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  1. 17th MASA: SSHS Earns Final Four Berth

    Saint Stephen’s High School edged guest team Northern Rizal Yorklin School, 72-71, in overtime Saturday afternoon (November 22) to earn the fourth and final playoff berth in the 17th Metropolitan Amateur Sports Association (MASA) high school basketball tournament at the Philadelphia High School Gym.

    It was the first overtime game in the seven-week tournament that is being hosted by Saint Jude Catholic School.

    In other Saturday games, defending champion Hope Christian High School clinched the No. 2 seed in the Final Four playoffs with a forfeiture victory over the Philippine Academy of Sakya, guest school and league-leading Chiang Shek College remained unbeaten with an easy 60-37 decision over third-ranked Saint Jude Catholic School 5-2) and Philadelphia High School (2-4) walloped winless Philippine Cultural College, 114-49, in a freewheeling encounter featuring teams headed for an early vacation.

    The Final Four playoffs get underway Sunday, November 23, at the Philippine Cultural College Gym with No. 1 seed Chiang Kai Shek College (7-0) taking on No. 4 seed Saint Stephen’s High School (4-3) and No. 2 seed Hope Christian High Schoo (6-1) clashing with No. 3 seed Saint Jude Catholic School (5-2).

    The CKSC Dragons own a twice-to-beat advantage over the SSHS Stephenians while the HCHS-SJCS will be a one-game knockout affair.
    During the elimination phase, the Hope Christian HS Warriors defeated the SJCS Judenites, 79-63, while Chiang Kai Shek College routed Saint Stephen’s HS, 68-50.

    SSHS 72 – NRYS 71 OT

    Entering the final elimination-round playdate, Saint Stephen’s HS ad Northern Rizal Yorlin School were deadlocked with identical 3-3 records.
    Applying a pressure defense that forced the opposition to numerous turnovers, the Stephenians raced to a 17-0 start and were ahead, 28-7, at the end of the first quarter as Bryant Terrado (seven), Luigi Laroco (seven) and Franz Yap (six) combined for 20 points. The league’s No. 1 scorer, Bryan Navarro, had five of NRYS’ measly seven points after 10 minutes.

    A highly energetic NRYS squad came roaring back in the second period behind Navarro’s 11 markers and trailed by just 11 points at the half, 36-25.

    SSHS began the second half with four quick points to move ahead, 40-25, but NRYS came within seven, 47-40, behind the heroics of Navarro (nine-point quarter) and Jerome Fuentes (six). Terrardo next made a fielder for his eighth and ninth points in the third quarter as the Stephenians enjoyed a 50-42 advantage entering the fourth period.

    NRYS engineered a 10-0 run to open the payoff quarter that was capped by a Jherico Cagomoc basket and moved ahead for the first time, 52-50, time down to 7:40.

    Payton Chan and Terrado knocked in consecutive baskets to regain the lead for SSHS, 54-52, but Cagomoc forced a second deadlock at 54-54.
    Terrado and Fuentes exchanged triples for another deadlock at 57-all before little-known Sean Ng himself launched a trey for a 60-57 SSHS lead.
    A Fuentes fielder and an Allan Paul Bautista putback regained the lead for NRYS, 61-60, time down to 3:29. Rojeene Bondoc retaliated with a twinner for a 62-61 SSHS edge, but NRYS went on a 5-0 run with Fuentes converting a fielder for the fifth lead exchange of the fourth quarter, Cagomoc hitting a floater and Navarro splitting his free throws for a 66-62 advantage with 1:40 remaining.

    SSHS, which was coached by Jeff Tee, subsequently was rocked by a pair of unforced turnovers but stayed live on baskets from Legaspi and Terrado to force the game’s fifth deadlock at 66-66 with 17.8 ticks left.

    Navarro held on to the rock for NRYS’ final offensive play in regulation before passing off to Fuentes for a potential jumper that did not find its mark.

    Yap opened the five-minute extension with a basket for SSHS but three consecutive free throws by Stephen Rafael Chan (one) and Bautista (two) and a Fuentes jumper pushed NYRS ahead, 71-68, with three minutes left as it bucked the loss of Navarro due to cramps.

    Terrado sliced SSHS’ deficit to one, 71-70, before teammate Richmond Legaspi made a basket that eventually turned out to be the game winner, 72-71.

    Following an SSSHS backcourt violation with 9.36 seconds left, NYRS had one final chance at victory but Cagomoc muffed his jumper to hand a Final Four ticket to the Stephenians.

    SSHS got 25 points from Terrado, 14 points and 14 rebounds from game hero Legaspi, and 10 points, 16 boards and five steals from Yap. Laroco contributed nine markers and five reebies but sat out the fourth quarter and overtime after he attempted a dunk (a miss) midway through the third quarter.

    NYRS, which finished with a 3-4 for fifth place in the eight-team standings, was led by Navarro’s 29 points (16 in ...
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  2. Triangle Offense

    The winningest head coach in Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) history, Earl Timothy (Tim) Cone, utilized the scheme with the Alaska franchise and won 13 titles in two decades’ service from the 1990s to the 2010s.

    Great success probably “bored” the American-born Cone so much so he sought new challenges. In 2011, he moved over to Purefoods Star Margarine (formerly known as B-Meg then San Mig Coffee) and won five more titles with the same gameplan, including a rare Triple Crown in 2013-14 and four consecutive championship finishes entering the ongoing 2014-15 Philippine (All-Filipino) Cup.

    Jeffrey Cariaso, one of Cone’s former disciples on the San Mig bench, left his “sensei” to make his own trail with another San Miguel Corporation franchise during third and final conference (Governors Cup) of the 2013-14 wars. Cariaso himself has since adopted the same offensive scheme with Barangay Ginebra.

    The Triangle Offense is what we are talking about here. It’s an intricate system that takes time to develop but once fully mastered, it can be a deadly offensive strategy.

    In the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA), the winningest bench boss ever, Hall of Famer Phil Jackson (now the president of the New York Knickerbockers), employed the triangle offense during his distinguished career in X-ing and O-ing and snared 11 championship hardware with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers from the 1990s to the 2000s.

    One of Jackson’s former Laker players, Derek Fisher, is now the rookie head tactician of the Knicks. And following his boss’ path, Fisher is implementing the triple-post offense in Gotham City.

    The origin of the triangle offense is a bit unclear although retired college and professional coach Morice Fredrick (Tex) Winter is generally considered its “inventor “and/or “innovator.”

    The basic concepts of the triangle offense, which is also known as the sideline triangle, were formulated nearly seven decades ago by former collegiate coach Sam Barry at the University of Southern California.

    Barry introduced the ‘triangle offense” where players stand in triangular positions on either side of the basketball court to create good spacing between players and allow each one to pass to four teammates.

    Barry’s initial setup employed the single triangulation setup of the center, who stands at the low post; a forward, who is at the wing; and a guard, who is at the corner, on one side of the court.

    At the other side of this five-player system are the off guard, who stands at the top of the key, and the “weaker” forward, who is stationed at the weak-side high post.

    Barry, who was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978, ran his version of the TO with a stocky guard named Fred (Tex) Winter.

    When Winter became the head coach at Kansas State University in 1953, he brought Barry’s TO and even made it more complicated with different strategies involving various advantageous moves.

    Winter subsequently immortalized the “triangle offense” by writing the book “Triple-Post Offense” in 1962 while at KSU.

    Winter joined the professional NBA in 1971-72 as the head coach of the Houston Rockets. After just one and a half seasons with the Rockets, however, he returned to the collegiate coaching ranks.

    Winter did not get back into the NBA until 1985 when he served as an assistant to head coaches Stan Albeck and Doug Collins while with the Chicago Bulls.
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  3. 2014 MASA BASKETBALL – SCORING LEADERS (November 18)

    1-Bryan Navarro, NRYS, 6 games, 135 points, 22.5 ppg
    2-Jollo Go, HCHS, 5 games, 103 points, 20.6 ppg
    3-Bryant Terrado, SSHS, 6 games, 101 points, 16.8 ppg
    4-Renzel Yongco, SJCS, 5 games, 81 points, 16.2 ppg
    5-Richmond Legaspi, SSHS, 3 games, 45 points, 15.0 ppg

    6-Bryan So, PHS, 4 games, 58 points, 14.5 ppg
    7- Luigi Laroco, SSHS, 6 games, 78 points, 13.0 ppg
    8-Earl See, SJCS, 5 games, 64 points, 12.8 ppg
    9-Franz Yap, SSHS, 6 games, 76 points, 12.7 ppg
    10-Jherico Cagomoc, NYRS, 6 games, 73 points, 12.2 ppg

    11-Gershom Montes, CKSC, 6 games, 72 points, 12.0 ppg
    12-Joshua Ramirez, 5 games, 59 points, 11.8 ppg
    13-Maynard Yap, SCJS, 6 games, 67 points, 11.2 ppg
    14-Jeffrey Weng, SSHS, 6 games, 66 points, 11.0 ppg
    15-Jerome Fuentes, NRYS, 6 games, 65 points, 10.8 ppg

    16-Pranz Chan, PA Sakya, 5 games, 51 points, 10.2 ppg
    17-Alec Johnson Billan, SJCS, 6 games, 61 points, 10.2 ppg
    18-Ian Kristoffer Pasion, 6 games, 59 points, 9.8 ppg
    19-Eric Anthony Guiao, CKSC, 4 games, 39 points, 9.8 ppg
    20-Allan Paul Bautista, NRYS, 6 games, 58 points, 9.7 ppg

    21-Daniel Pua, SJCS, 4 games, 38 points, 9.5 ppg
    22-Antonio Miguel Yang, HCHS, 6 games, 54 points, 9.0 ppg
    23-Angelo Tan, PCC, 6 games, 54 points, 9.0 ppg
    24-Charles Yap, PHS, 5 games, 45 points, 9.0 ppg
    25-Kris Harvey Pagsanjan, 6 games, 53 points, 8.8 ppg
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  4. 17th MASA Basketball: Hope Christian HS Wallops St. Stephen’s HS

    Team Standings (November 1 – Chiang Kai Shek College (6-0), Hope Christian High School (5-1), Saint Jude Catholic School (5-1), Saint Stephen’s High School (3-3), Northern Rizal Yorklin School (3-3), Philadelphia High School (1-5), Philippine Academy of Sakya (1-5) and Philippine Cultural College (0-6)

    Schedule of Games (November 22) at Philadelphia High School Gym: 9:00 a.m. – Hope Christian High School vs. Philippine Academy of Sakya, 10:30 a.m. – Saint Jude Catholic School vs. Chiang Kai Shek College, 12 noon – Saint Stephen’s High School vs. Northern Rizal Yorklin School, and 1:30 p.m. – Philadelphia High School vs. Philippine Cultural College.

    Final Four Playoffs (November 23) at Philippine Cultural College Gym: 9:30 a.m. – No. 1 vs. No. 4 (No. 1 with twice-to-beat advantage) and 10:30 a.m. – No. 2 vs. No. 3 (knockout game).

    Defending champion Hope Christian High School bamboozled Saint Stephen’s High School,98-67, Tuesday night (November 1 to formally clinch a Final Four playoff berth in the 17th Metropolitan Amateur Sports Association (MASA) high school basketball tournament at the saint Stephen’s High School Gym.

    SSHS scored the game’s first eight points and was off to a 22-11 start on 10 points by Bryant Terrado and back-to-back triples by big man Luigi Laroco. Hope Christian, though, closed out the first quarter with a 9-0 rush to trail by just one, 24-23. A three-point play by Ken Mark Miranda to open the second period gave the Warriors their first taste of the lead, 26-24.

    The Stephenians regained the advantage, 28-26, with four quick points before HCHS engineered a 9-0 blast that was capped by a jumper by National Youth Team member Jollo Go to go ahead, 35-28.

    The Warriors never trailed thereafter and was up, 57-39, at halftime. Kris Harvey Pagsanjan chalked up 10 of his 15 markers in the second quarter to offset the combined 24-point output of Laroco (14) and Terrado (10) after 20 minutes.

    Hope Christian led, 81-52, at the end of the third quarter with Antonio Miguel Yang and Go each getting seven points. The Warriors enjoyed their largest advantage, 91-56, on a Joshua Devara layup off his own steal, time down to 6:15.

    Ryan Miguel Quiambao, who knocked in a pair of treys in the first quarter, topscored for HCHS with 16 points. Pagsanjan contributed 15 points and seven rebounds, Go collected 15 points (on 6-of-18 field shooting) and had three steals and Miranda totaled 13 points, all in the first half, for the winners. Yang finished with nine markers.

    Laroco led Saint Stephen’s HS with 18 points (none in the final quarter) along with six boards. Three other Stephenians scored in twin figures – Franz Yap, 14 points (and eight rebounds); Terrado, 12; and Jeffrey Weng, 10.

    Last Sunday (November 16), guest team Chiang Kai Shek College defeated Saint Stephen’s High School, 68-50, to improve to 6-0 and Saint Jude Catholic School downed Philadelphia High School, 82-70.

    The elimination round will conclude on Saturday, November 22, with the postponed games of November 15.

    Hope Christian HS will take on Philippine Academy of Sakya; unbeaten Chiang Kai Shek College will clash with host Saint Jude Catholic School; Saint Stephen’s High School and guest team Northern Rizal Yorklin School will battle each other for the fourth and final semifinal playoff ticket; and Philadelphia High School will duke it out with winless Philadelphia High School.

    Chiang Kai Shek College (6-0), Hope Christian High School (5-1) and Saint Jude Catholic School are already assured of Final Four seats but their actual seedings will only be determined on the final elims playdate as a triple tie for first would occur if the Judenites upset the Blue Dragons.
    In such case, the tie will be broken via the quotient system.

    Hope Christian beat SJCS, 79-63, but lost to CKSC, 81-74, for a plus-nine point differential. CKSC is plus-seven and SJCS is minus-16.

    A loss by CKSC to SJCS will propel HCHS to the all-important No. 1 seed. The No. 1 seed will play against the No. 4 seed in the semifinal playoffs armed with a twice-to-beat advantage. In contrast, the No. 2 seed and No. 3 seed will clash in a knockout game.

    The finals will be a one-game affair.
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  5. It Ain't About the D

    It has been about a half-decade now since the PBA D League got going. That D in its name stands for "Developmental". Looking back on the five short years it has been around though, development seems to just be a nasty rumor for the league.

    When the idea for the D League first came around it was a product of the times. The old Philippine Basketball League (PBL) had played out its last tournament in late 2009, and a vacuum was created in that "bridge stage" for college / varsity / commercial league players before they took their crack at the PBA. In that last PBL hurrah, Excel Roof, featuring the core of the then-NCAA champion San Sebastian Golden Stags under Ato Agustin, won the crown. It was a truly golden year for those Stags.

    Many of those same San Sebastian players would go on to play for the NLEX Road Warriors, who have won all but one D League championship since the league began.

    It has been asked before by Gameface: where is the D in all this?

    After all these years the answer is clear: the D is not what you think it stands for.

    Let's hear from PBA (and by extension PBA D League) Commissioner Chito Salud: "When we started this (D League) five years ago, we allowed direct hires, because the league itself is not yet established," he explained in one interview about a month and a half ago over a brouhaha related to the first-ever D League draft which we will get to shortly. "We want to establish the league first," he added.

    In the aftermath of that inaugural rookie draft, three draft picks wound up going to teams different from the teams that drafted them.

    Chris Newsome, the Ateneo star swingman, was drafted by Tanduay Light, but wound up signing with Hapee, apparently because Tanduay Light failed to get him to sign a tender offer within a five-day period after the draft. That made Newsome a free agent under D League rules. That then allowed him to sign with Hapee.

    As expected, Tanduay Light head coach Lawrence Chongson just plain went ballistic, going on a weeks-long media rant about the uselessness of the draft, and how the D League seemed to be "rigged" in favor of the bigger-spending teams. "Taguan ka lang ng player for five days papano na?" Chongson lamented in one interview.

    We will not get into the he said-she said exchange that then ensued between Chongson and Newsome's agent Charlie Dy. Suffice it to say, Chongson was summoned by Salud, they talked about the whole Newsome situation, and Chongson got hit with a one-game suspension coupled with a bright and shiny P150,000 fine.

    One other player decided he was not going to play for Tanduay Light in the ongoing Aspirants Cup, FEU star Mac Belo. Belo for his part claims he told Tanduay management as early as the last D League conference that if his school fields a team he will play for his school team. FEU did field a D League team this conference, carrying the MJM Builders banner. Belo dutifully joined MJM-FEU.

    Chongson went after Belo too, threatening to take legal action since Belo apparently had a live contract with Tanduay. After his meeting with Salud, the Belo affair was dropped and forgotten as well.

    Two more draftees wound up in effect getting 'traded" for each other. Lasalle center Arnold Van Opstal was picked third by Cafe France. Fil-Am guard Maverick Ahanmisi was taken ninth by Hapee. Van Opstal eventually signed with Hapee. Ahanmisi wound up with Cafe France. Since draft picks cannot be traded under D League rules, one can only assume both players just allowed the five-day period to expire, with their drafting teams not moving either. As free agents they signed with the teams that wanted them. It seems strange though that a team would trade a third pick for a ninth pick, especially if that third pick is a 6-foot-8 center coveted by almost every team.

    So it turns out all of Chongson's laments were not unfounded after all. It seems the draft didn't really improve the lot of teams that were really looking to build on it. Newsome and Van Opstal join a powerhouse Hapee squad that features 6-foot-8 Nigerian Ola Adeogun, 6-foot-7 NU star Troy Rosario, two-time UAAP MVP Ray Parks, and veteran D LEague star Garvo Lanete and Kirk Long. Considering Long and Adeogun will never see PBA action unless they are taken in as imports, it seems Hapee needs little to no development.

    One can only surmise therefore that the development here is not for individual players, or even for fledgling teams. Development here is for the league itself. It looks like the D League is being developed in its entirety as a league. Salud's own words all but confirm that.

    The PBA is apparently looking to establish and develop the D League into a legit farm league, much like the NBA D League after which it is somewhat patterned. That it has 12 teams now, in ...
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