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  1. QCAA Basketball Wrapup:* SHAN Grabs Boys HS Crown

    QCAA Basketball Wrapup:* SHAN Grabs Boys HS Crown
    It’s more fun to watch high school basketball games (than college or pro hoops).
    And it was HS hoops wars again that brought me to the Tivoli Royale Country Club gym last Nov. 18 for a heavy quadruple bill that featured the finals in each of the four divisions in the 6th Quezon City Athletic Association (QCAA) basketball competitions.
    In the inaugural edition of the Boys High School-Developmental Division, St. Claire Fountain of Knowledge defeated Maria Montessori School-QC, 74-65, for the title.
    In the Boys Elementary Division, it was Claret School toppling School of Saint Anthony, 46-35, for their fifth championship in six years.* Claret had won four straight titles before taking a leave in last year’s festivities.
    Angelicum College, the (high school) alma mater of my two grown-up children, was successful in its “four-peat” title bid in the Girls High Division as the Lady Roebucks scored a come-from-behind 83-76 decision over upset-conscious Community of Learners Foundation (COLF) in the finals.
    In the absence of ex-PH Youth Under 16 teamer Camille Claro, Angelicum banked on the heroics of former three-year school volleyball player Baby Charmagne Torres, a YS-10 playmaker who exploded for 33 points (on 14-for-23 field shooting) along with six rebounds and three assists to earn MVP honors.*
    The Lady Roebucks trailed by seven points, 59-52, entering the third quarter before outscoring COLF, 31-17, in the final 10 minutes.
    Wynona Jose Guallar added 24 scores for the winning Santo Domingo-based Angelicum unit.
    In the main game of the quadrupleheader, Sacred Heart Academy of Novaliches mounted a monumental comeback in registering a heart-stopping 94-93 victory over Angelicum College for the Boys High School Division crown.
    Jasper Gawingan’s stunning buzzer-beating layup off a spinning baseline drive gave the Bruins their only lead in the game.*
    SHAN, last year’s runner-up in its QCAA debut, had trailed throughout the first three quarters – 27-18 at the end of the first quarter, 53-38 at halftime and 72-58 after three quarters – but bombarded the Roebucks with three-pointers and defensive stops en route to a 36-21 advantage in the payoff period. **Coach Mario Ballesteros’ troops, who fell behind by as much as 17 points (53-36 and 55-3, were still down by eight, 89-81, with four minutes remaining before engineering the biggest uprising in QCAA history.
    It helped top seed SHAN greatly that Angelicum failed miserably from the free-throw line, going a frigid 15-for-34 overall in that area, including 2-for-8 in the final minute.
    The shifty Gawingan wound up with 38 points (on 14-for-22 field shooting and 10-for-13 free-throw clip), nine boards and six assists for the unbeaten Bruins (10-0) and took home the MVP trophy.
    Well-built Rico Pangan, a graduating 6-3 center, was held to seven markers (including 3-for-8 from the foul line) although he plucked down a game-high 19 rebounds for SHAN.
    Second seed Angelicum College, the 2010 titlist, was led by Fred Lumabas, who got away with 40 points, nine boards, three assists and four steals.* Lumabas went 15-for-25 from the field, including 5-for-11 from beyond the three-point arc. *
    The 6th QCAA basketball competitions thus came to a close with different winners in all four divisions.

    Updated 11-24-2012 at 10:44 AM by gameface_one

    Philippine Basketball
  2. Carlos Loyzaga: Greatest Filipino Cager Ever, Part III

    Carlos (Caloy) Loyzaga, undisputedly the greatest basketball athlete ever produced by the Philippines, made a name in the international front by earning a stunning six gold medals in as many Asian competitions (four in the Asian Games and two in the Asian Basketball Confederation, now known as the FIBA Asia Championship) from 1951 to 1963 and securing a bronze in the 1954 Rio de Janeiro World Basketball Championship.

    Believe it or not, the Philippines never once registered a losing record during Loyzaga’s 10 international stints, compiling a 58-14 win-loss mark overall, including 41-3 in Asian-level tournaments.

    Check these facts: 1951 New Delhi Asian Games (4-0), 1952 Helsinki Olympics (3-2), 1954 Manila Asian Games (6-0), 1954 Rio de Janeiro World Basketball Championship (6-3), 1956 Melbourne Olympics (4-4), 1958 Tokyo Asian Games (6-1), 1959 Santiago World Basketball Championship (4-2), 1960 Manila Asian Basketball Confederation (9-0), 1962 Jakarta Asian Games (7-0), and 1963 Taipei Asian Basketball Confederation (9-2).

    While Loyzaga’s international play attracted much attention, his performance on home soil was simply awesome.

    Loyzaga started his basketball career at age 12. He sharpened his roundball skills at the Tervalac playground in Teresa, Sampaloc.

    Caloy first saw action with the Santa Mesa Aces. That team also included Pablo and Vicente Cuna, Ramon Lopez, Vicente Siyllon, Bobby and Al Tuazon on the roster. It was coached by Jose Lansang, who later became a referee.

    After the Second World War, Loyzaga joined a team called the Bulldogs.

    He matriculated at the Padre Burgos Elementary School in Santa Mesa, Manila then moved to the National University for his high school education.

    Loyzaga chose San Beda College for his tertiary studies but not known to many, he nearly landed at another college.

    Caloy was ready to enrol at the University of Santo Tomas but before he could don the Glowing Goldies jersey, player and coach Felicisimo (Fely) Fajardo herded him to San Beda College.

    Loyzaga subsequently powered SBC to four championships.

    Anchored the do-everything Loyzaga, the Red Lions romped away with consecutive National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) titles in 1951 and 1952. The Mendiola-based school also snared the National Open crown in 1951, which was then the biggest plum in local hoopdom.

    Around this time, this goldmine with the mestizo looks named Loyzaga was already getting a lot of journalistic ink from local sportswriters and broadcasters.

    Not only did he hog the headlines in the collegiate ranks, he also was deep into the consciousness of sports-loving Filipinos as a member of the national team.

    Sports media described him as the “nonpareil” and being in “a class all by himself” in tribute to his all-around talent.

    However, the tag that stuck was “The Great Difference,” coined by the venerable sportscaster Willie Hernandez who said, “In any game, Loyzaga was the great difference.”

    Gabriel (Gabby) Fajardo, the younger brother of Fely who himself was a former national player and one of Caloy’s early coaches, observed: “He had the height, speed and a great shooting arm for a game that called for height, speed and good shooting.”

    “As a center, he utilized his height,” said another basketball expert. “He could shoot, that’s for sure, and from all angles, either from long or short range.”

    Hernandez added, “I don’t want to sound too exaggerated, but to me, he is the best player of all time. He could play any position although he was unbeatable at the pivot.”

    Loyzaga’s post-graduate exploits in Philippine basketball were just as dominating.
  3. Uaap season 75: *brothers jeric and jeron teng to face off on august 4

    When talking about the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball competitions, avid fans of the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles and De La Salle University Green Archers are likely to mark their season calendars with a must-see check on the day that the two long-time nemesis face each other on the hardwood.

    The first of two Green vs. Blue encounters in UAAP Season 75 will take place on July 28 at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City. *The second playdate of their annual two-game duel will only be determined once the first round of the double-round elimination phase is over.

    Undoubtedly, any Ateneo vs. De La Salle showdown will be a major attraction in local basketball.

    For this Hoopster, though, the “swoosh” on his 2012 UAAP calendar is marked on August 4, the day the DLSU Green Archers clash with the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers in first-round action.

    The game’s significance: *The Teng brothers – fourth-year veteran Jeric for UST and rookie Jeron for DLSU – will cross paths for the first time ever in UAAP action.

    As best as can be determined, the August 4 game will mark the first time in UAAP or NCAA history that two siblings with be playing on opposite sides during the same game. *(Jeric and Jeron did suit up for their respective schools in an elimination-round game in the preseason Fil Oil/Flying V tournament but the two were not matched up against each other at any point during the Green Archers’ victory.)

    Through the years, local college ball has witnessed sets of brothers or twins playing for the same team during a season.

    In the ongoing National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) hostilities, brothers Kevin and Kristoffer (Junjun) Alas are on the roster of Colegio de San Juan de Letran under Knights bench boss Louie Alas, the duo’s dad.

    In the UAAP, there’s Arvie (a De La Salle defector) and Mark Anthony Bringas of the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.

    For the Teng brothers, who as high schoolers played together for Xavier School during the Golden Stallions’ 2009 Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association (MMTLBA) title squad, it’s an entirely different story.

    Jeric, who earned 2009 Tiong Lian Most Valuable Player honors as a high school senior, is in his fourth season with UST. He also was the UAAP’s Rookie of the Year in 2009.

    Jeron, who set a Tiong Lian record with three consecutive Most Valuable Player awards from 2010-12 and once exploded for 104 points in the Gold and Blue’s 164-74 shellacking of Grace Christian College in a January 5, 2011 Tiong Lian game for the highest individual score by a high school player in Philippine basketball history, is donning the DLSU colors for the first time as college ball’s most-coveted newcomer.

    Both Jeric and Jeron stand 6-2 and play the same swingman (shooting guard/small forward) position.

    It won’t be a surprise if the two are matched up against each other at some point during their August 4 face-off.

    And if De La Salle somehow manages to gain a ticket to the Final Four party, it is likely that Jeron will follow in the footsteps of elder brod Jeric by also romping away with the UAAP Rookie of the Year diadem. *
  4. End of Summer

    With the start of the rainy season according to our weather bureau and the start of classes this week, that brings the summer to an official end. That means in about a month's time the college basketball season will once again commence. But not before the summer basketball tournaments wrap up though. Fr Martin and Fil Oil would have completed their respective quarterfinals by the time most of you read this. No surprises are expected, with the likes of the Ateneo, San Beda, San Sebastian, National University and maybe Far Eastern University and De La Salle somewhere in the mixed bag of teams who will compete for the two summer titles.

    Interestingly enough, the two great rivals - the Ateneo and Lasalle - may yet end up disputing both summer titles. Ateneo was playing Perpetual Help in the Gabby Severino Quarterfinals of the Fr Martin Cup at the sweltering San Beda gym in Mendiola as of this writing. Ateneo will be taking on FEU tomorrow in the Fil Oil at the Arena. Lasalle will take on University of the East in the Fr Martin quarters later this afternoon, while the Green Archers face a much tougher foe in San Sebastian in the Fil Oil quarters tomorrow afternoon. This would be a first in recent summer tournament history and would be a fitting finale for both tournaments.

    As much as that would be ideal for the rabid partisans of both schools, it will also be a boon for tournament organizers. Ateneo-Lasalle championship fights are always a blockbuster. For the record, Lasalle beat the Ateneo for the fifth straight year during their elimination round encounter in the Fil Oil just last weekend 62-59 behind the game-long heroics of prize rookie Jeron Teng. Teng, the 6-foot-2 swingman who set the new Tiong Lian single-game scoring record last season, led the Archers with 17 points, including a high-pressure three-pointer that sent the game into overtime.

    His feats eclipsed the comeback game of star-crossed Blue Eagle swingman Ryan Buenafe. Still overweight, the 6-foot-2 Buenafe, himself a former high school superstar out of San Sebastian, lead the Blue Eagles with 21 points on 62% shooting. Were it not for a last-second play gone awry with Kiefer Ravena, Buenafe might have salvaged this win for the Ateneo. Still, it was a good game for the man who lost a year in the UAAP due to some off-court drama best left to a Law & Order episode.

    San Beda has not escaped the publicity light themselves this summer. At the start of the summer preseason tournaments, the Red Lions were pretty much penciled in as the incoming NCAA champions. After all they did have the formidable duo of 6-foot-8 African import Ola Adeogun and 6-foot-3 Filipino-American swingman Julius "Juice" Armon. Having these two expatriates in the roster all but guaranteed that the Red Lions would be completing their second 3-Peat, a la Chicago Bulls in the Michael Jordan era. Armon however did not return with the team from their annual summer training in the United States. Some reports have it that Armon decided to forego with a college stint and go straight to the PBA D League when he returns to the Philippines.

    Adeogun has not been spared the nagging bite of uncertainty. Some arcane NCAA rule or other supposedly disqualifies an NCAA athlete from competing in his sport if he has been meted a venue ban in any of the other events. So if a basketball player gets into some kind of trouble at say a volleyball event. and that trouble results in him getting banned from watching any of the other NCAA events, that supposedly disqualifies him from participation in basketball or any other NCAA sport. Does that sound like someone we know? This of course is up for definitive clarification in the coming weeks in that oracular assembly known as the NCAA Policy Board. What happens next is anybody's guess. But one might be tempted to ask who, if any, would benefit from Adeogun being unable to play in the NCAA next season? Ask the nine other NCAA teams.

    Even in the face of these manpower developments, the Red Lions are going into the Fil Oil quarterfinals tomorrow an unbeaten team. They have a battle-tested and veteran core who can win it all with or without Adeogun. We will see the Red Lions in the semifinals of this tournament for sure. Check that, we will see them in the Finals. And they may yet arrange a rematch with the Blue Eagles if the Ateneo holds up its end and makes it all the way themselves.

    NU may have something to say about that though, as the Bulldogs have proven that they are a legit powerhouse now. Apart from San Beda they are the only other undefeated team in the Fil Oil. With 6-foot-3 swingman Rey Parks and 6-foot-6 center Emmanuel Mbe leading the way, these Bulldogs surely will take major bites out of anybody they face. They outlasted the Golden Stags in a rough and tumble elimination game here, and pulled the same escape act against the well-coached Adamson ...
  5. Reveal PBA salaries to public–Fred Uytengsu

    MANILA—Alaska team owner Fred Uytengsu is not backing off from what he claims are violations of the salary cap of players in the Philippine Basketball Association.

    PBA Commissioner Chito Salud. Photo by Nuki Sabio
    This came as league commissioner Chito Salud raised the threat of sanctions on teams violating the salary cap Monday.
    “If [Salud] is sincere and serious about this, [he should] post the salaries of each and every player in the PBA for all to see,” Uytengsu said.
    “If the players are being paid the right salaries and the right taxes, then there should be nothing to worry about. As far as I’m concerned these are public documents.”
    The Alaska team owner said he is “willing to pay several players more than P350,000 a month if they increase the team’s individual cap.”
    “Keeping the cap low works to the honest team’s disadvantage because then it’s much easier to pay P450,000 or P500,000,” Uytengsu said.
    Uytengsu revealed that his team lost Larry Fonacier (to Talk ‘N Text) because an increase in his salary wouldn’t fit into the salary cap.
    He had warned in a press conference last week that there was graft and corruption in the PBA but that it hasn’t grown to proportions that would convince him to quit the league.
    But he added that if Alaska sees the league’s foundation crumbling beyond repair, he would have to look elsewhere.
    In a prepared statement, Salud cautioned Uytengsu to be careful with his allegations of salary cap violations by some teams, saying they “are critical issues which must be discussed in a reasonable manner, primarily within the confines of the PBA board room.”
    Salud said upholding the rules of the league was also his advocacy.
    “The vast majority of our players and team officials abide by the rules, so it is unfair to tar them with sweeping statements,” he said. “Let’s call a spade, a spade. By its very nature, this is one issue where proof is hard to come by and innuendos easy to make. But it does not mean it does not happen.”
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    Philippine Basketball
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