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  1. #1


    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.

  2. #2
    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.

  3. #3
    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 - ALASKA 95

    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

  4. #4
    ^ 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.

  5. #5
    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

  6. #6
    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.

  7. #7
    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.

  8. #8
    ^ Bakit naman kasi dun pa ginanap sa pagkahirap-hirap na puntahan na Philippine Arena? Fully booked ba Big Dome at SMOA?

  9. #9
    Cabagnot, San Miguel weather Meralco comeback

    By: Randolph B. Leongson - Reporter / @RLeongsonINQ / 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.
    Last edited by Joescoundrel; 12-28-2017 at 07:17 AM.

  10. #10
    Solid second half spurs Phoenix past pesky Kia

    By: Randolph B. Leongson - Reporter / @RLeongsonINQ / 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.

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