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12-18-2017, 07:14 AM
Let's get things started for the season opening conference:

Narvasa resigns as PBA Commissioner, PBA Board appoints Marcial as OIC

By Paul Lintag on Dec 17, 2017 04:51 PM

Narvasa, who was in the middle of controversy a couple of months back for the much-maligned San Miguel-Kia trade for the no. 1 pick, filed his resignation Sunday morning and is effective today, December 17, 2017.

Looks like the PBA impasse has reached a merciful end.

Moments before the 43rd Season kicked off Sunday, the PBA Board announce that Commissioner Chito Narvasa has filed his resignation.

Narvasa, who was in the middle of controversy a couple of months back for the much-maligned San Miguel-Kia trade for the no. 1 pick, filed his resignation Sunday morning and is effective today, December 17, 2017.

However, in order to help with the transition process, the PBA Board asked Narvasa to stay until the end of the current year.

As the league finds a new Commissioner, the PBA Board has appointed Willie Marcial as Officer-in-Charge for the time being.

"Now we're stronger than ever, and we will stay like that as we begin the healing process of the PBA," incoming league Chairman Rickie Vargas of TNT said.

TNT and NLEX agreed to swap places for the league chairmanship.

Ramoncito Fernandez of the Road Warriors was supposed to take over as chairman this season before the gentleman's agreement from both teams took place.

"We reached out to Commissioner Narvasa and we made amends for the things that needed to be clarified and worked out on his personal hurts on the process," Vargas added.

12-18-2017, 07:16 AM
San Miguel outguns Phoenix to open 43rd PBA season

By Paul Lintag on Dec 17, 2017 08:56 PM

Marcio Lassiter scored eight straight points for San Miguel in the fourth quarter as the three-time defending Philippine Cup champion Beermen took care of Phoenix to start the new PBA season.

San Miguel's first title defense this season is off to a strong start.

The Beermen got their bid for a four-peat going early, scoring an impressive 104-96 decision over the Phoenix Fuel Masters in the 2018 Philippine Cup to open the PBA's 43rd season Sunday at the Big Dome.

Marcio Lassiter caught fire in the final half of the fourth quarter to help the Beermen hold off the pesky Fuel Masters, getting win no. 1 of the new season.

After Phoenix cut the San Miguel lead to only five, 85-80, with 6:28 to go, Lassiter fired eight straight points for the Beermen, including two triples, to restore a double-digit lead, 95-84.

And for good measure, Lassiter added another long 2 for a 17-point San Miguel advantage with three minutes left.

"The first win is always really hard, especially for our teame, everybody prepares hard for us," head coach Leo Austria said.

"Fortunately all of our starters scored in double figures. I did not expect they will score a lot because I think this is the worst offseason we had," he added.

Aside from Lassiter, reigning four-time league MVP June Mar Fajardo did the heavy lifting in the fourth for the Beermen, scoring nine of his game-high 23 points in the last 12 minutes.

The Kraken also had a cool 16 rebounds to go along with four assists and four blocks.

Alex Cabagnot drilled 22 points for San Miguel while Lassiter was good for 20. Chris Ross and Arwind Santos combined for 30 points.

It didn't take long for the Beermen to establish control as the champs opened with eight unanswered points in the opening minute of the game.

However, Phoenix, playing its first game with new head coach Louie Alas, settled down and even took the lead momentarily in the second quarter, 29-28.

San Miguel quickly turned things around though and entered the break up 10, 47-37.

Jeff Chan led the way for the Fuel Masters with 16 points while Matthew Wright came off the bench to score 12 points.

Gelo Alolino, Justin Chua, and Willie Wilson all dropped 11 points each for Phoenix in the season-opening loss.

The Scores:

SAN MIGUEL 104 ? Fajardo 23, Cabagnot 22, Lassiter 20, Ross 16, Santos 14, Pessumal 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Agovida 0, Heruela 0, Lanete 0, Mabulac 0, Mamaril 0, Vigil 0.

PHOENIX 96 ? Chan 18, Wright 12, Alolino 11, Chua 11, Wilson 11, Dehesa 8, Kramer 6, Jazul 4, Eriobu 2, Intal 2, Revilla 1.

Quarters: 23-18, 47-37, 79-68, 104-96.

12-21-2017, 10:28 AM
Ravena shines as NLEX survives KIA; Magnolia rips Alaska

By: Musong R. Castillo - Reporter / @MusongINQPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 05:06 AM December 21, 2017

In search of a franchise player ever since taking over and overhauling the NLEX Road Warriors at the start of last season, coach Yeng Guiao has now found one in Kiefer Ravena.

Coming up three rebounds short of a triple double, Ravena's 18 points and 12 assists helped the Road Warriors pull out a 119-115 decision of KIA Picanto as NLEX - although in quite a rocky manner - got its Philippine Cup bid off on the right foot Wednesday night at San Juan Arena.

NLEX trailed big at the start as the Picanto played with so much purpose after being maligned for all of the offseason with questionable manpower movement, and the Road Warriors needed a critical four-point play from the veteran Larry Fonacier with 66 seconds left to gut out the win.

Magnolia got 30 points from Paul Lee in the nightcap, with a 108-95 victory over Alaska putting the Hotshots in the company of the Road Warriors and three-time defending champion San Miguel Beer as opening match winners.

After having just five full practices with the squad in his return from an MCL injury, Lee hit 11-of-14 field goal attempts, making all but two of eight triple tries, in leading the undermanned Magnolia crew.

Calvin Abueva had 20 points, 15 rebounds and five assists for Alaska.

Guiao maximized his bench, getting eight players in twin digits, and the Road Warriors will use this contest to fine-tune their game as they prepare to slug it out with the powerhouses in the league.

"It was exactly what we expected, a hard game for us," Guiao told reporters. "We will take this win how hard it came," he went on. "We're trying to build chemistry and we need to improve on a lot of things."

The 6-foot Ravena, a former college star with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, played just under 30 minutes and hit all five of his two-point attempts and 7-for-10 overall. His pro debut completely overshadowed that of his dad's, former San Miguel Beer swingman Bong, who had just two points against Pepsi.

Bong eventually went on to win the Rookie of the Year award in 1992 over Vergel Meneses.


NLEX 119 - KIA 115

NLEX 119 - Ravena 18, Miranda 14, Alas 14, Mallari 13, Fonacier 12, Al-Hussaini 12, Quinahan 12, Tiongson 11, Baguio 5, Soyud 4, Ighalo 4, Taulava 0.

KIA PICANTO 115 - Camson 24, McCarthy 14, Corpuz 13, Reyes 12, Galanza 12, Celda 9, Ababou 9, Khobuntin 8, Paniamogan 7, Tubid 4, Yee 3, Caperal 0.

Quarters: 36-40, 64-68, 90-92, 119-115


MAGNOLIA 108 - Lee 30, Gamalinda 15, Sangalang 13, Dela Rosa 10, Simon 9, Herndon 9, K. Pascual 9, Barroca 6, Melton 3, Ramos 2, Brondial 2.

ALASKA 95 - Abueva 20, Manuel 20, Teng 16, Casio 10, R. Pascual 7, Enciso 5, Exciminiano 5, Banchero 4, Thoss 3, J. Pascual 2, Cruz 2, Magat 1, Racal 0.

Quarters: 21-26, 57-47, 87-74, 108-95

12-21-2017, 10:29 AM
^ In all honesty the Kia-NLEX game was a contest between two projected bottom-half teams. Phenom won't change that for NLEX, not yet anyway.

12-27-2017, 07:10 AM
Slaughter stands out as Ginebra asserts mastery of Magnolia in Christmas game

From: Karlo Sacamos December 25, 2017, 07:43 pm

BOCAUE, Bulacan - Barangay Ginebra asserted its mastery of Magnolia in Christmas showcases as it turned back the Hotshots, 89-78, to jumpstart its PBA Philippine Cup campaign on Monday night.

Hitting the ground running after less than a month back in camp, the Gin Kings hardly showed rust as they completed a hat-trick of victories over the Hotshots in Christmas day games.

Greg Slaughter towered over everyone and finished with 24 points, 12 boards, four blocks, and two assists as he proved to be the main recipient of LA Tenorio, who ran the offense with aplomb to the delight of over 22,000 fans in attendance at the Philippine Arena.

"I'm a little surprised at how well we played," Gin Kings coach Tim Cone insisted. "We weren't perfect out there but we played with really good energy."

"It was like a perfect storm for us to get beat tonight but our guys figured out a way," he added as his team dealt the Hotshots their first defeat after opening the season with a 108-95 rout of Alaska last Wednesday.

Tenorio indeed found a way to get the ball down low, dishing out eight assists, mostly to Slaughter and his frontcourt partner Japeth Aguilar who registered 12 points, that last two on a slam dunk that gave the Gin Kings an 82-73 lead, enough cushion to complete the victory.

Tenorio's ball distribution highlighted his performance that saw him finish with 15 points, five boards, five steals, and one block in 34 minutes.

Backcourt partner Scottie Thompson saw the most action at almost 41 minutes as he did everything on the court, finishing with nine rebounds, seven assists, six points, one steal, and only one turnover as he stepped up without injured point forwards Joe Devance and Art dela Cruz.

Ian Sangalang led the Hotshots with 25 points and 11 boards, but scored a measly point in the payoff period.

The scores:

GINEBRA 89 - Slaughter 24, Tenorio 15, J. Aguilar 12, Cruz 12, Caguioa 7, Ferrer 7, Thompson 6, Mariano 4, Taha 2, R. Aguilar 0, Manuel 0

MAGNOLIA 78 - Sangalang 25, Lee 16, Simon 15, Pingris 6, Barroca 4, Dela Rosa 4, Gamalinda 4, Herndon 2, Melton 2, Ramos 0, Brondial 0, Pascual 0

Quarterscores: 22-17, 48-37, 66-60, 89-78

12-27-2017, 07:13 AM
Kiefer Ravena stands out yet again as NLEX takes down GlobalPort for win No. 2

From: Karlo Sacamos December 25, 2017, 05:10 pm

BOCAUE - NLEX turned to its standout playmaker in pouncing on a Globalport side that was without its own version, hammering out a 115-104 victory to gain the early lead in the Philippine Cup.

Kiefer Ravena continued to live up to expectations, scattering 20 points - punctuated by the last two on a breakaway slam - on top of five boards, four steals, two boards, and zero turnover in 29 minutes off the bench as the Road Warriors registered a second straight win.

"We just gave ourselves a really nice Christmas gift," NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said. "Swerte rin kami that Terrence isn't playing."

Ravena buried the dagger triple from the left corner that gave the Road Warriors a 109-98 lead with a little less than two minutes left as the prized rookie took most of the spotlight in the absence of Batang Pier star Terrence Romeo, who is still recovering from a knee injury.

JR Qui?ahan silently anchored the Road Warriors down low, tallying 19 points and missing a double-double by just one rebound, while fellow veteran Larry Fonacier added 12 points, seven boards, and seven assists.

Eight players scored at least eight points for the Road Warriors, getting quality minutes from young big men Fonzo Gotladera and Michael Miranda, who chipped in eight points apiece.

Without Romeo, backcourt partner Stanley Pringle was forced to carry most of the load, ending up with 33 points, 10 boards, four assists, and two steals that went for naught.

The scores:

NLEX 115 - Ravena 20, Qui?ahan 19, Fonacier 12, Tiongson 10, Alas 9, Baguio 8, Gotladera 8, Miranda 8, Mallari 6, Monfort 5, Rios 5, Taulava 3, Al-Hussaini 2.

Globalport 104 - Pringle 33, Anthony 19, Grey 13, Nabong 9, Ara?a 8, Elorde 5, Guinto 4, Juico 4, Taha 4, Flores 2, Sargent 2, Gabayni 1.

Quarterscores: 25-25; 50-45; 84-76; 115-104.

12-27-2017, 07:15 AM
Alarming trend? Christmas Day games draw lowest PBA attendance at Philippine Arena

From: Gerry Ramos December 25, 2017, 06:46 pm

BOCAUE - The long weekend and holiday break factored into the 'modest' crowd attendance during the Christmas Day doubleheader of the PBA Philippine Cup here.

Official attendance for Monday?s holiday doubleheader pitting Ginebra against Magnolia and NLEX against GlobalPort was pegged at 22,531 - the smallest to watch a PBA game at the Philippine Arena.

Attendance was well smaller than the crowds which showed up for the Christmas Day games last year in the same playing venue pitting the same teams in the featured game, which the Kings won, 86-79.

No official attendance was announced then, although the crowd was estimated to be at 23,000 to 25,000.

The holiday twinbill was the first to be played in the world's largest indoor arena since a record crowd of more than 54,000 watched the deciding Game 7 of the Governors Cup Finals between Ginebra and Meralco last October 27. The Kings beat the Bolts, 101-96, for the championship.

League external affairs and communications head Willie Marcial said the long weekend obviously had an effect on the attendance of the league?s 14th Christmas Day special.

"Friday kasi bakasyon na until tomorrow (Dec. 26), which was declared a special holiday. So karamihan talaga ang balik na sa January 2," said Marcial, the incoming league officer in charge.

Just last December 18, the PBA season opener at the Smart Araneta Coliseum drew only 5,600 fans - the lowest for a season opener in league history.

During the Christmas Day schedule in 2015, the Ginebra-Star match-up attracted 22,000 people at the Mall of Asia Arena as the Kings scored a thrilling 92-89 win in overtime behind the game-winning, buzzer-beating three-pointer by LA Tenorio.

12-27-2017, 07:17 AM
^ Bakit naman kasi dun pa ginanap sa pagkahirap-hirap na puntahan na Philippine Arena? Fully booked ba Big Dome at SMOA?

12-28-2017, 07:16 AM
Cabagnot, San Miguel weather Meralco comeback

By: Randolph B. Leongson - Reporter / @RLeongsonINQ INQUIRER.net / 09:43 PM December 27, 2017

ANTIPOLO - Coach Leo Austria described Meralco as San Miguel's first test in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.

He was right as the Beermen barely escaped the Bolts, 103-97, Wednesday night at Ynares Center here.

June Mar Fajardo was in his usual dominant self, unloading 26 points and nine rebounds while the guards, led by Alex Cabagnot, fired on all cylinders that kept Meralco at bay.

Cabagnot led all scorers with 29 points that went with seven boards, and four assists, Marcio Lassiter got 18 points built on four treys, with five rebounds and three dimes, while Von Pessumal shot 3-of-8 from beyond the arc to wind up with 11 markers on top of five rebounds.

"I'm so thankful that we ended the year with a bang," said Austria as his side shot 13-of-29 from rainbow country. "With this win, I think this will motivate us to play better next time."

The victory almost slipped from the Beermen's grip as a late charge from the Bolts, who trailed by as much as 22 points, threatened and came to within, 102-97, after Mike Tolomia drilled a trey with 38.9 seconds remaining.

Meralco had a chance to trim the lead further, but Nino Canaleta's three went in and out as Fajardo secured the rebound and Chris Ross iced the game with a split at the free throw line with 5.3 ticks left.

Tolomia dropped 21 points on a 5-of-9 clip from threes, to go along with four rebounds and six assists.

Canaleta added 17 markers and nine boards, while Reynel Hugnatan had 16.

The Scores:

SAN MIGUEL 103 - Cabagnot 29, Fajardo 26, Lassiter 18, Pessumal 11, Ross 9, Santos 8, Mamaril 2, Lanete 0, Heruela 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.

MERALCO 97 - Tolomia 21, Canaleta 17, Hugnatan 16, Newsome 13, Lanete 10, Bono 8, Amer 7, Baracael 2, Ballesteros 2, Caram 1, Faundo 0, Sedurifa 0, Salva 0.

Quarters: 30-18, 59-41, 81-73, 103-97.

12-28-2017, 07:19 AM
Solid second half spurs Phoenix past pesky Kia

By: Randolph B. Leongson - Reporter / @RLeongsonINQ INQUIRER.net / 06:38 PM December 27, 2017

ANTIPOLO - Phoenix delivered a sensational showing in a physical second half to dump Kia, 125-102, for its first win Wednesday in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at Ynares Center here.

Wealth was spread throughout the Fuel Masters roster as seven players logged double-digits in scoring led by Matthew Wright and JC Intal.

Wright and Intal both registered 15 points and five rebounds, while Justin Chua also had 15 markers on top of four boards.

Gelo Alolino and RJ Jazul combined for 26 points on a scintillating 6-of-8 shooting from three, rookie Jason Perkins just missed a double-double with 12 markers and nine rebounds that went with six assists, while Doug Kramer also had 12 points and five boards in the win.

The win snapped Phoenix's 10-game losing skid dating back to last season.

"We can't shake off the excitement because we really wanted to win the game," said Louie Alas, who notched his first victory as Phoenix's head coach.

Though it was a lopsided game, Alas said he was wary of Kia heading into the duel.

"Kia is no pushover. Based on their game against NLEX, it will not be easy, and it was. I just told the guys that we can't come to the game expecting a win. From this moment, we just have to practice as hard as we can and show our best individual defense because they are very talented individually," he said.

Phoenix had to wait until the second half before it ultimately shook off the Picanto. The Fuel Masters took a 26-point lead late behind the efforts of their third stringers.

Rashawn McCarthy paced Kia with 22 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, while Eric Camson got 15 markers and three boards in the loss.

The Scores:

PHOENIX 125 - Intal 15, Chua 15, Wright 15, Alolino 13, Jazul 13, Perkins 12, Kramer 12, Eriobu 11, Dehesa 7, Gamboa 6, Revilla 6, Cortes 0, Guevarra 0, Wilson 0.

KIA 102 - McCarthy 22, Camson 15, Paniamogan 13, Corpuz 12, Reyes 11, Galanza 7, Ababou 7, Jamon 5, Yee 4, Khobuntin 3, Celda 2, Sara 0.

Quarters: 24-14, 53-40, 88-69, 125-102.

12-28-2017, 07:21 AM
^ Huwag na tayo maglokohan, pushover team naman talaga ang Kia, and they have no desire of ever becoming anything but, not for as long as RSA holds Alvarez by the throat business-wise.

12-28-2017, 10:13 AM
^ Huwag na tayo maglokohan, pushover team naman talaga ang Kia, and they have no desire of ever becoming anything but, not for as long as RSA holds Alvarez by the throat business-wise.


This would be great if this pushes through.

12-29-2017, 10:15 AM
^ Boss Jumbo...

Phoenix insider admits bid to acquire KIA, but bares negotiations hit a stalemate

From: Karlo Sacamos December 28, 2017, 03:59 pm

PHOENIX, and KIA for that matter, will remain independent PBA teams - for now.

A Phoenix insider admitted there have been negotiations about the acquisition of the KIA brand including the latter's PBA franchise, raising the possibility of the two becoming sister teams.

However, the same insider bared the talks have reached a stalemate.

"It's not true," the source, who requested not to be named, said a day after the Inquirer reported the impending sale of KIA to the Phoenix group. "There were previous talks, pero it's not true."

"Hindi naman sa nag-bog down, nagkaroon lang ng stall, kasi dati pa yan eh," the person close to team owner Dennis Uy added. "It was being pursued before ? pero it hasn't pushed through."

The Inquirer report came on the same day Phoenix dismantled Kia, 125-102 in their Philippine Cup matchup on Wednesday night in Antipolo.

If the sale pushes through, Uy will become the third owner to have multiple teams in the pro league after Ramon S. Ang of San Miguel Corp. (Magnolia, SMB and Ginebra) and Manny V. Pangilinan of the PLDT group (TNT KaTropa, NLEX and Meralco).

Asked if Uy is open to acquire a second franchise that would make him the third owner of multiple teams in the PBA, the source said it depends on how it would benefit Phoenix.

"It depends. If he sees an opportunity, ganun lang naman siya. That's his business philosophy," the source said. "If there's an opportunity, why not? And kung kaya ba eh."

01-08-2018, 07:06 AM
Kiefer Ravena has self to blame for first bad game in PBA

By ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 07, 2018 09:14 PM

After winning the very first PBA Player of the Week for the 2017-2018 season, Kiefer Ravena had for himself an off-game.

The phenomenal rookie only had eight points, seven assists, and one rebound to go along with two turnovers as NLEX bowed down to Phoenix on Sunday.

This, after per game counts of 19 points, 8.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and two steals in his first two games as a pro.

Ravena had nothing but praise for the Fuel Masters who shackled him down. "Well, siguro Phoenix had a game plan (for) me and they really executed. You have to give credit to the guards of Phoenix - LA (Revilla), Gelo (Alolino), RJ (Jazul) - because they really set the tone for the whole game," he told reporters.

Along with that, the second overall pick took responsibility for not being prepared enough. "Siguro, it was my fault din that I have to prepare even more in certain situations. I have no excuses," he said.

He then continued, "I shot bad from the field and I didn't help the team enough."

Still, Ravena, just like he has countless times before in his days in Ateneo de Manila, vowed to bounce back. "I tasted two wins and now, a loss in the PBA. The good thing is we will learn from it," he said.

He then continued, "Siyempre, 'di okay matalo, but the beauty of sports is that it allows you to bounce back right away."

"The Phenom" and the Road Warriors try to do just that when they take on defending champion San Miguel.

01-08-2018, 07:07 AM
Ginebra uses #NSD attitude to frustrate Globalport

By Paul Lintag on Jan 07, 2018 08:40 PM

It's that classic "Never Say Die" attitude still.

Brgy. Ginebra recovered just in time to keep its record in the 2018 Philippine Cup intact, taking a 104-97 win at the expense of Globalport Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Down by nine entering the fourth, the Gin Kings completed a 16-point turnaround to frustrate the Batang Pier to improve to a clean 2-0.

Despite the win, head coach Tim Cone was in no mood to celebrate after he felt that his team didn't play up to potential against a Globalport squad that was missing star guard Terrence Romeo.

"Well that's what teams coming from championships do. Thsi is the way they do it. They sleepwalk for 3 and a half quarters and try to win a game down the stretch," he said.

"That's what we're trying to avoid," Cone added.

The Gin Kings did exactly that, walking away with the win nonetheless.

LA Tenorio checked in halfway through the fourth and buried two big three-point shots to cut the deficit to two while Japeth Aguilar also made a pair of heads up plays down the stretch to allow Ginebra to pull through.

Aguilar first buried an alley-oop slam to finally give the Gin Kings the lead, 95-93, with 3:22 to go.

Stanley Pringle restored order for the Batang Pier with a booming three-point shot, but Japeth came back with an and-one play as Ginebra took over for good, 98-96.

Aguilar finished with 21 points, nine rebounds, and six blocks while Tenorio fired 17 points on top of seven assists.

Scottie Thompson, meanwhile, flirted wit ha triple-double with nine points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists.

For Global, who dropped to 0-2 for the season, Sean Anthony stepped in as the lead scorer with 29 point and nine rebounds.

Pringle added 23 points, eight boards, and 10 assists in the loss.

The Scores:

GINEBRA 104 - Aguilar 21, Slaughter 18, Tenorio 17, Mariano 11, Cruz 10, Thompson 9, Ferrer 8, Caguioa 7, Taha 3.

GLOBALPORT 97 - Anthony 29, Pringle 23, Nabong 12, Sargent 12, Grey 9, Guinto 7, Arana 5, Taha 0, Elorde 0, Flores 0, Gabayni 0.

Quarters: 19-23, 46-48, 68-77, 104-97.

01-12-2018, 09:56 AM
Magnolia spoils Dandan debut, sends KIA reeling to longest losing skid in a decade

From: Karlo Sacamos January 10, 2018, 06:44 pm

THE real Magnolia showed up in the second half as it added to the misery of Kia with a 124-77 dismantling on Wednesday night to get back on the winning track in the PBA Philippine Cup.

The Hotshots saw the Picanto put up a tough challenge in the first half, before turning it up in the third quarter, where they outscored their hapless opponents, 34-11, to break the game wide open.

Ian Sangalang and Justin Melton provided a huge spark off the bench, while Paul Lee ignited the breakaway in the third canto as the Hotshots coasted to their second win in three games.

The result spoiled the debut of new Kia coach Ricky Dandan as the Picanto reeled to their third straight defeat and 15th overall, the longest losing streak in the league in the last decade.

"This is our first game of the year and I just told my players to start it right," Hotshots coach Chito Victolero said. "We just needed to adjust in the second half especially our defense."

The Hotshots looked like they were merely going through the motions in the first half, which ended with the Picanto taking a two-point lead, thanks to a spirited showing to the delight of Dandan.

But Magnolia buckled down to work after the intermission, tightening up the defensive screws to outscore Kia by 23 points, with their defense translating to offense led by Lee, who scored all his 13 points in the third quarter.

Melton put up his best game early in the season, tallying 23 points, eight assists, six boards, and one steal in 26 minutes off the bench, while Sangalang anchored the middle and finished with 21 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 25 minutes.

Jio Jalalon made his season debut after being sidelined with a knee injury the first two games, conspiring with Mark Barroca in leading the way for the Hotshots' suffocating defense.

The 47-point beating matched the Picanto's worst defeat in franchise history after surrendering a 128-81 decision last September 22 against - you guessed it - also the Hotshots.

Three of the four worst defeats of Kia in franchise history have come at hands of the Purefoods franchise, according to chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III.

Jay-R Reyes led the Picanto with 12 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and one block in 37 minutes in a losing effort.

The scores:

MAGNOLIA 124 - Melton 23, Sangalang 21, Herndon 14, Lee 13, Simon 11, Jalalon 11, Ramos 7, Gamalinda 6, Pingris 6, Barroca 4, Pascual 4, Dela Rosa 2, Brondial 2

KIA 77 - Reyes 12, McCarthy 11, Celda 11, Tubid 11, Corpuz 9, Yee 6, Khobuntin 5, Paniamogan 5, Jamon 3, Caperal 2, Sara 2, Camson 0, Ababou 0, Galanza 0

Quarterscores: 22-22, 49-47, 81-60, 124-77

01-12-2018, 10:00 AM
Dandan admits KIA losses taking toll on him: 'I feel I've been coaching here forever'

IT'S not exactly the most ideal PBA coaching debut.

But Ricky Dandan took the punch like a man and endured this latest in a series of KIA losses.

The new Picanto mentor watched his team disintegrate in the second half and absorb a 124-77 rout at the hands of Magnolia on Wednesday night to mark his coaching debut in the Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Everything appeared to be going right for the Picanto in the first two quarters when they managed to hold their own against the Hotshots and even lead at the half, 49-47.

Unfortunately, they came undone in the second half, allowing the Hotshots to finally take control and win the game pulling away.

The Picanto have now lost their first outings in the all-Filipino conference, extending their losing streak dating back to last season to 15th overall - the longest in the league in the last decade as per PBA head statistician Fidel Mangonon III.

"I feel that I've been coaching here forever," said Dandan, who took over the coaching post following the resignation of Chris Gavina two days before the New Year.

"It's tiring. I feel very tired," he added. "I tried to encourage our guys to make a comeback, try to use the lineup, but obviously, to no avail."

Dandan himself was trying to find an answer on what exactly happened following that big second-half turnaround, which saw the Picanto score just 28 points.

"I don't know what happened. I can't explain it," said the former University of the Philippines coach. "I have to review the tape, watch the third quarter, and see what exactly happened. From my recollection, we played according to plan in the first two quarters, only to suddenly play differently in the third."

If there's any consolation for the team, Dandan said the Picanto played very well in the first half.

"The first two quarters," he pointed out. "If we can replicate that…we knew that Magnolia is a veteran team, we knew that they will make a move in the third quarter."

"But we were unable to stop their run, so I'm going to see the tape. I want to confirm things, thinking about what happened so we can do better in the next game."

That next game will be four days from now as KIA faces Alaska on Sunday.

"We have to move on, shrug this off, and prepare against Alaska this Sunday," Dandan said.

01-12-2018, 10:03 AM
New year, renewed hope as Alaska nips Meralco to snap out of two-game skid

From: Karlo Sacamos January 10, 2018, 09:36 pm

THE New Year indeed brought new hope for Alaska as it hacked out a 103-98 victory over Meralco to barge into the win column of the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Flashing a renewed spirit that they sustained throughout the game, the Aces held off a resilient Bolts side to snap a two-game losing streak and put their disappointing 2017 behind.

Kevin Racal knocked down two dagger triples before Calvin Abueva put the finishing touches as the Aces withstood a late stand by the Bolts to hand the opponents their second loss in three games.

"It was hard-fought game against a tough team," Aces coach Alex Compton said. "I'm proud of our defensive intensity."

"I really felt like we brought some great defensive energy and teamwork…I don't think we had that last year," he added. "We played hard, but it wasn’t as hard as you saw out there. If we work like that, I'll go to war with them anytime."

Abueva typified the Aces' hard work as usual, pouring in 19 points, nine boards, three assists, and three steals in 23 minutes, while his bruise brother, Vic Manuel, added 19 points, four rebounds, and one assist without a turnover in 24 minutes off the bench.

But it was Racal who spelled the biggest difference offensively as the defensive lynchpin drained back-to-back treys in the face of a late Meralco uprising, the second giving the Aces a 93-86 lead with a little over two minutes to go.

Chris Newsome registered 23 points, six rebounds, and four assists in 33 minutes to lead the Bolts, who tried to overhaul a deficit as many as 14 points, before falling short.

The scores:

ALASKA 103 - Abueva 19, Manuel 19, Banchero 13, Teng 8, Casio 8, Racal 8, J. Pascual 7, Enciso 7, Thoss 5, Potts 4, Exciminiano 3, Cruz 2

MERALCO 98 - Newsome 23, Canaleta 16, Amer 15, Bono 9, Dillinger 8, Hugnatan 8, Baracael 6, Caram 6, Lanete 5, Ballesteros 2, Tolomia 0

Quarterscores: 26-16, 53-39, 78-71, 103-98

01-15-2018, 10:00 AM
Magnolia posts back-to-back wins, beats Ravena-led NLEX

By: Randolph B. Leongson - Reporter / @RLeongsonINQ INQUIRER.net / 09:03 PM January 14, 2018

Magnolia registered back-to-back wins after a wire-to-wire victory over NLEX, 105-94, in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Paul Lee unloaded 21 points, three rebounds and four assists to lead the Hotshots to a 3-1 slate.

Rome dela Rosa also contributed in the payoff period, pouring in seven of his 14 markers. He also had four boards and two assists, while Aldrech Ramos and Robbie Herndon both had 11 points each.

Marc Pingris was also a force to be reckon with on the defensive end as he hauled down 15 rebounds to go with his seven markers.

"This is good for us. At least in our first two games in the new year, the mindset of the players have been good," said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.

Magnolia slowly established control in the game and finally pulled away in the third quarter, staging an 18-3 salvo to grab a 71-48 advantage after a Lee three at the 7:29 mark of the frame.

Not even the heroics of Kiefer Ravena, who tallied a new career-best 31 points along with five assists, four rebounds, and four steals in the game, could avert NLEX’s second straight loss. The second overall rookie pick could only get his side within eight, 87-79, with 9:16 remaining before the Hotshots once again held the Road Warriors at bay.

"It's a total team effort, everybody stepped up on defense. They're No. 1 in offense and we limited them to under 100 points so that's good for us,' said Victolero.

JR Quiñahan racked up 22 markers, 10 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in the losing effort, while Kevin Alas had seven of his 13 points come in the fourth quarter.

The Scores:

MAGNOLIA 105 - Lee 21, Dela Rosa 14, Herndon 11, Ramos 11, Jalalon 9, Simon 9, Melton 7, Pingris 7, Barroca 5, Sangalang 5, Reavis 4, Gamalinda 2, Brondial 0, Pascual 0.

NLEX 94 - Ravena 31, Quiñahan 22, Alas 13, Miranda 9, Fonacier 8, Mallari 5, Baguio 4, Tiongson 2, Al-Hussaini 0, Gotladera 0, Rios 0.

Quarters: 30-18, 51-43, 85-68, 105-94.

01-15-2018, 10:04 AM
One for the road

San Miguel Beermen turn back TNT KaTropa in Iloilo City

By: Musong R. Castillo - Reporter / @MusongINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:56 AM January 14, 2018

ILOILO - San Miguel Beer was obviously not having the greatest of games Saturday night. But when push came to shove, the Beermen simply had too much more to give.

Closing out with a 12-2 spurt, the Beermen made it look like it was just another day at the office at University of San Agustin Gym here after posting an 88-76 decision of TNT KaTropa in a Petron Saturday Special Game that kept them in the solo PBA Philippine Cup lead.

The final score did not reflect how hard the Beermen struggled, and how coach Leo Austria had to dig deep into his bench earlier before zooming to a third straight victory and dealing the hard-fighting Texters a second defeat in three outings.

Seeking to win this tournament an unprecedented fourth straight season, San Miguel looked very vulnerable until early in the fourth period, when Arwind Santos stepped up on both ends to boost the Beermen.

From 76-74, Santos scored eight of his 15 points points, had a block and a couple of huge rebounds as he almost singlehandedly took the fight out of the Texters.

TNT led by as many as nine late in the third but couldn’t put San Miguel away, even with the three-time defending champion playing second-string guards Brian Heruela and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and the veteran Billy Mamaril at the middle.

Instead, the trio had a lot of success and managed to take the Beermen to within three points going into the fourth.

June Mar Fajardo scored 20 points, Marcio Lassiter scattered 15 and Cabagnot 11 for San Miguel, which is the only unbeaten team in the field after sister team Barangay Ginebra took a shock loss at the hands of Blackwater Friday night.

Troy Rosario had 15 to lead all TNT shooters as Jason Castro, Asia’s finest point guard earlier this decade, was held to just nine points.

Meanwhile, NLEX and Magnolia collide in the 6:45 p.m. contest at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday for solo second place. Alaska takes the Big Dome floor at 4:30 p.m. against KIA Picanto.

01-15-2018, 10:06 AM
Alaska demolishes Kia for 2nd straight win

By: Randolph B. Leongson - Reporter / @RLeongsonINQ INQUIRER.net / 06:56 PM January 14, 2018

Playing its finest basketball to date, Alaska bulldozed Kia, 102-65, Sunday for its second straight win in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Aces surged ahead in the third quarter where they turned a tight 39-34 halftime lead to a decisive 75-39 at the end of the period.

"Our defensive energy was a little undirected in the first half and it caused us to give up baskets that we didn't wanna give up. In the second half, we were little more focused," said Alaska coach Alex Compton.

Fifth overall pick Jeron Teng outscored the whole Picanto crew, 13-5, in that frame alone as he led the charge for the Aces with 23 points, nine rebounds, and two assists.

Carl Bryan Cruz added 16 markers and nine boards, while Chris Banchero got 11 points, five assists, and three rebounds.

Three other Alaska players notched double-digits in scoring as Calvin Abueva, Vic Manuel, and Jake Pascual all finished with 10 markers each as the Aces even took a 40-point lead at one point, 86-46 midway in the fourth quarter.

Alaska's defense was on point coming out of the halftime break as it forced Kia to shoot 2-of-23 from the field and commit six turnovers in that telling third period as it broke the game wide open thanks to its 36-point explosion.

Compton raved with his team's defensive focus in that game-deciding third period, saying, "If I could find a way to bottle what we did in the third quarter, that would give us a good chance (competing against the contenders). I really appreciate the effort of the guys today defensively and I think we got our teeth back on defense."

Rashawn McCarthy paced Kia with 16 points, four assists, two rebounds, and two blocks off the bench, but that couldn't stop his side from dropping its 16th straight defeat dating back to the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup, the longest losing skid since Ginebra’s drought back in 1995.

Eric Camson chimed in 15 markers, 11 coming in the extended garbage time in the payoff period, on top of six boards, while Ronald Tubid got 13 points on a 4-of-7 shooting from threes, on top of seven rebounds.

The Scores:

ALASKA 102 - Teng 23, Cruz 16, Banchero 11, Abueva 10, Manuel 10, Pascual 10, Enciso 8, Galliguez 5, Thoss 5, Exciminiano 2, Potts 2, Casio 0, Racal 0.

KIA 65 - McCarthy 16, Camson 15, Tubid 13, Ababou 5, Caperal 4, Reyes 4, Cabrera 3, Celda 3, Yee 2, Galanza 0, Jamon 0, Paniamogan 0, Sara 0.

Quarters: 20-21, 39-34, 75-39, 102-65.

01-18-2018, 07:38 AM
Rain or Shine regains firepower in 21-point beatdown over Phoenix to snap skid

From: Karlo Sacamos January 17, 2018, 06:31 pm

RAIN or Shine didn’t take long to regain its firepower as it overwhelmed Phoenix, 120-99, to get back on the winning track in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Firing blanks in their eight-point loss to GlobalPort last Friday when they could only score 70 points, the Elasto Painters found their targets from the get go against the Fuel Masters, unleashing a 39-13 salvo in the first quarter on the way to the lopsided victory.

Ed Daquioag made the most of a starting gig as the sophomore guard registered 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting, five boards, five assists, one steal, and one block before having to leave following a bad fall in the third quarter.

James Yap, Dexter Maiquez, and the returning Chris Tiu also contributed significantly in the balanced effort as the E-Painters snapped a two-game skid and improved to a 2-2 win-loss card to tie the Fuel Masters in the standings.

"I think the players just wanted to win today," ROS coach Caloy Garcia said. "We played two bad games and we got two losses. I told them after the loss against Global that that's not the team I know. I told them I want a running team."

"We just simplified some things in our offense and fixed our spacing," he added. "I just hope that we continue doing the same thing like what we did today."

Trailing, 5-4, early in the first quarter, the E-Painters scattered 14 unanswered points, capped by a Tiu layup, to open the floodgates that the Fuel Masters failed to cover up.

Tiu returned from a one-game layoff due to sore knee with a bang, finishing 17 points, seven assists, four boards, and two steals, while Maiquez continued to provide a spark off the bench with 18 points and one rebound in just 16 minutes off the bench.

Yap heated up after the first period and scored all his 20 points - on 8-of-10 shooting - in the last three quarters, on top of six boards, and one assist in 20 minutes off the bench.

Matthew Wright and Jason Perkins led the Fuel Masters with 17 points apiece, but both standouts poured their offense a little bit too late.

The scores:

ROS 120 - Daquioag 21, Yap 20, Maiquez 18, Tiu 17, Nambatac 11, Ponferada 10, Borboran 4, Norwood 4, Trollano 3, Belga 2, Matias 0

PHOENIX 99 - Wright 17, Perkins 17, Alolino 12, Chan 11, Dehesa 11, Intal 10, Eriobu 7, Kramer 5, Jazul 5, Mendoza 2, Wilson 2, Chua 0, Revilla 0

Quarterscores: 39-13, 57-40, 98-67, 120-99

01-18-2018, 07:40 AM
Pogoy lifts TNT past Blackwater

By: Mark Giongco‎ - @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net / 09:20 PM January 17, 2018

TNT continued its dominance over Blackwater with a 92-83 win in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The KaTropa turned things around in the second half, where they led by as much as 17, 76-59, early in the fourth quarter before holding off a late rally by the Elite.

"Going into this game, we knew that we gonna have a hard time against Blackwater," said TNT coach Nash Racela. "We knew that it's not gonna be easy getting a victory over them. It would take our absolute best and they really able to challenge us."

The KaTropa rose to 10-0 overall against the Elite, who entered the league in 2014.

Roger Pogoy showed the way for TNT, which improved to 2-2, with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field that went with eight rebounds.

Jayson Castro added 17 points, including a three-point play that pushed the KaTropa’s lead to nine, 88-79, with only 1:04 remaining.

The Elite (2-2) blew a 43-33 buffer they built in the first half after Pogoy and Castro led the KaTropa back in the third quarter.

JP Erram led Blackwater with 20 points on top of eight rebounds while Mike Cortez had 14 points off the bench.

01-18-2018, 07:45 AM
Kelly Williams relishes once-in-a-lifetime experience of riding motorycle via ride-sharing app

From: Karlo Sacamos January 17, 2018, 10:52 pm

IT was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that he intends to be just that: just once.

Kelly Williams relished riding a motorcycle via the ride-sharing app Angkas on the way to Smart-Araneta Coliseum for TNT KaTropa's PBA Philippine Cup game against Blackwater on Wednesday night.

Running late after leaving his house in Alabang in a car with his driver, the Filipino-American slotman found himself stuck in traffic at C-5, no thanks to a fire that was ravaging along a part of the southbound lane of the highway, and seeing firetrucks and ambulances all over.

That left Williams without a choice but to look for other means to head to the Big Dome, finding one in the ride-sharing app per the recommendation of his driver.

After booking a ride, Williams got out of the car in the middle of the elevated U-turn on C-5, got down from the flyover, and rode the motorcycle he booked, getting to the venue in Cubao in a breeze of just 40 minutes.

"Every stoplight, the other motorcycles pull up, double take, 'Oh, what are you doing here?'" "Hi guys!" the 6-foot-6 Williams related with a smile.

"It was fun, it was actually pretty fun, but never again," he added. "Make sure you plan ahead guys if you possibly get stuck in traffic. But it was a good experience for me. You get to see Manila in a different light. It was fun."

"Initially, I was scared because he was swerving pretty well but we got used to it, it was fun," he continued. "I was more worried about what coach would say but I got here."

Williams would've done anything just to get to the game - and luckily he found a way.

"Anything" the 35-year-old cager said. "I considered running, I considered jogging. Whatever you got to do, crawl, walk or run. It was a good experience though, thank you to the cyclist, I think his name is Richard or something like that, he's a lifesaver."

"I've never done that in my entire career or been late like that for a game," the 12-year veteran added. "But you know, one in 12 or 13 years isn't bad, I'll take it."

Still, Williams arrived at the Big Dome late with the game already halfway through the first period. After sitting out the entire first half, the former league MVP started the second half and finished with six points on 3-of-8 shooting, six boards, four blocks, and one assist in 17 minutes, helping his team come away with the win, 92-83.

"You got to come out there with extra effort after coming in late like that," Williams said. "But it's always my intention to come out and do whatever I have to do. Luckily, I was in a good position to get some blocks and it worked out that way."

"Luckily, we got the win because it would make things a lot worse if we lost," he added.

Still, Williams feels he has to make it up to his team.

"I apologize to the team," Williams said. "I owe them a team lunch or something and I told coach I won't do it again. Let's pray that it doesn't happen again."

"I wasn’t expecting it (traffic) on a Wednesday, but we have to expect the unexpected sometimes," he added. "It was a good experience - one in twelve years, I'll take it."

01-18-2018, 07:47 AM
^ Something similar happened to Joe Devance a few years ago, when he was still with the Purefoods franchise, this time the cause of the traffic mess was the rainy season. I think he wound up hitching a ride on the motorcycle of one of their utility men after he informed the team that he was stuck in traffic.

Dondon Hontiveros was also waylaid by a bad traffic jam, although that time he decided to just hoof it. From Ortigas to the Big Dome. 8)

01-22-2018, 10:51 AM
Abueva, Alaska go on a rampage to deal Ginebra second straight loss

From: Karlo Sacamos January 21, 2018, 09:03 pm

ANTIPOLO - Alaska dealt a depleted Barangay Ginebra side a 97-83 defeat to sustain its momentum in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night at packed Ynares Center.

Pouncing on a Gin Kings side that was missing Greg Slaughter, the Aces established a sizeable lead in the third quarter before shrugging off a late rally by the Gin Kings to pull off their third straight victory after starting the conference with two losses.

Vic Manuel provided a huge spark off the bench, while Sonny Thoss dominated the paint in the absence of Slaughter as the Aces handed the Gin Kings their second straight defeat that canceled out their 2-0 start.

"You have to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way," Aces coach Alex Compton said of the absence of Slaughter, apart from Joe Devance and Art dela Cruz.

The Aces turned to their trademark suffocating defense to rattle the Gin Kings and force them to commit 23 turnovers that translated to 27 turnover points as they clicked on both ends especially in the third quarter where they outscored Ginebra, 37-19, to build enough cushion entering the fourth.

The Aces then built their biggest lead at 85-67 after a Chris Banchero lay halfway through the payoff period, before the Gin Kings scored eight unanswered points, capped by a breakaway layup by Paolo Taha, to trim the gap to 10 with a little over four minutes left.

But Alaska refused to let the Gin Kings come any closer, putting an end to the short-lived comeback attempt and seeing the Ginebra fans start to leave the venue in droves.

Manuel registered 18 points, five rebounds, two assists, and one steal in just 23 minutes, while Thoss added 17 markers, four rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block in 30 minutes as a starter.

Banchero chipped in 14 points, six assists, five rebounds, and two steals, without a turnover in almost 31 minutes, while JVee Casio contributed 13 points, three boards, and two assists.

Calvin Abueva barely missed a double-double as he churned out nine points and nine boards, along with five assists, two steals, and two blocks, as he proved to be a thorn - and an annoyance - in the side of the Gin Kings.

Aljon Mariano led Ginebra with 15 points, nine boards, three assists, one steal, and one block in 33 minutes as he started in place of Slaughter, with Aguilar thrust to center.

The scores:-

ALASKA 97 - Manuel 18, Thoss 17, Banchero 14, Casio 13, Abueva 9, Teng 9, Cruz 5, Enciso 3, Potts 3, Exciminiano 2, Magat 2, Racal 2, J. Pascual 0

GINEBRA 83 - Mariano 15, J. Aguilar 12, Ferrer 12, Thompson 12, Caguioa 8, Cruz 8, R. Aguilar 5, Tenorio 5, Mercado 2, Taha 2, Wilson 2, Jamito 0

Quarterscores: 26-23, 36-44, 73-63, 97-83

01-22-2018, 10:54 AM
Troy Rosario on fire as TNT KaTropa heaps more misery on shorthanded Meralco

From: Karlo Sacamos January 21, 2018, 06:43 pm

ANTIPOLO - TNT KaTropa pounced on a shorthanded Meralco side, coasting to a 99-81 victory to build some momentum in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night at the Ynares Center.

Facing a Bolts side missing injured frontcourt stalwarts Ranidel de Ocampo and Cliff Hodge, the Texters zoomed to an early lead and never let up en route to the lopsided victory.

Troy Rosario, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Saturday, typified the Texters' hot shooting, knocking down six treys that made up most of his game-high 22 points along with 10 boards as TNT registered a second straight win and third in five games.

The Texters also added to the misery of the Bolts, who reeled to a third straight loss after starting with a win.

"We knew going to this game that Meralco was undermanned, so ang mentality namin was to really take advantage of that," TNT coach Nash Racela said. "Today, from the start to end, we were able to do that. The intensity level was consistent."

One consistent aspect was their three-point shooting.

Apart from Rosario, Jayson Castro was also on fire with three triples, while RR Garcia, Ryan Reyes, and Anthony Semerad each buried two triples as the Texters drained a league season-high 18 three-pointers and shot 45-percent from deep.

One of those triples came at the four-minute, 31-second mark, courtesy of Garcia who connected from long range to give the Texters' biggest lead at 22, 92-70.

Baser Amer was one of the few bright spots for the Bolts, compiling 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting, six boards, six assists, and one block in 39 minutes in a losing cause.

The scores:

TNT 99 - Rosario 22, Garcia 18, Pogoy 15, Castro 12, Reyes 10, Semerad 10, Carey 3, Hernandez 3, Tautuaa 2, Torres 2, Williams 2, Golla 0, Onwubere 0

MERALCO 81 - Amer 20, Dillinger 14, Canaleta 11, Tolomia 8, Newsome 6, Lanete 5, Bono 4, Hugnatan 4, Ballesteros 3, Faundo 3, Baracael 2, , Sedurifa 1, Caram 0, Salva 0

Quarterscores: 27-18, 46-36, 73-62, 99-81

Read more at http://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/news/tnt-cruises-past-shorthanded-meralco-in-antipolo#KOjspt4dVR56UjkD.99

01-22-2018, 10:57 AM
Usually affable Norman Black storms out of venue after another Meralco letdown

From: Christian Jacinto January 21, 2018, 07:36 pm

NORMAN Black certainly wasn't a happy man after Meralco dropped its third consecutive game in the PBA Philippine Cup, 99-91, at the hands of TNT on Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

Usually accommodating to reporters in victory or defeat, the grand slam-winning coach stormed out of the venue while politely declining interview requests just a few minutes after their tough loss to the Ka-Tropa.

Black didn't spend much time in the locker room of the Bolts, spending just enough time to air frustration over the loss.

Lead assistant Luigi Trillo also politely declined interview requests out of respect to their head coach.

It's easy to understand why Black was so frustrated. The Bolts tasted the lead just once, 1-0, before TNT answered with 13-0 blast to take control of the game for good.

The Bolts trailed by as many as 22 points, 92-70, before TNT pulled its foot off the gas pedal to cruise to a comfortable victory.

The team gave up a total of 18 three-pointers to TNT on 50 percent shooting, with six players hitting double digits in scoring for the KaTropa.

In contrast, Meralco shot just 39 percent from the field while committing 17 turnovers.

The Bolts, who were missing the services of Ranidel de Ocomapo and Cliff Hodge, will have just a few days to recover as they take on the confident Kia Picanto on Wednesday.

01-22-2018, 11:01 AM
Paul Lee, Ian Sangalang come up clutch as Magnolia holds off Phoenix for third straight win

From: Karlo Sacamos January 20, 2018, 09:43 pm

MAGNOLIA delivered when it mattered as it frustrated Phoenix, 97-91, on Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome to sustain its momentum in the PBA Philippine Cup.

The Hotshots erased a five-point deficit inside the last three minutes as they proved steadier than the Fuel Masters to pull off the hard-earned win.

Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang came through at the crunch time, while Rafi Reavis also came up with some timely plays for the Hotshots, who claimed their fourth win in five games to tighten their grip on the second spot.

The Hotshots also deal the Fuel Masters their third loss in five games.

"We expected this kind of game," Hotshots coach Chito Victolero said. "Thankful ako sa mga players na hindi sila nag-give up sa pressure, and it was our mental toughness that led us to the win."

Lee showed the way with 21 points built around four triples, despite needing 14 shots in all to reach his total as he complemented his scoring with five assists in 32 minutes, scoring hitting four free throws down the stretch to keep the Fuel Masters at bay.

Sangalang added 16 points and seven rebounds, scoring on the turnaround stab the put the Hotshots up for good at 91-89 after they trailed by as many as 10 points, 67-77, early in the payoff period.

Rome dela Rosa continued his surprising offensive contributions as he chipped in 17 points and four caroms in 23 minutes, while Reavis added 11 points, 11 boards, three blocks, and two assists.

Marc Pingris owned the paint as he hauled down 17 rebounds that went along with four points, four assists, and two blocks in almost 36 minutes off the bench.

The result spoiled an solid showing from Gelo Alolino, who led Phoenix with 19 points in 21 minutes off the bench.

The scores:

MAGNOLIA 97 - Lee 20, Dela Rosa 17, Sangalang 16, Barroca 12, Reavis 11, Simon 6, Jalalon 5, Pingris 4, Ramos 3, Pascual 2, Herndon 1, Melton 0

PHOENIX 91 - Alolino 19, Wright 17, Chan 12, Jazul 9, Eriobu 8, Chua 7, Mendoza 6, Kramer 6, Intal 3, Revilla 2, Perkins 2, Wilson 0, Dehesa 0

Quarterscores: 30-23, 47-45, 67-75, 97-91

01-22-2018, 11:05 AM
Kia stuns Rain or Shine for first victory in eight months

From: Karlo Sacamos January 20, 2018, 07:00 pm

THE hoop gods finally smiled on KIA as it stunned Rain or Shine, 98-94, on Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome to put an end to a long run of futility in the PBA.

Finally displaying the effort to make up for their lack of talent, the Picanto engaged the Elasto Painters in tight battle throughout, before enduring anxious moments down the stretch to pull off their first win in almost eight months - and first in the Philippine Cup in five games.

Glenn Khobuntin hit the biggest baskets at crunch time for the Picanto, who snapped a 16-game losing streak that dated back to May last year.

Kia also handed the E-Painters their third loss in five games as their victims failed to sustain their gains of a 120-99 rout of Phoenix last Wednesday.

"I'm relieved more than tired," KIA coach Ricky Dandan said. "I'm very happy for our team. This will go a long way in our rebuilding of our ballclub."

"Our confidence was all shot, but we really had no choice but to move forward and to look at the positives of those blowouts," he added after his team lost by an average of 35.7 points in their last three games.

Khobuntin, returning from a one-game absence due to a minor foot injury, scored the Picanto's last six points, four in back-to-back plays, the second on a tough fadeaway jumper off the spin that put his team up, 96-89, with a little less than two minutes to go.

The E-Painters made a last push, scoring five straight points to trim the gap to just two points, before Khobuntin caught a pass after Mark Yee won a jumpball battle with Gabe Norwood, then finished with a fastbreak layup with eight seconds left to seal the deal.

Rashawn McCarthy and Roider Cabrera paced the Picanto with 14 points each, Yee added 13 markers, while Khobuntin finished with 11 points, including eight in the final frame.

The Picanto prevailed even without the Eric Camson in the second half after the standout big man was ejected following a fight with Raymond Almazan late in the first half.

Rey Nambatac led the E-Painters with 12 points, 11 boards, two steals, and one assist in just 18 minutes off the bench that went for naught.

The scores:

KIA 98 - McCarthy 14, Cabrera 14, Yee 13, Khobuntin 11, Camson 10, Celda 8, Galanza 8, Ababou 6, Sara 5, Tubid 5, Caperal 4

ROS 94 - Nambatac 12, Yap 11, Tiu 10, Ponferada 10, Ahanmisi 9, Belga 8, Norwood 8, Borboran 7, Maiquez 6, Almazan 6, Daquioag 4, King 2, Cruz 1, Matias 0, Trollano 0

Quarterscores: 13-18; 40-44: 72-68; 98-94

01-22-2018, 11:08 AM
Guiao-Ross verbal sparring mars San Miguel victory over NLEX in ill-tempered game

From: Karlo Sacamos January 19, 2018, 09:12 pm

SAN Miguel Beer came through when it counted most again as it frustrated NLEX, 109-98, in a heated PBA Philippine Cup matchup on Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Arwind Santos and June Mar Fajardo led the Beermen in a nip-and-tuck battle that only saw the two teams get separated in an ill-tempered endgame marred by several second motions and a verbal altercation between Chris Ross and NLEX coach Yeng Guiao.

The Beermen stretched their win streak to four games to solidify their hold on the top spot while handing the Road Warriors their third straight loss after a 2-0 start.

"I knew from the start this would be an exciting game," SMB coach Leo Austria said of NLEX. "After losing their last two games, they would come out strong. But my players, because of their pride and experience, we prevailed."

Santos registered a game-high 26 points embellished by five treys, on top of 13 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks. His last three-pointer capped a 16-4 that gave the Beermen their biggest lead at 103-89 with a little over two minutes left after NLEX pulled to within 87-85.

Despite the game going beyond reach, the physicality between the players kept it interesting. Michael Miranda let out a kick to Ross that led to the former getting called for flagrant foul 2 and ejected with over four minutes left.

Ross was again involved in a tussle, this time a shouting match with Guiao as the two were each called for a technical foul.

Fajardo, one of the cool heads that kept the situation from going out of hand, added 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting, 16 boards, two assists, one steal, and one block in 36 minutes.

Alex Cabagnot chipped in an all-around performance of 14 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, and two steals in 33 minutes, while Marcio Lassiter and Von Pessumal were the other two SMB players who scored in double digits.

Kiefer Ravena led the Road Warriors with 15 points on 4-of-10 shooting, along with six assists, and three boards that went for naught.

The scores:

SMB 109 - Santos 26, Fajardo 25, Cabagnot 14, Lassiter 14, Pessumal 10, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, De Ocampo 4, Ross 4, Heruela 2, Mamaril 2, Semerad 2

NLEX 98 - Ravena 15, Mallari 12, Quiñahan 12, Soyud 12, Miranda 10, Tiongson 8, Fonacier 6, Uyloan 6, Al-Hussaini 5, Alas 5, Taulava 3, Baguio 2, Gotladera 2

Quarterscores: 31-24, 49-58, 74-74, 109-98

01-22-2018, 11:14 AM
Kiefer Ravena suspects staredown triggered hit from college teammate Von Pessumal

From: Karlo Sacamos January 19, 2018, 10:48 pm

KIEFER Ravena admitted he was surprised to get involved in a physical altercation with college teammate Von Pessumal in NLEX’s 109-98 loss to San Miguel Beer in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night.

The longtime Ateneo teammates turned into foes for the first time in the pro level, with Pessumal living up to it when he shoved Ravena during a rebound play early in the fourth quarter, leading to him getting called for an unsportsmanlike foul.

"I did not expect that at all," Ravena said. "But hopefully Von doesn't take it personal. I'm just doing my job."

Asked if something triggered Pessumal to push him, Ravena answered in the negative, although he admitted he stared at his college buddy at one point during the match.

"Wala, wala talaga," Ravena insisted. "If you watched the game, when that fastbreak happened - the same exact possession na I challenged him, looked at him, and after that yun na yung nangyari. But I never instigated something to provoke Von to do that."

"Probably nung tinignan ko siya," he was quick to add. "But you know, Von and I, we go way back. Things like this hopefully don't become too personal. I have no intention na ipapahiya yung tao or sasaktan mo yung tao. Wala namang ganun. Laro-laro lang."

"Probably that started all the commotions during the end game," he continued with a smile. "Yun yung pinakauna eh. And with that, the team got fired up and it worked for them. Even though it wasn't flagrant foul called on Von, but it worked for them. Everybody got fired up that's why they made their run."

Pessumal, however, was quick to play down the incident on Twitter.

Ravena felt that the SMB players - aside from Pessumal - tried to make him lose focus by engaging in a psy war.

Ravena admitted he talked trash in retaliation as he refused to get rattled, finishing with a team-high 15 points on 4-of-10 shooting along with six assists, and three boards that went to waste.

"For me I'll just try to - like what Chris Ross was doing to me - tried to get inside my head," Ravena said. "I just wanted that as an advantage. They were talking smack so I was trying to do the same thing. It was a heat of the moment, but as much as possible I want to focus and stick to the game. Parang nawawala ako sa focus sa laro."

"So kahit anong ginagawa nila Chris, nina Alex... I studied them too much to know that they're gonna do that," he added. "Besides doing that, magaling na sila eh. So ako kailangan ko pa lalo mag-focus kasi they’re doing that at the same time they’re carrying the load of the team, so mahirap gawin yun. So ako, I can't be affected by that."

01-22-2018, 11:16 AM
Almazan, Camson, Michael Miranda face possible suspensions, hefty fines after string of PBA scuffles

From: Gerry Ramos January 20, 2018, 09:17 pm

ERIC Camson and Raymond Almazan are expected to be summoned before the PBA Commissioner's Office by next week after figuring in a scuffle that marred the Philippine Cup game between Rain or Shine and KIA on Saturday.

League Officer-In-Charge Willie Marcial said the two big men will likely be invited by Tuesday to give their side on the fracas that added color to the tightly-fought game at the Astrodome which the Picanto won, 98-94.

Fines will definitely be meted on the two, while possible suspension will still be discussed.

Camson and Almazan were both ejected after being whistled for flagrant foul 2, an infraction which has an automatic fine of P20,000.

"Pag-uusapan diyan kung madadagdagan yung fines at kung may suspension," he said after the game.

Also to be summoned is NLEX big man Michael Miranda for likewise being called with a flagrant foul 2 in the Road Warriors' 109-97 loss to reigning champion San Miguel on Friday night.

Camson and Almazan hit each other with an elbow as they battled for rebound midway in the second quarter of their game.

Television replay showed Camson landing an elbow on the face of Almazan first, before the Rain or Shine center retaliated with his own that triggered the fight where punches were likewise thrown.

Both men were separated and ejected following the F2 call.

The shouting match extended on the hallway leading to the dugout as the two players both hurled invectives at each other.

Miranda, meanwhile, also committed an F2 infraction after he kicked Chris Ross in the groin while attempting to get up from the floor after being pushed hard by the San Miguel player following a perfect pick he provided for a driving Kiefer Ravena in the second half of their game also at the Astrodome.

01-23-2018, 07:23 AM
Guiao fined; players next

NLEX coach to pay P11,000 for obscene gesture; bigger penalties await Almazan, Camson

By: Musong R. Castillo - Reporter / @MusongINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:05 AM January 23, 2018

Fiery NLEX coach Yeng Guiao was fined P11,000 by Philippine Basketball Association officer-in-charge Willie Marcial for an obscene gesture but was cleared by the league on allegations of San Miguel Beer point guard Chris Ross that he uttered a racist remark in their Philippine Cup game on Friday night.

But that will be peanuts compared to the fines and sanctions that Marcial will levy on three players, whom he summoned to appear early afternoon on Tuesday.

Raymond Almazan of Rain or Shine and Eric Camson of Kia Picanto, who exchanged elbows and punches in an upset Kia victory last week, are likely to be slapped at least one-game suspensions, apart from being meted out fines that could go as high as P50,000 each.

Mike Miranda of NLEX, who kicked Ross in the groin during that rugged match won handily by the Beermen, will also have a conference with Marcial and, because of several infractions earlier, could also be facing a suspension and a hefty fine.

The three players were slapped Flagrant Foul 2 penalties that carry at least a P20,000 fine and were ejected.

But the Almazan-Camson scuffle was downright court hooliganism, and league sources said on Monday that the Office of the Commissioner will throw the full weight of the rule book on them.

Ross was likewise slapped a P2,600 fine for incurring two technical fouls - the second after got into a confrontation with Guiao whom he accused of uttering a racist remark.

Marcial said that they couldn’t find witnesses who could validate Ross' claims.

The San Miguel point guard refusing to comment.

Guiao's P11,000 fine was for flashing the dirty finger at Ross, clearly seen on television replays, and because he cursed the San Miguel point guard.

"The Office of the Commissioner finds no sufficient basis to discuss the matter of an alleged racist remark uttered by coach Guiao," a PBA statement read.

01-29-2018, 07:01 AM
Raymond Aguilar the unlikely hero as Ginebra deals SMB first loss of season

From: Karlo Sacamos January 28, 2018, 09:03 pm

BARANGAY Ginebra couldn't have picked a better time to snap its skid, outlasting mighty San Miguel Beer, 100-96, to hand the Beermen their first defeat in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night at a packed Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Gin Kings lived up to their never-say-die reputation, overhauling an early 16-point deficit before weathering SMB's own comeback attempt on the way to the hard-earned win in anticipated matchup between sister squads that lived up to its billing.

LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar showed the way while Raymond Aguilar was the next man up for the shorthanded Gin Kings, who snapped a three-game skid and improved to a 3-3 win-loss record while dealing the Beermen their first loss in six games.

"Who would've thought we would win this game after the way we played the last three games," Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said. "We had guys step up today. Can't talk enough about Raymond, the 'other' Aguilar, for once."

"At the start of the game, I thought, wow, this was a mismatch … but our guys dug in made a run at halftime and carried that momentum in the second half," he added. "We got ahead and started believing. I think we forget how good of a team we can be."

The thrilling affair, however, was marred by a controversial incident that saw Chris Ross get called for a technical foul for taking a free throw that teammate Chico Lanete was supposed to shoot, derailing SMB's rally and allowing the Gin Kings to preserve their lead.

But that didn't take away the character the Gin Kings showed, overcoming the absence of Greg Slaughter and Joe Devance, and a 17-33 deficit late in the first quarter to turn the game around in the third canto where they outscored the Beermen, 28-14.

The 6-foot-5 Aguilar stood tallest in the absence of his fellow big men, holding his own against four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo on defense, and providing a timely offensive boost with 16 points, including two triples, along with two rebounds in almost 30 minutes as a surprise starter.

Aguilar led the bench crew with Jervy Cruz, who registered 17 points, including 10 in the payoff period, on top of seven rebounds, and two asissts.

Tenorio finished with 23 points, six assists, five boards, two steals, and one block, while Japeth Aguilar added 23 points, nine boards, and two assists for the Gin Kings, who saw the Beermen rally from 14 points down, 66-80, and pull to within two points, before Ginebra held on.

Fajardo still dominated with 33 points on 12-of-16 shooting, 11 rebounds, four assists, four blocks, and one steal, against six turnovers in almost 40 minutes, but the Beermen, as a unit, failed to find an answer to Ginebra’s third-quarter turnaround as their fightback fell short.

The scores:

GINEBRA 100 - Tenorio 23, J. Aguilar 23, Cruz 17, R. Aguilar 16, Ferrer 11, Thompson 6, Caguioa 2, Mercado 2, Wilson 0

SMB 96 - Fajardo 33, Ross 16, Lassiter 16, Santos 12, Lanete 7, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, Pessumal 4, Heruela 2, De Ocampo 0, Mamaril 0

Quarterscores: 19-33, 44-52, 75-66, 100-96.

01-29-2018, 07:07 AM
Ross: 'It's the refs' fault, (but) they covered it up by giving me the technical'

From: Karlo Sacamos January 28, 2018, 10:48 pm

CHRIS Ross denied that he intentionally took the place of Chico Lanete in a controversial free-throw mess, insisting he simply followed the instruction of referee Noy Guevarra that led to a technical foul that factored in San Miguel Beer's 100-96 loss to Ginebra in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night.

With the Beermen down by just three points, 98-95, Lanete drew a shooting foul on Sol Mercado with 4.5 seconds left, but it was Ross who received the ball from the referee to take the two charities.

Realizing Ross wasn't supposed to take the free throw, the referees called a technical foul on the SMB star playmaker, leading to a LA Tenorio free throw that kept Ginebra up by three points after Lanete took his rightful place and split his charities.

Ross was understandably still steaming after the game.

"I didn't get an explanation (from the refs)," Ross began. "I stayed in my spot I was in the whole time, and I wasn't nowhere close to the play, and the ref walks up to me and hands me the ball, and the announcer says 'Chris Ross at the free throw line' so I shoot the ball. I mean, what else am I supposed to do?"

"I just went with the flow," he added. "They gave me the ball."

Ross denied he waved Lanete off to take his place at the line as suggested by the commentators working the game for the TV coverage.

"I read something, someone said that I waved Chico off at the free throw line so I could shoot the free throw... I don't know, man. Honestly, it was a joke. It was really a joke."

Ross, who finished with 16 points, seven boards, six assists, and four steals, against five turnovers in almost 38 minutes, felt he didn't deserve the technical foul after he simply just followed the officials.

"I was in a lose-lose situation," the Filipino-American point guard said. "I don't know what I was supposed to do. It's obviously the ref's fault, all three of them because they didn't intervene, and they put the blame on me by giving me a technical."

"So I mean, that's the only explanation I can give, I don't know about you guys, but my fair assessment of the play was, they tried to cover it up by giving me the technical, and all I did was do what they told me to do."

"So I don't know, if I do something different, do I get a tech? Or do I do what they tell me to do, and I still get a tech? I mean, I don't know, it was bizzare, to say the least," he continued.

01-29-2018, 07:11 AM
PBA admits refs at fault but stands by technical foul on Ross in free-throw confusion

From: Gerry Ramos January 28, 2018, 10:07 pm

THE PBA admitted the referees may have made a mistake in awarding Chris Ross a free throw but stood by its decision to hit the San Miguel guard a technical foul late in a tumultuous game against Barangay Ginebra on Sunday night.

Ross was called for a technical foul for going to the line and taking the first of two foul shots intended for SMB teammate Chico Lanete in the final 4.5 seconds of the intense Philippine Cup match which the Kings led at that point, 98-95.

After Ross missed the shot and the error was discovered, the referees slapped a technical foul on the SMB guard which LA Tenorio converted to seal the Kings' 100-96 come-from-behind win.

Eric Castro, put in the hot seat just weeks after being named PBA technical director by Commissioner Willie Marcial, said the referees were at fault for wrongly awarding Ross the free throw but claimed deceit was clear on the part of Ross.

"To be honest, meron siguro kaming fault dun sa mga referees namin, I won't deny it," said Castro in a hastily called post-game press conference at the Big Dome media center. "Pero again, the players know sino ang shooter talaga."

Since it was established that Ross deliberately took the free throw on behalf of the real 'designated free-throw shooter,' Castro said the league rules were clear with regards to the penalty.

Castro said a change in the PBA rule states that a "player who deliberately takes a place of the designated free throw shooter shall be given a delay of game warning if the free throw has not been attempted, and any succeeding similar offense shall result in a non-sportsmanlike technical foul."

"If the free throw has been attempted by the role shooter the player shall be assessed with an unsportsmanlike technical foul."

Ross said he was in a lose-lose situation.

"I know Chico was (supposed to shoot). I was watching the whole play. Chico was there, he got fouled, and I thought Chico was going to the line," he said. "And they walked up to me and gave me the ball So I shot the free throw."

"What else am I supposed to do? Give the ball to Chico?"

Ross was likewise puzzled on why the referees allowed him to stay in the game since the technical foul was his second for the game for an automatic ejection.

"It was bizarre, to say the least," said the San Miguel guard.

Asked if sanctions are forthcoming if the referee involved would be found guilty of an infraction, Castro said the league will review the sequence again.

"We will discuss it," was his curt reply.

01-29-2018, 07:14 AM
Nabong, Grey a thorn in side of former team Meralco as GlobalPort continue to roll

From: Karlo Sacamos January 28, 2018, 06:32 pm

GLOBALPORT turned to former Meralco players in cruising past the Bolts, 107-88, to get back on the winning track in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Kelly Nabong and Jonathan Grey haunted their former team as the Batang Pier zoomed to an early lead and kept the foot on the gas pedal to coast to their third win in four games to move back to .500 at 3-3.

Nabong, who had an argument with Meralco assistant coach Jimmy Alapag that led to his suspension and eventual departure from the Bolts, registered 17 points, 17 boards, and three blocks, while Grey, a Meralco draft pick, added 24 points in 22 minutes off the bench.

With the duo leading the way, the Batang Pier continued to find ways without injured superstar Terrence Romeo as they handed the Bolts their fourth loss in six games.

"We finished stronger talaga," Globalport coach Pido Jarencio said. "Yung defense namin talagang nag-work."

That Batang Pier balanced effort took some load off Stanely Pringle, who has been carrying most of the load without his backcourt partner Romero, but still came up with 17 points built around five treys, five boards, and four assists in 34 minutes.

Sean Anthony sustained his solid play with 18 points, five rebounds, and three assists in 33 minutes, scoring on a jumper that gave the Batang Pier their biggest lead at 29, 94-65, with a little over seven minutes left in the game.

Chris Newsome and Reynel Hugnatan led the Bolts with 17 points apiece, but the former scored 11 points in the fourth quarter where the game was all but decided.

Baser Amer, Jared Dillinger, and Nino Canaleta also failed to deliver for the Bolts, combining for just 10 points on an unacceptable 5-of-30 shooting from the field.

The scores:

GLOBALPORT 107 - Grey 24, Anthony 18, Nabong 17, Pringle 17, Gabayni 9, Araña 5, Guinto 5, Juico 4, Sargent 4, Elorde 2, Taha 2, Flores 0

MERALCO 88 - Hugnatan 17, Newsome 17, Tolomia 15, Baracael 12, Hodge 7, Bono 5, Caram 5, Amer 4, Cañaleta 4, Dillinger 2, Ballesteros 0, Faundo 0, Lanete 0, Salva 0

Quarterscores: 29-16, 48-37, 82-60, 107-88

01-29-2018, 07:19 AM
Barroca, Melton pick up cudgels after Lee exit as Magnolia turns back TNT

From: Karlo Sacamos January 27, 2018, 09:24 pm

MAGNOLIA strengthened its reputation as San Miguel Beer’s toughest challenger in the all-Filipino conference as it turned back TNT KaTropa, 91-83, to sustain its momentum in the PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

In a battle between the two best defensive teams in the tournament so far, the Hotshots' version proved to be more efficient as it translated into easy and scattered offensive production to hold off the Texters.

Mark Barroca and Justin Melton showed the way when Paul Lee had to leave early in the third quarter as the Hotshots stretched their win streak to four games and improved to 5-1 to stay on the coattails of unbeaten defending champion SMB.

The second-running Hotshots also snapped the Texters' two-game winning run as their victims fell to an even 3-3 win-loss card.

"It's about our discipline on defense. We did a good job on Castro and the rest," Magnolia coach Chito Victolero said. "Talagang hindi kami nagpa-outwork sa TNT."

The Hotshots held Jayson Castro to just 14 points on a paltry 5-of-16 shooting and the entire Texters squad to just 38.1 percent from the field after forcing them to make just 32 of their 84 shots.

It was a team effort on offense as well.

Barroca put up 20 points, eight boards, five assists, two steals, and one block in 33 minutes off the bench, scoring on a midrange jumper off a Troy Rosario goaltending violation that proved to be the dagger after the Texters came closest at 87-83.

Melton added 14 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 23 minutes off the bench, while Ian Sangalang and Marc Pingris chipped in 13 points apiece.

Mo Tautuaa led the Texters with 16 points and five rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench in a losing cause.

The scores:

MAGNOLIA 91 - Barroca 20, Melton 14, Pingris 13, Sangalang 13, Jalalon 8, Ramos 7, Lee 5, Reavis 5, Simon 3, dela Rosa 3, Herndon 0, Brondial 0

TNT 83 - Tautuaa 16, Rosario 15, Castro 14, Pogoy 11, Torres 7, Williams 7, Semerad 6, Reyes 5, Garcia 2, Carey 0

Quarterscores: 26-20, 47-45, 74-62, 91-83

01-29-2018, 07:21 AM
Paul Lee injured yet again, limps off Magnolia game vs TNT KaTropa

From: Gerry Ramos January 27, 2018, 09:06 pm

PAUL Lee hurt his ankle early in the third period and sat out the rest of Magnolia’s PBA Philippine Cup game against TnT Katropa on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, which the Hotshots won, 91-83.

Lee suffered the injury following an awkward fall after a mid-air collision with big man Troy Rosario while going hard to the hoop and the Hotshots protecting a slim 52-51 lead.

He was later brought inside the Hotshots’ dugout to have the ankle iced in what team insiders initially suspected as a mild sprain.

"Medyo maga 'yung paa niya," said a Magnolia staff.

Coach Chito Victolero confirmed the injury later at the post-game interview, but allayed fears of the veteran guard missing the Hotshots' next game against Blackwater on Friday.

"I think after mga ilang days makakabalik na rin si Paul. Malaki naman yung puso ng bata na yun, e," he said.

Lee, who underwent knee procedure during the offseason, spent the rest of the game watching the proceedings from the Magnolia dressing room.

He finished with five points, two rebounds, and a single assist, but shot 1-of-6 from the field in the Hotshots' 91-83 win - the fourth straight for the team.

01-31-2018, 09:39 AM
Ross fined for 'detrimental' comment; Refs, barker suspended for blunder

By: Randolph B. Leongson @RLeongsonINQ 06:19 PM January 30th, 2018

On the heels of the controversial fracas late in the Ginebra-San Miguel last Sunday, the has PBA suspended all four referees officiating the game and two table officials.

Beermen guard Chris Ross was also fined a total of P25,800 for his action late in the duel - P20,000 fine for issuing statements detrimental to the league, and P5,800 for the two technical fouls he incurred in the game.

Referee Gerry Borja, who was the one who handed the ball to Chris Ross in the free throw stripe, was handed a three-week suspension, while fellow officials Jimmy Mariano, Noy Guevarra, and Mardy Montoya were also suspended for a week.

Book scorer Lito Mendegoria and barker Noel Zarate also weren't spared as they will serve a week of suspension for their participation in the confusion.

Controversy marred the tussle between the two powerhouse teams when, with Ginebra leading 98-95, Borja gave the ball to Ross to take the free throw attempt with 4.5 seconds remaining - a shot that was supposed to be for teammate Chico Lanete, who was fouled on the prior rebound play.

Zarate even announced that Ross was taking the shot before the Beermen sued for time and before the mistake was pointed out.

The infraction led to LA Tenorio's technical freebie that iced the Gin Kings' 100-96 victory.

Troy Rosario was also slapped with a P5,000 fine for a landing spot foul in TNT's game against Magnolia last Saturday.

Lee sprained his left ankle after the foul, but the Hotshots were still able to hold on to the 91-83 win over the KaTropa.

02-05-2018, 07:10 AM
San Miguel reclaims lead

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:09 AM February 05, 2018

Playing steadier when the game was truly on the line, San Miguel Beer bounced back from its first loss of the season to reclaim the solo lead in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations.

Chico Lanete hit the triple that climaxed what was a game-long fightback by the Beermen with 1:29 left as San Miguel scored a 77-76 nipping of Magnolia on Sunday night at Ynares Center in Antipolo.

June Mar Fajardo hit three free throws inside the final 56.3 seconds and the Beermen pounced on numerous misses by the Hotshots to improve to 6-1 and put behind a bitter 100-96 loss to Barangay Ginebra last Sunday.

It was the first loss in five games and the second in eight overall for the Hotshots, who fell into a second-place tie with Alaska, which gutted out a 105-98 win over GlobalPort in the first game.

The Aces rallied from 13 points down in the third quarter to force extension before Vic Manuel scored seven of Alaska's last nine points that keyed their sixth straight win.

Alaska rose to 6-2 overall and dealt the Batang Pier their fourth loss in seven games as the Aces remained in pursuit of the leaders with jockeying for the top two spots in the playoffs still a wide open affair.

Manuel finished with a game-high 21 points to go along with five rebounds coming off the bench.

Guards JV Casio and Chris Banchero scored 16 apiece, with Casio making 5-of-10 attempts from beyond the arc.

Calvin Abueva completed a double-double with 12 points and the same number of boards as the former Rookie of the Year celebrated his 30th birthday in style.

"We're so fortunate to come away with this," said Alaska coach Alex Compton as Alaska battled back from 62-75 in the third period. "Hats off to the players. They didn't give up."

The Aces stormed back in the payoff period, capped by an Abueva pass to Kevin Racal for an undergoal stab that made it 92-91 with 61 seconds to go. - WITH REPORTS FROM RANDOLPH B. LEONGSON, INQUIRER.NET

02-05-2018, 07:21 AM
NLEX rallies past Ginebra to halt four-game slide, spoil Slaughter return

From: Karlo Sacamos February 3, 2018, 07:18 pm

NLEX needed to face a contender to regain its bearings as it outlasted Barangay Ginebra, 81-78, to get back on the winning track in the PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

JR Quinahan scored back-to-back baskets to give the Road Warriors the lead for good after trailing by double digits early on, before playing good defense that prevented a handful of Ginebra attempts down the stretch.

The Road Warriors thus snapped a four-game losing streak to improve to a 3-4 win-loss record, tying the Gin Kings in the middle of the standings.

"We don't know how we won; it's just sheer determination and some breaks," NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said. "The important thing is we broke the losing streak, and gave ourselves a chance to still be in the fight."

"I thought we would not have enough in the endgame 'cause our offense was just really bad," he added. "Mabuti na lang it's a defensive game. It turned out to be physical and we had to adjust mentally. We're happy we’re able to do that."

After all, the Road Warriors trailed by as many as 14 points, 50-36, early in the third quarter, but still found themselves in the thick of things in the payoff period where they engaged the Gin Kings in a see-saw battle.

NLEX was still down, 77-75, after the returning Greg Slaughter scored a basket, before Quinahan

Scored on a short jumper off a Larry Fonacier steal, before putting back Alex Mallari's missed three-pointer from the right corner that put the Road Warriors ahead with a little less than two minutes left.

Fonacier showed the way for the Road Warriors with 17 points, two assists, one board, and one steal, without a turnover in almost 30 minutes, while Quiñahan finished with 14 points and five boards. Cyrus Baguio also contributed in the rally, firing all but two of his 13 points in the final frame.

Japeth Aguilar led the Gin Kings with 21 points, seven boards, two assists, one steal, and one block in 33 minutes, but missed a crucial three-point attempt from the right corner down the stretch that could've given Ginebra the lead.

The scores:

NLEX 81 - Fonacier 18, Quinahan 14, Baguio 13, Mallari 11, Ravena 7, Taulava 5, Tiongson 4, Alas 4, Miranda 2, Soyud 2, Ighalo 2, Uyloan 0, Gotladera 0

GIN 78 - J. Aguilar 21, Tenorio 12, R. Aguilar 9, Slaughter 9, Thompson 8, Cruz 8, Ferrer 6, Mercado 5, Taha 0, Caguioa 0

Quarterscores: 19-20, 35-43, 55-59, 81-78

02-08-2018, 03:48 PM
Wright, Kramer deal knockout blow on TNT as Phoenix gets back on track

From: Karlo Sacamos February 7, 2018, 06:51 pm

PHOENIX turned to defense and a perfectly executed offensive play in the end to escape with a 74-72 win over TNT KaTropa to get back on the winning track in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Doug Kramer hit the game-winning floater off a pick-and-roll with Matthew Wright with three seconds left as the Fuel Masters fought back from a double-digit deficit to frustrate the Texters in a defensive, grind-out battle.

Before that, Wright knocked down a catch-and-shoot three-pointer in the same exact play to knot the count at 72 that set the stage for the sophomore gunner rewarding Kramer's screen in the next offensive play.

"I told Matt they will stay home on you (this time), so you have to read kung anong depensa, so it was a good play for Matt," Phoenix coach Louie Alas said.

The Fuel Masters thus atoned for a 93-75 blowout loss to Alaska last week to move back up to .500 with a 4-4 win-loss record and tie the Texters in the 12-team standings.

"Ang main concern ko dito, after a big win, parang nagdi-dip yung performance namin, so yun yung kailangan namin i-arrest," Alas continued.

For a while, though, the Fuel Masters' performance also seemed to be lackluster after blowout losses as they fell into an early 13-point hole against the Texters and were still down by 11 points, 55-44, late in the third quarter.

But that's when Phoenix started its rise and made a comeback in the payoff period, tying the count on that Wright triple with 44 seconds left, before making key stops on Jayson Castro and Kelly Williams.

The Fuel Masters defended Castro and Williams well all-game long, with the former contributing just nine points on 3-of-11 shooting and committing five errors, and the latter adding just eight points in 3-of-10 shooting in 28 minutes.

Wright registered a game-high 16 points, five boards, three steals, and two assists in almost 37 minutes, while Jeff Chan and Gelo Alolino were the other two Fuel Masters who scored in twin digits.

Kramer finished with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting, seven boards, two assists, and one steal, without committing a single turnover in 27 minutes as a starter.

The scores:

PHX 74 - Wright 16, Chan 11, Alolino 10, Perkins 8, Kramer 8, Wilson 8, Jazul 5, Chua 4, Mendoza 4, Revilla 0, Intal 0, Eriobu 0, Cortes 0, Dehesa 0

TNT 72 - Semerad 12, Pogoy 10, Tautuaa 9, Castro 9, Williams 8, Reyes 5, Tamsi 5, Carey 4, Rosario 4, Garcia 3, Torres 3

Quarterscores: 20-24, 30-40, 56-61, 74-72

02-08-2018, 03:51 PM
Scottie Thompson flirts with triple-double as Ginebra snaps out of slump at expense of Kia

From: Karlo Sacamos February 7, 2018, 09:12 pm

BARANGAY Ginebra made sure to protect a huge lead this time as it vented its ire on Kia, 103-77, to regain its winning ways in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Coming off an 81-78 loss to NLEX in a game where they gave up a 14-point third-quarter lead, the Gin Kings built another early cushion that ballooned in the second quarter, then held on to it until the final buzzer.

Greg Slaughter dominated the paint, while Scottie Thompson flirted with a triple-double as the Gin Kings improved to a 4-4 win-loss record and handed the Picanto their seventh loss in eight games.

"It has been a struggle for us, but hopefully this is the game that turns us around," Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said.

"We're getting a little healthier. We're getting on the same page and starting to adjust on the new way the game is being played and called," he added.

Slaughter showed he's back in top shape in his second game back from a hamstring injury as he pumped in 14 points - although struggling with his shot with a 4-of-12 clip from the field, eight boards, and three assists in 26 minutes as a starter, while LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar added 13 points apiece.

Thompson scattered 12 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, and one steal in 32 minutes, while Kevin Ferrer was the other Ginebra player who scored in double digits with 10 markers.

Jett Manuel also made the most of his pro debut, chipping in eight points, including one triple, two assists, and one rebound in 12 minutes, while Paolo Taha likewise scored eight points, including two on a layup that gave the Gin Kings their biggest lead at 29 points, 82-53, early in the fourth quarter.

Rashawn McCarthy led the Picanto with a game-high 15 points, six boards, and one assist in 31 minutes that went for naught.

The scores:

GIN 103 - Slaughter 14, Tenorio 13, J. Aguilar 13, Thompson 12, Ferrer 10, Taha 8, Manuel 8, Caperal 6, R. Aguilar 6, Mercado 4, Cruz 4, Jamito 3, Caguioa 2, Wilson 0

KIA 77 - McCarthy 15, Tubid 13, Corpuz 9, Reyes 8, Jamon 5, Camson 4, Sara 4, Escoto 4, Khobuntin 4, Yee 4, Lastimosa 3, Ababou 2, Galanza 2, Celda 0, Gabriel 0

Quarterscores: 25-24, 53-34, 78-52, 103-77

02-12-2018, 07:16 AM
Sigh of relief for NLEX as Alaska fightback from 30 points down falls just short

From: Karlo Sacamos February 11, 2018, 06:45 pm

NLEX looked like it would be relieved that it would win an easy game for once after coming off two come-from-behind victories.

But the Road Warriors ended up letting out a sigh of relief for the wrong reasons on Sunday night as they had to survive Alaska's furious fightback, snapping the Aces' sizzling streak in the process with a 96-89 decision in their PBA Philippine Cup matchup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Road Warriors almost saw a huge 30-point lead disintegrate after letting the Aces go on a blistering 32-4 salvo in the middle of the payoff period, holding on long enough to pull off the hard-earned win.

Kevin Alas made up for some miscues with crucial charities, while Raul Soyud sparked the early surge for the Road Warriors, who improved to a 5-4 win-loss card and halted the Aces' six-game win streak.

Alaska fell to 6-3 overall as the result left idle San Miguel Beer regaining the hold of top spot in the 12-team standings instead after erstwhile co-leaders Magnolia and the Aces suffered setbacks this weekend.

"I thought we would have a comfortable win, but I was wrong again," NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said. "You really need a 30-ponit lead to beat Alaska. There's a reason why they got six straight wins, and they were just probably due for a loss."

"I think this win is good for us in terms of learning a lot of lessons," he added.

The Road Warriors certainly have plenty of takeaways in the game where they nearly gave up their biggest lead at 87-57, which they established early in the final frame.

The Aces, tightening their defensive screws that proved to be the hallmark of their recent win streak, scored 19 unanswered points as they left NLEX scoreless for five minutes, before engaging the Road Warriors in a nip-and-tuck battle from thereon.

Alaska come closest at 91-89 following a Carl Bryan Cruz steal off the inbound and short stab with 13.9 seconds left, before the Road Warriors held on heaved a sigh of relief.

Alas finished with 15 points, eight boards, two assists, and one steal, against six turnovers in 30 minutes off the bench, while Soyud added 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting, and seven boards; Larry Fonacier also scored 15 markers that went with four boards and four assists.

Kiefer Ravena, who emerged the hero in their win over Meralco last Friday, added 12 points, 10 assists, six boards, two steals, and one block in 29 minutes, while JR Quinahan contributed 12 points, five assists, four boards, and three blocks.

JVee Casio, Vic Manuel, and Jeron Teng all scored 12 points apiece to lead the Aces in their comeback that fell short.

The scores:

NLEX 96 - Alas 15, Fonacier 15, Soyud 15, Quiñahan 12, Ravena 12, Miranda 8, Tiongson 8, Mallari 4, Baguio 3, Al-Hussaini 2, Gotladera 2, Taulava 0.

ALASKA 89 - Casio 12, Manuel 12, Teng 12, Abueva 10, Cruz 10, Enciso 10, Exciminiano 7, Banchero 4, Racal 4, Thoss 4, Potts 3, J. Pascual 1, Baclao 0

Quarterscores: 29-18, 52-32, 79-54, 96-89

02-12-2018, 07:19 AM
Ginebra gives playoff aspiration a big push with masterful win over TNT KaTropa

From: Karlo Sacamos February 11, 2018, 08:54 pm

BARANGAY Ginebra continued its early playoff push as it rolled past TNT KaTropa, 93-78, to get back above .500 ahead of the crucial stretch in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Putting up a fitting follow-up to their a 26-point blowout win over Kia, the Gin Kings leaned on a late breakaway behind the triple threat of LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, and Greg Slaughter.

The Gin Kings thus registered their fifth win overall in nine games as they handed the Texters their fifth loss in nine games.

"It's a very stressful time for coaches looking at quotients, but our guys stepped up today," Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said. "We played okay in the first half, but we elevated our play in the second half."

The Gin Kings were only up, 75-71, with a little over seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. But the crowd darlings went on a 16-4 run to pull away for good and establish their biggest lead at 16 points, capped by a Scottie Thompson triple with less than two minutes to go.

Tenorio orchestrated the offense with aplomb as he scattered 27 points on 11-of-19 shooting, 11 assists, five boards, one steal, and only one turnover in over 38 minutes as a starter.

Aguilar and Slaughter lived up to their twin towers tag as the former churned out 25 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks, and the latter pumped in 20 points, 14 caroms, four assists, and two blocks.

Thompson sustained his all-around play with nine points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and two steals for the Gin Kings, who shot 48.8 percent from the field and dished out 25 assists.

Jayson Castro and Kelly Williams led the Texters with 17 points each, but the two TNT stars contributed just two points apiece in the payoff period.

The scores:

GINEBRA 93 - Tenorio 27, J. Aguilar 25, Slaughter 20, Thompson 9, Cruz 6, Ferrer 6, R. Aguilar 0, Caguioa 0, Caperal 0, Mercado 0, Taha 0

TNT 78 - Castro 17, Williams 17, Pogoy 16, Tautuaa 10, Garcia 8, Paredes 2, Reyes 2, Semerad 2, Tamsi 2, Torres 2, Carey 0, Golla 0

Quarterscores: 22-18, 44-42, 63-62, 93-78

02-12-2018, 07:38 AM
DiGregorio sizzles late as Blackwater claims biggest scalp yet with romp vs SMB

From: Karlo Sacamos February 9, 2018, 06:41 pm

IT does seem to take a league giant to bring the best out of Blackwater.

The Elite finally responded to the challenge as they shocked San Miguel Beer, 106-96, to put an end to their four-game losing streak in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Poy Erram held his own against June Mar Fajardo, while Mike DiGregorio hit the biggest baskets in the clutch as the Elite got back on the winning track after their last win came at the expense of contender Ginebra, improving to a 3-5 win-loss record.

The Elite prevailed without injured Mac Belo as they handed the shorthanded Beermen only their second loss in eight games, allowing Magnolia and Alaska to claim a piece of the lead with the defending champions.

"We were extremely blessed in today's match," Elite coach Leo Isaac said. "We were able to contain their scorers. It's a good wake-up call. Finally we're able to get over the hump."

While they saw the pass-first Chris Ross go aggressive and run rings around the Elite defense, Blackwater held SMB's main man, June Mar Fajardo, to just 12 points on 3-of-11 shooting in over 39 minutes of play.

On offense, Digregorio showed the way for the Elite, scoring the team's last eight points and firing a season-high 26 points, including five treys, the last that gave them a 106-92 lead inside the last minute that was more than enough cushion to remove doubt from their impending upset victory.

The third-year gunner also dished out five assists, collected five boards, and committed just one turnover in 33 minutes on the court.

Erram pumped in 24 points, 18 rebounds, three blocks, three assists, two steals, and just one error, numbers that overshadowed that of Fajardo.

The Beermen wasted an early nine-point lead as they missed the services of injured standouts Alex Cabagnot and Gabby Espinas whenever they needed a run.

Arwind Santos led SMB with 22 points, built around five triples, nine boards, two assists, two steals, and two blocks, while Ross put up an all-around performance of 20 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and one steal that went for naught.

The scores:

BLACKWATER 106 - DiGregorio 26, Erram 24, Maliksi 11, Sena 10, Palma 8, Jose 6, Marcelo 6, Cortez 5, Cruz 5, Pinto 5, Neypes 0, Sumang 0.

SMB 96 - Santos 22, Ross 20, Lassiter 13, Fajardo 12, Lanete 9, Ganuelas-Rosser 8, Heruela 8, Agovida 2, Semerad 2, De Ocampo 0, Mamaril 0, Pessumal 0

Quarterscores: 20-27, 43-45, 72-69, 106-96

02-12-2018, 07:41 AM
Kiefer Ravena deals dagger to cap NLEX stunning comeback win over Meralco

From: Karlo Sacamos February 9, 2018, 09:20 pm

KIEFER Ravena proved why he's the early Rookie of the Year frontrunner as he lifted NLEX to a 87-85 victory over Meralco to build momentum in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Displaying poise beyond his years, the 24-year-old playmaker, the second overall pick in this year's draft hit two big shots, the second a tough turnaround jumper that proved to be the game-winner for the Road Warriors to complete their comeback from an early 18-point deficit.

The Road Warriors thus followed up a similar come-from-behind 81-78 win over Ginebra last week to get back to .500 at 4-4 as they handed the Bolts their sixth loss in eight games.

"We haven't had easy games. Our last two games we got lucky both times," NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said. "Kiefer just made the big shots…like somebody who's a ten-year veteran."

Ravena first hit a tough three-pointer off a timeout that put the Road Warriors up, 83-82, with 43 second left. After the Bolts tied it at 85, “The Phenom” again took matters into his own hands, driving on the left side, faking a spin, then turning around, before launching for the tough jumper over Chris Newsome for the dagger.

That completed another game-long brilliance for Ravena, who finished with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting, seven boards, four assists, one steal, and only one turnover in 29 minutes off the bench.

Larry Fonacier added 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting - as he buried all his four three-point attempts - on top of six boards, and one block in 28 minutes, while Kevin Alas chipped in 15 points and six rebounds in 29 minutes.

It certainly took the Road Warriors a lot to come out victorious as they fell into an early 26-8 hole, but managed to climb out of in the second quarter, turning it into a nip-and-tuck battle in the second half.

Still, the Bolts looked like they were headed for an easy win as they saw themselves ahead, 82-72, with a little over five minutes left after a basket by Nico Salva, who led the Bolts with 20 points in 23 minutes off the bench.

The Road Warriors, however, went on an 11-0 blast, capped by that Ravena triple to take the lead.

JR Quinahan hit two charities to put NLEX up, 85-82, but Chris Newsome retaliated with a three-point play to knot the count one last time as it set the stage for Ravena's game-winner.

The scores:

NLEX 87 - Ravena 21, Fonacier 17, Alas 15, Mallari 12, Al-Hussaini 6, Quiñahan 6, Baguio 4, Gotladera 2, Miranda 2, Monfort 2, Uyloan 0, Soyud 0, Taulava 0

MERALCO 85 - Salva 20, Newsome 15, Amer 14, Hugnatan 10, Lanete 10, Caram 7, Canaleta 4, Hodge 3, Bono 2, Dillinger 0, Tolomia 0

Quarterscores: 10-26, 38-37, 62-65, 87-85

02-12-2018, 07:45 AM
Almazan, Yap steady ship in endgame as Rain or Shine sends Magnolia skidding in Pangasinan

From: Karlo Sacamos February 10, 2018, 07:38 pm

RAIN or Shine continued to find its mark on the road as it rolled past Magnolia, 101-95, in their PBA Philippine Cup matchup on Saturday night at the Calasiao Sports Complex in Pangasinan.

The Elasto Painters zoomed to an early lead and were on the driver's seat all-game long as they built a cushion big enough to shrug off a late rally by the Hotshots in the Petron Saturday Special.

Raymond Almazan showed he's right at home with ROS, sparking the early surge by scoring the game's first seven points and finishing with 23 markers on 9-of-11 shooting, six boards, two blocks, and one assist.

James Yap put up a solid game against his former team with 13 points, including two triples, five boards, three assists, one block, and zero turnover in almost 23 minutes off the bench as the E-Painters notched a third straight win and fifth overall in eight games to grab solo fourth spot.

The Hotshots, on the other hand, absorbed their second straight loss and third in nine games to drop to third place - instead of claiming the solo lead as they missed the services of former ROS star Paul Lee, who suited up, but is still apparently recovering from a high ankle sprain.

The E-Painters led be as many as 21 points, 67-46, halfway through the third quarter, and were still ahead by 16 points, 96-80, after a Yap three-point play with five minutes left, but saw the Hotshots claw back and pull to within seven points, 100-93, after a Jio Jalalon floater with 1:24 to go, only to fall short.

Gabe Norwood and Maverick Ahanmisi ran the ROS offense and finished with 12 points apiece, with former adding seven boards, one assist, and one steal, and the latter chipping in eight rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

Ramos delivered a splendid showing for the Hotshots with 27 points, built around four triples, two boards, one assist, and one steal, without committing a single error in almost 28 minutes off the bench that went to waste.

The scores:

ROS 101 - Almazan 23, Yap 13, Ahanmisi 12, Norwood 12, Tiu 11, Daquioag 9, Ponferrada 5, Borboran 5, Trollano 5, Belga 3, Nambatac 3.

MAGNOLIA 95 - R amos 27, Dela Rosa 15, Jalalon 14, Barroca 10, Sangalang 8, Melton 6, Mendoza 5, Reavis 3, Simon 0, Brondial 0, Pascual 0, Gamalinda 0.

Quarterscores: 26-21, 47-35, 77-66, 101-95

02-19-2018, 10:01 AM
NLEX clinches playoff spot in All-Filipino

Paul Lintag, ABS-CBN Sports

Posted at Feb 18 2018 07:44 PM

BOCAUE, Bulacan - NLEX is through to the next round of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.

The Road Warriors secured their spot in the quarterfinals Sunday at the Philippine Cup here, beating Blackwater in a thriller, 93-90.

Behind the combined efforts of its talented backcourt, NLEX erased an 11-point deficit to win a fourth straight game.

The Road Warriors' 6-4 record is more than enough to advance in the All-Filipino. Now it's just a matter of final positioning with one game to go.

"Another hard game, wala kaming panalong madali," head coach Yeng Guiao said.

"Our last four wins were grind-out wins, and this is no exception. Blackwater is getting better. I talked to the guys [before the game], pahihirapan nila tayo and it was," he added.

True enough, the Elite were all over the Road Warriors in the opening half, opening up a 40-29 lead in the second quarter.

Blackwater maintained a nine-point lead through the third before Kevin Alas saved NLEX in the fourth period.

Alas made his first five shots in the final period for 14 points, sparking the Road Warriors' comeback. He finished the period with 16 points and 25 for the game, a new PBA career-high.

Alas also added eight rebounds and five assists for good measure.

After Alas, only Kiefer Ravena finished in double figures for NLEX, dropping 23 points, including 13 in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Blackwater dropped to 10th place after a loss with its 4-6 record.

The Elite got 16 points from Mike Digregorio but the sweet-shooting point guard never got the ball in Blackwater's final possession. JP Erram and rookie Raymar Jose added 14 points apiece for the Ever Bilena franchise.

The scores:

NLEX 93 - Alas 25, Ravena 23, Tiongson 9, Quiñahan 8, Al-Hussaini 6, Baguio 5, Mallari 5, Soyud 4, Ighalo 3, Miranda 3, Fonacier 2, Gotladera 0, Taulava 0.

BLACKWATER 90 - DiGregorio 16, Erram 14, Jose 14, Maliksi 13, Sena 12, Belo 10, Palma 6, Marcelo 5, Pinto 0.

Quarter scores: 23-20, 41-46, 65-74, 93-90

02-19-2018, 10:03 AM
Meralco gets back at Ginebra to stay alive

Paul Lintag, ABS-CBN Sports

Posted at Feb 18 2018 09:42 PM

BOCAUE, Bulacan - Meralco and Ginebra delivered another classic at the Philippine Arena here.

However, unlike Game 7 of the 2017 Governors' Cup Finals, it was the Bolts that took a crucial win Sunday, walking away with an 84-82 win to stay alive in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.

Jason Ballesteros played hero for Meralco, scoring the go-ahead putback in the final 36 seconds after Chris Newsome and Reynel Hugnatan failed to find the bottom of the net for the Bolts.

He also secured a crucial rebound on the other end and drilled one of two free throws with 17 seconds to go to help Meralco pull through. Japeth Aguilar missed a game-winning triple for the Gin Kings to end the contest.

"It's just great effort from the guys just knowing the circumstances that had we lost today, we're out of the tournament," head coach Norman Black said.

"The guys just came out there and played to get the win," he added.

The scores:

MERALCO 84 - Lanete 19, Caram 16, Hugnatan 12, Newsome 12, Ballesteros 7, Salva 5, Amer 4, Bono 4, Canaleta 3, Faundo 2, Sedurifa 0, Tolomia 0.

GINEBRA 82 - Aguilar 20, Thompson 17, Slaughter 12, Mercado 10, Caguioa 6, Cruz 5, Tenorio 5, Devance 4, Mariano 3, Ferrer 0, Manuel 0.

Quarters: 15-20, 45-38, 67-64, 84-82

02-19-2018, 10:04 AM
San Miguel rallies to down Alaska, stays solo leader in standings


Posted at Feb 17 2018 07:34 PM | Updated as of Feb 17 2018 07:50 PM

San Miguel clawed back from a 15-point deficit to bring down Alaska, 109-96, via a strong second half in the PBA Philippine Cup at Batangas City Coliseum on Saturday.

Marcio Lassiter and Chris Ross combined for 45 points to turn the tables on the Aces for the Beermen's seventh victory in 9 games.

This allowed San Miguel to firm up its position as solo leader in the standings as the elimination round enters its homestretch.

Ross had 24 points to go with his 9 assists and 3 rebounds while Lassiter fired 21 points.

Arwind Santos also had a productive night with 21 points including his signature "Spiderman dunk" in the 1-minute mark of the game.

June Mar Fajardo brought down 18 rebounds besides scoring 17 points.

Alaska had an aggressive start, catching San Miguel flatfooted to go up by 15 points.

But the Beermen unloaded a 15-0 run in the third quarter, thanks to Ross' exploits.

Jayvee Casio led the Aces with 20 points. Alaska also got 15 from Sonny Thoss and 13 each from Vic Manuel and Kevin Racal.

But they failed to deliver in the crucial stretches of the game, leading to Alaska’s 4th loss in 10 starts.

02-22-2018, 07:00 AM
Jarencio lightens up Batang Pier mood amid playoff chase; Elite stay in quarterfinal hunt

By: Cedelf P. Tupas - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:35 AM February 22, 2018

With more than a minute remaining and victory against KIA in the bag last Wednesday night, GlobalPort coach Pido Jarencio gave Ryan Arana a free rein to call a play during a timeout, much to the surprise of the veteran forward.

Although Batang Pier guard Stanley Pringle scored on the next possession, the play designed by Arana wasn't executed, drawing a laugh from Jarencio and his players.

In only his first conference in charge, the former UAAP champion coach of University of Santo Tomas has injected a light and positive atmosphere within the Batang Pier as they make a push for a playoff spot.

The Batang Pier went on to register a 108-91 victory over the Picanto as they stayed on track for a Top 6 finish at the end of the PBA Philippine Cup elimination round at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

"Coach is like a friend to us, but at the same time we give him the utmost respect," Arana said in Filipino. "The atmosphere has been great whether we win or we lose. Every time we lose, he tells us to move forward and focus on the next game."

Jarencio's approach is paying dividends with the Batang Pier improving to 5-5 for a tie of sixth spot with Barangay Ginebra heading into their final game of the elimination round against Phoenix Petroleum on March 2.

"The mind-set right now is to try to get into that Top 6 so we will play a best-of-three series in the quarterfinals," said Sean Anthony, who had 21 points, eight rebounds and four steals in 27 minutes on the floor. “We want to be playoff-ready and that Phoenix game is another playoff game.”

Later, Blackwater tightened up its defense down the stretch to close out the elimination round with an 83-78 trouncing of Phoenix Petroleum to keep its quarterfinal hopes alive.

Mike DiGregorio, Mac Belo and Raymar Jose each finished with 14 points, while JP Erram continued his stellar showing with 12 points and 19 boards for seventh double-double of the conference as the Elite wound up with a 5-6 record.

"We're hoping that five wins will be enough for a playoff for the quarterfinals. We're looking forward to playing more games this conference," said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac.

03-06-2018, 11:13 AM
Ginebra puts ROS on brink

NLEX also leads Alaska, 1-0, behind Ravena heroics

By: June Navarro - Reporter / @junavINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:07 AM March 06, 2018

The higher the stakes, the better Barangay Ginebra has become.

Even without the towering Greg Slaughter in the lanes, the Gin Kings showed they're better than the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters with an imposing 88-80 triumph Monday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at Mall of Asia Arena.

The Gin Kings are beginning to recover their championship form after struggling big time in the elimination round to gain a decisive headstart in their best-of-three quarterfinal series.

Japeth Aguilar, nursing the piercing pain on his back, more than filled the void left by Slaughter after forcing the Painters to flounder inside the paint.

It was the dynamic duo of Sol Mercado and Scottie Thompson, however, who provided the firepower for the Gin Kings.

Mercado scored all of his 13 points in the second half and Thompson was three assists shy of a triple-double with 14 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists.

Slaughter was sidelined by a sprained ankle and remains doubtful in Wednesday's Game 2.

Earlier, blue-chip rookie Kiefer Ravena pulled off two decisive plays in the dying seconds as NLEX moved a victory closer to the semifinals with a tight 105-99 win over Alaska.

Ravena stealthily snatched the leather off a jump ball and went straight to the cup with 18.8 seconds left, giving the Road Warriors a safe four-point lead.

Prior to that act of heroism, Ateneo's two-time UAAP MVP found a cutting Michael Miranda underneath for the go-ahead basket that shifted the momentum to their side after the Aces took control late in the game.

"It was a great team effort," said Ravena after pouring 12 of his 25 points in the final quarter.

03-06-2018, 11:18 AM
KaTropa make it

TNT sets up q'final duel vs San Miguel

By: June Navarro - Reporter / @junavINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:10 AM March 05, 2018

Phoenix reluctantly stepped out of Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night, never to return in this season's PBA Philippine Cup.

TNT KaTropa brazenly ushered the Fuel Masters to the exit with an overpowering 118-97 win in a knockout setting for the eighth and final quarterfinal spot.

In the end, it was the depth, playoff experience and shooting prowess that mattered largely for the KaTropa, who rained down threes in the middle quarters to put their elimination round tormentors away.

The absence of proper spacing in the paint forced Troy Rosario to take his game from beyond the arc, firing four threes before halftime that shoved them slightly ahead and set the tone for the blowout.

Jayson Castro craftily bored holes in the Phoenix defense and fed Jericho Cruz and inside operator Kelly Williams, opening a double-digit advantage going into the final period.

So fluid was the KaTropa offense that they just went through the process of counting down the minutes while protecting a 20-point lead.

With big boss Manny V. Pangilinan watching at ringside, TNT arranged a must-win tiff with league-leading San Miguel Beer in the next round.

TNT 118 - Rosario 18, Castro 17, Cruz 17, Pogoy 15, Semerad 12, Williams 11, Tautuaa 10, Reyes 5, Garcia 4, Tamsi 4, Paredes 3, Nuyles 2, Carey 0, Golla 0, Torres 0.

PHOENIX 97 - Wright 18, Kramer 16, Alolino 13, Jazul 11, Perkins 10, Chan 9, Mendoza 7, Eriobu 5, Intal 4, Guevarra 2, Wilson 2, Cortes 0, Dehesa 0, Gamboa 0.

Quarters: 27-25, 54-49, 94-76, 118-97

03-07-2018, 08:23 AM
PBA: Magnolia rallies in 2nd half to eliminate GlobalPort


Posted at Mar 06 2018 09:29 PM | Updated as of Mar 06 2018 09:56 PM

Mark Barroca scored 17 points, and Magnolia rallied from 20 points down to beat GlobalPort 86-79 at Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday and advance to the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup.

Behind a hot start by Stanley Pringle, GlobalPort raced to a 26-6 lead and managed to hold on to the upper hand until the third quarter.

Barroca scored 8 points in a 16-4 run in the third that swung an 11-point deficit to a 54-53 lead for Magnolia 3:20 left in the quarter.

With Magnolia ahead 80-69 late in the fourth quarter, GlobalPort went on a 9-2 run to make it 82-78 with 70 seconds remaining.

But GlobalPort's chance to make it a one-possession game blew up in its face when Terrence Romeo committed a turnover, forcing the Batang Pier to foul, stop the clock and hope Magnolia missed.

Magnolia responded by making 4 free throws to ice the game.

"We expected 'yung aggressiveness at energy ng GlobalPort, pero 'yung ganung aggressiveness nila, grabe 'yung atake sa first quarter. Na-outpace nila kami sa first half," said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero, whose squad awaits the winner of the NLEX-Alaska series.

"Thankful kami sa mga experience namin, nagpapasalamat kami dahil 'yung experience namin lumabas sa game na ito."

Paul Lee, who suffered a mild-injury scare in the first half but played on, finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Marc Pingris added 13 and 9.

Pringle, who scored 13 points in the first quarter, registered 31 points and 10 rebounds for GlobalPort, which saw key scorer Sean Anthony leave the game for good after suffering an ankle sprain in the first half.

Romeo chipped in 14 points and 6 assists, but shot only 6 of 18 from the floor (33%), including missing all 6 3-point attempts.

03-07-2018, 08:24 AM
PBA: Against tough TNT squad, June Mar Fajardo finds another gear

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 06 2018 10:11 PM

MANILA, Philippines - There was simply no stopping San Miguel center June Mar Fajardo on Tuesday, as the reigning PBA Most Valuable Player towed the Beermen past TNT in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals.

Fajardo made mincemeat of every defender thrown at him by TNT, finishing with 35 points on an efficient 15-of-19 shooting clip. He also grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked two shots to power San Miguel to a 106-93 victory.

He set the tone by scoring 12 points in the opening period, and had 22 points by halftime while making nine of his first 11 attempts.

"Binibigyan nila ako ng bola," said Fajardo after the game. "Kailangan kong maka-score sa ilalim, para lumuwag 'yung depensa ng kalaban sa itaas. 'Yun ang nagawa namin."

Indeed, the rest of the Beermen joined the scoring parade in the second half. Marcio Lassiter ended the third period with a personal 5-0 run that pushed SMB ahead, 77-72. In the fourth period, it was Arwind Santos' turn to wax hot, as he scored 10 of his 15 points in the payoff period, including back-to-back 3-pointers that helped San Miguel douse the KaTropa's rally.

"Credit sa teammates ko kasi nag-step up kaming lahat," said Fajardo.

"Kailangan naming manalo din. 'Pag natalo kami, parang medyo mahihirapan kami kasi mapupunta yung momentum sa kabila.

The big man's performance was dedicated to San Miguel coach Leo Austria, whose wife had gone through a kidney transplant earlier in the day.

"Malungkot siya kasi 'yung asawa niya, inoperahan," said Fajardo of his coach. "Hindi 'yun ganoon kadali para sa kanya."

Austria said: "I have to give credit to the boys, especially June Mar Fajardo. He was so focused in this game."

The head coach believes that Fajardo's dominant showing against TNT bodes well not just for their on-going playoff campaign, but also for the big man's upcoming stints in the national team.

"I told him before na you're not preparing only for our team; you have to prepare also for your future games in Gilas. And I'm so happy to see him na he's preparing hard because Gilas, the national team is always in his mind," Austria explained.

For now, Fajardo and the Beermen have some time to rest. They don't have a semifinal opponent yet, with Ginebra and Rain or Shine still contesting the spot in a best-of-3 series.

"Kailangan lang namin magpahinga, gamitin ng maayos 'yung pahinga, at maging ready sa semis," said Fajardo.

03-07-2018, 08:28 AM
PBA: No regrets for TNT's Cruz after near-skirmish with SMB's Arwind

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 06 2018 08:46 PM

MANILA, Philippines – TNT guard Jericho Cruz believes his actions against San Miguel veteran Arwind Santos were justified, even if it led to his ejection with just 80 seconds left to play in their PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal game on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Cruz and Santos got into a near-skirmish at center court, with replays showing that the young guard gave the SMB forward a shove. But Cruz made it clear that he was just retaliating after seeing how Santos would push and bump his teammates in TNT.

"Kukuha lang ako ng bola, eh mahilig siyang mangbangga ng ganoon," said Cruz. "Ginawa niya rin 'yun sa point guard namin, kay Jayson (Castro), kay Ryan (Reyes), kay (Roger) Pogoy."

For Cruz, Santos was just adding salt to the wound with all his extra-curricular motions. After all, the Beermen were already in control of the game, 100-90, at that point. San Miguel eventually won, 106-93, ousting the KaTropa and advancing to the All-Filipino semifinals.

But Cruz believed that he had made his point to Santos and to the San Miguel team.

"Panalo na nga sila, tapos maninira pa siya ng ganoon? Walang bumabawi eh, so I guess it was my time na ipakita ko na hindi kami mapu-push over lang nang ganito," said Cruz. "Binawian ko din siya."

"Wala akong regrets sa ginawa ko," he stressed. "At least, kahit papaano, kahit ginawa ko 'yun, alam niya na may mali din siya, 'di ba?"

"Hindi lang tayo basta basta na itutulak ng ganoon, na ipu-pushover tayo."

It was quite the display for Cruz, who is playing in only his third game in a TNT uniform. The KaTropa acquired him late in the conference from Rain or Shine, in exchange for Sidney Onwubere, Kris Rosales, and a draft pick.

Cruz said he is determined to show that he will stand his ground for his new team, even if he has only been with the franchise for a couple of weeks.

"Hindi naman ako pinalaki ng nanay ko na mapu-push lang ng mga tao eh," he declared. "So para sa akin, 'pag ginawa sa 'yo, e 'di tingnan mo – gawin mo rin sa kanila, kung anong mangyari. 'Yun ang sa akin."

In the end, he still showed respect to San Miguel, particularly to coach Leo Austria, who was his head coach in Adamson University. "Sabi ko sa kaniya, congrats, good luck, sana manalo kayo ulit," said Cruz.

But he also fired a warning shot to the Beermen. "Congrats sa kanila," said Cruz. "Mas magaling sila ngayon."

"Para sa akin, bawi na lang siguro kami next conference," he added.

03-07-2018, 08:29 AM
PBA: Terrence Romeo, Pido Jarencio downplay shouting match

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 06 2018 11:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines—GlobalPort head coach Pido Jarencio and star guard Terrence Romeo were quick to downplay their shouting match in the third quarter of their PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal game against the Magnolia Hotshots on Tuesday.

The two traded barbs at the team bench after seeing a 20-point lead evaporate, with Magnolia taking a 54-53 lead with just three minutes to play. Romeo, playing in just his second game back after dealing with an injury, had to be separated from his coach.

They were quick to bury the hatchet, with Jarencio even jokingly bumping Romeo as the player headed to the official's table to sub in early in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for the Batang Pier, they would fall short as Magnolia completed a 20-point comeback for an 86-79 win, advancing to the semifinals.

"Naka-shoot sila, hindi kami naka-shoot, so nahabol," Romeo said after the game. "Gumanda 'yung depensa nila, tapos maganda 'yung ikot ng bola nila. Medyo hindi kami naka-shoot, especially ako. Wala, ang layo talaga. Wala pa talaga sa timing."

Both Romeo and Jarencio made it clear after the game that their dust-up in the third quarter should not be seen as the reason for the loss.

"Siguro, misunderstanding lang," Romeo said after the game. "Kasi alam mo naman si coach tsaka ako, pareho lang din namin gusto manalo. So lahat naman 'yun para sa team. Kumbaga, gusto namin pareho manalo."

"Meron lang kaming hindi napagka-intindihan. Pero wala, off the court walang problema. Alam naman natin talaga na si Coach Pido ay sobra talagang ano na coach, gusto niya talaga manalo every time.

"Minsan nagmumukha lang na hindi gaanong OK pero normal lang 'yun, normal lang sa amin. Normal lang sa player at sa coaches."

Jarencio said virtually the same thing.

"Wala 'yun. Alam mo, 'yung ugali na gusto mong manalo, and then 'yung bata, winner din," said the coach. "Minsan, nagkakaroon talaga ng mainit na diskusyunan, pero it's part of the game. It's also part of the process na dini-develop 'yung team."

As far as both Romeo and Jarencio are concerned, there is no problem between them and the air has been cleared.

"Walang issue. Walang issue 'yung team," Jarencio stressed.

Romeo added: "Normal lang 'yun na nangyayari sa parehong taong gustong manalo. So hindi na dapat palakihin pa or what. Wala akong galit kay coach."

03-08-2018, 07:50 AM
NLEX sweeps Alaska, enters semis for first time

By: Mark Giongco‎ - @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net / 09:48 PM March 07, 2018

NLEX booked a historic trip to the semifinals after sweeping Alaska following an 87-83 win in Game 2 of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Michael Miranda emerged as the unlikely hero for the Road Warriors, who arranged a best-of-seven semis duel with No. 2 Magnolia beginning Saturday night.

Miranda reentered the game with 3:20 left in the game after replacing JR Quinahan, who fouled out, and scored five unanswered points, a 3-pointer and two free throws, that put NLEX ahead for good, 85-80, with 2:06 remaining.

He finished with 12 and three rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.

"We knew before the game that Alaska was going to get back at us a lot harder than in our first game. Our luck held up and the team deserves the credit," said Yeng Guiao, who is only in his second season as NLEX’s head coach.

"They really wanted this. They're very hungry to make the semifinals and make our fans happy, make our supporters happy, our management happy. This bunch of guys were able to at least get to the farthest level that we can get."

Kevin Alas led all scorers with 18 points, including an acrobatic drive that extended the Road Warriors advantage, 87-83, with 1:12 to go. Alas also grabbed nine rebounds.

The Aces, who drew a beastly effort from Calvin Abueva, missed their last five attempts from the field inside the final three minutes.

Abueva wound up with 17 points and 16 rebounds for Alaska, which had 24 turnovers and shot only 4-of-20 from downtown.

03-08-2018, 07:52 AM
Ginebra seals semis spot, ousts Rain or Shine

By: Mark Giongco‎ - @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net / 06:59 PM March 07, 2018

Barangay Ginebra held off Rain or Shine, 99-91, to arrange a semifinals showdown with defending champion San Miguel Beer in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Japeth Aguilar came up big on both ends, posting 27 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and three blocks for the Gin Kings, who swept the Elasto Painters in their best-of-three quarterfinals series.

"Wow. What a relief. It's always a big relief to get through the quarters," said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.

"To me, the quarters series is the hardest series to win just because there's so much pressure on you to make the semis all the time."

Fortunately for Cone, he has the players to rely on when the going gets tough.

With Rain or Shine still in the thick of the fight midway through the final frame, Ginebra drew crucial plays from the likes of Sol Mercado, Joe Devance and Aguilar.

Aguilar hit the biggest shot of the game, sinking a short baseline jumper that extended the Kings' lead to seven, 96-89, with 55.3 seconds left.

Jervy Cruz and LA Tenorio also played key roles in the victory, finishing with 18 and 17 points, respectively.

Raymond Almazan led the Painters with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Maverick Ahanmisi scored a team-high 18.

03-13-2018, 07:03 AM
Lassiter's overtime tip-in lifts San Miguel past Ginebra for 2-0 series lead

11 Mar, 2018

Charmie Lising

Marcio Lassiter's endgame heroics, including the game-winning tip-in with 3.2 seconds left, towed the San Miguel Beermen to a come-from behind overtime victory over the Barangay Ginebra Kings, 104-102 in Game 2 of their 2018 PBA Philippine Cup semifinal battle on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen overcame a slow start to steal the win from Ginebra and gain a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-seven series.

Lassiter finished with 25 points, including the final six markers of San Miguel in the extended period. He also had eight rebounds and four assists.

After being held to conference-low of nine points in Game 1, June Mar Fajardo rebounded with a monster performance of 33 points and 19 rebounds.

Prince Caperal, who scored a career-high of 26 points for Ginebra, converted the first basket in overtime. Fajardo made a free throw to keep the Beermen close, but LA Tenorio drilled a long two to stretch their lead to three.

Fajardo generated two more points from the charity stripe, but Joe Devance quickly responded with a huge triple to make it 102-98. That's when Lassiter started saving the Beermen's game.

The veteran guard made a layup at the 53-second mark, then he followed it up with clutch free throws to knot it again at 102-all. He capped it off with another bucket to seal the deal.

"We thought we were losing this game," said SMB head coach Leo Austria. "I have to give credit to Ginebra. There's a big adjustment in their game especially using a player that's seldom used, and that is Prince Caperal."

Ginebra led by as many as 15 points in the second quarter, but San Miguel came out aggressively after halftime to gradually chip away at the lead.

The Kings looked on their way to victory in regulation but Arwind Santos knocked down a three-pointer to pull San Miguel within three, 90-93, with under two minutes remaining in the fourth frame.

Devance cleaned up an Aguilar miss to extend their advantage to five. Fajardo converted two charities, then Santos hit another clutch trey to tie it at 95 and force an extended period.


SAN MIGUEL 104 - Fajardo 33, Lassiter 25, Ross 13, Cabagnot 13, Santos 11, Ganuelas-Rosser 7, Heruela 2, Pessumal 0, Espinas 0, De Ocampo 0.

GINEBRA 102 - Aguilar J. 28, Caperal 26, Devance 11, Thompson 10, Cruz 10, Tenorio 8, Mercado 7, Mariano 2.

Quarters: 25-30; 42-55; 70-73; 95-95 (Reg); 104-102 (OT).


- Prince Caperal started for Ginebra and saw action for over 31 minutes. He played huge in the absence of Greg Slaughter, dropping 17 of his 26 career-high points in the first half to help his team mount a 13-point edge at the break.

- After giving up 16 three-pointers in Game 1, the Kings managed to limit the Beermen to nine in this match. Unfortunately for the Barangay, four of those treys came in the pivotal fourth quarter.

- Ginebra legend Jayjay Helterbrand was in the venue to watch his team for the first time since he retired after the 2017 Governors' Cup.

03-13-2018, 07:04 AM
Prince Caperal making most of opportunity with Barangay Ginebra

10:39 PM CT

Carlo Pamintuan

From a being on the unrestricted free agent's list of the worst team in the league midway through the Philippine Cup, Prince Caperal is now the talk of the town after playing the game of his career in Barangay Ginebra's Game 2 loss to the San Miguel Beermen.

Stepping in for the injured Greg Slaughter, Caperal registered a new career high with 26 points, eight rebounds, and three assists on an efficient 11-of-18 shooting from the field.

"I just stayed ready especially because of Greg's injury and it just so happened that my shots fell so I kept taking them and that was the result," said Caperal after the game.

Even SMB head coach Leo Austria was impressed with the 24-year-old center's performance but not exactly surprised as he said a star was born.

"I was not surprised with his performance because when he was first left in the unrestricted free agent list I wanted to sign him but we had too many players that time," Austria admitted. "The second time he was dropped by Kia, I was going to pick him up but Ginebra signed him first. He's a good player who was just waiting for an opportunity."

Austria's praise for Caperal did not stop there as he suggested that Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes should consider making him a part of the pool.

"His father was my teammate so I saw him grow up," Austria added. "I always like the way he played because he's a good defender and has a soft touch from the outside. I think he can also perform like Carl Bryan Cruz for Gilas if they give him a chance."

"He played well and he's tough to guard," added June Mar Fajardo. "He shoots well from the outside so I had to close out and then Japeth [Aguilar] attacks me off the dribble so it was difficult for me."

Even though his career game was not enough to help Ginebra get a series-tying victory, Caperal left with his head up.

"I'm happy that I was able to help the team and even if we lost at least now we know that we have a chance to compete against SMB," said Caperal. "We just have to move on. At least this didn't happen during a do-or-die game. It's still early in the series."

03-13-2018, 09:58 AM
Magnolia derails NLEX

Lee fired-up as Hotshots level semifinal series at 1-1; San Miguel aims for 3-0 lead vs Ginebra

By: Musong R. Castillo - Reporter / @MusongINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:10 AM March 13, 2018

With Paul Lee cranking up Magnolia’s offensive machine early and the defense holding on like it has all tournament long, the Hotshots leveled their best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup Final Four series with NLEX at 1-1 after an easy 99-84 win at Mall of Asia Arena on Monday night.

Lee scored 10 of his 27 points in the first half and helped the Hotshots grab control for good as Magnolia seized momentum going into their Game 3 clash Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

Magnolia had NLEX in check all game, on the day it was confirmed that top defensive man Marc Pingris will be out for the rest of the season because of an ACL tear suffered in the Hotshots’ Game 1 loss on Saturday.

“His injury inspired us to play defense as best we could,” said coach Chito Victolero of Pingris, who will have surgery later this week and has been ruled out for the next six to eight months.

“We just need to sustain our energy, aggressiveness and focus more on our strength, which is defense,” Victolero said of his Game 3 plans where he hopes to again keep super rookie Kiefer Ravena and prolific backcourt mate Kevin Alas grounded.

Ravena had nine and Alas just six and their inability to wriggle out of the Magnolia defensive blanket made things even more difficult for NLEX.

Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer tries to all but wrap up its separate best-of-seven series opposite crowd-darling Barangay Ginebra on Tuesday when the Beermen gun for a 3-0 lead also at the modern Pasay venue.

The Gin Kings have their backs to the wall in the 7 p.m. contest where they would have to do without the seven-foot Greg Slaughter for the third straight game.

03-15-2018, 07:01 AM
Roaring comeback

Brgy. Ginebra back in series after holding off San Miguel Beer; Magnolia goes for tiebreaking win minus ‘inspirational’ Pingris

By: Musong R. Castillo - Reporter / @MusongINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:07 AM March 14, 2018

It took the multititled Tim Cone a few minutes to gather his thoughts before talking at how amazed he was with the effort his Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings came up with Tuesday night.

Two nights after taking a truly heart-rending defeat at the hands of San Miguel Beer, the Kings played their guts out in a virtual do-or-die setting and scuttled the Beermen, 95-87, to chop down the defending champions’ lead to 2-1 in their best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup Final series at Mall of Asia Arena.

“You can’t have painful losses like that and come out the next game and play very well,” Cone told reporters as his Kings grabbed some sort of momentum heading into the critical fourth game of their series on Thursday also at the modern Pasay venue.

“They (Kings) really showed their never-say-die spirit tonight, especially after that painful, painful (Game 2) loss,” Cone went on, referring to a 104-102 overtime setback where they blew a five-point lead heading into the final 63 seconds of the match.

This game followed basically the same script that the previous one did, with Ginebra taking control of the match early. The only difference was that the Kings held on until the very end in this one.

“I told my coaching staff that we need to be perfect in order to beat these (Beermen),” he said. “We had some lapses here and there, but we were almost perfect tonight. It would take an A-plus-plus for us to beat them again.

“We are going into another do-or-die game on Thursday,” Cone added.

Japeth Aguilar scored 25 points, 13 of them coming in the third quarter, with skipper LA Tenorio shooting all of his 18 in the final three periods that helped keep Ginebra in control.

June Mar Fajardo scattered 23 points and had 13 rebounds for the Beermen, an output that continues to befuddle Cone.

“We have thrown everything at him, the kitchen sink and even the toilet,” he said of Fajardo. “He’s just amazing.”

Meanwhile, Magnolia shoots for a second straight win to move ahead of NLEX in their Final Four series as the Hotshots try to continue plodding along without their best low post defender, Marc Pingris.

“His absence is an inspiration to the team,” said coach Chito Victolero, referring to Marc Pingris who was ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn left ACL. “We’re undermanned and we will need the entire team to step up.”

03-15-2018, 07:02 AM
Arwind Santos fined P25k for flagrant foul, comments on officiating

By: Mark Giongco‎ - @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net / 05:45 PM March 14, 2018

San Miguel forward Arwind Santos on Wednesday was slapped with a P25,000 fine by the PBA after his comments on the officiating and flagrant foul penalty 1 in Game 3 of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.

The league punished Santos with a P20,000 fine for his “shadows” statement which were deemed “detrimental to the league” and P5,000 for his foul against Barangay Ginebra forward Japeth Aguilar late in the third quarter.

Santos was summoned by the Office of the Commissioner Wednesday afternoon.

The Beermen lost to the Gin Kings, 95-87, in a game where Santos said his team was playing against “eight” instead of just five players on the floor, alluding to the extra three to Ginebra’s “shadows.”

The 36-year-old Santos, who was one of the heroes in SMB’s 104-102 overtime win in Game 2, had 13 points, six rebounds and two steals on Tuesday night.

Game 4 is on Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena with the Beermen going for a commanding 3-1 lead.

03-15-2018, 07:03 AM
Hotshots take lead

Jalalon, Sangalang shoulder offensive chores; Santos fined for statements, flagrant foul

By: Musong R. Castillo - Reporter / @MusongINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:40 AM March 15, 2018

Undermanned yet pushing the pedal to the metal all night long, Magnolia on Wednesday took the lead in its best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup Final Four series with NLEX.

And the Hotshots will go into what their coach says will be a “dogfight” carrying a lot of momentum.

Ian Sangalang played double time and shone the brightest among the Hotshots’ big men, and Jio Jalalon played great on both ends in leading Magnolia to a 106-99 victory at Smart Araneta Coliseum as the Hotshots put themselves in a position to deal NLEX a virtual killer blow on Friday.

“Game 4 will be a dogfight because it will be a do-or-die game for NLEX,” coach Chito Victolero said. “And that means we have to sustain what we have been doing (in the last two games).”

Jalalon, who is being buoyed by late night text messages from Victolero about carving his niche in the league, scored 25 points while playing defense on NLEX super rookie Kiefer Ravena, while Sangalang finished with 24 in almost 38 minutes of extended playing time because of the injury to Marc Pingris.

“He knows that he has to step up and he knows that he needs to play more minutes because of Pingris’ absence,” Victolero said of Sangalang, his offensive revelation in this best-of-seven series.

Victolero didn’t need to get heavy offensive contribution from Paul Lee, but got 17 big points from Rome dela Rosa.

The Road Warriors did themselves in with spotty free-throw shooting in the fourth and horrendous execution in the stretch, losing for the second straight game despite having a clear shot at a win going into the final seven minutes.

Ravena still went on to topscore with 20 points and Kevin Alas had 15 for the Road Warriors, who would really need to win the 7 p.m. game Friday to be able to entertain thoughts of making a title series for the first time in their franchise history.

“We are thankful that we are leading the series,” Victolero went on. “But we need four wins to make the Finals. There’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Meanwhile, San Miguel power forward Arwind Santos was fined P20,000 for statements detrimental to the league. Santos criticized officiating after a 95-87 Game 3 loss. He was also fined P5,000 for incurring a flagrant foul penalty 1.

03-16-2018, 02:41 PM
Almost there

San Miguel nears 4th straight PH Cup Finals stint; Magnolia battles ‘do-or-die’ NLEX, seeks 3-1 edge

By: Musong R. Castillo - Reporter / @MusongINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:50 AM March 16, 2018

LA Tenorio of Ginebra beats the defense of San Miguel Beer’s Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos for a layup. San Miguel won to lead the series, 3-1. —Sherwin Vardeleon

The game wasn’t even close and suddenly, the best-of-seven Final Four pairing, too, in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Embarrassed the last time out, San Miguel Beer on Thursday night ran roughshod over Barangay Ginebra with a 102-81 mangling of the Gin Kings at Mall of Asia Arena, giving the history-seeking Beermen triple match point for a title series berth in the season’s most prestigious conference.

Six players scored in twin digits and so in control was San Miguel that reigning four-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo didn’t need to score in the final two periods to go 3-1 up and earn a shot at an unprecedented fourth straight title starting with Game 5 this Saturday at Cuneta Astrodome.

“Anything is still possible. We cannot relax,” said coach Leo Austria, who celebrated his 60th birthday in style, when asked if the series is already in the bag.

“We lost a 3-1 lead to Ginebra while I was still a player at (defunct) Shell.”

Though only four out of 51 teams which have trailed by such a margin have gone on to reverse the series, one of those teams that bungled a 3-1 lead was a San Miguel franchise—then carrying the name Petron—in the 2012 Philippine Cup semifinals opposite Talk ‘N Text.

Marcio Lassiter fired 23 and Alex Cabagnot 19 for San Miguel, which got all of Chris Ross’ 11 points in the breakaway second period.

“Of course we will go for it (series-clinching win in Game 5), because we would need to get all the rest we can (for the Finals),” Austria said.

Japeth Aguilar scored 31 and LA Tenorio 20 for the Gin Kings.

In the other Final Four series set 7 p.m. on Friday also at MoA Arena, Magnolia coach Chito Victolero sees Game 4 of their duel against NLEX as a do-or-die match for the Road Warriors.

“For sure, they (Road Warriors) will come out hard, so we should be ready,” said Victolero, whose team has won the last two games of the series but will continue to Marc Pingris—out for the rest of the season because of an ACL tear.

“We must sustain our intensity and aggressiveness,” said Victolero, also aiming for a first-ever title series appearance as a coach.

SAN MIGUEL 102 - Lassiter 23, Cabagnot 19, Santos 16, Fajardo 14, Ganuelas-Rosser 12, Ross 11, Espinas 4, Pessumal 3, Lanete 0, De Ocampo 0, Heruela 0, Agovida 0, Vigil 0, Mamaril 0.

GINEBRA 81 - J. Aguilar 31, Tenorio 20, Cruz 9, Mercado 5, Caguioa 3, Caperal 3, Ferrer 3, Mariano 2, Manuel 2, Devance 2, Thompson 1, R. Aguilar 0.

Quarters: 32-22, 58-41, 84-58, 102-81

03-19-2018, 09:48 AM
Magnolia turns to defense to shackle NLEX, move on verge of finals faceoff vs SMB

From: Karlo SacamosMarch 18, 2018, 08:43 pm

ANTIPOLO – Magnolia turned to what it does best in frustrating NLEX, 87-78, on Sunday night to move on the verge of a finals appearance in the PBA Philippine Cup.

The defense-oriented Hotshots engaged the Road Warriors in a tight, grind-out battle then clamped down on defense to suddenly pull away in the payoff period and roll to the victory in Game Five at the Ynares Center.

Mark Barroca and Paul Lee led the guard-oriented attack while Aldrech Ramos provided a spark off the bench for the Hotshots, who are a win away from getting over the hump after falling short of the finals the last three conferences.

“We needed to go to our strength, which is our defense,” Hotshots coach Chito Victolero said. “Nanalo kami Game Three, but that wasn’t our game.”

“But wala kaming dapat i-celebrate ngayon eh; we need four wins to go to the finals,” he added. “May konting advantrage lang kami na nanalo kami ngayon, pero hindi pa tapos yung series.”

The Hotshots can finish off the Road Warriors in Game Six on Tuesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Ahead by just one point heading into the fourth quarter, the Hotshots turned their defense up a notch, limiting the Road Warriors to one field goal in the first six minutes of the period and building their biggest lead at 84-66, following a Lee triple with a little over three minutes left.

The Road Warriors made just six of their 22 shots in the final frame, and 30 of their 80 shots overall for a poor 37.5 percent.

The Hotshots also shot below average at 39.7 percent, but they hit the shots that mattered as they converted after empty possessions by the Road Warriors.

Barroca showed the way with 18 points, seven boards, two assists, and two steals, against only one turnover in 31 minutes, while Lee finished with 15 markers, four assists, and three rebounds, without an error in almost 32 minutes.

Ramos added 15 points, missing a double-double by just one rebound, and one block in just 22 minutes off the bench, forming a hi-low combo with Ian Sangalang, who chipped in 12 points, 11 boards, six assists, and three blocks in 35 minutes.

Kiefer Ravena heated up after a slow start, firing a game-high 21 points, including 10 in the fourth, five assists, one board, and zero turnover in 31 minutes off the bench that went for naught for the Road Warriors, who missed Kevin Alas most of the game after going out with an early knee injury.

The scores:

MAGNOLIA 87 - Barroca 18, Lee 15, Ramos 15, Sangalang 12, Simon 7, Dela Rosa 6, Pascual 4, Reavis 4, Brondial 2, Gamalinda 2, Jalalon 2, Herndon 0, Mendoza 0

NLEX 78 - Ravena 21, Mallari 13, Soyud 11, Fonacier 9, Miranda 8, Quiñahan 8, Rios 3, Taulava 2, Tiongson 2, Baguio 1, Alas 0

Quarterscores: 20-20, 37-36, 59-58, 87-78

03-19-2018, 09:50 AM
Guiao urges review of Game 5 officiating, says 'bad calls' hindered NLEX momentum

From: Gerry Ramos March 18, 2018, 10:07 pm

ANTIPOLO CITY – NLEX coach Yeng Guiao plans to talk to PBA officials regarding the matter of officiating, which he believed cost the Road Warriors Game Five of the Philippine Cup semifinals on Sunday night.

Guiao said a review on several bad calls against the Road Warriors should be made since these hampered the team from taking off in the payoff period of the tightly-fought match at the Ynares Center here.

Until the Hotshots turned things around with a huge fourth quarter run, the Road Warriors were very much in the game, 58-59, at the end of the third period.

Magnolia went on to post an 87-78 victory for a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

“Pagdating ng fourth quarter hindi kami makabuwelo, sobrang dami ng bad calls. Yun ang pumatay sa amin,” admitted Guiao in a calm and collected manner.

“We will talk to the commissioner and the technical committee. I think kailangan i-review nila yung mga lahat ng masamang tawag because that cost us the game,” he added. “Kailangang balikan kasi napaka-importante ng Game Six or kung magka-Game Seven ayaw nating ang result ng laro ay ma-decide ng bad calls.”

Guiao lauded the Road Warriors despite playing without key player Kevin Alas, who hurt his right knee as early as the first quarter and never returned.

The entire team was later spared from the usual tonque-lashing from its temperamental coach.

“I did not get mad at them. Kita ninyo naman maaga kami lumabas (sa dugout) today, because I didn’t feel that the loss was their fault,” said Guiao. “Dikdikan naman e, kahit wala si Kevin. We put up a good fight, all the way to the fourth quarter.”

Unfortunately, the calls began to get into the way of the Road Warriors.

“Pero mahirap ngang makabuwelo nga kung may may bad calls going against us. Psychologically, mabigat na imanage yung frustration doon sa mga nangyari."

03-19-2018, 09:52 AM
San Miguel holds off gritty Ginebra to book fourth straight trip to Philippine Cup finals

From: Karlo Sacamos March 17, 2018, 08:45 pm

SAN Miguel Beer displayed its championship poise down the stretch as it finished off Barangay Ginebra, 100-94, on Saturday night to advance to the PBA Philippine Cup Finals for the fourth straight time.

Alex Cabagnot showed why he’s one of the best closers in the league, scoring back-to-back baskets that gave the Beermen the lead for good and insurance points against the gritty Gin Kings to close out the best-of-seven series in five games.

“Nakita natin na nag-all out sila (Ginebra) dahil their backs are against the wall,” SMB coach Leo Austria said. “Hindi namin nakitaan ng white flag. They came out really strong.”

“But the players, our players, refused to lose dahil alam nila importance ng game na ‘to,” he added as his team clinched a finals appearance for the 39th time overall.

The four-time defending champion Beermen are now waiting for the survivor of the Magnolia-NLEX Final Four series that’s tied at two games.

The Beermen gained the extra rest after putting in the work needed in Game Five, overhauling an early 12-point deficit, before proving steadier against the Gin Kings at crunchtime.

Cabagnot shone brightest, scoring four straight points, the first two that broke the last deadlock at 94, then the next two that gave them a two-possession lead, before Marcio Lassiter sealed the deal with two charities.

June Mar Fajardo anchored the attack, pumping in 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting, nine boards, three assists, and one block that negated his eight turnovers, while Lassiter was again a steady presence, finishing with 25 points, eight rebounds, and one assist in 41 minutes.

Arwind Santos put up another all-around showing of 11 points, 13 caroms, four assists, four steals, and three blocks, while Matt Ganuelas-Rosser continued to make the most of his starting role, tallying 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and one steal, without committing a single turnover in almost 37 minutes.

The result spoiled a triple-double performance from Scottie Thompson, who poured in 10 points, 16 boards, and 16 assists, on top of two steals, and one assist in 42 minutes.

Japeth Aguilar also put up another offensive outburst with 32 points, along with four boards, two assists, one block, and one steal that went to waste.

The scores:

SMB 100 - Fajardo 25, Lassiter 23, Ganuelas-Rosser 14, Cabagnot 12, Santos 11, Espinas 5, Ross 5, De Ocampo 4, Pessumal 1

GINEBRA 94 - J. Aguilar 32, Mercado 14, Thompson 10, Devance 9, Ferrer 8, Tenorio 8, R. Aguilar 7, Cruz 4, Caguioa 2, Caperal 0

Quarterscores: 25-34, 55-55, 83-76, 100-94

04-04-2018, 07:13 AM
Globalport releases ‘unhappy’ Terrence

By: Cedelf P. Tupas - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:04 AM April 04, 2018

Three-time PBA scoring champion Terrence Romeo will be suiting up for a different team for the first time since he was drafted five years ago when the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup gets going on April 22.

Following a tumultuous stint with GlobalPort in the Philippine Cup playoffs, the Batang Pier shipped their high-scoring yet disgruntled guard to TNT KaTropa in a trade approved by the league on Tuesday.

Center Yousef Taha will also join the KaTropa, who sent former 6-foot-7 top pick Mo Tautuaa to the Batang Pier along with their 2020 first round pick and 2021 second round pick.

“It’s sad to let go one of the hottest players in the land, but we will not stand in the way of one’s desire and happiness,” said GlobalPort team manager Bonnie Tan. “So with a heavy heart, we are trading our top star. This is a win-win solution for us and the camp of Terrence.”

“We have so much respect for the guy, but we, as a team, must also move on toward our main goal which is to get better.”

At TNT, the 2015 Most Improved Player will be reunited with Gilas Pilipinas teammate Jayson Castro to form one of the league’s most explosive backcourt tandems.

Romeo, picked fifth in 2013 by the Batang Pier, will also link up with coach Nash Racela, also his coach at Far Eastern U.

Interestingly, KaTropa will open its Commissioner’s Cup campaign against the Batang Pier in the main game of the import-laced tournament’s opener at Smart Araneta Coliseum based on the schedule released by the league. Columbian Dyip (formerly Kia), goes up against Blackwater in the curtain raiser at 4:30 p.m.

04-04-2018, 07:15 AM
^ Sisirain din ni Romeo ang diskarte ng TNT, just plain too selfish and self-centered a player to even be a meaningful contributor to a successful team.

10-15-2019, 08:22 AM
I don't where else to put this, the main PBA Forum seems broken...

San Miguel trades Standhardinger to Northport for Tautuaa

Published October 14, 2019 5:52pm

San Miguel Beer and Northport have exchanged star big men Christian Standhardinger and Moala Tautuaa.

The PBA announced the blockbuster trade on Monday involving two former top overall picks as the teams enter the homestretch of the Governors' Cup eliminations.

Standhardinger joined San Miguel after being drafted first in 2017. Tautuaa, meanwhile, has been having a banner season for Northport after joining the Batang Pier in the Terrence Romeo trade last season.

The Beermen are hoping to complete a rare Grand Slam this year after winning the Philippine Cup and the Commissioner's Cup. —JST, GMA News