA All-Stars and the SK Knights.

With an immaculate 3-0 record, the San Miguel-RP Team must win over the Gin Kings today to nail the top seeding going into the semifinals.

The Kings escaped disaster in regulation after Hyun flubbed his charities with 1.9 ticks left and the game tied at 99.Reavis had sent Hyun to the free-throw line.

The scores:

SK KNIGHTS 10—Roe 37, Stewart 18, Eun 16, Hyun 15, Hak 12, Sak 9, Young 2, Hun 0, Man 0, Won 0, Chul 0, Han 0.

GINEBRA 108—Caguioa 46, Menk 25, Salvacion 13, Reavis 12, Adducul 4, Mamaril 2, Echavez 2, Coronel 2, Salangsang 0, Seigle 0.

Quarters: 23-24, 47-44, 76-71, 99-all, 109-108.

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08-25-2006, 01:45 PM
RP five shades Ginebra

Nationals gain Brunei semis with 4th straight win
By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 04:16am (Mla time) 08/25/2006

Published on page A24 of the August 25, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

BRUNEI -- Mark Caguioa is well-known for making desperation shots.

Showing its high respect for Caguioa, the San Miguel-RP Team put up a tight defense against the Barangay Ginebra star in the dying seconds to escape with a 74-73 win Wednesday night and remain unbeaten in the 6th Shell Rimula Brunei Cup here.

Caguioa, the Philippine Basketball Association’s scoring king last season, missed the potential game-clinching floater with three seconds left as Dennis Miranda, Danny Seigle and Dondon Hontiveros swarmed all over him.

With its fourth straight win, the defending champion SMB-RP Team secured the No. 1 seeding in the crossover semifinals, even if the Filipinos drop their final elimination assignment against the Jordan All-Stars tonight.

“Ginebra worked harder and I think that team deserved to win this game than we do,” said RP head coach Chot Reyes. “We struggled in our games because there’s no weak team in this tournament. But at least we’re No. 1.”

The Nationals could have avoided the nail-biting finish had Asi Taulava made his free throws with 12 ticks left. Sunday Salvacion grabbed the rebound after Taulava’s second miss and passed it to Caguioa, who nearly turned the game around.

Caguioa, who exploded for 46 points against the SK Knights of South Korea, had 11 of his 24 points in the third but was limited to a pair of free throws during the most crucial stretch.

“At least, we gave them a good fight,” said Barangay Ginebra coach Jong Uichico after the Kings absorbed their second defeat after debuting against the Jordan All-Stars with aplomb.

When the Nationals finally put the cuffs on Caguioa, Mark Macapagal started nailing his three-pointers while Menk asserted himself in the paint to push the Kings within 73-74.

The scores:

SMB-RP 74 -- Hontiveros 16, Taulava 15, Seigle 13, De Ocampo 7, Allado 6, Racela 6, Ritualo 6, Canaleta 3, Telan 2, Gonzales 0, Miranda 0, Pena 0.

GINEBRA 73 -- Caguioa 24, Menk 18, Macapagal 10, Mamaril 8, Salvacion 5, Adducul 4, Reavis 2, Seigle 2, Coronel 0, Echavez 0, Salangsang 0.

Quarters: 20-23, 42-34, 62-52, 74-73

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08-25-2006, 01:46 PM
FIBA ready to lift suspension — Lina
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 08/25/2006

The Federation Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) may end the country’s suspension from international competitions without going through the process of resolving the Basketball Association of the Philippines-Philippine Olympic Committee conflict during the FIBA Congress in Japan.

BAP president Joey Lina insisted their association remains the Philippines’ only regular FIBA member, and FIBA Asia has endorsed the lifting of their suspension in FIBA-sanctioned tourneys.

Lina said FIBA Asia’s endorsement is the one on the agenda of the FIBA Congress, not the cage body’s intervention on the internal problem of Philippine basketball.

"They (the POC) were not invited. FIBA merely acted on POC’s request to hear their presentation and that’s the big ‘if,’" said Lina, who has a copy of the FIBA letter to the POC.

The FIBA letter, dated Aug. 17 and signed by secretary general Patrick Baumann, in part reads: "I refer to your request for presentation to the FIBA Congress. Please note, however, that the FIBA Central Board will decide on the process of intervention on the matter on August 27 only."

But Lina doesn’t think the FIBA Central Board will agree to the presentation, especially with the FIBA Asia having given its nod to the BAP.

"There’s no vacancy in the Philippines as far as FIBA member is concerned because there’s the BAP. Only one national sports association is allowed per country. The only ground for us to be expelled is non-payment of dues or we declare disbandment. Eh, hindi naman namin gagawin iyon," said Lina.

"Even the FIBA has spoken – our expulsion (by the POC) was inappropriate and out of proportion," Lina added.

Lina hopes the suspension is lifted although he thinks that eventuality would be half-baked without the resolution of the problem back home.

"It would not be a complete victory for Philippine basketball. I’ll only be happy if we all get united," Lina said.

"We at BAP don’t want to tangle with anybody. We just want to be reinstated. Unfortunately our appeal was denied several times," Lina added.

Even with the lifting of the FIBA suspension but without the sanction of the POC, the Philippines still can’t compete in the Southeast Asian Games and the Asian Games.

The POC expelled the BAP as an NSA last year, triggering the FIBA suspension because the international body continues to recognize the BAP as its country affiliate. Pilipinas Basketball was subsequently accepted as an NSA by the POC General Assembly on condition it is recognized by FIBA.

POC legal counsel Emigdio Tanjuatco has said Pilipinas Basketball will be ready to make a power point presentation with film footage of action from its major stakeholders, the PBA, the Philippine Basketball League (PBL), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).

Expected to go to Japan from POC-Pilipinas Basketball side are POC first vice president and Rep. Monico Puentevella, Tanjuatco, lawyer Mon Malinao, PBA commissioner Noli Eala and newly-elected Pilipinas Basketball president Bernie Atienza.

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08-25-2006, 01:47 PM
Reyes rues missing chance in world hoops
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 08/25/2006

National coach Chot Reyes said yesterday the Philippines would’ve made a strong showing at the World Basketball Championships now being played in Japan and lamented the country’s absence in the 24-team tournament where Asia is represented by China, Lebanon, Qatar and the host nation.

Reyes, who is in Brunei coaching the Philippines in an international tournament, based his assessment on Lebanon’s performance in Group A. Lebanon has so far compiled a 2-2 record with wins over Venezuela and France and is likely to advance to the round of 16.

Before playing in the World Championships, Lebanon played the Philippines in two exhibition games here and lost both outings. The Philippines mauled Lebanon, 94-75, in the first game last Aug. 13 and repeated with a 105-100 decision in the rematch two days later.

In the Lebanon series, Reyes assembled a national team made up of RenRen Ritualo, Ranidel de Ocampo, Mike Cortez, Willie Miller, Don Allado, Mick Pennisi, Rafi Reavis, Asi Taulava, Arwind Santos, Jimmy Alapag, Kelly Williams, Denok Miranda and Billy Mamaril.

Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Noli Eala said the twin wins over Lebanon reestablished the national team as a contender in Asia.

"We beat Asia’s second best team twice in a row," said Eala. "And we only had a week’s practice. Plus, we didn’t even play Danny Seigle, Dorian Peña, Kerby Raymundo and James Yap."

Reyes said the Philippines would fare better in Lebanon’s bracket with Argentina, Serbia and Montenegro, Venezuela, France and Nigeria than in Qatar’s "group of death" bracket with Greece, Turkey, Australia, Brazil and Lithuania.

"We could probably beat Venezuela and France as Lebanon did," said Reyes. "I think we would have a slight chance for the round of 16 if we do well against Venezuela, France or Nigeria."

Lebanon defeated Venezuela, 82-72, and France, 74-73, and will face Nigeria in its final preliminary game. Reyes coached the Philippines against Nigeria at the Global Hoops Summit in Las Vegas last year. Nigeria beat the Philippines, 68-62, with the same nucleus coach Sam Vincent is playing in Japan. Nigeria is led by former PBA import Julius Nwosu, Ime Udoka of the New York Knicks, Ekene Ibekwe of the University of Maryland and Jeff Varem of Washington State.

Asked to name the national players who would’ve played at the World Championships if the Philippines qualified, Reyes said the final 12 will depend on injuries and their mother clubs’ cooperation but the majority should come from the team that beat Lebanon twice and the squad now in Brunei.

Reyes said he would prefer to add Yap and Mark Caguioa to the cast but "we couldn’t properly evaluate them because they haven’t played in any of our Asian tune-ups at all."

Reyes drew up a roster of 16 players based on their latest tournament performances and named Alapag, Jay-Jay Helterbrand, Cortez, Ritualo, Miller, Dondon Hontiveros, Tony de la Cruz, Williams, Seigle, de Ocampo, Nic Belasco, Pennisi, Taulava, Romel Adducul, Raymundo and Reavis.

"Only those who have made the sacrifice to join an international competition, excluding the Global Hoops Summit, are in," said Reyes. "But this lineup of 16 is, by no means, final."

Qatar is winless in four outings so far in the World Championships, bowing to Greece by 20, Brazil by 31, Lithuania by 41 and Turkey by seven. Japan beat Panama, 78-61, but lost to Angola by 15 and Germany by 11. The host country will advance to the round of 16 with a win over New Zealand.

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08-25-2006, 01:49 PM
SMC-RP five halts Gin Kings for 4th win

The Philippine Star 08/25/2006

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The San Miguel-RP Team stopped Mark Caguioa on his tracks and survived Barangay Ginebra, 74-73, last night to remain unbeaten in the sixth Shell Rimula Brunei Cup at the National Indoor Stadium here.

Dennis Miranda, Dondon Hontiveros and Danny Seigle swarmed over the driving Caguioa that messed up a potential game-winning floater in the dying seconds.

But it could not had come to that Caguioa scare had Asi Taulava made his charities.

Taulava was sent to the charity stripe by Rommel Adducul while jockeying for position following Danny Seigle’s missed three-pointer at the top of the arc. In the last 12 seconds.

Taulava muffed both free throws and Sunday Salvacion grabbed the rebound that led to Caguioa’s final-ditch effort.

"I’ve given them (Gin Kings) a chance to win by missing those free throws,’’ said Taulava with a grin after the unbeaten San Miguel-RP Team streaked to its fourth victory that assured the Filipinos of the top seeding in the crossover semifinals.

"I think Ginebra deserved to win this game more than we did,’’ said RP head coach Chot Reyes, whose troops meet the Jordan All-Stars today for their final elimination-round assignment. "We’re just lucky to escape with that victory.’’

Getting off on a good start, the Gin Kings built a 19-9 spread through the incursions of Eric Menk and Caguioa.

Reyes then plucked Danny Seigle off the bench that saw Team Pilipinas ride on a 19-4 tear bridging the first two quarters.

After Olsen Racela’s jumper made it 29-23, Caguioa got into the groove with a couple of long-range baskets that kept the Gin Kings within striking distance before the intermission.

The Caguioa show reached its climax in the third period as the PBA’s scoring king last season pumped in 11 of his 24 points, including nine straight in one stretch.

Renren Ritualo, who was the most consistent scorer for the Filipinos until he went 0 of 6 from three-point range last night, drilled in a mid-range jumper, 64-52, the SMB-RP Team’s biggest lead.

But Mark Macapagal started hitting his three-pointers and Menk powered his way to the basket that moved the Gin Kings within a 73-74 down to the final possessions of the game.

Miranda committed an eight-second violation but Menk missed a jump hook off Taulava that led to the SMB-RP Team’s final offensive thrust with 26 seconds left.

Seigle got an open look but bungled the trey before Taulava was fouled by Adducul as they battled for possession.

"My players are already tired. But at least we gave them (RP team) a good fight,’’ said Barangay Ginebra coach Jong Uichico after the Kings absorbed their second straight defeat and fell to 1-2.

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08-25-2006, 01:55 PM
‘Adducul only going to another SMC team’
by: Joel Orellana
www.abs-cbnnews.com


Romel Adducul’s days with Barangay Ginebra may be over, but a team insider told Sports Times on Thursday that trading the 6-foot-6 center to newcomer Welcoat Paints is the last thing the team will do.

The source, who requested anonymity, said the Kings’ management is looking for a deal that will send the former San Sebastian College standout to any of the San Miguel Corp. teams in the Philippine Basketball Association.

"The management’s priority is to [trade to] a sister team. If there’s no deal, only then will other [PBA] teams be considered," the source said.

The Dragons’ interest on Adducul was revived Wednesday when the Welcoat management was reportedly willing to swap rookies Junjun Cabatu, Abby Santos and a future first-round pick for the sturdy center.

Adducul once played for Welcoat in the Philippine Basketball League.

The source said Welcoat has no formal offer to Ginebra for a possible trade, and they were only informed of the issue through newspaper reports.

"Someone with Welcoat wanted the idea floated that they have an offer for Romel, but nothing has reached Ginebra," the source added.

"Welcoat really wants Romel. But first they have to make an offer in black-and-white. They can’t do it through feelers or the media. The truth is, nothing has been discussed."

The Dragons coowners, Raymund Yu and Terry Que, were quoted as saying that the team badly needed the services of Adducul to be competitive in their first PBA season.

"If we can get Romel, he will be a big help to our first-round pick next year and the other youngsters on the team," Que said.

Yu told Sports Times on Wednesday that if there will be negotiations with Adducul, it will come right after the Sultan’s Cup in Brunei, where Ginebra is currently competing.

The amiable team owner also admitted they only have a "30-percent chance" to hire Adducul, a reason why they are no longer that optimistic about acquiring him.

One possible destination for the 30-year-old cager is newly crowned Philippine Cup champion Purefoods Chunkee, according to The Times source, but Giants coach Ryan Gregorio has no knowledge of it.

"I have no idea about that yet," said Gregorio. "But it’s something interesting to look into."

Meanwhile, Sta. Lucia Realty formally signed its No. 6 overall pick Mark Isip to a three-year pact worth more than P5.4 million.

The Realtors also signed their second round pick Mark Magsumbol to a one-year deal.

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08-26-2006, 09:39 AM
Must-win for Gin Kings versus Darwin All-Stars

The Philippine Star 08/26/2006

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Barangay Ginebra hopes to snap a three-game losing skid as it fights for dear life versus the Darwin All-Stars from Australia today in the sixth Shell Rimula Brunei Cup at the National Indoor Stadium here.

The Kings now face a must-win situation, having lost their last three games by close margins following a triumphant debut against the Jordan All-Stars.

Heading into today’s matches, the Kings, the Jordanians and the Saudis sport identical 1-3 win-loss records.

They are left to dispute the last slot in the Final Four with San Miguel-RP Team, SK Knights and Darwin securing the first three seats.

Ginebra moved on the brink of elimination following a 79-85 defeat at the hands of the Saudi Arabia All-Stars Friday.

Raed Al Derees fired eight three-pointers as the Saudis countered every Ginebra uprising for a breakthrough win after losing their first three games.

"I will not make any excuses. We could have won the game but we failed to convert at endgame," said Barangay Ginebra coach Jong Uichico.

"We’re lacking in some positions so the tendency was to play our key players for longer minutes," Uichico added. "Fatigue has started to set in."

The Gin Kings have been hard-pressed to adjust their guard rotation after playmaker Egay Echavez hurt his knee against the SK Knights two nights ago.

While the Saudi gunners scored well from the outside, only Sunday Salvacion shone bright from beyond the arc for the Kings. Salvacion buried six of Ginebra’s eight three-pointers out of 26 attempts.

With Mark Caguioa, Eric Menk and Salvacion on the attack, the Gin Kings came back from a 31-38 deficit and took a seven-point lead at one instance before Derees rained triples on the other end.

The Kings had 21 turnovers compared to the KSA All-Stars’ seven miscues.

The Saudis made a near-excellent account of themselves after going 15 of 21 from two-point range for a 71-percent shooting clip. The Gin Kings made 59 percent of their attempts (23 of 39) in the same area.

With Echavez nursing a hurting knee, free-agent Christian Coronel was shoved into the starting lineup and directed traffic for the Gin Kings for extended minutes. Jayjay Helterbrand, Ginebra’s starting point guard, is still in the injury list.

"We need another point guard and an off guard in the rotation," said Uichico, who started calling the shots for the Gin Kings only three weeks ago when the six-time champion coach was reassigned from San Miguel Beer.

gameface_one
08-26-2006, 09:40 AM
Problems starting up
THE GAME OF MY LIFE By Bill Velasco
The Philippine Star 08/26/2006

And so it begins. The preparation for the PBA’s next Philippine Cup began this week in earnest, as all the teams that are not seeing action abroad have hit the hardwood to get back into game shape.

Among those expected to face a major challenge are the Coca-Cola Tigers. Although they abundantly took in recruits from the rookie draft (with six all in all), they still do not have the size to match up against other teams. In the pre-season, Coke lost Billy Mamaril, Rafi Reavis and the rights to Rudy Hatfield, leaving Ali Peek as the only big man in the middle. But head coach Binky Favis seems to have accepted this fate.

"I’ve been through this with UST (in the UAAP), I’ve been through this with Pampanga (the Dragons of the MBA), I’ve been through this with Ginebra, so it’s nothing new to me," says Favis, who was an assistant at Ginebra before being promoted to head coach of the Tigers when Chot Reyes took over the national team. "It’s a challenge, and it’s a long process."

Although he has a platoon of crack guards, including rookie standouts Joseph Yeo and Chris Pacana, the big question mark is if he will end up with a doughnut team, since there are no quality centers open for trades, and he doesn’t really have any trade bait.

"We really have to run this time," Favis told The STAR. "But you know, I’m excited. I’m looking forward to seeing these players make something of themselves. I look forward to seeing a player who’s a nothing become something."

Meanwhile, the Air21 Express are extremely happy with Arwind Santos in the line-up, since they were looking for someone of that quality.

"We were really looking for a big man who could play the wing," admits coach Bo Perasol, also realizing another problem that has to be addressed. "That way, we can play big, and press and run. Although we are working on improving the chemistry, our emphasis is defense. We have to improve on the defensive end."

So far, the Express have been practicing with only eight players, since they have loaned their big men to the national team playing in the Brunei Cup. The players will return at the end of next week.

The overlap between the PBA pre-season and the on-going collegiate basketball tournaments also adds to the adjustment problems of the new rookies. Alaska team manager Joaqui Trillo watched the NCAA games at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium last Wednesday, and was very impressed with the performance of Aces recruit Aaron Aban, despite the Knights’ loss to the Mapua Cardinals.

"I’ve wanted to see him in action," Trillo said, unable to conceal his pride in the athletic and defensive abilities of his new acquisition.

The Purefoods Chunkee Giants finally went back to practice at the adidas SportsKamp Thursday, after a long self-imposed vacation. Power forward Jondan Salvador will be returning to action after recovering from knee surgery.

"We’re glad Jondan will be back with us," says head coach Ryan Gregorio. "He’s like a tank in the low post, low to the ground and practically immovable. That’s a major contribution on defense."

Incidentally, some friends Chunkee Giant Eugene Tejada are planning a series of fund-raising events to help with his medical costs now that he is receiving treatment in San Francisco. * * *
Meanwhile, the National Basketball Conference’s inaugural national champion Tribu Sugbu is back in the league.

NBC secretary-general Tito Palma has made final arrangements for the return of the league’s original member from the Queen City of the South in a meeting with Skygo’s Lito Gillamac Jr. and his new partner Jonathan Guardo, the former Cebu City Sports Commission chairman and one of the moving forces behind the success of the Southeast Asian Games in Cebu last year. Guardo is now the chief executive officer of Osaka Iridology and Arthro, which will be sponsoring the team. The team will be coached by former PBA All-Star Al Solis.

"After a thorough study of the NBC’s proposal, we finally came up with a decision to bring Cebu back in the league. We want to make the team’s return a big hit in Cebu and throughout the league as well," said the elder Guardo.

"Cebu is the base of basketball power in the south and Tribu Sugbu proved that by winning the league’s inaugural season and staying among the top teams in the following year," said an elated NBC president Tac Padilla.

Tribu Sugbu, then bannered by Welcoat Dragons Jojo Tangkay and Chico Lanete, won the league’s first national title at the expense of the Ozamiz Cotta, led by Egay Echavez.

gameface_one
08-26-2006, 09:43 AM
Ginebra Kings drop 3rd straight Brunei Cup match


By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 01:31am (Mla time) 08/26/2006

Published on page A21 of the August 26, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN—Barangay Ginebra is slowly falling prey to exhaustion.

Playing their fourth straight game in as many days, the battle-weary Gin Kings fell to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia All-Stars, 85-79, last night in the 6th Shell Rimula Brunei Cup at the National Indoor Stadium here.

After a triumphant debut against the Jordan All-Stars, the Gin Kings have now dropped their last three outings—all of them too close to call until the fading moments.

“We’re lacking in some positions so the tendency was to play our key players for longer minutes,” said Barangay Ginebra coach Jong Uichico. “Fatigue has started to set in.”

Flashing identical 1-3 records with Jordan and the KSA All-Stars, the Gin Kings have no recourse but to defeat the Darwin All-Stars and pray that the Jordanians and the Saudis come out flat in their final elimination-round assignments for a trouble-free entry into the semifinals.

The San Miguel-RP Team has already cemented its grip on the top seeding in the crossover semifinals while the SK Knights and the Darwin All-Stars are also assured of seats in the next round.

Aside from the wear-and-tear brought about by the daily competition, the Gin Kings have been forced to plug loopholes in their guard rotation after playmaker Egay Echavez hurt his knee against the SK Knights two nights ago.

“I will not make any excuses. We could have still won the game but we failed to convert those timely baskets in the end,” said Uichico.

That’s what exactly happened last night when the Gin Kings missed several momentum-shifting baskets while the KSA All-Stars were having a field day from beyond the arc on the other end.

Raed Al Derees topscored with 28 points and his eight triples typified the KSA All-Stars’ scoring binge from three-point territory. The Saudis converted 16 of 43 attempts.

In contrast, the Gin Kings struggled from afar, making only eight of their 26 three-point shots, six of them courtesy of Sunday Salvacion.

Anchored on Mark Caguioa, Eric Menk and Salvacion’s torrid outside shooting, the Gin Kings sprang back from a 38-31 halftime deficit and took a seven-point cushion at one point before Derees led the Saudis’ barrage of triples.

But while both teams shot pretty well from the perimeter, errors hurt the Kings most. The Kings had 21 turnovers compared to the KSA All-Stars’ seven miscues.

The Saudis made a near-excellent account of themselves after going 15 of 21 from two-point range for a 71-percent clip. The Gin Kings made 59 percent of their attempts (23 of 39) from the same area.

With Echavez nursing a hurting knee, free-agent Christian Coronel was shoved into the starting lineup and directed traffic for the Gin Kings for extended minutes. Jayjay Helterbrand, Ginebra’s starting point guard, is still in the injury list.

“We need another point guard and an off guard in the rotation,” said Uichico.

The scores:

KSA ALL-STARS 85—Derees 28, Madani 17, Kabe 12, Alhuwaify 9, Fallata 8, Gassas 4, Ibrahim 4, Mukhtar 3, Al Sager 0, Shamrani 0, Hawsawi 0, Fotawi 0.

GINEBRA 79—Salvacion 22, Caguioa 19, Menk 12, Mamaril 10, Coronel 5, Adducul 4, Macapagal 3, Reavis 2, Seigle 2, Echavez 0, Salangsang 0.

gameface_one
08-26-2006, 09:54 AM
Welcoat to trade 3 players for Adducul
mb.com.ph





THE WELCOAT Dragons’ desire to land Romel Adducul isn’t just a rumor afterall.


A source close to the Dragons relayed to the Bulletin that the newest team in the PBA is willing to trade one of the three players they elevated to the Barangay Ginebra Kings for the right on the sturdy slotman.

The Dragons, the source claimed, are willing to give up rookies Junjun Cabatu and Abby Santos and a future first round pick.

"They (Dragons) have passed the ball on the Kings. It’s up to them if they will bite the offer," the source said.

San Miguel’s head for basketball operations Robert Non is currently in Brunei and is unavailable for comments.

"Talaga namang gusto ng Welcoat si Romel (Adducul). Pinag-isipan lang ng mabuti kung sino ‘yung p’wede nilang ibigay," the source added.

Adducul played for and led Welcoat to a PBL title before turning pro.

Meanwhile, the Dragons will formally sign up rookies Jay-R Reyes and Jay Sagad, rookie free-agent Froilan Baguion and veterans Joey Mente, Jojo Tangkay, Adonis Sta. Maria, Gilbert Lao and Denver Lopez today.

Reyes is reportedly offered a three-year deal worth R8 million.

The 6-7 center-forward from the University of the Philippines will get a rookie maximum R150,000 monthly on the first year, R220,000 on the second and R300,000 on the third. —Noli CRUZ

gameface_one
08-26-2006, 09:54 AM
Saudi cagers hand Gin Kings 3rd loss
mb.com.ph





BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — The Saudi Arabia All-Stars dealt Barangay Ginebra its third straight defeat with an 85-79 victory last night in the 6th Shell Rimula Brunei Cup at the National Indoor Stadium here.


Raed Al Derees fired eight three-pointers as the Saudis countered every Ginebra uprising for a breakthrough win after losing their first three games.

The victory put the KSA All-Stars in a three-way tie with the Gin Kings and the Jordan All-Stars, all of them battling for the last slot in the crossover semifinals after the San Miguel-RP Team, SK Knights and Darwin All-Stars grabbed a ticket in the next round.

"I will not make any excuses. We could have still won the game but we failed to convert those baskets in the end," said Barangay Ginebra coach Jong Uichico, whose Kings are in a must-win situation against the Darwin All-Stars today to prevent early elimination.

After a triumphant debut against the Jordan All-Stars, the Gin Kings have now dropped their last three outings, all of them close games.

"We’re lacking in some positions so the tendency was to play our key players for longer minutes," said Uichico. "Fatigue has started to set in."

That’s what exactly happened when the Gin Kings muffed decisive baskets down the wire while the KSA All-Stars were relentlessly tossing triples without much effort at all.

Derees led the Saudis with 28 points as he typified his team’s binge from threepoint range after converting 16 of 43 attempts.

Sunday Salvacion was the only bright spot from beyond the arc for the Kings. Salvacion buried six of Ginebra’s eight three-pointers out of 26 attempts.

With Mark Caguioa, Eric Menk and Salvacion on the attack, the Gin Kings came back from a 38-31 deficit and took a seven-point lead at one instance before Derees rained triples on the other end.

But while both teams shot pretty well from the perimeter, errors hurt the Kings most. The Kings had 21 turnovers compared to the KSA AllStars’ seven miscues.

The Saudis made a near-excellent account of themselves after going 15 of 21 from two-point range for a 71percent shooting clip. The Gin Kings made 59 percent of their attempts (23 of 39) in the same area.

With Egay Echavez nursing a hurting knee, free-agent Christian Coronel was shoved into the starting lineup and directed traffic for the Gin Kings for extended minutes. Jayjay Helterbrand, Ginebra’s starting point guard, is still in the injury list.

"We need another point guard and an off guard in the rotation," said Uichico, who started calling the shots for the Gin Kings only three weeks ago when the six-time champion coach got reassigned from San Miguel Beer.

full battle gear
08-27-2006, 08:49 AM
RP 5 routs young Jordan team in Brunei
www.abs-cbnnews.com


BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - The San Miguel-Philippine Team overwhelmed a young Jordan All-Stars squad and swept the elimination round of the 6th Shell Rimula Brunei Cup with a 107-67 win Friday night at the National Indoor Stadium here.

With Renren Ritualo firing four three-pointers in the opening quarter and Asi Taulava dominating the paint, the Filipinos were able to set the tone for a predictable rout.

Abdullah Abu Qura and Fadel Al-Najjar put up a gallant stand by engaging the Filipinos in a shooting contest to keep the Jordanians within reach, 28-22. But the RP second unit of Wesley Gonzales, Danny Seigle and Olsen Racela wore them out.

Seigle had a couple of short jumpers, Gonzales thrived on an assortment of shots and Racela changed the complexion of the match with a momentum-shifting three-pointer that saw the Filipinos build a 42-26 lead.

There was no looking back from there as Dorian Peña, Niño Canaleta and Mick Pennisi sustained what they had started, and the Filipinos widened the gap, 62-35 at the half.

Finishing at the top after five games, the unbeaten San Miguel-RP Team was to face the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia All-Stars in the crossover semifinals Saturday night. The SK Knights clashed with the Darwin All-Stars in the other match, where the winners advance to the finals.

Earlier, Barangay Ginebra yielded to the Darwin All-Stars, 81-76, and dropped its fourth game in a row to bow out of contention along with the Jordanians, who fielded their junior national team.

"I hope we sustain our sharpness. The reason why we wanted to have a big lead is for us to rest the starters for the semifinals," said head coach Chot Reyes.

After a Gonzales triple made it 79-42, the Filipinos went on cruise control, as Canaleta began displaying several picture-perfect dunks, including a windmill slam on the fastbreak that wowed the highly partisan crowd of overseas Filipino workers.

"We haven’t really played our best yet. We struggled against Ginebra and the other teams. Now we played a team which was overmatched," said Reyes.

By the time the Jordanians threw in the towel, the Filipinos were already protecting a 98-51 spread, with almost everybody tired of waiting for the final outcome.

Ritualo made seven of his 11 shots from beyond the arc and paced the Filipinos with 23 points after a dismal 0-of-6 three-point clip against the Gin Kings.

Dorian Pena compiled double-double figures of 15 points and 13 rebounds, Gonzales had 12 while Pennisi and Taulava added 11 points each.

The Scores:

SAN MIGUEL-RP TEAM 107—Ritualo 23, Pena 15, Gonzales 12, Pennisi 11, Taulava 11, Canaleta 9, Seigle 9, Miranda 4, Hontiveros 4, Telan 4, Racela 3, Allado 2.

JORDAN ALL-STARS 67—Qura 20, Jamal 16, Al-Najjar 14, Tkidek 5, Alzubi 4, Hamdan 4, Alawadi 1, Aburashed 0, Nassar 0, Maf 0, Nizar 0.

Quarters: 28-22, 62-35, 89-48, 107-67.

full battle gear
08-27-2006, 08:50 AM
FIBA to meet on POC request for audience
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 08/27/2006

The FIBA Central Board will have a preliminary meeting in Tokyo, Japan today with the Philippine Olympic Committee’s request for audience in the FIBA congress tomorrow among the things up for discussion.

But whether POC can present its case or not, the FIBA Central Board, through the endorsement of FIBA-Asia, appears ready to lift its suspension of the Philippines. The big question is which organization FIBA will recognize as its country affiliate.

FIBA-Asia has endorsed the reinstatement of Basketball Association of the Philippines from suspension in the FIBA rolls, but the POC isn’t yet giving up a fight to get the nod of the world governing body for Pilipinas Basketball.

BAP president Joey Lina is attending the congress as a regular FIBA member while the POC has flown a delegation with hopes of getting an opportunity to brief the governing body on the progress of Pilipinas Basketball.

In a letter to POC president Jose "Peping" Cojuangco dated Aug. 17, FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann said the FIBA Central Board "will decide on the process of intervention on the matter on Aug. 27 only."

A part of the letter also reads: "If the matter will be dealt with at the congress, then, for the good order of the proceedings, note that you will be allowed access to the congress for this particular point only, speaking time will be limited to 10 minutes per party and two persons maximum will be allowed to take the floor on behalf of your side."

Lina doubts the presentation would take place, believing BAP would be reinstated in the FIBA rolls.

"There’s no vacancy in the Philippines as far as FIBA member is concerned because there’s the BAP. Only one national sports association is allowed per country. The only ground for us to be expelled is non-payment of dues or we declare disbandment. Eh, hindi naman namin gagawin iyon," Lina has said.

"Even the FIBA has spoken – our expulsion (by the POC) was inappropriate and out of proportion," Lina added.

PBA commissioner Noli Eala, meanwhile, expressed confidence FIBA will lift the country’s suspension and welcomed the opportunity to brief the governing body on the progress of Pilipinas Basketball.

Eala, POC first vice president and Rep. Monico Puentevella, POC legal counsel Emigdio Tanjuatco and newly-elected Pilipinas Basketball president Bernie Atienza have left for Japan.

"I am confident our suspension will finally be lifted but I can’t be sure which organization, Pilipinas Basketball or the BAP, FIBA will recognize as its country affiliate although we in Pilipinas Basketball are taking a step in the right direction in providing FIBA with a report on our progress as a duly-constituted body with a governing board, elected officers and a substantial representation of basketball associations and leagues all over the country," Eala has said.

"We are abiding by Mr. Baumann’s own suggestion for us to stay the course and continue doing what is in the best interest of Philippine basketball. I am certain FIBA will view the developments in Pilipinas Basketball with favor and if our report may not result in immediate recognition by FIBA, it will at least give us points in leading to accreditation in the near future," Eala added.

full battle gear
08-27-2006, 08:50 AM
SMB-RP clobbers Jordan in Brunei

The Philippine Star 08/27/2006

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN–The San Miguel-RP Team taught the Jordan All-Stars a neat lesson in basketball, fashioning out a 107-67 rout to complete a sweep of its elimination round stint in the sixth Shell Rimula Brunei Cup at the National Indoor Stadium here.

With Renren Ritualo firing four three-pointers and Asi Taulava dominating the paint in the opening quarter, the Filipinos set the tone for the expected rout early.

Wesley Gonzales, Danny Seigle and Olsen Racela took over in the next quarter and the Nationals pulled away at 42-26.

Dorian Peña, Niño Canaleta and Mick Pennisi had their hands full as the Filipinos widened the gap, 62-35, at the half.

Finishing at the top after five games, the unbeaten San Miguel-RP Team face the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia All-Stars in the crossover semifinals today while the SK Knights clash with the Darwin All-Stars in the other match where the winners advance to the finals.

Barangay Ginebra yielded to the Darwin All-Stars, 81-76, and bowed out of contention along with the Jordanians featuring their junior national team.

"I hope we sustain our sharpness. The reason why we wanted to have a big lead is for us to rest the starters for the semifinals,’’ said SMB-RP coach Chot Reyes.

After a Gonzales’ triple made it 79-42, the Filipinos just went through the motion with Canaleta beginning to display several picture-perfect dunks, including a windmill slam in a fast-break play that wowed the predominantly overseas Filipino crowd.

"We haven’t really played our best yet. We struggled against Ginebra and the other teams. Now we played a team which was overmatched,’’ said Reyes.

By the time the Jordanians threw in the towel, the Filipinos were already protecting a 98-51 spread with almost everybody tired of waiting for the final outcome.

Ritualo made seven of his 11 attempts from beyond the arc and paced the Filipinos with 23 points after a dismal 0-of-6 three-point shooting against the Gin Kings.

Peña compiled double-double figures with 15 points and 13 rebounds, Gonzales had 12 points while Pennisi and Taulava added 11 points each.

full battle gear
08-27-2006, 08:51 AM
Spotless in Brunei
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 08/27/2006

If there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, it must still be a glimmer in national basketball coach Chot Reyes’ eyes.

But at least, the darkness appears to be slowly lifting.

At the sixth Shell Rimula Brunei Cup in Bandar Seri Begawan, the San Miguel Beer-Philippine squad remains unbeaten after five games. That’s surely a sign of good things to come for Reyes and his charges.

The nationals opened the six-team tournament with a 79-72 win over the Saudi Arabia All-Stars, coached by Argentinian Ricardo Daniel Maffei. Then, they mowed down the South Korea Knights, 101-93, negating the presence of National Basketball Association (NBA) imports Lou Roe and Kebu Stewart. Next, the team creamed the Darwin Airport Resort All-Stars of Australia, 99-84. The Philippines went on to trim Ginebra San Miguel, 74-73, and demolish Jordan, 107-67.

The Philippines played Saudi Arabia in the semifinals last night (result not yet known at presstime). A victory will lift the national team to the championship game tonight versus the winner of the Knights versus Darwin semifinal match.

Winning hasn’t come easy for Reyes lately.

After stringing a rag-tag squad to a 3-6 record and a sixth place finish in the eight-team Jones Cup last month, Reyes brought another hastily-formed team to Qatar for an invitational tournament.

The Jones Cup team was composed of Ranidel and Yancy de Ocampo, Ali Peek, Nino Canaleta, Joseph Yeo, Ronald Tubid, L. A. Tenorio, Arwind Santos, Denok Miranda, Abby Santos, John Arigo, Mike Cortez, Sonny Thoss and Dondon Hontiveros.

Tubid joined the team the day before leaving for Taipei while Cortez, Thoss and Hontiveros flew in after missing the first two games because of commitments in Manila.

The Philippines bowed out of the tournament by losing to Kazakhstan in the consolation playoff for fifth place.

The Qatar roster listed Willie Miller, Mick Pennisi, Tenorio, Billy Mamaril, Canaleta, Larry Fonacier, Arwind Santos, Dorian Pena, Miranda, Yeo, Rafi Reavis and Kerby Raymundo.

Alas, the Philippines was winless in five games in Qatar, losing to the host nation by 19, Latvia by eight, Angola by 15, Latvia again by 48 in the semifinals and Qatar again by 11 in the battle for third. It was Reyes’ third straight defeat to Qatar, going back to the 68-62 setback at the Jones Cup. Qatar finished third in the FIBA (Federation Internationale de Basketball)-Asia Continental Championships in Doha last year and as a result, earned a ticket to the 24-team World Championships now being held in Japan.
* * *
Reyes returned to Taipei, this time to coach San Miguel Beer in the first Asian Professional Basketball tournament, a few days after the drubbing in Qatar.

Lady Luck continued to frown on Reyes who couldn’t nail a win in four assignments. San Miguel lost to LG Sakers of South Korea by 11, the Chinese-Taipei national team by 29, the Perth Wildcats of Australia by 19 and the Nigata Albirex of Japan by 13. As the scores indicated, none of the games was close.

It was reported that during a timeout in San Miguel’s loss to Chinese-Taipei, Reyes told his players they were embarrassing themselves. "But the words obviously neither picked up the players spirit nor stop the last 30 minutes of the game from turning into garbage times," wrote Chris Wang in the asia-basket.com website. Chinese-Taipei jumped out to an 18-1 start and led by as many as 37 points in the rout.

In the loss to Nigata, Peña scored 22 points for San Miguel.
* * *
The national team’s turnaround started in the Lebanon two-game exhibition series in Manila.

Reyes was still in Taipei when Norman Black pitched in to coach the Philippines to a 94-75 win over Lebanon at the Cuneta Astrodome last Aug. 13.

This time, the national squad was made up of Cortez, Miller, Pennisi, Reavis, Miranda, Mamaril, Ranidel de Ocampo, Arwind Santos, Kelly Williams, Jimmy Alapag, Asi Taulava, Don Allado and RenRen Ritualo.

Reyes came back from Taipei to pilot the Philippines to a 105-100 repeat decision over Lebanon at the San Juan Arena last Aug. 16. The win snapped Reyes’ personal 10-game losing streak.

Lebanon didn’t pull any punches and tried desperately to win particularly the second game where the visitors once threatened to walk out because of "poor" officiating. Fadi El Khatib scored 33 points while 6-11 naturalized center Joe Vogel of Colorado State delivered 26 points and 10 rebounds. Another naturalized player Brian Beshara of Louisiana State was hampered by fouls and contributed seven points in 13 minutes.

Like Qatar, Lebanon was eliminated after the preliminary round at the World Championships in Japan.
* * *
In Brunei, the SK Knights are bannered by national team stars Bang Sung Yun, Chun Chul Hee and Kyung Moon Eun with the 6-7 Roe and 6-8 Stewart as imports. Roe, 34, was Detroit’s second round pick in 1995 and played two years in the NBA. Stewart, 32, was Philadelphia’s second round choice in 1997.

In 1996-97, Stewart averaged 21.5 points and 13.4 rebounds to tow California State at Bakersfield to the NCAA Division II title. He previously saw action in two years for the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, averaging 18 points, but was declared ineligible for the varsity in 1995 after violating an NCAA Division I rule disallowing involvement with a sports agent.

Another NBA veteran in Brunei is Darwin’s Sedale Threatt who played for five teams in 14 major league seasons. Threatt, 34, averaged 9.8 points in 951 NBA games for Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston. In 1992-93, he became only the Lakers’ second player in history, with Magic Johnson, to lead the team in scoring (15.1), assists (6.9) and steals (1.7) in a season.

The Brunei Cup was launched in 2001 with local club Mum Bakery capturing the first title. Other winners were Sun City Dragon in 2002, Goh Brothers Goldsmiths in 2003, TG Xers of Korea in 2004 and the Philippine national team last year.

full battle gear
08-27-2006, 08:53 AM
Nationals sweep Brunei tilt elims
www.mb.com.ph


BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN—The San Miguel-RP Team thumped the Jordan All-Stars, 107-67, yesterday to sweep the elimination round of the 6th Shell Rimula Brunei Cup at the National Indoor Stadium here.

With Renren Ritualo firing four three-pointers in the opening quarter and Asi Taulava dominating the paint, the Filipinos were able to set the tone for a predictable rout.

Abdullah Abu Qura and Fadel Al-Najjar put a gallant stand by engaging the Filipinos in a shooting contest to keep the Jordanians within reach, 28-22, but the second unit of Wesley Gonzales, Danny Seigle and Olsen Racela wore them out.

Seigle had a couple of short jumpers, Gonzales thrived on an assortment of shots and Racela changed the complexion of the match with a momentum-shifting three-pointer that saw the Filipinos build a 42-26 lead.

From there on, there’s no looking back as Dorian Pena, Nino Canaleta and Mick Pennisi sustained what they had started and the Filipinos widened the gap, 62-35 at the half.

Finishing at the top after five games, the unbeaten San Miguel-RP Team face the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia All-Stars in the crossover semifinals today while the SK Knights clash with the Darwin All-Stars in the other match where the winners advance to the Finals.

Barangay Ginebra yielded to the Darwin All-Stars, 81-76 and dropped its fourth game in a row to bow out of contention along with the Jordanians, who fielded in their junior national team.

``I hope we sustain our sharpness. The reason why we wanted to have a big lead is for us to rest the starters for the semifinals,’’ said headcoach Chot Reyes.

After a Gonzales’ triple made it 79-42, the Filipinos were already in cruise control as Canaleta began displaying several picture-perfect dunks, including a windmill slam in a fast-break play that wowed the highly partisan OFW crowd.

``We haven’t really played our best yet. We struggled against Ginebra and the other teams. Now we played a team which was overmatched,’’ said headcoach Chot Reyes.

By the time the Jordanians threw in the towel, the Filipinos were already protecting a 98-51 spread with almost every body tired of waiting for the final outcome.

Ritualo made seven of his 11 from beyond the arc and paced the Filipinos with 23 points after a dismal 0 of 6 three-point shooting against the Gin Kings.

Dorian Pena compiled double-double figures of 15 points and 13 rebounds, Gonzales had in 12 while Pennisi and Taulava added 11 points each.

full battle gear
08-27-2006, 09:09 AM
RP Basketball at FIBA's Hands
BLEACHER TALK By Rico S. Navarro
The Freeman 08/27/2006

It's on, then off again, and now on again. It's the never ending story about the country's official status in the eyes of the FIBA. And it's also turning out to be an odd situation. While the FIBA continues to recognize the authority of the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) to stand as the country's official national sports association (NSA), the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has dissolved the BAP from its ranks and now considers Pilipinas Basketball as the legit NSA for basketball.

The latest episode of this real-life drama that could easily become a hit reality-TV series (or should it be a sitcom?) is that both the BAP and Pilipinas Basketball have been given the opportunity to present their respective sides to the FIBA. Both will obviously present why they deserve to be the official NSA for basketball.

On one side, the BAP is going to claim that they've been the country's long-running NSA that has been a member of good standing of the FIBA. They'll even cite the fact that they once produced a FIBA President in Lito Puyat. They'll also claim to have a large following of the basketball family from Appari to Jolo. Cebu's Michel Lhuillier and Coach Yayoy Alcoseba are officers of the BAP with their brainchild MVBA being an active BAP supporter. What they can't claim, however, is having the biggest leagues on their side.

On the other hand, Pilipinas Basketball will lean on its core members and followers as to why they should be running the affairs of the sport in the country. With the PBA, PBL, UAAP and NCAA on their side, they have the country's top leagues behind them. On the local front, the Gullas / UV family has been supportive of this movement. They'll also boast of a national following, citing the regional officers of the defunct Philippine Basketball Federation (PBF) as their grassroots and nationwide network.

It's really sad why we had to reach such a stage in the history of basketball in the country. The main reason why we'll never be united is due to the fact that politics has become the way of life even in our sports associations. What we fans don't see are all the back-stabbing, squabbling and power play that takes place, all in the name of controlling the most popular sport's affairs.

I've never been a fan of the BAP, but I also feel for them. But they should remember that what we see today is the result of how they've been running the sport all this time. I've always questioned how they can claim to represent the country when they don't have the support of the country's most recognized and organized basketball leagues. I can't even think if a big Manila-based league that has stood up to make its voice heard for the BAP. Yayoy will do that for BAP Cebu, but who is Yayoy amidst the big shots in the PBA, PBL, UAAP and NCAA?

They BAP continues to run the sport today in the same way that they did two decades ago. They've never adjusted to the times and have always taken a hard-line "take it or leave it" style of management that doesn't work anymore today.

I think the start of the BAP's downfall was when they insisted to have control over every basketball league in the country as if they were the only ones who could run a league. They always came down with a threat that a league wouldn't be recognized or sanctioned by the BAP if it didn't follow the BAP's ways, rules and policies. This may have worked during the Marcos time since the government was ran in a similar way, but the bubble was certain. Take note that the rise of the PBA, the country's biggest and most popular league, came when they went on their own, away from the control of the BAP. The PBA was run professionally by qualified corporate managers who took the league to what it has become today. I'm afraid the BAP can't speak or boast of having been able to do the same. Remember that until today, the PBA is "not recognized" by the BAP. Believe it or not!

The country's biggest leagues have followed suit and this is where we find ourselves today. The BAP is indeed the official NSA in the eyes of the FIBA, but it's a team with a very weak bench. On the other hand, Pilipinas Basketball is "unknown" to the FIBA but is souped-up with the country's biggest names in local basketball.

So what will it be, ladies and gentlemen of the FIBA? While I don't really agree to having you decide on something that is internal to us Pinoys, I'm also hopeful that your guidance could lead us out of this rut.

gameface_one
08-28-2006, 09:43 AM
Saudis rough up RP five, but Pinoys still prevail
abs-cbnnews.com


BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia All-Stars played like they belonged in a wrestling ring, not on a basketball court.

The San Miguel-RP Team got roughed up but withstood the ordeal by disposing of the pesky Saudis, 79-48, and moving to the finals of the 6th Shell Rimula Brunei Cup Saturday night at the National Indoor Stadium here.

Dondon Hontiveros had welts all over while Dennis Miranda, Olsen Racela and Niño Canaleta suffered bruises like kids bullied in a playground.

Even Asi Taulava, Mark Telan, Dorian Peña and Danny Seigle weren’t spared, as they got bumped, hacked and smacked by the Saudis.

"The other team wasn’t even concerned about playing basketball. They just want to throw their bodies at us and play it rough," said San Miguel-RP Team coach Chot Reyes, after the Filipinos arranged a title showdown with the Darwin All-Stars.

The Australians, seeded third in the crossover semifinals, stunned the SK Knights, 90-83, in the other game.

"They got pissed off because they couldn’t score," said Reyes. "There was even a time in the third quarter that we’re getting drawn into that situation."

The Filipinos raced to a 23-9 advantage with Taulava lording it over in the lane, Renren Ritualo and Danny Seigle draining their three-pointers and Peña forming a vicious frontline threat with Taulava.

The scores:

SAN MIGUEL-RP TEAM 79—Seigle 11, Telan 10, Hontiveros 9, Ritualo 9, Peña 8, Taulava 8, Canaleta 8, Miranda 6, Pennisi 4, Gonzales 4, Allado 2, Racela 0.

KSA ALL-STARS 48—Al Madani 9, Gassas 7, Kabe 7, Alhuwaify 7, Derees 4, Ibrahim 4, Mukhtar 4, Fotawi 3, Zawad 0, Fallata 0, Hawsawi 0.

Quarters: 25-16, 46-28, 57-38, 79-48.

gameface_one
08-28-2006, 09:45 AM
A life of Riley
THE GAME OF MY LIFE By Bill Velasco
The Philippine Star 08/28/2006

Pat Riley will be back to coach the Miami Heat in defense of their first-ever NBA title. This was welcome relief to the fans who first got a taste of Riley when he made the controversial move from the New York Knicks to Florida and led the team to six straight playoffs appearances prior to heading to the front office.

On Dec. 12, 2005, Riley returned to the bench with the aim of bringing Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade titles. He had spent three years away from coaching, after the Alonzo Mourning-Tim Hardaway combine did not even make it to the NBA Finals. But with Wade having many more years ahead of him in a guard-oriented league, Riley thinks that he may eventually overtake two of his biggest nemeses — Red Auerbach and Phil Jackson — as the coach with the most championships in league history.

The record speaks volumes. The 61-year old Riley has won three NBA Coach of the Year honors with three different franchises (1990, 1993, 1997), bespeaking a consistent ability to get excellence out of his players. After being suddenly thrust into the limelight as head coach of the Lakers, Riley led them to four titles in seven seasons. He notched his 800th career win as a coach on Nov. 2, 1996, reaching the milestone faster than any other NBA coach. Moving to New York, he steered the moribund Knicks to two Eastern Conference Finals appearances and one NBA Finals appearance. When he took over the Miami Heat front office, they went the playoffs six straight times, before Shaquille O"Neal and Dwyane Wade were even on the team. Last season, he returned as head coach, and took them all the way to the title. Riley is now on track to win the most games of any coach in NBA history. Only Lenny Wilkens has more.

Early on, Riley drew almost as much attention for his spiffy attire on the court. He was IQ meets GQ, a perfect image maker for the Lakers. His shirts were made in Hong Kong, made of material that wouldn’t allow the sweat to strike through. His hair was always slicked back, and always fixed in the locker room before the press were allowed in at the end of a game.

"Coach would take his comb, stick it in a bucket of water, and run it through his hair. When he was done, then we could let people into the locker room," a laughing former Lakers power forward AC Green told this writer in his first trip to Manila after LA won its first title under Riley.

But make no mistake, Riley was a motivational genius. When he took over from Paul Westhead, he knew he had to get the leaders of his team — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson — on his side if he was going to make it anywhere. The team was plagued with what he called "The Disease of Me" and he needed to rectify the situation.

He also took big risks. Most people remember him boldly predicting that the Lakers would become the first team since the Boston Celtics of the late 1960’s to repeat as champions. But he also gambled with his players’ egos, knowing when to tweak and when to hold back.

After the notorious Memorial Day Massacre in the 1985 Finals (a 148-114 loss in Boston Garden), when everyone was reinforcing the belief that the Lakers could never beat the Caltics in the Finals, Riley took a really big risk. He laid the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of Jabbar. The quiet, detached veteran sat in front of the entire team, watching himself on video being outrun up and down the court by Robert Parish and Kevin McHale.

"For nearly half an hour, in analyzing the game and reviewing the footage, Kareem was the target. All he did was listen to me, watch the edited tape, and say ‘You’re right, you’re right. I didn’t jump. I didn’t get back. I was terrible.’ "

Needless to say, that turned the team around. That three-day break saw Jabbar push himself, and the rest of the team followed in his wake. Since then, it’s the Celtics who have never beaten LA in the Finals.

Riley takes it all back to his father, Lee, who made a statement when Pat’s older brothers were bringing him to pick-up games and saw him get beaten up and come home crying every day.

"I want you to take him down there because I want you to teach him not to be afraid. That there should be no fear. Teach him that competition brings out the very best and the very worst in us," Pat quoted his father as saying.

Lee Riley further said "There will come a time. And when that time comes, you go out there and kick somebody’s ass."

Riley has been living up to that, in style. With more to come.

full battle gear
08-29-2006, 12:49 PM
Easy clincher for SMB-RP five in Brunei

By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 05:14am (Mla time) 08/29/2006

Published on page A23 of the August 29, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN -- It was practically over in just 20 minutes.

The San Miguel-RP Team encountered little resistance and breezed past the Darwin All-Stars, 96-65, to rule the 6th Shell Rimula Brunei Cup for the second year in a row Sunday night at the National Indoor Stadium here.

“We came into the Finals unbeaten so it was nice to finish it with a perfect record,” said San Miguel-RP Team coach Chot Reyes after the Filipinos swept the elimination round and finished the championship round with a 7-0 record.

“It was the result of the team’s commitment to work together and the desire to win,” added Reyes, whose team took home the champions’ purse of B$20,000 (P640,000).

But as confetti rained down on the floor, Reyes felt a tinge of sadness now that he must temporarily part ways with his job in the national team and resume his head coaching chores at San Miguel Beer.

“The last thing we talked about in the dugout was that we don’t know what will happen to us,” said Reyes. “Will we play in the Asian Games or in the FIBA-Asia championships next year? It all depends on the FIBA suspension being lifted.”

The status of the country in the FIBA is expected to be decided Tuesday night when the central board of the world cage body acts on the application for membership of a new group made up of officials from the Basketball Association of the Philippines and Pilipinas Basketball.

“For now, there’s no tournament lined up for the team. This could even be the last so it’s really sad,” said Reyes.

Danny Seigle was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament by knocking in 17 of his 25 points in the first half.

Nino Canaleta also went on a scoring spree while Dondon Hontiveros, Mick Pennisi and Renren Ritualo came out scorching from afar as the predominantly Filipino crowd cheered their team throughout.

With Australian sniper Shane Davis effectively muzzled, the Filipinos virtually settled the issue with a 51-29 spread at halftime.

full battle gear
08-29-2006, 01:10 PM
RP five eases to title repeat in Brunei Cup
www.abs-cbnnews.com


BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - It was over in just 20 minutes.

The San Miguel-RP Team encountered little resistance and breezed past the Darwin All-Stars, 96-65, Sunday night to rule the 6th Shell Rimula Brunei Cup for the second year in a row at the National Indoor Stadium.

Danny Seigle was the thorn that pricked the confidence of the Australians, as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player typified the Filipinos’ near-flawless outside shooting by knocking in 17 of his 25 points in the first half.

Nino Canaleta also went on a scoring spree while Dondon Hontiveros, Mick Pennisi and Renren Ritualo came out scorching from afar that put the dominant Filipino crowd in ecstasy.

Their heroics plus the defensive crackdown thrown on Australian sniper Shane Davis put the Filipinos in a comfortable 51-29 spread at halftime that transformed a predicted nail-biter into a sleeper.

"We came into the Finals unbeaten so it would be nice to finish it with a perfect record," said San Miguel-RP Team coach Chot Reyes.

The Filipinos swept the tournament with a 7-0 record.

"It was the result of the team’s commitment to work together and the desire to win," added Reyes, whose team took home the champions’ purse of 20,000 Brunei dollars (P640,000).

But as confetti rained down on the floor, Reyes felt a tinge of sadness now that he must temporarily part ways with his job in the national team and resume his head coaching chores at San Miguel Beer.

"The last thing we talked about in the dugout was that we don’t know what will happen to us," said Reyes. "Will we play in the Asian Games or in the FIBA-Asia championships next year? It all depends on the FIBA suspension being lifted."

Reyes was referring to the clash between the Basketball Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Olympic Committee that led to the country’s indefinite suspension from tournaments sanctioned by the International Basketball Federation.

"For now, there’s no tournament lined up for the team. This could even be the last, so it’s really sad," said Reyes, who was gloomy while the entire national team whooped it up with the overseas Filipino workers in the background.

Davis, the second-best shooter in the tournament after Ritualo, couldn’t get his rhythm and was smothered throughout, making only two three-pointers out of eight attempts from the field.

A buzzer-beating triple by Canaleta and Ritualo’s trey at the top of the arc hinted of an early rout, when the Australians lost their aggressiveness and allowed Asi Taulava, Mark Telan and Dorian Peña to frolic inside the paint.

By the time the lead ballooned to 86-51, the key Australian players started streaming out of the floor and were replaced by stringers who only made the Filipinos look better.

It was a sign of surrender and Reyes began pulling out his starters, acknowledging that the enemy had accepted its fate.

time1513
08-29-2006, 01:27 PM
hello.. is there any chance that you guys know whos in and whos out in the pba? like a line up for each team? thanks! :)

full battle gear
08-30-2006, 11:26 AM
IN HUDDLE
No light at tunnel’s end

By Beth Celis
Inquirer
Last updated 02:10am (Mla time) 08/30/2006

Published on page A25 of the August 30, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

CONTRARY to expectations, the motley group that flew to Tokyo to seek the lifting of the ban International Basketball Federation (FIBA) imposed on the Philippines is coming home empty-handed again, albeit filled with renewed optimism.

People awaiting word from Tokyo with bated breath were expecting a FIBA decision last Sunday, the day the FIBA Central Board was to tackle the matter of the Philippine suspension.

Phone lines burned from calls exchanged by the anxious media. Nobody knew what was happening in Tokyo. Had the ban been lifted? Was it going to be lifted?

This was the main concern of the basketball-loving nation.

No report came from any of the three parties that were in Japan -- the Basketball Association of the Philippines, the Philippine Olympic Committee and Pilipinas Basketball. And no one in Manila could get in touch with anyone in Tokyo because of some telecom technical difficulties.

Only one dogged, persistent scribe who didn’t mind spending thousands on overseas phone calls successfully reached BAP president Joey Lina around midnight of Sunday.

* * *

In a nutshell, Joey told the scribe that the International Basketball Federation had formed a five-man special committee that would handle the RP case. There had been initial talks among the FIBA, the BAP and the POC, but nothing significant was reached.

The panel was composed of outgoing FIBA president Carl Ching Menky, FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann, FIBA-Asia secretary general Dato Yeoh Choo Hock, former president Boris Stankovic and incoming president Bob Elphinston.

A breakfast meeting that included the basketball stakeholders was scheduled the following morning. Nothing was mentioned about the 10-minute speeches supposedly delivered by representatives of both the BAP and PB during the Central Board congress. It appeared that these had been scrapped from the agenda.

* * *

Early Monday night, unofficial reports started trickling in from the different parties in Tokyo. The reports said the talks had ended and that a joint communiqué was issued by the BAP and PB on their unification.

A three-man panel composed of Lina, Pilipinas Basketall president Bernie Atienza and a neutral third entity was tasked to rewrite the BAP constitution and by-laws, create a new table of organization and, according to an unimpeachable source, find a new name to replace the BAP.

All these had to be accomplished before the end of this month. Somewhere within the process, the POC’s nod of approval had to be secured.

Everyone was elated at the development. Hopes once again soared that there would be a united basketball front, at last, for the Philippines, and the FIBA would subsequently lift its ban.

* * *

I must admit I’m not as optimistic as everyone. After all, wasn’t this exactly the same situation we were in following the memorandum of understanding signed by Baumann and the POC several months ago?

Didn’t Lina and the four major stakeholders attempt to unify by working together on a new constitution and a table of organization -- only to disagree, toward the homestretch, when the stakeholders insisted on renaming the BAP to Pilipinas Basketball?

Joey thereafter pulled out of the talks.

Now the group finds itself in a similar situation. It will take a whole lot to convince me that this time, it’s going to be different. Nope, I still don’t see light at the end of the tunnel.

* * *

HOOPVINE: Even if the FIBA ban is lifted before the Dec. 1 Asian Games, PBA chair Ricky Vargas is not in favor of sending a team to Doha, Qatar. By that time, the PBA conference would be in its crucial phase… Good news from Ginebra team manager Allan Caidic: Rudy Hatfield blew into town last night!

full battle gear
08-30-2006, 11:28 AM
RP five in limbo despite unity pact

Key FIBA group nixes immediate lifting of ban
By Musong R. Castillo, Marc Anthony Reyes
Inquirer
Last updated 01:57am (Mla time) 08/30/2006

Published on page A23 of the August 30, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE NATIONAL team tasked to regain Asian basketball glory has ceased preparations pending the final resolution on the Philippines’ suspension from FIBA-sanctioned international tournaments.

The start of the 2006 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup pre-season tournament this Friday has also gotten in the way, and the coaching staff, headed by Chot Reyes, has called off everything even after the San Miguel-RP Team’s successful title defense of the Shell Rimula Cup in Brunei recently.

The ban on Philippine participation in FIBA tournaments will be lifted only after the Basketball Association of the Philippines and rival Pilipinas Basketball have completed their unification in a period of one month.

A special commission made up of top FIBA officials yesterday welcomed the unity pact forged by the BAP and PB -- but the policy-making FIBA Central Board refused to bring the country back into the fold just yet.

It is still unknown if Reyes can still call the shots for the RP team, now that he has accepted the head coaching job at San Miguel Beer.

Ask Eala instead

A San Miguel official declined comment on this matter, and told the Inquirer to ask PBA commissioner Noli Eala instead.

Eala, who was in Japan on Sunday as part of the group that lobbied FIBA on behalf of the PB, has not returned calls nor answered text messages.

The schedule of the Philippine Cup will also have to be altered if the PBA decides to honor its commitment to the national team. The Asiad, scheduled in Doha, Qatar, from Dec. 1-15, will be held during the PBA tourney’s elimination round.

In a decision issued from Tokyo, the FIBA Central Board said it will only lift the suspension on the Philippines after all the FIBA commission’s requirements for both local groups have been met.

Among the preconditions are the formulation, by the unified BAP-PB group, of a new constitution and by-laws, the election of the new group’s officers and -- according to a source close to both parties -- the renaming of the BAP.

The commission, made up of past and present top FIBA officials, including Carl Ching Menky, Bob Elphinston, Borislav Stankovic, Patrick Baumann and Dato Yeoh Choo Hock, asked the Central Board to authorize Baumann to “immediately lift the suspension” by Sept. 30 or earlier.

Until such time, both the BAP and the PB have agreed to form a unified body and complete its mandated tasks.

Unification in 30 days

The new group’s moves will be monitored by Elphinston, the incoming FIBA president; FIBA-Asia chief Dato Yeoh, and Baumann.

“The Commission expresses its satisfaction that a solution is found for the good of Filipino basketball, by which all sides have made important concessions to unify basketball under one structure within 30 days,” said the letter with FIBA letterhead. It was faxed by Philippine Olympic Committee first vice president Monico Puentevella.

Puentevella, who also attended the series of marathon meetings in Tokyo, said they have one month to work on it and make a fresh start.

“It took us one whole day among ourselves (with BAP officials led by former Senator Joey Lina) and five hours with FIBA to reach this important decision,” said Puentevella. “Let us not waste it.”

full battle gear
08-30-2006, 11:28 AM
FIBA: Conditional end to ban okayed
By Joaquin Henson
The Philippine Star 08/30/2006

With the impending merger of the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) and Pilipinas Basketball (PB) to form a unified body recognized by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the way is clear for the Federation Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) to lift the country’s suspension.

BAP president Joey Lina and PB president Bernie Atienza signed a joint communiqué to affirm the settlement of the yearlong leadership dispute after an eight-hour meeting in Tokyo the other day.

The FIBA Central Board took up the joint communiqué during its 10th meeting yesterday and expressed satisfaction that "all parties are unifying their efforts in a tight schedule to end this conflict and allow Philippine basketball to enter again into international competitions shortly."

The Central Board turned down a motion to lift the suspension immediately and instead, decided on a conditional end to the ban. It said the suspension will be lifted by Sept. 30 or earlier once the merged organization is launched as a democratic, countrywide and mass-based representation of various sectors involved in the sport, a National Congress is convened and officers are elected.

Assigned by the Board to monitor the implementation of the joint communiqué are FIBA president Bob Elphinston, secretary-general Patrick Baumann and FIBA-Asia secretary-general Dato Yeoh Choo Hock.

POC first vice president and Rep. Monico Puentevella, who played a key role in forging the agreement, called the coming to terms a breakthrough for Philippine basketball.

"It took us one whole day among ourselves and five hours with FIBA to reach this important decision," said Puentevella. "Let us not waste it. We are given a chance to move forward. It’s about time we start winning games again. Maybe, in the next Asian Games for the glory of our beloved country."

Puentevella said if the opposing Filipino cage officials weren’t as determined to resolve their differences, nothing would’ve been accomplished in the Tokyo trip.

"Thank God we united here in Japan," said Puentevella. "Let us not lose this momentum. We have one month to do it. Let’s start now. All for the love of the game."

Baumann summoned the representatives of the POC, BAP and PB to Japan where FIBA held its 212-nation World Congress and Central Board meetings during the World Championship.

FIBA constituted a special commission to confer with the Filipino delegates in an effort to end the impasse and even provided a special conference room at the Prince Park Tower Hotel in Tokyo for the opposing parties to resolve their differences.

The commission was made up of Elphinston, Baumann, Dato Yeoh, outgoing FIBA president Dr. Carl Ching Meng Ky and secretary-general emeritus Dr. Borislav Stankovic.

The first meeting lasted three hours last Sunday but failed to arrive at a compromise solution. The next day, the Filipino delegates agreed to settle the issue and finally came to terms, drafting a joint communiqué to detail their points of agreement.

The commission reviewed the joint communiqué and gave its stamp of approval. It recommended to the Central Board for Baumann "to immediately lift the suspension by Sept. 30 or earlier, once the agreement is fulfilled."

"The commission expresses its satisfaction that a solution is found for the good of Filipino basketball by which all sides have made important concessions to unify basketball under one structure only within 30 days," said a FIBA report from Tokyo.

full battle gear
08-30-2006, 11:30 AM
Hatfield back to boost Ginebra cast

The Philippine Star 08/30/2006

Rudy Hatfield is back in town.

Hatfield arrived from Michigan Monday night, made a courtesy call on the San Miguel Corp. top bosses yesterday and is set to join the Barangay Ginebra Kings in practice at the Greenmeadow Gym this morning.

The 6-foo-3 Fil-Am player is to play serious ball for the first time since leaving the country last year in frustration over the status of his citizenship case.

"Obviously, he has gained weight," said Ginebra coach Jong Uichico of Hatfield who briefly watched the Kings’ practice after his visit to the SMC office yesterday.

"His body bulked up maybe because of more weights (exercises) and less running," Uichico added. "For sure, he’ll feel his way around first. But we’ll see."

Ginebra team manager Allan Caidic said they’ve yet to reach an agreement about a playing contract but Hatfield is already lined up for the PBA pre-season tourney starting Friday.

The Kings start their campaign in the pre-season against the Purefoods Chunkee Giants at 6 p.m. Saturday at the San Sebastian College-Cavite gym.

Hatfield landed at Ginebra as part of the three-way trade deal among Ginebra, Coke and Air21 that also involved other players in Billy Mamaril, Rafi Reavis, Kalani Ferreira, Manny Ramos, Ervin Sotto, Aris Dimaunahan and Ryan Bernardo.

It would be recalled the Hatfield abandoned Coca-Cola last year despite the impending lifting of his suspension in the league.

He reportedly tried his hand in wrestling and enrolled in a fireman’s course.

Meanwhile, Sta. Lucia Realty called up rookie free agent Ronnie Bughao to beef up its back court.

The Realtors are severely handicapped at point guard position at the moment with Paolo Mendoza and Jimwell Torion nursing injuries. Alex Cabagnot is facing lifetime ban in the league as requested by Sta. Lucia governor Buddy Encarnado. — Nelson Beltran

full battle gear
08-30-2006, 11:32 AM
H-B0mb ready to explode
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 08/30/2006

The H-Bomb is back and newly designated Ginebra San Miguel coach Joseph Uichico can’t wait to detonate Rudy Hatfield when the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) season opens Oct. 1.

Hatfield quietly flew into town from the US with agent Bill Rosmarino late Monday night. Yesterday, he began talks with Ginebra officials on a playing contract and was introduced to his new teammates by Uichico.

"I’m thrilled to be back," said Hatfield who played his last PBA game for Coca-Cola on Oct. 17, 2004 and left Manila last year, exasperated by the long wait for his citizenship clearance.

The night before his departure, his citizenship was affirmed by the Department of Justice. But Hatfield had already made up his mind to leave, having given up his condo and sold his car.

It took close to a year before Hatfield decided to return here. While in the US, he enrolled in a pro wrestling school in Boston but didn’t pursue it. Instead, he joined a fire academy and earned a license as a fireman after finishing some courses in medical school.

Hatfield said a few days before packing his bags for Manila, he received a job offer from a fire station. But the itch to play in the PBA again had gotten under his skin — he couldn’t scratch it if he tried.

"Actually, at this stage of my life, I prefer playing basketball," said Hatfield.

From the airport, Hatfield bunked in with buddy Eric Menk.

"I still don’t know what’s going to happen," said Hatfield. "I’m still in the process of getting a cellphone. I’m hoping to sign a two-year contract then I’ll take it from there. All I know is I’m so excited to be playing with Eric and the Ginebra team."

Hatfield, 28, said he’s ready to play.

"I’ve been keeping in shape, going to the gym five to six days a week," said Hatfield. "I’m in the best condition I can be without playing."

Hatfield said he found out Ginebra failed to make it to the semifinals of the recent Brunei Cup.

"I heard from Eric they had a tough time because the team wasn’t complete," said Hatfield. "The guys played every day and the key players pushed themselves to the limit. I wish I could’ve been there to help out in any way."

Ginebra won its first game in the Brunei Cup then lost four in a row to join Jordan out of the Final Four. The Kings played without injured Jay-Jay Helterbrand, Mike Holper and Rodney Santos.

Hatfield said if ever national coach Chot Reyes wants him for the Philippine team, he’s available.

"You know me, I’ll fight for the country," said Hatfield. "But I don’t want to force myself in. The team has good chemistry now, what with the Brunei Cup championship they just won. Besides, I might be too old for the team. Still, if coach Chot calls for me, I’ll be ready."

I was tempted to ask Hatfield about his love life and whether a reconciliation with actress Rufa Mae Quinto is in the offing.

But I didn’t want to push my luck. That’ll be for a future column, if Hatfield obliges.

Uichico said Hatfield will play a key role in Ginebra’s future.

"We introduced him to the team (yesterday) and everyone was excited like he is," said Uichico. "He has been gone for quite some time but his love and passion for the game will add to the Ginebra never-say-die spirit."

full battle gear
08-30-2006, 11:38 AM
PBA will not send a team to Asian Games
www.mb.com.ph


By TITO TALAO

THE PHILIPPINE Basketball Association (PBA) has welcomed the merger and unity of Pilipinas Basketball and the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) which could lead to a Philippine participation in the basketball tournament of the 15th Asian Games in Doha, Qatar.

Sadly, the PBA said yesterday, it cannot provide the manpower for such a campaign as the league will be playing some of its most crucial games in the All-Filipino conference.

"We’d like to be able to contribute to the unification process in basketball and the return of the RP team to international tournaments," Vargas said, adding he sees a clear connection between a strong national squad and a vibrant pro league.

"Good performance in international competition has a link to an increased interest in basketball in the country, and this indirectly affects the PBA."

Vargas, however, ruled out the PBA participation in Doha.

"We’ve never said no to allowing our players to be involved in the RP team as long as it doesn’t conflict with whatever programs we have," he said. "I don’t think it’s right to disrupt our calendar any further."

The two-week Doha Games will run smack with the critical phase of the PBA Philippine Cup elimination, with all 10 ball clubs still in position for survival tickets to the next round.

"If the tournament will not affect our schedule, then it’s possible. But I believe the Asiad will be in conflict with our games. Eh. All-Filipino pa naman ‘to," Vargas said.

Sending a regular PBA team to Doha is not likely to be an option either.

"Mahirap din yan kasi we’ll be then following another schedule," Vargas said.

The existence of a memorandum of agreement between the PBA and the BAP, which leaves formation of the Asian Games team to the BAP, is also an impediment, Vargas said.

"As far as I know, the MOA has not been formally rescinded," he said. "There may have been some intention to, but this has not been acted upon."

Even RP coach Chot Reyes, who has made public his desire to let the team see action in the Asiad, is singing a different tune, saying he’s recommending that the RP team program be put on hold.

"I’m leaning towards that since there is no tournament to prepare for," he said. "I think it would be unfair to ask the players to keep on sacrificing for nothing."

Non-PBA participation in the Asiad was a foregone conclusion, Reyes said. "I anticipated that even if the suspension is lifted, there is no way we can play anymore. I can understand the PBA’s point of view. Had the league known earlier, it would have made provisions. But now I don’t know if the Asian Games can be doable."

Reyes, who steered the SMC-RP team to a successful defense of the Brunei Cup a couple of days ago, plans to get together with members of the national training pool one last time this year.

"I just have one problem," he said. "I wouldn’t know what to tell them."

Vargas had nothing but praises for PBA Commissioner Noli Eala who was part of the delegation that went to Japan.

"I would like to congratulate the commissioner for playing his role well. When I heard from him last night (Monday) that the two organizations had a meeting of the minds, I feel all the expenses we invested on this trip had been worth every cent."

Eala was in Tokyo to "represent Philippine basketball’s biggest stakeholder and to serve as pacifier" between the two groups, both of which had staked territorial claims before FIBA.

"Many have asked me why I agreed to let the commissioner go there," said Vargas. "I told them that he was there not to support the BAP or Pilipinas Basketball but to help find a solution to the problem. That was his mission."

Eala is expected to give the PBA board first-hand updates in a special meeting to be set within the next few days.

"Everybody will be very interested," Vargas said.

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08-30-2006, 11:38 AM
Lifting of FIBA ban in 30 days?
www.mb.com.ph


By NICK GIONGO

THE FIBA Central Board has authorized secretary-general Patrick Baumann to lift the suspension of the Philippines by Sept. 30 or earlier, once the agreement entered into by Pilipinas Basketball and the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) is fulfilled.

A special five-man commission, made up of FIBA president Bob Elphinston, FIBA-Asia secretary-general Dato Yeoh Choo Hock, former president Carl Menky Ching, former secretary-general Borislav Stankovic and Baumann, had earlier recommended the immediate lifting of the country’s suspension.

But the board unanimously rejected the recommendation pending the realization of the provisions contained in the joint agreement signed in Tokyo.

Under the joint communique entered into by PB and the BAP, both bodies have agreed to merge and unite under one structure in 30 days beginning Sept. 1.

They have been tasked to write a constitution and by-laws and conduct an election of officers.

To ensure that the provisions are followed to the letter, the FIBA appointed Elphinston, Baumann and Dato to "monitor the implementation of the agreement and take decisions on behalf of the Central Board."

The communique was signed by POC Vice President Monico Puentevella, Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner Noli Eala, BAP President Joey Lina and PB President Bernie Atienza.

While the Philippines remains ineligible to play for FIBA-sanctioned events, the Central Board "expressed its satisfaction that all parties are unifying their efforts in a tight schedule to end this conflict and allow Philippine basketball to enter again into the international competitions shortly."

With the decision by the two groups to join hands, the Philippines might end up sending a team to the 15th Asian Games that will be played in Doha, Qatar, this December.

"Let us not lose this momentum," said Puentevella. "We are united here in Japan and it’s about time we start winning games."

The FIBA decided to put the Philippines under suspension in June 2005 after the POC expelled the BAP.

As a result, basketball was not played in the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in December.

Although there stands a chance that a Philippine basketball team may play in Qatar, it will be an amateur team that might represent the country.

This developed after the PBA announced yesterday that it does not intend to participate in the country’s Asian Games bid.

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08-30-2006, 11:40 AM
No concrete offer for Adducul’s services
www.mb.com.ph

By Noli CRUZ

ROMEL ADDUCUL isn’t going anywhere as far as the Barangay Ginebra Kings are concerned. Unless somebody brings an irresistible dish on the table.

"We’re not trading Romel. Pero kung may interesado sa kanya, then we’ll evaluate their offer," said Kings team manager Allan Caidic.

So far there’s been no offer.

"Puro sa dyaryo lang namin nababasa. Wala namang nakakarating na offer sa amin," said Caidic.

Actually, there had been repeated point-blank offers coming from the Welcoat Dragons.

The first took place thousands of miles away during the PBA board meeting in Macau.

According to a Welcoat insider, the team is willing to trade one of the three players it elevated to the pro ranks plus a future top pick – but not its first round choice next year. It was a verbal offer.

Apparently, San Miguel basketball operations head Robert Non doesn’t want to cook something in Macau. Perhaps, maybe Non feared the deal would be called "Lutong Macau."

The Dragons renewed their offer during the PBA Draft at the Market! Market! in Taguig. But the shell didn’t break and the chick stayed inside.

Well, there was nothing new in Taguig.

The Ginebra camp wants to see an offer in black and white. But the Welcoat executives prefer to paint the deal another way.

When contacted by The Bulletin, the Dragons maintained their stand that they’ve already passed the ball to the Kings and that they’re waiting for response.

Meanwhile, the Kings will include former Coca-Cola Tigers superstar Rudy Hatfield in their pre-season roster.

Hatfield arrived from the United States Monday night.

"We’ll see what he can do in our pre-season games," said Caidic.

Hatfield, a do-it-all forward, hasn’t played competitively since the league barred him and the other alleged Fil-Shams from suiting up with their mother ballclubs two years ago. The suspension had been lifted more than a year ago, but Hatfield opted to stay away from the big league.

He was shipped to the Kings along with Billy Mamaril and Rafi Reavis as part of the controversial three-team trade involving the Air21 Express. The Kings are expected to encounter salary cap problems with a line-up laden with all-stars, but Caidic, ever cool and calculating, doesn’t want to cross the bridge until he’s there.

"Wala pa namang problema eh. Magkakaroon ng linaw ‘yan in the next few days," he said.

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08-30-2006, 11:41 AM
Gin Kings test Dragons mettle in opener
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 08/30/2006

The Welcoat Dragons will have their baptism of fire in the pro league right in the opening day of the PBA 32nd season on Oct. 1, facing the Barangay Ginebra Kings at the Araneta Coliseum.

But four weeks before the start of its maiden voyage in the pros, the Asian Coating Inc. ball club, which left a winning tradition in the PBL, is still looking for trade deals to form a formidable lineup.

The Dragons are in still in hot pursuit of their former PBL ace player Rommel Adducul although they have yet to make a formal trade offer to Barangay Ginebra which has just returned from its stint in the Sultan Cup in Brunei.

"We’re not trading Rommel although a number of teams are interested in him. Now, if we’re given a good offer, we’ll look at it," said Ginebra team manager Allan Caidic.

Thus it’s not certain at the moment on which bench Adducul sits as the Dragons and the Kings collide in the season opener. The season begins with the All-Filipino tourney with Purefoods the defending the crown.

It will have its opening ceremonies on Oct. 1 at the Big Dome although hostilities start Sept. 22 with an overseas game in Guam, pitting Red Bull and Alaska Milk.

The Bulls are returning with the same lineup while the Aces will feature two new acquisitions in rookie draftees Christian Luanzon and Aaron Aban.

Meanwhile, the season will be ushered in by a series of pre-season games to be played in various gyms around Metro Manila and nearby provinces. The teams may take it more seriously this time, though, since the pre-season series has been transformed into a mini-tourney.

The 10 teams have been divided into two groups to play one round-robin each. The top teams from each group clash for the crown.

Red Bull, San Miguel Beer, Coca-Cola, Talk n Text and Sta. Lucia Realty compose Group A while Purefoods, Alaska Milk, Barangay Ginebra, Air21 and Welcoat make up Group B.

The pre-season tourney starts Friday with the Tigers and the Realtors mixing it up at the New Era College gym at 4 p.m.

The PBA is also scheduled to hold games at the San Sebastian College-Cavite, PUP, RTU, JCSGO gym in Cubao, Tinga Gym in Taguig, Rizal High School, Chiang Kai Shek, CCP, Lyceum, San Fernando, Pampanga, Olivares College-Parañaque, Emilio Aguinaldo College, CEU-Manila, Rizal Memorial Coliseum and Tarlac, Tarlac.

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08-30-2006, 11:42 AM
PBA rookies to play in pre-season games
www.mb.com.ph



THE REAL worth of ‘Class 2006’ goes beyond their lucrative contracts beginning this weekend as the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) holds a two-week, pre-season games in different playing venues around Metro Manila and Luzon.

All eyes are expected to be on the top five rookie picks in the recent PBA Draft, led by No. 1 pick Kelly Williams of Sta. Lucia.

The 24-year old Fil-Am from Detroit, Michigan didn’t come in cheap as the first Sta. Lucia top pick since Jun Limpot in 1993 signed a three-year, R8.5 million contract, including a rookie maximum of R150,000 on his first year and 350,000 in his third and final year.

"In-offer ko na agad ang maximum pay para tapos na agad ang usapan. We’d been saving money the last few years. It’s now time to spend," said Sta. Lucia board representative Buddy Encarnado.

Outside of it, the Realtors also offered their No. 6 pick, Mark Isip, a R5.5 million deal in the next three years and will exercise as well their rights on second round selection Mark Magsumbol, bringing close to around R15 million the amount the team is likely to spend on their three rookies in the next three seasons.

The Realtors happen to be the first team to see action in the initial offering of the pre-season matches, starting Sept. 1 at the New Era gym, as they go up against the Coca-Cola Tigers.

"Now I have a team," boasted Encarnado shortly after foreseeing the prospect of having Williams, Isip and Magsumbol play alongside his three other marquee players in Kenneth Duremdes, Marlou Aquino and Dennis Espino.

While tabbing high-profile rookies don’t guarantee a sure championship, recent events indicate such moves may mean a title or two as in the case of James Yap (2nd pick in 2004) and Jondan Salvador (4th pick in 2005) with Purefoods and the duo of Larry Fonacier (14th in 2005) and Paolo Bugia (17th pick in 2005) with Red Bull.

Air21 is likewise spending a lot to keep the services of No. 2 selection Arwind Santos by giving him the same R8.5 million offer Williams received from Sta. Lucia in an attempt to have a dreaded frontcourt that will have the former PBL star teaming up with youthful talent KG Canaleta and Yancy de Ocampo.

The Express get to see the mettle of the 6-foot-4 Santos up close and personal on Sept. 4 when they face incoming franchise Welcoat, a ball club also teeming with exciting rookies.

The Dragons already made big man Jay-Ar Reyes their highest paid player so far by inking him to a similar three-year, R8.5 million deal, indicating they intend to have the former UP Maroon as one of their go-to-guy when they made their PBA debut this season.

Apart from Reyes, one of three rookies elevated by Welcoat directly to the pro from its team in the Philippine Basketball League (PBL), the other freshmen the Dragons are investing with include JunJun Cabatu, Jay Sagad, first round pick Abby Santos and second round selection Jireh Ibanez.

Coca-Cola also has plenty of rookies to build its team around led by No. 3 pick Joseph Yeo and a handful of second rounders in RJ Rizada, M.C. Caceres, Chris Pacana, Mike Gavino and Ronjay Enrile.

San Miguel is set to splurge as well on their draft selections, being the owner of the No. 4 and 5 picks, which they used on L.A. Tenorio and Gabby Espinas, two players considered big-time in the amateurs.

The Beermen’s two celebrated rookies plunge into action for the first time on Sept. 5 against Coca-Cola.

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08-30-2006, 11:45 AM
FIBA ban could be lifted in September
www.abs-cbnnews.com

By FRANK CALAPRE, The Manila Times Correspondent

The International Basketball Federation has instructed Filipino sports leaders to finally get their acts together to pave the way for the country’s return to international competition, hopefully, in the Doha Asian Games.

FIBA officials in Saitama, Japan, on Tuesday were optimistic that the deal the world governing body arranged for a new association uniting the two rival basketball factions would settle the issue once and for all.

FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann and Bob Elphinston of Australia, the incoming FIBA president, said that until the group was formed, the Philippines would continue to be suspended—a guarantee that both parties would move to create a unified basketball organization.

The FIBA proposal was relayed to Basketball Association of the Philippines, led by BAP president Jose Lina Jr., and Pilipinas Basketball, headed by Bernie Atienza, who are both in Japan to present their respective sides.

The plan, Baumann said, would create a new governing body by the end of September, which would be reinstated and allowed to send a squad to compete in the Doha Asiad.

"If they are able to deliver what they promised, the Philippines is expecting to have it best players at the Asian Games in December in Doha," Elphinston said. "That will be the first test."

FIBA’s Central Board earlier decided to defer the lifting of the suspension after receiving the report of a five-man commission that heard the presentations of the BAP and Pilipinas Basketball.

The commission was made up of Baumann, Elphinston, outgoing FIBA president Carl Menky-Ching of Hong Kong, former secretary-general Borislav Stankovic and FIBA Asia secretary-general Dato Yeoh Choo Hock of Malaysia.

"The Central Board received the above report from the Commission and decided to unanimously accept the recommendation and unanimously reject the request to lift the suspension immediately as of today without having the agreement fulfilled," a FIBA communiqué said.

"Mr. Elphinston, Mr. Baumann and Mr. Yeoh are appointed to monitor the implementation of the agreement and take decisions on behalf of the Central Board," the Central Board added.

POC president Jose Cojuangco said the agreement was a "breakthrough for RP basketball."

BAP chairman Michel Lhuillier and president Joey Lina represented the BAP while Atienza, Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner Noli Eala, Philippine Olympic Committee vice president Monico Puentevella and legal counsel Ding Tanjuatco formed the Pilipinas Basketball panel.

"I encouraged all parties to thresh out their covenant as soon as possible to break the impasse that has bedeviled the Filipino basketball fans, the POC and even FIBA," Cojuangco said in a press statement.

Cojuangco said the FIBA-supported group would be recognized by the POC as the national sports association for basketball.

The Philippines was suspended by the FIBA from participating in any international competitions in July 2005 after the expulsion of the BAP from the POC membership a month earlier.

The suspension resulted in the failure of Filipino basketeers to defend their men’s basketball titles in the Southeast Asian Basketball Association championship and the 23rd SEA Games.

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08-30-2006, 11:46 AM
Seigle brothers could reunite as SMB eyes big man
www.abs-cbnnews.com


By JOEL ORELLANA, The Manila Times Reporter

Will brothers Andy and Danny Seigle reunite at San Miguel Beer?

Sports Times has learned that the Beermen are looking for a backup center that will complete their roster in the coming season of the Philippine Basketball Association.

One of the options is through a trade with Barangay Ginebra for the 6-foot-10 Andy Seigle, who became dispensable with the arrival of Rafi Reavis, Billy Mamaril and Rudy Hatfield in a controversial three-team trade.

But since league rules prohibit sister teams from swapping players directly, San Miguel is in need for a third party for the negotiations to prosper.

"We couldn’t find a big man in the free agent pool and the rookies that applied to us because most of them are guards and forwards. That’s why we’re looking for help through a trade," said a team insider, who requested anonymity.

"The team really needs a backup for Dorian Peña. Right now, the team is exploring all options," the source added.

The name of Gabby Espinas, the Beermen’s No. 5 overall pick in the recent rookie draft, has surfaced as possible trade bait for Seigle.

Right now, National University teammates Alfie Grijaldo and Ariel de Castro are trying out for SMB’s center spot, and could be given a chance by the team in the coming preseason tournament set to kick off Friday.

San Miguel’s other rookie, Lewis Alfred Tenorio, is definitely not on the trading block, as the Beermen are in a dire need of a backup for veteran point guard Olsen Racela. The incumbent backup, Brandon Cablay, will be out for a couple of months owing to a bone spur in his right hand.

Tenorio, a product of Ateneo de Manila University, was the draft’s No. 4 overall selection. The Sports Times source said the 5-foot-7 cat-quick guard will sign a contract ranging from two to three years on Monday.

New San Miguel head coach Chot Reyes said after the draft that Tenorio’s role with the team depends on how he will perform during the preseason tournament.

Besides Cablay, two-time PBA Most Valuable Player Danny Ildefonso will not join the team in the preseason tournament because of a recurring injury.

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08-31-2006, 10:43 AM
Hatfield returns, agrees to one-year deal with Kings

By Francis Ochoa
Inquirer
Last updated 02:52am (Mla time) 08/31/2006

Published on page A26 of the August 31, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

HE SHOWED up at the Greenmeadows Subdivision practice facility in civilian clothes Tuesday. The moment he came in playing gear yesterday, he made it official.

Barangay Ginebra is now one of the toughest teams on paper.

Rudy Hatfield joined his new teammates at Barangay Ginebra yesterday, transforming the Kings instantly into a powerhouse squad in the coming Philippine Basketball Association season.

Now, if only coach Jong Uichico can get his collection of stars to read from the same page of the playbook.

“Games are won on the court, not on paper,” said Uichico. “If we can get all of the players to sacrifice a bit for the sake of the team, we should be able to compete every night.”

Certainly, the addition of Hatfield boosts the Kings, who already boast a lineup that includes Erik Menk, Mark Caguioa, Jayjay Helterbrand, Romel Adducul, Andy Seigle, Rafi Reavis and Billy Mamaril.

“He’s in pretty good shape,” Uichico said of Hatfield. “After all, he is coming off a fireman’s program [in Detroit] and when you go through that, you have to be in good physical shape.”

Hatfield has all the time to do just that after doing away with one of the few distractions surrounding his transfer to Ginebra. The 6-foot-3 workhorse agreed in principle to a one-year contract with the Kings.

“He wants to keep his options open at the end of the season,” said Ginebra team manager Allan Caidic. “After all, he is coming from a layoff so he wants to see how he is at the end of the year.”

“But negotiations went smoothly and he was so easy to talk to,” said Caidic, who did not divulge the terms of the deal.

Ginebra acquired the rights to Hatfield in a blockbuster deal that gave Mamaril and Reavis to the Kings. But there were speculations as to whether he would come back at all to the Philippines, having decided on a fireman’s career in Detroit, where he grew up.

Uichico quoted Hatfield as saying that he returned “because of [my] love and passion for the game.”

Caidic, on the other hand, revealed that Hatfield was also excited about teaming up with Menk again.

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08-31-2006, 10:57 AM
PBA pre-season games slated in 17 venues
www.mb.com.ph




TO JAZZ up the coming conference, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) will stage pre-season games in 17 different venues to get a far wider audience.

Games will be played in at least 11 schools within Metro Manila, while the rest are spread in various arenas, including three in the provinces.

The New Era University gym will host the first match with the rejuvenated Sta. Lucia Realty taking on the rebuilding Coca-Cola Tigers on Sept. 1

The Realtors also opened last season’s preseason games at the New Era gym.

Next stop is the San Sebastian College gym in Cavite where defending Philippine Cup champion Purefoods battles crowd drawer Barangay Ginebra on Sept. 2 followed by the game between the Realtors and the Talk ‘N Text Pals at the PUP gym and Air21 Express and rookie team Welcoat Dragons at the RTU gym on Sept. 4.

"We’ve decided to spread out our pre-season games this year in order to give the fans within Metro Manila and nearby provinces a glimpse of what to expect in the 32nd season of the PBA," said Commissioner Noli Eala.

On Sept. 5, the JCSGO gym in Cubao will be the venue of a double header featuring Talk ‘N Text against reigning Fiesta Cup titlist Red Bull in the first game and Coca-Cola opposite the debuting San Miguel squad in the second.

The Tinga gym in Taguig follows suit the next day as Purefoods clashes with Coca-Cola and Red Bull takes on Sta. Lucia.

The Alaska Aces make its first pre-season game appearance against Air21 Express at the Rizal High School in Pasig on Sept.7, while at the CKSHS gym in Manila on the same day, Talk ‘N Text meets Coca-Cola.

The following day, San Miguel and Talk ‘N Text take their acts at the CCP gym, while over at Lyceum, Barangay Ginebra tests the mettle of Welcoat.

Fans in San Fernando, Pampanga will be treated to a potential explosive game between Barangay Ginebra and Alaska on Sept 9. Two days later, the PBA goes to Olivares College in Parañaque for the exciting twinbill between Sta. Lucia-San Miguel and Alaska-Welcoat.

Hosting a game each are Emilio Aguinaldo gym on Sept. 13 (Red Bull-Coca-Cola), CEU gym on Sept. 14 (Purefoods vs. Welcoat), then San Fernando, Pampanga again on Sept. 15 (Red Bull-San Miguel), Rizal Memorial Coliseum on Sept. 16 (Purefoods-Alaska) and finally in Tarlac, Tarlac on Sept. 16 (Barangay Ginebra-Air21).

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09-01-2006, 07:47 AM
The H-Bomb is now the Fireman for Gin Kings

By Francis Ochoa
Inquirer
Last updated 03:31am (Mla time) 09/01/2006

Published on page A29 of the September 1, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

RUDY HATFIELD jokes about having some sort of an identity crisis nowadays. After joining a fireman’s academy in the United States, he knows that television commentators are about to re-christen him with a new moniker.

“The Fireman’s here,” Hatfield, also known as the H-Bomb, said jokingly.

“Right now, I don’t know yet just what I’ll be doing for the team,” he said, building on the pun. “Either I’ll put out fires every time teams make a run at us or I’ll be starting one as the H-Bomb.”

The rest of the Barangay Ginebra Kings, though, have no problem figuring out who Hatfield is and what the newest addition to the Philippine Basketball Association’s most popular ballclub can do.

Hardworking player

“You saw it out there,” said Kings coach Jong Uichico. “He’s still the hardworking player he always was.”

“He’s a terrific passer, he’s a great defender and a very vocal leader,” said Erik Menk, Hatfield’s closest friend on the team.

The 6-foot-3 Hatfield practiced with Ginebra for the second day yesterday at the Green Meadows gym, ending a hiatus from the game that started when he went into a two-year hibernation triggered by citizenship problems.

When his papers were finally fixed, he still did not show up, electing to enroll in a fireman’s academy in Michigan.

In between, he joined pick-up games and got kicked around often like a worn-out soccer ball that he wondered if he still had what it takes “to play with the big boys.”

“So when the offer came around, I decided to take it,” said Hatfield, who agreed to a one-year deal with the Kings.

That, plus the chance to be reunited with Menk and the still-burning passion inside of him for the game had him rushing back to the country to join Ginebra.

“Basketball’s been my entire life,” Hatfield said. “It’s tough trying to take away something you love so deeply out of your system, so here I am.

“Besides, me end Erik have some unfinished business together. It was a debacle the last time we teamed up. Hopefully, we can get something wonderful done this time around.”

Former teammates

Hatfield and Menk were teammates at Tanduay Rhum in 2000 and failed to win a single championship. (They were also teammates in the 2002 Asian Games RP five that finished fourth after blowing a chance to reach the finals in the dying seconds against South Korea. -- Ed)

Joining the Kings has its perks, Hatfield admitted.

“People will be finally cheering for me, for a change,” he said, laughing. “Plus, it’s a great team. Erik’s here. Mark (Caguioa), for me, right now, can play in the NBA. We have nine players who can start for any team. It’s just a matter of getting everybody to play together.”

And where does that leave Hatfield?

“Trying to fit in,” he said. “I’m also a loud mouth so I’ll probably be doing a lot of screaming just to make sure everybody stays focused. But I’ll also be the first to appreciate you for a job well done.”

Hatfield, who last played for Coca-Cola, brings to the Kings his career averages of 13.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. But the 29-year-old forward knows exactly what department he’ll lead the Kings in.

“Floorburns. That’s my major contribution.”

In one play during scrimmage, Rafi Reavis squared at the post and launched a semi-hook that looked off line. Even before the shot hit the rim, Hatfield squirmed past Menk and the beefy Rommel Adducul, jumped high just as the ball caromed off the back rim and tipped in the miss.

Menk shook his head and from one corner of the gym, the normally stoic Uichico allowed himself a little smile.

Flame-killing fireman or fire-starting H-Bomb, it doesn’t matter. Hatfield’s back and the Kings are ready to become a royal pain in the neck for the other teams.

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09-01-2006, 07:47 AM
PBA Commish wants a 3-point dunk

By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 03:31am (Mla time) 09/01/2006

Published on page A29 of the September 1, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

DOWN BY two points with a fraction of a second left, Paolo Mendoza tosses the ball from atop the free-throw line and Kelly Williams catches it in mid-air for a rim-rattling slam.

Sta. Lucia Realty wins the game by a point.

This is just one of the scenarios the commissioner of the Philippine Basketball Association is offering when he recommends a new rule known as the “three-point dunk” to the league’s board.

Commissioner Noli Eala will bring the new scoring scheme to the board for approval before the 32nd season of the league kicks off with an all-Filipino conference on Oct. 1.

In his proposal, a dunk will be given three points if: No. 1, it is scored by a player who takes off six feet away from the basket; No. 2, a player finishes a fast-break play off a steal in the backcourt; or No. 3, a player completes a catch-and-dunk situation in mid-air.

“I’m really pushing hard for it because I think it will be really good for the league,” Eala told the Inquirer. “It will motivate players and showcase more talents while it gives the fans a sight to watch and enjoy.

“It will distinguish us from many leagues, even the NBA (National Basketball Association).”

But some of the league’s bigwigs have also aired their apprehensions about the proposed rule.

“The PBA will become a circus once the three-point dunk gets the nod of the board,” said a league governor who requested anonymity.

Even RP Team coach Chot Reyes has reservations.

“That rule will defeat the purpose of training more shooters for the national team. You cannot score on dunks in international tournaments all the time,” said Reyes.

“I hope the board will hear my plea,” said Eala. “Let’s try it for one conference. If it doesn’t work, let’s scrap it,” said Eala.

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09-01-2006, 07:48 AM
Welcoat taps Alex assistant mentor
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 09/01/2006

American player Alex Compton is making it to the Philippine Basketball Association, after all.

Compton is bringing his act in the local pro league not as a player, though, but as one of the assistant coaches at the Welcoat Dragons.

The former MBA star, who also had a stint with the Montaña Jewels in the PBL, will sit in the Welcoat bench as among the deputies of head coach Leo Austria.

The other assistant coaches in the new PBA ball club are Caloy Garcia and Bogs Adornado.

Compton, an American born in the Philippines, had appealed the PBA board of governors that he be allowed to play in the league as a special case but was turned down.

The 5-foot-10 guard decided to end his playing career at the close of the recent PBL tourney.

Before being recruited to work as assistant coach at Welcoat, Compton was tapped by Fil-Am player Kelly Williams to be his agent-manager.

Compton, who also endorses a number of commercial products in the country, represented Williams in closing an P8.5 million three-year contract with Sta. Lucia Realty.

Welcoat now has a complete lineup of coaches but has yet to finalize the roster of players it’s fielding in its maiden voyage in the pro league.

The team management is still pursuing a trade deal with Barangay Ginebra to acquire the services of Rommel Adducul.

Meanwhile, Alaska Milk signed rookie free agent Aaron Aban to a two-year deal and veteran free agent Poch Juinio to a one-conference pact.

Financial details were not divulged.

full battle gear
09-01-2006, 07:57 AM
Compton signs in as Welcoat assistant coach
www.mb.com.ph




AT 32, it’s no longer advisable for American Alex Compton to pursue his dream of playing in the Philippine Basketball Association.

But since it is his desire to be part of a pro squad, Compton yesterday signed a one-year contract with newcomer Welcoat Paints that makes him one of the assistant coaches of coach Leo Austria.

His decision to join the Dragons was warmly welcomed by Austria and the players who feel he’s cut out for the job.

"He’s perfect for the job and besides it has been his dream of joining the pro league so we just gave him the chance but not to play but to help our coach," said co-team owner Raymund Yu. "He’s charismatic even during his playing days in the PBL so we hope my players will respect him the way we look at him."

Compton played a dual role in his two-year stint with Montaña Pawnshop in the PBL – player and assistant coach. He was one of the architects in Montaña’s first-ever championship two years ago.

The financial detail of his contract, however, was not revealed although the former top shooter is happy with his new role.

"He’s a good motivator and communicator so his presence is plus factor for us," added Yu.

"We’re really happy Mr. Compton accepted our offer," said Yu’s long-time partner Terry Que. "His vast experience will surely help our players gain confidence."

Also tapped as one of Austria’s lieutenants is Caloy Garcia, another Welcoat diehard.

"We already now have a competent coaching staff," said Yu.

Compton has long been knocking on the door of the pro league but several requests to be allowed to play have not been acted upon by the board.

As a player, Compton is known for his clutch shooting and creative plays. A gentleman on and off the court, the PBL bestowed him the role model award just recently. —Rey C. LACHICA

full battle gear
09-01-2006, 07:58 AM
Williams, Realtors take on Tigers
www.mb.com.ph




A lot of hype ushered in Fil-Am Kelly Williams’ entry into the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

Now, it’s time to judge him.

This year’s top rookie pick is expected to be under the microscope when Sta. Lucia plays Coca-Cola today at the New Era University gym kicking off the league’s series of pre-season games.

That the 24-year-old Williams carries a tough burden of proving himself capable of playing in the pro is understandable.

The Realtors chose him as their no. 1 Draft pick over versatile Far Eastern U stalwart Arwind Santos and on whose shoulders lie the daunting task of leading a franchise that have won only one championship in 13 seasons in the league.

"What he brings to the table is irresistible. He can play multiple positions and is very athletic," said coach Alfrancis Chua of his prized rookie, the Realtors’ third no. 1 pick in the PBA Draft after Jun Limpot (1993) and Dennis Espino (1995).

Williams, a prospect of San Miguel coach Chot Reyes from Detroit, Michigan, said he’s willing to fit into the role as Sta. Lucia’s take-charge rookie.

"I hope to bring the best I can and do the best of my ability whatever is asked me on the court," he said.

Mark Isip, whom the Realtors picked at no. 6, likewise makes his debut in a Sta. Lucia uniform.

Apart from the two, all eyes are also on fellow rookie Joseph Yeo, whom Coca-Cola drafted at No. 3.

Yeo, a hot-shooting guard from La Salle, is coming off a championship stint with Harbour Centre in the PBL.

"We like to run and attack and that’s what he does best," said Tigers mentor Binky Favis of his rookie guard.

The lanky, 6-foot-3 Santos, taken in by Air21 as the year’s second pick, won’t see action until Sept. 4 when the Express take on rookie ball club Welcoat Dragons at the RTU gym in Mandaluyong.

full battle gear
09-01-2006, 08:02 AM
Reyes to rebuild Beermen into running team

By JOEL ORELLANA
The Manila Times Reporter
www.abs-cbnnews.com


Chot Reyes will make a drastic change to his team.

No, not the Philippine team, but his new squad, San Miguel Beer.

Reyes on Thursday said he plans to overhaul the Beermen’s system, and feels the team needs a new structure to be competitive again in the coming season of the Philippine Basketball Association.

"I think it’s time for this team to try something completely different," said Reyes, who was officially appointed the new SMB coach last August 2 but only got to meet his players when they went to Taiwan for an invitational tournament on August 11 to 19.

"The San Miguel style has been to slow it down, pound it in the post. But that was when San Miguel was one of the, if not the, biggest teams. Those were the times when they had Nic Belasco and Danny Ildefonso was one of the tallest players," the former Coke and Purefoods coach added.

The national team mentor noted that the Beermen placed dead last in rebounds and fastbreak points last conference, the areas he wants to improve on.

But he admitted he has to play catch-up to implement the changes, as he has to start restructuring the system from scratch.

"For that Taiwan stint, we got to practice only twice. But we didn’t beat anyone there. It became more of a team building for us, more than anything else. We got to bond, talk and know each other better," Reyes said.

From Taiwan, Reyes, together with Olsen Racela, Wesley Gonzales, Dorian Peña, Dondon Hontiveros and Danny Seigle, went to Brunei for the Sultan’s Cup, where the RP 5 successfully defended the crown.

"That’s why our preparations are really delayed. I’m only seeing the [SMB] roster now," he said.

The Beermen will formally sign draft picks LA Tenorio and Gabby Espinas to contracts next week, and start negotiations on the new contracts of the injured Brandon Cablay and Migs Noble.

Reyes dispelled the rumor that Espinas will be traded to another team for a big man, which the team needs as a possible backup for Peña.

"We really need a quick big man, and Espinas is such a player. We will never give him up," said Reyes.

The stylist mentor said a trade could be one option to land a big man. SMB has two first-round picks in the next draft, but it may not happen at least in the coming Philippine Cup.

"I know it’s impossible at this point. Very realistically, there’s no chance [of a trade] so I’m not spending any time there. Right now, my thinking is to work with what I have," the coach said.

Reyes gets a first look at his new recruits when San Miguel faces his former team, Coca-Cola, on September 5 in the preseason tournament at the JCSGO gym in Cubao.

full battle gear
09-02-2006, 11:59 AM
Dragons give up on Adducul, pursue deal with Cabatu

The Philippine Star 09/02/2006

The Welcoat Dragons management has given up hopes on acquiring the services of Rommel Adducul and will now firm up its negotiation with rookie Junjun Cabatu to complete the team roster for the 2006-07 PBA wars.

"I believe our chance to make a deal with Ginebra is very remote. They seem to have no plan of letting Rommel go," said Welcoat co-owner Raymund Yu.

"Without a call from Ginebra, we have no other option but to settle with the team that we have right now," Yu added.

The only player left unsigned in the Welcoat camp is the 6-foot-5 center-forward Cabatu who’s seeking a better deal than the one offered by the management.

But Danny Espiritu, Cabatu’s agent-adviser, said they’re now ready to sign a contract with the ball club.

One of three players directly elevated by Welcoat to the pro ranks, Cabatu reportedly has a standing offer of close to P2.2 million for two years from the Asian Coating Inc. franchise.

Froilan Baguion, Joey Mente, Denver Lopez, Jojo Tangkay, Nino Gelig, Jireh Ivanez, Jay Sagad, JayR Reyes, Adonis Sta. Maria, Gilbert Lao and Rob Wainwright are the other players tapped by coach Leo Austria.

Wainwright’s contract, however, is expiring at the end of the month. The 6-foot-3 forward was acquired by Welcoat from Coca-Cola through the dispersal draft.

UP’s Abby Santos, the 10th pick overall in the recent Rookie Draft, could end up on the reserve list or out of it all. — Nelson Beltran

full battle gear
09-02-2006, 12:13 PM
Rookies lift Tigers past Realtors
www.mb.com.ph


By DENNIS PRINCIPE

THE COCA-COLA Tigers squandered a 25-point lead in the second quarter but leaned on their rookies in scoring a 94-91 victory over Sta. Lucia Realtors last night in the PBA preseason tournament at the New Era University Gym.

2006 Draft second round pick Ronjay Enrile scored the most important points of the game as he calmly sank two free throws off a foul by top overall pick Kelly Williams with 5.9 seconds remaining.

Previous to that Enrile grabbed a huge rebound off a missed short jumper by Realtor Norman Gonzales.

The Tigers took a commanding 55-30 lead with less than a minute left in the second quarter but the Realtors came back strong behind Kenneth Duremdes and continued nibbling at the Tigers’ lead until 90-91 after a Duremdes goal, 21.1 seconds left.

Tigers rookie Chris Pacana and Duremdes then exchanged charity splits before Enrile finalized the score with his shots from the stripes.

Free agent Neil Raneses led the Tigers with 18 points while third pick overall and last night’s crowd favorite Joseph Yeo contributed 16 points on top of three rebounds and four assists.

Williams had an impressive game by tallying 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while another Realtor rookie Mark Isip chipped in 15 points.

The second playing date of the tournament is scheduled today at the San Sebastian College in Cavite City with crowd drawer Barangay Ginebra taking on defending All Filipino champion Purefoods.

full battle gear
09-03-2006, 09:30 AM
SMB begins build-up with Tenorio, Espinas

By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 03:46am (Mla time) 09/03/2006

Published on page A22 of the September 3, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE San Miguel Beer rebuilding has started.

Rookies Lewis Alfred Tenorio and Gabby Espinas signed multimillion-peso contracts the other day to inject a dash of youth in the aging lineup of the Beermen in the coming Philippine Basketball Association season.

Drafted fourth overall, the whippet-quick Tenorio agreed to a three-year deal while the 6-foot-4 Espinas, picked at fifth overall, inked a two-year pact. Team officials declined to reveal the financial terms.

“Gabby and I are happy with what San Miguel has in store for us,” said Tenorio, who won a UAAP championship with the Ateneo Blue Eagles in 2002 on top of several amateur accolades.

“We haven’t really started practicing with the entire team but I’m excited. This is what I’m really dreaming about,” added Tenorio.

San Miguel coach Chot Reyes took a week’s rest following the national team’s championship run in the just concluded Brunei Cup along with SMB starters Danny Seigle, Olsen Racela, Dorian Peña, Dondon Hontiveros and Wesley Gonzales.

Reyes said the team’s training would commence tomorrow.

Espinas, who owned the distinction of becoming the NCAA’s rookie-MVP in 2004 while playing for the Philippine Christian University Dolphins, will add ceiling and mobility to San Miguel’s limited rotation at the frontline.

Reyes openly declared that he would test the waters to net another mobile big man to backstop Seigle and Peña as he squelched rumors that the athletic Espinas is on the trading block.

“We need a quick bigman and Gabby is such a player. We will never give him up,” said Reyes.

As for Tenorio, the Finals MVP of the recent PBL championships will serve as an apprentice for veteran playmaker Olsen Racela, who, in a couple of years would elevate his basketball acumen to coaching.

“Last conference, we were dead-last in rebounds, dead-last in fastbreaks. Those are the areas we really need to work on more,” said Reyes. “These guys (Tenorio and Espinas) could help us in those areas.”

full battle gear
09-04-2006, 11:17 AM
Chot Reyes expects big role for Tenorio

By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 03:24am (Mla time) 09/04/2006

Published on Page A29 of the September 4, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

FOR ALMOST a decade, Olsen Racela has been San Miguel Beer’s ever-reliable court general.

But since the arrival of rookie Lewis Alfred Tenorio, San Miguel Beer coach Chot Reyes has been contemplating on relegating Racela from his usual starting point-guard slot.

“It depends,” said Reyes after the Beermen signed up Tenorio, fourth pick overall, to a three-year deal on Friday. “The way we figure it, LA needs two years more before he can take over Racela’s chores.

“But it could be sooner than expected. That kid (LA) is a fast learner.”

If Tenorio proves to be more efficient, the former Ateneo Blue Eagle will become the Beermen’s chief playmaker under Reyes’ coaching philosophy of “quickness and speed.”

“I want a team that can at least match pace with the other quicker teams and LA can set that kind of tempo for us,” said Reyes.

Racela, who will be 36 a month after the PBA’s formal opening on Oct. 1, hardly started for the San Miguel-RP Team of coach Reyes during its successful defense of the Brunei Cup a week ago.

Team sources said Racela, himself Ateneo’s chief gunner in the early 1990s, has been offered a job as playing assistant but declined, insisting he still has a couple of playing years left.

The 5-foot-7 Tenorio, who needs to match Racela’s fine outside shooting touch to become more effective, was the RP team’s top playmaker in the Jones Cup last July. He helped Ateneo win the 2002 UAAP title and led Harbour Centre to the last Philippine Basketball League crown by winning MVP honors in the Finals.

full battle gear
09-04-2006, 11:19 AM
CLEAN LIVING
Did PBA attendance drop after each Asiad debacle?

By Manolo Iñigo
Inquirer
Last updated 03:29am (Mla time) 09/04/2006

Published on Page A32 of the September 4, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

I COULD BE WRONG, but past statistics showed that attendance in the games of the Philippine Basketball Association dropped dramatically after each debacle in the Asian Games, starting in Beijing in 1990, when the pro league assumed the responsibility of representing the country in the quadrennial meet.

In that 1990 Beijing Games, the Philippines, playing under coach Sonny Jaworksi, finished second to host China. Another PBA selection, this time mentored by Norman Black, placed fourth in Hiroshima in 1994, while the PBA Centennial Team, handled by Tim Cone, landed third in Bangkok in 1998. Four years later in Busan, the Philippines, coached by Jong Uichico, skidded to fourth, frustrating millions of basketball fans obsessed with winning.

In my view, this series of reversals was a compelling reason why the fans have shied away from most PBA games.

As PBA chair Ricky Vargas correctly said, “Good performance in an international competition has a link to an increased interest in basketball in the country, and this indirectly affects the PBA.” He added that the Doha Asiad will also be in conflict with the critical phase of the PBA All-Filipino Cup. “I don’t think it’s right to disrupt our calendar any further,” Vargas said.

However, I’m not buying his last pitch. Didn’t the PBA already synchronize its schedule with the FIBA (international basketball federation) calendar a few years ago?

On the other hand, national coach Chot Reyes, who once batted for participation in this year’s Doha Asian Games, has changed his mind. “Non-PBA participation in the Asiad was a foregone conclusion,” he said.

“I think it would be unfair to ask the players to keep on training for nothing,” Reyes stressed, adding he would have just one problem: “I wouldn’t know what to tell them.”

In the Doha Asiad, the Philippines -- granting that the FIBA suspension on the country is lifted following the designation of businessman-sports patron Manuel V. Pangilinan to head a three-man panel that will form basketball’s new national sports association, as mandated by the international federation -- will find it hard to beat the Yao Ming-led China, defending champion South Korea, Kazakhstan, Lebanon and host Qatar.

Since 1986, the Philippines has not beaten China in basketball. In the 2003 FIBA-Asia (formerly ABC) tournament, the Philippines finished a dismal 15th. The second-to-the-last finish was the country’s worst ever in the 43-year-history of the Olympic qualifier. The next FIBA-Asia qualifier will be held in 2007.

The very idea of winning in the Asian Games and the Olympics is not going to happen now or in the near future. Filipino players are small in built compared to their taller, beefier and faster rivals. Worse, our present crop of mostly PBA players and a few collegiate stars undergoes haphazard training, not to mention our basketball leaders’ penchant for selecting national teams at the last minute.

Perhaps, we could learn a lesson or two from European champion Greece, which upset the powerhouse United States in this year’s World Basketball Championship in Japan on Friday. The Greeks have been playing as a team for many years, hence they were better organized.

full battle gear
09-04-2006, 11:20 AM
Everyone’s gunning for Ginebra
THE GAME OF MY LIFE By Bill Velasco
The Philippine Star 09/04/2006

This writer has been making the rounds of PBA team practices, both to find stories for The STAR and features for The Basketball Show. And it is no surprise that the consensus among the teams is that Barangay Ginebra is the team to beat, what with their acquisition of Billy Mamaril, Rafi Reavis and Rudy Hatfield. One coach even looked at me with utter incredulity, as if it weren’t even a question.

But, talking to the Gin King’s head coach Jong Uichico, you get the sense that he still has a lot of work to do, and not much time to do it in. After spending the better part of 13 years with San Miguel Beer’s franchise, he’s slowly getting used to putting on a different uniform when he goes to work. He is literally starting from scratch, although he has a heck of a talent pool to start with. But there are some things that may take a bit more time.

"First is building relationships with the players," Uichico reveals. "We’ve built relationships with the players of San Miguel for the past 8, 9, 10 years. Second is the style of play. The style of play that Ginebra is used to and the style of play that San Miguel is used to are two entirely different styles. We’re trying to strike a balance, without taking away Ginebra’s strength."

Since Ginebra started practice earlier than most other teams, they’ve got a head start in terms of teamwork and conditioning. Uichico says that they’re in pretty good shape physically, but are still trying to build their chemistry while adapting a new system.

"The trip to Brunei helped us a lot, discovering our weaknesses and our strengths," Uichico says. "It helped them adjust to me as a coach, and helped me adjust to them. We’re taking this pre-season tournament of the PBA to get to know everyone better, and see how they’ll play with each other."

Although the general impression is that he basically just has to roll out a basketball and watch his powerhouse team steamroll the competition, it’s far more complicated than that. Each player has to understand how to participate in the process of winning. Ginebra knows that a star-studded team is fertile ground for intrigue and complaints about playing time and scoring opportunities.

"First and foremost is for me to find the players’ niche in the system," the champion coach of San Miguel Beer explains. "Second is the sacrifice of the players. Because we’re overloaded in certain positions, one or two have to sacrifice until we find the right rotation and right role-playing. Basically those are the two most important things I have to tackle first."

On another matter, Uichico denied rumors that the Gin Kings are trying to unload center Romel Adducul. According to team management, they don’t know who started the rumors, but they haven’t made any moves in that direction.

"We’re not initiating anything. I’ve talked to Romel, and he doesn’t want to be traded," Uichico declares. "Just because we seem overloaded in certain positions doesn’t mean we want to trade anybody. Why would we want to trade Romel, when he’s the only legitimate center we have aside from Eric Menk who can score inside?"

At least three teams – Talk ’N Text, Air21 and Welcoat – have reportedly expressed interest in acquiring the 6’6" former Asian Basketball Confederation All-Star. But Uichico says nothing concrete has come up, more so since some teams think that they can get Adducul for a song since his team is loaded with quality players.

"We’re just standing here, and they’re the ones approaching us," he elaborates. "But for us to even think about it, it would have to be something really tempting. If not, don’t even think about it."

Uichico is in the unenviable position of steering the league’s crowd favorite. And with the abundance of talent that he has, describing his position as "the hot seat" is an understatement.

"There’s much pressure for me to win right away," Uichico admits. "Especially because it’s Ginebra. Not because it’s me, but because anyone who coaches Ginebra is expected to win right away. Yun lang. It’s part of the job, and we just have to do what is called for."

But what may be called for is a championship, immediately. And that is definitely the biggest difference in coaching Ginebra these days.

full battle gear
09-04-2006, 11:21 AM
Duremdes ready to play backup role
www.mb.com.ph


By NOLI CRUZ

KENNETH DUREMDES is ready to take on a different challenge at the Sta. Lucia Realtors in the coming season of the Philippine Basketball Association.

"Mas kailangan ng team ‘yung leadership ko at syempre nina Marlou (Aquino) and Dennis (Espino)," Duremdes said.

The leading scorer of the Realtors is willing to relinquish his starring role in their offensive scheme.

The main reason, of course, is the arrival of super rookie Kelly Williams.

"Ibang klase ang athletic ability ni Kelly. Marami s’yang nagagawa sa court na hindi kayang gawin ng karaniwang players," Duremdes noted. "Explosive player si Kelly. Mahirap dikitan dahil masyadong mabilis."

Duremdes, who hails from Marbel, South Cotabato, also has nothing left to prove as a player.

He has been named as one of the league’s 25 Greatest Players in 1999 aside from collecting four Most Valuable Player trophies, including one from the All-Star series.

"Tapos na ‘yung stage ng career ko na nag-a-aspire ako for individual awards. Para sa mga bata na lang ‘yun."

But the Realtors can always count on him if the need arises.

"Kumpiyansa naman ako na kaya ko pang mag-contribute. Ang kaibahan lang ngayon ‘di ko na kailangang magpilit dahil mas marami na kaming offensive options."

He showed a glimpse of his old brilliance during their first pre-season game.

With Williams struggling at the onset and the Realtors trailing by as many as 25 points, Duremdes presided over a huge rally and finished with a game-high 28 points although they fell short in the end.

The ever optimistic Duremdes finds something encouraging in the loss.

"Kung dati hirap kaming bumangon ngayon tiwala kami na kaya naming bumalik," he said.

"Marami na kaming weapons sa opensa. Sa depensa na lang namin kailangang magtrabaho ng husto."

Duremdes has evolved into a complete player since being acquired by the Sunkist Orange as third overall pick in the 1995 Draft.

His versatility earned him the MVP award in 1998 while playing for the Alaska Milk.

Still, pouring in the points remains his forte.

Duremdes is a gifted scorer. He can slash, post-up and shoot from any conceivable angles of the floor.

The prolific forward is the last player to average more than 30 points per game in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, doing the trick with the Adamson Falcons in 1993.

It was not too long ago when he last led the PBA in scoring. He pulled it off in the 2005 All-Filipino Conference when he normed 22 points per game.

Although an assortment of injuries slowed him down last season, Duremdes still led the Realtors in scoring in the recent Philippine Cup with an average of 16.1 points. He’s also second most generous player in the team with 4.5 dimes per game, next only to Alex Cabagnot’s 4.6.

If there’s one thing that keeps his competitive fire burning, it’s his inability to win a championship with the Realtors. He has six titles in the pro, winning two with Sunkist and four with Alaska.

full battle gear
09-04-2006, 11:22 AM
Welcoat gets baptism of fire
www.mb.com.ph




Games Today 4 p.m. — Sta. Lucia vs Talk 'N Text (PUP gym) 4 p.m. — Air21 vs Welcoat (RTU gym)

————————

THE WELCOAT Dragons, a team with a winning legacy in the PBL, will get their baptism of fire as they take on the Air21 Express today in the 2006 PBA pre-season mini tournament at the Rizal Technological University gym.

Unable to acquire Rommel Adducul from Barangay Ginebra, Welcoat will try to make do with a young but promising lineup that includes five rookies in Junjun Cabatu, Jay-R Reyes, Jay Sagad, Froilan Baguion and Jireh Ibanez.

Veterans Joey Mente, Denver Lopez, Jojo Tangkay, Nino Gelig, Adonis Sta. Maria, Gilbert Lao and Rob Wainwright complete the Welcoat lineup that is likely to work on a pressing and running game.

"Malalaman namin ngayon kung anong mangyayari sa amin pagdating sa tournament proper," said co-team owner Terry Que. "Pero may tiwala naman kami sa kanila kahit na rookies sila."

"Our players want to prove something so sa tingin maging maganda ang laban na ito," said Raymund Yu. "Maganda ang pre-season na ito kasi malalaman namin ka agad kung anong ang kulang sa amin."

Meantime, the Sta. Lucia Realtors try to bounce back from their stinging defeat to the Coca-Cola Tigers when they battle Talk ’N Text at the PUP gym. Both games are set at 4 p.m.

full battle gear
09-04-2006, 11:24 AM
Welcoat tests mettle vs Air21
www.abs-cbnnews.com


Games Monday

4 p.m. – Sta. Lucia vs. Talk ‘n Text (PUP gym)

4 p.m. – Air21 vs Welcoat (RTU gym)





The Welcoat Dragons, a team with a winning legacy in the Philippine Basketball League, will have their first taste of pro ball as they take on the Air21 Express Monday in the 2006 PBA pre-season mini tournament at the Rizal Technological University gym.

Kelly Williams strut his stuff for the second time with Sta. Lucia against the Talk ‘n Text Phone Pals that should show vast improvement following extensive training in the US. The teams face off in the day’s other game scheduled at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines gym.

Both games are set at 4 p.m.

Unable to acquire Rommel Adducul from Barangay Ginebra, Welcoat will try to make do with a young and inexperienced lineup that includes five rookies in Junjun Cabatu, JayR Reyes, Jay Sagad, Froilan Baguion and Jireh Ivanez.

Veterans Joey Mente, Denver Lopez, Jojo Tangkay, Nino Gelig, Adonis Sta. Maria, Gilbert Lao and Rob Wainwright complete the Welcoat lineup that is likely to work on a pressing and running game.

Assistant coaches Caloy Garcia and Alex Compton will temporarily call the shots for the Dragons while head coach Leo Austria is still completing his stint with the Adamson Falcons in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines

Welcoat will be up against an Air21 squad souped up by former FEU star forward Arwind Santos, the No. 2 rookie pick.

"We can’t wait for the opening of the season. We’re excited to see what we can do with our acquisition of Arwind," Air21 board representative and team manager Lito Alvarez said.

full battle gear
09-05-2006, 10:56 AM
PBA Preseason Games
www.mb.com.ph


Santos shines as Air21 nips Welcoat

By NOLI CRUZ

ARWIND SANTOS yesterday showed he can provide the little things that could make the Air21 Express a big threat in the coming season of the Philippine Basketball Association.

The second overall pick in this year’s draft piled up points at the right time and hustled on defense to help the Express beat the Welcoat Dragons, 118-101, in their preseason debut at the RTU Gym in Mandaluyong City.

His basket in the fourth period capped a 9-2 run that doused the fire on the Dragons’ mouth and gave the Express a 102-94 lead, under five minutes to go. His free throws with 3:07 left restored their double-digit advantage, 110-99.

The do-it-all forward also sparked a strong start by the Express in the third, picking up a steal and canning a jumper in the first two possessions of the period to the delight of the spectators in the packed arena.

He and Wynne Arboleda combined for 15 points in a 17-1 run to turn a five-point halftime deficit into a 72-61 lead.

They never trailed from there.

Over at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines gym, Talk ‘N Text overcame a sluggish start to beat a depleted Sta. Lucia squad, 93-84.

The game became intense at one instance that Phone Pals’ Mark Cardona and Sta. Lucia’s Cesar Catli nearly came into blows. Both players were ejected.

The Express were still ahead, 28-18, when the Dragons finally woke up and put together a 22-6 run as the comebacking Joey Mente showed some of his aerial antics and rookie Jay Sagad displayed his soft touch from the perimeter.

Froilan Baguion’s triple gave the Dragons their first taste of the lead, 36-34, 7:12 left in the second period.

They padded it to 40-34 exactly one minute later on a transition basket by Jojo Tangkay.

Santos, who came off the bench, had a tentative start for the Express offensively. But the highly-touted rookie did fine on the defensive end, holding his own against the tall Dragons frontline and blocking and forcing Marlon Legaspi to travel in one sequence.

He found his range in the final minute of the first half, nailing a three-pointer to keep the Express within striking distance, 48-53.

They pulled to within 55-57 after four straight free throws — one from Arboleda off a technical from Gilbert Lao and three from Mark Telan.

bluewing
09-05-2006, 02:08 PM
is enrico on the trading block? nabasa ko kasi sa pex, pero alam naman nating hindi lahat doon ay totoo. so ano na ba?

full battle gear
09-06-2006, 11:33 AM
Ginebra Kings favorites, says Guiao

By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 02:41am (Mla time) 09/06/2006

Published on Page A29 of the September 6, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE RED BULL BARAKOS look good for another title run.

Reserves Leo Najorda and Paolo Bugia provided the finishing touches as the Barakos held off the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals, 101-91, last night in the PBA Pre-Season mini tournament at the JSCGO gym.

The Barakos turned the game around in the final three minutes behind a fluid offense and a tough defense that limited the Phone Pals to just two points in that stretch.

“I think we’re still a contender,” said Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao of his team, the reigning Fiesta Conference champion and runner-up to Purefoods in the Philippine Cup.

“But we still have to work on a lot of areas to be able to contend with Ginebra. I think Ginebra is the team to beat this season because of its depth and size, and San Miguel could be a surprise treat if LA Tenorio blends well with the team quickly,” Guiao added.

Among other things, Guiao said the Barakos have to improve on their rebounding. The Phone Pals beat the Barakos off the boards, 51-45.

full battle gear
09-06-2006, 11:38 AM
Cardona, Catli fined for pre-season fight
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 09/06/2006

Talk n Text’s Mark Cardona and Sta. Lucia’s Cesar Catli were spared suspension but will draw fines for figuring in a fight in their teams’ duel Monday in the PBA pre-season series at the RTU gym.

PBA technical chief Perry Martinez said the amount of the fines will be announced tomorrow.

"The idea of the pre-season is to let teams evaluate their players. We don’t want to deprive their teams that opportunity so we’re not suspending Cardona and Catli. But they will certainly be fined to show them that they should act within the rules and guidelines of the league," said Martinez.

Cardona and Catli, who had had their fierce match-ups in the UAAP and in the PBL, were at it again Monday, nearly mixing it up after a rugged play in the closing minutes of the contest.

Cardona, a former La Salle Archer, and Catli, an ex-FEU Tam, were thrown out of the contest. Had it happened in a regular game, the two would have served automatic suspension the following game aside from being fined.

"They could have earned suspension but we don’t want to take away the real intention of the pre-season which is to provide avenue for teams to test their players," said Martinez.

The two figured in two collisions with the last one seeing Cardona swinging an elbow then Catli retaliating. But proverbial cooler heads kept the incident from getting out of hand.

Felix Belano scored 22 points and Cardona added 17 as the Phone Pals drubbed the Sta. Lucia Realtors, 93-84. Most of the key players of both teams didn’t play, though.

The 10 teams are divided into two groups in this pre-season series. The two groups play one round-robin each with the top two teams advancing to play in a one-game final.

Red Bull, San Miguel, Coca-Cola, Talk n Text and Sta. Lucia are bunched in Group A while Purefoods, Alaska, Ginebra, Air21 and Welcoat compose Group B.

full battle gear
09-06-2006, 11:39 AM
Celebrities, PBA stars lend Tejada a hand

The Philippine Star 09/06/2006

The Eugene Tejada Celebrity Benefit, sanctioned by the PBA, will be played on September 23 at 4 p.m. at the new San Juan Arena with teams composed of PBA legends, current PBA stars and entertainment celebrities suiting up to raise funds for Tejada’s mounting medical expenses.

The Purefoods forward is currently recuperating from his devastating Mother’s Day injury with his family at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in California

A rare public appearance for the new 2006 International Hiphop Champions, the Hip-Hop All -Stars, will be made during half-time break of the event. Other celebrities will also be making personal appearances.

"All proceeds and donations will go to Eugene Tejada’s rehabilitation and treatment," said Chiqui Flowers, one of the organizers. "People may get in touch with the group through genie@steakproductions.com or eugenetejadafundraiser@yahoo.com."

The same evening at 9 p.m., the group will hold an after-party entitles "Step by Step" at Fiamma on Jupiter Street in Makati. During the party, an auction will be held, with original PBA memorabilia, autographed jerseys from past and present PBA stars and basketballs signed by the different PBA teams will be up for bids.

Fans and friends may reach Eugene Tejada through http://www.myspace.com/1049202.

Aside from Flowers, the group, which calls itself "Friends of Genie", is made up of Jeni Hernandez, Sarah Meier-Albano, Jimmy Alapag, LJ Moreno, Harvey Carey, Kalani Ferreria, Anja Noble, Joy Cortez, Samantha Reyes, Robert Johnson, Julie Dela Cruz, Mike Cortez, Tony Dela Cruz, Migs Noble, Rich Hardin, Nats Calinawan, Mon Jose, Manina Jimenez, Banjo Albano, Chris Aldaba, and Mark Africa. — Bill Velasco

full battle gear
09-06-2006, 11:47 AM
Red Bull beats TNT in preseason
www.mb.com.ph


THE RED Bull Barakos may be launching their campaign this season with the same set of warriors that earned them two finals appearances last year.

After their first outing, they look like they’re still good for another title run.

With Leo Najorda and Paolo Bugia leading the way, the Barakos held off the Talk N Text Phone Pals for a 101-91 win last night in the PBA Pre-Season mini tournament at the JSCGO gym in Cubao.

The Barakos turned the game around in the final three minutes with excellent teamwork and tough defense that limited the Phone Pals to just two points in that stretch.

"I think we’re still a contender," said Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao of his team, the reigning Fiesta Conference champion and runner up to Purefoods in the Philippine Cup.

"But we still have to work on a lot of areas to be able to contend with Ginebra. I think Ginebra is the team to beat this season because of its depth and size and San Miguel could be a surprise treat if LA Tenorio blends well with the team quickly," said Guiao.

Among other things, Guiao said the Barakos have to improve on their rebounding. The Phone Pals dominated the Barakos in the battle of the boards, 51-45.

Cyrus Baguio scored 18 points to show the way for the Barakos with Najorda

chipping in 17 points and had nine rebounds and Bugia adding 14 and seven boards.

The victory tied Red Bull with Coca-Cola in Group A while dealing TNT its first loss in two starts.

TNT coach Derrick Pumaren continued to rest his three stars – Asi Taulava, Jimmy Alapag and Don Allado - and delegated the fight to MacMac Cardona, Felix Belano and Anthony Washinton.

Meanwhile, Sta. Lucia Cesar Catli and Kenneth Duremdes and TNT’s Cardona has been summoned to appear before PBA Commissioner Noli Eala at 11 this morning to explain their side regarding the untoward incident that nearly marred their game Monday.

The game won by the Phone Pals, 93-84, turned ugly in the closing minutes when Catli and Cardona traded blows. Both were ejected from the game.

Duremdes was invited for his flagrant and technical foul he committed.

full battle gear
09-06-2006, 11:53 AM
Juinio is back with Alaska for 1 tourney
www.abs-cbnnews.com


One more prodigal son of Alaska has returned home.

Veteran center Poch Juinio signed a one-conference contract with the Aces on Tuesday, reuniting him with the Uytengsu franchise where he started his career in the Philippine Basketball Association.

"We wanted to give him a try. And as one of our former players that brought honor to this ballclub, we didn’t hesitate to give him one conference," team manager Joaqui Trillo told Sports Times.

"And it so happened that the team is in need of a big man because of the ACL injury of Reynel Hugnatan, Poch is a perfect candidate for the spot and his knowledge of the triangle [offense that Alaska uses] has been tested before," he added.

The 33-year-old center became the fourth Alaska player to return to the Aces’ fold after Jojo Lastimosa—now one of the assistants of coach Tim Cone—plus Bong Hawkins and Jeffrey Cariaso.

The Aces tried hard to regain the services of Johnny Abarrientos in the offseason, but the 5-foot-7 point guard and former Most Valuable Player opted to stay with Coca-Cola.

Joel Orellana

pachador
09-07-2006, 12:49 AM
I heard in the news that there are 3 new rule changes in the PBAwhat are they???? thanks

full battle gear
09-07-2006, 07:25 AM
Express run down Chunkees, 108-82
www.mb.com.ph




WITH A display of excellent teamwork, fluid running game and ferocious rebounding, the Air21 Express routed an overweight, out-of-shape Purefoods Chunkee squad, 108-82, yesterday in the PBA PreSeason mini tournament at the jampacked Tinga Gym in Taguig.

Gary David scored 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting and Niño Cañaleta added 15 to lead the Express to its second victory in Group B while dealing the Giants their second loss in as many games.

"I’m quite impressed with the way the team is performing. But we still have to work on our defense. Last season, we were ranked in the lower half when it comes to defense. If we could improve three notches higher medyo magada na,’ said Air 21 coach Bo Perasol, adding their showing in the tournament can’t be the gauge of their upcoming campaign.

"We beat Purefoods easily because they’re not yet in shape. By the time the season opens, I’m sure they’ll be a lot better team," he said.

The Giants, just coming in after a five-week vacation after capturing the Philippine Cup, started training only last Thursday and in the game, looked like a bunch of overfed kids.

"The team is definitely out of shape. But that’s just fine. Our training camp will run for five weeks so by the time the season opens, the team will be fit and ready to defend our title," said Purefoods Chunkee Coach Ryan Gregorio.

James Yap, the reigning MVP, tallied 21 points and Kerby Raymundo added 11 for the Giants, who shot just 35 percent on 26-of-74 shooting.

The Giants raced to an 11-4 lead as the Express started slow. But Air 21 turned the game into a mismatch from the moment the Express picked up its rhythm and got its running game going.

After scoring just two points in his first game as a pro, Arwind Santos, the No. 2 pick in the Draft, tallied eight points and had 10 rebounds against the Giants who fell by as many as 36 points, 90-54, early in the fourth quarter.

The tournament shifts to Chiang Kai Shek School today with Talk ’N Text taking on Coca-Cola at 4 p.m.

The scores:

AIR21 108 — David 19, Canaleta 15, Tubid 13, Telan 12, R. De Ocampo 10, Santos 8, Arboleda 8, Y. De Ocampo 8, Se 7, Avenido 6, Sotto 2.

PUREFOODS 82 — J Yap 21, Raymundo 11, Yap 10, Pingris 9, Limpot 6, Castillo 5, Yee 5, Evangelista 5, Omiping 4, Camaso 4, Mesina 2, Gamboa 0, Artadi 0.

Quarters: 26-17, 56-38, 82-52, 108-82

full battle gear
09-07-2006, 07:29 AM
Express run over off-form Giants

The Philippine Star 09/07/2006

Arwind Santos needs just a little more time to jell with his new teammates. But as team the Air21 Express looks in sharp form and ready for the upcoming Philippine Basketball Association season.

In a display of excellent teamwork, fluid running game and ferocious rebounding, the Express routed an overweight, out-of-shape Purefoods Chunkee Giants, 108-82 yesterday in the PBA pre season mini tournament at the jampacked Tinga gym in Taguig.

Gary David scored 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting and Niño Canaleta added 15 to lead the Express to its second victory in Group B while dealing the Giants their second loss in as many games.

"I’m quite impressed with the way the team is performing. But we still have to work on our defense. Last season we were ranked in the lower half when it comes to defense. If we could improve three notch higher we’ll be okay," said Air21 coach Bo Perasol, adding their showing in the tournament can’t be the gauge of their upcoming campaign.

"We beat Purefoods easily because they’re not yet in shape. By the time the season opens I’m sure they’ll be a lot better team," he said.

Keen observers who have seen the Giants of late would readily noticed their poor physical state.

With their training camp just started last Thursday, the reigning Philippine Cup champions, who are coming off a five week vacation, all looked visibly out of game shape.

James Yap, the reigning MVP, tallied 21 points and Kerby Raymundo added 11 for the Giants, who shot just 35 percent on 26-of-74 shooting.

The Giants raced to an 11-4 lead as the Express started slow. But Air21 turned the game into a mismatch from the moment the Express picked up its rhythm and got its running game going.

After scoring just two points in his first game as a pro, Santos, the No. 2 rookie pick, tallied eight points and had 10 rebounds against the Giants who fell by as many as 36 points, 90-54, early in the fourth quarter.

christian
09-07-2006, 09:45 PM
Is that Jenkins Mesina?

full battle gear
09-08-2006, 11:38 AM
Johnny-less Tigers clobber Phone Pals


Inquirer
Last updated 03:15am (Mla time) 09/08/2006

Published on Page A24 of the September 8, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE COCA-COLA Tigers seem to be moving on well without the leadership of Johnny Abbarientos.

The new-look team that coach Binky Favis built around a bunch of young and hardworking guys routed Jimmy Alapag and the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals, 81-113, last night in the PBA Pre-Season Mini Tournament at the Chiang Kai Shek gym.

Rookie Joseph Yeo, the No. 3 overall pick, scored 19 points that went with his six rebounds and seven assists to lead the Tigers.

Will Antonio tallied 17 points and Allan Salansang added 14 for Coca Cola which outrebounded TNT, 53-47.

The Tigers dominated their opponents with a lot of hustle, good ball movement and strong rebounding in a game that also showcased tough defense from both teams.

“I’m very impressed with the way we’re performing in the tournament,” said Favis. “They may be young but they are stars in their own right.

“This team has yet to mature,” said Fabis. “But we expect the guys to blossom sooner than later.

Fabis added that Abbarientos’ spot in the team remains uncertain. Abbarientos’ contract expires at the end of the month.

The scores:
COCA-COLA 113 -- Yeo 19, Antonio 17, Pacana 15, Salansang 14, Rañeses 13, Miranda 13, Rodriguez 8, Peek 6, Misolas 5, Gavino 3.
TALK ‘N TEXT 81 -- Aldave 14, Alonzo 11, Washington 11, Sanz 11, Daa 10, Cardona 10, Alapag 10, Fran 2, Hardine 2.
Quarters: 23-13; 43-33; 74-54; 113-82

full battle gear
09-08-2006, 11:52 AM
Gin Kings want to get Abarrientos

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Johnny Abarrientos to Barangay Ginebra? Now that has the Gin Kings’ faithful buzzing.

The 1996 Most Valuable Player is looking for a new Philippine Basketball Association team to play for—and new Ginebra is willing to take him in as long as management can complete a deal with their San Miguel Corp. sister club, Coca-Cola.

"Johnny’s smartness and experience could give us stability in the backcourt," said Uichico, who invited the former Far Eastern King Tamaraw to come over and practice with Ginebra.

"Though nothing’s final yet, we’re considering taking him in," added Uichico, who had just moved over from San Miguel Beer.

Barangay Ginebra is keen on acquiring Abarrientos from the Coke Tigers to bolster a backcourt riddled by injuries and a menacing frontline in dire need of a reliable playmaker.

But it would need to look for a third team to trade with since league rules prohibit SMC-owned teams from swapping players directly.

It would not be difficult for Uichico to add the 14-year veteran into the team’s lineup since starting point guard Jayjay Helterbrand and backup Egay Echavez are both on the injured list.

Helterbrand again hurt his right hip flexor muscle when the Kings played the Purefoods Giants in a recent preseason game. It was the same injury that sidelined the shifty Filipino American during the playoffs of the Philippine Cup last conference.

Uichico, however, is confident that both Helterbrand and Echavez, who bumped his knee into another player from the SK Knights during the Brunei Cup two weeks ago, could suit up in time for the opening of the PBA’s 32nd season on October 1.

"We’re also concerned about the condition and health of Abarrientos, that’s why we wanted to see him play," said Uichico. "But if you ask me, I guess he’s a stable backup for Jayjay."

Sources said Abarrientos, whose contract with Coca-Cola will expire at the end of the month, is also a target of the Santa Lucia Realtors and the Alaska Aces.

The Realtors need a consistent playmaker after Alex Cabagnot abandoned them, while the Aces want to bring Abarrientos back into their fold to recognize the 10 championships they won with him.

"Who doesn’t want to learn from a Johnny Abarrientos? Our guards could learn a lot from him," said Uichico.

full battle gear
09-08-2006, 11:53 AM
PBA Preseason Tournament
www.mb.com.ph


Tigers rout Phone Pals



THE COCA COLA Tigers seem to be moving on pretty well without the leadership of Johnny Abarrientos. The new-look team that coach Binky Favis built around a bunch of young and hardworking guys clobbered Jimmy Alapag and the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals, 113-82, last night in the PBA Preseason Mini Tournament at the Chiang Kai Shek College Gym.

Rookie Joseph Yeo, the No. 3 pick overall, scored 19 points, hauled down six rebounds and issued seven assists to lead the Tigers.

Will Antonio tallied 17 points and Allan Salansang added 14 for Coca Cola which outrebounded the Phone Pals, 53-47.

The Tigers dominated with a lot of hustle, good ball movement and strong rebounding in a game that also showcased awesome running game and tough defense from both teams.

"I’m very impressed with the way we’re performing in the tournament. They may be young but they are stars in their own right," said Favis referring to his young unit that is still a work in progress.

With the team still in the process of getting-to-know-you, Favis said he’s not expecting much from his team.

"This team has yet to mature. But we (coaching staff) are doing the best we could so that the guys will blossom sooner. We also promise to give the opposition a run for their money," said the Coca-Cola coach who did not say if Abarrientos had been cut from the team.

"We want the best for Johnny. And right now I guess his future with us is still uncertain," Favis said to explain the absence of the one-time PBA MVP who is seeking to extend his career.

Abarrientos’ contract with the Tigers expires at the end of the month.

The wily guard reportedly is not calling it quits yet and was seen practicing with the Ginebra Kings.

The Tigers raced away in the first period, ending the 10-minute phase with a 10-0 blast for a 23-13 lead.

A three pointer by Alapag, seeing action in the tournament for the first time, pulled the Phone Pals within seven but Yeo knocked in back-to-back baskets to extend Coke’s margin to 36-25.

The Phone Pals never recovered from there as the Tigers continued to pound the boards, getting their biggest lead of 78-54 early in the fourth.

Anthony Washington, Robert Sanz and Chard Alonzo scored 11 points apiece for the Phone Pals, who remained without Asi Taulava and Don Allado.

The win was the third in three games for the Tigers in Group A while Talk ’N Text absorbed its second loss in three starts also in Group A.

gameface_one
09-09-2006, 01:18 PM
Grizzlies' Gasol out four months after toe surgery
abs-cbnnews.com



NEW YORK - Memphis Grizzlies center Pau Gasol will be out of action for four months after undergoing surgery to repair a broken toe, the team said on Friday.


Gasol, who sustained the injury last week during Spain's semi-final win over Argentina at the world championship in Japan, will travel to Spain on Monday for recovery and will return to Memphis to begin rehabilitation in two weeks.

"We were very pleased with the surgery," Memphis team doctor Fred Azar said in statement on the team's Web site. "We inserted a 45-[millimeter] screw into the fifth metatarsal.

"Pau will wear a cast for two weeks while his foot heals and then begin the rehabilitation process.

"His expected return to play is approximately four months."

Although Gasol was unable to play in championship game, Spain went on to beat Greece to claim the gold medal.

Gasol was also named the tournament's MVP and to its all-star team. Reuters

gameface_one
09-09-2006, 01:19 PM
Johnny A, 34, could be Ginebra’s missing link


By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 02:32am (Mla time) 09/09/2006

Published on page A23 of the September 9, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

JOHNNY Abarrientos appears close to finding a new home fit for a king.

Barangay Ginebra has expressed interest in acquiring Abarrientos to provide teeth to an injury-riddled backcourt and a menacing frontline in dire need of a reliable orchestrator.

Coach Jong Uichico was non-committal but showed enthusiasm on the prospect of getting Abarrientos for the forthcoming Philippine Basketball Association season after the 1996 MVP worked out with the Kings the other day.

“Johnny’s smartness and experience could give us stability in the backcourt,” said Uichico, who invited the former FEU King Tamaraw to come over and practice with the Kings.

“Though nothing’s final yet, we’re considering taking him in.”

It won’t be difficult for Uichico to add the 14-year veteran to the team’s lineup, considering that his starting point guard Jayjay Helterbrand and backup Egay Echavez are on the injury list.

Helterbrand has again hurt his right hip flexor muscle when the Kings played the Purefoods Giants in a recent pre-season game. It was the same injury that had sidelined the shifty Helterbrand during the playoffs of the Philippine Cup last conference.

However, Uichico is confident that Helterbrand and Echavez, who banged knees with another player from the SK Knights during the Brunei Cup two weeks ago, could suit up in time for the opening of the PBA’s 32nd season on Oct. 1.

“We’re also concerned about the condition and health of Abarrientos, that’s why we wanted to see him play,” said Uichico. “But if you ask me, I guess he’s a stable backup for Jayjay.”

Sources said the 34-year-old Abarrientos, whose contract with the Coca-Cola Tigers will expire at the end of the month, is also a hot prospect for the Sta. Lucia Realtors and the Alaska Aces.

The Realtors need a steady and consistent playmaker after Alex Cabagnot abandoned them, while the Aces wanted to bring Abarrientos back into their fold in recognition of the 10 championships Alaska had won with him.

“Who doesn’t want to learn from a Johnny Abarrientos? Our guards could learn a lot from him,” said Uichico.

With a surplus of intimidating players at the frontline and an awe-inspiring backcourt, the addition of Abarrientos could really make the Kings look unbeatable both on paper and on the court.

Erik Menk, Rudy Hatfield, Rafi Reavis, Billy Mamaril, Andy Seigle, Rommel Adducul and Mike Holper form the Kings’ solid frontline, while Mark Caguioa, Sunday Salvacion, Mark Macapagal and Helterbrand are expected to take care of the backcourt.

“They say that dividing the playing time of these players could pose a problem,” said Uichico. “But it’s one problem that I like because other teams are dying to get a big man and I have plenty of them.”

gameface_one
09-09-2006, 01:24 PM
Gin Kings too much for jittery Welcoat



Inquirer
Last updated 02:32am (Mla time) 09/09/2006

Published on page A23 of the September 9, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

REVITALIZED Ginebra mangled an inexperienced Welcoat squad, pro league’s newest team, 99-73, yesterday as the Kings bared newfound balance in time for the next PBA season.

Billy Mamaril topscored with 20 points while Mark Caguioa added 17 as the Kings, shooting 61 percent in the first half, erected a 57-37 halftime lead before claming their second straight win in the PBA pre-season tournament at the Lyceum of the Philippines gym.

Eric Menk, Rudy Hatifield, Rommel Adducul and Mamaril were pitted against a younger and shorter Welcoat crew.

“It was a mismatch right from the start, ang lalaki ng kalaban,” said Welcoat head coach Leo Austria, who delegated bench chores to deputies Carlos Garcia and Alex Compton.

“I really don’t think the score means anything. Against Purefoods, we played against a team that was still out of shape. With Welcoat, we played against a practically young team,” Ginebra coach Jong Uichico explained.

Uichico said Ginebra’s true strength would be gauged when they play the likes of Alaska and the Air 21 Express.

The Kings meet the Aces at 4 this afternoon at the Assumption College gym in Pampanga. They battle the Express next Saturday at the close of the single elimination which will be held at the Tarlac State University.

The Express are also unbeaten in two games and are tied with the Kings on top of the leaderboard.

The scores:

GINEBRA 99—Mamaril 20, Caguioa 17, Macapagal 12, Salvacion 11, Holper 8, Chia 8. Hatfield 7, Oreta 4, Llanete 4, Dulay 2, Menk 2.

WELCOAT 73—Reyes 14, Tangkay 12, Wainwright 9, Mente 8, Gelig 7, Ibanes 6, Sagad 4, Magpayo 3, Legaspi 3, Baguion 3, Cabatu 2, Santos 0, Lopez 0, Sta. Maria 0, Castro 0.

Quarters: 27-12; 57-37; 75-55; 99-73

gameface_one
09-09-2006, 01:46 PM
Kings subdue Dragons, now ‘team to beat’
abs-cbnnews.com




Jong Uichico won’t argue with the self-proclaimed experts who say that the Ginebra Kings are the team to beat this season.

The new coach of the Kings can only say he’s keeping his fingers crossed and wishing his troops will be able to justify their billing.

"A lot of people are saying that we’re the strongest team. I hope all these pronouncements come true," said Uichico, moments after the Kings pounced on the Welcoat Dragons, 99-73, in a Philippine Basketball Association preseason game Thursday at the Lyceum of the Philippines gym.

It was the second straight victory in as many games for the Kings to keep the lead in Group B. The Dragons picked up their second straight loss.

With Billy Mamaril scoring 20 points and Mark Caguioa adding 17, the Kings shot 61 percent in the first half, including 5-of-8 from three-point range, to propel them to a comfortable 57-37 advantage at halftime.

The game was practically a mismatch as Eric Menk, Rudy Hatifield, Rommel Adducul and Mamaril were pitted against a small and inexperienced Welcoat crew.

"Mismatch talaga. The opponents were too big," said Welcoat head coach Leo Austria, who delegated the coaching chores to his deputies Carlos Garcia and Alex Compton.

Jay-R Reyes tallied 14 points to show the way for the Dragons, who make their PBA debut on October 1.

"I really don’t think the score means anything. Against Purefoods, we played against a team that is still out of shape. With Welcoat, we played against a practically young team," Uichico stressed.

He said the team’s true strength will be gauged when they play teams that are as fit as the Kings, naming the Alaska Aces and the Air21 Express.

The Kings play the Aces at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Assumption College gym in Pampanga. They battle the Express next Saturday at the close of the single-elimination tournament at the Tarlac State University.

The Express are also unbeaten in two games and are tied with the Kings on top of the leaderboard.

The scores:

GINEBRA 99–Mamaril 20, Caguioa 17, Macapagal 12, Salvacion 11, Holper 8, Chia 8. Hatfield 7, Oreta 4, Llanete 4, Dulay 2, Menk 2.

WELCOAT 73–Reyes 14, Tangkay 12, Wainwright 9, Mente 8, Gelig 7, Ibanes 6, Sagad 4, Magpayo 3, Legaspi 3, Baguion 3, Cabatu 2, Santos 0, Lopez 0, Sta. Maria 0, Castro 0.

Quarters: 27-12; 57-37; 75-55; 99-73.

gameface_one
09-09-2006, 01:48 PM
Red Bull off to Macau; Kings tame Dragons
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 09/09/2006

With the team maintaining its competitive form despite the break, the Red Bull team leaves for Macau today for a three-day team-building and bonding in preparation for the long grind in the coming pro league season.

The Bulls depart for the former Portuguese colony in high spirits, having won their first two games in the PBA pre-season series, thus, giving them a good chance of ruling the mini tourney.

They have rolled past the Talk n Text Phone Pals and the Sta. Lucia Realtors, and only need to hurdle the Coca-Cola Tigers Wednesday and the San Miguel Beermen Friday to reach the one-game final.

"We’ll take another break in training to give the guys some good time together outside the playing court. The trip is also part of the bonus we promised the team after winning the Fiesta Cup," said Red Bull team manager Tony Chua..

Upon its return, the team plunges back to serious work as the Bulls play the Alaska Milk Aces in an official PBA game in Guam on Sept. 22.

That Red Bull-Alaska overseas match ushers in the 2006-07 PBA season which officially opens Oct. 1 at the Araneta Coliseum. New PBA team Welcoat clashes with Barangay Ginebra in a lone game after the elaborate opening rites.

Meanwhile, Coach Jong Uichico hopes the Ginebra Gin Kings would live up to expectations, having been billed the team to beat in the coming PBA season following massive team buildup.

" A lot of experts were saying we’re the strongest, the team to beat and I hope these pronouncements would turn out right," said Uichico moments after the Kings pounced on the Welcoat Dragons, 99-73, last night at the Lyceum of the Philippines gym.

It was the second straight victory for the Kings to keep the lead in Group B. The Dragons picked their second straight loss in the league’s pre-season tournament.

With Billy Mamaril scoring 20 points and Mark Caguioa adding 17, the Kings shot 61 percent in the first half including 5-of-8 from the three-point range that propelled them to a comfortable 57-37 advantage at halftime.

The game practically turned one-sided as Eric Menk, Rudy Hatfield, Rommel Adducul and Mamaril were pitted against a small and inexperience Welcoat crew.

"Mismatch talaga. Ang lalaki ng kalaban," said Welcoat head coach Leo Austria, who delegated the coaching chores to his deputies Carlos Garcia and Alex Compton.

Jay-R Reyes tallied 14 points to show the way for the Dragons.

"I really don’t think the score means anything. Against Purefoods, we played against a team that is still out of shape. With Welcoat, we played against a practically young team," Uichico stressed.

He said the team’s true strength will be gauged when they play teams that are as fit as the Kings like the Alaska Aces and the Air 21 Express.

The Kings play the Aces at 4 this afternoon at the Assumption College gym in Pampanga. They battle the Express next Saturday at the close of the single elimination which will be held at the Tarlac State University.

The Express are also unbeaten in two games and are tied with the Kings on top of the leaderboard.

full battle gear
09-11-2006, 10:46 AM
Beermen going for clean card


Inquirer
Last updated 01:22am (Mla time) 09/11/2006

Published on page A31 of the September 11, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE SAN MIGUEL Beermen continue their march into a new era when they take on the Sta. Lucia Realtors today in the PBA pre-season tournament at the Olivarez gym in Parañaque City.

Game time is at 3 p.m., and the Beermen hope to post a third straight win against the winless Realtors while learning the new system new coach Chot Reyes has put in place.

The Beermen have so far beaten the Coca-Cola Tigers and the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals to tie Red Bull at the top of Group A with a 2-0 slate.

San Miguel tripped Coca-Cola, 110-102, before escaping with a 99-97 decision over Talk ‘N Text last Friday.

Alaska also aims to catch up with Air21 on top of the standings in Group B when it plays Welcoat in the day’s other game scheduled at 5 p.m.

full battle gear
09-11-2006, 10:47 AM
Vargas, Eala upbeat over PBA Entertainment

By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 01:22am (Mla time) 09/11/2006

Published on page A31 of the September 11, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE PHILIPPINE Basketball Association is not just about basketball.

PBA commissioner Noli Eala yesterday announced the formal launch of PBA Entertainment on Oct. 21, exactly three weeks after the opening of the league’s 32nd season.

With PBA Entertainment, an ambitious project called PBA TV will be produced by the league on a weekly basis to showcase the teams and their players on and off the court.

Apart from bringing the players closer to the fans, Eala said the objective is to make the project profit-centered.

“We’re putting up PBA TV to complement the interest in PBA games,” said PBA chair Ricky Vargas. “Just like the movies, they become more attractive because of talk shows.”

The PBA board of governors has approved a seed money of P6 million for the 30-minute weekly program. The league expects to generate profit out of the project in succeeding seasons.

“We want our huge presence in the market to be felt not only by the fans but also by the advertisers,” said Eala. “We’re positioning the PBA as a brand icon. This is why we’re investing in this business.”

The program runs parallel with NBA TV in the United States where players, officials, referees and coaches are featured to drum up interest in the National Basketball Association.

“The idea is to enhance the league and bring the people to the venues,” said Vargas.

ABC Sports, the league’s television partner, promised to carry the show and provide the 30-minute airtime once a week for free.

Eala said the league would also branch out to PBA publication and radio, which will also run under PBA Entertainment.

full battle gear
09-11-2006, 10:49 AM
Coke opens options for Johnny A
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 09/11/2006

Coca-Cola only wanted the best for Johnny Abarrientos in advising the veteran point guard to keep his options open on how to end his playing career, according to coach Binky Favis.

"We’ll be very supportive of whatever decision he makes. We just don’t want to be unfair to him when he’s retiring at a time that we’re rebuilding," said Favis.

"We want only the best for him given what he’s done not only to the Coca-Cola organization but more so to Philippine basketball," Favis added.

The young Coca-Cola mentor, however, stressed Abarrientos is still with the team since the many-time national player and 1996 PBA MVP still has a live contract expiring only at the end of the month.

But can he guarantee Abarrientos a contract-extension should the player fail to find a new team?

"That’s management call. But given a new contract, marami pa siyang pwedeng gawin," Favis said.

When given the advice by Favis, Abarrientos attended a Barangay Ginebra practice, had a talk with Alaska team manager Joaqui Trillo and sought a meeting with Sta. Lucia governor Buddy Encarnado.

Abarrientos said his fondest wish, though, is to finish his career with his original team Alaska.

Trillo, however, said the Alaska management has yet to discuss the matter although coach Tim Cone has said he also wants Abarrientos back in his lineup.

Except for Abarrientos and Kenneth Duremdes, all the other key members of Alaska’s victorious squad in the late 90s, who were traded to other teams, have found their way back to Alaska.

Poch Juinio has just signed a one-conference contract with Alaska, thus, getting reunited with Jeffrey Cariaso and now Tigers assistant coaches Jojo Lastimosa and Bong Hawkins.

Though open to playing for any team, Abarrientos said he prefers Alaska as he wants to end his PBA career wearing the Aces’ red-and-white jersey.

"Hindi naging maayos ang paghihiwalay namin. Pero okay na ang lahat. At ngayon gusto kong matapos ang PBA career ko kung saan ako nagsimula," said Abarrientos.

Abarrientos had been relegated to second-string guard at Coca-Cola last season, starting only in two of 31 games he played. He averaged only 6.5 points, 3.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds — all down from his numbers the previous campaign.

full battle gear
09-11-2006, 10:49 AM
Chot gives Beermen facelift

The Philippine Star 09/11/2006

If their first two games in the PBA Pre Season tournament are to be the yardstick, it’s safe to say that the San Miguel Beermen are still a work in process.

For a team that is now run by a new coaching staff and adopting new sets of play patterns, the period of adjustments is understandable.

Noticeably, the first makeover that head coach Chot Reyes performed was to do away with the team’s halfcourt offense and transform the Beermen into a well-fueled running machine.

The modification seems to benefit the Beermen, who managed to keep pace with the Coca-Cola Tigers and the Talk N Text Phone Pals enabling them to escape with heart stopping wins. SMB defeated Coca-Cola, 110-102, then beat TNT by a whisker, 99-97, last Friday to tie Red Bull on top of the leader board in Group A with 2-0 records.

The Beermen hope to maintain their clean slate when they face the Sta. Lucia Realtors today at the Olivarez gym in Paranaque .

Sta. Lucia, led by top rookie pick Kelly Williams, remains winless in three starts.

The 24-year-old Fil-Am struggled in all those games, keeping jaded observers wondering whether the hardworking forward from Michigan will be able to settle by the time the league opens its 32 nd season on Oct. 1.

Alaska also aims to catch up with Air 21 on top of the standings in Group B when it plays Welcoat in the day’s other game scheduled at 5 p.m.

The Aces marked their debut in the tournament with an exhausting 101-99 overtime win over the Ginebra Kings Saturday night.

in San Fernando, Pampanga.

It was the first loss by the Kings after two blowout victories over the Purefoods Chunkee Giants and Welcoat Dragons in Group B.

Their game against the Dragons should be a walk in the park for the Aces. The league’s expansion ballclub is practically a young and small team without a legitimate leader.

Alaska coach Tim Cone said his troops are using the tournament to stay in game shape in preparation for the upcoming game with the Red Bull Barakos on Sept. 21 in Guam.

That game marks the first game of the season all though the league will officially open on Oct. 1.

full battle gear
09-11-2006, 10:51 AM
Mixing beer and milk
THE GAME OF MY LIFE By Bill Velasco
The Philippine Star 09/11/2006

Much has been said about the joint legacy of teams in the PBA. Ironically, the teams with most imcompatible products seem to have been traveling the same road. Time was when San Miguel Beer won a string of championships, and a rebuilding Alaska team was following close by, until the then-Milkmen made a run of titles of their own. Now, with a former Alaska assistant in Chot Reyes steering the Beermen, both teams seem to be in similar situations, trying to get bigger and stronger and quicker, surrounded by teams that have gotten the lion’s share of the last few championships.

"I think it’s the dream of every coach in the country to handle or work a team like San Miguel, it’s so rich in tradition. You can’t help but feel excited about it," said Reyes, who is handling the Beermen for the first time, after vacating Coca-Cola to coach the national team.

Last year the Beermen were last in rebounds and fastbreaks, two crucial stats that undermined their competitiveness. Those, and a stat that has continually been climbing — their overall age. Hopefully, the addition of point guard LA Tenorio from Ateneo and center/forward Gabby Espinas of Philippine Christian University will help remedy that.

"We’re consciously trying to get younger, that’s why LA and Gabby’s contributions to the team will be important in that respect," Reyes adds. "We also have two first-round picks next year. It’s a long process, so we’re going to be patient about it, we’re not going to be able to remedy that overnight."

Reyes cites Talk ’N Text, Barangay Ginebra, Purefoods Chunkee and Red Bull as the teams standing in their way of making it to the finals. Unusually San Miguel Beer is not mentioned in the same breath.

I think if you take a look at the teams, San Miguel’s got to be in the bottom half, because we don’t have the size of the other teams, because we don’t have the speed or the quickness of the other teams. We’ve got a very difficult tournament ahead of us," Reyes admits. "We just need to be the most hard-working, best-conditioned team in the PBA. If we can achieve those two things, then maybe we can make a run at the championships."

Meanwhile, when he started out with Alaska, Tim Cone was the youngest coach in the PBA. A decade and half later, he is the oldest, and the coach with the longest tenure with the same franchise. But he has never been in a situation wherein virtually every team he will face has become a juggernaut.

"I can’t think back on my last 16, 17 years and think of a conference and look ahead and see the teams and say, wow, this is really gonna be tough this year. And that just makes us more motivated, and know that we have to be more on our toes. As hard as it’s going to be it’s also very exciting," Cone says. "We’re about sixty, seventy percent, and we have a couple of weeks before we have to be at our tip-top shape. But I think we’re progressing very well. The guys are responding well."

Since as far back as Cone has been with Alaska, his teams have always had one hallmark. Defense never takes a day off.

"We’re a defense-oriented team, but we’re going to try to take advantage of our players’ offensive skills. We’re going to run the triangle, but we’re gonna add some stuff, as well, try to be a little more versatile as a team, and not be as predictable," Cone explains. "When you’re with Alaska, you start every conference trying to be the number one team on the defensive side, and defensive field goal percentage. Obviously, we want to finish in the top two in the eliminations, because it’s a big advantage to be there."

Cone says the Aces are going to run more and push up the ball more, especially considering he has two new thoroughbreds in guards Aaron Aban from Letran and Christian Luanzon from University of Santo Tomas.

"Aaron is a very athletic player, and a very willing defender. He’s kind of a guard version of Rey Hugnatan, so we’re really looking forward to him being on our team. And Chris Luanzon is performing very well in our practices."

Historically, San Miguel Beer and Alaska Milk have always been chasing each other. This time around, they find themselves with more and bigger targets.

full battle gear
09-11-2006, 10:52 AM
Welcoat needs big men to be competitive
www.mb.com.ph




DAYS BEFORE the start of the ongoing PBA pre-season tournament, the Welcoat Paints Dragons know that they would need an exraordinary effort to beat even the less fancied squad in the pro league.

Their lack of a certified big man has reinforced their fear even more.

True enough, the Welcoat Dragons were beaten black and blue in the first two games.

But it’s all right.

Welcoat owners Raymund Yu and Terry Que aren’t sulking – at least it happened this early and not in the tournament proper.

"At least we are now aware that we really need to get a big man to be at par with the rest of the teams in the league," said Yu. "We’re still hoping that something new will come up before the start of the tournament proper."

Today, the Dragons hope to breathe fire when they collide with the Alaska Aces at 5 p.m. at the Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque.

Clashing in the first game at 3 p.m. are San Miguel Beer and Sta. Lucia with the Beermen seeking a third straight win.

The Realtors have yet to win in three starts.

The Dragons absorbed a stinging 101-118 loss to Air21 in their first game although, at one period, they controlled the tempo of the match behind the guns of Jojo Tangkay and Rob Wainwright.

But against Ginebra, Welcoat’s lack of blue chip big men was exposed.

So, they were blown away, 99-73.

"I’m not saying na wala kaming tiwala sa mga players namin pero talagang kulang kami ng isang mobile na sentro," said Que. "Pero sa tingin ko, malaki ang pag-asa namin na kahit papano, makaka-surprise kami pagdating ng tournament proper."

Que said they can’t get the players they want for the team right now, saying: "May mga kontrata pa sa ibang ang mga players na gusto namin kukunin."

"Mga two years pa bago namin mapalakas ng todo ang team kung titignan mo ang availability ng mga players sa market," sad Que.

Alaska coach Tim Cone said his troops are using the tournament to stay in game shape in preparation for the upcoming game with the Red Bull Barakos on Sept. 21 in Guam.

That game marks the first game of the season although the league will officially open on Oct. 1.

full battle gear
09-11-2006, 10:55 AM
San Miguel still a work in progress

www.abs-cbnnews.com


If its first two games in the Philippine Basketball Association preseason tournament is the yardstick, it would be safe to say that San Miguel Beer is still a work in progress.

For a team run by a new coaching staff and adapting new play patterns, the period of adjustment is understandable.

Noticeably, the first makeover that new head coach Chot Reyes performed was to do away with the team’s halfcourt offense and transform the Beermen into a well-fueled running machine.

The modification seems to benefit the Beermen, who managed to keep pace the Coca-Cola Tigers and the Talk ’N Text Phone Pals and escape with heart-stopping wins.

SMB defeated Coca-Cola, 110-102, then beat TNT by a whisker, 99-97, last Friday to tie Red Bull on top of the leader board in Group A with 2-0 records.

The Beermen hope to maintain their clean slate when they face the Santa Lucia Realtors at 3 p.m. Monday at the Olivarez gym in Parañaque City.

Santa Lucia, led by top rookie pick Kelly Williams, remains winless in three starts.

Williams, the 24-year-old Filipino American, struggled in all those games, keeping jaded observers wondering whether the hardworking forward from Michigan will be able to settle in by the time the league opens its 32nd season on October 1.

Alaska also aims to catch up with Air 21 on top of the standings in Group B when it plays Welcoat in the day’s other game scheduled at 5 p.m.

The Aces marked their debut in the tournament with an exhausting 101-99 overtime win over the Ginebra Kings Saturday night in San Fernando, Pampanga.

It was the first loss by the Kings after two blowout victories over the Purefoods Chunkee Giants and Welcoat Dragons in Group B.

Their game against the Dragons should be a walk in the park for the Aces. The league’s expansion ballclub is a young and small team without a legitimate leader.

Alaska coach Tim Cone said his troops are using the tournament to stay in game shape in preparation for the upcoming game with the Red Bull Barakos on September 21 in Guam.

That game marks the first game of the season, though the league will officially open on October 1.

gameface_one
09-12-2006, 08:49 AM
Williams lifts Realtors
mb.com.ph





KELLY WILLIAMS produced a game worthy of his No. 1 pick status and the Sta. Lucia Realtors ended their stint in the PBA Pre-Season tournament with aplomb, scoring a 121-116 victory over the San Miguel Beermen last night at the Olivarez College gym in Parañaque.


After struggling in his first three games, the former Finals MVP in the PBL rediscovered his deadly touch, scattering a game-high 26 points that went well with his 21 rebounds in a performance that helped Realtors snap San Miguel’s two-game winning run.

The Realtors turned the game around with an 8-2 run midway in the fourth quarter that extended a slim 97-96 lead.

SMB’s setback left Red Bull all alone at the helm in Group A with a 2-0 record.

The Barakos test the mettle of the Coca-Cola Tigers at 4 p.m. today at the Emilio Aguinaldo College gym in Malate, Manila. The day’s other game pits Alaska (1-0) against Air 21 (2-1) also at 4 p.m. at the FEU gym.

All but one of nine players coach Alfrancis Chua fielded in scored in double figures. Rookie guard Ronnie Bughao and reserve forward Ricky Calimag scored 14 points apiece for the Realtors, who outrebounded the Beermen, 56-46, despite missing the services of key players Dennis Espino, Marlou Aquino and Kenneth Duremdes.

Meanwhile, Johnny Abarrientos will remain a Tiger in the coming season as he agreed to sign a fresh one-year deal with Coca-Cola.

The 1996 Most Valuable Player will receive the same salary as last year which is R225,000 a month.

He will be the mentor of the youthful Coca-Cola backcourt led by incoming sophomore Denok Miranda.

Abarrientos was reportedly wooed by several teams this off-season, including his former team, the Alaska Aces. He was also seen in the scrimmage of the Barangay Ginebra Kings recently.

Junjun Cabatu, one of the three amateurs elevated by newcomer Welcoat Dragons from their roster in the Philippine Basketball League, also signed a one-year contract with his team.

The former De La Salle hotshot initially turned down a two-year offer by the Dragons.

—Noli CRUZ

BigBlue
09-12-2006, 12:02 PM
Junjun Cabatu, one of the three amateurs elevated by newcomer Welcoat Dragons from their roster in the Philippine Basketball League, also signed a one-year contract with his team.

The former De La Salle hotshot initially turned down a two-year offer by the Dragons.



ibang klase naman tong si Cabatu. sya pa ang tumatanggi sa offer!

full battle gear
09-13-2006, 11:20 AM
Villanueva, Yeo cross paths anew
www.mb.com.ph



ENRICO VILLANUEVA and Joseph Yeo cross paths anew today when the Red Bull Barakos and the Coca-Cola Tigers meet in the PBA Pre-season tournament at the Emilio Aguinaldo College Gym.

Game time is set at 4 p.m. with the ugly incident

It will be remembered that the two players were the main characters in a charity game between La Salle and Ateneo nearly turned into a riot and almost ruined his dream of playing in the PBA because of his temper.

In one fleeting moment, the former Green Archer stunned everybody at the Big Dome when he bloodied the nose of Red Bull star Enrico Villanueva with an elbow.

Naturally, Villanueva, standing 6-foot-5, reacted furiously. Fortunutely for Yeo and the charity organizers, Villanueva was prevailed upon.

That was eight months ago and Yeo was then still an amateur. So that ugly incident has been tightly sealed in a steel casket, buried six feet down the ground and put to rest.

Besides, Yeo had issued a public apology to Villanueva on the advice of PBA Commissioner Noli Eala. He also promised the league chieftain to make himself available for the national to team at any time and perform community service in a span of six months.

The significance of the game for both ballclubs makes the expected box office showdown all the more interesting.

The leading Barakos try to keep their unbeaten record as they aim for a third straight win in Group A. The Tigers, who are tied with the San Miguel Beermen at second place with a 2-1 mark, try to close out their campaign in the group elimination with victory to stay in contention for a finals spot.

Over at the Far Eastern University gym in Morayta, Manila, the Alaska Aces and the Air 21 Express face off also a 4 p.m. in game between Group B leaders.

The Aces scored their second straight win Monday night via an 85-75 win over newcomer Welcoat Dragons. The Dragons picked up their third setback in as many games.

Meantime, Eala announced the deferment of the implementation of the 3-point Dunk following a lengthy discussion with the league’s coaches.

During the three-hour meeting, the league commissioner said the coaches raised some concerns and issues over the innovation being proposed.

Also yesterday, Eala reprimanded 19 players and fined them a total of R102,500 for their failure to attend the 2006 PBA Annual Awards.

Interestingly, half of the names on the list belong to league most popular ballclub, the Ginebra Kings, with star guard Mark Caguioa drawing the biggest penalty of R10,000.

Alaska’s Jefrrey Cariaso, who was a no-show the last years, was slapped R7,500.

The rest were first time offenders and were penalized R5,000 each.

Aside from Caguioa and Cariaso, the list also includes Danny Seigle and Dorian Peña of San Miguel; Jayjay Helterbrand, Rodney Santos, Rafi Reavis, Rommel Adducul, Eric Menk and Mike Holper of Ginebra; Will Antonio, Johnny Abbarientos, Harvey Carey, Asi Taulava and Mark Cardona of Text 'N Text; Tony dela Cruz and Reynel Hugnatan of Alaska and Dennis Espino and Nelbert Omolon of Sta. Lucia.

full battle gear
09-13-2006, 11:24 AM
PBA fines 19 players for snubbing Annual Awards

www.abs-cbnnews.com



Nineteen players were fined and reprimanded by the Philippine Basketball Association for not showing up in the 2006 PBA Annual Awards night on July 12 at the Araneta Coliseum.

A total of P102,500 in fines was meted on the cagers who snubbed the affair, as PBA commissioner Noli Eala reminded them of their obligations to the fans and to the league.

"There being only a handful of mandatory league activities, it is our objective that on said occasion the entire PBA family come together and collectively ensure not only the success of the event but exert utmost effort to reach out to our fans in a meaningful way," Eala said in the reprimand letter.

Barangay Ginebra, the league’s most popular club, had the most number of players on the list with seven, including Mark Caguioa, who drew the highest penalty of P10,000.

The league said it was the third straight year that Caguioa missed the occasion. Alaska’s Jefrrey Cariaso, who was a no-show the last two years, was slapped P7,500.

The rest were first-time offenders and were penalized P5,000 each.

"It is unfortunate that you failed to attend this important occasion, which pays tribute to the best performers of the year," Eala added.

He said the players’ absence from the league’s annual affair "sent a wrong signal to the fans, and your team and to the other player nominees and awardees who despite their own personal schedules attended said event."

Besides Caguioa and Cariaso, the list includes Danny Seigle and Dorian Peña of San Miguel; Jayjay Helterbrand, Rodney Santos, Rafi Reavis, Rommel Adducul, Eric Menk and Mike Holper of the Kings; William Antonio and Johnny Abbarientos of Coca-Cola, Harvey Carey, Asi Taulava and Mark Cardona of Text ’N Text; Tony de la Cruz and Reynel Hugnatan of the Aces and Dennis Espino and Nelbert Omolon of Santa Lucia Realty.

Meanwhile, Eala also announced deferring the implementation of the 3-point dunk rule after a discussion with the league’s coaches at the PBA office.

On hand during the consultation were head coaches Chot Reyes (San Miguel), Alfrancis Chua (Santa Lucia), Yeng Guiao (Red Bull), Tim Cone (Alaska), Ryan Gregorio (Purefoods), Jong Uichico (Ginebra), Binky Favis (Coca-Cola), and Bo Perasol (Air 21).

Assistant coaches Carlos Garcia and Alex Compton represented expansion team Welcoat.

Only Talk ’N Text has no representative, because the team is currently participating in a tournament in South Korea.

During the three-hour meeting, the league commissioner said the coaches raised some concerns and issues over the innovation being proposed.

"In the light of this development, the PBA Commissioner’s Office has opted to defer the implementation of the 3-point Dunk for further study and experimental implementation in next year’s All-Star Weekend and the 2007 Pre-Season tournament," Eala said.

"At any rate, I’m happy that the coaches have opened their minds."

Joel Orellana

full battle gear
09-13-2006, 11:27 AM
Yeo, Enrico cross paths anew as pros

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Joseph Yeo and Enrico Villanueva cross paths again when the Coca Cola Tigers and the Red Bull Barakos meet at 4 p.m. in the Philippine Basketball Association’s preseason tournament at the Emilio Aguinaldo College gym.

Nobody has asked him about it, but most likely Yeo will never forget his incident with Villanueva.

On a cold December evening, a charity game between La Salle and Ateneo turned into a riot and nearly ruined Yeo’s childhood dream, because he couldn’t control his temper.

In one fleeting moment, the former Green Archer stunned everybody on hand at the Big Dome when he came from nowhere and launched a punch that landed and bloodied the nose of Red Bull star Villanueva, who reacted furiously at Yeo but was pacified.

That was eight months ago, and Yeo was still an amateur then. That ugly incident has since been put to rest, with "The Ninja" issuing a public apology to Villanueva, the former Ateneo star center, on the advice of PBA Commissioner Noli Eala.

Yeo also promised the league chieftain to make himself available for the national team at any time and perform community service in a span of six months.

With Yeo humbling himself, Eala acted on his case compassionately, paving the way for the 6-foot guard to join this year’s Rookie Draft, where the Tigers picked him 3rd overall.

To date, the temperamental guard has already played three preseason games as a full-fledged pro.

But to this day, one question begs for an answer: Was everything said and done on that night of December 8, 2005, truly forgiven and forgotten?

Hopefully, the scheduled game this afternoon will provide an answer. That fact that the two gladiators belong to schools with a long history of fierce rivalry makes their second date a must-see.

full battle gear
09-14-2006, 11:11 AM
Red Bull rallies to beat Coca-Cola
www.mb.com.ph




RICO VILLANUEVA and Joseph Yeo traded sharp eye contacts but the anticipated confrontation between the two didn’t transpire mainly because they were fielded sparingly.

But even without them providing fireworks, the game between Red Bull and Coca-Cola still turned out to be exciting with the Barakos rallying for 102-94 victory last night in the PBA Preseason Tournament at the Emilio Aguinaldo College gym.

Cyrus Baguio scored 10 of his 22 points in the first quarter to lead a fiery surge by the Barakos, who blew a 15-point lead and trailed the Tigers by 11 late in the third quarter.

It was the third straight win for the Barakos, who stayed unbeaten in Group A while the Tigers closed out their campaign in the league’s warm-up tournament with a 2-2 record.

Red Bull started strong, dominating the Tigers with strong rebounding and a series of fastbreak plays that propelled them to a 38-23 advantage late in the second quarter.

But the Tigers clawed back in the third behind Denok Miranada and rookies Michael Gavino and Yeo.

Down 43-50, the Tigers went on a 20-2 blast to storm ahead, 63-52 with 3:42 laeft in the third. The Period ended with Coke up 69-66.

But to the Tigers" surprise, the Barakos gained a second wind as Baguio, Leo Najorda and Larry Fonacier found their touch and slowly brought Red Bull back into the game.

A 19-12 run opening the fourth quarter did it for the Barakos, who survived repeated rallies by Coke down the stretch.

The scores:

RED BULL 102 — Baguio 22, Villanueva 13, Membrere 11, Cruz 10, Tugade 10, Najorda 9, Fonacier 9, Valenzuela 6, Pennisi 4, Hrabak 4, Sharma 4.

COCA-COLA 94 — Gavino 16, Arigo 13, Miranda 12, Yeo 10, Raneses 10, Salansang 8, Peek 7, Fereria 4, Rizada 4, Antonio 2, Enrile 2.

Quarters: 25-18, 47-40, 69-66, 102-94

full battle gear
09-14-2006, 11:15 AM
Tigers release Abarrientos; Kings waiting in the wings
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 09/14/2006

Johnny Abarrientos was given his release papers by Coca-Cola yesterday and could well end up with Barangay Ginebra if the other teams outside the San Miguel Corp. family pass up the chance to enlist the 1996 MVP awardee.

Under the league rules on player transfer among sister teams, Ginebra will have to wait five working days from the other ball clubs to acquire the services of Abarrientos.

"We’re rebuilding and we’re investing on young players. It doesn’t mean Johnny can no longer play competitive game. We just think this move would be good for the team and for Johnny," said Coca-Cola team manager Hector Calma.

"We want to give Johnny his best options as he’s about to retire, given his valuable contribution not only to the Coca-Cola organization but more so to Philippine basketball," Tigers coach Binky Favis has said earlier.

After being advised that he may not be re-signed at Coca-Cola, Abarrientos expressed desire to end his career with his original team Alaska Milk.

At press time, there’s no word whether the Uytengsu franchise can accommodate the veteran guard with the team having completed its lineup with its acquisition of rookie draftees Christian Luanzon and Aaron Aban.

Ginebra, meanwhile, is keenly waiting for developent on Abarrientos with the team in dire need of seasoned hand on the backcourt with the departure of Kalani Ferreria and Aris Dimaunahan and injured Jayjay Helterbrand still on the mend.

Meanwhile, the Enrico Villanueva-Joseph Yeo rift is far from over.

Villanueva gave Yeo a sharp nudge while other players shook hands at midcourt following Red Bull’s convincing win over Coca-Cola, 102-94, in the PBA pre-season series last night at the Emilio Aguinaldo College gym.

"Good for him, it’s the only thing I did," said Villanueva in Filipino.

Timely intervention of the referees prevented the incident from escalating into a fight as the other members of the teams shook hands. Yeo was led by the referees to the dugout.

The two figured in a fight during the La Salle-Ateneo dream match last year at the Araneta Coliseum.

full battle gear
09-14-2006, 11:24 AM
Yeo-Villanueva ‘duel’ fizzles as Barakos prevail

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Enrico Villanueva and Joseph Yeo traded sharp stares, but their anticipated confrontation didn’t transpire because they were fielded sparingly.

Even without the old college rivals providing fireworks, the game between Red Bull and Coca-Cola still turned out to be exciting, with the Barakos rallying for a 102-94 victory Wednesday in the Philippine Basketball Association preseason tournament at the Emilio Aguinaldo College gym.

Yeo, a rookie guard with the Tigers, had punched and broken Villanueva’s nose during a PBA-organized exhibition game last December, pitting the alumni of De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University.

Yeo had just graduated from the La Salle Archers, while Red Bull drafted Villanueva after he starred at center for Ateneo’s Blue Eagles.

Cyrus Baguio scored 10 of his 22 points in the first quarter to lead a fiery surge by the Barakos, who blew a 15-point lead and trailed the Tigers by 11 late in the third quarter.

It was the third straight win for the Barakos, who stayed unbeaten in Group A, while the Tigers closed out their campaign in the league’s warm-up tournament with a 2-2 record.

Red Bull started strong, dominating the Tigers with strong rebounding and a series of fast break plays that propelled them to a 38-23 advantage late in the second quarter.

But the Tigers slowly clawed back in the third behind Denok Miranada and rookies Michael Gavino and Yeo.

Down 43-50, the Tigers went on a 20-2 blast to storm ahead, 63-52 with 3:42 left in the third. The period ended with Coke up 69-66.

But to the Tigers’ surprise, the Barakos got a second wind, as Baguio, Leo Najorda and Larry Fonacier found their touch and slowly brought Red Bull back into the game.

A 19-12 exchange opening the fourth quarter did it for the Barakos, who survived repeated rallies by Coke down the stretch.

The scores:

Red Bull 102–Baguio 22, Villanueva 13, Membrere 11, Cruz 10, Tugade 10, Najorda 9, Fonacier 9, Valenzuela 6, Pennisi 4, Hrabak 4, Sharma 4.

Coca-Cola 94–Gavino 16, Arigo 13, Miranda 12, Yeo 10, Raneses 10, Salansang 8, Peek 7, Fereria 4, Rizada 4, Antonio 2, Enrile 2.

Quarters: 25-18; 47-40; 69-66; 102-94.

full battle gear
09-15-2006, 10:38 AM
Villanueva, Yeo face fines for post-game row

By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 01:40am (Mla time) 09/15/2006

Published on Page A29 of the September 15, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE RECENT skirmish that erupted between former Ateneo Blue Eagle Enrico Villanueva and ex-La Salle Green Archer Joseph Yeo will not go unpunished.

Villanueva and Yeo face harsh sanctions from the Philippine Basketball Association after the two triggered a near fracas following the Red Bull-Coca-Cola pre-season game Wednesday night at the Emilio Aguinaldo College gym.

After the Bulls’ 102-94 decision of the Tigers, Red Bull’s Villanueva, lining up for the teams’ traditional handshake at mid-court, gave the Coca-Cola rookie a hard nudge on the chest.

Infuriated, Yeo tried to get back at the 6-foot-6 Villanueva but was thwarted by the referees and the players from both teams.

“Mabuti nga, iyon lang ang ginawa ko sa kanya (He was lucky I didn’t do anything worse),” Villanueva reportedly said.

Villanueva’s act was seen as a retaliation by league officials. Yeo bloodied his nose during a charity game between Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University last year.

“We cannot allow that to happen again,” said PBA technical chief Perry Martinez, who will recommend penalties to commissioner Noli Eala.

“He’s still angry with Joseph (Yeo),” added Martinez after getting the side of Villanueva. “But their acts are unacceptable. This was not the last time they will see each other on the court. Both of them have to get over it and move on.”

The incident happened a week after Mac Cardona of Talk ‘N Text was slapped a P5,000 fine and Sta. Lucia Realty’s Cesar Catli P1,000 for figuring in a shoving incident during another pre-season game.

full battle gear
09-15-2006, 10:40 AM
Johnny A likely to don Kings’ jersey on final stint
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 09/15/2006

Johnny Abarrientos may soon find a team in his final stint in the pro league — Barangay Ginebra.

Alaska Milk, for one, has hinted it would not intervene for an Abarrientos transfer from Coca-Cola to Ginebra while other teams may not be keen on recruiting the veteran guard as they have already completed their respective rosters.

There were also reports that Ginebra officials had requested other teams to allow the Kings to sign up Abarrientos who has been given by the Tigers his unconditional release.

"I think Johnny is better into a team with the best offer and the best situation for him in terms of playing time," said Alaska coach Tim Cone in a text message to The STAR.

Abarrientos has said he wanted to return to Alaska, but Cone may no longer have the berth open for his former player with the team teeming with playmakers in Mike Cortez, Willie Miller and Rensy Bajar.

Sources said Abarrientos could easily fit into the Kings lineup after they lost Kalani Ferreria and Aris Dimaunahan.

Under the league rules on player transfer among sister teams, the Kings will have to wait five working days for the other teams to show intererst in Abarrientos before finally tapping the former national player.

Abarrientos has been released by Coca-Cola, two weeks before the expiration of his existing playing contract.

full battle gear
09-15-2006, 10:41 AM
PBA wary over Rico-Yeo rift

The Philippine Star 09/15/2006

The PBA is keeping a close watch on the rift between Red Bull’s Rico Villanueva and Coca-Cola incoming freshman Joseph Yeo after the burly veteran gave the top rookie a sharp nudge in a pre-season game Wednesday at the Emilio Aguinaldo College gym.

"The incident wasn’t caught in the video but we had witnesses and we’ll report the matter to commissioner Noli Eala," said PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial. "They’re likely to be warned to watch their actions or be advised to iron out their differences."

The incident happened while other players shook hands at midcourt following Red Bull’s 102-94 drubbing of Coca-Cola in a PBA pre-season tiff.

It was the first time the two met after Yeo hacked Villanueva on the face during the Ateneo-La Salle dream game at the Araneta Coliseum a few months back. Villanueva suffered a bloodied nose and lips.

"Good for him, it’s the only thing I did," Villanueva was quoted as saying in Filipino.

Villanueva’s post-game act was witnessed by PBA technical chief Perry Martinez, operations manager Rickie Santos and Marcial. The refs separated the two players and led Yeo to the dugout.

Before the game, William Ong, Yeo’s agent-manager, requested a Red Bull official to tell the team to go easy on Yeo and let the rookie play his game. Everything seemed to have ended well until Villanueva and Yeo crossed paths after the game.

"They may see each other in some other place, so we might as well warn them in advance," said Marcial.

Meanwhile, Mark Cardona was fined P5,000 and Cesar Catli P1,000 for their fight during the Talk n Text-Sta. Lucia game last Sept. 4.

Both were thrown out in the closing minutes of the game won by the Phone Pals, 93-84. — Nelson Beltran

full battle gear
09-15-2006, 10:43 AM
Welcoat surprises Purefoods, 99-90
www.mb.com.ph




EXPANSION TEAM Welcoat gained some confidence before making its PBA debut when the Dragons defeated the Purefoods Chunkee Giants, 99-90, last night in the league’s Preseason Tournament at the Centro Escular University gym.

Led by rookie Junjun Cabatu and Jay-R Reyes, the Dragons engaged the seasoned Giants to a ferocious and close battle three-fourths of the way before turning the match around in the final eight minutes.

The Giants held an 80-75 lead early in the fourth before the Dragons, starring Cabatu and Niño Gelig, put together a 19-6 blast that shoved Welcoat ahead to stay, 94-86, with two minutes left.

Cabatu scored 20 points, Gelig had 18 and Reyes added 17 to show the way for the Dragons, who closed their campaign in the group elimination with a 1-3 mark while dealing the Giants their third straight loss in Group A.

Although it was just a warm-up game, the loss was an embarrassment for the Giants, who fielded practically their veterans against the relatively young Dragons.

Watching from the bench, Welcoat team owners Terry Que and Raymund Yu appeared to enjoy the game as the Dragons managed to keep the game close.

Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio said his troops have already shed unwanted fats. But while the Giants looked better than they were a week ago, they were still visibly not in game shape.

The Dragons got off to a good start as the Giants struggled to find their rhythm.

But the reigning PBA Philippine Cup champions slowly clawed back using their experience and short but repeated spurts.

Purefoods appeared to have the game in control when they surged to an 8075 lead early in the fourth but the Giants suddenly faded out in the stratch.

gameface_one
09-16-2006, 11:44 AM
Prodigal Realtor coming back
abs-cbnnews.com


Santa Lucia Realty’s prodigal son, Alex Cabagnot, is not done with his Philippine Basketball Association career after all.

A league insider told Sports Times on Friday that Cabagnot will arrive in Manila anytime this weekend after a monthlong hiatus in the United States that put his PBA career in limbo.

But whether the 6-foot southpaw guard will suit up for the Realtors in the coming season is yet to be known, as SLR management is still not sure with what to do with the Filipino-American talent.

"Boss Buddy [Encarnado, Santa Lucia team manager] is still undecided on what to do about him. It’s still not sure if he can still play again in the PBA," said the source, who requested anonymity.

Cabagnot went AWOL from the Realtors last month and suited up for a ballclub in a Los Angeles summer league without informing his mother team. Talk ’N Text played in that league and relayed the information to the PBA office.

In the PBA Rookie Draft last month, Encarnado, the former PBA board chairman, boldly said he will be requesting league commissioner Noli Eala to impose a lifetime ban on Cabagnot to serve as a wake-up call to other wayward players.

The PBA fined Cabagnot P10,000 for every game he played in the LA league, and the fine could rise as soon as he returns home.

With the imminent return of the former University of Hawaii-Hilo standout, the Sports Times source said Santa Lucia could give him another chance by making him sign an agreement.

This would be the second time that Cabagnot is returning to the country after leaving a mess in the Santa Lucia camp.

In 2005, the 23-year-old cager refused to sign a contract with the Realtors after he was tabbed as the draft’s No. 2 overall pick. Both parties said it was just a miscommunication and the dilemma was later settled. Joel Orellana

gameface_one
09-17-2006, 09:45 AM
Alaska thumps Purefoods
mb.com.ph





ALASKA MILK trampled Purefoods Chunkee, 95-82, yesterday to sweep the Group B eliminations in the PBA Pre-season tournament at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.


Willie Miller scored 12 of his 19 points in the final period while Nic Belasco exploded for a game-high 25 points to lead the Aces to their fourth straight win.

The Chunkee Giants slumped to 0-4.

The Aces try to complete a whirlwind pre-season when they go for the title against Group A finalist San Miguel Beer at 4 p.m. today at the Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque City.

"There’s really no motivation for us (or any team) in this tournament in terms of wins and losses. But going up against (coach) Chot Reyes is always exciting," said Tim Cone, the American coach of the Aces.

While he considers the tournament as no less than a practice game, Cone swears he makes sure his troops perform their best.

"Although we are not concerned about the wins and the losses, we still do treat every game seriously to keep us in game shape," Cone said.

Alaska and Red Bull are scheduled to play the first game of the season on Sept. 28 in Guam although the league officially opens on Oct.1.

The San Miguel Beermen prevented an Alaska-Red Bull preview by beating the Barakos, 105-104, Saturday.

SMB and Red Bull topped Group A with identical 3-1 record. But the Beermen earned a spot in the finals on the strength of the winner-over-the-other rule.

James Yap scored 19 points and Jun Limpot added 18 to show the way for the Giants, who made the game exciting in the third quarter.

The Scores

ALASKA 95 — Belasco 25, Miller 19, Ferriols 9, Guanzon 8, Cariaso 8, Laure 4, Franco 4, Dela Cruz 4, Calpito 4, Thoss 3, Cortez 3, Juinio 2, Aban 2, Bajar 0.

PUREFOODS 82 — J. Yap 19, Limpot 18, Bautista 14, Castillo 11, Pingris 6, Evangelista 6, Gamboa 3, Simon 3, Cantonjos 0, Yee 2, Omiping 0.

Quarters 25-18, 39-34, 63-60, 95-82

gameface_one
09-18-2006, 07:48 AM
Cabagnot mom pleads for prodigal guard


By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 01:29am (Mla time) 09/18/2006

Published on page A37 of the September 18, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

STA. LUCIA REALTY is in a dilemma on whether to give Alex Cabagnot another chance or dump the delinquent point guard for good.

Cabagnot is repentant for his misdeeds after the sophomore playmaker from the University of Hawaii-Hilo abandoned the Realtors without a word two months ago.

Team sources said the Sta. Lucia management has already learned to move on without Cabagnot. The team is now contemplating on whether to take its prodigal guard back or penalize him harshly.

Aside from a P20,000 fine awaiting Cabagnot for playing two games in the Las Vegas Summer League without Sta. Lucia’s consent, team governor Buddy Encarnado had vowed to seek a lifetime ban from the league.

“Boss Buddy is still undecided on what to do with Cabagnot,” said a team insider who declined to be identified.

“He (Encarnado) understands that Cabagnot was influenced by his peers. But at the same time, he wants to make this player an example that you cannot just abandon your team and return if you feel like it.”

Encarnado and team manager Ariel Magno couldn’t be reached for comment but another source said Cabagnot’s mother, Jo Del Rosario, talked to Encarnado over the phone and pleaded that his son be given another chance.

Should the Realtors reinstate Cabagnot, the team will have a surplus of players.

According to the same source, team management will sit down with Cabagnot soon after his arrival from the United States.

“Boss Buddy will decide after their heart-to-heart talk,” said the source. “Never in his 24 years with basketball has he put a player down. But a lesson must be taught and it will be on his mind when he talks with Cabagnot.”

Cabagnot left for the US in a huff after the Realtors got booted out in the wild-card phase of the season-ending Philippine Cup.

It was actually the second time that Cabagnot had gone AWOL. After being picked second overall in the 2005 draft by the Realtors, Cabagnot left the country, purportedly to pursue his studies.

It turned out Cabagnot was at a loss on what kind of contract he would get from the Realtors.

As a result of his latest boo-boo, Cabagnot’s three-year contract with the Realtors is now bound to be restructured if player and team settle their differences.

Cabagnot is supposed to receive P225,000 a month in his second year and P337,500 in the last year of the pact after the Realtors gave him the maximum salary for a rookie last year.

gameface_one
09-19-2006, 08:33 AM
‘Confused’ Cabagnot is back

Gets only a stern warning

By ED PICSON
mb.com.ph



THE PRODIGAL son is back.


And according to reliable sources, Alex Cabagnot, who upped and left with a nary ‘by your leave’ to his mother team a couple of months ago, got a mouthful from Sta. Lucia Realty team manager Buddy Encamado.

The prized rookie from last year, whose entry into the league was also marked by controversy, was reported to have left right after their failed stint in the recently-concluded Philippine Cup of the Philippine Basketball Association.

Soon after, he was spotted playing in a small tournament among Fil-Ams in the Los Angeles area in California. This was a blatant violation of a standard player’s contract in the PBA which states that a player should not play in a tournament without the express permission from his mother team and the PBA.

Upon finding out, the Sta. Lucia management tried to trace the whereabouts of Cabagnot, but could not locate him. After several failed attempts to contact him, an irate Encamado, a past PBA chairman, announced that SLR would urge the league to ban the player from the league for life for his cavalier attitude towards his contractual and moral obligations.

Late last week however, word came out that the player himself was trying to get back into the good graces of his mother team, and that he was willing to make amends and come back to the fold. Words flew fast and loose that he was coming in last Saturday, but somehow his arrival was delayed for a day. He was said to have arrived Sunday afternoon.

Cabagnot reportedly went straight to a meeting with Encamado who gave him stern warnings should the incident be repeated. The SLR point guard was supposed to have taken the tongue-lashing quietly, acknowledging his mistake and apologizing profusely for it. He also vowed to toe the line from herein in.

He was also said to have met with Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua from whom he also asked forgiveness.

As to what prompted him to act in such mindless manner, it was suspected that the soft-spoken former University of Hilo in Hawaii standout had been confused by so many people, including some relatives, advising him on what to do. The word is that he will now manage his own career instead of relying on others.

It was not clear however, if he had been reinstated by his team or if he has been cleared to play by the PBA. Sources at the SLR practice yesterday said Cabagnot did not practice because of tonsilitis.

gameface_one
09-20-2006, 09:23 AM
PBA preview: Dragons young, tough
abs-cbnnews.com


From the looks of it, the Welcoat Dragons appear to have brought the right players with them to the Philippine Basketball Association.

JR Reyes, JunJun Cabatu and Jay Sagad, the three rookies the team elevated from its amateur squad, and veteran free agent Jojo Tangkay were able to hold their own against the league’s top superstars during the PBA pre-season games.

The four got an instant admirer in no less than league commissioner Noli Eala.

"I was very impressed with the way they played, especially the three rookies," said the PBA chief. "Hopefully, they’ll be able to sustain their form all the way to the regular season."

Known for their physical play, the 6-foot-7 Reyes and 6-foot-5 Cabatu are expected to alternate at center for the Dragons, while Sagad, the one-time collegiate Most Valuable Player out of the College of Saint Benilde, is a lock at power forward.

Curiously, Eala said the PBA Rookie Draft has come in full circle after Welcoat elevated Cabatu to the pro league. The cager’s father, Sonny Cabatu —a two-time former MVP in the Philippine Amateur Basketball League, the forerunner of the PBL—was the original No. 1 draft pick by Shell when the annual event was first established in 1985.

Cabatu, Reyes and Sagad have already been signed to multimillion-peso contracts.

"We trust them, even though they’re still rookies," said Welcoat co-team owner Terry Que, beaming with pride at the way his three highly touted rookies played in the preseason mini-tournament.

Meanwhile, Tangkay is out to complete unfinished business. The 6-foot-3 Cebuano guard saw action for Santa Lucia Realty a few years ago, but never got the chance to stay long in the league.

Returning to the amateurs, Tangkay signed up with Welcoat, forming a partnership that produced a pair of PBL championship, plus an MVP trophy to boot.

Those efforts were eventually rewarded when the Dragons picked him among the handful of free agents that tagged along with them to the PBA.

"Our players want to prove something and it’s obvious at the way they are playing," said Raymund Yu, the other half of Welcoat’s amiable owners.

The Dragons get their baptism of fire right on opening day of the 2006-07 season, when they take on crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra in a much-awaited debut that will earn Welcoat’s trio of rookies and its veteran guard a lot of believers—and not just the commissioner. The Manila Times

gameface_one
09-20-2006, 09:25 AM
Welcoat may pull surprise
mb.com.ph





THEY WERE clobbered by an average of 22 points in their first two games in the pre-season tournament. They improved a bit in their next game as they gave powerhouse Alaska Milk a big scare before dropping a close decision.


In their fourth game, a miracle of sorts happened that has made PBA Commissioner Noli Eala as one of their ardert admirers.

Playing as if it was a championship game, the Welcoat Paints Dragons pulled off a stunning 99-90 win over All-Filipino champion Purefoods, a feat that sent shockwaves in the PBA community.

Even Welcoat owners — Raymund Yu and Terry Que — were left flabbergasted. They could not believe what they witnessed.

Well, they have to thank JR Reyes, JunJun Cabatu and Jay Sagad, the three rookies the team elevated from its amateur squad in the PBL, along with veteran free agent Jojo Tangkay for the win.

The four doggedly held their own against the league’s seasoned players.

"I was very impressed with the way they played, especially the three rookies," said the PBA honcho. "Hopefully, they’ll be able to sustain their form all the way to the regular season."

The 6-foot-7 Reyes and 6-foot-5 Cabatu are expected to provide steel in the middle for the Dragons after their failure to acquire Romel Adducul from Ginebra.

Sagad, the one-time NCAA Most Valuable Player (MVP) out of St. Benilde, is a reliable back-up for the two.

"May tiwala kami sa kanila, kahit rookies pa sila," said Que, beaming with pride at the way his three highly touted rookies played in the pre-season, mini-tournament.

On the other hand, Tangkay is out to complete an unfinished business, having been given a second crack to prove his worth.

The 6-foot Cebuano guard saw action for Sta. Lucia some years ago, but never got the chance to stay long in the league.

Returning to the amateurs, Tangkay played for Welcoat for almost three years that saw him winning one championship and the coveted MVP plum.

His efforts paid off handsome dividend as Welcoat picked him among the handful of free agents that tried with them.

"Our players want to prove something and it’s obvious at the way they are playing," said Yu, the other half of Welcoat’s amiable owners.

The Dragons get their baptism of fire right on opening day of the 2006-07 season when they take on crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra in a much-awaited debut.

gameface_one
09-20-2006, 09:34 AM
Erring, ailing Cabagnot back into SLR fold
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 09/20/2006

Sta. Lucia Realty has given Alex Cabagnot one more chance to mend his ways, paving the way for the Fil-Am guard’s return less than two weeks before the start of the 2006-07 PBA season.

"We welcome him back but I made it sure he understands that this is his last chance," said Sta. Lucia governor Buddy Encarnado.

After going absent without leave (AWOL) the last three months, Cabagnot returned last Sunday and signed a new agreement with Encarnado, going on probation first before regaining his old status in the team.

The former University of Hawaii-Hilo player will be slapped penalties, including non-payment of his salary during his absence. He will also face a separate sanction from the PBA for playing in a tourney outside of the local pro league without permission from his mother ballclub.

Cabagnot saw action for the Los Angeles All Stars in a semi-pro league in Las Vegas which was also participated in by the Talk n Text Phone Pals.

With Cabagnot’s return, either of the two Sta. Lucia rookie guards in Ronnie Bughao and Mark Magsumbol may be dropped from the team.

"We’ll know it in the next few days. In the first place, we don’t know yet if Alex is in good shape. He’d long been away," said Encarnado.

In fact Cabagnot was immediately confined in a hospital for a case of tonsilitis upon his arrival Sunday. The entire team, led by Encarnado, visited Cabagnot after practice yesterday.

"That’s our way of showing we’re welcoming him back in the team. Hopefully, he makes good with his promise to mend his ways. If he does, I’m sure he’ll be of big help in our bid to make a good run at the championship," said Sta. Lucia team captain Dennis Espino.

Encarnado said Alex’s mother Joanna was the one who got in touch with him this time, asking that her son be given another chance.

gameface_one
09-20-2006, 09:40 AM
Beermen battle Jewelers in charity match this pm
By Emmanuel B. Villaruel
The Freeman 09/20/2006

Cebuano hoop fanatics will be treated to a first-class basketball action today when the Dondon Hontiveros-led San Miguel Beermen clash with the multi-titled M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala Jewelers in a charity match at the Cebu Coliseum.

Showtime is set at 5:30 pm.

To add fanfare to the star-studded affair, Hontiveros has invited two celebrities to grace the goodwill encounter.

Philippine Idol finalist Gail Blanco, Dondon's girlfriend for over seven years now, will sing the national anthem, while actress Assunta de Rossi will spearhead the ceremonial toss as well as acknowledge the event sponsors.

"They (Blanco and De Rossi) want to be part of this noble undertaking as their own way of reaching out to the community," said Hontiveros, who, on top of being a basketball star, personifies steadfast commitment to the community embodied on his genuine concern for the needy.

"Hopefully, the Cebuanos will come and support this activity and make it a meaningful one," added the decorated San Miguel guard.

Hontiveros has earlier called his ground-breaking charity match as a "triple treat" for the Cebuanos because aside from enjoying the game and winning gift items from AND 1 that will be raffled off, this will also be their opportunity to reach out to the community and help the indigent ones.

This considering that proceeds of the event will be donated to Don Bosco Boys Home and to the Cebu City Community Scout Commission - an institution that helps juvenile delinquents improve their future chances and return to their normal lives again.

Meanwhile, Hontiveros arrived in Cebu last night. The rest of his San Miguel teammates will follow at 11 am today. They will then have lunch as Marriott Hotel, where they are billeted.

Aside from Hontiveros, the other Beermen stars to watch out for are Danny "Dynamite' Seigle, veteran playmaker Olsen Racela and dreaded frontman Dorian Peña.

They will play alongside Migs Noble, Chris Calaguio, Wesley Gonzales, Francis Adriano, and rookies LA Tenorio, Gabby Espinas, and Alfie Grijaldo, who once suited up for the GMC Torillos in the Cebu Basketball Federation (CBF).

Danny Ildefonso, Hontiveros' brother in faith, will also be coming over to lend moral support to his teammates.

M. Lhuillier coach Raul "Yayoy" Alcoseba, on the other hand, will squeeze the most from his top guns in the likes of Mike Manigo, Woodrow Enriquez, Stephen Padilla, Aldrin Ocañada, Danny Aying and Alano Caputolan as they seek to pull off another upset against a PBA squad.

Just recently, the Jewelers drubbed the visiting Sta. Lucia Realtors in an exhibition match.

Against the Beermen, Alcoseba foresees a completely different scenario.

"When we played against the Realtors, they were still not organized as a team, while San Miguel has already played several PBA pre-season going. For sure, it's going to be a tough game ahead of us," said Alcoseba.

"I just hope we can come up with a performance that the crowd will enjoy," added the Cebu City Councilor.

Tickets are reasonably priced at P25 for the general admission, P75 for the upperbox, P150 for the lower box and P200 for the ringside.

The charity match is supported by TRI-J Marketing, Cebu Fitness Center, Gerry's Grill, Tisoy's Carenderia, Maribago Blue Waters and Yayoy's Grill.

gameface_one
09-20-2006, 09:44 AM
Abarrientos moves from Coke to Gin


By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 00:32am (Mla time) 09/20/2006

Published on Page A26 of the September 20, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

BARANGAY GINEBRA has become even more daunting on paper.

Flaunting a frontline unmatched in terms of depth, the Kings completed the missing piece in their backcourt by snatching Johnny Abarrientos from the unrestricted free-agent list yesterday.

The restriction for the Kings to acquire the prized playmaker was lifted before sunset after no other team outside of the San Miguel Corp.-owned ballclubs dangled an offer to secure the rights on the 1996 PBA MVP.

Under league rules, teams interested on Abarrientos have five working days which started Wednesday last week to negotiate with the veteran point guard. The grace period lapsed yesterday afternoon.

“If there are no takers, we’ll definitely take him (Abarrrientos) in,” said Barangay Ginebra coach Jong Uichico.

Abarrientos was included in the unrestricted free-agency list last week when the Coca-Cola Tigers released the 14-year veteran more than two weeks before the expiration of his contract Sept. 30.

The Kings are in dire need of a reliable point guard after Jayjay Helterbrand and backup Egay Echavez got sidelined by injuries. Helterbrand has again hurt his flexor muscle on the right hip during practice.

But should the 6-foot Helterbrand show up in game shape in the opening of the PBA’s 32nd season on Oct. 1, Abarrientos will still come in handy for Uichico and the Gin Kings.

“He’s a steady backup to Jayjay and Johnny’s experience and smartness will give us the stability that we need,” said Uichico.

He’ll team up with Mark Caguioa, Rodney Santos and Mark Macapagal in the backcourt.

full battle gear
09-21-2006, 11:38 AM
Abarrientos now a King; Cabagnot returns to SLR

PBA unveils new ticket scheme

Inquirer
Last updated 01:00am (Mla time) 09/21/2006

Published on Page A24 of the September 21, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

BARANGAY GINEBRA formally inserted Johnny Abarrientos into the Kings’ lineup, and a repentant Alex Cabagnot is now part of the Sta. Lucia Realty roster for the coming Philippine Basketball Association season.

As this developed, commissioner Noli Eala announced the introduction of a new ticket system that will allow fans to, among others, visit teams in their locker rooms as an initial step to increase attendance during games.

Abarrientos was part of the 12-man roster submitted by new Kings coach Jong Uichico, who struck off forward Alan Salansang in favor of the one-time Most Valuable Player.

An off-season deal allowed the Kings to net Rafi Reavis, Billy Mamaril and Rudy Hatfield from Coca-Cola to boost an already imposing frontcourt combo of Erik Menk, Andy Seigle, Mike Holper and Rommel Adducul.

The Realtors, on the other hand, left several players unsigned after last season and took in Cabagnot, who inked a fresh contract with a team he had abandoned twice only to get back in.

Details of the new agreement were not available but it puts Cabagnot on a very tight leash. The University of Hilo-Hawaii product faces severe penalties should he make yet another disappearing act.

“As of now, he’s on a one conference-probation,” said SLR governor Buddy Encarnado.

Among the still unsigned Realtors were Chito Victolero, Jimwell Torion, Mac Cuan, Chester Tolomia and Oliver Agapito.

Meanwhile, fans can now watch all the games of their favorite team at the Araneta Coliseum with a single ticket. Using the All-Team Access Pass plan, fans can also avail themselves of freebies and get a tour of locker rooms during game days.

The passes are priced at P6,300, P5,500 and P1,200.

“The board, under chair Ricky Vargas, really wants fans to have limitless options on the purchase of tickets,” said Eala.

The league is also expanding its base of ticket outlets, which now include all San Mig Foods branches. Upper Box A ticket prices will also be cut by as much as 30 percent.

For ticket inquiries, call +632 638-1815. -- Francis Ochoa

full battle gear
09-21-2006, 11:46 AM
Can Miranda fill Johnny’s shoes?
www.mb.com.ph



WILL DENNIS "Denok" Miranda be ready with his new role as Coca Cola’s No. 1 playmaker?

That’s one of the intriguing questions begging for an answer following the departure of former MVP Johnny Abarrientos to Ginebra.

But coach Binky Favis believes his ward is up to the challenge.

The former FEU stalwart has been Coca-Cola’s starting guard since his arrival last year, but Abarrientos had his own minutes and, oftentimes, would orchestrate plays for the Tigers at endgame.

Now that Miranda is on his own with a chance to distinguish himself among the league’s chief playmakers, including Jimmy Alapag and Mike Cortez, he vowed to give his best every game.

But he’s quite nervous with his new role.

"Nakakatakot. Pero kapag nandyan na yang opportunity na yan, pagtratrabahuhan ko ng husto iyan," said Miranda.

Miranda will be surrounded by a young support crew after management effected a massive buildup in its quest for another championship following two title conquests under coach Chot Reyes in 2002 and the succeeding year.

"Nakakapanghinayang din wala na si Johnny. Marami akong natutunan sa kanya," said Miranda of Abarrientos, a fellow former FEU star whom he idolizes up to now.

Favis said Miranda’s numerous stints with the national team are expected to serve him in good stead when the tournament begins on Oct. 1.

Even before his entry into the pro loop, Miranda made good impression when, still as a PBL player, he played solid ball with the Nationals in the 2005 Jones Cup in Taiwan.

"He belongs to the PBA and he’s well equipped to be a lead point guard," said Favis of Miranda.

The stocky point guard played 34 games in his rookie year and averaged 7.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 0.9 steal against 1.9 turnovers. He admits he still has a lot to learn to be among the league’s superstar guards.

gameface_one
09-21-2006, 06:57 PM
Thursday, September 21, 2006
SMB gulps MLKP
By Jade S. Violeta
Sun.Star Staff Reporter
sunstar.com.ph



The "Triple Treat" charity game between San Miguel and M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala (MLKP)-Cebu City became a triple fest as the two teams exchanged three-point bombs all throughout the game at the jampacked Cebu Coliseum.

In the end, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) experience of the Beermen prevailed, as the visitors escaped with a hard-earned a 97-91 victory over the Jewelers.

Proceeds of the match will go to the Don Bosco Boys Home and the Community Scout, in a program that aims to provide a way for minor lawbreakers to pay their "debt to society,” often without having a court conviction on their records.
Elation

The huge turnout of the exhibition match surprised some basketball observers and elated organizer, Don-don Hontiveros of the Beermen.

The hometown crowd, though, had no regrets watching the game, as it turned out to be a hotly contested one, with both teams firing at will from treyland to combine for a total of 21 three-point shots converted.

The Jewelers, the reigning 1st Mindanao-Visayas Basketball Association (MVBA) Mayor Lawrence Cruz Cup champion, waxed hot in the opening canto behind the accurate shooting of former Alaska Aces Stephen Padilla from behind the arc, as they took a 25-18 edge at the end of the period.

The crowd went on its feet in the ensuing period, after the Yayoy Alcoseba-mentored Jewelers pulled away and built the biggest lead in the game at 46-35 inside three minutes and 34 seconds, after Woodrow Enriquez, Danny Aying and Aldrin Ocañada converted a three-point bomb each to spearhead MLKP's rally.

Retaliation

The Beermen, who were with new head coach Chot Reyes, crawled back into the game, retaliating in the next play with prized rookie LA Tenorio, Wesley Gonzales, Olsen Racela and Hontiveros banging in a triple each to push San Miguel within one point, 50-51, at the bend.

The Beermen successfully grabbed the driver's seat in the dying seconds of the penultimate quarter, after launching a 10-3 burst, ignited and capped with a twinner from Christian Calaguio, to take a slim 75-74 advantage entering the final phase.

The Jewelers, though, weren't finished yet as the Cebuanos again took possession of the lead, 86-83, with a shade under five minutes left in the game.

Experience

But San Miguel's professional experience prevailed in the end, as Tenorio lit up a searing 12-5 blitz by the Beermen to secure the win.

Hontiveros led San Miguel with 18 points while Peña and Tenorio chipped in 16 and 12, respectively.

The Jewelers were headed by Padilla, who sunk 28 markers including eight triples while Jet Latonio added 17 markers peppered with three triples.

San Miguel Beer (97)—Hontiveros 18, Peña 16, Tenorio 12, Gonzales 9, Wilson 8, Racela 7, Noble 6, Calaguio 6, Seigle 5, Grijaldo 2, Adriano 1. Kwarta Padala Jewelers (91)—Padilla 26, Latonio 17, Capotulan 12, Enriquez 11, Aying 11, Mañigo 7, Ocañada 5, Smith 2.

BigBlue
09-22-2006, 09:08 AM
San Miguel Beer (97)—Hontiveros 18, Peña 16, Tenorio 12, Gonzales 9, Wilson 8, Racela 7, Noble 6, Calaguio 6, Seigle 5, Grijaldo 2, Adriano 1. Kwarta Padala Jewelers (91)—Padilla 26, Latonio 17, Capotulan 12, Enriquez 11, Aying 11, Mañigo 7, Ocañada 5, Smith 2.




Alfie Grijaldo (of NU) is with SMB?

bluebruiser90
09-22-2006, 10:57 AM
Pre season/free agent roster lang siguro. Wala pa namang balitang may pinapipirmang rookie ang SMB kung hindi si LA.

full battle gear
09-22-2006, 12:00 PM
We’re underdogs – Coach Ryan
www.mb.com.ph


By NOLI CRUZ

ONE SUCCESSFUL season isn’t going to make diminutive Purefoods Chunkee coach Ryan Gregorio walk tall.

Even after guiding the Giants to two finals stints and a championship, Gregorio still doesn’t buy the idea that they are among the strongest teams in the Philippine Basketball Association.

"Ginebra, Alaska, Talk ‘N Text and San Miguel are the teams to beat in the coming season," said Gregorio, recently named Coach of the Year by the PBA Press Corps.

"I am always telling my players that we are not among the most talented teams in the league. We just outworked everybody on our way to the title."

They won the Philippine Cup at the expense of Red Bull after losing to the same squad in the finals of the Fiesta Conference.

Ginebra easily topped Gregorio’s list because of its massive buildup in the off-season, acquiring all-star big men Rudy Hatfield, Billy Mamaril and Rafi Reavis via a controversial trade and former MVP Johnny Abarrientos via the free-agent market. All of Ginebra’s prized acquisitions came from sister team Coca-Cola.

Abarrientos got no takers after a five-day grace period, making him free to sign up with a team under the San Miguel Corporation umbrella.

Gregorio also took note of Alaska’s impressive pre-season performance.

"They (Aces) are ready to play that’s why they ruled the pre-season tournament," he said. "I think Nic Belasco and Willie Miller have fully adjusted to the system of coach Tim (Cone) by now."

The Giants struggled in the pre-season, but Gregorio expected it somehow.

"We started out late in our preparations because I gave my players a five-week break after our championship victory."

Usual suspects Talk ‘N Text and San Miguel are solid from top to bottom.

The Phone Pals have the league’s most prolific rebounder, most generous player and most feared shooter in Asi Taulava (14.4 rebounds per game), Jimmy Alapag (7.6 assists per game) and Renren Ritualo (2.3 three pointers made per game).

All of the Beermen’s starters, on the other hand, are all-stars last season. Danny Seigle, Danny Ildefonso and Dorian Peña form the most imposing frontline in the league while guards Dondon Hontiveros and Olsen Racela are two of the most efficient shooters in their position.

While he didn’t mention Red Bull among the favorites, Gregorio believes coach Yeng Guiao’s team will be somewhere near the top.

"Red Bull will always be there. We have something in common," Gregorio said. "We are winning not because of superior talent, but because of hardwork."

Meanwhile, incoming sophomore Jondan Salvador is ready to reclaim his spot in the starting five of the Giants.

"Jondan is 100-percent healthy and will most likely start for us at center."

Marc Pingris, who manned the slot with flying colors during Salvador’s absence, will slide to the small forward position.

full battle gear
09-22-2006, 12:06 PM
Coke suspends Victoria after woman claims he fondled her

www.abs-cbnnews.com


The Coca-Cola Tigers put assistant coach Emmanuel "Boybits" Victoria under preventive suspension on Thursday after a lady manager of a bar in

Quezon City accused the former pro basketball player of fondling and sexually harassing her last July.

In a statement, Coca-Cola team manager Hector Calma said the suspension should also give Victoria ample time to attend to the complaint filed by the 26-year-old woman with the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office last Tuesday.

The Philippine Basketball Association ballclub is also investigating the matter, the Coke team manager said.

"Although he is innocent until proven otherwise, we deemed it proper to suspend him as there was already a case filed against him," Calma said. "This suspension will be in effect until such time that he has been cleared of any wrongdoing." Candice Cerezo

"It is the company’s policy not to tolerate any misconduct among members of its ball club who are supposed to be role models and ambassadors of goodwill," he added.

In her complaint, the woman said Victoria, the 1994 PBA Rookie of the Year, had approached her and embraced her from behind and tightly wrapped his right arm around her neck while she was talking to another guest at the Zeno BMW Lifestyle Lounge.

She said Victoria kept bothering her on that night of July 14 when he kissed her neck and jaw and even touched her breasts. She said he also sent her lewd text messages telling her that he wanted to take her home and "kiss her from head to toe."

She charged the former player, who saw action for Pop Cola and San Miguel Beer before joining the Coke staff, with acts of lasciviousness. She is asking for P600,000 in moral and exemplary damages and P100,000 in attorney’s fees. The Manila Times

full battle gear
09-23-2006, 12:21 PM
Giants open title defense vs Pals
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 09/23/2006

Purefoods, coming off an extended break after winning the recent Philippine Cup, hopes to get some semblance of its competitive form as it starts its title defense against Talk n Text on opening day Oct. 4 at the Araneta Coliseum.

Red Bull, the Philippine Cup losing finalist, meanwhile, plays its first game on home soil against San Miguel Beer Oct. 6 at the Cuneta Astrodome following its overseas encounter with the Alaska Milk Aces at the University of Guam gym in Agana, Guam on Oct. 1.

A lone game pitting crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra and league newcomer Welcoat follows immediately after the inaugural rites at the Big Dome.

Coca-Cola and Alaska Milk slug it out in the 4:40 p.m. tiff before the showdown between Purefoods and Talk n Text Oct. 4. The following play date on Oct. 6, Sta. Lucia Realty and Air21 collide in the curtain-raiser.

Capping the first week of action in the 2006-07 PBA season is a road game between Ginebra and Purefoods at the Gov. Lamberto Mecias Gym in Dumaguete City Oct. 7.

The 32nd PBA season features 15 rookies and 16 veterans, led by 1996 MVP winner Johnny Abarrientos, playing for new teams.

Abarrientos has officially landed at Ginebra, joining an overhauled lineup that includes other former Coca-Cola Tigers Billy Mamaril, Rafi Reavis and Rudy Hatfield. Completing coach Jong Uichico’s lineup are Romel Adducul, Jayjay Helterbrand, Mark Macapagal, Eric Menk, Mike Holper, Mark Caguioa, Andy Seigle and Sunday Salvacion.

Over at Sta. Lucia, Alex Cabagnot has regained his old spot. Relegated to the reserve list is rookie Mark Magsumbol.

Another team that will sport a new look in the coming season is the Coca-Cola Tigers featuring new recruits Joseph Yeo, Ronjay Enrile and Jason Misolas.

New ball club Welcoat will be a mix of veteran free agents, rookies and comebacking veterans to be handled by coach Leo Austria. Composing the team are Rob Wainwright, Junjun Cabatu, Joey Mente, JayR Reyes, Nino Gelig, Adonis Sta. Maria, Froilan Baguion, Jercules Tangkay, Jireh Ibanes, Denver Lopez, Gilbert Lao and Jay Sagad.

Red Bull didn’t touch its old lineup at all while the rest of the ball clubs kept the core of their respective rosters intact.

Purefoods, Alaska and Talk n Text have one new recruit each in Boyet Bautista, Christian Luanzon and Mark Andaya, respectively. San Miguel has three in Gabby Espinas, LA Tenorio and Willie Wilson, and Air21 two in Arwin Santos and Aries Dimaunahan.

full battle gear
09-23-2006, 12:22 PM
The Flying A’s last flight?
THE GAME OF MY LIFE By Bill Velasco
The Philippine Star 09/23/2006

Johnny Abarrientos has been through a lot in his stellar career. He teamed up with Vic Pablo to make Far Eastern University a powerhouse in the UAAP in the late 1980’s, before wearing the national colors and winning a gold medal in the 1991 Manila Southeast Asian Games. The starting point guard on an Alaska team that won a string of PBA championships, he became Most Valuable Player in 1996, the smallest player to earn the award.

Then, he was surprised to learn he had been traded to Pop Cola (later Coca-Cola), a painful experience which took him years to get over.

Two weeks ago, the Flying A learned that he was being released by the Tigers, less than a month before the new PBA season opened. Air21, Alaska and Sta. Lucia Realty reportedly expressed interest, but their rosters quickly filled up. As of last Tuesday, he was trying for a slot with Ginebra, and took a one-year contract with reduced pay and weighted with bonuses.

"I don’t know if I really got frustrated or what," Abarrientos told The STAR. "This is the first time that towards the end of my contract, they were going to release me, that they decided they were going to totally rebuild. And it had to happen now that I’m exiting."

The timing was particularly bad, because if Johnny had not found a team in time, he would have given up playing, for good.

"I have to overcome this challenge again, because I was almost forced to retire. My contract ends on the 30th, and the league starts on the 1st. I want that, when I stop, I stop permanently," the 5’7" PBA All-Star admitted.

Luckily, other teams did need a veteran point guard, and realized Johnny’s other value.

"There’s still the respect factor, that’s why some teams reacted when they found out I was being released. I’m very grateful, and I’m honored that they think that they cannot just use me as a player, but also for marketing purposes, or maybe as an assistant coach later on. I’m also at a point where I’m thinking about my future," Abarrientos said. "I’d like to coach someday, if it’s God’s will. I’m just enjoying my last two or three playing years."

Ironically, Ginebra, now loaded with a massive frontline, needs a veteran point guard to bring the unit some cohesion, and reign in their sometimes out-of-control offense. Add in the injury to Jay-jay Helterbrand and the pressure to win right away, and the need became dire.

"The small guys have to sacrifice. I told them that we have to send the ball inside first, to our big men. Anyway, that’s what will open things up for us and give us shots."

But Abarrientos is realistic about his deteriorating condition, exacerbated by his being in limbo the past few weeks.

"What made it worse was, when Coke released me, I had no team to practice with. So it ruined my conditioning," the many-time national player explained. "I wanted to practice, but I couldn’t. You know, the daily routine a player goes through. I would work out one day, then stop for two days. That’s why I told coach Jong to give me more time, because I’m still catching my wind. They’ve already been playing for over a month. I’ve only been at it for two weeks."

It was a blessing in disguise for Abarrientos to land in the lap of the most popular team in the country. Not only is the recognition factor very high, the team is now a perfect fit for Johnny’s physical state, as well.

"It’s hard to say. Now, it’s really my mind that’s willing to give all. My body is forced to follow," Abarrientos said in the vernacular. "Before, I used to rely on my speed, that’s the weapon of a point guard. Before, you just blink, and I leave you behind. Now, I’d say I’ve lost about 30 percent of it. Luckily, I don’t need to penetrate that much, since we have Mark (Caguioa) and Jay-jay (Helterbrand). So I can find the right timing."

Johnny expressed his gratitude to the Ginebra organization for taking a gamble on him. He wants a shot at expressing his gratitude to the fans who have been behind him all these years by going out with an entertaining flourish.

full battle gear
09-23-2006, 12:23 PM
Dunk stars to jam for Tejada
By Joaquin Henson
The Philippine Star 09/23/2006

Back-to-back Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) dunk champion Niño Canaleta faces the biggest challenge of his skywalking career when he defends his title as local cagedom’s undisputed Jam King against high-flyers Kelly Williams, Arwind Santos and Jay Washington in a four-way slam-off highlighting the Eugene Tejada Charity Benefit show, starting 4 p.m. today at the 5,000-seat San Juan Arena.

Event organizer Chiqui Lucindo-Flowers said the dunkers are donating their services to raise funds for Tejada’s rehabilitation and promise a lot of never-before-seen slams guaranteed to bring fans off their seats.

Flowers said she thought it would be difficult to convince players to challenge Canaleta, who’s by far the most prolific and imaginative dunker ever to emerge in Philippine hoops. But Williams, Santos and Washington didn’t hesitate to sign up if only for Tejada.

Aside from the dunking contest, the show will feature an All-Star Game starring PBA cagers with retired stars Alvin Patrimonio, Allan Caidic, Boybits Victoria and Bong Ravena. Alex Compton will coach one team and actor Dennis Padilla, the other.

Flowers said the rosters of the All-Star teams are still being finalized but confirmed the participation of Jimmy Alapag, Mac-Mac Cardona, Danny Seigle, Eric Menk, Ali Peek, Dorian Peña, Marc Pingris, Kerby Raymundo, Mark Telan, Jay-Jay Helterbrand, Johnny Abarrientos, Don Allado, Jun Limpot, Andy Seigle, Asi Taulava, John Arigo, James Yap and Rafi Reavis.

Canaleta, Williams, Santos, Washington, Patrimonio, Caidic, Victoria, Ravena, Compton and Padilla will also play in the All-Star Game.

Because of the nature of the benefit, Flowers said fans will be asked for donations in exchange for tickets. A minimum of P20 is the donation for an upper level seat while a minimum of P150 is for a non-reserved ringside ticket. A minimum of P200 will be for a reserved ringside seat. Fans may donate more for their tickets.

Flowers, whose husband Jeffrey once played in the Metropolitan Basketball Association, said the goal is to raise P7 million for Tejada’s treatment at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California, where he is now confined and undergoing therapy thrice a day for two hours each.

After the show, Tejada’s friends are hosting a party and auction at Fiama on Jupiter Street, Makati, for fans. An entrance ticket to the party will cost P200 and proceeds of bar sales and the auction will go to Tejada. Among the items to be auctioned are authentic PBA autographed jerseys, NBA merchandise and a Tracy McGrady signed uniform from Adidas.

Flowers said Tejada’s friends hatched the idea of a benefit event to lend the Purefoods player a helping hand.

"Although the San Miguel group has been so supportive and generous, Eugene’s friends wanted to share in the effort and do their part," said Flowers.

Among Tejada’s friends who got together to plan the event were Alapag, Kalani Ferreria, Harvey Carey, Mon Jose, Mike Cortez, Tony de la Cruz and Jackie Forster. The event is being produced by the Steak Group of Sarah Meier, Chris Aldaba and Banjo Albano and is sanctioned by the PBA.

Flowers said Tejada spends at least P60,000 a day for his rehabilitation sessions at Santa Clara. He is still not able to walk but can now move his extremities and sit up, on his own, in bed.

There are positive signs that Tejada, who was signed to an indefinite contract by Purefoods last July, will be back on his feet and his dream is to walk fiancée Jeni Hernandez, a TV actress, down the aisle as soon as he regains his stride.

full battle gear
09-24-2006, 09:52 AM
Racela says LA’s better

By Francis Ochoa
Inquirer
Last updated 05:07am (Mla time) 09/24/2006

Published on page A22 of the September 24, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE comparisons have been made. Almost everybody thinks LA Tenorio is going to be the next Olsen Racela at San Miguel.

Everybody, that is, except the man who has held the position of starting point guard at the Beermen camp since 1997.

“How can he be the next Olsen Racela,” said Racela, “when he’s better than me?”

Tenorio was San Miguel’s top pick in this year’s draft and is a product of Ateneo, the same school Racela attended before turning pro in 1994.

He is being groomed to take over Racela’s starting point guard chores in the near future and the long-time leader of the San Miguel squad says he is impressed with what he has seen so far in practices.

“He’s been showing how good he really is,” said the 35-year-old Racela. “As far as I can remember, it took me a while to establish myself in this league. He’s going to do it faster.” Chot Reyes, the newly installed San Miguel coach, agrees.

“The way we figure it LA needs two years before he can take over Olsen’s chores,” said Reyes. “But it could be sooner than expected. Madali kasing maka-grasp ang bata.” Tenorio proved his worth as the main quarterback of the San Miguel-Pilipinas squad in overseas tournaments.

“There’s no question in my mind that he’s ready for the PBA,” Reyes said. “There’s also no question on whether he can be of help starting or coming off the bench.”

full battle gear
09-25-2006, 10:14 AM
Kings will try to look good on court, too

By Francis Ochoa
Inquirer
Last updated 01:36am (Mla time) 09/25/2006

Published on page A32 of the September 25, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

EVERYBODY is looking to Barangay Ginebra as the team to beat in the Philippine Basketball Association 2006-07 season.

Jong Uichico can only hope for one thing.

“I hope it’s true,” said the mild-mannered Kings coach. “We look good on paper, but again, games are won on the court, not on paper.”

Still, it’s easy to understand why other teams look to Ginebra as the target this season.

Already solid enough with the likes of reigning former MVP Erik Menk, Mark Caguioa, Jayjay Helterbrand and Romel Adducul, the Kings boosted their roster with a blockbuster trade in the off-season.

The Kings acquired Rafi Reavis, Billy Mamaril and Rudy Hatfield to boost a frontline that already includes Mike Holper and Andy Seigle. They also added Johnny Abarrientos in a bid to glue all those stars together.

“I think Ginebra is the team to beat this season because of its depth and size,” Red Bull mentor Yeng Guiao told reporters.

Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio saw up close just how deadly the Kings can get after watching his Giants bow to them, 95-70, in an off-season game.

“They’re big, athletic and running,” Gregorio said. “That goes to show the kind of Ginebra team the rest of the field will have to contend with in the coming PBA season.”

One thing going for the Kings is that Uichico knows how to handle a collection of stars. He won six titles with a star-studded San Miguel squad that included the likes of Danny Seigle, Dorian Peña, Dondon Hontiveros, Danny Ildefonso and Olsen Racela.

full battle gear
09-25-2006, 10:21 AM
PBA to unveil ‘Pride Is Back’ theme
By Joaquin Henson
The Philippine Star 09/25/2006

If you’re proud to be Filipino, then you’ll fit right in with the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) theme of "Pride Is Back" for the surprise show opening the 32nd season at the Araneta Coliseum next Sunday.

"We’re finalizing details with the artists performing in the show that will precede the Ginebra versus Welcoat game," said PBA commissioner Noli Eala. "But for sure, the players will be involved in the number. We won’t ask them to dance or sing but they’ll be there to entertain the fans. The show will be all about being proud to be Pinoy and it’s appropriate since the first conference is All-Filipino."

Eala said the league will offer a lot of "freebies" for fans to take home on opening day.

"We want to make Oct. 1 as entertaining as an All-Star Game or Game 7 of the Finals," said Eala. "Fans are in for a treat because they get to take home a lot of PBA stuff, like those clappers which the Miami Heat distributed to fans during the last NBA Finals."

Eala said the new season will mark a sharp focus on bringing the PBA closer to fans by making it more accessible.

"For one, we’re launching the PBA house-pass, an all-team access pass for fans to be able to watch all the double-round elimination games of his or her favorite team," said Eala. "With the pass, a fan is entitled to free PBA merchandise, to meet his or her favorite players and even enter the dugout of the team of choice before a game. All 10 teams will be involved in pushing for the all-access pass because it’s a way of giving back to their loyal fans."

Tickets will also be easier to buy through an on-line service, by cellphone texting and at nation-wide San Miguel Food outlets. An added feature is the league’s ‘subsidized’ pricing for upper box A tickets, down by 20 percent. The popular "Gimme Five" promotion of P5 for a general admission ticket will be back throughout the elimination round.

"The first thing that our PBA chairman Ricky Vargas asked me to look into when he assumed his position was to study our pricing policy with the view of lowering ticket cost for fans," said Eala. "Our proposal to keep the ‘Gimme Five’ promotion and lower the price for upper box A tickets is in response to his direction."

Eala said the new season will usher in a few rule changes.

"We thought of introducing the three-point dunk but we’re shelving that for the moment," said Eala. "We will consider it again next season. Some of the new rule changes are awarding two free throws and possession on an advantage foul to discourage the disruption of the flow of the game and resetting the shot clock to 24 seconds on a kick ball. There are other modifications on situations that require the resetting of the shot clock."

Eala explained that the PBA coaches chose to defer the implementation of the three-point dunk after the Board of Governors were locked in a tie on the vote to introduce it or not.

Eala said the PBA will honor its commitment to send the national team to the FIBA-Asia Continental Championships which are held once in two years and are the qualifiers for the Olympics and World Championships. That means it will no longer send the national team to the Asian Games, held once in four years.

"But four years from now, who knows, we may send the national team to the next Asian Games depending on the circumstances and if schedules are not in conflict," said Eala. "The problem with the Asian Games is there is no set month in a year when they are held. As for the coming Doha Games, the PBA will definitely not send the national team because the preparation time is too short, the schedule is in conflict with our season and from the start, we had expressed that position in a memorandum of understanding with the NSA (National Sports Association) for basketball."

Eala said the second and last conference of the season will allow each team to bring in an import standing no taller than 6-6.

Eala added that next year, the PBA is planning to hold a tryout camp for Fil-Ams in the US.

"We know there are a lot of talented Fil-Ams out there who can play in the PBA," said Eala. "We could put out the word for them to show what they can do in a camp where they pay a fee to play. If we push through with plans to expand to 12 teams, we will seriously consider holding a Fil-Am tryouts camp in the US."

Eala said there are ongoing negotiations with at least two large corporations to join the PBA in the 2007-08 season.

full battle gear
09-26-2006, 11:03 AM
PBA predicts another banner year
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 09/26/2006

The Philippine Basketball Association is looking forward for another blockbuster year as it unveils its 2006-07 season at the Araneta Coliseum Sunday with an impressive package that includes new team, promising young players complementing reliable old stars, and new rules and innovations geared toward making PBA games more exciting.

PBA officials, led by board chairman Ricky Vargas and commissioner Noli Eala, expressed excitement and enthusiasm about the coming season in a grand press launch at the Manila Hotel yesterday.

"The coming season is a challenge for us to do better and we in the board will face that challenge head on. Together, I know we can overcome that challenge," said Vargas.

"We look forward with pride and honor to a new PBA season, one that we know will be full of expectations following a year marked by significant increase in gate receipts, attendance and television ratings," said Eala.

"But with the support and trust of the entire board under chairman Ricky Vargas, team officials, players, the media, our TV coveror ABC-5 and most importantly, the fans themselves, I am confident that the league will soar to even greater heights this coming 32nd season," Eala added.

He said the PBA formally opens its 2006-07 campaign in a night of music, fun and stars Sunday. After the elaborate rites evolving around the theme "Pride is Back" with the Apo Hiking Society as hosts, crowd darling Barangay Ginebra and newcomer Welcoat clash in a lone game kicking off hostilities in the Philippine Cup that will last for five months.

By Friday, Red Bull and Alaska Milk should be back in town after slugging it out in an official overseas match in Guam Thursday. The Bulls and the Aces depart for the tiny US territory in the Pacific today.

A new team on the block, an elaborate scheme called "20/20" and a couple of novel projects aimed at benefiting the fans are among things making league officials confident of surpassing last year’s banner season.

In fact, the PBA top movers’ main goal "is to assault the league all-time high records attained in 1996."

"We’re coming off a banner season and we want to sustain it, so we’re looking at a 20-20 vision. We want a 20 percent increase in live gate attendance that hopefully can boost the PBA’s net income by another 20 percent," said Vargas.

The project, according to Eala, will be spiced up by a series of marketing and promotional stuff, one of which is a 30-minute, once-a-week show called PBA Entertainment.

As a way of giving back to the fans, Eala said promo ventures such as the "High Five," lowering of ticket prices and the availability of more ticket outlets will be implemented this season to make the league more accessible and affordable to the fans.

The PBA will be implementing a more methodical ticketing system to lure more fans to watch the games live.

An innovative project being implemented starting this season is the All Team Access Pass, a scheme similar to the league’s regular season-ticket pass but on a per team basis.

Under the system, fans can purchase season tickets to games of their favorite teams, with corresponding privileges according to their seating areas at the Araneta Coliseum.

The P5 promo for General Admission seats are also being retained while ticket prices in Upper Box levels have been slashed by about 30 percent.

"Lahat ngayon tumataas, pero kami nagbababa ng presyo," said Eala. "But this is the brainchild of chairman Ricky Vargas as our way of giving back to fans the support the league has been getting from them all through these years."

full battle gear
09-26-2006, 11:04 AM
Blue-chip rookies, balanced field ensure exciting season
By Joaquin Henson
The Philippine Star 09/26/2006

With what the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has in store for fans, the league’s 32nd season promises to be more exciting than ever before.

PBA commissioner Noli Eala yesterday explained three reasons why the mood is upbeat.

First is the entry of a new batch of rookies.

"They’re extremely talented and they’ve got a big following," said Eala. "I think the rookies are more prepared to make an impact in the league than last year’s batch. Their skills level is exceptionally high."

Among the blue-chippers debuting this season are Sta. Lucia Realty’s Kelly Williams, Mark Isip and Ronnie Bughao, Air21’s Arwind Santos, Coca-Cola’s Joseph Yeo, San Miguel Beer’s L. A. Tenorio and Gabby Espinas, Alaska’s Aaron Aban and Christian Luanzon, Talk ‘N’ Text’s Mark Andaya, Purefoods’ Boyet Bautista, Red Bull’s Magnum Membrere and Welcoat’s Jay-R Reyes, Jun-Jun Cabatu, Jay Sagad and Abby Santos.

Second is Welcoat’s arrival to complete a 10-team cast.

"Make no mistake about it, Welcoat won’t be a whipping boy in the league," said Eala. "The team may not immediately contend for a championship but it’ll be competitive. Welcoat has a championship tradition in the PBL (Philippine Basketball League) and I expect that tradition to carry over to the PBA. A new team also gives the league a fresh look. With Welcoat, each team plays 18 games in the elimination round and we estimate a two-conference format to consist of about 140 games, including playoffs, from 114 last season."

Coach Leo Austria’s Dragons will be beefed up by comebacking Jojo Tangkay, rookie free agent Froilan Baguion (undrafted last year), Rob Wainwright, Joey Mente, Nino Gelig, Gilbert Lao, Adonis Sta. Maria and Denver Lopez.

Third is more balanced competition this year.

"The rookies went to the right teams," said Eala. "Take Williams’ case, for example. He brings a whole new look to Sta. Lucia and makes the team a contender again. Then, there were trades and free agent pick-ups that strengthened the teams all around."

Ginebra San Miguel had no draft pick last month but coach Joseph Uichico bolstered his lineup with acquisitions Rudy Hatfield, Billy Mamaril, Johnny Abarrientos and Rafi Reavis. Air21 swapped for Aris Dimaunahan and Ervin Sotto while Coca-Cola signed up Kalani Ferreria and Manny Ramos. Poch Juinio returned to Alaska and Willie Wilson moved to San Miguel Beer. In all, over 15 veterans switched teams in the off- season.

Eala said to enhance marketing values, the PBA will launch new efforts in media and introduce a "torch-bearers" program where 12 stars are to lead the way to growth as the "Astig 12."

On the social responsibility aspect, Eala said the league will tie up with the Department of Health in a "Wellness" campaign to promote a healthy lifestyle through programs on anti-drugs, nutrition and physical fitness.

"This is our version of the NBA Cares," said Eala. "It’s relevant to the PBA because we’re involved in sports and committed to a holistic approach in promoting wellness."

Eala said this season, the league will schedule games in three main venues — the Araneta Coliseum where 60 percent of the contests will be played, the Ynares Center and the Cuneta Astrodome. Four non-traditional venues in Metro Manila — the Olivarez Gym in Parañaque, the San Juan Arena, the Ninoy Aquino Stadium and the Rizal Memorial Coliseum — will also be tapped to broaden markets.

Provincial outings are earmarked in Leyte, Isabela, La Union, General Santos City, Tubod in Lanao del Norte, Lucena, Pampanga and the Bicol region. An overseas game between Red Bull and Alaska is set in Guam this Thursday.

Eala said another overseas game is being negotiated in Singapore on Oct. 29. It will likely pit Sta. Lucia against Talk ‘N’ Text in a doubleheader with an Australian National Basketball League (NBL) game.

Because of the country’s suspension by FIBA, Singapore organizers were hesitant to invite the PBA to play but NBL commissioner Rick Burton found a way to bring in the Filipino clubs as part of a twinbill. The NBL recently added an expansion team, the Singapore Slingers owned by Bob Turner, to its fold.

full battle gear
09-26-2006, 11:17 AM
Full of expectations in new PBA season
www.mb.com.ph


By NOLI CRUZ

THE PHILIPPINE Basketball Association will have an international dish for an appetizer in the coming 32nd season.

For the first time in its history, the league will open the season overseas as Alaska faces Red Bull on Thursday in Guam.

The duel will be one of nine games scheduled outside of the regular venues in the Philippine Cup.

Holding games outside of Metro Manila helped the league achieve significant milestones the past season.

Commissioner Noli Eala is hoping to continue the trend.

"We look forward with pride and honor to a new PBA season, one that we know will be full of expectations following a year marked by significant increase in gate receipts, attendance and television ratings," Eala said during the league’s press conference at the Maynila Ballroom of the Manila Hotel.

"With the support and thrust of the entire Board under chairman Ricky Vargas, team officials, players, the media, our TV coveror ABC-5 and most importantly, the fans themselves, I am confident that the league will soar to even greater heights this coming 32nd season."

The gains posted last season was the highest for the PBA since the 1996 season or since the last active year of the legendary Sonny Jaworski.

The league looks forward to an even better year, as it welcomes a new team in the Welcoat Paints Dragons, an ambitious 20/20 scheme and a couple of novel projects aimed at luring more fans to watch the games live.

With the entry of the Dragons, the number of teams seeing action reverts back to 10, the same number that the league enjoyed back in the 2004-2005 season.

The Dragons, owned by Raymund Yu and Terry Que, get to test their mettle right on the Oct. 1 grand opening against the Barangay Ginebra Kings at the Araneta Coliseum.

"It’s always a pleasure to welcome a new team member to the growing PBA family," said Eala.

He briefly touched on the league’s 20/20 vision, where the league targets a 20 percent increase in live gate attendance that will hopefully, boost the league’s net income by another 20 percent.

The project, according to Eala, will be spiced up by a series of marketing and promotional stuff, one of which is a 30-minute, once-a-week show called the PBA Entertainment.

And as a way of giving back to the fans, Eala said promo ventures such as the "High Five," the lowering of ticket prices and the availability of more ticket outlets will be implemented this season to make the league more accessible and affordable.

easter
09-26-2006, 05:23 PM
PBA to unveil ‘Pride Is Back’ theme
By Joaquin Henson
The Philippine Star 09/25/2006

Eala added that next year, the PBA is planning to hold a tryout camp for Fil-Ams in the US.

"We know there are a lot of talented Fil-Ams out there who can play in the PBA," said Eala. "We could put out the word for them to show what they can do in a camp where they pay a fee to play. If we push through with plans to expand to 12 teams, we will seriously consider holding a Fil-Am tryouts camp in the US."

Eala said there are ongoing negotiations with at least two large corporations to join the PBA in the 2007-08 season.


Wag na siguro ito. Dami na namang homegrown players ang mawawalan ng trabaho. :(

easter
09-26-2006, 05:24 PM
PBA to unveil ‘Pride Is Back’ theme
By Joaquin Henson
The Philippine Star 09/25/2006

Eala added that next year, the PBA is planning to hold a tryout camp for Fil-Ams in the US.

"We know there are a lot of talented Fil-Ams out there who can play in the PBA," said Eala. "We could put out the word for them to show what they can do in a camp where they pay a fee to play. If we push through with plans to expand to 12 teams, we will seriously consider holding a Fil-Am tryouts camp in the US."



Wag na siguro ito. Dami na namang homegrown players ang mawawalan ng trabaho. :(

full battle gear
09-27-2006, 10:34 AM
Health key to PBA title, say coaches

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 01:04am (Mla time) 09/27/2006

Published on Page A29 of the September 27, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

KEEPING PLAYERS healthy for a long tournament could prove to be any team’s key to the championship of the PBA Philippine Cup, which gets off the ground tomorrow with an overseas game in Guam.

Each team will play a total of 18 elimination-round games, and things are bound to get even tougher past that.

“It could get to a point where what matters most is how healthy your players are in the homestretch,” said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio, who endured an injury-riddled season in the last conference on the way to capturing the league’s most prestigious trophy.

“Losing players isn’t an excuse for losing games, but I tell you, every coach will put a premium on keeping players healthy with such a long format,” he added.

While automatic quarterfinal berths await those who finish in the upper half of the elimination round, the other teams in the bottom will still play a wild-card round to get to the next phase.

“The more games you have to play, the more depth comes into play,” said Barangay Ginebra coach Jong Uichico, who has probably the deepest bench in the league today.

“You also have to do a pretty good job at avoiding injuries,” said Red Bull’s Yeng Guiao, who seems to get the most out of long tournaments.

“We played the most games last year -- no less than 60 -- and despite that, we won a championship and made the finals in the other conference,” added Guiao, who left late last night for Guam, where the Barako face the Alaska Aces.

The top two teams after the eliminations get outright slots in the semifinals, a luxury to anyone considering that this tournament could take more than four months.

“You want to advance to the semifinals the soonest possible time to cushion whatever injury might hit you,” said Uichico.

Only one team in the 10-side field will get the boot after the eliminations and those who finish sixth to ninth go to the wild-card phase where the top team enters the quarters in the company of Nos. 3 to 5.

Team No. 3 clashes with the wild-card topnotcher, while teams No. 4 and 5 are paired in best-of-five series to determine the opponents of the top two teams in the classification round.

The winner of the No. 3 team against the wild-card top team’s matchup will advance to collide with the elimination round leader, while the No. 4 versus No. 5 victor marches on to face the No. 2 team in race-to-four affairs to determine the finalists.

The title series will also be best-of-seven.

Alaska and Red Bull clash at the University of Guam Fieldhouse at 7:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. Manila time).

The tournament, which formally kicked off with a press conference Monday at the Manila Ballroom of the Manila Hotel, gets going with its opening rites and a game pitting the Kings against newcomer Welcoat on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

full battle gear
09-27-2006, 10:45 AM
Coaches agree Kings solid pick
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 09/27/2006

Barangay Ginebra is the solid favorite with Purefoods and Red Bull tipped to have another fine season and San Miguel Beer, Talk n Text and Alaska Milk likely to do better than their previous campaigns.

This is the consensus among coaches after their respective preparations for the 32nd PBA season which fires off tomorrow with an official overseas game in Guam pitting Red Bull and Alaska Milk.

The coaches said the Kings have become more formidable following a massive overhaul, the Giants and the Bulls could look to their successful runs last year while the Beermen, the Pals and the Aces remain teams to reckon with.

Practically all mentors ranked Ginebra on top of their list.

But during the media launch at the Manila Hotel Monday, PBA board representatives stressed that a team strong on paper is no cinch to win a championship.

"You can never tell. Look at Purefoods. They were not rated but they won the title last year," said PBA board chair Ricky Vargas.

To Coach of the Year winner Ryan Gregorio, Ginebra has the most impressive lineup followed by Alaska, San Miguel and Talk n Text.

San Miguel coach Chot Reyes, on the other hand, said Ginebra and Talk n Text are the teams to beat because of their talent along with Red Bull and Purefoods because they’re the finalists in the last conference.

For Yeng Guiao, whose Bulls figured in the finals of both tournaments last year, it’s Ginebra, San Miguel, Purefoods and Talk n Text.

"San Miguel has a new coach and solid lineup. Purefoods has the momentum being the defending champion. Talk n Text should play better given the time to jell in the off-season. Ginebra, it’s obvious," said Guiao.

Jong Uichico, who’s now calling the shots for Ginebra, points to Talk n Text, Alaska and San Miguel as the teams to beat.

"We really have a good lineup but it’s no guarantee to a championship. Chemistry on the court will be key to victory," said Ginebra team manager Allan Caidic.

Air21’s Bo Perasol picked Ginebra for its size and depth, and Purefoods and Red Bull for being the top performers last season. "Of course, I can never discount San Miguel, Talk n Text and Alaska. It will be a tightly-contested conference," Perasol added.

Sta. Lucia’s Alfrancis Chua also mentioned the six teams.

Talk n Text’s Derrick Pumaren has Purefoods, Red Bull, Ginebra and San Miguel as his top choices while Coca-Cola’s Binky Favis has Ginebra, San Miguel and Purefoods.

"Purefoods and Red Bull were the most dominant teams last conference keeping an intact lineup. Ginebra has probably the biggest front line in the league with Rafi Reavis, Billy Mamaril, Rudy Hatfield, Eric Menk, Andy Seigle, Romel Adducul, and Mike Holper. That’s big," said Pumaren.

"With Danny Ildefonso, Danny Seigle, Dorian Peña, Dondon Hontiveros and Olsen Racela playing together for a long time and the team’s experience, San Miguel will still be tough nut to crack," Pumaren added.

Favis said Ginebra, San Miguel and Purefoods are teams well coached and have strong lineups with championship experience.

Percentage-wise, Purefoods was the best performer last season, compiling 36 wins against 21 losses for 63 percent. Next was Red Bull with a 38-29 win-loss mark then Alaska and Ginebra with identical 25-24 cards, Air21 26-26, San Miguel 22-23, Talk n Text 18-23, Coca-Cola 16-23 and Sta. Lucia 12-25.

full battle gear
09-27-2006, 10:58 AM
Intriguing twists add drama, color in PBA
www.mb.com.ph


(Part 1 of a series)

JOHNNY ABARRIENTOS and Rudy Hatfield in a Ginebra uniform. Chot Reyes calling the shots for Danny Seigle and the rest of San Miguel. Air21’s much-ballyhooed four-big. A 10th member team in Welcoat.

They are just some of the intriguing twist expected to add drama and color to the 2006-07 season of the Philippine Basketball Association that formally comes off the wraps on Oct. 1 with the holding of the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup.

Topping them all is the surprise acquisition of the 36-year-old Abarrientos by the league’s crowd darling.

Abarrientos playing for the Kings years ago would have been unthinkable, but now is viewed as the icing on the cake of what had been a busy off-season for the powerhouse La Tondeña franchise.

Along the way, Ginebra also netted Hatfield, Rafi Reavis and Billy Mamaril in a three-team trade.

Meanwhile, a coach not by the name of Jong Uichico will be manning the San Miguel bench for the first time in seven years as Reyes begins his daunting task to bring back the glory days of the league’s winningest team.

Uichico’s departure paved the way for his assumption of Ginebra’s coaching job.

Also a young, athletic and exciting bunch of big men in Niño Canaleta, brothers Yancy and Ranidel de Ocampo and talented rookie Arwind Santos are at the forefront of what could yet be the Express’ breakout season while the Welcoat Dragons, young the team as it may, are coming off like a whiff of fresh air as the league welcomes its 32nd season. Below is a short, compact profile of the 10 teams.

GINEBRA

Only a fool wouldn’t have Ginebra on top of his list as team to beat this season. Already a caliber unit before, the Kings got even more formidable after acquiring Reavies, Mamaril, Hatfield and Abarrientos to go with the proven company of Erik Menk, Mark Caguioa, Jayjay Helterbrand, Adducul, Rodney Santos and Andy Seigle.

Uichico has left his coaching job at San Miguel to take on the challenge of guiding a rejuvenated Kings seeking a new chapter in their glorious history.

The Kings never made the Finals, albeit win a championship, last year. Its legion of followers are looking forward to having one this season.

STRENGTH — An imposing frontcourt that has lots of facets. A stable and organize backcourt with Abarrientos around.

WEAKNESS — Chemistry is questionable. Playing minutes and ball touches among its superstar players might pose a problem.

SAN MIGUEL

The rebuilding process for the ageing San Miguel squad has began. And it starts right from the very top.

On the bench, Reyes replaces Uichico and inherits a lineup whose starting unit of Olsen Racela, Danny Seigle, Danny Ildefonso, Dondon Hontiveros and Dorian Peña is the most senior in the league. On court, first round draftees LA Tenorio and Gabby Espinas provide the fresh legs.

The Beermen got their first taste of Reyes’ coaching system during the league’s preseason tournament. Immediately, they liked what they saw as the team finished runner up to Alaska with a 4-1 card.

STRENGTH — A healthy starting unit and Reyes’ coaching savvy.

WEAKNESS — Manpower shortage in the frontline with Ildefonso on the reserve list sidelined by an injury.

PUREFOODS

The Giants didn’t have the luxury to enjoy a long reign as Philippine Cup champions as they set out to defend the title right in the opening conference. So why rock the boat?

Three months after winning the conference considered as the most prestigious in the league, coach Ryan Gregorio is bringing back the same core that gave the franchise its fourth All-Filipino title.

From the Yap boys – James and Roger – Marc Pingris, Kerby Raymundo, Noy Castillo to Richard Yee, just about everybody from last year’s champion cast will be back for another title run. Sophomore big man Jondan Salvador, ready to be reactivated from the injury list, and rookie guard Boyet Bautista have been inserted to the winning equation.

STRENGTH — Talent and cohesion.

WEAKNESS — Lack of dependable back up at center and at the point.

RED BULL

The Barakos are going the Purefoods’ way, keeping intact the nucleus of their team that almost successfully won back-to-back titles last season.

As among the few teams that hardly undergone a facelift, the Barakos will again be bannered by a young core, yet seasoned players in Enrico Villanueva, Lordy Tugade, Junthy Valenzuela, Mick Pennisi, Cyrus Baguio and a fully healed Rich Alvarez.

Red Bull is also a team on a mission in search of the only championship missing – All Filipino — in Red Bull and coach Yeng Guiao’s trophy case after coming up short against Purefoods in the last Philippine Cup.

STRENGTH — Teamwork and the so-called ‘Red Bull’s mental toughness. Its budding superstars – Villanueva, Baguio, Alvarez and sophomores Larry Fonacier and Leo Najorda – could only get better with another year of playing.

WEAKNESS — A vulnerable backcourt.

ALASKA

Just like last year, the season begins for Alaska with lots of expectations.

The Aces completed a five-game sweep of the first-ever PBA preseason tournament, including a 128-126 overtime win over the favored San Miguel Beermen in the championship game.

With Willie Miller and Nic Belasco becoming more and more comfortable with coach Tim Cone’s Triangle offense, Alaska’s latest feat only shows how much the Aces are fit and ready for the coming season.

For a while, the franchise tinkered to sign up former Alaska star Johnny Abarrientos, but negotiations for his homecoming never reached first base.

An extra motivation is also going Alaska’s way as it tries to exorcise the ghost of recent past when it bungled a commanding 3-1 lead to lose the best-of-seven series to Purefoods during the Philippine Cup semifinals a year ago.

STRENGTH — Has in its fold the deadliest backcourt combination in the league in Cortez and Miller.

WEAKNESS — A reliable reliever at center. Although in his third season, Joachim Thoss is still a work in progress.

full battle gear
09-27-2006, 11:07 AM
Kings must live up to elevated preseason billing

By JOEL ORELLANA, The Manila Times Reporter
www.abs-cbnnews.com


They can be regarded as the most talented Barangay Ginebra team ever assembled, but the question is, can they live up to their lofty billing?

There’s no doubt the Kings are the team to watch, and envy, when the 32nd season of the Philippine Basketball Association unfurls this Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum, with the Philippine Cup tournament as the league’s initial salvo.

Already formidable with superstars like Eric Menk, Mark Caguioa, Jayjay Helterbrand and Romel Adducul, Ginebra became an even more fearsome group by adding Rafi Reavis, Billy Mamaril, Rudy Hatfield and Johnny Abarrientos, all from Coca-Cola.

But it is yet to be seen if these players can blend well immediately under the system of new Ginebra coach Jong Uichico. That is something the Kings are hoping for so as not to disappoint their legions of fans.

Purefoods Chunkee, the defending champion of the tournament and last year’s All-Filipino Cup finalists, and Red Bull remain as top contenders for the title for keeping the core of their teams.

The Giants of coach Ryan Gregorio have only one addition in the squad in Boyet Bautista and will be welcoming back a healthy Jondan Salvador, who missed the entire Philippine Cup owing to an ACL injury.

The Bulls, champions of the Fiesta Conference last season, opted not to rock the boat by bringing in the same lineup that gave them back-to-back finals stints last season. Coach Yeng Guiao’s frontline got a big boost with the return of Richard Alvarez who had fully recovered from a broken hand injury.

Three teams expected to make some noise in the hunt for the All-Filipino crown are San Miguel Beer, Air21 and Alaska.

The Beermen have a new mentor in Chot Reyes and kept the nucleus of the team minus Danny Ildefonso, who will be on the injured list in the first few weeks of the tournament.

Reyes has two young, talented faces in the fold in LA Tenorio and Gabby Espinas, who were proven winners during their collegiate days.

The Express have also added a blue-chip rookie in Arwind Santos, a two-time Most Valuable Player in college who gives Air21 and coach Bo Perasol versatility and flexibility. Team manager Lito Alvarez believes this could be the year for the Bert Lina franchise to enter in the finals.

The Aces of coach Tim Cone have been ranked prominently in the Philippine Cup primarily because of the cohesiveness they showed during the preseason tournament, where they went unscathed en route to the crown.

Adding an athletic 6-foot-5 forward in No. 1 draft pick Kelly Williams gives Sta. Lucia Realty a different look in the coming season. Known for relying on their big men, the Realtors can now work on their running game, though the condition of point guard Alex Cabagnot and Kenneth Duremdes will still be crucial for them.

Talk ’N Text had the busiest offseason training, as the Phone Pals competed in one summer league in California and played a couple of exhibition matches in South Korea.

That exposure could give Renren Ritualo and Don Allado, the team’s midseason acquisitions last year, time to blend with mainstays Jimmy Alapag, Asi Taulava, Harvey Carey and Victor Pablo. Coach Derrick Pumaren just hopes that Anthnoy Washington and Mark Cardona can finally show their true worth in the league.

Newcomer Welcoat Paints and Coca-Cola may be lacking in talent and experience compared to the other teams, but their energy and enthusiasm each game won’t be a problem.

The Tigers lost a number of key big men in the multiplayer three-team trade and veteran point guard Abarrientos, but added exciting players in Joseph Yeo and Ronjay Enrile to fuel their new running game.

The Dragons are undoubtedly the least talented squad right now, but coach Leo Austria likes that underdog tag. They are very young squad mixed with a couple of experienced role players that can provide stability to the team.

gameface_one
10-02-2006, 12:58 AM
Kings spoil young Dragons’ debut
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 10/02/2006

The Barangay Ginebra diehards filled the Araneta Coliseum to the rafters last night curious of what the souped-up Kings could offer. They liked what they saw.

Ginebra’s mainstays and fresh acquisitions showed great bonding and, together, taught the upstarts Welcoat Dragons neat lessons in hacking out an emphatic 102-69 victory in the opening game of the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the jampacked Big Dome.

The Kings worked like they’ve been together for quite sometime as they got off to a good start, took the half at 53-34 and kept commanding spreads up to the finish.

"We got a big winning margin but this could not be used as gauge to see where we are now," said new Ginebra coach Jong Uichico.

"It’s also unfair to Welcoat if this game is used as gauge. Bago pa sila sa liga with young players. Kinakapa pa nila ang PBA style of play," Uichico added.

Uichico started with Eric Menk, Mark Caguioa, Jayjay Helterbrand and new recruits Rudy Hatfield and Rafi Reavis who delivered right away, giving the Kings a 23-15 lead in the opening quarter.

Billy Mamaril, Sunday Salvacion, Rommel Adducul, Johnny Abarrientos and Mark Macapagal formed Ginebra’s second team, and the Kings led by as many as 21 points reduced to 19 on Junjun Cabatu’s buzzer-beating jumper to close out the first half.

Hatfield, returning from a self-imposed long sabbatical, wrought havoc right in the first half then said in a halftime TV interview that "I want nothing less than a championship." He had 13 points, seven rebounds and one assist in the first 24 minutes of play.

Caguioa led all scorers with 23 points with Hatfield adding 21, Menk chipping 12 and Mamaril contributing 11.

The Dragons showed some semblance of a fight in the third quarter behind veterans Denver Lopez and Rob Wainwright and rookies Froilan Baguion and JayR Reyes but the Kings were quick to scuttle Welcoat’s threat.

Ahead by 10 at 69-59 late in the third, the Kings worked on a torrid run to again erect leads of more than 20 points midway through the fourth quarter.

After Jayjay Helterbrand banged in a three-pointer from way out to give the Kings a 72-59 margin, Froilan Baguion had his own trey from midcourt at the buzzer that drew oohs and aahs from supporters of both teams.

gameface_one
10-02-2006, 12:59 AM
Johnny A PBA’s most senior citizen

The Philippine Star 10/02/2006

How time flies.

Among the league’s young freshmen 13 years ago, Johnny Abarrientos, Vic Pablo, Olsen Racela and Jun Limpot could only shake their heads as they kidded each other as the most senior citizens now in the PBA.

"Kami na ang mag lolo ngayon sa PBA," said Racela, one of the four remaining active players from Batch 93 of the annual rookie draft.

Abarrientos is the oldest at 36 and three months. Pablo has just turned 36 last Aug. 8 while Racela will also turn 36 on Nov. 1. Jun Limpot, the top pick in the 1993 annual draft, is the league’s fourth oldest at 34.

Rey Evangelista and Poch Juinio are the only players left from Batch 94, Dennis Espino, Kenneth Duremdes and Jeffrey Cariaso from Batch 95 and Marlou Aquino and Patrick Fran from Batch 96.

"Ang tulin na ng palitan ng players ngayon. Ang dami na rin naman kasi ng players. Kailangan magpakita ka agad kung gusto mong tumagal," said Duremdes. * * *
Alex Cabagnot has learned from a very bitter lesson and aims to put the knowledge gained to good use.

The Sta. Lucia sophomore playmaker comes armed with a renewed focus and higher goal in his return in the local pro league after given by the team management another chance to mend his ways.

"I would like to improve on my numbers from last year, in points, assists. If those should help my team, so much the better," said Cabagnot.

The Fil-Am guard out of University of Hawaii-Hilo admitted to being wrong after deserting his team following last season and absorbed all the tongue-lashing from team governor Buddy Encarnado.

"I owned up to everything. It was all my fault," said the visibly repentant southpaw. * * *
Stunning beauties provided the glitter in the PBA 32nd season opening ceremonies.

No less than PBA commissioner Noli Eala was impressed by the looks of the muses who paraded with their respective teams.

"It’s easily one of the most beautiful casts of muses the league ever had," said Eala.

The muses were Angelica Panganiban (Ginebra), Bianca King (Welcoat), Valerie Concepcion (San Miguel Beer), Justine Gabionza and Elona Novazek (Coca Cola), Pauline Luna (Talk n Text), Tanya Garcia (Air21), Gelli de Belen (Alaska), Milena Krahulcova (Red Bull), Ms. International Lara Quigaman (Sta. Lucia) while Purefoods brought in 12 muses from the TV show "Deal or No Deal," one for each player. — Nelson Beltran

gameface_one
10-02-2006, 01:00 AM
Ginebra gives Welcoat rude PBA welcome



By NOLI CRUZ
mb.om.ph

RUDY HATFIELD announced his return with a fiery performance. And the Barangay Ginebra Kings celebrated it by burning the Welcoat Dragons, 102-69, last night in the Talk ‘N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.


The tireless forward finished with 21 points, 14 rebounds and three assists as he ended his self-imposed hiatus on a bright note.

It was a statement game for the star-studded Kings.

After giving the newcomers the luxury of sinking the new season’s basket, the Kings dropped a 17-5 bomb to post their first double-digit lead, 17-7. The Dragons, saved for the third quarter, offered token resistance from there.

But Ginebra coach Jong Uichico still doesn’t buy the idea that they’re really the team-to-beat this season.

"It’s just one game. Hindi natin p’wedeng gawing gauge ‘to dahil first game pa lang ng Welcoat. Obviously nangangapa pa sila," Uichico said.

The Kings outscored the Dragons, 30-10, in the fourth quarter to complete and highlight the rout.

Mark Caguioa, the league’s leading scorer last season, scattered 23 points for the Kings. He had seven straight midway in the first quarter when they started to pull away.

Hatfield collected 13 points and seven rebounds in the first half as the Kings led by as many as 21 points before the turn.

He and Reavis, acquired from the Coca-Cola Tigers along with Billy Mamaril during the offseason, started for the Kings with Eric Menk, Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand.

But with a powerhouse line-up, Uichico is expected to make some changes in their next few games.

"I’m used to having a regular starting five, but I have not really made up my mind with regards to that," said Uichico.

Froilan Baguion, Denver Lopez and Jay-R Reyes combined for 14 points in the third quarter when the Dragons pulled to within nine points at one point.

They could’ve trimmed the gap to 10 at the end of three quarters, but Baguion’s 35-footer at the buzzer was nullified.

full battle gear
10-04-2006, 09:57 AM
For Purefoods, attitude is always positive
www.mb.com.ph


PUREFOODS CHUNKEE coach Ryan Gregorio wants his players to believe they’ve gotten stronger in the off-season.

"I’m always telling them that we have added two first round picks in the team," Gregorio said. "One is Boyet Bautista and the other is Jondan Salvador."

Salvador, of course, is already a sophomore. But he missed the title campaign of the Giants in last season’s Philippine Cup.

Bautista is expected to boost the backcourt of the Giants. The 5-foot-8 from Letran alumnus is reputed to be a much better shooter than Paul Artadi and is a natural pointguard unlike Roger Yap, according to observers.

"Gusto ko kasi positibo ‘yung maging mindset namin sa season na ‘to. Mahirap kasi pag iniisip mo dehado ka sa iba."

There’s actually little to fix in the Giants’ lineup.

They have a young and talented core anchored on the inside-outside combo of Kerby Raymundo and reigning MVP James Yap.

The two will again play major roles in their title-retention bid, which starts today when they face the Talk ’N Text Phone Pals at the Araneta Coliseum.

Gregorio is always wary of the Phone Pals. He actually put them among the teams to beat this season.

"Talk ’N Text is very strong. They will always be a threat," Gregorio said.

In the other game, the Alaska Aces, champion in the pre-season tournament, will try to bounce back after losing their opener when they meet the Coca-Cola Tigers.

—Noli CRUZ

full battle gear
10-04-2006, 10:07 AM
Giants open title-retention bid vs TNT five
www.abs-cbnnews.com


Purefoods Chunkee begins its title-retention bid as it clashes with Talk ’N Text in the main game of the PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Giants, who ruled the Philippine Basketball Association’s All-Filipino tournament against Red Bull last season, and the Phone Pals meet at 7:35 p.m. after the tussle between Coca-Cola and Alaska in the opener 4:40 p.m.

Purefoods had a shaky preseason tournament, mainly because the team was coming from a long layoff after capturing the crown in July.

Coach Ryan Gregorio is bringing in an almost intact lineup in their quest to become the first team to defend the All-Filipino crown since Great Taste in 1985.

"The pressure is less for us this time because we’re not considered as one of the favorites in this tournament," said Gregorio, who was named Coach of the Year by the PBA Press Corps last month.

"I think we’re the underdogs here because most of the teams got stronger because of their recruits. In our team, it’s almost the same group," he added.

Letran College standout Boyet Bautista is the lone addition to the squad, while Jondan Salvador has fully recovered from an ACL injury, boosting the squad’s forward position.

Reigning Most Valuable Player James Yap, Kerby Raymundo, Roger Yap, Noy Castillo, Jun Limpot and Richard Yee remain as Purefoods’ core.

The Giants will be pitted against the equally dangerous Talk ’N Text squad, which played abroad in preparation for this season.

"We gained a lot of experience in those tournaments. Hopefully we can implement those things that we learn in the games," said TNT coach Derrick Pumaren, referring to their campaign in the California summer league and a mini-tournament in South Korea.

Despite a reloaded crew following the acquisition of Renren Ritualo and Don Allado during the middle of last season, Talk ’N Text fell short of their goals and finished second to last in the All-Filipino tournament.

Asi Taulava and Jimmy Alapag remain at the forefront of the Phone Pals’ offense alongside Ritualo, while Pumaren hopes that Anthony Washington and Mark Cardona can finally contribute to the cause of the team.

In the first game, the Aces hope to bounce back from a humiliating loss in their first game to the Bulls in Guam against the new-look Tigers.

Alaska yielded a 99-93 decision to Red Bull on September 28 in Guam, yet the Aces are being billed as one of the title favorites in the Philippine Cup after winning the preseason tournament via a five-game sweep. Joel Orellana, The Manila Times

Games Wednesday (Araneta Coliseum)

4:40 p.m. – Coke vs Alaska

7:35 p.m. – Purefoods vs Talk N Text

gameface_one
10-05-2006, 08:32 AM
Aces back with a vengeance
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 10/05/2006

Alaska Milk swiftly got back on track after being ambushed in Guam in tournament opener last week as it clobbered Coca-Cola, 99-84, in the Talk n Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

The Aces displayed the form that made them the pre-season favorite, dominating a Coca-Cola team that also went through a revamp before the conference.

Mike Cortez, who struggled in Guam in the Aces’ loss to the Red Bull Barakos, came out strong against the Tigers, firing 12 points right in the opening quarter to start it all for the Aces.

Cortez made 15 points in the first half then Willie Miller and Jeffrey Cariaso took over in the final half as Alaska kept its mastery of Coca-Cola, which it defeated in four games in their best-of-five quarterfinals showdown in the previous all-Filipino tourney.

Miller went 3-of-4 from beyond the arc and finished with 26 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals in a solid job coming off the bench.

Cortez had two treys and a total of 23 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Cariaso added 17 points, six rebounds and three assists. Nic Belasco was another Alaska player who piled up huge numbers.

Still the Aces just couldn’t put Coke away easily as the Tigers, who came in with top rookie Joseph Yeo, kept battling back in the contest.

"They’re so scrappy they kept on coming back," said Alaska coach Tim Cone. "They made it hard for us to get a pretty win. But coming off a loss, you would take a win anyway you get it."

"We did a little better than the last time against Red Bull. But it’s not good by any means. We made silly turnovers in one stretch," Cone added.

The Tigers exploited those Alaska lapses to trim a 15-point deficit to just six, 69-75, early in the fourth quarter.

But Miller, Cariaso and Belasco put order back in the Aces game, paving the way for Alaska’s trouble-free ride at the finish.

With a lineup toughened by new recruits Aaron Aban and Christian Luanzon, Cone thought they could match up with any team although it was evident the squad lacked its old chemistry.

"We still have to work on our chemistry. That’s one thing which went for Red Bull. They’ve been together much longer than us. They have better chemistry," said Cone.

Cone was impressed with Aban although he had to slowly break in the 6-foot-1 guard-forward in the Alaska system since the former Letran Knight has practiced with them for only a few days.

"He’s so much potential, but he still has to learn what we’re doing. He’s been with us for only two weeks, having to finish his stint with Letran in the NCAA," said Cone.

Yeo, the No. 3 pick in the recent rookie draft, bled for only four points in his first game as a pro. He was 0-of-2 from the three-point area and 1-of-5 from the two-point zone.

gameface_one
10-05-2006, 09:14 AM
5 for Shaq
SPORTS COLLECTIBLES By Bobby Motus
The Freeman 10/05/2006

The Miami Heat has opened training camp and with Shaq's promise of defending the title made during the Heat's victory parade, he believes his team can get him ring number 5. He has four championship rings and in an interview with the Associated Press, he said his motivation is five.

The 2006-2007 season will see the return of at least thirteen players from last season's championship squad. While other Eastern Conference teams were busy retooling their units, Miami decided to stay intact. Why tinker with a perfectly cohesive unit?

Shaq, at 34 years old, had season averages of 20 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, which are impressive numbers but these stats are career lows. During the Finals, he was almost a non-entity, submitting 13.7 points, 29.2% from the stripe and a five point career playoff low in one loss.

Insisting that his numbers are inconsequential, Shaq is content to being the decoy. When he is not on the court, teammates don't get open shots. If he's inside, the defense collapse on the big fella and there is bound to be one or two guys open. The best thing is that he's happy to be playing a different game instead of focusing on his own individual performance.

Dwayne Wade says there's only one thing Shaq can't do. "He's working out. He's always calling me, talking about how he's trying to get his abs better than mine, which isn't possible", Wade said.

Hey, if Shaq is challenging his sidekick to a fitness test, one who happens to be 10 years younger and at least 100 pound lighter than him, then he's really bent on getting ring number 5. Shaq is entering training camp in better shape last season.

"The first championship that I won, I won them. I had big numbers and I won them. Last year the guys won it for me. They won it for the big guy. Numbers are overrated. There's a lot of guys in this league who can say they've got great numbers. But they can't say they've got four rings in the last six years," Shaq told AP.

Shaq added during the interview that he'd like to get "at least two" before retiring. Do we see ring number five and six coming? A motivated Shaquille O'Neal is reason enough to make the Miami Heat heavy favorites for a repeat.

full battle gear
10-06-2006, 08:00 AM
Realtors, Express get going; Bulls, Beermen collide


Inquirer
Last updated 01:42am (Mla time) 10/06/2006

Published on Page A23 of the October 6, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

STA. LUCIA Realty has always had a complete team, one that has always looked ready to contend and win each game anytime.

So when the Realtors bagged Kelly Williams in the Rookie Draft and team governor Buddy Encarnado announced that “now we have a team,” everyone was left wondering what exactly is it that the 6-foot-5 Filipino-American could bring to this perennially formidable yet underachieving squad.

Williams joined a team that has won just one title in its 13-year PBA existence, and which failed to make it past the wild-card phase of the Philippine Cup last year despite three marquee names earning the league’s maximum pay.

Today, the Realtors collide with the Air21 Express at 4:35 p.m. at the Araneta Coliseum with first overall pick Williams now given a chance to show if he is truly the one who could turn the team’s fortunes around.

Marlou Aquino, Dennis Espino and Kenneth Duremdes will still be the stars of the team until Williams, as officials hope, eventually takes over a couple of years down the road to serve as the Realtors’ cornerstone.

Sta. Lucia passed up versatile big man Arwind Santos in favor of Williams and, interestingly, the former Far Eastern University ace gets a chance to prove his worth right away in leading the Express.

Nino Canaleta, the slam-dunk champ who became the Express’ top offensive option when Ren-Ren Ritualo was traded last year, forms Air21’s interesting 1-2 punch with Santos.

Red Bull, meanwhile, shoots for the early lead later when the Bulls collide with San Miguel Beer in the 7:20 p.m. contest.

The Bulls are coming off an impressive 99-93 shellacking of the fancied Alaska Aces in Guam last week and face a rock-solid side for the second straight playdate.

While Red Bull made do with very little change in the off-season, the Beermen will test rookies LA Tenorio and Gabby Espinas, who were picked fourth and fifth, respectively, in the rookie pool last month.

Focus will be on how Tenorio, dubbed as Olsen Racela’s heir apparent, performs against the Red Bull squad which owns one of the meanest backcourts in the league. -- Musong R. Castillo

full battle gear
10-06-2006, 08:09 AM
Top rookies strut wares; Bulls eye No. 2
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 10/06/2006

Red Bull goes for a second straight win but four debuting freshmen, seeing action for other teams, are likely to seize the spotlight in the third play date of the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum today.

Top draft picks and former PBL teammates Kelly Williams and Arwind Santos clash in their much-awaited showdown as Sta. Lucia Realty and Air21 slug it out in the 4:40 p.m. opener.

Then the Bulls seek a follow-up to their 99-93 drubbing of the Alaska Milk Aces Thursday in Guam against a San Miguel Beer team parading LA Tenorio and Gabby Espinas who are likely to play key roles right in their rookie year in the pros.

Meanwhile, Red Bull is enlisting a new player in Carlo Sharma in lieu of Mike Hrabak.

The day also marks the return of national coach Chot Reyes in PBA action, taking over from Jong Uichico in calling the shots for the Beermen. Reyes concentrated with the national training pool the last two years.

But much of the focus could well be on Williams, the 6-foot-4 Fil-Am forward who could provide direction for Sta. Lucia.

The University of Detroit-Oakland product is expected to give the Realtors a big lift in their bid to improve on their atrocious showing last season. The Realtors, saddled by injuries to key players then, finished seventh in the Fiesta Cup and dead last in the Philippine Cup.

Sta. Lucia governor Buddy Encarnado expressed confidence on Williams, predicting their "championship is now around the corner" after picking the slam-dunking player No. 1 overall in the recent rookie draft.

Williams, however, is likely to face tough challenge right in his pro debut as he will be ranged against former Magnolia teammate Santos and Air21 veterans Ranidel de Ocampo, Homer Se and Niño Canaleta.

For the Express, attention will be on the team’s combination of four big men and a point guard in brothers Yancy and Ranidel de Ocampo, Canaleta, Arwind Santos and playmaker Wynne Arboleda.

"Coach Bo says it can be done because Arwind and Canaleta are quick with their size, can trap on defense and can run the breaks," said Air21 governor and team manager Lito Alvarez.

The Red Bull-San Miguel tiff is an interesting match between two teams among those expected to figure prominently in the race for the championship.

Red Bull was so successful last campaign that coach Yeng Guiao opted to keep his lineup intact. San Miguel finished fourth in the last Philippine Cup and is hopeful of a better showing with a lineup infused with fresh blood in Tenorio and Espinas.

Tenorio, the former Ateneo chief playmaker, is a welcome addition in the Beermen’s backcourt while Espinas, a versatile forward out of PCU, beefed up the team’s frontcourt.

full battle gear
10-06-2006, 08:11 AM
Alaska bounces back
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 10/06/2006

Alaska coach Tim Cone relished his presence in the press room after the Aces clobbered Coca-Cola, 99-84, in a Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) game at the Araneta Coliseum last Wednesday.

Reporters crowded around Cone as he held court, a reward for the win that got Alaska back on track after a season-opening loss to Red Bull in Guam.

In the preseason tournament, Alaska emerged as the only unbeaten team with a 5-0 record. The Aces beat Ginebra San Miguel, Purefoods, Welcoat and Air21 before edging San Miguel Beer, 128-126, in overtime for the title. The victory established Alaska as one of the teams to beat in the Philippine Cup. But alas, despite high expectations, Alaska crumbled in the league’s first overseas outing this season. The Aces fell behind by 24 and never threatened as the Barakos breezed to a 99-93 decision on team consultant Andy Jao’s birthday last Thursday.

"Red Bull just shot the lights out," sighed Cone. "Mick (Pennisi) hit his first four three-pointers and Lordy (Tugade), his first three. Before we knew it, they were up by 20 and we were never able to catch up."

The final score was the closest the Aces came to within Red Bull’s tally, said PBA stats chief Fidel Mangonon. Although Alaska had more rebounds and less turnovers, the Aces shot only .416 from the floor compared to Red Bull’s .466 – including .421 from three-point distance.

After the game, Alaska team manager Joaqui Trillo arranged for a bonding exercise in a simulation of the popular TV reality show "Amazing Race." Chemistry is something that Cone said the Aces are still working to achieve, what with two rookies and newly-reacquired Poch Juinio in the fold and power forward Reynel Hugnatan out for the conference.

Whatever the Aces did in the Guam bonding exercise, it worked. Because against Coca-Cola, Alaska was unstoppable. The Aces got the job done on both ends with typical Cone-like efficiency.

In the press room, Cone spoke about his new hires Christian Luanzon and Aaron Aban.

"Christian is ahead of Aaron in terms of blending with the team because Aaron joined us only a week ago after finishing his commitments at Letran," said Cone. "Besides, Christian was introduced to the triangle when Aric (del Rosario) coached him at UST (University of Santo Tomas). I think Aaron has lots of potential. He has an incredible NBA-type of physique with a really small waistline and a muscular upper body. He could become a star in the PBA."

Aban, 24, was Alaska’s first round pick in the draft last August. Luanzon, 23, was the Aces’ second round choice and 18th overall.

Cone said Hugnatan is now undergoing rehabilitation and will be back in uniform next conference. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Game 7 of the semifinal series against Purefoods last conference. Cone remarked that surprisingly, Hugnatan has lost seven pounds since suffering the injury – a testament to how hard he’s working in the gym to get back in shape.

Cone noted that Tony de la Cruz has sacrificed his starting spot to give Eddie Laure a chance to regain his confidence coming from an injury. Laure started in the games against Red Bull and Coca-Cola. De la Cruz, however, logged 29 minutes off the bench and scored 22 points in Guam. He shot five points in 19 minutes against the Tigers.

Cone said Alaska could’ve played better last Wednesday. "We were on and off," he remarked. "What I’d like is more consistency. If we turn it on and off, it could become a bad habit. We were in control of the game for three quarters then we let them back to within six in the fourth period before we turned it on again."

Cone said he was in Guam at the height of typhoon Milenyo that struck Metro Manila. He paid tribute to his wife Cristina for braving the storm and keeping their house in order.

"I wasn’t there during the typhoon so Cristina had to go out and buy a small generator to work the pump that brings out the water from our basement," said Cone. "I admire her for what she did. When she went out to get the generator in the middle of the typhoon, she narrowly missed getting hit by a flying piece of wood. She was driving the car on the road when it happened. Luckily, power was restored in our area after a day."
* * *
UST coach Pido Jarencio said it’s his policy never to argue with referees.

"It’s useless to debate with referees," said the UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines) champion coach. "Instead, I tell my players to do their best, earn the referees’ respect and don’t give them a chance to make a bad call by playing right."

Jarencio said Ron Jacobs and Robert Jaworski were the coaches who influenced him most.

"Coach Ron taught me the importance of hard work and taking care of players," said Jarencio. "I’m also grateful to coach Sonny for giving me a long PBA career. I learned a lot of tricks from him and you knew he watched your back."
* * *
A source said Joey Lina is encountering difficulty within the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) ranks to support Philippine Long Distance Tel. Co. chairman Manny Pangilinan’s offer to become chairman and president of the newly-organized unified body Samahang Basketbol Ng Pilipinas (SBP). The source intimated that the BAP is inclined to support Pangilinan as chairman and Lina as vice-chairman or president.

It was rumored that the BAP is campaigning for Lina as vice-chairman and Lito Alvarez as president. It was also rumored that some BAP quarters were wooing Sen. Jinggoy Estrada to replace Lina as BAP president. And still another rumor spread that Lina has offered to serve as SBP president for six months which he later reduced to three months in exchange for Pilipinas Basketball president Bernie Atienza as SBP executive director.

Atienza, a member of the three-man panel with Pangilinan and Lina tasked to pave the way for SBP’s ascension, refused to comment on the rumors.

"There are rumors all over but we should not be distracted from what has to be done," he said. "We are setting aside personal ambitions and we are sacrificing for the country’s best interest. We are fortunate Mr. Pangilinan has agreed to lead us in the interim, to get us on the right track. The transitory Board has a job to do and there is so much to be done. Let’s forget politics and intrigue. Let’s just do what is best for basketball and our country."

full battle gear
10-06-2006, 08:14 AM
Top rookie picks debut today
www.mb.com.ph

By NOLI CRUZ

KELLY WILLIAMS and Arwind Santos, the two top picks in this year’s rookie draft, make their debut today as the Sta. Lucia Realtors and the Air21 Express cross paths in the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Realtors Coach Alfrancis Chua billed Williams as a complete package when he made the 23-year-old from Michigan State as the top overall pick.

"He brings a lot to the table. He can play 2-5 positions with ease," Chua said.

Coach Bo Perasol of the Express put Santos on even grounds with the athletic Fil-American.

"Getting Arwind at No. 2 is like getting him at No. 1," Perasol said.

Both players are used to seeing each other on the floor having played on the same team in the amateurs, with Magnolia in the PBL and with Team Pilipinas in exhibition games and some international tournaments.

Speaking of Team Pilipinas, national Chot Reyes will make his return in professional coaching when San Miguel Beer faces Red Bull in the other game.

Reyes will still have a powerhouse line-up in the Beermen camp.

Danny Seigle will try to extend his streak of scoring more than 20 points a game. It is standing at 19 entering the season. It could have been more had the Beermen beat the Bulls in the semifinals of the previous conference.

The Bulls edged the Beermen on a buzzer-beater by Junthy Valenzuela in the deciding Game 7.

Coach Yeng Guiao, meanwhile, will continue his search for the elusive all-Filipino title. He will have a tougher time this season with the other teams, like the Realtors and the Express, boosting their line-ups with key additions.

With a mixture of seasoned superstars, led by former MVP Kenneth Duremdes, and talented young bloods, led by Williams, the Realtors are expected to contend for the title this year after a lackluster campaign the last time.

The return of prodigal son Alex Cabagnot will also give them stability in their backcourt rotation.

The Express, on the other hand, can now go four big without sacrificing their running game.

Yancy and Ranidel de Ocampo are expected to start at center and power forward while slam-dunk artist Niño Canaleta and Santos will fill the small forward and off-guard spots.

Wynne Arboleda, a six-foot guard, will still be the lead man at the point.

They can also go small with Santos playing power forward with Ronald Tubid and Gary David manning the 2 and 3 spots.

full battle gear
10-06-2006, 08:26 AM
Barakos seek top spot against Beermen

By JOEL ORELLANA, The Manila Times Reporter
www.abs-cbnnews.com


Red Bull eyes the solo leadership against San Miguel Beer in the main game of the 2006 Philippine Basketball Association-Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup on Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Bulls and the Beermen collide at 7:20 p.m. after the much-anticipated debut of the top two picks in the recent rookie draft, as Santa Lucia Realty and Air21 meet at 4:35 p.m.

The Realtors will be parading top draft pick Kelly Williams against the Express, who also bolstered their front line with the No. 2 overall pick, Arwind Santos.

Red Bull is coming off a successful trip to Guam last week, where it demolished tournament favorite Alaska, 99-93, in the first official game of the season.

Mick Pennisi and Lordy Tugade were unstoppable in that match, and were responsible for the early breakaway before the Aces piled up the garbage points in the final canto to make the score look more decent.

Besides Pennisi and Tugade, coach Yeng Guiao will also rely on Enrico Villanueva, last year’s Rookie of the Year Larry Fonacier, the comebacking Richard Alvarez, Junthy Valenzuela and Topex Robinson in their search for their second straight win.

As the Bulls kept their team intact for the All-Filipino tournament, San Miguel made several drastic changes, including the hiring of national team coach Chot Reyes, who replaced Jong Uichico.

Reyes said in previews interviews that SMB will be implementing a fast-paced game, as they could no longer play deliberately owing to a lack of big men.

"Before, Danny I [Ildefonso] and Nic Belasco used to dominate the paint, but we cannot do that anymore. The other teams got bigger," said Reyes, who is also parading a pair of first round picks in LA Tenorio and Gabby Espinas.

Tenorio, the draft’s No. 4 overall pick, is expected to play back-up to Olsen Racela at point guard, while Espinas, the fifth overall selection, gives the Beermen athleticism on their frontline.

Danny Seigle, the league’s top local scorer last season, will be again at the forefront of San Miguel’s offense, as Ildefonso was placed on the injured list.

After a disappointing campaign last season, Santa Lucia’s leaders expressed confidence that the arrival of Williams, the high-flying 6-foot-5 forward, gives them a legitimate chance to contend for the All-Filipino crown.

He will provide athleticism to the aging frontline of coach Alfrancis Chua and create a deadly duo with Kenneth Duremdes at the small forward spot.

The same goes for the Express, as coach Bo Perasol now has the luxury to put up a solid running team with Santos around and a healthy Gary David and Ronald Tubid beefing up their off-guard spot.

Games Friday (Araneta Coliseum)

4:35 p.m. – Sta. Lucia vs Air21

7:20 p.m. – Red Bull vs San Miguel

joelex
10-07-2006, 04:23 AM
i was at the araneta coliseum to catch friday's double header and i was most impressed with gabby espinas among the rookies. ang ganda pumihit at mataas tumalon. lumalaban. excellent post moves and quick for his position. definitely star material. i personally think if not as good, he could be better than arwind santos in the long run. malas lang ang mga tira niya today.

tenorio for me should be a better version of racela, genX version ala steve nash as new genration john stockton.

future looks good for SMB with them.

also one thing i noticed, every rookie this year seems to have adjusted well to the pro game very quickly. even ronnie bughao was steady at the point. but if there's one rook who's still kind of feeling his way thru, its kelly williams. he needs to bulk up more and bang around. dali itulak eh.

gameface_one
10-07-2006, 11:40 AM
Strong finish lifts Realtors



By TITO TALAO
mb.com.ph



THE ROOKIES had the first words, but to the sophomore belong the last say. Quiet in the middle two quarters, Alex Cabagnot, a first round pick in the 2005 draft, stirred up a storm in the last 12 minutes, taking control and leading the Sta. Lucia Realtors to a yoke-breaking 96-88 victory over the Air21 Express last night in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.


What used to be dark and gloomy season-opening debuts for the last five years turned bright and starry for the Realtors as they emphatically ended a five-conference losing start.

"Nice to be here in the press room," said Realtors Coach Alfrancis Chua. "Used to be that we had to wait five or six games for me to get here."

Chua got a big help navigating his way early to the interview room from Nelbert Omolon, Mark Isip and, of course, Cabagnot.

Omolon had 16 points while holding Niño Canaleta down to seven points. Isip, a first round pick, added 15, all in the first half, the same output yielded by Cabagnot and veteran center Dennis Espino.

But while the newcomers from both teams frolicked in the first three quarters, it was Cabagnot who took center stage in the fourth with eight points to go with seven assists, steering the Realtors away from a tight contest.

"The prodigal son is back, and he’s a totally changed person," said Chua.

In the first encounter of the rookie draft’s top two rising stars, No. 1 pick Kelly Williams of the Realtors shone up close to the basket, while No. 2 Arwind Santos of the Express delivered from afar.

Williams had seven points in the first half and Santos eight, with the Fil-Am forward electrifying the crowd with an extended one-handed alley-hoop slam which gave the Realtors a 46-43 lead late in the second quarter.

But Santos, a flyer himself, buried a three-point shot from top-of-the-key as the Express closed to within 51-49 just before the halftime break.

"I’m just so happy to win the game," said Williams. "There was fire in the players’ hearts."

Asked to describe his rim-rattler, Williams obliged: "It’s called a wait-till-the-next-one dunk."

Away from the highlight films, however, quietly making a solid debut, was Sta. Lucia’s Mark Isip, drafted sixth overall.

The Far Eastern U star led the Realtors with 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting in 21 minutes, the most exposure by any Sta. Lucia player in the first two quarters. He also had five rebounds and a steal, a mind game, if any.

The game marked the return to active duty of Cabagnot, drafted second overall two years ago. Cabagnot came perilously close to getting banned by the PBA after he abandoned the Realtors during the off-season, leaving for the States without permission.

But Cabagnot worked his way back to the good graces of team management, making his peace with Sta. Lucia Governor Buddy Encarnado and Chua and slipping into his former role as the team’s starting point guard.

gameface_one
10-07-2006, 11:42 AM
Pacers' Jackson fires gun in fight
abs-cbnnews.com



CHICAGO - Stephen Jackson of the National Basketball Association's Indiana Pacers, who was suspended two years ago for brawling with fans, fired his gun during a fight on Friday outside an Indianapolis strip club, police said.

The 28-year-old starting guard told authorities he fired the handgun, for which he has a permit to carry, five times into the air, Indianapolis Police Sgt. Matthew Mount said.

"From what we've been told, he was acting in self-defense," Mount said.

No one was injured in the early-morning shooting incident and Jackson has not been charged, he said.

Police were searching for three men who hit Jackson with their car and sent him onto the vehicle's hood. He did not appear to be seriously hurt although he was injured by a punch to the mouth, Mount said.

The altercation began inside Club Rio, a strip club frequented by some players from the Pacers and the Indianapolis Colts football team, then escalated into a fight outside, Mount said.

Police found handguns belonging to two others Pacers players, Marquis Daniels and Jamaal Tinsley, in their cars, Mount said. Both have permits to carry them.

Jimmie Hunter was the fourth Pacers player in the group.

A small amount of marijuana was found on the passenger side of Tinsley's car, but no one was arrested because it was unclear to whom the drugs belonged, Mount said.

Jackson served a 30-game suspension for his role in a fight with the Detroit Pistons that spilled into the stands in Auburn Hills, Michigan, two seasons ago.

In September 2005 he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault charges growing out of the brawl and was ordered to perform community service and serve a year's probation. Reuters

gameface_one
10-07-2006, 11:43 AM
Cabagnot proves worth to SLR 5
abs-cbnnews.com


BY JOEL ORELLANA, The Manila Times Reporter

Games Saturday (Dumaguete City)

5 p.m. – Ginebra vs. Purefoods

Games Sunday (Araneta Coliseum)

4:05 p.m. – Coke vs. Welcoat

6:30 p.m. – Alaska vs. Talk ’N Text

It didn’t take long for Alex Cabagnot to prove to Santa Lucia Realty that he deserves a second chance.

After a stormy off-season with the Realtors owing to his sudden disappearance, the 6-foot Cabagnot came up huge in the final canto and lifted his team to a record win, 96-88, over Air21 Friday night in the 2006 Philippine Basketball Association-Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Cabagnot teamed up with Nelbert Omolon in that crucial fourth quarter surge to lead Santa Lucia to its first opening-game win after five years.

"The boys showed up tonight. They really played well," said Realtors head coach Alfrancis Chua, who had five players scoring in double figures in a rare display of a balanced attack.

"Air21 is the second or third-best running team in the league but we were able to stay abreast of them today. It’s the fruit of our hard practice during the preseason," Chua added.

Omolon had 16 points and 12 rebounds and was one of three Realtors with a double-double, the others being Dennis Espino (15 and 11) and sensational rookie Kelly Williams (11 and 14).

But it was the exploits of Cabagnot that cleared the way to victory for Santa Lucia, which fought toe-to-toe with the Express in the first three quarters through the point guard’s nifty passes and timely shots.

"This is the first time we won our first game after five seasons, and that’s because this is the first time we are complete," said Chua, who drew 15 points and 7 assists from the team’s prodigal son.

With the game tied at 71-all, the Realtors came out firing, unloading a 14-3 blast, with 8 points from Omolon, to build their biggest lead of the match at 85-74, 6:42 left.

Air21 quickly reeled off seven straight points to threaten at 85-81, but Cabagnot sank a looping baseline jumper and hit a three-pointer to give Santa Lucia some distance, 90-81, 1:16 remaining.

Williams, the top overall pick of the recent rookie draft, won his personal battle against former teammate Arwind Santos, the No. 2 overall, who paced the Express with 14 points to go along with 9 boards.

"I’m just happy to be here playing. I’ve waited so long to get this opportunity," said Williams, who had a highlight dunk in the first half—a one-handed slam off Cabagnot’s alley-oop pass, which he coined "wait till the next one."

gameface_one
10-07-2006, 11:45 AM
Rookie, returnee spark Realtors
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 10/07/2006

Rookie Kelly Williams dished out the game’s highlight play on a thunderous jam in the second quarter but the comebacking Alex Cabagnot easily emerged Sta. Lucia’s best performer as the Realtors began the season on a winning note for the first time in six years.

Sta. Lucia looked good with the addition of Williams and the return of Cabagnot, pulling off a 96-88 win over Air21 in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

The Realtors kept pace with the Express’ running game in the first three quarters before seizing control in the payoff period to break away from a seesawing contest.

Cabagnot, back in the country’s Santa Lucia fold, presided over the team’s fourth-quarter attack, drawing raves from his teammates and coach Alfrancis Chua.

"The prodigal son is back and he’s a totally different person," said Chua of the 5-foot-11 Fil-Am playmaker whom they nearly recommended to be banned from the league for going absent without leave ( AWOL) during the off-season.

Cabagnot was in his elements in his return performance with Sta. Lucia, tallying 15 points, seven assists, two rebounds and one steal against one turnover in 33 minutes of action.

The University of Hawaii-Hilo product waxed hottest in the final period, scoring eight points and, at the same time, making all his teammates involved with his brilliant playmaking.

Nelbert Omolon drew a number of splendid assists from Cabagnot and led all scorers with 16 points, 11 coming in the last canto.

Williams, the league’s top pick in the rookie draft, added 11 points and 14 rebounds.

Five Realtors actually finished in double figures with three of them completing double-double jobs. Omolon also put up 12 rebounds aside from 16 rebounds and Dennis Espino tallied 15 points and 11 rebounds.

In the nightcap, Red Bull came up with a decisive run at endgame and overcame San Miguel Beer, 84-79, in a gripping duel for its second win in a row.

"We’re lucky we played San Miguel early. It’s going to be very hard to beat them the next time. They’re going to get better.

gameface_one
10-07-2006, 11:47 AM
Realtors spill Express; Cabagnot shines


By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 02:05am (Mla time) 10/07/2006

Published on page A23 of the October 7, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

HE lived the role of villain. In a flash, Alex Cabagnot is now a hero, subject of praise and acclamation.

Cabagnot joined hands with Nelbert Omolon and sparked Sta. Lucia Realty’s final push for a convincing 96-88 victory over Air21 last night in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Orchestrating the plays with precision, the Realtors’ sophomore playmaker drilled in eight of his 15 points in the decisive period, including a three-pointer at the top of the arc that doomed the hopes of the Express.

Omolon, who had 11 of his 16 points down to the final stretch, was the recipient of two nifty entry passes from Cabagnot that set the tone for Sta. Lucia’s first opening-game victory in the last five seasons.

“This is a welcome game for Alex (Cabagnot),” said Sta. Lucia Realty coach Alfrancis Chua. “The prodigal son is back. He’s a totally changed man.”

During the off-season, Cabagnot left the Realtors’ camp without a word and was seen playing in a summer league in the United States. It drew the ire of his team and the league as well.

Cabagnot was fined P20,000 by the PBA for seeing action twice for the Los Angeles All-Stars and was harshly admonished by Sta. Lucia governor Buddy Encarnado and the rest of the Realtors.

Last night, however, all doubts were quashed as Cabagnot totally made the Realtors a different ballclub from the previous season. Finishing dead-last last year, the Realtors have been ranked outside of the favorites.

“We’re not considered as a team to beat this season,” said Chua. “But we’re going to climb to the top one game at a time. I’m not going to push these guys even in practice.”

Dennis Espino had 15 points and 11 rebounds, rookie Mark Isip finished with 15, all of them in the first half, while top freshman pick Kelly Williams added 11 markers and 14 points.

Williams provided the highlight of the night with a one-hand slam in the second quarter after catching the lob pass from Cabagnot in mid-air that sent the entire coliseum roaring with approval.

“It’s called waiting for the next dunk,” said Williams. “But seriously, coach pushes us to our limits and I think it's good for the team.”

The scores:

First Game

STA. LUCIA 96—Omollon 16, Isip 15, Cabagnot 15, Espino 15, Williams 11, Aquino 8, Bughao 5, Calimag 5, Catli 3, Mendoza 3, Duremdes 0.

AIR21 88—Santos 14, Telan 14, De Ocampo 12, Se 10, Tubid 8, De Ocampo Y. 8, Canaleta 7, David 7, Arboleda 5, Dimaunahan 3, Sotto 0.

Quarters: 30-30, 51-51, 71-71, 96-88

gameface_one
10-07-2006, 11:48 AM
Ginebra eyes No.2 vs TNT in Dumaguete



Inquirer
Last updated 02:04am (Mla time) 10/07/2006

Published on page A23 of the October 7, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

BARANGAY GINEBRA guns for a second straight victory when it takes on a Purefoods squad hoping to run its way to a first win in the Talk ‘N Text Philippine Cup at the Lamberto Macias Sports Center in Dumaguete City.

The Giants are coming off a 108-99 defeat to the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals and hope to use their speed to upset the frontline-heavy Kings.

“Our quickness will be tested against the tallest team in the league,” Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio said in an interview yesterday. “If we can sustain our running game, we’ll be fine against Ginebra.”

“They can give us problems with their speed,” said Ginebra coach Jong Uichico, whose wards scored a 102-69 crushing of newcomer Welcoat on opening day.

The Kings will parade a virtual roster of All-Stars led by Erik Menk, Mark Caguioa, Rudy Hatfield, Rafi Reavis, Billy Mamaril, Rommel Adducul, Jayjay Helterbrand and 1996 MVP Johnny Abarrientos against the James Yap and Kerby Raymundo-led Giants.

full battle gear
10-08-2006, 09:45 AM
Hot Kings topple Giants for 2nd straight victory

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 05:14am (Mla time) 10/08/2006

Published on page A27 of the October 8, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

DUMAGUETE—Jong Uichico still refuses to acknowledge that his Barangay Ginebra squad is the team to beat.

But for the second straight game, one where victory came in the same brutal and lopsided manner as the first, the Kings are sending a different message across.

Barangay Ginebra manhandled defending champion Purefoods, 86-67, in a road game last night at the Lamberto Macias gym here, a win that should have validated the powerhouse status of Uichico’s squad in a way the Kings coach said newcomer Welcoat didn’t.

But Uichico’s not buying into his team’s strengths just yet.

“I think it’s too early to really gauge how good this team is,” he said. “Purefoods is still far from the form that won it the championship last season.”

Uichico had earlier argued that the 33-point destruction of the Dragons earlier was mostly smoke and mirrors because Welcoat is a “young team that is still feeling its way around the league.”

The Kings, who came off a 102-69 thumping of the young and inexperienced Dragons in the formal opening Sunday last week, raced to early double digit leads against the Giants and never looked back to join idle Red Bull for the early elimination round lead at 2-0.

“It’s not to say we didn’t play a good game,” said the former San Miguel mentor. “It’s just that this wasn’t a real measure of how we’ll fare this conference.”

Purefoods lent credibility to that argument, starting in the same lazy and hesitant way it did in a 108-99 loss to Talk ‘N Text to absorb its second straight loss and languish alone in the cellar.

Ginebra, whose stock was boosted with the acquisition of three reliable big men in the off-season, jumped out of the gates with a 10-2 lead and stretched this to 24-12 after one quarter.

The Kings took a 50-24 lead into the halftime break to practically settle the outcome.

The Giants, who won this tournament in six classic games over the Bulls three months ago, crept to within 61-72 on a 10-1 run with 6:53 to go.

But that was the best the Giants could do, as Rudy Hatfield and Mark Caguioa contributed to make it 79-61 heading into the final 2:51.

Meanwhile, the Phone Pals shoot for a share of the early lead when they collide with Alaska at 6:30 tonight at the Araneta Coliseum.

Welcoat and Cola-Cola earlier clash in the 4:05 p.m. game.

Despite an impressive start, coach Derrick Pumaren feels pressure to keep the Phone Pals on the winning track.

“It’s part of the job,” Pumaren said Wednesday night after steering the Phone Pals past the Giants. “I can’t ask for anything more from management, which has been very supportive.

“For my part, I have to do good and deliver.”

Pumaren is calling the shots for a franchise that does not entertain long relationships with coaches who don’t win. After getting a number of marquee players in trades, failure, it seems, is not an option.

Pumaren feels that an early loss could dampen the morale of his players, which is at a high after coming off training in the US and Korea just three weeks after getting the boot in the last tournament.

full battle gear
10-08-2006, 09:53 AM
Gins in high spirits, dwarf Giants

The Philippine Star 10/08/2006

DUMAGUETE — Powerhouse Barangay Ginebra followed up its big win over Welcoat Sunday with yet another big win over defending champion Purefoods Chunkee in a Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup road game here last night.

The Kings picked up from where they left off against the Dragons and walloped the Giants, 86-67, before a good weekend crowd at the Lamberto Macias Sports Center.

Ginebra got off to a blazing start and never let up on the badly-stunned Purefoods side, hacking out a second straight victory that gave the Kings an early share of the lead with the Red Bull squad.

So impressive were the Kings that they led by as many as 28 points in their lopsided win over the Giants, the reigning titlists who are winless in two starts.

After taking the opening quarter at 24-12, the Kings kept double-digit spreads all the way to the finish.

Drawing tremendous boost from their new recruits, the Kings started the game with a 10-2 run and posted leads of more than 20 points right in the second quarter.

They took the turn at 50-24 and were hardly threatened in the last 24 minutes of play.

Meanwhile, Talk n Text tries to get a piece of the lead with Red Bull and Ginebra as the Pals take on the Alaska Milk Aces at the resumption of play at the Araneta Coliseum today.

Talk n Text and Alaska are two teams that could well have a good ride in the new PBA season, possibly reaping the fruits of their massive buildup the previous campaign.

Coaches Derrick Pumaren and Tim Cone feel their respective teams have better bonding now although they still need to improve their chemistry if they’re to figure prominently in the fight for the coveted crown.

The two teams with practically the same mission slug it out in the 6:30 p.m. mainer. Coca-Cola, which had its own revamp during the off-season, battles newcomer Welcoat in the 4:05 p.m. opener.

"I think we’ve improved from last season. Unlike last campaign na nagkakapaan pa ang mga players, ngayon medyo nagkakaamuyan na," said Pumaren moments after his team got off to a winning start in the season, ripping Purefoods Chunkee, 108-99, Wednesday.

"We felt good with ourselves in setting out for the season. We just got shaken a bit when we lost our first game to Red Bull in Guam," said Cone. "But we played better in our second game against Coca-Cola and we’re determined to further work on our chemistry."

full battle gear
10-08-2006, 09:56 AM
Gin Kings trample Chunkee Giants
www.com.ph


By NOLI CRUZ

THESE ALMIGHTY Kings deserve a royal name.

Showing superiority on all fronts, the Barangay Ginebra Kings ran over the Purefoods Chunkee Giants, 86-67, last night in the Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup at the Lamberto Macias Sports Center in Dumaguete City.

The Kings, 2-0, led by as many as 28 points, 57-29, after a three-point play from Eric Menk, 8:40 in the third period. They more than doubled the output of the winless Giants in the first half, 50-24.

Just like in their 33-point whipping of the Welcoat Dragons Sunday, the Kings got off to a strong start, racing to a 10-2 lead in the first 4:28 and padding the gap to 24-12 at the end of the opening period.

Rudy Hatfield, who had 21 points in their win over the Dragons, poured in nine in the initial salvo of the Kings.

The Kings now share the lead with Red Bull, which beat San Miguel Beer Friday night for its second straight win.

The Chunkee Giants absorved their second straight loss.

Speaking of the Beermen, they may miss the services of top gunner Danny Seigle after the superstar forward hurt his back in the first quarter of their loss to the Bulls. He managed to return and score 10 points, but it proved to be costly.

Seigle will undergo MRI test tomorrow to determine the extent of the damage.

Meanwhile, the Dragons and the Coca-Cola Tigers get their best chance of nailing a victory when they cross path today at the Araneta Coliseum.

They’re considered by many as the weakest links in the league, making it imperative to get a win before the window of opportunity shuts down on them.

Both teams lost big in their respective debuts, the Dragons to the Barangay Ginebra Kings, 69-102, and the Tigers to the Alaska Aces, 84-99.

In the other game, the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals and the Aces will gun for their second straight win.

The Phone Pals trounced the defending champions Purefoods Chunkee Giants in their first game while the Aces, after losing to Red Bull in the seasonopener in Guam, bounced back and beat the Tigers in their last outing.

full battle gear
10-08-2006, 10:04 AM
Phone Pals take on Aces

By JOEL ORELLANA, The Manila Times Reporter
www.abs-cbnnews.com


Games Sunday (Araneta Coliseum)

4:05 p.m. – Welcoat vs Coke

6:30 p.m. – Alaska vs TNT

Talk ’N Text head coach Derrick Pumaren is beaming with confidence after passing their opening assignment against defending champion Purefoods Chunkee.

His Phone Pals will be tested again Sunday, as they square off with another tournament favorite, Alaska, in the main game of the 2006 Philippine Basketball Association-Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

"I think we’re a team right now. Last conference, they were still groping for form, now they can smell each other," said Pumaren after posting a 108-99 decision over the Giants Wednesday also at the Big Dome.

"Hopefully we can continue to play as a team because Alaska is one of the top contenders in this tournament," he added.

Talk ’N Text and the Aces meet at 6:30 p.m. after the tussle between Welcoat Paints and Coca-Cola, both looking for their first win, at 4:05 p.m.

The Phone Pals displayed a dominating performance early against Purefoods before the Giants unleashed a mighty comeback that wound up just short.

"This team is beginning to show its character. They stayed together till the end," added Pumaren, who is eyeing a share of the lead with Red Bull at 2-0.

The Aces of coach Tim Cone are also coming off a huge 99-84 win over the Tigers to cover up for their anemic performance against the Bulls in Guam, where they yielded a 99-93 decision.

Mike Cortez and Willie Miller starred in that victory, while Jeffrey Cariaso and Nic Belasco were their usual selves in routing Coke.

"I think we had a good workout during the preseason, and that loss against Red Bull shook off a little bit of our confidence. But I think there’s no reason for us not to feel confident," said Cone.

"Against Talk ’N Text, I think we have to work harder because I expect them to have better conference and play good basketball," he added.

Alaska is adjudged as one of the teams to beat in the All-Filipino tournament after claiming the league’s first preseason tournament title via a five-game sweep.

In the first game, the league newcomer Dragons eye their first PBA win against the new-look Tigers.

"Coke is still strong because it has veterans, but we will fight them," said Welcoat mentor Leo Austria, whose wards were humiliated by Barangay Ginebra in their league debut, 69-102, last Sunday.

Coke’s top rookie, Joseph Yeo, was far from what people expected from him in his first game, as the former De La Salle University star was held to just 4 points on 1-of-7 shooting.

Tigers head coach Binky Favis hopes Yeo, the No. 3 overall pick in the last rookie draft, can blend well with John Arigo and Ali Peek for them to avoid a second straight loss.

full battle gear
10-09-2006, 09:57 AM
Dragons score breakthrough win vs Tigers

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 03:28am (Mla time) 10/09/2006

Published on page A19 of the October 9, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GAMES WEDNESDAY (Araneta Coliseum)
4:35 p.m. -- San Miguel vs. Sta. Lucia
7:20 p.m. -- Air21 vs. Barangay Ginebra

THE WELCOAT DRAGONS, the new kids on the Philippine Basketball Association block, scored a breakthrough win in the Talk ‘N Text Philippine Cup last night by taming the Coca-Cola Tigers, 85-75, at the Araneta Coliseum.

“I didn’t expect to win,” said Welcoat coach Leo Austria, whose expansion ballclub rebounded from a horrid debut and won in just its second outing. “But I told my players that if we wanted to win, this (game) was our chance.”

The Dragons recovered from a 0-12 start with composure and determination, getting back into the fight immediately and even wresting the lead after the first 12 minutes.

From there, Welcoat worked on a methodical halfcourt game and a defense that challenged every Coca-Cola shot, grabbing the lead by 11 points after the Dragons’ first possession in the fourth, 65-54, to eventually climb to 1-1.

"Puede na akong matalo ulit (Now I can lose again)," Austria joked.

"My players have so much hunger and I like that attitude," he continued. "This is a big win because it gave my players an idea of how to win."

Jay-R Reyes, a 6-foot-7 rookie who was elevated directly into the lineup, scattered 16 points, grabbed seven rebounds and swatted away two enemy shots to lead the Dragons.

Three more Dragons chipped in with 10 points or more and three others combined for another 26 markers in a splendid display of balanced scoring that befuddled the Tigers.

Coca-Cola joined idle defending champion Purefoods at the cellar at 0-2 with the powerhouse teams -- Red Bull, the Chunkee Giants, Talk ‘N Text -- the next three foes in the Tigers’ schedule.

From that 12-point deficit at the 7:42 mark of the first, the Dragons got their acts going and managed to take an 18-16 lead into the second period, which turned out to be the momentum they needed to go all the way.

The scores:

WELCOAT 85 -- Reyes 16, Lopez 13, Tangkay 11, Wainwright 10, Baguion 9, Cabatu 9, Sta. Maria 8, Gelig 7, Lao 2, Ybanez 0, Mente 0.

COCA-COLA 75 -- Arigo 24, Salangsang 12, Yeo 10, Ferreria 10, Peek 8, Raneses 4, Miranda 4, Antonio 3, Enrile 0.

Quarters: 18-16, 37-36, 63-54, 85-75.

full battle gear
10-09-2006, 10:01 AM
Dragons spew fire, hand Tigers second loss in row
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 10/08/2006

Who says the Welcoat Dragons have to pay their dues first before they can start winning in the pro league?

The Dragons proved they can’t be taken for granted, nailing their first victory in the Talk n Text-PBA Philippine Cup with an 85-75 drubbing of the Coca-Cola Tigers at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

"My worst fear is over. We won’t end up without a single win in this tourney," said Welcoat coach Leo Austria.

"I didn’t expect to get this but I told my players we have our biggest chance to win in this ball game. Tingin ko mas mahirap kalaban yung ibang teams," Austria added.

Rookie Jay-R Reyes led the team with 16 points, which went with seven rebounds and two blocks while Coke discard Rob Wainwright had a double-double job with 11 rebounds and 10 points. Six other Dragons chipped in at least seven points as Welcoat handed Coke its second straight loss.

Austria said he had easier time motivating his team last night than last Sunday against Barangay Ginebra.

"For one, Rob Wainwright and Gilbert Lao were eager to come out against their former team. Secondly, we’re inspired by the Ginebra-Purefoods game (in Dumaguete Saturday night)," said Austria.

"Mukhang umpisa pa lang bugbog ang Purefoods sa Ginebra. Kami medyo dikit pa noong una. Sabi ko sa sarili ko hindi pala kami sobrang hina, sobrang lakas lang ng kalaban," Austria added.

The Dragons were clobbered by the Kings, 69-102, in their maiden game in the pros.

Against the Tigers, the Dragons got off to a tentative start but slowly picked up their game and played steady at the finish.

They won convincingly though yielding the game’s first 12 points to the Tigers.

Taking a 37-36 edge at halftime, the Dragons stretched their lead to nine, 63-54, at the end of the third period on a buzzer-beating tip-in by Reyes following a missed jumper by Jojo Tangkay.

Renren Ritualo went scoreless in the first half but made clutch baskets down the stretch while Donbel Belano played steady off the bench, having his own contribution at endgame as Talk n Text made it two in a row with a 97-93 decision over Alaska in the second game.

"We’re being tested so early in the season but I think it’s good for the team. I’d rather have it now because for sure, teams are going to be tougher later on," said Talk n Text coach Derrick Pumaren.

full battle gear
10-09-2006, 10:02 AM
Welcoat tames Tigers
www.mb.com.ph


By NOLI CRUZ

THE TIGERS crouched on the night the Dragons refused to hide.

Displaying the fighting form that was missing in their debut, the Welcoat Paints Dragons survived an icy start to tame the Coca-Cola Tigers, 85-75, yesterday in the Talk ‘N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Coach Leo Austria didn’t expect to chalk up a win this early.

"We believe na mas malaki ang tsansa naming manalo against Coke kaysa sa ibang teams," Austria said. "Pero hindi ganito kaaga."

Froilan Baguion delivered the telling points down the stretch to make it happen.

The peppery guard from Navotas smoked his defenders to give the Dragons an 80-71 lead, 1:31 to play. He also sank two free throws with 36 seconds left to virtually seal the win and gave owners Raymund Yu and Terry Que a reason to smile.

Niño Gelig and Denver Lopez scored five point each on a combined six minutes in the third quarter as the Dragons grabbed a 63-54 lead entering the fourth.

Jojo Tangkay also played big in the pivotal frame for the Dragons, hitting six points on 2-of-5 clip from beyond the arc.

With John Arigo and Allan Salangsang catching fire early, the Tigers raced to a 12-0 lead. The starting forwards of the Tigers combined for 12 points, collectively shooting 4-of-4 from the field and 3-of-3 from the line in the first quarter.

But the Dragons spewed fire towards the end of the period and took their first lead in the league on two free throws by rookie Jay-R Reyes, 18-16.

The Dragons never led in a 33-point loss to the Barangay Ginebra Kings in their debut.

"Na-inspire din kami nung tinambakan ng Ginebra ang Purefoods sa Dumaguete," Austria related. "Sabi ko, hindi naman pala kami mahina. Malakas lang talaga ang kalaban."

"Nakaisa rin kami, akala namin ni Raymund, matagalan pa kami manalo," said Que.

First Game

WELCOAT 85 — Reyes 16, Lopez 13, Tangkay 11, Wainwright 10, Baguion 9, Cabatu 9, Sta. Maria 8, Gelig 7, Lao 2, Mente 0.

COKE 75 — Arigo 24, Salangsang 12, Yeo 10, Ferreria 10, Peek 10, Peek 8, Raneses 4, Miranda 4, Antonio 3, Enrile 0, Caceres 0.

Quarters: 18-16, 37-36, 63-54, 85-75.

Second Game

talk 'n text 97 — Taulava 25, Carey 14, Cardona 12, Alapag 12, Belano 12, Ritualo 10, Washington 6, Allado 4, Pablo 2, Andaya 0.

alaska 93 — Cortez 24, Cariaso 21, Thoss 15, Miller 13, Belasco 7, Dela Cruz 5, Ferriols 4, Laure 2, Juinio 0.

Quarters: 25-24, 48-40, 74-70, 97-93.

full battle gear
10-09-2006, 10:05 AM
Welcoat gets first PBA victory over Coke five

By JOEL ORELLANA
The Manila Times Reporter
www.abs-cbnnews.com


After getting humiliated in its league debut, Welcoat Paints stood up with pride and nailed its first franchise win.

The Dragons overcame a lethargic start and regrouped in time to post a momentous 85-75 win over Coca-Cola Sunday night in the 2006 Philippine Basketball Association-Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Jay-R Reyes proved why he is being groomed as the cornerstone of the young franchise, with his game-long brilliance producing 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocks to lead the team to victory.

"I didn’t expect to win, but I knew we had a chance because among the teams, I think we have our best chance against Coke," said Dragons head coach Leo Austria.

"At least we got one [win], and it’s important because it gave my players confidence that we can win if we just play as a team," Austria added.

Denver Lopez added 13 markers and Jercules Tangkay chipped in 11 for Welcoat, which was humbled by powerhouse Barangay Ginebra in its debut, 69-102, last Sunday.

John Arigo led all scorers with 24 points, but the rest of the Tigers’ starters were a big disappointment for coach Binky Favis, whose team absorbed its second straight defeat in as many games.

Rookie Joseph Yeo surpassed his 4-point performance in the team’s 88-94 loss to Alaska as he netted 10 points, but shot 5-of-21 from the field.

Former Coke players Rob Wainwright and Gilbert Lao also contributed significantly in Welcoat’s win, especially on the defensive end.

"Before the game, Rob and Gilbert told me they wanted to get back at their former team. I’m happy their attitude to this game was like that," Austria said.

The Tigers did have a rip-roaring start, scoring the first 12 points of the match before the Dragons, behind Reyes and Junjun Cabatu, brought sanity back to their game, leading an 18-4 run to get the upper hand after the first period.

The scores:

WELCOAT 85–Reyes 16, Lopez 13, Tangkay 11, Wainwright 10, Baguion 9, Cabatu 9, Sta. Maria 7, Lao 2, Ibanez 0, Mente 0.

COKE 75–Arigo 24, Salangsang 12, Ferreria 10, Yeo 10, Peek 8, Raneses 4, Miranda 4, Antonio 3, Enrile 0, Caceres 0.

Quarters: 18-16, 37-36, 63-54, 85-75.

Games Wednesday (Araneta Coliseum)

4:35 p.m.–San Miguel vs Sta. Lucia

7:20 p.m.–Air21 vs Ginebra

full battle gear
10-10-2006, 08:44 AM
Rudy reigns among Kings

The Philippine Star 10/10/2006

Everybody knew Rudy Hatfield was bringing with him lots of energy when he decided to make a grand return in the PBA.

Few, however, were really that prepared for the extras he has brought to Ginebra, helping make it truly a powerhouse team in the Talk N Text-PBA Philippine Cup.

What makes his feats more remarkable is the fact he only had a little time honing up for the season, coming off as he did from almost a two-year sabbatical following questions about his nationality while he was still with Coca-Cola.

It seems from the way he plays, however, that he has never been away.

Hatfield consistently spices up his tenacious vigor with points, rebounds, defense, hustle and court leadership, playing a key role in the Kings racing to a 2-0 start and a share of the early lead with Red Bull and Talk N Text in the season-opening conference.

In a star-studded organization that boasts of the likes of former MVPs Eric Menk and Johnny Abarrientos, the high-scoring Mark Caguioa, the flashy Jayjay Helterbrand, the towering Romel Adducul, Rafi Reavis and Billy Mamaril, Hatfield has consistently shone.

Main reason why the athletic, 6-foot-3 forward was unanimously voted by the PBA Press Corps as its Player of the Week for the period Oct. 1-8.

"The kind of passion and energy that he brings to the game and team is what coaches look for in a player," said Ginebra coach Jong Uichico.

And then there are the more concrete aspects of Hatfield‚s game.

He had 21 points and 14 rebounds in the crowd favorites‚ 102-69 debut win over newcomer Welcoat on opening day Oct. 1 and followed that up with 16 points and 11 rebounds in a cruising 86-67 win over Purefoods Chunkee last Saturday in the season‚s first out-of-town sortie in Dumaguete City.

To make Hatfield‚s productions more noteworthy, he provided the Kings with the early spark in both games and also lent a big hand in finishing the jobs.

full battle gear
10-10-2006, 08:48 AM
Jarencio named SMB asst. coach
www.mb.com.ph



FOR UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas Coach Pido Jarencio, when it rains it pours, as just a week after his España-based Growling Tigers claimed the UAAP championship against the highly-favored Ateneo Blue Eagles, the rookie bench tactician was appointed as an assistant coach of the San Miguel Beer, one of the most popular ball clubs in the PBA.

"Inu-ulan yata ako ng swerte. Iba yata talaga pag marami ang nagdarasal para sa ginagawa mo," said the 42-year-old Jarencio, who himself was a UAAP standout as a UST Glowing Goldie from 1981 to 1984 but never had a single varsity championship.

"Kaya sa mga sumuporta sa amin nang nakaraang UAAP, ituloy po ninyo sana ang inyong suporta at dasal sa pagbabalik ko sa San Miguel Beer na walang katulad din ang dami ng mga sumusuporta," he added.

With his appointment, Jarencio will not be a stranger to the San Miguel Beer ball club as he spent some of his memorable playing days in the pro league with the team under Coach Norman Black, and whom, of all ironies, Pido had outwitted in the recent UST-Ateneo championship.

In yet another ironic twist, a trueblue Atenean, Chot Reyes heads SMB’s coaching staff.

Nevertheless, Reyes welcomes Jarencio’s addition to the Beermen’s coaching staff.

"By beating Ateneo, Pido has earned all my respect. Naipakita ang galing n’yang mag-plano each game, ang mag-adjust at lalung-lalo na sa pag-motivate ng players," Chot said.

"I am sure even the ex-Ateneo players among the Beermen, like Olsen (Racela) will be very happy to have him in the team," he noted.

full battle gear
10-10-2006, 08:49 AM
Hatfield picked as week’s best
www.mb.com.ph


RUDY HATFIELD of Ginebra made a grand return in the PBA.

Known for his intensity and powerful inside plays, Hatfield became the first winner of the PBA Press Corps Player of the Week Award in the Talk N Text-PBA Philippine Cup.

What made his feat more remarkable is the fact that he only had a little time honing up for the season, coming off as he did from almost a two-year sabbatical following questions about his nationality while he was still with Coca-Cola.

Hatfield consistently spices up his tenacious vigor with points, rebounds, defense, hustle and court leadership, playing a key role in the Kings racing to a 2-0 start and a share of the early lead with Red Bull and Talk N Text in the season-opening conference.

In a star-studded organization that boasts of the likes of former MVPs Eric Menk and Johnny Abarrientos, the high-scoring Mark Caguioa, Jayjay Helterbrand, the towering Romel Adducul, Rafi Reavis and Billy Mamaril, Hatfield has consistently shone.

"The kind of contagious passion and energy that he brings to the game and team is what coaches look for in a player," said Ginebra coach Jong Uichico.

And then there are the more concrete aspects of Hatfield’s game.

He had 21 points and 14 rebounds in the crowd favorites’ 102-69 debut win over newcomer Welcoat on opening day Oct. 1 and followed that up with 16 points and 11 rebounds in a cruising 86-67 win over Purefoods Chunkee last Saturday in the season’s first out-of-town sortie in Dumaguete City.

To make Hatfield’s productions more noteworthy, he provided the Kings with the early spark in both games and also lent a big hand in finishing the jobs.

full battle gear
10-10-2006, 08:52 AM
SMB hires Pido as assistant
www.abs-cbnnews.com


For University of Santo Tomas coach Alfredo "Pido" Jarencio, when it rains, it pours.

Just a week after his Growling Tigers clinched the University Athletics Association of the Philippines championship against the highly favored Ateneo de Manila University, the rookie bench tactician was appointed as an assistant coach of San Miguel Beer, arguably the most popular ball club in the Philippine Basketball Association.

"I think luck is raining on me. I can only thank the people who’ve prayed for me and what I do," said the 42-year-old Jarencio, who himself was a UAAP standout as a UST Glowing Goldie from 1981 to 1984 but never won a championship as a varsity player.

"That’s why to those who supported us [UST] in the past UAAP, please continue to support and pray for me in my return to San Miguel Beer, which also has no rival in terms of its many supporters," he added.

Jarencio is not a stranger to the SMB club. He first played for the Beermen as a third-string point guard in his early years in the pro league under coach Norman Black—who, ironically, Pido had outwitted in the recent UST-Ateneo finale.

In another curious twist, Chot Reyes—a true-blue Atenean—heads SMB’s coaching staff, but welcomed Jarencio’s addition to the Beermen’s coaching staff.

"By beating Ateneo, Pido has earned all my respect. He showed his skill in planning for each game, in adjusting to situations and above all in motivating his players," Reyes said.

"I am sure even the ex-Ateneo players among the Beermen, like Olsen [Racela], will be very happy to have him in the team."

Reyes, who had mentored Jarencio at Pop Cola, the latter’s last PBA team before retiring as a pro, added that hiring the UST coach is one way of contributing to the development of the sport by giving opportunity to new coaches to excel in their field.

As an example, Koy Banal, who steered the San Beda College Red Lions to its first National Collegiate Athletics Association championship this season in nearly three decades, has already logged two years in the pro league as an assistant coach for the Purefoods Chunkee Giants, the 2006 PBA All-Filipino champion.

Once a player of the RP-Northern Consolidated Cement national team and the Lagerlite—Magnolia ball clubs of the Philippine Amateur Basketball League, Jarencio will rejoin San Miguel team manager Samboy Lim, who was one of the vital cogs of that fabled RP-NCC squad.

Lim said he is sold on Jarencio’s work ethic.

"Pido’s three ‘Ps’ [pride, puso, palaban] team philosophy for the UST Tigers also mirrors the unyielding stance of the Beermen, particularly in defense," Samboy said.

Jarencio, also a member of the SMC All Stars that tours the country to promote products of San Miguel Corp., is also counting on his 16 years as a pro player to aid SMB.

"We’re impressed by Pido’s early achievements not only as a champion UAAP coach but also by his record as a player in the amateurs and in the pros," said Ramon S. Ang, San Miguel Corp. president and chief operating officer.

From 1986 to 2001, Jarencio thrilled PBA fans with his fiery play- and point-making abilities that earned him the moniker "The Fireman," and membership in the elite 5,000-point club of the pro league. The Manila Times

full battle gear
10-10-2006, 08:54 AM
Jarencio joins SMB coaching staff

Inquirer
Last updated 01:36am (Mla time) 10/10/2006

Published on page A22 of the October 10, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

FOR UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas Tigers coach Pido Jarencio, when it rains it pours.

A little over a week after his España-based Growling Tigers clinched the UAAP championship against the highly favored Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, the rookie bench tactician was appointed as an assistant coach of San Miguel Beer in the Philippine Basketball Association.

“Inuulan yata ako ng swerte (I’m still in luck),” said the 42-year-old Jarencio, who himself was a standout as a UST Glowing Goldie from 1981 to 1984, even though his school failed to win a title then.

“Iba yata talaga ‘pag marami ang nagdadasal para sa ginagawa mo (I think this is because many prayed for me for what we have accomplished).”

Jarencio is no stranger to the Beermen, having spent some of his memorable playing days in the pro league with the team under coach Norman Black, who ironically was the mentor of the Ateneo team that Jarencio’s boys beat in the UAAP finals.

In yet another ironic twist, a true-blue Atenean, Chot Reyes, now heads SMB’s coaching staff. Nevertheless, Reyes welcomed Jarencio’s addition to the Beermen’s coaching staff.

“By beating Ateneo, Pido has earned my respect,” said Reyes. “He showed his talent in planning each game, making adjustments and motivating his players.

Reyes had mentored Jarencio at Pop Cola, Pido’s last PBA team.

Jarencio will be reunited with SMB team manager Samboy Lim, who was once his teammate at Northern Consolidated Cement-RP team and the Lagerlite-Magnolia ball clubs of the PABL (now PBL).

christian
10-10-2006, 09:43 AM
Pano na si Cone?

full battle gear
10-11-2006, 10:37 AM
Express next for hot Kings


Inquirer
Last updated 01:43am (Mla time) 10/11/2006

Published on Page A23 of the October 11, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

UNLESS Barangay Ginebra deliberately tanks games or pulls punches, the Kings may leave Jong Uichico with no other option but to state the obvious.

While anyone with the slightest trace of basketball knowledge would label Ginebra a powerhouse squad, Uichico has constantly begged to disagree, something he’ll run out of reason to do if the Kings fashion out a third straight victory with the same ease and brutality that they did in the first two games.

Air21 will be the next team to get an up close and personal look at the strengths of Barangay Ginebra, which has won its first two games by an average margin of 26 points, capped by an 86-67 mangling of defending champion Purefoods on Saturday in Dumaguete City.

Still, the reserved and taciturn former San Miguel coach veered away from accepting the label of invincibility being tagged on his Kings by citing factors that tried to hide how easy their first two outings have been.

“Welcoat is a young team that is still feeling its way around the league,” Uichico had said, moments after a 33-point rout of the young and inexperienced Dragons in the inaugurals Sunday last week.

“Purefoods is still not in the form that won it a championship the last time out,” was what he said of the out-of-town game conquest of the Chunkee Giants five nights ago. “It still does not tell us the true strength of this (Ginebra) team.”

A victory in the 7:20 p.m. contest would give the Kings the solo elimination round lead, and if it happens to be a blowout yet again, it would be interesting to note what reason the multi-titled coach would be harping next.

Meanwhile, a rejuvenated Sta. Lucia Realty squad shoots for a second straight win earlier, clashing with a new look San Miguel squad in the 4:35 p.m. game. Musong R. Castillo

full battle gear
10-11-2006, 10:40 AM
Sans two Dannys, SMB faces tall odds

The Philippine Star 10/11/2006

With Danny Seigle joining Danny Ildefonso on the sidelines, San Miguel Beer could face rough sailing versus the inspired Sta. Lucia Realty side today in the Talk n Text PBA Phillipine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum today.

Meanwhile, red-hot Barangay Ginebra is fancied to make it three in a row for the solo lead in the team standings as it plays Air21 in the day’s other game.

San Miguel coach Chot Reyes has decided to rest Seigle due to back spasms he suffered in practice three days before their first game against Red Bull last Friday.

"We just tried him against Red Bull, and we saw that he’s really having a hard time with his injury. So we decided to rest him for at least two games. We’ll see how my other players react without him," said Reyes.

"We’ll surely have problem with Sta. Lucia’s size. We’ll try to compensate on other things," Reyes added.

Ildefonso, the team’s other star forward, is in the injured list as he’s still recovering from an ankle surgery he went through after the recent Philippine Cup. He could be back in November.

The two-time MVP winner has a lot of catching-up to do since Reyes has practically reinvented the Beermen, giving up their deliberate half-court game for pressure defense and running attack.

"That’s the way to compete now. A team must be able to run and pressure," said Reyes. "It’s not yet looking good the way we do it since we’re still trying to get used to the system."

The Realtors are also working double time to develop team chemistry with the return of Alex Cabagnot and the arrival of new recruits Kelly Williams, Mark Isip and Ronnie Bughao.

"We’re having hell of practices and you can ask the players. But I think it’s paying off," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua.

full battle gear
10-11-2006, 10:46 AM
Realtors eye No. 2 vs Beermen
spacer


By NOLI CRUZ
www.mb.com.ph


COACH CHOT Reyes gets to see the fruit of his labor first hand when the San Miguel Beermen and the Sta. Lucia Realtors clash today in the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Unfortunately, he’s not going to reap it — at least for the moment.

"Ako ang nagbayo, ako ang nagsaing, iba ang kumain," Reyes was once quoted of saying referring to this year’s top draft pick Kelly Williams.

Reyes, of course, lobbied to get the services of the Fil-Am from Detroit, Michigan for the national team. Williams also played for Magnolia, a team owned by the San Miguel Corporation in the PBL.

For now, the Beermen mentor could only hope that the fruit isn’t ripe yet.

Williams was impressive but not as spectacular as advertised in his debut. He’s not much of a factor offensively in the second half although he did finish with a double-double of 11 points and 14 rebounds in the Realtors’ 96-88 win over the Air21 Express.

His athleticism will be needed today against the tall Beermen frontline. Williams can use his speed to blow by the opposing big men.

He will also have a lighter assignment on the defensive end. Williams would have been the best stopper of the Realtors to the prolific Danny Seigle, but the latter injured his back in their loss to Red Bull.

An MRI test revealed a bulging disk on Seigle’s back. No surgery is needed but he’s expected to miss two games.

With Seigle out, the Beermen need to get more from shooters Chris Calaguio, Dondon Hontiveros and Wesley Gonzales.

Calaguio’s great in their opener, leading the Beermen with 15 points while hitting 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.

The Beermen are running more these days under Reyes. They have 12 fastbreak points on their first game, which is high by their standard.

At least, they have got somebody who can outrun anybody on the floor in rookie sentinel LA Tenorio.

Speaking of running, there will be a lot of it in the game pitting the star-studded Barangay Ginebra Kings and the Express.

The Kings outran and outgunned their first two opponents, beating the Welcoat Dragons by 33 and the defending champions Purefoods Chunkee Giants by 19.

full battle gear
10-11-2006, 10:51 AM
Kings test defensive mettle vs run-and-gun Air21

By JOEL ORELLANA, The Manila Times Reporter
www.abs-cbnnews.com


Barangay Ginebra’s new-found defensive strength will be tested when it plays the high-scoring Air21 squad in the main game of the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Kings and the Express collide at 7:35 p.m., with the former eyeing their third straight win and the solo leadership.

In the opener, Santa Lucia Realty tries to follow-up its opening-game win, as it faces San Miguel Beer, which will be playing minus an injured Danny Seigle, at 4:40 p.m.

In its first two victories, Ginebra limited its opponents under 70 points primarily because of the energy injected by its new acquisitions during the offseason.

"I appreciate everybody’s conscious effort to play defense," said new Kings mentor Jong Uichico after their 86-67 win over defending champion Purefoods Chunkee Saturday in Dumaguete City.

"Hopefully, we’ve instilled the defensive mentality in them. Although they haven’t fully got it, we’re getting there," Uichico added.

There’s no doubt the addition of Billy Mamaril, Rafi Reavis, Rudy Hatfield and Johnny Abarrientos makes Ginebra a more defense-oriented team compared to its squads in the past few seasons, and this is the kind of team Uichico envisioned when he assumed his post before the season.

Now, Eric Menk, Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand have the luxury of focusing more on scoring for the team.

Ginebra previously beaten newcomer Welcoat Paints, 102-69, in its first assignment and later faced the ill-prepared Giants, reasons why Uichico believes the Kings have not encountered a real test in the tournament.

And the Express of coach Bo Perasol could be the first team to give the crowd darlings a tough encounter, as Air21 is a run-and-gun team that likes to score a lot.

The Bert Lina franchise dropped a 96-88 decision to the Realtors in its first assignment in the All-Filipino tournament, though No. 2 overall draft pick Arwind Santos had an impressive debut with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks for Air21.

In the first game, Santa Lucia is slightly favored to notch its second win, as Seigle will be out for at least two weeks owing to a still-undetermined injury. San Miguel dropped its first match to Red Bull, 79-84, last Friday at the Big Dome.

Games Thursday (Araneta Coliseum)

4:40 p.m. – San Miguel vs Santa Lucia

7:35 p.m. – Ginebra vs Air21

full battle gear
10-12-2006, 11:52 AM
Kings barely survive Express

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 02:25am (Mla time) 10/12/2006

Published on Page A16 of the October 12, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GAMES TOMORROW (Cuneta Astrodome)
4:35 p.m. -- Talk ’N Text vs. Welcoat
7:20 p.m. -- Red Bull vs. Coca-Cola

BARANGAY GINEBRA streaked to its third straight victory last night, but unlike in its two previous conquests, the Kings needed lady luck to smile on them for this one.

The Gin Kings got more than what they bargained for from an Air21 squad that played with a lot of spunk, carving out a 114-113 victory only after an ex-teammate missed the game-tying four-point play that sealed for them the solo PBA Philippine Cup lead.

Aris Dimaunahan, shipped to the Express in the off-season as part of that controversial multiplayer trade that gave the Kings an invincible look on paper, could have forged an extension but crumbled at the free throw line in the final 3.8 seconds.

And Ronald Tubid muffed a short follow-up in the rebound play, which would have authored the first real upset in this tournament that the Kings were tipped to cruise through.

This one, though, may have jolted their senses.

“Well, it gives us something to talk about,” said new coach Jong Uichico. “I told them at halftime, even if we were up by 10 points, that this team (Air21) could come back. They have that great capability.

“In a way, winning like this is good for the team, because it can make us grow together.”

Air21’s loss put to naught a brilliant effort by rookie Arwind Santos, who took over when scoring guard Niño Canaleta was injured in the second half. Santos finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Canaleta fractured the bridge of his nose after a freak collision with teammate Tubid in the second quarter. There were reports that he was undergoing surgery at presstime.

Sta. Lucia Realty, meanwhile, also stayed unscathed after pounding out a 98-95 decision over San Miguel Beer in the curtain-raiser.

The Realtors almost blew several 17-point leads in the third and fourth periods, narrowly escaping with the win after two Dennis Espino free throws in the last six seconds.

Going down for the second straight time, the Beermen gave it one huge push in the endgame after Chris Calaguio and rookie LA Tenerio took turns in dropping bombs from afar which almost pulled it out for San Miguel.

“We thought it was smooth sailing (after leading by 17),” said Realtors coach Alfrancis Chua. “We relaxed in the latter part, but we got the stops when we needed them.”

Cesar Catli, an obscure big man in the high-profile Sta. Lucia rotation, scored a career-high 16 points.

The Scores:

First Game

STA. LUCIA 98 -- Catli 16, Mendoza 16, Williams 12, Cabagnot 10, Espino 10, Duremdes 7, Aquino 7, Gonzales 7, Omolon 6, Isip 4, Bughao 3.

SAN MIGUEL 95 -- Calaguio 22, Pena 17, Hontiveros 15, Tenorio 14, Espinas 10, Wilson 6, Adriano 4, Racela 4, Gonzales 2, Noble 1, Kong 0.

Quarters: 19-20, 50-40, 84-67, 98-95.

Second Game

GINEBRA 114 -- Menk 27, Caguioa 24, Helterbrand 19, Hatfield 12, Salvacion 11, Adducul 5, Reavis 5, Mamaril 4, Abarrientos 4, Macapagal 3.

AIR21 113 -- Santos 24, De Ocampo 19, Telan 12, Dimaunahan 11, Arboleda 11, David 10, De Ocampo, Y. 10, Tubid 8, Canaleta 6, Se 2, Sotto 0.

Quarters: 35-27, 65-52, 92-81, 114-113.

full battle gear
10-12-2006, 11:59 AM
Realtors trip Beermen for win No. 2
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 10/12/2006

Sta. Lucia struggled for only four points in the last seven minutes of the game but came through with crucial defensive stops at endgame as the Realtors stopped the injury-plagued San Miguel Beermen, 98-95, for a second straight win in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

Fil-Am players Kelly Williams and Alex Cabagnot lost their shooting touch in the fourth quarter but leaned on their tough defense in the closing seconds, helping the Realtors book a second successive victory following a 96-88 whipping of the Air21 Express last Friday.

"I think we played well most of the way but relaxed a bit towards the end. But we showed heart at crunch time to preserve the win," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua.

"Without Danny Seigle, we expected them to trap (in defense). They did but I think we lost only one possession," Chua added.

Realtors gamely defused the Beermen’s pressure defense, but in the process ran into an offensive spell, enabling the Beermen to get back into the game after falling behind by 17 points thrice early in the contest.

The Beermen came within one play of completing a big come-from-behind win but bungled the attempt, staying winless in two starts in the season.

With San Miguel down by just one at 95-96 with eight seconds to go, Christian Calaguio couldn’t shake off Williams and fumbled Gabby Espinas’ side-court inbound pass.

Dennis Espino, fouled by Willy Wilson in the ensuing play, sank his charities to make it 98-95.

With one final chance to send the game into overtime, the Beermen again went to Calaguio whose three-point attempt was foiled by Cabagnot, one of 12 blocked shots pulled off by the Realtors.

Offensively, sophomore forward Cesar Catli and veteran guard Paolo Mendoza shone brightest for the Realtors with each one firing four three-pointers and finishing with a total of 16 points.

Curiously, Catli, a 6-foot-2 wingman out of Far Eastern U, converted six straight field-goal attempts after missing his first three.

The Realtors had their last 17-point spread at 94-77 before blowing cold, scoring only four points all courtesy of Espino in the last seven minutes.

Calaguio presided over San Miguel’s searing attack on the other end of the court, rifling in three treys in an 18-2 romp that pushed the Beermen within one with still 29.6 seconds left to play.

Aris Dimaunahan failed to complete what could have been a game-tying four-point play in the closing seconds, allowing his former team Barangay Ginebra to escape with a 114-113 thriller over Air21 in the second game.

"Maganda na rin na na-push ang team. It gave us something to think about. Positive pa rin ito sa amin," said Ginebra coach Jong Uichico.

full battle gear
10-12-2006, 12:05 PM
Realtors in an unfamiliar spot
www.mb.com.ph


By TITO TALAO

THE LAST time the Sta. Lucia Realtors beat the San Miguel Beermen in an all-Filipino conference, Cesar Catli was still unheralded with Far Eastern University, Nelbert Omolon an unknown with Philippine Christian Uniuversity and Alex Cabagnot and Kelly Williams noname teenagers in the States.

Vengeance against the Beermen took three years in the making and all four young guns played crucial roles as Sta. Lucia held off undermanned San Miguel, 98-95, last night in the PBA-Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The win was the Realtors’ second straight, their first such start in six conferences, ending six straight losses to the Beermen dating back to the 2004-05 Philippine Cup.

Sta. Lucia routed the Air21 Express Friday, while San Miguel, absorbing its second loss, went down against Red Bull Wednesday as new Beermen coach Chot Reyes took his first 0-2 start since 2001 when he was still with Swift.

The Realtors’ victory came before the Barangay Ginebra Kings grabbed the solo lead with their third straight win, a 114-113 decision over Air21 in the second game.

The Express absorbed their second straight loss.

Catli and Paolo Mendoza each had 16 points, the two shooters combining for eight three-point shots as they powered the Realtors to several 17 point leads, the last at 94-77 early in the fourth.

Williams added 12 points, Cabagnot 10, and Omolon six, his output coming in the first half when Sta. Lucia held San Miguel to 5-of-24 shooting in taking a 50-40 lead.

Despite the heroics of his rookies and sophomores, coach Alfrancis Chua needed the steady free throw shooting hand of veteran center Dennis Espino to help ice the game after the Beermen had come within 96-95 on a three-point shot by Chris Calaguio with 30 seconds to go.

Espino hit two fouls shots with six seconds left after San Miguel rookie Gabby Espinas threw an inbound pass too high for Calaguio to control at the Beermen baseline.

With final assists from Cabagnot, who blocked Calaguio’s attempt with two seconds left, and Omolon, who stole the throw-in at the buzzer

"We relaxed in the fourth quarter," said Chua. "But when we needed defensive stops, our players delivered."

The Realtors had 12 shot blocks, three by Marlou Aquino, to exemplify their tenacity in defending their turf.

The Beermen were without three of their major players — Danny Seigle out with back spasms, Danny Ildefonso recovering from bone spurs surgery on his foot, and Brandon Cablay healing after a fractured hand operation.

full battle gear
10-12-2006, 12:12 PM
Realtors turn back Beermen

By JOEL ORELLANA, The Manila Times Reporter
www.abs-cbnnews.com


Santa Lucia Realty controlled the game with an almost flawless offense, but in the end, it had to rely on gutsy defense to preserve the win.

The Realtors nearly squandered a 17-point lead early in the fourth quarter, but kept their composure to hang on for a 98-95 win over San Miguel Beer Wednesday night in the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Skipper Dennis Espino sank the insurance free throws with 6 seconds left, and Santa Lucia foiled two attempts by the Beermen to send the game into overtime to remain unbeaten with a 2-0 card.

"I really thought it’ll be smooth sailing for us, but San Miguel played very good in the end. We showed them our heart. We needed defensive stops and we delivered," said Realtors head coach Alfrancis Chua.

Cesar Catli tied his career high of 16 points, 13 in the second period when Santa Lucia broke away from a close game and built a 50-40 halftime lead.

Paolo Mendoza also chipped in 16 markers, while top rookie Kelly Williams netted 12 for the Realtors, off to their best start since the 2003 Reinforced Conference.

"The team is really improving. The young ones are stepping up. Before we were only No. 8 or 7 in the ranking, perhaps now we’re coming up," Chua added.

The scores:

SANTA LUCIA 98–Catli 16, Mendoza 16, Williams 12, Cabagnot 10, Espino 10, Duremdes 7, Aquino 7, Gonzales 7, Omolon 6, Isip 4, Bughao 3.

SAN MIGUEL 95–Calaguio 22, Pena 17, Hontiveros 15, Tenorio 14, Espinas 10, Wilson 6, Adriano 4, Racela 4, Gonzales 2, Noble 1, Kong 0.

Quarters: 19-20, 50-40, 84-67, 98-95.

Games Friday (Cuneta Astrodome)

4:35 p.m.–Talk ’N Text vs Welcoat

7:20 p.m.–Red Bull vs Coke

full battle gear
10-13-2006, 12:07 PM
TNT Phone Pals, Bulls seek tie for lead


Inquirer
Last updated 02:19am (Mla time) 10/13/2006

Published on Page A29 of the October 13, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

WHEN WELCOAT coach Leo Austria joked about losing again after notching his first win in the PBA Philippine Cup, many knew that it could happen in his next game.

For the young and inexperienced Dragons, that game happens at 4:35 p.m. today when they collide with no less than the rock-solid Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals at the resumption of the elimination round at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

The Dragons will be coming off the first win of their existence in the pro league after upending Coca-Cola in their second game last Sunday.

While Austria admitted that he “didn’t expect to win (against Coca-Cola),” he also talked in jest about being prepared to lose again -- a prospect many PBA pundits say the Dragons should expect soonest.

And Talk ‘N Text coach Derrick Pumaren is not about to fall into the trap of complacency. He said teams like Welcoat -- which really have nothing to lose -- play their best against the best teams.

“That’s a part of the coach’s job, to make sure that your players come into a game prepared each time,” said Pumaren, whose squad saw action in tournaments and tune-up games in the United States and South Korea.

“We cannot take any team for granted.”

The Phone Pals, arguably the best prepared side in the field, will be shooting for their third straight win and a share of the lead with idle Barangay Ginebra.

That will also be the goal of Red Bull, which hopes to bury the Tigers deeper in their 7:20 p.m. clash.

The Bulls will be coming off victories against two solid teams -- Alaska in Guam and San Miguel Beer last week -- and they are installed as the solid bets, like Talk ‘N Text, against the Tigers who have shown more weak spots in their game than the bright ones.

Coca-Cola is in danger of becoming the league’s whipping boy, no thanks to a lopsided trade where it gave away Rudy Hatfield, Billy Mamaril and Rafi Reavis to Ginebra through Air21.

Ali Peek and John Arigo are now left to carry the fight for the Tigers, who will be going up against a Red Bull team that was kept intact in the off-season and is teeming with talent on all fronts

full battle gear
10-13-2006, 12:15 PM
Unbeaten Bulls, Pals seek No. 3

The Philippine Star 10/13/2006

Red Bull and Talk n Text, two teams living up to their pre-season billing as among the favorites, go for a third straight win as they take on lowly-ranked rivals Coca-Cola and Welcoat, respectively, today in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The Bulls and the Pals are fancied to sustain their winning ways against the Tigers and the Dragons and catch up with the Barangay Ginebra Kings in the lead with identical 3-0 win-loss records.

Sta. Lucia is the only other team remaining unbeaten in the tourney, booking a second straight victory with a 98-95 drubbing of San Miguel Beer Wednesday.

Coca-Cola is off to a struggling start like San Miguel, Purefoods and Air21, prompting coach Binky Favis to make early replacements in his lineup.

Favis activated rookies Michael Gavino and Chris Pacana for RJ Rizada and Ronjay Enrile. Rizada and Enrile were relegated to the reserve list.

The Tigers dropped their first two matches in the season to the Alaska Milk Aces and the Ginebra Kings.

The Bulls had easy time disposing of the Tigers in their pre-season encounter.

Providing an interesting sidelight to the Red Bull-Coca Cola duel will be the meeting of the Bulls’ Enrico Villanueva and Coke rookie Joseph Yeo on a regular PBA game.

League officials, are likely to keep a keen eye on the two players to prevent any untoward incident as the Bulls and the Tigers slug it out at 7:20 p.m.

It will be recalled that Villanueva gave Yeo a hard nudge, nearly triggering another fight between the two during the pre-season duel of the Bulls and the Tigers at the Emilio Aguinaldo College gym.

Villanueva, however, said he has put everything behind him after that pre-season encounter.

"Actually a few minutes after the incident, I approached Coca-Cola team manager Hector Calma and coach Binky Favis. I apologized and promised not to do it anymore," Villanueva told The STAR.

full battle gear
10-13-2006, 12:32 PM
Pals hope hard work pays off
www.mb.com.ph


By NOLI CRUZ

THE THREE months of hard labor during the offseason makes coach Derick Pumaren and the Talk ’N Text Phone Pals starving for victories.

"We didn’t work hard for three months just to win only our first game. We’re determined to get this one and continue working hard to get better," Pumaren said after leading the Phone Pals to their second straight win.

Of course, they want to continue winning, too.

The Phone Pals gun for their third straight win and a share of early lead in the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup when they face the Welcoat Dragons at 4:35 p.m. today at the Cuneta Astrodome.

If they want to go all the way, they should hurdle an unheralded team like the Dragons.

An upset is a long shot, but the Dragons can definitely try.

For Dragons coach Leo Austria, the longer they play together, the better their chances of winning would be.

Two games proved to be long enough as they beat the Coca-Cola Tigers in just their second outing.

"Hindi naming akalain na mananalo kami ng ganito kaaga," he said after the stunning win.

The Dragons, in their debut against the Barangay Ginebra kings last Oct. 1, absorbed a 102-69 thrashing but came back a week later to trip Coca-Cola, 85-75.

But with Asi Taulava, Jimmy Alapag and Renren Ritualo standing on their way, it may not be long for the Dragons to lose again.

The first two victims of the Phone Pals are no lightweights. They dominated defending champions Purefoods Chunkee Giants in their first outing, 108-99, and took the measure of pre-season tournament champion Alaska Aces, 97-93, in their next game.

Meanwhile, Red Bull will also try to win its third straight and join idle Barangay Ginebra on top as it battles Coca-Cola in the nightcap.

The Bulls nipped the Aces, 99-93, in the season’s first official game in Guam last Sept. 28, and followed this up with an 84-79 decision over the highly-fancied San Miguel Beermen last Oct. 6.

The Bulls and their coach, Yeng Guiao, are looking for their first all-Filipino championship. A 2-0 start certainly augurs well to their bid.

The Tigers, on the other hand, are struggling with a rookie-laden line-up.

But once third overall pick Joseph Yeo gets his game going, the Tigers will surely be a better team.

full battle gear
10-13-2006, 12:47 PM
TNT, Red Bull eye share of top spot with Ginebra

By JOEL ORELLANA, The Manila Times Reporter
www.abs-cbnnews.com


Talk ’n Text and Red Bull try to catch up Barangay Ginebra at the top of standings as they go for their third straight win against separate foes in the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The Phone Pals take on the newcomer Welcoat Paints at 4:35 p.m. while the Barakos collide with the winless Coca-Cola squad in the main tiff at 7:20 p.m.

Talk ’N Text, Red Bull and Santa Lucia Realty are currently tied for second spot with 2-0 win-loss cards each behind the powerhouse Kings, who are toting a 3-0 mark.

But the Phone Pals and the Bulls are expected to join Ginebra, being highly favored to prevail against their respective rivals.

"We cannot take Welcoat lightly. That’s the problem of the coach if you are facing an inferior team. It’s my job to push the group and motivate them," said Talk ’N Text head coach Derrick Pumaren.

The Pals have started the tournament impressively, dumping defending champion Purefoods Chunkee in their first game, 108-99, then edging one of the tournament favorites, Alaska, 97-93, last Sunday at the Big Dome.

"That kind of [tough] game is helping us. I’d rather have them now because for sure it will be tougher later on," added Pumaren.

The Dragons, on the other hand, scored a milestone win, clipping the Tigers with an 85-75 victory behind the solid play of rookie Jay-R Reyes.

"The boys have eased their burdens, because now they know how to win," said Welcoat head coach Leo Austria. "At least the pressure [to win our first game] is gone, and I hope we can win some more."

In the second game, the Barakos of coach Yeng Guiao are favored to notch their third straight victory against the struggling Tigers, who remain winless after two games.

Red Bull posted a pair of impressive wins against the tournament favorites Alaska (99-93) in Guam and San Miguel Beer (84-79) last Friday at the Big Dome.

Their fast start somehow shocked Guiao despite the limited time they had to prepare for the new season.

"We’re not experiencing what Purefoods is getting right now. We had a very short off-season and the period of recovery is very satisfactory for us," said Guiao.

Games Friday (Cuneta Astrodome)

4:35 p.m. – Talk ’N Text vs Welcoat

7:20 p.m. – Red Bull vs Coke

full battle gear
10-14-2006, 01:06 PM
Unscathed Pals slay Dragons
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 10/14/2006

Talk n Text cruised to an easy victory over Welcoat, hardly encountering any trouble in a Friday the 13th duel at the Cuneta Astrodome where the lights went out at endgame.

The Phone Pals clobbered the Dragons, 115-99, for a third straight victory that enhanced their billing as among chief contenders for the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup crown.

"I was a bit scared we’re playing an inferior team on a Friday the 13th. I was worried we may be upset. But we gave their (Dragons) confidence back as we relaxed a bit in the second half," said Talk n Text coach Derrick Pumaren.

With the Dragons reducing a 25-point deficit to 10 early in the fourth, Pumaren was forced to recall his first stringers to finish off their rivals, nailing a third win in as many outings following early victories over the Purefoods Chunkee Giants and the Alaska Milk Aces.

Starters Harvey Carey, Renren Ritualo, Jay Washington and Asi Taulava all scored at least 16 points with Jimmy Alapag contributing eight assists, seven points, three rebounds and one steal.

Ritualo, who logged 20 points, four assists and two rebounds, fired a three-pointer off a timeout, and the Pals picked up the momentum again after the Dragons came within 10 at 76-86.

The Dragons traded baskets with the Pals in the fourth period before fading away for good, absorbing another defeat after stunning the Coca-Cola Tigers the last time out.

"I was wary of them that’s why I kept on telling the boys we can’t take them for granted. For one, they gained confidence in beating Coca-Cola," said Pumaren.

The Dragons trimmed the gap to 18 at the end of the third quarter on a buzzer-beating trey by Junjun Cabatu.

Welcoat then banked on back-to-back triples by Denver Lopez to close a 10-2 run that pushed them within 10 at 76-86.

Lopez, a three-year pro, went 3-of-6 from beyond the arc and finished with a new career best 21 points.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Basketball Association will play in a new venue — the San Juan Arena — holding a special Saturday twinbill today pitting Sta. Lucia Realty against Alaska Milk and Purefoods versus Air21.

Coca-Cola had its breakout game in the season, pulling off a 105-86 upset of Red Bull in the second game.

full battle gear
10-14-2006, 01:07 PM
TNT blasts Welcoat
www.mb.com.ph


By TITO TALAO

IT’S NOT so much the curse of Friday the 13th that Talk ’N Text Coach Derick Pumaren was worried of yesterday. It’s the curse of a complacent mind against an overmatched opponent.

Pumaren found no need for superstitious mumbo-jumbo, however, as the Phone Pals methodically tore apart the Welcoat Dragons, 115-99, breezing to their third straight victory in the PBA-Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Talk ‘N Text and idle Barangay Ginebra share leadership with 3-0 slates. Welcoat, having painted the town red following a rousing upset of Coca-Cola Sunday, quietly picked up their second loss in three games.

"I was scared of keeping an inferior team close. In the end, they might just steal the game away," said Pumaren. "The win against Coca-Cola, for sure, gave Welcoat confidence and that’s why I wanted to put the game away early. Baka kasi madisgrasya pa."

Sophomore Jay Washington had 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the first half as the Phone Pals charged to a 60-38 lead. The Dragons took an early bite, hanging on at 4-4 and 12-10 before Harvey Carey caught fire and converted five straight shots.

A couple of 10-point runs by Welcoat did hex Talk ’N Text to some extent in the third quarter, with the Phone Pals calling time after the Dragons came within 86-76 early in the fourth from 25 points down.

But a quick three-point shot by Renren Ritualo and Asi Taulava’s overpowering play inside silenced the Dragons, sending them slithering back from where they came from.

"Every coach is concerned his team might get complacent against a weaker opponent," said Pumaren. "We relaxed in the third quarter instead of making defensive stops."

Friday the 13th did cast its spell eventually after the venue was cast in darkness just as Pumaren was doing the post-game interview.

But the pitch-black surrounding hardly perturbed the Phone Pals mentor who was wearing a bright-orange collared shirt.

"Kita n’yo pa rin ako kahit madilim," he told sportswriters laughing.

Carey had 22 points, Ritualo 20 and Washington 18, a career-high, while Denver Lopez led Welcoat with 21, also his best output so far.

full battle gear
10-14-2006, 01:07 PM
Phone Pals win handily

BY JOEL ORELLANA, The Manila Times Reporter
www.abs-cbnnews.com


Games Saturday (Cuneta Astrodome)

4:05 p.m. – Sta. Lucia vs. Alaska

6:30 p.m. – Purefoods vs. Air21

Talk N’ Text was fully loaded Friday night, giving newcomer Welcoat Paints a 115-99 whipping in the Talk ‘N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The Phone Pals had a little hitch in the fourth quarter, but their starters restored order and claimed their third straight win to join Barangay Ginebra at the top of the standings.

Harvey Carey and Renren Ritualo led the Talk ‘N Text scoring barrage with 22 and 20 points, respectively, and were on the forefront of the decisive run that halted the Dragons’ mild uprising in the final canto.

"We relaxed a bit in the end of the third period and in the early fourth quarter. We tried to trade baskets with them and gave their confidence back," said Phone Pals head coach Derrick Pumaren, who also drew 18 points and 11 rebounds from Anthony Washington.

"Except for that, the game seemed to be under control. But I was scared because it’s Friday the 13th and playing an inferior team, we didn’t want [bad luck] to happen to us," he added.

Asi Taulava added 16 markers while Don Allado chipped in 12 for the Phone Pals, who led by as much as 25 points twice in the third period before Denver Lopez and Rob Wainwright caught fire and almost got Welcoat back in the game.

Lopez netted a career-high 21 points, while Rob Wainwright contributed 18 for the Dragons, who absorbed their second loss against a solitary win. Junjun Cabatu chipped in 13 while Niño Gelig and Jercules Tangkay had 10 apiece.

Welcoat opened the final period with a 16-2 blast to cut the lead to just 10, 76-86, but Ritualo sank a three-pointer that ignited an 11-6 run, capped by Carey’s undergoal stab, to put the margin back to 97-82, 6:33 remaining.

Since then, the Phone Pals were never threatened, as the wards of coach Leo Austria opted to trade baskets but came no closer than 12 since then.

Meanwhile, Santa Lucia Realty tries to join the league leaders with another win against Alaska (1-2) in the first game of the double-header today at The Arena in San Juan.

The Realtors seek their third straight win in their 4:05 p.m. encounter with the Aces. In the main game, Purefoods Chunkee hopes to snap a two-game losing streak against the similarly winless Air21 at 6:30 p.m.

The Scores:

TALK ‘N TEXT 115 – Carey 22, Ritualo 20, Washington 18, Taulava 16, Allado 12, Cardona 8, Alapag 7, Belano 7, Fran 3, Pablo 2, Andaya 0.

WELCOAT 99 – Lopez 21, Wainwright 18, Reyes 15, Cabatu 13, Gelig 10, Tangkay 10, Sta. Maria 4, Lao 4, Ibanes 2, Baguion 2, Mente 0.

Quarters: 33-25, 60-38, 84-66, 115-99.

gameface_one
10-15-2006, 06:58 PM
Realtors beat Aces, now 3-0


By Joel Orellana, The Manila Times Reporter
abs-cbnnews.com



With another impressive win in its pocket, Santa Lucia Realty is definitely for real in the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.

Top pick Kelly Williams reeled off five straight points in one crucial stretch that helped the Realtors secured a 98-92 win over Alaska for their third straight win Saturday night at the San Juan Arena.

Williams missed his first eight three-point attempts, but drilled his first triple to shatter an 86-all deadlock and followed it up with a drive that gave Santa Lucia a 91-86 edge. The Aces never recovered since then to absorb their third loss in four games.

"It was a see-saw game. In the first three games, we played a bit relaxed, and I told the players that it’s not the Santa Lucia team I know," said head coach Alfrancis Chua. "Fortunately our defense held on the fourth quarter, and Kelly Williams stepped up for us."

The 3-0 start was the first for the Realtors since the 2001 Governors Cup, which was actually a 6-0 streak that led to their first PBA title. Chua also had a 6-0 start in 2000 with Tanduay.

Skipper Dennis Espino led five Santa Lucia players in double figures with 22 points, while Alex Cabagnot chipped in 16. Williams posted his second double-double game with 15 points and 13 boards.

It was another disappointing loss for Alaska, which is one of the favorites in the conference after sweeping the preseason tournament but is sitting at the bottom of the standings with a 1-3 slate.

Worse, chief playmaker Mike Cortez seemed to have seriously hurt his left knee at 4:32 of the second period. He sat out the whole second half.

But even without Cortez, Alaska managed to take control of the game, Nic Belasco and Willie Miller anchoring a 12-2 run to start the third period for a 64-54 lead.

Santa Lucia responded with style and knotted the game at the end of that stage, 72-all. The match was still even at 86-all, 3:12 remaining, before Williams decided to take over.

Miller led the Aces with 21 points, while Belasco added 17. Cortez had 4 points and 8 assists before he injured his knee.

Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra tries to reclaim the solo lead when it shoots for its fourth straight win against Red Bull in the main game Sunday at 6:30 p.m., at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Kings are currently tied with Talk ’N Text and Santa Lucia with 3-0 cards, while the Bulls are coming off a heartbreaking 86-105 loss to Coca-Cola last Friday at the Astrodome.

The Scores:

SANTA LUCIA 98—Espino 22, Cabagnot 16, Williams 15, Omolon 14, Duremdes 12, Gonzales 9, Bughao 3, Mendoza 3, Isip 2, Aquino 2, Catli 0.

ALASKA 92—Miller 21, Belasco 17, Thoss 16, de la Cruz 12, Cariaso 9, Laure 8, Cortez 4, Juinio 3, Aban 2, Luanzon 0, Franco 0.

Quarters: 27-22, 48-46, 72-72, 98-92.

full battle gear
10-16-2006, 12:17 PM
Bulls topple Kings; Welcoat wins

By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 02:26am (Mla time) 10/16/2006

Published on page A24 of the October 16, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

RED BULL doesn’t mind if Lordy Tugade and Junthy Valenzuela stay on the sidelines.

Without them, the Bulls still managed to escape with a hard-earned 84-79 win over the heavily favored Barangay Ginebra Kings in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Enrico Villanueva powered his way to 24 points and drew unlikely support from Carlo Sharma, as well as Rich Alvarez and Leo Najorda as the Bulls sent the Kings to their first defeat in four games.

Valenzuela served an automatic one-game suspension for a couple of flagrant fouls in a losing game against the Coca-Cola Tigers last week while Tugade had a bruised left knee.

“That loss to Coke was an embarrassment,” said Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao after his Bulls improved to 3-1. “I told them to redeem themselves and summon back the true character of the team.”

Earlier, Welcoat showed its growing maturity by stunning San Miguel Beer, 96-88, behind Jojo Tangkay and Denver Lopez.

The duo spewed fire from long range and the Dragons held their ground in the face of a stifling full-court pressure applied by the Beermen in the dying minutes to clinch their second win in four games.

Lopez fired seven of his 15 points in the final quarter while Tangkay finished with 18 points as the Dragons picked up their second win in four games while sending the Beermen down to their third straight defeat.

“There was actually no pressure on us,” said Welcoat coach Leo Austria. “The game plan was to play our usual game and see what happens. Fortunately, we saw an opening and pounced on it.”

With Valenzuela and Tugade out, Najorda came up with 14 points, Sharma registered a career-high 12 points while Alvarez had seven points and nine rebounds, highlighted by a three-point play that gave the Bulls a 75-66 lead.

Mark Caguioa, Jayjay Helterbrand, Rudy Hatfield and Eric Menk moved the Gins within 79-82, but Ginebra couldn’t convert on a slew of second-chance baskets down the stretch.

Caguioa shot nine of his 25 points in the fourth and Menk finished with 17 and eight rebounds.

The Beermen continued to miss Danny Seigle and Danny Ildefonso. Seigle is recuperating from back spasms while Ildefonso’s ankle still has to heal after surgery two months ago.

The scores:

First Game
WELCOAT 96 -- Tangkay 18, Lopez 16, Wainwright 16, Reyes 14, Cabatu 11, Baguion 6, Gelig 6, Lao 4, Ibanes 3 Sta. Maria 2, Mente 0.
SAN MIGUEL 88 -- Calaguio 17, Espinas 15, Adriano 12, Tenorio 10, Hontiveros 9, Pena 9, Racela 8, Gonzales 4, Wilson 4, Kong 0, Noble 0.
Quarters: 23-24, 45-48, 73-71, 96-88

Second Game
RED BULL 84 -- Villanueva 24, Najorda 14, Sharma 12, Baguio 10, Pennisi 8, Alvarez 7, Fonacier 3, Cruz 3, Bugia 2, Robinson 1.
GINEBRA 79 -- Caguioa 25, Menk 17, Helterbrand 11, Hatfield 9, Macapagal 6, Mamaril 4, Abarrientos 3, Adducul 2, Reavis 2, Salvacion 0. Seigle 0.
Quarters: 23-121, 43-37, 59-56, 84-79

full battle gear
10-16-2006, 12:24 PM
Fiery Dragons strike anew, ram Beermen
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 10/16/2006

The Welcoat Dragons are fast learning the PBA ropes.

Stunning the Coca-Cola Tigers a week ago, the Dragons claimed a second win in pro play as they upended the San Miguel Beermen, 96-88, last night in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Jojo Tangkay and Denver Lopez combined for 34 points and strung up three straight three-pointers in a torrid run in the fourth quarter that carried the Dragons to their second win in four games in their maiden campaign in the pros.

"I thought our win over Coca-Cola was already our first and last. But San Miguel lost its advantage on match-ups on the absence of key players, and we took advantage of the situation," said Welcoat coach Leo Austria.

"Our victory over Coca-Cola was also a morale-booster for us. Coca-Cola later on beat Red Bull, and that further motivated the boys. Naniniwala na sila that we can win games if we’ll only stick with the system," Austria added.

Tangkay, Lopez and three other Dragons scored in double figures, and the team engaged the Beermen in a close game from the start before making a decisive move in the fourth quarter in dealing coach Chot Reyes and his troops a third loss in as many games in the season.

The Beermen continued to struggle minus injured stars Danny Ildefonso, Danny Seigle and Brandon "Actually, nagcra-cramps na si Denver, pero mainit kaya hindi ko na inilabas. In the first place, kasabay naman niya si (Froilan) Baguion, may kasamang magbaba ng bola," said Austria.

Baguion had his own shining moments as he more than held his ground against more eminent San Miguel counterparts LA Tenorio and Olsen Racela. The former NU Bulldog came away with seven assists, six points, one rebound and one steal.

Baguion had a crucial interception off a long pass by Tenorio to Hontiveros then made two charities to seal their win at 94-86 with only 43 seconds left to play.

After falling behind by 10 at 80-90 on three straight treys by Lopez and Tangkay, the Beermen got back in the thick of the fight, 86-90, on counter three-pointers by Adriano and Tenorio.

But the Dragons, playing cool under pressure, staved off the San Miguel threat. Cablay.

Wingmen Chris Calaguio, Francis Adriano and Dondon Hontiveros provided the Beermen the needed firepower but their efforts were easily negated by hot performances of Tangkay, Lopez and Rob Wainwright.

Red Bull played minus two of its leading scorers in Lordy Tugade and Junthy Valenzuela but fought with tremendous guts to top Barangay Ginebra, 84-79, in the second game.