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gameface_one
10-27-2006, 09:44 AM
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gameface_one
10-27-2006, 09:44 AM
Gin Kings overwhelm Tigers in Isabela


By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 04:10am (Mla time) 10/27/2006

Published on Page A24 of the October 27, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

CABAGAN, ISABELA -- Barangay Ginebra rebounded from two straight defeats with a clinical dismantling of sister team Coca-Cola, 102-75, last night in a road game of the Talk ‘N Text PBA Philippine Cup eliminations here.

The Gin Kings turned up the heat at the start of the second period and never looked back, racing to several 20-point plus leads on the way to picking up their first victory in three games and fourth in six outings overall.

For Coke, it was its second straight defeat in a 2-4 card, and the way the Tigers played last night recalled the way they opened up the tournament before finding good form to win two consecutive games.

The win at the Josefina T. Alonzo gym could be what the doctor ordered for Ginebra following its heart-rending overtime loss to San Miguel at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City last Sunday.

“The players really wanted to come back from those two defeats,” said San Miguel coach Jong Uichico. “We lost to two tough teams and that’s why they really played hard and worked hard all game.”

Ginebra grabbed a piece of the second place with idle Talk ‘N Text, just a win behind league-leading Sta. Lucia Realty’s 4-1 mark.

Relief wingman Sunday Salvacion led the Kings with 22 markers, but it was Mark Caguioa who did a lot of damage when the game was at its tightest.

Caguioa pumped in 11 points to boost the Gin Kings to a 48-35 lead at the break.

The game got truly ugly for Coke when it scored in trickles in the fourth period while Ginebra connected at will.

A 10-0 run that ended with 4:30 left gave the Kings a 99-69 lead.

Ginebra, which came into the game licking the wounds of losses to Red Bull and the Beermen, raced to leads of as many as 18 points in the third period before completely blowing the Tigers off the court in the fourth.

The Kings issued 27 assists against only 10 for Coke.

Joseph Yeo, the acrobatic rookie out of collegiate power De La Salle University, paced the Tigers with 16 points, with the returning John Arigo drilling in 15 in a losing cause.

Rudy Hatfield and the sharp-shooting Mark Macapagal chipped in 15 apiece for the Kings and all the 10 men that Uichico utilized contributed offensively.

The scores:

GINEBRA 102 -- Salvacion 22, Caguioa 20, Hatfield 15, Macapagal 15, Menk 10, Mamaril 6, Reavis 4, Abarrientos 4, Holper 2, Hubalde 1.

COCA-COLA 75 -- Yeo 16, Arigo 15, Misolas 11, Peek 11, Miranda 9, Gavino 7, Salangsang 4, Ferreria 2, Pacana 0, Ramos 0.

Quarters: 18-19, 48-35, 73-62, 102-75.

gameface_one
10-27-2006, 09:45 AM
Ginebra outplays Coca-Cola
mb.com.ph





BARANGAY GINEBRA put on a mighty show in the second half to overpower Coca-Cola, 102-75, last night in an out-of-town Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup game in Cabagan, Isabela.



The Gin Kings allowed the Tigers the luxury of taking a 19-18 edge after the first 12 minutes, worked their way up to a 40-35 halftime lead and then pulled off the plug in the next 24 minutes to win pulling away.

Sunday Salvacion paced the winners with 22 points while Mark Caguioa added 20.

It was the fourth win in six games for the Gin Kings who regained a share of second spot with idle Talk ’N Text.

The loss was the fourth for the Tigers against two victories.

Rookie Joseph Yeo led the Tigers with 16 points.

The league returns to its home at the Araneta Coliseum today with a regular doubleheader.

Red Bull tries to regain lost ground when it tangles with Welcoat at 4:35 p.m. after which Alaska bids to break out of a slump against surging Purefoods at 7:20.

Last Wednesday, the Bulls lost badly in the duel from beyond the arc with Sta. Lucia Realtors Paolo Mendoza and Kenneth Duremdes hitting five treys each.

If the Bulls want to avoid a losing streak, it’s imperative for Larry Fonacier to find his range.

Fonacier got his break last season when Tugade played hurt somewhere in the Fiesta Conference. The former Ateneo hitman scored career-highs in consecutive games that time and had become a key figure in their offensive scheme since.

But he’s got to be more consistent this time with Lordy Tugade out of the team permanently.

The Bulls aren’t exactly lacking in outside shooters. They have three-point shooting center Mick Pennisi, and gunners Celino Cruz, Warren Ybañez and Junthy Valenzuela.

Their big men also have to work harder to give more room to their shooters. Rico Villanueva and Paolo Bugia need to be more productive inside to attract more defenders.

Leo Najorda and Cyrus Baguio also have to knock down their shots from the perimeter to keep the defenders guessing.

The Dragons look inferior at all fronts compared to the Bulls. But their rookie center Jay-R Reyes is proving to be an allstar material.

—With report from Noli CRUZ

But Dragons coach Leo Austria should get more from veterans Rob Wainwright and Jojo Tangkay if they want to make a serious run in the tournament.

Meanwhile, the Purefoods Chunkee Giants gun for their third straight win as they face the slumping Alaska Aces in the nightcap.

The Giants leveled their record to 3-3 after a triple overtime win against the Phone Pals just two nights ago.

"Our physical conditions will be tested again," said Giants coach Ryan Gregorio. "But I think after ng panalo namin against a very deep Talk ’N Text team, wala na sigurong kukuwestiyon sa kundisyon namin."

The Aces, champions in the pre-season tournament, are currently down in the bottom of the standings with only one win in five games. —With report from Noli CRUZ

gameface_one
10-27-2006, 09:49 AM
Giants eye 3 in a row; Aces enlist Singson


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

Slowly, Purefoods Chunkee is getting back its old form. Unfortunately for Alaska, they have been searching for that which makes them the top favorite in the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.

Fresh from a tiring triple-overtime win in the previous game, the surging Giants eye their third straight win against the depleted Aces in the main game of the All-Filipino tournament Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.

In the first game, Red Bull tries to bounce back from a disappointing loss as it faces newcomer Welcoat Paints at 4:40 p.m.

Puerfoods, the defending champion in the tournament, turned back Talk ’N Text last Wednesday in three extra innings, 109-103, where the wards of coach Ryan Gregorio trailed by as much as 20 points in that marathon game.

"Our character was tested in that game. We were down by 20 but my players never lost heart and they persevered," said Gregorio whose team is now at the middle of the pack with 3-3 win-loss mark.

Kerby Raymundo had 31 points in that game in an all-time 61 minutes of play while James Yap added 28. Roger Yap and Marc Pingris also contributed big in that morale-boosting victory.

Alaska, on the other hand, has been struggling this early compounded by the loss of starting point guard Mike Cortez due to an ACL injury and was declared out of the conference.

The Aces signed Dale Singson and reactivated Rensy Bajar in lieu of Bernzon Branco to shore up their backcourt and allow Willie Miller to play his usual off-guard position.

The Uytengsu-owned ballclub has been tipped to figure well in the tournament after sweeping its five pre-season games en route to the title of the mini-tourney. But the Aces groped for form and currently at the cellar of the 10-team field with 1-4 slate.

In the opener, the Bulls hope to recover from a humiliating defeat at the hands of the league-leading Sta. Lucia Realty in their previous game as they collide with the Dragons who are also aiming to bounce back from a nasty loss in their previous game.

After handing crowd-favorite Barangay Ginebra its first loss, 84-79, despite without the traded Lordy Tugade and the suspended Junthy Valenzuela, Red Bull was torn apart by the Realtors last Wednesday at the Big Dome, 83-105, to slide down to 3-2 card.

Welcoat is yet to post a winning streak in the season as its five games in the league has been following the win-loss-win-loss trend. The Dragons are currently holding a 2-3 mark and were demolished by Air21 in their previous match, 94-110.

gameface_one
10-27-2006, 09:51 AM
Feisty Giants battle Aces



Inquirer
Last updated 07:25am (Mla time) 10/27/2006

Published on Page A24 of the October 27, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GAMES TODAY (Araneta Coliseum)
4:35 p.m. -- Red Bull vs. Welcoat
7:30 p.m. -- Purefoods vs. Alaska

PUREFOODS will try to extend its winning streak to three games when the defending champion Chunkee Giants battle walking wounded Alaska today in the Talk ‘N Text Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

With their heels cooled, their lungs rested and their battered limbs getting a good day’s rest after a classic triple overtime conquest of the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals on Wednesday, the Giants are installed as the solid picks to turn back the Aces in their 7:30 p.m. duel.

Alaska will again be without cornerstone Mike Cortez, the former top overall rookie pick who is reported to be out for the rest of the season because of a severe knee injury.

The Aces, reeling from two straight losses, will have to rely heavily on Willie Miller, the former MVP winner who is carrying most of the backcourt burden with Cortez in the sidelines.

Red Bull takes on newcomer Welcoat earlier at 4:45 p.m.

Purefoods battled from 20 points down to nose out Talk ‘N Text, 109-103, getting 31 points in a record 61 minutes from Kerby Raymundo, 28 points from James Yap and a crucial basket and the defensive play of the game from Marc Pingris.

Compared with the Aces, the Giants are teeming with manpower and could encounter little trouble with Cortez gone and Alaska in dire need of another go-to-guy after the flamboyant Miller.

Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao would like to forget about Lordy Tugade completely and the game with the Dragons gives him that opportunity.

“Now that Lordy is gone, I am not going to look for anyone of them (the other players) to be like him,” Guiao told the Inquirer over the phone, when asked if the 85-103 defeat to Sta. Lucia Realty had anything to do with the blockbuster trade two weeks ago that sent Tugade to San Miguel Beer.

“I don’t think so,” Guiao added. “It’s just one of those games that we came out flat and with virtually no energy. We just did not do anything right and we played a team that did not do anything wrong.”

Pundits were quick to point out that the Red Bull offense suffered immensely because Tugade was not around.

The firebrand mentor, however, was also quick in pointing out that his Bulls pinned a first loss on powerhouse Barangay Ginebra with the former National University ace in the UAAP riding the bench because of a bruised knee.

The 2-3 Dragons will also be coming off a loss and Welcoat has shown in its very short stint in the league that it cannot be taken lightly by any team. Musong R. Castillo

gameface_one
10-30-2006, 10:35 AM
Kings repulse Aces



By Noli Cruz
mb.com.ph




THE ARANETA Coliseum resembled a graveyard in the first half as the Alaska Aces dominated the Barangay Ginebra Kings.


Mark Caguioa and Mark Macapagal turned it into party place in the second half as the Kings rallied for a 98-91 win last night in the Talk ‘N Text PBA Philippine Cup.

Caguioa sparked the turnaround by pumping in 14 of his 27 points in the third period while Macapagal delivered the killing blows with 17 of his career-high 28 points coming in the fourth.

The Kings improved to 5-2, next only to the league-leading 5-1 card of the Sta. Lucia Realtors.

Macapagal’s three-pointer early in the fourth handed the Kings the lead, 70-68.

Another Macapagal triple midway in the period pushed the lead to 81-70.

The Aces, who led 33-18 at one point, offered token resistance from there.

It was their fifth straight loss and sixth in seven games overall.

Meanwhile, Chris Pacana and Allan Salangsang capped their career norms with critical hits to shove the Coca-Cola Tigers past the Welcoat Dragons, 92-86.

Pacana, a rookie nobody thought would land a spot in a professional ball club, scored 14 of his career-high 18 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead three-point play with 1:54 to play.

A basket by Denok Miranda a sequence later pushed the lead to five, 85-80, but Jercules Tangkay drained a three-pointer to trim the gap to two.

Salangsang, who had 21 points and 10 rebounds, made his fifth trey for an 88-83 lead.

Pacana’s basket off a gorgeous spin move sealed their third win in seven games, 18.8 seconds left.

"I told the boys that they all have to step up in this game because we’ve got three key players missing," Tigers coach Binky Favis said, referring to Ali Peek, William Antonio and Neil Rañeses.

Peek had a swelling left knee, Antonio a groin injury and Rañeses a family matter to attend to. Favis got a favorable response as all nine players he fielded in scored at least four points.

There was a pair of blowouts on the road Saturday night.

The San Miguel Beermen had seven players in double figures in a 118-102 victory over the Air21 Express at the Subic Gym.

In San Fernando, Pampanga, the Sta. Lucia Realtors improved their league-leading record to 5-1 with 102-90 blasting of the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals at the University of Assumption Gym.


The Tigers were crouching in the early goings, trailing by three at the end of the first three quarters before engaging the Dragons into a fierce endgame battle.

Tangkay led the Dragons with a career-high 25 points. His three free throws with 38 seconds remaining proved to be the last breath from the Dragons, 86-88.

There was a pair of blowouts on the road Saturday night.

The San Miguel Beermen had seven players in double figures in a 118-102 victory over the Air21 Express at the Subic Gym.

Wesley Gonzales and Danny Seigle combined for 27 points in the first half to set the tone and the Beermen led by as many as 25 points in the fourth quarter after a trey by Chris Calaguio, 102-77.

It was the third straight win for the Beermen after dropping their first three. The Express fell to 2-4.

In San Fernando, Pampanga, the Sta. Lucia Realtors improved their league-leading record to 5-1 with 102-90 blasting of the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals at the University of Assumption Gym.

Top overall pick Kelly Williams scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Realtors. Former MVP Kenneth Duremdes added 17.

gameface_one
10-30-2006, 10:37 AM
Kings Reign Over Aces , Tigers Lash Back At Dragons
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 10/30/2006

Chris Pacana, thrown into battle early to fill the void left by an injured teammate, came up with a gem of a game for Coca-Cola last night as the Tigers got back at the Welcoat Dragons, 92-86, in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The 6-foot-1 guard out of St. Francis scored 18 points, including an acrobatic lay-up and two free throws all inside the last 18 seconds, as the Tigers overcame the absence of three key players, beating the Dragons in a topsy-turvy finish.

The Tigers, though missing the services of Ali Peek, William Antonio and Neil Raneses, checked a two-game skid and improved their win-loss record to 3-4. The Dragons, on the other hand, suffered a third straight defeat and slid to 2-5.

Pacana gave the Tigers a huge lift in avenging their 75-85 loss to the Dragons in their first meeting.

"Chris did come out well and took care of getting the team together offensively," said Coca-Cola coach Binky Favis of the player who was not in his lineup as they played their first two games in the season.

Incidentally, Pacana only joined the Tigers’ roster in their third game in lieu of Ronjay Enrile who suffered a calf muscle injury. The Tigers have nailed three wins in five outings since then.

"I knew he’s a hell of an offensive player but I wanted to break him in first defensively. Napabilis lang ang laro niya with Ronjay suffering an injury," said Favis of Pacana.

"He’s been showing up offensively and the bonus that we’re getting is the fact that he’s fast improving defensively," Favis added.

With the Tigers holding a precarious 88-86 lead, Pacana took matters into his hands, shaking off defender Jojo Tangkay then stretching for a lay-up against JayR Reyes.

After Tangkay missed a harried three-pointer in the ensuing play, Pacana canned in two charities as the Tigers all but sealed the outcome of the game.

Pacana went 7-of-10 from the field and 4-of-4 from the stripe for his 18 points, his biggest output in five games in the pros thus far. His previous best was 13.

Ginebra players Mark Macapagal, Mark Caguioa and Eric Menk figured in a shootout among themselves and the Kings smothered the Alaska Milk Aces, 98-91, to gain solo second place with a 5-2 win-loss card in the second game.

Macapagal fired a career-high 28 points while Caguioa rifled in 27 and Menk tossed in 20.

Allan Salangsang was another Tiger who made a big impact as the former Letran Knight pumped in a career-high 21 points, including a triple that gave Coca-Cola a five-point cushion with 54.3 left to play.

The Dragons took control most of the way and were still in command at 80-75 before allowing the Tigers to come up with a 13-3 run to pull ahead at 88-83.

"Ang hirap manalo. Good thing walang bumigay and we got a little lucky in the end," said Favis.

gameface_one
10-30-2006, 10:39 AM
Kings find their Marks

Ginebra trips Alaska; Coke plasters Welcoat

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 03:48am (Mla time) 10/30/2006

Published on page A24 of the October 30, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GAMES FRIDAY (Araneta Coliseum)
4:35 p.m. -- Coca-Cola vs. Air21
7:20 p.m. -- Purefoods vs. San Miguel

BARANGAY GINEBRA won a close game for the first time since it became a powerhouse squad, and it took a little-known guard whom Alaska did not respect so much to help pull off the job.

Left wide open several times as the big guns ran into double-teams last night, Mark Macapagal drilled in 17 fourth-quarter points as the Gin Kings completed a come-from-behind 98-91 decision of the Aces in the Talk ‘N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

“It’s a gamble they (Aces) took and we happened to make the shots,” said Ginebra coach Jong Uichico, who heaped praises on a swingman who will surely be marked in future games.

“And this is one of those close games where we came out on top for the first time,” Uichico added. “First close game we won, and it is a good sign that tells us that we can be there (to compete with the tough teams).”

The Kings trailed most of the way, by twin digits even, in the first half, before getting their acts together starting late in the third period where they crept to within a bucket of the Aces entering the fourth period.

After another Mark, Caguioa, sparkled for 14 third-quarter points to rally the Kings back, Macapagal uncorked his 17 points built around a 4-of-7 clip from beyond the arc.

“They (Aces) doubled Mark (Caguioa) and he was willing to give up that ball and set Mac (Macapagal) up,” Uichico said. “It wouldn’t have been possible without the passer. And he (Caguioa) did a great job.”

Ginebra, which moved to solo second place with a 5-2 card, lost two straight games to formidable teams before last night’s win.

Alaska, meanwhile, lost for the fifth straight time despite getting 18 points from former MVP Willie Miller and twin digits from five others. The Aces are now at 1-6 and still alone in the cellar.

In the second game, Chris Pacana, a 6-foot, California-born point guard relegated to the reserved list at the start of the season, hit the last four of his 14 fourth-quarter points inside the final 18.8 seconds to preserve a 92-86 victory by Coca-Cola over Welcoat.

Coca-Cola, down to nine men with key men Ali Peek (knee injury), William Antonio (groin) and Neil Raneses (family emergency) in civvies, picked up its third win in seven games while dealing the fighting Dragons their third straight loss in a 2-5 card.

The scores:

First Game

COCA-COLA 92 -- Salangsang 21, Pacana 18, Arigo 15, Ferreria 9, Miranda 8, Ramos 6, Misolas 6, Yeo 5, Gavino 4.

WELCOAT 86 -- Tangkay 25, Wainwright 17, Cabatu 16, Ibañez 10, Lopez 7, Gelig 6, Reyes 4, Sta. Maria 1, Baguion 0, Lao 0, Mente 0.

Quarters: 13-19, 38-41, 58-61, 92-86.

Second Game

GINEBRA 98 -- Macapagal 28, Caguioa 27, Menk 20, Reavis 6, Mamaril 4, Seigle 4, Salvacion 3, Helterbrand 2, Hatfield 2, Abarrientos 2.

ALASKA 91 -- Miller 18, Dela Cruz 16, Thoss 13, Cariaso 12, Belasco 12, Singson 10, Ferriols 8, Laure 2, Luanzon 0, Bajar 0.

Quarters: 16-24, 40-50, 66-68, 98-91.

full battle gear
10-31-2006, 11:12 AM
Duremdes back to his old, fighting form


Inquirer
Last updated 04:53am (Mla time) 10/31/2006

Published on page A22 of the October 31, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

A GRIZZLED veteran needs little prompting to showcase his prowess and this is especially true in the case of Kenneth Duremdes.

Given up for a has-been even before the start of the Talk N’ Text-PBA Philippine Cup, the 1998 MVP has exploded his way back into public consciousness, at the same time helping boost Sta. Lucia Realty to two wins last week and into the top of the field.

The recent exploits of the 32-year-old guard-forward, fondly called “Captain Marbel”, have earned him the PBA Press Corps’ Accel-Player of the Week honors for the period Oct. 23-29.

Duremdes said his turnaround was due to the trust given him by the Realtors’ coaching staff and his teammates.

In a 102-90 Sta. Lucia win over Talk ‘N Text last Saturday at the University of the Assumption in San Fernando City in Pampanga province, Duremdes had 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting on top of three rebounds in 29 minutes.

He was more explosive in the Realtors’ 105-83 victory over Red Bull last Wednesday. He had 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, and also had five rebounds, three assists and a block in just 23 minutes.

Like Duremdes, Sta. Lucia was also not given much of a chance before the season began.

Things were a lot different now.

With their 5-1 win-loss slate, the eighth-seeded Realtors are off to their best-ever start in an All-Filipino tournament and look firmly on track for an automatic semifinal berth.

full battle gear
10-31-2006, 11:14 AM
Express’ Tubid goes to Kings; Duremdes picked week’s best
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 10/31/2006

The massive revamp at Barangay Ginebra continued five weeks into the 2006-07 PBA season yesterday with the Kings acquiring Ronald Tubid from the Air21 Express in exchange for future draft picks.

Already armed with formidable frontline players, the Ginebra management beefed up their backcourt with their acquisition of Tubid giving coach Jong Uichico deeper and more balance lineup at his disposal.

The Kings gave up their 2007-08 and 2008-09 second round picks and 2009-2010 first round pick to get Tubid from the Express.

With the entry of the former UE Warrior in their lineup, the Ginebra management relegated Paolo Hubalde to the reserve list and Egay Echavez to the unrestricted free agent pool.

"I guess we’ve a more balanced lineup now. Ronald is also an energetic player. He’s a good backup to Mark Caguioa. Pagpalit ni Ronald, mataas pa rin ang intensity," said team manager Allan Caidic.

Though losing a key player who could give him solid 20-30 minutes, Air21 coach Bo Perasol welcomed the development, saying he can work better with an 11-man lineup.

"Under our system where all players must play, it’s better to have an 11-man lineup. We will now have a normal rotation. Kasi dati minsan nasisira ang rhythm ng players with all of them in rotation," said Perasol.

Perasol, however, feel they may slow down a bit with the departure of Tubid.

"KG (Canaleta) and Arwind (Santos) can play at two-spot (off-guard), but the team will slow down without Tubid," said Perasol.

With Tubid’s exit, the only off-guards left at Air21 are Gary David and Leo Avenido.

At Ginebra, Tubid will firm up the Kings’ backcourt that also features Caguioa, Mark Macapagal, Jayjay Helterbrand, Johnny Abarrientos and Sunday Salvacion. On the injured list is Rodney Santos.

Meanwhile, Sta. Lucia veteran Kenneth Duremdes was named the PBA Press Corps’ Accel Player of the Week for the period Oct. 23-29.

In a 102-90 win over Talk N Text last Saturday at the University of the Assumption in San Fernando, Pampanga, Duremdes had 17 points on 6-of-12 field shooting and also had three rebounds in 29 minutes.

It was Duremdes who presided over a vicious Sta. Lucia attack in the third quarter that opened up a 79-65 spread for the team before his teammates took care of the mop-up job.

He was more explosive in the Realtors’ 105-83 victory over Red Bull last Wednesday. He had 20 points on 7-of-12 field shooting, including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, and also had five rebounds, three assists and a block in just 23 minutes.

full battle gear
10-31-2006, 11:19 AM
Tubid joins Barangay Ginebra

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


The already talented and exciting Barangay Ginebra team added another explosive player in Ronald Tubid.

The Kings made another move Monday by acquiring the energetic Tubid from Air21 in exchange for a future first round pick and a pair of second round selections.

Whether the 6-foot-1 slasher will fit in immediately to the system of coach Jong Uichico is yet to be known although his run-and-gun kind of game suits perfectly to the legions of the Ginebra followers.

"I will have to see where he fits in," Uichico told Sports Times in a text message.

The team is already loaded at the off-guard spot in Mark Caguioa and Mark Macapagal while Sunday Salvacion sometimes plays the No. 2 spot. Rodney Santos, another off guard, is set to join the team this week.

The Kings, who early this month dealt Romel Adducul to San Miguel Beer using Red Bull as a conduit in the three-team trade, gave up their second round picks in the 2007 and 2008 drafts and their first round selection in the 2009 rookie draft to get the services of Tubid.

"I’m very excited to play with Ginebra. Now, I have to prove myself even more," said Tubid in Filipino. "I want to help my new team and make its fans happy."

According to his agent, Charlie Dy, the 25-year-old Iloilo City-born guard will join Ginebra in its regular practice today. Tubid will wear No. 71 as his favorite jersey No. 8 will be retired by the team for team manager Allan Caidic.

The Express, who are currently at the lower half of the standings with 2-4 win-loss mark, now have to use Gary David and Leo Avenido more often at the off-guard spot.

"We’re going to miss his services for sure," Air21 head coach Bo Perasol told Sports Times. "On the other hand, Opportunities will be given to Avenido and David to add to their playing time."

full battle gear
11-01-2006, 01:52 PM
PBA hot teams part ways

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 01:38am (Mla time) 11/01/2006

Published on Page A23 of the November 1, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

SAN MIGUEL AND PUREFOODS HAVE threaded basically the same paths in the on-going PBA Philippine Cup.

Both of them started out slow but are now red-hot and are threatening the leaders after the rejuvenated Beermen and the defending champion Chunkee Giants have won their last three games.

But as in anything, even good things come to an end.

Purefoods and San Miguel clash on Friday when the eliminations resume after observing All-Saints’ Day, and the match would definitely be the highlight of action at the Araneta Coliseum with the immovable force colliding with the irresistible object.

“It promises to be a classic battle,” said Purefoods’ Ryan Gregorio, whose charges will come into the 7:30 p.m. game well-rested.

Purefoods played three games in just over a week, one of them a classic triple overtime thriller over Talk ‘N Text that sandwiched victories over Sta. Lucia Realty and the struggling Alaska Aces on Sunday also at the Big Dome in Cubao, Quezon City.

“We’re used to situations like that because we’ve been in the Finals twice (last year),” Gregorio said. “Be that as it may, we have rested well and we’re ready.”

San Miguel groped for form early, dropping its first three games before sealing a blockbuster deal that brought in Rommel Adducul from Barangay Ginebra and Lordy Tugade from Red Bull.

Since then, it has all been a walk in the part for the Beermen, with all their three victories coming in runaway style.

Going into the brief break, the Giants have improved to a 4-3 from 1-3 (win-loss) to keep the leading Sta. Lucia Realtors (5-1), the Gin Kings (5-2) and Red Bull (4-2) within sight.

San Miguel coach Chot Reyes and his Beermen are not far behind with a 3-3 slate and with a lot of promise after the reactivation of Danny Seigle and Danny Ildefonso.

“We’re still in the process of adjustment,” said Reyes. “The return of the two Dannys in the line up should speed up that process.”

full battle gear
11-01-2006, 01:57 PM
QC, PBA execs meet on proposed coliseum
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 11/01/2006

Top officials of the Philippine Basketball Association and the Quezon City government sit down in a meeting Friday to discuss the proposed construction of the PBA coliseum in a prime land in the city.

"The PBA will express our interest while the city officials will explain their development plan," said PBA commissioner Noli Eala.

"Chairman Ricky Vargas is so serious in this project that we’ve come this far. This is part of the chairman’s long-term plans, and the PBA is really in its interesting times," Eala added.

Vargas is hopeful the league’s long-time dream to have its own home will finally be realized with giant corporations PLDT and San Miguel Corp. agreeing to lead the PBA in this project.

The league board will discuss the matter thoroughly as it holds another intensive two-day conference abroad in December.

"The board has agreed to do a long-term planning session. We’ll lay down the groundwork for things to be done in the next three to five years," said Eala.

"It’s appropriate and it’s about time. For while it’s good to get direction from the sitting chairman, it’s also nice for us to have a map that will guide us down the road," Eala added.

The future coliseum, PBA entertainment, expansion program and other revenue-generating programs are among those to be discussed in the conference.

full battle gear
11-01-2006, 01:59 PM
Provincial games big hit for PBA
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 11/01/2006

Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Noli Eala said yesterday it’s no surprise that the league’s provincial games are drawing huge crowds and promised more out-of-town contests to bring the action closer to fans all over the country.

So far this conference, the PBA has produced sellouts in five of six games outside of Metro Manila, including the Guam contest between Red Bull and Alaska last Sept. 28. Ticket sales of about P1 million are now the standard, said PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial.

Sellouts were registered in Guam, Dumaguete in Negros Oriental, San Fernando in La Union, Cabagan in Isabela and Subic Bay in Olongapo City, Zambales.

In the last Philippine Cup, the PBA scheduled one foreign game in Hong Kong and seven provincial games, including Roxas City in Capiz, Cebu City and Davao City. This conference, six more out-of-town outings are set to bring the total to one foreign outing in Guam and 11 provincial games.

Marcial said the enthusiastic reception is due to the competitive balance in the league, the attraction of popular stars and the re-emergence of the PBA as the country’s No. 1 sports entertainment vehicle.

The coming out-of-town games are Welcoat vs Talk ‘N Text in Tubod, Lanao del Norte, on Nov. 9, Red Bull vs Air21 in Legazpi City on Nov. 11, Barangay Ginebra versus Sta. Lucia in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, on Nov. 18, Red Bull vs Talk ‘N Text in Tacloban City on Nov. 30, Alaska vs San Miguel Beer in General Santos City on Dec. 2 and a doubleheader, featuring San Miguel Beer vs Coca-Cola and Alaska vs Barangay Ginebra in Lucena City, Quezon, on Dec. 9.

"Wherever it’s a sellout, you can be sure the PBA will be back there," said Marcial. "That’s why we’re going back to Tubod and that’s why we went back to San Fernando, La Union. The fans are eager to watch PBA games. They’re excited to see rookies like Kelly Williams and Arwind Santos and their favorite veterans like James Yap, Danny Seigle and Mark Caguioa."

Aside from more out-of-town trips, the PBA has scheduled several games in Metro Manila venues to reach out to new markets. Araneta Coliseum remains the mainstay in Metro Manila with 27 playing days at the Big Dome. Cuneta Astrodome is hosting five playing days, Ynares Center in Antipolo four, the San Juan Arena two and Olivarez Gym in Paranaque one.

Marcial said the PBA plans to stage an unprecedented two-city hosting of the 2006-07 All-Star Weekend in San Fernando, La Union, and Baguio City in April next year. It’s the North’s turn to host the annual event after Cagayan de Oro last season.

"We could hold the All-Star Game in Baguio City and the Rookie Challenge in San Fernando or vice-versa," said Marcial. "We’re sure of two sellouts."

Marcial said tickets for provincial games range from a low of P100 to a high of P1,400.

"Tickets are sold at popular prices," he continued. "The highest priced ticket ever was P1,400 in General Santos City. In San Fernando, La Union, the top ticket sold for P1,000. Most top tickets range in price from P500 to P800."

Marcial said an overflow crowd witnessed the Subic game between San Miguel Beer and Air21 last Saturday.

"The gym capacity was only 3,500 and it was the PBA’s first official regular season game in Subic," said Marcial. "The fans cheered every shot that was made. We had to turn away hundreds outside because there were no tickets left to be sold. Subic fans really have a passion for the game."

Team owners are also showing interest in attending out-of-town games. San Miguel Corp. chairman Eduardo Cojuangco watched the Subic game while Sta. Lucia Realty owner Excy Robles witnessed the San Fernando, La Union, contest between the Realtors and Purefoods.

In Dumaguete, Rep. Emilio Macias, Negros Oriental Gov. George Arnaiz and former Sen. John Osmena were in the stands with 5,000 fans for the Purefoods-Ginebra contest. La Union Gov. Victor Ortega and San Fernando City Mayor Mary Jane Ortega joined 4,000 fans to watch the Purefoods-Sta. Lucia game. Cabagan, Isabela Mayor Christopher Mamaoang saw the game between Ginebra and Coca-Cola with 4,700 fans.

Marcial said he expects more sellouts in the six remaining provincial playdays.

"We postponed our game in Legazpi two years ago because of the Mayon volcano eruption so you can imagine how eager the fans are to watch the Nov. 11 game," said Marcial. "Legazpi Mayor Rosal is making sure everything is arranged for the game at the Astrodome. In Tacloban, the PBA will be inaugurating the new Romualdez stadium and General Santos City Mayor (Pedro) Acharon is preparing a big welcome with Manny Pacquiao who will be back from Las Vegas by then."

Lucena will host a rare provincial doubleheader and Marcial said the Dec. 9 twinbill will likely set a record attendance for an out-of-town event because the games — San Miguel Beer vs Coca-Cola and Barangay Ginebra vs Alaska — feature popular teams.

full battle gear
11-01-2006, 02:04 PM
Short break may do wonders for San Miguel and Purefoods

www.mb.com.ph


IT’S EASY to understand why coaches Ryan Gregorio of Purefoods Chunkee and Chot Reyes of San Miguel are on high spirit these days.

After what they went through at the start of the season, both coaches deserve a break.

Just three weeks into the PBA Talk 'N Text Philippine Cup, the teams of Gregorio and Reyes absorbed one defeat after another that drove observers to wonder "what’s happening to them these days?"

Gregorio, recently named PBA Press Corps’ Coach of the Year, took their losses calmly, admitting that they’re still far from the form that enabled them to win the title last conference.

In the case of the Beermen, the team expectedly struggled considering the overhaul the ballclub underwent.

But as the saying goes: "Good things happen to those who wait."

With an ounce of patience and lots of hardwork, the two somehow manage to claw back its way up the ladder.

And what a turnaround it was.

Suddenly, the Giants looked every inch the league’s defending champion while the Beermen once again pose a danger to Purefoods’ throne.

"We just recalled our happy moments last season. We kept a positive mind and it worked," said Gregorio after the Giants recorded their consecutive win Friday with an 82-78 thumping of the Alaska Milk Aces at the Araneta Coliseum.

So by the time the league took a brief break to celebrate All-Saints Day, the Giants are toting a 4-3 (win-loss) card that kept them within sight of the leaders.

Well, Reyes and his rejuvenated Beermen are not far behind though.

Since the trade that brought Ginebra center Rommel Adducul and Red Bull shooting forward Lordy Tugade to SMB, things started to work for the better for the Beermen.

The team’s leading scorer Danny Seigle is back after missing two games with a strained back and center/forward Danny Ildefonso has also rejoined the team that played without him in the first five games.

The result: SMB has won their last three games in blowout fashion in the process shoving the Beermen in the middle of the pack with a 3-3 slate.

"We’re still in the process of adjustment. But the return of the two Dannys in the line up should speed up our recovery," said Reyes after their 118-102 demolition of the Air 21 Express last Saturday.

By Friday though, only one of them will continue to enjoy what has been a remarkable run.

The two teams clash at 7:30 p.m. for the main event of Friday’s double-header with the Giants and the Beermen coming in fresh after a well deserved rest and in high spirits in the aftermath of the gains they earned.

"It promises to be classic battle," said Gregorio. "But for now, me and my troop will just enjoy the break."

full battle gear
11-02-2006, 02:32 PM
Alaska Aces still looking for form, answers

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 01:34am (Mla time) 11/02/2006

Published on Page A21 of the November 2, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

IT WAS SUPPOSED to be just a routine drive and layup for Alaska’s Mike Cortez.

But he landed in a bad way after Sta. Lucia Realty’s Marlou Aquino smothered the shot.

Three weeks later, the Aces are in a tailspin so horrid that from being pre-season champions and solid PBA Philippine Cup favorites, they are now the surprise tail-enders.

But talk to Tim Cone and he believes that the absence of his cornerstone Cortez is not the sole reason why the Aces are losing. Big man Reynel Hugnatan is also out because of an injury, and that has also contributed.

Hugnatan, the former star in the defunct MBA who averaged close to seven points and six boards last season, has been out since the last tournament because of an ACL tear, the same injury that struck out the fleet-footed Cortez.

“We’re just not getting it done,” Cone said matter-of-factly. “I don’t think that Mike’s absence is the reason, we’ve just been playing the tough teams and we’ve not managed to get it done when we need to.”

Alaska has lost its last five games, and the promise of reliving the golden dynasty of the last decade is almost gone that qualifying to the playoffs of this long tournament alone now seems to be far-fetched.

Cone used to own one of the meanest backcourts in the league with Cortez partnering former MVP Willie Miller, the combination which he hoped would take him at least to the Finals this year.

But Miller has been handling the point guard’s chores with the “Cool Cat” definitely out for the rest of the season. The earliest date of his return is sometime in May next year.

Cortez, the former top overall pick in the draft, tore an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) at the same time in that botched drive against the Realtors’ center.

The ACL tear cannot be surgically repaired until after the LCL heals naturally, meaning, Cortez cannot be treated until after another two weeks, according to Cone.

And that has left Cone, who blew a 3-1 lead in the semifinals against eventual champion Purefoods in the last Philippine Cup, scrounging to find a suitable replacement if not alter the composition of his team altogether.

Finding a replacement would mean finding someone good enough to at least come to within the 14.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and league-best 7.8 assists per game that Cortez churned out in his very short stint this season.

Alaska has enlisted the services of free agent Dale Singson and has reactivated Renzy Bajar in an effort to give Miller the same feel he had in practice and in the pre-season when Cortez was around.

But the Alaska coach has harped in the past that the Triangle Offense, which made the Aces tick with 10 championships in the 1990s, is one tough system to learn.

And it could be the bane why this team is groping for form.

Cone knows that the team needs to see an end to this slide very soon. The Aces are, after all, 1-6 at the moment and a full two games behind the last spot if the playoffs were to start today.

“I better [see an end to the losing streak],” Cone said, while making his way to his car and acknowledging some passionate comments from Alaska fans after losing to the defending champion Chunkee Giants Sunday night.

“Otherwise, I might not be here anymore.”

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11-02-2006, 02:34 PM
PBA gives way to All Saints’ day


Cebu Daily News
Last updated 09:10am (Mla time) 11/01/2006

In observance of All Saints' Day, the 2006-07 Talk N Text PBA Philippine Cup will be taking a break and will resume on Friday.

Plunging into action on Friday's double-header are the Coca-Cola Tigers and the Air 21 Express, who will meet each other in the first game.

Sister-teams Purefoods Chunkee Giants and San Miguel Beermen collide in the second game.

The Express will be playing their first game without Ronald Tubid, who was traded to the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings in favor of three future draft picks.

Air 21 currently sports a 2-4 (win-loss) record, while Coca-Cola has a 3-4 slate.

On the other hand, the Beermen and the Giants are both enjoying three-game winning streaks that allowed them to climb up to the upper part of the team standings.

Purefoods, who started the conference with two straight losses, parades a 4-3 record, while San Miguel totes a 3-3 ledger. The Beermen likewise started the tournament slow after dropping their first three games. -- Correspondent Calvin D. Cordova

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11-02-2006, 02:36 PM
IN HUDDLE
Trade was Lordy’s will?

By Beth Celis
Inquirer
Last updated 01:35am (Mla time) 11/02/2006

Published on Page A23 of the November 2, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

IT’S A DONE DEAL and there’s no turning back.

However, reports of demoralization among some players could have caused Red Bull management to feel remorse over the recent Lordy Tugade trade.

I said “could have.” It’s very possible there also may have been no regrets.

* * *

Indeed there have been talks that Lordy didn’t want to be traded and that he was very sad to leave the team where he started his pro career six years ago. His teammates reportedly were just as sad to see him go, which means they could be feeling some sort of resentment towards management.

This is not difficult to believe, considering the manner in which the Barakos lost to Sta. Lucia Realty last Oct. 25, and almost bowed to newcomer Welcoat two days later, if not for the timely gamble of coach Yeng Guiao to roll the dice on Carlo Sharma, Warren Ybañez and Rich Alvarez.

Clearly, the Barakos were not taking their regular dose of Red Bull. They were lethargic, apathetic.

Talks have it that this listless brand of play was an expression of protest, in sympathy for teammate Tugade.

* * *

As far back as last season, I knew for a fact that at least two teams that needed a shooter were vying for the services of the cager. I also knew that the teams had made trade offers to Red Bull which the latter had turned down without thinking twice.

That was how valuable Lordy was to the team at that time.

But things and people change.

Sometime in the All-Filipino last year, the cager’s game started to become as inconsistent as the flight of the rollercoaster that zooms up then plunges down, then zooms up again. And while he had always been very hardworking during practice sessions, his teammates noticed that he had become no longer as diligent.

“Still a trade was out of the question,” said a Barako insider.

* * *

The decision to let go of Lordy was long in coming.

For a while there, it looked like the cager was there to stay. He had an auspicious start in Guam where he played brilliantly against Alaska, contributing in a big way to the Red Bull victory. This was followed by a second victory over San Miguel Beer, although he was hardly a factor in that match. He was never a factor again after the first game.

In their third assignment against Coca-Cola, the Barakos were crushed, pulverized even.

The turning point came when Lordy refused to suit up for the game against Barangay Ginebra last October 15, giving the excuse that his foot was injured.

Yeng however would not hear of a sit out. He insisted that Lordy suit up.

The cager had no choice but to obey. But he did not play.

* * *

The following day, an MRI was ordered on Lordy’s supposedly injured foot. The result was shown to three different doctors who all concurred that there was nothing wrong with the body part.

“Management consulted with all the members of the team on the planned trade. No one objected. It’s hard to figure out why some people are now reacting. It’s deeper than we can fathom,” said the insider.

Does Red Bull regret trading Tugade?

“According to his new teammate, as soon as he was traded, he immediately went into hard practice, despite his claim of a foot injury. He was ready for action as evidenced by his first game for his new team,” related the insider.

“He told his teammate, ‘dapat nga last conference pa ‘ko dito.’ Buti di ka napunta sa Red Bull.’

“Is that the way to talk about a team that has given him the breaks and nurtured him over the years?”

Obviously, there are no regrets.

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11-02-2006, 02:41 PM
PBA mulls 14-team expansion in 2 years
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 11/02/2006

The Philippine Basketball Association could well expand to a 14-team league in the next two to three years, a prospect that would further enhance its status as the No. 1 sports-entertainment business in the country.

This was divulged by PBA commissioner Noli Eala who said expansion program is among the priority topics to be discussed by the league board of governors in a two-day, live-in conference abroad in December.

"The board is looking into expanding and it’s very possible that the league will have 14 member ball clubs by 2010," Eala told The STAR.

"We’re already talking with two applicants but I can’t divulge their identities yet," Eala added.

Sources, however, identified Harbour Centre as one of those parties with serious thoughts in joining the pro league in the near future.

A giant bank corporation and a petroleum company have also reportedly inquired details for membership application in the league.

Harbour Centre had tried to make a deal with Shell for a franchise takeover. They failed to reach an agreement, though, prompting Shell to instead offer its franchise to Welcoat.

The PBA board feels the current business climate provides the league a good opportunity to expand that’s why they calendared the matter for discussion in their December confab.

The PBA coliseum, PBA Entertainment and other income-generating programs are other things up for discussion in the meeting.

The league has set the launching of PBA Entertainment on Nov. 25. It’s a separate TV program with its own timeslot, co-produced by the league, to complement the PBA games.

The launching was originally scheduled Nov. 18 but was moved a week later to give way to the Manny Pacquiao-Eric Morales rubber match.

It will be remembered that the PBA board also held his annual general board meeting abroad earlier this year.

The governors, the commissioner and his staff met in Macau for three days.

full battle gear
11-02-2006, 02:45 PM
Williams does his share for Realtors

www.mb.com.ph


KELLY WILLIAMS, the high-leaping forward whom Sta. Lucia made as this year’s No. 1 pick, was outshone by Air21’s Arwind Santos and San Miguel’s LA Tenorio in the major statistical categories among freshmen players in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Santos, the versatile guard-forward out of Far Eastern University, is showing the way in scoring (15.9), rebounding (9.8) and shot blocks (1.9).

Welcoat’s pair of big men in JunJun Cabatu and JayR Reyes are even ahead of Williams in the scoring department after averaging 12.6 and 11.1, respectively.

Tenorio, taken No. 4 by the beermen, leads in the assists department ( 3.2) while unheralded Chris Pacana of Coca-Cola is the best rookie as far as steals is concerned (1.2). Williams fellow Realtor, Mark Isip, leads in the field goal percentage with 58.6 percent.

But unknown to many, Williams’s contribution to the Realtors’ campaign cannot be quantified.

The product of Oakland University in Detroit whom coach Alfrancis Chua said can play the 2-3-4-5 positions with equal dexterity, typifies the new-found vigor and athleticism of the franchise.

And that’s the reason why the Realtors are off their finest start ever with a 5-1 card, enough to take the early lead.

The dynamic Fil-Am also produced magnificent numbers in the team’s victories against the league’s titans – Red Bull and Talk ’N Text. But he was more explosive in the team’s 102-90 rout of the Pals in San Fernando, Pampanga last week with a solid 25-point, 11-rebound output.

No other previous No. 1 pick in the league had created such a big turnaround for his team than Marlou Aquino, now a teammate of Williams, in 1996.

The franchise was a lowly 5-25 team during the pre-Aquino era, but went 35-29 when the 6-foot-9 center came aboard a year after, punctuated by a runner up finish to Alaska in the 96 Governors Cup.

His acquisition finally culminated to a championship the next season as Ginebra trounced Alaska in the 97 Commissioner’s Cup.

Aquino averaged 17.9 points and league best 9.0 rebounds and 2.8 block shots in his freshman season.

Williams has yet to accomplish the same feat, but still has plenty of time to prove his No. 1 status.

full battle gear
11-03-2006, 11:01 AM
Torrid Giants battle Beermen; Air21-Coke up


Inquirer
Last updated 01:33am (Mla time) 11/03/2006

Published on Page A25 of the November 3, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

SIZZLING-HOT Purefoods and San Miguel Beer, sister teams which have basically traced the same path in the first month of the Talk ‘N Text PBA Philippine Cup, part ways tonight at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Winners of their last three games after uninspiring starts, the Beermen and defending champion Chunkee Giants slug it out in the 7:20 p.m. game with the winner claiming the tournament’s longest winning streak and creeping closer behind the leaders.

Struggling Air21 and Coca-Cola collide in the 4:35 p.m. match.

The Express, in eighth place with a 2-4 win-loss card, clash with the Tigers (3-4) minus their so-called “Energizer Bunny” after dealing away Ronald Tubid to Barangay Ginebra last week for a song.

Air21’s running game is undoubtedly one of the best -- if not the best -- in the tournament and Tubid, who was swapped for three future Rookie Draft rights to the Gin Kings, was easily a great contributor to that cause.

Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio expects the Giants to be fully recharged following their taxing schedule before the brief Halloween break.

The Giants played three games in a seven-day span last week, one of them a classic triple overtime thriller over Talk ‘N Text that was sandwiched by wins over Sta. Lucia Realty and Coca-Cola.

“Certainly, it (rest) was good for the players,” Gregorio said.

The Beermen also welcomed the short respite with two key players still not in game shape and two recent additions still to fully blend with their new teammates.

Danny Ildefonso was sent back into action after sitting out the first five games; Danny Seigle is nearing perfect health; and new acquisitions Rommel Adducul and Lordy Tugade found more time to work out with the Beermen. -- Musong Castillo

full battle gear
11-03-2006, 11:05 AM
Teamwork key for Ginebra, says Siot
By Joaquin Henson
The Philippine Star 11/03/2006

Ginebra San Miguel assistant coach Siot Tanquingcen said yesterday there is no substitute for teamwork as the key to bringing the Kings back on the throne in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

Last season, Ginebra compiled an overall record of 25-24 to finish fourth in the Fiesta Conference and sixth in the Philippine Cup. Lack of depth was evident as the Kings failed to regroup after injuries struck down Romel Adducul, Rodney Santos, Jay-Jay Helterbrand, Andy Seigle and Aris Dimaunahan during the campaign. The previous year, Ginebra bagged two championships.

Now that Ginebra has fortified its fences with the addition of key players, Tanquingcen said all the more, the stress is on teamwork.

Ginebra’s star-studded cast counts on Mark Caguioa, Helterbrand, Rudy Hatfield, Eric Menk, Billy Mamaril, Rafi Reavis, Johnny Abarrientos, Ronald Tubid, Mark Macapagal, Mike Holper, Sunday Salvacion, Seigle and Paolo Hubalde. Still in the injured list is Santos. Gone from last year’s roster are Adducul, Kalani Ferreria, Dimaunahan, Erwin Sotto, Allan Salangsang and Egay Echavez.

Tanquingcen explained that building a championship team starts from identifying the main men.

"In our team, we start with Eric, Mark and Jay-Jay," said Tanquingcen. "Then we surround them with guys who can make us better and help us improve in key departments like rebounding, inside scoring and playmaking. We mold our team and build a strong nucleus with a balance of good offense and good defense."

Tanquingcen, 34, said his demotion from head to assistant coach this year was an opportunity to show the Kings the value of playing as a team.

"When I was first told I wouldn’t be back as head coach, of course, I wondered why," said Tanquingcen. "After winning two championships, I thought I wouldn’t be replaced. But when I found out coach Jong (Uichico) was my replacement, I knew why. It’s management’s call and I support the decision completely. I know God has plans for me and it’s for the good of the team. Basketball is a team sport and the team always comes first, not the individuals in a team."

Tanquingcen said no matter how valuable a player is, his contribution is relevant only in relation to the team’s goals.

"I took the opportunity to be an example to our players," said Tanquingcen. "I told the guys it’s not about me. It’s about doing what’s best for the team. It’s about everyone doing his part and working hard to accomplish the team’s goals."

Tanquingcen said he explained the situation to his friends and relatives who were bothered by the demotion. "When they understood my point, they knew what the decision meant," he said.

Tanquingcen said his PBA history is a story of struggle. In 1996, he was one of only three rookie applicants not picked in the draft. The 5-8 guard didn’t give up and finally got a one-month contract to play for Sunkist to replace an injured player. His contract wasn’t renewed and Tanquingcen later showed up at a San Miguel Beer practice, begging for a chance. As a walk-in, he wasn’t paid for playing. Eventually, he was signed up as a practice player and elevated to the regular roster. In all, Tanquingcen averaged less than two points in 39 games over four PBA seasons.

"I was a horrible player," said Tanquingcen. "I’m short and my hands are small. I can’t jump and I’ve never even touched the ring. When I was in high school, I dreamed of playing not just in the PBA but in the NBA. I sat on the bench for two years at UST (University of Santo Tomas) then played more in my last season when we won the title in 1993. When I wasn’t drafted, it was like my dream was shattered. I realized not every dream has a happy ending but if you try hard enough and don’t quit, something good will happen even if it’s not the way you planned it at first."

Tanquingcen, a certified public accountant, found a way to stay in basketball as an assistant coach at San Miguel Beer, then assistant and head coach at Ginebra and back as assistant coach with the Kings.

Working with Uichico at Ginebra reprises their relationship at San Miguel.

"Our basic concept is the same," said Tanquingcen. "Coach Jong is more mild-mannered and I’m more aggressive but our message is the same. We believe in teamwork. We motivate the players by challenging them. We may be strong on paper but we’ve got to translate that strength to wins on the court. We set goals for the team and make sure everyone is on the same page."

Ginebra has a 5-2 record in the Philippine Cup and plays Purefoods next on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum. Tubid, recently acquitted from Air21, will make his Ginebra debut against the Chunkee Giants.

full battle gear
11-03-2006, 11:06 AM
Surging Giants, Beermen clash

The Philippine Star 11/03/2006

Purefoods Chunkee and San Miguel Beer, two teams which sputtered in the early going but are now on a roll, clash today at resumption of the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup, both trying to sustain the momentum of their run at the Araneta Coliseum.

With their three-game romp, the Giants and the Beermen now look every inch the title contenders they were touted to be, with the Giants out to break out of a tie with Talk n Text for fourth with 4-3 cards and the Beermen eyeing win No. 4 after dropping their first three games.

Coca-Cola and Air21, two teams closely behind San Miguel, clash in the other game at 4:35 p.m.

The Express will be playing their first game following Ronald Tubid’s transfer to the Barangay Ginebra Kings.

"Ronald had given us quality minutes. But he’s gone and we’ll make do with what we have," said Air21 coach Bo Perasol.

Coaches Ryan Gregorio and Chot Reyes attributed their turnaround on mental, rather than mere physical, adjustments.

"We just recalled our happy moments last season. We kept a positive mind and it worked," said Gregorio as his Giants made it three in a row last Friday with an 82-78 thumping of the Alaska Milk Aces.

Incidentally, the Giants made it 3-of-3 on a busy schedule spanning seven days.

"My message to the boys was that we’re used to situations like this, having been in the Finals the last two conferences. Sabi ko sa kanila wala tayong dapat problemahin sa sunud-sunod na laro," said Gregorio.

After a 1-3 (win-loss) start, the Giants made a big charge, going 3-of-3 against formidable rivals — the Sta. Lucia Realtors, the Talk n Text Phone Pals and the Aces.

Purefoods will be coming out fresh from a week-long breather. San Miguel, however, has its own long rest, and the Beermen are raring to plunge back into action with a healthier lineup that now also features two-time MVP winner Danny Ildefonso.

The Beermen welcomed Ildefonso’s return on Oct. 26 with a 118-102 derailing of the Air21 Express in Subic. Before that, the Beermen thrashed the Aces, 81-71, then whipped the Barangay Ginebra Kings, 101-97, in overtime.

Suddenly, everything’s falling into place for the Beermen after figuring in a trade deal with Ginebra and Red Bull that brought to the team Romel Adducul and Lordy Tugade.

The Beermen have turned their fortunes around although coach Reyes has yet to make full use of Tugade, who’s nursing an injury.

full battle gear
11-03-2006, 11:08 AM
4 PBA teams try to catch up on leaders

www.mb.com.ph


The Coca-Cola Tigers and the Air21 Express clash today with the objective of boosting their stocks in the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup.

The Tigers are in slightly better position with three wins in seven games although an Express victory would turn the tide into the latter’s favor.

"With only nine players in our rotation, I told the boys to cling together and work together," said Tigers coach Binky Favis.

The Tigers missed the services of main man Ali Peek, top three-point shooter William Antonio and promising young talent Neil Rañeses in their previous outing, a come-from-behind victory over the Welcoat Dragons.

The Express are also walking wounded these days with Niño Canaleta, Homer Se and Leo Avenido still feeling their way back from varying injuries. The brief lull augurs well for both teams.

It may be a different story for the surging Purefoods Chunkee Giants and the San Miguel Beermen, who will go up against each other in the nightcap at the Araneta Coliseum.

They’re currently the hottest teams in the league with similar three-game winning runs.

The Giants, defending champions of the all-Filipino tournament, are sharing fourth spot with idle Talk ’N Text Phone Pals at 4-3.

"We’re now back in our fighting form," declared Giants coach Ryan Gregorio.

Same is true with the Beermen. After losing their first three games, the Beermen traded some reserves and future picks to acquire the services of marquee players Romel Adducul from Ginebra and Lordy Tugade from Red Bull. They’ve been undefeated since.

"We’re still in the process of adjustment, but the return of the two Dannys will help speed up our recovery," said Beermen coach Chot Reyes.

full battle gear
11-03-2006, 11:10 AM
Streaking Beermen, Giants collide

www.abs-cbnnews.com


One streak will end Friday as San Miguel Beer and Puerfoods Chunkee collide in the main game of the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen and the Giants, both on a three-game winning streak, meet at 7:20 p.m. after the tussle between Coca-Cola and Air21 at 4:40 p.m.

After an erratic 0-3 start, San Miguel regains its winning ways mainly because of the return of Danny Seigle and Danny Ildefonso from injuries and reeled off three straight wins.

"We’re still in the period of adjustment. But the report of the two Dannys should help us along the way," said Beermen head coach Chot Reyes whose wards are coming off a 118-102 spanking of the Express last Saturday at Subic, Zambales.

Reyes is also drawing good games from his second stringers, particularly Wesley Gonzales, LA Tenorio and Willie Wilson while new acquisitions Lordy Tugade and Romel Adducul are slowly feeling their way to the system.

The defending champion Purefoods also started out flat in the tournament but recovered immediately with reigning Most Valuable Player James Yap, Kerby Raymundo and Marc Pinrgis getting back to form.

"After those losses, I just tried to motivate my players by telling them to recall the happy moments last season and it really worked," said Giants mentor Ryan Gregorio.

Purefoods is coming off an 82-78 escape over Alaska last Sunday at the Big Dome that stretches its winning run to three games.

In the first game, the Tigers of coach Binky Favis eye another win over Air21 to move up farther in the team standings.

Coke dismantled newcomer Welcoat in its previous game, 92-86, to improve its mark to 3-4 while the Express of coach Bo Perasol bowed to the Beermen that snapped their two-game winning streak and dropped to 2-4.

gameface_one
11-04-2006, 10:54 AM
Beermen stretch win streak to 4


By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 02:51am (Mla time) 11/04/2006

Published on page A15 of the November 4, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

DONDON Hontiveros keyed San Miguel Beer’s final push as the Beermen posted the longest streak in the conference with a hard-earned 87-79 victory over the Purefoods Giants in the PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Taking over when Danny Seigle limped out with an injury, Hontiveros buried a step-back three-pointer that cooled the rally of the erstwhile rampaging Giants and paved the way for the Beermen’s fourth straight win after a dismal 0-3 season opener.

Hontiveros drove to the basket and shrugged off James Yap before unloading the triple that gave the Beermen a comfortable 82-75 spread with barely a minute remaining.

A free throw by Jun Limpot put the Giants closer, 77-83, but Peter June Simon and Yap flubbed desperation triples to allow the Beermen to seal the victory with freebies on the other end.

“We’re slowly getting the right chemistry for this team,” said San Miguel Beer coach Chot Reyes. “I just hope that we continue to be healthy.”

The question of health, however, will depend on the findings on Seigle, who hurt his right ankle late in the fourth period.

Seigle fell on the wrong foot after squeezing past his defender, forcing the San Miguel coaching staff to bench him the rest of the match.

“I hope it’s nothing serious,” said Reyes.

In the first game, Gary David tallied 27 points in an almost no-relief job and helped the Express topple the Coca-Cola Tigers, 112-110.

Rookie Arwind Santos and Wynne Arboleda also sparkled and with the De Ocampo brothers, Ranidel and Yancy, lording it over in the paint, the Express chalked up their third victory after seven games.

“Gary knows the responsibility of elevating his game to another level after the loss of Ronald (Tubid),” said Air21 coach Bo Perasol.

“He (David) didn’t let us down.”

Tubid was shipped to Barangay Ginebra, which traded its second-round picks in 2007 and 2008 and their 2009 first-round choice to Air21.

“We have to continue working hard for us to find the right chemistry,” said Perasol.

The Tigers suffered their fifth loss in eight assignments.

The scores:

First Game

AIR21 112—David 27, De Ocampo 20, Santos 16, De Ocampo 13, Telan 8, Arboleda 8, Sotto 6, Canaleta 5, Se 5, Dimaunahan 2, Avenido 2.

COCA-COLA 110—Arigo 25, Peek 24, Yeo 18, Ramos 9, Pacana 8, Miranda 8, Salangsang 8, Misolas 6, Ferreria 4, Gavino 0, Antonio 0.

Quarters: 28-24, 61-49, 89-78, 112-110.

Second Game

SAN MIGUEL 87—Seigle 24, Hontiveros 11, Tenorio 9, Gonzales 9, Racela 8, Wilson 7, Ildefonso 6, Calaguio 5, Adducul 4, Peña 4, Espinas 0.

PUREFOODS 79—Limpot 16, Yap R. 13, Simon 12, Yap J. 10, Pingris 9, Raymundo 8, Evange lista 7, Artadi 4, Salvador 0, Castillo 0.

Quarters: 22-13, 36-31, 63-51, 87-79

gameface_one
11-04-2006, 10:55 AM
Realtors eye best all-Pinoy start ever



Inquirer
Last updated 02:58am (Mla time) 11/04/2006

Published on page A15 of the November 4, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GAMES TODAY (San Juan Coliseum)
4:05 p.m.—Sta. Lucia vs. Welcoat
6:30 p.m.—Red Bull vs. Talk ‘N Text

EVERYBODY is now convinced that Sta. Lucia is for real.

The Realtors find themselves in a spot where they never used to be, leading the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup with a 5-1 (win-loss) card.

It shouldn’t be too tough trying to keep hold of the lead.

The Realtors take on the Welcoat Dragons, a bunch of newbies who can be dangerous one night and grossly disoriented the next, in a doubleheader today at the New San Juan Coliseum.

Sta. Lucia’s 5-1 record is the team’s best in an All-Filipino conference since 1998, when the Realtors also went 5-1.

Playing against Welcoat could help better that record. The young Dragons are currently stuck at 2-5, near the bottom.

In the second game, Red Bull takes on Talk ‘N Text, looking for its second win in three games since trading Lordy Tugade to San Miguel via a three-way trade.


Francis Ochoa

gameface_one
11-04-2006, 10:56 AM
Air21 airborne, strafes Tigers
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 11/04/2006

For the Air21 Express, life goes on despite the exit of another high-profile player.

Off-guard Gary David delivered huge numbers while playing extended minutes with the departure of Ronald Tubid, and the Express subdued the Coca-Cola Tigers, 112-110, in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

David went 11-of-21 from the field and logged a game-high 27 points as the Express redeemed themselves from a 102-118 blowout by the San Miguel Beermen in Tubid’s farewell game with Air21 Saturday in Subic.

"We wanted to give Ronald a good farewell game then, but the boys were so destructed knowing they’re about to lose a teammate," said Air21 coach Bo Perasol.

"But the boys have decided for themselves that we have to move on. Kinalimutan na namin ang nangyari," Perasol added.

Brothers Yancy and Ranidel de Ocampo and prized rookie Arwind Santos also delivered as the Express notched their third win against four defeats.

Ranidel had a double-double game with 13 points and 11 rebounds and personally sealed their win with a split from the line, deliberately missing the second of his two free throws with the team holding a two-point edge with 1.2 seconds left on the clock.

With the Tigers having used up all their timeouts, Chris Pacana could only make a wild heave after collaring the rebound.

Coca-Cola suffered a fifth loss against three wins despite the return of ace slotman Ali Peek from injury.

The Tigers, however, just refused to give up easily although the Express took control the entire length of the game.

Down by 11 at the end of the third, Coca-Cola started the final period with a 10-2 run, and the Tigers kept the game close up to the finish.

"Somehow, it’s better we won it in a close fight for the experience of it. Our first two victories were blowouts," said Perasol.

Meanwhile, Sta. Lucia Realty plays newcomer Welcoat, staking its hold of the solo lead in another weekend doubleheader feature at the San Juan Arena. The Realtors are fancied to score a sixth win in seven outings in the 4:05 p.m. tiff.

Red Bull and Talk n Text clash at 6:30 p.m. with both looking to improve their standings in the upper half of the chart.

The resurgent San Miguel Beer squad breached the .500 mark for the first time in the tourney as it made it four in a row with an 87-79 win over Purefoods in the second game.

"The key was the production of the bench," said San Miguel coach Chot Reyes as they sustained their charge following three straight defeats in the season.

gameface_one
11-04-2006, 12:20 PM
3 QC sites eyed for PBA coliseum



By TITO TALAO
mb.com.ph

Build it and they will come. A long-time Field of Dreams for the Philippine Basketball Association is turning into a short-term reality after league officials met with representatives of the Quezon City government yesterday for breakthrough talks that could pave the way for the launching of the PBA’s ultimate project: the construction of a state-of-the-art permanent home.



Three sites within the heart of Quezon City have been identified: a spot at the boundary of Agham Road and Quezon Avenue, prime land located at the North Triangle Development Area beside SM North, and the current Manila Seedling Bank at the corner of EDSA and Quezon Avenue.

"We’ll be talking to the individual owners of the potential sites for lease arrangements next week," said PBA Commissioner Noli Eala whose meeting with QC Mayor Sonny Belmonte was arranged by City Councilor Franz Pumaren.

Joining Eala were PBA chairman Ricky Vargas, whose company Philippine Long Distance Telephone could be one of the major investors in the multi-million venture, and league legal counsel Melvin Mendoza.

"The Mayor was very enthusiastic with our desire to build a permanent venue in his city," said Eala, adding two of the sites are National Housing Authority properties while the third is controlled by the Ayala Group.

With the PBA board having authorized official meetings with the property owners, Eala hopes to furnish ball club governors a comprehensive report on three crucial aspects of the undertaking by December: site selection, financing proposal, and the business model and management terms.

"It’s looking more realistic every moment," said Eala of the long-time vision which took vague form as early as the tenure of Commissioner Rudy Salud in the late ‘80s.

Armed reportedly with a P4B surplus, Quezon City is in strong position to partner with the PBA, primarily through PLDT, San Miguel Corporation and, possibly, real estate developer Sta. Lucia Realty, in the ambitious project.

"The Mayor envisions a civic center with the PBA coliseum there," said Eala.

Belmonte presented the visiting PBA officials with a blueprint for the Quezon City Central Business District which detailed the entire development plan for the QC triangle.

If plans proceed smoothly, Eala said, site selection could be finalized by January next year. Negotiations with banks and financers could follow by March and April, with a groundbreaking ceremony set by July.

"The PBA is debt-free," said Eala. "I don’t know of any commercial bank that would not be happy to get into any business arrangements with us, like a debt-and-equity setup. We could put up, say, 20 percent of the cost, and the banks would shoulder the rest as loans."

full battle gear
11-05-2006, 01:55 PM
Realtors dump Dragons, keep lead

By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 05:25am (Mla time) 11/05/2006

Published on page A19 of the November 5, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GAMES TODAY (Araneta Coliseum)
4:05 p.m.—Air21 vs Alaska
6:30 p.m.—Barangay Ginebra vs Purefoods

STA. Lucia Realty showed it could make both ends meet even without Kelly Williams.

Hardly missing their prized rookie, the Realtors turned to their grizzled veterans and walloped the Welcoat Dragons, 89-83, to stay on top of the Talk ‘N Talk-PBA Philippine Cup last night at the San Juan Arena.

Paolo Mendoza sizzled from beyond the arc after nailing six of his nine three-point attempts for a game-high 20 points while Dennis Espino manhandled the Welcoat frontline like a big boy bullying a couple of school kids in a playground.

Espino unloaded 10 of his 14 points in the pivotal fourth when the Realtors began pulling away en route to their sixth victory against a defeat to keep the solo leadership.

“We really need this win badly,” said Sta. Lucia Realty coach Alfrancis Chua, who steered the Realtors to their best start in years.

“Teams are starting to step up and get their games going. It would be better if we pile up victories early in the conference,” he added.

Williams missed the game to attend a friend’s wedding in the US.

Chua said Williams had long sought and was given permission to make the trip, adding the top pick from this year’s rookie draft will be back to attend the team’s practice this Tuesday.

The Dragons, who were in the game until the third period, drew several top performances from Denver Lopez, Niño Gelig, Jercules Tangkay and Jireh Ibañez but they were not enough to stop a sixth defeat in eight games for Welcoat.

Rookie Ronnie Bughao played the game of his life with a career-high 12 points for the Realtors behind the 13 of Kenneth Duremdes.

Chua said the team was making the most of its hot form since the crack squas are beginning to stir to life.

San Miguel Beer, which started the season at the cellar, is now the hottest team in the league after winning four straight games.

Also in the middle of the pack is Purefoods, which is also beginning to pick up steam for a three-game streak last week that got halted by the Beermen the other night.

“These teams are dangerous so we should keep those victories coming while we’re hot,” said Chua, whose Realtors extended their win streak to three.

The scores:

First Game

STA. LUCIA 89—Mendoza 20, Espino 14, Duremdes 13, Bughao 12, Calimag 6, Aquino 6, Cabagnot 5, Catli 4, Omolon 4, Isip 3, Gonzales 2.

WELCOAT 83—Wainwright 17, Tangkay 14, Ibanes 12, Gelig 12, Lopez 11, Reyes 5, Cabatu 5, Sta. Maria 3, Baguion 2, Lao 2, Mente 0.

Quarters: 24-18, 40-44, 63-62, 89-83

full battle gear
11-05-2006, 01:55 PM
Realtors roll past Dragons

The Philippine Star 11/05/2006

Sta. Lucia just had enough firepower to get past newcomer Welcoat Paints, 89-83, last night and keep its hold of the solo lead in the Talk N Text Philippine Cup at the San Juan Coliseum.

The Realtors missed the services of tough rookie Kelly Williams who had to fly to the US for a very urgent matter. His absence almost mattered as Sta. Lucia found itself trailing the rookie team on several occasions.

It took the hot hands of Paolo Mendoza and the experience of Dennis Espino to bail the Realtors out of trouble on their way to a 6-1 record, just one full game ahead of Ginebra’s 5-2 mark.

Welcoat, the newest kid on the PBA block, threatened last at 68-72. An 8-0 counter-attack by Sta. Lucia was enough to deal the Dragons their sixth loss in eight games.

"We really needed this win because the other teams are beginning to step up," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua, who drew a combined 34 points from Mendoza and Espino.

full battle gear
11-05-2006, 01:56 PM
Realtors slay Dragons, 89-83


By TITO TALAO
www.mb.com.ph


WHILE KELLY Williams was seeing off his best friend in marriage in the States last night, the Sta. Lucia Realtors were walking down the aisle to their first 6-1 start in an all-Filipino conference.

Paolo Mendoza had 20 points, including a big three-point shot late in the game, and Dennis Espino added 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter as the league-leading Realtors fended off the Welcoat Dragons, 89-83, in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the New San Juan Arena.

The Dragons slithered to their fourth straight loss and sixth overall in eight games, their tenacity tamed by back-to-back 3-point daggers buried by the Realtors in the final 55 seconds.

Mendoza’s triple gave Sta. Lucia some breathing space, 83-76, a comfort promptly denied the Realtors, however, after Denver Lopez slashed home with 36 seconds left.

Putting pressure on the Sta. Lucia ball-handlers, the Dragon defense had the Realtors groping desperately for a shot as the shot clock wound down.

But just before the buzzer went off, rookie Ronnie Bughao threw up a prayer in front of the Sta. Lucia bench, hitting nothing but net, kicking off a minor celebration and breaking Welcoat’s last stand.

The No. 1 pick Williams, an electrifying presence also on his first season, would have been proud of the shot. He would have time to watch video footage of the game when he returns Tuesday from Detroit, his hometown.

"It was an agreement between Kelly and management even before he signed up," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua of Williams’ departure, a fact Buddy Encarnado, the Realtors governor, confirmed.

Meanwhile, live radio streaming of PBA games in the internet started last Friday via the PBA website www.pba.ph. This will be a regular feature every PBA playing day.

First Game

STA. LUCIA 89 — Mendoza 20, Espino 14, Duremdes 13, Bughao 12, Calimag 6, Aquino 6, Cabagnot 5, Catli 4, Omolon 4, Isip 3, Gonzales 2.

WELCOAT 83 — Wainwright 17, Tangkay 13, Ibanez 12, Gelig 12, Lopez 11, Reyes 5, Cabatu 5, Sta. Maria 3, Baguion 2, Lao 2, Mente 0.

Quarters: 24-18, 40-44, 63-62, 89-83.

gameface_one
11-06-2006, 07:05 AM
Alaska grounds Air21

The Philippine Star 11/06/2006

Alaska finally came out of the rut, grounding Air21 with a near-flawless game the Aces have been trying to dish out in a month as they fashioned a 122-100 rout of the Express in the Talk ‘N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

Seven players scored in double figures for the Aces, led by Jeffrey Cariaso who scattered 24 points on eight-of-11 shooting and a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line. Willie Miller had 22 and Nic Belasco dished out a double-double performance of 17 points and 17 rebounds.

"I’m glad we hit our shots, we defended so well. More importantly, we stayed positive, even we’re down (in the standings), my players don’t put the blame at each other, everybody is working hard," said Alaska coach Tim Cone.

Although the win was only the second in eight games for the once Grand Slam champions (1996), it prevented the franchise from matching its worst losing skid since Cone took over as head coach in the Third Conference of the 1989 season.

The longest slump Cone experienced was in 2003, when Alaska lost six in a row from April 23 to May 18 in the All-Filipino Conference.

Ranidel de Ocampo topscored with 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Express, who were limited to their second lowest output in the conference after their 88-96 loss to Sta. Lucia last Oct. 6.

With defense given less importance, Alaska stormed to its biggest lead at 29 points in the fourth quarter.

The Aces never really encountered resistance at the onset of the second quarter. They were only up by 33-26 after the first period but held the Express to only two points in a five-minute stretch to take a 45-28 lead.

Purefoods outlasted Barangay Ginebra down the stretch as it pulled off an 88-84 victory in the nightcap.

It was the Giants’ fifth victory against four losses while handing the Gin Kings their third set against five wins.

gameface_one
11-06-2006, 07:08 AM
The other Yap shines


By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 02:21am (Mla time) 11/06/2006

Published on page A27 of the November 6, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

ROGER YAP knows when to take the game in his hands.

Unable to find their end-game gunner, Yap took it upon himself to deliver the killer basket as Purefoods escaped with an 88-84 win over Barangay Ginebra last night in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

With James Yap completely smothered by Mark Caguioa, Roger Yap squeezed in a layup with 23.9 seconds left that broke an 84-84 tie and eventually carried the Giants to their fifth victory in nine games.

Jayjay Helterbrand, responsible for giving the driving Yap an opening, then flubbed two attempts to send the match into overtime, before Roger Yap gained possession and was fouled.

He put in another free throw and Kerby Raymundo closed out the scoring with another charity after Eric Menk bungled a desperation three at the buzzer.

“The plan really was to stay close and not fall into a big margin,” said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio, whose Giants handed the Gin Kings their third defeat in eight games. “In the end, it all boiled down to execution and we prevailed.”

Richard Yee, who came back from a groin injury, kept the Giants afloat in the final half and topscored for Purefoods with 21 points. James Yap added 18 markers while Raymundo had 17 points and 18 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Tim Cone discarded his traditional long sleeves and tie for the first time in an official PBA game and that somehow changed the fortunes of his squad.

The Alaska coach tried a different outfit and the Aces finally stopped their slide with a resounding 122-100 victory over the Air21 Express earlier in the day.

“I’ve been thinking of doing this and even consulted my coaching staff because it might change our luck,” said Cone after the Aces nailed only their second win in eight games.

Cone showed up in an un-tucked, short-sleeved yellow polo after dumping the corporate look he was noted for in 18 years as coach of the Aces.

“I’ll stay like this for a while until we lose another game,” said Cone.

Jeffrey Cariaso and Willie Miller combined forces in the second period as the Aces came up with a 66-47 bubble at halftime.

The Aces never gave the Express a chance to stage a comeback with Nic Belasco joining Miller and Cariaso to snatch their first victory in a month.

“We busted them out tonight, we hit our shots and defended well,” said Cone. “Everybody’s working hard and nobody's pointing fingers despite those losses.

“If you have that attitude in a team, you know you’re going to break out sooner or later and get back into the thick of the fight.”

The win was also the first since Mike Cortez was sidelined by an ACL tear five games ago. Doctors say it would take at least six months for the injury to heal.

Without Cortez, the Aces lost four straight after splitting their first two games of the season.

Reynel Hugnatan, Alaska’s do-it-all guy, also tore an ACL last conference and had not seen action since then.

The Express also hastened their downfall with a miserable 31 of 92 shooting against the 49 of 94 performance by the Aces. The loss dropped them into a tie at 3-5 with the idle Coca-Cola Tigers.

The scores:
First Game
Alaska 122 -- Cariaso 24, Miller 22, Belasco 17, Ferriols 15, Thoss 13, Laure 10, Dela Cruz 10, Singson 5, Juinio 5, Aban 1, Bajar 0
Air21 100 -- De Ocampo R. 28, Canaleta 14, De Ocampo Y. 14, Santos 10, David 9, Se 9, Telan 6, Arboleda 6, Avenido 4, Sotto 0, Dimaunahan 0
Quarters: 33-26, 66-47, 92-66, 122-100

Second Game
PUREFOODS 88 -- Yee 21, Yap J. 18, Raymundo 17, Evangelista 9, Yap R. 8, Limpot 6, Pingris 4, Bautista 3, Castillo 2, Artadi 0.
GINEBRA 84 -- Caguioa 23, Helterbrand 15, Hatfield 11, Menk 10, Macapagal 8, Reavis 8, Tubid 5, Mamaril 2, Salvacion 2, Abarrientos 0.
Quarters: 19-21, 41-45, 66-66, 88-84.

full battle gear
11-07-2006, 11:18 AM
Mendoza waxes hot in new role for SL Realtors

By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 04:37am (Mla time) 11/07/2006

Published on page A24 of the November 7, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

PAOLO MENDOZA has found his comfort zone and this is one of the reasons why the Sta. Lucia Realtors are enjoying the rare distinction of being frontrunners in the Talk ‘N Text-Philippine Cup.

Mendoza exploited his shift from playmaker to off-guard to score a personal conference-high 20 points during the Realtors’ 89-83 win over the Welcoat Dragons over the weekend.

He was named the PBA Press Corps-Accel Player of the Week for the feat, becoming the third Realtor to be honored this season after Dennis Espino and Kenneth Duremdes.

“I’m more comfortable playing in that position (two-guard),” said the 28-year-old Mendoza. “Helping the team win games is quite gratifying.”

For the first time in years, the Realtors are towing the 10-team field with a 6-1 record, the team’s best-ever start in an All-Filipino tournament.

“I think he (Mendoza) really likes playing in the wings. His offense is a given. What is quite surprising is the fact that he also shines in defense,” said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua.

The pre-season acquisition of Ronnie Bughao provided starting guard Alex Cabagnot a reliable backup at the point, allowing Chua to slide the streak-shooting Mendoza to the two-guard slot.

Against the Dragons, Mendoza shot seven of 10 from the field, including six three-pointers. He added six rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Alapag was fined P5,000 for a flagrant foul on Bughao during a recent Sta. Lucia Realty-Talk ‘N Text game in Pampanga.

full battle gear
11-07-2006, 11:19 AM
Paolo relishes role as SLR’s shooting guard

The Philippine Star 11/07/2006

Acting out a role he is most comfortable with has done wonders for the game of Paolo Mendoza.

The Sta. Lucia Realty playmaker was shifted to the two-guard spot at the start of the season and he has taken to the job like duck to water, more often than not churning out the numbers expected of him.

Mendoza himself proved this by exploding for a personal conference-high 20 points last Saturday, leading the Realtors to an 89-83 win over Welcoat in the Talk N Text-PBA Philippine Cup.

The victory jacked SLR’s win-loss record to 6-1, firming up its hold of the solo lead and stretching the team’s best ever start in an All-Filipino tournament.

Without ace Kelly Williams, in the United States acting as best man to a bosom buddy’s wedding, the Realtors faced huge odds in the match.

Yet there was Mendoza leading the Realtors’ all-around performance and dishing out a highlight endgame heroic, making him the hands-down choice as the PBA Press Corps’ Accel Player of the Week for the period Oct. 30-Nov. 5.

It marked the third time a Realtor was accorded such honor following skipper Dennis Espino (Oct. 9-15) and Kenneth Duremdes (Oct. 23-29). Still, coach Alfrancis Chua could not be happier with the choice of the top pick in the 2000 Rookie Draft.

"He works hard in practice, particularly now that he plays No. 2. I think he is comfortable in that position," said Chua.

The acquisition of Alex Cabagnot last year and Ronnie Bughao prior to this season have enabled Chua to put the 28-year-old veteran to the shooting guard spot, a position he has occupied in the amateur league.

Against the Dragons, Mendoza anchored his points on 7-of-10 field shooting, including 6-of-9 from three-point land. He also had six rebounds, two assists and as many steals in 32 minutes.

Capping it up, his last trifecta from way out of the right flank gave the Realtors an 83-76 lead in the final 45 seconds and some level of comfort in the face of the newcomers’ gritty stand.

full battle gear
11-08-2006, 11:17 AM
Streaking Realtors battle Bulls

SMB out to keep hot run vs Coke

Inquirer
Last updated 01:22am (Mla time) 11/08/2006

Published on Page A25 of the November 8, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

STA. LUCIA REALTY, in its finest start in a season, clearly relishes its breathtaking view at the top in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup.

And the Realtors can’t be distracted when they set out to score another win today, this time against second-running Red Bull at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

“Our objective is to win as many games as we can and maintain that lead,” said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua.

Behind that confident remark, however, is a cautious attitude typical of a team atop the standings.

With San Miguel Beer and Purefoods picking up steam and Red Bull starting to get over the loss of Lordy Tugade, the Realtors feel the need to sustain the same mindset that brought them to a league-leading 6-1 record.

The Beermen are slowly surging to the top after winning four straight games to overcome a horrifying 0-3 start in the all-Filipino tournament. The hottest team in the league tackles Coca-Cola in the 7:20 p.m. main event.

Defending champion Purefoods is also on a roll as the Giants won four of their last five outings, the last one at the expense of the Barangay Ginebra Kings.

The defeat to the Giants pulled the Gin Kings down to 5-3, half a game behind the second-running Bulls.

“Other teams are beginning to catch up so every game is very important,” said Chua, who got inspiring performances from Paolo Mendoza and rookie Ronnie Bughao during their victory over the Welcoat Dragons last Saturday.

Blow to the Bulls

Rookie Kelly Williams failed to see action against Welcoat after reportedly attending his best friend’s wedding in the United States. Williams was scheduled to arrive yesterday in time for the Red Bull match.

Tugade’s departure to San Miguel was a blow to the Bulls. But so far, they have overcome the odds with victories over the Dragons and the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals.

Larry Fonacier has been amply filling the shoes of Tugade when the former Ateneo de Manila University marksman combined efforts with Mick Pennisi and Rico Villanueva the past two games.

Aiming for a fifth consecutive win, the Beermen saw their fortunes alter when the two Dannys -- Seigle and Ildefonso -- recovered from injuries and Rommel Adducul came aboard. June Navarro

full battle gear
11-08-2006, 11:23 AM
SLR eyes repeat against Red Bull

www.mb.com.ph


EXPECT A fully motivated Sta. Lucia team to show up when the Realtors battle Red Bull today in the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The first time they clashed this season, coach Alfrancis Chua challenged his boys to beat the Bulls, saying: "We lost a close game to Purefoods, which is the reigning champion in this tournament. Sabi ko, runner-up lang ang Red Bull kaya kaya natin iyan."

That ploy worked wonderfully for the Realtors who carved out a 105-83 victory over the Bulls.

But to beat the Bulls, the Realtors should work a lot harder this time when they meet at 4:35 p.m.

San Miguel Beer, hot on the comeback trail, aims to stretch its winning streak to a tournament-best five when it tackles Coca-Cola in the nightcap, but a lion’s share of the focus should be in the opener.

A repeat victory by league-leading Sta. Lucia will further boost its unforeseen stock as the team to beat and move the Realtors closer to Chua’s wish of making it to the semifinals outright.

"Of course, there’s still a long way to go. Pero kapag naka-ulit kami sa Red Bull, lalong tataas ang morale at kompiyansa ng mga bata. Lalo pa ngayon, nasa likod lang namin ang Red Bull," said Chua.

Sta. Lucia has been on a roll since suffering its only loss at the hands of defending champions.

The Realtors have won two more, the last an 89-83 win over Welcoat last Saturday.

What makes the Dragons game more memorable was the fact the Realtors pulled off the win despite the absence of top rookie sensation Kelly Williams, who was then in the US as best man to a bosom buddy’s wedding.

The 6-foot-7 forward returned last Monday and should be raring to dish out another do-it-all performance.

In the first game against Red Bull, Williams only had six points, but pulled down 16 rebounds, even outperforming both Marlou Aquino and Dennis Espino, who could only combine for 11 boards.

It’s not that Red Bull is going to be a slouch, either, knowing fully well a win will give it a share of the lead.

Since that loss to Sta. Lucia, Red Bull has won two in a row. The Bulls overcame Welcoat 80-77 before dropping Talk N Text 102-90 also last Saturday.

The win against TNT was a clear testament that the Bulls have fully recovered from top gunner Lordy Tugade’s departure to SMB.

Mick Pennisi scored 25 points in that game, including six triples, and

grabbed 14 rebounds, while Larry Fonacier led three other teammates in double figures with 19.

full battle gear
11-08-2006, 11:28 AM
SLR to keep lead vs dangerous Red Bull

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Sta. Lucia Realty hopes to tighten its grip of the lead when it faces Red Bull in the opener of the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Realtors and the Bulls collide at 4:40 p.m. to be followed by the game between the surging San Miguel Beer and Coca-Cola at 7:20 p.m.

The Beermen are one of the hottest teams right now, winning their last four games to offset their horrendous 0-3 start in the tournament.

Like San Miguel, Sta. Lucia is on a roll as the wards of coach Alfrancis Chua have won their last three, six overall in seven games for a league-leading 6-1 win-loss slate.

"There’s still a long way to go. Every team is catching up so every game is important," said Chua whose 6-1 start is already a franchise-best in the All-Filipino tournament.

The Realtors are coming off an 89-83 win over newcomer Welcoat Paints last Saturday in San Juan where top rookie Kelly Williams did not suit up due to a commitment in the United States.

Without the high-flying rookie, Chua needed huge games from Paolo Mendoza, Dennis Espino, Kenneth Duremdes and rookie Ronnie Bughao to avoid the upset axe of the Dragons.

Sta. Lucia management said that Williams arrived last Tuesday and will be ready against Red Bull, which is currently at the solo second in the team standings with 5-2 mark.

The Bulls are also fresh from a victory in their previous game, dismantling Talk ’N Text, 102-90 behind the solid shooting games from Mick Pennisi, who hit six triples in that win, and Larry Fonacier.

In the main tiff, San Miguel hopes to extend its winning run to five against the Tigers.

"I think the key here is our bench. In all of our four games that we’ve won, the bench really came out and played well," said Beermen mentor Chot Reyes.

gameface_one
11-09-2006, 09:30 AM
Bulls bury Realtors, 92-73
abs-cbnnews.com


Red Bull made an exact revenge over Sta. Lucia Realty, 92-73, to tie its victim in the leaderboard of the Talk 'N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup Wednesday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Bulls came out rampaging after a close first period and doubled the Realtors’ production in the third quarter to coast to an easy win and avenged their 22-point loss in their first meeting.

Enrico Villanueva led all scorers with 24 points on 11-of-18 shooting to go along with 8 rebounds to help Red Bull extend its winning streak to three games while putting an end to the three-game winning run of Sta. Lucia.

Both Bulls and the Realtors are tied at the top of the standings with 6-2 win-loss card each.

Larry Fonacier, Topex Robinson and Cyrus Baguio each had 10 markers for Red Bull in a display of balanced attack.

Alex Cabagnot and Dennis Espino were the only Sta. Lucia players in double figures with 14 points apiece. The team was 4-of-24 from the three-point area.

Staring a 16-20 deficit after the first quarter, the Bulls outscored the Realtors in the next stage, 31-14, to build a commanding 47-34 halftime lead. It ballooned to 27 points, 75-48, entering the final canto.

Sta. Lucia had one serious run, an 8-0 blast to start the fourth quarter to trim the lead to 56-75, 8:53 left, but Red Bull responded with its own 6-0 binge to deny the Realtors of a miracle comeback.

Scores:

Red Bull 92—Villanueva 24, Fonacier 10, Robinson 10, Baguio 10, Valenzuela 8, Sharma 7, Bugia 6, Pennisi 6, Najorda 4, Cruz 3, Ybanez 2, Alvarez 2.

Sta. Lucia 73—Espino 14, Cabagnot 14, Williams 8, Omolon 8, Duremdes 8, Isip 6, Aquino 4, Bughao 3, Catli 3, Mendoza 3, Calimag 2, Gonzales 0.

Quarters: 16-20, 47-34, 75-48, 92-73 The Manila Times

gameface_one
11-10-2006, 10:50 AM
Beermen eye 6 in a row vs Ginebra
abs-cbnnews.com


Barangay Ginebra tests the mettle of the streaking San Miguel Beer when collide in the main game of the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The sister teams meet at 7:20 p.m. after the tussle between Sta. Lucia Realty and Alaska at 4:40 p.m.

After a lethargic 0-3 start, the Beermen of coach Chot Reyes racked up five straight wins including a 119-103 victory over Coca-Cola last Friday at the Big Dome.

They are currently tied with the Kings at 5-3 mark just a game behind coleaders Realtors and Red Bull at 6-2.

"It will be a hard game for us for sure," said Reyes who prevailed in their first meeting, 101-97, at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Reyes said that the bench has been playing impressively that’s why his team is on a roll right now and it will be needed against the talented squad like Ginebra.

The Kings were humbled by defending champion Purefoods Chunkee in their previous game, 84-88, spoiling the debut of Ronald Tubid with the team.

Ginebra actually was in full control of that game but had crucial turnovers and ill-advised shots in the final minutes of the game.

In the opener, the Aces hope to nail their first winning streak of the season against Sta. Lucia, which saw its three-game winning streak snapped by the Bulls last Friday.

"Sta. Lucia will not be an easy opponent especially coming off a loss," said Alaska head coach Tim Cone who snapped a five-game losing streak with a 122-100 win against Air21 last week.

full battle gear
11-11-2006, 12:39 PM
Bulls meet Express in Legazpi tiff


Inquirer
Last updated 03:21am (Mla time) 11/11/2006

Published on page A21 of the November 11, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GAME TODAY
(Albay Astrodome)
5 p.m.—Air21 vs Red Bull

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay — Red Bull is coming off a big win while Air21 is reeling from a devastating loss.

But the Bulls are not taking the Express for granted when they collide at 5 p.m. today in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Albay Astrodome here.

“They could come out with their best in a particular game and be at their worst in another,” said Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao of the Express, who will try to bounce back from a 122-100 beating from the Alaska Aces.

The Bulls are riding a three-game win streak, their last victory coming at the expense of Sta. Lucia Realty that tied them both at the top with identical 6-2 records.

Since shipping out Lordy Tugade to San Miguel Beer, Guiao and the Bulls have lost only once in four games with sophomore Larry Fonacier slowly proving to be a capable replacement.

“We told him (Fonacier) about his role in the team,” said Guiao. “At first, he felt the pressure. But he knows that he will sink into that position (Tugade’s role) in the team sooner or later.”

Fonacier, last year’s rookie of the year, has also been blending well with Cyrus Baguio, Junthy Valenzuela, Celino Cruz and Topex Robinson in the backcourt chemistry to complement the fine work of Rico Villanueva and Mick Pennisi inside the paint.

But the unpredictability of the 3-5 Express worries the Bulls.

Gary David, Ranidel and Yancy De Ocampo, Wynne Arboleda, Mark Telan and rookie Arwind Santos can get hot and give Red Bull a tough time if not a win.

Meanwhile, Sta. Lucia Realty nipped Alaska, 101-98, in their game at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

The Realtors, who drew 24 points from Kelly Williams, improved their record to 7-2 and gained the solo lead. The Aces fell deeper down the cellar at 2-7.

The scores:

STA. LUCIA 101—Williams 24, Gonzales 17, Cabagnot 14, Espino 12, Aquino 8, Catli 6, Isip 5, Mendoza 5, Duremdes 4, Bughao 2, Calimag 2, Omolon 2

ALASKA 98—Belasco 20, Miller 19, Dela Cruz 18, Ferriols 15, Cariaso 15, Thoss 5, Laure 2, Singson 2, Juinio 2

Quarters: 29-27, 44-40, 76-65, 101-98

full battle gear
11-11-2006, 12:42 PM
Sta. Lucia spills Alaska
By Joey Villar
The Philippine Star 11/11/2006

Sta. Lucia drew the spark from Fil-Am Kelly Williams and the Realtors regained their winning ways by tripping Alaska Milk, 101-98, yesterday and wresting the solo lead in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Well-rested and re-energized after a lethargic eight-point effort in a 73-92 loss to Red Bull Wednesday, Williams exploded for 24 points this time, highlighting his exploits with a 12-point splurge in the third quarter that gave the Realtors enough cushion to post their seventh victory against two losses.

While Sta. Lucia stormed back to the top, Alaska reeled to the bottom of the 10-team field with its seventh loss in nine outings.

Williams, this year’s top overall rookie pick, also had 12 rebounds, four steals and three assists that more than made up for his sub-par game the last time out.

In the nightcap witnessed by 14,969 paying fans, crowd darling Barangay Ginebra leaned on the endgame heroics of Mark Caguioa and Ronald Tubid as it downed San Miguel, 92-87, to seize solo third place with a 6-3 (win-loss) slate and exacted revenge on its 97-101 overtime loss on Oct. 22 at the Astrodome.

It was the Beermen’s fourth loss against five triumphs.

"I guess he’s feeling the pressure because we won one game without him," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua referring to his prolific forward who arrived Tuesday night from a United States trip.

"I’m glad Kelly’s not dizzy anymore and I’m happy we’re back on track," Chua added.

Norman Gonzales came off the bench to fire 17 points in the first half as the Realtors kept their heads above water in the face of the Aces stubborn stand.

Gonzales went five-of-six from the field, including two triples, and five-of-six from the foul line in the first half when Sta. Lucia held on to a precarious 44-40 lead at the break.

Then Williams took over.

Held to just three points in the first half, Williams cut loose in the pivotal third as the Realtors took a double-digit spread, 76-65, and never looked back.

Williams sustained that firepower in the fourth as Sta. Lucia roared to leads of as many as 13 points then thwarted off the Aces’ fightback down the stretch.

full battle gear
11-11-2006, 12:47 PM
Realtors nip Aces, regain lead


By TITO TALAO
www.mb.com.ph


A GOOD night's sleep awaits the Sta. Lucia Realtors once more now that the jetlag is over for Kelly Williams.

Williams had a game-high 24 points, 20 in the second half, and the Realtors were back in flight, beating the Alaska Aces, 101-98, and regaining solo leadership in the Talk ’N TextPBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Two days after losing to Red Bull by 19 points as Williams struggled to keep from dozing off following a long flight from Detroit where he attended the wedding of his best friend, the Realtors picked up their seventh win in nine games, disengaging from a tie with the Bulls.

But the Aces nearly made Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua pay for untying his hair with 1.8 seconds left and the Realtors ahead by three.

Good thing Aces forward Jeffrey Cariaso missed on his buzzer-beater.

Even better, he was inside the three-point shot when he launched a long jumper.

"Nasa loob si Jeff," said Chua, who undid his ponytail as a sign of victory after John Ferriols’ basket left the Aces trailing 101-98 with barely time left. "Tatawag sana ako ng timeout kaya lang one second na lang."

Chua nearly regretted his apparent esteem for Tim Cone, the Alaska coach, after the Aces stole the inbounds pass and Cariaso was able to throw up a prayer.

"It’s nice to beat a team so organized as Alaska twice," said Chua. "We’re peaking. At least ngayon, hindi na hilo si Kelly."

Williams was held down to eight points against Red Bull, his output in the fourth quarter alone this time where his offensive rebounding and putbacks kept the Aces’ rally on check.

A shot clock-beater by Paolo Mendoza gave Sta. Lucia a 98-90 lead. But the Aces charged back on consecutive 3-pointers from Cariaso and Tony dela Cruz to make it 99-96.

Alex Cabagnot made it a five-point lead from the line before Ferriols scored from up close with 1.8 seconds to go, prompting Chua to shake his hair loose. The Realtors took the half, 44-40, despite trailing 9-2 early.

Norman Gonzales, 5 of 6 from the field with two 3-pointers, had 9 of his 17 in the first 24 minutes, adding four rebounds and a steal to an inspired first half performance.

Neither team shot well, both hitting in the mid-30 percent, and fastbreak plays were practically non-existent.

The Realtors, however, went 11 of 16 from the line and were 5 of 17 in 3-point shots.

The Aces were coming off a 122-100 rout of Air21, ending a five-game losing streak, while the Realtors saw a three-game run snapped by Red Bull 92-73, Sta. Lucia owns a 1-0 edge over Alaska this conference, its 98-92 win marking the game the Aces lost playmaker Mike Cortez to a season-ending knee injury.

full battle gear
11-11-2006, 12:50 PM
Realtors down Aces, regain lead of RP Cup

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Games Saturday
(Legazpi City)

6 p.m. Red Bull vs. Air21

Games on Sunday
(Araneta Coliseum)

4:05 p.m. Purefoods vs. Welcoat

6:30 p.m. Ginebra vs. Talk ’N Text


Santa Lucia Realty reclaimed the solo lead with an impressive 101-98 win over Alaska Friday night in the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Top rookie Kelly Williams came back from a so-so performance in their previous game as he led the Realtors to their seventh win in nine games with an all-around performance and sent the Aces deeper at the cellar with 2-7 win-loss mark.

Williams finished with a game-high 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while adding four steals in a display of an all-around performance from Sta. Lucia which was massacred by Red Bull in its previous game, 73-92.

Norman Gonzales added 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor while Alex Cabagnot chipped in 14 markers, including two crucial free throws in the dying seconds, and 8 assists.

Nic Belasco had also a double-double game from Alaska with 20 points and 14 boards but the Aces’ second unit failed to contribute compared to their counterparts.

From a slim 44-40 halftime lead, the Realtors broke away in the third period behind Gonzales and Williams and built a double-digit lead, 76-65, entering the final canto.

Alaska had some serious runs in the fourth quarter but Santa Lucia managed to douse those uprisings through their defense and clutch shooting.

The Aces last threatened at 90-96 after Tony de la Cruz converted two free throws with 56 seconds left in the game.

Coach Tim Cone’s wards almost forced a 24-second shotclock violation on Santa Lucia but Paolo Mendoza picked up an offensive rebound, span on the baseline and hit a buzeer-beater jumper that proved to be the dagger for Alaska, 98-90, 13.9 ticks left.

Scores:

Santa Lucia 101—Williams 24, Gonzales 17, Cabagnot 14, Espino 12, Aquino 8, Catli 6, Isip 5, Mendoza 5, Duremdes 4, Bughao 2, Calimag 2, Omolon 2.

Alaska 98—Belasco 20, Miller 19, de la Cruz 18, Ferriols 15, Cariaso 15, Thoss 5, Laure 2, Singson 2, Juinio 2.

Quarters: 29-27, 44-40, 76-65, 101-98.

full battle gear
11-12-2006, 01:23 PM
Dragons battle Giants; Pals face Gins


Inquirer
Last updated 06:31am (Mla time) 11/12/2006

Published on page A19 of the November 12, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GAMES TODAY (Araneta Coliseum)
4:05 p.m.—Welcoat vs Purefoods
6:20 p.m.—Talk N Text vs Barangay Ginebra

THE fire-breathing Dragons of Welcoat, no longer a team to be taken lightly, collide with the Purefoods Giants today in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

After stunning the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals Thursday, the Dragons go for another big fish in the Giants at 4:05 p.m.

“Knowing that we’re just a new team, there’s little or no pressure at all,’’ said Welcoat coach Leo Austria, whose Dragons moved out of the cellar to tie the Coca-Cola Tigers at 3-6 following their 79-72 conquest of the Phone Pals in Tubod, Lanao del Norte.

“But it doesn’t mean that we’re taking it easy. The intention is to go for the win when we’re out there,’’ he added.

Now on a four-game slide, the Phone Pals (4-5) are in danger of absorbing a fifth straight loss when they meet the Barangay Ginebra Kings in the main game at 6:20 p.m.

The Kings, who bounced back from an overtime loss to the Giants by repulsing the San Miguel Beermen, 92-87, on Friday, are alone at third place (6-3), a full game behind the leading Sta. Lucia.

“We’re well-rested and prepared but we know that going up against Welcoat is never easy,’’ said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.

“In fact, you cannot take any team here in this tournament for granted.’’

Gregorio got his old rotation back when the Giants reactivated Richard Yee from the injury list. Yee, a reliable complement for Kerby Raymundo and

Austria has been getting tremendous games from Jay-R Reyes, Rob Wainwright and Jercules Tangkay apart from key contributions from Froilan Baguion, Nino Gelig and Denver Lopez.

But Talk ‘N Text was mainly to blame for its debacle against Welcoat with its highly paid stars suddenly fading in the endgame. June Navarro

full battle gear
11-12-2006, 01:24 PM
Air21 stops Red Bull

By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 06:31am (Mla time) 11/12/2006

Published on page A19 of the November 12, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

LEGAZPI CITY—It was one situtaiton where Red Bull used to deal with through Lordy Tugade.

Air21 came up with a big offensive spurt and held its ground the rest of the way to down Red Bull, 81-74, last night in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Albay Astrodome here.

Mark Telan and Wynne Arboleda combined for several razor-sharp plays as the Express cut loose in the third period en route to their fourth victory after nine games.

Red Bull normally turns to Tugade to match the firepower of the enemy but Lordy is now with San Miguel Beer and the Bulls rued his absence as they absorbed their first loss in their last four games.

Arboleda’s drive sparked a deluge of fastbreaks for the Express with Telan knocking in six straight points and Leo Avenido capping the run with a steal for a 60-51 lead late in the third period.

The Bulls turned to Celino Cruz, whose back-to-back three-pointers cut the margin to 62-68, but Aris Dimaunahan, Gary David and Yancy De Ocampo broke Red Bull’s momentum before the Express ran down the clock wisely.

Red Bulls coach Yen Guiao never found a replacement for Tugade as Cyrus Baguio and Larry Fonacier struggled in the backcourt.

Junthy Valenzuela had a few brilliant moments but time ran out on the Bulls, who fell to their third defeat in a tie with Barangay Ginebra (6-3) at second place.

It was an ugly game the Bulls and the Express played as turnovers and atrocious shooting hounded them throughout the first period.

The greasy floor and a slippery leather also contributed to several sloppy executions in the first half which the Express took at 37-36.

The Bulls, who shot only 28 percent in the opening quarter, nailed 10 of 25 attempts in the succeeding period for a 35 percent shooting clip in the entire first half.

The scores:

AIR21 81—Telan 15, De Ocampo Y 15, Dimaunahan 11, David 10, Canaleta 9, Arboleda 8, De Ocampo R. 7, Santios 4, Avenido 2, Sotto 0.

RED BULL 74—Valenzuela 15, Cruz 10, Sharma 9, Najorda 7, Baguio 6, Alvarez 6, Pennisi 5, Robinson 4, Villanueva 4, Ibañez 4, Bugia 2, Fonacier 2.

Quarters: 13-11; 37-36; 60-52; 81-74

full battle gear
11-12-2006, 01:27 PM
Plans for PBA Coliseum taking shape — Eala
By Joaquin Henson
The Philippine Star 11/12/2006

Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Noli Eala said yesterday it will take three years to build a proposed stadium with a seating capacity of 19,000, an underground practice facility and an expanded courtside section at a cost of P700 million.

No blueprint has been set on paper but Eala conjured visions of a facility similar to the American Airlines Arena which is the Miami Heat’s home in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Eala said the PBA is pursuing the goal of owning its own coliseum and three properties in Quezon City are under consideration as the site. He said the option of building on the reclaimed area off Roxas Boulevard was scuttled because of the SM Group’s plan to construct an arena near the Mall of Asia.

PBA chairman Ricky Vargas, Eala and legal counsel Melvin Mendoza recently met with Quezon City Mayor Sonny Belmonte to identify possible sites for the stadium.

Suggested as candidate sites were the corner of EDSA and Quezon Avenue where the Manila Seedling Bank is located, a property at the boundary of Agham Road and Quezon Avenue and a lot on Ayala Land’s North Triangle Development Area near SM North EDSA.

Eala said raising P700 million for the project is doable and outlined a capital outlay program where two principal PBA franchise owners will get the ball rolling with a contribution of P100 million each. The PBA itself could add P150 million to the fund with each team chipping in P15 million apiece. The balance could be from a bank loan or the franchise fees expected from expansion clubs, one of which is already committed for next season.

Eala said Mayor Belmonte broached the idea of adding the facilities of a civic or convention center to the coliseum.

"We’re very excited about the prospect of constructing a multi-purpose arena," said Eala. "Mayor Belmonte is enthusiastic. The PBA offices will be in the stadium. A practice facility, with a full-sized court, could be on the ground floor under the main level. There could be an exhibition hall. And in the stadium itself, we could expand the courtside section so that there is virtually no gallery and every fan gets an unobstructed view of the action."

Eala visited the Miami facility during the NBA Finals last June and said he’ll suggest it as a pattern for the PBA coliseum.

The Heat’s facility was inaugurated in 1999 and is a landmark in downtown Miami as one of the premier sports and entertainment facilities in the US. It was constructed on a 1.4 million square foot property with the flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of programming, including 19,600 for basketball. The arena has hosted championship fights, wrestling extravaganzas and concerts featuring the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Andrea Bocelli, U2 and Madonna. Located within the arena is a state-of-the-art theater for smaller shows, private performances and dinner events with a ceiling to floor acoustic curtain, proscenium stage, lighting, carpeted aisles and chandeliers.

Eala said the plan is for the PBA Coliseum to be a mecca of basketball with games in the UAAP, NCAA and the PBL to be included in the playing schedule.

If plans do not miscarry, the groundbreaking for the project could be held in July next year.

Eala said he has the confirmation for a new team to join the league in the 2007-08 season and is close to finalizing the addition of another franchise. He said he foresees the league with 14 teams by 2010 when the PBA Coliseum will be ready to open.

"While the coliseum is under construction, I’m sure the league will receive even more bids because of the hype generated by the inauguration of a new stadium," said Eala. "I think Welcoat is quite fortunate in that the team joined at the right time. But it’s not too late for others to join. All signs point to a dramatic rise in public interest on the PBA."

So far this conference, the PBA has already registered five playdates with attendance of over 10,000. On season-opening day, more than 16,000 fans jammed the Araneta Coliseum for the inaugural game. Attendance eclipsed the 16,000 mark once again for the recent Sunday doubleheader featuring Alaska vs Air21 and Ginebra San Miguel vs Purefoods at the Big Dome.

full battle gear
11-12-2006, 01:27 PM
Express streak past Red Bull

The Philippine Star 11/12/2006

LEGAZPI CITY — Yancy de Ocampo and Mark Telan stepped up their game and the Air21 Express downed the Red Bull side, 81-74, in a Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup road game at the Albay Astrodome here last night.

De Ocampo and Telan submitted 15 points and 13 rebounds apiece as Air21 improved its record to 4-5 in the halfway mark of the classification phase of the All-Filipino tourney.

After playing catch-up for the most part, the Express got a huge break in the third as the Bulls faltered on both ends in the last three minutes of the period.

That paved the way for the Express’ decisive 13-1 blast that turned a 47-51 deficit into a 60-52 advantage at the end of the third quarter.

Red Bull didn’t recover and suffered its third loss in nine games, falling to joint second with Barangay Ginebra.

Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra starts the second half of its classification-round campaign when it takes on the slumping Talk n Text squad at the Araneta Coliseum today, looking to gain solo second place behind Sta. Lucia.

The Kings recorded six wins in their first nine games in the tourney with their sixth win coming at the expense of the San Miguel Beermen, 92-87, in their grudge match Friday also at the Big Dome.

full battle gear
11-12-2006, 01:29 PM
Kings battle Phone Pals


www.mb.com.ph


THIS ISN’T personal, boys, just business.

Jong Uichico may not exactly be too keen on mouthing lines from The Godfather, but that’s how he’s beginning to handle the whole thing.

Moved as head coach of San Miguel Beer to head mentor of Barangay Ginebra, Uichico is making the most out of the abrupt change – with business-like approach.

For one, he’s starting to adapt to the Kings’ run-and-gun style. He’s also beginning to appreciate the head-splitting roar of the Ginebra horde, even feeling good beating up on their opponents.

Yes, even if the other guys on the floor are more than just friends, being almost like family, say, like the Beermen who the Kings disposed off, 92-87, Friday.

Behind the explosive Mark Caguioa, the Kings rolled out the Beermen to dry, scoring 28 points, including 23 in the second half that sealed their sixth win against three losses for third place.

The Kings and the Phone Pals collide at 6:30 p.m. in the Talk 'N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum where the howls of the Ginebra multitude will still be echoing from the bleachers.

In the first game at 4:05 p.m., Welcoat Paints, fresh from a red-letter day 79-72 upset of Talk ’N Text in Tubod, Lanao del Norte, meet Purefoods Chunkee, a team on the rise and on the attack.

Red Bull and Air21 were playing at press time in Legazpi, Albay.

—Tito TALAO

full battle gear
11-12-2006, 01:32 PM
Kings shoot for big win against Pals

Games Sunday
(Araneta Coliseum)

4:05 p.m. Welcoat vs Purefoods
6:30 p.m. Ginebra vs Talk N Text

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


Fresh from a morale-boosting win in its previous game, Barangay Ginebra guns for its seventh win against the reeling Talk ’N Text squad Sunday in the TNT-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Kings and the Phone Pals collide in the main game at 6:30 p.m. after the tussle between defending champion Purefoods Chunkee and Welcoat Paints at 4:05 p.m.

Ginebra is coming off a huge 92-87 victory over sister team San Miguel Beer last Friday also at the Big Dome behind the explosion of Mark Caguioa who erupted for 23 of his 28 points in the second half to lead the team to the win.

“We struggled offensively at the start but the team gutted it out and that’s something commendable about them,” said Kings head coach Jong Uichico of their game against the Beermen.

Ginebra will be facing a disarrayed Talk ’N Text squad which, after a 4-1 start, dropped its last four games including a 72-79 defeat at the hands of the lowly Dragons last Thursday in Tubod, Lanao del Norte.

While Uichico is beginning to draw a cohesive effort from his players, Phone Pals mentor Derrick Pumaren has been getting inconsistent performances from his wards particularly to his starters.

Talk ’N Text main man Asi Taulava was held to a conference-low 5 points against Welcoat and was hardly a factor in that match.

In the opener, the Giants gun for their sixth win against the Dragons who are undoubtedly one of the over-achieving teams in the league right now.

“You can’t take Welcoat lightly. In this league, any team is capable of beating the other team. They maybe inferior talent wise but they play very hard and have a good coach,” said Purefoods head coach Ryan Gregorio.

The Giants stunned Ginebra last Sunday, 88-84, behind the solid efforts of Richard Yee, James Yap and Kerby Raymundo.

Welcoat, on the other hand, is currently tied with Coca-Cola at 3-6 mark, and is eyeing its first winning streak of the franchise in the league with another upset over the Giants.

full battle gear
11-13-2006, 11:25 AM
Giants nip Dragons; Pals rout Gin Kings

By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 03:04am (Mla time) 11/13/2006

Published on page A29 of the November 13, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE WELCOAT Dragons were in an upset mood again last night. Too bad, the Purefoods Giants held their ground.

James Yap lived up to his status as last season’s Most Valuable Player by sinking four pressure-packed free throws as the Giants escaped with an 86-84 squeaker in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

“This kind of game makes us tougher in the end,” said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio, whose Giants survived the same ordeal the Phone Pals failed to overcome last week.

The Dragons stunned the Phone Pals in an out-of-town game last week and the league’s rookie team also engaged the Giants in a tooth-and-nail finish behind Nino Gelig, who pumped in a career-high 22 points.

But Talk ‘N Text redeemed itself in the second game as Mac Cardona also set a career-high 30 points to power the Phone Pals to a runaway 113-98 victory over the Barangay Ginebra Kings.

The Phone Pals snapped a four-game skid and notched their fifth win in 10 outings.

The crowd-favorite Kings, who shot poorly from the field, fell behind by as many as 27 points in the third period to absorb their fourth defeat in 10 games and land in a tie with the Giants at 6-4.

Unloading 13 points in the pivotal period, including eight of Welcoat’s last 10, Gelig gave Welcoat an 82-81 edge going into the final minute.

But Yap coolly sank his free throws in the dying seconds and the Dragons collapsed with Gelig and Froilan Baguion flubbing four charities in the last 28.9 seconds.

“Welcoat is capable of beating tough teams, but in the end it will all boil down to maturity,” said Gregorio.

The Dragons dropped to their seventh defeat in 10 games but they certainly had nothing to be ashamed of in front of a jam-packed crowd of 16,455, the biggest turnout since the 16,232 that attended the tournament’s colorful opening rites.

Gelig joined forces with Jercules Tangkay, Denver Lopez, Jay-R Reyes and Adonis Sta. Maria to keep the defending champion Giants on their toes in the payoff quarter.

The scores:

First Game
PUREFOODS 86 -- Yap J. 23, Raymundo 17, Yap R. 14, Simon 11, Yee 7, Limpot 5, Artadi 4, Evangelista 4, Pingris 1, Castillo 0.
WELCOAT 84 -- Gelig 22, Tangkay 20, Mente 9, Cabatu 8, Lopez 8, Sta. Maria 7, Reyes 6, Lao 2, Wainwright 2, Baguion 0.
Quarters: 21-16, 42-35, 64-56, 86-84

Second Game
TALK ‘N TEXT 113 -- Cardona 30, Alapag 19, Carey 18, Ritualo 11, Taulava 10, Washington 7, Pablo 7, Allado 6, Belano 5.
GINEBRA 98 -- Menk 29, Caguioa 21, Hatfield 14, Tubid 8, Hleterbrand 8, Holper 6, Salvacion 5, Abarrientos 4, Macapagal 2, Mamaril 1, Reavis 0, Seigle 0.
Quarters: 31-18, 59-43, 90-64, 113-98

full battle gear
11-13-2006, 11:27 AM
Giants steal win from Dragons’ claws
By Joey Villar
The Philippine Star 11/13/2006

James Yap canned in four free throws down the stretch then Purefoods held Welcoat Paints scoreless in the final minute to fashion out a scary 86-84 victory last night in the Talk N’ Text PBA Philippine Cup classification round at the Araneta Coliseum.

Yap’s first two free throws knotted the count at 84 with 50.4 seconds left in the contest while the last two sent the Giants to their second straight victory and sixth overall in 10 outings to gain fourth place in the 10-team field.

"We know they’re capable of beating strong teams," said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio. "But in the end it boiled down to maturity, I think we passed the test with flying colors."

Yap finished with 23 points as he bested Niño Gelig in a high-scoring duel. Gelig shone with a career-high 22-point output, including 13 in the fourth quarter, but cracked when it mattered most as he muffed two free throws that would have shattered the 84-all tie with 28.9 ticks remaining.

Instead, it was Purefoods, which gained the lead on Yap ’s two charities, that turned out to be the winner.

Froilan Baguion, who had nine points, six rebounds, six assists and six steals in a 79-72 upset win over Talk n Text in an out-of-town game in Tubod, Lanao del Norte Thursday, also flubbed two foul shots that would have tied the game at 86.

After Roger Yap bungled both his penalty shots with 2.4 seconds in the clock, Jay-R Reyes plucked the rebound, dribbled to mid-court and then threw a prayer of a shot that hit only the board as time expired.

It was Welcoat’s sixth defeat against three triumphs.

In the nightcap witnessed by a season-best 17,319 fans, Talk N’ Text leaned on a career game by Mark Cardona as it walloped crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra, 113-98, for its fifth win in as many setbacks.

Cardona, who is celebrating his 25th birthday today, unleashed 30 points, his best effort thus far since joining the league two years ago.

It was the Kings’ fourth defeat against six triumphs.

Despite the loss, the Dragons earned respect from Gregorio.

"I have to give it to Welcoat and coach Leo Austria, they played tremendously well," said Gregorio.

Yap fired two triples early as he teamed up with Kerby Raymundo in combining for 22 points in the first half that saw the Giants seize a 42-35 advantage.

The Giants sustained their run in the third period, leading by as many as nine points before Gelig took charge for the Dragons, who grabbed an 84-82 lead with barely a minute to play.

But that turned out to be the last point for Welcoat as Yap took over to deliver the goods for the Giants.

full battle gear
11-13-2006, 11:29 AM
By CLYDE MARIANO
www.mb.com.ph


JAMES YAP is accustomed to making dramatic game-winning shots.

Yap did it again scoring a pressure-packed two free throws off Jojo Tangkay in the dying seconds, lifting defending champion Purefoods to an 86-84 victory against Welcoat yesterday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

"I have to convert those two charities to win. I’m glad, I made it," said Yap, who finished with 23 points on a perfect 7-for-7 free throws and four rebounds in 42 minutes.

Yap’s heroics came after Nino Gelig missed two charities off felllow UST alumnus Rey Evangelista.

Gelig scored a career high 22 points for the Dragons.

"James passed the test with flying colors. I’m happy for him because he did not fail us tonight," said coach Ryan Gregorio after the game.

"We need to win a game like this because it will determine if we are going all the way or not."

Welcoat, aiming to add Purefoods to its victims after beating Coca Cola, Talk N Text and San Miguel, could have sent the game into overtime, but Froilan Baguion, the rookie from National University, missed two free throws in the waning seconds, enabling Purefoods to escape with the win.

The win pushed Purefoods to fourth overall at 6-4, dislodging San Miguel Beer (5-4).

The loss was Welcoat’s seventh against three wins.

Baguio flubbed his first charity and intentionally missed the second hoping his teammates will get the offensive rebound. But Roger Yap collared the rebound to preserve the win for the Giants.

JR Reyes, the youngest in the league at 22, pushed Welcoat 84-82 on top with two charities with 57 seconds left, but James Yap returned the compliment with similar charities off Joey Mente’s sixth foul, to tie the count at 84-all.

Purefoods outrebounded Welcoat 48-33, and made 22 of 32 charities with James Yap perfectly hitting all seven bonus shots.

Welcoat jumped to a 10-9, on Nino Gelig jumper. But James Yap sparked a 9-0 run as Purefoods seized the upperhand, 18-10, on the way to a 21-16 first quarter lead.

Unfazed the Dragons, behind the troika of Jojo Tangkay, Nino Gelig and Denver Lopez, charged back to knot the count at 32-all.

But their heroics went for naught as the Giants bounced back with an 8-0 run keyed by Peter Simon’s three-point play to wrest the upperhand, 40-32, on the way to a 42-35 halftime spread.

The Scores:

First Game

Purefoods 86 — Yap J. 23, Raymundo 17, Yap R. 14, Simon 11, Yee 7, Limpot 5, Artadi 4, Evangelista 4, Pingris 1, Castillo 0.

Welcoat 84 — Gelig 22, Tangkay 20, Mente 9, Cabatu 8, Lopez 8, Sta. Maria 7, Reyes 6, Lao 2, Wainwright 2, Baguion 0.

Quarters: 21-16; 42-35; 64-56; 86-84.

Second Game

talk 'n text 113 — Cardona 30, Alapag 19, Carey 18, Ritualo 11, Taulava 10, Washington 7, Pablo7, Allado 6, Belano 5.

ginebra 98 — Menk 29, Caguioa 21, Hatfield 14, Tubid 8, Helterbrand 8, Holper 6, Salvacion 5, Abarrientos 4, Macapagal 2, Mamaril 1, Reavis 0, Seigle 0.

Quarters: 31-18, 59-43, 90-64, 113-98.

full battle gear
11-13-2006, 11:30 AM
Giants escape Dragons

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Purefoods Chunkee found Welcoat Paints a tough nut to crack Sunday as it had to rely on the missed free throws of its opponents in the dying seconds to pull off an 86-84 squeaker in the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

James Yap showed the young Dragons how to finish the game in 15-foot line as he sank four pressure-packed charities in the closing minute that saved the Giants from the upset axe and moved up in the standings with 6-4 card.

The reigning Most Valuable Player topped all scorers with 23 points and was 7-of-7 from the free throw area where the game was virtually decided.

Purefoods’ win spoiled the career game of Niño Gelig and the superb all-around performance from Jojo Tangkay, who ended up with 20 markers in 23 minutes, and denied Welcoat its first winning streak in the league as it dropped to 3-7.

Gelig netted a personal-best 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field but turned from hero to goat after missing two free throws with 28.9 seconds left that could had given the Dragons the lead from an 84-standoff.

Yap was fouled by Tangkay in the ensuing play and made both free throws for an 86-84 advantage with 9 seconds left.

Froilan Baguion had the opportunity to knot the score after Kerby Raymundo bumped him while aiming to drive, 3.8 ticks left. Alas, he succumbed to pressure as he muffed the first free throw.

He intentionally missed the second one and Roger Yap collared the defensive board and was sent by Tangkay in the free throw area, 2.4 seconds remaining.

The Cebuano guard also missed both free throws but Welcoat center Jay-R Reyes did not have a good look for a desperation heave as time expired.

Scores:

Purefoods 86—J. Yap 23, Raymundo 17, R. Yap 14, Simon 11, Yee 7, Limpot 5, Artadi 4, Evangelista 4, Pingris 1, Castillo 0.

Welcoat 84—Gelig 22, Tangkay 20, Mente 9, Cabatu 8, Lopez 8, Sta. Maria 7, Reyes 6, Lao 2, Wainwright 2, Baguion 0.

Quarters: 21-16, 42-35, 64-56, 86-84.

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11-14-2006, 10:54 AM
PBA invades cyberspace

www.mb.com.ph


IN YET another novel measure, games of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) can now be accessed live through the Internet by logging on to www.pba.ph.

The program began last Nov. 3 during the doubleheader featuring Purefoods against San Miguel and Coca-Cola vs. Air21.

The league’s broadband coverage is made possible through the PBA’s partnership with Mozcom, the Official PBA Website host and the league’s official internet provider, in an effort to provide Filipinos all over the world the chance to follow the latest happenings in Asia’s first ever play-forpay league.

"This marks another milestone in the rich history of the PBA. It would surely help us spawn the popularity of the league not only in Asia but all over the world," said commissioner Noli Eala.

Two weeks since its launching, the live radio streaming of the 2006-07 Talk `N Text PBA Philippine Cup games had already been getting positive responses and feedbacks from thousands of PBA fans around the globe.

One interesting follower is no less than the wife of the Philippine Consul in Brunei, who personally texted PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial and thanked the league for putting Radyo PBA on the internet.

Shortly after the Purefoods-Welcoat game last Sunday, an email sender also from overseas wrote the PBA just to say they regularly listen to the radio coverage on and her son burst into tears in the closing minutes of the Giants-Dragon encounter. The kid, apparently a Purefoods fan, thought his team was about to lose.

"We’re definitely flattered by her gesture. Rest assured that we’ll be doing everything to ensure that the PBA coverage on the net will be just as clear and appealing as the live games themselves," added Eala.

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11-15-2006, 11:27 AM
Realtors shoot for franchise record

www.mb.com.ph


WITH EACH passing win, the Sta. Lucia Realtors, it seems, are rediscovering values they never thought existed.

First they talked about self-respect. Then in beating the Alaska Aces – arguably the most organized team in the PBA, said Realtors coach Alfrancis Chua – the last time out, they showed spunk and character.

This time, against the Coca-Cola Tigers, a dangerous opponent with everything to gain by beating the leader, they probably could exercise less audacity and more caution.

Sta. Lucia takes on Coke at 4:35 p.m., eyeing a franchise record 8-2 start in the Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

In the nightcap, Red Bull, which blew a chance to regain a share of the lead after falling to Air21, battles powerhouse San Miguel Beer at 7:20 p.m.

The Realtors, last placers in the previous Philippine Cup, have already matched their best start in franchise history (7-2, win-loss) after the 101-98 win over the Aces last Nov. 10.

But the perennial cellar dwellers the past conferences now have a chance to rewrite the books and keep their guns aimed at one of two outright semifinals berth.

In a complete turnaround from a dismal five-win record in the previous tournament, the Realtors, by far, have only suffered only two losses – a blowout setback to Red Bull (73-92) and a heartbreaking 96-100 loss to Purefoods.

Chua credits his starters as much as his bench for the transformation.

"We just have to maintain our focus," said Chua. "Everyone is playing well, everyone is trying to contribute."

The team that has only one title since barging into the league in 1993 is tops when it comes to bench scoring, averaging close to 43 points per game, and are also leading the way in three-point field goals (35 percent) and shot blocks (6.3).

"Our last win against Alaska only showed the character of this team, how we can bounce back from a blowout loss," Chua said.

Neither can the contributions of veterans Marlou Aquino, Dennis Espino and Kenneth Duremdes be understated, their resurgence clearly brought about by the raw energy delivered by their draft picks and sophomores. —Tito TALAO

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11-15-2006, 11:34 AM
Tugade faces old team; Realtors shoot for 8th win

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Lordy Tugade gets a chance to get back at his former team as San Miguel Beer and Red Bull collide in the main game of the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen and the Bulls meet at 7:20 in the evening after the tussle between league-leader Sta. Lucia Realty and Coca-Cola at 4:40 p.m.

Tugade, who spent his amateur days and first six years in the league with Red Bull, was traded to the Beermen mid October to the shock of his fans as well as the team’s supporters.

This will mark the first time that the 6-foot-3 forward out of National University will face the Bulls whom he helped win a couple of championships in the PBA.

Red Bull has proven that there’s life after Tugade as it won three of their last five games since trading the All-Star forward and is currently at the solo second spot with 6-3 win-loss mark.

But the Bulls are coming off a 74-81 loss to Air21 last Saturday in Legaspi City and are expected to bounce back in tonight’s duel with San Miguel.

Chot Reyes’ Beermen are dropped their previous game, a close92-87 decision to sister team Barangay Ginebra last Friday also at the Big Dome.

That loss snapped their five-game winning streak, the most in the conference yet, and slid down to solo fifth in the team standings with 5-4 mark.

In the opener, the Realtors hope to build another winning run to have a firm grip of the league against the on-and-off Tigers of coach Binky Favis.

"The team is very upbeat of our chances. After our big loss against Red Bull, they showed heart when we played against Alaska," said Sta. Lucia mentor Alfrancis Chua whose wards defeated the luckless Aces, 101-98 in their previous game.

Coke, toting 3-6 slate, bowed to the mighty Beermen in its last game, 103-119, last week.

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11-16-2006, 11:54 AM
Realtors blast Tigers for 8-2 record start

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 03:39am (Mla time) 11/16/2006

Published on page A16 of the November 16, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

STA. LUCIA woke up after almost blowing a 29-point lead to turn back Coca-Cola, 106-91, last night and keep the solo lead in the Talk ‘N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Rookie Kelly Williams keyed the Realtors’ early breakaway with 19 of his 25 points in the first half and Marlou Aquino joined Nelbert Omolon in completing the job as Sta. Lucia improved to a franchise best 8-2 start.

“It was because of our defense that we erected such a huge lead,” Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua said. “And it was our fault that they (Tigers) were able to come back. We just relaxed on defense.”

The Tigers, who came into the game losers of their last two games and four of their last five, dropped to 3-7 overall, just a win ahead of the cellar-dwelling Alaska Aces.

Sta. Lucia led, 56-27, after a Dennis Espino layup late in the second period.

But Coca-Cola did not simply roll over and die, creeping within 76-78 early in the fourth period after rookie Joseph Yeo, who finished with a career-best 20 points, completed a three-point play off Kenneth Duremdes.

Alex Cabagnot also stepped up for Sta. Lucia, shooting 10 of his 16 points in the final two periods, including eight in the fourth which basically bailed the Realtors out.

Cabagnot, the team’s erstwhile prodigal son, first hit a jumper and capped a telling 12-4 run with a three-pointer going into the final 4:41 which restored a 90-80 Sta. Lucia lead.

That proved enough to snuff the breath out of the Tigers, who were led by John Arigo’s 25 points.

San Miguel Beer bested Red Bull, 84-78, in the second game to tie its victim at 6-4.

The scores:

First Game

STA. LUCIA 106—Williams 25, Omolon 18, Cabagnot 16, Duremdes 12, Aquino 12, Isip 7, Espino 7, Mendoza 5, Calimag 2, Gonzales 2, Bughao 0, Catli 0.

COCA-COLA 91—Arigo 25, Yeo 20, Peel 11, Miranda 9, Misolas 9, Salangsang 7, Pacana 6, Ramos 2, Antonio 2, Enrile 0.

Quarters: 29-13, 56-30, 70-64, 106-91

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11-16-2006, 12:00 PM
Realtors tame Tigers to set franchise record

By TITO TALAO
www.mb.com.ph


MARLOU AQUINO had his hook shot, Nelbert Omolon his breakaway dunk, and coach Alfrancis Chua his hair shaken loose — another typical evening for the Sta. Lucia Realtors this conference.

Using a 26-point halftime lead to cushion off a roaring Coca-Cola third quarter rally, the Realtors wore down the Tigers, 106-91, to continue their winning ways in the PBA-Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Sta. Lucia picked up its eighth win in 10 games, still a long way from the magic number needed to secure an outright semifinal berth but good enough to talk of best starts and franchise records.

Their 8-2 record is the Realtors’ finest in an all-Filipino conference and comes at the expense of the Tigers’ seventh loss in 10 games.

"Our composure is getting better," said Chua. "And we’re learning a little of everything – how to come back from a big deficit, how to maintain our advantage, and how to hang on down the stretch."

The Realtors needed Aquino’s long limbs and Omolon’s delicate hands to hang on in the fourth quarter after the Tigers nearly wiped out a 56-20 halftime disadvantage behind rookie Joseph Yeo.

Drafted out of De La Salle, Yeo had eight of his career-high 20 points in the third quarter, draining back-to-back 3-point shots as Coke brought the lead down to four points several times before his 3-point play made it 78-76, with 8:08 to go.

The Realtors then decided they had enough.

Playing 45 minutes, rookie Kelly Williams, who had 19 points in the first half, hit a three-point shot to highlight a 15-6 run to stop the Tigers on their tracks.

And when they tried to pick up the scent of the kill, Omolon stole the ball for a breakaway slam and Aquino swished in a hook over Ali Peek.

"It was our fault," said Chua. "We opened up that lead in the first half because of our defense, something we forgot to do in the third quarter. Good thing we picked it up in time."

Aquino said it felt good to be back in winning form and to finish a game.

"Masarap yung nanalo uli at nakakatulong sa team," Aquino said, his 4-of-8 shooting and 4-of-7 free throw clip both reasons to rejoice.

The scores:

First Game

STA. LUCIA 106 — Williams 25, Omolon 18, Cabagnot 16, Duremdez 12, Aquino 12, Isip 7, Espino 7, Mendoza 5, Calimag 2, Gonzales 2, Bughao 0, Catli 0.

COCA-COLA 91 — Arigo 25, Yeo 20, Peek 11, Miranda 9, Misolas 9, Salangsang 7, Pacana 6, Ramos 2, Antonio 2, Enrile 0.

Quarters; 29-13, 56-30, 70-64, 106-91.

full battle gear
11-16-2006, 12:04 PM
Williams, Omolon lead Realtors to notch 8th win

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Santa Lucia Realty had a strong start, faltered in the third period but finished with flare to book an impressive 106-91 win over Coca-Cola Wednesday night in the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Top rookie Kelly Williams started the scoring onslaught by the Realtors but the heroics of Nelbert Omolon in the final canto preserved the win for them and tightened the hold of the lead with 8-2 win-loss mark.

The 6-foot-4 Omolon had 16 of his 18 points in the closing quarter that thwarted the last-ditch stand presented by Coke to build a rally and handed the Tigers their third straight loss, seventh overall in 10 games.

Omolon also had three shotblocks and was the forefront of the team’s defensive tenacity. Williams piled up an all-around game with 25 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists.

John Arigo also had 25 markers for Coke while No. 3 overall pick Joseph Yeo netted a career-high 20 markers but coach Binky Favis failed to get a huge game from Ali Peek, who was held to just 11 points on 3-of-15 shooting from the field.

With Williams firing in every spot on the floor, the Realtors built an early 56-30 halftime lead that was quickly reduced by the Tigers after outscoring Santa Lucia in the third quarter, 34-14, to make it a manageable 70-64.

Coke even drew closer at 73-77 after Peek’s two free throws but Omolon engineered a 20-12 exchange capped by his one-hand slam to put the lead back to double digits, 97-85, 2:13 remaining.

Alex Cabganot also had a quality game for coach Alfrancis Chua as he netted 16 points including two there-pointers in the fourth period. Veterans Marlou Aquino and Kenneth Duremdes each chipped in 12 markers each for the streaking Realtors.

Scores:

Sta. Lucia 106–Williams 25, Omolon 18, Cabagnot 16, Duremdes 12, Aquino 12, Isip 7, Espino 7, Mendoza 5, Calimag 2, Gonzales 2, Bughao 0, Catli 0.

Coke 91–Arigo 25, Yeo 20, Peek 11, Miranda 9, Misolas 9, Salangsang 7, Pacana 6, Ramos 2, Antonio 2, Enrile 0.

Quarters: 29-13, 56-30, 70-64, 106-91

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11-17-2006, 11:20 AM
Peaking Giants face Express


Inquirer
Last updated 03:10am (Mla time) 11/17/2006

Published on page A34 of the November 17, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

WITH Purefoods tied for second place, coach Ryan Gregorio feels his defending champion Chunkee Giants are peaking at the right time.

“I like our pace, because right now, the target is a Top 2 spot, and from where I sit, we have a good shot,” Gregorio told the Inquirer yesterday, just after winding up preparations for a crucial collision with Air21 today in the PBA Philippine Cup.

The Giants clash with the Express in the 7:20 p.m. game at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, with Gregorio leaving no stone unturned in his return bout with the Express. Purefoods nearly blew a 29-point spread in their first meeting.

“We have a chance to temporarily gain second spot,” Gregorio said. “That’s the motivation right now. But the problem is how to keep in step with an athletic and energetic team like Air21.”

Alaska, meanwhile, tries to get out of the cellar earlier when it tangles with newcomer Welcoat in the 4:35 p.m. contest.

Alaska is struggling in the tournament after losing cornerstone Mike Cortez to a season-ending knee injury, and Welcoat has made heads turn by bringing down some pretty tough teams, including Talk ’N Text in Tubod last week.

The Aces, who lost five straight games at one point, have languished in the bottom and could get out of it for the first time with a win.

After a 1-3 start, the Giants have won five of their last six games and are tied for second spot with three other high-profile teams, just two games behind the leading 8-2 card of Sta. Lucia.

“At this point, we have to just keep on piling up the wins,” Gregorio added. “We cannot afford to think of how close the other teams are because the standings are just too tight at the moment.”

On Oct. 14, it looked like Purefoods was on the way to posting one of the most lopsided wins in the tournament, until the Express gained steam and almost turned it around had Arwind Santos knocked down a three-pointer at the buzzer of a 101-103 Air21 loss.

That game also proved to be the wake-up call for the Express, who have won three of their next seven games since then and are in a position to advance to the quarterfinals. -- Musong R. Castillo

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11-17-2006, 11:24 AM
Giants seek solo second

By TITO TALAO
www.mb.com.ph


GIVEN THEIR size, Giants do require extra space.

A breather from a choking situation at second place awaits the Purefoods Chunke Giants when they clash with the Air21 Express today in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Tied with San Miguel Beer, Red Bull and Ginebra on 6-4, win-loss cards, below the inspired Sta. Lucia Realtors (8-2), Purefoods could break out of the logjam if it could find a way to slow down the frenetic Express.

Ryan Gregorio, the Giants coach, knows his team faces, well, a tall order in Air21, but the speed with which Purefoods is peaking pleases him no end.

With eight games left in the elimination, a lot of roller-coaster ride remains, Gregorio believes.

"I like our pace, because right now, the target is a Top 2 spot, and from where I sit, we have a good shot," Gregorio said.

From where sits in the middle of the pack is where the Giants will flex their muscles at 7:20 p.m., hoping to avert a near-disaster when the two teams last met and the Express flattened a 29-point deficit and almost steamrolled over them.

"Second place is enough motivation for us. That is if we can keep up with an athletic and energetic team like Air21. We need to stockpile on our victories," Gregorio said.

"What’s happening around us doesn’t concern us because the standings are just too tight right now."

Too tight was the situation the Giants fell into last Oct. 14 after they blew a huge margin and could have lost the game had Air21 rookie Arwind Santos knocked down a three-pointer at the buzzer of a 103-101 loss.

Some good came out of that game for Air21 as well as it won three of its next seven games to stay in contention for a quarterfinal spot.

Pre-conference favorite Alaska, meanwhile, seeks to get out of the rut when it battles Welcoat Paints at 4:35 p.m., with the Aces’ triangle offense the main weapon the Dragons hope to neutralize.

With ace playmaker Mike Cortez, Alaska is nothing less than a sure winner. But without him, the Dragons could lay siege at the Aces’ offense before launching an attack at the last moment, a ploy that worked against the Talk ’N Text Phone Pals in Tubod, Lanao del Norte last week.

gameface_one
11-18-2006, 05:56 PM
Alaska shackles Welcoat in overtime
mb.com.ph



By TITO TALAO

WELCOAT PAINTS had the last say in regulation, but the Alaska Aces uttered the first words of overtime.


Between two teams that had lost 11 of their last 13 games combined, the Aces found the winning line in extra period, putting down the tenacious Dragons, 97-91, last night in the PBA-Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Aces buried one dagger after another at Welcoat until they nearly ran out of them, but the Dragons kept coming back.

Alaska lost a 20-point second quarter spread, 38-18, with Welcoat closing in at 59-60 early in the third.

Then, an 11-point fourth quarter lead melted in the heat of another fiery Dragons comeback, with Denver Lopez draining a turn-around 3-point shot to beat the buzzer in regulation.

Overtime, however, was when the Aces found their voice.

First was a running shot by Jeffrey Cariaso off the glass. Next a 3-point shot by Willie Miller. Then another 3-pointer by Dale Singson, giving the Aces a 94-86 lead.

But even that advantage was challenged as the Dragons struck back with a five-point reply keyed by a 3-pointer from Jun-Jun Cabatu.

But the Aces weren’t to be denied, with Nick Belasco hitting a free throw and stealing the ball for a breakaway lay-up to end the long-drawn match and rescue Alaska from the cellar with its third win in 10 games.

Welcoat fell to 3-8.

"It’s hard to close out a game when you don’t have confidence," said Alaska Coach Tim Cone. "And it’s difficult because we haven’t done it yet this conference."

gameface_one
11-18-2006, 06:02 PM
Belasco saves the day for Alaska Aces
abs-cbnnews.com


By JOEL ORELLANA, The Manila Times Reporter

It was not the kind of ending that Alaska did not plan to but it would take any kind of win just to get out of the cellar.

The Aces had the game in regulation but allowed Welcoat to get back in the game before hanging on for a 97-91 overtime win Friday night in the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Nic Belasco capped his long-game brilliance with a crucial free throw and a steal in the last 10 seconds of the game that saved Alaska from the monumental collapse and moved a step ahead in the standings with 3-7 mark.

Belasco finished with a game-high 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as Alaska nearly blew a 20-point lead and almost fell to the trap of the stubborn Dragons which are now relegated at the bottom of the standings with 3-8 slate.

"It’s really tough to close a game without confidence. Being 2-7, it’s hard to be a confident team," said Aces head coach Tim Cone who also drew 19 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists from Willie Miller.

"But we’ll take this win in any way at this point. Hopefully, we can build on this and right now we’re just a step ahead of our ladder of confidence," Cone added.

The Aces used an 8-0 blast to start the extra inning but Welcoat responded with its own 5-0 binge to close in at 91-94, 1:25 remaining.

After both teams exchanged empty possessions, Belasco split his free throws off Jay-R Reyes then stole the entry pass for the breakaway lay-up to peg the final score.

"Right now, our confidence is not yet there. We’ve been practicing hard but the players just don’t have the confidence to show it in the game," Cone stressed.

Alaska appeared to have the game in the bag when it built an 80-69 with less than three minutes of the game but the pesky Welcoat kept on charging back as Jercules Tangkay sank a triple to cut the lead to 83-85, 26. 8 seconds left.

Miller had the chance to seal the win but he muffed two free throws with 15 seconds left. After a Tangkay miss, Miller had another chance to redeem himself after he was fouled by Junjun Cabatu.

But the Olongapo City-born missed his second bonus shot that paved the way for Denver Lopez’ tying triple with 1.3 ticks left.

Scores:

Alaska 97—Belasco 23, Miller 19, Thoss 14, Cariaso 13, Ferriols 11, Najar 6, Laure 4, de la Cruz 4, Singson 3, Juinio 0.

Welcoat 91—Lopez 23, Mente 14, Reyes 12, Tangkay 11, Ibanes 9, Cabatu 8, Wainwright 7, Gelig 4, Sta. Maria 4, Lao 2, Baguion 0.

Quarters: 23-16, 40-29, 60-55, 86-86, 97-91

gameface_one
11-18-2006, 06:04 PM
Aces thwart Dragons’ second-half rampage


By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 04:19am (Mla time) 11/18/2006

Published on page A21 of the November 18, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

ALASKA started hot but blew cold when the Welcoat Dragons started spewing fire in the second half as the Aces settled for a 97-91 overtime decision last night in the elimination round of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Aces bungled a 38-18 lead in the second period and almost lost the game in regulation, no thanks to a lukewarm offense in the stretch marked by five flubbed free throw attempts inside the final three minutes.

And it took an 8-0 run in the first 3:03 of the extension to get Alaska its third win in 11 starts, moving the Aces out of the cellar for the first time since a horrendous five-game slide put them at 1-6.

“It’s tough to close out a team if you don’t have the confidence,” Alaska coach Tim Cone said. “We just hope that we can carry this (momentum of win) over to the next one (game).

“This is something we need to build on,” he added. “But when you are 2-7 (before the game), it’s hard to be a confident team out there.”

The Dragons battled hard as starting guard Denver Lopez hit the last of his six three-pointers with 1.3 seconds remaining in regulation to forge extra time at 86.

And when the Aces opened up that eight-point lead, 94-86, after a Dale Singson triple with 1:57 left, Jun Jun Cabatu scored a triple and Jay-R Reyes a follow-up to cut the lead to three with still 1:25 on the clock.

Welcoat, despite the gallant effort, lost for the second straight game and is now the tail-ender with a 3-8 record.

Willie Miller, on whose shoulders fell the task of running the Alaska offense when Mike Cortez’s season ended with a knee injury, scored 19 points, but had three of those free throw misses which would have won the game in regulation.

Nic Belasco paced the Aces with 23 markers, 13 of them coming in the fourth period as he proved to be the only bright spot for Cone on the floor when the going really got tough.

The 6-foot-7 Fil-American went on to win Player of the Game honors after also collaring 14 boards and dishing off two steals.

The scores:

ALASKA 97—Belasco 23, Miller 19, Thoss 14, Cariaso 13, Ferriols 11, Bajar 6, Laure 4, Dela Cruz 4, Singson 3, Juinio 0.

WELCOAT 91—Lopez 20, Mente 14, Reyes 12, Tangkay 11, Ibañez 9, Cabatu 8, Wainwright 7, Gelig 4, Sta. Maria 4, Lao 2, Baguion 0.

Quarters: 23-16, 40-29, 60-55, 86-all, 97-91.

gameface_one
11-20-2006, 11:43 AM
Villanueva, Yeo trade punches
mb.com.ph



By CLYDE MARIANO

ONE GOOD fight deserves another. Or so Rico Villanueva and Joseph Yeo probably figured.


Hours after Manny Pacquiao knocked Erik Morales out in the third round of their superfeatherweight fight in Las Vegas, Villanueva and Yeo, who have a history of animosity between them rooted in the bitter rivalry of their respected schools, went at each other at the Araneta Coliseum parking lot after the lopsided game between Red Bull and Coca-Cola in the PBA-Talk ‘N Text-Philippine Cup which the Bulls won, 95-67.

Villanueva of Red Bull, an Ateneo alumnus, and Yeo of Coke, a product of De La Salle, were thought to have buried the hatchet before the 2006 season, putting behind them the bloody incident both figured in during an Ateneo-La Salle exhibition game months ago.

But the old wound apparently didn’t completely heal, and the sight of each other must have inflamed both as they traded punches right in front of shocked fans of both ball clubs.

Rookie Michael Gavino, Yeo’s Coke teammate, tried to separate the two protagonists but suffered a deep gash in the right brow after reportedly getting hit by Villanueva.

PBA commissioner Noli Eala said an investigation is underway and that both players will be summoned in a day or two.

"I heard about the incident. This is regrettable without pre-judging the incident, we will gather all information and we will summon them on Tuesday," said Eala. "Their conduct is unbecoming of a professional and we do not tolerate that."

The Bulls decided the issue in the third period behind the troika of Mick Pennisi, Leo Najorda and Topex Robinson, sustaining an orchestrated attack to pick up their seventh win in 11 games.

The lopsided win pushed Red Bull in a tie with defending champion Purefoods and Barangay Ginebra at second place.

Pennisi scored 13, nine from rainbow territory, in a 23-4 assault that pushed Red Bull to an insurmountable 70-48 lead.

Actually, Pennisi outscored the Tigers in the third period after tallying 16 of the team’s 33 points. In stark contrast, the Tigers were limited to just 15 points

Coke coach Binky Favis keept shuffling his boys but couldn’t find the right formula to stop the rampaging Bulls who connected from allmost all angles.

"Masarap sabayan yung panalo ni Pacquiao. I remember one time Pacquiao won his fight against Oscar Larios and we also won our game. It is a good omen," said Yeng Guiao.

In the second game, Talk ’N Text got a big lift from Asi Taulava to beat San Miguel, 90-84.

Playing his best game so far, Taulava tallied 9 of his game-high 26 points in the pivotal period as the Phone Pals notched their second straight win for a 6-5 record, the same mark of the Beermen.

Coach Derrick Pumaren fielded only 9 players but all of them contributed to the cause with each player chipping in four points or more.


First Game

Red Bull 95 — Pennis 16, Baguio 13, Fonacier 11, Valenzuela 11, Najorda 10, Villanueva 10, Robinson 8, Alvarez 7, Sharma 4, Bugia 3, Ybanez 2, Cruz 0.

Coca-Cola 67 — Yeo 12, Antonio 10, Peek 9, Miranda 8, Arigo 7, Misolas 5, Gavino 4, Pacana 4, Enrile 4, Raneses 2, Ramos 2.

Quarters: 20-17, 39-34, 72-49, 95-67.

Second Game

Talk ’N Text 90 — Taulava 26, Washington 15, Allado 11, Ritualo 9, Cardona 8, Carey 8, Alapag 6, Belano 6, Pablo 4.

San Miguel 84 — Hontiveros 14, Peña 12, Racela 10, calaguio 10, Tugade 9, Ildefonso 9, Adducul 7, Tenorio 6, Wilson 6, Espinas 1, Gonzales 0.

Quarters: 18-17, 45-44, 71-72, 90-84.

gameface_one
11-20-2006, 11:46 AM
Red Bull bullies Tigers for eighth win in Philippine Cup
abs-cbnnews.com


Red Bull used a third quarter surge in taming Coca-Cola, 95-67, to join two other teams in second place of the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup Sunday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Mick Pennisi, Leo Najorda and Topex Robinson joined hands in helping the Bulls to pull away from a tight contest and avenged their first round loss to the Tigers.

"This is a good win for us because in our first meeting, we were beaten by 19 points. Now, we beat them by 28 and that’s the motivation going into this game," said Red Bull head coach Yeng Guiao.

Pennisi led six Bulls in double figures in scoring with 16. They are now tied with Barangay Ginebra and Purefoods at second place with 7-4 slate each behind the 8-3 of Santa Lucia Realty.

From a slim 39-34 lead at halftime, Red Bull got their running game going in the next stage and outscored the Tigers, 33-15, to erect a comfortable 72-49 advantage going to the final quarter.

Larry Fonacier gave the Bulls their biggest lead of the game at 93-58 after burying a three-pointer as Coke absorbed its eight defeat against three losses to join Welcoat Paints at the cellar of the team standings.

The Tigers’ 67 points matched the season low recorded by Purefoods Chunkee on October 7 in Dumaguete City.

Joseph Yeo and William Antonio were the lone bright spots for coach Binky Favis as they netted 12 and 10 points respectively while their main men, Ali Peek and John Arigo, were not in their usual selves Sunday night.

Scores:

Red Bull 95—Pennisi 16, Baguio 13, Fonacier 11, Valenzuela 11, Najorda 10, Villanueva 10, Robinson 8, Alvarez 7, Sharma 4, Bugia 3, Ybañez 2, Cruz 0.

Coke 67—Yeo 12, Antonio 10, Peek 9, Miranda 8, Arigo 7, Misolas 5, Gavino 4, Pacana 4, Enrile 4, Raneses 2, Ramos 2.

Quarters: 20-17, 39-34, 72-49, 95-67.

gameface_one
11-20-2006, 11:48 AM
Bulls thump Tigers; Yeo, Rico at it again
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 11/20/2006

If it were a boxing match, coach Binky Favis could have thrown in the towel to avoid severe punishment and embarrassment for the Coca-Cola Tigers.

In the aftermath of Manny Pacquuiao’s big win in Las Vegas, Red Bull came out with lopsided win of its own, clobbering Coca-Cola, 95-67, in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

But the match did lead to a brawl afterwards as old foes Enrico Villanueva and Joseph Yeo mixed it up outside the South Gate after the game. Mike Gavino sustained a deep cut in his left eyebrow, absorbing a wild punch while trying to separate the protagonists.

"Without prejudging the incident, it’s regrettable and I think this is a conduct unbecoming of a professional. We’ll not tolerate this," said PBA commissioner Noli Eala of the Villanueva-Yeo fracas.

The Bulls went for the kill in the third quarter to check a two-game skid and regain a piece of second place with the Barangay Ginebra Kings and the Purefoods Chunkee Giants at 7-4 (win-loss record).

The Bulls returned from the halftime huddle like a brawler, pouncing on the unsuspecting Tigers to pull away from a slim 39-34 lead at the turn.

Mick Pennisi went 4-of-6 from three-point land in the quarter where the Bulls outscored the Tigers, 33-15, to set the tone for the rout.

The 28-point blowout was the worst in the Coca-Cola franchise history. The Tigers’ previous low was by 27.

"It feels good to win on the same day Pacquiao wins. It’s like double-victory for us," said Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao. "I remember the last time Pacquiao fought. He won over Oscar Larios here and we won over San Miguel at the Astrodome."

Pennisi, Cyrus Baguio, Larry Fonacier, Leo Najorda and Villanueva all scored in double figures as the Bulls avenged their 19-point loss to the Tigers in their first meeting last Oct. 13.

"They beat us badly in our first game, and this is a good way to get back at them," said Guiao as they dealt the Tigers their eighth setback against three wins.

It was a sorry loss in particular to Allan Caidic, who’s the new team manager of Coca-Cola. In a personnel shift among team managers in the SMC group, Samboy Lim moved over to Barangay Ginebra and Hector Calma to San Miguel Beer.

Talk n Text outplayed San Miguel Beer at endgame of a tight, seesawing duel, scoring a 90-84 decision to force a tie at fifth place between them in the nightcap.

The two teams now tote with identical 6-5 slates.The Tigers reeled to the bottom of the chart in the company of the Welcoat Dragons on their fourth consecutive loss.

The Bulls broke away in the third quarter while shooting 66.7 percent from the three-point area and dominating the boards with 18 rebounds as against the Tigers’ eight.

gameface_one
11-21-2006, 10:36 AM
Caguioa’s sparkling feat earns him weekly honor
ABS-CBNNEWS.COM


When Mark Caguioa is in his element, it is almost impossible to stop him and this proved true as Barangay Ginebra kept its unblemished record in out-of-town matches intact last Saturday.

Caguioa toyed around with all the guards thrown at him by Sta. Lucia Realty as he came away with 32 points in a sterling offensive show to wow Palawenos as Barangay Ginebra pul-led Sta. Lucia down to earth with a 123-117 win last Saturday.

It was the third win in as many road games by the Gin Kings in the current Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup. The Gin Kings had also beaten Purefoods (86-67) in Dumaguete City on October 7 and Coca-Cola (102-75) in Cabagan, Isabela, on October 26.

It was also a fitting present for Caguioa who celebrated his birthday the following day, November 19. Besides 32 points, the 2001 Rookie of the Year awardee also added 5 rebounds and 8 assists in 41 minutes of play as the Gin Kings raised their record to 7-4 and gained a share of second place with Purefoods and Red Bull behind the Realtors who remained on top with 8-3.

Because of his feat, Caguioa, also known as "The Spark," was named Accel-Talk ’N Text PBA Player of the Week by the PBA Press Corps for the period November 12 to 19.

Overall, in 11 games played, Caguioa averaged 23.82 points, 4.73 rebounds, 5.54 assists, 0.45 steal, 0.09 blocked shot and 2.27 errors in 37.91 minutes.

Caguioa, a product of Glenndale Community College, was the surprise pick of the 2001 Draft. With him in tow, and the subsequent acquisition of Eric Menk, Barangay Ginebra managed to win a pair of championships before going through a tailspin last season.

But with the acquisition of four prized cagers from Coca-Cola—Rudy Hatfield, Rafi Reavis, Billy Mamaril and Johnny Abarrientos—along with Ronald Tubid who came in from Air21, the Gin Kings have suddenly become the favorites in the current tournament.

Meanwhile, PBA commissioner Noli Eala will summon Coke’s Joseph Yeo and Mike Gavino and Rico Villanueva of Red Bull Tuesday for their participation in the skirmish at the parking lot of the Araneta Coliseum last Sunday. The Manila Times

gameface_one
11-21-2006, 10:43 AM
Rico, Yeo face stiff sanction for brawl
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 11/21/2006

With warnings having issued both players before by league officials, Enrico Villanueva and Joseph Yeo face severe sanction after figuring in another fight just outside the Araneta Coliseum South Gate after the Red Bull-Coke game Sunday.

The two players were summoned to appear at the PBA office today together with Coca-Cola rookie Mike Gavino who suffered a deep cut on his left eyebrow as he absorbed a blow in the fracas.

There were allegations Gavino, a former La Sallite like Yeo, aslo figured in the fight. But there were also reports that the 6-foot-5 freshman was hit while just trying to separate Villanueva and Yeo.

At presstime, PBA Commissioner Noli Eala was still gathering statements from witnesses and reports from the Araneta Coliseum Security Force. Apparently, there were security officers who witnessed the incident.

Villanueva, Yeo and Gavino were summoned at the PBA office at 10 a.m. today.

"Without prejudging the incident, I can say it’s regrettable and it’s a conduct unbecoming of a professional. We will not tolerate this," said Eala.

Villanueva and Yeo first clashed in a fight during the La Salle-Ateneo Dream Game last January.

It was rekindled during the Red Bull-Coke pre-season game at the Emilio Aguinaldo College Gym when Villanueva nudged Yeo hard on the shoulder at center court after the final buzzer. The Commissioner’s Office issued warning to both players after that incident.

Yeo reported the latest incident at the Camp Panopio Police Station. "It was just protection. Baka maulit pa uli ang away," said William Ong, Yeo’s agent-manager.

There were unconfirmed reports, though, that Yeo and Gavino were mulling to file a case against Villanueva for physical injuries.

Meanwhile, Mark Caguioa was named Accel-Talk n Text PBA Player of the Week for his sterling game leading Barangay Ginebra to a 123-117 win over Red Bull in Palawan Saturday.

Caguioa erupted for a season-high 32 points that went with eight assists in that contest.

full battle gear
11-22-2006, 10:56 AM
Barako take on Giants for solo second


Inquirer
Last updated 01:38am (Mla time) 11/22/2006

Published on Page A30 of the November 22, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

RED BULL and Purefoods, two of three teams locked in a tie for second spot, slug it out today with the Barako sure to suit up center Enrico Villanueva for their crucial Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup collision at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Game time is at 7:20 p.m. with the fates of Villanueva and Coca-Cola’s Joseph Yeo still hanging.

The duo, who figured in a parking-lot scuffle Sunday, patched things up in a meeting yesterday at the PBA Commissioner’s Office.

Welcoat and Air21 try to get back on track in the first game at 4:35 p.m., with the Dragons shooting for a win that would pull them out of the cellar.

Purefoods, which outlasted Red Bull in six classic games to win this title the last time out, has won six of its last seven games.

“There are no worries [playing] against Red Bull, only respect,” said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.

Villanueva, the talented former Ateneo de Manila University ace, reportedly swung at Yeo in the Araneta Coliseum parking lot Sunday and hit Michael Gavino instead. The melee was broken by members of the Big Dome’s security force.

Summoned by commissioner Noli Eala, Villanueva was said to have asked to be left alone in the conference room with Yeo.

They talked for close to 30 minutes.

“What’s important is that they have ended their feud,” Willie Marcial, PBA executive director, quoted Eala as saying. “The penalties that we will levy are now secondary.” Musong R. Castillo

full battle gear
11-22-2006, 11:13 AM
Villanueva, Yeo talk things over, settle feud
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 11/22/2006

For 20 minutes inside a PBA room yesterday all the bad blood and animosity unravelled for Enrico Vllanueva and Joseph Yeo and they shook hands and settled their differences in a controversy that had become a pesky issue for PBA commissioner Noli Eala.

That running feud reached its lowest point Sunday when they mixed it up at Araneta Coliseum South Gate, hurting a fellow pro player who got in the way.

Villanueva and Yeo admitted to figuring in the brawl and were to face sanction.

Eala said he will not tolerate the two players’ misconduct but he’s not yet ready to render a verdict since they’re still awaiting more testimonies from witnesses.

"They will not escape sanction but to me, more than the sanction, what’s more important is to find the root cause and put an end to it," said Eala.

"Sanction will not solve the deeply-rooted issue between these two players. I was happy both responded positively and at the end, they both wanted to talk it over. I didn’t tell them what to do but they agreed to put things in the past. They made a commitment to co-exist harmoniously in the PBA," Eala added.

Mike Gavino, Allan Salangsang and Manny Ramos also appeared in the PBA office to give testimonies.

After his meeting with Yeo, Villanueva apologized to Gavino who sustained a deep cut on his left eyebrow after absorbing a wild blow while trying to separate the protagonists.

Yeo, on the other hand, sustained bruises on the face and at the back.

Apparently, Sunday’s fight was sparked by a miscommunication as the two players chanced upon each other outside the Big Dome after their game.

Villanueva thought Yeo was looking for a fight as the Coca-Cola rookie told him, "Ano ang nginingiti-ngiti mo diyan? Tapusin na natin ito dito (What are you smiling at? Let’s finish things here)." Yeo told Eala he had wanted to patch things up with Villanueva when he made the remark.

While still awaiting sanction, Villanueva will be able to play as Red Bull tangles with Purefoods in a crucial game in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum today. The two teams fight for solo second place behind the frontrunning Sta. Lucia team in their 7:20 p.m. tiff.

PBA NOTES: The Villanueva-Yeo quarrel started when Yeo, then a La Salle star player, bloodied the nose of the former Ateneo prized pivotman in a charity game between the rival schools at the Big Dome last year… The two met anew in a pre-season tuneup and Rico gave Joseph a sharp nudge in the postgame ..Sunday’s brawl came a few hours after the Pacquiao-Morales showdown in La Vegas and so incensed Eala he ordered the two to report to his office the next day The media had a field day, prompting People’s sports editor Joe Antonio to headline their story "‘Pacquiao, Morales’ summoned."

full battle gear
11-22-2006, 11:15 AM
Villanueva, Yeo bury hatchet

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


ENRICO VILLANUEVA of Red Bull and Joseph Yeo of Coca-Cola had a 30-minute one-on-one at the office of PBA Commissioner Noli Eala yesterday. When they emerged from the room, the two were all smiles, shook hands before Eala and apparently had kissed and made up.

No fines and suspension were announced but it doesn’t mean they’re off the hook after exchanging blows at the Araneta Coliseum parking lot Sunday night following their team’s game won by Red Bull, 95-67.

Eala summoned the two players yesterday to get their side of the incident and also to broker a peace pact between the two players whose personal quarrel might get out of hand and engulf their respective teams.

"First, the Commissioner talked to both of them. Then one-on-one sila, after that Commissioner Eala left the two and they talked for almost 30 minutes," said PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial.

Marcial said the two players have apparently agreed to bury the hatchet.

"Ok na sila, nagkamayan and nakatawa na after sila mag-usap," he said.

As for fines and possible suspensions, Marcial said that the league is still studying this option.

"In the history of the PBA, there is no recorded fight involving players outside the coliseum. So there’s no precedent, and there is no ruling to that. Now it depends on our investigation," said Marcial.

Coca-Cola players Michael Gavino, who suffered a cut in his right brow when he tried to separate Villanueva and Yeo, Allan Salansang and Manny Ramos were also summoned to shed light on the incident.

They were with Tigers’ team manager Allan Caidic, while his Bulls counterpart Andy Jao accompanied Villanueva.

"We still have to talk to the Araneta security personnel who saw what happened," said Marcial, adding that the PBA is expected to conclude its investigation either Thursday or Friday.

Villanueva and Yeo figured in a fight after a game easily won by Red Bull, 95-67, at the South Gate parking lot of the Araneta Coliseum.

Late last year, Yeo, a former De La Salle U stalwart, punched Villanueva, an Ateneo alumni, during an exhibition game between the two rival schools that left the latter with a bloody nose.

In a tune-up game during the PBA pre tournament, Villanueva retaliated by waving off Yeo after the game.

full battle gear
11-22-2006, 11:20 AM
Giants, Bulls fight for 2nd

www.mb.com.ph


PUREFOODS CHUNKEE coach Ryan Gregorio likes the path his team is taking in the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup.

"We’re getting better each day," he said after guiding the Giants to their third straight win and seventh in 11 games. "I like the situation we’re currently in."

He definitely likes it more than their 1-3 start.

The Giants are good in finding out ways to win in endgame situations, just like in their most recent outing.

They needed some critical baskets from Kerby Raymundo and steady free throw shooting before pulling off a 102-97 victory over the Air21 Express.

The experience they’ve gained in two finals appearances and one championship conquest last season is giving them the extra push at crunch time.

That kind of edge would be negated when they face the Red Bull Barako at 7:20 p.m. today at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Bulls are also loaded with experience, matching the Giants’ feat last season with two finals stints and one championship.

For Gregorio, facing the Bulls is like facing a mirror.

"We got a lot of things in common," Gregorio said. "We’re not the two most talented teams in the league. We’re winning because we outworked our opponents."

They share the same spot, too. With seven games left in their respective schedules, the Bulls and the Giants are tied with idle Barangay Ginebra Kings at second.

The top two teams after the double-round elimination will earn outright seats in the semifinals.

In the first game at 4:35 p.m., the Express will try to bounce back from that narrow loss to the Giants when they go up against the Welcoat Dragons.

With four wins in 10 games, the Express are still in good shape to figure in the race for an outright semifinal seat. But they have to start winning again and soon.

full battle gear
11-22-2006, 11:26 AM
PBA to look deeper on fracas

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


The Philippine Basketball Association deferred any decision on the off-court brawl that involved Red Bull’s Enrico Villanueva and Joseph Yeo of Coca-Cola last Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum and is investigating the incident.

Willy Marcial, the PBA media bureau chief, said that commissioner Noli Eala is still awaiting the report of the Araneta security personnel who had witnessed the skirmish which occurred at the parking lot of the venue.

"We don’t have the decision yet. Commissioner Eala wants to hear all sides of the issue including the testimonies of the fans and the bystanders who were there when it happened," Marcial said.

"For sure, within the week we will come up with the decision. With regards to the extent of the punishment, it’s up to the commissioner but for sure they will be penalized heavily," Marcial added.

Yeo and Villanueva were summoned Tuesday by the league, along with Coke players Manny, Allan Salangsang and Michael Gavino, to explain their side in the incident. Villanueva was accompanied by team manager Andy Jao.

The players were interviewed individually by Eala, according to Marcial, including Yeo and Villanueva whose "personal rivalry" started way back during their collegiate careers in the UAAP. Yeo played for La Salle, while Villanueva suited up for Ateneo.

The two had their own trilogy as the PacMan-Morales saga. Chapter one started in the heated 2001 UAAP finals between La Salle and Ateneo. It was revived in the Dream Game organized by PBA in 2005 where Yeo bloodied the nose of Villanueva with a clothesline.

Then incident at the car park was the third major altercation of the two cagers whom, Marcial said, had a heart-to-heart talk in one room in the PBA office.

"They had a lengthy talk and promised to bury the hatchet. Hopefully, they’ll be OK after this. But definitely, they won’t escape the penalty," Marcial said.

The two got physical early in their game last Sunday and the emotions were carried through even after the game when Yeo reportedly saw Villanueva at the parking lot and yelled, "tapusin na natin ito [Let’s finish it once and for all!]."

The timing of the league’s deferment of the decision benefited Red Bull as Villanueva will still be allowed to play today against defending champion Purefoods Chunkee in the main game of the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

They will collide at 7:20 p.m. as both teams meet for the first time this season since facing off in the finals of the last All-Filipino tournament won by the Giants.

In the first game, Air21 hopes to get back on track when it meets Welcoat Paints at 4:40 p.m.

BigBlue
11-22-2006, 11:36 AM
Villanueva, Yeo talk things over, settle feud
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 11/22/2006


Apparently, Sunday’s fight was sparked by a miscommunication as the two players chanced upon each other outside the Big Dome after their game.

Villanueva thought Yeo was looking for a fight as the Coca-Cola rookie told him, "Ano ang nginingiti-ngiti mo diyan? Tapusin na natin ito dito (What are you smiling at? Let’s finish things here)."



miscommunication???? i think that statement is pretty clear.

muffetteer
11-22-2006, 03:06 PM
^ My sentiments exactly.

Asking someone "Ano ang nginingiti-ngiti mo diyan?" is a sure-fire way to get yourself in a fistfight. Kung may nagaaway dahil nagkatitigan, eh di lalo na kung may ganyang hirit.

full battle gear
11-23-2006, 10:08 AM
Express boost drive, overwhelm Dragons

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 01:25am (Mla time) 11/23/2006

Published on Page A16 of the November 23, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GARY DAVID scored 26 points and rookie Arwind Santos added 17 as Air21 walloped Welcoat, 100-85, yesterday to boost its quarterfinal bid in the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup eliminations at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

David unloaded his last 10 points in the fourth period while Santos had nine in the second when the Express broke away as Air21 rose to 5-6 and stayed within range of making it through the next stage.

“This win is very important, because as of now, we have a chance to make it to the quarterfinals outright,” said coach Bo Perasol. “We don’t want to put our fate in the hands of others, it’s too difficult going through the wild card (phase) again.”

Perasol was talking about how his team got knocked out from outright quarterfinal participation because they were dragged into a playoff. The Express did not survive the wild card phase and eventually finished seventh.

“Right now, we have to win at least four or five of our last seven games,” Perasol added. “And we can’t get to six wins if we don’t win the fifth game first. So this is a very important win for us.”

The Dragons lost for the third straight time and seventh in their last eight games to remain alone in the cellar with a 3-9 card.

All told, five players tossed in 10 or more for the Express, who led by as many as 17 points early and 18 late in the fourth to post the win pulling away.

Jojo Tangkay’s 16 markers paced the Dragons, who missed Fil-American forward Rob Wainwright, sidelined because of a knee injury.

David actually jumpstarted the Air21 offense with eight points in the first period and the Express bloated a 10-point first quarter lead to 50-35 at the half when Santos hit his mark.

Welcoat was held to just 15 points in the second period, before rallying at the end of the third to trim the gap to five. But the Dragons sputtered again when it truly mattered.

Meanwhile, Enrico Villanueva of Red Bull, in an interview before their game against Purefoods at press time, confirmed that he has patched things up with Coca-Cola’s Joseph Yeo following a meeting Monday at the PBA Commissioner’s Office.

“We got off on the wrong foot, but we’re OK now,” Villanueva said.

Both players figured in a fracas on the way to the parking lot after their game won lopsidedly by Red Bull on Sunday. The melee took place in full view of waiting fans.

“Sabi ko kay Joseph na ayusin na namin ito dahil nakakahiya na kami (I told Joseph that we should settle this for good because it’s not doing us any good),” Villanueva said.

The scores:

AIR21 100 -- David 26, Santos 17, Y. De Ocampo 11, Arboleda 11, Telan 10, Canaleta 9, Sotto 7, R. De Ocampo 6, Bernardo 2, Avenido 1, Dimaunahan 0 .

WELCOAT 85 -- Tangkay 16, Ibanes 11, Reyes 10, Cabatu 10, Sta. Maria 10, Lao 8, Baguion 6, Gelig 6, Lopez 5, Mente 3.

Quarters: 30-20, 50-35, 71-66, 100-85.

full battle gear
11-23-2006, 10:12 AM
Red Bull outplays Purefoods

www.mb.com.ph


RED BULL put on another well-balanced attack to get back at defending champion Purefoods, 88-76, and assume solo second in the Talk ‘’N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

With Junthy Valenzuela leading the way, the Bulls turned their highly anticipated showdown into a rout – thanks to their strong first quarter performance.

Valenzuela led five Red Bull players in double figures with 14, including five in the first quarter where they raced to a 25-15 lead. The Bulls were never threatened after that as Leo Najorda, Larry Fonacier, Michael Robinson and Cyrus Baguio also waxed hot to power Red Bull to its eight win in 12 starts.

The Giants fell to 7-5, as their three-game winning run came to an end.

The match marked the first time the two teams met since the Giants beat the Bulls in Game 6 of the Philippine Cup finals to win the championship.

Earlier, Gary David caught fire early and saved his best for last to lead the Air21 Express past the Welcoat Dragons, 100-85.

"This is a very important win for us," said Express coach Bo Perasol. "We’re aiming for an outright slot at least sa quarterfinals. Mahirap mapunta sa wildcard."

David scored 10 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to secure their fifth win in 11 games.

The Express were on a hurry in the opening frame, racing to a 30-20 lead behind the forays of David and Yancy De Ocampo, who combined for 15 points on their initial wave.

Arwind Santos sizzled in the second period, hitting four field goals including a triple to help the Express take a 50-35 lead at the turn.

They padded the gap to as many as 17 points midway in the second period after a trey by Wynne Arboleda, 44-27.

But the Dragons, who had been losing close games recently, pulled within 66-71 after three periods through the collective efforts of rookies Jay-R Reyes, Junjun Cabatu and Froilan Baguion.

Then came the explosion from David.

The scores:

First Game

AIR21 100 – David 26, Santos 17, De Ocampo Y. 11, Arboleda 11, Telan 10, Canaleta 9, Sotto 7, De Ocampo R. 6, Bernardo 2, Avenido 1, Dimaunahan 0.

WELCOAT 85 – Tangkay 16, Ibanes 11, Reyes 10, Cabatu 10, Sta. Maria 10, Lao 8, Baguion 6, Gelig 6, Lopez 5, Mente 3.

Quarters: 30-20; 50-35; 71-66; 100-85.

Second Game

RED BULL 88 – Valenzuela 14, Najorda 13, Fonacier 12, Robinson 12, Baguio 11, Pennisi 9, Sharma 6, Cruz 4, Villanueva 3, Bugia 2, Alvarez 2, Ybanez 0.

PUREFOODS 76 – Simon 17, Pingris 17, Yap J. 10, Raymundo 10, Yee 9, Artadi 4, Yap R. 4, Evangelista 3, Limpot 2, Bautista 0, Castillo 0.

Quarters: 25-15; 46-36; 62-51; 86-76.

full battle gear
11-23-2006, 10:14 AM
Express stop Dragons

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Air21 thwarted the attempted second-half comeback of Welcoat Paints and coasted to a 100-8 triumph Wednesday night in the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Gary David was in his usual offensive mood last night as he led the Express’ onslaught with 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field for their second straight win and improve their mark to 5-6.

Rookie Arwin Santos added 17 points and 8 rebounds while Yancy de Ocampo and Wynnie Arboleda chipped in 11 apiece for Air21, which took a 15-point half-time lead and never relinquished it till the final buzzer.

Mark Telan also came out aggressive for coach Bo Perasol as he contributed 10 markers and 13 boards and 2 blocked shots.

Jojo Tangkay paced the Dragons with 16 points but got little help from his teammates and absorbed their ninth loss in 12 games to slide down at the bottom of the team standings.

Welcoat’s only real threat came at the first few minutes when Adonis Sta. Maria completed a three-point play that capped the searing comeback to close in at 69-73 with 11:20 left in the game.

David had seven in the Express’ decisive 111-2 burst to put the lead back to double figures at 84-71.

Tangkay’s two free throws sliced the advantage back to a single digit, 75-84, but Niño Cañaleta hit a three-pointer that sparked another 12-4 run by Air21 to put the game out of reach, 96-79, 2:24 remaining.

Welcoat sorely missed the services of Rob Wainwright due to an injury.

Scores:

Air21 100–David 26, Santos 17, Y. de Ocampo 11, Arboleda 11, Telan 10, Canaleta 9, Sotto 7, R. de Ocampo 6, Bernardo 2, Avenido 1, Dimaunahan 0.

Welcoat 85–Tangkay 16, Ibanes 11, Reyes 10, Cabatu 10, Sta. Maria 10, Lao 8, Baguion 6, Gelig 6, Lopez 5, Mente 3.

Quarters: 30-20; 50-35; 71-66; 100-85

Games on Friday

(Cuneta Astrodome)

4:35 p.m.–Coke vs. Ginebra

7:20 p.m.–Alaska vs. Talk ’N Text

full battle gear
11-24-2006, 10:47 AM
Gin Kings try to stay on course


Inquirer
Last updated 01:57am (Mla time) 11/24/2006

Published on Page A28 of the November 24, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

BARANGAY GINEBRA battles Coca-Cola today seeking a win that would help the Gin Kings keep an outright semifinal slot within reach in the Talk ‘N Text PBA Philippine Cup.

Running third with a 7-4 card, Ginebra and Coca-Cola take the Cuneta Astrodome floor in Pasay City at 4:35 p.m. with the Tigers trying to avoid a loss that would put them in the cellar in the company of idle newcomer Welcoat.

A clearer picture is expected to be painted in the elimination round, starting with today’s regular double-header, as the top two teams advance to the Final Four outright and only one side getting the boot.

As things stand, the Kings are a full game behind league-leading Sta. Lucia Realty and a half-game behind Red Bull for the second slot.

Coach Jong Uichico is perfectly aware of this and, in fact, has asked his wards to keep working hard.

“If we want to stay on top, we shouldn’t be complacent,” Uichico said. “We cannot afford any more losses. What we should do at this point is keep on piling up the wins.”

Alaska, the pre-season champion which is running just a full game out of the bottom, slugs it out with a seemingly revitalized Talk ’N Text side in the 7:20 p.m. contest.

The Aces have struggled since losing cornerstone Mike Cortez for the rest of the season due to a knee injury. Alaska lost five straight games at one point although it will come into today’s contest the winner of two of its last three.

“I’d like to say that we’re improving,” Alaska’s Tim Cone said. “There are still games to be played and if we could make a run, then things will be better.”

The Ginebra frontline, made up of Eric Menk, Rudy Hatfield and Rafi Reavis, undoubtedly has the edge over their counterparts at Coca-Cola, whose main offensive weapons remain to be John Arigo and Ali Peek.

Willie Miller will again try to hold the Alaska offense together as the Aces seek two straight wins for the first time in the tournament after nipping Welcoat, 97-91, in overtime last week. -- Musong R. Castillo

full battle gear
11-24-2006, 10:51 AM
Kings out to skin Tigers

The Philippine Star 11/24/2006

Barangay Ginebra and Talk n Text seek to stay close with the leaders as they battle teams aching to get out of the rut in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Astrodome today.

The Kings slug it out with the Coca-Cola Tigers at 4:35 p.m. then the Phone Pals mix it up with the Alaska Milk Aces at 7:20 p.m.

The Kings and the Pals are determined to reassert their mastery of their respective rivals to stay within striking distance of the frontrunning Sta. Lucia Realtors heading to the closing stage of the double-round classification phase.

"We have to pile up as many wins as possible to secure a slot in the upper bracket. We can’t afford any more losses," said Ginebra coach Jong Uichico.

full battle gear
11-24-2006, 11:04 AM
Phone Pals eye third straight vs. Alaska

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Talk ’N Text tries to move up in the ladder as it faces a tough opponent in Alaska in the main game of the TNT-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The Phone Pals are eyeing their third straight win against the Kings in their 7:20 p.m. encounter right after the tussle between Coca-Cola and Barangay Ginebra at 4:40 p.m.

After seesaws ride in the first half of the tournament, Talk ’N Text is back in the thick of things with a two-game winning streak in hand to keep its semifinals bid alive.

"We need to pile up more wins because the playoff is just around the corner," said Phone Pals head coach Derrick Pumaren whose wards are coming off two huge wins that restored their confidence.

After a masterful 113-98 whipping of Ginebra, Talk ’N Text followed it up with another impressive victory, this time a 90-84 win over San Miguel Beer.

"I just hope the boys to continue to play hard because every game is very important at this stage," Pumaren added.

The Phone Pals are currently tied with the Beermen for fifth and sixth spot with 6-5 slates each.

They will be meeting a team that is gunning for its first winning streak of the conference.

The Aces edged Welcoat Paints in their previous game, 97-91, to improve their mark to 3-7.

"Our confidence level got up a bit but we’re really struggling right now. I hope we can build on this," said Alaska mentor Tim Cone.

Games Friday

(Cuneta Astrodome)

4:40 p.m. Coke vs. Ginebra

7:20 p.m. Alaska vs. Talk ’N Text

full battle gear
11-25-2006, 10:53 AM
Kings escape Tigers’ claws

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 04:05am (Mla time) 11/25/2006

Published on page A20 of the November 25, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

JONG Uichico knows the only weak spot in his souped-up Barangay Ginebra squad could basically determine the Gin Kings’ Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup campaign.

“Coming into the game, I told them that they cannot take any team for granted,” Uichico said, moments after his Kings went through the proverbial wringer to hack out an 84-78 decision of lowly sister team Coca-Cola last night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.

“It’s human nature, when you’re on top, you tend to drop your guard,” Uichico said, when asked why he had to keep on reminding his players to work hard every game. “It was a reminder (for them) that we can’t take teams for granted.”

The Gin Kings had to rally from as many as 10 points down in the third period against a team that pales badly in roster comparison. They improved to 8-4 and secured a tie for second place with idle Red Bull.

Mark Caguioa tossed in 12 of his team-high 23 points during the third quarter fightback, and Rudy Hatfield had the last six of his 16 points inside the final seven minutes before steady free throw shooting in the stretch bailed the Kings out of trouble.

The Tigers, who led, 58-48, after a John Arigo free throw with 4:41 left in the third, matched the tournament’s longest losing streak of five games and dropped into a tie for last spot with idle Welcoat at 3-9.

Caguioa did almost everything for the Kings, shooting all of his 12 third period points in the final 3:58 with his first basket snapping a four-minute scoreless spell that got Ginebra going again.

“Except for Mark (Caguioa), we really did not have a great (offensive) game,” Uichico added. “There was some scoring missing somewhere.”

Defense helped the Kings a great deal in the fourth period when they zoomed to a 72-61 lead after holding the Tigers scoreless for the first 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Johnny Abarrientos capped that mild run with a triple in transition.

JayJay Helterbrand hit three straight free throws in a 10-second span inside the final minute to give the Kings an 82-78 lead before Eric Menk added two more for the final count.

The scores:

First Game

GINEBRA 84—Caguioa 23, Hatfield 16, Reavis 8, Tubid 7, Helterbrand 7, Mamaril 6, Abarrientos 6, Menk 5, Macapagal 4, Salvacion 2.

COCA-COLA 78—Arigo 20, Misolas 14, Peek 12, Miranda 11, Antonio 8, Pacana 6, Yeo 5, Ramos 2, Salangsang 0.

Quarters: 21-all, 42-40, 65-61, 84-78

full battle gear
11-25-2006, 10:56 AM
Kings stop Tigers in their tracks
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 11/25/2006

Barangay Ginebra took Coca-Cola lightly early on and had to work extra hard at endgame to carve out an 84-78 decision and regain a share of second place with Red Bull in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Astrodome last night.

The highly-fancied Kings trailed by as many as 10 in the third period but fought back with their run-and-gun game before outmaneuvering the Tigers at the finish to duplicate their 102-75 rout in their first meeting on Oct. 26 in Cabagan, Isabela.

"We took things for granted. Good thing we never gave up and still found a way to win," said Ginebra coach Jong Uichico. "We’re able to raise our game notches higher and make the stops when we needed it badly."

Struggling offensively, the Kings instead banked on their hustle plays as they battled back from a 48-58 deficit and went on to notch their eighth win against four losses.

Ginebra next plays Welcoat Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

"I think I have to keep on reminding the boys that we can’t take things for granted. It’s human nature that if you’re on top, you tend to relax and lower down your guard. We can’t afford to do that if we want to secure a spot on top," said Uichico.

Picking up their game on time, the Kings sent the Tigers reeling to a fifth straight defeat and their ninth in 12 games in all. Coca-Cola joined Welcoat in the cellar again.

Ginebra launched a big 24-3 attack in a six-minute stretch bridging the last two quarters and the Kings raced ahead at 72-61.

But the Tigers refused to crack up, going to Jason Misolas, Chris Pacana and John Arigo to get back into the fight at 69-72 midway through the last quarter.

The two teams then engaged in a tough defensive battle and Ginebra just gained enough breathing space after Jayjay Helterbrand sank two free throws making it 82-78 with 14.5 seconds to go.

Arigo missed a forced three-pointer in the ensuing play as the Tigers eventually kissed their bid goodbye.

Mark Caguioa spearheaded Ginebra’s third-quarter attack and the spitfirish guard led all scorers with 23 points. Rudy Hatfield put in a double-double job with 16 points and 15 rebounds.

Curiously, the Kings salvaged the game though shooting only 36.5 percent from the field and beaten by the Tigers in rebounding, 52-53.

full battle gear
11-25-2006, 10:57 AM
Kings tame Tigers

By TITO TALAO
www.mb.com.ph


EARLY IN the fourth quarter, a battle for the loose ball at the Coca-Cola basket saw Tigers center Ali Peek locking arms with Johnny Abarrientos, Ginebra’s backup point guard.

Under ordinary circumstances, the muscular Peek would have ripped everything away — ball, arms, shoulders.

But the Tigers strongman recognized the familiar face, loosened his iron grip, lifted Abarrientos up, and flashed his former Coke teammate a smile.

Though no longer part of the same organization, the two respect the past even as the demands of current loyalties prove undeniable.

The 6-4 Peek naturally dominated the jump ball. But the 5-7 Abarrientos had his revenge, hitting a three-point shot a few possessions later as the Kings turned back the Tigers, 84-78, last night in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Later in the night, Alaska Milk tripped Talk ’N Text, 110-105, for its fourth win in 11 games.

The Phone Pals absorbed their sixth loss in 12 matches.

Mark Caguioa had 12 of his 23 points in the third quarter when the Kings started a breakaway.

But the Tigers pounced on a weak fourth quarter start by Ginebra to threaten.

Abarrientos, a veteran of many championship wars, need not be reminded. But Ginebra coach Jong Uichio found it necessary to shake up his stars a little.

"They have a tendency to lose their guard because we’re somewhere in the top," said Uichico. "I guess it’s human nature. They need a bit of a reminder that we can’t take teams for granted."

With their eighth win in 12 games, the Kings pulled up with idle Red Bull behind leader Sta. Lucia Realty (8-3).

Coke fell to 3-9 and its fifth straight loss.

Seeing the Tigers closing in late in the game from a nine-point deficit was enough to rouse up the Kings.

"Good thing we found a way to win the game with our defense," said Uichico. A

And Rudy Hatfield’s aggressive offensive rebounding.

The Kings held the Tigers to three points in the last 3:02 after Coke made it 79-75, and Hatfield, who had 15 rebounds, provided Ginebra with second- and third-chance attempts down the stretch.

full battle gear
11-25-2006, 11:00 AM
Caguioa stars anew for the Ginebra Kings

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


Mark Caguioa never ran out of spark in guiding his Barangay Ginebra team to another come-from-behind win.

Fresh from a 32-point performance in their previous game, Caguioa almost single-handedly carried the Kings’ fight with a third-quarter explosion en route to an 84-78 win over Coca-Cola Friday night in the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Unlike in its 123-117 victory against Sta. Lucia Realty last Saturday in Palawan, Ginebra had to bank on its defense and on Caguioa’s hot stint in the third-quarter to book its second straight win and caught Red Bull at the second spot with 8-4 win-loss mark.

"I kept telling them that we can’t take teams for granted. Coke maybe losing a lot but they play hard for 48 minutes and there’s chance to beat us and that’s what happened to us tonight," said Kings mentor Jong Uichico.

"We did not have a good scoring game and that’s why we relied on defense and Mark’s scoring in the third," Uichico added.

Caguioa, the league’s top scorer, had 12 of his 23 points came in the third period where the Kings erased a 10-point deficit, 58-48, as the 6’1 spitfire scored nine straight points to spark a 17-4 blast to reclaim the lead at 65-61 entering the final canto.

Ginebra padded the lead to 11 points when it reeled off seven straight points to open the fourth period, 72-61, but the Tigers, who absorbed their five straight losses, kept roaring back in the game.

An 8-0 run by Coke shaved the lead to just 69-72 with 6:53 remaining but the Kings managed to distance themselves with their own 7-2 binge for a 79-71 lead, 3:24 remaining.

But the stubborn Tigers found ways to give Uichico some uneasiness as William Antonio drilled a three-pointer that cut Ginebra’s lead to just 78-80 with 15.5 seconds left.

Jayjay Helterbrand, who struggled offensively especially in the three-point zone as he shot 0-of-10, made up for that as he canned in two free throws that ensured the Kings’ eight win in 12 matches.

Rudy Hatfield added 16 points and 15 rebounds for Ginebra while the rest of the starters, including Eric Menk who was 1-of-7 on the floor, never got their rhythm offensively.

Arigo had 20 points while Jason Misolas chipped in 14 for coach Binky Favis whose wards were swept by the Kings in the conference. Ginebra took an easy 102-75 victory in their first meeting.

Scores:

Ginebra 84—Caguioa 23, Hatfield 16, Reavis 8, Tubid 7, Helterbrand 7, Mamaril 6, Abarrientos 6, Menk 5, Macapagal 4, Salvacion 2.

Coke 78—Arigo 20, Misolas 14, Peek 12, Miranda 11, Antonio 8, Pacana 6, Yeo 5, Ramos 2, Salangsang 0.

Quarters: 21-21, 42-40, 65-61, 84-78.

full battle gear
11-26-2006, 02:00 PM
Beermen pounce on listless Giants

By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 05:40am (Mla time) 11/26/2006

Published on page A18 of the November 26, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

COACH Ryan Gregorio of Purefoods was looking for a spark all night. He never found it.

The San Miguel Beermen pounced on the listless Purefoods Giants and pulled off a methodical 100-81 win last night in the Talk ‘N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Olivarez Gym.

Danny Seigle had a field day in the second half, drilling in 22 of his game-high 24 points and Dorian Pena added 23 points for the Beermen on a near flawless 9 of 10 field goal shooting.

Dondon Hontiveros, Wesley Gonzales, Rommel Adducul and Lordy Tugade also shone for the Beermen, who notched their seventh win

The Giants just couldn’t get their offensive rhythm going and went down to their second straight defeat which was their sixth overall in 13 games.

Reigning MVP James Yap and scoring partner Kerby Raymundo were out of their usual deadly form. Yap lost steam after scoring only two of his nine points in the second half while Raymundo, who finished with nine points and two rebounds, was also a non-factor when the Giants tried to revive a losing cause.

Gregorio got some flashes of brilliance from Peter June Simon, Rey Evangelista and Jun Limpot but they were not enough.

Seigle scored on seven of 11 attempts from the field and eight of 10 from the free throw line.

The Giants opened the final period with back-to-back Rey Evangelista three-pointers and an undergoal stab by Marc Pingris that somehow moved them within 66-76.

But Tugade’s triple from the left flank quickly doused the Purefoods rally.

“We worked hard for this because we know that Purefoods is the better team because they’ve been together for a long time,” said San Miguel Beer coach Chot Reyes.

The Beermen dispelled that belief in the third period.

From a slim 41-40 edge, the Beermen worked on all cylinders with Seigle scorching from every angle on the floor. By the time Seigle was through, the Beermen had taken a 64-49.

full battle gear
11-26-2006, 02:02 PM
Things looking up for Beermen

The Philippine Star 11/26/2006

With ace gunner Danny Seigle regaining his eyesight, things look bright again for the San Miguel Beermen.

Seigle returned with a bang from a bout with eye injury, and the Beermen dwarfed the Purefoods Chunkee Giants, 100-81, to move up to fourth place in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Olivarez Gym in Parañaque yesterday.

The 6-foot-7 Fil-Am forward scored a game-high 24 points, including 12 straight in a telling 18-7 run San Miguel unleashed in the third period to cut loose from a tight contest.

The Beermen, who also drew significant numbers from Dorian Peña, Rommel Adducul, Lordy Tugade and Dondon Hontiveros, broke away from a 41-40 halftime edge en route to their seventh win in 12 outings.

San Miguel swapped places with Purefoods as the Beermen improved to fourth place behind the Sta. Lucia Realtors (9-3), the Red Bull Barakos (8-4) and the Barangay Ginebra Kings (8-4). The Giants slid to fifth place at 7-6.

The Realtors firmed up their hold of the lead as they thwarted the Air21 Express’ daring rally from the depth of a 31-point deficit in the nightcap.

Sta. Lucia escaped with a 112-110 win as Ranidel de Ocampo missed two game-tying attempts in the closing seconds.

Seigle’s return spelled a big difference for the Beermen who struck hard all over the floor in the final half.

They went 8-of-23 from the three-point land compared to the Giants’ paltry 2-of-9 three-point shooting. San Miguel also lorded it over the boards with 53 rebound against Purefoods’ 42.

Actually, the Beermen posted an early double-digit spread at 14-4 but the Giants picked up their game in the second period and closed in at 40-41 at halftime.

The count was still close at 46-42 before the Beermen worked on a vicious assault and erected a 15-point bulge at 64-49. Seigle scored 12 straight points on that attack capped by a slam by Hontiveros.

Seigle totaled 14 points in that quarter which ended at 71-58 for the Beermen.

San Miguel gained headway early on as the Beermen shot 50 percent from the field in the first quarter. The Giants, on the other hand, hit at a 33-percent clip.

Peña took care of things at the paint and the gentle giant finished with 21 points. Adducul had his contribution inside, making 11 points.

full battle gear
11-26-2006, 02:05 PM
Red Bull eyes 3rd straight win

www.mb.com.ph


RED BULL is finding itself in an unfamiliar spot in the classification phase of the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup.

The Bulls will gun for their third straight win and more importantly a sole possession of the second spot when they meet the Alaska Aces today at the Araneta Coliseum.

—————

San Miguel Beer defeated Purefoods Chunkee, 100-81, at the Olivarez Sports Center in Parañaque City late yesterday to claim fourth spot in the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup.

It was the seventh win in 12 starts for the Beermen who handed the Chunkee Giants their sixth loss in 13 games.

League leader Sta. Lucia Realty and Air 21 were still playing at presstime

—————

Despite playing in two finals and winning one championship, the Bulls never finished in the top two during the classification last season.

They are currently sharing second spot with idle Barangay Ginebra Kings at 84, just one loss behind the Sta. Lucia Realtors.

The Bulls are feeling strong heading into their duel opposite the Aces, having beaten the defending champions Purefoods Chunkee Giants in their last outing.

"Our victory against the Giants is the biggest so far in the tournament because it comes against the hottest team in the league at that point and gives us second spot," said Bulls coach Yeng Guiao. "It also gives us a chance to stay close with the Realtors."

Aces coach Tim Cone is still positive about their chances.

"We’re 3-1 in our last four games and we’re finally on a winning streak," he said after a narrow victory over the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals Friday night.

The Aces, one of the favorites to rule the all-Filipino tournament, endured a shaky start, losing six of their first seven games and ace playmaker Mike Cortez to injury.

In the other game, the Phone Pals will try to get back on the winning track opposite the skidding Tigers, losers in their last five games.

full battle gear
11-26-2006, 02:07 PM
Seigle returns, leads Beermen to victory

www.abs-cbnnews.com


San Miguel easily recovered from a sorry loss from the previous game as it waylaid defending champion Purefoods Chunkee, 100-81, Saturday night to move one step higher in the Talk ’N sText-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Olivarez gym in Parañaque.

Danny Seigle immediately showed how valuable he is to the Beermen as he anchored the third-quarter surge that helped his team broke away from a tight contest and moved to solo fourth spot with 7-5 win-loss mark.

Seigle, who sat out in their 84-90 loss to the Phone Pals last Sunday due to an eye injury, had 12 in San Miguel’s decisive 18-7 run midway in the country to control the tempo of the game en route to the easy win.

The Beermen swept the Giants, who dropped to fifth with 7-6, in the elimination round. They took an 87-79 victory in their first meeting.

Seigle led all scorers with 23 points while Dorian Peña also had a huge game with 21 points for coach Chot Reyes.

"As long as we stay healthy all throughout the conference, I think we’ll have a good chance this conference," said Reyes who also got 11 markers from Romel Adducul.

From a shaky 46-42 lead, Seigle reeled off 12 straight points that anchored San Miguel’s 18-7 run to erect a 64-49 lead before settling for a 71-58 advantage entering the final quarter.

Since then, the Beermen were never threatened as Purefoods failed to make a comeback and absorbed their sixth loss in 13 games.

Rey Evangelista surprisingly topped the team with 15 points as the Giants’ top scorer, James Yap, was held to just 9 points mainly because of the tight defense thrown by San Miguel to the reigning Most Valuable Player.

Kerby Raymundo also had a pretty silent game for Purefoods with only 11 markers.

The Beermen actually had a scorching start, hitting 10 of his 20 attempts for a 23-15 lead before the Giants closed the gap in the second period with their own run, 40-41.

Scores:

San Miguel 100—Seigle 24, Peña 21, Adducul 11, Tugade 9, Hontiveros 8, Ildefonso 7, Gonzales 6, Racela 5, Wilson 4, Tenorio 3, Calaguio 2, Espinas 0.

Purefoods 81—Evangelista 15, Simon 13, Limpot 13, Raymundo 11, Pingris 10, J. Yap 9, Artadi 4, R. Yap 2, Castillo 2, Camaso 2, Salvador 0, Yee 0.

Quarters: 23-15, 41-40, 71-58, 100-81.

full battle gear
11-27-2006, 11:20 AM
Aces sustain charge; Phone Pals triumph

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 00:49am (Mla time) 11/27/2006

Published on page A24 of the November 27, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

ALASKA won a third straight game last night with Tim Cone now likening two of his Aces with the two most important pieces that made the Chicago Bulls one of the greatest teams of all time.

In a game which he later on described as his team’s best in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup, Cone’s Aces brought down Red Bull, 105-94, to sustain their steady climb in the elimination round at the expense of another powerhouse victim.

And the keys to their fourth win in five games and fifth in 12 outings overall, Cone said, have been Tony dela Cruz playing like Scottie Pippen and former MVP Willie Miller “learning to play Michael Jordan’s wing position” in the famed triangle offense of the Bulls.

Dela Cruz scored eight of his team-high 18 points in the fourth period and Miller scattered 14 while holding the Alaska offense together as the Aces tied idle Air21 in seventh spot.

Talk ’N Text handed Coca-Cola its sixth straight defeat, 100-86, in the second game. The Phone Pals improved their record to 7-6 while the Tigers slipped to 3-10.

Red Bull, which came into the game deadlocked with idle Barangay Ginebra for second spot, slipped to 8-5, and to solo third place.

John Ferriols was also a key factor in the Alaska surge, shooting 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, which, Cone said, has been basically the way the 6-foot-4 forward has been performing of late.

“You don’t see much of his name in the papers,” Cone said. “But John has just stepped up for us and is actually making up for the absence of two players (Reynel Hugnatan, who is injured, and Don Allado, who was traded to Talk ’N Text).”

The Aces took the Araneta Coliseum floor with all guns cocked and firing, racing to leads of as many as 14 points in the first period with Ferriols contributing his first nine markers in that stretch.

Ferriols hit his final bucket at the 9:08 mark in the fourth period to usher the Aces to an 86-70 lead, before the rest of the team cooled off a raging Red Bull comeback that had the Barako coming within six points.

Miller, after missing two free throws, hit a running jumper off the glass, and Dela Cruz, whom Cone said is now “playing with a purpose out there,” restored a double-digit Alaska lead by canning a wide open jumper, 94-84.

The scores:

First Game

ALASKA 105 -- Dela Cruz 18, Ferriols 17, Belasco 16, Miller 14, Cariaso 14, Singson 7, Thoss 6, Laure 6, Juinio 5, Aban 2.

RED BULL 94 -- Fonacier 18, Pennisi 15, Sharma 14, Valenzuela 13, Najorda 8, Bugia 7, Baguio 6, Villanueva 5, Cruz 4, Alvarez 2, Robinson 2, Ybanez 0.

Quarters: 36-22, 57-49, 79-68, 105-94.

Second Game

TALK N TEXT 100 -- Ritualo 24, Taulava 14, Allado 14, Cardona 11, Washington 10, Alapag 10, Carey 8, Belano 5, Andaya 2, Pablo 2, Fran 0

COCA-COLA 86 -- Yeo 25, Arigo 15, Miranda 13, Pacana 12, Peek 12, Salangsang 5, Misolas 5, Antonio 5, Gavino 2, Enrile 2, Ramos 0

Quarters: 25-23, 44-47, 71-62, 100-86

full battle gear
11-27-2006, 11:23 AM
Aces’ triangle offense scuttles Barakos
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 11/27/2006

Erstwhile cellar-dweller Alaska Milk continued its rise in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup yesterday, dishing out its best game so far as it withstood Red Bull, 105-94, at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Aces unraveled an impeccable game, dominating the Bulls almost throughout in scoring a third straight win and their fourth in their last five outings.

Jacking up their win-loss record to 5-7, the Aces caught up with the Air21 Express at seventh place, now within striking distance of teams in the middle of the chart.

"This is our best game considering the complete game we came up against a real quality team in Red Bull. Everything worked for us. And beating a team like Red Bull feels extra special," said Alaska coach Tim Cone.

"It’s nice to come out and beat a team like Red Bull. Frankly, I don’t know how we did that," Cone added.

The Barakos slid to third place as they suffered their fifth loss against eight wins.

Cone pointed to Willie Miller’s and Tony dela Cruz’s improvement in their respective positions as among the key factors in their turnaround from a poor start in the season-opening tourney.

Talk N’ Text worked on an efficient game on both ends of the court in the second half and whipped Coca-Cola, 100-86, to improve its record to 7-6 in the nightcap.

"We’re happy to bounce back. We’re back to square one after our loss to Alaska and we have to climb back again so to speak," said Talk n Text coach Derrick Pumaren.

The American mentor said Miller and Dela Cruz have adapted to their roles in Alaska’s triangle offense. "Pardon me for the comparison but Miller has learned to play Michael Jordan’s wing position and Dela Cruz has developed as our version of Scottie Pippen," Cone said.

Ranged against the Bulls in their rematch in the classification round, the Aces worked well together and avenged their 93-99 defeat in an overseas tiff in Guam last Sept. 28.

"Combination of factors resulted in our victory over Red Bull. Beating Welcoat in overtime boosted our confidence and it helped us tonight," said Cone.

Dela Cruz led all scorers with 18 points, John Ferriols and Nic Belasco both had a double-double game.

While Miller and Jeffrey Cariaso both fashioned out sterling all-round performance.

Pulling a solid game together, the Aces enjoyed a 17-point lead once in the third quarter and were hardly threatened the rest of the way.

Red Bull came closest at 82-88 but Alaska quickly solved the threat on a six-point swing by Miller and Dela Cruz.

The Aces won the battle off the boards, 53-43, shot better from the field and had less turnovers, 13-19.

full battle gear
11-27-2006, 11:24 AM
Reserves spark Alaska’s victory

www.mb.com.ph


Games on Wednesday 4:35 p.m. — Ginebra vs Welcoat 7:20 p.m. – San Miguel vs Sta. Lucia

COACH TIM Cone had nothing but praises to his reserves last night.

"John (Ferriols) stepped up big, Eddie (Laure) and Dale (Singson) played well, Poch gave us quality minutes," Cone said after Alaska’s 105-94 win over Red Bull in the Talk ‘N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Cone got at least two points from the 10 players he fielded in as the Aces notched their third straight win and fifth in 12 games overall.

His subs collected 37 points, almost doubling their output in their previous outing.

"It’s very important for our reserves to contribute because coach Yeng (Guiao) is always rotating his players. They’re always fresh," noted Cone, who only got 19 points from his bench in a 110-105 victory against the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals.

The Bulls, on the other hand, leaned too much on their reserves.

Their top three scorers – Larry Fonacier, Mick Pennisi and Carlo Sharma – were non-starters.

They were killed inside by the determined Aces as superstar Rico Villanueva struggled for the second straight game after his much-talked scuffle with Coca-Cola’s Joseph Yeo.

Villanueva only had five points and two rebounds in 22 minutes.

Ferriols set the tone early, scoring nine of his 17 points in the first quarter as the Aces raced to a 36-22 lead.

He also grabbed 11 rebounds and issued four assists in just 27 minutes of play.

The former MVP in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) added eight points in the second half where the Aces never trailed. His basket early in the fourth pushed the gap to 16 points, 86-70.

The Bulls refused to just roll over and die, unloading a 12-2 bomb capped by Larry Fonacier’s trey to pull within 82-88, more than five minutes to go.

But the starters of the Aces delivered the dagger.

Willie Miller broke their silence with his only field goal in the fourth and Tony Dela Cruz, who finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, had back-to-back hits to restore a double-digit spread for the Aces, 94-82.

They were out of harm’s way after that 6-0 blitz.

The Bulls, who had their two-game winning run snapped, dropped to third place at 8-5.

In the second game, Talk ’N Text bounced back from a stinging loss to Air 21 last Friday by beating Coca-Cola, 100-86.

The Scores:

First Game

ALASKA 105 — Dela Cruz 18, Ferriols 17, Belasco 16, Miller 14, Cariaso 14, Singson 7, Thoss 6, Laure 6, Juinio 5, Aban 2.

RED BULL 94 — Fonacier 18, Pennisi 15, Sharma 14, Valenzuela 13, Najorda 8, Bugia 7, Baguio 6, Villanueva 5, Cruz 4, Alvarez 2, Robinson 2, Ybanez 0.

Quarters: 36-22; 57-49; 79-68; 105-94.

Second Game

talk 'n text 100 — Ritualo 24, Taulava 14, Allado 14, Cardona 11, Washington 10, Alapag 10, Carey 8, Belano 5, Andaya 2, Pablo 2, Fran 0.

coca-cola 86 — Yeo 15, Arigo 15, Miranda 13, Pacana 12, Peek 12, Salangsang 5, Misolas 5, Antonio 5, Gavino 2, Enrile 2, Ramos 0.

Quarters: 25-23, 44-47, 71-62, 100-86.

full battle gear
11-27-2006, 11:26 AM
Aces are back in the groove

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Alaska is slowly regaining its elite ranking in the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.

After an anemic 2-7 start, the Aces suddenly gained the respect of the field with another impressive win, this time a 105-94 shellacking of Red Bull Sunday night for the third straight win at the Araneta Coliseum.

John Ferriols came off the bench to fill in the shoes of the foul-troubled Sonny Thoss and responded with 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead five Aces in double figures as they improved their mark to 5-7.

"It’s nice to beat a quality team like Red Bull, it feels extra special because they are well-coached and they got great chemistry. We just came out and played hard," said head coach Tim Cone.

Just a week ago, the wards of Cone are lingering at the bottom of the standings but are now sharing the seventh position with Air21.

Tony de la Cruz paced Alaska with 18 points including back-to-back baskets in the crucial 6-0 run that gave the Uytengsu franchise some distance after the Bulls threatened at 82-88 with 6:35 left in the game.

It was the fifth loss by Red Bull against eighth wins to slide down to third spot and leave Barangay Ginebra at solo second with 8-5 mark.

Nic Belasco also had a double-double game for the Aces with 16 points and 14 rebounds while the backcourt tandem of Willie Miller and Jeffrey Cariaso combined for 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Larry Fonacier had 18 markers for the Bulls who never got closer that six in the final canto as Alaska showed the character that made the team one of the favorites to win the All-Filipino tournament.

Ferriols hit a jumper that gave the Aces their biggest lead of the game at 86-70, 9:14 left before Red Bull, behind Junthy Valenzuela, unloaded a 12-2 bomb that cut the lead to just six, 82-88, 6:12 remaining.

But Willie Miller hit a banked shot and de la Cruz buried two straight jumpers that put the lead back to double digits, 94-82, 4:30 and Alaska was never threatened since then despite Mick Pennisi’s back-to-back triples that sliced the advantage to 88-96.

The win avenged their 96-99 loss in their first meeting in Guam, the first official game of the 32nd season of the league. Joel Orellana, The Manila Times

Scores:

Alaska 105—De la Cruz 18, Ferriols 17, Belasco 16, Miller 14, Cariaso 14, Singson 7, Thoss 6, Laure 6, Juinio 5, Aban 2.

Red Bull 94—Fonacier 18, Pennisi 15, Sharma 14, Valenzuela 13, Najorda 8, Bugia 7, Baguio 6, Villanueva 5, Cruz 4, Alvarez 2, Robinson 2, Ybañez 0.

Quarters: 36-22, 57-49, 79-68, 105-94.

Games on Wednesday
(Araneta Coliseum)
4:40 p.m. Ginebra vs Welcoat
7:20 p.m. Sta. Lucia vs San Miguel

full battle gear
11-28-2006, 11:53 AM
Jordan-like Miller named week’s best

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 02:09am (Mla time) 11/28/2006

Published on page A24 of the November 28, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

FOR PLAYING splendidly the past week to lead the Alaska Aces to three straight wins in the Talk ‘N Text PBA Philippine Cup, Willie Miller got the ultimate compliment from coach Tim Cone.

“He’s playing like Michael Jordan out there,” Cone said of his 5-foot-10 guard Sunday night, moments after a 105-94 whipping of Red Bull that put the Aces well inside the circle of teams that would advance to the playoffs outright. “He’s learned Jordan’s position very well that it’s starting to benefit our team.”

Cone wasn’t the only one truly impressed, as the covering media named the 2002 MVP their Player of the Week for the period of Nov. 20-26 over a slew of stars that included Barangay Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa.

Playing like Jordan in the famed triangle offense, the same pattern that gave Phil Jackson and the rest of the Chicago Bulls six NBA titles in the 1990s, meant that Miller had to make a radical shift in playing position.

From a natural off-guard to the one manning the point because of a season-ending injury to Mike Cortez, Miller has stepped up and went on to norm 21.5 points, 4.5 assists, four rebounds against just one turnover in 37 minutes on the floor for Cone.

“He’s been really open-minded about his position change, and the fact that he made the transition so seamlessly shows what great talent and character he has,” added Cone. And Alaska did not just take down so-so foes.

After losing five straight games to drop to the bottom of the standings, the Aces have now won four of their last five, the last two conquests coming over powerhouse teams Talk ‘N Text and Red Bull.

full battle gear
11-28-2006, 11:56 AM
Sta. Lucia finally gets respect

By Mico Halili
www.mb.com.ph


It’s a quiet morning in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Sta. Lucia head coach Alfrancis Chua is in the hotel coffee shop chatting with Ginebra team manager Samboy Lim.

Although Sta. Lucia lost to Ginebra, 123-117, the night before, Chua is upbeat. The Realtors, despite the loss, remain the top-ranked team in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup.

"We’re not a strong team," Chua says. "Probably everyone’s aggressive because one, we’re injury-free, and two, we now have people to help our dependable veterans."

Chua notes two factors in his team’s early success: The absence of major injuries to key players and the presence of young, blazing reinforcements.

Building its foundation on three healthy PBA Hall of Fame candidates, two prized rookies and a busy complement of role players, the Realtors seemed to have undergone a renovation for success.

"The team is deeper now with the arrival of our rookies," observes Paolo Mendoza, one of only three remaining players from Sta. Lucia’s 2001 champion team. "Nakakahawa ang energy nila, at maganda ang work ethic nila kaya malaki ang naitutulong nila sa team."

Among the three, Fil-Am Kelly Williams has had the most impact, not just on the Realtors but on the league itself.

Prior to their game against Ginebra, Williams was logging the most minutes (38), points per game (16) and rebounds (12), tops among the league’s neophytes.

"Malaking bagay ang pagdating ni Kelly kasi malaki siya para sa small forward position," 12-year veteran Dennis Espino offers. "Hindi katulad dati na kami na ang re-rebound, kami pa ang de-depensa at pupuntos. So laking tulong talaga si Kelly especially sa amin ni Marlou."

Energized by the arrival of Williams and the return of sophomore point guard Alex Cabagnot, the Realtors have suddenly become a team that shoots, scores and sizzles.

With Williams and No. 8 pick Mark Isip now helping out Espino and Marlou Aquino inside, scorers like Mendoza and Kenneth Duremdes have gotten back their license to shoot at will.

Prior to their game against Ginebra, Sta. Lucia was the league’s hottest three point shooting team (35 %) and third-best in two-point conversions (48.5 %).

To prove their point, the Realtors scorched Ginebra with 13 three-point baskets and shot almost 40% from rainbow territory. Mendoza and Duremdes each fired six triples albeit in a losing effort.

Mendoza, however, notes refreshingly that his team’s resuscitated defense is the key to their rebirth.

"The way we play defense that’s the biggest difference," Mendoza believes. "Siguro mas-aggressive kami ngayon sa defense. We’re communicating and helping each other out."

Teams have, in fact, difficulty shooting against Sta. Lucia this season. Aside from leading the league in shot blocks per game (6), the Realtors also allow teams to shoot just under 40% from the field (2nd behind Red Bull).

Williams, the key to the big turnaround, exudes confidence.

"I’m happy with the direction we’re going in and just excited with the potential we have to become even a better team from this point on," says Williams, the PBA 2006 top draft pick, says.

Nobody, however, notices this better than Sta. Lucia’s long-haired bench tactician.

Says Chua, a seven-time Philippine Basketball League and Grand Slam champion coach in search of his first PBA title: "Dati alam ng iba basta tambakan lang kami hindi na kami makakabangon. Ngayon yung respeto ng ibang team nandoon na."

full battle gear
11-28-2006, 12:01 PM
Miller regains MVP form, named Player of the Week

The Manila Times
www.abs-cbnnews.com


Being transplanted from one position to another sometimes takes a lot out of a player.

Unless, of course, one talks about Willie Miller.

The 2002 MVP slid in easily into the playmaker’s role after being plucked out of his usual 2-guard spot following an early season-ending injury to point guard Mike Cortez.

Although it took a longer time than expected for the rest of Alaska to adjust around Miller’s new role, they ultimately did.

"He’s been really open-minded about his position change, and the fact that he made the transition so seamlessly shows what great talent and character he has," said Alaska coach Tim Cone.

And now the Aces are so much the better for it, racking up two wins the past week to stay in the hunt for a more respectable slot in the qualification round of the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup.

Undoubtedly, Miller is a vital cog in the Aces’ run that actually started the week before, earning him the PBA Press Corps’ nod as its Accel-Talk ’N Text Player of the Week for the period November 20 to 26.

In those two wins—110-105 over Talk ’N Text last Friday and 105-94 over Red Bull—the 29-year-old Miller averaged 21.5 points, 4.5 assists, 4 rebounds and only 1.5 turnovers while averaging close to 37 minutes per game.

What makes those numbers more remarkable is the fact he also throws in some hustle and highlight plays to boot, once in a while flashing that winning smile and other antics that somehow help lessen the pressure off his teammates.

And Cone could not be happier, seeing how his team has seemingly completely rebounded from a woeful start that saw them win their opening game but lose five straight.

The Aces are toting a 5-7 win-loss slate in the 18-game qualification round, in a tie for seventh-running spot, but only two games behind fourth-placed San Miguel Beer, on whom Cone’s sights are wistfully trained.

"If we can get the fifth [place], we’ll be really happy. It would be a real blessing. But we’ll set a goal only within our reach and try to get going," he said.

With Miller’s able game as cornerstone, the realization of Alaska’s goal is not too far-fetched.

full battle gear
11-29-2006, 12:05 PM
Welcoat fights for survival vs Ginebra today


Inquirer
Last updated 01:10am (Mla time) 11/29/2006

Published on Page A30 of the November 29, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE SCRAMBLE to stay out of the bottom is as interesting as the race to reach the top.

Newcomer Welcoat, a team that has turned what little success it has had into something worth noticing, fights for survival as the Talk ‘N Text PBA Philippine Cup heads for its eliminations homestretch today.

In ninth spot with a 3-9 card, and just half-a-game out of the cellar, the Dragons collide with Barangay Ginebra in the 4:35 p.m. game today at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, needing a final run that will make their first foray into the pro league special.

And while the Dragons try to start a string of wins to advance past this round, Sta. Lucia Realty clashes with San Miguel Beer in a battle between top-tier teams at 7:20 p.m.

The Realtors have set the pace here since the start, and a loss tonight coupled with a Ginebra victory would create a two-way tie for the lead, a complication coach Alfrancis Chua definitely does not want at this point in the tournament.

“We have to watch out, because as you can see, one loss can really make a big difference,” Chua said.

Sta. Lucia held off the Beermen, 98-95, in their first collision last month. But the Realtors will be facing a totally different team today.

Rommel Adducul and Lordy Tugade have been added into the mix and Danny Ildefonso has since returned from injury bay to give the Beermen a tremendous boost.

Danny Seigle is still listed as doubtful because of a corneal tear, though.

Welcoat, meanwhile, lost by 32 points the first time, during the inaugurals, when the strengthened Ginebra lineup was seen by the public for the first time.

The Dragons played like boys in a men’s league that time. And even though they only have three wins in 12 games to show, they have earned the respect of the field by pushing some of the stronger teams to the limit.

“I always remind the boys to take care of business and not let others take care of it,” Ginebra’s Jong Uichico said. “We should always concentrate at the task at hand and not take any team for granted.” -- Musong R. Castillo

full battle gear
11-29-2006, 12:08 PM
Realtors, Beermen in vital tiffs

The Philippine Star 11/28/2006

Sta. Lucia Realty, Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer press their bids for an outright semifinals berth while Welcoat seeks to gain more headway against cellar-dweller Coca-Cola in a crucial double-header in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum today.

Sta. Lucia and San Miguel clash in an explosive match at 7:20 p.m. with the Realtors looking to firm up their hold of the lead while the Beermen aim to gain ground on the frontrunners.

Ginebra and Welcoat collide earlier at 4:35 p.m. with the Kings fancied to make it two in a row repeat against the Dragons that would solidify their grip of second place behind the Realtors.

Meanwhile, Alaska Milk’s Willie Miller was named Accel-Talk n Text PBA Player of the Week in the period Nov. 22-26 for his huge games leading the Aces to back-to-back wins over Talk n Text and Red Bull.

The Realtors topped the Beermen in their first meeting, 98-95, but coach Alfrancis Chua is wary of a possible revenge by San Miguel which has become very formidable following its acquisition of Romel Adducul and Lordy Tugade and the reactivation of Danny Ildefonso and Danny Seigle from the injured list.

"San Miguel has filled up its voids and has become the most complete team. It’s a tall team which can run," said Chua.

Winning seven of their last nine games, the Beermen do look poised to keep their rise.

"A win against Sta. Lucia will pull them down towards us and push us up towards them. Compared to our first meeting which was early October, we’re very different now. The addition of Adducul and Tugade completed the team," said San Miguel coach Chot Reyes.

"The possibility of the team landing in the top two is achievable, I’d say very possible, at this stage because SMB has the ability to come back, if and when they play together as one," Reyes added.

Ginebra coach Jong Uichico said they could well repeat against Welcoat if his troops take care of business.

"I have to remind the team always to look out. We should always do the best that we can. There‚s the tendency for the team to take things for granted," said Uichico.

The Kings fashioned out a 102-69 rout of the Dragons as they came out in their elements in their previous tiff.

But the Dragons (3-9) are aching to get back to gain more headway against the Tigers (3-10). The last placer after the double-round classifications will miss the playoffs.

"Our goal is to avoid early elimination. Kahit ninth place okay na muna sa amin," said Welcoat coach Leo Austria.

full battle gear
11-29-2006, 12:10 PM
Beermen test PBA leader Realtors today

www.mb.com.ph


FOR BARANGAY Ginebra coach Jong Uichico there’s no shortcut to success.

"We are not aiming for an outright (semifinal) spot," Uichico said. "It is a one game at a time outlook for us."

The Kings will try to solidify their hold of second spot and possibly gain a share of the lead with the Sta. Lucia Realtors when they go up against the Welcoat Dragons today in the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

They beat the Dragons by 33 points in their first meeting, making them an overwhelming favorite to repeat in their 4:35 p.m. match.

But Uichico, patient and cautious as ever, wants the Kings to forget their first meeting.

"We have to concentrate at the moment," he said. "We have to look at it as if this is the first time we’re going up against them (Dragons)."

A victory by the Kings and a loss by the Realtors against the San Miguel Beermen in the nightcap will give the frontrunners similar 9-4 cards.

With still five games left in their respective schedule, neither of the two can claim an outright seeding in the semifinals, at least for their next two games. But they definitely have the inside track.

"Luckily Red Bull lost last Sunday," noted Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua. "One loss can really make a big difference."

Especially with only two wins separating them from the next five teams, including the Beermen.

"This game gives us a chance to pull them down towards us and push us up towards them," said San Miguel coach Chot Reyes.

The Beermen lost to the Realtors, 95-98, in the first round, but it’s a different ballgame now.

"We’re incomplete during our first meeting," Reyes said. "The addition of Romel (Adducul) and Lordy (Tugade) completed the team."

They also played without resident stars Danny Seigle and Danny Ildefonso the first time they met.

Seigle, of course, is one of the most prolific scorers in the league.

In their last outing, a 100-81 win over defending champions Purefoods Chunkee Giants, Seigle netted 24 points in just 19 minutes of action.

The Realtors are certainly not expecting Seigle to play for only 19 minutes against them.

full battle gear
11-29-2006, 12:12 PM
Realtors, Beermen in crucial tiff; Gin Kings eye 9th win

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Santa Lucia Realty braces for a different San Miguel Beer team as they collide in the main game of the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The two meet at 7:20 p.m. after the also crucial encounter between Barangay Ginebra and newcomer Welcoat Paints at 4:40 p.m.

The Realtors edged out the Beermen in their first meeting, 98-95, but coach Alfrancis Chua admitted that the latter is not as potent as this stage of the tournament.

"When we faced them before, they’re not complete yet. The acquisition of Lordy [Tugade] and Romel [Adducul] and with Danny Ildefonso back in form, I think there will be a big adjustment on our part," said Chua.

"San Miguel is a most complete team but I’m telling the boys to play as one. That’s why we’re on the top because we’re playing as a team," Chua added.

Sta. Lucia, leading the pack with an impressive 9-3 win-loss mark, is coming off a shaky 112-110 win over Air21 last Saturday where they almost blew a big margin.

The Beermen are also coming off a huge 100-81 victory over the defending champion Purefoods Chunkee that put them in solo fourth place with 7-5 slate.

"It will be very important because a win will push us forward to the upper bracket," said San Miguel head coach Chot Reyes, who after a 0-3 start, won seven of their last nine games.

"The possibility of landing in the top two spots is achievable. I’d say it’s very possible at this stage but we have to play together as one," added Reyes.

Danny Seigle has returned from an injury and immediately starred in their win against the Giants. He will be again the focal point of offense of Beermen along with Dondon Hontiveros and Ildefonso.

Top rookie Kelly Williams is beginning to show that he’s more than just athleticism as he has been leading the Realtors not only on scoring but also in rebounds.

In the first game, the Kings hope for a Sta. Lucia loss and win over the Dragons to get a tie in the team standings. They are currently at the solo second spot with 8-4 mark.

Welcoat, toting 3-9 mark and just a half a game ahead of last-placer Coca-Cola (3-10), is seeking an important win to boost its chances of avoiding an early elimination. The Manila Times

chocoks77
11-30-2006, 10:29 AM
VILLANUEVA, YEO P40,000 POORER DUE TO SCUFFLE
Enrico fined P10,000 more for game incident
Wednesday, 29 November 2006
PBA commissioner Noli Eala yesterday meted Enrico Villanueva and Joseph Yeo P40,000 fine each in the aftermath of what he described was a "regrettable incident" involving the league's two young stars.

Eala handed out his decision after the fact-finding team which he heads had completed a thorough inquiry that included hearing the versions of the two protagonists as well as the testimonies of several witnesses to the incident.

Through a letter served to the two stars, the commissioner emphasized that he chose not to dwell on the conflicting testimonies on who instigated the incident but the fact "remains clear and undeniable that you (Villanueva and Yeo) committed acts unbecoming of a professional player and detrimental to the values being espoused by the league."

Apparently, that explains why he imposed the same sanction to the two temperamental players.

Villanueva and Yeo figured in a brawl at the Araneta Coliseum parking lot on November 19,2006 in full view of the public. The scuffle took place after Villanueva's Red Bull Barakos defeated Yeo's Coca-Cola Tigers, 95-67.

Eala also slapped Villanueva an additional P10,000 fine for a flagrant foul he committed on Yeo with 2.3 seconds left in the second quarter of their game.

PBA technical chief Perry Martinez said the offense drew a non-call from the game officials but a review of the tape clearly showed the offense Villanueva committed.

"It's unfortunate the act was inadvertently not caught by the referees. Nevertheless, there have been precedents in the past in relation to imposing fines and penalties in this league that acts committed by any player during a game, even if not penalized during the actual game, may be subject to sanctions thereafter," Martinez said.

full battle gear
11-30-2006, 11:07 AM
Gin Kings slay Dragons with strong finish

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 01:19am (Mla time) 11/30/2006

Published on Page A20 of the November 30, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

FOR SOMEONE who just won a third straight game by 21 points, Barangay Ginebra’s Jong Uichico certainly didn’t look happy.

In fact, he sounded a bit gloomy.

Uichico didn’t mince words in airing his concern for the rest of the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup eliminations despite an 87-66 victory over lowly Welcoat last night.

“(Our effort) leaves a lot to be desired,” the soft-spoken mentor later said. “It’s like we don’t take our playing (the game) seriously. We just can’t switch it on and off. What if it doesn’t happen?”

Dragged into a 33-33 tie at halftime, Ginebra needed 10 points from Mark Caguioa and nine from Rudy Hatfield in the breakaway third quarter to post the convincing win over the cellar-dwelling Dragons who took the first quarter, 15-12.

“It’s good that we recovered in the second half,” Uichico added. “I’m happy with the win, don’t get me wrong. But I’m not happy with the way we started (the game). We can’t do that against other (stronger) teams.”

Ginebra rose to 9-4 with the win, and could gain a share of the lead with Sta. Lucia Realty, which was playing San Miguel Beer at press time, if the Realtors lose to the Beermen.

Hatfield and Caguioa were actually the only Kings who worked hard starting in the first period. They combined for 41 points in the first three quarters to finish with 24 and 21, respectively, and lead the way in dealing the Dragons their 10th loss in 13 games.

The other stars, whether it was by design or otherwise, struggled.

Starting point guard Jay-Jay Helterbrand finished with six points and Eric Menk converted only one free throw and had just five rebounds in 30 minutes.

Still, the win boosted the Kings’ chances of taking an automatic semifinal seat while pushing Welcoat’s back against the wall with only one team getting the boot after the long elimination round.

The Dragons, who were held to the lowest output this conference after missing Rob Wainwright and Jojo Tangkay, are now tied with Coca-Cola for the league’s worst record, and the race at the bottom has proven to be as interesting as the battle for the top.
Coke and Welcoat are now a clear three games out of eighth spot and from where they stand at the moment, it seems that it would be a one-miss-you-die scenario as both see action tomorrow against formidable teams.

The scores:

GINEBRA 87 -- Hatfield 24, Caguioa 21, Tubid 12, Macapagal 8, Mamaril 8, Reavis 7, Helterbrand 6, Menk 1, Holper 0, Salvacion 0, Abarrientos 0.

WELCOAT 66 -- Lopez 21, Reyes 10, Sagad 8, Ibañez 6, Gelig 6, Mente 6, Baguion 3, Cabatu 2, Sta. Maria 2, Lao 2.

Quarters: 12-15, 33-all, 63-47, 87-66.

full battle gear
11-30-2006, 11:08 AM
Barako, Pals collision up in Tacloban


Inquirer
Last updated 05:28am (Mla time) 11/30/2006

Published on Page A32 of the November 30, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

TACLOBAN CITY -- Derrick Pumaren should be cowering at the schedule facing him and his Talk ’N Text Phone Pals.

But the cool and calculating coach is embracing the challenge that lies ahead.

“If we hurdle these two obstacles, we will have a clear shot at the No. 2 spot,” Pumaren said on the eve of a crucial collision with Red Bull as the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup goes on the road at the Tacloban Convention Center here today.

“Bagging the No. 2 spot would be an ample reward for this team.”

Weather permitting, the Phone Pals will be shooting to win for the second straight game in the 5 p.m. contest even as the Barako try to bounce back from a loss the last time out.

Both teams actually have their sights trained on one objective, but Red Bull is aiming a little bit higher.

The Barako are running third with an 8-5 card, while the Phone Pals are two rungs lower with an 7-6 slate.

Wins today would boost both teams’ chances, with Red Bull staying alive for a shot at the top spot and automatic qualification into the Final Four.

“We have a tough ride remaining, but wins in those games will make the No. 2 spot possible,” Pumaren added. “The good thing about it is that we control our destiny.”

After clashing with the Barako, TNT still has five games left including dates with league-leading Sta. Lucia Realty, San Miguel Beer and powerhouse Barangay Ginebra.

Meanwhile, the commissioner’s office yesterday fined Coca-Cola rookie Joseph Yeo and Red Bull center Enrico Villanueva P40,000 each for figuring in a parking lot brawl two Sundays ago.

The penalties came more than a week after both players admitted guilt and patched things up. Villanueva was meted an additional P10,000 fine for a flagrant foul committed on Yeo during the first half of the Red Bull-Coca-Cola game.--- Musong R. Castillo

full battle gear
11-30-2006, 11:10 AM
Kings press semis bid; Villanueva,Yeo fined
By Joey Villar
The Philippine Star 11/30/2006

Barangay Ginebra shrugged off a sluggish performance in the final half and repeated over Welcoat, 87-66, to enhance its bid for an outright semifinals entry in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

Rudy Hatfield and Mark Caguioa teamed up in a decisive third-quarter attack and the Kings broke away from a 33-all deadlock at the half en route to their third straight win and ninth in 13 games overall.

Hatfield and Caguioa combined for 20 points in the third period, outscoring the entire Welcoat team by six in the pivotal quarter.

The Kings took a 63-47 lead at the end of the third and poured on the heat in the final canto in duplicating their rout of the Dragons in their previous tiff.

The Dragons couldn’t keep pace as the Kings pressed their bid in the final half, sorely missing the services of injured ace scorer Jojo Tangkay. The 6-foot-2 guard-forward sat out the game due to a right knee injury.

Welcoat’s output in the contest was the least made by any team in a game in the season, eclipsing Coca-Cola’s 67 in a losing stand against Red Bull last Nov. 19.

"I’m happy with the win but I’m not happy with the way we started in this contest," said Ginebra coach Jong Uichico.

Indeed, the Kings struggled early on, trailing 2-12 at the onset.

Meanwhile, PBA commissioner Noli Eala fined Enrico Villanueva and Joseph Yeo P40,000 each in the aftermath of what he described as a "regrettable incident" involving the league’s two young stars.

Eala handed out his decision after the fact-finding team which he headed completed an inquiry that included hearing versions of the two protagonists as well as testimonies of several witnesses to the incident.

Eala also said that he chose not to dwell on the conflicting testimonies on who instigated the incident but stressed the two cagers "committed acts unbecoming of a professional player and detrimental to the values being espoused by the league."

Villanueva and Yeo figured in a brawl at the Araneta Coliseum parking lot on Nov. 19 in full view of PBA fans. The scuffle took place after Villanueva’s Red Bull Barakos defeated Yeo’s Coca-Cola Tigers, 95-67.

Eala also slapped Villanueva an additional P10,000 fine for a flagrant foul he committed on Yeo with 2.3 seconds left in the second quarter of their game.

PBA technical chief Perry Martinez said the offense drew a non-call from the game officials but a review of the game tape showed the offense Villanueva committed.

"It’s unfortunate the act was inadvertently not caught by the referees. Nevertheless, there have been precedents in the past in relation to imposing fines and penalties in this league that acts committed by any player during a game, even if not penalized during the actual game, may be subject to sanctions thereafter," Martinez said.

full battle gear
11-30-2006, 11:10 AM
Kings show Dragons who’s boss

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


IT’S UNUSUAL to see a coach, particularly Jong Uichico, not to feel satisfied despite a big win.

"I’m not happy the way we started the game. We just couldn’t start that way," said the soft-spoken mentor. "It’s good that we were able to recover at the start of the second half, and then sustain it."

And the Kings sustained their third quarter explosion to hammer out an 87-66 rout of Welcoat Paints in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Conference at the Araneta Coliseum.

After a so-so first half where they saw the Dragons finish the first 24 minutes tied with them, 33-33, the Kings boomed with a big third quarter run that saw them outscore the PBA rookie team, 30-14, to grab a 63-47 lead going into the final quarter.

The Kings, who improved to 9-4 behind frontrunner Sta. Lucia Realty (9-3), got a big lift from reserve guard Ronald Tubid, who dropped 10 of his 12 points during that pivotal run in the third quarter.

Fil-Am Rudy Hatfield also contributed big in that blitzkrieg by nailing nine points. He finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds and two assists while Mark Caguioa added 21 markers.

Ginebra had its biggest lead at 76-49 when Mark Macapagal buried a three-pointer with 7:30 left in the game.

But Uichico, who took over as Ginebra coach before the season started replacing Siot Tangquincen, now his chief lieutenant, had to make adjustments.

"It’s like we don’t take our play seriously in terms of the mental aspect of the game. It carries over to the game, it’s like we’re on and off," he said. "What if it doesn’t happen?"

It’s good that it’s on anytime, but it cannot be that way. It’s just us being prepared to play every game. We’re still lucky to turn it on," added Uichico.

Still, the win was a typical Ginebra style— the Kings not only outscored the opposition held the Dragons to a conference low output.

The previous low was 67 held by Coca-Cola and Purefoods.

It was the Dragons’ fourth straight setback as they dropped deeper down the cellar with Coca-Cola with identical 3-10 cards.

Without the injured Jojo Tangkay, the prolific guard who averages almost 15 points per game, the Dragons had to rely on Denver Lopez who had 21 points.

Rookie center Jay-Arr Reyes contributed 10 markers.

The scores:

First Game

GINEBRA 87 — Hatfield 24, Caguioa 21, Tubid 12, Macapagal 8, Mamaril 8, Reavis 7, Helterbrand 6, Menk 1, Holper 0, Salvacion 0, Abarrientos 0.

WELCOAT 66 — Lopez 21, Reyes 10, Sagad 8, Ibanes 6, Gelig 6, Mente 6, Baguion 3, Cabatu 2, Sta. Maria 2, Lao 2.

Quarters: 12-15, 33-33, 63-47, 87-66.
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full battle gear
11-30-2006, 11:12 AM
Rico, Yeo fined 40k for brawl

www.mb.com.ph


Enrico Villanueva of Red Bull and Joseph Yeo of Coca-Cola, who exchanged punches at the parking lot after their game two Sundays ago, escaped suspension and were handed a P40,000 fine each.

The decision handed down by PBA Commissioner Noli Eala yesterday drew mixed reactions.

"I think it’s the right decision not to suspend them because the team will suffer. It is stiff (fines) enough, I guess," Welcoat co-owner Raymund Yu told the Bulletin. "But if that happens again they should get heftier penalties – possibly a ban."

For Welcoat Dragon rookie JunJun Cabatu, the fines do not give the assurance that the rivalry between Yeo and Villanueva would end although the two recently kissed and made up at the Commissioner’s Office.

"Siguro titigil na sila. Pero kung gusto nila ulitin, magbabayad lang sila ng malaki," said Cabatu, who played with Yeo at De La Salle and against the former Ateneo stalwart Villanueva during their stint in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.

PBA Media Bureau chief Willie Marcial defended the decision of Eala, saying: "There’s no precedent, that’s why there are no suspensions.

In all Villanueva, will pay R50,000, including the an additional R10,000 fine for a flagrant foul he committed on Yeo with 2.3 seconds left in the second quarter of their game.

PBA technical chief Perry Martinez said the offense drew a non-call from the game officials but a review of the tape clearly showed the offense Villanueva committed.

"It’s unfortunate the act was inadvertently not caught by the referees. Nevertheless, there have been precedents in the past in relation to imposing fines and penalties in this league that acts committed by any player during a game, even if not penalized during the actual game, may be subject to sanctions thereafter," Martinez said. —Waylon Galvez

full battle gear
12-02-2006, 03:07 PM
Express tame Tigers

Air21 stretches Coca-Cola losing streak
By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 02:54am (Mla time) 12/02/2006

Published on page A18 of the December 2, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GAME TODAY (Lagao Gym, General Santos)
5 p.m.—Alaska vs San Miguel

AIR21 proved too much to handle even for the claws of the Coca-Cola Tigers in the second half last night as the Express posted a 101-95 decision that boosted their playoff chances in the Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

With their running game in high gear in the final two periods, the Express rallied from as many as 12 points down in the third quarter to post the win pulling away, their sixth in 13 games overall while extending Coca-Cola’s tournament record in futility.

Coke, which seems locked in a head-to-head battle with newcomer Welcoat for the right to play on after the elimination round, took a seventh straight loss flush in the chin and dropped to 3-11 overall with just four games left.

Rookie Arwind Santos dropped 18 points—nine in the third period—and plucked down 13 rebounds in another splendid all-around display to lead the Express, who still have a mathematical chance of advancing to the semifinals outright even with a sub-.500 card.

Point guard Wynne Arboleda also shone, sharing team honors with Santos, while holding the Air21 offense together even after the Express had trailed, 40-52, early in the third quarter.

That deficit proved to be the wake-up call that the Express needed, as they scored in clusters to finish with 36 points for the period, easily turning a 40-48 deficit at the half to a 76-70 lead heading into the final frame.

There, Air21 led by as many as 10 points while running on cruise control, the final score not really reflecting how much in command the Express were.

“We knew that we still have a chance (for a semis berth), and I told the guys that we should start by winning our game tonight,” said Air21’s Bo Perasol. “We should play every game worthy of a playoff effort.

“Because regardless of where we end up (outright semis or quarterfinal seat), we have to bring a good game with us every night.”

As things stand, the Express took solo seventh spot after the win with five games left in their schedule. If the playoffs were to start today, the team would still be in the wildcard phase.

Alaska (5-7), which clashes with San Miguel (8-5) in General Santos at 5 p.m. today, is still also in the running if it could sustain its streak.

The Aces have won their last three starts and will be colliding with a San Miguel side that has won its last two.

Today’s assignment for Alaska marks the third straight game that the team will be playing a powerhouse side.

The scores:

First Game

AIR21 101—Santos 18, Arboleda 18, David 15, Y. De Ocampo 14, R. De Ocampo 14, Canaleta 7, Avenido 5, Bernardo 4, Telan 4, Dimaunahan 2, Sotto 0.

COCA-COLA 95—Peek 24, Arigo 19, Yeo 12, Pacana 11, Antonio 10, Caceres 6, Ramos 6, Miranda 4, Misolas 3, Gavino 0.

Quarters: 16-23, 40-48, 76-70, 101-95.

full battle gear
12-02-2006, 03:11 PM
No end to Tigers woes

The Philippine Star 12/02/2006

Coke is on the rocks.

After taking its seventh straight loss last night, the Tigers fell further down the ladder, and now need some sort of a miracle to turn things around in the Talk N Text PBA Philippine Cup.

Before a sparse crowd at the Araneta Coliseum, Coke got off to a good start but, like in their previous games, had a poor finish in taking a 101-95 loss to Air 21.

The losing streak is the worst in Coke’s franchise history. At 3-11 and with only four games left in the elimination round, the Tigers are almost in for an early vacation.

The last time the Tigers tasted a victory was 33 days ago — a hard-earned 92-86 decision over rookie team Welcoat. When and how the losing streak would end not even coach Binky Favis knows.

"I pity the players because the effort is always there. Sometimes, you’d think that they deserve to win but somehow we just keep on falling short," said Favis.

The Coke dugout was almost empty when Favis, not so used to losing, was interviewed.

"I’m just telling my players to keep on pushing and sticking together. Because if we continue to work hard together, sooner or later good things will happen," he said.

"Well, we still have four games left and we’re fighting it out just to avoid outright elimination. We’re having a hard time. If only we could win a game," Favis hoped.

John Arigo was the last player to leave the Coke dugout. Before heading toward the door, he shook hands with his coach, and was told to "just hang in there." — Abac Cordero

full battle gear
12-02-2006, 03:12 PM
Express run over Tigers

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


ARWIND SANTOS is definitely a big man now.

The 6-foot-4 rookie produced his sixth double-double performance last night to lift Air 21 to a 101-95 victory slumping Coca-Cola in the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The No. 2 pick in this year’s annual rookie draft, Santos tallied 18 points and 13 rebounds to lead Air21 to an inspiring come-from-behind victory that solidified their bid for an outright quarterfinal seat.

The loss – their seventh straight and 11th overall in 14 outings – dampened the Tigers’ hopes of making it into the quarters.

It was really a heart-breaking one.

The Tigers dictated the tempo early in the game, finishing the first half ahead, 48-40, and even grabbed a double-digit lead, 52-40, after just two minutes gone in the third quarter.

But Santos and veteran playmaker Wynne Arboleda came to the rescue of Air21, combining for 23 of the Express’ 36 points that allowed them to take a 76-70 advantage entering the final canto.

In the second game, Purefoods snapped a two-game losing by downing Welcoat Paints, 76-74, for an 8-6 mark.

"We’re well aware that Coke has that mindset of kapit sa patalim coming into this game," said Air21 coach Bo Perasol. "But if we want to win a playoff game, be it in the quarters or the wild card, we have to start winning. The bottom line is, we have to have a good chance of winning playoff games."

full battle gear
12-02-2006, 03:13 PM
Guiao, TNT exec whip up a storm

www.mb.com.ph


IF METRO Manilans were wondering where Typhoon Reming went, the tempest made a side trip to Tacloban City Thursday night where Coach Yeng Guiao of Red Bull and Team Manager Frankie Lim of Talk ‘N Text whipped a storm of their own.

Both were ejected in the second period of Red Bull’s 104-76 win in the Talk ‘N Text Philippine Cup classification phase at the Tacloban Convention Center.

They engaged in a heated verbal tussle and a brief shoving incident before getting separated by players and game officials.

"Lumapit s’ya (Lim) sa bench namin telling me face-to-face na huwag kong mumurahin ang mga players nila," Guiao said. "If you’re going over to the bench of the opposing team saying unkind words, you’re looking for trouble."

Lim said he didn’t toe the line.

"It happened in the substitution area," he said. "Hindi na lang kasi pagku-coach ang gawin. Pati players namin minumura."

Guiao did admit saying profanities, but not to the Talk ‘N Text players.

"Wala akong pinapatungkulan nung mga sinasabi ko," Guiao said.

Everybody in the venue could feel the storm brewing when Carlo Sharma of the Bulls and Asi Taulava of the Phone Pals traded cheap shots early in the second quarter.

They were caught red-handed and slapped a technical foul each with 8:52 left before halftime. Guiao, who came in, was also whistled for a technical.

A couple of possessions later, Sharma made a basket over Taulava and Guiao punctuated it with "O sige, mga p***** i** n’yo."

That proved to be too much for Lim to handle.

Guiao and Lim along with Sharma and Taulava are expected to be summoned by Commissioner Noli Eala early next week.

full battle gear
12-02-2006, 03:18 PM
Streaking Aces battle SMB

www.abs-cbnnews.com


GENERAL SANTOS CITY - San Miguel Beer is looking to extend its winning skein and make the race for the two outright semis berth in the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup a wide-open one.

But for them to do that, they have to get past a streaking Alaska Aces.

On a three-game winning roll, the Aces are out to thwart the Beermen from doing their thing as the two hottest teams in the season-opening tournament clash in a lone road game here.

At 8-5, the Beermen are currently in solo third place, but could catch up with Red Bull at second place with a win in today’s 5 p.m. encounter with the Aces.

San Miguel is on a two-game winning run routing league bigwigs Sta. Lucia Realty and defending champion Purefoods Chunkee one after the other.

But it faces a tough customer in Alaska, which appeared to be gaining steam after starting the conference on the wrong foot.

The Aces strung up wins over Welcoat, Talk ’N Text and Red Bull and haven’t loss since dropping a close 98-101 decision against Sta. Lucia on November 10.

Suddenly revitalized, the Aces are now at 5-7 and remain on track for one of three outright berths to the quarterfinals.

"If we can get the fifth [place in the quarterfinals], we’ll be really happy. It would be a real blessing," said Alaska coach Tim Cone.

Meanwhile, Air21 bucked a slow start and turned back the pesky Coca-Cola squad, 101-95, Friday night at the Araneta Coliseum. The Express improved to 6-7 while the Tigers slid deeper to the cellar with 3-11 mark.

gameface_one
12-03-2006, 07:15 PM
Beermen ward off rallying Aces


The Philippine Star

GENERAL SANTOS CITY - San Miguel Beer erected a 19-point lead in the first half and fended off Alaska Milk’s fourth-quarter comeback for a 103-99 victory that enhanced its bid for an outright semifinal berth in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Gen. Santos City Gym here Saturday night.

Sustaining its romp following the return of Danny Seigle from an eye injury, San Miguel drew level with Red Bull on their identical 9-5 win-loss records, now just half-game behind joint leaders Sta. Lucia Realty (9-4) and Barangay Ginebra (9-4) heading to the homestretch of the classification round.

Lordy Tugade was in his most productive performance in a San Miguel uniform, hitting 20 points, and Dondon Hontiveros made the same output with Olsen Racela and Seigle adding 14 and 10, respectively, as the Beermen handed the Aces their eighth defeat in 13 starts.

Alaska stayed at eighth place, now way behind the frontrunners in the race for the two outright semis seats and the three automatic slots in the quarters.

The Aces, however, could avoid early elimination, being two and a half games ahead of cellar dwellers the Welcoat Dragons and the Coca-Cola Tigers.

The Aces came charging back from the depth of a 19-point deficit at 28-47, drawing within three at 78-81 at the start of the fourth quarter.

But Tugade, Seigle and Olsen Racela fired clutch baskets at endgame, and the Beermen overcame the threat to crowd the Realtors, Kings and Bulls atop the ladder.

Five Aces scored at least 11 but the rest combined for only 10 points.

Meanwhile, the Realtors and the Kings seek to keep their spots on top as they take on the Talk N' Text Phone Pals and the Air21 Express, respectively, Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

gameface_one
12-03-2006, 07:16 PM
Lim, Guiao trade barbs
By Joaquin Henson
The Philippine Star 12/03/2006

Talk ‘N’ Text team manager Frankie Lim said yesterday it’s high time the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) cracks down on players and coaches who are habitual users of profanity to express their emotions during a game.

Lim was involved in a verbal altercation with Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao in Tacloban last Thursday and both were ejected as the Barakos held a four-point lead in the second period. Red Bull won the game, 104-76.

Lim, a 15-year PBA veteran, appealed to PBA commissioner Noli Eala to throw the book on vociferous protesters who show a poor example to fans.

"This cursing has to stop," said Lim. "It shows no class. I have no problem with physical play but when a coach curses my players, I won’t stand for it. I don’t even curse my players so what right does somebody from another team have to curse them?"

Lim stormed out of the Phone Pals bench to confront Guiao, eyeball to eyeball, in a tense situation and both exchanged invectives. It came after Red Bull’s Carlo Sharma scored off Talk ‘N’ Text’s Asi Taulava and drew a foul for a three-point play.

"I didn’t curse Asi," said Guiao yesterday in a long distance phone call from Kuala Lumpur where he is attending a Vice-Governors League convention. "I punched the air with my fist because Carlo won the exchange. I just told Carlo not to be intimidated by Asi. Maybe, Frankie didn’t like what happened because he pays Asi close to a million pesos and we pay Carlo only P50,000."

Guiao said Lim was out of line in approaching him.

"I didn’t do anything extraordinary," continued Guiao. "I was just doing my job as a coach. I got a technical earlier for entering the court when Carlo and Asi squared off. I deserved it and I walked back to my bench. The referees control the game and everybody should respect that. Frankie went up to me and looked for trouble. What is a man supposed to do?"

Guiao claimed Lim took a swipe at him. Lim, however, said in the heat of the moment, he couldn’t recall if he swung at Guiao.

Eala told The STAR yesterday he will summon Guiao and Lim to a meeting on Tuesday and review the tape of the incident before deciding on sanctions, if any.

"We won’t take this lightly," said Eala. "For a coach and a team manager to go at it is totally unacceptable and an embarrassment to the league particularly as we were guests in an out-of-town game where the Tacloban coliseum was being inaugurated. What I couldn’t understand was why it took so long for Yeng and Frankie to leave after being ejected."

Eala said because of the ejection, an automatic one-game suspension appears to be in the offing.

"It’s just too much and the league seems to tolerate what Yeng does," said Lim. "No other coach curses players like he does. When I was ejected and got up the bench to leave, there was a commotion because Guiao, Enrico Villanueva and Roehl Nadurata looked like they wanted to start a fight. I went back to the hotel and got updates on the game by text."

Guiao said he disengaged himself from a confrontation.

"He came all the way from his bench," related Guiao. "Sinugod niya ako and told me to stop cursing his players. I deny cursing his players, commissioner Eala or (media affairs bureau chief) Willie Marcial. The referees and table officials can attest to that. It’s a total lie that I instructed Carlo to attack Asi and try to get him ejected. I just encouraged Carlo to hold his ground against Asi. It’s also a total lie that Roehl challenged him to a fight. I think he’s trying to justify the stupid thing that he did."

Guiao said he harbors no ill feeling towards Lim despite the incident.

"Different coaches have different styles," he said. "I can explode in a game but after the buzzer, everyone’s a friend. Nothing personal. It’s like in politics where you can be enemies today and allies tomorrow. It’s Frankie’s problem if he takes it personal, not mine."

The day after the game, the Red Bull coaching staff took the same plane from Tacloban to Manila as the Talk ‘N’ Text team.

"We were civil and avoided each other in the plane," said Guiao. "I can’t speculate if he’s under a lot of pressure and that’s why he’s reacting that way. I’m also under the same pressure and demands. Frankie has to take responsibility for his actions."

Lim said Red Bull team manager Tony Chua phoned him after the game to smooth things out.

"Tony called to say let’s forget what happened," said Lim who incurred his first ejection as a manager.

Guiao, who is Vice-Governor of Pampanga, left for Kuala Lumpur last Friday and will be back in Manila tomorrow.

gameface_one
12-04-2006, 07:42 AM
Kings bank on big finish



By Waylon Galvez
mb.com.ph

FOR THE Ginebra Kings, a slow start doesn’t bother them anymore. What matters for the Kings is how to finish a game.


And the Kings are proving to be masters of that art.

Displaying tremendous firepower in the final half, the Gin Kings trounced the Air21 Express, 116-105, to gain solo lead in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Ace gunner Mark Caguioa best typified Ginebra’s great resolve as he scored a conference high-35 points on 12-of-27 shooting from the field, including 4-of-9 from the three-point territory.

Despite his team’s cold start, Ginebra coach Jong Uichico commended his players for getting the job done, particularly on the defensive end.

"The games are getting tougher, the intensity is picking up. We know Air21 will try to run, but we held our own in the offense and as well as on the defensive end," said Uichico.

The win was the fourth straight and 10th overall for the Kings in 14 starts, thus solidifying their bid for one of two outright semifinal berths.

In the second game, Talk ’N Text snapped a two-game losing run by downing Sta. Lucia, 109-96 – thanks to the gritty effort of Asi Taulava and Anthony Washington.

Taulava led the Phone Pals with 31 points, including 12 in the third, while Washington added a personal-high 24 points as the Phone Pals improved to 8-7.

With their second straight defeat, the Realtors found themselves tied for second to fourth places with Red Bull and San Miguel at 9-5. The Express, on the other hand, fell to 6-8.

Air21 actually controlled the tempo of the game as they led as many as 16 points on a basket by Yancy de Ocampo, 72-56, with 6:49 to go in the third frame.

But Ginebra, behind the Jay-Jay Helterbrand’s 13 points, used a 25-9 run to tie the score at 81-81, entering the final canto.

A jumper by Gary David, who led his team with 28 points, gave the Express a 90-84 lead with 10:08 left to play. The Gins, however, retaliated quickly.

Meanwhile, a source revealed that Yancy de Ocampo is on the trading block again, and if negotiations push through, he may find himself playing for the defending champion Purefoods Chunkee.

According to a source who requested not to be named, San Miguel’s Robert Non and Air21 team manager Lito Alvarez have been discussing the possibility of de Ocampo’s transfer to the Giants.

The scores:

First Game

BRGY. GINEBRA 116 — Caguioa 35, Helterbrand 25, Menk 15, Hatfield 13, Reavis 10, Salvacion 8, Macapagal 6, Tubid 2, Abarrientos 2, Holper 0, Mamaril 0.

AIR21 105 — David 28, Arboleda 21, Cañaleta 16, de Ocampo Y. 10, Santos 9, Telan 8, de Ocampo R. 7, Dimaunahan 3, Avenido 3, Sotto 0, Bernardo 0.

Quarters: 26-30; 48-54; 81-81; 116-105.

Second Game

TALK ’N TEXT 109 — Taulava 31, Washington 24, Carey 14, Cardona 12, Ritualo 12, Alapag 7, Allado 7, Pablo 2, Fran 0, Belano 0.

STA. LUCIA 96 — Mendoza 16, Isip 14, Omolon 11, Cabagnot 10, Espino 10, Williams 10, Bughao 7, Catli 7, Duremdes 5, Calimag 4, Aquino 3, Gonzales 2.

Quarters: 30-14; 55-38; 84-64; 109-96.

gameface_one
12-04-2006, 07:44 AM
Bandana Boys’ carry load for Gin Kings


By JOEY VILLAR
The Philippine Star

Mark Caguioa and Jay Jay Helterbrand went on a scoring spree as Barangay Ginebra drove past Air21, 116-105, Sunday to seize the lead in the Talk N’ Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Caguioa and Helterbrand, known in the PBA as the "Bandana Boys," accounted for more than half of the Kings’ total output and powered the league’s most popular team to a fourth straight victory and 10th in 14 games overall.

Caguioa fired a conference-high 35 points while Helterbrand booked his own high of 25 points on top of 11 assists and four steals as they took the sting out of the Express, who have the league-best average of 103.2 points per game.

"They’re just great," said Ginebra coach Jong Uichico of his high-scoring tandem.

Gary David came off the bench to score 28 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter for Air 21. But he failed to keep up for the Express when Caguioa and Helterbrand stepped on the gas in the stretch and deal the Express their eighth loss against six wins.

"They were playing their game in the first half," said Uichico. "But my players did a good job in putting a stop to their offense with an aggressive defense."

Niño Canaleta scattered 15 points early on as the Express seized a 39-26 lead in the second quarter. But the Kings, egged on by the crowd, clawed back to cut their deficit to just six points, 48-54, at the break.

An 11-2 blast had Air21 erecting a 65-50 advantage, its biggest of the game. Again, Ginebra roared back to tie the count at 81-all with a quarter to go.

After a seesaw battle in the first five minutes of the final canto, Caguioa and Helterbrand just took over to lead the crowd favorites to victory.

full battle gear
12-04-2006, 11:20 AM
Gin Kings take No. 1 position

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 03:15am (Mla time) 12/04/2006

Published on page A23 of the December 4, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GAMES WEDNESDAY (Araneta Coliseum)
4:35 p.m. -- Coca-Cola vs. Alaska
7:20 p.m. -- Red Bull vs. Welcoat

MARK CAGUIOA shot 35 points and Jay-Jay Helterbrand added 25 on top of 11 assists as Barangay Ginebra scored a come-from-behind 116-105 victory over Air21 last night that gave the Gin Kings temporary possession of the lead in the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup.

Rudy Hatfield was also good for a double-double with 13 points and the same number of boards, and Rafi Reavis scattered 10 points while collaring 17 rebounds as the Kings won out in a shoot-out at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City to improve to 10-4.

Air21, which started out hot and led by as many as 16 points in the first half, dropped to 6-8 and all but bowed out of contention for an automatic seat in the semifinals.

Sta. Lucia Realty later dropped out of the lead after taking a 109-96 beating at the hands of Talk ‘N Text.

Asi Taulava highlighted a 31-point effort by shooting 12 in the third period as the Phone Pals improved to 8-7.

The Realtors, whose high-profile roster of big men struggled all night, slipped to 9-5, tied for second place with Red Bull.

Gary David came off the bench and led the Express with 28 points, while Nino Cañaleta, their high-flying forward who is recovering from a leg injury, was practically a non-factor in the second half after shooting 13 points in the first two periods that jump-started the Air21 offense.

The final score did not really reflect how hard Ginebra’s fourth straight victory came, as the Kings trailed, 56-72, early in the third period.

In fact, Ginebra never led until the final eight minutes and the Kings actually sat on pins and needles entering the stretch after Ranidel de Ocampo had a jumper that shoved the Express within 100-99 with 3:15 to go.

“The games are just getting tougher and tougher,” Ginebra coach Jong Uichico said. “They (Express) were in their comfort zone in the first half and we were only able to take it away from them in the third period.”

The scores:

First Game

GINEBRA 116 -- Caguioa 35, Helterbrand 25, Menk 15, Hatfield 13, Reavies 10, Salvacion 8, Macapagal 6, Tubid 2, Abarrientos 2, Holper 0, Mamaril 0.

AIR21 105 -- David 28, Arboleda 21, Canaleta 16, De Ocampo, Y. 10, Santos 9, Telan 8, De Ocampo, R. 7, Dimaunahan 3, Avenido 3, Sotto 0, Bernardo 0.

Quarters: 26-30; 48-54; 81-81; 116-105.

Second Game

TALK ‘N TEXT 109 -- Taulava 31, Washington 24, Carey 14, Cardona 12, Ritualo 12, Alapag 7, Allado 7, Pablo 2, Fran 0, Belano 0.

STA. LUCIA 96 -- Mendoza 16, Isisp 14, Omolon 11, Cabagnot 10, Espino 10, Williams 7, Bughao 7, Catli 6, Duremdes 5, Calimag 4, Aquino 4, Gonzales 2.

Quarters: 30-14, 55-38, 84-64, 109-96.

full battle gear
12-04-2006, 11:28 AM
Kings derail Express, get top spot

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Barangay Ginebra got its running game going in the finals period and turned back Air21, 116-105, to take the top spot of the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup Sunday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Jayjay Helterbrand fueled the Kings scorching fourth quarter breakaway along with backcourt partner Mark Caguioa to lead the team to its 10th win against four losses.

The 5-foot-11 Helterbrand finished with 25 points, 11 assists and 4 steals in a splendid quarterbacking of the team and preserved the 35-point game from Caguioa.

Gary David paced the Express with 28 points. Air21 dropped to 6-8.

The Express, who led by much as 15 points early in the third quarter, were still in the thick of things after Niño Canaleta split his charities that shoved the Express within three, 100-103, 2:31 left in the game.

Scores:

Ginebra 116—Caguioa 35, Helterbrand 25, Menk 15, Hatfield 13, Reavis 10, Salvacion 8, Macapagal 6, Tubid 2, Abarrientos 2, Holper 0, Mamaril 0.

Air21 105—David 28, Arboleda 21, Canaleta 16, Y. de Ocampo 10, Santos 9, Telan 8, R. de Ocampo 7, Dimaunahan 3, Avenido 3, Sotto 0, Bernardo 0. Quarters: 26-30, 48-54, 81-81, 116-105.

full battle gear
12-05-2006, 01:41 PM
PBA head asks Guiao, Lim to explain near fight

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 03:16am (Mla time) 12/05/2006

Published on page A23 of the December 5, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

RED BULL coach Yeng Guiao and Talk ‘N Text team manager Frankie Lim have been summoned to appear before PBA commissioner Noli Eala today to explain why they lost their cool and almost came to blows in an out-of-town game last Thursday.

Lim appears first at 2 p.m. followed by Guiao 30 minutes later.

Red Bull won that Talk ‘N Text Philippine Cup game pulling away, 104-76, and the confrontation happened at the height of a fiery Barako surge.

They challenged each other to a fistfight at halfcourt in full view of Eala and the public.

Both personalities were tossed out of the playing court and could face suspensions in their next respective outings though league rules don’t necessarily stipulate an automatic suspension on thrown out officials.

The Barako clash with the Welcoat Dragons at the resumption of the eliminations tomorrow.

full battle gear
12-05-2006, 01:43 PM
Guiao, Lim face suspension, fine

The Philippine Star 12/05/2006

In the aftermath of the tumultuous Red Bull-Talk n Text tiff Thursday, the Bulls may continue to miss the services of coach Yeng Guiao as they play the Welcoat Dragons in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum tomorrow.

Under the league rules, an ejection would mean an automatic one-game suspension for a player. "That rule doesn’t apply to coaches but that doesn’t mean coaches can’t be suspended," said PBA technical chief Perry Martinez.

Guiao and Talk n Text team manager Frankie Lim, who figured in a heated verbal tussle triggering a bench-emptying incident in their game Thursday in Tacloban, were summoned to appear at the PBA office today. The two face possible suspension and fine.

PBA commissioner Noli Eala, who was on hand when the two officials pulled their act, set a conference with Lim at 2 p.m. then with Guiao at 2:30 p.m.

Eala also summoned TnT star center Asi Taulava and Red Bull reserve forward Carlo Sharma, who took cheap shots at each other in the second quarter of the game. Apparently, that led to the involvement of Guiao and Lim, who were both ejected from the court.

Meanwhile, Ginebra scoring machine Mark Caguioa sustained his splurge and won a second Accel-Talk n Text PBA Player of the Week honors in the Philippine Cup.

Ginebra coach Jong Uichico said Caguioa deserves the plum, stating: "Mark does what he does best, which is to provide us with the offense. More than the points, however, he can also deliver from the defensive end, making the hustle plays, getting his teammates involved and supply us with the verve when our energy is waning."

In an 87-66 repeat win over Welcoat, Ginebra’s opening day victim, Caguioa scattered 21 points to go with five rebounds, three assists and two steals in 35 minutes.

It turned out Caguioa was just priming up for a much bigger explosion as the 27-year-old notched a conference-high 35 points, 19 in the second half, on top of seven rebounds in a 116-105 come-from-behind win over Air21 last Sunday.

full battle gear
12-05-2006, 01:44 PM
Guiao, Lim face suspension, fines

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


Although PBA Commissioner Noli Eala has yet to hear the side of the two team officials involved in a fracas last Thursday in Tacloban City, expect the commissioner to hand down severe penalties when he announces his decision either today or tomorrow.

Eala has summoned Red Bull Coach Yeng Guiao and Talk ’N Text Team Manager Frankie Lim to his office today to explain their versions of an incident during their team’s game in which there reportedly were shoving, cursing and a near-free-for-all.

Eala has described the incident as "unacceptable" and said he plans severe penalties and sanctions although there’s no precedent to base his decision since this was the first time that two officials had a face off.

"Definitely sanctions or penalties are in the offing. What they did was embarrassing for the league and their teams. It’s unacceptable," Eala said yesterday.

Also summoned by Eala are Phone Pals’ Paul Asi Taulava and Red Bull’s center Carlo Sharma, who traded trash talk in the second quarter, which, observers said, was the root cause of the bitter exchange between Guiao and Lim.

Lim accused Guiao of cursing Talk ’N Text players, prompting him to approach the Red Bull bench which was just a few rows from where Eala was seated.

After the two traded words, the referees ejected them from the court.

Coaches get technicals and are asked to leave the court. But this is the first time a coach is banished for action unrelated to his coaching duties.

For players, an ejection would mean an automatic one-game suspension under league rules. There’s nothing in the PBA rule book, however, that covers this kind of behavior.

"That rule doesn’t apply to coaches but that doesn’t mean coaches can’t be suspended," said Perry Martinez, the league’s technical chief.

The Bulls, who are in contention for an outright semifinal spot in the 2006-07 Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup, face the Welcoat Dragons tomorrow.

Controversy is not new to Guiao and Red Bull.

Last June during Game 4 of Red Bull’s semifinals against San Miguel, Guiao instigated a walkout that cost the Bulls a fine of R400,000, and Guaio R100,000.

Guiao has also been fined for repeated criticism of officiating.

And less than a month ago, the league also fined Bulls center Enrico Villanueva P40,000 after exchanging punches with Coca-Cola Tigers rookie Joseph Yeo at the parking lot of the Araneta Coliseum. Yeo was also fined R40,000.

full battle gear
12-05-2006, 01:45 PM
Caguioa is PBA player of the week

www.mb.com.ph


BARANGAY GINEBRA Coach Jong Uichico had said his team has this alarming tendency to take it easy in a game’s early goings and will only switch on its A-game when needed.

"What if hindi mangyari ang ganoon, na makabalik kami, and makalayo na ng husto ang kalaban?" Uichico griped.

But such complaints are not often let out.

Besides, his charges have proven capable, regardless of spotting their opponents some 12 or more points as late as the third quarter.

Despite going through those complacent spells, the Gin Kings have still won four straight in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup, boosting them to solo leadership and closer to one of the two coveted automatic semifinal slots.

At the forefront of that surge is Mark Caguioa, who continues to shine the most among the crowd favorites’ star-studded roster.

When the Gin Kings won over Welcoat and Air21 in the week that was, the 2001 Rookie of the Year was a steady source of points, enthusiasm and, of course, spark, making him the Accel-Talk ’N Text Player of the Week by the PBA Press Corps for the period Nov. 27-Dec. 3.

The 6-foot Caguioa thus earned the distinction of becoming the first two-time recipient of the honor this season, having been earlier chosen by the Scribes for the period Nov. 13-19.

Uichico believes Caguioa deserves the plum, used as a basis for choosing the Best Player of the Conference.

"Mark does what he does best, which is to provide us with the offense," Uichico said of his prized guard.

"More than the points, however, he can also deliver from the defensive end, making the hustle plays, getting his teammates involved and supply us with the verve when our energy is waning."

In an 87-66 repeat win over Welcoat, Barangay Ginebra’s opening day victim, last Wednesday, Caguioa scattered 21 points to go with five rebounds, three assists and two steals in 35 minutes.

Turned out Caguioa was just priming up for a much bigger explosion as the 27-year-old notched a conference-high 35 points, 19 in the second half, on top of seven rebounds in a 116-105 come-from-behind win over Air21 last Sunday.

In all, Caguioa has averages of a conference-best 24.4 points, 5.0 assists, ninth best 34% from three-point land, and 4.9 rebounds per game.

With Caguioa paving the path, it will come as no surprise if the Gin Kings indeed go all the way to the title.

gameface_one
12-06-2006, 09:43 AM
Guiao, Lim fined; Tigers meet Aces


By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 06:34am (Mla time) 12/06/2006

Published on Page A31 of the December 6, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

RED BULL coach Yeng Guiao and Talk ’N Text team manager Frankie Lim are facing fines of not less than P50,000 each and two-game suspensions for a mid-court altercation that took place Thursday night in a PBA Philippine Cup road game in Tacloban City.

PBA commissioner Noli Eala is throwing the book at the two firebrand personalities for a fisticuffs that never took place, while also set to levy fines amounting to close to P500,000 on players from both teams who left their benches.

The amounts in penalties and possible suspensions are unprecedented, as the league has never before canned anyone that much and that stiff for verbal abuse.

“There was no fight,” Guiao told the Inquirer in a telephone interview last night. “I never threw a punch, what I did was disengage myself from him (Lim) because his face was almost touching mine.

“Their (commissioner’s office) findings are inaccurate.”

Lim said he never threw a punch, but admitted that he “instigated the whole thing” by charging into Red Bull’s part of the court “because Yeng cursed at me.”

“Yes, I charged at him (Guiao) and I started the whole thing,” Lim said. “But what the PBA should find out is what drove me to do that. He cursed at my players and then at me and that pissed me off.”

A statement from the PBA said that Eala will fine Guiao and Lim “no less than P50,000 each,” and suspended for two games, with the Red Bull coach starting his suspension with the Barako’s 7:20 p.m. encounter with Welcoat today.

“That is unfair, being penalized the same way as he will be,” Guiao added. “He (Lim) crossed the line and he has no business doing that.”

gameface_one
12-06-2006, 09:44 AM
Guiao, Lim sacked for 2 games

The Philippine Star 12/06/2006

Talk n Text team manager Frankie Lim and Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao were give severe disciplimary measures in the aftermath of their ugly fight triggering a near free-for-all in their game Thursday in Tacloban, Leyte.

Maintaining their actions were "totally unacceptable," PBA commissioner Noli Eala suspended both for two games.

He also said he will also impose fine Lim and Guiao though he’s yet to determine the amount to be levied on the two.

Eala won’t spare the other personalities who got involved in the commotion, saying they will also be meted fines that could reach P500,000 — the biggest since the Red Bull walkout attempt in the recent All-Filipino semifinals against Barangay Ginebra.

The commissioner made the verdict shortly after separate "closed door conferences" with the two officials, who, in a video tape, were found to have traded blows in full view of the public at the Tacloban Convention Center.

The Bulls raged on after the incident and scored a 104-76 blowout.

"What they did was totally unacceptable. The punishment could have been stiffer but the two officials promised that they will never be involved in such incident in the future," Eala said.

In their meetings with Eala, Guiao and Lim maintained they had their reasons in doing what they did but nonetheless apologized to the league, their respective teams and the fans.

Talk n Text center Asi Taulava and Red Bull forward Carlo Sharma were also summoned by Eala after trading cheap shots in the contest.

The commissioner said the two players will also be fined.

PBA technical chief Perry Martinez said team staff and players who rushed to the court during the commotion stand to be penalized.

"Under PBA rules, players who were caught within the vicinity of the commotion will be fined P20,000 and non-players will be slapped P10,000," said Martinez.

Apparently, only Rich Alvarez, Mick Pennisi, Donbel Belano and Harvey Carey stayed on their bench.

As a result of the sanctions, the Bulls will play minus Guiao as they take on the Welcoat Dragons in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum today.

Coca-Cola and Alaska clash in the day’s other game, putting much of the attention on the fight among the Tigers, the Aces and the Dragons to avoid 10th place which means early elimination in the tourney.

The Bulls, at 9-5, crowd the Barangay Ginebra Kings (10-4), the San Miguel Beermen (9-5), the Sta. Lucia Realtors (9-5), and the Purefoods Chunkee Giants (8-6) in a heated battle for the two outright seats in the semifinals.

full battle gear
12-06-2006, 11:32 AM
Guiao, Lim suspended 2 games, fined

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


RED BULL Coach Yeng Guiao was again at the receiving end of another disciplinary action meted by PBA Commissioner Noli Eala yesterday who suspended the temperamental mentor two games and a fine of still undetermined amount following a punching incident with Talk ’N Text team manager Frankie Lim last week in Tacloban City.

Lim was also suspended two games and will pay the same fine as Guiao but his absence will not affect the fortunes of his team since he does not call the shots and is not a member of the coaching staff.

The suspension was handed down yesterday after Eala met separately with the two officials at his Pasig City office to get their versions of the incident.

According to PBA officials who reviewed the tape of the incident, Guiao and Lim appeared to have exchanged blows in full view of Tacloban fans. During the altercation, which was also witnessed by Eala, players from both teams emptied their benches before cooler heads prevailed.

"What they did was totally unacceptable," said Eala, adding that Guiao and Lim agreed to issue an apology to the league, their teams and supporters for their behavior.

"The punishment could have been stiffer but the two officials promised that they will never be involved in such incident in the future," Eala said.

Guiao will serve his suspension starting today as the Bulls take on the Welcoat Dragons at 7:20 p.m., while the Alaska Aces clash with the Coca-Cola Tigers at 4:35 p.m. at the resumption of the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Eala has yet to determine the amount of fines to be given on Guiao and Lim but said that "it won’t be less than R50,000."

Eala also met with TNT center Asi Taulava and Red Bull forward Carlo Sharma. Both had figured in oncourt trash talk which observers said was the root cause of Guiao and Lim’s exchange.

The commissioner said the two players will also be fined.

The total fine for the two teams, according to Eala, could reach P500,000 as players and team staff who rushed onto the court when the incident was in progress also stand to be penalized.

"Under PBA rules, players who come within the vicinity of the commotion will be fined R20,000 and non-players will be slapped R10,000," said PBA technical chief Perry Martinez.

Lim accused Guiao of cursing TNT players which he said was the reason why he confronted the Red Bull coach. Referees ejected both players from the court.

"Hindi ko alam kung ano ang basis ng decision nila," said Guiao, who will also miss the Bulls’ game against Air21 Express on Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. "Ako ang sinugod ni Lim, nasa lugar naman ako. Wala naman akong ginawa na extraordinary."

Lim was not available for comment.

For Guiao, the penalty was the second in two months. Last September, Guiao was penalized R100,000 for walking out during Game 4 of Red Bull’s semifinal match with San Miguel. The team was also fined R400,000.

Lim will start serving his suspension when the Pals face the Express on Sunday at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Red Bull is currently locked in a three-way tie for second place with San Miguel Beer and Sta. Lucia on similar 9-5 win-loss cards, one full game behind leader Barangay Ginebra.

Alaska, on the other hand, carries a 5-8 record and still has a chance to advance in the quarterfinal stage and avoid the wild card phase. But the Aces have to pile up wins, starting with the struggling Tigers.

"We’re still hoping to enter the quarters, of course, although San Miguel dimmed our hopes a little," said Alaska Coach Tim Cone, referring to the Aces’ 99-103 setback opposite the Beermen last Saturday in General Santos City.

"We have to win at least 4 of our last 5 games. Against Coke, we have to improve on our defense," added Cone, whose team defeated Coke, 99-84, in their first meeting.

The loss to San Miguel snapped a three-game winning run of Alaska.

gameface_one
12-07-2006, 09:52 AM
Guiao, Lim et al slapped P.6M in fines

The Philippine Star 12/07/2006

PBA commissioner Noli Eala levied a total of P597,600 fines in the aftermath of the tumultuous Red Bull-Talk n Text setto Thursday in Tacloban even as he announced that the league will clamp down on all inappropriate behaviors by players and officials.

In addition to the two games suspension meted them, Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao was fined P65,000 and Talk n Text team manager Frankie Lim P50,000.

Altogether, the total fines amounted to almost P.6 million as 15 players and 18 team staffers were also sanctioned for rushing onto the court during the commotion in the Tacloban game.

Fined from TnT were Jay Washington, Jimmy Alapag, Harvey Carey, Patrick Fran, Vic Pablo, Asi Taulava, coach Derrick Pumaren, assistants Tonichi Yturri, Bong Ramos, Bong Ravena and Jun Tiongco and team staff Ahmed Baylen, Eugene Hermosa, Julius Ipo and Cedar Destura.

Leo Najorda, Celino Cruz, Larry Fonacier, Junthy Valenzuela, Carlo Sharma, Cyrus Baguio, Warren Ybanez, Enrico Villanueva, assistant coaches Roehl Nadurata, Rudy Hines and Gelacio Abanilla, team physician John Lim and team staff Jay Llanos Dee, Elmer Bola-Bola, Edgar Fernandez, Marlon Celis and Dominador Deocareza were fined from Red Bull.

Taulava and Sharma were given separate fines of P1,600 and P1,000, respectively, for a separate incident earlier in the contest.

Eala said they will enforce stricter measures to prevent similar act pulled off by Lim and Guiao.

"I want to announce that because of this incident, including the past incidents involving player altercations and other matters involving coaches complaining on court and showing actuations that really are not becoming of head coaches, the PBA will now start clamping down on inappropriate behavior like this on court," said Eala.

Meanwhile, Red Bull gained solo second place as it whipped Welcoat, 97-78, in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

John Arigo erupted for 28 points, including 16 in the final quarter, and Coca-Cola checked its skid with an 85-81 victory over Alaska Milk in the other game.— Joey Villar

gameface_one
12-07-2006, 09:56 AM
Coke ends losing streak



By WAYLON GALVEZ
mb.com.ph

COCA-COLA FINALLY rediscovered its winning form as it scored an 85-81 win over the Alaska Aces in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Araneta Coliseum.


John Arigo scored 28 points for the Tigers, while Jason Misolas came through with a double-double effort of 15 points and 11 rebounds as the Tigers ended a seven-game losing run.

The victory, their fourth in 15 starts, enabled the Tigers to revive their faltering campaign for a wild card slot, and in the process Alaska its second straight setback.

The Aces slipped to 5-9.

"It’s nice to finally get a win," said a relieved Coke mentor Binky Favis. "We’re in such situation when, because of our losses, it’s getting deeper for us and we’re stuck."

"I’m so happy that their collective push finally paid off. The players are giving their best in the past few games, pero kinakapos. Now they finally delivered, particularly John (Arigo)," he added.

The Tigers took a 19point lead (52-33), but the Aces, behind the combined efforts of Willie Miller, Jeff Cariaso and Tony dela Cruz, closed the gap to 6264 entering the final canto.

But Arigo, a former Alaska player, was there to rescue the Tigers as he almost singlehandedly carried the fight for them by scoring 16 points. His jumper with 25.2 seconds to play gave the Tigers an 83-81 advantage.

In the next play, John Ferriols tried to make things happeb but he committed a three-second violation, thus ending their hopes.

Fouled by Cariaso with 11.3 seconds left, Arigo sealed the win with two free throws.

"We have to keep pushing, and if ever we enter the wild card phase, we just have to keep on playing hard. It’s going to be tough but if we stay focus, I’m confident that we can still advance in the quarterfinals," added Favis.

With the top two teams after the classification phase earning outright semifinal berths, and the No. 3, 4 and 5 teams gaining passage into the quarterfinals, the No. 6, 7, 8 and 9 teams will play in the wild card stage. The No. 10 team will be eliminated outright

The scores:

First Game

COCA-COLA 85 — Arigo 28, Misolas 15, Yeo 9, Peek 9, Antonio 7, Miranda 5, Pacana 4, Salangsang 4, Caceres 2, Ramos 2, Ferreira 0, Gavino 0.

ALASKA 81 — Miller 18, Cariaso 12, Dela Cruz 11, Thoss 10, Juinio 9, Ferriols 8, Singson 7, Belasco 6, Laure 0, Bajar 0.

Quarters: 20-19, 52-37, 64-62, 85-81.

gameface_one
12-07-2006, 09:57 AM
NEARLY P.6 MILLION
Barako, Pals draw stiff fines


By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 01:52am (Mla time) 12/07/2006

Published on Page A29 of the December 7, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

FINES amounting to P567,600 were meted out yesterday by Philippine Basketball Association commissioner Noli Eala, who warned that “child-like” acts on court will be dealt with severely in the future.

Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao was slapped a two-game suspension and a P65,000 fine, while Frankie Lim, the Talk ’N Text team manager, received the same two-game ban on top of a P50,000 fine for their involvement in a courtside confrontation that took place in Tacloban City last week.

The statement from the Commissioner’s office described the Guiao-Lim altercation at mid-court as “child-like.”

A total of 15 players and 18 staff members from Red Bull and Talk ’N Text were levied penalties for leaving their benches at the height of the Guiao-Lim confrontation.

“How can this (decision) be fair and just?” Guiao asked, when interviewed by the Inquirer over the phone. “How can I draw a heavier penalty when he (Lim) was the one who crossed the line and charged at me?”

Both Guiao and Lim, who admitted to “starting it all,” have maintained that they exchanged heated words but neither threw a punch, though the statement from the league reiterated that they “traded blows at the height of their tirade.”

The PBA, meanwhile, will start drawing today the boundaries on what will be described as “inappropriate behavior” by players and team officials.

There were no breakdowns of the fines aside from those given to Guiao and Lim and Asi Taulava and Carlo Sharma, who were assessed P1,600 and P1,000, respectively.

The others who were fined from Talk ’N Text were Anthony Washington, Jimmy Alapag, Harvey Carey, Patrick Fran, Victor Pablo, coach Derrick Pumaren, assistant coaches Tonichi Yturri, Bong Ramos, Bong Ravena and Agustin Tiongco and team staff Ahmed Baylen, Eugene Hermosa, Julius Ipo and Cedar Destura.

Penalized from the Red Bull side were Leo Najorda, Celino Cruz, Larry Fonacier, Junthy Valenzuela, Cyrus Baguio, Warren Ybañez, Enrico Villanueva, assistant coaches Roehl Nadurata, Rudy Hines and Gelacio Abanilla, team physician John Lim and team staff Jay Llanos Dee, Elmer Bola-Bola, Edgar Fernandez, Marlon Celis and Dominador Deocareza.

gameface_one
12-08-2006, 11:13 AM
Barako tackle Express sans Guiao today


By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 03:00am (Mla time) 12/08/2006

Published on Page A33 of the December 8, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

ANTIPOLO CITY -- Red Bull, without a head coach and all, tries to become the first team in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup to win 11 games when the Barako clash with Air21 today at the Ynares Center here.

Red Bull is bidding for an automatic slot in the final four like Purefoods and Sta. Lucia Realty which will tangle in the 7:20 p.m. contest.

The Barako will play minus Yeng Guiao in their 4:35 p.m. collision with the Express, and judging from the way Red Bull played on Wednesday night against Welcoat, it seemed that its players are up to the task.

Guiao is serving a two-game suspension meted by PBA commissioner Noli Eala for his altercation with Talk ’N Text team manager Frankie Lim in Tacloban City last week.

Defending champion Purefoods, on the other hand, will be tangling with a side that has lost its last two games and is not leading or holding a piece of the tournament lead for the first time.

“With two straight losses, I am sure they (Realtors) are extra motivated,” Chunkee Giants coach Ryan Gregorio said. “We will come into the game with the mind-set that we are badly in need of a victory to bolster our (outright semifinal) chances.”

Right now, Red Bull is just half-a-game behind league-leading Barangay Ginebra’s 10-4 card, the Realtors and San Miguel are a full game off at 9-5, while the Giants are in solo fifth with an 8-6 mark.

Only the top two teams will advance to the Final Four outright, which would mean a rest of more than two weeks.

Talk ’N Text, meanwhile, is at 8-7 and is tugging at the coattails of the Giants and a Purefoods loss tonight would open the door for the Phone Pals to make the quarterfinals outright while shoving Purefoods down to the wild-card phase.

“The ultimate goal is top 2, not just the top 5,” Gregorio added. The important thing is we still have a shot and our fate is within our control.

gameface_one
12-08-2006, 11:14 AM
Bulls, Pals appeal case

The Philippine Star 12/08/2006

Players, coaches and staffers, fined almost P.6 million by the PBA Commissioner’s Office Wednesday in the aftermath of the Yeng Guiao-Frankie Lim squabble, intend to appeal their case.

Though aware that there’s a league rule pertaining to their case, everyone thought PBA commissioner Noli Eala could use his discretion to spare them of what they felt harsh punishment they suffered for leaving their bench during the commotion.

"We know there’s a rule, pero hindi naman yata commensurate yung fine lalo na doon sa mga staffers lang," said Red Bull team manager Tony Chua. "We should consider reviewing the rule. Standing during a commotion is a natural reaction. And it’s not bad because in such situation, who else would help pacify protagonists?"

"It’s too much for the utilities," said Lim on the P10,000 fines levied on the staffers.

Meanwhile, Guiao took exception on the "child-like" tag the PBA — in a press release – made in describing their action in the tumultuous Tacloban game.

"We’ve been sanctioned and everything should have been settled then. Why issue statement like that? Me and Frankie (Lim) have our stature to protect," said Guiao.

At the resumption of the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup today, the raging Bulls, notwithstanding the continued suspension of Guiao, are fancied to make it three in a row against the on-and-off Air21 side in their 4:35 p.m. tiff at the Ynares Center. — Nelson Beltran

full battle gear
12-09-2006, 10:51 AM
Yancy towers as Express rip Barako

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 04:14am (Mla time) 12/09/2006

Published on page A20 of the December 9, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

ANTIPOLO—Yancy de Ocampo scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Air21 to a crucial 92-89 decision of Red Bull last night in the Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup eliminations at the Ynares Center here.

Gary David added 15 points and Ranidel De Ocampo had 14 points and nine rebounds as the Express climbed to 7-8 and kept alive their chances of making the quarterfinals outright.

All five Air21 starters chipped in twin digit scores as they helped deal the raging Barako a sixth loss in 16 games that dropped Red Bull out of second place.

The De Ocampo brothers delivered on both ends for the Express, who held off a last-ditch stand by the Barako anchored on hard-working big man Mick Pennisi.

“Our defense has improved a lot as evidenced by the way we won this game,” said Air21 coach Bo Perasol, whose squad is the top-ranked offensive team in the tournament.

The loss stalled Red Bull’s drive to inch closer toward one of two automatic berths in the semifinals.

Red Bull thus split its two games without coach Yeng Guiao, who was suspended on Wednesday and fined P65,000 for a mid-court altercation with Talk ’N Text manager Frankie Lim in Tacloban.

Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra, the tournament leader, guns for win No. 11 against Alaska in Lucena today.

The Gin Kings put a 10-4 card on the line in their 6:30 p.m. clash with the Aces, a side which is hoping to put a string together to avoid being dragged into the wild card phase.

San Miguel takes the floor earlier opposite Coca-Cola in the 4:05 p.m. game, also seeking a victory that would prop up its chances of advancing to the Final Four outright.

The scores:

AIR21 92—De Ocampo 20, David 15, De Ocampo 14, telan 12, Arboleda 11, Dimaunahan 9, Avenido 5, Canaleta 4, Santos 2.

RED BULL 89—Villanueva 16, Alvarez 13, Valenzuela 12, Cruz 11, Pennisi, Sharma 10, Baguio 7, Robinson 4, Najorda 2, Ybanez 2, Fonacier 1.

Quarters: 28-24, 45-53, 68-71, 92-89

full battle gear
12-09-2006, 10:55 AM
Express pull thru with pressing defense

The Philippine Star 12/09/2006

Air21, the league’s worst defensive team, came out to play defense last night and went on to stop Red Bull, 92-89, to stay in the hunt for an outright quarterfinal berth in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

Fittingly, the Express, who worked extra hard on the defensive end throughout, clinched the win with Yancy de Ocampo stealing an errant pass by Larry Fonacier in the closing seconds.

Improving their win-loss record to 7-8, Air21 head coach Bo Perasol gave credit to newly-acquired defensive tactician Jerry Codiñera. "The players do play defense when asked by Jerry. He’s an authority because he’s the league’s ‘Defense Minister’ for the longest time," said Perasol.

Codiñera, among the league’s all-time greats, was acquired by the team management primarily to help improve the Express’ defensive game. The Express were yielding 103.6 points — the worst by any team in the tourney — coming into their game versus the Bulls.

In the nightcap, Noy Castillo buried two clutch triples in overtime while Paolo Mendoza missed what could have been the game-winner as Purefoods edged Sta. Lucia, 103-101. -- Joey Villar

full battle gear
12-09-2006, 10:58 AM
Air21 defense stops Red Bull

By NOLI CRUZ
www.mb.com.ph


DEFENSE WON it for the most feared offensive unit in the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup last night.

The Air21 Express held the Red Bull Barakos without a basket in a five-minute stretch of the payoff period on the way to a 92-89 win at the Ynares Center.

Trailing by three entering the fourth, the Express unloaded a 15-2 bomb to take an 83-73 lead. They held the Bulls scoreless from the nine-minute to the four-minute mark of the period.

"Kung ‘di kami nagsipag sa second half, especially sa depensa, malamang tinambakan kami," said Express coach Bo Perasol. "Good thing we hit some big shots in the fourth quarter."

Most of the load came from Yancy De Ocampo.

The slotman scored nine of his game-high 20 points in the fourth, including a three-pointer during a 7-0 run that gave them a 92-81 lead.

They also got an assist from a rookie mistake committed by last year’s top rookie.

With the Bulls in the middle of an 8-0 counter-attack and needing a triple to tie, Larry Fonacier, the reigning Rookie of the Year, had himself trapped in the sidelines and threw an errant pass inside.

De Ocampo picked up the leather with three seconds left and the Express held on for their seventh win in 15 games.

The Bulls were far from penalty when Fonacier gambled for a quick two, making his bonehead play looked worse.

The Express came out blazing, posting several 11-point spreads in the first seven minutes.

Mark Telan contributed 10 points on their strong start despite shooting poorly from the field.


The scores:

First Game

AIR21 92 — Y. De Ocampo 20, David 15, R. De Ocampo 14, Telan 12, Arboleda 11, Dimaunahan 9, Avenido 5, Cañalaeta 4, Santos 2, Sotto 0, Bernardo 0.

RED BULL 89 — Villanueva 16, Alvarez 13, Valenzuela 12, Cruz 11, Pennisi 11, Sharma 10, Baguio 7, Robinson 4, Najorda 2, Ybañez 2, Fonacier 1, Bugia 0.

Quarters: 28-24, 45-53, 68-71, 92-89.

Second Game

purefoods 103 — Raymundo 19, Simon 17, Castillo 14, J. Yap 13, Pingris 13, Limpot 8, Evangelista 7, Yee 6, Artadi 4, Camaso 2.

sta. lucia 101 — Espino 21, Duremdes 20, Williams 18, Aquino 17, Calimag 8, Omolon 7, Cabagnot 4, Bughao 2, Isip 2, Gonzales 2, Catli 0, Mendoza 0.

Quarters: 22-22, 43-43, 65-66, 88-88 (Reg.), 103-101 (OT).

full battle gear
12-10-2006, 02:32 PM
Beermen mangle Tigers in Lucena

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 07:08am (Mla time) 12/10/2006

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

GAMES TODAY (Cuneta Astrodome)
4:05 p.m.—Welcoat vs Sta. Lucia
6:30 p.m.—Talk ’N Text vs Air21

LUCENA CITY—Danny Seigle scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half yesterday, keying an early breakaway and a 108-91 demolition of Coca-Cola that bolstered the Beermen’s bid for an outright semifinal seat in the Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup.

San Miguel took the first quarter by 10, the half by 20, before cruising the rest of the way at the Quezon Convention Center here for the Beermen’s 10th win in 15 games.

Barangay Ginebra was the first team to get to 11 wins later after posting a 108-101 decision of Alaska that dropped the Aces into the wild card phase.

The Gin Kings moved to within another victory of earning at least a tie for the second automatic slot in the semifinals at 11-4 after getting 24 points and 16 rebounds from Rudy Hatfield.

Alaska dropped to 5-10 despite getting 23 points from Willie Miller and 21 from Nic Belasco.

Biboy Ravanes called the shots in an acting capacity with coach Chot Reyes failing to make it to the game because of a prior commitment.

The Tigers dropped to 4-12 but remained in ninth place for the moment, just half-a-game ahead of newcomer Welcoat in their own race to be the final team to make the wild card phase.

Meanwhile, action returns to the Cuneta Astrodome today with Sta. Lucia seeking to snap a three-game losing streak against the Dragons in the first game at 4:05 p.m.

Talk ’N Text and Air21 clash in the 6:30 p.m. contest, with both looking for victories that would enhance their chances of nailing outright quarterfinals berths.

The Scores:

First Game

SAN MIGUEL 108—Seigle 19, Racela 18, Ildefonso 13, Adducul 11, Hontiveros 10, Calaguio 9, Peña 9, Tugade 7, Espinas 6, Tenorio 2, Gonzales 2, Wilson 2.

COCA-COLA 91—Arigo 19, Peek 13, Pacana 11, Misolas 11, Yeo 9, Antonio 8, Miranda 7, Ramos 6, Salangsang 4, Caceres 2, Gavino 1, Ferreria 0.

Quarters: 30-20; 60-40; 83-61; 108-91

Second Game

GINEBRA 108—Hatfield 24, Helterbrand 18, Caguioa 15, Reavis 12, Salvacion 11, Mamaril 9, Tubid 8, Menk 7, Abbarientos 4, Seigle 0.

ALASKA 101—Miller 23, Belasco 21, Juinio 17, Cariaso 14, Ferriols 12, Thoss 8, Dela Cruz 5, Laure 1, Luanzon 0, Singson 0, Bajar 0.

Quarters: 27-16; 49-42; 79-83; 108-101

full battle gear
12-10-2006, 02:33 PM
One small step in therapy, one giant leap to recovery

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 07:09am (Mla time) 12/10/2006

Published on page A32 of the December 10, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

PUREFOODS is taking big strides in its bid to repeat as Philippine Cup champ.

Over in the United States, Eugene Tejada, the Chunkee Giants’ inspiration, is starting to take those teeny-weeny steps in his own fight to get back to living a normal life.

The victim of the most horrendous on-court disaster in the history of the Philippine Basketball Association is responding well to therapy and could be up and about in no time at all.

Tejada, according to Purefoods team physician Raffy Sanchez, can already take four steps while in the parallel bar during therapy sessions and transfer from his wheelchair to his bed with ease.

This comes as welcome news to this basketball-crazy country, which watched in horror when Tejada lay on the Ynares Center floor motionless, his cervical area 5 and 6 broken after a fall in a game against Red Bull last May.

“His disposition has changed a lot,” Sanchez told the Inquirer over the phone. “He’s happy now. You can feel it in the way he talks.”

The 24-year-old Fil-American prospect has reportedly regained some of the strength in his upper body, traveling from one place to the next unassisted in his wheelchair.

Tejada does therapy in his home in Hayward, California, about a 30-minute drive to the Sta. Clara Community Hospital where he goes to for a routine check up twice a week.

So much improvement has been achieved that Tejada promised the good doctor of returning to the Philippines after New Year and be the Giants’ No. 1 cheerleader when the tournament reaches playoff peak.

“Eugene wants everyone (PBA fans) to know that he is doing well,” Sanchez added. “He also wants to thank those who have kept on praying and have given him support through the hard times.”

Back here, the Giants are Eugene’s biggest rooters, with the team stitching his No. 33 on the part of their jerseys just above their hearts.

The team, which is in prime position of nailing an automatic semifinal berth, also does not forget to say its prayers to start and end practice and games.

And the Good Lord seems to have taken a liking to the Giants and Tejada with the way things have shaped up of late.

full battle gear
12-10-2006, 02:42 PM
Beermen crack whip on Tigers

The Philippine Star 12/10/2006

LUCENA CITY — San Miguel Beer hardly felt the absence of head coach Chot Reyes last night as the Beermen dumped the Coca-Cola Tigers, 108-91, in the Talk N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Quezon Convention Center here.

Reyes begged off from calling the shots for the Beermen since he had to attend Ateneo’s alumni homecoming where he was inducted into the university’s Hall-of-Fame.

But again, his absence hardly mattered.

The Beermen, starring Danny Seigle, hardly did anything wrong and improved their record to 10-5 while dealing their sister-team its 12th loss against only four victories.

Seigle carried the Beermen to a blazing start. He scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half, which ended at 60-40. The Tigers never recovered from that SMB onslaught.

Olsen Racela and Danny Ildefonso combined for 31 points to help San Miguel notch its fourth straight win and climb to solo second behind another sister-team, Ginebra (10-4). Red Bull is closely behind at 10-5.

Unless things go wrong, these top three teams will most likely slug it out for the two outright semis berths.

In the absence of Reyes, former SMB player Biboy Ravanes called the shots.

And the Beermen responded well. - Joey Villar

full battle gear
12-10-2006, 02:47 PM
Beermen waylay Tigers

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


LUCENA CITY — With coach Chot Reyes missing the game to receive an award from his alma mater Ateneo University, San Miguel claimed its fourth straight win with a masterful 108-91 victory over Coca-Cola in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Quezon Convention Center here.

Veteran wingman Danny Seigle, who had 19 points and nine rebounds, led a balanced attack by the Beermen, who responded well to the directions made by Assistant Coach Biboy Ravanes.

"I just simply motivated my players. We have to trust each other and believe that we can win even without coach Chot," Ravanes said.

Reyes accepted his Hall of Fame award at Ateneo.

Aside from Seigle, veteran playmaker Olsen Racela also stepped up with 18 points while big men Danny Ildefonso and Romel Adducul contributed 13 and 11, respectively. Dondon Hontiveros added 10 markers.

The win improved San Miguel’s record to 10-5 for a firm grip at solo second, on track for one of the two automatic semifinal berths.

The Tigers, who got 19 points from ace gunner John Arigo, dropped to 4-12.

The league goes to the Cuneta Astrodome today with another doubleheader pitting Sta. Lucia Realty against Welcoat Paints at 4:05 p.m. and Talk ’N Text versus Air21 at 6:30.

With a 9-6 win-loss card, Sta. Lucia is currently tied for fourth place with defending champion Purefoods Chunkee, which dealt the former a heartbreaking 103-101 decision in overtime the other night in at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.

It was Sta. Lucia’s third straight setback.

But even after two straight losses, the Realtors remain just two-and-a-half games behind leader Ginebra Gin Kings (10-4). Occupying second and third spots, respectively, are the San Miguel Beermen (9-5) and the Bulls (10-6).

"We didn’t get the breaks of the game, and we hope to get our team organized again to get the win," said Sta. Lucia Coach Alfrancis Chua.

"It’s important for us to win and I know my players are ready."

Sta. Lucia will face a team that lost its last six matches and which it bested, 89-83, in their first meeting.

Talk ‘N Text, on the other hand, is at sixth place with an 8-7 card and still fighting for an outright semifinal berth.

The Phone Pals are coming off a week-long layoff following their 109-96 win over the Realtors.

However, the Pals are facing a team inspired by a recent win — a 92-89 victory over Red Bull which fortified the Express’ bid for a quarterfinals ticket.

Also, Air21 scored a convincing 127-110 win over the Phone Pals in their first meeting last Oct. 18, although coach Bo Perasol said he’s expecting a close game this time.

"I’m sure they’ll try to avenge that setback, but we’re ready against them. We matched up well against their tall frontline and quick backcourt," said Perasol.

full battle gear
12-10-2006, 02:51 PM
Talk ’N Text seeks for outright semis berth

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Talk ’N Text shoots for a crucial win against Air21 Sunday to stay alive in the hunt for a possible outright semis berth of the TNT-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The Phone Pals, currently at 8-7, and the Express, toting 7-8 card cross paths at 6:30 p.m. after the encounter between the skidding Sta. Lucia Realty and Welcoat Paints at 4:05 p.m.

"I think we still have a chance but we have to sweep the remaining games. It’s tough but at least we have the shot for it," said TNT head coach Derrick Pumaren.

"But we need to play consistent basketball. That’s something that is lacking on our game," he added.

The Phone Pals are coming off a 109-96 trashing of erstwhile leader Realtors last Sunday that put some life to their semifinals bid.

Express coach Bo Perasol is no longer thinking of the semis and even the quarterfinal slot is along shot for them but he hopes that his wards can play high-intensity type of game night in night out.

"I really don’t know if we could still make it to the quarters outright. I’m just hoping that we could continue performing at a high energy level so we could have a better record should we land in the wildcard," Perasol said.

Air21 upset Red Bull in its previous game, 92-89, last Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

In the first game, Sta. Lucia hopes to snap a three-game losing streak with a victory against the beleaguered Dragons who are on the brink of elimination with 3-12 loss mark.

The Realtors are currently tied with Purefoods Chunkee with 9-6 mark but have lost their luster after dropping their last three games in the tournament.

full battle gear
12-11-2006, 02:07 PM
Realtors crush Dragons; Phone Pals win

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 03:54am (Mla time) 12/11/2006

Published on page A32 of the December 11, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

STA. LUCIA Realty boosted its outright semifinal bid in the Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup with a 98-82 victory over Welcoat last night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Dennis Espino scored 17 points and helped key a telling Sta. Lucia run in the third period as the Realtors arrested a three-game slide to improve to 10-6 and keep an automatic final four berth within reach.

Talk ‘N Text held off a furious Air21 finish later for a 124-119 victory that put the Phone Pals in the quarterfinals.

Ren-Ren Ritualo capped a 25-point night with a triple going into the final minute which snuffed the last of numerous Air21 fightbacks, 120-114.

The Phone Pals jumped to 9-7 while the Express dropped to 7-9 and are in danger of being dragged into the wild card phase.

Jimmy Alapag was also awesome for the Phone Pals, finishing with 14 assists and seven steals.

The Express came within 114-117 after charities by Arwind Santos and Gary David heading into the final 70 seconds.

But Ritualo drained that trey, and Alapag had the last of his steals in breaking up an Air21 fastbreak that led to two Asi Taulava free throws for 122-114, 41.4 to go.

“We needed this win badly,” Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua said. “If we can win our last two games against Ginebra and Coke, I think we might have a chance.”

The Realtors opened up cold, trailing the Dragons by four after the first 12 minutes before picking up steam the rest of the way to eventually deal cellar-dwelling Welcoat an eighth straight loss in a 3-13 slate

Kenneth Duremdes, winner of the MVP award in 1998 while with Alaska, led the Realtors with 18 points, while Nelbert Omolon contributed 16 points.

Rookie Kelly Williams, Alex Cabagnot and Paolo Mendoza all chipped in double digit scores and combined for another 32 markers for the Realtors, who took control with a 69-54 lead after three quarters.

The scores:

First Game

STA. LUCIA 98 -- Duremdes 18, Espino 17, Omolon 16, Williams 11, Cabagnot 11, Mendoza 10, Aquino 7, Isip 3, Gonzales 3, Catli 2, Calimag 0.

WELCOAT 82 -- Reyes 19, Gelig 12, Sta. Maria 12, Mente 12, Cabatu 10, Lo-pez 9, Lao 8, Sagad 0, Ba-guion 0.

Quarters: 22-25; 46-42; 69-54; 98-92.

Second Game

TALK ‘N TEXT 124 -- Ritualo 25, Cardona 20, Allado 17, Washington 16, Taulava 14, Alapag 12, Pablo 8, Belano 8, Santos 2, Noble 2, Fran 0.

AIR 21 119 -- David 25, Y. de Ocampo 17, R. de Ocampo 16, Santos 13, Arboleda 13, Canaleta 12, Dimaunahan 11, Telan 10, Avenido 2, Sotto 0, Billiones 0.

Quarters: 35-26, 62-49, 93-80, 124-119.

full battle gear
12-11-2006, 02:10 PM
Sta. Lucia makes Welcoat thinner
By Joey Villar
The Philippine Star 12/11/2006

Sta. Lucia Realty unraveled superb passing game and awesome shooting as it smothered Welcoat Paints, 98-82, yesterday to remain in the hunt for an automatic semifinal slot in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Astrodome.

Kenneth Duremdes and Dennis Espino led four other teammates in double figures with 18 and 17 points, respectively, as the Realtors ended an alarming three-game skein to join Red Bull Barako at third place on their identical 10-6 win-loss slates.

Nelbert Omolon banged in 16 points while Kelly Williams, Alex Cabagnot and Paolo Mendoza combined for 32 points, helping their team hand the Dragons a seventh straight loss and 13th overall against three wins.

"Our morale sagged a bit because of three straight losses and I had to motivate the boys," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua in breaking their losing spell.

Responding to the challenge of their coach, the Realtors played as one cohesive unit, outdoing themselves in terms of passing.

Cabagnot handed out eight assists, Duremdes six and the entire team logged 29 dish-offs, nine more than their average. Welcoat had only 16.

But the Realtors struggled early, trailing the entre the first quarter and the early part of the second canto before Cabagnot unloaded an eight-point splurge as Sta. Lucia surged ahead at 46-42.

A series of runs anchored on Espino’s nine-point splurge in the third quarter gave Sta. Lucia double-digit leads with the biggest at 17 points.

The Realtors further put the game away from the Dragons in the fourth quarter with Duremdes and Omolon joining the fray.

Welcoat rookie Jay-R Reyes established four career highs — 19 points, 17 rebounds, five blocks and eight turnovers.

In the other game, Ren Ren Ritualo scored 25 points, including a clutch triple at endgame as Talk n Text held off Air21, 124-119, for its ninth win against seven losses. The Express slid to 7-9.

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12-11-2006, 02:11 PM
PBA seeks deadline to settle crisis
By Joaquin Henson
The Philippine Star 12/11/2006

Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Noli Eala said yesterday the pro league can’t wait forever for a resolution of the leadership impasse among the country’s major stakeholders and wants to set a deadline of up to the end of the year to settle the dispute.

The crisis appeared to be close to ending when representatives of the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) and Pilipinas Basketball (PB) signed a joint communiqué creating a three-man panel to coordinate the take-off of the unified Samahang Basketbol Ng Pilipinas (SBP) in Tokyo last August. The communiqué was endorsed by FIBA (Federation Internationale de Basketball), the world governing body that suspended the Philippines because of the turf squabble last year.

The three-man panel made up of Philippine Long Distance Tel. Co. chairman Manny Pangilinan, BAP president Joey Lina and PB president Bernie Atienza agreed on a deadline of Sept. 30 to finish the job. FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann assured the suspension would be lifted as soon as the SBP gets off the ground.

But when Lina quit as BAP president, the work stalled. Atienza then lost his authority to represent the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) in PB and his mandate to remain in the three-man panel with his resignation as St. Benilde athletic director.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada succeeded Lina as BAP president and immediately called for the BAP’s reinstatement as a National Sports Association by the Philippine Olympic Committee in an apparent violation of the terms of the joint communiqué.

"FIBA should see that the BAP is the stumbling block to the unification process and do something about it," said Eala. "The only thing keeping the BAP alive is FIBA recognition. With the BAP backtracking, it means Joey didn’t speak with authority in Tokyo. FIBA was a witness to the agreement. Even BAP chairman Michel Lhuillier and BAP secretary-general Graham Lim were present. How can they now refuse to honor the agreement?"

Eala said once FIBA lifts the country’s suspension, the PBA will be expected to assume responsibility of forming the national team to play in the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) championships in Kuala Lumpur in May and the FIBA Asia qualifiers for the Beijing Olympics on July 19-29 in Saitama, Japan.

Eala said the Philippine Cup conference will end July 23 at the latest. If the suspension is lifted to clear the way for the Philippines to play in the SEABA and FIBA-Asia championships, Eala said the PBA will make adjustments in its schedule, assuming Board of Governors approval.

"The PBA policy stipulates the least disruption to the league when we form the national team," said Eala. "That’s why it’s important to set a deadline so we can work on options early. We need at least a month for the national team to practice and (national coach) Chot (Reyes) will surely pick players from the teams in the conference finals. We will reschedule games, reserve venues and schedule national team practices. Before doing all that, we must know if our suspension will finally be lifted and we should know by the end of the year."

Eala said there are three options to adjust the PBA schedule.

"First is to play nine games a week to finish the conference early," explained Eala. "Second is to shorten the format and third is to retain the format but add more playing days, like Tuesdays and Saturdays to catch up. Of course, the Board must approve whatever option is chosen."

Eala said if no solution is in sight by the end of this month, then it’s a closed book for the PBA.

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12-11-2006, 02:16 PM
Realtors check skid, puff Dragons

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Sta. Lucia Realty showed up with a different defensive intensity to dispose newcomer Welcoat Paints, 98-82, to snap a three-game losing streak Sunday night in the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

After a tight first half, the Realtors clamped down on the offense of the Dragons and broke away en route to a crucial win that put them back in the hunt for the one of the two outright semifinals berths.

The win shoved Sta. Lucia in a tie with Red Bull at third spot with 10-6 mark each behind the league-leading Barangay Ginebra (11-4) and San Miguel Beer (10-5).

Veteran Kenneth Duremdes and Nelbert Omolon teamed up in the decisive second half, scoring easy baskets mainly off the numerous turnovers by Welcoat which now slides deeper at the cellar with 3-13 mark.

The Dragons have now to win their last two games and hope that Coca-Cola (2-12) loses its last two to avoid elimination.

They were actually in the thick of things, trailing just 42-46 at halftime before the Realtors outscored them in the third period, 23-12, to take a comfortable 69-54 cushion entering the final canto.

Sta. Lucia, which gave up an average of 108.3 points in its last three games, padded the lead to 84-67 on the finger roll of Duremdes with 5:16 left in the game.

Since then, the Realtors were never threatened and position themselves in a dogfight for the semis berth. They gave the Kings and the Tigers as their last assignments in the double-round eliminations.

Scores:

Sta. Lucia 98: Duremdes 18, Espino 17, Omolon 16, Williams 11, Cabagnot 11, Mendoza 10, Aquino 7, Isip 3, Gonzales 3, Catli 2, Calimag 0.

Welcoat 82: Reyes 19, Gelig 12, Sta. Maria 12, Mente 12, Cabatu 10, Lopez 9, Lao 8, Sagad 0, Baguion 0.

Quarters: 22-25, 46-42, 69-54, 98-82

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12-12-2006, 11:39 AM
Hatfield gets nod as Accel-TNT Player of the Week

www.abs-cbnnews.com


The PBA fans have heard it all before: A Barangay Ginebra player guaranteeing a championship for his team.

This time, though, most are taking notice, for it’s Rudy Hatfield talking.

"There’re no ifs and buts about it," Hatfield is wont to say for everybody to hear. "We’re going to win the championship."

Though the oft-repeated statement, with little or few variations, is uttered with some wrestling star-like contortions of the face, most know Hatfield is more than willing to put his money where his mouth is.

Ginebra coach Jong Uichico says the proof is in Hatfield’s game.

"He’s got a tremendous work ethic that spills over from practice to the game itself," said Uichico.

The do-it-all forward’s been consistently been backing his words with deeds, leaving little doubt he’ll see to it the Gin Kings will indeed make their fans deliriously ecstatic by the end of the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup.

The 6-foot-3 Filipino-American has been extra fiery in recent games, capped by a 24-point, 16-rebound performance in their 108-101 win over the Alaska Aces last Saturday at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City.

His eighth double-double of the conference not only stood out in the game but also in the week that was, making Hatfield the easy choice as the PBA Press Corps’ Accel-TNT Player of the Week for the period December 4 to 10.

The Michigan-born player, who was the Scribes’ first choice of the season during the period October 1 to 8, thus became only the second player to be acclaimed twice after teammate Mark Caguioa, who was cited POW for the periods November 13 to 19 and November 27 to December 3.

His main backer is, of course, Uichico.

"He gets the job done through sheer determination and will. Would you believe he got the highest points without any play run for him? He really do it all by himself," the grizzled mentor enthused.

The drive and spirit is also rubbing off on his teammates, noted Uichico.

"His energy rubbed off with his teammates. He’s the kind of person you’d willingly go to war with."

Not surprisingly, Ginebra leads the field with an 11-5 win-loss slate and tantalizingly close to getting one of the automatic semifinals berths rewarded the top two following the 18-game qualification round.

With Hatfield showing the way, very few believe Ginebra will stray from the promised land.

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12-13-2006, 10:06 AM
PBA getting impatient over cage standoff

By Francis Ochoa
Inquirer
Last updated 05:30am (Mla time) 12/13/2006

Published on Page A40 of the December 13, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

LET’S SETTLE this once and for all.

Tired of the discord that continues to leave the national basketball backbone fractured, the Philippine Basketball Association yesterday gave basketball leaders until Jan. 15 next year to decide on whether it is still needed to form a national team for the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia qualifier.

The qualifiers, which will determine the Asian representatives to the Beijing 2008 Olympics, will be held July next year.

“We are not waning in our support to regain the country’s lost glory in basketball particularly in this region and our chance to play in the Olympics,” PBA commissioner Noli Eala said. “But the PBA cannot continue to wait for the BAP (Basketball Association of the Philippines) to adhere to the agreement forged in Tokyo among all the stakeholders of which I was a witness.”

“We’ve changed the format and we’ve sacrificed a lot of revenues for the national cause so we want to know if we’re doing this for a purpose or not,” Eala told the Inquirer.

The board, though, refused to speculate on the consequences of further prolonging the basketball standoff although Eala said that things do not look good if the impasse reaches past the PBA deadline.

“At worst, we might as well just pull out of the whole thing,” Eala said. “But let’s see first what happens by that date. Right now we just want to find out a lot of things.”

Eala and the board want to know before the deadline whether there is still hope of forming the new organization agreed upon in the Tokyo pact forged by major basketball stakeholders with the FIBA.

The agreement calls for the formation of a unified basketball group that will work for the lifting of the FIBA-imposed suspension slapped on the Philippines because of squabbling basketball officials locked in a power struggle for the sport’s leadership.

“The PBA, as much as possible, would like to remain as a catalyst for the unification efforts,” said Eala. “Our only agenda is that we want to be fully prepared should the suspension be lifted. Otherwise, it might be useless and damaging for the PBA to change our schedule and even our format for nothing.”

full battle gear
12-13-2006, 10:07 AM
Dragons start uphill climb vs Beermen


Inquirer
Last updated 05:30am (Mla time) 12/13/2006

Published on Page A40 of the December 13, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

NEEDING to sweep their elimination-round assignments, the Welcoat Dragons begin the uphill task of staying alive when they tackle the San Miguel Beermen today in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

The Dragons, the tailenders with only three victories in 16 games, must again wield the upset ax over the Beermen in their 4:35 p.m. meeting and finish the preliminaries with dignity by getting even with the Alaska Aces.

But winning back-to-back games over the Beermen and the Aces is just half of what the Dragons should achieve to clinch the final seat in the wildcard phase.

With fate now out of their hands, the Dragons should also hope for a Coca-Cola defeat against Purefoods and Sta. Lucia Realty in order to steal the ninth wildcard slot from the Tigers.

“I know there’s still a chance and the last two games are crucial,” said Welcoat coach Leo Austria.

A victory for coach Chot Reyes and the Beermen will inch them toward an automatic semifinal berth, the same target of the Giants when they meet the Tigers later at 7:20 p.m.

Outright semifinalists the past two conferences, the Giants are seeking for a victory that could put them into a three-way tie with the Bulls and the Realtors, who share identical 10-6 records.

Seven-footer EJ Feihl will suit up for the Dragons to backstop Jay-R Reyes and Gilbert Lao, who sprained his ankle in a recent game, in the slot.

The Beermen, however, are now far from the team that took a beating from the Dragons. That’s aside from the fact that Jercules Tangkay, Rob Wainwright and Jireh Ibanes are nursing injuries that could hurt the chances of the Dragons even more.

After acquiring Rommel Adducul and Lordy Tugade, the Beermen are solidly running second at 10-5 with starters Danny Seigle and Danny Ildefonso nearing the peak of their forms after recuperating from injuries.

And while the Beermen racked up their fourth straight win in Lucena City at the expense of the Tigers, the Dragons are still trying to halt a seven-game slide. -- Musong R. Castillo

full battle gear
12-13-2006, 10:09 AM
Feihl suits up for Dragons vs Beermen

The Philippine Star 12/13/2006

Welcoat has shored up its frontline with its acquisition of 7-foot-1 behemoth EJ Feihl, hoping to make good in the homestretch of the classification round to avoid early elimination in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup.

Feihl debuts with Welcoat versus San Miguel Beer at 4:35 p.m. today with the Dragons looking to end their six-game slump to stay in the hunt for a slot in the wildcard plays.

Welcoat moves out of contention should it lose to San Miguel and the ninth-running Coca-Cola overcome Purefoods in their own game at 7:20 p.m.

Meanwhile, Ginebra’s Rudy Hatfield was named the PBA Press Corps’ Accel-TnT Player of the Week for his excellent all-round game versus Alaska Milk in Lucena Saturday.

Hatfield churned out 24 points and 16 rebounds, leading the Kings to a 108-101 victory that brought the team closer to an outright semifinal seat.

The Beermen seek to stay close behind the Kings, going for a fourth straight win against the Dragons.

Meanwhile, the PBA lamented the continued Philippine basketball crisis and urged basketball leaders to resolve the impasse if the pro league were to be involved in national team’s program.

While expressing its continued support in the formation of the national team, the PBA board has set Jan. 15 as its ultimate deadline in assessing its moves with respect to its participation in future international competitions, particularly the FIBA Asia Qualifier slated in July 2007.

"We are not waning in our support to regain the country’s lost glory in basketball particularly in this region and our chance to play in the Olympics. But the PBA cannot continue to wait for the BAP to adhere to the agreement forged in Tokyo among all the stakeholders of which I was a personal witness," said PBA commissioner Noli Eala.

"We also have a responsibility to the PBA teams and fans to ensure that the PBA’s programs are not unduly disrupted specifically by the uncertainty of the situation," Eala added.

Eala expressed the need to know the soonest possible time whether there is a chance that the new organization governing the sport will be created which would result in the lifting of the suspension on the Philippines and thus enable our participation in several Olympic-qualifying tournaments next year.

"The PBA, as much as possible, would like to remain as a catalyst for the unification efforts. Our only agenda here is that we want to be fully prepared should the suspension be lifted. Otherwise, it might be useless and damaging for the PBA to change our entire schedule and even our format for nothing," Eala said.

"The PBA is urging all stakeholders, particularly the BAP to remain faithful to their commitment to the Tokyo accord to expedite the immediate reinstatement of the Philippines in the FIBA roster. Otherwise, not only do we imperil our possibly last and best chance to make the Olympics again but also irreparably damage the sport of basketball," Eala also said.

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12-13-2006, 10:23 AM
PBA wants cage crisis over soon, sets own deadline for next move

www.abs-cbnnews.com


The Philippine Basketball Association in its regular board meeting Tuesday lamented the continued impasse in the crisis hounding Philippine basketball and warned of the dire consequences to the sport if the basketball leaders continue to refuse to find a proper solution to the problem.

While expressing the PBA’s continued support in the formation of the national team, the PBA Board has decided to set January 15, 2007, as its ultimate deadline in assessing its moves with respect to its participation in future international competitions, particularly the FIBA Asia Qualifier slated in July 2007.

"We are not waning in our support to regain the country’s lost glory in basketball particularly in this region and our chance to play in the Olympics. But the PBA cannot continue to wait for the BAP to adhere to the agreement forged in Tokyo among all the stakeholders of which I was a personal witness," stated PBA Commissioner Noli Eala.

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12-14-2006, 11:28 AM
Beermen push Dragons to the edge

By June Navarro
Inquirer
Last updated 00:14am (Mla time) 12/14/2006

Published on Page A19 of the December 14, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

WELCOAT SHOULD NOW begin training its sights on the future.

The San Miguel Beermen pushed the Dragons closer to the brink of elimination with a methodical 97-85 win last night in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Danny Seigle erupted for 28 points after going eight of 12 from the field and an impeccable shooting from the free-throw line as the Beermen moved nearer to an outright semifinal seat.

Seigle, who converted all of his 11 freethrows, rode the bench in the fourth quarter and was never fielded again after the Beermen went into cruise control to notch a fourth straight victory, their 11th overall in 16 games.

With two games left, another victory could assure the Beermen of a playoff for the No. 2 spot, which, together with the top-seeded squad, will automatically advance to the best-of-seven semifinals.

Sweeping both their final assignments against the Air21 Express and the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals could carry the Beermen to one of the two semifinal slots without going through the wildcard phase and quarterfinals.

In the second game, Peter June Simon tallied a career-high 32 points as Purefoods walloped Coca-Cola, 114-73, to force a three-way tie with Sta. Lucia Realty and Red Bull at third place.

The Giants notched win No. 10 in 16 games, while the Tigers dropped to 4-13.

Rookie Jay-R Reyes tossed in 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Dragons, who dropped to 4-13.

The only hope for the Dragons to advance to the wildcard phase is for Coca-Cola (4-12) to lose its last game, forcing a playoff for the final slot.

“I’m not that enthusiastic anymore,” said coach Leo Austria on his team’s chances. “In fact, we’ve already set a meeting to assess the factors that could add to the strength of the team next conference.”

The scores:

SAN MIGUEL 97—Seigle 28, Adducul 12, Pena 11, Tugade 10, Hontiveros 9, Espinas 8, Ildefonso 7, Gonzales 5, Racela 4, Tenorio 2, Wilson 1, Calaguio 0

WELCOAT 85—Reyes 15, Lopez 12, Mente 12, Cabatu 11, Gelig 10, Baguion 7, Sagad 5, Sta. Maria 5, Lao 4, Feihl 4

Quarters: 17-22, 46-48, 75-68, 97-85

Second Game

PUREFOODS 114—Simon 32, Limpot 23, J. Yap 13, Artadi 10, Evangelista 8, Yee 8, Salvador 6, R. Yap 5, Pingris 4, Raymundo 3, Camaso 2, Castillo 0.

COCA-COLA 73—Arigo 22, Miranda 10, Yeo 8, Caceres 8, Peek 8, Antonio 8, Pacana 5, Ramos 2, Misolas 2, Salangsang 0, Ferreria 0.

Quarters: 23-20, 53-37, 83-63, 114-73.

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12-14-2006, 11:34 AM
Astig

By Hidelito Pascual
Cebu Daily News
Last updated 12:37pm (Mla time) 12/13/2006

Those who are not very familiar with the Tagalog lingo, like the little woman in the home, would not know that “astig” is the slang for the word “tigas.”

This is the battle cry that the PBA has chosen, and some players, and team officials are trying to live the image: that they are rough, tough and brusque.

Did not Commissioner Eala brief the teams of his league that the label of “astig” was only for public consumption? Why, even his dancers are called “The Astig Dolls”!

The latest of these incidents was the confrontation between Talk ‘n Text Phone Pals team manager Frankie Lim and Coach Yeng Guiao of the Red Bull Barakos.
I agree with Eala that this kind of behavior is not acceptable.

But is not the PBA just reaping the tail of the whirlwind when it decided to project the “astig” image.

As my partner Ambrose Sanchez would write in his column “Management Solutions” which appears every Friday in this paper, when an organization wants to develop a corporate culture, everything that it does should be consistent with the desired behavior of the people in the organization.

So which is which, Mr. Commissioner?

Astig or not astig?

I had the pleasure of serving as chairman of several basketball tournaments, where I had less control over teams and players.

In a rough and tumble sport like basketball, confrontations, altercations and squabbles are common place.

An errant elbow here and there, a knee that is not supposed to be there and other physicality’s are bound to happen.

Definitely, it is not for the faint hearted.

If there is an icon for the “astig” brand of basketball, it was the Big J. It started when he was a wild and unpolished stallion playing for the UE Red Warriors. It continued when he became the biggest star of the play-for-pay league.

I highly suspect that when Senator Jaworski finally decided to call it quits, it was when he found out that there were elbows sharper and knees harder, than his.
But the PBA fans loved his brand of basketball. It was probably the roots of the inexplicable phenomenon called “Barangay Ginebra.”

So why are you over-acting Mr. Commissioner?

A P10,000 fine for water boys and ball boys? Is it not normal for the people to mill around when there is an incident?

Then there is the matter of fairness and equity.


Those who watched the incident and its numerous replays saw that it was Frankie Lim who went over to the Red Bull bench to confront Coach Yeng Guiao.

Did Commissioner Eala expect the grizzled veteran, who can even afford to throw expletives at his franchise player, to back down and sit on the bench?

Back in the bygone days when Yeng still had his locks, maybe?

Not today when he could be the prime symbol of the “astig” image that the PBA wants to project.

Then, as newly designated Supreme Court Chief Justice Ray Puno said, “oranges and apples.”

The decision of the Commissioner was clearly disadvantageous to Red Bull.

A team manager is dispensable when a team plays. All he does is clap his hands when a player makes a good play or tap the back when a player is recalled to the bench

Not a coach. Without the him, the team loses something in poise and direction.
This could have spelled the difference in the last game of the Barakos which they lost to Air 21 as some saw the play called by acting coach Gee Abanilla and his choice of personnel to run the play was a little suspect.

So even assuming that the two teams and the personages involved were equally at fault, Red Bull wound up at the losing end.

Fortunately, the Barakos won their first game without their coach, but was not as lucky when they played against the Express.

Is it true Mr. Commissioner that you would have wanted the suspension of Coach Yeng Guiao to be served when Red Bull would be playing against Pure Foods and Ginebra?

Uy, Mr. Commissioner ha!

As Mayor Tommy would say, “naughty, naughty.”

As I said at the beginning, there is no place for hooliganism in sports.
However, it is to be expected that tempers could flare up because of the competition, the physicality and pride.

When incidents happen like the Tacloban episode, it should not be made an occasion for anybody to grand stand. Whoever has the whip, should wield it in such a manner that would produce fair and equitable results.

Sad to say, Commissioner Noli Eala was not able to do a King Solomon in this instance.

full battle gear
12-14-2006, 11:35 AM
Fired-up Seigle powers SMB past Welcoat
By Joey Villar
The Philippine Star 12/14/2006

San Miguel Beer rode high on Danny Seigle’s explosive performance as it trounced Welcoat Paints, 97-85, yesterday to enhance its bid for an outright semifinals entry in the Talk N’ Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Seigle erupted for 28 points as he converted all of his 11 free throws and eight of 12 field-goal attempts leading the Beermen to their fifth win in a row and 11th in 16 games in all.

The Beermen inched closer to a possible outright passage into the semis while practically closing the wildcard-round door on the Dragons.

With only one game left in its classification round assignments, Welcoat is still mired in the cellar with a 3-14 win-loss record.

Fighting for survival, the Dragons played with great resolve but fell short in their bid to duplicate their win over the Beermen in their previous tiff.

Gaining their bearing only in the second half, San Miguel coach Chot Reyes said they won’t stand a chance if they play the same way against Talk n Text Sunday.

In the nightcap, Purefoods slammed a listless Coca-Cola squad, 114-73, to tie Sta. Lucia Realty and Red Bull at third place on their identical 10-6 cards.

The 41-point blowout was the Tigers’ worst in franchise history.

"We wanted to conserve our energy for our next game. But if we play like this, we’ll be eaten alive by Talk n Text," said Reyes.

The Beermen came out flat and trailed most of the first half.

With the Beermen down by five, 17-22, at the end of the first quarter, Seigle needed to rifle in 11 in the ensuing period as San Miguel drew within a basket at 46-48.

Seigle, the league’s second leading scorer with an average of 21.1 points behind Mark Caguioa’s 23-point norm, then teamed up with Dorian Pena in another run as the Beermen seized control in the third canto.

full battle gear
12-14-2006, 11:36 AM
Star on the rise
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 12/14/2006

Air21 guard Gary David never thought of someday becoming a star in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) when after finishing high school at St. John Academy in Bataan in 1995, he was sent by his father to enroll in Manila.

David, 28, took the entrance exams at the Pamantasan Ng Lungsod Ng Maynila, Mapua and Letran with his sister Cathy. While doing the rounds of the Intramuros schools, David happened to pass by Lyceum.

"Sabi ko kay Ate, we’ll take the entrance exams sa Lyceum din kasi I remember naglaro roon si Ato Agustin," recalled the 6-2, 180-pound David.

As it turned out, David enrolled at Lyceum–without the intent to play varsity basketball.

"I began playing when I was three because there was always a ball in the house," said David in Tagalog. "My father (Nardo) worked in Saudi Arabia for 10 years when I was a kid and he used to bring home basketballs as pasalubong. I played for my high school but the reason why my father sent me to Manila was to break up my barkada."

At Lyceum, David excelled in intramural basketball. When Joey Mente left the varsity, coach Bai Cristobal rebuilt the team and David tried out for a spot. David wound up playing five years for Lyceum. Thrice, Lyceum wound up second to St. Francis of Assisi in the National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA). That was when David was introduced to the Doves’ stratospheric brothers Yancy and Ranidel de Ocampo.

David was named to the NCRAA mythical five twice and his outstanding performance earned a brief stint with the Jazz in the National Basketball League in 1999. Eventually, David was recruited by Montaña Pawnshop in the Philippine Basketball League where he was MVP in the 2003 Unity Cup.

Before turning pro, David did his bit for the country, playing for the national team that struck gold at the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam in 2003. The next year, he was picked by Coca-Cola in the first round of the PBA draft, after Rich Alvarez, James Yap, Marc Pingris, Ranidel, Sonny Thoss, Denver Lopez, Erwin Sotto, Bitoy Omolon and Wesley Gonzales.

David played two conferences for the Tigers then was traded to Fed-Ex, now Air21. In his first season, he averaged 6.9 points and 15 minutes in 53 games with six starts. As a sophomore, he improved his clip to 9.9 points and logged 17.6 minutes a game. His field goal percentage went up from .384 to .437 and his free throw mark also rose from .718 to .722.

Last season, David tore a tendon in his right elbow and underwent a two-hour operation to repair the damage at the Cardinal Santos Hospital. Dr. Edgar Eufemio’s surgery was successful but David had to sit out the entire Philippine Cup to recover. He is now back in action, wearing a sleeve to protect his elbow, and enjoying his best conference. David is averaging 18.3 points and 30 minutes in 16 games. He is shooting career-highs of .475 from the field and .794 from the line.

In a team where he has to share the spotlight with the de Ocampo brothers, Niño Canaleta, Arwind Santos, Mark Telan and Wynne Arboleda, David is holding his own — for the good of the Express.

David admitted when he was a boy, he conjured visions of playing in the pros like any kid but never in his wildest dreams, did he think it was possible.

David said the secret of his success is discipline.

"Iwas bisyo at hindi ako nagpupuyat," he added. "Dapat kondisyon ako every game kung hindi, masama ang laro ko."

David works out every day when there is no scheduled game, logging long hours at the EDSA Shangri-La gym. He lifts weights, runs the treadmill and builds his stamina because he thrives in a running attack.

On the day of a game, David hangs loose in his Quezon City home with wife Jenny Rose and their three-year-old daughter Maxine, relaxes and cooks sinigang or giniling na baka or adobo — dishes he learned from his mother Lilia, a retired seamstress. He also likes to eat his wife’s specialties like spaghetti and steak. David himself goes to the Muñoz market to buy what he needs for the kitchen.

David’s parents live in Dinalupian, Bataan, where the family owns a one-hectare rice field. His sister Cathy works for Allied Bank in Manila and a younger sister Mylene lives in Miami with her American husband.

David said he grew up idolizing Alvin Patrimonio, Vergel Meneses and Jeffrey Cariaso. Now that he’s playing in the PBA, Mr. Pure Energy said he can’t be in awe of his idols and just makes sure he’s always ready to face the challenge of matching up against the league’s top two-guards. He singled out Mark Caguioa and Willie Miller as his biggest headaches when on defense.

It’s a wild dream come true for David who’s counting his blessings as a star on the rise in the PBA.

full battle gear
12-14-2006, 11:38 AM
SMB nears playoff stage

By Waylon Galvez
www.mb.com.ph


EVEN THE addition of the league’s tallest player wasn’t enough to end Welcoat Paints’ losing run.

San Miguel made sure of that as the Beermen got back at the Welcoat Dragons behind a strong third quarter performance for a 97-85 win last night in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Forward Danny Seigle scattered 28 points to lead four other Beermen in double figures as San Miguel extended its winning run to five for an 11-5 record overall.

The win moved the Beermen a win away from clinching at least a playoff for one of two outright semis berths.

"Essentially we’re a tired team after that out-of-town game against Coca-Cola," said San Miguel coach Chot Reyes. "We also want to conserve our energy for our next game (against Talk ’N Text)."

"But if we play like this against a tough team like the Phone Pals, we don’t have a chance," he added.

The Beermen battle the Phone Pals on Sunday.

The Dragons appeared headed for another repeat over the Beermen when they took a 48-46 lead at halftime.

But the Beermen were not to be frustrated this time as Seigle and Danny Ildefonso sparked a searing rally that saw them take a 64-52 advantage. They never wavered after this as they went on to avenge their 88-89 loss to the Dragons in the first round of the classification round.

The 6-foot-3 Seigle was in his element, shooting 8-of-12 from the field on a perfect 11-of-11 from the free throw line. He added three rebounds and one assist in 28 minutes of play.

"With the position we are in now, we are going for the semifinal seat definitely," said Reyes. "Basically we have no choice but to go for it. Although our thinking, however, remains the same, to pile up as many wins as possible. If it happens that we advance outright, it happens. If not we’ll keep it in stride," Reyes said.

A basket by rookie guard LA Tenorio gave San Miguel its biggest lead, 71-56, with 3:35 to go in the third frame.

The scores:

First Game

SAN MIGUEL 97 — Seigle 28, Adducul 12, Peña 11, Tugade 10, Hontiveros 9, Espinas 8, Ildefonso 7, Gonzales 5, Racela 4, Tenorio 2, Wilson 1, Calaguio 0.

WELCOAT 85 — Reyes 15, Lopez 12, Mente 12, Cabatu 11, Gelig 10, Baguion 7, Sagad 5, Sta. Maria 5, Lao 4, Feihl 4.

Quarters: 17-22, 46-48, 75-68, 97-85.

full battle gear
12-14-2006, 11:40 AM
Beermen topple Dragons, secure 11th win

www.abs-cbnnews.com


The final score did not reflect the struggle that San Miguel Beer encountered before nailing its 11th win against newcomer Welcoat Paints.

The Beermen bucked a shaky first half and turned to their defense after the break to book a 97-85 triumph over the Dragons and bolstered their chances for the outright semifinal seat of the Talk ‘N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup Wednesday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Danny Seigle had a near perfect game with 28 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and was 11-of-11 from the free throw line to help his team tightened the grip of the second spot with 11-5 mark.

The loss was definitely a damaging one for Welcoat, which is now a defeat away from taking an early vacation in its maiden conference in the league.

The Dragons now are toting a league-worst 3-14 and their chances of forcing a playoff against Coca-Cola for the last berth in the wildcard phase are very remote. They have to win their last game against Alaska and hope that the Tigers (4-12) drop their last two assignments.

Welcoat actually started the game on a bright note, erecting a 22-17 first quarter lead and even took a 48-46 halftime lead.

They were still in the game at 50-all before San Miguel unloaded a telling 12-2 burst for a 64-52 and took the control of the game.

Seigle gave the Beermen an 83-69 lead but the Dragons responded with six straight points to cut the deficit to 75-83, 8:05 remaining.

Scores:

San Miguel 97 – Seigle 28, Adducul 12, Peña 11, Tugade 10, Hontiveros 9, Espinas 8, Ildefonso 5, Gonzales 5, Racela 4, Tenorio 2, Wilson 1, Calaguio 0.

Welcoat 85 – Reyes 15, Lopez 12, Mente 12, Cabatu 11, Gelig 10, Baguion 7, Sagad 5, Sta. Maria 5, Lao 4, Feihl 4.

Quarters: 17-22, 46-48, 75-68, 97-85.

full battle gear
12-15-2006, 11:09 AM
Realtors eye revenge vs Kings


Inquirer
Last updated 00:28am (Mla time) 12/15/2006

STA. LUCIA REALTY doesn't want to be in a position where the chances of snaring an outright semifinal seat are bleak.

The Realtors aim to topple powerhouse Barangay Ginebra Kings Friday night in the Talk 'N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center to remain in contention for the top two spots by the end of the classification round.

"We need this win badly," said Sta. Lucia Realty coach Alfrancis Chua of the 7:20 p.m. contest with the Kings, knowing that a defeat could put the fate of the Realtors in the next round beyond their control.

"There's still a possibility to advance outright (into the semis). If we could win our last two games, I think we might have a chance," he added.

After snapping a three-game skid at the expense of the Welcoat Dragons, the Realtors are looking to get back at the Kings and end their elimination campaign with flourish over the Coca-Cola Tigers.

But Chua knows it wouldn't be easy. On a five-game winning run, the Kings are gunning for a win and an outright berth in the best-of-seven semifinals.

The Kings, who have three games left in the preliminaries, lead the race with an 11-4 record while the San Miguel Beermen are close behind after nailing their 11th win in 16 games the other night.

The Realtors are tied with Red Bull and Purefoods for third with 10 victories and six losses.

"Every game is important so it's going to be tough," said Ginebra coach Jong Uichico after beating coach Tim Cone and the Aces in Lucena City almost a week ago.

"Even though we're coming off a six-day layoff, I know my team is still hungry for a win," he added. "I expect the same level of intensity when we played Alaska."

The Aces take on the Air21 Express in the curtain-raiser seeking to at least improve their seeding in the wildcard phase.

At 5-10, the Aces are out of the running for an automatic quarterfinal seat along with the Express (7-9).

The top two teams in the classification round go straight to the semifinals while teams which wound up third to fifth will earn automatic quarterfinal tickets.

Teams ranked sixth to ninth will play in the single-round wildcard phase where the top seed secures the last quarterfinal slot. -- June Navarro

full battle gear
12-15-2006, 11:14 AM
Kings target 6th straight, playoff for semis berth

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Barangay Ginebra seeks a crucial win that will put the team closer to the automatic semis berth against Sta. Lucia Realty Friday in the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

The streaking Kings, lording the team standings with 11-4 win-loss slate, and the Realtors collide in the main tiff at 7:20 p.m.

In the first game, Alaska and Air21 will just try to improve their card going into the wildcard phase as they clash at 4:35 p.m.

The Aces are holding a disappointing 5-10 mark while the Express are two games ahead with 7-9 slate.

Ginebra enters the game with a five-game winning streak and needs to win two of its last three games to assure itself of a spot in the best-of-seven semifinal series.

The Kings are coming off a 108-101 win over Alaska last Saturday at the Lucena City where Rudy Hatfield emerged as the team’s top scorer with 24 points.

Sta. Lucia defeated Welcoat in its previous game, 98-82, to snap a three-game losing streak that put the Realtors back in the sweepstakes for one of the two automatic semifinal seats.

"I think we still have a chance. We just have to win our last two games," said Sta. Lucia head coach Alfrancis Chua whose remaining assignment after Ginebra will be Coca-Cola.

After the Realtors, the Kings have Red Bull on December 20 and the Phone Pals on Christmas Day in their schedule.

Ginebra prevailed in their first meeting 123-117 on November 18 in Puerto Princesa, Palawan but Kings head coach Jong Uichico that Sta. Lucia will be fired up in their rematch as it is in a must-win situation to stay afloat for the semis bonus.

gameface_one
12-20-2006, 11:55 AM
Kings go for semis berth vs Bulls

By NELSON BELTRAN
The Philippine Star

After 11 weeks of classification-round plays, Barangay Ginebra could clinch outright entry into the semifinals while Welcoat is in danger of seeing the end of the road in the Talk 'N Text PBA Philippine Cup.

Hitting the final week of the preliminaries, the Kings take the first of their two cracks at the semis while the Dragons look to avoid elimination in facing separate rivals Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Ginebra will have to deal with a Red Bull side out to forge a playoff for a semis berth. Welcoat, on the other hand, will be playing an Alaska Milk squad now reduced to fighting for pride and momentum for the coming wildcard round.

With only three play dates to go in the classifications, Ginebra (12-4), San Miguel (12-5) and Red Bull are left to dispute the two automatic slots in the semis, Sta. Lucia (10-7), Purefoods (10-7) and Talk n Text (9-8) relegated to fight for outright quarterfinal berths while Coca-Cola (4-13) and Welcoat (3-14) engaged in a battle to avoid the 10th spot.

Air21 (6-10) and Alaska Milk (6-10) are safely into the wildcard round, leaving Coke and Welcoat to dispute the last slot.

A full game behind the Tigers, the Dragons kiss their hopes goodbye if they bow to the Aces tonight. The Dragons force a playoff should they beat the Aces and the Tigers lose to the Sta. Lucia Realtors Friday.

The battle on top is tighter, and the final reckoning could last beyond Christmas Day if Red Bull stops Ginebra’s charge.

The Kings, however, clinch the first semis slot and hand the second berth to the Beermen if they beat the Bulls.

In this eventuality, the Bulls will settle for the battle for the three outright quarters seats with the Realtors, the Giants and the Phone Pals.

"We’re trying to keep our semis hopes. We don’t have full control of our fate. But whatever is in our control, we’ll try to keep it," said Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao, hopeful they can snap the Kings’ six-game romp.

Ginebra coach Jong Uichico and his boys, however, look poised to go flat out for the clincher tonight.

"If we can get it Wednesday, why the need to wait for Christmas Day?" said Uichico.

Enrico Villanueva, Carlo Sharma and Leo Najardo held their ground against Eric Menk, Rafi Reavies and Rudy Hatfield as the Bulls withstood the Kings, 84-79, in their previous tiff last Oct. 15.

Ginebra, however, has stepped up its game and is now the hottest team in the league, setting out for Wednesday’s game riding the crest of a six-game romp. The Kings won those matches with an impressive winning average of 11.8 points.

gameface_one
12-20-2006, 11:58 AM
Gin Kings eye semis vs Barako


By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 02:32am (Mla time) 12/20/2006

Published on page A30 of the December 20, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GIFTS are given not only on Christmas, and this season does not necessarily mean the time for being kind in the PBA.

Barangay Ginebra clashes with a determined Red Bull side tonight, shooting for no less than an outright semifinal spot in the Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup that would gift-wrap the same to sister team San Miguel.

The 7:20 p.m. game at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao will be the first of two shots the Gin Kings have in nailing a Final Four berth, and a win would close the door on the Barako and give the idle Beermen a free ride.

“If we can get it Wednesday (today), why wait for Christmas day,” coach Jong Uichico asked as his Kings wind up their classification round schedule on Monday against the Talk ’N Text Phone Pals.

Red Bull is the only other team with a shot at the semis, and a win tonight would not really guarantee Yeng Guiao and his boys of a slot as the best they could do is win 12 games and the Beermen and the Kings could go for 13.

“We don’t have full control of our fate, but whatever it is that’s in our control, we’ll try to keep,” said Guiao, who will be assured of an automatic quarterfinal seat if his Barako trounce the Kings.

Ginebra, which has a 12-4 record, will be coming into the game with its confidence at a high after annihilating Sta. Lucia, 109-89, on Friday.

San Miguel, which opened up with a 0-3 card but has won 12 of its last 14 games since a key trade, can avoid complications of a playoff, granting Red Bull wins tonight, with a victory over Air21 on Christmas.

Sta. Lucia, which led this tournament for most part until a critical losing streak snuffed out its semifinal chances, defending champion Purefoods and the Phone Pals have been left to slug it out for quarterfinal berths.

Three slots are available for that round, and the Phone Pals will drop out of it with a loss to the Kings, while Sta. Lucia and Purefoods can avoid the wildcard phase with victories over Coca-Cola and Alaska, respectively, on Friday.

gameface_one
12-20-2006, 11:58 AM
Things out of control, says Guiao


By Francis Ochoa
Inquirer
Last updated 02:32am (Mla time) 12/20/2006

Published on page A30 of the December 20, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

ALL one has to do is listen to Coach Yeng Guiao and know that things can’t get any closer than this in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup.

“We’re trying to keep our semis hopes alive because things are no longer in our control,” admitted coach Yeng Guiao after Red Bull’s crucial victory over Purefoods.

This from a guy whose team is at third place, one game out of the No. 2 spot, which is the outright semifinal ticket, and just a game and a half behind the No. 1 team.

Even coach Jong Uichico, the think tank of the league-leading Barangay Ginebra, refuses to acknowledge claiming an outright slot, saying all he is looking for is to patch whatever holes his team might still have.

“We just want to get better every game,” said the low-key mentor.

And so it boils down to this: No. 1 Barangay Ginebra, No. 2 San Miguel and No. 3 Red Bull are now in a very exclusive footrace for the two outright semifinal berths in the league.

Those two spots afford the team that owns them a chance to skip the wild card phase.

The Kings have managed to keep a hold of the top spot with their 12-4 record, while the Beermen, after routing Talk ’N Text Phone Pals, 114-102, to notch their 12th win in 17 outings are in second place.

full battle gear
12-21-2006, 12:26 PM
IN HUDDLE
Passive Guiao, fiery Barakos

By Beth Celis
Inquirer
Last updated 01:54am (Mla time) 12/21/2006

Published on page A24 of the December 21, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

IT was supposed to be an act of protest—the “sit-down” strike staged by Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao during the Red Bull-Purefoods game at the Araneta Coliseum last Sunday.

The protest was against the Dec. 5 memo issued by PBA commissioner Noli Eala to all PBA teams severely restricting the professional conduct on court of players and coaches like Yeng.

“That memorandum was not necessary. As it is, the officials already have so much power,” Yeng had commented on the eve of the game.

The new guidelines stated that acts such as running up and down the sidelines after a call or non-call, making faces and hand signals, shouting with or without invectives, incessant clapping or pointing at an official, among others, will be dealt with more sternly from thereon.

“I’ll do exactly as he wants,” Yeng said. “Let’s see if the spectators don’t die of boredom.”

Yeng disclosed that he had designated one of his assistants to keep a close tab on him—to rein him in so to speak—to ensure that he accomplishes what he set out to do.

“Kasi baka mapatalon ako o mapasigaw instinctively, I need somebody to remind me not to react.”

Yeng had also advised his players not to misinterpret his strange demeanor.

“I explained to them that even if I look and act passive and indifferent, it does not mean that I’m disinterested in the game. I told them to play their hearts out. Regardless of how I behave. Sabi ko sa kanila, this is just my way of adhering to the new memorandum.”

True enough, Yeng was practically motionless during last Sunday’s game, as he kept his butt glued to the bench, his fingers muzzling his lips. He maintained a completely blank expression on his face practically all-game long.

The Barakos won, 112-92.

* * *

The day after, I called Yeng to congratulate him for the victory and for successfully carrying out his resolve. Although his assistant had claimed that he stood up twice, he said he remembered doing it only once, when another fracas between Topex Robinson and Roger Yap threatened to erupt.

How did it feel to be in a straight jacket?
“I felt different, I felt weird. It wasn’t me. Because everything was bottled up, I felt that I just might suddenly explode,” Yeng said.

He admitted though, that there was an upside to the whole exercise.
“Maganda ang naging effect. Maganda ang game, maganda ang laro ng team. Siguro dahil mas relaxed ang players,” he said.

Yesterday, Yeng’s Barakos were scheduled to go up against Barangay Ginebra in the main game of the day’s doubleheader.

If the players are responding well to the “new” Yeng, he feels he ought to retain the new persona.

“I’m more concerned with the effect now,” he said. “Baka talagang kailangan ng ibang style naman.”

* * *

After last Sunday’s game, the players were each escorted outside the premises by security men.

People loitering by the southgate area said this was to prevent another scuffle among the players who had a heated confrontation during the game.

Other habitués however believe that assigning security men to each player was a means of protecting them from pickpockets who proliferate in that area.

“Kasi maraming nadudukutan na players recently, nawawalan ng wallet, cellphone,” said a player agent. “Talk ’N Text’s Don Allado is the latest victim.”

“The players should be warned that the pickpockets could be posing as fans. Kasi madalas, a group of four or five, mga lalaki pa, would be requesting for a photo session, tapos aakapin pa at gigitgitin ang player. Hindi na nila mapapansin kung nadukutan sila,” cautioned the mother of a cager.

* * *

While we’re on the subject, should I perhaps warn players, coaches and other cage celebrities about strange text messages being received by their colleagues?

For example, my number appeared in a couple of text messages sent to a PBA coach and a team’s liaison officer. I sent neither and was so surprised how my number could have appeared in the messages.

They say the culprit could be a virus or CHIKKA.

full battle gear
12-21-2006, 12:27 PM
Miller sparks Alaska victory

Welcoat exits with pride
By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 01:53am (Mla time) 12/21/2006

Published on page A18 of the December 21, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GAMES TOMORROW (Araneta Coliseum)
4:35 p.m.—Sta. Lucia vs Coca-Cola
7:20 p.m.—Purefoods vs Alaska

WELCOAT can find solace in ending its first PBA tournament by bowing out far from the way the Dragons started it.

The Dragons posed a huge challenge against Alaska last night before the Aces escaped with a 96-90 decision in the Talk ‘N Text Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Willie Miller scored 24 points and Tony dela Cruz backed him up with 20 as the Aces won for the seventh time in 17 games while closing out the Welcoat campaign at 3-15.

But the Dragons can obviously find some sense of victory since they will be going into a Christmas break far from the team that was beaten black-and-blue when they opened up their first game in the tournament.

Welcoat absorbed a 102-69 rout from Barangay Ginebra in the inaugurals last Oct. 1, also at the Big Dome, a loss that cast doubt on the Dragons worth to be in the tournament.

But the team, which bought the franchise of defunct Pilipinas Shell, won in just its second game by stunning Coca-Cola before totally gaining the respect of the field by upending San Miguel.
The Dragons finally gained respect when they pulled off a 79-72 decision of powerhouse Talk ‘N Text in Tubod, Lanao Del Norte, last Nov. 9.

Though that proved to be the last win for the Dragons, the way they lost their remaining games spoke volumes at how this team could contend in the future.

Coach Leo Austria had said that he and management would dip their hands in the free agent market to make the Dragons competitive, and with an import-spiced tournament next, Welcoat can have a fresh start.

Welcoat lost by failing to keep its poise in the endgame.

Alaska went on an 8-0 run in the final three minutes and it proved enough to snuff the fire out of the Dragons for good as the Aces raced to a 91-84 lead.

The scores:

First Game

ALASKA 96—Miller 24, Dela Cruz 20, Cariaso 16, Ferriols 8, Thoss 6, Laure 6, Juinio 6, Belasco 5, Singson 3, Bajar 2.

WELCOAT 90—Reyes 26, Cabatu 19, Mente 11, Lopez 10, Sta. Maria 8, Sagad 5, Baguion 5, Feihl 4, Ibañes 2.

Quarters: 23-23; 47-45; 72-68; 96-90.

full battle gear
12-21-2006, 12:28 PM
Kings tow Beermen into semis
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 12/21/2006

The Barangay Ginebra Kings can now sit back and relax — they have a guaranteed seat in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup Final Four.

The Kings entered the semifinals and towed the San Miguel Beermen along with them as they sizzled in the homestretch of the classification round, taming the Red Bull Barakos, 94-84, last night at the Araneta Coliseum.

After closing their classification-round stint versus the Talk n Text Phone Pals on Christmas Day, the Kings will enjoy at least a month-long rest before plunging back into action in the semifinals.

"This is a nice Christmas gift for us. But we’ve achieved only a little part of our goal which is to win the championship," said Ginebra coach Jong Uichico.

Red Bull missed an outright passage into the semis and settled for an automatic seat in the quarterfinals as it ended its preliminary-round assignments with 11 wins against seven defeats.

At 13-4, Ginebra is assured of No. 1 seeding in the playoffs with the second spot going to San Miguel.

The Beermen, who play the Air21 Express also on Christmas Day, can actually still catch up with the Kings at 13-5. But even if they do, the Kings still gain top seeding with a superior quotient.

Welcoat, meanwhile, hit the end of the road in its maiden tournament in the pro league as it lost to Alaska, 90-96, in the first game.

Jay-R Reyes logged career-high 26 points and 18 rebounds but these were not enough to save the Dragons from outright elimination.

Guard Willie Miller outplayed his Welcoat counterparts and the Alaska Milk Aces made key defensive stops down the stretch to ease the Dragons out of contention in the tournament.

Now holding a 7-10 win-loss record, the Aces can further improve their carry-over mark for the wildcard round as they take on the Purefoods Chunkee Giants tomorrow in the same venue.

The Dragons kissed their playoff bid goodbye as they suffered a ninth straight defeat and closed out their classification round stint with only three wins against 15 losses.

Coca-Cola grabbed the last slot in the wildcard round on Welcoat’s defeat.

As a newcomer with no real marquee players on its lineup, Welcoat, notwithstanding its early elimination, left good impression from league experts.

"In my mind, Welcoat did a good job for an expansion team and coach Leo Austria deserves an A (grade)," said Alaska coach Tim Cone.

"For me, the true measure of a coach is not the final score but how his players progress during a tournament. He’s got them (the Dragons) from a lesser team to a very competitive one," Cone added.

The Dragons did play a very competitive game last night only to flounder at the finish, allowing the Aces to boost their stocks for the wildcard round.

The four teams playing in the wildcard plays will carry over their classification-round records. At the moment, Alaska is tied with Air21 at 7-10 with Coca-Cola three games behind at 4-13. The other wildcard competitor will be either Purefoods (10-7), Sta. Lucia (10-7) or Talk n Text (9-8).Jeffrey Cariaso scored back-to-back baskets on steals closing the run that gave them a 91-84 spread entering the final minute of play.

The Dragons actually closed in at 89-93. They had a chance to move even closer but Junjun Cabatu fumbled a crucial play and the Aces went on to ice the game.

full battle gear
12-21-2006, 12:30 PM
Alaska ousts Welcoat

By waylon galvez
www.mb.com.ph


ALASKA ACES ended newcomer Welcoat Paints’ maiden campaign by handing the league’s rookie member a heartbreaking 96-90 beating last night that put the Dragons out of the wild card race in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Former PBA Most Valuable Player Willie Miller scattered 24 points, 16 in the second half to lead the Aces to victory. boosting the team’s win-loss record that will be carried over in the wild card stage.

Alaska is now in seventh spot, putting them in a tie with Air21 at 7-10.

Welcoat, which joined the PBA this year as the 10th member after taking over the franchise of Pilipinas Shell, won just three of 18 games to compile a 3-15 record.

Despite the early elimination, the new franchise can look back at its debut with satisfaction.

After beating Coca-Cola, Welcoat stunned powerhouse San Miguel Beer, and many thought the team was on its way to a glorious beginning.

However, after a big 79-72 win over Talk ‘N Text in Lanao del Norte, Welcoat dropped all its remaining nine games, a losing skein that many said was precipitaed by the absence of leading scorer Jojo Tangkay, who suffered a knee injury last month.

The Aces used an 8-0 run in the final three minutes, enough to build a 91-84 cushion.

The Dragons tried to bounce back after Joey Mente nailed a triple to close the gap at 89-93 with 1:29 to play, however, Jun-Jun Cabatu missed a three-pointer and then committed an error. Fouled by Cabatu, Tony dela Cruz made two foul shots to seal the outcome, 95-89.

It was a setback that negated the performance of 6-foot-7 forward Jay-Arr Reyes, who scored 12 points in the fourth frame on his way to a game-high 26 points.

Reyes, together with Cabatu and Jay Sagad, were the played elevated by Welcoat from its PBL team to the PBA.

With Welcoat’s setback, Coca-Cola (4-13) is now assured of a spot in the wild card even if it loses its final game against Sta. Lucia Realty tomorrow.

The Scores:

First Game

Alaska 96 — Miller 24, dela Cruz 20, Cariaso 16, Ferriols 8, Thoss 6, Juinio 6, Belasco 5, Singson 3, Bajar 2.

Welcoat 90 — Reyes 26, Cabatu 19, Mente 11, Lopez 10, Sta. Maria 8, Sagad 5, Baguion 5, Feihl 4, Ibanes 2.

Quarterscores: 23-23; 47-45; 72-68; 96-90.

full battle gear
12-22-2006, 11:44 AM
Giants, Realtors gun for quarterfinal slots

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 02:50am (Mla time) 12/22/2006

Published on page A26 of the December 22, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

DEFENDING champion Purefoods starts its hard drive to land in the finals tonight.

The Chunkee Giants clash with Alaska at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, shooting for a win that would assure them of an outright quarterfinal seat in the Talk ‘N Text Philippine Cup.

A loss in their 7:20 p.m. encounter with the Aces could dampen the Giants’ chances and even drag them all the way down to the wild-card phase.

And even if the Giants do advance, they would have to survive a best-of-five series to make the Final Four.

Sta. Lucia, the leader for most part of the tournament but which lost steam at a key point in this elimination round, also eyes a quarterfinal slot against Coca-Cola at 4:35.

A win would put the Giants and the Realtors in the company of early quarterfinalist Red Bull while dropping idle Talk ‘N Text to the wild-card phase in the company of the Tigers, the Aces and the Air21 Express.

Play in the wild-card stage is a single-round elimination with the top team completing the quarterfinal cast.

Sister squads Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer have earlier secured the first two seedings and the two semifinal slots after the Gin Kings waylaid the Red Bull Barako, 94-84, Wednesday.

Those two teams will be awaiting Final Four foes with a break of at least three weeks, counting the seven days from Tuesday next week when the league takes a holiday break.

Purefoods, which earned an automatic semifinal berth in the last two tournaments, and Sta. Lucia have 10-7 cards while the Phone Pals are at 9-8.

But Talk ‘N Text still has a built-in advantage in the wild-card phase as it has a two-game edge on Air21.

full battle gear
12-22-2006, 11:48 AM
Giants, Realtors target outright quarters berths

The Philippine Star 12/22/2006

Purefoods Chunkee and Sta. Lucia Realty seek to clinch the two remaining outright seats in the quarterfinals while Alaska Milk and Coca-Cola try to improve their carry-over records in the wildcard round as they mix it up in the penultimate play date of the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup classification round at the Araneta Coliseum today.

It’s the Realtors against the Tigers at 4:35 p.m. then the Chunkee Giants versus the Aces at 7:20 p.m. with the Talk n Text Phone Pals likely to be keen observers in the sideline.

Talk n Text, with a 9-8 win-loss card, is the only team with an outside chance of gaining outright quarterfinals seeding besides Purefoods and Sta. Lucia which both are a game ahead at 10-7.

But the Giants and the Realtors will dash the Pals’ hopes if both emerge triumphant tonight.

The Pals get a crack at a playoff should either the Giants or the Realtors lose. In such scenario, coach Derrick Pumaren and his boys go for the equalizer when they tangle with the Barangay Ginebra Kings in the main feature on Christmas Day.

A special treat awaits PBA fans on Christmas Day as the upper box B and general admission sections of the Big Dome will be opened free to the public for the final playing day of the classification phase.

"This is our treat for the fans on Christmas day, our way of thanking them for their continuous support to the PBA through all these years," said PBA commissioner Noli Eala.

The Dec. 25 doubleheader also features San Miguel Beer versus Air21 in the 2:30 p.m. curtain-raiser.

To avail of the free tickets, PBA fans only need to bring proof of purchase of any product of the league’s 10 teams or from any retail chains around the Araneta Coliseum. Bottle caps of Ginebra, San Miguel, Coca-Cola and Red Bull will be accepted. Redemption centers are found in Farmers Plaza, Ali Mall and Fiesta Carnival and fans can avail themselves of the promo starting today.

Games will have bearing up to the end since teams in the lower half of the chart, except Welcoat, are still looking to boost their stock for the wildcard round.

"(The Purefoods-Alaska tiff) definitely has bearing (in the standings) and we expect them to come out strong. We need to formalize our entry into the quarterfinals while they need to improve their carry-over record," said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.

"Coming off a loss, we want to bounce back and win a game before the Christmas break," Gregorio added.

Marc Pingris is a doubtful starter for Purefoods since he’s just been discharged from hospital confinement for amoebiasis.

"Marc had missed three practices and is a doubtful starter. But I’ve seen something good developing. Jondan Salvador is back and has been performing well in our games," said Gregorio.

The eventual sixth placer will be joining Alaska Milk (7-10), Air21 (7-10) and Coca-Cola (4-13) in the wildcard round. They play one round-robin with the top finisher gaining the last slot in the quarterfinals. A team which sweeps three games gains automatic playoff berth regardless of its finish in the round.

full battle gear
12-22-2006, 11:53 AM
Realtors, Giants eye quarters

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


DEFENDING CHAMPION Purefoods and Sta. Lucia gun for the two outright quarterfinals berths when they battle separate rivals today in the penultimate day of the classification phase of the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Sta. Lucia meets Coca-Cola (4-13) in the curtain raiser at 4:35 p.m., while Purefoods tackles Alaska (7-10) at 7:20 p.m.

Victories by both Sta. Lucia and Purefoods will enable them to to tie idle Red Bull for third to fifth places. That will also snuff out the bid of Talk‘’N Text to gain entry into the quarterfinals trouble-free.

The Realtors and Giants have similar 10-7 winloss cards while the Phone Pals have a 9-8 mark.

Barangay Ginebra brought down the Bulls, 94-84, the other night to claim the first outright semis berth. Their seventh straight win and 13th overall in 17 starts also gave sister team San Miguel Beer (12-5) free passage to the Final Four.

However, a loss by either team coupled by the Phone Pals’ win over the Gin Kings on Christmas Day will force a playoff.

In case a three-way tie will occur, the team with the highest quotient takes second outright quarters slot.

"That’s why we have to come out strong," said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio. "We have a chance to make it to the quarters outright and we’re going for it."

The Giants are still smarting from a 92-112 loss to the Bulls over the weekend. Still, they enjoy a big advantage over Aces, having beaten them 82-78 in their first meeting two months back.

The Realtors are also coming off a 109-89 loss to the Kings last week, but they have a decisive advantage over the Tigers manpower-wise. They also beat the Tigers, 106-91.

In the wild card stage, the top team will clinch fourth quarterfinalist.

Only newcomer Welcoat Paints was eliminated in the 10-team field after finishing dead-last. The Dragons have only three wins to show in their first 18 games in the league.

But two of their victories came at the expense of San Miguel and TNT.

gameface_one
12-23-2006, 07:41 AM
Tigers drub Realtors


By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 03:20am (Mla time) 12/23/2006

Published on page A18 of the December 23, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE Coca-Cola Tigers played hard in a game that meant little for them to score a 90-85 thrashing last night over Sta. Lucia that could prove bothersome for the Realtors in the fight for semifinal slots.

Starting guard John Arigo scored 16 of his 23 points in the final period, going 12-of-12 from the stripe at the Araneta Coliseum to lead a torrid finish by the Tigers, who closed out their elimination round with a 5-13 card.

For the Realtors, who paced the tournament way past the halfway stage, they would have to pray that Barangay Ginebra, already in the semifinals like San Miguel, turns back Talk ‘N Text on Christmas to avoid complications of a playoff.

Coca-Cola and Sta. Lucia have been on opposite ends for most part of PBA Philippine Cup.

Coca-Cola, which occupied the tail of the pack until a long losing streak did newcomer Welcoat in, did not need to win last night’s game as its chances of advancing to the quarterfinals depended on a sweep of the wildcard phase.

Should the Phone Pals win on Monday, and Purefoods loses to Alaska at press time, Sta. Lucia would be dragged into a playoff for the third automatic quarterfinal berth, with the Phone Pals drawing a bye due to a superior quotient.

The only way for the Realtors—who have lost six of their last eight games after going 8-2 in their first 10—to avoid the wildcard is for Ginebra to win in the 5 p.m. game on Monday.

Coca-Cola surprisingly took control from the get-go last night before pulling out the stops it needed in the stretch to eke out the victory.

From 75-all, Arigo scored in clusters, hitting a running jumper first before four straight free throws sandwiched an Ali Peek basket that made it 83-80 heading into the final 28.5 seconds.

Realtor Paolo Mendoza then passed up on a triple attempt, which Ronnie Bughao later took and missed, leading to two Peek free throws that allowed the Tigers to put the game to bed, 85-80, 21.9 left.

The scores:

COCA-COLA 90—Arigo 23, Peek 19, Miranda 17, Antonio 14, Caceres 9, Misolas 7, Gavino 1, Pacana 0, Yeo 0, Salangsang 0, Ferreria 0.

STA. LUCIA 85—Williams 26, Bughao 16, Mendoza 12, Espino 6, Gonzales 6, Duremdes 5, Isip 4, Aquino 4, Catli 3, Cabagnot 2, Calimag 1, Omolon 0.

Quarters: 19-15, 43-35, 58-57, 90-85.

gameface_one
12-23-2006, 07:45 AM
Tigers stall Realtors bid for quarters
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 12/23/2006

Coca-Cola played with grit and guts in a game and foiled Sta. Lucia Realty’s bid for outright entry into the quarterfinals with a 90-85 victory in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

The Tigers fought with great resolve in their final game in the year and aided the Talk n Text Phone Pals in their own quarterfinals aspiration by derailing the Realtors.

With the Realtors closing their classification-round stint with 10 wins against eight losses, the Phone Pals could pull even as they take on the Barangay Ginebra Kings on Christmas Day.

"The game had no more bearing in our standing but we wanted to come out strong and enjoy playing together as a team," said Coca-Cola coach Binky Favis.

The Tigers finished ninth in the prelims with a 5-13 record.

They face a tremendous task of having to win four straight games to make it to the quarterfinals. They first need to sweep three games in the wildcard phase to get a crack at the playoff.

"It’s going to be tough for us to get into the quarters. But for as long as we have a game to play, we’ll go out and play together as a team," said Favis.

gameface_one
12-24-2006, 11:22 AM
Lull before storm
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 12/24/2006

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) takes a rest today before returning with a bang via a Christmas doubleheader at the Araneta Coliseum tomorrow.

It’s unusual not to watch a PBA twinbill on a Sunday but I’m sure commissioner Noli Eala’s idea of calling a lull before the storm to celebrate Christmas Eve is much appreciated by the fans.

Besides, playing on Christmas Day has become an institution of sorts in the pro league. And Christmas Day crowds are traditionally overflowing.

It’s also unusual for the PBA to play games on Christmas Day at the Big Dome. The Cuneta Astrodome was the setting for past Christmas Day games because the Araneta Coliseum was always booked for a show like a Disney On Ice or whatever. Luckily, the Cubao hoophouse is free for the PBA tomorrow and that’s a treat in itself.

In fact, Eala is offering a triple treat for fans.

First, there’s the excitement of watching two blockbuster games, one of which will decide if Talk ‘N’ Text will make it to the quarterfinals outright or not. Second, there’s the treat of watching the games at the Araneta Coliseum which is a far better venue than the Astrodome. And third, there’s the can’t-miss offer of watching the games at no charge from the upper box B and general admission sections.

The first game is scheduled at 2:30 p.m. (the early tip-off will allow families to enjoy Christmas Day dinner without distractions) and pits outright semifinal qualifier San Miguel Beer (12-5) against wildcard contender Air21 (7-10).

The Express is out to snap a two-game losing streak, something coach Bo Perasol is determined to do because of the carry-over wildcard rule. Four teams are playing a round-robin schedule in the wildcard series starting Jan. 5. Air21, Alaska (8-10) and Coca-Cola (5-13) are assured of wildcard slots. The fourth ticket will go to either Talk ‘N’ Text or Sta. Lucia Realty, whichever falls out of the quarterfinal race.

Despite its lowly record, Coca-Cola has an outside chance of surviving the wildcard series and barging into the quarters. That’s because of the incentive rule where a team that sweeps its wildcard assignments gains an automatic playoff for a quarters ticket assuming it doesn’t wind up No. 1 in the elimination series.

As for San Miguel, coach Chot Reyes is looking to extend the Beermen’s win skein to seven in a row. He’ll play it cool for sure because win or lose, San Miguel is safely in the semis. But Reyes is unforgiving when it comes to trying to nail a win, no matter what’s at stake. Besides, there’s the juicy possibility of San Miguel tying Ginebra at the top of the heap (if Ginebra loses to Talk ‘N’ Text).

A bonus treat is watching Danny Seigle and Lordy Tugade engage slam dunk king Niño Canaleta, prized rookie Arwind Santos and versatile Ranidel de Ocampo in a shootout.

The second game features Ginebra San Miguel (13-4) against the Phone Pals (9-8). The Kings are the league’s No. 1 team with a semis berth in their pocket. Like San Miguel, Ginebra is out to stretch its winning streak to eight straight. No team relishes the thought of entering the semis on a losing note so expect San Miguel and Ginebra to go all out to treat their fans with a victory.

As for Talk ‘N’ Text, a win will mean outright entry into the quarters and avoiding the danger of playing in the wildcard survivor series.

If the Phone Pals beat Ginebra, they finish the eliminations with a 10-8 record, tying Sta. Lucia and Purefoods. The possible three-way tie will be broken by a knockout game between the two lower-quotient teams. The team with the highest quotient gains safe passage to the quarterfinals by virtue of a bye.

In a three-way tie, Talk ‘N’ Text will automatically enter the quarterfinals with a superior plus-4 quotient. Purefoods (plus-3) and Sta. Lucia (minus-7) will play for the third outright quarterfinals slot in a knockout game on Jan. 3, if necessary.

That means the Phone Pals’ reward for beating Ginebra tomorrow is an outright ticket to the quarters and the penalty for losing is dropping to the wildcard series. Obviously, Talk ‘N’ Text will come out with guns blazing tomorrow.

To gift-wrap the holiday treat, the PBA is opening the upper box B and general admission sections free to the public. Fans won’t even need to shell out P5 for a ticket — they’ll be allowed to enter the Big Dome at no charge with a proof of purchase of any product of the league’s 10 teams (bottle caps of Ginebra San Miguel, San Miguel Beer, Coca-Cola and Red Bull will be accepted).

It’s fitting that the double-round eliminations will end with a bang tomorrow. Ginebra and San Miguel have qualified for the semifinals outright while Welcoat (3-15) will take a vacation to prepare for the next conference as the only team scratched out of contention. Red Bull (11-7) has locked up an automatic quarters slot and will be joined in the best-of-5 phase by three others, one of which will be the survivor of the wildcard series.

Both the finals and the semifinals will be best-of-7 affairs.

There’s no better way for the PBA to wish one and all a Merry Christmas than its big holiday doubleheader at the Big Dome tomorrow. Let’s all enjoy the triple treat!

gameface_one
12-24-2006, 11:29 AM
PBA shuts door on one-sided trade deals


By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 05:21am (Mla time) 12/24/2006

Published on page A22 of the December 24, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GAMES TOMORROW (Araneta Coliseum)
2:30 p.m. —Air21 vs San Miguel
5 p.m. —Barangay Ginebra vs Talk ’N Text

TO prevent marquee players from being shipped to teams for a song like several recent transactions, the Office of the PBA Commissioner yesterday finally secured approval for a guideline that would curb one-sided deals from ever happening again.

Commissioner Noli Eala is expected to draw up a Restricted Trading List that will be comprised of players who can be traded only for those also in the list.

These players will be ranked based on their skills (statistical points rankings), longevity (years of playing), salaries and marketability.

“After months of deliberation, the Board of Governors has agreed to pass the proposal to create the RTL with the objective of ensuring a fair and balanced trading among teams,” Eala said in a statement issued yesterday.

This guideline is an obvious offshoot of at least two lopsided trades that happened before and during the on-going Philippine Cup, when sister teams Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel beefed up their respective rosters by giving up practically nothing in return.

Billy Mamaril, Rafi Reavis and the rights to Rudy Hatfield were acquired by the Gin Kings through Air21, which acted as the conduit to the trade since Coca-Cola is a sister team of Ginebra, Purefoods and San Miguel. Sister teams are barred from, directly engaging in trades among each other.

Ginebra gave up third-string players Khalani Ferreria, Ervin Sotto, Manny Ramos and Aris Dimaunahan and future draft rights to the Express to get the trio of stars, a deal that raised many eyebrows among the other members but one which was approved by Eala just the same.

“Although it was not a perfect trade, Eala emphasized (that) it was legal,” said the statement.

San Miguel, meanwhile, acquired Romel Adducul and Lordy Tugade in a three-team deal which had the Beermen giving up only reserve guard Paolo Hubalde and their first and second round picks for next year’s Draft.

Aside from eliminating the perception of one-sided trades or outright cash buys-outs of players, the RTL also ensures that no team can load up on marquee players while likewise guaranteeing the marketability of all ball clubs.

gameface_one
12-24-2006, 11:30 AM
IN HUDDLE
Jinggoy makes basketball unification possible


By Beth Celis
Inquirer
Last updated 05:23am (Mla time) 12/24/2006

Published on page A23 of the December 24, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

BAP PRESIDENT Sen. Jinggoy Estrada was inside a taxicab in Hong Kong when he made the official announcement yesterday afternoon.

The BAP and the SBP have just reached an accord, he said, at long last unifying Philippine basketball.

It happened right there at the Crown Colony, chilly at this time of the year, last Friday, after Jinggoy was given the go-signal by the Sandiganbayan to travel “on an urgent matter.”

* * *

Jinggoy arrived in Hong Kong Friday morning, had lunch with former Ateneo batchmate Al Panlilio of PLDT one-on-one at noon, then had dinner later in the day with PLDT/SBP chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, PBA chairman Ricky Vargas and Al at the Peking Kitchen.

Al was a schoolmate of the senator in elementary and high school. They are close friends, with Jinggoy often sleeping overnight at the Panlilios. They also played basketball together.

Who is the better cager?

“Al’s definitely taller, but I’m the better dribbler,” Jinggoy joked.

* * *

After the sumptuous Chinese lauriat and the serious talks that went with it, everybody stood and shook hands to seal the fate of Philippine basketball. For the better.

“We’ve agreed for MVP to be president, with me as chairman and Ricky Vargas as my vice,” said Jinggoy.

Air 21’s Lito Alvarez has been offered the post of treasurer and Al Panlilio, the most coveted executive directorship.

“Sana huwag namang magalit yung mga kasama ko sa BAP sa ginawa kong desisyon. I had no choice but to abide by the Tokyo communiqué.”

Jinggoy said he had to make a sacrifice to unite basketball, so we can move forward, have the Fiba ban lifted, and compete internationally.

“Hindi naman para sa akin ito kundi para sa bayan at ang libu-libong mga taong nagmasmahal sa basketball. I have nothing to gain from it personally.”

Jinggoy was scheduled to fly out of Hong Kong, 6 p.m. yesterday, headed for Manila.

* * *

With this development, two basketball personalities, among my long list of respondents, immediately got their Christmas wish.

One of them is Harbour Centre’s Mikee Romero who asked Santa for the unification of Philippine basketball, “and for the country to have a strong representation in international competitions, perhaps even winning several titles.”

The second is Ricky Vargas who also wished for unity in basketball, a successful PBA season and “a long family vacation to bond and recharge with my wife, kids and my grand daughter Julia.”

Mikee’s second wish is for his PBL team “to have the heart and the willingness to win a back-to-back PBL championship.”

Perhaps Ricky’s fourth but silent wish is also for his PBA team to win a second title, only he was a bit shy to say it.

* * *

HOOPVINE: Some people have reported sightings of former Ateneo cager Japeth Aguilar who’s supposed to be enrolled in a division l USNCAA school. This went on for sometime, until one of our more veteran scribes decided to call Japeth’s father Peter in the United States to check. Peter said Japeth never left the US. Ever heard of the Dopelganger? It could be Japeth’s double that has been materializing here in Manila, perhaps due to an intense desire to return to the Philippines. Maybe... Like his namesake, Mon Fernandez is also an MVP at PLDT, “for Most Valuable Personnel.” The PLDT version of El Presidente has been appointed alternate governor of Talk ‘N Text... In line with his “Pencil ni Duncil” project, Kettle Korn’s Jojo Duncil gave away 1,000 pencils and calendars to the pupils of Seundo Esguerra Elementary School in Dampol, Pulilan, Bulacan.

gameface_one
12-25-2006, 11:23 PM
Beermen slow down Express
abs-cbnnews.com

San Miguel Beer ended its classification phase with a bang, surviving Air21’s furious comeback for 108-104 win Monday in the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Already assured of a semifinals seat after securing the No. 2 spot a few days ago, the Beermen still went for the kill and used their bench to pull away. The Express unleashed their last ditch stand in the final quarter to no avail and absorbed their third straight loss for a disappointing 7-11 mark.

San Miguel finished its round at 13-5, an impressive feat for the team that started the All-Filipino tournament with three straight defeats.

Beermen coach Chot Reyes now faces a daunting task of keeping the team in shape and motivated come semifinals, as the team will be out of game competition for at least a month.

“The break is a bit too long. I entered unchartered territory in my career for the first time,” said Reyes who made two separate deals in the mid-conference to boost their chances in the tournament. Romel Adducul and Lordy Tugade came in the team via separate trades with Ginebra and Red Bull respectively.

The two starred in the win as Tugade finished with 19 and 6 rebounds while Adducul churned in 16 markers and 13 boards.

“I’m already trying to get tune-up games because no matter how hard we practice, we need game situations,” he added.

“But it is incumbent for the top two teams to make the best out of the break because no matter how hard we try, we’re going to be rusty.”

San Miguel led by as much as 27 points, 57-30, before the Express, led by Gary David and Yance de Ocampo, unloaded the rally and threatened at 94-99, 3:39 left in the game.

But the wards of Reyes responded with a crucial 8-2 run to distance at 107-96 before Air21 made another surge, this time an 8-0 blast capped by Wynnie Arboleda’s three-pointer to trim the lead to 104-107, 27 ticks remaining.

The Express had a chance to send the game in overtime when San Miguel turned the next possession with a five-second inbound violation but Yancy and Ranidel de Ocampo’s three-point attempts missed the mark.

Adducul collared the defensive board and sealed the win with a split.

gameface_one
12-26-2006, 03:49 PM
Phone Pals crush Kings, gain q’finals


By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 03:14am (Mla time) 12/26/2006

Published on page A21 of the December 26, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

IT really was not the most wonderful time of the year for a lot yesterday.

Especially for two teams that did not even play, and most of 18,000 fans who filled the Araneta Coliseum for the final elimination round playdate of the Talk ‘N Text Philippine Cup.

This, after a grimly determined Talk ‘N Text side bombarded crowd-darling Barangay Ginebra from inside and out in the second half last night to run away with a 115-104 victory that shoved the Phone Pals into the quarterfinals.

The powerhouse Phone Pals played true to form, flaunting complete control when it mattered most to extend their mastery of the elimination round topnotchers Kings and close out their sked with a 10-8 slate.

The TNT win pushed Purefoods and Sta. Lucia into a playoff for the No. 5 spot.

The defending champion Chunkee Giants and the Realtors actually were the first to chalk up 10-8 tallies, but lost in the quotient system to TNT.

The loser of the Purefoods-Sta. Lucia playoff will join Alaska, Air21 and Coca-Cola in the wildcard phase.

Ren-Ren Ritualo came off the bench at a critical moment late in the third period to score 19 of his 20 points and fuel the Talk ‘N Text breakaway that hushed a stunned SRO crowd.

Harvey Carey and Asi Taulava, meanwhile, did their damage inside the paint and the rest of the team made the Phone Pals look so good because of the way they ran the break and played a floating zone defense that befuddled the Kings.

“We had to come out really strong,” coach Derrick Pumaren later said. “The boys really wanted to win this game and this impresses me because we finally won a game that we needed to win.”

With the Phone Pals ahead by just two, 71-69, Ritualo scored seven straight points and helped Talk ‘N Text close out the period with an 85-78 lead.

He then had three triples and all of his 12 fourth quarter points in the first five minutes of the payoff frame as the Phone Pals dropped a 19-5 bomb for a 104-83 lead with 6:54 to go.

San Miguel closed out its elimination round schedule earlier with a 13-5 card after holding off a hard-finishing Air21, 108-104.

The Beermen opened up hot to lead by 27 points late in the second period and still salvaged the win despite finishing cold.

The scores:

First Game

SAN MIGUEL 108—Tugade 19, Adducul 16, Seigle 16, Espinas 12, Ildefonso 11, Pena 11, Racela 9, Tenorio 6, Hontiveros 4, Wilson 2, Calaguio 2, Gonzales 0.

AIR21 104—David 34, Canaleta 18, Y. De Ocampo 14, Santos 7, Telan 7, Arboleda 7, Sotto 2, Billones 2, Avenido 2, Dimaunahan 0, Bernardo 0.

Quarters: 34-20, 63-40, 81-69, 108-104.

Second Game

TALK ’N TEXT 115—Carey 21, Cardona 20, Ritualo 20, Taulava 19, Pablo 10, Washington 9, Alapag 6, Noble 5, Belano 3, Allado 2.

BARANGAY GINEBRA 104—Helterbrand 29, reavis 17, Salvacion 16, Caguioa 16, Hatfield 12, Menk 6, Abarrientos 6, Macapagal 2, Holper 0, Tubid 0, Mamaril 0, Seigle 0.

Quarters: 29-27, 50-49, 85-78, 115-104.

gameface_one
12-26-2006, 03:50 PM
Hot Pals get Christmas wish: quarterfinal berth
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 12/26/2006

The Talk n Text Phone Pals brought their A-game in a crucial Christmas Day showdown with the Barangay Ginebra Kings, pulling off an emphatic 115-104 win to gain outright entry into the Talk n Text PBA quarterfinals at the jampacked Araneta Coliseum yesterday.

Asi Taulava had a huge double-double game while Renren Ritualo found his old shooting touch in the second half, and the Pals broke away from a tight contest going through the wildcard round.

After struggling for a single point in the first half, Ritualo erupted for 19 points in the last two quarters, starring in key runs that had Talk n Text stopping Ginebra’s remarkable seven-game streak.

Duplicating their 113-98 decision over the Kings in their previous tiff, the Pals nailed the second quarterfinals seat, leaving the Sta. Lucia Realtors and the Purefoods Chunkee Giants to dispute the last berth in a playoff on Jan. 3.

The three teams closed out their classification-round stint with identical 10-8 win-loss cards. Talk n Text gained fourth seeding behind Ginebra (13-5), San Miguel (13-5) and Red Bull (11-7) on superior quotient in the tiebreak.

Before a Christmas Day crowd of over 17,000, the Pals played a fiery game with five of them finishing in double figures led by Harvey Carey with 21. Ritualo and Mark Cardona fired 20 apiece, Taulava had 19 points and 18 rebounds while Vic Pablo chipped in 10 points and four assists.

"Talagang merry ang Christmas," said Talk n Text coach Derrick Pumaren. "We’re already ready to play in the wildcard round but we’re given Christmas presents by Alaska Milk and Coca-Cola."

In the first game, San Miguel Beer closed out its prelims stint with a seventh straight win, bucking Gary David’s career-high 34-point output in toppling Air21, 108-104.

The Beermen got off to a blazing start but tapered off in the second half, needing crucial defensive stops at endgame for the win and a 13-5 record at the end of the classification round.

With an outright seat in the Final Four, the Beermen will take a month-long rest before returning into action in the semifinals.

"I like the fact that we’re in the semis but I don’t want the fact that we’re taking a long break," said San Miguel coach Chot Reyes. "It’s a bit too long. No matter how hard and energized your practice is going to be, you’ll miss game situations, the speed of the game, the audience, the lights. No matter how we try, we’ll come in rusty."

full battle gear
12-27-2006, 07:32 AM
Pro league eyes QC, Taguig as site for new PBA dome


Inquirer
Last updated 03:28am (Mla time) 12/27/2006

Published on page A23 of the December 27, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE Philippine Basketball Association plans to build its own coliseum soon either in Quezon City or Taguig City.

League officials said the choice has been narrowed down to the sprawling vacant lot near the Manila Seedling Bank in Quezon City and the Global City in Taguig.

Taguig Mayor Freddie Tinga offered the Global City site during a recent meeting with PBA commissioner Noli Eala.

“At present, Quezon City has the edge in proximity and accessibility,” Eala said. “We’ll have no problem there with regards to transportation, especially because of the MRT.

“Mayor Tinga, however, said they have a program which deals with transportation. In three years, the mayor said everything will be in place.”

“This has been the PBA’s dream for a long time,” said PBA boar chair Ricky Vargas of Talk ‘N Text. “It’s about time that we go for it.

Smart and PLDT chair Manny V. Pangilinan has already acquired dome designs and is now consulting with architects, according to league sources.

full battle gear
12-27-2006, 07:33 AM
Miller is new ace of Aces as Alaska rises


Inquirer
Last updated 03:28am (Mla time) 12/27/2006

Published on page A24 of the December 27, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

BEING a former PBA Most Valuable Player, Willie Miller is not supposed to go unmarked when soaring.

Yet that’s precisely what the 5-foot-11 guard has been doing, flying under the radar, and in the process stoking Alaska’s drive to go farther in the Talk ‘N Text PBA Philippine Cup.

In the past week alone, the league’s best in 2002 stacked up the numbers, leading the Aces to two wins going into the wild-card phase.

“He was putting up some big numbers and I was wondering if anyone would take notice,” said Alaska coach Tim Cone of Miller.

Members of the PBA Press Corps didn’t miss Miller’s exploits and named him its Accel-Talk ‘N Text Player of the Week for the period Dec. 18-Dec. 25.

It was the second such citation bestowed on Miller, who also earned the honor for the period Nov. 20-26. He joined two-time winners Mark Caguioa and Rudy Hatfield of Barangay Ginebra and Danny Seigle of San Miguel Beer.

Cone believes that Miller, who was moved to the starting point guard role, deserves the award.

“He’s playing as well—or better than—his MVP year,” said Cone.

In the 96-90 win over Welcoat last Dec. 20, Miller had 24 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two blocks and a steal.

The Olongapo native followed that up with a near-triple double of 25 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds as the Aces wound up the qualification round with their third straight win, a hard-earned 96-92 overtime decision over Purefoods Chunkee.

With that winning skein, the Aces wound up with eight wins against 10 losses—the record they will be carrying over to the wild-card round starting in January.

The wild card is a single round robin format among the sixth- to ninth-placed teams to determine the fourth and final semifinalist.

Alaska’s carryover record puts it at seventh, two games behind either Purefoods or Sta. Lucia Realty, who wound up with 10-8 slates and will be playing off on Jan. 3 to determine who will be relegated to the wild card.

As things stand, the Aces’ hopes are pinned mostly on sweeping the wild card and winning the playoff game against the team that emerges with a better record.

Cone knows exactly what Miller’s role will be for the squad in the next phase.

“The important thing for us right now is getting through the wild card,” said Cone. “Willie will play a big part in that.”

gameface_one
12-28-2006, 08:58 AM
PBA gate receipts hit new high

By NELSON BELTRAN
The Philippine Star

The Philippine Basketball Association is well on its way to attaining "20-20 vision" this season, judging from its gate receipts and attendance.

The league earned P23,867,861 in ticket sales in the double-round classification phase of the All-Filipino tourney, getting 18.44 percent increase in gate receipts and 20.42 percent in attendance from last year.

During the same stretch of the 2005-06 Philippine Cup, the league grossed P20,151,855 in ticket sales.

The league has been attracting an average paying crowd of 7,062 in the current tourney, compared to 5,866 every game date in the last All-Filipino.

The big Christmas Day crowd of 17,779 that watched the doubleheader between San Miguel and Air21 and Barangay Ginebra against Talk ‘N Text is a record for this conference.

"We’re very pleased at the way the league has been performing early into the season," said PBA commissioner Noli Eala. "Rest assured that we’ll continue to give basketball fans more quality games as we enter the year 2007."

The significant gains achieved in both gate receipts and attendance augur well for the league’s objective of increasing last season’s live gate attendance and league income by 20 percent. PBA board chairman Ricky Vargas calls it the league’s "20/20 vision" this season.

In setting that goal, Vargas and the other PBA officials are also looking forward to break the league’s all-time record in gate receipts and attendance posted during the 1996 season.

The tourney is expected to attract even bigger crowds as it enters the playoff phase in January.

Games resume on Jan. 3 with Sta. Lucia Realty and Purefoods clashing in a playoff for the third and last outright seat in the quarterfinals.

The winner joins Red Bull and Talk n Text in the quarters while the loser will be relegated into the wildcard round with Alaska Milk, Air21 and Coca-Cola.

The four teams in the wildcard round carry over their prelims record in a one-round-robin battle. The best team in the wildcard advances to the quarters versus Red Bull. Talk n Text clashes with either Sta. Lucia or Purefoods in the other best-of-five quarterfinals matchup.

Ginebra San Miguel and San Miguel Beer gained automatic seeding in the semifinals by topping the classifications with identical 13-5 win-loss cards.

gameface_one
12-28-2006, 09:00 AM
Yancy, Avenido return to Talk ‘N Text via trade
abs-cbnnews.com


To give more playing time to two its mainstays—one a blooming impact player and the other a slotman expected to reach his full potential—the Air21 Express on Wednesday traded Yancy de Ocampo and Leo Avenido to the Talk ’N Text Phone Pals in favor of Abby Santos and Mark Andaya and two first-round picks in 2009 and 2010.

The post-Christmas trade, said Air21 team manager and president Lito Alvarez, was initiated to give more playing time to Express hotshot Gary David and to Mark Telan and the comebacking Homer Se.

David and Avenido are fighting for the same playing time, while Telan and Se will now alternately man the slot with the departure of de Ocampo, who is being sent to the Phone Pals for the second time after the Express took him back from TNT last season.

“David is playing his finest basketball in his career and the coaching staff is 100 percent behind him in our efforts to make him one of our franchise players,” said Alvarez. “I think he deserves more playing time.”

“As for Telan and Se, I believe they have what it takes to fill the void left off by Yancy. I think this trade is beneficial to both of our teams,” Alvarez added.

Air21 is currently at 8th spot in the standings, but is upbeat of its chances of advancing to the quarterfinals with its current crop of players, led by the exciting KG Cañaleta and David. The Manila Times

gameface_one
12-29-2006, 10:30 AM
Long rest may hurt Beermen, Gin Kings



By WAYLON GALVEZ
mb.com.ph

THEY MAY have earned outright semifinal berths, but the long layoff could cause some problems for Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer.



The Gin Kings and the Beermen both had their final games last Christmas Day.

SMB defeated Air21, 108-104, while Ginebra lost to Talk ’N Text, 104-115 as the two San Miguel Corporation-owned teams finished with similar 13-5 cards at the end of the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup classification phase.

But while they will enjoy watching seven other teams disputing the two other semifinals berths in two different phases, their month-long break could put rust in their armor. They are billed to see action only either late January or early February.

The Final Four schedule will depend on how long the pair of best-of-five quarterfinal series would last.

"It rewards the excellence and hard work of the (two) teams, but it’s a bit too long," said SMB coach Chot Reyes, referring to the break. "Maybe we’ll get some tune-up games, instead of just practicing. Because no matter how hard we practice, playing is totally different."

Already assured of automatic quarters slots are Red Bull (11-7) and Talk ’N Text, which finished tied at 10-8 with Sta. Lucia Realty and defending champion Purefoods Chunkee but moved to the next round because of a superior quotient.

The Realtors and the Giants will meet in a playoff match on Jan. 3 at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City to determine the third automatic quarters seat, with the loser relegated to the wild card stage together with Alaska (8-10), Air21 (7-11) and Coca-Cola (5-13).

The wild card phase, where elimination round records will be carried over, starts Jan. 5.

The four teams will play in a single round robin, or a total of 12 games, with the top team moving to the quarterfinals. The team that sweeps its three games, however, will earn a playoff game against the No. 1 team for the last quarterfinal slot.

"It’s good that we’re in the semis, but we have to find ways that will keep us in shape and in game condition," said Ginebra mentor Jong Uichico. "We can’t do anything about it. It’s an advantage because we can rest, but it could be a disadvantage too. So we have to continue working hard."

The Kings’ setback opposite the Phone Pals ended a seven-game winning streak, the most for the franchise in 10 years.

gameface_one
12-31-2006, 10:13 PM
SMC sells share in Coke; disbandment looms

BY NELSON BELTRAN
The Philippine Star

San Miguel Corp. will have to decide whether to keep the rights on the Coca-Cola franchise in the Philippine Basketball Association in next few months following its sale of its 65-percent stake in Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils. Inc. (CCBPI) to Atlanta-based parent Coca-Cola Co. for $590 million.

The Philippine Stock Exchange was informed Friday of the sale which will be completed upon compliance by SMC and Coca-Cola Co. of the transition service program and cooperation agreement for a maximum of 18 months.

Within that period, the SMC management has to decide whether the PBA franchise would be included in the deal.

SMC basketball operations chief Robert Non said the management has yet to discuss the matter though he expected a decision could be made only after the ongoing PBA All-Filipino tournament.

There were speculations San Miguel would keep the franchise through another SMC subsidiary that will take over Coca-Cola after the completion of the sale.

The giant food and beverage conglomerate has three other PBA ball clubs in San Miguel Beer, Ginebra San Miguel and Purefoods Chunkee.

Before the current season started, word went around that Coca-Cola would soon disband as the club management sent key players Rudy Hatfield, Rafi Reavis, Billy Mamaril and Johnny Abarrientos to Ginebra.

The management also transferred coach Chot Reyes to San Miguel then took in coach Binky Favis who formed a ragtag team composed mostly of rookies and free agents.

The Tigers finished ninth place in the Philippine Cup double-round classification phase, barely avoiding early exit in the tourney.

Coca-Cola took over the Pop Cola franchise in 2002 after CCBPI purchased the Cosmos Bottling Corp. from the RFM Group of Companies.

Under coach Reyes and with Abarrientos, Reavis, Ato Morano, Jeffrey Cariaso and Rudy Hatfield among his key players, the Coca-Cola ball club made history by winning a title right in its first year in the league.

The Tigers pulled the rug from under the Alaska Milk Aces in the All-Filipino finals while playing the whole title series with Cariaso, Cris Bolado and Estong Ballesteros sidelined by injuries. Abarrientos missed the last three games after suffering fracture on his right cheekbone in a freak accident in the series opener.

Reyes won another title the succeeding tourney then steered the Tigers two more final appearances — achievements that weighed heavily as he was appointed to call the shots for the national training pool.

With Reyes on loan to the RP pool, Coca-Cola, however, went on a downhill ride starting in 2004.

gameface_one
12-31-2006, 10:26 PM
Coca-Cola: No disbandment despite sale
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 01/01/2007

The Coca-Cola ball club is here to stay despite San Miguel Corp.’s sale of its 65-percent stake in Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils. Inc to Atlanta-based parent Coca-Cola Co.

A reliable source ruled out disbandment with both SMC and Coca-Cola treasuring membership in the country’s premier pro league.

According to the same source, Coca-Cola Co. might take over the franchise management or transfer the rights to another SMC subsidiary. The second option, however, is subject to the approval of the PBA board.

That procedure has a precedent in the transfer of the Lapanday Holdings Inc. franchise to Piltel Inc. Lapanday used to run the Pepsi- Cola ball club, the forerunner of the Talk n Text Phone Pals.

The fact that the Coca-Cola has yet to inform the PBA Commissioner’s Office of an impending fold-up is a guarantee that the team is here to stay, The STAR source said.

Under the PBA by-laws, a disbanding ball club must give the league a one-year notice.

SMC has a number of subsidiaries to be tapped to take over Coca-Cola. Among them are Magnolia Ice Cream and Viva Mineral Water which SMC carried in the PBL.

SMC sold its stake in the Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils. to Coca-Cola International for $590 million. The deal will be completed upon compliance by both parties of the transition and cooperation agreement for a maximum of 18 months.

The Coca-Cola PBA franchise is among things to be discussed in the transition and cooperation agreement. The STAR source, however, stressed the ball club would stay.

"A PBA franchise is now worth around P100 million. They won’t waste it," the source said.

The Tigers themselves have been assured of their continued stint in the PBA. The team is to figure in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup wildcard round starting Jan. 5.

The Tigers slug it out with the Alaska Milk Aces, the Air21 Express and either the Sta. Lucia Realtors or the Purefoods Chunkee Giants in the wildcard plays.

SMC’s two other ball clubs in Ginebra San Miguel and San Miguel Beer topped the double-round classification phase with identical 13-5 win-loss records, gaining outright entry into the semifinals.

Red Bull and Talk n Text, which finished third and fourth in the preliminaries, clinched automatic slots in the quarterfinals. Purefoods and Sta. Lucia dispute the last outright seat in the quarters in a playoff on Wednesday, at 7 p.m., at the Astrodome.

gameface_one
01-01-2007, 02:17 AM
No holidays, just gym work, for Giants, Realtors



Inquirer
Last updated 01:49am (Mla time) 01/01/2007

Published on page A23 of the January 1, 2007 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GAME WEDNESDAY
(Cuneta Astrodome)
7 p.m.—Purefoods vs Sta. Lucia

BOTH camps admit they only have only themselves to blame for their disappointing finishes in the classification round of the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup.

As a form of self-punishment, they spent the holidays in the gym.

Cancelled were the short trips to the United States for the Fil-Ams and out-of-town vacations for the homegrown players.

The Purefoods Chunkee Giants and the Sta. Lucia Realtors are toiling in the gym this Yuletide season as the two teams prepare for a game that will decide the last outright quarterfinalist in the PBA’s centerpiece event. The loser will join the Alaska Aces, Air 21 Express and the Coca-Cola Tigers in the wild-card phase.

The 7 p.m. playoff, set at the Cuneta Astrodome, is something that Purefoods and Sta. Lucia could have avoided by just winning one of their last two games.

The Giants and the Realtors, however, insist they’ve put their follies behind them, and both look forward to redemption in the setto scheduled on Jan. 3.

“It’s now a reality that we have to face,” said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua. “We’ve been working hard in practice and we’ll give it our best shot.”

Said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio: “We don’t talk about the past, we just look forward to coming out hard on Jan. 3.”

Chua and Gregorio expect a tough battle, just like their first two games that were decided by no more than four points.

“Our two victories were far from convincing,” said Gregorio as he acknowledged the fact that his Giants went through the proverbial eye of the needle to win both games. “Both boiled down to endgame executions. We could be in for another tough game.”

But a healthier Marc Pingris could give the Giants tremendous boost. Pingris, still recuperating from a bout with amoebiasis, struggled in their last game against Alaska Milk.

“My doctor didn’t want me to play, but I wanted to help the team,” said Pingris.

The reigning Most Improved Player has a job cut out for him versus Sta. Lucia’s prized rookie Kelly Williams, who’s been averaging 16.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.

Other key match-ups in this contest are Dennis Espino versus Kerby Raymundo, Marlou Aquino against Jun Limpot, Kenneth Duremdes versus James Yap, and Paolo Mendoza against Roger Yap.

gameface_one
01-01-2007, 02:18 AM
PRO LEAGUE IN 2006
PBA on track to recapturing its old magic



Inquirer
Last updated 01:49am (Mla time) 01/01/2007

Published on page A23 of the January 1, 2007 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE Philippine Basketball Association scaled new heights on a year many thought would be another tough season for Asia’s first play-for-pay league.

Significant improvements in gate receipts, live attendance and television ratings were achieved, re-establishing the league as the best sports-marketing tool in the country.

A phenomenal increase of more than 74 percent in live attendance marked the league’s rejuvenation with more than 314,000 turning up for the games in several Metro Manila venues compared with 423,000 last year.

That increase gave the league an average of 6,647 fans per game, an increase of about 63.15 percent compared with the 2004-05 season. Though it was not the league’s all-time high, the figure was easily the biggest since 1997.

Free to fans

A total net income of more than P77 million doubled last season’s P37 million take, this despite the fact that the league had opened several sections of venues on special days free to its fans.

Total revenues also increased by P26 million, from P157 million to P183 million.

“The gains we built the past year are just part of the PBA’s resurrection,” said last season’s board chair Ely Capacio of San Miguel Beer, whose goal of bringing the crowd back at season’s start is starting to bear fruits.

“The fundamentals were laid down by my predecessors and my job, with the help of my fellow governors, was merely to follow up on them and back them up by passing certain policies and procedures,” said the mild-mannered former player-turned-corporate executive.

“Remember, I was just a ninth of the entire board. With the cooperation of the entire board (of governors), we were able to see the light.”

New season format

Up there was where the PBA was headed.

League commissioner Noli Eala institutionalized a season format of two conferences, from its usual three, resolved different controversial issues, made a clear stance on where the PBA stands as far as the national team is concerned, and kept an eye out for expansion without sacrificing the playing field.

Along the way, a fruitful deal with ABC-5 was locked into place and official games were held overseas.

The draft, pre-season exhibition games and All-Star Weekend have also turned into highly visible and marketable events.

On court, Purefoods and Red Bull provided the thrill, rising beyond the more established and star-laden ball clubs to become the face of the PBA season.

Clutch Game 7 win

The Barakos drew first blood by beating the Giants in six games of the import-laced Fiesta Conference finals, claiming their third championship in five years. The title run included a clutch Game 7 win over favorite Barangay Ginebra in the semifinals.

A conference later, Purefoods evened things up, bagging the Philippine Cup at the expense of Red Bull as it clinched the title in six games of the series. Making the victory sweet for the Giants was their amazing comeback from a 1-3 deficit against the Alaska Aces in the semifinals.

From team success came individual feats.

James Yap was the biggest winner, bagging Most Valuable Player honors over teammate Kerby Raymundo and Red Bull’s Enrico Villanueva, both of whom figured in a tightly fought race for the Best Player of the Conference award (Fiesta Cup).

19 straight games

Danny Seigle also had his share, scoring 20-plus points in 19 straight games to win Best Player honors in the Philippine Cup, Larry Fonacier became the lowest-drafted player in 15 years to win Rookie of the Year, Ryan Gregorio was chosen Coach of the Year by the PBA Press Corps and Jun Limpot finally won a league title after 13 seasons.

It was not all roses for the league, however.

Long-time PBA member Formula Shell bowed out of the league, Purefoods reserve center Eugene Tejada met a tragic fall on Mother’s Day that left him paralyzed for some time before he showed signs of recovering (he’s now in the US undergoing extensive rehabilitation program) and Red Bull was fined a total of P500,000, including P100,000 against coach Yeng Guiao, for briefly walking out in Game 5 of its semifinal series against San Miguel in the Philippine Cup.

In all, the year was a smashing success for the PBA, making Eala and current chair Ricky Vargas of Talk ‘N Text upbeat over the league’s 32nd season when Welcoat becomes its newest member team.

Breaking records

Under his chairmanship, Vargas laid out his plan for the league to build its own coliseum and at the same time, take a shot at breaking a decade-long PBA record (1996) behind the so-called “20/20 vision” or increasing by 20 percent the live gate attendance to boost net income, hopefully, by 20 percent.

So far, the league appears on track to achieving both.

Probable sites for the PBA Dome have been identified in Quezon City and Taguig while early returns in gate receipts and attendance—both of which increased by 18 and 20 percent, respectively, during the same period of the last Philippine Cup—had the league enjoying one of its finest starts in years.

full battle gear
01-02-2007, 11:39 AM
No holidays, just gym work, for Giants, Realtors


Inquirer
Last updated 01:49am (Mla time) 01/01/2007

Published on page A23 of the January 1, 2007 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GAME WEDNESDAY
(Cuneta Astrodome)
7 p.m.—Purefoods vs Sta. Lucia

BOTH camps admit they only have only themselves to blame for their disappointing finishes in the classification round of the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup.

As a form of self-punishment, they spent the holidays in the gym.

Cancelled were the short trips to the United States for the Fil-Ams and out-of-town vacations for the homegrown players.

The Purefoods Chunkee Giants and the Sta. Lucia Realtors are toiling in the gym this Yuletide season as the two teams prepare for a game that will decide the last outright quarterfinalist in the PBA’s centerpiece event. The loser will join the Alaska Aces, Air 21 Express and the Coca-Cola Tigers in the wild-card phase.

The 7 p.m. playoff, set at the Cuneta Astrodome, is something that Purefoods and Sta. Lucia could have avoided by just winning one of their last two games.

The Giants and the Realtors, however, insist they’ve put their follies behind them, and both look forward to redemption in the setto scheduled on Jan. 3.

“It’s now a reality that we have to face,” said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua. “We’ve been working hard in practice and we’ll give it our best shot.”

Said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio: “We don’t talk about the past, we just look forward to coming out hard on Jan. 3.”

Chua and Gregorio expect a tough battle, just like their first two games that were decided by no more than four points.

“Our two victories were far from convincing,” said Gregorio as he acknowledged the fact that his Giants went through the proverbial eye of the needle to win both games. “Both boiled down to endgame executions. We could be in for another tough game.”

But a healthier Marc Pingris could give the Giants tremendous boost. Pingris, still recuperating from a bout with amoebiasis, struggled in their last game against Alaska Milk.

“My doctor didn’t want me to play, but I wanted to help the team,” said Pingris.

The reigning Most Improved Player has a job cut out for him versus Sta. Lucia’s prized rookie Kelly Williams, who’s been averaging 16.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.

Other key match-ups in this contest are Dennis Espino versus Kerby Raymundo, Marlou Aquino against Jun Limpot, Kenneth Duremdes versus James Yap, and Paolo Mendoza against Roger Yap.

full battle gear
01-02-2007, 11:40 AM
Giants, Realtors dispute quarterfinal slot

The Philippine Star 01/02/2007

Their Fil-Am players were supposed to spend the holidays in the US with their families, but they had to stay and spend the Yuletide season instead inside the gym.

They only have themselves to blame as the Purefoods Chunkee Giants and Sta. Lucia Realtors prepare for a game that will decide which of them will earn the last outright seat in the quarterfinals of the PBA’s centerpiece event.

The loser will join the Alaska Aces, Air 21 Express and the Coca-Cola Tigers in the wildcard phase.

The 7 p.m. playoff set at the Cuneta Astrodome is something that Purefoods and Sta. Lucia could have avoided by just winning one of their last two games.

The Giants and the Realtors, however, insist they’ve put their follies behind them, and both look forward for redemption in the crucial setto scheduled tomorrow.

"It’s now a reality we have to face. We’ve been working hard in practice and we’ll give it our best shot," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua.

"We don’t talk about the past and we just look forward to coming out hard on Jan. 3," said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.

Chua and Gregorio expect a tough battle, just like their first two games that were decided by no more than four points.

"Our two victories were far from convincing. Both boiled down to endgame executions. We could well be in for another tough game," said Gregorio acknowledging his Giants went through the proverbial eye of the needle in winning both games.

But a healthier Marc Pingris could give the Giants tremendous boost. Pingris struggled in their last game against Alaska Milk as he had just been discharge from hospital confinement then for amoebiasis.

"Actually, ayaw pa akong paglaruin ng doctor ko noon. Pero gusto kong makatulong sa team," said Pingris.

The reigning Most Improved Player has a job cut out for him versus Sta. Lucia prized rookie Kelly Williams, who’s been averaging 16.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.

Other key match-ups in this contest are Dennis Espino versus Kerby Raymundo, Marlou Aquino against Jun Limpot, Kenneth Duremdes versus James Yap, and Paolo Mendoza against Roger Yap.

Defensively, the Realtors, however, are likely to bank on Bitoy Omolon in their bid to neutralize James Yap who norms 15.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.6 assist a game.

Omolon, Sta. Lucia’s ace defensive stopper, sat out the last few minutes of their game against Coca-Cola last Dec. 22 after suffering an ankle sprain.

full battle gear
01-03-2007, 11:31 AM
Giants, Realtors dispute last quarterfinal berth

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 04:49am (Mla time) 01/03/2007

Published on page A21 of the January 3, 2007 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

PUREFOODS Chunkee Giants and the Sta. Lucia Realtors will be coming out of the holiday break not feeling like winners at all.

The two squads slug it out tonight at the Cuneta Astrodome with the victor getting back on track and the vanquished faced with more hard work to get into the Talk ‘N Text Philippine Cup playoffs.

The defending champion Chunkee Giants and the once-streaking Realtors, who both gave away clear shots at automatic semifinal berths, clash at 7 p.m.

“We are still upbeat, despite the circumstances,” Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio told the Inquirer yesterday. “We worked hard through the holiday season, there was practically no time off for us.”

Both teams suffered losing streaks in critical points of the tournament, with the Giants losing their last two games and the Realtors dropping six of their last eight.

After tonight, the winner will join Red Bull and Talk ‘N Text in the quarterfinals while the loser will fall into the wild-card phase.

“The good thing about this game is that we hold our fate in our hands,” said Gregorio, whose Giants finished the eliminations with 10-8 cards like the Realtors.

Gregorio, already the winner of two PBA titles with Purefoods, admitted to feeling sore after the Phone Pals humbled the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings on Christmas Day, which necessitated tonight’s KO game.

“I told the boys after that, ‘If we cannot chart our destiny, then who will?’” said Gregorio. “That game is behind us now. We weren’t expecting free rides to begin with.

“We’ll come out hard (tonight) and play for our own destiny.”

Purefoods will focus its offense anew on Kerby Raymundo and James Yap, its 1-2 punch who disputed the Most Valuable Player award last year, with the defense to be anchored on the hard-nosed pair of Marc Pingris and Roger Yap.

“It’s no secret who we will go to,” Gregorio said. “They (Raymundo and Yap) have gotten us this far and we are not about to change that.”

Sta. Lucia, on the other hand, still has its array of stars that was bolstered by the arrival of super rookie Kelly Williams.

Dennis Espino, Marlou Aquino and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes will again play major roles for the Realtors, who have not won a title since 2001, when Damien Owens reinforced them against San Miguel in the Second Conference.

Ginebra and San Miguel Beer are already in the semifinals. The quarterfinals will see Red Bull slugging it out with the winner of the wild-card match between Talk ‘N Text and the victor tonight.

Coca-Cola, Air21 and pre-season champion Alaska are in the wild card, which will be a single-round affair.

full battle gear
01-03-2007, 11:36 AM
Giants, Realtors slug it out today

The Philippine Star 01/03/2007

Purefoods Chunkee and Sta. Lucia Realty could well provide pro basketball an explosive opening game in 2007 as the Giants and the Realtors dispute the last outright slot in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals in a playoff match today at the Astrodome.

The Giants and the Realtors are likely to figure in a furious battle in their 7 p.m. tiff with both teams determined to start the new year with a bang.

Result of the game makes a huge difference between the winner and the loser. The victor automatically enters the quarterfinals, joining Red Bull and Talk n Text, while the loser is relegated to the wildcard round with Alaska Milk, Air21 and Coca-Cola.

Both the Giants and Realtors are ready for the crucial game.

"We’re in great condition because we didn’t take a break in practice. We know they’re no strangers in this kind of situation but we’ll take it tomorrow (today)," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua.

"We want to start the new year right so we practiced everyday except Dec. 31," said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.

Both teams lost their last two games, giving Talk n Text the opportunity to grab the second outright seat in the quarterfinals. The three squads finished tied with the same 10-8 win-loss cards at the close of the classification round.

The Pals gained outright entry with a superior quotient.

"The nicest thing is that our fate is still in our hands. We’re going all out. We’re ready," said Gregorio.

"After the Ginebra-Talk n Text game, the players felt bad. I told them don’t despair. We can still chart our own course," Gregorio added.

Though losing their last two games, Sta. Lucia and Purefoods could have secured outright quarterfinal entry had Ginebra beat Talk n Text in the final game of the classification round on Christmas Day.

The Realtors are hopeful the league’s Christmas break would turn their fortunes around. They paced the field for quite sometime in the classifications only to falter at the finish, losing five of their last six games.

"That’s what scary about of Sta. Lucia. They’re determined to redeem themselves," said Gregorio.

Gregorio, however, insists his team is setting out for the game in high spirits although ace scorer James Yap seems to be feeling the onset of flu.

The Giants and the Realtors figured in a fierce battle in their two games in the classification round — both won by the latter by no more than four points.

full battle gear
01-03-2007, 11:37 AM
Avoiding Red Bull
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 01/03/2007

It’s a fact that in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), teams hate playing Red Bull because the Barakos are rough, tough and extremely deep.

In tonight’s playoff between Purefoods and Sta. Lucia Realty at the Cuneta Astrodome, the winner gets to avoid a quarterfinal duel against Red Bull by taking the No. 5 slot. That’s more of an incentive than escaping the wildcard route where Alaska, Air21 and Coca-Cola are waiting in ambush.

The loser will carryover a 10-8 card in the wildcard series and should be able to eventually advance to the quarterfinals, barring any unforeseen accident. Alaska (8-10), Air21 (7-10) and Coca-Cola (5-13) are in a tight fix and their fortunes hinge on whether they can pull down tonight’s playoff loser.

An interesting twist in the wildcard phase is the incentive clause where a team that sweeps its assignments but fails to post the best win-loss carryover record gains a playoff against the No. 1 team for the right to advance to the quarters. That’s a tall order, however, because neither Coca-Cola nor Air21 has won three in a row this conference. The exception is Alaska who has strung up a pair of three-game win streaks and is coming off three successive victories over Air21, Welcoat and Purefoods.

The winner of tonight’s playoff will move on to the quarters and play Talk ‘N’ Text in a best-of-5 series. Red Bull will meet the wildcard qualifier in the other best-of-5 quarterfinals.

If Purefoods loses to Sta. Lucia tonight but tops the wildcard series, the Chunkee Giants will relive their last two finals duels against the Barakos in the quarters. Red Bull beat Purefoods, 4-2, for the Fiesta Conference crown and Purefoods upended Red Bull, 4-2, for the Philippine Cup title last season.

Ginebra and San Miguel finished the double-round eliminations (no longer called the classifications because a team was actually eliminated after two rounds) with identical 13-5 marks but the Kings took the No. 1 ranking by virtue of a plus-1 quotient. That means Ginebra will face the quarterfinal survivor of the Talk ‘N’ Text-winner of the Purefoods-Sta. Lucia playoff in the best-of-7 semifinals.

If Red Bull wins its quarterfinal series against the wildcard topnotcher, it will play San Miguel Beer in the best-of-7 semifinals.

Any of the possible semifinal and final pairings will be a dream matchup. In the semifinals, it could be San Miguel versus Red Bull and Ginebra versus Talk ‘N’ Text–assuming the Barakos and Phone Pals survive the quarters.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s a playoff to watch today, remember?

Sta. Lucia hasn’t beaten Purefoods in two meetings this conference and coach Alfrancis Chua would like nothing better than to register a breakthrough in their third faceoff. The Giants beat the Realtors by four in their first encounter and by two in their second.

Chua will never forget that first setback because it ended the Realtors’ perfect 3-0 start. The loss was the only blemish in Sta. Lucia’s early 6-1 mark. And the second defeat to Purefoods extended Sta. Lucia’s skid to three straight losses. Now, Chua has a chance to pay back Purefoods for those nightmares.

Sta. Lucia has lost five of its last six outings, a complete reversal from its 6-1 start. Chua is begging for consistency from his boys. If the Realtors only play to their potentials, they’ll be tough to beat. The problem is they turn off as quickly as they turn on. On a good night, Sta. Lucia should be able to handle Purefoods.

The Giants are fresh from losing two in a row. They’re due for a bounce back and it could come tonight at Sta. Lucia’s expense. Purefoods’ advantage is it relies more on defense than offense to win unlike Sta. Lucia.

full battle gear
01-03-2007, 11:39 AM
Chunkees, Realtors in crucial match

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


ONE WIN separates Purefoods Chunkee and Sta. Lucia Realty from gaining an outright quarterfinals seat. Unfortunately, only one of them will have that privilege.

The defending champion Giants and the Realtors clash at 7 p.m. today to decide the owner of the last outright quarterfinals berth in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

And while the winner will join early qualifiers Red Bull and Talk ’N Text, the loser will slip to the wild card phase.

The two teams actually tied Talk ‘N Text with similar 10-8 win-loss cards at the end of the classification phase, but due to a superior quotient of 1.010, the Phone Pals claimed the automatic berth, forcing the Giants and the Realtors into a playoff for the third and final slot.

"We’re ready. Even with the holiday break, we were at the gym practicing," said Purefoods Coach Ryan Gregorio, who will rely on the leaderships of last season’s MVP James Yap, Marc Pingris and Kerby Raymundo.

Purefoods defeated Red Bull in six games to claim the championship in this conference, the all-Filipino, a few months back.

In their two meetings this season, the Giants defeated the Realtors twice — 100-96 on Oct. 21 last year in San Fernando, La Union and 103-101 last Dec. 8 at the Ynarez Center in Antipolo City.

"It’s going to be a close and exciting game," said Sta. Lucia’s Alfrancis Chua, who will have top overall pick Kelly Williams, former MVP Kenneth Duremdes and big men Marlou Aquino and Dennis Espino.

Also in the wild card phase, a single round robin with the qualifications phase carried over, are Alaska Milk (8-10), Air21 (7-11) and Coca-Cola (5-13).

The team that tops the wild card will move to the quarters. However, the team that sweeps the single round robin will face the top team in another playoff match for the last quarterfinal ticket.

full battle gear
01-03-2007, 11:41 AM
Giants, Realtors collide for automatic quarterfinals berth

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Purefoods Chunkee and Sta. Lucia Realty dispute for the last automatic quarterfinal slot Wednesday in the Talk ’N Text-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The playoff match starts at 7 p.m. with both teams are expected to go all out as the loser will be relegated to the wildcard phase.

The Giants and the Realtors actually finished their classification phase with 10-8
march each along with Talk ’N Text but the latter had a superior quotient over the two to get the second automatic quarterfinals seat.

The winner of this match will meet the Phone Pals in the best-of-five quarterfinal series while the loser plays in a round-robin wildcard stage along with Alaska, Air21 and Coca-Cola.

After an auspicious 8-2 start in the tournament, Sta. Lucia slowed down a bit and lost six of its last eight games to get out of the running for at least in the quarterfinals berth.

“It’s now a reality we have to face,” said Realtors head coach Alfrancis Chua who will need quality games from veterans Dennis Espino, Marlou Aquino and Kenneth Duremdes to have a better chance in the playoff.

“We’ve been working hard in practice and we’ll give it our best shot,” Chua added.

Purefoods, the defending champion in the tournament, also had a wonderful start but a terrible ending in the tournament but coach Ryan Gregorio wants to bury the past and focus on the game on hand.

”We don’t talk about the past and we just look forward to coming out hard on this game,” said Gregorio.

The Giants actually have a little edge over the Realtors, having won their two meetings in the classification phase on contrasting fashions, a 100-76 victory last October 21 in San Fernando, La Union and a 103-101 overtime win on December 8 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

”Our two victories were far from convincing. Both boiled down to endgame executions. We could well be in for another tough game,” added Gregorio.

Gregorio needs a healthy Marc Pingris in this game to challenge the more experience and taller Sta. Lucia frontline. Pingris was recently discharged from hospital because of amoebiasis.

The reigning Most Improved Player has a job cut out for him versus Sta. Lucia prized rookie Kelly Williams, who’s been averaging 16.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.

gameface_one
01-04-2007, 09:34 AM
Mighty Giants stride to quarters

By NELSON BELTRAN
The Philippine Star

Purefoods Chunkee wore down Sta. Lucia Realty with tireless efforts on both ends of the court, carving out a 92-78 victory to gain the last outright seat in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals at the Astrodome Wednesday night.

The Giants fought back from a 17-point deficit in the second quarter, seized control late in the third and poured on the heat in the final canto in a swashbuckling victory that lined them up for a shot at the semifinals against the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals.

The reigning champions took the third slot in the quarterfinals and relegated the Realtors into the wildcard round with the Alaska Milk Aces, the Air21 Express and the Coca-Cola Tigers.

The one round robin wildcard begins Friday at the Araneta Coliseum with the Aces and the Tigers clashing at 4:35 p.m. and the Realtors and the Express mixing it up at 7:30 p.m. The best team in the wildcard advances into the quarters against Red Bull.

Purefoods arranged a best-of-seven quarterfinals showdown with Talk n Text as the Giants reasserted their supremacy over the Realtors, scoring a seventh straight win in their head-on duels.

The Giants made it three in a row over the Realtors this conference on sheer guts, gallantly fighting back from a 17-point second-quarter deficit with main men Kerby Raymundo, Marc Pingris, James Yap and Roger Yap delivering the key plays.

Yap, the reigning MVP, endured flu-like symptoms as he came through with clutch baskets in the second half, including a three-pointer to close the third quarter at 63-60 for Purefoods.

"For me, that shot made the big difference in this game. James delivered in the second half though playing sick. It was a tribute to his fighting heart," said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.

"We’re going to celebrate this win but only tonight. We have a tough task against Talk n Text," Gregorio said on their quarters battle with the Phone Pals.

"It’s going to be a ground battle against aerial battle. Aerial for them because they’re tall and ground for us because we’re small and we have to battle with our hustle plays," Gregorio added.

Gregorio felt the Realtors would join them in the quarterfinals just the same. "This is their first conference with Kelly Williams. Nangangapa pa sila. But good things are in store for them. They will pick up the pieces and join us in the semis. That’s my prediction," said Gregorio.

With tremendous boost from their second stringers, the Realtors seized control towards the end of the opening quarter and sat on a 45-33 cushion at halftime.

The Sta. Lucia second team outscored its Purefoods counterpart, 22-4, in the first two quarters of play with a scoop shot by Marlou Aquino giving the Realtors their biggest margin at 39-22 midway through the second period.

Aquino, Mark Isip and Paolo Mendoza combined for 18 points coming off the bench.

Norman Gonzales started at power forward spot and gave away four early fouls in trying to neutralize Raymundo. He picked up his fourth six minutes into the game.

gameface_one
01-04-2007, 09:36 AM
Purefoods in quarters

Beats Sta. Lucia Realty 92-78

By WAYLON GALVEZ
mb.com.ph

PUREFOODS CHUNKEE used a big second half run to beat Sta. Lucia Realty, 92-78, last night at the Cuneta Astrodome and the Giants claimed the last outright quarterfinals berth in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup.


Big man Kerby Raymundo led the Giants’ spirited comeback after they fell behind in the early goings.

Sta. Lucia jumped the gun on Purefoods to take an early 17-point lead, 39-22, in the second quarter, but the defending champions tightened up their defense and put on al all-out attack to turn things around in the final 24 minutes.

Raymundo finished with another double-double effort, scoring 25 points, including 10 in the third period, and grabbing 15 rebounds while issuing five assists and making four steals and a block.

"It’s a dogfight," said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio. "We just played our game. Good things happen for those who work hard."

"Tinanggal ko lang ‘yung pressure sa kanila (players) during our halftime talk. We’re disappointed with our two defeats in the classification. It’s more of a mental aspect," added Gregorio.

With the win, Purefoods moved to the quarters and will face Talk ’N Text in a best-of-five series for a semifinals seat after the wild card round which will have the Realtors, Alaska Milk, Air 21 and Coca-Cola disputing the final quarterfinals seat and a best-of-five series against Red Bull.

The Realtors will start the wild card stage, where classification round records will be carried over, with a two-game edge over the Aces.

The top team in the wild card will move to the quarters. But the team that sweeps the single round robin will face the top team in another playoff match for the right to meet the Bulls in the quarterfinals.

The Giants outscored the Realtors in the third period, 30-15, and James Yap’s triple with 0.3 seconds left gave his team a 63-60 lead entering the final frame.

Purefoods opened the fourth canto with a 12-3 run to take a 75-63 lead. They forced Sta. Lucia to commit seven turnovers during that run, after committing just six in the first half.

The Giants went on to lead by as many as 17 points, 82-65.

Marc Pingris added 20 points, while Yap, the reigning MVP who missed two practices due to migraine, contributed 11. Roger Yap had 10.

Top rookie pick Kelly Williams led the Realtors with 17 points, but Kenneth Duremdes was a non-factor after injuring his shin during a practice. Sophomore playmaker Alex Cabagnot added 13.

Powerhouse Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer are already waiting in the semifinals, which is a best-of-seven showdown, after topping the classification phase with similar 13-5 win-loss records.

gameface_one
01-04-2007, 09:37 AM
Welcoat seeking a well-rounded import



By WAYLON GALVEZ
mb.com.ph

AFTER ITS disappointing campaign in the PBA, Welcoat Paints hopes to do better in the import-flavored second conference.


The Dragons are currently shopping for a powerful and talented reinforcement.

Welcoat co-owner Raymund Yu, team officials and coaching staff led by head coach Leo Austria are devising a plan to find the right import for the next conference.

The team plans to ask assistant coach Alex Compton to help them find the import they need, someone they said who could contribute and make an impact to the team.

"We’ll ask Alex to help us out, because he has several contacts (in the US) where to get a good import, although we have yet to discuss what kind of import the team needs," Yu said.

"What I know is that the height limit in 6-foot-6," said Yu, who co-owns the team with business partner Terry Que.

Yu and Que agreed that the team needs someone who can be a leader, can play both offense and defense, can post up down low and can shoot from the perimeter.

"Getting an import is something new to us, because we don’t do that during our stint in the PBL. So we hope to tap a good one," added Yu.

In 18 games, the Dragons won only three matches to finish with a 3-15 win-loss record that included a nine-game losing skein, to take the exit in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup, their maiden campaign in Asia’s first professional league.

"Hopefully we can bounce back and improve from our performance," said Yu.

gameface_one
01-04-2007, 09:38 AM
Jinggoy assures SBP of support



By TITO TALAO
mb.com.ph

THE HONG Kong handshake is firmer than ever.


Ricky Vargas, chairman of the Philippine Basketball Association, said he has spoken with Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and got assurance the president of the Basketball Association of the Philippines is not about to loosen his grip on his verbal commitment to telecommunications tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan on the formation of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.

"The good senator is sticking to his word and stressed his belief that the formation of the SBP is the best way for the country to gain reacceptance in the FIBA," said Vargas.

FIBA is the French acronym of the International Basketball Federation.

One of Pangilinan’s most trusted corporate executives, Vargas could serve as vice chairman in the fledgling basketball association, with his Talk ’N Text superior as president and Estrada as chairman, an arrangement that allegedly drew howls from disagreeing BAP officials.

A pre-Christmas Day agreement forged between Pangilinan and Estrada in Hong Kong remains strong, Vargas said, regardless of a reported Dec. 29 BAP executive board meeting where a consensus to keep the BAP name, no matter what, was reached.

"He (Estrada) said his handshake (with Pangilinan) remains solid and that agreement includes the BAP being replaced by the SBP," Vargas said.

With the original three-man SBP panel down to two with the resignation of Bernie Atienza, head of Pilipinas Basketball, the need to fill up the void is about the only thing standing in the way of reconvening the group.

"Under the natural course of succession, it should be the PB’s vice president who should succeed Mr. Atienza. In that case, it should be Mr. Jun-Jun Capistrano," Vargas said. "But we haven’t received any formal communiqué yet on Mr. Atienza’s successor."

Should the meeting push through, Vargas added, all parties will ratify the agreement between Sen. Estrada and Mr. Pangilinan and we will then inform the rest of our groups.

"Following that, we will have a nationwide convention to formalize the SBP’s creation and we will then submit that to the POC and FIBA," he said. (via pldt@weroam)

gameface_one
01-04-2007, 09:41 AM
Year’s most unusual awards
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 01/04/2007

Before the Philippine Sportswriters Association starts handing out awards to the past year’s most illustrious athletes, we’ll jump the gun and announce our own honorees in very unusual categories.

It’s our way of welcoming the New Year with a smile. So, grin and bear it.

We’ll limit our awardees to the Philippine Basketball Association in recognition of the country’s No. 1 sports entertainment vehicle.

Double-double award – RenRen Ritualo, MacMac Cardona, JayJay Helterbrand, Dondon Hontiveros, Jojo Tangkay, JunJun Cabatu.

High caliber award – Billy Mamaril, Magnum Membrere.

Fruitful career award – Dorian Pena (durian na, piña pa).

All-Little Boys team – Nino Canaleta, Nino Gelig, Kerby (The Kid) Raymundo, Boyet Bautista, Bitoy Omolon, Sonny Thoss.

All-Initials team – R. J. Rizada, Jay-R Reyes, P. J. Simon, L. A. Tenorio, E. J. Feihl.

All-Presidents team (in honor of Ramon Fernandez) – Mark Macapagal, Manny Ramos, Marlou Aquino, Caloy Garcia, Jay Washington, Willie Wilson.

Marksmen of the year – Mark Macapagal, Mark Andaya, Mark Caguioa, Mark Cardona, Mark Kong, Mark Telan, Mark Isip, Marc Pingris.

Unusual first name award – Bethune Tanquingcen, Leomar Najorda, Recaredo Calimag, Cyrus Baguio, Zandro Limpot, Rensy Bajar, Bernzon Franco, Reynel Hugnatan, Sunday Salvacion.

Millionaires of the year – Rich Alvarez, Egay Billones.

All-Beef team – Dorian Peña, Ryan Bernardo, Mike Gavino, Homer Se, E. J. Feihl, Andy Seigle. (New year’s resolution is to spend more time in the gym.)

All-Military team – Romel (The General) Adducul, Kenneth (Captain Marbel) Duremdes, Rob Wainwright (in honor of World War II Gen. Joseph Wainwright), Ronjay Enrile (in honor of the former secretary of defense).

All-Whatever (or W) team – Warren Ybanez, Wynne Arboleda, Wesley Gonzales, William Antonio, Willie Miller, Willie Marcial and Willie Wilson.

All-Italian team – Enrico Villanueva, Paolo Mendoza, Carlo Sharma, Mick Pennisi, Don Allado (in honor of The Godfather).

All-Holy team – Koy Banal, Arwind Santos, Abby Santos, Adonis Sta. Maria, Lordy Tugade.

All-Monosyllabic team – Joseph Yeo, Richard Yee, Homer Se, James and Roger Yap, Gilbert Lao.

All-Travel team – Denver Lopez, Junthy Valenzuela, Cyrus Baguio, Leo Avenido.

All-Brothers team – Yancy and Ranidel de Ocampo, Danny and Andy Seigle.

Triggerman award (in honor of Allan Caidic) – Lordy Tugade, Jimmy Alapag, Dondon Hontiveros, RenRen Ritualo, Paolo Mendoza, Sunday Salvacion.

Robert Jaworski award (for tight guarding) – Wynne Arboleda, Junthy Valenzuela, Marc Pingris, Rudy Hatfield, Rich Alvarez.

All-Dunk team – Niño Canaleta, Kelly Williams, Cyrus Baguio, Joey Mente, Bitoy Omolon, Enrico Villanueva, Ali Peek, Jay Washington, Asi Taulava, Marc Pingris.

Stringbean award – Arwind Santos, John Arigo, Rafi Reavis.

All-Energy team – Ronald Tubid, Gary David, P. J. Simon, JayJay Helterbrand, Jojo Tangkay.

All-Dish team (in honor of Hector Calma) – Olsen Racela, Alex Cabagnot, Mike Cortez, Jimmy Alapag, Wynne Arboleda, JayJay Helterbrand, Johnny Abarrientos.

Barangay Ginebra’s All-F team – Fast (JayJay Helterbrand), Furious (Mark Caguioa), Fearless (Ronald Tubid), Fiery (Mark Macapagal), Ferocious (Rudy Hatfield), Flying (Johnny Abarrientos), Formidable (Eric Menk), Forceful (Romel Adducul), Flawless (Sunday Salvacion), Feisty (Billy Mamaril), Frisky (Rafi Reavis), Fervent (Mike Holper), Firm (Andy Seigle), Flashy (Rodney Santos).

That’s all, folks!

full battle gear
01-05-2007, 11:56 AM
Realtors tackle Express; Aces take on Tigers


Inquirer
Last updated 03:24am (Mla time) 01/05/2007

Published on page A21 of the January 5, 2007 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

GAMES TODAY (Araneta Coliseum)
4:35 p.m.—Alaska vs Coca-Cola
7:20 p.m.—Sta. Lucia vs Air21

PUREFOODS coach RYAN Gregorio sounded like he knew perfectly well what he was talking about—even though he was talking of another squad.

“They will pick up the pieces, they have the tools to do so,” Gregorio said Wednesday night, referring to Sta. Lucia, the team his Chunkee Giants beat to make the quarterfinals of the Talk ‘N Text Philippine Cup.

From so high up in the standings and now down to the trenches, the Realtors start picking up the pieces tonight when they clash with the Air21 Express to open the wild-card phase at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

This is a round no one thought the Realtors would be in, especially after they set the pace for long stretches in the elimination round.

But Sta. Lucia lost most of the games it needed to win late in the round, including a 78-92 decision to the defending champion Purefoods in their KO game for the last outright quarterfinal seat.

The Realtors will open wild-card action still on top of the four-team field with a 10-8 record carried over from the eliminations, three games ahead of the Express when they clash at 7:20 p.m.

Alaska, in second place with an 8-10 slate, and the 5-13 Coca-Cola Tigers collide in the first game at 4:35 p.m.

Tournament format calls for any team to earn a playoff with the natural round topnotcher if it sweeps the wild-card phase. This is the only option available, it seems, to the Aces, Express and the Tigers, with Sta. Lucia enjoying a commanding lead.

Since the phase will just be a single round, the Realtors could wind up with the top ranking, and a quarterfinals berth, even if they win just one of three games.

Kelly Williams has slowly taken over the Realtors, but the super rookie has not gotten much help from the old reliables like Dennis Espino, Marlou Aquino and Paolo Mendoza.


Musong R. Castillo

full battle gear
01-05-2007, 11:57 AM
Realtors seek playoff; 3 fight for survival

The Philippine Star 01/05/2007

Sta. Lucia Realty, on a disastrous skid from the top, and three other hard-luck teams make their final bid to get a ticket to the quarterfinals as they begin their Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup wildcard-round battle at the Araneta Coliseum today.

Alaska Milk clashes with Coca-Cola at 4:35 p.m. then Sta. Lucia collides with Air21 at 7:20 p.m. to start the round.

The Realtors are walking an extra mile, having lost six of their last seven games, including a playoff with the Purefoods Chunkee Giants Wednesday at the Astrodome.

But thanks to a strong start in the tourney, the Realtors, carrying over a 10-8 win-loss card, need only one win in the wildcard plays to gain another playoff crack at the quarterfinals.

Sta. Lucia takes its first shot at it against an Air21 side which, with a 7-11 slate, is fighting for survival in each of its three games in this round.

Alaska, at 8-10, and Coca-Cola, at 5-13, is facing the same predicament.

Alaska, Air21 and Coca-Cola need to sweep the round to reach the playoff for the right to play Red Bull in the quarterfinals. The other best-of-five quarterfinal match-up pits Talk n Text versus Purefoods.

With Sta. Lucia enjoying a decisive headway, league watchers feel the Realtors will make it to the quarters just the same.

"Good things are in store for them. They will pick up the pieces and join us in the quarters. That’s my prediction," said coach Ryan Gregorio after his Giants defeated the Realtors, 92-78, in their playoff for the third outright seat in the quarters.

The Aces, the Express and the Tigers, however, vow they will give their best shots to prolong their stint in the All-Filipino tourney.

"We’ve busted our behinds in practice and we look forward to come out strong. Whatever happens, we’ll have no regrets," said Alaska coach Tim Cone.

The Aces, meanwhile, have reactivated Reynel Hugnatan from the injured list in favor of Christian Luanzon.

"We’ll be out there to give them a good fight," said Air21 coach Bo Perasol.

full battle gear
01-05-2007, 12:01 PM
PBA wild card phase underway

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


THE RACE for the fourth and last quarterfinal berth starts today as Sta. Lucia Realty, Alaska, Air21 and Coca-Cola open their bid in the wild card phase of the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Aces clash with the Tigers in the curtain raiser at 4:35 p.m. after which the Realtors and the Express collide in the main game at 7:20 p.m.

The top team after this single round wild card phase will join Red Bull, Talk ’N Text and Purefoods in the quarterfinals where the last two semifinalists will emerge.

San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra have secured berths in the semifinals.

With the wild card phase carryover format, the Realtors enjoy a two-game edge over their nearest pursuers with their 10-8 card.

Alaska has an 8-10 slated while Air21 and Coca-Cola carry 7-11 and 5-13, respectively.

However, a team which sweeps its three assignments will earn a playoff against the topnotcher of the round for the last quarterfinals berth.

The wild card survivor meets Red Bull in the best of-five quarterfinals.

Purefoods, which defeated Sta. Lucia, 92-78, in a playoff game the other night at the Cuneta Astrodome to clinch an outright slot, will face Talk ’N Text in a separate series.

The Realtors twice downed the Express in the classification round, 96-88 last Oct. 6 and 112-110 last Nov. 26.

But despite the setbacks, Air21 coach Bo Perasol expressed optimism following the team’s latest move that sent Yancy de Ocampo and Leo Avenido to Talk ’N Text in exchange for big men Mark Andaya and Abby Santos.

"I hope the other big men can fill the void left by Yancy," said Perasol, who also hopes that Ranidel de Ocampo, Yancy’s younger brother, Earvin Sotto and Mark Telan will step up.

Perasol will also rely on ace gunner Gary David, an emerging superstar in the PBA, as well as rookie wingman Arwind Santos.

As for Sta. Lucia, coach Alfrancis Chua will lean on top rookie pick Kelly Williams, former MVP Kenneth Duremdes, who was a non-factor against the Giants due to a shin injury, and veteran big men Marlou Aquino and Dennis Espino.

Alaska and Coca-Cola split their classification meeting, with the Aces winning the first encounter, 99-84, last Oct. 4 and the Tiger scoring a revenge, 85-81, last Dec. 6.

The Aces have activated forward Reynel Hugnatan in favor of rookie guard Christian Luanzon in hopes to bolsters their frontline.

full battle gear
01-05-2007, 12:02 PM
Restricted PBA player list out soon

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


PBA Commissioner Noli Eala and his staff continued to pore over the lineups of the league’s 10-member teams yesterday as they rushed to complete the names of PBA stars to be included in the Restricted Trading List which they hope to announce on Monday.

Among the candidates are Ginebra’s Eric Menk and Mark Caguioa, San Miguel’s Danny Seigle and Dondon Hontiveros , James Yap and Kerby Raymundo of Purefoods, Enrico Villanueva and Mic Penissi of Red Bull, Asi Taulava and Anthony Washington of Talk ’N Text, Kenneth Duremdes, Marlou Aquino and Dennis Espino of Sta. Lucia Realty, Willie Miller and Mike Cortez of Alaska and Gary David and Ranidel de Ocampo of Air21.

Selecting only one player is expected to be a challenge for Eala as he tries to weigh who among the members of a team has the highest value and the best ability.

The names on the list will be permanent until after the end of the current Philippine Cup. When the second conference begins, Eala will add one more player from each team although under the agreement he forged with the board, he can select as many as three players from each team.

Under RTL rules, players in the list can be traded only to each other.

Players listed in the RTL could also be traded for any of the top two picks in the Rookie Draft, although first year players will not be included in the list.

"It’s a good move by the PBA, which will ensure balance among teams in terms of competitiveness and marketability," said Raymund Yu, co-owner of newcomer Welcoat Paints.

The RTL was devised by the commissioner’s office to avoid a repetition of a recent trade in which Ginebra was able to acquire some big names in exchange for players with lesser ability and future picks.

Already loaded with players like Eric Menk, Mark Caguioa and Jay-Jay Helterebrand, the Kings added three marquee players in Rudy Hatfield, Rafi Reavies and Billy Mamaril in a three-team trade that also involved Coca-Cola and Air21.

With such an overload of star players, the result for the Kings was quickly apparent. It is on top of the standings.

The trade was heavily criticized by other league members. But because no rule was violated, Eala reportedly grudgingly approved the transfer. However, to avoid future discontent, the RTL was conceived.

gameface_one
01-06-2007, 10:32 AM
Coca-Cola stays alive



By WAYLON GALVEZ
mb.com.ph

GIVEN THE slimmest of hope because it holds the worst record in the wild card phase, Coca-Cola stunned Alaska Milk with a 99-98 overtime win last night to keep its quarterfinals bid alive in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.


Sophomore Dennis Miranda played the hero’s role for the Tigers as he drained in a buzzer-beating triple from the right corner spot, his lone basket in the extra period, to hand the victory for Coca-Cola.

Miranda finished with 18 points on top of seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a shot block to push the Tigers, now carrying a 6-13 record, to within two wins of forging a playoff for the coveted quarterfinals berth.

The team that sweeps its wild card assignments earns a playoff against the top finisher.

The Tigers face the leading Sta. Lucia Realty tomorrow before closing out their assignments against Air21 on Wednesday.

"When that shot went in, it was reminiscent of the shot made by Lee San Min," said Coke head coach Binky Favis, referring to the basket made by the Korean at the buzzer against the Philippine Team in the semifinals of the 2002 Busan Asian Games were he was a member of the coaching staff.

"I told my players that it’s going to be tough with the position we’re in. I asked them to just enjoy the game. As long as we’re alive we’ll enjoy the game," he added.

Regulation play ended in an 87-87 deadlock after the Aces bungled two opportunities for an outright win — Willie Miller missing a fadeaway jumper and Nic Belasco’s follow-up went awary.

In the extra period, the Aces raced to a 96-90 lead with 1:21 left but Allan Salansang nailed back-to-back triples that sandwiched Nic Belasco’s jumper.

With 29.4 seconds left and the Aces up, 98-96, Tony dela Cruz missed a jumper and John Arigo collared the rebound.

Arigo, who scored a game-high 24 points, drove inside the shaded lane before kicking it out to Salansang, who then found an open Miranda at the corner for that game-winning shot.

Alaska dropped to 8-11 putting its own bid in peril.

Aside from facing a must-win situation against the Express tomorrow and the Realtors on Wednesday, they are hoping that the latter would drop all three games to force a tie for the No. 1 spot.

gameface_one
01-06-2007, 10:37 AM
Tigers roar on clutch treys in OT

By NELSON BELTRAN

The Philippine Star

Allan Salangsang and Denok Miranda combined for three huge three-pointers inside the last 62 seconds and the Coca-Cola Tigers fought back from the brink of defeat for a thriller of a win over the Alaska Milk Aces at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

The Tigers nosed out the Aces, 99-98, in overtime on clutch treys by Salangsang and Miranda and, thus, stayed in the hunt for the last seat in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals.

Miranda, a poor 18-percent three-point shooter, buried a killer triple at the buzzer, sending the Tigers to a frenzied celebration as they avoided outright elimination right on opening day of the wildcard round.

Salangsang was as heroic as he set the stage for that Miranda game-winner with the ex-Letran Knight bombing away back-to-back three-pointers seconds earlier to get the Tigers back into the fight.

Just when everybody thought the Aces had put the game away as they held a 98-93 lead with time down to 42 seconds, the Tigers roared back to salvage the win that kept them in contention for the right to challenge Red Bull in the quarterfinals.

"It gets tougher by the day for us. But we’ll continue to enjoy it as long as we still have a game to play," said Coca-Cola coach Binky Favis. "We’ve got a great tailwind going to our next games. Hopefully, it provides us the needed momentum."

The Tigers need to sweep their two remaining games in the wildcard round to get a playoff crack at the last quarterfinals seat.

The Aces, meanwhile, virtually bowed out of race with the sorry loss to the Tigers.

It was a sweet win for the Tigers who played catch-up most of the way and merely forced overtime on a big defensive stop in the closing seconds of regulation play.

Curiously, they were able to make the key treys in overtime with their best gunner William Antonio sidelined by cramps.

Favis said Miranda’s buzzer-beating triple reminded him of Lee Sang Min’s killer of a three-pointer in the RP-Korea semifinal game during the Busan Asiad in 2002.

"It’s nice to be on the other end of the situation," said Favis, among the deputies of coach Jong Uichico in that Busan debacle.

Needing four straight wins, no less, to survive the wildcard round, the Air21 Express made their task a game easier with a big massacre of the Sta. Lucia Realtors in the second game.

The Express came out strong in their first game in 2007, pounding the absence of the injured Dennis Espino in the Sta. Lucia bench in an emphatic 121-99 victory that kept the team in contention for a quarterfinal slot.

full battle gear
01-07-2007, 01:24 PM
N HUDDLE
Vargas pursues ambitious project

By Beth Celis
Inquirer
Last updated 06:16am (Mla time) 01/07/2007

PBA chairman Ricky Vargas, whose pet and most ambitious project for his term is the construction of the league’s own coliseum, is working double time to fulfill this vision.

“More than anything, I’d like to see this project through down to its completion, but if that’s not possible, at least I hope to be able to sign the Memorandum of Agreement with the parties in charge of the site that will be chosen for the PBA coliseum,” Ricky said.

As of today, the short list is down to three, according to Ricky: Quezon City, Taguig, and Mandaluyong, a recent addition.

The Mandaluyong property is owned by PBA ballclub Sta. Lucia Realty and Development.

* * *

What makes Ricky very optimistic about the materialization of the venue project is the interest manifested not only by the PBA board, San Miguel Corporation in particular, but also by the banking institutions which are willing to invest as much as 80 percent of the billion-peso undertaking.

“They believe it is a very sound business investment, that is why they are willing to invest that much. If the banks will loan us the 80 percent, the league will only need to put up 20 percent, which is roughly P200 million,” said Ricky, who emphasized that all transactions will be done through bidding.

As early as now, the PBA chairman is planning to send architects and engineers abroad to study the most technically advanced structures all over the world.

* * *

During a recent visit to his Metro Pacific office in Makati, PLDT chairman Manny V. Pangilinan showed us several gym designs which he had ordered from Europe and North America.

He said he was particularly impressed with a coliseum in Germany.

No question Ricky is getting all the support he needs from his boss who is just as enthusiastic about the project.

* * *

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has kept everybody guessing about a big announcement the group is scheduled to make tomorrow, January 8.

Now that the SBP’s decimated three-man panel (originally composed of MVP, BAP president Joey Lina and Pilipinas Basketball president Bernie Atienza) has been completed again with the entry of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada who replaced Lina, and Ateneo’s JunJun Capistrano who replaced Atienza, the SBP is poised to take the next big step aimed to have the Fiba ban on the Philippines lifted.

So what could the big announcement be? That the POC has given its blessing to the new group? That the National Congress, the highest policy-making body of the corporation is convening soon?

Your guess is as good as mine.

As I’m writing this, I got word that the BAP has just issued an equally stunning pronouncement which you will read somewere in these pages.

Notwithstanding, SBP officials said this development will not detract from the scheduled press conference tomorrow.

full battle gear
01-07-2007, 01:25 PM
Tigers, Express try to stay alive anew

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 06:15am (Mla time) 01/07/2007

GAMES TODAY (Araneta Coliseum)
4:05 p.m.—Coca-Cola vs Sta. Lucia
6:30 p.m.—Air21 vs Alaska

COCA-COLA and Air 21 are living life a game at a time.

Fresh off resounding victories Friday night, the scrappy Tigers and the Express clash against separate foes today, seeking to live another day, er, game, in the wildcard phase of the Talk ‘N Text Philippine Cup.

“As long as we have games to play, we’ll enjoy them,” an ecstatic Coca-Cola coach Binky Favis said Friday night after his Tigers rallied hard to nip Alaska, 99-98, in overtime. “As long as we’re having fun and we’re working hard, we can get lucky.”

And it would be time for the Tigers to roll up those sleeves again and pray for luck to side with them as they collide with slumping Sta. Lucia in the 4:05 p.m. game at the Araneta Coliseum before the Express take on the Aces at 6:30 p.m.

Victories by the Realtors and the Aces would complete the quarterfinal cast, with Sta. Lucia joining Red Bull, Talk ’N Text and Purefoods in the next round while shutting the door on the others.

But the way the high-priced Realtors played Friday night has left a lot to be desired, the team coming out flat and literally without heart to trail by as many as 31 points before dropping a 121-99 decision to Air21.

It was a loss that left the door wide open for all the teams in this phase, as victories by the Tigers and the Express would basically eliminate Alaska out of the running and make it a three-way fight heading into the final playdate on Wednesday.

For Coca-Cola and Air21, the road to the quarterfinals depends on both sweeping the wildcard and forging a playoff with the natural No. 1 team, which in all likelihood would be the Realtors.

Sta. Lucia took a 10-8 card into the round, a good two games ahead of the 8-10 of the Aces, whose loss to the Tigers after a Dennis Miranda triple at the buzzer more or less put their chances hanging by a thin thread.

The Realtors are assured of at least a playoff for the overall No. 6 ranking even if they lose their remaining two games. The only thing they must hope for, if ever they are dragged into another do-or-die game, is for their form early in the tournament to resurface.

Coca-Cola has won just a total of six games so far, its only gameplan proving simple enough—the Tigers staying close to their foe before playing smart in the stretch.

The leader for more than half of the elimination round, Sta. Lucia, on the other hand, got very little numbers from its superstar-laden starting unit, which missed Dennis Espino because of a bruised knee.

Still, it was no excuse for losing in such a horrid manner to a team that played without its starting center for the first time since the trade that sent Yancy De Ocampo to Talk ’N Text before the holiday break.

full battle gear
01-07-2007, 01:29 PM
Tigers enjoying the ride
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 01/07/2007

To make it to the quarterfinals, Coca-Cola has to win three straight games but coach Binky Favis said he’s not intimidated by the odds even if the Tigers won only five outings in the entire Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) double-round eliminations.

For sure, it’s a tall order for Coca-Cola. One more loss and it’s goodbye for the conference.

The Tigers play Sta. Lucia Realty in the first game of a wildcard doubleheader at the Araneta Coliseum today. If they survive the Realtors, Favis’ boys will need to beat Air21 on Wednesday to arrange a playoff for a quarterfinal slot against whichever team ends up with the best win-loss record at the end of the wildcard series.

Since Coca-Cola has already won two in a row, the Tigers must string up five consecutive victories to advance to the quarterfinals against Red Bull in a best-of-5 series.

Not that he’s used to being in a pressure cooker, Favis said he’s just not panicking.

"At the onset, right after we beat Sta. Lucia three days before Christmas, I told the guys it’s not going to be easy, that it is probably next to impossible for us to stay alive but as long as we’re standing up, we’ll fight to the end," said Favis.

"We’ll just enjoy the ride and see how far our new-found formula of working hard and playing and enjoying together takes us. Let’s see what happens. We’ll do our best and play as hard as we can. Last year, we were also in the same position of trying to survive one game after another. But this time, we’re at a level where three other teams are playing for the same objective."

Favis said the Tigers hardly took a break during the Christmas holidays to concentrate on the mission ahead.

Last Friday night, Coca-Cola survived a do-or-die game to eke out a 99-98 win over Alaska and kept its hopes alive for a playoff.

"Before the overtime started, I told the guys during the timeout this was the height of enjoyment," said Favis. "Imagine, playing in overtime. Then, after we won, we just stayed in the sidelines for a while, enjoying the moment. It was unbelievable."

Favis said he spoke to his 1-2 punch, John Arigo and Ali Peek, prior to the Alaska game.

"I told Ali we would only go as far as he would take us," said Favis. "I asked Ali to carry us. I told John to be our leader, that it’s no longer enough for him to play well, that he has to be able to get everyone else to play better. John has done everything we’ve asked him to. He scores, plays defense and gets everyone involved. Ali and John are both our leaders."

Then there is point guard Denok Miranda who has averaged 17.5 points the last two games.

"Denok is starting to be a leader, something we’ve always wanted him to be," said Favis. "It’s not luck that’s putting him in a good situation. He’s working hard at making the good plays."

Although prize rookie Joseph Yeo hasn’t scored the last two contests, Favis said he’s not complaining.

"Believe it or not, with those two scoreless games which we won by the way, we’re finally seeing the glitter in Joseph," said Favis. "He’s showing a lot of poise. His job is to take the shot, not necessarily make the shot. He’s a work in progress and he’s learning. We’re investing in Joseph because it’s rare to find a player with his heart. Against Alaska, he did a good job of defending (Dale) Singson and I commended him for it. He’s in a period of adjustment. In the past, he always looked to shoot when he had the ball and when he didn’t have the ball, he looked for the ball. Now, he’s being asked to do more things, like pass and defend. He’s coming along fine."

Favis said Jason Misolas, M. C. Caceres, Allan Salangsang and Chris Pacana are also major contributors to Coca-Cola’s late surge.

"Jason and M. C. play the four spot for us," he said. "With Jason in the game, we’re able to do a lot more defensively. He does the dirty job for us. M. C. is a welcome find while Allan broke out of a slump at the right time when he took over from Will (Antonio) who pulled a hamstring against Alaska. Chris is a natural offensive player but he’s learning to improve his overall game."

Antonio, who hit 17 points before limping back to the bench last Friday, will likely sit out today’s game and the Air21 encounter on Wednesday.

Favis said team manager Allan Caidic’s presence has made a difference, too.

"Allan and I have worked together before," said Favis. "We just look at each other and we know what we’re thinking. He’s an inspiration to our team. Our previous manager, Hector Calma, was also an inspiration to us. So we’ve been blessed by the presence of both legends."

Favis said talk of San Miguel Corp. selling the Coca-Cola franchise has triggered some uncertainties among the players but the team’s representative to the PBA Board of Governors Hector Guballa assured them the Tigers will remain in the pro league.

"Whatever happens, Mr. Guballa told the players they’ll be in good hands," said Favis. "There is really nothing to worry about."

Favis said he’s not taking Sta. Lucia lightly in today’s game even if the Tigers beat the Realtors in their last meeting.

"Sta. Lucia has lost four in a row which is why I’m worried," said Favis. "They want to break the losing streak and they’ll surely go all out against us. But we’ll be prepared. We’re not thinking of a playoff or the quarterfinals. We’re just thinking of enjoying this one game against Sta. Lucia and winning."

full battle gear
01-07-2007, 01:30 PM
Realtors vow to nail it down now

The Philippine Star 01/07/2007

Sta. Lucia gets another chance at a guaranteed playoff crack for the right to challenge Red Bull in the quarterfinals while Coca-Cola, Air21 and Alaska Milk try to stay in contention at resumption of the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup wildcard round today at the Araneta Coliseum.

It’s Sta. Lucia versus Coca-Cola at 4:05 p.m. then Air21 against Alaska Milk at 6:30 p.m.

The Realtors are now on a four-game skid but remain the prohibitive pick for the last seat in the quarters owing to their carryover record from the classification round.

Coach Alfrancis Chua and his boys could end the chase in their favor tonight should they beat the Tigers and the Aces defeat the Express.

But the Realtors are on a slump, losing seven of their last eight games in a big dive all the way from the top of the heap.

Worse, skipper Dennis Espino remains a doubtful starter with knee injury. Espino actually re-joined his team in practice yesterday but couldn’t cope up with the pace.

The Express, meanwhile, came out strong in their first game in 2007, pouncing on the absence of Espino for a 121-99 victory Friday.

Earlier, Allan Salangsang and Denok Miranda combined for three huge three-pointers inside the last 62 seconds and the Tigers rallied to snatch a 99-98 squeaker in overtime over the Aces.

After their contrasting victories, coaches Bo Perasol and Binky Favis vowed to work hard in their bid to avail themselves of the playoff incentive in the wildcard round.

full battle gear
01-07-2007, 01:31 PM
Coca-Cola, Air 21 seek second wins

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


COCA-COLA and Air21 try to bolster their respective quarterfinal bids today when they face separate foes in the wild card phase of the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Coming off contrasting wins the other night, the Tigers and the Express are two wins away from sweeping their assignments in this single round robin to earn a playoff berth against the top wild card team for the last quarterfinal slot.

Coca-Cola meets slumping Sta. Lucia Realty in the curtain raiser at 4:05 p.m. while Air21 tackles unpredictable Alaska Milk in the main game at 6:30.

Classification round records were carried over in the wild card, and so far, despite suffering their third straight defeat opposite the Express, 99-121, the Realtors are still on top of the standings with a 10-9 win-loss card.

Air21’s win lifted the Express into a tie for second with Alaska, which lost to Coca-Cola in overtime, 98-99, also last Friday, at 8-11.

While the Express are still in the running for a wild card sweep, the only chance for the Aces to earn a playoff is to win their last two games and hope that the Realtors will drop their remaining two. A single win by SLR will assure them of the top spot as no team will reach 11 wins.

The Tigers improved to 6-13, but what’s more significant is that they remain in contention for that playoff slot against the team that tops the wild card. The wild card survivor will face outright quarterfinalist Red Bull in a best-of-five series.

"We just have to enjoy playing, as long as we’re still alive, that’s what we have to do," said Coke mentor Binky Favis.

The Tigers will face the Realtors sans big man Dennis Espino.

The former Santo Tomas stalwart missed Sta. Lucia’s last game due to a left knee injury, and according to Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua, the 6-foot-6 forward is expected to miss the game anew.

Chua is hoping Marlou Aquino and top overall pick Kelly Williams will step up this time after struggling against Air21 and were limited to a combined 21 points. Former MVP Kenneth Duremdes is another player Chua hopes to play big after scoring just seven points.

As for Coke, expected to lead the team John Arigo, who torched the Aces with 24 points, Miranda, burly center Ali Peek, Will Antonio, Allan Salansang and rookies Joseph Yeo and Cris Pacana.

On the other hand, Air21 hardly missed the absence of 6-foot-8 Yancy de Ocampo, who was dealt last month to quarterfinalist Talk ‘N Text together with Leo Avenido in exchange for rookie big men Mark Andaya and Abby Santos as well as future draft picks.

"The absence of Yancy opened up opportinities to other players to step. Hopefully we’ll continue to play that way to remain in contention for that playoff spot," said Air21 coach Bo Perasol.

Veteran forward Mark Telan led a balanced attack by the Express with 22 points with seven other players scoring in doubledigit including 20 markers from first year wingman Arwind Santos and 19 from guard Wynne Arboleda.

full battle gear
01-08-2007, 11:51 AM
Express stay alive; Realtors triumph

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 04:56am (Mla time) 01/08/2007

GAMES WEDNESDAY (Araneta Coliseum)
4:35 p.m.—Alaska vs Sta. Lucia
7:20 p.m.—Air21 vs Coca-Cola

AIR21 got its running game going late in the third quarter and the Express nipped the Alaska Aces, 112-106, last night to remain in contention for the last quarterfinal berth of the Talk ’N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Express trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half then ran roughshod over the Aces to stay on track to a potential playoff clash with the Sta. Lucia Realtors.

The Realtors earlier snapped out of a four-game losing streak with a masterful 122-75 victory over Coca-Cola that eliminated the Tigers.

Sta. Lucia could have gained the quarterfinal berth outright with an Alaska win over Air21 in the second game.

But Egay Billones, a third-string guard who came into the game averaging less than a point an outing, erupted for all of his 16 points in the final two periods to energize the Express and keep them alive.

Gary David also tossed in 32 markers as Air21 clawed back from several double-digit deficits to move up to 2-0 in the wild card and go into the final day of this phase on Wednesday with the chance to sweep.

“It was not planned. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing,” Air21 coach Bo Perasol said, referring to Billones. “I don’t know where he got his confidence. But I have to give it to him for stepping up and playing the way he did.”

Billones hit 3-of-4 three-pointers in a torrid third quarter fightback to put the Express within striking distance.

An 11-0 run at the halfway point of the fourth turned a 98-97 deficit to a 108-98 lead, with Billones highlighting the spurt by finishing consecutive fastbreak plays with jumpers off the glass.

Kelly Williams, with a bad back and all, paced the Realtors with 22 points and nine rebounds, and Kenneth Duremdes backed him up with 19, including 14 in the third period when the Realtors totally took the fight out of the game Tigers.

At 11-9 overall and 1-1 for the wildcard, Sta. Lucia could still be dragged into a playoff for the natural No. 6 berth in the quarterfinals assuming that the Express win against Coca-Cola on Wednesday.

Air21 would then be availing of the wild card incentive of a sweep, which will entitle the team to a playoff.

“This game is more important to me in the sense that we got back on track,” Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua said.

The scores:

First Game

STA. LUCIA 122—Williams 21, Duremdes 19, Mendoza 17, Catli 11, Calimag 11, Espino 9, Omolon 8, Gonzales 8, Bughao 7, Cabagnot 7, Aquino 4, Isip 0.

COCA-COLA 75—Arigo 22, Miranda 15, Caceres 13, Pacana 7, Peek 7, Misolas 5, Yeo 4, Salangsang 2, Gavino 0, Ramos 0, Ferreria 0.

Quarters: 28-15, 58-34, 91-50, 122-75.

Second Game

AIR21 112—David 32, De Ocampo 17, Billones 16, Telan 14, Canaleta 13, Arboleda 10, Sotto 6, Santos 4, Andaya 0, Dimaunahan 0, Bernardo 0.

ALASKA 106—Cariaso 19, Ferriols 18, Miller 14, Dela Cruz 12, Laure 10, Thoss 9, Hugnatan 9, Singson 4, Bajar 4, Aban 3, Juinio 2, Belasco 2.

Quarters: 19-29, 51-58, 84-88, 112-106.

full battle gear
01-08-2007, 11:53 AM
Realtors break slump, reach playoff
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 01/08/2007

Veterans Kenneth Duremdes and Dennis Espino bucked their injuries and the whole Sta. Lucia squad fought with a sense of urgency, fashioning out a 122-75 massacre of Coca-Cola to clinch another playoff crack at the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals last night at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Realtors rose from a deep slumber and hacked out the emphatic victory that eventually eased Tigers and the Alaska Milk Aces out of further contention in the All-Filipino tourney.

Air21, however, still stands in Sta. Lucia’s way to the next round.

Gary David erupted for a game-high 32 points while Egay Billones came through with 16 — all in the second half — as the Express whipped the Aces, 112-106, to stay in the running for a playoff incentive in the wildcard round.

The Express go for the playoff-clincher against the Tigers at 7:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Badly beaten by the Express Wednesday and having lost seven of their last eight games, the Realtors poured all their frustrations on the Tigers, avenging the sorry loss in their Dec. 22 match.

The Tigers denied the Realtors early passage into the quarterfinals in winning that particular contest.

The Realtors came out strong with their back to the wall and went on to dominate the Tigers all night long.

So dominant were the Realtors they outscored the Tigers in all quarters and led by as many as 51 points in the second half.

"We played great. Kung anong malas namin against Air21, ganon naman kami kaswerte tonight," said coach Alfrancis Chua after their 47-point triumph — the fifth largest winning margin in league history.

"We could get outright playoff or even outright entry into the quarters with this win. But to me, what’s important is simply to get this win to get back our fighting form. I think that was the missing link (in our slump)," Chua added.

Sta. Lucia could have gained outright passage into the quarters versus Red Bull had Alaska defeated Coca-Cola.

The Realtors rediscovered their character, form and rhythm with Duremdes, Espino, Kelly Williams and Mark Isip enduring various illnesses.

Curiously, Duremdes, despite a sore shin, and Williams, nursing a back injury, combined for 40 points to pace the Realtors.

The Realtors shot well from all angles, converting 55.6 percent of their three-point shots with Williams, Duremdes, Paolo Mendoza, Ricky Calimag and Alex Cabagnot firing 15 three-pointers together.

The Tigers, on the other hand, fired blanks (0-of-13) from beyond the arc and were also dominated in the battle off the boards, 39-58.

Worse, they lost top rebounder Ali Peek early after sustaining a deep eye-brow cut in the midway through the fourth quarter. Joseph Yeo suffered the same fate moments later.

The Tigers, who close out their Philippine Cup stint versus the Express Wednesday, would finish ninth place, just ahead of newcomer Welcoat.

full battle gear
01-08-2007, 11:55 AM
Realtors on steroids

By Waylon Galvez
www.mb.com.ph


TWO DAYS after absorbing one of its worst losses in the season-opening conference, Sta. Lucia Realty produced its best game this season.

The Realtors ended a four-game losing skid with a mighty 122-75 win over the Coca-Cola Tigers in the wildcard phase of the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Araneta Coliseum.

The win assured the Realtors of at least a playoff berth for the fourth and final quarterfinal slot.

They pulled off the lopsided win despite several injuries on key players and against the dangerous Tigers, who beat them, 90-85, in their final classification game and dealt the Alaska Aces a 99-98 overtime loss two days ago.

Coming off a humiliating 99-121 setback opposite Air21 last Friday, Sta. Lucia went full throttle against the listless Tigers and did not let up even when the game was already settled.

"We played great. Kung anong malas ang inabot namin against Air21, ito naman at swerte kami against Coke," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua, whose team ousted Coke (6-14) in the playoff race for quarterfinal seat.

"We brought that fighting form, which was the missing link. Even with various injuries, we’re able to come out strong and sustain it. That’s what we need, be it in the playoff or the quarters," added Chua.

Sta. Lucia’s 47-point winning margin ranked fifth all-time in league history. The record was the 55-point margin when U-Tex defeated Great Taste, 154-99, in 1980.

Even with a back injury, top overall rookie pick Kelly Williams scattered 21 points on top of nine rebounds, while former MVP Kenneth Duremdes, who had a shin injury last week, added 19 markers.

Aside from the two, other Realtors nursing injuries are big men Dennis Espino and Marlou Aquino, who combined for 13 points and eight rebounds.

Sta. Lucia, which improved its win-loss card to 11-9, could claim automatic berth and a best-of-five quarterfinal showdown against outright quarterfinalist Red Bull if Alaska Milk beats Air21 in the second game.

The Realtors were all business right at the opening period as they raced to a 28-15 lead.

Meanwhile, PBA Commissioner Noli Eala lambasted the sudden ouster of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada as president of the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP).

"The PBA condemns the move," said Eala. "It’s regrettable that such action was taken by the BAP. We’ll never support that move, we’ll continue to support the unification efforts by the SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas). The SBP will not waver in its desire to have a new, united association."

Eala branded the BAP action as the height of unpatriotism.

"It’s deceitful and most of all dishonorable. It’s also the height of double-speak. The three-man panel has already leaned back to accommodate them," he said.

Eala blamed the recent BAP action on secretary-general Graham Lim, claiming that the decision was not the BAP board’s majority decision.

The scores

First Game

Sta. Lucia 122 — Williams 21, Duremdes 19, Mendoza 17, Catli 11, Calimag 11, Espino 9, Omolon 8, Gonzales 8, Bughao 7, Cabagnot 7, Aquino 4, Isip 0.

Coca-Cola 75 — Arigo 22, Miranda 15, caceres 13, Pacana 7, Peek 7, Misolas 5, Yeo 4, Salansang 2, Gavino 0, Ramos 0, Ferreria 0.

Quarters: 28-15, 58-34, 91-50, 122-75.

Second Game

air21 112 — David 32, De Ocampo 17, Billones 16, Telan 14, Canaleta 13, Arboleda 10, Sotto 6, Santos 4, Andaya 0, Dimaunahan 0, Bernardo 0.

alaska 106 — Cariaso 19, Ferriols 18, Miller 14, Dela Cruz 12, Laure 10, Thoss 9, Hugnatan 9, Singson 4, Bajar 4, Aban 3, Juinio 2, Belasco 2.

Quarters: 19-29, 51-58, 84-88, 112-106.

full battle gear
01-09-2007, 12:59 PM
Express appear unstoppable

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


THE FIGHT for the last quarterfinals berth in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup has become a toss-up between Sta. Lucia Realty and Air21.

Alaska Milk and Coca-Cola, ranked third and fourth in the four-team wild card phase, were knocked out from the running last Sunday with losses to the Express and Realtors, respectively.

But while the Realtors, with their 11-9 overall record, are already assured of at least a playoff for the fourth berth in the next round, the Express need to beat the Tigers at 7:20 p.m. tomorrow to sweep their wild card phase assignment and forge a playoff with Sta. Lucia for the right to meet Talk ’N Text in the best-of-five quarterfinals.

A loss for Air 21 means Sta. Lucia advances outright.

But that would take a monumental upset. Judging from the way the Express demolished the Realtors last Friday, 121-99, and then the Aces two days ago, 112-106, a sweep appears imminent as the Tigers are ready for the picking.

"We’re playing well right now," said Air21 coach Bo Perasol.

"I like our chances against Coke. With the way we’re playing, I believe we have a strong chance of sweeping the wild card. Hopefully we can sustain the momentum we have right now," he added.

The Realtors, on the other hand, could take it easy when they face the Aces in tomorrow’s 4:35 p.m. opener where even a loss will still put them into the playoff. But if you are Sta. Lucia, you wouldn’t want to go into the playoffs following a loss.

"Our win against Coke is a big one," said Sta. Lucia mentor Alfrancis Chua. "We regained our fighting form, which is very crucial. Either we play Air21 in a playoff or we move outright to the quarters against Red Bull, it’s important that we have that form," added Chua.

With four straight defeats and injuries to key players, Sta. Lucia came through with one of its most impressive wins — a 47-point rout of Coca-Cola that ranks fifth all-time in the PBA for margin of victory.

But should the Express sweep their games and force a playoff, the Realtors are in for a big fight.

With the first conference of the season at stake, it’s going to be an interesting match with Kelly Williams, the top pick by the Realtors in the 2006 Rookie Draft, going up against Arwind Santos, his Magnolia teammate in the PBL and the No. 2 overall pick.

Veteran big men Marlou Aquino and Dennis Espino will definitely have their hands full against their younger counterparts Ranidel de Ocampo, Niño Cañaleta and Earvin Sotto, while former MVP Kenneth Duremdes will battle Gary David.

However, the Tigers, though hurting, are capable of spoiling a thrilling match between the Realtors and the Express.

gameface_one
01-11-2007, 09:53 AM
Express seal playoff duel with Realtors

By NELSON BELTRAN
The Philippine Star

Air21 rode the momentum of a two-game run and rolled past Coca-Cola, 111-106, Wednesday night to arrange a sudden-death with Sta. Lucia Realty for the last slot in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Express churned out enough effort to complete a three-game sweep in the wildcard round that gave them a crack at the playoff for the right to play Red Bull in the quarterfinals.

The Express and the Realtors clash in a do-or-die game at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Astrodome.

The winner challenges Red Bull in a best-of-five showdown in the quarterfinals starting Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum. The loser finishes seventh place in the tourney, just ahead of Alaska Milk, Coca-Cola and Welcoat.

"Sta. Lucia is one of the toughest teams in the league. They have a formidable lineup but I believe we can match up with them," said Air21 coach Bo Perasol.

"We have a positive outlook against Sta. Lucia. We beat them badly in the wildcard round and we want to avenge our two defeats to them in the classification round," Perasol added.

Earlier in the night, Alaska Milk put up a decent stand in its farewell game, toppling the Dennis Espino-less Sta. Lucia side, 99-91, for a closing 9-12 win-loss card.

It’s the first time that Alaska failed to make it past the elimination round since the playoff format was introduced in the league in 1999.

For the record, the Uytengsu ballclub had never finished eighth or worse in the last 13 All-Filipino tourneys or since ending up eighth in this particular conference in 1992.

Bracing up for what seemed to be an inevitable playoff, the Realtors rested their injured skipper, Espino, and were dominated by the Aces at the paint.

Air21, meanwhile, outclassed Coca-Cola on all fronts of the game, making it three in a row in their head-on duels in the tourney.

The Express pounded the Tigers in the second quarter, erecting a 58-40 halftime lead which provided enough cushion on Coca-Cola’s endgame chase.

"I don’t like the way we finished the game but I’m happy we won and it gave us the right to play Sta. Lucia in a playoff," said Perasol.

John Ferriols had a huge double-double game and five other Aces scored in double figures as they closed out their poor showing in the tourney on a winning note.

"We went up and down, and we had more downs in this tournament. We’re hit by injuries early with our premier point guard (Mike Cortez) downed by an ACL. We tried to recover but didn’t really able get into the groove," said Alaska coach Tim Cone.

full battle gear
01-12-2007, 12:56 PM
Express, Realtors dispute last q’final slot

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 05:12am (Mla time) 01/12/2007

AIR21 and Sta. Lucia, teams with totally different styles, slug it out today for the last quarterfinal seat in the Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.

Gametime is 7 p.m. with the odds, curiously, favoring the weaker Express owing to a string of three wins in the wild card phase that gave them this KO shot.

“I just hope that we come out with the same intensity the way we did against them (last Friday),” Air21 coach Bo Perasol said after experiencing some anxious moments before surviving Coca-Cola on Wednesday, 111-106.

The Express scored a 121-99 blowout of the Realtors the last time they met, only their first victory over Sta. Lucia in three meetings so far but one which could prove enough to make Air21 to play with a lot of confidence.

Air21’s running game has worked wonders so far, but the same cannot be said of the Realtors’ slow, deliberate execution, with the team winning just once in three wild card assignments.

The Realtors will come into this KO match the losers of eight of their last 11 matches, counting a 91-99 setback to Alaska on Wednesday.

Sta. Lucia actually ended the wild card phase with an 11-10 card, while the Express closed out with a 10-11 tally. But the sweep made them avail of a special privilege in the round.

“I always tell the boys that we need to win four games, not three,” Perasol said. “It’s going to be an interesting game.”

Gary David, rookie Arwind Santos, Wynne Arboleda and Mark Telan will be at the forefront of the Air21 offense.

Skipper Dennis Espino is listed as doubtful for the Realtors because of a leg injury, but the former Santo Tomas ace is not expected to sit this one out because of its significance. Marlou Aquino, Kenneth Duremdes, Alex Cabagnot and super rookie Kelly Williams will lead the Realtors.

full battle gear
01-12-2007, 12:59 PM
Quarterfinals or bust for Express, Realtors

The Philippine Star 01/12/2007

Air21 hopes to sustain its searing charge while Sta. Lucia Realty seeks redemption as the two teams clash in a knockout duel for the last slot in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals at the Astrodome today.

It’s a battle of a team on the rise and a team on skid as the Express and the Realtors collide at 7 p.m. to determine who will advance to the quarters against Red Bull.

The Express are enjoying a huge morale-boost from an impressive three-game run. The Realtors have lost eight of their last 10 games. Worse, Sta. Lucia’s main man Dennis Espino is hurt.

Air21 coach Bo Perasol said his boys remain highly motivated hoping to cap its incredible run after sweeping the wildcard round to gain the playoff.

"Our efforts will go to naught if we lose this match," said Perasol.

Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua, meanwhile, said they’ve regained their fighting form and killer’s instinct after their ghastly rout of Coca-Cola Sunday.

"That’s important, that’s the missing link (in our game during our slump)," said Chua.

A 22-point blowout by the Express at the start of the wildcard round was among the lowest points for the Realtors. But Chua felt they have recovered their bearing as could be gleaned from their 47-point massacre of the Tigers.

Chua said they’re determined to redeem themselves from their wildcard-round loss to the Express.

Perasol, on the other hand, said they want to get even with the Realtors who swept them in two games in the classification round. For the record, the Express have yet to win four straight games under Perasol.

Meanwhile the PBA launched the Astig Radio last Saturday on 91.5 Energy FM. Aired from 11 a.m.-12 noon, the weekly interactive program ventures on a mix of showbiz and hot PBA topics.

This week’s guests are Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and team managers Samboy Lim of Ginebra and Hector Calma of San Miguel. The program is hosted by Mr. Magoo and Sgt. Mark.

full battle gear
01-12-2007, 01:01 PM
Realtors, Express in KO match

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


STA. LUCIA Realty and Air21 slug it out today for the last quarterfinals berth in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Gametime is at 7 p.m. with the winner claiming the right to engage Red Bull in a best-of-five series for one of the two remaining semifinals seats.

The Express forced the playoff against the wild card top team Realtors by sweeping all their three games in the single round robin stage.

"If we want to win again against Sta. Lucia, we can’t afford to play like we played Coke. Sta. Lucia is one of the strong teams," said Air21 coach Bo Perasol.

"What’s good about this is that we’re feeling good that we can beat the Realtors. We just have to stay focused and do the things we did that made us successful in the wildcard," he added.

The Realtors actually swept the Express in the classification stage, but the latter bounced back in the wildcard with an impressive 121-99 rout.

And with the way they’re playing, the Express are favored to topple the Realtors anew.

This will be the third time for Sta. Lucia to get a shot at the quarters.

First was when the Realtors dropped a 90-85 decision to Coca-Cola at the close of the classification phase that saw defending champion Purefoods tie them at 10-8. The Giants defeated them, 92-78, in the playoff, relegating them to the wildcard phase.

And tonight, an exciting match-up between Air21 ace gunner Gary David, who averaged almost 22 points per game in the wildcard, and former Most Valuable Player (MVP) Kenneth Duremdes is expected.

Another marquee match-up will be this year’s top two picks Kelly Williams, the No. 1 of the Realtors, and Arwind Santos, the No. 2 selection of the Express.

The battle inside the shaded lane is also interesting as the foursome frontline of Ranidel de Ocampo, Mark Telan, Earvin Sotto and Niño Cañaleta will face their SLR counterparts led by ‘twin towers’ Marlou Aquino and Dennis Espino.

The quarterfinals start on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum with the Giants engaging the Talk ’N Text Phone Pals in the other quarterfinals series.

The winners of the two series will then join automatic semifinalists San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra in the Last 4.

full battle gear
01-13-2007, 09:07 AM
Caguioa, Hatfield pace PBA stats

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 05:33am (Mla time) 01/13/2007

BARANGAY Ginebra spitfire Mark Caguioa and teammate Rudy Hatfield led everyone in the scoring and rebounding departments, respectively, after the classification and wild card phases of the Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup.

Caguioa scored a total of 408 points in 18 games for a 22.6 norm, while the hardworking Hatfield, acquired in a blockbuster trade months before season’s start, pulled down an average of 11.8 boards a night.

Both stalwarts were the only Gin Kings who started in all 18 games for Ginebra, which ended classification with a 13-5 card for top seeding over sister team San Miguel.

Talk ’N Text sentinel Jimmy Alapag was the tournament’s top assists man with 7.3, while Jay-Jay Helterbrand, Ginebra’s starting point guard, had a 3.36 assist-to-turnover ratio to lead that department for the second straight year.

Injured Alaska point guard Mike Cortez, out for the rest of the season because of an ACL tear, actually averaged 7.8 assists, but did not qualify in the leaderboard after playing just four games.

Marlou Aquino of Sta. Lucia swatted away an average of 1.7 enemy shots a game, with Air21 rookie Arwind Santos second with 1.6.

Wynne Arboleda was the tournament’s top thief with 1.85 a game. Curiously, the Air21 point guard also owned one of the worst assist-to-turnover ratio among starting guards after norming 3.2 turnovers compared to his 5.9 feeds.

Danny Seigle of SMB was second in scoring with 21.5, with Coca-Cola ace John Arigo third with 20.1.

Talk ’N Text man-mountain Asi Taulava was second in rebounding with 10.8, Alaska’s Nic Belasco third with 10.4 and super Sta. Lucia rookie Kelly Williams fourth with 10.3 boards a night.

Rookie Jay-R Reyes of newcomer Welcoat round out the top five and was the last to average double digits in rebounding with 10.3.

full battle gear
01-13-2007, 09:09 AM
PBA urged to form nat’l team

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


FORMER NATIONAL coach Jong Uichico wants the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) to remain steadfast in its commitment to form a national team that will try to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The PBA will decide Monday whether to form a team or not for the Beijing Games qualifier.

Though the PBA has expressed willingness to support efforts to form a competitive national team, its decision is hampered by the continued resistance of the Basketball Association of the Philippines to join the unfication process.

The BAP has ignored an earlier agreement brokered by FIBA between the BAP and Pilipinas Basketball to form a united federation under the banner of the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP).

Despite nearly unanimous condemnation of the BAP position, the association has been able to undermine unity efforts because the FIBA has refused to acknowledge that the BAP is the root cause of the country’s basketball problems.

There are now moves to get FIBA to recognize the real situation in Philippine basketball, which is that the BAP has lost its credibility and viability and that its leadership is being held in contemp by every sector including the prestigious Philippine Sportswriters Association.

Leading this move is businessman Manny Pangilinan and Sen. Jinggoy Estrada who plan to petition the FIBA to withdraw its recognition of the BAP for violating the accord signed last August in Japan.

PBA Commissioner Noli Eala said yesterday he is confident the Philippines would eventually get a chance to again play in the world stage.

"We have prepared contingency plans for presentation to the board. The PBA’s steadfast commitment to support the national team I believe will be affirmed by the board. We are willing to make sacrifices. I hope others would too," said Eala.

With Olympic elimination tournament to be held in a few months time, the PBA is aware that it is running out of time to form a competitive team.

"As always, the PBA makes every effort to support the national team," said Uichico, coach of crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra.

Uichico coached the RP team that finished fourth in the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, South Korea.

The tournament is best remembered as the one that saw the RP squad lose its semifinal against South Korea who won on a desperate three-point shot in the dying seconds of the match. South Korea eventually won the gold by beating China.

Having come this close, Uichico believes the Filipinos still have what it takes to beat the big guns of Asia.

The Philippines has already missed several international events because of its suspension by FIBA, such as the 2005 Southeast Asian Games where the country is the defending champion and the Asian Games in Doha, Qatar late last year.

One of the things the PBA is looking at is its schedule.

The second conference will end sometime in July or just in time for the FIBA-Asia Championships in Japan which is the qualifying tournament for the Olympics.

Noli Eala recently said that the league is open to shorten the import-flavored conference to accommodate the FIBA-Asia schedule.

"I guess the league is willing to do that. The team should be given enough time to prepare for that event," said Uichico, adding that a month is enough to prepare a team for the FIBA-Asia.

full battle gear
01-13-2007, 09:10 AM
Realtors trip Express, gain last q’final berth

By waylon galvez
www.mb.com.ph


KELLY WILLIAMS got the better of his marquee match-up with fellow rookie sensation Arwind Santos as Sta. Lucia scored a dramatic 121-118 overtime win over Air21 last night and clinched the last quarterfinal berth in the Talk 'N Text PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The high-leaping Williams put on a big show, scoring 35 points, including seven in the extra five minutes in leading the Realtors to the next round – their first in three years.

"Sobra hirap ng dinaanan naming, we tried everything that would work for us despite the injuries and pressure for us to win. I owe it to my players, they really worked hard," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua, who punched the air several times in sheer ecstasy.

Williams also had 10 rebounds as he registered his 11th double-double performance for the tournament.

Santos finished with 24 points.

Almost given up for the dead after falling behind by six points early in the overtime, Williams put the Realtors back into the thick of things with his individual forays.

Down 115-118, Williams grabbed an offensive rebound and scored against Ranidel Ocampo. He failed to complete a three-point play. But it was just alright.

The next play turned out to be the decisive one as Williams stole the ball from Santos and sped away.

In a bid to stop Williams, Air21’s Winnie Arboleda hit the Sta. Lucia forward hard and was assessed a flagrant foul.

Williams made his two gift shots that gave the Realtors a breather 119-118, only 22 ticks left. In the ensuing play, Ricky Calimag was fouled but he did not frustrate Sta. Lucia supporters when he calmly hit his two charities.

Though rookie Ronnie Bughao muffed two foul shots, the Gary David and Santos missed their shots from the 3-point zone one after another.

The Realtors led by as many as 16 points (76-60) midway in the third quarter, and were ahead by 13 (100-87) with 7:31 left in the final frame.

But Air21 used a 21-8 run to send the game into overtime. That run was capped by David’s two free throws off a foul by Paolo Mendoza with 4.5 seconds left.

Rookie playmaker Alex Cabagnot had a chance to win it in regulation but missed a jumper with only one second left.

The Realtors will face Red Bull in the quarterfinals which is a best-of-five affair.

gameface_one
01-14-2007, 01:58 AM
Tired Sta. Lucia up vs Red Bull

The Philippine Star 01/14/2007

Forty-eight hours after surviving the wildcard round, Sta. Lucia Realty gets back into action today playing a sixth game in 11 days versus Red Bull at the start of the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals at the Araneta Coliseum.

Having just overcome the fierce-fighting Air21 Express in a knockout setto, the Realtors run into another tough challenge as they take on a Red Bull side raring to return to battle after a three-week respite.

Injuries to veterans Dennis Espino (sore back), Marlou Aquino (sprained ankle) and Kenneth Duremdes (dislocated finger) further put Sta. Lucia at a disadvantage position versus Red Bull in their best-of-five showdown.

"We’re fresh and excited to play. Sta. Lucia coming off a grueling wildcard is another advantage for us. Quickness and defense will be our main weapons," said Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao.

Talk n Text and Purefoods are pitted in the other quarterfinals match-up and both are likely to come out strong also coming from a long break.

"We’re looking to control the series early. Purefoods wants that, too, and we have to make them play our tempo," said Talk n Text coach Derrick Pumaren.

"The series will be about height versus speed. Inasmuch as they are taller than us, I believe that we have the edge on speed and quickness. It’s going to be a very challenging series but we are ready to face it," said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.

Don Allado is out for the rest of the tourney with a dislocation. Talk n Text, however, has an able replacement in Yancy de Ocampo whom the team acquired from Air21 through a trade.

"Match-ups are about even medyo lamang lang kami with Asi (Taulava)’s size. Hopefully, Yancy fills in the shoes left by Don (Allado)," Pumaren said.

"Historically, we have match-up problems against Talk n Text because of their tall frontline. The addition of Yancy makes them all the more formidable," Gregorio said.

Winner in the Talk n Text-Purefoods series advances to the semifinals against top seed Barangay Ginebra while the victor in the Sta. Lucia-Red Bull gets a crack at the finals against second seed San Miguel Beer.

But certainly, all four teams aren’t yet looking beyond the quarterfinals.

"It’s going to be tough. Importante ang focus dito," said Chua, whose Realtors clinched the last quarters slot on a 121-118 overtime win over the Express Friday at the Astrodome.

Sta. Lucia and Red Bull split their two matches in the classification round, and so did Talk n Text and Purefoods, indicating all four teams could have a good shot at the semis.

Red Bull may have finished third in the classification round with an 11-7 card but Talk n Text, Purefoods and Sta. Lucia came in just a game behind all at 10-8.

The Realtors even paced the field early on only to falter at the finish, thus, being relegated into the wildcard round with an inferior quotient.

gameface_one
01-14-2007, 02:00 AM
When heroes are born
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 01/14/2007

It was a perfect setting for heroes to emerge.

Last Friday, Sta. Lucia Realty and Air21 slugged it out for the last quarterfinals berth in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) All-Filipino conference at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The winner stayed in contention for the title, advancing to play Red Bull in a best-of-5 series. The loser joined Welcoat, Coca-Cola and Alaska in mourning.

Sta. Lucia opened the conference like a house on fire, racing to a 6-1 mark. The Realtors were on top of the standings for a while until the cracks on Sta. Lucia’s wall began to surface. In a startling tailspin, Sta. Lucia ended the eliminations losing five of its last six outings.

In the wildcard series, Sta. Lucia coach AlFrancis Chua didn’t know if the Realtors were coming or going. They opened the series losing to Air21 by 22 then crushed Coca-Cola by 47 before bowing to Alaska by eight. Air21, in contrast, swept its assignments to earn a playoff for the last quarterfinals slot.

So the stage was set for last Friday’s playoff. It was a win or go home situation.

Chua’s problem was skipper Dennis Espino’s condition. Espino didn’t play the previous game against Alaska to rest his banged up left knee but begged to contribute even in a small way.

During the Christmas holidays, Chua stayed home while his wife Jocelyn and their four boys went on vacation in Hong Kong. He never got to use his plane ticket.

Even Sta. Lucia team manager Buddy Encarnado didn’t enjoy the yearend break. He traditionally spends the holidays in Baguio with his family. But last Christmas, Encarnado kept vigil with the team, attending each and every practice.

Before Friday’s duel, Chua had a heart-to-heart talk with his players, especially Marlou Aquino.

"I told Marlou even coach Ron (Jacobs) believes he’s the best player in the league if he only comes to play," said Chua. "I usually fill up the blackboard with notes on matchups, reminders and whatever else in the lockerroom. But this time, the blackboard was blank. I just told the guys they know what to do, so just do it. I told them to play with the same intensity they showed in beating Coca-Cola. I told them no matter what happens, I’m proud of them and I love them. One last thing, I told them to make sure they stay healthy because we play Red Bull in the first game on Sunday. That got everyone going."

Chua’s plan was to attack Air21’s postmen and make Aquino the first option on offense. On defense, his goal was to stop Ranidel de Ocampo.

"I saw a weakness in Air21’s post defense so I thought of exploiting that," explained Chua. "With Ranidel, I noticed he has no problem scoring against big guys because he’s quick, he can dribble and he can move around them. So I thought of putting a small guy like Bitoy (Omolon) to guard him."

Chua’s twin gambles paid off. Aquino, averaging 7.3 points and 21.1 minutes, erupted for 26 points in 35 minutes before fouling out with 35.4 seconds left in regulation. De Ocampo, hitting at a 16.6 clip, was held to nine points.

Air21 fought to the bitter end. The Express forced overtime and had a six-point lead in extension before Kelly Williams, in a superhuman effort, took charge down the stretch to put it away for Sta. Lucia, 121-118.

Chua took his wife out to dinner on Roxas Boulevard after the game.

"It was our Christmas and New Year celebration," said Chua. "We slept at 4:30 in the morning and woke up at 10. Our practice was at 2. It wasn’t easy moving up to the quarterfinals. Boss Buddy was a big factor. Hindi siya bumitaw. He never lost faith in us. And I wouldn’t have survived without the support of my wife and kids."

A lot of heroes emerged Friday night.

Aquino. Williams. Espino for refusing to give up and chipping in five points in 14 minutes. Alex Cabagnot for his leadership, playmaking, poise and clutch triple in overtime. Kenneth Duremdes for his all-around effort with 12 points, six rebounds and five assists — he suffered a dislocated finger in his left hand in the process. Paolo Mendoza for his outside sniping (Sta. Lucia hit 12-of-25 triples compared to Air21’s 4-of-20). Norman Gonzales for his steady shooting (7-of-7 free throws), defense (against de Ocampo) and toughness under the boards (eight rebounds). Ronnie Bughao for his two rebounds and three assists in relieving Cabagnot. Ricky Calimag for his two big free throws in the closing seconds of extension. Mark Isip for his inside presence with Aquino and Espino on the bench. Omolon for his six rebounds and unforgiving defense.

But the biggest hero of them all was the Skyscraper who at 34, is in his 11th PBA season.

"That wasn’t just for one night," said Chua, referring to Aquino’s explosion. "He can do that every game. You know what? With the game over, in the dugout, Marlou told us he’s good for another three years. That was when we all broke out cheering."

full battle gear
01-15-2007, 12:08 PM
Sta. Lucia tougher than Red Bull
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 01/15/2007

Sta. Lucia Realty is tired physically but super healthy mentally.

Riding an emotional high following a bailout win over Air21 Friday, Sta. Lucia drubbed Red Bull, 96-89, in Game One of their Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup best-of-five quarterfinals match at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

Paolo Mendoza fired five triples and scored a game-high 19 points, Alex Cabagnot churned out a rare double-double with 16 points and 10 assists while Kelly Williams made 17 points and nine rebounds in leading the highly-charged Realtors past a Red Bull side appearing to get rusty following a three-week rest.

"Yes, we’re tired physically. But our mind and hearts are healthy," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua.

"Our stint in the wildcard round may be God’s will. Sabi siguro niya hindi pa kami ready kaya binagyan pa kami ng extra games before playing in the quarterfinals," Chua added.

But getting five extra games after missing outright quarters passage seemed to really toughen up the Realtors who got off to a strong start and completed a wire-to-wire win over the Bulls.

They did that minus Kenneth Duremdes and with Dennis Espino and Marlou Aquino playing limited minutes due to injuries.

"It’s God’s blessing we have young legs who can play extended minutes," said Chua. "If we can make it two in a row, it could be really our destiny."

Duremdes, who suffered a dislocated left pinky, is tipped to return to play Wednesday as the Realtors go for a pivotal two-game-to-nil lead over the Bulls.

Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao, however, said their confidence remains high.

"(Did we become rusty?) Obviously we did. At least we’re over that. Our second half was a lot better. We hope to play that way Wednesday and the rest of the series," said Guiao.

The Bulls did pick up their game after falling behind by 28 at halftime but ran out of time in their comeback bid.

They narrowed the gap at 66-81 at the end of the third and came closest at 87-92 and 89-94 before yielding the game just the same in the end.

Rallying within 87-92 on a seven-to-nothing run by Mick Pennisi, Larry Fonacier and Junthy Valenzuela, Red Bull had a chance to come even closer but Fonacier’s three-point attempt rimmed out.

At 94-89, Sta. Lucia saw Valenzuela miss another three-point try then Espino score on a fastbreak in the ensuing play as the Realtors eventually sealed the win.

"I guess we have to pay the price for having such a long break. But our confidence remains high," said Guiao.

full battle gear
01-16-2007, 12:39 PM
PBA shortens tilt, renews support for RP five

January 16, 2007
Updated 03:10:53 (Mla time)
Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer

REAFFIRMING its commitment to help the country return to the international basketball scene, the Philippine Basketball Association yesterday agreed to “sacrifice” some more for the benefit of the sport.

The current power struggle in local basketball notwithstanding, the league yesterday announced that it would shorten the second conference to make an All-Star team available for the Philippines’ participation, possibly in the FIBA-Asia tournament in July.
“The PBA is reaffirming its commitment to support the national team’s cause,” said league commissioner Noli Eala after a meeting with the league’s board last night.

“Even if it means the ultimate sacrifice on our part, like the teams’ exposures (being) affected and our projected revenues disrupted, the entire PBA believes this is something we have to do.”

The board also reiterated its pledge to support the unification efforts of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, which is trying to get recognition from the Philippine Olympic Committee before applying as a bona fide member of the international federation (FIBA).

“The PBA would like to show an example to the entire basketball community that we have to make concrete sacrifices, not just lip service,” Eala said, adding that the second conference, which opens in March, will be shortened.

From an eight-game-per-week schedule, the tournament will play nine and the wild-card phase will be reduced from a single round to three knockout games.

“Hopefully, this will give the RP team more time to prepare and hone up,” Eala added.

full battle gear
01-16-2007, 12:43 PM
PBA offers top players for Olympic qualifier

The Philippine Star 01/16/2007

The PBA, optimistic of a favorable ruling on the country’s suspension by the FIBA, has agreed to shorten the league’s second conference in March to make its top players available for a possible stint in the FIBA-Asia Olympic qualifier in July.

In its regular meeting last night at the Chateau 1771 in Ortigas Center, the PBA board said it believes that the FIBA suspension on the country would be lifted soon following the formation of the new cage body in Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, Inc. (SBP) that would pave the way for the country’s return to the international scene after a two-year absence.

The PBA board said it decided to reformat the import-reinforced conference slated to start in March in such a way that the league could wrap it up in three months and put up the best possible team for the Olympic qualifier.

"The board believes in the cause of helping the national team, so we decided to shorten the second conference," said PBA commissioner Noli Eala.

Under the new format, the wildcard phase, which used to be a one round affair, will be a knockout stage while the quarterfinals will be reduced to a best-of-three series from the best-of-five.

The second conference is expected to finish one month before the FIBA-Asia elims.

Meantime, the SBP, taking the first big step toward reconciliation, will hold a unity congress on Feb. 5 at Dusit Hotel Nikko on Ayala Avenue in Makati.

Registration starts at 10 a.m. with lunch served at 12 noon at Ballroom A.

Invited are "all bona fide members of the Basketball Association of the Philippines and Pilipinas Basketball."

According to lawyer Marievic Ramos-Añonuevo, SBP acting corporate secretary, the congress will hear the report of the three-man SBP panel recognizing BAP and PB members granted probationary status, oversee the conduct of the organizational meeting of the board of trustees, and transact any other business that may arise in the course of the congress. — With reports from Dante Navarro and Nelson Beltran

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01-16-2007, 12:47 PM
Chunkees live up to giant task

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


WHEN DEFENDING champion Purefoods Chunkee arranged a quarterfinals showdown against Talk ’N Text, Coach Ryan Gregorio knew his team was facing a tall order against a team feared for its tall frontline.

Despite this disadvantage, Gregorio knew he had something the other team may not have: Determination.

Gregorio was proven right when the Giants defeated the Phone Pals in Game 1, 87-84, for a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five series in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup Sunday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Also drawing first blood in the series was Sta. Lucia Realty which beat Red Bull, 96-89, in the other game.

Both Purefoods and Sta. Lucia were underdogs after going through the wild card phase to enter the quarterfinals.

"Nobody expected us to win against a tall Talk ’N text team but ourselves," said Gregorio. "We showed our ‘giant’ heart, which was the deciding factor and will be the key to win this series."

The Phone Pals’ height advantage was not fully exploited despite having 6-foot-9 Asi Taulava, 6-foot-8 Yancy de Ocampo, 6-foot-7 Anthony Washington and 6-foot-5 Harvey Carey in the lineup.

Leading the charge for Purefoods was Marc Pingris who inspired his team to play beyond its potential.

Like a man possessed, Pingris, the reigning Most Improved Player, delivered a double-double performance with 19 points, 17 rebounds and five blocked shots.

It turned out Pingris had his own inspiration. Pingris was able to talk to his father whom he hasn’t seen in 25 years.

"It’s easy for my players to be motivated," said Gregorio. "Like Marc, he was so inspired after talking to his father, na hindi n’ya pa nakikita. It was his girlfriend Danica (Sotto) who tracked his father."

Gregorio expects the Pals to bounce back hard in Game 2 set tomorrow at the Cuneta Astrodome.

While Purefoods will shoot for 2-0 lead, Red Bull hopes to equalize its own best-of-five showdown against Sta. Lucia Realty, which made the quarters after beating Air21 in overtime, 121-118, during a playoff last week.

Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao admitted that his team was a rusty after a three-week break.

"Obviously we’re rusty. But we’re over that," said Guiao. "My confidence is still high. I think we have to pay the price with the long break. Hopefully we can carry the intensity we had in the second half in Game 2."

"The experience gave us a chance to scout (Sta. Lucia)," Guiao added, whose team will meet the Realtors in Game 2 also tomorrow.

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01-16-2007, 12:48 PM
PBA OKs RP team formation

By Waylon Galvez
www.mb.com.ph


THE PHILIPPINE Basketball Association Board of Governors yesterday approved a shorter second conference to pave the way for the formation of the national team for possible international competition.

Saying it has to make a supreme sacrifice for the sake of Philippine basketball, the league decided to accept a shorter schedule as proposed by Commissioner Noli Eala even though the country is still under suspension from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), and the formation of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has yet to be completed.

Under Eala’s proposal, the league will use a quick phase format for the import-flavored second conference in order for the team to have enough tme to prepare for the Beijing Olympics qualifying tournament.

The second conference is set to start on March 4.

"The PBA reaffirmed the proposal. It believes with the cause of playing in international tournaments," said Eala after last night’s board meeting.

"The PBA would like to show an example for the entire basketball community, that we have to make concrete sacrifices, not just lip service," Eala added.

The scheme will allow the PBA to finish its tournament first week of July and give the pro-laden national team enough time to prepare for the FIBA-Asia Championships slated July 28 in Saitama, Japan.

The FIBA-Asia Championship is a qualifying tournament for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.

Instead of having its usual eight games per week like the ongoing Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup, the PBA will play at least nine games for its classification round in the second conference.

In the wildcard phase, it will use a knockout system instead of having a single round robin among the teams that will finish from sixth to ninth places, while the quarterfinal will be reduced to a best-of-three affair from best-of -five series.

The semifinals and finals will remain as best-of-seven showdown.

"We know it could hurt our exposure, but we’re willing to sacrifice that," added Eala.

The commissioner also added that Chot Reyes will remain as the coach of the national squad that will take part in the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship in May in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the FIBA-Asia in the event the suspension is finally lifted.

"It’s up to him if he wants the team to be an all-amateur, or be reinforced by PBA players, or be an all-PBA team. We’ll support him," Eala said.

If the suspension will be lifted and allow the Philippines to compete in all its sanctioned tournaments, the country must win the SEABA title to be able to join the FIBA-Asia.

The PBA board, according to Eala, also reaffirmed its commitment in the formation of the SBP.

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01-16-2007, 12:50 PM
Williams is scribes’ pick as PBA player of week

www.mb.com.ph


STA. LUCIA Realty knew Kelly Williams was good enough to be made the top pick in the 2006 rookie draft. But not this good.

"He’s a very good catch," said Realtors coach Alfrancis Chua of the 6-foot-5, do-it-all forward named as the PBA Press Corps’ Accel-Talk N Text Player of the Week for the period Jan. 8-14.

"The passion and energy he brings to each game is absolutely contagious and that spills over to his teammates," Chua added.

There are also the numbers.

In the week that was, Williams belied his rookie status by leading the Realtors to back-to-back wins that not only pushed last year’s cellard-weller to the quarterfinals but to the headstart in its best-of-five duel with Red Bull.

Williams scored a career-high 35 points, on 10 of 15 shooting from the field and 10 of 14 from the freethrow line, in a 121-118 overtime win over Air21 in their playoff for the last quarterfinals slot last Friday.

He also grabbed 10 rebounds for his 11th double-double this conference, tying Ginebra’s Rudy Hatfield for most in the tourney, and added two steals in 48 minutes of action.

That game also solidified his status as the Realtors’ future after taking charge in the extension following the disqualification on fouls by Marlou Aquino and the injuries to Dennis Espino and Kenneth Duremdes.

It was the Realtors’ first quarterfinal stint since advancing past the eliminations last in the 2003 Reinforced Conference and the wiry Fil-Am made sure they will continue savoring the moment.

Questions about Williams’ stamina following that hard Express game were quickly answered when he notched 17 points, nine rebounds and two steals in 41 minutes as they scored a 96-89 win over the Bulls last Sunday.

"He gave us the inside presence we needed," assessed Chua. "He was there defending the paint, intimidating and changing the others’ shots while grabbing those rebounds."

Chua noted there are still facets of Williams’ game that still need working on, like his ballhandling skills and post-up moves.

"Once he polishes all of those up, he’ll truly be one well-rounded player and an absolute force," the coach said.

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01-16-2007, 12:58 PM
PBA shortens import-laden tourney for RP 5 program

www.abs-cbnnews.com


The Philippine Basketball Association reiterated its commitment to the formation of the national team and made the necessary sacrifice one the country finally gets the green light to play abroad.

The PBA’s board of governors agreed Monday to have a shorter schedule in the import-laden second conference and league commissioner Noli Eala admitted that the decision would mean certain losses for the league but it something that needs to be done.

"The PBA is reaffirming its commitment to support the national team’s cause to regain the country’s past glory in international competitions," said Eala following the first board meeting of the year at Chateau 1771 in Mandaluyong.

"Even if it means the ultimate sacrifice on our part, like the teams’ exposure affected and our projected revenues disrupted, the entire PBA believes this is something that we have to do," he added.

"The PBA would like to show an example for the entire basketball community, that we have to make concrete sacrifices, not just lip service."

The governors also reaffirmed the PBA’s commitment to the unification efforts of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to become the country’s governing body in the sport.

Once the SBP earns the recognition of the POC and the International Basketball Federation, the Nationals of coach Chot Reyes can start their international return by seeing action in the FIBA Asia come July.

This would mean that the PBA must start the second conference early, probably in the first week of March to get the RP 5 enough time for the coming international qualifiers.

The games will be increased from its current eight games a week to nine, the wildcard phase will be reduced from a single-round robin format among four teams to three knockout games and the quarterfinals will be cut to a race-to-two from its present best-of-five.

"Hopefully, this will give the RP Team more time to prepare and hone up," said Eala.

Besides the FIBA Asia, which serves as qualifier for next year’s Beijing Olympics, the PBA is also setting its sights on lending players for the RP Team that hopes to take part in the SEABA in January next year.

The country has been suspended by the world-governing FIBA due to leadership crisis in the sports association though the attempt to have a unified cage body gained grounds when the ousted Basketball Association of the Philippines president Senator Jinggoy Estrada remained committed to the Tokyo communiqué signed by representatives from BAP, PB and POC to form a new and united cage body.

SBP has invited BAP in the coming unity congress on February 5 at Dusit Hotel in Ayala Avenue in Makati City.

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01-17-2007, 11:14 AM
Resurgent Realtors, Giants go for 2nd win

The Philippine Star 01/17/2007

Sta. Lucia Realty and Purefoods Chunkee, two teams which went the extra miles to make it to the quarterfinals, try to sustain their runs, seeking to move in the doorstep of the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup Final Four today.

Both enjoying second wind, Sta. Lucia and Purefoods go for a second straight win versus Red Bull and Talk n Text, respectively, in Game Two of their best-of-five quarterfinals showdown at the Astrodome.

"Yes, we’re tired. We’re tired of losing," said Sta. Lucia coach Alfrancis Chua as his team, which needed to go through the wildcard round, drew first blood in its showdown with Red Bull.

"We’re upbeat about our chances. It is rewarding to beat a team like Talk n Text. It is a fact that they have a tall and deep roster, but I don’t mind that for as long as we outwork them from the opening tip up to the final buzzer," said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.

The Realtors and the Giants, seeded Nos. 6 and 5 in the playoffs, expect their rivals to come out strong in a bid to get even but they say they’re ready for the challenge.

Purefoods battles Talk n Text at 4:35 p.m. then Sta. Lucia clashes with Red Bull at 7:30 p.m.

"Outhustling the opponent is the reason why we’ve been successful in the past. We will use the same formula in Game Two," said Gregorio.

Chua has become more optimistic with his young stars Kelly Williams and Alex Cabagnot continuing to get better while veterans Kenneth Duremdes, Dennis Espino and Marlou Aquino slowly recover from injuries.

Williams churned out huge games in their knockout game with Air21 Friday and in Game One of their quarters showdown with Red Bull. For that, he won the PBA Press Corps’ ACCEL-TnT Player of the Week honors.

Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao, however, said his boys are still in high spirits, buoyed by their tremendous second-half efforts Sunday that nearly gave them a come-from-behind win.

"We have to pay a price for our long break. We’re happy with the way we played in the second half. We hope to sustain that in Game Two," said Guiao, whose troops came out flat in the series opener, falling behind by 28 points at halftime.

The Giants had a tougher task against the Pals, who could have sent the game into overtime had Jimmy Alapag converted a three-point attempt in the closing seconds.

The Giants and the Pals figured in a fierce battle but the former prevailed with their starters outplaying their TnT counterparts.

Purefoods starters James Yap, Marc Pingris, Roger Yap, Jondan Salvador and Kerby Raymundo outscored Talk N Text first stringers Anthony Washington, Yancy de Ocampo, Mark Cardona, Harvey Carey and Jimmy Alapag, 58-38.

Pingris stepped up big time, coming through a double-double game with 19 points and 17 rebounds and the Giants took the cue as they gained the decisive head start in the short series.

"I think nobody expected us to win except ourselves. It’s a nice series for us with all the odds stacked against us," said Gregorio.

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01-17-2007, 11:17 AM
Purefoods, Sta. Lucia eye win No. 2

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


WITH STUNNING wins in their series opener, defending champion Purefoods Chunkee and Sta. Lucia Realty try to grab a 2-0 lead in their separate best-of-five quarterfinals series in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome today.

The Chunkee Giants meet the Talk ’N Text Phone Pals anew at 4:35 p.m., after which the Realtors tangle with Red Bull in the 7:20 main fare.

The Realtors, after finally taking the last quarterfinals berth on their third try, downed the well-rested Bulls, 96-89, in their series opener last Sunday.

Despite the win, Sta. Lucia Coach Alfrancis Chua knows that Red Bull will be ready to level the series.

"We know what they’re capable of doing. We know how strong they are because of their experience," said Chua. "But we’re ready for them. We showed we can compete against Red Bull in Game 1."

Though a bit tired after the grueling wildcard phase, the Realtors jumped the gun on the Bulls in Game 1 to take a 28-point lead at halftime, 65-37, and then Paolo Mendoza made the big plays down the stretch.

The same intensity is what Chua expects from his team, led by forward Kelly Williams, the Realtors’ top overall pick in last year’s Rookie Draft.

Expected to provide help for Williams are the ‘twin towers’ Marlou Aquino and Dennis Espino, while playmaker Alex Cabagnot and Mendoza will take care of the backcourt chores with Kenneth Duremdes still a doubtful starter.

The former Most Valuable Player injured his left pinky against Air21, and missed Game 1.

For Red Bull, while Junty Valenzuela and Cyrus Baguio got their usual numbers with 19 and 15 points, respectively, big man Rico Villanueva was limited to only five points and two rebounds.

Even with the setback, Bulls coach Yeng Guiao remains confident his team will rebound from that setback.

"We have to improve our defense," said Guiao. "We started slow in the first half of Game 1, but we’re able to recover in the second half. Kinapos lang kami. I’m still confident."

On the other hand, Purefoods hopes to use the same winning formula after taking Game 1, 87-84, over Talk ’N Text.

"Our confidence level is high after winning Game 1. I’m sure they will come out strong. We’ll rely on our quickness again to offset their height advantage," said Giants mentor Ryan Gregorio. Gregorio, who led Purefoods to the Philippine Cup title last conference against Red Bull.

"With a super power roster, definitely, the pressure is on their side," said Gregerio, who will rely anew on team leaders, reigning Most Valuable Player James Yap and Most Improved Player awardee Marc Pingris, who had 19 points and 17 boards.

As for Talk ‘N Text, coach Derek Pumaren hopes to make good use of his team’s tall frontline of 6-foot-9 Asi Taulava, 6-foot-8 Yancy de Ocampo, 6-foot-7 Anthony Washington and 6-foot-5 Harvey Carey.

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01-18-2007, 10:31 AM
Phone Pals even series with Giants
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 01/18/2007

Yancy de Ocampo and Jay Washington redeemed themselves from their poor showing Sunday with career-high outputs last night as the Talk n Text Phone Pals got back at the Purefoods Chunkee Giants, 110-92, in Game Two of their Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup best-of-five quarterfinals showdown at the Astrodome.

De Ocampo and Washington tossed in 26 points each, giving the Phone Pals tremendous boost after suffering an 84-87 defeat in the series-opener.

The two TnT frontliners combined for just 15 points Sunday, outclassed by Marc Pingris who came through with 19 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks.

But De Ocampo and Washington showed up Pingris and the other Purefoods big men in Game Two marred by a fight between guards Jimmy Alapag and Paul Artadi towards the end of the contest.

Alapag was thrown out of the game and could well be suspended in Game Three tomorrow after hitting Artadi on the face when the two players were already being separated by the referees.

Talk n Text coach Derrick Pumaren said they would appeal Alapag’s case, saying his player was provoked.

"The game’s over. Who knows if he did that on purpose. I think the commissioner should also look into that," said Pumaren on Artadi clinging on Alapag’s shorts while down on the floor after a collision with the Talk n Text point guard.

"We’re happy to tie the series but I think we’ll gonna lose Jimmy. Hopefully, our momentum goes on even without Jimmy," Pumaren also said.

Renren Ritualo, Mark Cardona and Felix Belano also scored in double figures for the Phone Pals who bounced back strong from their Game One defeat, dominating the Giants most of the way.

Already taking the Giants’ key players in control in the first half, the Phone Pals gained an added break with Pingris suffering a suspected fractured nose three minutes into the third period.

Pingris was rushed to a nearby hospital and never returned.

Washington, De Ocampo and Ritualo took turns in leading Talk n Text’s searing assault. Washington made 10 in the first period, Ritualo 12 in the second and De Ocampo 16 in the final canto.

De Ocampo, playing his second game in his return to Talk n Text, fired 10 in a 16-4 run that gave the Pals a 91-71 bulge midway through the final quarter.

"We played to our true potential tonight. We’re really focused," said Pumaren.

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01-18-2007, 10:34 AM
Phone Pals equalize

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


TALK ’N TEXT displayed its true form, using its feared frontline to its advantage against defending champion Purefoods Chunkee last night.

And with forward Anthony Washington and big man Yancy de Ocampo leading the charge, the Phone Pals defeated the Chunkee Giants, 110-92, to even their best-of-five quarterfinals showdown at 1-1 in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The 6-foot-6 Washington, last year’s top overall rookie pick, and the 6-foot-8 de Ocampo, who was reacquired by Talk ’N Text from Air21 last December, scored 26 points apiece, both career highs.

De Ocampo also finished in double-double with 13 rebounds on top of four assists while Washington added eight boards.

"We played with our true potentials," said Talk ’N Text veteran coach Derek Pumaren. "Last game, we came out really flat, but tonight was totally different. I’m happy with the way we played."

Limited to only seven markers in the Phone Pals’ 84-87 Game 1 setback, Washington, whose previous high was 24 against Sta. Lucia Realty last Dec. 3, quickly made his presence felt, scoring 16 first half points as the Pals took a 53-41 halftime lead.

For De Ocampo, he eclipsed his previous best of 23 while playing for FedEx Express against Yonsey University four years back. He was was 5-of-7 from the field and 3-of-3 from the 3-point area.

"That’s why we got him(De Ocampo). That’s what we wanted from him. He settled down in this game," Pumaren noted.

Holding a slim 75-67 lead early in the final frame, the Pals dropped a 16-4 bomb to make it 91-71 with 6:35 left to play.

However, in a game that saw two of the league’s top young big men coming through with big games, it was marred by a late fracas involving playmakers Paul Artadi of Purefoods and Jimmy Alapag of Talk ’N Text.

With the Pals comfortably ahead, 103-89, with 49 seconds left, Alapag committed an offensive foul on Artadi.

After the two players engaged in a heated verbal fight, Alapag, being restrained by Purefoods’ Don Camaso and a referee, poked Artadi in the left eye. He was ejected from the game with a flagrant 2 while Artadi was given a technical foul.

It was the second time in the game that Alapag was involved in a physical play. With three minutes left in the third frame, Alapag’s wayward elbow hit Marc Pingris, leaving the latter with a bloodied nose.

Pingris, who had a monstrous Game 1 performance with 19 points and 17 rebounds, was rushed at the Makati Medical Center.

"I think we’re going to miss Jimmy (in Game 2)," said Pumaren, who expects his ace point guard to receive a suspension from PBA Commissioner Nolie Eala.

"We’ll appeal of course, but I hope that even without him we can still carry the momentum."

Renren Ritualo also came through with an impressive performance, scoring 18 points, while Mark Cardona and Felix Belano chipped in 11 points each.

James Yap led the Giants with 25 points.

The scores:

First Game

TALK ’N TEXT 110 – Wasgington 26, de Ocampo 26, Ritualo 18, Cardona 11, Belano 11, Carey 9, Alapag 7, Taulava 2, Fran 0, Noble 0, Pablo 0.

PUREFOODS 92 — Yap J. 25, Raymundo 15, Simon 12, Limpot 8, Salvador 7, Yap R. 7, Artadi 5, Evangelista 4, Castillo 3, Pingris 2, Yee 2, Camaso 2.

Quarters: 21-19, 53-41, 73-61, 110-92.

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01-18-2007, 12:01 PM
Phone Pals even series vs Giants

www.abs-cbnnews.com


Except for the late-game skirmish, Talk ’N Text did everything well even if its starting center was on the bench most of the game.

The Phone Pals rode on career-games from Yancy de Ocampo and Anthony Washington in turning back Purefoods Chunkee, 110-92, to even their best-of-five quarterfinal series to 1-1 Wednesday night in the TNT-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Washington, who got a mouthful from coach Derick Pumaren in their 84-87 loss in Game 1, hit 26 points while de Ocampo came off the bench to score the same output to spell the anemic performance of Asi Taulava, who was held down to just 2 points in just 18 minutes of play.

“I guess we played to our true potentials tonight. Last game, we really played bad. It was really a totally different performance and I'm happy we tied the series,” said Pumaren, also drew 18 markers from Renren Ritualo.

Game 3 is set on Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City but the Phone Pals might play minus starting guard Jimmy Alapag, who was ejected in the game for shoving the face of Paul Artadi with 49 seconds left in the game.

“For sure, we will appeal that [if the league suspends Alapag]. I think the PBA should review what happened because it could be a ploy. I don’t know if they do that on purpose,” Pumaren lamented.

The Giants also lost a key player in Marc Pingris, who was brought to the Makati Medical Center after dislocating his nose in the third quarter. Alapag was the culprit as his wayward elbow pounded the nose of the forward.

“I think that will be the big story for us [the possibility of losing Pingris in the series],” said Purefoods mentor Ryan Gregorio, who got 25 points from James Yap but was 9-of-27 from the field.

“But we’re still upbeat. Tonight (Wednesday night), Asi did not play much that showed how strong Talk ’N Text is and Yancy and Washington really played well for them,” Gregorio added.

The Phone Pals took control early, leading by 19 points early in the first half before the Giants closed in the third quarter at 49-55 on Yap’s three-pointer.

But Washington, Ritualo and de Ocampo combined forces in shutting down the surge with their timely shots as TNT put the lead back to 91-71 with 6:37 remaining.

Scores:

Talk ’N Text 110—Washington 26, de Ocampo 26, Ritualo 18, Cardona 11, Belano 11, Carey 9, Alapag 7, Taulava 2, Fran 0, Noble 0, Pablo 0.

Purefoods 92—J. Yap 25, Raymundo 15, Simon 12, Limpot 8, Salvador 7, R. Yap 7, Artadi 5, Evangelista 4, castillo 3, Pingris 2, Yee 2, Camaso 2.

Quarters: 21-19, 53-41, 73-61, 110-92 The Manila Times

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01-19-2007, 11:07 AM
PBA quarterfinalists break deadlock today

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 02:04am (Mla time) 01/19/2007

ANTIPOLO CITY -- Derrick Pumaren talked gladly about his Talk ‘N Text squad finally playing to its true potential.

Red Bull’s Yeng Guiao griped about his team still groping for form.

After two days of the Talk ‘N Text Philippine Cup quarterfinals, it seems both coaches are hard pressed for a repeat win today against their separate foes at the Ynares Center here.

Pumaren, for one, will be missing Jimmy Alapag in their 7:20 p.m. clash with Purefoods, a crippling development after his starting point guard was suspended for a game and ordered to pay P20,000 for fighting with Paul Artadi on Wednesday.

Guiao, meanwhile, continues to hope that his team will totally shake off the rust that slowed the Barako down in the last two games when they take on the Sta. Lucia Realtors in the 4:35 p.m. contest.

“I hope to see some more improvement in our game come Friday (today),” Guiao told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “I’m happy that we leveled the series, who wouldn’t be? But I still am not satisfied with the way we played.

“In the first game, we allowed them (Realtors) to lead by 28 points (after the first half),” Guiao said. “Tonight, it was only seven (at halftime). Hopefully, in Game 3, we wouldn’t be surrendering the lead anymore.”

Pumaren got career-high games from Anthony Washington and Yancy De Ocampo in a series-tying Game 2 win at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

And much as he would like to have the momentum shift to his favor for this crucial third game, the soft-spoken coach knows that it would be an uphill climb all the way with Alapag out of the game.

“I hope we could keep the momentum on our side even if we don’t have Jimmy,” Pumaren said.

Talk ‘N Text has an interesting piece of history going against it.

The Phone Pals have not won a best-of-five series after losing the series opener, and Pumaren would have to get something out of the second line of his backcourt today if he wants to avoid falling into a hole.

He would have to find someone who can keep the offense running smoothly even as the defending champion Purefoods Chunkee Giants try to rebound from that loss with Kerby Raymundo and James Yap leading the way.

Incidentally, Marc Pingris is listed as a doubtful starter for coach Ryan Gregorio because of a fractured nose.

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01-19-2007, 11:09 AM
Giants tall order for Pals

The Philippine Star 01/19/2007

The Jimmy Alapag-Paul Artadi fight has triggered a word war between coaches Derrick Pumaren and Ryan Gregorio, and this could well lead to a fiercer battle between Talk n Text and Purefoods Chunkee at the resumption of their TnT PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals showdown at the Ynares Center today.

Like Talk n Text and Purefoods, Sta. Lucia Realty and Red Bull dispute the go-ahead win as they clash in Game Three of their own best-of-five quarters duel in the Antipolo playing venue.

Gregorio labeled Alapag as an "acknowledged flopper" and branded as "malicious and offensive" the statement made by Pumaren after the fight-marred Game Two Wednesday at the Astrodome.

After the game that saw the ejection of Alapag in the closing seconds after hitting Artadi on the face, Pumaren said the Commissioner’s Office should look into things that led to his player’s action.

"The game’s over. Who knows he did that on purpose," said Pumaren on Artadi clipping Alapag’s feet and at the same time clinging on to the TnT guard’s shorts.

In reviewing the game tape, PBA technical chief Perry Martinez also saw Artadi doing a kicking motion. Gregorio, however, stressed "we just play tough basketball even if we’re down."

The tumultuous match netted Alapag a one-game suspension and a fine of P20,000. Roger Yap was also slapped a P10,000 fine for rushing from the bench to the court.

"Jimmy’s case is heavy since he made his action while already being prevented by the referees," said Martinez.

Calling Alapag a "flopper," Gregorio said the Talk n Text guard did just that, causing nose injury to Marc Pingris.

Pingris missed practice yesterday and would need to wear a protective facemask to be able to play today.

Talk n Text second-string guard Felix Belano will be put in the spotlight, filling the shoes of Alapag as the Pals seek a follow-up to the 110-92 rout of the Giants in Game Two.

Alapag averages 7.2 assists (the best in the league), 11.6 points and 2.8 rebounds a game. Minus Alapag, Gregorio, however, still considers his team the underdog. "We’ve seen them in Game Two. Their second unit is as strong as their first team. They won despite Asi Taulava playing only 18 minutes and scoring two points," said Gregorio.

"But we’re used to this situation. We’ve won championship with this lineup. Laban kami," Gregorio added.

full battle gear
01-19-2007, 11:10 AM
PBA board to discuss site, design of dream coliseum

The Philippine Star 01/19/2007

The planned construction of a permanent home for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is fast shaping up.

The PBA Board convenes two weeks from now in a special meeting to finalize and fast track the league’s ambitious project to have its own dream coliseum.

The two-day session is set Jan. 28-29.

Commissioner Noil Eala said the site where the multi-million venture will rise will be known during the two-day affair. During the session he will be presenting data — including site and design – that will expedite the final decision to get the dream project started.

Also during the meeting, the commissioner will be making his recommendation with regards to the appointment of a financial adviser for the ambitious plan.

The PBA has narrowed down the choices between Quezon City and Taguig, although the former appears to have the edge owing to its proximity and accessibility.

The sprawling vacant lot near the Manila Seedling Bank is the possible location of the arena in QC, while Taguig offered the ultra modern Global City.

"We’re taking things step by step, and identifying the probable site is the first major move in our quest to build a PBA coliseum," said Eala.

Also to be tackled during the meeting is the design of the arena and the financial advances for the project, which Eala hopes will be due for groundbreaking rites by July.

Giant corporations PLDT and San Miguel are at the forefront of the undertaking vigorously pursued by league board chairman Ricky Vargas under his term.

As envisioned by league officials, the PBA Dome is within a giant, state-of-the-art complex that also houses a practice gym, fitness center and stalls where the 10 PBA teams can market their respective products.

The league spends around P200,000 per playdate for the use of the Araneta Coliseum, where the PBA has been holding most of its games since 1975.

Teams also pay out P5,000 each almost everyday in gym rentals for their practices.

"We hope to change all of that once the PBA Dome becomes operational," said Eala.

full battle gear
01-19-2007, 11:10 AM
A stopper named Bitoy
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 01/19/2007

You wouldn’t think someone named Bitoy could be a hard-nosed defensive specialist in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

But Sta. Lucia Realty guard Nelbert (Bitoy) Omolon is for real and you better believe it.

Omolon, 26, isn’t your regular pro. He didn’t learn how to play when he was a kid. He never even liked the game until he shot up from 5-7 as a high school freshman to 6-2 as a junior. That was when Omolon realized he might have a future in basketball.

The youngest of three boys, Omolon was born and grew up in Talakag, Bukidnon, about a 30-minute drive to the Cagayan de Oro airport. His father Gilbert tends to the family’s 30-hectare rubber plantation while his mother Nelia does the house chores.

As a boy, Omolon played piko, jolens and habulan. He was introduced to basketball by brothers Allan and Nigel at the age of seven but it wasn’t the game for him.

After his height spurt, Omolon decided to try out for the Ateneo de Cagayan basketball varsity under coach Manny Diaz. He moved to Ateneo for his fourth and last year in high school and did well enough to earn an invitation to play for Southwestern University in Cebu.

Omolon, however, was relegated to Southwestern’s farm team, prompting Manila-based talent scout Jammy Martinez, a Leyte native, to bring him to Manila for a Philippine Christian University (PCU) tryout in 1997.

Omolon confessed that he didn’t tell his parents of his move from Cebu to Manila until a week later. He wanted to make sure he had a spot on the Dolphins lineup before making the call.

For five years, Omolon shone brightly for PCU first under coach Ricky Cui then Jojo Villapando. Omolon gained a reputation as a stopper, a high leaper and a reliable finisher on the break.

Omolon never got to play for an NCAA championship team but remembers fondly his playing days at PCU with another future PBA cager Bernzon Franco, now an Alaska reserve. From PCU, he took his sneakers to the Philippine Basketball League where he suited up for Osaka-La Salle and ICTSI under coach Franz Pumaren and Welcoat under coach Leo Austria.

Omolon also played for the ill-fated Cebuana Lhuillier national team that finished second to last at the FIBA-Asia Championships in 2003 under coach Aric del Rosario.

His only taste of victory came in 2003 with the Lhuillier squad that hardly raised a sweat in bagging the Southeast Asian Basketball Association title.

In 2004, Omolon was picked on the first round by Sta. Lucia in the PBA draft ahead of Wesley Gonzales, Gary David, Paul Artadi, Carlo Sharma, Manny Ramos and Willie Wilson. He was the eighth overall choice in the draft that starred Rich Alvarez, James Yap and Marc Pingris.

Realtors coach Alfrancis Chua took Omolon under his wing and worked on developing his all-around game. As a rookie in 2004-05, Omolon averaged 6.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 20.9 minutes. He shot .447 from the floor and .578 from the line. The next season, he raised his numbers to 8.1 points and 5.2 rebounds. He hit .489 from the field and .598 from the stripe.

This season, Omolon is averaging 9.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 21.6 minutes. He’s shooting .518 from the field and .628 from the line. All his stats are career highs.

Not reflected in the stats are Omolon’s contributions in defense — his deflections, his denial of offensive position, his intimidating presence.

"I owe coach Al a lot," said Omolon in Pilipino. "He showed me how to play gutsy, how to play hard without backing down. He made me gain confidence in my ability to play defense. My role in the team is to play defense. If I score, that’s just a bonus. My job is to try to shut down scorers like Gary (David) and K. G. (Niño Canaleta)."

Omolon said he’s lucky he wound up playing for a team where his idol also plays.

"He doesn’t know it but Kenneth Duremdes is my idol," said Omolon, a bachelor who admitted to being on the prowl for a girlfriend. "I learn so much from him, the way he moves, the way he plays offense, the way he outsmarts his defender."

When he’s not in the gym or the stadium, Omolon just stays home in Sta. Lucia team manager Buddy Encarnado’s Pasig apartment which he shares with a cousin Joshua Bigkas, an architect. Encarnado lets Omolon stay in the apartment for free and the Bukidnon stopper — who hardly has relatives in Manila — is grateful for it.

At home, Omolon said he entertains himself playing the guitar (he took up lessons in high school and is able to read notes) and watching TV (his favorite show is ABC-5’s "Wow Mali!").

Omolon said he hangs out with all his teammates. "We’re all close but the ones whom I joke around with the most are Paolo (Mendoza), Ricky (Calimag) and (Cesar) Catli," he said. "Alex (Cabagnot) and Kelly (Williams) are okay, too. Kelly is just getting adjusted to us because he’s a rookie."

How did he get his nickname? "I used to be called Bibit which comes from the Bert or Bit in Nelbert," he said. "My friends changed my nickname from Bibit to Bitoy."

Omolon said landing in the quarterfinals against Red Bull was a better situation for the Realtors.

"To reach the finals, we’ll have to go through Red Bull then San Miguel Beer," said Omolon. "That’s a tough route but the tougher route is going through Talk ‘N’ Text then Barangay Ginebra."

Although Omolon isn’t a go-to guy on offense, he has shown the ability to score, too. He registered a career-high 30 points last season. In the knockout duel against Air21 last week, Omolon failed to score but made his presence felt in other facets of the game. He grabbed six rebounds, broke up several plays and helped limit Ranidel de Ocampo to nine points, way below his 16.6 clip.

If there ever was an unsung hero, Bitoy had to be his name.

full battle gear
01-19-2007, 11:12 AM
IN HUDDLE
Realtors pass character test

By Beth Celis
Inquirer
Last updated 01:27am (Mla time) 01/18/2007

NO ONE CAN imagine the amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into Santa Lucia Realty’s overtime victory over Air 21 in the knockout match of the wild card series recently.

More than the chance to qualify to the quarterfinals, for Sta. Lucia governor Buddy Encarnado, the coaching staff and the players, what was at stake in the game was pride and self-respect.

If they had to kill themselves to win the match against the Express, who had clobbered them in their first encounter, they would have done it, if only to preserve the dignity of the team.

***

Uncharacteristically, the Realtors started the season on a high note, streaking to the top of the team standings early in the eliminations. For a time they were tagged as the team to beat.

Then something happened and they began to skid. It happened so fast that before they knew it, they had landed among the wild card cast.

Buddy just couldn’t believe the drastic reversal of fortunes. His happiness was short-lived.

With the losses naturally came much conflict and irritation among the players and between the players and the coach. There were questions; there were doubts among almost everybody.

***

Before things could come to a head, however, Buddy stepped into the picture and nipped the brewing state of crisis in the bud.

“We have to get our acts together if we want to save ourselves from total embarrassment,” Buddy told the Realtors, realizing that his team would be the laughing stock of the entire basketball community if it is ousted from the next round.

Right then and there, he decided to forego his annual vacation with his family in Baguio City to declare a state of calamity.

There would be no holiday for everyone, he told the Realtors. “There will only be rigid daily workouts starting Dec. 26 until our first game in the wild card series!”

Everyone complied with nary a whimper.

***

But on Jan. 3, the day of their first match against Air 21, the universe deemed it wasn’t time for them to reap the fruits of their Yuletide labor. They trailed woefully all throughout the game and when the final buzzer sounded, everyone must have been relieved that the game was over.

Luckily, they were given a second chance to redeem themselves, but so was Air 21.

Just before the rematch, Buddy exerted all efforts to prepare the team for the battle royale, this time mentally and psychologically. Even broadcaster Ronnie Nathanielsz, a great resource speaker, was invited to give a pep talk to the Realtors, Marlou Aquino being his godson in marriage.

On the day of the actual game, Buddy recited a short prayer and crossed his fingers. Despite all the mental preparation, his army was not exactly physically fit for battle. Marlou was nursing a sprained ankle, Kenneth Duremdes had dislocated his small finger, Paolo Mendoza was suffering from a bone spur in the sole of his foot, Catli was running a high fever, Mark Ysip was down with the flu and team captain Dennis Espino was in a hospital suffering from a long list of ailments which included tendonitis and inability to urinate. (They later found out that he had kidney stones.)

To Buddy’s mild shock, everyone reported for active duty at the Coliseum, including Dennis who had to escape from The Medical City hospital to be with his team.

“I never thought we would make it. Everyone was sick, para kaming mga manok na napeste. Our victory was virtually a miracle,” Buddy recounted

***

Buddy’s eyes were bloodshot when the game was over, an icepack placed at the nape of his neck by one of the utility boys.

Buddy said his body had felt very, very hot during the closing minutes of overtime he needed an icepack to cool him down.

Despite the abnormal rise in temperature though, Buddy was very happy. His boys had played their heart and lungs out. They passed the test of character, they had redeemed their self-respect.

Not long after, his cell phone rang. It was Boss Exie Robles calling from his hotel room in Cebu where he had watched the game. Like Buddy he was ecstatic over the hard-earned victory. He told him the excitement and tension were such that his blood pressure soared.

Exie also told Buddy that he was, at that very moment, holding an icepack at the nape of his neck.

full battle gear
01-19-2007, 11:14 AM
Alapag suspended, 2 others fined

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


RED BULL Coach Yeng Guiao best described the quarterfinal series of the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup as tough.

However, with the momentum on his Bulls’ side, they will try to wrest a 2-1 lead over the Sta. Lucia Realtors when they clash again at 4:35 p.m. in Game 3 of the best-of-five series at the Ynares Sports Center.

In the second game at 7:20 p.m., Talk ’N text and Purefoods Chunkee similarly break their 1-1 deadlock with the Pals missing a key player in Jimmy Alapag.

Alapag was slapped with a one-game suspension and a fine of R20,000 after his flagrant 2 foul against Paul Artadi of Purefoods.

With only 49 seconds left in Game 2 of their separate series and the Pals comfortably ahead, 103-89, Alapag poked Artadi in his right eye after the the two engaged in a verbal tussle.

Artadi was fined R16,000 while Giant Roger Yap was assessed R10,000 for entering the court during the fracas.

Without Alapag, Coach Derek Pumaren hopes that veterans Felix Belano and Patrick Fran will step up and complement his big men Anthony Washington, Yancy de Ocampo, Asi Taulava and Harvey Carey.

The Giants will have Marc Pingris, who had a monstrous Game 1 with 19 points and 17 rebounds but left Game 2 with 3 minutes in the third frame with a bloodied nose after being hit by Alapag’s wayward elbow, as a doubtful starter.

Purefoods Coach Ryan Gregorio will now lean on his other leaders, reigning Most Valuable Player James Yap and Kerby Raymundo.

Meanwhile, Guiao refused to say that his team now has the upperhand over the Realtors.

"Ang hirap manalo dito sa series na ‘to," said Guiao, moments after his team’s 100-98 overtime win in Game 2 against Sta. Lucia the other day that tied the series with one win apiece.

The way the series have been played, Guiao feels that it would be a "long haul," with a big possibility of deciding it in a do-or-die fifth game.

"I’m surprised with the way they’re playing, their energy. But the win should set us off on the right direction. There were improvements from the first and second games," added Guiao.

Two of the progresses the Bull have shown were their defense and their strong finish in the extra period, although Guiao admitted that they’re having a tough time starting the game. That is now Red Bull’s focus.

In the series opener, they fell by as many as 28 points 37-65 at halftime before they succumbed to an 86-89 defeat.

But in Game 2, the Bulls managed to make it a close first half (37-44) and stayed close before pulling it off in overtime.

"We’ll try to mix up our starting line-up and find out which one would work for us," said Guiao, who will rely anew on Junty Valenzuela, Mick Pinnisi, Cyrus Baguio, Celino Cruz, Carlo Sharma and Rico Villanueva.

For the Realtors, with Kenneth Duremdes still a doubtful starter due to an injured left pinky, Coach Alfrancis Chua will lean on rookie Kelly Williams, Alex Cabagnot, Paolo Mendoza and ‘twin towers’ Marlou Aquino and Dennis Espino.

full battle gear
01-19-2007, 11:17 AM
PBA Board to discuss coliseum site, design

www.mb.com.ph


THE PLANNED construction of a permanent home for the Philippine Basketball Association is fast shaping up.

The PBA Board convenes two weeks from now in a special meeting to finalize and fasttrack the league’s ambitious project to have its own dream coliseum.

The two-day session is set January 28-29.

Commissioner Noli Eala said the site where the multi-million venture will rise will be known during the two-day affair. During the session he will be presenting data – including site and design – that will expedite the final decision to get the dream project started.

Also during the meeting, the commissioner will be making his recommendation with regards to the appointment of a financial adviser for the ambitious plan.

The PBA has narrowed down the choices between Quezon City and Taguig, although the former appears to have the edge owing to its proximity and accessibility.

The sprawling vacant lot near the Manila Seedling Bank is the possible location of the arena in QC, while Taguig offered the ultra modern Global City .

"We’re taking things step by step, and identifying the probable site is the first major move in our quest to build a PBA coliseum," said Eala.

Also to be tackled during the meeting is the design of the arena and the financial advances for the project, which Eala hopes to have a groundbreaking rite by July.

Giant corporations PLDT and San Miguel are at the forefront of the undertaking vigorously pursued by league board chairman Ricky Vargas under his term.

As envisioned by league officials, the PBA Dome is within a giant, state-ofthe-art complex that also houses a practice gym, fitness center and stalls where the 10 PBA teams can market their respective products.

The league spends around R200,000 per playdate for the use of the Araneta Coliseum, where the PBA holds most of its games since 1975.

Teams also pay out R5,000 each almost everyday in gym rentals for their practices.

"We hope to change all of that once the PBA Dome becomes operational," said Eala.

full battle gear
01-19-2007, 11:18 AM
Phone Pals, Barakos shoot for 2-1 lead

www.abs-cbnnews.com


The momentum could be on their side but Red Bull and Talk ’N Text believes that it’s still too close to call.

After tying their own series with contrasting wins in Game 2, the Barakos and the Phone Pals hope to ride on the crest of their previous victory as they shoot for a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five quarterfinals affair of the TNT-Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Red Bull bounced back from a horrible Game 1 by outlasting Sta. Lucia Realty, 100-98 in overtime last Wednesday at the Astrodome. The win convinced coach Yeng Guiao that they are headed for a long battle.

"There’s strong possibility that this will be a five-game series so we are preparing for a long haul," said Guiao as they seek another win against the Realtors in their 4:35 p.m. encounter.

"Even if they’re tired, I’m impressed with the way Sta. Lucia is playing. But the longer the series it takes, the better for us," Guiao added.

Sta. Lucia actually had the opportunity to take a 2-0 lead but Dennis Espino muffed a potential game-winner in regulation and Nelbert Omolon’s undergoal stab in overtime rimmed out that could have send the game in another extra inning.

Despite the loss, the Realtors remain a dangerous especially with the kind of performance that rookie Kelly Williams, sophomore guard Alex Cabagnot and 12-year veteran Marlou Aquino.

Kenneth Duremdes, who sat out in the first two games of the series due to a fracture left pinkie, remains a doubtful starter today.

Talk ’N Text enters the critical Game 3, to start at 7:35 p.m., minus starting guard Jimmy Alapag who was slapped a one-game ban for his flagrant foul 2 on Paul Artadi in their 110-92 demolition of the Giants last game.

Alapag, who was summoned to PBA office Thursday afternoon along with Artadi, was also fined P20,000. Purefoods Roger Yap and Jun Limpot were also invited Thursday.

Yap was meted a P10,000 fine for leaving the bench and rushing to the scene while Artadi was penalized for the technical and second motion. Limpot was spared from fine.

Purefoods governor Rene Pardo also entered the court during the altercation at mid court but according to technical head Perry Martinez, the board of governors will decide on what sanction to be imposed on the Giants official.

"It’s gonna be tough losing your starting point guard but we have to deal with it and hope we’ll get a roll after our win," said Phone Pals mentor Derick Pumaren who drew career games from Yancy de Ocampo and Anthony Washington in the win.

De Ocampo and Washing-ton each had 26 points in the victory to offset the poor game of Asi Taulava who was shut down to just 2 points in that game.

The Giants lost Marc Pinrgis late in the third quarter of Game 2 but team officials said that the 6’4" forward will be playing with a protective mask.

-- Joel Orellana, The Manila Times

full battle gear
01-20-2007, 11:13 AM
Red Bull gores Sta. Lucia

‘Situation is turning better for team,’ says Guiao
By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 04:05am (Mla time) 01/20/2007

GAMES TOMORROW (Cuneta Astrodome)
4:05 p.m.—Purefoods vs Talk ‘N Text
6:30 p.m.—Red Bull vs Sta. Lucia

ANTIPOLO—Just a game after Yeng Guiao said that he was preparing his team for the long haul came a Red Bull performance that looks capable of ending this quarterfinal series early.

The Barako started out hot for the first time in their Talk ‘N Text Philippine Cup series with Sta. Lucia, going on to post a runaway 114-92 victory at the Ynares Center here for a 2-1 lead and within a win of ending it all.

“The situation (in the series) is turning for the better for the team,” Guiao said. “We played our best game in this series because we were able to speed up the pace and sustain it.”

Enrico Villanueva finished with 20 points and nine rebounds and reserve guard Magnum Membrere came off the bench to spark the game’s telling run in the third period as Red Bull won for the second straight night.

The game last night also marked the second time that Villanueva was a major factor.

After a forgettable first game, which the Barako lost in a horrid manner, Villanueva was scoreless in the first three periods of Game 2, before shooting six of his eight points in an overtime Game 3 victory which could prove to be the back-breaker of this series.

“Now that we have momentum, and a twice-to-beat advantage, di na namin pakakawalan ito sa Sunday (we will not let this slip away on Sunday),” Guiao said. “Kakayurin na namin ito (we will grind this out).”

Membrere hit two consecutive three-pointers that touched off a decisive Red Bull run, as the Barako broke away from a 57-48 game for 71-50 that all but took the fight out of the fagged Realtors.

“I think it is only now that they (Realtors) are starting to feel the long season,” Guiao explained. “Medyo nararamdaman na nila yun (they’re starting to feel the fatigue now).”

Sta. Lucia, after playing four games in an eight-day stretch to survive the wild card phase, won the series opener after building a 28-point first half lead.

But with injuries to key men and that schedule they had to hurdle, Guiao believes that the Realtors are ripe for the picking, with the potential series-clinching fourth game scheduled at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Recent statistics are also kind to the Barako, with 17 of the last 24 teams ever to take a 2-1 lead after a 1-1 tie going on to win the best-of-five series.

Junthy Valenzuela had 16 points, while Cyrus Baguio provided the spark to that hot start by shooting 10 of his 14 there.

Nelbert Omolon paced the Realtors with 21 points, with super rookie Kelly Williams held to just 14 and eight rebounds in 39 minutes of action.

The Scores:

First Game

RED BULL 114—Villanueva 20, Valenzuela 16, Baguio 14, Fonacier 12, Membrere 11, Cruz 11, Sharma 9, Najorda 8, Alvarez 4, Robinson 4, Pennisi 3, Bugia 2.

STA. LUCIA 96—Omolon 21, Mendoza 19, Williams 14, Gonzales 14, Espino 11, Isip 9, Aquino 5, Cabagnoy 3, Bughao 0, Catli 0, Calimag 0.

Quarters: 30-22, 53-45, 80-63, 114-96.

full battle gear
01-20-2007, 11:15 AM
Bulls run down weary Realtors
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 01/20/2007

Red Bull rediscovered its fluid-motion game in its third outing after a three-week rest, blowing by Sta. Lucia Realty, 114-96, for a two-game-to-one lead in their Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup best-of-five quarterfinals showdown at the Ynares Center last night.

The Bulls outclassed a Sta. Lucia side which, on the other hand, appeared to be starting to feel the rigors of a long haul.

"We’ve gained a twice-to-beat advantage in the series. We’ll not let this slip away," said Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao after the contest.

"We’ve built the momentum and that made me very optimistic. We’ll go for it in Game Four to have a break before playing in the semifinals," Guiao added.

The Bulls regained cohesion and fluidity in their game, outplaying the Realtors with six scoring at least 11 points. The team finished with its biggest output this season.

Rookie guard Magnum Membrere had his breakout game in the pros, banging in 11, including back-to-back treys that touched off a decisive Red Bull run in the third quarter.

Slotman Asi Taulava and gunners Renren Ritualo and Macmac Cardona stepped up in the absence of pointguard Jimmy Alapag as Talk n Text made it two in a row over Purefoods, 102-78, to move within a win of a semifinal duel with Barangay Ginebra.

"I thought we were not aggressive enough in the first half. We talked about it at halftime and we came up with a great second half," said Talk n Text coach Derrick Pumaren.

full battle gear
01-20-2007, 11:16 AM
Phone Pals also inch closer to semis; Hot start gives Bulls 2-1 lead

By WAYLON GALVEZ
www.mb.com.ph


ANTIPOLO CITY — After two failed attempts, Red Bull finally found the kind of start it was looking for in its quarterfinal showdown against Sta. Lucia Realty.

Using a hot start and a strong finishing kick, the Bulls defeated the Realtors, 114-96, to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five quarterfinals series in the Talk ’N Text-PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Ynares Center here.

In the first two games of the series, Red Bull had trouble making a strong start. This time, the Bulls got off to a hot start, and along with their solid defense, they wore down the Realtors, who played their 26th game this conference.

With a starting unit composed of big men Enrico Villanueva, Rich Alvarez and Mick Pennisi and Cyrus Baguio and back-up guard Magnum Membrere playing like a symphony, Red Bull jumped the gun on Sta. Lucia as it rook a 30-22 lead.

Talk ’N Text also took a 2-1 lead in their own series by crushing defending champion Purefoods, 107-78, in the second game.

After drawing big games from their frontliners the last time out, the Phone Pals rode on the impressive shooting of former La Salle star RenRen Ritualo and Marc Cardona to beat the Giants for the second straight time.

From a 75-65 lead, the Phone Pals used a crippling 19-4 run to put the game beyond the Giants’ reach, 96-69, with 3:29 left. That run was capped by Ritualo’s triple.

Cardona topscored for the Phone Pals with 24 points but it was Ritualo who did most of the damage in the fourth as he scored 15 points. Ritualo finished with 23 points.

The high-flying Baguio scored 10 of his 14 points in the first period.

Villanueva scattered 20 points with nine rebounds and two steals to lead a balanced attack by the Bulls, who shot 45 of 99 or 45.5 percent from the field, compared to the Realtors’ 34 of 83 or 41 percent.

"The situation is getting better for us," said Red Bull Coach Yeng Guiao, who hopes to guide his team to its third straight finals appearance.

"This game is our best game so far in the series. We know Sta. Lucia is starting to feel the effects of the long season, kaya binilisan namin ang pacing ng laro. But this is far from over, we know they’ll try to comeback," added Guiao.

Red Bull took a 53-45 halftime lead, totally different when they trailed by 28 points in the series opener on their way to a heartbreaking setback, 89-96.

In Game 2, they came back from a seven-point halftime deficit to score a thrilling 100-98 overtime win that tied the series at 1-1.

full battle gear
01-22-2007, 11:25 AM
Phone Pals, Barako nail semis slots

By Musong R. Castillo
Inquirer
Last updated 02:38am (Mla time) 01/22/2007

GAMES WEDNESDAY (Araneta Coliseum)
4:35 p.m. -- San Miguel vs Red Bull
7:20 p.m. -- Talk ‘N Text vs Barangay Ginebra

RED BULL AND TALK ’N TEXT knocked out their foes last night and marched on to separate interesting semifinal series in the Talk ’N Text Philippine Cup.

The Barako and the Phone Pals were unrelenting from the start as they seized their first chance to advance opposite the elimination-round topnotchers.

Talk ’N Text got 23 points from Mac Cardona and 20 from Asi Taulava in a 115-96 victory over Purefoods, while Red Bull erected a 19-point lead at the half and then cruised to a 105-90 decision of Sta. Lucia Realty at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Cardona scored 13 in the final two periods as the Phone Pals ended the reign of the Chunkee Giants while sealing a best-of-seven clash with eliminations topnotcher Barangay Ginebra.

The clincher came easy for the Phone Pals and the Barako, who won for the third straight night after dropping the opener of their separate best-of-five series.

Final Four action starts Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, with Yeng Guiao and the Barako seeing action first against the San Miguel Beermen in the 4:35 p.m. contest.

Talk ‘N Text then tries to make it three straight over Ginebra this season at 7:20 p.m.

“Our game plan was to make Purefoods give up,” said coach Derrick Pumaren after securing his first semifinal appearance in six years. “But that did not happen in the first half because Purefoods is such a tough team.

Ironically, Pumaren’s last Final Four stint came in 2000 while he was coach of Purefoods.

Cardona scored five points in the third period and Anthony Washington had 11 as the Phone Pals broke away with leads of as many as 16 points. Cardona scored eight more in another run for a 104-87 advantage late in the fourth.

Washington went on to finish with 18 markers, while Harvey Carey, Ren-Ren Ritualo and Victor Pablo combined for another 38 points.

Purefoods, which came all the way back from 1-3 down in the semifinals against Alaska before winning this tournament last season, played without Marc Pingris, its Game 1 hero who had a severe left ankle sprain.

Gunslinger Noy Castillo also did not suit up because of a viral infection.

The scores:

First Game

TALK ’N TEXT 115 -- Cardona 23, Taulava 20, Washington 18, Carey 15, Ritualo 13, Pablo 10, Alapag 6, De Ocampo 6, Fran 3, Noble 1, Belano 0.

PUREFOODS 96 -- Limpot 21, Yap, J. 18, Artadi 11, Simon 11, Camaso 11, Raymundo 10, Salvador 5, Evangelista 4, Yee 3, Yap, R. 2.

Quarters: 28-22, 57-53, 86-72, 115-96.

Second Game

RED BULL 105 -- Fonacier 15, Membrere 13, Villanueva 13, Valenzuela 13, Baguio 11, Najorda 9, Alvarez 8, Bugia 7, Sharma 6, Cruz 5, Pennisi 3, Robinson 2.

STA. LUCIA 90 -- Gonzales 20, Bughao 17, Omolon 15, Espino 13, Aquino 10, Williams 6, Cabagnot 6, Mendoza 2, Calimag 1, Isip 0, Catli 0.

Quarters: 21-16, 53-34, 78-74, 105-90

full battle gear
01-22-2007, 11:31 AM
Bulls, Pals to foes: Game over
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 01/22/2007

Red Bull and Talk n Text eased Sta. Lucia Realty and Purefoods Chunkee out of further contention and nurtured their own title aspirations with yet another emphatic victory last night at the Astrodome.

The Bulls eliminated the Realtors, 105-90, while the Pals ousted the Giants, 115-96, joining the top seeded Barangay Ginebra Kings and the San Miguel Beermen in the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup Final Four.

It’s Red Bull against San Miguel and Talk n Text versus Ginebra in a pair of best-of-seven semifinal duels beginning Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Bulls and the Beermen slug it out in a rematch of their semis showdown in the same tourney last year while the Pals and the Kings mix it up in a rematch of their 2005 All-Filipino title confrontation.

"This is our third straight entry into the semis. Tingin ko yun daan namin sa quarters blessing in disguise. We played four games which could be enough for us to be competitive and sharp going into battle against San Miguel," said Red Bull coach Yeng Guiao.

"Isa lang ang major concern ko in match-ups with them — si Danny Seigle. It’s either smaller or slower ang panapat namin sa kanya," Guiao added.

The Pals reprised their Game Three victory, unraveling a swashbuckling second half to close out their best-of-five quarterfinals showdown with the Giants.

"We didn’t do good in the first half but we’re all business in the second half. We knew they would fight hard being on the brink but we made them give up," said Talk n Text coach Derrick Pumaren.

"We’ve overcome the defending champion and, now, we’re up against the No. 1 team in the league at the moment. We have a slight advantage with the fact that we’re riding a momentum. Hopefully, they would be a little rusty coming off a long break," Pumaren added.

The Pals are likely to come out in high spirits since they swept the Kings in two games in the classification round. Despite the setbacks, Ginebra topped the preliminaries with 13 wins against five losses.

Macmac Cardona showed up James Yap for the second straight game, scoring game-high 23 points with Asi Taulava, Jay Washington, Harvey Carey, Renren Ritualo and Vic Pablo each adding at least 10.

Cardona, Washington and Carey made the bulk of their outputs in the second half and the Pals slowly pulled away from their slim 57-53 halftime lead en route to the win ending the Giants’ quest for a title repeat.

For the record, no team has defended the All-Filipino title since Great Taste did so in 1985.

full battle gear
01-22-2007, 11:42 AM
Uichico says Menk injured

www.mb.com.ph


BARANGAY GINEBRA coach Jong Uichico yesterday confirmed that center Eric Menk is indeed injured and may not be able to recover quick enough in time for their semifinal series in the PBA Philippine Cup starting this week.

"His (Menk) status is day-to-day. We really can’t tell if he can play in the semifinals. It’s possible (he won’t play), but we’re still hoping he could recover fast," said Uichico.

Uichico, however, said the injury was an old right calf muscle injury he sustained during team practice last Jan. 12.

"That’s why mahirap talaga maulit ‘yung dating injury," said Uichico who did not deny or confirm reports that Menk figured in a brawl in an upscale bar at The Fort.

Menk reportedly hurt his toe during the recent fight in a high-end bar of the The Fort, thus derailing his recovery.

There was no police report of such incident in Taguig which holds jurisdiction of The Fort.

Menk, who has been undergoing theraphy, failed to show up in practice since last week.

"He’s supposed to show up yesterday (Saturday) but he didn’t," added Uichico.

The Kings have not seen action since their Christmas Day game against the Talk ’N Text Phone Pals. They earned outright semifinal berth for topping the classification phase together with the San Miguel Beermen. —Waylon Galvez

full battle gear
01-22-2007, 11:48 AM
TNT dethrones Giants

By Waylon Galvez
www.mb.com.ph


TALK ‘N TEXT employed its potent run-and-gun offense in the second half last night to dethrone Purefoods Chunkee via an impressive 115-96 victory in Game 4 of their best-of-five quarterfinal series in the Talk ‘N Text-PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Taking advantage of Purefoods’ depleted lineup, the Phone Pals went berserk in the third quarter to finally unnerve the Giants.

The Phone Pals closed out the series, 3-1.

The win propelled Talk ’N Text to its first semifinal appearance in two years since barging to the 2005 Fiesta Conference.

Red Bull, likewise, earned a semis berth by downing Sta. Lucia,105-90, behind the firepower of Larry Fonacier.

Though the Bulls blew a 19-point halftime lead, 53-34, when the Realtors closed to within 74-78 at the end of the third quarter, coach Yeng Guiao’s wards proved they were up to the challenge.

Displaying tremendous poise, Red Bull opened the final frame with a 12-7 run to increase its lead, 92-81.

In that run, Larry Fonacier scored five points. The former Ateneo stalwart finished with teamhigh 15 points.

Red Bull will face San Miguel Beer in the crossover best-of-seven semifinals, while Talk ‘N Text tackles Barangay Ginebra in Wednesday’s Game 1 at the Araneta Coliseum.

"The four games we played in this quarterfinal series prepared us for the semis," said Guiao. "I just hope we can carry the momentum, while hoping the San Miguel Beer will be rusty, although I doubt it."

This marked the third straight conference that the Bulls entered the semifinal round, winning the Fiesta Cup. They placed first runner-up opposite Purefoods Chunkee in last year’s Philippine Cup.

After their front line wrought havoc on Purefoods’ defense in the third quarter, Mark Cardona scattered nine points in the fourth to cap the team’s overpowering performance in the series.

They lost the opening game but that proved to be the push the Phone Pals needed to turn their fortunes around.

Cardona tallied 23 points and was a rebound shy of completing a double-double performance.

Big men Asi Taulava contributed 20 points, while Anthony Washington finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Harvey Carey added 15 and forward Victor Pablo came off the bench to chip in 10.

Purefoods was without Marc Jean Pingris, who missed the game due to a sprained left ankle he sustained in the first half of Game 3.

His absence told heavily for the Giants as Taulava, Harvey and Washington asserted their might inside.

"I told the boys that Purefoods will try everything to win even without Pingris. Expected na yan, as defending champion, pag nasasaktan lalong lumalaban," said TNT coach Derrick Pumaren.

The injury to Pingris was a big blow for Purefoods which was hoping to be the first team to repeat as All-Filipino champion after Great Taste in 1985. Purefoods captured its fourth AFC title against Red Bull last year.

But the Phone Pals had their own mission as shown by their intensity.

"It’s wasn’t a good first half for us, but we delivered in the second. We also made them (Giants) work hard for their shots and on defense," he added.

It was the first semifinal stint for Pumaren since guiding Purefoods to the Governors’ Cup championship seven years ago. He took over the TNT coaching job last year from Joel Banal.

The Giants tried hard to turn the things around but the Phone Pals were ready for the challenge.

The Pals limited their opponent to a 4-of-15 shooting from the field in the final 5:57.

"We’ll get a rest. Then will think about Ginebra," said Pumaren, whose team defeated the Gin Kings twice this conference. I guess we can match up well with their front line."

full battle gear
01-23-2007, 11:02 AM
Irrepressible Mac plays big for surging TNT Pals


Inquirer
Last updated 01:18am (Mla time) 01/23/2007

WITH HIS TIMELY forays just when Talk ‘N Text needed it most, Mac Cardona provided the spark that lifted the Phone Pals past the Purefoods Giants in their Talk ‘N Text PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal duel last week.

The former De La Salle University Green Archer averaged 19.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists as Talk ‘N Text posted three straight wins after dropping the opener to Purefoods in their best-of-five series for a semifinal berth.

Cardona’s heroics earned him the PBA Press Corps’ Accel-TNT Player of the Week honors for the period Jan. 15-21.

The shifty guard, who was similarly honored for the Nov. 6-12 period, became the sixth player to be cited twice in the season-opener.

Other two-time recipients of the Scribes’ citation were Air21's Gary David, San Miguel Beer's Danny Seigle, Alaska’s Willie Miller, Seigle and Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa and Rudy Hatfield.

So impressive was Cardona that coach Derrick Pumaren gave him special mention over such stars as Asi Taulava, Jimmy Alapag, Yancy de Ocampo and Ren-Ren Ritualo.

“He has really delivered,” said Pumaren of the man known as “Captain Hook” in the league because of the way the 6-foot-2 guard launches his patented floaters over the opposing defenders' flailing hands.

“Also, he can combine with any of our point guards whenever we have a need to go small and that makes him even more effective.”

One thing Cardona has to keep in check, however, is his spirited shouts or yells due to occasional frustrations on the court.

“He just has to control his emotions. He can't let them take over,” said Pumaren.

The Phone Pals will take on the classification round No. 1 team, the Barangay Ginebra Kings, in the semifinals starting tomorrow.

It will be Red Bull against San Miguel Beer in the other semifinal duel.

After being pitted against the likes of James Yap and Peter June Simon in the quarters, Cardona will be ranged against the crowd-favorite Gin Kings’ equally explosive Caguioa and Pumaren can't wait for that match-up.

full battle gear
01-23-2007, 11:05 AM
Beermen coaches’ top pick for crown
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 01/23/2007

While experts see an evenly-matched series between Barangay Ginebra and Talk n Text, the same could not be said of the San Miguel-Red Bull duel as they pick the Beermen to prevail when the Final Four of the PBA Philippine Cup is held beginning tomorrow at the Araneta Coliseum.

The four teams are left to dispute the coveted all-Filipino crown as dethroned champion Purefoods Chunkee and Sta. Lucia Realty joined Air21, Alaska Milk, Coca-Cola and Welcoat in the sidelines with stinging setbacks Sunday.

The Beermen, boasting of a formidable roster, and the fired-up Bulls clash at 4:35 p.m. while the crowd favorite Kings collide with the Pals at 7:20 p.m. in a pair of best-of-seven duels kicking off the highly-anticipated Final Four phase of the tournament. The winners dispute the crown in another best-of-seven showdown.

Coaches Ryan Gregorio of Purefoods, Bo Perasol of Air21 and Leo Austria of Welcoat have expressed the same gut feel that San Miguel would eventually win the championship.

"I would pick San Miguel for its depth. Matindi ang materyales nila three-deep," said Perasol.

"San Miguel has a complete lineup and they have a tremendous weapon in Danny Seigle. He’s a big factor since he’s a tall natural three (wingman). Walang pang match-up sa kanya ang mga kalaban," said Austria.

"San Miguel has the edge man for man versus Red Bull. Ang problema lang nila Red Bull has surprised us a lot of times," said Gregorio.

Perasol believes it would be San Miguel versus Ginebra in the finals while Austria thinks Talk n Text would beat Ginebra to advance to the finals against San Miguel.

"Talk n Text is a team which can match up with any team. Talk n Text is huge, and Ginebra would have a tough time neutralizing Asi Taulava minus Eric Menk," said Austria.

"Ginebra has other big guys. Pero sila Rudy Hatfield, Rafi Reavis, Mike Holper hindi naman talaga pang-ilalim. Quickness lang ang panglaban nila," Austria added.

Menk sustained injuries in a recent bar fight and will be out for the rest of the tourney.

"Talk n Text versus Ginebra is a good series. But I think crowd factor would come into play and it would help Ginebra," said Perasol.

full battle gear
01-23-2007, 11:06 AM
Menk definitely out
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 01/23/2007

Rumors of Barangay Ginebra star Eric Menk suffering a calf injury were confirmed by coach Joseph Uichico the other day and the bad news for Kings fans is he’s out for the rest of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup conference.

Uichico said Menk aggravated his nagging calf injury so badly that doctors are ruling him out of the best-of-7 semifinal series against Talk ‘N Text starting tomorrow at the Araneta Coliseum.

And because the cutoff for roster changes was the last day of the double-round eliminations, Uichico said he’s not able to hire a replacement. That means Rodney Santos won’t be reactivated from the injury list until next conference.

Without Menk, things will be a little harder for the Kings to get by the Phone Pals but Uichico said he’s not losing sleep over it.

"We’ll be okay," said Uichico. "We’re ready to play."

Talk ‘N Text coach Derick Pumaren, meanwhile, isn’t jumping up and down over news of Menk’s absence.

Pumaren said he’s preparing for the Ginebra series as if Menk will be in the lineup "to avoid complacency."

Talk ‘N Text is fresh from eliminating Purefoods, 3-1, in their best-of-5 quarterfinal series and the Phone Pals can’t wait to take on the Kings in what looms to be a war of attrition.

Ginebra hasn’t played since Christmas Day when the Kings formalized their outright entry into the semifinals. Coming off a long layoff may be a disadvantage although if you ask Uichico, he’ll never admit it. The upside in an extended rest is the players are able to relieve their aches and pains. Additionally, they get hungry to play.

What may be a cause for Uichico’s concern is Ginebra hasn’t beaten Talk ‘N Text in two encounters so far this season. The Phone Pals won, 113-98, in their first meeting and repeated with a 115-104 decision. Menk scored his conference-high 29 points in the initial matchup so his offense will be missed.

Pumaren said rebounding and transition will be the key factors in the series. Talk ‘N Text dominated the boards and ran Purefoods to the ground with an avalanche of fastbreak points to sweep the last three quarterfinal games after losing the opener. Pumaren will use the same formula in trying to take out Ginebra.

"Because of Ginebra’s big advantage in their frontcourt, they dominated the eliminations," said Pumaren. "Without Menk, at least we can now match up with their frontcourt. But our preparation will still be based on Menk playing to avoid complacency. The team that will do a great job will win the series."

Phone Pals sharpshooter RenRen Ritualo said he has absolute trust, faith and confidence in Pumaren.

"Coach hates to lose," said Ritualo. "He’s always very well-prepared for a game. He gives us details on what to expect, what to do. It’s like spoon-feeding because he leaves nothing to chance."

It’s a tough job for Pumaren to keep the Talk ‘N Text‚ Text stars happy but he’s getting it done. Somehow, Pumaren manages to rotate his players in a way that they all log significant minutes without taking time away from each other.

In Talk ‘N Text’s 115-96 win over Purefoods last Sunday, nine players logged at least 10 minutes, seven at least 20 and three at least 30. Asi Taulava had the lion’s share of playing time as he collected 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots in 37 minutes. By the way, Asi hit 8-of-9 from the stripe, making Purefoods pay dearly for the gamble of putting him on the line. Jimmy Alapag played 36 minutes, finishing with six points, nine rebounds and 12 assists. Anthony Washington checked in for 31 minutes and wound up with 16 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. High scorer was MacMac Cardona who tallied 23 points in 27 minutes.

Ritualo chipped in 13 points, including two treys that raised his career total to 473. He’s now only 27 shy of reaching the 500 plateau and at the rate of two triples a game, it looks like he’ll be joining the elite club early next conference. There are only eight players in history to knock down at least 500 — Allan Caidic (1,242), Ronnie Magsanoc (1,171), Al Solis (1,000), Robert Jaworski (649), Boybits Victoria (642), Jojo Lastimosa (581), Pido Jarencio (576) and Noy Castillo (500). Kenneth Duremdes and Olsen Racela are also close to the 500 mark, with 487 apiece.

Racela is only 13 short of hitting 500 and might just be able to do it this conference, if San Miguel goes all the way to the finals.