For Gilas Pilipinas, It's Europe Here We Come As Tab Eyes Camp There

GILAS Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin, 3rd left, with PBA commissioner Chito Salud, SBP vice chairman Ricky Vargas and SBP executive director Sonny Barrios in this file photo/Balita.net.ph

 

May 23, 2015

GILAS Pilipinas is eyeing Europe as destination for its training camp ahead of the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) deputy director for international affairs Butch Antonio disclosed the European trip will possibly be limited to one location – either late in July or early August – given the short preparation time the national team will have for the Olympic qualifying tournament set in Changsa, Hunan, China.

“We're still in the process of working out a possible venue in Europe, though the training will be limited to just one location para not too much movement,” Antonio told Spin.ph.

Read full article at: http://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/news/gilas-pilipinas-training-europe-butch-antonio-sbp-pba-tab-baldwin-jones-cup



Perlas Pilipinas In 26-Point Rout of Shih Chien University In SEA Games Tuneup

InterAksyon.com/Rey Joble

 

May 13, 2015

TAIPEI – Not even a 26-point beatdown of Taiwan’s Shih Chien University was enough to leave Patrick Aquino, the head coach of the Philippine national women’s basketball team, convinced of the character of his squad in these early stages.

On Tuesday evening, the country’s women’s team Perlas Pilipinas, which is currently preparing for the Southeast Asian Games next month, drubbed their Taiwanese opponents, 76-50, in the cold, mountain-side gymnasium in Shih Chien University.

Read full article at: http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/perlas-pilipinas-drubs-shih-chien-university-by-26-points-in-taiwan-tuneup-but-coach-not-satisfied



In Coordination With SBP, Perlas Pilipinas Patron Blackwater Goes All Out To Make A Difference

InterAksyon.com/Rey Joble

 

May 13, 2015

BLACKWATER, the company that bankrolls the Philippine national women’s basketball team program, is committed to creating a more comprehensive program for the country’s female players with the support of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.

Wilbert Loa, co-team manager of the squad, told InterAksyon.com in an exclusive interview that they’re working with the country’s governing body for basketball and will seek to craft a continuing developmental program for the women’s team set to see action in major international tournaments and represent the flag in prestigious events.

Read full article at: http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/with-support-from-sbp-perlas-pilipinas-backer-blackwater-out-to-create-continuous-program-for-womens-basketball-team



Get To Know Your Batang Gilas/A Guide To The SEABA Under-16 Champions

May 12, 2015

THE Philippine national youth basketball team recently swept the SEABA Under-16 Championship, the qualifying tournament for the FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship, en route to a gold medal in front of their home crowd at the Xavier University Gym in Cagayan de Oro.

Get to know some of the country’s young heroes from the Batang Gilas program – some of the best talents in the high school ranks today.

Read full article at: http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/get-to-know-your-batang-gilas-a-guide-to-the-seaba-under-16-champions



SEABA: Sinag PH Crushes Singapore To Complete Sweep

MARCUS Douthit in file photo

 

May 2, 2015

THE Philippine national men’s basketball team thrashed host Singapore, 82-56, to complete its dominant run to the 2015 SEABA Championship gold medal Friday night at OCBC Arena.

It was the seventh SEABA title for the Philippines which stamped its class anew as the the top basketball team in the region.

Sinag Pilipinas simply toyed with all of its opponents, winning by an average margin of 68.4 points en route to a perfect 5-0 record in the tournament.

Read full article at: http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/sinag-pilipinas-wallops-singapore-to-cap-perfect-run-to-seaba-gold



SEABA Championship: Sinag Pilipinas Clobbers Brunei By 111 points, 140-29

 FIBA photo

 

May 1, 2015

The Philippine national men’s basketball team continued its dominant campaign, this time destroying Brunei by 111 points, 140-29, in the 2015 SEABA Championship Thursday at OCBC Arena in Singapore.

Ray Parks led the way for the Filipinos with 19 points. Russell Escoto and Kevin Ferrer chipped in 18 points each while Troy Rosario added 17 points and eight rebounds.

Please read full article at: http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/seaba-championship-sinag-pilipinas-destroys-brunei-by-111-points-140-29



How Sweet It Is: Talk ‘N Text Back On Top Of The World

TALK ‘N Text team owner Manny V. Pangilinan, also the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, center, joins the victory celebration of the Tropang Texters after they beat Rain or Shine in an epic Game 7 Wednesday to capture the PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Also in photo are Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin, left, SBP vice chairman Ricky Vargas, president of Maynilad Water Inc., former national player and now TNT team manager Jimmy Alapag, and Gilas candidates Ranidel de Ocampo and Jayson Castro (with trophy).  (PBA Images)

 

April 30, 2015

The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters had to weather a big Rain or Shine comeback and two overtime periods but made the plays it needed the most to win a historic Game Seven classic, 121-119, and clinch the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

It was the 7th championship in Talk ‘N Text’s franchise history. The game was also the first ever double-overtime Game Seven in the history of the PBA.

Ranidel De Ocampo, later named PBA Press Corps-Holcim Finals MVP,  scored a career-high 34 points, import Ivan Johnson had 30 points and 11 rebounds while Best Player of the Conference Jayson Castro barely missed a triple-double with 23 points, nine rebounds and 12 assists.

Read full article at: http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/talk-n-text-wins-historic-double-ot-game-7-classic-to-clinch-commissioners-cup-title



Gilas Cadets Bomb Malaysia For 3rd Straight SEABA Win

KEIFER Ravena in file photo/Paul Mata

 

April 20, 2015

THE Philippines routed Malaysia, 104-42, on Wednesday in the 11th Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship in Singapore, sealing a place in the 2015 Fiba-Asia Championship.

Kiefer Ravena tallied 10 of his 15 points in a first half that saw the Philippines open a 57-29 at halftime and practically seal its third win as many games in this conclave.

Read full article at http://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/news/gilas-cadets-seaba-singapore-beat-malaysia-ravena-parks



Batang Gilas Looking To Tinker Lineup For FIBA Asia U-16 Championship

Interaskyon.com/Rey Joble

 

APRIL 22, 2015

CAGAYAN DE ORO -- Michael Oliver and his Batang Gilas national team passed the first test on their long road back to the world stage with flying colors.

They’re headed on to the next level where they face bigger, stronger, more superior teams in the coming FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship this July.

Head coach Michael Oliver said it’s really a must for the team to shore up its line up in the coming FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship, the qualifying event for the world stage.

“ Pagbalik natin ng Manila hindi tayo magri-relax. Magwo-work tayo as early as next week para mapaghandaan natin ng mabuti yung FIBA Asia para magkaroon tayo ng mas malaking chance para sa FIBA World,” Oliver said.

A rookie coaching in the international scene, Oliver knows the importance of having big players in a team to go up against taller rivals like China and Iran as well as getting a shooter who can open up things for the Batang Gilas through their penetration.

“We need legitimate centers so guys like Will Gozum and Jonas Tibayan can concentrate playing the forward spots. At the same time, mas maganda kung may pang-tapat tayo sa malalaki ng China or Iran kasi last time, doon tayo nahirapan. Kapag napagod na yung malalaki natin. We don’t need a scoring big man. We need players who can get the rebounds,” added Oliver.

Gozum is a 6-foot-5 center/forward who has decent touch from the perimeter. Oliver said he plans to utilize the player more of an extended 4, much like Ranidel de Ocampo, the best shooting big man of the Gilas Pilipinas national team which made it to the world stage last year.

Earlier, Oliver also transformed Sian Dave Ildefonso, son of two-time PBA Most Valuable Player Danny Ildefonso, to become a shooting forward. The younger Ildefonso used to play the power forward during his early playing days.

A dependable back up guard for Samjosef Belangel, the talented point guard from Taytung High School, who was named MVP in the SEABA Under-16, is also being eyed by the coaching staff.

 



Batang Gilas Crowned SEABA Under-16 Champions

Interaksyon.com/Rey Joble

 

April 20, 2015

CAGAYAN DE ORO – Just as expected, the Philippine team represented by our very own Batang Gilas squad, ended its campaign on a winning note by making short work of  Indonesia, 106-50, in the final day of the SEABA Under-16 Championship at the Xavier University gym here.

Four players led by Samjosef Belangel finished in double figures for the Filipinos, who have won the tournament for the third straight year.

Belangel scored 18 points followed by Jonas Tibayan, who went a rebound away from a double-double.

Tibayan finished with 14 points and nine rebounds while Gian Mamuyac and Sian Dave Ildefonso added 12 points apiece in the last day of the tournament presented by MVP Sports Foundation, SMART Communications, Maynilad, Rio Verde Water Cagayan de Oro City, and Rough Rider Jeans Clothing in partnership with the Department of Tourism Promotions Board headed by COO Domingo Ramon Enerio III and the local government of Cagayan de Oro headed by Mayor Oscar Moreno. 

Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno, SEABA secretary general Dato Yeo and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas deputy executive director Bernie Atienza presented the trophy and medals to the Batang Gilas champion squad.

The Filipinos swept their four games in the tournament and they capped their final day performance with  a solid defensive effort.

In the first half alone, the Batang Gilas were able to force 21 turnovers on their rivals, which they translated to 30 points.

By halftime, the Philippines also got 42 points from the paint and led by as much as 36, 55-19 typified by the Pinoys’ 26 unanswered points.

The Philippines will head the Southeast Asia representatives to the FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship and will be joined by Malaysia and Indonesia, which placed second and third place, respectively.

 



'Merciful' Batang Gilas Rolls Past Brunei For 3rd Straight Win

April 18, 2015

CAGAYAN DE ORO – Batang Gilas showed mercy against its opponents from Brunei composed of Grade A students and players who have just started playing basketball, but the Filipinos still went business as usual in securing their third straight win in the SEABA Under-16 Championship yesterday with a 113-31 triumph at the Xavier university gym here.

The Filipinos scored 42 points in the first quarter and despite showing compassion against their rivals by playing token resistance on the defensive end, their firepower were still too much for their rivals, who could only score three points in  the first period.

That lone basket came from Tristan Jared Lai Yung Chee, an outstanding student from Brunei and the youngest player at the age of 14.

By the end of the first period, the outcome had already been settled as the Filipinos moved a win away from sweeping the tournament presented by MVP Sports Foundation, SMART Communications, Maynilad, Rio Verde Water Cagayan de Oro City, and Rough Rider Jeans Clothing in partnership with the Department of Tourism Promotions Board headed by COO Domingo Ramon Enerio III and the local government of Cagayan de Oro headed by Mayor Oscar Moreno.

Earlier, the Pinoys have secured a berth in the FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship following its win over Thailand Friday. The Batang Gilas team can sweep the tournament with a win against Indonesia today.

Seven players finished in double figures for the Philippines led by Victor Berjay’s 17. He also grabbed 12 rebounds to become one of two Batang Gilas played finishing with a double-double performance.

The other player who ended up with a double-double was JG Gomez de Liano, who had 14 points and 14 boards.

Other players in double figures for the Philippines were Will Gozum (16), Sian Dave Ildefonso (11), Kris Harvey Pagsanjan (10), Samjosef Belangel (10), Rhayyan Amsali (10).

Earlier, Indonesia clobbered Thailand, 71-53, for its second win in the event.



Batang Gilas Earns Ticket To FIBA Asia U-16 Championship

April 18, 2015

CAGAYAN DE ORO -- Members of the Batang Gilas team had no problem winning its second straight game in the SEABA Under-16 Championship with ease.

The national squad also had a smooth-sailing ride putting the Philippines back to the FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship.

Last night, the national team did both, as the squad ran roughshod over Thailand, 105-48, at the Xavier University gym here.

Six players finished in double figures for Batang Gilas with team captain and highly-touted player Samjosef Belangel scoring 18 points. Will Gozum added 13 points, Ryan Amasali contributed 12, Sian Dave Ildefonso and Victor Berjay had 11 apiece and Joseph Tibayan chipped in 10 in a display of balance firepower showed by the Filipinos.

Three players – Belangel, Gozum and Ildefonso, son of two-time Most Valuable Player and league’s 40 Greatest Players Danny Ildefonso – went two rebounds away from finishing a double-double in this event presented by MVP Sports Foundation, SMART Communications, Maynilad, Rio Verde Water Cagayan de Oro City, and Rough Rider Jeans Clothing in partnership with the Department of Tourism Promotions Board headed by COO Domingo Ramon Enerio III and the local government of Cagayan de Oro headed by Mayor Oscar Moreno.   

But the significance of the win is that the Philippines has entered the FIBA Asia Under-16 competition, which is a qualifying event for the World Cup.

The top three teams at the end of the SEABA Under-16 tournament will secure berths for the FIBA Asia tilt.    

The Filipinos face Brunei on Saturday and wrap up their campaign against Indonesia on Sunday also at the same time. Both matches will be played at 4 p.m.   

Behind Belangel’s 14 points in the first half, the Filipinos got 23 points coming form the 23 errors committed by the Thais. Ildefonso also added 10 in the first half as the Filipinos also scored 34 points from the paint, 20 more than their rivals at the end of the first 20 minutes of play.    

By the end of the third, the lead grew by as much as 34, 75-41, as the Filipinos outscored their rivals anew, 26 to 12, forcing them to commit 13 turnovers in that stretch. 



SEABA 16-Under Tournament: Batang Gilas Takes On Thailand

(Interaksyon.com/Rey Joble)

 

April 16, 2015

Games Today

(Xavier University gym)

4 p.m. – Indonesia vs Malaysia

6 p.m. – Philippines vs Thailand

 

CAGAYAN DE ORO – After an emphatic debut win on Wednesday night, the Batang Gilas national squad returns to action today to face an improving Thailand team in the SEABA Under-16 Championship at the Xavier University gym.

The Filipinos got tested in the early goings of their game against Malaysia, but pulled away as soon as they flexed their muscles in the second period all the way to a convincing 106-69 victory.

Two players finished with a double-double performance for the Batang Gilas side –  frontliner Joseph Tibayan and point guard Samjosef Belangel.

Tibayan, known for his hustle, emerged as the surprise top scorer with 22 points on top of his 11 boards in this event  presented by MVP Sports Foundation, SMART Communications, Maynilad, Rio Verde Water Cagayan de Oro City, and Rough Rider Jeans Clothing in partnership with the Department of Tourism Promotions Board headed by COO Domingo Ramon Enerio III.

Belangel, the high-scoring guard from Taytung High School, contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds. He also added six assists to showcase his all around game and prove to everyone that he’s the real deal.

Despite the win, Belangel, also the team captain, wasn’t satisfied with the way they played although he considered it as a good start for their progress.

“Malayong-malayo pa talaga kami,” added Belangel, who was best remembered for scoring 99 points in a game in Iloilo and 85 in one of the games in Bacolod.

“But in terms of developing our chemistry, we’ve able to do a good job as we shared the ball more and got everyone involved.”

The Filipinos will be facing a Thailand team that is also coming off a 118-25 thrashing of listless Brunei squad.

 



Batang Gilas Routs Malaysia By 37 points In SEABA U-16 Debut

(Interaksyon.com/Rey Joble)

 

April 15, 2015

CAGAYAN DE ORO – A very game Malaysian squad showed up to face the SEABA Under-16 Championship hosts Philippines but despite their best efforts, they were unable to keep the game from turning into a rout, 106-69, as the hometown team got off to a resounding debut on Wednesday night at the Xavier University gym here.

Gian Mamuyac and JG Gomez De Liano hit their stride early while Samjosef ‘SJ’ Belangel provided the impact with his quarterbacking and nifty moves to the basket as the Batang Gilas squad lived up to expectations at the start of their campaign.

Mamuyac, Gomez De Liano, Belangel and big man Will Gozum combined for 41 of the team’s 56-point output in the first half as the Batang Gilas quintet jumped out to a 56-36 lead at the half.

Read full article at: http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/batang-gilas-routs-malaysia-by-37-points-for-resounding-seaba-u-16-debut

 



Mayor Moreno: SEABA U-16 Hosting Affirms CDO As ‘Hotbed Of Basketball’

(photo: bridgingleadership.aim.edu)

 

April 15, 2015

CAGAYAN DE ORO – Through the years, the city of Cagayan de Oro has been active in the local basketball scene.

It has hosted several out-of-town PBA games and even had its own team in the now-defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association, the Cagayan de Oro Nuggets, later known as the Amigos.

But the city, which is famous for whitewater rafting and kayaking adventures, will be hosting an international basketball event for the first time and its mayor is excited for the implications.

“This is the first time we will be hosting an event of this magnitude. This is big for Cagayan de Oro,” Moreno told InterAksyon.com in an exclusive interview.

“This will put us back as a hotbed city of basketball in the country.”

Read full story at: http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/mayor-oscar-moreno-hopes-seaba-u-16-hosting-affirms-cagayan-de-oro-as-hotbed-of-basketball



Two-Time PBA MVP Danny I Drops By Batang Gilas-SEABA Team Practice

April 15, 2015

 

Games Today

(Xavier University gym)

4 p.m. – Brunei vs Thailand

6 p.m. – Malaysia vs Philippines

 

Cagayan de Oro – Two important players have yet to join the squad as the Batang Gilas squad had its final day of practice in time for its SEABA under-16 campaign.

The two players – SJ Belangel of Taytung High School and Victor Berjay Romulo – arrived early afternoon and missed the team’s last few practices.

“Mayroon kasi silang summer classes,” Batang Gilas coach Micheal Oliver said. “Kaya ang nagyayari, naghahabol talaga kami sa ensayo, especially sa five-on-five games. We’re gonna have our usual regular practice para ma-feel ng mga players yung laro when we go up against Malaysia.”

The Philippine quintet debuts today at 6 p.m. against a Malaysian side trained by a Filipino coach in hope of securing a berth for the FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship in July.

Brunei and Thailand collide in the other game at 4 p.m. of this event presented by MVP Sports Foundation, SMART Communications, Maynilad, Rio Verde Water Cagayan de Oro City, and Rough Rider Jeans Clothing in partnership with the Department of Tourism Promotions Board headed by COO Domingo Ramon Enerio III.

While the Batang Gilas showed up with two less players on the final day of practice, PBA legend showed up and provided a welcome sight to the young players who are looking for some sort of an inspiration.

Danny Ildefonso, a two-time Most Valuable Player and one of the latest inclusions in the PBA’s 40 Greatest Players, was on hand to witness the Batang Gilas squad yesterday.

Ildefonso was there to see his son, Sian Dave Ildefonso, one of the members of the squad.

The veteran slotman, who still plays for the Meralco Bolts, gave pointers to the younger players while also couldn’t help himself acting as stage father to Sian Dave, a 6-foot-3 player, who has to adjust playing from power forward to shooting forward.     



Xavier U In Cagayan De Oro Hosts SEABA Under-16 Tournament

DEPARTMENT of Tourism COO Domingo Ramon Enerio III, 3rd right, poses with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas officials who joined the country’s World Cup hosting bid, among them PBA chairman Patrick Gregorio, SBP deputy executive director Butch Antonio, Sonny Barrios and Andrew Teh, in Switzerland early this year. DoT will play an active role in the promotion of the SEABA Under-16 tournament in Cagayan de Oro. (Philippine Star)
 

Cagayan de Oro City -- Members of the Batang Gilas team will be a keen observer once the opening games of the SEABA Under-16 tournament begins today at the Xavier University here.

The Philippine quintet will not see action until Wednesday as the games of the FIBA Asia Under-16 qualifier start with Indonesia and Brunei colliding in the first game at 4 p.m. and Malaysia and Thailand seeing action in the main game at 6 p.m.

For the Filipinos, being given the chance to rest not only give them time to freshen up and prepare for Wednesday's game.

It will also give them a chance to see whether Brunei and Malaysia have improved after getting guidance from Filipino coaches.

Beaujing Acot, former head coach of D-League team Cebuana Lhuillier trained the Malaysian squad for one week and the team also got a taste of Pinoy brand of play following tune up matches with several local collegiate and amateur squads.

Nomar Isla, former head coach of the Emilio Aguinaldo Generals, ls handling a rebuilding Brunei team, whose main focus is to have a strong four-year program to get them ready for the 2019 SEA Games where Brunei will be the host.

Batang Gilas coach Michael Oliver, coach of the Far Eastern University junior squad, believes the Pinoy influence would be a big help for these teams, which also means our Philippine squad will also have to be cautious and not take this team lightly even though they're heavily favored to win.

"Kailangan rin magingat. Malamang parang Pinoy na rin lumaro yang mga yan. Skills wise, lamang tayo pero baka tumapang na rin yung mga team na yan dahil doon naman kilala ang mga Pinoy -- sa never say die attitude," said Oliver.

Sam Josef Belangel, the acknowledged leader of the Batang Gilas unit believes an extra day of practice is essential for the squad as the team wants to get better and better.

"It all starts in the practice. Kapag pangit ang ensayo mo, pangit rin ilalaro mo. Nakita namin yan nung mga tune up matches namin," added Belangel, the pride of Taytung High School who was best regarded for scoring 99 points im one game in Iloilo and 85 during a game in Bacolod.
 
 


And Then There's Just Two: Philippines Or China As 2019 FIBA World Cup Host

SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan, center, listens as FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann, 2nd right, stresses a point during the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Evaluation Commission Visit press conference recently at the Isabela Ballroom of the Makati Shangri-La Hotel. Also present, from left, are SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, SBP vice chairman Ricky Vargas and FIBA sports director Lubomir Kotleba, right. (SBP Images)

 

March 18, 2015

MIES - FIBA's Executive Committee met for the first time in 2015 on Thursday-Friday 12-13 March, with a number of important decisions and valuable information coming out of the two-day meeting.

The nine-person panel was happy to confirm that 2014 had been a successful financial year. Thanks in large part to the staging of its flagship event, the FIBA Basketball World Cup, in Spain, it reported a net income of CHF 16.5 million had been generated.

This constitutes a solid basis in order to invest in the numerous projects FIBA has for the 2014-2019 term of office.

An important milestone was achieved with the confirmation that the mandate of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) - the global management consulting firm hired to align the structure in accordance to the strategy of the new governance under ONE FIBA - has come to an end. A final report was presented, following 12 months of work carried out with FIBA's five regional offices since the Extraordinary World Congress held a year ago in Istanbul.

In line with FIBA's main prerogative for the 2014-2019 cycle being the support and development of its National Member Federations, the Executive Committee approved a large scale assessment programme which is to see some 360 visits across the world take place over the coming years. This is to help ensure that, in view of the new competition system coming into effect in 2017, as many national federations as possible are ready to compete at the highest level and field competitive teams in the qualification process of flagship events.

Looking ahead to future editions of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, it was confirmed that the 2019 event will be played in Asia with China and THE PHILIPPINES as the two candidates left in the race to host it. FIBA's Central Board will make this final decision at its meeting in June. Meanwhile, Germany, Turkey and Qatar are the three bidding to stage the competition in 2023, with a decision on the host expected in 2016. The Evaluation Commission is expected to visit the bidding countries once the 2015 continental championships have concluded.

Read full article at: http://www.fiba.com/executive-committee-confirms-2019-fiba-basketball-world-cup-will-be-played-in-asia



Ateneo De Cebu Crowned Seaoil-NBTC National HS Champions

March 9, 2015 

BEHIND a backbreaking fullcourt-pressing defense and three of the country’s best juniors players, Sacred Heart-Ateneo de Cebu shocked six-peat NCAA champion San Beda, 82-78, in the final yesterday to capture the 2015 Seaoil-NBTC National High School Championship at the Meralco gym.

The Magis Eagles, champions in the CESAFI tournament in Cebu, had won twice in the NBTC event in 2011 and 2012 but claimed their first crown in a competition involving teams from the National Capital Region.

“This is what we’ve dreamed of for a long time,” said Ateneo de Cebu coach Francis Auqico. “Our defense came through for us. It will be so sweet bringing home the championship trophy.”

Sacred Heart-Ateneo de Cebu dethroned last year’ champion Chiang Kai Shek College in the semifinals Saturday despite losing the game while handing the fancied Red Cubs their first and only loss in the tournament backed by the MVP Sports Foundation and which serves as the official grassroots development program of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.

The CKSC Blue Dragons needed to win by more than 14 points against Cebu but consoled themselves with a 101-99 victory.

Felix Jaboneta led the Magis Eagles with 27 points, including 9 straight after teammate Zachary Huang hit three consecutive baskets in the last 10 minutes, to form an irresistible force that razed a 66-59 San Beda lead.

Jaboneta, the CESAFI MVP, is from San Jose, Antique and will be pursuing a business management course next school year at University of the Philippines where he hopes to follow the footsteps of Eric Altramirano, Ronnie Magsanoc and Benjie Paras with the Fighting Maroons.

“Talagang binuhos na po namin sa final game na ‘to,” Jaboneta said.

The Red Cubs raced to an 18-2 lead and looked headed for a rout. But a right knee injury suffered by Mark Diputado with 2:52 left in the first half stalled SBC’s offense as the Magis Eagles fullcourt-pressed their way back into the game.

Diputado was San Beda’s top scorer with 11 points in the first half before he twisted his knee after a hard drive. Andre Caracut and Norish Decapia had 17 points each for SBC, which were undone in the end by a series of turnovers against Cebu’s defensive swarm.

Fil-Australian Joshua Sinclair, the tournament MVP, got up shaken from a scary fall in the third quarter to add 15 points with 17 rebounds.

Named to the Seaoil-NBTC Mythical Team are Andrei Caracut of San Beda, Mark Dyke of National University, JV Gallego of Chiang Kai Shek College, Daniel Mayol of Sacred Heart-Ateneo de Cebu and Cebu teammate Joshua Sinclair, who was also voted Most Valuable Player and Best Defensive.

Meanwhile, Ateneo’s Mike Nieto scored 16 points and bagged MVP honors in leading the Red team past the White squad, 106-97, in the Seaoil-NBTC All-Star Game.

Nieto, the UAAP Season 77 MVP after the Blue Eaglets won the title, had 2 3-point shots with 5 rebounds and an assist, becoming the second straight NBTC All-Star MVP from Ateneo after Thirdy Ravena last year.

 “Hindi ko po iniisip ‘yung MVP,” said Nieto, who played against his twin brother Matt and Ateneo head coach Joe Silva in the All-Star Game. “Buti na lang po at nanalo kami.”

“Nakakapanibago po kanina. Nagulat nga ako kanina na bantay ko siya. Ayaw ko na po maulit ‘yun,” said Nieto on playing against his brother who was delivered after him.

Scores:

SACRED HEART-ATENEO DE CEBU 82 – Jaboneta 27, Sinclair 15, Huang 14, Longa 7, Araw-Araw 5, Mayol 4, Colonia 4, Nacua 4, Co 2, Mantua 0.

SAN BEDA 78 – Caracut 17, Decapia 17, Abatayo 12, Diputado 11, Faraque 8, Bordeos 8, Framil 3, Abuhijleh 2, Geralao 0, Apolito 0.

Quarters: 18-21; 38-42; 51-59; 82-78



Baldwin Names 16-Man Gilas Cadets Pool

March 7, 2015 

FROM the original 25 invited to the tryouts, national coach Tab Baldwin yesterday named 16 players, including naturalized player Marcus Douthit, to the pool from which the Gilas Pilipinas team competing in the coming Southeast Asian Basketball (SEABA) Championship and the Southeast Asian Games will be formed.

The SEABA is set April 27 to May 1 and the SEA Games is scheduled June 9 to 15, both in Singapore.

Named to the Gilas Cadets pool after a series of tryouts conducted by Baldwin and his assistant coaches Nash Racela, Josh Reyes, Mike Oliver and Jimmy Alapag were Baser Amer of San Beda, Mac Belo of Far Eastern, Kevin Ferrer of Santo Tomas U, Jiovanni Jalalon of Arellano U, Glenn Khobutin of National U, Ray-Ray Parks of Hapee Toothpaste, Keifer Ravena of Ateneo, Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo, Prince Rivero of De La Salle, Roy Rosario of Hapee, Jeron Teng of De La Salle, Scottie Thompson of Hapee, Norbert Torres of Cebuana Lhuillier, Arnold Van Opstal of De La Salle and Almond Vosotros of Cebuana Lhuillier.

Garvo Lanete’s inclusion in the pool depends on his quick recovery from a recent injury.

Baldwin has called for the start of team practice on Monday, 8 to 10 p.m., at the Meralco gym.

The former New Zealand and Jordan coach, appointed recently to handle the Gilas Pilipinas squad aiming for a 2016 Olympic slot in Rio de Janeiro via the FIBA Asia Championship in China later this year, said he was “very impressed” with all the players invited to the tryouts.

The SEABA Championship is the qualifying tournament to the FIBA Asia Championship in Hunan, China which in turn will serve as the regional qualifier to the Brazil Olympiad next year.

“The future of Philippine basketball looks very promising,” said Baldwin, who is also in the process of forming the men’s team made up of PBA players backstopped by either Douthit or Andray Blatche, Gilas Pilipinas’ naturalized center in last year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup in Seville, Spain.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is reaching out to all the parties concerned, from the players’ respective coaches, schools, clubs and leagues, to rally support for the Gilas Cadet program under SBP President Manny V. Pangilinan.



Baldwin: 25 PBA Players To Be Invited To Gilas Pilipinas Pool

GILAS Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin, right, addresses a question during the PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate recently where he and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas deputy executive director for international affairs Butch Antonio gave the media updates on the preparation for forthcoming international competitions. (Photo by SBP Media Bureau)

 

March 5, 2015

AN initial list of 25 PBA players is likely to compose the Gilas Pilipinas national pool gearing up for the FIBA Asia Men’s Championship to be held in China later this year.

Coach Tab Baldwin disclosed he’s looking at around that number from which the latest batch of Gilas will be culled as he lays down the foundation in the country’s serious quest to earn the lone Asian berth for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Jainero.

The American-New Zealander however, would rather keep mum about who the players are, although there’s one particular name which he said could not simply be ignored.

“From what I’ve seeing, from the names I’ve got down now, it’s looking at around 25. It’s something like that,” said Baldwin in his first Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum appearance on Tuesday at Shakey’s Malate. 

“But I’d say that the only player right now that cannot be excluded given the demographic of the sport of basketball is June Mar Fajardo,” he added, referring to the 6-foot-11 San Miguel center who was part of Gilas Pilipinas under former coach Chot Reyes.

Out of the 25, the list will be trimmed to 16 from which the final 12 bound for the Olympic qualifier are going to be chosen.

“Having a group of around 16 would be ideal,” the Gilas coach added. “I would say within four or five days we’ll be able to make the first cut down to 16, and then we won’t cut down that 16 to the last 12 until we have to, until the last day whatever the deadline is.”

As to what kind of players he’s looking for to be included in the team, Baldwin, 56, said chemistry to work together,  talent, efficiency, and competitiveness are some of the factors to be considered by the coaching staff.

“I intend to select the best team, not necessarily the best players,” he stressed in the same session presented by San Miguel Corp., Accel, Shakey’s, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) deputy executive  director for international affairs Butch Antonio said no concrete plans and programs have been lined up for Gilas Pilipinas not until Baldwin has come up with the names of the 16 players to be included in the pool.

“Until we identified who these players are and put this team together, then that’s the only time we can only make plans and how we can make schedule from the time the PBA season ends and from the time the Fiba Asia begins,” he said.

Baldwin has been regularly attending games of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup in an attempt to familiarize himself more about the players likely to be invited for the national team.

At the same time, the Gilas mentor has also started conducted tryouts for the Sinag Pilipinas team set to see action in the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship and the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore this June.

The four-day tryouts began Monday night at the Philsports Arena and attended by top players from both the D-League and the collegiate leagues.

Like Gilas Pilipinas, 25 amateur players were also invited by the SBP for the tryout which would later be pruned down to 16 by weekend.

The final 12 who will make it comprise the national team bound for the SEABA on April 27 to May 1 and the SEA Games on June 6 to 15.

The SEABA serves as the qualifier to the FIBA-Asia Men’s Championship. 

 

 



Gilas Coach Tab Baldwin To Guest At PSA Forum March 3

PBA Commissioner Chito Salud, left, and Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin in the PBA press room at the Smart Araneta Coliseum recently.

 

March 3, 2015

THE national teams in basketball and tennis headline Tuesday’s special session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate.

Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin makes his very first appearance in the weekly forum as he discusses the plans and programs to be undertaken by the national men’s team as it prepares for the FIBA-Asia Men’s Championship campaign that serves as qualifier to the2016 Rio Olympics. Accompanying him is Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Deputy Executive Director for International Affairs Butch Antonio.

Meanwhile, also appearing in the session aired live over DZSR Sports Radio 918 and presented by San Miguel Corp., Accel, Shakey’s, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. is the PH Davis Cup team led by administrator Randy Villanueva and members of the squad.

 

 



Blue Dragons Rule MMBL; On To Seaoil-NBTC National HS Finals

VICTORIOUS members of the Chiang Kai Shek College Blue Dragons celebrate after capturing the 2015 MMBL Division 1 championship recently, outclassing the San Beda Red Cubs in the final at the SBC gym in Mendiola.

 

February 7, 2015

CHIANG Kai Shek College demolished the San Beda Red Cubs, 101-76, to capture the Division 1 championship of the 32nd Metro Manila Basketball League recently at the SBC gym in Mendiola.

The Blue Dragons led from the start and were never seriously threatened, looking impervious five weeks before they begin defense of their Seaoil NBTC-SBP National High School crown.

The National High School Championship, sanctioned by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, kicks off March 5-8 at the Meralco gym and Ynares Sports Arena, with18 schools on tap, 14 from the provinces and 4 from the National Capital Region (MMBL).

The National Basketball Training Center (NBTC), is the duly-recognized grassroots program of the SBP and aims to identify, prepare and develop young male student-athletes.

Its objectives include creating learning environment opportunities for players to demonstrate and enhance both their individual and team skills; serving as a pathway for the players and coaches to move to a higher level competition; developing skills, building character and raising leaders; and promoting the values of leadership, commitment to excellence, right attitude and discipline  among the young students through the sports.

In other MMBL championship games, San Beda Mendiola-B  downed National University-A, 85-76, to rule Division II; Colegio San Benildo Rizal edged Manila Patriotic School, 85-81, to clinch Division III; La.Salle College Antipolo crushed National U-B, 77-63, to reign in Division IV; and Chiang Kai ShekCollege plastered La Salle College Antipolo, 66-50, in the MMBL Girls Championship.

The CKSC Blue Dragons, SBC Mendiola-A, SBC Mendiola-B and National U-A all advanced to the Seaoil NBTC National High School Championship.

“In the absence of the Tiong Lian Basketball Association, this is our main league,” said CKSC coach Goldwyn Monteverde. “To be able to win over a great champion like San Beda is an achievement for our small school.”

 



Perlas ng Pilipinas Tryouts On

(Photo: Spin.ph)

 

NEWLY appointed Philippine women’s basketball team head coach Patrick Henry Aquino, who steered the National University Lady Bulldogs to the UAAP championship, is currently conducting tryouts for the national squad at  the 3rd floor of the SGS Building at 1335 Araneta Ave., Barangay Sto. Domingo, Quezon City.

Tryouts, which began Wednesday February 4, are being held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will continue on February 7, 9, 10 and 11. Succeeding dates will be announced later. Those  interested may call 0917-8686234 for more details.

Automatic candidates are players from the national pool of previous head coach Haydee Ong  as preparations go full blast to complete the 12-player lineup for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) tournament and the Southeast Asian Games, the latter set in Singapore in June.

From more than 40 players, Aquino, who is encouraging current national pool players to join the tryouts, plans to trim down the list to 20 before coming up with the final 12.

Tuneup games in Thailand are slated for the national team from March 28 to April 4.



FIBA To SBP On Venues For FIBA World Cup: Build It And They Will Come

 SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan, center, listens as FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann, 2nd right, stresses a point during the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Evaluation Commission Visit press conference Friday at the Isabela Ballroom of the Makati Shangri-La Hotel. Also present, from left, are SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, SBP vice chairman Ricky Vargas and FIBA Sports Director Lubomir Kotleba, right. (SBP Images)

 

January 30, 2015

PARAPHRASING almost from a famous line in the baseball movie “Field of Dreams,” the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has told the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to “build it and they will come.”

 FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann, in a press conference at the Makati Shangri-La yesterday, said the 3-man FIBA Evaluation Commission, who arrived four days earlier to inspect venues and assess the country’s preparedness to host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, were “very impressed” by what they saw.

Joining Baumann at the presidential table were SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan, vice chairman Ricky Vargas, executive director Sonny Barrios and FIBA sports director Lubomir Kotleba.

With Czechoslovakia’s Kotleba during the ocular visit of the 55,000-capacity Philippine Arena, Smart Araneta Coliseum, Mall of Asia Arena and two more sites at SM-Cebu and Solaire Hotel in Manila were FIBA officials Predrag Bogosavljev of Serbia and Frank Leenders of The Netherlands.

“The evaluation commission has come to the conclusion that yes, the Philippines can (host the World Cup,” said Baumann, a Swiss citizen. "The ingredients are all there. Now it’s up to you to finalize the process, put together all the necessary documents and make the best possible impression. Work has to be done this year.”

Pangilinan said SBP recognizes that FIBA wants to see significant developments to back up the country’s bid to host the world championship.

“They wish to see a quantum leap in the quality of the event,” said the chairman of Smart and PLDT. “This is a global event and they want to see a significant step-up in the overall presentation of events.”

Central to the items discussed between the two basketball organizations, Pangilinan said, are the remedial steps” that have to be taken to improve the historic Big Dome, which housed the 1978 World Championship won by Yugoslavia, and the finalization of the plans for the two venues to be constructed.

Henry Sy’s SM Group plans to build a sprawling sports facility in Cebu while businessman Enrique Razon will spearhead the other venue to rise near Solaire Hotel.

All the necessary documents and requirements, Baumann said, will have to be submitted by the end of April, with FIBA deliberating on the bids and announcing its choice in June.

Among the strongest contenders for the hosting rights are China, Qatar and a joint venture by France and Germany.

Baumann said that although the Araneta Coliseum is an “important part of history,” it nonetheless “needs some work.”

FIBA also wants assurances in “telecommunications, health services, power, security, transportation and all other logistics you can provide,” said Baumann, adding “those two venues have to be built because even Spain built a new venue” in Canary Island.

“Everything about the bid, including why the Philippines wants to host the World Cup, and all the other documents have to be compiled and submitted by April,” Baumann said. 

“Work, in good part, has already been done, but the pieces have to come together. Bring all these together and present a very good and compelling story.”

Kotleba, who watched the PBA Commissioner’s Cup game between Meralco and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel at the MOA Arena, said they were impressed with the “strong emotional dedication” of the fans.

“Everywhere we go, the spectators are warm,” he said. “And not only here but also in Spain and the Gulf countries where there are Filipino communities. What can I say? It's 'puso' everywhere we go."



Photo: FIBA Evaluation Commission Samples PBA Game And Fan Reaction

FIBA Sports Director Lubomir Kotleba makes the ceremonial toss in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup game between Meralco and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Wednesday, January 28, at the Mall of Asia Arena. Also present are PBA chairman Patrick Gregorio, left, PBA commissioner Chito Salud, 2nd right, and PBA vice chairman Robert Non, right. A 3-man FIBA Evaluation Commission is here to assess the country’s preparedness to host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. (PBA Images)



Alapag Named To FIBA Players’ Commission Under Vlade Divac

FORMER Gilas Pilipinas mainstay and now national team assistant coach Jimmy Alapag, top photo, was recently named to the newly-formed FIBA Players' Commission under Serbian basketball legend and ex-Los Angeles Lakers great Vlade Divac, below.  

 

January 27, 2015 

JIMMY Alapag isn’t exactly suiting up for Vlade Divac, but the recently retired Talk ‘N Text star is now on the FIBA team headed by the Serbian and NBA great.

Just a few months after the International Basketball Federation named Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan to the powerful FIBA Central Board, secretary-general Patrick Baumann appointed Alapag to the newly-established Players’ Commission under Divac for the term of office 2014-2019.

In a Jan. 23 letter addressed to Pangilinan and SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, Baumann, who is arrivingtomorrow at the conclusion of the FIBA Evaluation Commission’s ocular inspection of venues in connection to the country’s bid to host the 2019 FIBA World Cup, wrote, “It is a pleasure for me to inform you…that Mr. Alapag has been appointed as member of the FIBA Players’ Commission….We already look forward to closely working and collaborating with him for the sake of our sport and its athletes.”

A copy of the circular was furnished Divac, the Players’ Commission chairman, FIBA Asia president Sheikh Saud Bin Ali Al-Thani, FIBA Asia secretary-general Hagop Khajirian, and National Federations and Sports Director Zoran Radovic.

The creation of a Players’ Commission was decided upon last August in Seville on the eve of the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Its main duties are “to study issues relating to players of all age groups, propose to the Central Board measures deemed necessary to improve the conditions of players, make recommendations on practices or activities likely to be affecting the interests of players, and provide feedback on and advice on possible improvements to the various competitions of FIBA."

Divac, president of the Serbian Olympic Committee, on the strength of his appointment as head of the Players’ Commission automatically became a member of the FIBA Central Board.

Alapag’s appointment to the FIBA brought to four the number of Filipinos named to serve a five-year term in the world governing body for amateur basketball following the selection of orthopedic surgeon Dr. Raul Canlas to the FIBA Medical Commission and SBP consultant Atty. Edgar Francisco to the FIBA Legal Commission.

Pangilinan was elected to the 26-man Central Board, headed by Argentina’s Horatio Muratore, after a three-hour meeting last September in Madrid during the  World Cup where Alapag put on a dazzling shooting display against powerhouse opponents Greece, Croatia, Argentina, Puerto Rico and Senegal.

“I’m very honored with the opportunity to represent our country in the FIBA Players’ Commission,” said Alapag, PBA most valuable player in 2011. “Looking forward to the experience.”

Asked how he feels about being on the same commission with Divac, Alapag said laughing, “I just can’t wait to hang out with Vlade, perhaps teach him a thing or two about shooting.”

The 7-foot-1 Divac, a first round draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in 1989, was one of the best outside shooting centers in the NBA, and, Alapag added, “maybe the best passing big man ever.”

Alapag hang up his jersey a few weeks ago after 12 seasons with Talk ‘N Text and was later named team manager of the Tropang Texters and assistant coach to Tab Baldwin at Gilas Pilipinas.

"We are very proud of Jimmy. When FIBA asked for nominees to its Players Commission, we had no hesitation in nominating him," said Barrios. "He definitely will make his country proud and we are confident he will make positive contributions in the work of the Commission for the Players' benefit."

 



Sec-Gen Patrick Baumann, 3 Other FIBA Execs Check Out Venues

SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios, 4th left, and lawyer Bong Teodoro, legal counsel of the Philippine Arena’s management group Maligaya Development Corporation, 3rd left, pose inside a locker room of the 55,000-sitting capacity venue in Bocaue, Bulacan days before a 3-man FIBA evaluation commission arrives for an ocular visit in connection with the country’s bid to host the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Also in the photo are, from left, SBP legal consultant Edgardo Francisco, SBP deputy executive directors Bernie Atienza and Butch Antonio, and SBP logistics consultant Andrew Teh. (SBP Media Bureau)

 

January 25, 2015

A three-man FIBA Evaluation Commission is flying in tomorrow to inspect venues and assess the country’s capability to host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Aboard separate flights, according to SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, are sports director Lubo Kotleba, director general for media and marketing Frank Leenders and events director Predrag Bogosavljev.

Patrick Baumann, secretary-general of FIBA, is arriving later on Thursday to confer with his group in an overnight stay which could include a courtesy call on President Aquino.

The Philippines, which hosted the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship and will house the 2015 SEABA U16 tournament, the qualifier for the FIBA Asia U16 Championship, is bidding to host the world championship and is in the midst of stiff competition with bidding rivals China, Turkey, Qatar, and a combined group from Germany and France.

The FIBA Evaluation Commission will inspect the 55,000-sitting capacity Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan and the Smart Araneta Coliseum in the morning of Tuesday.

A visit to EDSA Shangri-La and Sofitel as potential event hotels is next, followed by a trip to the Mall of Asia Arena, where the FIBA Asia Championship was held, for a ringside taste of Filipino fan reaction with the PBA Commissioner’s Cup game between Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco.

A flight to Cebu Wednesday is next aboard a private jet of SBP president and Smart/PLDT chairman Manny V. Pangilinan to inspect the site where billionaire businessman Henry Sy’s SM Group is putting up a sprawling state-of-the-art sports facility within the next couple of years.

They will have lunch with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, fly back to Manila, listen to a presentation from Solaire Hotel and later attend a private dinner hosted by top SBP executives led by Pangilinan.

Foreign Affairs Sec. Alberto del Rosario is also hosting a welcome dinner for Baumann on Thursday.

The Philippines previously hosted the FIBA World Championship in 1978, with the Araneta Coliseum and the Rizal Memorial Coliseum as venues. Yugoslavia, starring Drazen Dalipagic, defeated the former Soviet Union in overtime, 82-81, in the final game.

All final bids will be submitted on or before April 30, with the FIBA Central Board deliberating on the merits of the proposals and eventually deciding on the winning bid in its June meeting.

 



Gilas Pilipinas Mentor Tab Baldwin Named SEABA, SEA Games Coach

January 25, 2015 

IN a move aimed at synchronizing the country’s international basketball program, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas-PBA search and selection committee headed by SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan yesterday expanded the role of newly-appointed Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin to include two other national teams to be formed for two more regional tournaments this year.

Baldwin, who took over from Chot Reyes last December, was named head coach in simultaneous capacity of the national squad bound for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) tournament in April and the Southeast Asian Games in June, both to be held in Singapore.

“We expect Coach Tab to take off running as men's national team head coach and that is why it is best he gets his feet wet early,” said SBP executive director Sonny Barrios. “Aside from successfully defending our crowns at SEABA and SEAG, he is tasked at leading our men's team to qualifying for the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics by winning the FIBA ASIA Qualifying in Hunan."

The SEABA competition on April 27 to May 4 is the qualifying tournament to the FIBA Asia Championship on Sept. 23 to Oct. 3 in Hunan, China where the champion team will, in turn, represent the region to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Both the SEABA and SEA Games teams will be manned by Gilas Cadets, led by Keifer Ravena, Ray-Ray Parks and Garvo Lanete, plus 6-foot-11 naturalized player Marcus Douthit, who took the place of former NBA Brooklyn Nets center Andray Blatche, also a naturalized player, during the Incheon Asian Games last year.

The Philippines finished second behind Iran in the 17th FIBA Asia Championship which the country hosted at the Mall of Asia Arena two years ago, paving the way for the country’s return to the global stage after more than three decades via the 17th FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain last year.

Powered by Blatche, Gilas Pilipinas waged memorable battles with world cage powers Croatia, Argentina and Puerto Rico in Seville before capping its historic participation by beating FIBA Africa qualifier Senegal in overtime, 81-79, in the second round of the preliminaries for the country’s first victory in the world championship in 40 years.

The 28th SEA Games, which Philippine basketball teams have ruled with an iron hand save for one or two editions, is set June 5-16 meanwhile and will feature teams from neighboring Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore, among others.

Baldwin, born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1958 before moving to New Zealand 30 years later, has coached the national teams of Malaysia, New Zealand, Lebanon and Jordan, and is expected, upon consultation with Pangilinan and other top SBP officials, to begin forming the latest edition Gilas squad next week, starting with his coaching staff.

On tap for Gilas in the next few months is the William Jones Cup Invitational in Taipei in July and yet to be announced foreign trips now and later before the Nationals and Baldwin fly to Hunan, China to vie for an Olympic slot, with Blatche joining them there.

Meantime, Patrick Aquino, coach of the UAAP basketball champion National University Lady Bulldogs, will take over the helm from erstwhile PH women’s team mentor Haydee Ong, while the SBP hopes to appoint within the next few days the successor to former Gilas Under-16 coach Jamike Jarin, who was named coach of five-peat NCAA champion San Beda Red Lions in lieu of Boyet Fernandez, now the PBA NLEX Road Warriors coach.

The Gilas U16 team under Jarin toppled Iran in the semifinals of the 2013 FIBA Asia tournament in Tehran, Iran before falling to the towering Chinese in the final. The strong runnerup finish qualified the team to see action in the FIBA U17 World Championship in Dubai last year, and Jarin’s departure leaves the U16 squad with big shoes to fill.

Cagayan de Oro City and Xavier University are hosting on April 10-21 the SEABA U16 tourney, the qualifier to the FIBA Asia tournament reportedly in Bangalore, India.



Tab Baldwin Eyes FIBA Asia Gold, Rio Olympics Stint For Gilas

PBA commissioner Chito Salud, left, SBP vice chairman Ricky Vargas, Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin and SBP executive director Sonny Barrios during Tuesday's press conference at the media center of the Mall of Asia Arena. 

 

December 24, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – New Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin said he has inherited a national team with a good structure and sound program, making him confident of a crack at top honors in the coming FIBA Asia Championship and a stint in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Read full article at: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2014/12/23/1406043/tab-baldwin-eyes-fiba-asia-gold-rio-olympics-stint-gilas



SBP In Attendance As FIBA Holds Workshop For Candidates To Host Future World Cups

FIBA President Horacio Muratore (front row, third from left) poses with the delegations of the six countries on the shortlist to stage the 2019 and 2023 editions of the FIBA Basketball World Cup during the two-day workshop at the House of Basketball in Mies, Switzerland.

 

December 18, 2014

MIES (2019/2013 FIBA Basketball World Cup) – The six countries on the shortlist of candidates to stage the next two editions of the FIBA Basketball World Cup attended a workshop at FIBA's headquarters on Monday-Tuesday 15-16 December.

Delegations of the national basketball federations of China, France, Germany, the Philippines, Qatar and Turkey visited the House of Basketball to take part in productive meetings and hold informative discussions which will help them as they piece together and submit their bids to host FIBA's flagship competition in 2019 and 2023.

A six-man team from the Philippines, led by PBA chairman Patrick Gregorio, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios, Tourism Undersecretary Domingo Ramon Enerio III, Octagon Asia president Sean Nicholls, SBP deputy e.d. Butch Antonio and SBP logistics consultant Andrew Teh, attended the hosting workshop.

Through presentations and reports - including a look back at the staging of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain - the representatives were given a complete picture of the total economic impact that hosting the 32-team tournament will have for their respective national basketball federation, their legacy and, on a larger scale, for their countries.

Each deleagtion also held individual meetings with specific departments - Sport and Competititions; Media and Marketing; Communications - in order to get a full understanding of the requirements their bids must meet.

Looking ahead, the process will gather steam in early 2015 (January-March), when FIBA is to hold site visits in the six countries. Candidature Files must then be submitted by the end of April.

FIBA's Central Board will announce the host of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup at its meeting on 18-19 June 2015. At this time, it may also be decided which of the remaining countries is to stage the 2023 edition, or if the bidding process is to be extended.

FIBA



SBP President Manny V. Pangilinan Gets A Real Seat In The FIBA Central Board

 A SEAT is reserved for Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan at the FIBA “House of Basketball” Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland along with past FIBA presidents and current Central Board Members. Photo is taken during the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Hosting Bid Workshop attended by a six-man Philippine delegation led by Tourism Undersecretary Domingo Ramon Enerio III, PBA chairman Patrick Gregorio and SBP executive director Sonny Barrios. (SBP Media Bureau) 



PH Ambassador Joins 6-Man Delegation In FIBA World Cup Hosting Workshop In Switzerland

PHILIPPINE Ambassador Leslie Baja, 3rd left, joins a six-man delegation during the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Bid Workshop in Geneva, Switzerland. From left are: PBA chairman Patrick Gregorio, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas deputy executive director Butch Antonio, Octagon Asia president Sean Nicholls, Tourism Undersecretary and CEO Domingo Ramon Enerio III, SBP executive director Sonny Barrios and SBP logistics consultant Andrew Teh.



Six Countries On Shortlist To Host New FIBA Basketball World Cup

FIBA Basketball World Cup venue in Spain. (FIBA.com)

December 12, 2012

MIES (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - FIBA has revealed the candidates that make up the shortlist to host the next two editions of its flagship competition, the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

China, Germany - alone or possibly as part of a joint candidacy with France - the Philippines, Qatar and Turkey are the six countries in the running to stage the 2019 and 2023 editions of the event.

FIBA's Central Board will announce who is to host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup at its next meeting on 18-19 June 2015. At that time, it may also decide which of the remaining countries is to stage the 2023 edition, or to extend the bidding process.

“We are extremely pleased to announce that six countries have expressed their interest in host the biggest basketball tournament in the world,” said FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann.

“The commitment to growing basketball as well as to stage first-class sporting events is something they all have in common.”

The 2019 edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup will be the first one to feature 32 teams. In order to qualify, countries will compete in the first cycle of the new worldwide competition system and calendar - which comes into effect in 2017 - by playing home and away games.

All candidates will attend a workshop at FIBA's headquarters on 15-16 December. Thereafter, site visits will take place in early 2015.

 

 



Six-Man PH-SBP Team To Geneva For 2019 Hosting Bid

SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas Executive Director Sonny Barrios. (Spin.ph)

December 12, 2014

A SIX-MAN Philippine delegation, led by Tourism Undersecretary and Chief Operating Officer Domingo Ramon Enerio III, PBA chairman and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas founding executive director Gregory Patrick Gregorio, and SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, will fly to Geneva on Sunday to attend the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Bid Workshop, a big step towards the country’s efforts to secure hosting rights to the global tournament recently held in Spain.

With the exploratory group are SBP deputy executive director for international affairs Butch Antonio, SBP logistics consultant Andrew Teh, and Sean Nicholls, president of Octagon Asia-Pacific, a renowned sports marketing and advertising firm based in Sydney.

“We are very serious about the bid process and we will be there to win it,” said SBP vice chairman Ricky Vargas.

“SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan wants to make an impression on the seriousness of our bid so that aside from SBP officials, we have requested DOT Undersecretary Enerio and Octagon Asia president Nicholls to join,” said Barrios. “We expect our Pilipinas team to put our best foot forward in the FIBA Workshop.”

Earlier, SBP officials met with DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez who expressed keen interest in the project and saw its potential benefits for Philippine tourism. He then sent Usec. Enerio to join the delegation.

The workshop is scheduled on Dec. 15 and 16 and is the second item in the candidate phase of the FIBA World Cup bidding calendar after the expression of Interest and applicant phases.

On-site inspection by top FIBA officials will be next in January 2015 followed by the submission of final candidature files in April, and the final bid presentations and announcement of the host nation by the FIBA Central Board in May.

The Philippines and Brazil, which made its intentions known last September, have openly expressed interest in hosting the event. Other potential bids could come from Germany, France, China, Turkey, Lithuania, Russia and Mexico.

Brazil hosted the tournament in 1954 and 1963, while the Philippines had its turn in 1978.

Six cities around Spain housed the 2014 FIBA World Cup from August 30 to Sept. 14, with the United States routing Serbia, 129-92, in the final game at the Palacio de la Communidad de Madrid for the Americans’ fifth world championship.

Gilas Pilipinas, which posted its first ever World Cup victory after 40 years, beating Africa’s Senegal in overtime, 81-79, finished at 21st overall, ahead of preliminary round qualifiers Finland, South Korea and Egypt.

Memorable close games against Croatia, Argentina and Puerto Rico marked the national team's participation, made possible by its silver medal finish in the FIBA Asia Championship which SBP organized and staged in August 2013 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Three venues are seen as major attractions for the visiting FIBA inspection team next year: the historic Araneta Coliseum, the state-of-the-art MOA Arena and the 55,000-capacity Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Also under consideration by SBP is a sports venue the SM Group is reportedly looking to build in Cebu and another which the Solaire Group is planning to put up in Entertainment City.



SBP-Luzon Regional Heads Launch Grassroots Development Program At Clark

December 12, 2014

SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios, 5th left, along with former Asian Basketball Confederation secretary-general Moying Martelino, now SBP senior consultant, 4th left, meets with several SBP-Luzon officials at Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga recently to finalize plans for a nationwide grassroots development program centered on the FIBA 3-on-3 game, a coaching clinic featuring prominent and collegiate coaches, and a national referees commission. Also in photo, from left, are SBP deputy E.D. Bernie Atienza, Edil Abalos representing Region 1, Gil Cortez (Region 3), Area 2 head Danny Soria, SBP deputy E.D. Butch Antonio, and Julio Ogoy (Region 5).



PH Women's Cage Team Bows Out Of 2014 Asian Beach Games

November 17, 2014

THE Philippine women’s beach basketball team missed the semifinals of the 2014 Asian Beach Games in Phuket, Thailand.

The Filipina cagebelles finished the preliminaries with a 1-2 win-loss slate, defeats that came in close fashion, to fall short of a slot in the semifinal round of the 3-on-3 tournament and a chance at defending their bronze medal finish in the 2010 edition.

They opened up their Group A campaign on November 15 with a 13-11 victory over India with Mary Joy Galicia topscoring for the Filipinas with seven points.

Galicia, along with Denise Patricia Tiu and Melissa Jacob each had three points but couldn’t hold off Mongolia, 12-11, in the second day of competitions last November 16.

The Philippines lost its final outing against powerhouse and eventual Group A top-seed China, 19-13, with Galicia scoring five in the game. Yinting Huang dominated the game with 10 points for the Chinese.



Melissa Jacob Is Flag-Bearer In Asian Beach Games 3X3 Event

November 15, 2014

MELISSA Jacob will carry the flag of the Philippines in the opening ceremony of the 4th Asian Beach Games in Phuket, Thailand.

Jacob is entered in the beach basketball 3-on-3 competition and will be joined by Mary Joy Galicia, Maria Lalaine Flormata, and Denise Patricia Tiu.

Chef de mission Richard Gomez said they picked Jacob because she was part of the team that won  a bronze in the 2010 Asian Beach Games in Haiyang, China.

“Sila yung naguwi ng bronze sa Asian Beach Games and it is just right na siya ang flag-bearer,” Gomez said.

The Filipina cagers will begin play on Saturday against India before facing Mongolia and China in the preliminary round where they hope to land the top two spots in Group A and advance to the semifinal round.

The top two teams in Group A will take on their counterparts in Group B in a crossover semifinals.



SBP Selection Committee Submits Criteria For Next Gilas Coach To MVP

SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas vice chairman Ricky Vargas.

November 13, 2014

The search and screening committee created by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas board of trustees two weeks ago to pick the next coach of the PBA-backed national team came up with a tentative set of criteria yesterday to be forwarded to the SBP executive committee for final approval.

Present in the meeting led by SBP vice chairman Ricky Vargas were PBA commissioner Chito Salud, PBA chairman Pato Gregorio, PBA vice chairman Robert Non and SBP executive director Sonny Barrios.

The committee is looking at meeting again next week or even earlier once the criteria is finalized so it could proceed with coming up with short list which will then be submitted to the SBP executive committee headed by president Manny V. Pangilinan.

A parallel committee to tackle the parameters in the selection process for national teams that do not involve professional players will be convened on Tuesday with the NCAA now represented by Paul Efren Supan, Jose Rizal University sports director and NCAA MANCOM chairman.

 



PBA Chairman Pato Gregorio Says PBA-SBP Partnership Crucial

 November 10, 2014

ASIDE from naming the new Gilas Pilipinas coach to succeed Chot Reyes, PBA chairman Patrick 'Pato' Gregorio said the more critical task at hand is on how to sustain the gains of the Philippine team following its historic appearance in the recent Fiba World Cup in Seville, Spain.

Read full article at:  http://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/news/pato-gregorio-gilas-pilipinas-chot-reyes-new-coach-basketball



MVP Receives Chot Withdrawal From SBP Search With Much Regret

November 10, 2014

SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Manuel V. Pangilinan accepted on Monday former national team coach Chot Reyes’ decision to withdraw his name from consideration in the search for the next Gilas Pilipinas coach.

“I received Coach Chot’s advice with much regret,” Pangilinan said in a statement.

“I thank and commend him for making what must have been a most difficult but courageous decision—giving up a task and a privilege I know he truly cherishes, as I imagine any coach would.”

Read full article at: http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/mvp-receives-chots-withdrawal-with-much-regret-commends-former-gilas-coach-for-courageous-decision



Chot Withdraws Name From SBP Search For Next Gilas Coach

November 10, 2014

FORMER Philippine national men’s basketball team coach Chot Reyes has asked the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) selection committee not to include his name in the search for the next Gilas Pilipinas head coach.

Read full article at: http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/chot-reyes-withdraws-name-from-sbp-search-for-next-gilas-coach-its-time-for-me-to-hand-over-that-wheel



SBP Search-Screening Committee To Meet Tuesday

SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan, 2nd left, and SBP vice chairman Ricky Vargas, 3rd left, will be at the forefront of the search and screening committees formed to identify personel for future Philippine basketball teams.

November 16, 2014 

THE Search & Screening Committee formed by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, comprised of SBP’s major stakeholders and tasked to come up with a short list of coaching candidates for consideration to national teams made up of PBA players, will convene Tuesday next week to discuss the parameters and criteria under which it will undertake its mandate.

A timeline will be set to govern the selection process of the committee chaired by SBP vice chairman Ricky Vargas, with PBA commissioner Chito Salud, PBA chairman Pato Gregorio, PBA vice chairman Robert Non (representing PBA D-League) and SBP executive director Sonny Barrios.

A series of deliberations will follow as necessary whereupon the recommended names will be submitted to SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan, head of SBP’s Executive Committee, for final decision.

A parallel Search & Screening Committee for national teams without PBA players will meet on Saturday, Nov. 15. Barrios, as SBP representative, will chair the group, which includes SBP Board of Trustees members Edmundo  Baculi, representing UAAP, Fr. Victor Calvo, O.P. (NCAA), Raul Alcoseba (CESAFI and the Visayas-Mindanao regions) and Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem (NAASCU and NCR).

Both committees' work is recommendatory in nature, with the final choice resting on the SBP president.

Pangilinan, in a board meeting at the PLDT Makati office recently, had proposed a “participative and consultative approach” in the initial selection process for future national teams to address at least nine international tournaments scheduled for 2015.

Among the events set next year are the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore in June and the 28th FIBA Asia Championship in China in August which will serve as the regional qualifier to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

During the meeting, the SBP board was also briefed by Pangilinan on the country’s initial bid to host the 2019 FIBA World Cup, with FIBA coming up with a list of candidates by the end of next month.

Thoroughly discussed as well was SBP’s expanded grassroots development program, with Pangilinan outlining his plan to “undertake an all encompassing overall nationwide program” for the next two years.

The SBP head urged regional SBP leaders to take a more active role in “crafting the program for implementation in their own backyards.”

The novel 3x3 format which FIBA is actively pushing via the multi-leg Masters Tour as a means to spread the gospel of the game will also get a major boost across the country, especially in the towns and municipalities.

Established national leagues at different age groups – 18 yrs. and over via the PCCL , with Rey Gamboa and coach Joe Lipa; Joe Lipa);  under 18 via the NBTC of coach Eric Altamirano; and under 16 through the BEST Center of coach Nic Jorge – will be tapped for SBP’s grassroots undertaking.

Similarly set for launching are the SBP Referees National Accreditation Commission and a nationwide SBP coaching program.

 

 



MVP Proposes Selection Committee For Formation Of Future RP Teams

October 29, 2014

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan, in a board meeting Tuesday at the PLDT Makati office, has proposed a “participative and consultative approach” in the initial selection process for future national teams to address at least nine international tournaments scheduled for 2015.

Among the events set next year are the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore in June and the 28th FIBA Asia Championship in China in August which will serve as the regional qualifier to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

To this end, the SBP board approved the formation of a screening-selection committee composed of SBP board members representing the UAAP, NCAA, CESAFI, NAASCU and the SBP through executive director Sonny Barrios “for national teams not involving PBA players (e.g. SEABA/ SEAG and the like).

Elite tournaments like the FIBA Asia Qualifying, World Cup, Asian Games, which involve PBA players, will go through the committee composed of SBP Board members from the PBA, PBA D-League and the SBP.

The committees will “short list” candidates for submission to the SBP Executive Committee made up of the SBP chairman, president, vice chairman, vice president and executive director “for ultimate final approval of the SBP Board of Trustees.”

During the meeting, the SBP board was also briefed by Pangilinan on the country’s initial bid to host the 2019 FIBA World Cup, with FIBA coming up with a list of candidates by the end of next month.

Thoroughly discussed as well was SBP’s expanded grassroots development program, with Pangilinan outlining his plan to “undertake an all encompassing overall nationwide program” for the next two years.

The SBP head urged regional SBP leaders to take a more active role in “crafting the program for implementation in their own backyards.”

The novel 3x3 format which FIBA is actively pushing via the multi-leg Masters Tour as a means to spread the gospel of the game will also get a major boost across the country, especially in the towns and municipalities.

Established national leagues at different age groups – 18 yrs. and over via the PCCL , with Rey Gamboa and coach Joe Lipa; Joe Lipa); under 18 via the NBTC of coach Eric Altamirano; and under 16 through the BEST Center of coach Nic Jorge – will be tapped for SBP’s grassroots undertaking.

Similarly set for launching are the SBP Referees National Accreditation Commission and a nationwide SBP coaching program.



Nothing To Be Sad About For Novi Sad; Manila West falls to Kranj

FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann, 2nd left,  awards the $20,000 check to Novi Sad after it beat Saskatoon of Canada in the final to capture the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Finals Sunday at the Xebio Sports Arena in Sendai, Japan. 

October 12, 2014

SENDAI, Japan – Kranj of Slovenia proved too experienced for Manila West Sunday, holding the Filipinos without a basket in the last five minutes of a 21-12 victory in advancing to the semis of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Finals at the Xebio Sports Arena.

Later in the day, however, Kranj ran into red-hot Novi Sad, the No. 1 seed, and lost convincingly, 22-13, while Saskatoon of Canada set up a championship clash with the Serbians by upending Bucharest, 19-16.

In the anti-climactic final, Novi Sad demonstrated why it is the top-ranked team in the world by outclassing Saskatoon, 21-11, to earn $20,000 and a ticket to the FIBA 3x3 All-Stars in Doha, Qatar in December. The Canadians, perhaps the most physically prepared team in the tournament, was taken out of the championship early as the Serbians came up with their best performance in the two-day event. 

Unlike Bucharest, Kranj didn’t go to the Manila West game with an air of complacency.

Seeded third in the tournament, the Slovenians, who swept Pool C to draw Manila West, the No. 2 team from Pool B, as quarterfinal opponent, displayed a decisive familiarity of the demands of the fledgling FIBA event as they took control when the Filipinos began fading defensively in the last half of the match.

The quartet of KG Canaleta, Aldrech Ramos, Rey Guevarra and Terrence Romeo failed to score in the final 5:13 that negated their effort to claw back at 14-12 after trailing, 11-6.

Guevarra, the Meralco Bolts forward, came off the bench to score six straight points with two long 2-pointers to put pressure on Kranj (pronounced: Kran-i), the runnerup in the Lausanne Masters.

But Manila West, which beat Sao Paolo on its first game, fizzled out after that.

A step slow on defense against an aggressive team clearly attuned to the nuances of the international 3x3 game, No. 10 Manila West, which lost to No. 2 Bucharest Saturday, 15-13, also found trouble managing the 10-second shot clock and getting off shots against the taller and heavier Slovenians.

“Ang laki na, ang bibigat pa,” said Canaleta, now with the NLEX Road Warriors, as he got tossed around under the basket by 6-foot-8 Jure Erzen or 6-foot-5 Mensud Julevic when he was not sprinting to put a hand on hotshot Dario Krejic who accounted for six of Kranj’s last eight points.

“Ang lalakas pang mangapit,” said Romeo, who tied the score, 3-all, and put Manila West in the thick of the fight, 6-5 and 8-6, before the Slovenians took advantage of two defensive lapses by the Filipinos to score three quick points and open up an 11-6 advantage.

"Iba rin yung galaw nila, pang 3-on-3 talaga; alam mong ensayado sila ng husto," said Guevarra.

“It was a learning experience for all of us,” said SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, head of the Philippine team which included Under-18 players Dino San Juan of La Salle-Greenhills and JP Cauilan and Chino Mosqueda of National University who played a number of 3x3 matches with different Japanese teams as part of FIBA’s 3x3 program.

“SBP intends to expand FIBA’s 3x3 involvement in our grassroots program and we hope to use the World Tour as springboard,” Barrios added.

Romeo would later return for the final of the shootout contest after hitting his first nine shots in the qualifying round. But he turned cold as the weather in the championship where he converted only three, with Novi Sad’s Dejan Majstorovic ruling the event with seven points.

In the slam dunk competition, pro dunker Rafal Lipinski sailed over a car parked in front of the basket and a man standing beside it and threw down a tomahawk slam to win the highlight event hands down.

Bucharest went on to whip No. 9 Jakarta, 21-8, to move to the semifinal round along with No. 1 seed Novi Sad of Serbia, which survived a virtual rugby match with No. 4 Trbovlje of Slovenia, 15-13, and No. 5 Saskatoon of Canada, which demolished Denver, 21-3.



Scoreless In Final 5 Minutes, Manila Fizzles Out in FIBA 3x3 World Quarters

MANILA West in quarterfinal action against Kranj of Slovenia in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Finals at the Xebio Sports Arena in Sendai, Japan. (SBP Photos)

October 12, 2014 

SENDAI, Japan – Kranj of Slovenia proved too experienced for Manila West Sunday, holding the Filipinos without a basket in the last five minutes in advancing to the semis of the the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Finals at the Xebio Sports Arena.

Seeded third in the tournament, the Slovenians, who swept Pool C to draw Manila West, the No. 2 team from Pool B, as quarterfinal opponent, displayed a decisive familiarity of the demands of the fledgling FIBA event as they took control when the Filipinos began fading defensively in the last half of the match.

The quartet of KG Canaleta, Aldrech Ramos, Rey Guevarra and Terrence Romeo failed to score in the final 5:13 that negated their effort to claw back at 14-12 after trailing, 11-6.

Guevarra, the Meralco Bolts forward, came off the bench to score six straight points with two long 2-pointers to put pressure on Kranj (pronounced: Kran-i), the runnerup in the Lausanne Masters.

But Manila West, which beat Sao Paolo on its first game, fizzled out after that.

A step slow on defense against an aggressive team clearly attuned to the nuances of the international 3x3 game, No. 10 Manila West, which lost to No. 2 Bucharest Saturday, 15-13, also found trouble managing the 10-second shot clock and getting off shots against the taller and heavier Slovenians.

“Ang laki na, ang bibigat pa,” said Canaleta, now with the NLEX Road Warriors, as he got tossed around under the basket by 6-foot-8 Jure Erzen or 6-foot-5 Mensud Julevic when he was not sprinting to put a hand on hotshot Dario Krejic who accounted for six of Kranj’s last eight points.

“Ang lalakas pang mangapit,” said Romeo, who tied the score, 3-all, and put Manila West in the thick of the fight, 6-5 and 8-6, before the Slovenians took advantage of two defensive lapses by the Filipinos to score three quick points and open up an 11-6 advantage.

"Iba rin yung galaw nila, pang 3-on-3 talaga; alam mong ensayado sila ng husto," said Guevarra.

“It was a learning experience for all of us,” said SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, head of the Philippine team which included Under-18 players Dino San Juan of La Salle-Greenhills and JP Cauilan and Chino Mosqueda of National University who played a number of 3x3 matches with different Japanese teams as part of FIBA’s 3x3 program.

“SBP intends to expand FIBA’s 3x3 involvement in our grassroots program and we hope to use the World Tour as springboard,” Barrios added.

Bucharest went on to whip No. 9 Jakarta, 21-8, to move to the semifinal round along with No. 1 seed Novi Sad of Serbia, which survived a virtual rugby match with No. 4 Trbovlje of Slovenia, 15-13, and No. 5 Saskatoon of Canada, which demolished Denver, 21-3.

Playing at presstime for slots in the final are Bucharest against Saskatoon, and Novi Sad against Kranj.

The FIBA 3x3 World Tour champion team brings home $20,000 and a ticket to the FIBA 3x3 All-Stars. The runnerup get $5,000. In the individual sidelights, the slam dunk champion claims $2,000, the second and third placer $500 each. A Samsung tablet goes to the shootout winner.

 



Manila West In Quarters Of FIBA 3x3 World Tour; Faces Kranj Of Slovenia In Knockout

THE Manila West team, above photo from left, KG Canaleta, Aldrech Ramos, Terrence Romeo and Rey Guevarra, confers with coach John Flores in the locker room following its victory over Sao Paolo of Brazil in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Finals Saturday at the Xebio Sports Arena in Sendai, Japan. Below it, Manila West in action against Bucharest of Romania which ended in an overtime loss. (SBP Photos)

Game Sunday

(Xebio Sports Arena)

12:15 p.m. – Kranj vs Manila West

October 12, 2014 

SENDAI, Japan – Doing it two-in-row within a span of two hours in the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Finals may have been a little too much even for Manila West’s Terrence Romeo.

Manila West brought down Sao Paolo but couldn’t pull it off against Bucharest yesterday, settling for the No. 2 spot in Pool B which ranges the Filipinos against Pool C leader Kranj of Slovenia in the knockout quarters at the Xebio Sports Arena in Nagamachi.

The Kranj-Manila game is at 12:15 p.m. today (Manila time).

Romeo went to his left hand to beat Sao Paolo, 21-17, but forced a two-pointer that could have won it in overtime against Bucharest, allowing the Romanians to dodge the bullet, 15-13, and clinch the No. 1 position going to the quarterfinals

Bucharest battles Jakarta for a seat in the semifinals.

No. 10-ranked Manila West, which kicked off the knockout game with six straight unanswered points, handed the No. 6 Brazilians their second loss in the eliminations, knocking them out of the running.

The quartet of Globalport’s Romeo, NLEX’s KG Canaleta and Aldrech Ramos and Meralco’s Rey Guevarra qualified to the world championship by ruling the Manila Masters leg while the Romanians emerged victorious in Prague.

Jakarta took the place of Doha here after key Qatari players were hit with injuries during the Incheon Asian Games in South Korea.

With practically no time to train before the event, Manila West went to the tournament looking like the neophytes they are against the heavier and more experienced European and American teams.

But against the taller and bigger Brazilians, runners-up to Santos in the Rio de Janeiro Masters, Manila West used its quickness and outside shooting to set the early pace, with Romeo and Ramos doing the most damage. The Filipinos never trailed but showed some nerves when Sao Paolo came within 14-13 and 20-17 after trailing by six points.

Stuck at 20, Manila West missed three straight attempts before Romeo waved off his teammates and went one-on-one against Sao Paolo counterpart Rodrigo del Arco, leaving the Brazilian playmaker half a step behind and then going to his left when 45-year-old Joao Luciano slid over to help.

Three consecutive two-point baskets from outside the arc from Ramos (2) and Romeo gave Manila West an 18-13 advantage. But burly forward Fabio Santos hit a two-pointer and Del Arco made it a three-point game before Romeo, who dropped 20 pounds during the off-season to reignite his quickness, revved it up.

So exhausted were the Filipinos after the Sao Paolo game that they were all but drained of energy against the Romanians, led by 6-foot-6 wide body Bodgan Popescu whom his countrymen calls “Popeye.”

Still Romeo had enough left in the tank to let fly a Hail Mary with time running out in the 10-minute regular period to tie the game, 13-all, forcing the first-to-score two straight points extra period.

A dying second 2-pointer by Bucharest was nullified but the victory was clinched anyway as Angel Santana scored easily under the basket against a fading defense and Catalin Vlaicu hit a free throw after Romeo missed an off-balanced 2-point attempt with the 10-second shot clock winding down.

Other teams making it to the knockout round Sunday are Novi Sad of Serbia and Denver of the United States from Pool A and Saskatoon of Canada and Trbovlje of Slovenia from Pool D. Ousted were Santos and Sao Paolo of Brazil, Wukesong of China and Kobe of host Japan.  

The FIBA 3x3 World Tour champion team brings home $20,000 and a ticket to the FIBA 3x3 All-Stars. The runnerup get $5,000. In the individual sidelights, the slam dunk champion claims $2,000, the second and third placer $500 each. A Samsung tablet goes to the shootout winner.

 



Manila West Vs Sao Paolo, Bucharest For Seat In Quarters of FIBA 3x3 World Tour

October 12, 2014

TEAM Manila goes up against Sao Paolo of Brazil at 2:10 p.m. (1:10 p.m. Manila time) before taking on Bucharest of Romania at 3:55 p.m. (2:55 p.m.) today at the start of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Finals at the Xebio Sports Arena in Sendai, Japan.

Comprising the Manila Masters leg champion are KG Canaleta and Aldrech Ramos of NLEX, Terrence Romeo of Globalport and Rey Guevarra of Meralco, with La Salle Greenhills coach John Flores handling the team.

The knockout quarterfinals is tomorrow should Team Manila advance.

Heading the Philippine delegation is Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios.
   



Team Manila Ready To Rumble With The Planet's Best In FIBA 3x3 World Tour Finals

JULIEN Debove, FIBA 3x3 basketball communications manager, center, explains pre-competition requirements to Team Manila's Rey Guevarra, left, Terrence Romeo, right, coach John Flores (2nd left) and SBP's Joemar Benedicto on their arrival in Sendai, Japan for the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Finals. (SBP Media Bureau)

October 10, 2014

SENDAI, Japan – The sight of some of the competition Thursday night has Manila West’s Rey Guevarra shaking his head two days away from the start of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Finals here.

“Ang la-laki,” said the Meralco Bolts forward at the players from Denver and Santos of Brazil as they waited for their checked-in luggages at the Sendai Airport following the two-hour domestic flight from Tokyo.

“Sa Manila, maliliit lang ang kalaban natin except for Doha (Qatar). Pero dito malalaki na lahat, puro champion pa.”

Guevarra arrived a day earlier with Globalport’s Terrence Romeo and La Salle Greenhills coach John Flores. KG Canaleta, traded by Talk ‘N Text to NLEX only recently, and another NLEX acquisition Aldrech Ramos will follow Friday in the company of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios.

The four PBA players comprised the Manila West team that beat world champion Doha of Qatar, 21-17, in the FIBA 3x3 Manila Masters final last August at SM Megamall.

Team Manila, in Pool B, takes on Brazil at 1:10 p.m. Saturday (Manila time) and then returns at 2:55 p.m. to face Bucharest. If both are hurdled, then the Filipinos move on to the quarterfinals against a qualifier from Pool C where Kranj of Slovenia, Jakarta and Wukesong of China are grouped.

Sao Paolo overwhelmed Santos, 21-12, in the Rio de Janeiro Masters final while Bucharest battled Novi Sad on even terms before succumbing, 16-14, in the Prague Masters title game. 

Taking a long hard look at the NBA-type players from the Chicago Masters, Guevarra said, “Kunan natin picture, si Kevin Love at Tracy McGrady ata yung mga yon e.”

Two of Doha’s players returned from the Incheon Asian Games injured, forcing the Qataris to pull out of the 3x3 Finals and opening up a spot for Jakarta of Indonesia, the team Manila West narrowly beat in a raucous semifinals, 18-14, in the FIBA Manila Masters.

Guevarra is unfazed by the towering opposition however.

“Di lang naman nakukuha sa puro laki yan e. Kailangan naming magtulungan, magka-isa dapat yung tatlong nasa loob, magkaintindihan,” he said. “Kailangan iniikot ang bola mabuti, teamwork at alam ng bawat isa ang ginagawa ng kasama niya.”

 



Manila West With Brazil, Romania In FIBA 3x3 World Tour Finals in Sendai, Japan

TEAM Manila coaches Eric Altamirano of National University, right, and John Flores of De La Salle Greenhills discuss during practice at the LSGH gym the game plan for the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Finals in Sendai, Japan set Oct. 11 and 12. (SBP Photos)

October 8, 2014

The road to the FIBA 3x3 World Tour semifinals for the four-man Manila West team will be through Sao Paolo of Brazil and Bucharest of Romania on Saturday.

The three qualifiers to the World Tour Finals in Sendai, Japan are in Pool B and will meet in single round play to pick the top two that will advance to the knockout quarterfinals along with six more teams from three other brackets.

The four remaining teams will meet in the crossover semis, with the last two disputing the championship.

In Pool A are: Denver (USA), Santos (Brazil) and Novi Sad (Serbia). Group C has Kranj (Slovenia), Jakarta (Indonesia) and Wukesong (China) while Group D is comprised of Saskatoon (Canada), Trbovlje (Slovenia) and Kobe (Japan).

Manila West, made up of KG Canaleta of Talk ‘N Text, Rey Guevarra of Meralco, Aldrech Ramos of NLEX and Terrence Romeo of Globalport and one of four Philippine teams during the FIBA 3x3 Manila Masters leg last August, emerged victorious by dethroning world champion Doha of Qatar in the final, 21-17, at the Fashion Hall of the SM Megamall.

The World Tour Finals is set Oct. 11 and 12.

Coaches Eric Altamirano of the National University Bulldogs and John Flores of La Salle Greenhills will head the Philippine team. Leading the delegation is Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios.

“Ang importante talaga e makumpleto sila; kundisyon naman ang mga yan e,” said Altamirano, who was able to meet the four PBA players only last Tuesday. “They have to get used to the rules again kasi, and get used to playing with each other. Maybe we’ll just try to arrange some games with the other teams in Japan for two days. Yun na lang ang practice nila.”

Altamirano is in the middle of the UAAP best-of-3 championship series where his NU Bulldogs trail the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 1-0, as of press time yesterday.



Jimmy Alapag Delivers Emotional Parting Message To Gilas Players

October 2, 2014

HWASEONG, Korea — Jimmy Alapag's final order of business with Gilas Pilipinas was an emotional speech after the team ended a damned Asian Games campaign on a high note with an 84-68  win over Mongolia on Wednesday.

Read full article at: http://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/news/jimmy-alapag-farewell-gilas-pilipinas-asian-games-philippines



After Beating India In Asiad Opener, Gilas Pilipinas Saves Best For Last Vs Monglia

October 1, 2014

INCHEON Korea – Gilas Pilipinas regained some measure of respect by winning its final game in the 17th Asian Games at the Hwaseong Sports Gymnasium here, throwing its weight on a smaller Mongolian team, 84-68, and making sure to halt the bleeding before calling it a day.

The win, Gilas’ third overall in seven games here, was good for seventh place. But for a team shattered by its inability to deliver on its promise of winning the gold in a tournament where the frustrations outweighed the triumphs, the nationals will gladly take it.

LA Tenorio and JuneMar Fajardo led Gilas’ imposing inside-and-out, 1-2 punch, carrying the nationals to a huge fourth-quarter assault that was all they needed to push away the pesky Mongolians, who made it a game in the early goings.

Sloppy plays marked an uneventful first quarter, where the Filipinos trailed the Mongolians, 24-19, and then at 29-25 on a basket by Sergelen Otgonbaatar.

But the Filipinos suddenly woke up from the slumber, with Tenorio hitting a trey and Fajardo asserting himself inside with a layup and a three-point play, to finish the half ahead by 38-30.

Back-to-back triples by Tenorio and Jeff Chan gave Gilas its first sizeable lead at 60-49, but the Mongolians, starring Bilguun Battuvshin (18 points) refused to be pushed around and trimmed the deficit to a manageable level at 55-63, going into the final canto.

Then, it happened.

Gilas finally erupted with a 10-point explosion at the start of the fourth, highlighted by two alley-oop plays by Japeth Aguilar and Gary David – the last one a three-point play that put Gilas ahead by a mile, 73-57.

As if on cue, Ranidel de Ocampo picked up the scoring cudgels from there, hitting two straight baskets, followed by Fajardo’s four-point swing and the nationals tore the game wide open at 82-63, from where the Mongolians never recovered from.

Gilas bowed out of the tournament with wins over India, Kazakhstan and Mongolia, coupled by stinging losses to Iran, Qatar, Korea and China.

 Nobody expected the nationals to finish this low, especially after their runner-up feat in the FIBA Asia Championships in Manila last year, and their fine World Cup performance, wherein they ended the Philippines’ 40-year victory drought with a win over Senegal.

But the team, according to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios, is expected to come out stronger.

“Of course, lahat kami malungkot. Pero matagal nang magkakasama ang mga ‘yan, I’m sure they will be fine, the program will be fine because everyone believes in the leadership,” said Barrios, referring to SBP president and the team’s chief benefactor Manny V. Pangilinan.

Scores:

PHILIPPINES 84 – De Ocampo 25, Tenorio 11, Norwood 11, Fajardo 11, Chan 8, David 8, Aguilar 7, Dillinger 3, Douthit 0, Lee 0.

MONGOLIA 68 – Battuvshin 18, Tungalag 15, Otgonbaatar 11, Shinen 11, Ganbold 6, Davaasambuu 4, Oyuntsetseg 3, Munkhbayar 0, Munkhtur 0, Tserendagva 0.

Quarters: 18-21, 38-30, 63-55, 84-68.



Gilas Pilipinas Hopes For An Exit With A Bang Against Mongolia

September 30, 2014

INCHEON, Korea – Already assured of its worst finish in men’s basketball, Gilas Pilipinas tries to shoot for a victory in Tuesday’s battle for seventh place against Mongolia for pride’s sake in the 17th Asian Games at the Hwaseong Sports Gymnasium.

The game is set at 3:15 p.m.

Nobody expected the nationals to finish this low, especially after their runner-up feat in the FIBA Asia Championships in Manila last year, and their fine World Cup performance, wherein they ended the Philippines’ 40-year victory drought with a win over Senegal.

But their fortunes have changed in a wink of an eye as they enter today’s battle against Mongolia reeling from losses in four of their five six games, including a 78-71 defeat at the hands of a rebuilding Chinese team, with an average age of 22.

And if the nationals think that this Mongolian team will be a pushover, they are wrong. As a matter of fact, Mongolia has scored more wins compared to the Philippines in this Asiad, as it crushed Hong Kong, 86-77; routed Maldives, 112-54; and then stunned Jordan, 83-74. They even dropped a heartbreaking 82-81 verdict to Kuwait.

In the past 16 stagings of the Asiad, the Philippines' worst finish in men's basketball was sixth twice, in the 1966 Bangkok games and during the 2010 Guangzhou edition, with a Gilas quintet composed of amateur players, a sprinkling of pros and naturalized player Marcus Douthit.

But this Gilas team isn’t composed of amateurs. They are professionals plying their trade in Asia’s first play-for-play league, boasting of valuable international exposure in the New Zealand, US, Spain and China.

A loss today would just complete the disaster.

"Quite a journey with its peaks and valleys; the road has been long and tough, the climb steep, the obstacles formidable from the get go," said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president and the team’s chief benefactor Manny V. Pangilinan in a statement.

“We report our results in Korea with heads bowed in sadness but not in shame. That said, we take pride in all that Gilas has reached thus far. We may have fallen short of what we all desired to gift to our people after years of desolation, but all of you persevered.”

For one last time, an entire nation is hoping, Gilas would persevere against its last foe.



Great Wall Falls On Gilas Pilipinas In Consolation Round Battle

September 29, 2014 

INCHEON – Gilas Pilipinas failed to sustain a fourth-quarter charge, allowing a young Chinese team to end the game strongly in a 78-71 victory at the 17th Asian Games Basketball Competitions at the Hwaseong Sports Gymnasium on Monday.

The ousted defending champions are on a building mode with a team still learning the ropes in international play, with an average age of 22.

But they looked promising, even against the World Cup veteran Filipinos, who trimmed what was once an imposing 19-point deficit at 41-60 into just four points at 66-70, midway through the fourth quarter.

But the Chinese recovered in time with a scintillating 11-point explosion, capped by dunk by Zhao Tailong to finally snuff out the life out of the fading Filipinos with a 78-68 lead, down to a minute left.

The loss, Gilas’ fourth overall against just two wins in these games, relegated them to the battle for seventh place at 3:15 p.m. tomorrow against Mongolia at the Hwaseong Sports Gymnasium.

With the win, China shoots for fifth place at 3:15 p.m., also tomorrow against Qatar at 3:15 p.m. at the Samsan World Gymnasium.

Naturalized player Marcus Douthit was a pillar of strength with 24 markers and six boards, but he failed to draw decent support from the rest of Gilas crew outside of Ranidel de Ocampo, who shot 16.

Center-forward Mark Pingris and point guard Jimmy Alapag did not play.

Starting on the wrong foot in the first half, the nationals, who shot only one triple in that stretch, trailed the Chinese by 31-19, before settling for an eight-point deficit going into the third quarter.

Zhao’s three gave China a huge 18-point lead, but Gilas chipped it down to manageable levels at 53-65 going into the fourth.

Then, the Gilas that we all knew finally appeared in the fourth,  stringing six straight points to begin a last-ditch rally capped by an LA Tenorio triple that put the Filipinos breathing down the Chinese’ necks at 66-70, only to fade again as they always did against Iran, Qatar, Korea and Kazakhstan.

In a series of messages he sent through Twitter, Gilas benefactor Manny V. Pangilinan thanked the players and the coaching staff for their accomplishments.

“Quite a journey with its peaks and valleys; the road has been long and tough, the climb steep, the obstacles formidable from the get go,” Pangilinan, also the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas,  tweeted.

“We report our results in Korea heads bowed in sadness, but not in shame. That said, we take pride in all that Gilas has reached thus far,” he added.

Pangilinan gave a broad hint that the program will continue.

“We must stay focused on our goal, and neither despair nor get deterred by the letdown in the Asian Games,” the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) tweeted. “The Asian Games are

done now. Time to look ahead; plan for FIBA Asia next year in China, the winner qualifies for the 2016 Olympics.”

Scores:

CHINA 78 – Liu 16, Zhao 14, Zhai 13, Li 13, Guo 10, Zhou Q. 6, Zhou P. 3, Wang 3, Gu 0, Ding 0, Xirelijiang 0, Sun 0.

PHILIPPINES 71 – Douthit 24, De Ocampo 14, Tenorio 7, Dillinger 7, David 6, Norwood 4, Aguilar 4, Chan 3, Lee 2.

Quarters: 21-17, 42-34, 65-53, 78-71



Gilas Pilipinas Officially Bows Out of Medal Contention In Incheon Asian Games

September 28, 2014

INCHEON, Korea – Gilas Pilipinas team logged a win it did not wanted and has no use for in another late collapse that has become a patent more than a habit, bringing with it the Philippines’ campaign that got stalled again on other fronts as the days begin to wither in the already cold 17th Asian Games.

The cagers ended their three-game losing dive with a 67-65 win over Kazakhstan.

But like an anomaly of a shot by Marcus Douthit in the Kazakhs’ basket in the hope of forging an overtime, the Kazakhs celebrated their loss and Gilas Pilipinas went home in gloom again.

Gilas needed to win by more than 10 points over Kazakhstan. But they need not wait for the result of the Korea-Qatar match later last night as they have failed to achieve their first goal before they could even pray for a Korea win.

That shot by Douthit at the opponent’s basket was disallowed, and Gilas accepted the win as just another meaningless tab in their record.

“We’re out officially of the Asian Games.  Sad day for Philippine basketball,” said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president and the team’s chief benefactor Manny V. Pangilinan. “Back to the drawing board – let’s just move on.  We must keep in mind that the road to the Asian Championship will be long and tough, and the climb will be steep. The important thing though is to show we’re improving – however gradually. Mabuhay Pilipinas!”

When the final buzzer sounded, the Kazahks rushed to their bench and celebrated their two-point defeat.

Kazakhstan was expected to watch the South Korea-Qatar match late in the night.

A win by the Koreans will ensure Kazakhstan’s passage to the semifinals. A win by Qatar would eliminate Kazakhstan.

The Nationals, who lost to Qatar by nine points, had hoped to win by 11 to overhaul the Qataris’ plus-1 quotient. The possibility of a three-way tie for second materialized late Saturday when Kazakhstan defeated Qatar by eight.

But after realizing that they could no longer achieve their objective, Gilas wanted to bring the game into overtime.

Reyes said before he ordered Douthit to score under Kazakhstan’s basket, he asked one of the referees if scoring for an opponent is allowed.

“We asked one of the refs if we did it, would it count? He said yes.

But when we did it, another ref, the Iranian ref, said it wasn’t allowed,” Reyes said.

“Unfortunately, we had to do something like that to survive,” he added.

What the coaching staff of Kazakhstan may have overlooked, however, was the fact that they had an opportunity to win the match altogether without depending on the result between the Koreans and the Qataris.

Both sides shot poorly from the field with Gilas hitting 38 percent as against Kazakhstan’s 36.

Gilas controlled the game but could not blow Kazakhstan off the court.

The Nationals built an 18-point lead, 50-32, near the end of the third quarter before the Kazakhs came back with a 7-2 run to end the period at 52-39.

Gilas was still 14 points ahead, 65-51, with under five minutes remaining when it began missing its shots after Rustam Murzagaliyev made it, 65-54, with a three –point shot.

With both teams unable to score in their possessions, Reyes called time with 2:59 remaining.

Douthit, who had 18 points and 14 rebounds, missed underneath and Murzagaliyev further cut the lead to single digit with 2:26 left.

Douthit restored the lead to 11, 67-56, with 2:12 left before Pavel Ilin was fouled and sank both free throws with 1:56 remaining.

Ranidel de Ocampo threw a bad pass for a costly turnover and Kazakhstan made it 65-60 on Dmitriy Gavrilov’s conversion with 1:18 left.

Then came Tenorio’s miss after two scoreless possessions.

Marc Pingris sat out the game.

Jimmy Alapag was the only other Gilas players in double figures.

Scores:

PHILIPINES 67 – Douthit 18, Alapag 11, Tenorio 8, David 7, Aguilar 7, Dillinger 6, De Ocampo 5, Norwood 5, Chan 0, Fajardo 0, Lee 0.

KAZAKHSTAN 65 – Ilin 18, Gavrilov 10, Murzagaliyev 10, Klimov 4, Sultanov 1, Yargaliyev 0, Lapchenko 0, Marchuk 0, Savchenko 0.

Quarters: 14-8, 35-21, 52-39, 67-65



The Pain, Drama And Hunger Of Gilas Pilipinas After Loss To Korea

September 28, 2014

By Aldrin Cardona

INCHEON, Korea—We did not see the whole drama on television.

All we saw was LA Tenorio’s final heave from the halfcourt that somehow made the final score of Gilas Pilipinas’ 95-97 defeat at the hands of the host Koreans on Saturday respectable.

We also saw that painful moment of the players consoling each other after absorbing their third straight defeat that put their campaign in the 17th Asian Games on the brink.

They hugged, shed tears, wore their faces long even as they tried to put brave faces for their fans on their way to the team bus.

The selfies were no fun to fulfill, the group photos bore some explainable gloom, the flaglets did not give happy flutters.

It was only after they have checked in at the Athletes’ Village that everything had sunk in.

“Umiyak sila. Pati si Marcus (Douthit), maluha-luha na. Kung di napigilan, iiyak na din yun,” a source from the team described the post-game meeting presided by head coach Chot Reyes.

Douthit was not fielded in the game against Korea after he received the flak from Reyes on their unexpected loss to a Qatari team that was always their scrimmage opponents back homes.

Douthit, three Gilas sources said, was to be fielded when they faced Kazakhstan Sunday afternoon.

It was to be Douthit’s make up game. But everyone in the team seemed willing to help him make it back into the Gilas system.

Jeff Chan and Paul Dalistan discussed their defensive strategies ahead of breakfast.

Gabe Norwood and Jared Ryan Dillinger had their serious talk in whispers.

Hours before they faced the Kazakhs, the team was back as whole unit.

Gilas Pilipinas must win by more than 10 points over the Kazakhs and hope for a Korea win over Qatar to make it back into the medal hunt.

The Kazakhs were believed to have tanked their match against India in the qualifying rounds to avoid being grouped with the Filipinos.

But that’s the farthest they could go in avoiding Gilas Pilipinas, which are coming out famished for a win.

That long talk and a night’s rest should have done wonders for the Gilas crew to recover. Some of them have skipped dinner for yesterday’s big game.

When everyone in the Philippine secretariat had left, those who felt the pang of hunger had sneaked into the delegation’s headquarters and foraged for some hot noodles and microwaved rice later in the night.

That was the first time smiles hid the pain of that latest defeat on their faces.



Gilas Pilipinas Blows 16-Point Lead Vs Korea; Golden Dream In Jeopardy

September 27, 2014 

INCHEON –  Playing without the benched Marcus Douthit, Gilas Pilipinas’ courageous stand fell short against a hot-shooting Korean team, which came down from as many as 16 points to pull off a 97-95 win that practically slammed the door shut on the nationals’ campaign in the 17th Asian Games basketball competitions at the Samsan World Gymnasium here Saturday.

For a couple of minutes in the third, Gilas Pilipinas looked like the World Cup team the world fell in love with.

In a blazing third quarter, the nationals unleashed the full might of their arsenal, with LA Tenorio, Jeff Chan and Ranidel de Ocampo unleashing four treys to roar to a 16-point lead, 65-49. Gilas was so pumped up, it hit 68 with still 4:52 left in the third, the same score they managed all game-long against Qatar in a 68-77 loss a day earlier.

But Gilas lost its grip on the lead almost as quickly as it established it.

Oh Sekeun triggered an avalanche of Korean baskets with a twinner, fuelled by wily point guard Kim Taesul’s nine-point explosion, including a layup off a steal on Gilas forward Gabe Norwood, to come tantalizingly close at 67-70 from as high of 68-52, and then at 71-72 on a triple by veteran Cho Sungmin.

The FIBA Asia runners-up threatened to pull away again, 78-71, at the start of the fourth with a six-point salvo, capped by a split free throw from JuneMar Fajardo, but the Koreans finally seized the lead at 84-82 on a trey from their naturalized player Moon Taejong before Jimmy Alapag tied the count for the last time at 88-all.

Tenorio’s split gave Gilas its last taste of the lead at 89-88, but Yang Heejong clustered five straight markers, followed by two free throws from Moon as Korea built a 95-89 lead in the dying seconds from where the nationals never recovered from.

“I’m very proud of my boys. They fought hard. It was difficult to beat Korea on its own court, but we fought up to the very end. Unfortunately, we came up short,” said Gilas Coach Chot Reyes, who decided to bench naturalized player Douthit, who he accused of quitting in the game against Qatar.

“I was prepared. I was ready to go but when a coach makes a decision, there’s nothing that you can really say,” said Douthit on the way to the team bus.

Gilas Pilipinas will try to end its quarterfinal play on a winning note when it meets Kazakhstan today (Sunday) at 3:15 p.m. (Korea time) back at the Hwaseong Sports Gymnasium. A win there coupled by a victory by the Kazakhs over Qatar and South Korea over the Qataris could result in life-extending consequences for Gilas.

“The entire responsibility falls on my shoulders. I want to apologize to our people,” Reyes said after the loss, Gilas’ third straight in four games.

Reyes defended his decision to bench Douthit who suited up for the game.

“We decided to bench Marcus for disciplinary reasons,” he said.

The Philippines, which was hoping to end a 52-year-old gold-medal drought in the Asiad, also lost to the Koreans in the semifinal rounds of both the 1986 Seoul and 2002 Busan Asian Games.

Scores:

SOUTH KOREA 97 – Moon 38, Cho 17, Kim T. 16, Yang 10, Oh 10, Kim J. 6, Park 0, Yang 0, Lee 0, Kim S. 0, Kim J. 0, Heo 0.

Philippines 95 – Alapag 25, Tenorio 20, Chan 16, Douthit 12, De Ocampo 11, Norwood 5, Pingris 4, Dillinger 0, David 0, Lee 0.

Quarters: 22-18, 51-44, 72-71, 97-95



Gilas Falls To Qatar; Stage Set For Rematch Of The Year: PH Vs Korea

Game Today

(Samsan World Gymnasium)

2:00 p.m. – Philippines vs Korea (Korea time)

September 26, 2014 

INCHEON, Korea –Qatar sucker-punched the Philippines with impeccable shooting and enormous grit to pull off a 77-68 victory that may have ruined the nationals’ title aspirations in the 17th Asian Games basketball competitions at the Hwaseong Gymnasium here last night.

The Qataris delivered the fatal blows in the third when Gilas Pilipinas wasn’t looking, fuelling a stunning 20-3 assault built around five triples to break away from a close first half en route to the victory.

In what could be Gilas’ worst showing since it was formed three years ago, the nationals, hounded by a maze of turnovers, horrible shooting and faulty passing, failed to score a field goal for over eight minutes of the third, their only points in that stretch coming from the stripe, courtesy of Gary David (2) and Paul Lee (1).

In contrast, the Qataris, who are not known for their shooting, buried five straight triples to start the second half, three from Yousuf Mohamed, to tear the game wide open at 56-42, before Jimmy Alapag singlehandedly brought Gilas back into the game at 51-56 with nine straight points, all from three-point land.

When the Gilas threatened to make it a game by coming to within 63-68 on two freebies by Gabe Norwood in the fourth, Qatar’s naturalized point guard Boney Watson strung up four straight markers, before Mohamed hit a twinner to finally take the fight out of the nationals at 74-65 with less than a minute left.

Gilas needs to sweep its last two assignments in the quarterfinals, beginning with a young Korean team at 2:00 p.m. today (Korea time) at the Samsan World Gymnasium, in order to keep its bid for a semifinal slot alive.

 “The Koreans might be a dangerous team because the crowd supports them,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes.

Gilas finishes its quarterfinal round play when it meets Kazakhstan on Sunday at 3:15 p.m. (Korea time) back at the Hwaseong Sports Gymnasium.

Atrocious free-throw shooting had the nationals missing five freebies in the first quarter, three from Mark Pingris, but treys from LA Tenorio and Jimmy Alapag kept them into the ballgame at 19-all going into the second canto.

Paul Lee’s back-to-back triples after a failed And1 by JuneMar Fajardo gave the Philippines some measure of control at 27-19, only to lose grip of the game again at 36-39 when Watson strung up four straight points to end the half.

Scores:

QATAR 77 – Mohamed M. Y. 19, Watson 15, Daoud 11, Ali 10, Mohamed M.H.
5, Elhadary 4, Mohamed B. 3, Abdulla 2, Musa 0, Al Darwish 0, Salem 0.

GILAS 68 – Alapag 15, Douthit 10, Lee 9, Pingris 9, Chan 7, Tenorio 5, David 4, Dillinger 3, De Ocampo 2, Norwood 2, Aguilar 0.

Quarters: 19-19, 36-39, 56-51, 77-68



Memories Of 2002 Busan Heartbreak Come Flooding Back As Gilas Draws Host Korea

September 26, 2014

INCHEON, South Korea — Gilas Pilipinas will face Qatar on Friday before facing host Korea on Saturday to start off its quarterfinal campaign in the Asian Games.

Read full article at: http://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/news/gilas-pilipinas-quarterfinal-schedule-qatar-korea-kazakhs



Almost But Not Quite, As Asian Champ Iran Dodges Bullet From Gilas Pilipinas

September 25, 2014

INCHEON – Iran continued to be an unsolved puzzle for the Philippines, pulling off a 68-63 victory in the 17th Asian Games basketball competitions at the Hwaseong Sports Gymnasium on Thursday.

But the Filipinos are getting close.

For a while, their string of massive losses to the Iranians appeared headed to an end when Gilas Pilipinas surprisingly led the FIBA Asia champions, 60-53, midway through the final period on a split free throw by Mark Pingris.

But Mahdi Kamrani, Iran’s smallest man on the court, delivered the killer blows that put his team back on its feet, stringing six straight points capped by a three in an 8-0 run and the Philippines lost its grip on the lead just like that at 60-61.

June Mar Fajardo, an agile big man touted to be the future of Philippine basketball, fizzled in his showdown with NBA veteran Hamed Ehadadi, who still came up with 18 points and 15 rebounds, despite several defenders, including Marcus Douthit and Pingris, thrown in his face. The 6’10” Fajardo had a measly 2 points and a solitary rebound in 13 minutes of play.

But to Gilas’collective credit, it was their most tenacious showing against the Asian powerhouse in years, as they set the tempo of the game from the second to the final frames after a flat first period.

 Without two of its “attackers” (Andray Blatche and Jason Castro), in the words of Coach Chot Reyes, the team sputtered in the early goings, with Ehadadi and Mohammadsamad Nik Khabahrami frolicking in the middle to hand Iran a 19-6 advantage, before the middle eastern team settled for a 25-17 count going into the second.

The Philippines’ long-range bombers Paul Lee and Jeff Chan found their range in the second canto and with Douthit sealing the middle while scoring a couple of baskets, Gilas trimmed its once imposing deficit to just a basket, 34-36, heading into the second half.

A blocked shot by Douthit on Kamrani led to a Lee trey and jumper, followed by a driving shot by Pingris as the nationals grabbed a 41-37 edge, which LA Tenorio maintained later with back-to-back triples, 47-43, before Gary David picked up the scoring cudgels by hitting two baskets later in the period for a 53-50 lead at the end of three quarters.

The Filipinos looked ready to finally tear down Iran’s cloak of invincibility when they led by 60-53 in the fourth canto, only to be frustrated again by the Iranians, whose eight-point explosion in the final minute proved enough to break Gilas’ heart once again.

“We were ready to be physical. It’s just a mystery to me how we can be getting warned for a flop when they didn’t get a single warning,” Gilas coach Chot Reyes said.

“I told the boys to hit back when they’re hit. And when the Iranians get hit, they whine. I thought we did a good job hitting back,” he said.

“But through the physicality and (Marcus) Douthit’s four fouls, we lost the game on unforced errors,” added Reyes, citing Pingris’ unsportsmanlike foul and the technical on Fajardo. “We gave them easy free throws.”

Scores:

IRAN 68 – Bahrami 21, Hadaddi 20, Kamrani 12, Arghavan 6, Yakhchalidehkordi 3, Jamshidijafarabadi 3, Afagh 2, Mashayekhi 1, Zangeneh 0, Aslami Haji Abadi 0, Sahakian 0.

PHILIPPINES 63 – Lee 11, Tenorio 10, Douthit10, Norwood 9, De Ocampo 6, Pingris 5, David 4, Chan 3, Dillinger 3, Fajardo 2, Alapag 0, Aguilar 0.

Quarters: 29-17, 36-34, 50-53, 68-63.

 



Revenge Is In The Air As Gilas Pilipinas Takes On FIBA Asia Tormentor Iran

SEPTEMBER 25, 2014

INCHEON, Korea – The message to Gilas Pilipinas from India coach Scott Flemming was pretty damn simple -- knock down your shots.
 
That may have been sound advice for the Pinoy hoopsters in the 17th Asian Games.
 
Except, for the longest time, it has always been Iran making the shots when it mattered most.
 
The Iranians have owned the Filipinos ever since they burst into the Asian basketball scene with a title conquest in the 2007 FIBA Asia Champonship.
 
In the recent FIBA Asia Cup Championships in Wuhan, China only last July, the Hamed Haddadi-led Iranians crushed Gilas by 21 points, 76-55. And it was the same story all over again during the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships in Manila, where the middle eastern powerhouse  humbled the host team, 85-71, right before its countrymen.
 
But those frustrations were suffered before the Philippines earned valuable learning experience in the recent FIBA World Cup in Spain, where they made heads turn and notched their first win in nearly four decades, edging Senegal, 81-79, in overtime.
 
The team that Iran will face today at 2 p.m. (Korea time) is a different one, more mature and hopefully, more confident.
 
“They (Filipinos) held their own in the World Cup. I watched some of those games and they weren’t embarrassed at all even in the games that they lost. They were pretty close. If they can play those teams like that, they can certainly beat Iran,” said Flemming after his tired Indian team gave Filipinos a tough time before bowing, 85-76, on Tuesday. “Yeah, you’re team has a chance (to beat Iran).”
 
But at the back of his head on Wednesday, Flemming maybe retracting his kind words to the Philippines after the Iranians bulldozed the Indians by 35 big points, 76-41.
 
That spectacular win by India may have sent a strong message that they mean business in a tournament they have never ever won.
 
For Gilas to have chance, they must play consistent ball from start to finish, according to coach Chot Reyes.
 
“Basketball is a 40-minute game. We can’t go out and play good basketball for only 38 minutes and expect to win,” said Reyes.


Gilas Pilipinas Bucks 20 Turnovers, Field Goal Drought In Turning Back India

September 23, 2014

INCHEON, Korea – What started as a free-flowing scrimmage turned into a full-blown battle for survival.

In the end, Gilas Pilipinas needed to scrape and claw to avert a nightmarish debut.

The Philippines started out like a house on fire, erecting a 16-0 run and never looking back to beat India, 85-76, to make it into the quarterfinals of the 17th Asian Games men’s basketball at the Hwaseong Sports Complex.

Jeff Chan, Marcus Douthit, and LA Tenorio paced the celebrated men’s basketball national team in the excellent start behind thousands of Filipino fans who trooped to the venue which is located about an hour away from Incheon.

Chan and Douthit, a late replacement for Andray Blatche, each had 14 points for Gilas Pilipinas while Gary David fired 13 markers. Chan and David also combined for 6-of-13 from three-point range in the win.

Gilas Pilipinas now prepares for its second preliminary match against Iran in a battle for top-seed in Group E to be played on Thursday at the Hwaseong Sports Complex.

Overall, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said India played better after the Nationals’ hot start praising the wards of American head coach Scott Flemming.

”I think the Indians beat us the rest of the way,” said Reyes. “India has been playing for four straight days. That’s inhuman. Players become more prone to injuries. You are courting disaster.

Several runs by Gilas, however, staved the emerging Indian team on including a 10-0 run led by Douthit, and LA Tenorio to turn a 52-44 lead into a 62-44 advantage midway in the third.

India kept itself in the game with several three-pointers from Singh Jodinger, Singh Pratham, and Vishesh Bhuriguvanshi but Gilas’ runs in the second half was more than enough for the Filipino cagers to come away with the win.

June Mar Fajardo came off the bench to score 12 points while Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar, who scored on an alley-oop dunk in the second quarter, each had 10 markers for Gilas Pilipinas. (ART)

Scores:

PHILIPPINES 85 – Chan 14, Douthit 14, David 13, Fajardo 12, Tenorio 10, Aguilar 10, De Ocampo 4, Norwood 3, Lee 2, Dillinger 2, Alapag 1, Pingris 0.

INDIA 76 – Amritpal 16, Amjyot 15, Joginder 13, Bhriguvanshi 13, Pratham 11, Brar 6, Pethani 2, Grewal 0, Mishra 0, Pari 0, Sivakumar 0, Yadwinder 0.

Quarterscores: 24-16, 50-37, 70-56, 85-76.



Douthit Still Groping For Form, Says Gilas Coach Chot Reyes

 
 
 
September 23, 2014 
INCHEON, Korea — Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said Marcus Douthit is still far from the game shape he wants to be at the start of their campaign in the Asian Games.
 
Reyes said Douthit is still groping for form as he had a long layoff after playing in the FIBA Asia Cup. Douthit then sat out the FIBA World Cup as Andray Blatche was the naturalized Filipino of Gilas
Pilipinas in the tournament. Gilas didn’t even had a tune-up game either before the Asian Games.
 
“He is still far from it,” said Reyes. “Maybe, he is 70 percent or a little less.”
 
Douthit will make his return to Gilas Pilipinas after Blatche was declared ineligible for not having met the residency rule of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) on naturalized players.
 
Gilas Pilipinas will make its much-anticipated debut against India on Tuesday before playing against Iran, the same team that won the FIBA-Asia Championship. Reyes hopes that by the time the first round is over, Douthit is already in 100 percent form.
 
“The only way to get into shape is to play games. So hopefully, we survive the first round, and then he hits his stride in the next round. Then, he peaks in the semifinals. But we have to get through this first,” said Reyes.
 
“But we have to go through this first,” Reyes said.
 
A lot is expected on Douthit as well as the other bigs in June Mar Fajardo and Japeth Aguilar in the match against India at 2 p.m. (1 p.m. Manila time) where they will reportedly have three 7-footers in the roster.
 
“They are a very tall team. They’ve got a couple of seven-footers who can really play, very athletic and can run the floor. We have to break their zone defense and dominate the boards,” Reyes said. (ART)


FIBA Reaches New Digital Heights With 2014 Basketball World Cup

September 22, 2014

MIES (2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup) - As well as being a resounding success on the courts, the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup turned out to also be a huge hit across all of FIBA’s digital platforms.

FIBA offered a complete and innovative digital experience to engage and entertain all the fans during its flagship event.

FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann said: “The accomplishments and milestones achieved during the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup prove that we have established a very strong presence on digital platforms. Moving forward, FIBA will continue to bring our events closer to our fans using innovative digital tools. Basketball is a young sport with youth fans and we always have to keep in mind having the most efficient way possible to reach our audience across the globe.”

On FIBA's YouTube Channel, the more than 500 videos from Spain 2014 resulted in over 30 million views and the channel doubled its number of subscribers with more than 126,000 people now following FIBA on the platform.

Claude Ruibal, Global Head of Sports for YouTube said: “Spain 2014 was a sensational event for FIBA and for YouTube. The FIBA digital team created tons of audience engagement by posting lots of high quality clips and highlights that helped fans get a broader and deeper connection with the game.”

Posts on FIBA's Facebook page reached 189 million people and received more than 5 million likes.

Meanwhile, more than 4.3 million tweets about the FIBA Basketball World Cup were sent during the tournament, with 866,000 of them using the official hashtag #Spain2014. The 360 degree vine videos of the winning teams generated a huge engagement and were played over 3 million times.

FIBA.com/Spain2014 had 33 million visits and 90 million page views over the course of the tournament.

The FIBA Game Center App was downloaded more than 250,000, generating 1.4 million visits and 8.5 million page views.

The 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup also saw the launch of two world premieres for the International Basketball Federation and witnessed excellent traffic across its various social media channels.

For the first time ever, FIBA teamed up with Twitter to create the functionality @FIBA Scores. By tweeting '@FIBA scores', fans got live scores from every game throughout the tournament and found out in in real time how their favourite team was performing. This proved to be a big success, with 50,000 tweets and 10,000 re-tweets generated.

The second innovation saw the launch of the second screen App "FIBA REPLAY", which enabled fans to replay the best actions from the biggest games (Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals, Third-Place Game and Final) from multiple camera angles.

The first-ever FIBA Basketball World Cup took place in Spain from 30 August to 14 September 2014.

The Group Phase was played in Bilbao, Gran Canaria, Granada and Sevilla (30 August-4 September), with the Final Phase staged in Barcelona's Palau Sant Jordi and the the Palacio de los Deportes in Madrid (6-14 September).

The FIBA Basketball World Cup, known from 1950 until 2010 as the FIBA World Championship, is the flagship event of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).



Gilas Pilipinas Invades Incheon; First Game Could Be Against Kazakhstan

September 21, 2014
 
INCHEON, South Korea — Members of the Philippine delegation’s most celebrated team—Gilas Pilipinas—arrived for the 17thAsian Games almost hitch free on Saturday night, a day after Typhoon Mario wrought havoc in Luzon and Metro Manila and caused jitters to the World Cup veteran’s smooth flight to this bustling industrial city close to the capital Seoul.
 
Philippine delegation officials said Gilas’s Philippine Airlines flight from Manila was expected to touch down at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. in Manila).
 
Apprehensions for Gilas having to rebook its flight reared on Friday after assistant coach Aboy Castro couldn’t catch a plane for home. He had in his possession all of the 12 team members’ passports which he presented during the team managers and technical meeting on Thursday night where naturalized player Marcus Douthit and Jimmy Alapag’s inclusion on the team were guaranteed.
 
While Gilas made its way to Incheon, assistant coaches Jong Uichico, Tad Baldwin and Josh Reyes did their scouting chores, not only on Kazakhstan but on possible off-competition hassles the team may encounter.
 
Reyes and co. inspected the route from the Athletes’ Village to Hwaseong Sports Complex, noting of delays on the road that may cause trouble to the Filipino dribblers.
 
The basketball qualifying round started on Saturday with the Kazakhs routing Saudi Arabia, 89-59, and India blasting Palestine, 89-49, in Group B and Mongolia defeating Hongkong, 86-77, and Kuwait winning by a mile over the Maldives, 116-44, in Group A.
 
The Philippines and Iran drew byes in Group B with the Filipinos expecting to open their Asian Games campaign against Kazakhstan on Tuesday.


Toroman Sees 4-Way Fight Among Gilas, Iran, Korea And China For Asiad Gold

September 20, 2014

INCHEON, South Korea — Former Gilas Pilipinas coach Rajko Toroman said he sees a four-way fight for the gold medal among the Philippines, Iran, South Korea, and China in the basketball competitions of the 2014 Asian Games.

Read full article at: http://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/news/rajko-toroman-asian-games-basketball-philippines-iran-china-south-korea



Doubtless Douthit Leads Charge Of Gilas Pilipinas As His Inclusion Is Unopposed

Sept. 19, 2014

INCHEON, South Korea – Marcus Douthit’s eligibility issue was never discussed during the manager’s meeting, clearing the way for the new 12-man roster of Gilas Pilipinas to play in the 17th Asian Games here that will tip-off on Saturday.

Read full article at: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2014/09/19/1370856/all-systems-go-gilas-douthit-inclusion-unopposed



MVP Accepts Nomination For A Seat On FIBA’s Central Board

September 16, 2014

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Manuel V. Pangilinan has been elected to the International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) Central Board after a three-hour meeting in Madrid on Saturday.

Read full article at: http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/mvp-elected-to-seat-on-fibas-central-board-2

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South Korea, Home Crowd Seek Payback Against Gilas Pilipinas In Incheon Asiad

August 21, 2014

REVENGE is a dish best served cold.

It’s the kind of reception awaiting Gilas Pilipinas come the 17th Asian Games this September as no less than long-time nemesis South Korea is looking to ambush Chot Reyes and Co. right in the heart of Incheon.

A year has lapsed, and yet the pain and deep wound left behind by the emotionally-charged 86-79 win by the Filipinos’ during the semifinals of the 2013 FIBA-Asia Men’s Championship in Manila, still haunts the Sokors while a ghost of the not so distant past.

It is only inevitable then the Koreans get their payback right in front of a boisterous homecrowd that’s definitely craving for blood.

At least seven members of the ill-fated team that fell prey to Gilas are part of the Korean squad bound for the FIBA-World Cup in Spain and therefore, likely to be back for another tour of duty in the Asiad, which comes two weeks after the world championship.

The eight include Kim Sun-Hyung, Yang, Dong-Geun, Kim Tae-Sol, Cho Sung-Min, Kim Jong-Kyu, Lee Jong-Hyun, and veteran Kim Joo-Sung.

Conspicuously not in the lineup is Kim Ming Go, who torched Gilas for 27 points during the FIBA-Asia, including converting a rare four-point play that gave Korea a 75-73 lead in the final 4:40 of the tightly-fought match that proved to be the Sokors’ final stand.

Also left out by coach Yoo Jae-Hak for Spain is big man Ha Seugn-Jin, who is reportedly not in shape after not playing competitive basketball for the past two years.

Not until ending the Korean jinx, the Sokors had broken the Filipinos’ hearts one too many time since the 2002 Asiad in Busan when an assassin by the name of Lee Sang Min denied an all-pro team a berth in the final against mighty China following his gripping, dagger-like three-pointer swished on the net at the final buzzer.

The groupings for the men’s basketball competition of the Incheon Asiad has yet been drawn, leaving everybody still in the dark whether it would be an early collision or a last-minute match-up between these two basketball powers whose long rivalry stretches back to as many as five decades.

As it is, Gilas made a concerted effort to fire the first shot against South Korea a month before the quadrennial meet comes off the wraps.

On the first year since that memorable V-Day, Gilas celebrated it by way of routing ACB Select team, 89-58, in its exhibition match in Vitoria, Spain as the nationals gear up for the world tilt.

Coach Reyes later tweeted in his account@coachot, “we wanted 2 commemorate d 1st yr `Break Korea Curse’ Anni by playing w good effort d right way. I think we did both, now on to tougher foes.”

Will that stoke up the Koreans’ seek for revenge even more?

The Asiad is going to be one wild jungle for these two rival teams. (AFR)

 



Manila West FIBA 3x3 Team Starts Training

September 16, 2014

Lost in the din of Gilas Pilipinas’ rousing performance in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Seville, Spain and the heated exchange over the eligibility of naturalized player Andray Blatche for the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, the four-man Manila West team awaits the call to start training for the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final in Tokyo four weeks from now.

Read full article at: http://sports.tempo.com.ph/2014/09/ph-3x3-team-starts-training/



Five-Year Masterplan For 2019 FIBA World Cup In The Works

SEVILLE, Spain – Forty years is an agonizingly long time to wait for victory in any field of sports. But for those patient enough to endure and survive, the arrival of that first win comes as a blessing of immeasurable form and value.

It was in 1974 at the FIBA Basketball World Championship in Puerto Rico when the Philippines, featuring a strappling young guard named Robert Jaworski and a sweet-shooting forward named William Adornado, beat Australia and Central African Republic both by one point in the classification round to finish 13th in a field of 14 with a 2-6 win loss record.

It was Philippine basketball at its Period of Renaissance following the soft slide from the Golden Years of the ‘50s where the man known as the Big Difference, Carlos Loyzaga, reigned supreme, here and abroad.

But then came the long dry spell that befell the country, stretching four decades through the 1978 FIBA World Championship which the Philippines hosted but came away empty-handed in seven games.

And now this – with the victory over another African team, Senegal, ensuring the Philippines won’t go another four years, at least, without anything to cheer about except the near-misses against Croatia, Argentina and Puerto Rico.

So electrifying was Gilas Pilipinas in its return to the world stage after 36 years that even in loses, a fired-up nation had applauded no end.

This, in turn, has moved the man behind the gargantuan Gilas program, telecommunications tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan, to keep pushing the button.

Pangilinan, who has accepted an offer to join the FIBA Central Board in Geneva, is set to meet with national coach Chot Reyes in Manila next week to do a “forensic post mortem” of Gilas’ participation in Spain.

“I’d like to know what went right, what didn’t do so right, and assess what may be needed in the Asian Games and the 2015 qualifying tournament to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro,” Pangilinan said during dinner he tendered Thursday night for the Philippine delegation.

A grand ambition in the horizon is also in the sights of the big business magnate known by his acronym MVP.

“We’re also looking forward to hosting the 2019 FIBA World Championship,” he said. “And I’m very serious about it.”

The course he is plotting for Gilas Pilipinas to take through the next five years, Pangilinan said, makes it imperative that the search be on for future national players.

“Most of these players will be too old. Even Andray Blatche will be around 33, 34,” he said. “Kailangang mag-isip na tayo, especially kung palarin tayong manalo sa hosting ng world championship. I don’t want to perform poorly compared to Spain. Nakakahiya yon. We have to do better in 2019.”

The Seville experience was remarkable, Pangilanan said

“On the whole, the team did well,” he said. “Kanina, we calculated our benchmark compared to other Asian countries like Iran and South Korea. The Koreans, I think, lost by a total of 100 points while and Iran  medyo malaki rin. Tayo less than 20 so by that token, we did very well. Kung sinuwerte nga lang tayo against Croatia, even against Argentina and Puerto Rico, malamang lumusot tayo.”

Losing those games by the smallest of margins, Pangilinan said, provided him with some measure of pride,

“You see the whole world waking up to the Philippine brand of basketball, and I’m happy about it,” he said.

It has been 40 years and the silence has grown deafening. But not anymore. Now the rest of the planet knows that in a small part of the globe, an undersized team with an oversized heart and a dragon-slayer mentality is capable of coming to Spain or any place where the big boys frolic to instill fear to the world’s basketball powers.

Indeed Seville has become one huge blessing of immeasurable form and value for Philippine basketball.



Philippines Climbs To 31st In Latest FIBA Rankings After World Cup

September 16, 2014

THANKS to its stirring performance in the recent FIBA World Cup in Spain, the Philippines climbed three notches in the latest FIBA rankings released over the weekend.

The country is now at no. 31 in the world from its previous place of no. 34 following a rousing showing in the world championship by Gilas Pilipinas that had everybody taking notice of this nation of 100 million people where basketball is sacred as religion.

Bannered by naturalized player Andray Blatche, the national team finished at 21st place at the end of the two-week long meet with a 1-4 record in its preliminary round campaign.

The nationals won their first ever game in the tournament after four decades by beating Senegal in overtime, 81-79, during their final preliminary game.

But three of their losses against world powers Croatia, Argentina, and Puerto Rico could have gone either way in the endgame as they only lost by an average margin of 3.6 points.

Reigning Asian champion Iran, which finished at no. 20 with a similar 1-4 record as the Philippines in the World Cup, rose from no. 20 to no. 17, while Korea, despite failing to win a single game in five games in the tournament, also climbed in the rankings at no. 27 from 31.

Iran, the Philippines, and Korea earned berths to the world championship after finishing as the top three teams in last year's FIBA-Asia Men's Championship in Manila

China, which failed to qualify in Spain, remained as the best basketball team in Asia with a no. 14 ranking, although the Chinese are down from its previous place at no. 12.

As expected, USA retained its no. 1 ranking in the world after a nine-game sweep of the World Cup, capped by its 129-92 rout of Serbia in the finals. (AFR)



USA Shoot Past Serbia To Win 2014 World Title, Retain Crown

September 16, 2014

MADRID (FIBA Basketball World Cup) – The United States shot their way to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup title by hitting 15 three-pointers in a 129-92 victory over Serbia in Sunday's Final to become the first repeat world champions since 2002.

Read full article at: http://www.fiba.com/news/usa-shoot-past-serbia-to-win-2014-title-retain-world-crown



France Withstand Lithuania For 3rd Place, Best-Ever Result At FIBA's Flagship Event

September 16, 2014

MADRID (FIBA Basketball World Cup) – France recovered from a rough third quarter just in time to scrape past Lithuania 95-93 in Saturday's Third-Place Game of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, for their best-ever result in FIBA's flagship event.

Read full article at: http://www.fiba.com/news/spain-2014-france-hold-fort-against-lithuania-to-take-third-place-best-ever-result-at-fibas-flagship-event

 



DOUTHIT: Anytime Gilas Pilipinas Needs Me, I'm Ready

SEVILLE, Spain – Gilas Pilipinas only has to say the word.

Marcus Douthit, lounging at a side street cafeteria Wednesday evening a few meters from the 16th century Seville Cathedral in Andalusia, says he is ready to answer the call to suit up for the Incheon Asian Games if ever it comes.

“Anytime they need me, I’m ready,” said Douthit in the company of Gilas teammate LA Tenorio and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel governor Alfrancis Chua. “I wanted the shot at the FIBA (World Cup) but at the end of the day it was not my choice, you know what I mean?”

In the wake of reports that the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee (IAGOC) is putting the squeeze on Gilas’ naturalized player Andray Blatche to stop the Philippines from fielding him in the Asiad which starts later this month, Douthit has once again become more than just a looming presence from the past.

After serving as the backbone of national team campaigns, culminating in last year’s FIBA Asia Championship where he towed Gilas to the semifinals before injuring his calf early in the all-important revenge match against South Korea, Douthit’s role has been reduced to that of a highly-paid scrimmage player and a rah-rah guy on the bench in the FIBA Basketball World Cup here.

He was also seen apparently relaying messages between American consultant Tab Baldwin and the Gilas bench during the Argentina game last Monday.

But with Gilas’ return to the global stage after a 36-year absence all but wrapped up except for the last preliminary game against FIBA Africa qualifier Senegal Thursday, Douthit could sense the winds shifting as the Philippine team prepares to depart sweltering Seville for icy Incheon.

"I’ve been doing what all the others are doing during scrimmages and I’m in 100 percent shape,” he said. “I know there are people who have doubts, but I’m ready to prove them wrong.”

Douthit looks back over his shoulder and offers a glancing view.

“In a way it was kinda hard for the team to get used to playing with Andray because of the short period of time,” said Douthit. “We've been playing for years and our guys have been playing with Andray for two months max; it's hard trying to learn everything. It took me, what, three months to learn the guys.”

A 12-man Philippine lineup has been submitted more than two weeks ago to the IAGOC which then questioned the status of longtime residents Gabe Norwood and Jared Dillinger, a late addition to Gilas after Jimmy Alapag’s announced retirement from international play, and the eligibility of Blatche, a former Brooklyn Nets center who more than held his own against seasoned big men from Croatia, Greece, Argentina andWednesday afternoon Puerto Rico.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas reportedly is moving heaven and earth to see Blatche through in the Asian Games where his 6-foot-11 frame could spell the difference between a so-so performance and the gold medal for Gilas Pilipinas.

“We’re still hopeful IAGOC will decide in our favor,” said SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, who had communicated to the Asian Games management through the Philippine Olympic Committee their arguments on why Blatche has passed the grade.

If everything fails, however, Douthit could get the belated call for reactivated tour duty although inserting him into the lineup could prove a bit tricky as well since last-minute changes in the rosters are reportedly allowed only in cases of injuries to players in the original list submitted.

The SBP isn’t giving even small thought to that scenario however.

“We’re leaving no stone unturned in trying to get Andray to Incheon; that’s our priority,” said Barrios.



Blatche Out, Douthit, Alapag Plus One More Make It To Gilas Team Bound For Incheon

September 11, 2014

Samahang Basketbol ng Pililipinas vice chairman Ricky Vargas last night announced that Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia and former Asian Basketball Confederation secretary-general Moying Martlino have secured the approval of the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee for Marcus Douthit to take the place of Andray Blatche in the Gilas Pilipinas lineup.

“This means we will play, and we want to play,” said Vargas.

Further, Vargas said, the IAGOC has allowed Jimmy Alapag to be inserted in the 12-man Philippine team roster plus another player whose name has to be submitted during the Managers Meeting to be attended by Aboy Castro on Sept. 19, if Gilas so decides.

Alapag, who was persuaded to put on hold his retirement from international play, will replace the injured Jayson Castro, who sat out the game against Senegal in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Seville, Spain last week because of knee tendonitis.

Vargas said there are no discussions yet on how to exercise the “unexpected concession” given by IAGOC, adding national coach Chot Reyes will make the decision based on the health conditions of the ailing Gilas players.

“We want to be healthy going to Incheon,” said Vargas.

After fighting hard to keep Blatche, SBP finally accepted the fate of the former Brooklyn Nets center who was largely responsible for the Philippines’ first world championship victory in 40 years.

“First and foremost, our final appeal to have Andray Blatche on the team has been denied so he’s definitely not playing in the Asian Games,” said Vargas.

“But through the representations made by Chairman Garcia and Mr. Martelino, the Olympic Council of Asia and the IAGOC agreed to a compromise.”

The two Filipino sports emissaries flew to Incheon the other day bearing a personal letter from SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan addressed to OCA president Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah of Kuwait.

“I think they softened up because of the letter from MVP,” said Vargas, who bared the telecommunications tycoon was elated by the news.

“He was happy because although they didn’t allow Andray to play, they also didn’t completely close the door on us,” said Vargas, also the president of Maynilad Water Inc. “It was MVP’s decision for us to go out and play.”

For his part Vargas said he was delighted to be going to the Asian Games despite all that has come and passed.

“I’ve been listening to the social media and they want us to play. The players and the coaches want to as well, so we’re going,” he said.

Blatche, Vargas said, will probably stay in the States where his superb play in Spain is prompting NBA teams, including the Miami Heat, to take a second look.

The PSC, along with the Philippine Olympic Committee, with its president Peping Cojuangco Jr., have been helping the SBP in its appeal to OCA and IAGOC for Blatche’s inclusion to the national team headed for the Asian Games.

 



Have We Seen The Last of Alapag with Gilas Pilipinas? Think Again.

SEVILLE, Spain – Jimmy Alapag, the fleet-footed lights-out shooter of Gilas Pilipinas, has closed the door on suiting up for the Incheon Asian Games. But he hasn’t completely burned it down.

In fact, Alapag could find himself ‘unretiring’ from international play faster than he could hang his jersey and actually retire.

After his spectacular performance in the FIBA Basketball World Cup where he almost by himself beat Argentina Tuesday and bailed out the national team in overtime against Senegal Thursday, Alapag has come under gentle persuasive pressure from no less than Gilas benefactor Manny V. Pangilinan to reconsider his decision to make this “my last tournament.”

“Personally, I believe we still need Jimmy there in Incheon,” said Pangilinan after the Philippines posted its first FIBA World Cup victory in 40 years. “But it will have to be the coach’s decision to try and bring him back. Maybe if there’s public clamor, Jimmy might think about it.”

The 5-foot-9 Talk ‘N Text point guard, who had five 3-pointers in the second half against the Indiana Pacers’ Luis Scola and Argentina and six free throws in overtime against the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Gorgui Dieng of Senegal, had announced earlier that this will be his swan song.

“I’ve done my share for Philippine basketball and I believe it’s time others get the chance to step in and take the reins,” Alapag had said.

But at team dinner after the Senegal game, Alapag clearly was beginning to have second thoughts.

“I’ll never turn my back on the national team, if it needs me,” he said, gingerly favoring his right hip which he fell on after getting hammered during a fast break play late in the extra period.

“But I’d like to think there are a lot of younger players out there who can fill up the job and take over.”

Like who, he was asked.

“Oh, there’s many,” he said, smiling but wide-eyed.

National coach Chot Reyes said he will be talking to Alapag about reconsidering when they return.

“Doon na sa Pilipinas namin pag-uusapan yan pero totoong kailangan siya sa Incheon,” Reyes said.

That evening, however, Jimmy Alapag knew what he was in dire need of.

:”A Spanish hilot,” he said as he painstakingly began walking one step at a time up a black marbled stairway to the restaurant second floor where the rest rooms are located.



Mission Accomplised In Spain; Incheon Asiad Up Next

SEVILLE, Spain – As envisioned by Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes, the way to the playground where the big boys of the FIBA Basketball World Cup will romp – the Round of 16, is through Croatia and Senegal, the Nationals’ first and last preliminary assignments.

“On analysis of the competition we felt our best shot was against those two teams,” Reyes said during a thanksgiving dinner tendered by Gilas Pilipinas benefactor Manny V. Pangilinan Thursday night here.

“Croatia, we thought, won’t be prepared for us; baka makagulat tayo, and Senegal because we felt we had the game to beat them. True enough, both games ended in overtime. We were one shot away from going to the second round." 

Reyes felt everything “went according to plan” except for one unexpected phenomenon.

“Masama ang loob natin kasi di naman natin alam na madidikitan natin yung apat na kalaban natin,” he said. ”But we did and it raised the expectations of everyone, from the team, management, the fans and the media. From the start, however, our thinking was our best shot would be against Croatia and Senegal, and that’s exactly what happened.” 

The game against world No. 3 Argentina, where Gabe Norwood posterized the Indiana Pacers’ Luis Scola and Jimmy Alapag torched the Latin American team in the fourth quarter, was treated, more or less, as an experiment.

“We sacrificed defense for offense, that’s why I started Ranidel de Ocampo,” Reyes said. “We made some in-tournament adjustments and it almost worked. We were just unable to convert and a couple of turnovers hurt us in the end.” 

The heartbreaker against the Argentines, as well as the down-the-wire defeats to the Croatians and Puerto Rico, with JJ Barea and former PBA import Renaldo Balkman, were the result of the Nationals’ “freezing” in the cold waters of international play, Reyes said.

“That is our main problem – inexperience,” said Reyes. “We just froze in our endgames. It’s not choking, these are PBA veterans. But this is a completely new tournament. Parang di tayo makapaniwala na kaya nating manalo. Even Andray [Blatche]. He’s an NBA player but he’s a rookie at FIBA and it showed. Look at our last plays; once he gets the ball, he passed it.”

Reyes said that as frustrating as not making it to the next round is, the 1-4 win-loss record, capped by the country’s first win in world basketball in 40 years, was a testament to what Gilas Pilipinas has achieved in the short period of time it was put together.

“The best way to describe it is that while we’re happy with the win, we regret not getting to the second round,” Reyes. “But now we know we deserved to be there. Before it was 50-50, not anymore.”

Throwing different looks at Gilas’ Group B opponents was the big secret to the Nationals’ success at being able to be there till the end against world class rivals.

“We stayed unpredictable, hard to scout, unconventional and were just completely willing to take risk,” Reyes said. “We didn’t play the precision game of the Europeans or the scientific game of the Americans. We didn’t even call out plays. That’s how we were able to compete the way we did.”

Reyes plans to do the same later this month when they fly to Incheon, South Korea for the Asian Games.

Under one presumption, though.

“As long as Andray is there and we stay healthy, we could go all the way,” Reyes said, shifting his focus to Gilas’ forthcoming battles with the region’s basketball powers – Iran, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Japan, host South Korea and, of course, powerhouse China.

“Ang problema, I don’t even know what kind of team we’ll have,” he said. “Nakakahinayang kasi if we’re not able to bring this whole team to the Asian Games.”

Reyes said questions made by the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee on the eligibility of Blatche could hurt the team’s chances.

“Even if we’re allowed to to change Andray with Marcus [Douthit], the dynamics will be completely different,” Reyes said. “Maiiba talaga. Look, the reason June Mar [Fajardo] is playing so well is because of Andray. He can play with Andray but won’t be as effective with Marcus because parehong position e. Andray got so much attention, it freed June Mar to do a lot of things.”

Gilas practice for the Asiad is set at Sept. 12, with the team departing for Incheon on Sept. 19.

“We even have to evaluate pa our injuries, like yung ke [Marc] Pingris (plantar fasciitis), Paul Lee (back and shoulder) and Jayson Castro (knee),” Reyes said. “So right now, everything is up in the air. Even if we’ve submitted our 12-man lineup, we can always change if its due to injuries. E kita naman nila, di na nga natin ginamit (Castro) nitong huli.”



FIBA Comes To Gilas Pilipinas Aid, Urges IAGOC To Re-enlist Blatche For Asian Games

SEPTEMBER 7, 2014

MADRID – A mailed fist from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) may yet pave the way for Andray Blatche to join Gilas Pilipinas in the Asian Games later this month.

In a tactfully-worded but clearly-defined letter to the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee, which earlier questioned the eligibility of Blatche, Gilas' naturalized player, FIBA, the world governing body for international basketball, urged IAGOC to “review your decision and apply FIBA’s regulations on eligibility for all teams participating in the basketball tournaments at the Asian Games and re-enlist the Filipino player.”

The communication dated Sept. 5 was signed by Swiss-based FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann and addressed to IAGOC secretary general Kwon Kyungsang, Jo Youngha, director general, Sports Headquarters, and Mun Hosung, director, Sports Entries Department.

In it, FIBA took cognizance of the “delisting of a Philippine player” in the forthcoming Asian Games, and established its authority over the eligibility criteria “for all basketball athletes worldwide for the purpose of their participation in national team competitions in official basketball competitions organized by or sanctioned by FIBA.”

Baumann also reminded IAGOC officials that “the player you have prohibited entry plays is registered in FIBA’s eligibility system as a player for the Philippines and has, in fact, just played games this past week at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain for that country.”

He said it confused him to find out “that he [Blatche] is now not allowed to compete for the same team just a few weeks later.”

The IAGOC, citing two conflicting provisions in the Olympic Council of Asia’s rules on eligibility, had claimed weeks ago that Blatche, a former Brooklyn Nets center who passed FIBA’s stringent requirements for acceptance as naturalized player, is not qualified to play for the Philippines in the Asian Games, raising alarm bells within the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.

Several letters from SBP executive director Sonny Barrios justifying Blatche’s inclusion to the 12-man lineup submitted by Gilas coach Chot Reyes to the IAGOC were sent OCA through the Philippine Olympic Committee, as a matter protocol, but received no attention.

Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia then went on record that an OCA official had told him that FIBA rules will not apply on Blache’s case.

“I met with an OCA official, the first time we sat down, OK (siya na makalaro si Blatche) kasi may Philippine passport na,” Garcia told Spin.ph. “Pero a day or two later, tumawag si Mr. Wu from China, who is also with OCA, and he said na Blatche is not qualified."

With OCA apparently leaning towards IAGOC and nobody else to go to for assistance, SBP brought the matter up to FIBA which responded swiftly and decisively, bringing to IAGOC’s attention FIBA’s technical mandate which reaches up as high as the Olympics.

“You may not know, but – probably similar to other sports – FIBA’s eligibility rules apply, as an example, for all FIBA’s World Championships and for the Olympic Games,” the FIBA letter pointed out. “Also as an example, during an event like the Asian Games, FIBA’s International Referees officiate the Games and apply the Official Basketball Rules as edited by FIBA.”

Baumann further said that re-enlisting Blatche “would certainly be fair for the athlete concerned and his country.”

The powerful FIBA executive also sought uniformity in the application of eligibility rules in international play.

”Equally, if the same set of eligibility rules, namely that of the International Federation, is being applied to all international basketball events for national teams across the world, it ensures clarity for the media and the fans alike and credibility for the sport,” he said.

Baumann made it clear that he wants to hear from IAGOC at the soonest.

Furnished FIBA’s letter to IAGOC were International Olympic Committee sports director Kit McConnell, National Olympic Committee relations director Pere Miro, OCA director general Husain Al-Musallam, FIBA Asia secretary general Hagop Khajirian, and the National Basketball Federation of the Philippines.

 



One Last Effort After SBP Informed That Blatche Won’t Be Allowed To Play In Asiad

September 10, 2014

PHILIPPINE national men’s basketball team center Andray Blatche will not be allowed to play in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) vice-chairman Ricky Vargas in a press conference on Monday.

Read full article at: http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/sbp-informed-that-andray-blatche-wont-be-allowed-to-play-in-asian-games

 



PH’s Pascual Last Asian Ref In Final 20-man Roster In FIBA World Cup

September 7, 2014

MADRID – The Philippines’ Ferdinand “Bong” Pascual is the last remaining Asian referee officiating games in the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

Pascual gives the country some honor by making the 20-man roster chosen to work on the knockout matches here and over in Barcelona.

The 44-year-old former University of Baguio Cardinal, an international referee for over 10 years now, joins refs from the US, Argentina, Latvia, Serbia, Brazil, France, Greece, Spain and Angola to officiate KO games in Barcelona.

Other countries with game officials in the playoff matches are Mexico, Ukraine, Italy, Croatia, Canada, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Germany and Australia. A second US ref completes the cast of game officials calling the matches in this lovely Spanish capital city.

Pascual, a Cabanatuan native now based in Valenzuela, made the grade in officiating competently Group C matches in Bilbao, involving the USA, Turkey, Ukraine, New Zealand, Dominican Republic and Finland.

For years, no Filipino ref had made the FIBA men’s world championship.

“I’ve previously made youth championships. But, of course, this is a much bigger thing. The Olympics and the World Championship are the events all International Refs aspire to make.

Thus, Gilas Pilipinas is out but the Philippines still has a representation left in the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

The starting cast of game officials was 38, with four from Asia.

The other Asian refs, Yuji Hirahara of Japan, Mohammad Al Amiri of Kuwait and Yevgeniy Mikheyev of Kazakhstan, failed to go past the group plays.

The 34 other refs are from 24 countries across FIBA’s four other continental zones – America, Europe, Africa and Oceania.

The group consists of tested refs with ages ranging from 27 to 50 and an average refereeing experience of 11.6 years. (SB)

 



With FIBA World Stint Done, Paul Lee Ready To Return Home And Face Contract Issues

SEVILLE, Spain – Is beleaguered Rain or Shine star Paul Lee ready to come back to the waiting arms of coach Yeng Guiao?

It looks that way as Lee said Thursday that he plans to go straight to team practice next week upon Gilas Pilipinas’ return to Manila from the FIBA Basketball World Cup here.

“Mas maganda na magkaroon kami ni coach Yeng (Guiao) ng parang father-and-son talk pag balik namin,” said Lee during a dinner hosted by telecommunications tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan a few hours after the Nationals beat Senegal on the final day of the preliminaries at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo.

Lee said that while a telephone call he made to Guiao a few weeks earlier had cleared up the air somewhat, he intended to lay everything on the table in a heart-to-heart talk with the RoS mentor, who Lee said he has utmost respect for.

Although the former University of the East star didn’t say outright that he is now open to signing the offered maximum three-year contract extension reportedly worth P15.1M, he did hint at the possibility of coming to terms with the Elasto Painters before the Gilas team leaves for the Incheon Asian Games later this month.

Lee was named to the national team that was to see action in Spain as one of three FIBA Asia qualifiers after original Gilas player Larry Fonacier begged off last July to get treatment for chronic back pains.

The forthcoming meeting will be just between him and Guiao, said Lee, who also denied reports other ballclubs had sought him out to inquire on his status even before his RoS contract expired last month.

Such probing, no matter how discreet, is tantamount to tampering, PBA commissioner Chito Salud said during the PBA Rookie Draft a few weeks ago at Robinson’s Place in Ermita, stressing that the league “won’t be held hostage” by such serious breach of league rules.

Salud may have also indirectly referred to Lee when he warned of “whimsical and capricious players.”

“Nakakahiya rin naman kasi, halimbawa dito sa Gilas, kung pag-iisipan sila ng ganoon,” said Lee, adding that his supposed demand to be traded was simply a case of misunderstanding.

“Parang nabigla lang ako non,” Lee said. “Sabi nga ni coach Yeng, pag-isipan ko munang mabuti ang decision ko. Kaya lahat yan mapapag-usap namin ni coach pag balik ko. Masaya naman ako dito eh. Wala rin naman akong masasabi sa management o sa mga team owners; mababait silang lahat.”

Lee’s plan to have a private conversation with Guiao was welcomed by his RoS teammates Beau Belga and Jeff Chan, both of whom had reportedly grown distant from Lee after statements attributed to him indicated that he was asking to be traded.

“Eh di mabuti; yan naman talaga and kailangan eh,” said Belga. “Kami naman eh tagapayo lang. Siya rin naman talaga ang may decision diyan.”

“Noon pa naman namin siya sinasabihan kaso di sumasagot pag tinatawagan mo,” said Chan. “Kung totoo yon na mag-uusap sila, sana ma-resolve na lahat ng mga problema.”

The apparent falling-out among them was none more evident than in the sitting arrangement during dinner, with Lee separated by maybe two or three seats from his E-Painters teammates, neither of whom spoke with Lee during the entire evening.



Gilas Pilipinas Ends FIBA World Cup Stint With Pride, Honor And Dignity

SEVILLE, Spain – Talk about going out in a blaze of glory.

In a game eerily reminiscent to the one Gilas Pilipinas dramatically fashioned before a screaming and weeping home crowd not too long ago, the Nationals lost Andray Blatche to foul disqualification with 1:55 left in overtime but incredibly hung on to beat Senegal, 81-79, and end a string of excruciating close calls in the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo here.

Though denied a shot at making it to the Round of 16 and a potential face-off with host Spain after dropping its first four games, three of them agonizing heartbreakers, the Philippines left its mark on the global stage after a 36-year-absence by holding its own against the FIBA Africa qualifier which earlier slew Puerto Rico and Croatia, both Gilas tormentors.

And the Nationals did it without Blatche, the 6-foot-11 naturalized player who picked up his fifth foul with the score tied, 69-all, and Senegal’s point guard Xane D’Almeida going to the foul line.

D’Almeida hit both and history repeating itself was blissfully set for Philippine basketball where back in August last year, during the semifinal of the FIBA Asia Championship against longtime nemesis South Korea, Gilas Pilipinas lost previous naturalized player Marcus Douthit to a leg injury in the second quarter.

Instead of folding, the Nationals, with over 15,000 supporters rallying behind them with deafening force, came together in a spectacular display of unity to thwart South Korea, 86-79, and qualify to the world championship.

The people behind Gilas was considerably less this time, but their belief never faltered and their roar rocked the venue.

Neither did the players give up, from June Mar Fajardo, who played the game of his life, to LA Tenorio, Gabe Norwood, Ranidel de Ocampo and again Jimmy Alapag.

Oh yes, Alapag, whose one final wish before retiring from international play was to have one last  game like his blistering five second half 3-pointers against Argentina Tuesday.

Alapag buried three triples against the Senegalese and his six free throws in the extra period and steadfast leadership withstood all the full-court pressure the tall and quick African team could muster against him.

From trailing 71-69 after Blatche fouled out, the Philippines went on a 10-5 run to open a 79-74 lead with 11 seconds remaining on a Norwood free throw.

And when Senegal’s 7-foot center Gorgui Dieng of the Minnesota Timberwolves cut the deficit with a slam dunk, Alapag, who survived a frightening fall earlier that also saw Tenorio going after Dieng for clothes-lining him, hit two free throws to complete his swan song with a sweeping bow.

“We’ve shown that we can compete, we’ve shown that we belong, and now we’ve shown that we can win,” said national coach Chot Reyes.

The Philippines wrapped up its participation in the world championship with a 20th place finish out of 24 teams and will proceed next to Incheon, South Korea for the Asian Games.

Blatche had 18 points and 14 rebounds while Alapag also had 18 points with four assists. Fajardo, showing no fear of NBA players, battled Dieng on even terms, the way he did Argentina’s Luis Scola of the Indiana Pacers, scoring 15 points with nine rebounds.

His power move underneath tied the game for the last time, 71-all, with 1:34 left and his two cold-blooded free throws made it 75-71 inside the final minute.

Croatia vs Puerto Rico and Greece vs Argentina were playing at presstime rounding up Group B preliminaries.

The scores:

GILAS PILIPINAS 81 – Alapag 18, Blatche 18, Fajardo 15, Norwood 7, Lee 6, Aguilar 6, Tenorio 5, Chan 4, De Ocampo 2, Pingris 0, David 0.

SENEGAL 79 – Faye 20, Ndoye 13, Ndour 13, Dieng 13, D’Almeida 9, Ndiaye 5, Thomas 2, Diop 2, Badji 2.

Quarterscores: 13-19, 37-24, 53-44, 64-all, 81-79.



Barea-led Puerto Rico Breaks Filipino Cage Fans' Hearts Anew

SEVILLE, Spain – Puerto Rico’s JJ Barea showed Wednesday why, even at 5-foot-9, he is in the NBA, while his Gilas Pilipinas counterparts – all four of them – are having their baptism of fire on the global stage.

The Minnesota Timberwolves point guard scored 10 of Puerto Rico’s last 12 points as the Latin American team, down to 10 players because of injuries, defeated the Philippines, 77-73, snuffing out for good the Nationals' already flickering chance of reaching the Round of 16 in the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo here.

Reporters from Senegal at the international press box raised their arms in celebration at the buzzer as Gilas fell to its fourth straight loss, eliminating a big threat to the African nation’s drive to advance to the second round where the world’s best, including the United States and host Spain, are convening next week.

Gilas wraps up its sojourn to the world championship after a 36-year absence Thursday against Senegal, an opponent the Nationals were looking to use as stepping stone on the way to the next round – provided Puerto Rico gets beaten.

But Barea delivered his best game in the tournament, finishing with 30 points on 8-of-15 shooting with three 3-pointers and 11-of-12 free throws, putting on a clinic that clearly mesmerized Gilas court-generals Jimmy Alapag, LA Tenorio, Jayson Castro and Paul Lee.

Of the four PBA stars, only Tenorio and Lee, who carried his maternal name Dalistan, had enough savvy left to challenge the almost untouchable Barea, who combined shake-and-bake moves and killer crossovers to blow past his eye-level defenders.

Gilas coach Chot Reyes, in a move intended to put Barea at some height disadvantage, sent in 6-foot-4 Gabe Norwood to defend the fleet-footed Puerto Rican with a little over two minutes remaining and the scored tied, 67-all. Nonchalantly, Barea pulled up for his third trey to spark a decisive 8-point run to put away the Philippines.

Three free throws by Jimmy Alapag, who didn’t get his wish to deliver another unforgettable performance as encore to his remarkable game against Argentina, put Gilas within, 75-73, with 4.5 seconds to go.

A quick foul then sent 7-footer Ricky Sanchez to the line. But the NBA veteran, who drilled three triples and had 13 points along with perimeter deadshot David Huertas, was more than steady as Puerto Rico picked up its first win after three losses in Group B.

While the game against Senegal bears no more significance for the Philippines, it could still hurt the African team’s chances, especially if Puerto Rico upends suddenly vulnerable Croatia.

Andray Blatche had 25 points but committed six turnovers, including a grievous one with 34 seconds remaining and Gilas trailing, 74-70. Tenorio had 18 points, hitting 6 of 9 shots as he steered the Nationals to a 27-13 second quarter lead following an 18-0 run from the opening period.

His left corner triple gave Gilas a 67-65 lead with 4:44 remaining but it proved to be the Nationals’ final stand. Lee added 10, but Castro, never the same after that costly indecision in the dying seconds against Argentina was 1 of 5 from the floor, with Ranidel de Ocampo.

“We kept turning the ball over in the second half,” said Reyes. “We have the skills to compete at this level but not the experience to win.”

Barea complimented the Gilas playmakers for their energy and shooting.

“They are a great team,” he said. “They have great shooters like me.”

Puerto Rico head coach Paco Olmos paid tribute to his team’s defense against the Gilas gunners, with the long-limbed Sanchez usually sliding over to guard the shooters when the Nationals to to their top-of-the-key pick-and-roll plays.

“Gilas is very good but we defended well,” he said. “We had to give up points on Blatche so we can stop their shooters."

The scores:

PUERTO RICO – 77 Barea 30, Sanchez 13, Huertas 13, Rivera 5, Galindo 5, Diaz 4, Franklin 2, Clemente 2, Balkman 2.

PHILIPPINES 73 – Blatche 23, Tenorio 18, Lee 10, Alapag 6, Norwood 6, Castro 4, De Ocampo 2, Pingris w, Aguilar 0, Chan 0.

Quarterscores: 25-13, 44-39, 61-57, 77-73.



Gilas Pilipinas Wraps Up FIBA Worlds Campaign Against Senegal

SEVILLE, Spain – The quest hangs by a thread for Gilas Pilipinas.

Only if Puerto Rico is beaten Wednesday and Senegal loses its last two games would this final first round match have any bearing on the immediate future for the wide-eyed Philippine team in the FIBA Basketball World Cup here.

Otherwise, the road back to the global stage after 36 years could reach an abrupt end, with only the memories of the their dramatic down-the-wire losses to world powers Croatia and Argentina to comfort them on the long journey home.

Senegal (2-1) faces the Philippines (0-3) Thursday at 1:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. Manila time) at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo., Croatia (2-1) takes on Puerto Rico (0-3) at 5:30 p.m. and Argentina (2-1) battles Greece (3-0) at 8 p.m.

As vital as the fifth preliminary round game is for Gilas Pilipinas, it is the fourth match Wednesday against Renaldo Balkman and Puerto Rico that is more crucial. The Latin American country has to be hurdled and Senegal, which faced Argentina, hopefully doesn’t have as much luck as when they stunned Croatia earlier.

If those two events coincide, then Philippines-Senegal would be another fight to the death, a swan song for the retiring Jimmy Alapag and redemption for a group of Filipino businessmen supposedly heckled by federation officials from Senegal a few days ago.

In what seemed like an advanced effort at psychological warfare, executives from the Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) group, here to support Gilas Pilipinas, reportedly were told by Senegalese basketball officials, identified by their team jackets and IDs, to “Go home!” as the Filipino businessmen were on their way to their hotel from the venue.

Unfazed, one of the Filipino businessmen, who included telecommunications tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan himself, was supposed to have fired back “Only after we beat you!”

PLDT president and CEO Napoleon Nazareno confirmed outside the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See Tuesday afternoon that they indeed had a run-in with several Senegalese officials although he didn’t say who delivered the parting shot.

A source said it was Meralco president Oscar Reyes.

The incident never escalated beyond the brief exchange of words but provided the atmosphere leading up to the two countries’ forthcoming showdown.

“We’re going all out in our next two games,” said national coach Chot Reyes after the Argentina game which Gilas lost, 85-81, putting to naught Jimmy Alapag’s scorching second half shooting.

Reyes had earlier considered giving Andray Blatche, who appeared to have twisted his tendonitis-hampered right knee during the game with Greece, some rest prior to the Puerto Rico game.

But after clawing back from 15 points against the Argentines Monday, with Blatche bucking two early fouls and Alapag catching fire near the end of the third quarter, the Nationals threw caution to the wind.

Now even that tiny window of opportunity for a breather has closed as the Nationals fight to salvage whatever it can.

Senegal is powered by several 6-foot-11 players, including Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng, an NBA teammate of Puerto Rico’s JJ Barea. Dieng had 27 points and 8 rebounds in Senegal’s 77-75 upset of Croatia.



Do-Or-Die Against Balkman, Puerto Rico

SEVILLE, Spain – Former Petron Blaze import Renaldo Balkman, Puerto Rico’s No. 1 player despite the presence of the NBA’s JJ Barea, says he wants to return to the Philippines someday and play in the PBA.

But PBA commissioner Chito Salud, who banned Balkman for life last year for choking teammate Arwind Santos during a game nd shoving and disrespecting league and team officials, says, in not so many words, that he doesn’t think that would be a good idea.

“Let’s not go there,” Salud said Monday night here after the Gilas Pilipinas-Argentina game when asked whether he would consider lifting the ban on the seemingly contrite Balkman. “That’s not a place I want to visit.”

Balkman had told Filipino sportswriters Sunday after an 82-75 loss to Senegal in the FIBA Baskeball World Cup that he harbors “no hard feelings” on anybody in the PBA and expressed his desire to return and play “if given a chance.”

Salud, who was having dinner outside a local pizzeria with PBA chairman Patrick Gregorio of Talk ‘N Text, Meralco Bolts governor Al Panlilio, Blackwater Sports team owner Dioceldo Sy and Happee Toothpaste owner Cecilio Pedro, gently closed the door however.

The former New York Knicks player, nonetheless, gets the next best thing to playing in front of PBA fans – a chance to again showcase his talent before them in an international setting since the game will be shown live on Philippine television.

Balkman played in only seven games with the Boosters before his emotional meltdown late in a game against the Alaska Aces triggered his banishment. He will lead Puerto against Gilas Pilipinas and former Petron teammate June Mar Fajardo at 1:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. Manila time)Wednesday at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo, with the stakes sky-high for both teams.

Tied beneath the Group B standings with three losses each, it is over the other’s ruined form that the return to contention could only take place, especially after Senegal, previously perceived as the weakest team in the bracket, stunned highly-touted Croatia Monday.

The fired-up Senegalese, led by the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 6-foot-11 center Gorgui Dieng, Barea’s teammate, face Argentina at 5:30 p.m.(11:30 p.m. in Manila) while unbeaten Greece meets Croatia at 8 p.m. (2 a.m. Thursday in Manila).

Puerto Rico is down to 10 players following injuries to Arroyo and Angel Vassallo. But they still have Barea and the explosive Balkman for Gilas Pilipinas to deal with.

“We’ll go all out to fight in every game, for every possession. We don’t think of must-wins because that will only distract us,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes.

“Before the tournament, we knew it’s going to be hard to reach the second round. But it’s still wide open. If we win our next two games, we’ll get there as well. But first we have to win this one.”

Over Renaldo Balkman and his wild demeanor and shaggy pony-tailed hair.



RP Team Legend Looks Back On What Would've, Could've Been

SEVILLE, Spain – Hector Calma, the quintessential point guard of Philippine basketball during the Ron Jacobs years in the early ‘80s, should have been here 28 years ago.

As a player, not as an spectator.

Calma was a starter in the RP-Northern Consolidated team that won the FIBA Asia Championship (then known as the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC) Championship) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1985, beating China in the final and qualifying for the FIBA World Championship in Madrid, Spain the following year.

In that Philippine team were Jeff Moore, Dennis Still, Tonichi Yturri, Yves Dignadice, Franz Pumaren, Pido Jarencio, Allan Caidic, Samboy Lim, Elmer Reyes, Alfie Almario and Jerry Codinera.

“Ang saya namin noon dahil makakarating kami sa world championship,” says Calma, here with his wife and some friends to cheer Gilas Pilipinas. “Di namin in-expect na me mangyayari pala.”

That was the EDSA Revolution of 1986.

With the tumult and unrest exploding all over the country, the national team was disbanded after chief benefactor former Ambassador Danding Cojuangco left the country with then President Ferdinand Marcos, ending the military-backed people’s siege.

“Laking sayang. Me chance na sana kaming makalaro yung some of the best players in the world. Andon pa nga ata sina David Robinson, Drazen Petrovic at Oscar Schmidt,” Calma says. “Na-miss namin yung chance na yon. Pero ganoon talaga.”

When Gilas Pilipinas qualified to the World Cup after finishing second to Iran in the FIBA Asia Championship last year at the Mall of Asia Arena, Calma made plans to go to Spain.

“Sabi ko sa wife ko, ’halika suportahan natin yung Philippine team. Kahit sa ganito man lang ma-experience ko rin yung world championship,’” he says.

During the game against Argentina Monday, with both teams putting their best games forward and their screaming fans trying to drown out each other, Calma, called Papa Hec by his buddies, found himself seated beside a rabid Argentinean fan.

“Ang hirap palang maging fan. Tumatayo balahibo ko kanina sa kakasigaw. Yung katabi kong taga-Argentina, sigawan kami. Sisigaw ako, tapos sisigaw rin siya. Parang niloloko pa nga ko e,” Calma says. ”Masaya naman. Sayang nga lang at natalo tayo. Pero ganda naman ng pinakita natin, di ba?.”



Another Heartbreaker Of A Loss For Gilas Pilipinas, This Time to Argentines

SEVILLE, Spain – Don’t cry for Gilas Pilipinas, Argentina. The Nationals never had any illusions the world No. 3 would be easy pickings.

Still what mind-boggling feat it would have been had Andray Blatche knocked down that late corner 3-point shot. Or Jayson Castro not chosen the most inappropriate time to pull up from 3-point territory rather than drive.

But Blatche didn’t and Castro did and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rock the international basketball order in the 2014 FIBA World Cup was forever lost Monday as Argentina dodged the bullet, 85-81, before thousands of screaming, bobbing, chanting, pumping, war-painted fans almost equally divided at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo here.

While football is the sport worshipped at the altar in the South American country, basketball isn’t lagging too far behind. And against the FIBA Asia silver medal winner, the Argentineans kept the faith and tenaciously hung on in the midst of a buffeting storm.

But the 2004 Olympic gold medalist, with six Summer Games appearances, 13 FIBA World Cups, 16 FIBA Americas Championships and 14 Pan American Games to its resume as a cage power, did behold Philippine basketball at its mighty best: taking a 10-point lead in the first quarter with Blatche on the bench with two fouls, Gabe Norwood posterizing the Indiana Pacers’ Luis Scola with a rim-bending dunk, June Mar Fajardo nimbly circling around the defense inside the paint, Ranidel de Ocampo bedeviling with clutch 3-pointers.

And Jimmy Alapag!

The 5-foot-9 point guard of the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, who announced earlier that this would be his last international tournament, was on fire and delivered perhaps the game of his life, keeping an entire nation on the edge as he carried the torch for Gilas Pilipinas by burying five 3-point shots in the second half, three coming in the fourth quarter with the fifth, so far off with 2:08 remaining, cutting down Argentina’s lead to 82-81.

Until that point, the Philippines had its hands wrapped around the ultimate prize – a victory over an Olympic champion. But then slowly it slipped through the fingers.

Amazingly, Alapag never got to launch another 3.

An Argentine miss gave the Nationals possession. But Blatche, who got whistled for two fouls barely there minutes into the game, clanged an open but unnecessary 3-point attempt on the near left corner.

Andres Nocioni, seasoned by NBA stints with the Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings, left the door open by splitting his free throws with 42 seconds remaining.

The Gilas Pilipinas shot clock was down to 6 when the ball hit an Argentinean foot and time was reset to 14, bringing them extra precious seconds.

National coach Chot Reyes called time and drew a play for Alapag to come off a screen and get the ball with the fate of the Philippines rightfully placed in his hands.

But Norwood had some trouble inbounding, barely managing to get it to Jayson Castro after Alapag, in what Reyes said was a brilliant move by Argentina coach Julio Lamas to bring back the speedy Facundo Campazzo, failed to shake off the defense.

With time running out and Alapag now barred from the equation, Castro, who had hit three 3-pointers earlier, two of them back-to-back to ignite a roaring Gilas Pilipinas comeback from 15 points in the third quarter, took it upon himself to go head-to-head with the New York Knicks’ Pablo Prigioni.

Castro rose with Prigioni on him. But in a fleeting moment of indecision Castro didn’t launch, putting the ball on the floor instead and then picking it up – a clear traveling violation.

The whistle blew and Nocioni went to the foul line for the second time inside the final 42 seconds; this time he made both, ending an experience for Gilas Pilipinas that was even more exhilarating than the opening game against Croatia which went into overtime.

Reyes rued both heartbreakers.

“Yun ang nakakabuwisit e,” he said. “Sana nga tambakan na lang tayo para alam natin di talaga kaya. Pero the fact na dumidikit tayo, lumalaban tayo, it shows that we can compete with these teams. Sayang lang, kaunti na lang. A mistake here and there, a defensive lapse, a missed rebound, napakaliit ng diperensiya.”

Reyes wanted Alapag to go around a pick set for him but Campazzo put his quickness to great use, denying the man of the moment a final stab at glory.

“We were able to run our movements, our possessions, but when Jimmy came off the screen, he got denied by Campazzo,” said Reyes. “We should have been able to create another opportunity for Jimmy but they just focused their entire defense on him.”

Castro, Alapag’s backcourt partner at Talk ‘N Text, wasn’t such a bad option.

“Oh yeah, I thought Jayson had a great opportunity to go one-on-one, but the one time that we wanted him to drive to the basket, he pulled up,” said Reyes. “But I can’t fault Jayson. Every time he’s tried to go to the hoop, he couldn’t finish because of the tall players. I think he was looking for the pull-up for the win.”

Going into extra period like the Croatia game was never in his mind, Reyes said.

“To Jayson’s credit, I don’t think we could have survived in overtime. Ranidel was cramping up, Andray was not a hundred percent,” he said. “Even the first play for Jimmy was for a three-point shot. We were really going for the win. We were not playing for overtime.”

With their third straight loss, the Nationals face a must-win situation against Puerto Rico on Wednesday and Senegal on Thursday, made more imperative now after a shocking development prior to the Gilas-Argentina game.

Senegal’s sensational 77-75 upset of Croatia shook up the Group B standings, with Greece unbeaten in three games, Argentina, Croatia and Senegal with 2-1 slates, and the Philippines and Puerto Rico winless in three matches.

Greece clobbered Puerto Rico in the other Group B match, 90-79.

In games elsewhere, Serbia downed Iran, 83-70; France routed Egypt, 94-55; and host Spain dispatched of Brazil, 82-63.

The tournament takes a break Tuesday.

The scores:

ARGENTINA 85 – Scola 19, Mata 17, Herrmann 10, Laprovittola 10, Campazzo 9, Nocioni 9, Prigioni 8, Gutierrez 3, Gallizi 0, Bortolin 0, Safar 0.

Philippines 81 – De Ocampo 18, Alapag 15, Norwood 14, Castro 11, Blatche 6, Fajardo 6, Tenorio 3, Aguilar 2, Chan 0, Pingris 0.

Quarterscores: 22-25; 38-43; 71-61; 85-81.



Nationals Brace for War with Argentina

SEVILLE, Spain – Will Gilas Pilipinas have enough high-octane gas left in the tank against Luis Scola and Argentina Monday to fulfill Bill Bayno’s prediction?

The hope is that the Philippine team, on the heels of squaring off with European heavyweights back-to-back in two days, won't be zapped of strength and will by the time Argentina comes along. But the reality could be a daunting thought.

After an emotionally draining loss to Croatia in the opener of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and doubtless another courageous stand against Greece on Day 2 Sunday (2 a.m. Monday Manila time), Gilas Pilipinas takes on the 2004 Olympic Games champion, ranked third in the world and gold medalist in the FIBA World Cup (1950), FIBA Americas (2001, 2011) and Pan Americas (1995).

The glitter of those medals alone should have dazzled just about anyone – but not Bayno, the former coach of the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals (2001-2002) in the Philippine Basketball Association.

Bayno, an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors and the Dominican Republic team, bracketed in Group C with the United States, Turkey and Ukraine, ran into former San Beda and Ginebra San Miguel star Mike Advani just before the Philippines-Croatia game and told him that he believes Argentina could be had.

“Gilas can beat Argentina, that’s what coach Bill told me,” Advani, a former Bayno assistant, said.

According to Bayno, Advani said, Argentina is not in this FIBA World Cup the powerhouse team it used to be.

“They’re without some key players (like the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili),” said Advani.

That should be welcome news for national coach Chot Reyes although the way the Argentineans laid waste of Puerto Rico, 95-78, in another Group B match where Scola, a member of the Indiana Pacers, had his way with 20 points and 9 rebounds, showed little promise of that telltale Achilles heel.

JJ Barea, the Minnesota Timberwolves starting point guard, led Puerto Rico with 24 points and 4 assists but got little help from the rest of the team, another portentous sign probably favoring Gilas Pilipinas.

Renaldo Balkman, the former Petron Blaze import, did acquit himself with 10 points and 4 rebounds but neither he nor Barea could save Puerto Rico when Argentina poured on the heat in the first and third quarters.

Andres Nocioni, who had stints with the Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings and Chicago Bulls, made sure Scola didn’t overburden himself by adding 18 points, along with veteran guard Salem Safar.

Scola, Nocioni (11 rebs), Safar (4 of 8 3-pointers) and starters Walter Hermann (12 points and 10 rebs), Pablo Prigioni (9 points) and Facundo Campazzo (8 points) have seen in the Croatia game what Gilas is capable of doing and will be out to deny the Philippines any foothold in Group B.

The other Group B match saw wild card Greece rout FIBA Africa’s Senegal, 87-64, putting pressure on Gilas Pilipinas, Puerto Rico and Senegal to win two in the preliminaries and make it to the top four.

The next round is the 16-team knockout phase, with the fourth-ranked Group B qualifier facing the emerging No. 1 squad from Group A, which could either be host Spain, Serbia or Brazil.

Spain, behind the 33 points of Pau Gasol, who left Kobe Bryant and the Lakers and hooked up during the off season with Derrick Rose and the Bulls, made mincemeat of FIBA Asia champion Iran, 90-60; Serbia clobbered Egypt, 85-64; and Brazil edged Tony Parker-less France, 65-63.

Group C had Ukraine downing Dominican Republic, 72-62; Turkey turning back New Zealand, 76-73; and the United States overwhelming Finland, 114-55.

The NBA-powered US team rolled to 31-16 first quarter lead and locked down and held the Finns to two points in the second period.

In Group D, Angola stunned cold-shooting South Korea, 80-69; Slovenia thumped Australia, 90-70; and Lithuania rapped Mexico, 87-74.

Day 2 Group B matches at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo also have Croatia meeting Senegal at 12:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. Manila time) and Puerto Rico facing Greece at 8 p.m. (2 a.m.Manila time).

Despite the 81-78 ovetime loss, the gutsy stand against Croatia continued to earn plaudits for Gilas Pilipinas, especially for naturalized player Andray Blatche, who had 28 points and 12 rebounds on his debut with the PH team.

"I was hoping that we could've pulled it off," Blatche told Spin.ph. "A lot of teams would've given in, down by 15 points. We put ourselves in a position to win, but we just fell short.”

A buzzer-beating 2-point shot by Jeff Chan could have won the thriller for the Nationals but the well-defended jumper was off. A game-tying three-pointer by Jayson Castro, who got knocked down but got no call, also had little chance of going in at the end of overtime.

Still Blatche, the former Brooklyn Nets center who took over from Marcus Douthit, refused to be crestfallen.

“One thing about it is we're confident now, we know that we belong," he said. “Coming in here, a lot of people doubted us and saw us as an easy match. But we're getting there."

And there could be right in front of Pau Gasol and host Spain in the Round of 16.

But first Argentina and the business of making a seer out of coach Bill Bayno.



Improved Three-Point Shooting, Automatic Free Throws Are Key, says PBA Commissioner

SEVILLE, Spain – In a lanai garden on the first floor of the Melia Lebreros Hotel here, cold morning air blowing softly above him and synthetic green grass firm under his feet, PBA commissioner Chito Salud talked about what has now become obvious for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

“We need to improve our outside shooting if we want to continue to compete at this level,” Salud said during the tournament break Tuesday. “And we have to make sure our free throws are automatic.”

Paging Gilas coach Chot Reyes.

Salud’s analysis is backed by the two preliminary round games the national team came tantalizingly close to winning – against Croatia where Jeff Chan turned the heat on with four 3-pointers and against Argentina where Jimmy Alapag lit up the Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo with five triples in the second half.

The PBA, however, is not the place, Salud said, where marksmanship is taught and nurtured.

“I think it’s really too late to develop shooters when they reach the pro level,” he said. “It has to be started when they are very young. Take those three-point shooters and teach them. They say this is a big man’s game. Having that outside shooting improved, we make it less of a big man’s game.”

Salud arrived a few days ahead of the PBA Board of Governors and found it irresistible marveling at what Gilas Pilipinas has accomplished despite three straight losses.

“I came here really wondering where we are at,” Salud said. “The kind of basketball that we play, where are in so far as world competition is concerned; I didn’t know. Now we know. We can compete with the best. And if continue competing at this level, I won’t be surprised if we get a win or two soon.”

Salud made clear he isn’t referring to the ongoing competition nor the forthcoming Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea “but the tournaments yet to come.”

So impressed is Salud by what he had witnessed that he has pledged to “continue lending PBA players (to the national team) and allowing them to train as long as possible.”

A balancing and synchronization of the Gilas and PBA calendars is imperative though, he said.

From last year’s FIBA Asia Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena, which the Philippines used as springboard to qualify to the World Cup, the PBA had stretched a normal three-conference, 10 ½-month season to three conferences in eight months, resulting in a cramped six days a week playdate.

“Actually four conferences in 11 months from the time the FIBA Asia ended,” Salud said.

Already the PBA had asked the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, whose president, telecommunications tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan, bankrolls the Gilas program, for a list of tournaments it plans to compete in next year even as the pro league prepares for its 40th season on October 19.

“What we do is we set our own calendar and send it to SBP and Gilas for them to tell us which tournaments would be in conflict with our schedule so we could adjust,” Salud said.

“Unfortunately they still could not pinpoint the exact dates because they vary every now and then depending on FIBA’s own planning. Chot’s guess is late August to early September in China for the qualifying tournament to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.”



No Greek Tragedy as Gilas Pilipinas Falls To Greece For Second Straight Loss

September 1, 2014 

SEVILLE, Spain – No Greek tragedy, no Greeks bearing gifts to beware of on Day 2 of the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Just Greeks, big and powerful, like the army Odysseus once led against Troy in classical mythology.

Gilas Pilipinas spent the entire 40 minutes Sunday shooting arrows but couldn’t find one vulnerable spot, much less an Achilles heel. Simply put, the Greeks were too tall, too confident, too accustomed with the ways of international play to even care.

And they had the benefit of hindsight after watching Croatia fool around with an early lead against the Philippines Saturday only to get scared out its wits in regulation before escaping in the extra period, 81-78.

In the end, the final shaft to find its mark even came from Greece, an undefended three-point shot at the buzzer by 6-foot-7 forward Kostas Kaimakoglou which gave the 2006 FIBA World Cup silver medalist an 82-70 victory, its second straight at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo to snare a slot in the Round of 16, along with Croatia.

Their lesson learned well against Gilas, Croatia sustained a strong start to turn back Argentina, 90-85, while tall and lanky Senegal, safe with Minnesota Timberwolves 6-foot-11 center Gorgiu Dieng as its last line of defense, downed Puerto Rico, with JJ Barea, Dieng’s Timberwolves teammate, and former PBA import Renaldo Balkman, 82-75, to round off Group B preliminary round matches.

Gilas’ second loss in as many games pushed the Nationals into must-win games with Puerto Rico on Wednesday and Senegal on Thursday while forcing coach Chot Reyes to cautiously ponder the unthinkable against Argentina late Monday. 

“Do we rest Andray Blatche (against Argentina) to prepare him for Puerto Rico and Senegal?” said Reyes at the post-game interview. “We’ll think about it tonight and talk about it tomorrow morning.”

The Philippines was to meet Argentina and the Indiana Pacers’ Luis Scola at 5:30 p.m Monday (11:30 p.m. Manila time).

Reyes said they had seriously considered going to their bench against Greece and Argentina to conserve their main unit, with Blatche in it, for a fight to the death against Puerto Rico and Senegal, victories that would mean entry to the second round and a possible knockout match with host Spain and the Gasol brothers.

“Inisip namin, ‘pupuklpok ba kami ngayon at pahinga bukas against Argentina?’ Pero kita mo naman ang tao; pa’no ka naman magde-day off niyan,” he said.

Blatche, the former Brooklyn Nets center naturalized to replace an ailing Marcus Douthit, played 33 minutes and managed 21 points and 14 rebounds despite a pronounced limp and the eyeball-to-eyeball defense of Greece’s imposing frontline, including a pair of 7-footers in Ioannis Bourousis and Georgios Printezis.

But he clearly struggled and at one point took a few minutes at sideline to allow the pain in his right knee to subside while play was halted.

“Old injury na yung tendonitis niya,” said Reyes. “But he twisted it on landing after a hard drive against Croatia kaya sumakit uli. Actually slight twist lang naman pero masakit pag nababangga.”

Remarkably, Blatche, according to Reyes, has refused to make the injury an excuse to sit down.

“Kahit iika-ika, gusto niya maglaro e,” said Reyes.

Prudence could take the better part of valor, however, against Argentina. And if Reyes so decides to give Blatch extra bench time, June Mar Fajardo, who acquitted himself well against Greece, might get extended frontline duty.

Fajardo had 10 points and 7 rebounds in 10 minutes, while Marc Pingris, dwarfed by his Greek counterparts at power forward, added 7 points with 6 rebounds in 26 minutes.

No other Gilas player had more than 5 points, however, as Greece, which opened a 17-point lead in the third quarter, effectively negated the Nationals’ dribble-drive offense, penetration pull-up jumpers, outside shots and second-chance attempts which they used to nearly thwart the Croatians.

With the airspace blotted out by long wingspans, Gilas shot 6 of 22 from 3 point range, with Jeff Chan, the hot hand against Croatia, going 1 of 5.

Greece also pounded the ball inside for 18 of 46 from inside the arc, covering up for its dismal 5 of 22 three-point shooting.

“I’m crushed by the loss but still very happy with the effort of my players,:” said Reyes.

Scores:

GREECE 82 – Printezis 25, Bourousis 12, Papanikolaou 9, Calathes 9, Zisis 8, Vasileiadis 6, Kaimakoglou 5, Antetokounmpo 3, Sloukas 3, Vougioukas 2, Mantzaris 0.

PHILIPPINES 70 – Blatche 21, Fajardo 10, Pingris 7, Castro 5, Lee 5, Norwood 5, De Ocampo 4, Alapag 3, Tenorio 3, Chan 3, David 2, Aguilar 2.

Quarters: 20-10, 37-27, 58-45, 82-70.



Alapag Set To Retire From National Team Play After Spain

SEVILLE, Spain – Back in 2009 during the FIBA Asia Championship in Tianjin, the qualifying tournament to the 2010 World Championship in Turkey, Fadi El-Khatib, Lebanon’s superstar team captain, inquired on the whereabouts of a Philippine team player he has gone up against in the past.

“Where is your little guard?” El-Khatib asked Filipino sportswriters, putting out his right hand palm-down at waist level.  “Why did you not bring him?”

El-Khatib was talking about Jimmy Alapag, who, for unknown reasons, was excluded from the national team formed by then head coach Yeng Guiao.

It has been 14 years since and the Lebanese national team isn’t around in the FIBA World Cup here to make possible a belated reunion for the two players.

But the Philippine team is, and Alapag not only is with it, he has also introduced himself in a huge way to international basketball by that blistering shooting display against world No. 3 Argentina.

El-Khatib may not be fated to have that final encounter with Alapag after the 5-foot-9 dynamite point guard announced earlier that this will be his last tournament.

“I’ve spoken to coach [Chot Reyes], this is my last,” Alapag said. “In order for our country to improve and to progress, we have to get the other guys to have the experience and keep the progression of our country going. I wouldn’t change my years as a national player for anything, but it’s time for other guys to take over and take the reins for our team. We need it.”

At the forefront of those “other guys” is Alapag’s Gilas Pilipinas teammate LA Tenorio, who had just turned pro when El-Khatib was out looking for that “little Philippine guard.”

No longer having Alapag on the national team to bail them out every so often isn’t a  prospect Tenorio is keen about however.

“We will miss Jimmy. Gilas still needs him,” said Tenorio late Tuesday night as he welcomed the arrival from Manila of the PBA governors, including San Miguel Beer’s Robert Non and Barangay Ginebra’s Alfrancis Chua.

“He’s our team captain and his leadership is of a different kind. Ibang klase. We will miss that,” Tenorio said.

Taking Alapag’s place for the Asian Games is Jared Dillinger, a 6-foot-2 ball-carrier and a tenacious wing defender.

Much of the playmaking decisions now will be thrust in the hands of Tenorio Jayson Castro and to some extent Paul Lee, leaving a big void on either side of the top of the keyhole where Jimmy Alapag has reigned supreme.

Alapag won't be around with the Philippine team soon after, but his has been a great run. 

Fadi El-Khatib should have hung around a little while longer after Tianjin.



Bayno Believes Gilas Pilipinas Has What It Takes To Beat Argentina

September 1, 2014

SEVILLE, Spain – Will Gilas Pilipinas have enough high-octane gas left in the tank against Luis Scola and Argentina Monday to fulfill Bill Bayno’s prediction?

The hope is that the Philippine team, on the heels of squaring off with European heavyweights back-to-back in two days, won't be zapped of strength and will by the time Argentina comes along. But the reality could be a daunting thought.

After an emotionally draining loss to Croatia in the opener of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and doubtless another courageous stand against Greece on Day 2 Sunday (2 a.m. Monday Manila time), Gilas Pilipinas takes on the 2004 Olympic Games champion, ranked third in the world and gold medalist in the FIBA World Cup (1950), FIBA Americas (2001, 2011) and Pan Americas (1995).

The glitter of those medals alone should have dazzled just about anyone – but not Bayno, the former coach of the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals (2001-2002) in the Philippine Basketball Association. 

Bayno, an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors and the Dominican Republic team, bracketed in Group C with the United States, Turkey and Ukraine, ran into former San Beda and Ginebra San Miguel star Mike Advani just before the Philippines-Croatia game and told him that he believes Argentina could be had.

“Gilas can beat Argentina, that’s what coach Bill told me,” Advani, a former Bayno assistant, said.

According to Bayno, Advani said, Argentina is not in this FIBA World Cup the powerhouse team it used to be.

“They’re without some key players (like the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili),” said Advani.

That should be welcome news for national coach Chot Reyes although the way the Argentineans laid waste of Puerto Rico, 95-78, in another Group B match where Scola, a member of the Indiana Pacers, had his way with 20 points and 9 rebounds, showed little promise of that telltale Achilles heel.

JJ Barea, the Minnesota Timberwolves starting point guard, led Puerto Rico with 24 points and 4 assists but got little help from the rest of the team, another portentous sign probably favoring Gilas Pilipinas.

Renaldo Balkman, the former Petron Blaze import, did acquit himself with 10 points and 4 rebounds but neither he nor Barea could save Puerto Rico when Argentina poured on the heat in the first and third quarters.

Andres Nocioni, who had stints with the Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings and Chicago Bulls, made sure Scola didn’t overburden himself by adding 18 points, along with veteran guard Salem Safar.

Scola, Nocioni (11 rebs), Safar (4 of 8 3-pointers) and starters Walter Hermann (12 points and 10 rebs), Pablo Prigioni (9 points) and Facundo Campazzo (8 points) have seen in the Croatia game what Gilas is capable of doing and will be out to deny the Philippines any foothold in Group B.

The other Group B match saw wild card Greece rout FIBA Africa’s Senegal, 87-64, putting pressure on Gilas Pilipinas, Puerto Rico and Senegal to win two in the preliminaries and make it to the top four.

The next round is the 16-team knockout phase, with the fourth-ranked Group B qualifier facing the emerging No. 1 squad from Group A, which could either be host Spain, Serbia or Brazil.

Spain, behind the 33 points of Pau Gasol, who left Kobe Bryant and the Lakers and hooked up during the off season with Derrick Rose and the Bulls, made mincemeat of FIBA Asia champion Iran, 90-60; Serbia clobbered Egypt, 85-64; and Brazil edged Tony Parker-less France, 65-63.

Group C had Ukraine downing Dominican Republic, 72-62; Turkey turning back New Zealand, 76-73; and the United States overwhelming Finland, 114-55.

The NBA-powered US team rolled to 31-16 first quarter lead and locked down and held the Finns to two points in the second period.

In Group D, Angola stunned cold-shooting South Korea, 80-69; Slovenia thumped Australia, 90-70; and Lithuania rapped Mexico, 87-74.

Day 2 Group B matches at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo also have Croatia meeting Senegal at 12:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. Manila time) and Puerto Rico facing Greece at 8 p.m. (2 a.m. Manila time).

Despite the 81-78 ovetime loss, the gutsy stand against Croatia continued to earn plaudits for Gilas Pilipinas, especially for naturalized player Andray Blatche, who had 28 points and 12 rebounds on his debut with the PH team.

"I was hoping that we could've pulled it off," Blatche told Spin.ph. "A lot of teams would've given in, down by 15 points. We put ourselves in a position to win, but we just fell short.”

A buzzer-beating 2-point shot by Jeff Chan could have won the thriller for the Nationals but the well-defended jumper was off. A game-tying three-pointer by Jayson Castro, who got knocked down but got no call, also had little chance of going in at the end of overtime.

Still Blatche, the former Brooklyn Nets center who took over from Marcus Douthit, refused to be crestfallen.

“One thing about it is we're confident now, we know that we belong," he said. “Coming in here, a lot of people doubted us and saw us as an easy match. But we're getting there."

And there could be right in front of Pau Gasol and host Spain in the Round of 16.

But first Argentina and the business of making a seer out of coach Bill Bayno.

 



Beware The Greeks! Gilas Pilipinas Battles Greece In Day 2 Of The FIBA World Cup

 

Games Sunday

(Seville Time – PH plus 6 hrs.)

1:30 p.m. – Argentina vs Croatia

5:30 p.m. – Senegal vs Puerto Rico

8 p.m. – Philippines vs Greece

Games Monday

(Seville Time – PH plus 6 hrs.)

12:30 p.m. – Croatia vs Senegal

5:30 p.m. – Argentina vs Philippines

8 p.m. – Puerto Rico vs Greece

Games Wednesday

(Seville Time – PH plus 6 hrs.)

1:30 p.m. – Philippines vs Puerto Rico

5:30 p.m. – Senegal vs Argentina

8 p.m. – Greece vs Croatia

Games Thursday

(Seville Time – PH plus 6 hrs.)

2 p.m. – Senegal vs Philippines

6 p.m. – Croatia vs Puerto Rico

10 p.m. –Argentina vs Greece


August 31, 2014

SEVILLE, Spain – At the ungodly hour of 2 a.m. Tuesday (Manila time), the Philippines faces wild card Greece in what could be one of Gilas Pilipinas’ best three shots at pulling off a shocker in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup which started Sunday at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo.

With a six-hour time difference, the Greece-Philippines Group B game is set at 8 p.m. here following Argentina vs Croatia at 1:30 p.m. local time and Senegal vs Puerto Rico at 5:30 p.m. While the schedule could be hellish for Filipino fans, the schedule should be a little less bewitching for the Nationals who are acclimatized by now to the waking hours in the city, 2 ½ hours by train southwest of the capital Madrid.

Seville is historically linked to the Philippines. It was from here in 1519 that Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan departed for the first circumnavigation of the Earth. Two years later on March 16, he reached the island of Homonhon in what is now Eastern Samar and from there proceeded to Mactan in Cebu.

That piece of history aside, Gilas hopes to wave the Philippine flag to celebrate a much more recent feat of achievement – a victory over the 2006 FIBA World Cup silver medalist.

But the task, like cleaning the Augean stables, is Herculean.

Ranked fifth in the world, the Greeks have three legitimate NBA players – 6-foot-3 point guard Nick Calathes of the Memphis Grizzlies, 7-foot Milwaukee Bucks wing Giannis Antetokounmpo and 6-foot-9 small forward Kostas Papanikolaou of the Houston Rockets.

The frontline is equally imposing with 7-foot-2 Ian Vougkas, 7-foot-1 Ioannis Bourousis, 6- foot-11 Kostas Vasileiadis and comebacking 6-foot-5 hotshot Nikos Zisis.

Should Greece proved too dizzying to scale, then Gilas Pilipinas could take aim, after Argentina, at its two remaining games – Puerto Rico with former PBA import Renaldo Balkman (Petron Blaze) and Senegal, who according to national coach Chot Reyes boasts off the sky-scrapping players in the tournament, along with Croatia, the Philippines’ opening day opponent.

"Makikita mo na kaagad kapag sabay-sabay kaming kumakain dito," Reyes told Spin.ph at the Bellavista-Palmera Hotel. "Croatia's players dwarf us and even other players from Greece and Argentina. Sila talaga ng Senegal ang pinakamalaki dito.”

Quickness, exceptional outside shooting and the 7-foot big body of naturalized player Andray Blatche, formerly of the Brooklyn Nets, will be Gilas’ primary weapons, according to Reyes.

"We have no other choice but to take advantage of our quickness, that's about it," Reyes told sports web editor Dodo Catacutan. "Wala naman tayong magagawa pagdating sa size. We're really the smallest team here."

Greece, 1959 champion Brazil, 2010 finalist Turkey and first timer Finland joined host Spain, 2012 London Olympics champion United States and 18 other nations from various FIBA zone qualifiers.

The Philippines needs to win at least two preliminary games to advance to the next round.

Gilas Pilipinas vs Croatia was ongoing at postime.

Meanwhile, San Mig Super Coffee star James Yap took time off from his vacation with his Italian girlfriend to cheer for Mixers teammate Marc Pingris and the rest of the Gilas team.

PBA commissioner Chito Salud, with league media bureau chief Willie Marcial, and PBA chairman Patrick Gregorio of Talk ‘N Text  also went through a 26-hour journey Thursday through Friday, with a layover in Dubai and a three-hour wait for the train in Madrid, to lend support for the national team.

The rest of the PBA governors, including vice chairman Robert Non of San Miguel Beer, will be coming in tomorrow.

 

-- end --



FIBA World Cup: Croatia Survives Tenacious Gilas Pilipinas – But Barely

Games Sunday

(Seville Time – PH plus 6 hrs.)

1:30 p.m. – Argentina vs Croatia

5:30 p.m. – Senegal vs Puerto Rico

8 p.m. – Philippines vs Greece

Games Monday

(Seville Time – PH plus 6 hrs.)

12:30 p.m. – Croatia vs Senegal

5:30 p.m. – Argentina vs Philippines

8 p.m. – Puerto Rico vs Greece

Games Wednesday

(Seville Time – PH plus 6 hrs.)

1:30 p.m. – Philippines vs Puerto Rico

5:30 p.m. – Senegal vs Argentina

8 p.m. – Greece vs Croatia

Games Thursday

(Seville Time – PH plus 6 hrs.)

2 p.m. – Senegal vs Philippines

6 p.m. – Croatia vs Puerto Rico

10 p.m. –Argentina vs Greece

August 31, 2014

SEVILLE, Spain – Mount Croatia was there for the conquering. And had it not been for a most unfortunate slip late in the climb and so close to the summit, the Philippine flag would have been planted atop Group B of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup last night at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo.

Gilas Pilipinas nonetheless sent shock waves crashing through the nerve centers of its next four preliminary round opponents, mainly Greece and Argentina, whose chief strategists must have rushed back to their war rooms to upgrade their offensive arsenal and modify their defensive game plans against the second best team in FIBA Asia.

After watching the Philippines, behind naturalized player Andray Blatche, put the fear of defeat in the hearts of the world No. 16 Croatians before succumbing in overtime, 81-78, the impact could have even reached as far off as Incheon in South Korea where grand designs are apparently being hatched to keep the former Brooklyn Nets center and two other Gilas players – Gabe Norwood and Jared Dillinger – from being part of the national team that will gun for the gold medal in the 17th Asian Games later this month.

And they have tons of good reasons to do so.

Not only did Gilas Pilipinas blew away all negative vibes hurled its way, especially following some lopsided losses during its tuneup games in the run-up to the global tournament it hasn’t been a part of for nearly four decades, it also staked a legitimate claim to a potential Round of 16 appearance with the rest of world’s best.

The Nationals still need to win at least two of their next four games, but the Greeks, Argentineans, Puerto Ricans and Senegalese, who follow next in that order, now know the Philippines would be darn hard to deny.

For 40 heart-pounding minutes and five more in the extra period, Gilas Pilipinas’ full potential was in glorious display.

Of course, so was Croatia.

Down by three late in regulation, 69-66,  the Croats, who are pegged to beat the Philippines by  30 points only to find themselves wallowing in neck-deep upset waters in the waning seconds, managed to pull together to tie the game on a 3-pointer.

They regained the lead, 71-69, but Jayson Castro, barely able to take a step a few weeks ago after badly spraining his ankle, scored on a beautiful floater to level the score, 71-all, triggering mild erosion down MountCroatia.

Jeff Chan, whose 3-pointers earlier had kept the Nationals in the thick of the fight against the  behemoths from the former Yugoslavia, got the ball with the label “Hero” painted all over it, but failed to put the Croats away with a long 2 at the buzzer, sending a frazzled and breathless Filipino nation in a swoon,.

Clearly, however, that was the one that got away.

The Philippines wouldn’t come as tantalizingly close to a producing a blast that would be heard around the world, even after Blatche, who finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds in a performance that all but erased memories of Marcus Douthit from the Filipino’s basketball psyche, had drilled a 3-pointer that cut a four-point deficit to 79-78 with 7.6 seconds to go.

Instead Gilas Pilipinas ignited a far deafening explosion, especially when an apparent foul on a 3-point shooting Castro at the buzzer was ignored by the referees after Croatia’s man of the hour Bojan Bogdanovic (26 points) hit two free throws to make it a 3-point advantage.

“The ref called a technical foul that I couldn’t believe (towards the end of the third),” said national coach Chot Reyes. “The ref said Jason was flopping. The guy is 5-10 and he’s guarding a 6-5. How can that be a flopping? That’s the difference. If not for that technical foul, we could have won the game.

“The game wouldn’t have gone into overtime. The refs called a technical. Croatia made the free throws then made a three at the buzzer. That’s five points and that’s the difference in the game. We just kept on fighting. We know Croatia is very tough and we just wanted to keep on fighting.

Meanwhile, San Mig Super Coffee star James Yap took time off from his vacation with his Italian girlfriend to cheer for Mixers teammate Marc Pingris and the rest of the Gilas team.

PBA commissioner Chito Salud, with league media bureau chief Willie Marcial, and PBA chairman Patrick Gregorio of Talk ‘N Text  also went through a 26-hour journey Thursday through Friday, with a layover in Dubai and a three-hour wait for the train in Madrid, to lend support for the national team.

The rest of the PBA governors, including vice chairman Robert Non of San Miguel Beer, will be coming in today.

Scores:

CROATIA 81 – Bogdanovic 26, Simon 12, Saric 10, Tomic 8, Ukic 5, Markota 5,

Lafayette 4, Rudez 4, Zoric 4, Babic 3.

PHILIPPINES 78 – Blatche 28, Chan 17, Pingris 10, William Castro 6, De Ocampo 5, Alapag 4, Tenorio 2, Norwood 2, Fajardo 2, Dalistan Lee 2, Aguilar 0.

Quarters: 23-9, 37-31, 57-49, 71-all (reg), 81-78 (OT)



Heartbreaking Loss Can't Dampen Pingris' Hollywood-Like Tale

August 31, 2014

SEVILLA (FIBA Basketball World Cup) – A Hollywood scriptwriter would be fired if he came up with Croatia's 81-78 overtime victory over Philippines as an ending to Marc Pingris' story. The Philippines power forward deserves a better ending - even though his just being at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup is already like an amazing Oscar Award winning tearjerker.

Read full story at: http://www.fiba.com/basketballworldcup/2014/news/Heartbreaking-loss-can-t-dampen-Pingris--Hollywood-



Tall, Formidable Croatia Awaits Gilas Pilipinas In Baptism Of Fire In Fiba World Cup

August 30, 2014

SEVILLE, SPAIN – One look at the long queue of players lining up on the buffet table gives Chot Reyes a fairly good idea of the tall task facing Gilas Pilipinas in its opening match against Croatia in the Fiba World Cup on Saturday.

"Hindi malaki ang Croatia - super laki," sighed the Gilas coach.

Read full article at: http://www.spin.ph/basketball/pba/news/tall-formidable-croatia-awaits-gilas-pilipinas-in-baptism-of-fire-in-fiba-world-cup



FIBA Elects New President in World Congress in Sevilla

August 30, 2014

SEVILLA - Delegates from the 116 national federations in attendance at the FIBA World Congress on Thursday elected 13 of the potential 29 members that will make up the Central Board for the 2014-2019 term of office.

Horacio Muratore, who succeeds Yvan Mainini in becoming the new President of FIBA, was elected by acclamation. 

He will be joined on the Central Board by the following elected members:
- Anibal Manave (MOZ) and Clotaire Celestine Adjanohoun (BEN) of FIBA Africa
- Jim Tooley (USA), Michelle O'Keefe (CAN) and Marcelo Bedoya (PAR) of FIBA Americas
- Tian Xiao (CHN) of FIBA Asia
- Jose Luis-Saez (ESP), Cyriel Coomans (BEL), Lena Wallin-Kantzy (SWE) and Jean-Pierre Siutat (FRA) of FIBA Europe
- Scott Derwin (AUS) and Deborah K Shoniber (MIS) of FIBA Oceania

They join the presidents of FIBA's five continental zone: Hamane Niang (MLI) of Africa, Usie Richards (USV) of the Americas, Sheikh Saud Bin Ali Al-Thani (QAT) of Asia, Turgay Demirel (TUR) of Europe and Burton Shipley (NZL) of Oceania. 

Ingo Weiss will take over as FIBA Treasurer from the outgoing Manfred Stroher, who retires after more than 40 years of loyal service to FIBA. 

Mr Weiss was the 13th member elected to the Central Board on the day.

The newly-appointed Central Board will meet for the first time on Saturday 13 September in Madrid, on the occasion of the final weekend of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

One of the main items on the agenda will be to appoint the NBA representative and players representative. The Board may also co-opt six additional members.



Pinoy Ref Among Those To Officiate FIBA Basketball World Cup

August 23, 2014

(From Fiba.com)

MIES, Switzerland (2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup) – Former PBA referee Ferdinand 'Bong' Pascual is among those chosen to officiate the games at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Pascual is among the 38 officials from 28 countries across FIBA's five continental zones. They rank in age from 27 to 50 (average age of 38.7) and have between three and 20 years of experience as FIBA referees (average of 11.6 years).

View  the full list of referees at http://www.fiba.com/basketballworldcup/2014/referees

The group consists of tested individuals who have the much-needed combination of experience and proven potential. All referees nominated/selected to officiate at FIBA’s flagship event have been carefully monitored through various competitions in the lead-up to the competition taking place in Spain from 30 August to 14 September.

Through the FIBA Referees Intranet, the 38 men were given a rigorous 20-week preparation programme that saw them undergo a special physical training course and monitoring, studying video clips as well as working on important aspects such as game management and team-work.

The officials will come together for a two-day camp (28-29 August) in Madrid prior to the start of the competition.

"This group of referees has been carefully selected and brings the highest standards of officiating that is to be expected for basketball's biggest competition," said FIBA Head of Refereeing Carl Jungebrand.

During the competition, each game will be analysed by referees' supervisors using selected video footage and providing feedback to the referees, thereby ensuring that each and every call is analysed by FIBA's Referee Department.



Tongco 3-Pointer Helps Lift Batang Gilas To Incredible OT Win Over Japan For 5th Place

AUGUST 29, 2014

This one won’t be forgotten for a long, long time – at least for those who were there and witnessed the incredible feat by the Batang Gilas U18 team.

The Philippines engineered a one-for-the-books come-from-behind victory on Thursday with Batang Gilas beating Japan in overtime, 113-105, to capture fifth place in the FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship in Doha, Qatar.

The Batang Gilas cagers overcome a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter with Ranbill Tongco hitting a triple to send the game into overtime, 93-93, before outscoring the Japanese, 20-12, in the extra period.

Kobe Paras finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds while Jollo Go scored 24, including nine in overtime, to come away with the victory at the end of the Batang Gilas’ campaign in the FIBA Asia tournament.

The win was sweet for the wards of head coach Jamike Jarin as they overhauled a 79-67 lead in the fourth quarter to settle for a respectable fifth place finish for the Under-18 cagers.

Japan looked on the verge of the win as Taichi Aoki hit two free throws to give Japan a 93-88 lead with 14 seconds left. After Paras scored a field goal for Batang Gilas, Akito Uchida failed to convert two free throws allowing Tongco to hit the game-tying triple for an extra period.

Tongco finished with 14 points for Batang Gilas. Mark Dyke and Paul Desiderio scored 17 points for the Philippines.

Japan finished the third period with a 73-65 lead which swelled to 79-67 thanks to a basket by Aoki. Slowly but surely, the Philippines slim the gap, the closest at 90-88, with two minutes remaining in the fourth.

Scores:

PHILIPPINES 113 - Paras 27, Go 24, Dyke 18, Desiderio 17, Tongco 14, Santillan 6, Yu 3, Escoto 2, Black 1, Mosqueda 1, Caracut 0, Bienes 0.

JAPAN 105 - Uchida 36, Tsuyama 34, Aoki 12, Sumino 8, Mikami 8, Watanabe 3, Tomita 2, Ide 2, Motomura 0, Fukuoka 0.

Quarters: 24-25, 46-49, 65-73, 93-93, 113-105.



China Proves Far More Proficient For Iran In Quest For Gold In FIBA Asia U18

August 30, 2014

DOHA, Qatar (23rd FIBA Asia U18 Championship) – China’s quest, and success, for their 11th gold medal - third in a row - in FIBA Asia U18 Championship history on Thursday was marked by a splendid and superb tutorial in transition basketball. Most importantly that display executed without much help from their mainstay and resulting in a 66-48 win in the final of the 23rd FIBA Asia U18 Championship at the Gharafa also proved to be a lesson for Iran.

Read full article at: http://doha2014.fibaasia.net/TournamentNewsDetails.aspx?id=4363



SBP Statement On IAGOC Questioning Eligibility Of 3 Gilas Pilipinas Players

August 27, 2014

IN light of clarifications sought by the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee on the eligibility of Gilas Pilipinas players Gabe Norwood, Jared Dillinger and Andray Blatche, the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas has forwarded to the Philippine Olympic Committee pertinent documents providing irrefutable proof as to the qualifications of the three.

In a letter to POC president Jose Cojuangco Jr., to whom the IAGOC letter dated Aug. 26 from Mr. Jo Youngha of the  Director General of Sports Headquarters was coursed, SBP executive director Renauld Barrios points out:

“Briefly, we say that the Articles 49 and 50 of the OCA do not operate to render our three mentioned players ineligible to play in the 2014 Asian Games.

“Assuming, without conceding, that the three (3) years residency rule in Articles 49 and 50 is applicable to Mr. Norwood and Dillinger, these two are likewise eligible to play in the 2014 Asian Games considering that they have resided in the Philippines for more than three (3) years prior to the 2014 Asian Games. Their old passports are hereunto attached to show that Mr. Norwood and Mr. Dillinger have resided in the Philippines more than three (3) years prior to the 2014 Asian Games."

Mr. Norwood’s old Philippine passport showed it was issued on July 23, 2007 with expiration on July 23, 2012, while Mr. Dillinger’s previous Philippine passport was issued on April 30, 2009 with expiration on April 29, 2014.

PBA operations director Ricardo Santos also issued two certifications dated Aug. 27, the first attesting that “Mr. Gabriel Norwood was drafted by the Rain or Shine Elast Painters in the 2008 PBA Rookie Draft and has been playing with the said team up to the present,” and the second confirming that “Mr. Jared Dillinger was drafted by the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters in the 2008 PBA Rookie Draft, playing from 2008 to June 13, and was then “trade to the Meralco Bolts on June 10, 2013 and continues to play for the same team up to the present.”

The SBP also submit that the 3 year residency rule of Article 49 and 50 of the OCA Constitution does not apply to Andray Blatche for the following reasons:

MAJOR PREMISE I

OCA Constitution and Rules (attached Articles 49 and 50 – Annex “B”)

We look at Article 49 Eligibility Code as the “mother” provision of the rules on player eligibility – and we quote the FIRST item listed in said Code as follows:

To be eligible for participation in the OCA GAMES, a competitor must:

1. Observe and abide by the Rules of the IOC/ OCA as per Olympic Charter.

• We take note of the specific mention of “... Rules of the IOC/ OCA as per Olympic Charter.”, which means it is of supreme importance that IOC and OCA rules should be consistent with the Olympic Charter.

• We submit that for a basketball player to be eligible to play in the Olympic Games in keeping with the Olympic Charter, a player must necessarily comply with FIBA eligibility rules since these are the basketball player eligibility rules applied for the Olympic Games.

• FIBA player eligibility rules covering “naturalized” players dictate that a “naturalized” player can only play for one (1) country and can NEVER play for any other country forever. There is no “residency” requirement under FIBA eligibility rules.

MAJOR PREMISE II

OLYMPIC CHARTER (attached Bye-Law to Article 40 Par 1, Article 41 and Bye-Law to Article 41 Par 1 and 2 – Annex “C”)

a) Bye- law to Rule 40 Eligibility Code

1. Each IF establishes its sport’s own eligibility criteria in accordance with the Olympic Charter. Such criteria must be submitted to the IOC Executive Board for approval. xx

a) Article 41 Nationality of Competitors

1. Any competitor in the Olympic Games must be a national of the country of the NOC which is entering such competitor.

2. All matters relating to the determination of the country which a competitor may represent in the Olympic Games shall be resolved by the IOC Executive Board. xx

b) Bye- Law to Rule 41

1. A competitor who is a national of two or more countries at the same time may represent either one of them, as he may elect. However, after having represented one country in the Olympic Games, in continental or regional games or in world or regional championships recognised by the relevant IF, he may not represent another country unless he meets the conditions set forth in paragraph 2 below that apply to persons who have changed their nationality or acquired a new nationality.

2. A competitor who has represented one country in the Olympic Games, in continental or regional games or in world or regional championships recognised relevant IF, and who has changed his nationality or acquired a new nationality, may participate in the Olympic Games to represent his new country provided that at least three years have passed since the competitor last represented his former country. This period may be reduced or even cancelled, with the agreement of the NOCs and IF concerned, by the IOC Executive Board, which takes into account the circumstances of each case.

• OCA Rules on three (3) years residence requirement, again, in order to adhere to and make them consistent with the Olympic Charter (see attached Annex “C”), must apply only to those who have played for a FIRST (1st) country and who want to play for a SECOND (2nd) or additional country. 

In other words, even if the three (3) year residency rule of the Olympic Charter, for the sake of argument, is applicable to basketball, it shall apply only to the player who opts to play for a 2nd or additional country.

MINOR PREMISE – Re Mr. Andray Blatche

• FIBA has qualified him to be eligible to play for the Philippines as its “naturalized” player for the upcoming 2014 FIBA World Cup and effectively

in all FIBA sanctioned international tournaments, including the Olympic Games (if Philippines qualifies) and Asian Games.

• He has not played for the national team of any other country and is therefore not covered by the 3-year residency requirement under the IOC and/ or OCA eligibility rules, vis –a-vis the Olympic Charter

• Blatche is a current holder of a valid Philippine passport.

• In the Technical Handbook for the Incheon Asian Games for Basketball (Article III Techical Information Section 6 Competition Rules) it states that “general issues” will be covered by OCA rules and that “technical issues” will be covered by IF(FIBA) rules. We further respectfully submit that PLAYER

ELIGIBILITY is a “technical issue” and should therefore follow FIBA PLAYER ELIBILITY rules since IFs have different PLAYER ELIGIBILTY rules from sport to sport – there are no ONE (1) singular PLAYER ELIGIBILITY rules for ALL sports. This is the case for the Olympic Games, in keeping with the Olympic Charter and we trust that OCA rules subscribe to the same policy and position to be consistent with the Olympic Charter, which OCA holds sacred.

Based on the following reasons, the SBP believes Mr. Andray Blatche is eligible to play in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. This is submitted to IAGOC for illumination and understanding.

 



PBA Board To Cheer Gilas Pilipinas In World Cup, Asiad

August 28, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – The PBA board of governors, led by new chairman Patrick Gregorio and commissioner Chito Salud, flies in batches to Spain to provide morale support to Gilas Pilipinas vying in the 2014 FIBA World Championship.

Read full article at: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2014/08/28/1362608/pba-board-cheer-gilas-wc-asiad



Garcia Not Giving Up On Blatche Eligibility Case As Peping Seeks Audience With OCA Chief

August 27, 2014

LOCAL sports officials have vowed to make last-ditch appeals before the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee (Iagoc) to allow naturalized player Andray Blatche to suit up for Gilas Pilipinas in the coming Asian Games.

Read full article: http://www.spin.ph/basketball/fiba/news/olympic-council-of-asia-incheon-asian-games-basketball-appeal-eligibility-andray-blatche-basketball-gabe-norwood-jared-dillinger



'Nervous Excitement' Now Prevails Within Gilas Pilipinas – PH Coach Chot Reyes

August 22, 2014

JUST a little over a week before the start of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain, with Gilas Pilipinas facing Croatia, Greece, Argentina, Puerto Rico and Senegal in Seville, national coach Chot Reyes takes time to answer a few questions.

Q: It’s showtime in a matter of days, coach. What is the team’s mindset about the closeness of the tournament? What remains to be done as far as preparation is concerned? Jacking it up or slowing it down?

Coach Chot Reyes: There’s a very palpable sense of “nervous excitement” around the team now – gatherings are far less rowdy, boisterous than usual. Bus trips to games and even practices are quiet, almost ‘gametime-esque’ in feel. And this is because they can sense it now, 9 days away. We’re unloading already on the heavy conditioning work, doing all of it on the court. We’re jacking up the mentals while easing up on the physical. We’ve put most of our stuff in – it’s now just a matter of polishing and execution – thus the tune-up games. We’re also keeping some things under our sleeve, of course.

Q: No more problems with Andray Blatche’s eligibility?

CCR: I don’t think so. In his and our minds, he’s playing come Aug 30.

Q: There are reports of injuries to several players. Will this have a big impact on our overall performance? How are Jayson Castro and Paul Lee?

CCR: The possibility of injuries is always present, and has beleaguered France, Argentina, Serbia, Puerto Rico, Spain – almost all the teams here. That’s why we brought extra players. Surely if Jayson and Paul cannot play it will have a big impact, but again, we have to have the flexibility to play with or without them. Both are day-to-day situations.

Q: Did the Paul George incident impact any of the players? Was there a need to talk to them about it?

CCR: Nope, other than the usual, “did you see that”?

Q: Your personal thoughts on it. Although accidents happen, was it something that could have been avoided?

CCR: I was shocked to see how close the support was to the baseline, but I must admit, I didn’ t notice it until AFTER it happened, so I guess the same thing happened to USA Basketball officials.

Q: The Spurs didn’t allow Manu Ginobili to play for the Argentinean team. Did you see anything not right with this – NBA teams preventing their players from suiting up for their home countries because of contracts?

CCR: The only reasons NBA teams can prevent players from representing their country is for injury, or lack of insurance. The Spurs cited the injury provision. But if Manu really wanted to play, the Spurs could not prevent him.

Q: Always a good thing to temper expectations. Still, how far can the Filipino fans hope for? One win? Two? More?

CCR: This is tough to answer – if I say 2 people will say I’m dreaming; if I say none, they will say I’m defeatist. Here is my take: I think our realistic goal is to win 1 but hope for 2; and die trying in the process.

Q: On paper, which team could that one or two wins probably come from?

CCR: On paper, only Senegal is a reasonable chance; not likely, but reasonable. All the rest, and again, I’m sure people will react negatively to this, are ‘suntok sa buwan’. Puerto Rico, whom people say we may be able to beat, just beat Argentina by 10 points last week. Greece killed New Zealand by 20, and Croatia, well Croatia is a super power.

Q: In short sentences, can you give us a scouting report of the five other teams in our group?

CCR: Nope.

Q: Anything else you want Gilas Pilipinas fans to know?

CCR: The players (and their wives) are very hurt by all the negative comments they read. We try to brush it off, but it stings nonetheless. We wish to remind people that these are tune-ups. We’re trying different schemes, other combinations, etc. People, including the legit and illegit media, should understand the magnitude of the task at hand. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING can prepare us for this competition, except constantly being exposed to it. We’re playing teams bigger, faster, stronger and more experienced than us. Players who have been playing THIS game their entire lives. We play in the PBA then devote 1 MONTH practice for this. More than the physical factors, it’s really playing the FIBA WORLD WAY that’s the most difficult adjustment. It’s frustrating for our players – they get hurt fighting thru screens, they get bumped going to the hoop, they get bone-jarring screens trying to pressure the ball. And they do this away from the warmth and comforts of home, far from their wife and kids. We knew all this coming here, but to actually experience it – napakahirap talaga. Unlike last year, when we were away, we knew we would be back in Manila to play the FIBA-Asia. Now by the time the Wolrd Cup ends, players would have been away from home for 45 DAYS. We are not looking for pity or acknowledgment. We signed up for this. The players are doing this without pay, purely for love of country, at the risk of their careers. All we are asking for is a little understanding. Konting pag-unawa lang. If you have something negative to say, keep it to yourself. That won’t kill you.

Kung tunay na PILIPINO ka, susuportahan mo ang GILAS – manalo man o matalo. Makuha man ang paborito mong player o hindi. Isipin nyo ang hirap at sakripisyo ng inyong mga player bago kayo manghusga. Maaring di kami magtagumpay, pero NANDITO kami, pinaglalaban ang ating bandila. Ilan ang tinawag at umayaw? Itong mga ito tinanggap ang hamon. They put themselves on the line so YOU will have something to cheer for. This is not My team or MVP’s team. Team PILIPINAS ito. So kung Pilipino ka, kakampi ka.

Q: In the midst of all this preparation for the FIBA World Cup, has there been room yet for thinking about the Incheon Asian Games? With your coaches at least?

CCR: Yup, we already submitted the final 12 for this.

Q: Chances there? A bigger prize?

CCR: Excellent chance, especially if we have Andray.

Q: Do you see somebody’s handiwork in this Andray Blatche issue cropping up?

CDR: No comment

 



Altamirano Sets September Training For Canaleta And Company for FIBA 3X3 World Tour

August 20, 2014

ERIC Altamirano, coaching consultant of the champion Manila West team heading for the FIBA 3x3 World Tour set Oct. 11-12 in Tokyo is concerned with a number of things seven weeks before tournament time, including the weather in Japan at the onset of winter.

“Baka malamig na doon by October,” he said in a story at Tempo. “So dapat kaya silang naka-long sleeves at parang Spider-Man leggings?”

The quartet of KG Canaleta of Talk ‘N Text, Aldrech Ramos of NLEX, Rey Guevarra of Meralco and Terrence Romeo of Globalport ruled the FIBA 3x3 Manila Masters, stunning world champion Doha of Qatar at the Fashion Hall of SM Megamall last month, to qualify for the Japan championship.

Altamirano, coach of the National U Bulldogs in the UAAP, helped craft the game plan instrumental for the Manila squad in thwarting the taller Qataris, 21-17.

There’s also the shape the four players will be in when he calls for the start of three-week practice on Sept. 22.

“Siguro tignan muna natin yung kundisyon nila dahil malamang hard practice na sila sa mga mother PBA teams nila e,” said Altamirano, director of the NBTC basketball program. “Aayusin din muna siguro yung schedule nila. Then we will have to review the rules.”

FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, has added the 3x3 event into its regular calendar, pushing aggressively for the playground-style competition already popular in the country.

Altamirano, who met with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios yesterday, said requests may be made for PBA and D-League ballclubs to allow some of their players to play tuneup matches with the Manila West squad.

“Kailangan yong mga larong ganoon,” said Altamirano.

Barrios said he will be writing the PBA to help facilitate Altramirano’s request for scrimmages with other pro players.

The team will be meeting on a daily basis in the last week of preparation, according to Altamirano, who, along with La Salle-Greenhills coach John Flores, are in charge of the Manila West team’s training.

Chicago Masters qualifiers Saskatoon and Denver joined early world entries Manila West, reigning world champion Doha of Qatar from the Manila Masters, and Wukesong of China from the Beijing Masters.

NBA great and former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen handed Saskatoon team members the $10,000 champion’s check.

Wukesong, literally the "Five Pine Trees", according to Wikipedia, is the name of the roadway interchange in Haidian District in western Beijing where Fuxing Lu, the western extension of Chang'an Avenue, crosses the Fourth Ring Road.

The Chinese team scraped its way to the final by nipping Yokohama in the semis, 13-12, while the Japanese team narrowly made it by edging New Taipei, 18-17.

Next stop for the FIBA 3x3 Masters is Prague on Aug. 23-24. 



Hour Of Reckoning Close At Hand For Gilas Pilipinas As FIBA Clock Winds Down

August 21, 2014

EVEN as Gilas Pilipinas is wrapping up its preparation for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain, its Group C Preliminary Round opponents are with the same passion putting the finishing touches to their own training schedule.

The Philippines advanced to the 24-team World Championship for the first time in 36 years after finishing second to powerhouse Iran in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena, clinching one of three Asian berths by stunning longtime nemesis South Korea, 86-79, in front of a huge emotional crowd that was left in tears and hoarse from shouting at the final buzzer. (Read about it at http://grantland.com/the-triangle/we-went-there-the-philippines-try-to-avoid-the-south-korea-bogeyman-in-the-fiba-asia-semifinal/)

The Koreans eventually claimed the last slot by routing Chinese-Taipei, 75-57, in the battle for third place.

Completing the cast are host Spain, 2012 Olympic champion United States, Angola, Egypt, Senegal (FIBA Africa), Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Dominican Republic (FIBA Americas), France, Lithuania, Croatia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Serbia (FIBA EuroBasket), Australia, New Zealand (FIBA Oceania), and wild cards Brazil, Finland, Greece and Turkey.

Senegal initially was suspended for alleged age fabrication during the 2013 FIBA Under-19 World Championship for Men and Women. The order was lifted early this year by FIBA after the Senegalese federation complied with all the requirements imposed on them, clearing the way for their participation in the World Cup.

The draw for the groupings was held last February 3 at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona resulting in the following brackets: Group A – Spain, Serbia, France, Brazil, Egypt, Iran; Group B – Philippines, Senegal, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Greece, Croatia; Group C – Dominican Republic, Turkey, United States, Finland, New Zealand, Ukraine; and Group D – Lithuania, Angola, South Korea, Slovenia, Mexico, Australia.

Group A matches will be played at the 7,500-capacity    Palacio Municipal de Deportes de Granada, Group B games will be at the 10,200-sitting Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo in Seville; Group C competition is at 15,414-accommodating Bizkaia Arena in Barakaldo, and Group D elimination is at the 11,500-capacity Gran Canaria Arena in Las Palmas.

The Round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and final will either be at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona (16,500) or the Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid (15,500).

Gilas Pilipinas (where is PHI team now) drew Croatia for its first game (August 3), Greece next (Aug. 31), Argentina (Sept. 1), Puerto Rico (Sept. 3), and Senegal (Sept. 4).

The top four teams from each group move up to the Round of 16.

The gauntlet awaits Gilas as it begins its against five of the world’s toughest teams.

CROATIA

Croatia, from FIBA Europe, ranks 16th overall in the latest FIBA ratings. The Croats have been in three Olympic Games, winning the silver medal against the original US Dream Team in 1992 in Barcelona. They also have a bronze (1994) to show for three FIBA World Cup appearances and two more bronze medals (1993, 1995) from 12 FIBA EuroBasket performances.

Coached by Jasmin Repesa, Croatia, which produced the great Drazen Petrovic and former Chicago Bulls forward Toni Kukoc, is bannered by 6-foot-8 Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Bojan Bogdanovic and 6-foot-10 Indiana Pacers power forward Damjan Rudez, 7-foot-2 center Ante Tomic, and ex-Boston Celtic 6-foot-2 naturalized player Oliver Lafayette from Baton Rouge, Louisiana who will play point guard.

From Fiba.com:

ZAGREB (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - The 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup is just around the corner. In the lead-up to the biggest international basketball event, we take an individual look at all 24 teams.

In Croatia's rich basketball history are stories of legends.

Drazen Petrovic was a pioneer who shone not only for the national team but in the NBA and paved the way for other Europeans to compete in the league.

Toni Kukoc was a three-time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls in the nineties and Dino Radja played for the Boston Celtics.

Both donned the Croatia shirt in international competition.

All three won the silver medal at the 1992 Olympics and both Kukoc and Radja were among the Croatian stars to celebrate a third-place finish at the 1994 FIBA World Championship in Toronto,Canada.

It would take 16 years for Croatia to return to the World Championship.

In 2010, the team made it out of the Preliminary Round in Turkey but lost in the Round of 16 to Serbia.

There is plenty of cause for hope that this year's FIBA Basketball World Cup campaign will be better.

Croatia have the majority of players that finished fourth at EuroBasket 2013 in Slovenia last year.

One is Dario Saric.

The 20-year-old forward was the Adriatic League's Most Valuable Player, and the MVP of that competition's Final Four after firing Cibona to the title.

At 2.08m and with plenty of muscle, Saric is a handful for opponents.

Croatia have plenty of veterans, too, some who competed in 2010 when the team only exited the World Championship in Turkey after a last-second, heart-breaking defeat to the Serbians.

Bojan Bogdanovic, who was just announcing his arrival on the international basketball stage four years ago, is probably the Croatians best player.

The 2.04 forward averaged a team-high 17.4 points per game at EuroBasket 2013.

A tremendous shooter who also does plenty of damage with his drives to the basket, Bogdanovic made the All-Tournament Team in Slovenia.

Damjan Rudez will arrive in Seville, where Croatia are to play in Group B, with his confidence soaring, too.

After a standout EuroBasket, the sweet-shooting big man did well in Spain with CAI Zaragoza.

This summer, he penned a deal with the Indiana Pacers.

Center Ante Tomic is back to offer a tall presence in the low post after helping Barcelona upset Real Madrid in the Spanish Liga Endesa Finals.

There are many more players who are back to ensure continuity, and there is also the veteran leadership of coach Jasmin Repesa, who is in his second stint at the helm.

Croatia went on an eight-game winning streak last year and reached the Semi-Finals of the EuroBasket.

They will be in the reckoning for Group B supremacy and may contend for a spot on the podium in Spain.

GREECE

The squeeze just got tighter.

Coached by Fotios Kitsikaris, the Greek national team, a FIBA member since 1932, ranks fifth in the world, has appeared in four Olympic Games, six FIBA World Cups with a silver medal in 2006, and 25 EuroBasket tournaments where they won the gold twice (1987, 2005), the silver in 1989, and the bronze in 1949 and 60 years later in 2009.

From FIBA.com:

ATHENS (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - The 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup is just around the corner. In the lead-up to the biggest international basketball event, we take an individual look at all 24 teams.

Greece needed a wild card to reach the 24-team FIBA Basketball World Cup but no one will be underestimating them in Spain.

Entering the tournament with the No. 5 spot in the FIBA bwin Ranking Men, the Greeks are eight years removed from their famous upset of the United States in the Semi-Finals of the FIBA World Championship.

Without the protagonists of that team and with a different coach, the Greeks still have strong link to 2006 in Nikos Zisis.

The shooting guard hit a long three-pointer in Hamamatsu at the death to give Greece a 72-69 victory over Australia but was then lost to injury in their next game, a defeat of Brazil.

Coach Fotis Katsikaris, who has replaced Andrea Trinchieri after his one year at the helm, has a new generation of Greeks who are hoping to prove they are just as good as the last.

Youngsters Kostas Papanikolaou, Evangelos Mantzaris, Kostas Sloukas and Nick Calathes already have vital games with the national team under the belt and will combine with more senior players like Giannis Bourousis, Zisis, Georgios Printezis and Kostas Kaimakoglou to make Greece one of the top sides in a Group B that also has Puerto Rico, Senegal, the Philippines, Argentina and Croatia.

The youngsters' stars are on the rise.

Since shining for title-winning Greek teams at youth level, Papanikolaou, Mantzaris and Sloukas have celebrated back-to-back Turkish Airlines Euroleague triumphs (2012 and 2013) with Olympiacos, and Calathes, after scooping the honor as the Eurocup's top player (2013) with Unics Kazan, has launched his NBA career with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Milwaukee Bucks wing Giannis Antetokounmpo has caused the biggest buzz in Athens.

The 19-year-old who stands 2.11m in height is extremely athletic and should provide highlight reel plays in Spain, although it remains to be seen how many minutes Katsikaris gives him.

Bourousis' first season at Real Madrid did not go as well as he'd hoped, with the club only managing a Copa del Rey triumph and runners-up finishes in the Euroleague and the Spanish Liga Endesa.

Much will depend on his presence in the low post, and the performances of power forwards Printezis and Kaimakoglou.

Each has been in the basketball wars before with Greece and will have to be at their best, especially on the boards in the knockout round should they advance.

Since reaching the podium at EuroBasket 2009 in Poland, Greece have come up short of the medals.

Their results the last two summers have been disappointing, especially 2012 when Greece fell in the dying seconds to Nigeria at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament to miss out on the London Games.

The feel-good factor will return with success in Spain.

ARGENTINA

So Manu Ginobili isn’t playing. Big deal. Now Gilas Pilipinas will only have to contend with 6-foot-3 veteran point guard Pablo Prigioni of the New York Knicks, 6-foot-9 Indiana Pacers forward Luis Scola, 6-foot-7 NBA veteran Andres Nocioni, 6-foot-7 Marcos Mata, 6-foot-7 Leonardo Gutierrez and 6-foot-9 former Charlotte Bobcat Walter Herrmann.

An imposing third overall in the FIBA rankings, Greece is coached by Julio Lamas and will be preening with six Olympic Games appearances, winning the gold in 2004 and the bronze in 2008. The Greeks also have been in this tournament 13 times before, capturing the gold in 1950 on the tournament’s maiden year and the silver in 2002, losing to Yugoslavia in overtime, 84-77.

It is of little consequence that the Argentines are coming in as a wildcard entry, having failed to qualify through the FIBA Americas elimination. Neither is it of great importance that the hurting Ginobili has not been allowed by the San Antonio Spurs to suit up for his country’s colors. Getting past this team will be a labor fit for Hercules and Gilas Pilipinas will need all the favors it could get from sympathetic Greek deities to accomplish the task.

From Fiba.com

BUENOS AIRES (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - The 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup is just around the corner. In the lead-up to the biggest international basketball event, we take an individual look at all 24 teams.

Argentina are going to show up at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain with a good mix of veterans and youngsters, and an experienced coach in Julio Lamas.

Lamas guided Argentina at the 1998 FIBA World Championship during his first spell as boss.

Four years later, and many of the young and promising players in the country broke into the senior team.

Among them was Luis Scola.

The 2.04m power forward helped Argentina reach the Final where Yugoslavia upended them in an overtime thriller.

Scola has since become the team's most celebrated player, one who has not only appeared for the country every summer save 2005 but also often carried Argentina on his back.

That was true last year at the FIBA Americas Championship when he averaged 18.8 points and 6.9 rebounds, and had 28 and seven in a vital win over Canada that punched the side’s ticket to the World Cup.

The 34-year-old has consistently played the role of Superman for Argentina during his career.

One of his finest hours was four years ago when he had 37 points and nine rebounds in a 93-89 triumph over South American rivals Brazil in the Round of 16.

Without a doubt another key man for Argentina at the World Cup will be Andres Nocioni, a forward coming off a strong campaign in Spain with Laboral Kutxa.

He also made his senior team bow at the 2002 FIBA World Championship.

As for the new generation of Argentina, Facundo Campazzo is a huge talent.

His performances at point guard will complement those of veteran Pablo Prigioni and give Lamas plenty of quality at the position.

Campazzo was Argentina's second leading scorer last year in Venezuela.

What the national side will need most at the World Cup is for others to step up and be contributors, like shooting guard Selem Safar.

He averaged more than 12 points per game in Venezuela last year and shot 46.7 percent (28 of 60) from long range.

Argentina have their Olympic gold medal in the bag from 2004, but the world title is still missing.

They have come extremely close, however, not only in 2002 but also 2006 when a missed Nocioni three-pointer at the buzzer against Spain kept them out of the Final.

Can they make an impact in Spain?

With Scola, Nocioni, Prigioni and Campazzo on board, Argentina will have a combative spirit, basketball smarts and plenty of confidence.

This is almost certain to be another summer of twists and turns for one of international basketball's most successful teams in recent years.

PUERTO RICO

One name stands out: Renaldo Balkman. Remember him?

Balkman, a former New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets player, suited up with the Petron Blaze in the PBA in 2013 but was banned from the league following a choking incident involving a teammate.

Now Gilas Pilipinas and fellow Petron Blaze player June Mar Fajardo is set to square off with the former South Carolina standout, voted NIT most valuable player during the 2005-2006 collegiate season.

The encounter should be memorable, especially the matchup against Balkman and the Gilas playmakers against 5f-oot-11 Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Jose Barea.

Puerto Rico advanced to the world championship through the FIBA Americas. It has been in nine Olympic Games and 13 World Cup tournaments

From Fiba.com

SAN JUAN (FIBA Basketball World Cup) – Puerto Rico coach Paco Olmos has settled on his 12-man squad for the FIBA Basketball World Cup with a handful of players impressing enough in recent weeks to clinch spots.

In addition to veterans Carlos Arroyo, Jose Barea, David Huertas, Alex Galindo, Renaldo Balkman, Ricky Sanchez and Daniel Santiago, Olmos has included Carlos Rivera, Alex Franklin, Angel Vassallo, Ramon Clemente and Jorge Brian Diaz.

Though NBA star Barea was a certainty to make the squad, he played at the recent Centrobasket in Mexico with others who were trying to gain selection to the World Cup team.

His Centrobasket teammates Franklin, Rivera and Clemente played well and gained spots on the roster.

Now the Puerto Rico players will step up their preparations for Spain, where they are to play in Group B against Greece, Croatia, Senegal, the Philippines and Argentina.

Franklin did well for Puerto Rico in 2012 when they attempted to reach the London Games via the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Venezuela.

A gifted and athletic forward, Franklin is one of the Boricuas who plays the game above the rim.

"Franklin joins after being in the team in 2012 and at that time we thought that if he was healthy, he had the tools to be in this group," said Puerto Rican Basketball Federation President Carlos Beltran.

"He is a player who brings a lot of energy, is athletic and has a good attitude."

"In the case of Jorge Brian, he is one of our greatest prospects for the future. I am sure that Argentina had no idea who Jorge Brian was during Sunday's game."

Brian, a standout center who played for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and hails from Caguas, Puerto Rico, had 14 points and seven rebounds in the team's 97-87 triumph over Argentina in Belgrade.

"I was told that the Argentinians saw that tall, skinny guy doing things on the court and did not know what to do against him," said Beltran.

He thanked the players who had pressed their claims during the Centrobasket for the team but didn't make it.

"And of course, my respect to Filiberto (Rivera), (Javier) Mojica and (Devon) Collier for their work at the Centrobasket and willingness to be here," he said.

Puerto Rico have traveled to New York to resume their preparations.

On Friday they will take on the United States at Madison Square Garden.

Arroyo and Santiago are the only players left from the Puerto Rico squad that upset the United States on the opening day of the Athens Olympics 10 years ago.

Puerto Rico squad for FIBA Basketball World Cup: Carlos Arroyo, Renaldo Balkman, Jose Barea, Ramon Clemente, Jorge Diaz, Alex Franklin, Alex Galindo, David Huertas, Carlos Rivera, Ricky Sanchez, Daniel Santiago and Angel Vassallo.

SENEGAL

A qualifier from FIBA Africa, Senegal has made three Olympic Games appearances and four FIBA World Cups.

It is a five-time gold medalist (in 1968, 1972, 1978, 1980, and 1997), six-time silver medalist, and thrice a bronze medalist at the FIBA Africa .

From Fiba.com

MALAGA (FIBA Basketball World Cup) – The battle to make Senegal's final roster for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup has intensified after head coach Cheikh Sarr trimmed his preliminary squad from 22 to just 16 players.

Ten of the 12 players who helped Senegal finish third in last year's AfroBasket remain in the team, which is holding a three-week training camp in Malaga, Spain.

Sarr selected at least three players for each position in order to keep the group motivated and everyone fighting for a place in the final roster.

"This is the best group of players that we could select. It will be tough to cut four more players, but the guys are prepared for my decisions," Sarr told FIBA.com.

For Malick Gadiaga and Ibrahima Mbengue - both named in the original preliminary squad - the World Cup dream ended in Dakar, where the African team began its preparations last month.

"It is not the end of the road for those players who stayed at home. We still have AfroBasket 2015 to play and they might have a chance," said Sarr.

Now that the country's Basketball Organizing Committee has paid the professional players' insurances, it is up to Sarr to put together a game plan for a team that will be playing in FIBA's flagship event for the first time since 2006.

Senegal are in Group B, which will be played in Sevilla, along with Greece, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Croatia and Argentina.

The South American giants will be without leading player Manu Ginobili, out through injury.

"I am sure Argentina will find a capable player to replace him as they have talented players in the country," said Sarr, adding that "it's disappointing that Manu Ginobili will not be playing in Spain. Surely some of my players were eager to compete against one of the best guards of his generation."

The Senegalese are due to return to Dakar on 25 August before returning to Spain three days later.

During their training camp, Senegal are expected to play a warm-up game against the host nation Spain.

Senegal 16-player squad for FIBA Basketball World Cup: Mamadou Ndoye, Louis Adams, Pape Abdou Badji, Mouhamet Diop, Mouhammad Faye, Maleye Ndoye, El Hadji Malick Ndiaye, Hamady Ndiaye, Saer Sene, Ibrahima Thomas, Xane Dalmeida, Thierno Ibrahima Niang, Maurice Ndour, Djibril Thiam, Gorgui Dieng and Pape Sadiaw Diatta.



Batang Gilas Faces Japan For 5th Place In FIBA Asia U18

AUGUST 28, 2014

CONSIDERING the quality of the competition, a fifth place finish will have to do. But first, Japan must fall.

The Philippines will vie for a fifth-place finish in the FIBA-Asia Under-18 Championship after dispatching Kazakhstan, 86-74, in Doha, Qatar.

The Batang Gilas cagers earned a match for fifth place against Japan on Thursday after beating the Kazakhs as they try to salvage their campaign after bowing to Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinal round.

The Philippines raced to an early lead in the first quarter after a 19-6 lead although Kazakhstan was able to cut the deficit to 28-20 entering the second. The Batang Gilas cagers increased their lead as they finished the first half with a 54-38 lead.

Kazakhstan tried to engineer a comeback as it was able to cut the deficit to six points, 67-61, at the end of the third quarter but the Philippines played good enough to keep the lead in the final canto.

Paul Desiderio went on to topscore for the Philippines with 19 points. Ranbill Tongco came up with 13 points as celebrated Kobe Paras, Mark Dyke, and Jollo Go scored 10 points each for Batang Gilas.

Scores:

PHILIPPINES 86 – Desiderio 19, Tongco 13, Paras 10, Go 10, Dyke 10, Yu 5, Caracut 5, Mosqueda 4, Santillan 4, Black 2, Bienes 2, Escoto 2.

KAZAKHSTAN 74 – Danilchenko 18, Kirilin 17, Kadyr 13, Aitkali 10, Agabek 7, Tinyayev 6, Litvinenko 3, Voronushkin 0, Kachayev 0, Sidorov 0, Kainov 0.

Quarters: 28-20, 54-38, 67-61, 86-74



Gilas Pilipinas Wraps Up Tuneup Tour With Close Loss To Dominican Republic

Gabe Norwood

August 26, 2014

The Philippine national men’s basketball team gave Dominican Republic a tough battle, 86-79, on Monday in its final tune-up game before the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.

Gilas Pilipinas competed with the 26th ranked Dominican Republic despite playing without star guard Jayson Castro, who continues to nurse an injury with under the a week remaining until the tournament.

Full story at http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/gilas-pilipinas-wraps-up-tune-up-tour-with-close-loss-to-dominican-republic



Sheik Saud of Qatar Reelected FIBA Asia President

FIBA Asia president Sheikh Saud bin Ali Al-Thani of Qatar was reelected to a new five-year term during the FIBA Asia Elective Congress in Doha last July 25.

Among the 30 member national federations who cast their ballots was Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios, representing SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan.

“We in SBP congratulate Sheikh Saud bin Ali Al-Thani and the newly elected FIBA Central Board for their new mandate,” said Barrios, who went to straight Miami to visit the Gilas Pilipinas training camp right after the elections.

Also receiving a fresh mandate was FIBA Asia secretary general Hagop Khajirian of Lebanon.

Elected to the Central Board for the 2014-19 period were China’s Xin Lancheng (chairman), Sheikh Talal Faj Al-Sabah of Kuwait (1st vice president), Pang Yul of South Korea (2nd vice president), Quek Hiang of Singapore (treasurer), Mahmoud Magshoon of Iran (vice treasurer) and Noviantika Masution of Indonesia (women’s representative).

Named sub-zone representatives were Japan’s Mauro Mitsuro (East), Indonesia’s Eric Thohir (Southeast), Abhijith Sarker of Bangladesh (South), Abay Alpamyssov of Kazakhstan (Central), Mohd. Hobesh Al Marri of Qatar (Gulf) and Mudar Maidoub of Jordan (West).

In the same Congress, the FIBA Asia Central Board also finalized its decision on the hosting rights for the 2015 FIBA Asia calendar, including the 28th FIBA Asia Championship and 26th FIBA Asia Championship for Women, the two events which serve qualifiers for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

China was awarded hosting rights to both events, while Bangalore, India won the right to host the 4th FIBA Asia U16 Championship and Jakarta  the 4th FIBA Asia U16 Championship for Women.



Taipei Outlasts Batang Gilas In Shooting Duel, Enters Semis

August 27, 2014 

DOHA, Qatar (23rd FIBA Asia U18 Championship): The big question at the end of Chinese Taipei’s 90-86 win over Philippines in the third Quarter-Final at the 23rd FIBA Asia U18 Championship on Tuesday was: Was there a need for the 24-second shot-clock in the game?

For, such was the pace in the game that neither team seldom took more than 16 seconds on the clock to take their attempts – and to their own satisfaction also converted – in might what go down in FIBA Asia U18 Championship history as one of the highest scoring contests with both teams battling it out on equal footing.

In the end, it became more of who missed the final attempt in the game. That inglorious credit unfortunately went to Kobe Paras, who otherwise was the lynchpin of the Batang Gilas offense machine.

Lin Ming-Yi, on the other hand, became an instant hero with his fourth three-pointer success in nine attempts from almost the center-line which put Taipei ahead with six seconds left on the clock. Incidentally, that was one of the very few attempts by either team that came when there was less than 10 seconds on the shot-clock.

Till those moments it was the fastest ever game seen in recent FIBA Asia U18 history!

For the record, Tu Ssu-Han (pic above) led Taipei with 23 points with Lee Kuan-Yi adding 17 points, each youngster also collaring 6 rebounds apiece.

Mark Dyke had a fantastic night for the Batang Gilas, but unfortunately his personal tournament-high 26 points and half as many rebounds went in vain.

Taipei, who are yet in the race to win their second medal in three events, next play twice defending champions China in the Semi-Finals.

FIBA Asia



Batang Gilas Disputes Semis Berth In FIBA-Asia U-18 Against Taiwanese

August 26, 2014

MANILA,Philippines – The Philippines steps up its bid in the 23rd FIBA-Asia Under-18 Championship as it collides with Chinese-Taipei for a semifinal berth at the Al-Gharafa gym in Doha, Qatar late Tuesday.

Read full story: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2014/08/27/1362227/dispute-semis-berth-fiba-asia-u-18-b-gilas-face-taiwanese-today

 

 



Batang Gilas Picks Up Another Comeback Win, Defeats Malaysia In FIBA Asia U-18 Tilt

Batang Gilas' never-say-die spirit.
Filipino fans celebrate the victory.

 August 25, 2014

 The Philippine national youth basketball team finalized its quarterfinal position after a hard-fought 72-69 victory over Malaysia to close their second round assignments in Group E of the 2014 FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship in Doha, Qatar. Read entire story at http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/batang-gilas-picks-up-another-comeback-win-defeats-malaysia-in-fiba-asia-u-18-tilt



Gilas Pilipinas Snaps Out Of Tune-up Slump After Win Over Egypt In Guadalajara

Walk like and Egyptian.

August 25, 2014 

The Philippine national men’s basketball team finally picked up a victory after dropping five consecutive tune-up games, downing Egypt, 74-65, as part of their preparations for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. Read entire story at http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/gilas-pilipinas-snaps-out-of-tune-up-slump-after-win-over-egypt-in-guadalajara



From 15 Points Down, Gilas U18 In Amazing Fightback Vs Qatar

Gilas Pilipinas acknowledges Filipino fans

August 23, 2014

The force is strong with this one.

The Philippines came storming back from a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat host Qatar, 82-79, Friday night in a rousing second round victory in the FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship in Doha.

Paul Desiderio, Radge Tongco, and Kobe Paras completed Batang Gilas’ come-from-behind victory with clutch baskets and defensive plays in the end to come away with the victory against the host country.

Batang Gilas improved its record to 2-1 in Group E with China and South Korea on top 3-0 slates. Malaysia holds a 1-2 card while Qatar and Jordan are winless in three games.

The Batang Gilas came up with a dramatic win as it appeared all is lost for the Filipinos after trailing, 68-53, early in the fourth quarter. But the heart of the Under-18 squad was on display late in the game.

Down 79-76, Tongco hit a two-pointer before Desiderio followed off a turnover with 17 seconds left in the game for the lead, 80-79.

Paras, son of former PBA star Benjie Paras, then came away with a steal, a possession that led to Tongco making one of two free throws with seven seconds left, 81-79. Desiderio got a steal off his own for the Philippines with Paras converting a free throw to finish the game with a three-point Gilas lead.

Desiderio, Tongco, and Paras finished with 13 points each. Dave Yu had 16 points and kept the Philippines in contention with 4-of-9 shooting from three-point distance.

Qatar sensation Abdulrahman Mohammed Saad scored 35 points but could not lead the host country to the victory.

Scores:

PHILIPPINES 82 – Yu 16, Desiderio 13, Tongco 13, Paras 13, Escoto 7, Caracut 6, Mosqueda 6, Dyke 4, Black 2, Go 2, Santillan 0, Bienes 0.

QATAR 79 – Saad 35, Abdelhaleem 15, Alyousif 13, Alshawaqfeh 8, Abed 6, Aql 2, Abouzenad 0.

Quarters: 22-19, 39-40, 64-53, 82-79.

 



Batang Gilas U18 Squad Loses Steam In The Fourth Quarter Vs South Korea

August 22, 2014

SOUTH Korea has found another way to torment the Philippine team.

Batang Gilas fought a gallant stand but eventually bowed to South Korea, 87-69, on Thursday, absorbing its first loss in the FIBA-Asia Under-18 Championship in Doha, Qatar.

The Nationals entered the second round of the competition bearing the lone setback to unbeaten South Korea, which finished second in the previous edition held in Mongolia.

The Filipinos carried the fight to the Koreans before succumbing.

The Philippines, nonetheless, automatically moved to the second round as Group B only has three teams. South Korea and Jordan will also advance to form Group E in the second round where they will be facing Group A leader China.

Ranbill Tongco once again led the Philippines with 24 points as he kept the team’s chances alive in the third quarter with the score close, 45-41.

But the Koreans went on to finish the third with a 61-54 lead before seizing control in the fourth, posting several double digit leads early in the last period.

Song Kyochang, Kwon Hyeokjoon and Kim Kyung Won had 17 points each for the Koreans as they advanced into the second round undefeated after two games.

Scores:

SOUTH KOREA 87 – Kim 17, Song 17, Kwon 17, Jeon 12, Byeon 10, Jang 4, Park 4, Y. Kim 3, Yoo 2, Lee 1,Yang 0, Pack 0.

BATANG GILAS 69 – Tongco 24, Dyke 10, Black 8, Escoto 7, Paras 6, Desiderio 4, Go 4, Santillan 3, Caracut 2, Mosqueda 1, Bienes 0, Yu 0.

Quarters: 23-17, 45-39, 61-54, 87-69.



Batang Gilas routs Jordan in FIBA Asia U18

August 21, 2014
RADGE Tongco got the Philippines to a strong start as Batang Gilas defeated Jordan, 85-60, on Wednesday in the FIBA-Asia Under-18 Championship in Dubai.
 
Tongco scored a team-high 24 points while shooting 11-of-17 from the field as the Batang Gilas opened the tournament in Group B with a win after drawing a bye on Tuesday.
 
Tongco, playing in his first year with the San beda Red Lions, led Batang Gilas to the victory after outscoring the Jordanians, 30-13, in the second period.
 
The second quarter explosion came after the Philippines led by only one point, 14-13, at the end of the first.
 
“I think we were selfish in the first quarter,” said Gilas coach Jamike Jarin in an interview with the FIBA-Asia website. “I just allowed them to make their mistakes and settle down on their own.”
 
Joshua Caracut finished with 11 points for Batang Gilas. Paul Desidero and Chino Mosqueda scored 10 markers each for the Philippine Under-18 squad.
 
The Batang Gilas cagers go for the sweep of the preliminary round in Group B but it wont be easy as they go up against South Korea, which placed second in the last staging of the Asian Under-18 championship two years ago in Mongolia.
 
Mohammed Alabed Allat had 21 points and nine rebounds while Khaled Abuaboud had 11 points and 22 rebounds for Jordan, which lost its second game.
 
The Batang Gilas broke a 16-16 deadlock with a 20-8 run in the second period, 36-24, to set the tone for the match.
 
Scores:
 
PHILIPPINES 85  – Tongco 24, Caracut 11, Desiderio 10, Mosqueda 10, Paras 6, Black 6, Dyke 6, Yu 5, Santillan 3, Escoto 2, Go 2, Bienes 0.
 
JORDAN 60 – Alabed Allat 21, Abuaboud 11, Hijazi 7, Haddad 7, Al Bdour 3, E’layan 3, Hassooneh 2, Hamati 2, Alsawahli 2, Bousheh 1, U’wais 1, Alfaraj 0.
 
Quarterscores: 14-13, 44-26, 72-39, 85-60.


The Son Also Rises As Kobe Suits Up For PH U18 Team

BENJIE Paras, the Tower of Power of Philippine basketball, has got nothing on this young fellow.

The Philippine team to the FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship in Doha has been given a big boost as Kobe Paras is set to play for the national youth team in the tournament.

According to reports, Paras has been allowed by his high school team Los Angeles Cathedral to play for the national team that will compete from August 19 to 28.

In an interview with Spin.ph, head coach Jamike Jarin said the 16-year-old son of two-time PBA Most Valuable Player Benjie Paras will be a big help for the Philippine team which will be eyeing to improve on its sixth place finish in the 2012 FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship in Mongolia.

“Kobe will definitely give us the athleticism and the height. He will be playing multiple positions for the team,” Jarin said.

The younger Paras played for La Salle Greenhills in the NCAA. He played for the national 3-on-3 team last year in the FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship and FIBA World Under-18 Championship, where he won the Slam Dunk contest by leaping over a motorcycle.

His win in the Slam Dunk contest got a lot of attention as he eventually was recruited by LA Cathedral to play high school ball.

Recently, Paras got media attention in the United States after an article in the Los Angeles Times entitled “Another guard named Kobe is ready to star in L.A.”

“I was born in 1997, and during that time, Kobe Bryant was a rising star, so my dad decided to name me after Kobe Bryant,” said Paras in explaining his name to LA Times writer Eric Sondheimer.



BATANG GILAS ENDS U17 CAMPAIGN WITH A WIN TO SALVAGE 15TH PLACE

DUBAI -- The Philippines wrapped up its campaign in the Fiba U17 World Championship with a 64-point victory over a hapless United Arab Emirates side, 115-51, late Saturday at the Al Shabab Arena here.
 
But the victory hardly mattered as Batang Gilas coach Jamike Jarin claimed that they have already notched a significant achievement despite finishing 15th in this prestigious 16-nation tournament ruled by the United States for the third consecutive time.
 
"This is just the first try for the Philippines. This is just a baby step, a temporary setback for us," Jarin said. 
 
"Being here is already an achievement. We made history. Iran is not here, South Korea is not here, but the Philippines is here. We're so proud of what we have achieved and we surely gave our best."
Jarin said they have no plans of slowing down.
 
"Our goal is to compete in the world level every year," he said. "We already broke the barrier so we should do our best to stay here. We should always represent Asia in world-class youth tournaments."
 
The Batang Gilas, who punched a ticket to the world stage after a bridesmaid finish in the Fiba Asia U16 Championship, kicked off their campaign on a sour note as they lost an average of 26.1 points to superpowers like the United States, Greece, France and Argentina in their first six games.
 
In the battle for the 13th-16th places against Egypt, the Filipinos had a solid chance, but they were heavily battered in the shaded lanes in the second half, relegating them to the battle for the 15th-6th places against equally winless UAE.
 
They crushed the Arabs right from the opening tip with Paul Desiderio, Mike Nieto and Michael Dela Cruz waging a blistering second half rally to erect a comfortable 70-point advantage, 113-43.
 
Desiderio finished with a team-high 25 points while Nieto and Dela Cruz chipped in 15 markers apiece for the Batang Gilas, who were serenaded with cheers and applause from a large Filipino crowd all game long.
 
"We just wanted to get a win," Jarin said. "I have no specific instruction. I just told them to go there and get the win for the people of the Philippines and the Filipinos living here in Dubai who have been supporting us."
 
Jarin and three Batang Gilas -- Desiderio, Richard Escoto and Jollo Go -- flew to Doha to join nine other teammates in their quest for glory in the Fiba Asia U18 Championship starting next week.
 
The scores:
 
Philippines 115 -- Desiderio 25, Dela Cruz 15, Nieto Mike 15, Dario 13, Padilla 12, Navarro 8, Nieto Matt 7, Escoto 6, Go 5, Panlilio 5, Abadeza 4, Mendoza 0
 
UAE 51 -- Salem 12, Mohammad 11, Juma 9, Alabdulla 9, Alzarooni 5, Almaazmi 4, Saad 0, Alfarsi 0, Alnuamani 0, Alyammahi 0
 
Quarterscores: 26-15, 49-26, 89-33, 115-51


BATANG GILAS LOSES ANEW; WILL BATTLE FOR 15TH SPOT

DUBAI -- The Philippines checked out of this bustling desert resort Sunday, claiming that the dismal setback in the FIBA U17 World Championship is just a prelude to something bigger.
 
The Batang Gilas bombed out of this prestigious tournament without a win in six games, losing by an average margin of 26.1 points to world superpowers like the United States, France, Greece and Argentina.
 
They close out their campaign against lowly United Arab Emirates late Saturday, but the result hardly mattered as the winner will only get to clinch the 15th place in this 16-nation field.
 
"This is not yet the end. This is just the beginning for RP Youth basketball," said headcoach Jamike Jarin, the Ateneo de Manila mentor who steered Batang Gilas to a bridesmaid finish in the Fiba Asia U16 Championship in Tehran last year.
 
"This is just the start of our campaign in the world stage."
 
But against Egypt late Friday at the Al Shabab Arena, in a match where they could have salvaged the 13th place, the Batang Gilas were a picture of frustration.
 
With top gun Jolo Mendoza sidelined a hamstring injury, the Philippines struggled offensively and fell to a 17-point disadvantage at halftime, 32-49, before cutting it down to 12 in the opening minutes of the third period, 38-50.
 
That proved to be the last kick of Batang Gilas as Ahmed Metlawy and 6-foot-7 slotman Ahmed Khalaf asserted their dominance to blow the lead to 26, 88-62, entering the final two-minute mark en route to an easy 92-67 win.
 
Mike Nieto and Jollo Go carried the scoring burden as they finished with 20 and 17 points, respectively, for the Filipinos, who were battered inside with only 31 rebounds compared to the Egyptians 61 pulls.
 
The Egyptians, on the other hand, leaned on Metwaly's 24 points and 12 rebounds as well as Khalaf's 19 markers and 13 boards.
 
"Again, the game plan of all the teams is to pound it inside," Jarin said. "We missed the services of Jolo and we shot poorly tonight. But on a positive note, we got the chance to play against the powerhouses of the entire world."
 
From here, the coaching staff together with three Batang Gilas in Go, Richard Escoto and Paul Desiderio will roll to the Qatari capital of Doha to join nine other teammates, led by Kobe Paras and Aaron Black, in their campaign in the Fiba Asia U18 Championship starting next week.
 
The scores:
 
Egypt 92 -- Metwaly 24, Khalaf 19, Abdelrahman 18, Elsheikha 11, Safyeldin 7, Elsafwany 7, Farag 4, Hussein 2, Mohamed 0, Elmorsy 0, Bakr 0, Saadelin 0, 
 
Philippines 67 -- Nieto Mike 20, Go 17, Desiderio 11, Escoto 6, Nieto Matt 3, Dario 2, Navarro 2, Panlilio 2, Dela Cruz 2, Abadeza 2, Padilla 0, Mendoza 0

Quarterscores: 32-19, 49-32, 66-46, 92-67



GO-LED BATANG GILAS GIVES ARGENTINA HUGE SCARE BEFORE LOSING

DUBAI -- Argentina flirted with disaster before pulling off an 84-71 escape over the Philippines in the classification round of the Fiba U17 World Championship Thursday night at the Al Shabab Arena here.
 
Even without their reliable scorer, Batang Gilas nailed 10 three-pointers in the second half, including seven straight in a furious chase that gave the Argentinians a tough fight.
 
Jollo Go hit six of the Filipinos' 13 threes and finished with 27 points while Mike Dela Cruz and Paul Desiderio also sizzled from the arc as Batang Gilas came out with their best performance yet in the world stage.
 
"You can see the fighting heart of these boys and you can never question that,'' said Batang Gilas coach Jamike Jarin.
 
Jolo Mendoza, who averaged 15.8 points after four games, pulled his right hamstring in the Round-of-16 against France, forcing Jarin to bench his main offensive weapon in the tournament for good.
 
The Argentinians advanced to the battle for ninth to 12th places against Greece while the Filipinos face the Egyptians in a bid to finish 13th in the classification ranking Friday.
 
"Argentina, they're scared the entire game. We got Egypt tomorrow and we will just keep on fighting,'' said Jarin.
 
"Argentina was unfortunate not to make it in the Round-of-eight (quarterfinals) but that's a podium team. They can win a medal here in the world championship,'' added Jarin.
 
A victory over the Egyptians will set up Batang Gilas in a matchup with the winner of the Japan-United Arab Emirates tussle for 13th place on Saturday.
 
Trailing by 18 points, the trio of Go, Dela Cruz and Desiderio fired threes one after another before Mike Nieto capped the run with a triple of his own that narrowed the gap, 71-78, less than a minute left.
 
But power forward Jeffrey Merchant converted his free throws and Agustin Delfino sealed the outcome with a freebie and a layup off a fastbreak.
 
"I was in tears after the game on seeing them play like that. As their father figure, you can't ask for anything else,'' said Jarin. "It was a joy seeing them fight.''
 
The scores:
 
ARGENTINA 84 -- Mas Delfino 20, Carvalho 16, Merchant 14, Delfino 10, Zurbriggen 7, Fernandez 6, Aliende 3, Riego 2, Fjellerup 2, Gallardo 2, Borsatti 2, Onetto 0.
 
PHILIPPINES 71 -- Go 27, Dela Cruz 14, Mi. Nieto 11, Desiderio 10, Ma. Nieto 7, Navarro 2, Dario 0, Padilla 0, Abadeza 0, Escoto 0.
 
Quarterscores: 22-14, 35-27, 62-46, 84-71


TALLER UNDER-17 PINOY PLAYERS WANTED

DUBAI --  After crashing out of contention in the FIBA U17 World Championship here, MVP Sports Foundation president Al Panlilio vowed to beef the team with taller, more talented players who can compete against the world's best.

Panlilio, whose son is a vital cog in the Batang Gilas' campaign in this prestigious 16-nation tournament, said the Filipinos have the talent to win, but their lack of ceiling doomed their chances,
prompting the world superpowers to batter them in almost all departments.

The Batang Gilas opened their bid with a 10-point setback to Angola followed by a 20-point loss to Greece and a 60-point defeat to reigning champion United States. In the Round-of-16, they were crushed by France by 29 points, sending them to the classification round where
their best finish will be ninth place.

The Philippines faced South American powerhouse Argentina late Thursday at the Al Shabab Arena.

And it was another uphill climb as the Filipinos were forced to play without leading scorer Jolo Mendoza, who pulled his right hamstring in the closing seconds of the third period of their game against France.

A victory by the Filipinos in their 4:30 pm (10:30 pm in Manila) battle will pit them against the winner between Greece and Egypt for a chance to claim the ninth place.

A setback, however, will relegate them to the battle for the 13th to 16th places together with three other losers in the classification matches.

"Our hearts are very big, but physically we have to help ourselves look for players that are also taller and heftier, or maybe we could find Filipino-foreigners. Height is might as they say," said Panlilio,
noting that the Philippines has an average height of only 5-foot-11 while other countries parade 6-foot-7 to 7-foot giants.

"If we only had three 6'5" players in our team, napakalaking bagay nun. We gave everybody a tough time. It's only until late in the third to fourth quarter na talagang bumibigay na. Kumbaga sa boxing, kaya mo ang suntok pero kung nasusuntok ka hanggang dulo bibigay ka na."

He added that Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Manny Pangilinan already knew the outcome and was satisfied with the performance of the boys.

"MVP (Pangilinan) was proud despite the disadvantage in height," he said. "He sees that the boys are battling. Talagang lumalaban, puso pinapakita nila and because of that, it gives him a lot of pride and tears in his eyes na nakikitang lumalaban and mga bata."

Batang Gilas coach Jamike Jarin said despite the setback, and the absence of Mendoza in their classification match against Argentina, his team has no plans of quitting.

"The odds are as long as you give your best no matter what the results are, you should be proud that you represent the country," he said.

"This team is a fighting team, they will continue to fight even if we're out of the quarterfinals."
Jarin and the Batang Gilas will be checking out of this bustling metropolis on Sunday for Doha, Qatar where nine players -- led by Kobe Paras -- will join them in their quest in the Fiba Asia U18
Championship starting next week.



UNDER-17 BOYS RELEGATED TO CLASSIFICATION ROUND AFTER LOSING TO FRANCE

DUBAI -- France exploited its height advantage to the hilt and roughed up Batang Gilas in the paint to score an 86-57 win in the round of 16 of the Fiba U17 World Championship Tuesday night at the Al Ahli Arena here.

Stephane Gombauld typified the French attack in the shaded area, scoring 14 points and pulling down 20 rebounds while Amine Noua hammered his beefy frame inside with 21 points and 12 rebounds as France advanced to the crossover quarterfinals.

Brothers Matt and Mike Nieto carried the fight for the Filipinos, who battled for every possession and made life difficult for the French in the first two quarters before losing steam in the final half.

Batang Gilas, which lost its fourth consecutive game, took a break Wednesday and will play Argentina at the start of the classification round today.

``No Asian team has won over the European and American teams. China and Japan had the same result. It's really difficult,'' said Batang Gilas coach Jamike Jarin.

``We're still trying to improve our placing and we're proud of these 12 young kids. We will continue to fight,'' he added.

The Filipinos were still in the thick of the fight, trailing by 41-35 at the half and 14 points at the end of the third when their chief gunner Jolo Mendoza pulled his right hamstring and was taken out by Jarin for good.

The injury rendered Mendoza immobile and was later brought to the hospital.

Dominant off the boards, France had 60 rebounds, 19 of them on the offensive end, against the 33 of Batang Gilas.

The French also rotated the ball better with an 18-9 advantage in assists but had more turnovers 19-11 due to the swarming defense of the Filipinos.

``Their (French) height is given. We could compete but something has to give,'' said Jarin.

``As long as you give your best no matter what the results are, you should be proud that you represent the country.''

The Filipinos even took the lead at one point on Mendoza's floater, 11-9, before the French gained control.

The Nieto siblings again bridged the gap and turned a seven-point deficit to a 23-25 edge early in the second quarter.

Still within striking distance, they fought for every point until the French rained four three-pointers late in the third that opened a 14-point deficit.

The scores:

FRANCE 86 -- Noua 21, Gombauld 14, Loubaki 13, Denis 9, Ponsar 7, Hergott 6, Leboeuf 5, Hufschmidt 5, Jeanne 4, Cortale 2, Labanere 0.

PHILIPPINES 57 -- Nieto 12, Nieto 12, Mendoza 9, Dela Cruz 8, Go 6, Desiderio 6, Escoto 2, Dario 2, Panlilio 0, Navarro 0, Padilla 0, Abadeza 0.

Quarterscores: 20-17, 41-35, 61-47, 86-57



BATANG GILAS LOSE BIG TO AMERICANS

DUBAI -- With its size and length, the United States simply overshadowed the Philippines, 124-64, in the Fiba U17 World ChampionshipMonday night at Al Ahli Arena here.

Terrance Ferguson and Josh Jackson sizzled from the outside while bigmen Diamond Stone and Henry Ellenson pounded Batang Gilas inside as the Americans raced to a 29-point halftime lead and never looked back.

The unbeaten Americans, a collection of top collegiate prospects and future NBA players, topped Group A after three preliminary games.

In contrast, Batang Gilas, a bunch of Filipino dribblers who has dreams of playing in the PBA, lost of its three games in the opening round.

``They're (Americans) the best but we're able to play our hearts out and that's the bottomline,'' said Batang Gilas coach Jamike Jarin.

Jolo Mendoza had 19 points while Jollo Go and Richard Escoto added 12 and 10 for the Filipinos, who was scheduled to play France in a knockout match to determine the quarterfinalists late Tuesday evening

``We just kept fighting and never gave up. We just need to keep our heads up that we played our best and the hardest and we're looking forward to the knockout phase tomorrow (Tuesday),'' said Jarin.

It was practically over when the Filipinos trailed, 32-61, at halftime, but Team USA coach Donald Showalter was all praises to Batang Gilas.

``I told my players not to overlook the Philippines and give it all. We saw them play, they're scrappy and very well coached, they can hit shots when they're open,'' said Showalter, who steered the US to back-to-back Fiba U17 titles.

``We respected them a lot for what they can do. We went into the game knowing that we couldn't ease up. They're probably the fastest team we played in the tournament,'' added Showalter.

Aside from torching the hoops from the perimeter and from afar, the Americans showcased their dunking skills with Harry Giles, Malik Newman, Henry Ellenson and Jayson Tatum slamming it home on every opportunity.

They also demolished the Filipinos in the shaded area with 66 rebounds, including 29 offensive boards, to rule the paint.

``They (Filipinos) need some size. I think they have the athleticism and they know how to play the game. I think down the road they're going to have very much success,'' said Showalter.

The scores:

USA 124—Newman 16, Jackson 16, Giles 15, Ferguson 15, Ellenson 14, Stone 12, King 9, Tatum 8, Swanigan 8, Rabb 8, Ramsey 3, Battle 0.

PHILIPPINES 64—Mendoza 19, Go 12, Escoto 10, Matt Nieto 9, Dela Cruz 7, Desiderio 3, Mike Nieto 3, Dario 1, Navarro 0, Padilla 0, Panlilio 0, Abadeza 0.

Quarterscores: 32-16, 61-32, 90-52, 124-64



BATANG GILAS PILIPINAS TAKES ON DEFENDING CHAMPS

DUBAI -- It will be a mixture of pride and excitement for the Philippines when it faces the United States in the preliminaries of the Fiba U17 World Championship late Monday at the Al Shabab Arena here.
Still licking the wounds of their bitter setback to Angola and Greece, the Batang Gilas are looking to have another fast and furious start in their 6:45 pm (10:45 pm in Manila) encounter to throw the Americans off their comfort zone and deliver joy to the thousands of Filipino workers who are expected to witness this historic battle.
A shocking victory by Batang Gilas will give them a chance to avoid the top seed in Group B, which could either be Australia or Canada depending on the outcome of tonight's matches. 
A domination by the United States, on the other hand, will give it the top spot in Group A and book a second-round duel with Japan.
"To be realistic, we're not expecting to win," said Mikkel Panlilio. "But this game against the Americans will give us a good experience which we can use in our respective careers. They are future NBA stars. Playing against them will be a confidence-booster for us."
The Americans have taken this tournament by storm, winning the gold medal in Hamburg in 2010 and in Kaunas in 2012 in dominant fashion.
This year, the United States -- with top flight prospects Malik Newman, Ivan Rabb and Diamond Stone at the helm -- does not show signs of slowing down as it crushed Greece by 10, 83-73, and battered Angola by 43, 99-56, while displaying an array of acrobatic shots, dead-eye shooting and, of course, rim-rattling dunks.
Newman is United States' topnotch combo guard while Rabb and Stone are rock-solid 6-foot-9 forwards who have the skills to become legitimate NBA players. 
"It will be a mixed feeling if these Americans dunked over me," said Jolo Mendoza, the leading scorer of the Philippine side. "Playing on the same court with these future superstars is a different kind of feeling. It's pretty special. We'll surely enjoy every single minute of it."
The last time the Philippines faced the United States in a major international competition was in 1978 when the Manila hosted the Fiba World Championship. The Americans won, 100-70, in a memorable semifinal battle at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
"This experience is something you can tell to your future children over and over again," Mendoza added.
Batang Gilas coach Jamike Jarin said his wards will be ready and will employ the same defensive tactic which made life difficult for the Greek side.
"We're excited to play them, I'm sure they are also excited to play us," Jarin said. 
"They need to prepare because we're getting better. We played with a big heart against Angola, a bigger heart against Greece, and we'll play with the biggest heart against the United States."


BATANG GILAS PILIPINAS BOWS TO GREECE

DUBAI -- European basketball power Greece downed the Philippines, 85-65, in the Fiba U17 World Championship late Saturday night at the Al Shabab Arena here.

Without a single field goal in the third quarter, the Filipinos simply crumbled in the face of the hot-shooting Greeks, who registered their first victory in Group A.

Wingman Antonis Pefanis nailed four of Greece's 13 three-pointers to finish with 26 points as they bounced back from an opening-day setback against defending champion United States.

Cheered on by the pro-Filipino crowd, Batang Gilas started out strong, taking a 9-2 lead on the snipings of Jolo Mendoza and Mike Nieto before the Greeks began hitting their strides.

The scenario turned from bad to worse when Batang Gilas missed all of their field goal attempts in the third, allowing the Greeks to pull away, 63-33, entering the final period.

Still, Batang Gilas coach Jamike Jarin praised the effort of his team.

``I like the way we fought tonight. That's the team I've known,'' said Jarin after the Philippines lost its second game in a row following an earlier defeat against Angola on Friday.

``I think this team is better than the team you saw last night.''

Mendoza fired nine of his 19 points in the first quarter while Nieto added 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Filipinos, who failed to neutralize the length and outside shooting of the Greeks.

``They came in a lot stronger (in the third). They flexed their muscles and used their height,'' said Jarin.

The Filipinos were able to contain the 7-foot-1 Giorgios Papagiannis, projected as a future star in Europe, from asserting himself in the paint but found Thanasis Ntouzidis, Antonis Koniaris and Pefanis too tough to handle.

``We simply enjoyed the game. We connected more, the body language was better, the confidence was better and we player tougher defense,'' said Jarin.

Batang Gilas take a break Sunday and resume its bid against the United States on Monday.

The two-time champion Americans picked up their second straight win with a 99-56 demolition of Angola, which tied the Greeks at 1-1.

The scores: 

Greece 85 – Pefanis 26, Koniaris 14, Ntouzidis 9, Flionis 6, Michaloutsos 6, Skordas 6, Kamaras 5, Diploras 4, Mouratos 4, Milentigievits 2, Charalampopoulos 2, Papagiannis 1 

Philippines 65 – Mendoza 19, Nieto 11, Dela Cruz 9, Go 7, Desiderio 6, Escoto 4, Navarro 4, Abadeza 2, Dario 2, Padilla 1, Panlilio 0 

Quarterscores: 25-17, 46-26, 63-33, 85-65




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