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Asia League: Mbala buzzer-beater saves Seoul past Fubon

Fubon Braves vs Seoul Samsung Thunders during The Asia League's 'The Terrific 12' at Studio City Event Center on 18 September 2018, in Macau, Macau. Photo by Chung Yan Man / Power Sp.....»»

Category: newsSource: philippinetimes philippinetimesSep 19th, 2018

TERRIFIC 12: Mbala, Thunders roar to the semis

MACAU --- Ben Mbala and the Thunders are through to the semis. Samsung Seoul dominated the Shandong Golden Stars Wednesday at the Studio City Event Center here, picking up an 85-73 victory in the Asia League's Terrific 12 tournament. The Thunders swept Group D, eliminating the Golden Stars and the Fubon Braves in the process. Seoul will meet the Guangzhou Long Lions in the semifinals this weekend. That matchup is a rematch from the Super 8 two months ago. Guangzhou won that game. The Thunders were firing on all cylinders to start, dropping 32 points right in the opening period. Seoul then clamped down on defense in the second, limiting the Golden Stars to only nine points to break the game wide open, taking a 21-point lead at the break. The Koreans were never threatened in the second half as they led by as many as 24. "We expected a hard game so we asked the team to focus and approach the game as a shooting drill, relax, take shots," head coach Lee Sang-min said. "Unexpectedly, we shot 60 percent from three and the game was over at halftime," he added. Glenn Cosey and Ben Mbala scored 21 and 19 points respectively for the Thunders while top local Lee Gwan Hee added another 17 points on 58 percent shooting. Donatas Motiejunas paced Shandong with 15 points.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 19th, 2018

Ben Mbala happy for former mentor Aldin Ayo

Fubon Braves vs Seoul Samsung Thunders during The Asia League's 'The Terrific 12' at Studio City Event Center on 18 September 2018, in Macau, Macau. Photo by Marcio Rodrigo Machado /.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsSep 19th, 2018

TERRIFIC 12: Long Lions stop Jets in battle of Asia League champs

MACAU --- Guangzhou takes the battle of Super 8 winners in the Terrific 12. The Longs Lions started their quest for another Asia League title Tuesday at the Studio City Event Center here, beating Japan's Chiba Jets, 92-83, for an early Group B lead. Kyle Fogg scored 37 points and Mo Speights added another 24 as Guangzhou, champions of the 2018 Super 8 back in July, got off to a rousing start in the Terrific 12. The Long Lions led by as many as 15 points and had to hold their ground in the fourth period as the Jets, winners of the 2017 Super 8, made their final charge. Michael Parker scored 24 points for Chiba. In other results from the Terrific 12's opening day, the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins from Japan took down Taipei's Yulon Dinos, 84-72, to start things off in Group A. The Seoul Samsung Thunders survived the Fubon Braves, 84-82, in Group D after a game-winner from Ben Mbala while Japan's Ryukyu Golden Kings destroyed the iECO Green Warriors from the Philippines, 103-75, in Group C action. The Terrific 12 will continue Wednesday with Mobis Phoebus, Zhejiang Guangsha Lions, Xinjiang Flying Tigers, and the Shandong Golden Stars all playing their first game vs. separate opponents.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 18th, 2018

Mbala game-winner lifts Seoul over Fubon in Terrific 12

MACAU – Even outside the UAAP, Ben Mbala proves he is still reliable.  Mbala came through in the clutch to lift the Seoul Samsung Thunders to a gritty 84-82 triumph over the Fubon Braves in the opening day of the Asia League Terrific 12 here at the Studio City Event ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 18th, 2018

Ben Mbala ‘happy’ for former mentor Aldin Ayo

MACAU---Aldin Ayo's departure from the camp of De La Salle to University of Santo Tomas left a feeling of remorse in the community. Ayo, after all, delivered a championship after two UAAP finals appearance for the Green Archers with a system anchored on Ben Mbala's immense athleticism and basketball gifts. His unexpected move to another UAAP school, though, is something Mbala respected. "I still keep in touch with the guys in the Philippines, in La Salle, and I'm updated about everything going on there," said Mbala after his new team Seoul edged Fubon in the Asia League The Terrific 12 Tuesday at Studio City Events Center here in Macau. Ayo decided to move from his two-ye...Keep on reading: Ben Mbala ‘happy’ for former mentor Aldin Ayo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 18th, 2018

Ben Mbala, Seoul rain 3s for Terrific 12 bronze

MACAU – Ben Mbala and the Seoul Thunders rained threes on their way to a bronze-medal finish in the Asia League Terrific 12. Korea's Thunders buried 18 treys en route to an emphatic 105-92 triumph over Japan's Nagoya Diamond Dolphins in their battle-for-third clash at the Studio City Event Center ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 24th, 2018

Mbala s Seoul falls prey to Speights Guangzhou in Terrific 12 semis

MACAU – There will be no finals apperance for Ben Mbala and the Seoul Thunders in the Asia League Terrific 12.  Korea's Thunders crumbled down in the second half and bowed out to China's Guangzhou Long Lions, 74-88, in the Terrific 12 semfinals at the Studio City Event Center ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 22nd, 2018

ASIA LEAGUE: Rematch clauses invoked in Terrific 12 semis

MACAU --- Rematch clauses have been invoked in the Asia League. The Terrific 12 semifinals is set and Saturday should have a pair of great games as four teams have business to settle amongst each other. [Related: TERRIFIC 12: Mbala, Thunders roar to the semis] The main 7:00 p.m. showdown at the Studio City Event Center here feature the CBA's Guangzhou Long Lions and the KBL's Seoul Samsung Thunders. Guangzhou and Seoul met in July's Super 8 Finals. The Long Lions won, , and are looking for a repeat this time around. [Related: TERRIFIC 12: PBA stint has helped Thunders' Lee Gwan Hee play well abroad] Or will the Thunders finally get their revenge? In the first game at 5:00 p.m., the Ryukyu Golden Kings take on the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins in an all-Japan meet. [Related: TERRIFIC 12: Nagoya Diamond Dolphins complete semis cast] Both teams squared off the the first round of the previous B.League playoffs. Ryukyu and Nagoya split their two games and the Golden Kings won a 10-minute, overtime "Game 3" by five points, 17-12, to advance. All teams in the Terrific 12 Final Four enter the semis with undefeated records. [Related: TERRIFIC 12: Golden Kings handle Jefferson-less Flying Tigers] Guangzhou was the first to advance followed by Ryukyu and Seoul. Nagoya completed the cast by winning a do-or-die showdown against the Zhejiang Lions.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 21st, 2018

Seoul jolts Shandong, makes Terrific 12 semis

MACAU---Seoul barged into the semifinals after making easy work of Shandong, 85-73, in the group stage of the Asia League The Terrific 12 Wednesday at Studio City Events Center here in Macau. The Samsung Thunders topped Group D with a perfect 2-0 record and eliminated the Golden Stars of the Chinese Basketball Association and Super Basketball League's Fubon. Seoul built a sizeable 32-24 lead after the first quarter but upped the ante in the second, outscoring the Golden Stars 22-9 to head into the break with a 54-33 buffer. "We expected the game to be hard so we asked the players to focus but be relaxed and unexpectedly we shot 64 percent from three (16-of-25)and the game wa...Keep on reading: Seoul jolts Shandong, makes Terrific 12 semis.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 19th, 2018

Gilas tormentors banner Korea s Mobis Phoebus in Terrific 12

There will be two Korean Basketball League teams competing in the Terrific 12 tournament next week. The first is the Seoul Samsung Thunders featuring former Phoenix Fuel Masters import Lee Gwan Hee and former La Salle star Ben Mbala. [Related: TERRIFIC 12: Thunders set to unleash former La Salle star Ben Mbala] The other is the Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus, the winningest team in the KBL with six championships. Mobis Phoebus will feature familiar names too though Filipinos have bitter memories associated with them. Former Star import Ricardo Ratliffe (Ra Gunah) returns to Mobis Phoebus, his first KBL team, to play in the Terrific 12. Of course, Ratliffe just recently won a bronze medal in the 2018 Asian Games, eliminating Gilas Pilipinas along the way. He scored 30 points in that win over the Philippines. [Related: ASIAN GAMES: The curse lives as Korea beats Gilas Pilipinas again] The other familiar name is TJ Moon, the former shooter for the Korean national team that also has some history against Gilas Pilipinas. Moon scored 38 points against Gilas in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Asian Games, leading South Korea to a sensational 97-95 victory over the Philippines. That win essentially eliminated Gilas who later finished with a disappointing 7th place while Moon and the rest of the Koreans ended up taking the gold medal. 2 time KBL Top Foreign Player Awardee, Ra Gunah, looks to help bring the Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus bring their championship pedigree at The Terrific 12 tournament. Are you #GameReady? #AsiaLeague #TheTerrific12 pic.twitter.com/46zjLu3UQf — The Asia League (@TheAsiaLeague) September 9, 2018 Moon and Ratliffe will be reinforced by American imports Shannon Shorter and D.J. Johnson in the Terrific 12. Mobis Phoebus will start its campaign in Macau on Sept. 19 againts China's Guangzhou Long Lions.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 12th, 2018

TERRIFIC 12: Vanguardia-coached D-League All-Stars start prep for Macau invitational

The lone Philippine team in the upcoming Asia League Terrific 12 tournament is ready to start its preparations. Three weeks before the invitational meet in Macau, Team Philippines will start practice Wednesday as they look to make a splash against the top club teams from China, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. The Pinoy crew will be made up of a selection of PBA D-League players from Go for Gold and Che'Lu, the two teams that fought for the recently-concluded Foundation Cup. Handling the team is former Phoenix Fuel Masters head coach Ariel Vanguardia. "Yes, we start practice tomorrow," Vanguardia said in a message to ABS-CBN Sports. Foundation Cup champion Go for Gold will mostly make up the crew of the team listed as IECO Green Warriors with Gab Banal and Jai Reyes leading the way. Also in the team are Matt Salem, Ron Dennison, Kris Porter, and Rey Publico. Che'Lu's Jeff Viernes, MVP of the Foundation Cup, is also in the team. Teams in the Terrific 12 are allowed to have two foreign imports and the Green Warriors will have former PBA Best Import for TNT Richard Howell as the main reinforcement. Sam Logwood is the team's other import. The Terrific 12 is set for Sept. 18-23 at the Studio City in Macau and the Green Warriors will compete against China's Shandong Hi-speed Golden Stars, Zhejiang Guangsha Lions, Xinjiang Flying Tigers, and the Guangzhou Long Lions. Also in the tournament are the Chiba Jets, Ryukyu Golden Kings and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins from the Japanese B.League, The Korean Basketball League is represented via the Seoul Samsung Thunders and Mobis Phoebus while the Taiwanese SBL will send the Fubon Braves and the Yulon Luxgen Dinos. The Long Lions won the previous Macau tournament this year, the Super 8 back in July, beating both the NLEX Road Warriors and the Blackwater Elite along the way.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 28th, 2018

Two-time UAAP MVP Ben Mbala taking his talents to Korea

After taking his talents to South America and Europe, Ben Mbala is going back to Asia. Not in the Philippines just yet, however. Mbala will now be playing for Seoul Samsung Thunders in the Korean Basketball League. The Cameroonian powerhouse won one championship and two MVP awards in his two seasons representing De La Salle University in the UAAP. After foregoing his last year of eligibility for the Green Archers, Mbala went to Mexico to suit up for Fuerza Regia and then to France to suit up for Choralle Roanne Basket. The 22-year-old has also worn the flag for his country in the FIBA World Cup African Qualifiers......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 10th, 2018

2018 WORLD CUP: SKorea wants to avoid 2nd candy attack

By John Duerden, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Progress for South Korea's players will be avoiding being pelted with candy again on their return from the World Cup. After enduring three poor performances by the team in Brazil four years ago, fans were waiting at Incheon International Airport to make their anger felt. If collecting a solitary point in a group containing Russia, Algeria and Belgium was tough, the challenge looks even more daunting this time with World Cup holder Germany, Mexico and Sweden in Group F. The road to Russia offered few signs of progress. In the third round of Asian qualifying, South Korea picked up only two points from five away games to leave a place at a ninth successive World Cup looking uncertain. Coach Uli Stielike was fired and Shin Tae-yong was drafted in as a replacement to get the team over the line with two tense goalless draws. As the players celebrated in Uzbekistan, there was criticism at home that the party was undeserved given the unconvincing performances. The country has become accustomed to World Cup qualification since the 1982 failure and there is a desire to see more appearances in the knockout stage. Only twice have the Taeguk Warriors advanced from their group, in 2002 when they made the semifinals on home soil and in 2010 when they reached the round of 16. Performances have improved in warm-up games recently with a change to a 4-4-2 formation partly in an attempt to get the best out of attacker Son Heung-min. Son is the team's shining star and is coming off a fine season with Tottenham in the English Premier League. There are some lesser-known players who can show their worth including Kwon Chang-hoon and Lee Jae-sung, two of the highest-rated midfielders in Asia. South Korea is likely to be more defensive than usual in the hope of keeping out the opposition while hoping the attacking stars may be able to pinch a goal. Here's a closer look at the South Korea team: COACH Shin Tae-yong took the job in July 2017 and did just enough to ensure qualification. Shin's coaching reputation was forged during the 2010 Asian Champions League title triumph with K-League team Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma, which led to him comparing himself to Jose Mourinho. A coach who likes to surprise tactically, Shin has experience in tournaments — with the Under-23 team at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and 2017 Under-20 World Cup. On both occasions, South Korea breezed through the group stage before being eliminated in the first game of the knockout round. Shin might have to restrain his attacking instincts to focus on ensuring the senior side is hard to beat in Russia. GOALKEEPERS While there are more options than in the past, the country still lacks a top-class goalkeeper. Kim Seung-gyu is the established No. 1 but the arrival of Cho Hyun-woo on the scene has increased competition. DEFENDERS Shin is not averse to a three-man defense but usually opts to use four. South Korea is traditionally strong in the fullback position with Lee Yong strong on the right, and Kim Min-woo and Kim Jin-su, if fit, competing for the spot on the left. All have the ability to get forward and support the attack. Central defense has been more of an issue over the years but Jang Hyun-soo is a likely starter with another spot up for grabs. Regardless of the personnel, the defense is often undermined by concentration problems and is vulnerability from set pieces. MIDFIELDERS A major question hangs over picking a central midfield partner for Ki Sung-yeung, the captain who is the fulcrum of the team. Han Kook-young has often been an unassuming partner for the Swansea player but sometime fullback Park Joo-ho has been effective there too. The energetic Lee Chang-min has also been staking a claim. FORWARDS Coaches have been trying for years to come up with a formation that gets the best out of Son Heung-min on international duty. At times, the 25-year old Tottenham player has featured on the left, as a second striker and as a lone striker. It looks as if Son will start as part of a two-pronged attack with the other three forwards in the squad vying to partner him GROUP GAMES The first game is against Sweden on June 18, followed by a meeting with Mexico on June 23. South Korea is likely to be relying on collecting points from those games before closing out Group F against Germany on June 27. None of South Korea's group games are in St. Petersburg where the team is based......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 30th, 2018

PBA: June Mar Fajardo thankful for winning San Miguel as he is set to bag 5th MVP

San Miguel Beermen star center June Mar Fajardo shares that he is in a gratified mood as he is set to be awarded his fifth straight PBA MVP at the Leo Awards this Sunday at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. No other person in the 43-year history of the first professional basketball league in Asia has won the prestigious award five straight times, as the 6'10 center is set to make history once more, besting the previous record shared with Alvin Patrimonio and Ramon Fernandez.  Fajardo credited his success to the smashing performance of his team, which added another title to their hardware, their 25th overall, also a PBA record. "Hindi ko talaga akalain na mananalo ako ng MVP. Ang ine-expect ko na mag-i-improve lang ako pero yung mga awards, hindi talaga, hindi ko inisip. And kung maipanalao ko yun, lima na. Sobrang blessed," the Pinamungajan, Cebu native said. June Mar Fajardo, who is expected to run away with his 5th straight MVP is thankful for a winning culture in the San Miguel Beermen. "Sobrang suwerte ko na nandito ako sa San Miguel, suwerte ako na magagaling yung teammates ko."#PBA2019 • @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/EREsOd0F60 — Philip Martin Matel (@philipptionary) January 10, 2019 The #1 overall pick of the 2012 PBA Rookie Draft had another stellar season in the books, posting averages of 20.6 ppg, 12.4 rpg, and 1.2 bpg in 47 outings. He also had a career-high 42 points, which went along with a cool 20 rebounds in San Miguel's championship clincher over Magnolia in Game 5 of the Philippine Cup Finals at the MOA Arena last May, earning him his second Finals MVP overall. The amiable center won two Best Player of the Conference awards in the recently-concluded season, and possibly could have swept it, if he had not gone down with a stress fracture after the Commissioner's Cup Finals series loss against Ginebra last August. Despite all that, his figures were dominant enough to earn him another individual award, which reflected to another successful campaign for the Beermen the past season.  "Sobrang swerte talaga na nasa San Miguel ako kasi malakas yung San Miguel, lagi kami nasa playoffs so malaki yung chance na manalo ako kasi nasa playoffs," shared Fajardo.  "Siguro kung nasa ibang team ako, siguro hindi ako mananalo ng MVP. Sobrang swerte ko na nandito ako sa San Miguel, swerte ako na magagaling yung teammates ko." He also showered praise to runner-up Stanley Pringle, who had dazzled the league with his stellar play as one of the most, if not the most skilled guard in the 12-team association. With targets in their backs, especially with the way how the team retooled themselves as they gear up for another season, Fajardo hopes they could ward off every major challenge and win another Philippine Cup title. "Yun yung goal namin pero alam naman namin na hndi ganoon kadali maipanalo yung championshio kasi yung ibang teams, palakas na ng palakas. Naghahanda sila before Christmas, nag-start na sila sa practice," bared the beanpole.  "Kailangan lang namin na pagbutihin one game at a time. Goal namin muna makapasok sa playoffs hanggang sa umabot kami sa finals." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2019

PBA: Asi Taulava hints at retirement as he enters 20th season

It's been a wild ride for 45-year old Asi Taulava. From being a PBA standout, a direct hire by the then-Mobiline Phone Pals, the Fil-Tongan center has blossomed to being one of the most dominant players in the history of the first pro hoops league in Asia. But, it seems his 20th season in the PBA may be his last, as he said that he is seriously contemplating hanging his sneakers up for good after the 2019-20 campaign. "I'm thinking that this may be my last year. I wanted to get to 20 [seasons] and see where it goes from here. Let's see after everything if this will be my final year, if it's meant to be, this may be my final year, my swan song. I just want to enjoy it," the NLEX center shared at the PBA Media Day at the Solaire Resort and Casino. .@agelessasi88, who is entering his 20th season in the PBA, is seriously contemplating retirement at the end of the season. #PBA2019 • @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/cfTqWWbqVp — Philip Martin Matel (@philipptionary) January 10, 2019 In his illustrious career, he had won a title with a rookie Jimmy Alapag, won the season MVP, Finals MVP, and the Best Player of the Conference in the 2003 All-Filipino Cup, his only title.  The hulking 6'9 center has also been named to the Mythical Team eight times, four each in the first and the second teams, aside from being a 16-time All-Star and being named the MVP of the exhibition game twice. In his sabbatical from the PBA, he represented the country in the ABL as member of coach Leo Austria's San Miguel Beermen, where he won the league's MVP plum at age 40, and won his second pro title. From being a young and spry center, banging bodies with the likes of EJ Feihl and Dennis Espino to becoming one of the elder statesmen of the league, he said that he had seen the style of play change drastically. "When I first entered the PBA, it was slow, deliberate basketball. Nowadays, guys are getting younger, they're playing Warriors type of basketball," Taulava quipped. "Before, everybody had to post up. Now, the first three seconds, five seconds, a three will go up. The game has evolved so much. It's been great to be around during my whole career, playing and seeing how much basketball has grown." As he enters a crossroads in his decorated career as one of the 40 Greatest in the league's history, the slotman says he will just enjoy as he rides into the sunset of professional basketball. "I've enjoyed this ride. Not too many players. I think only four players in the PBA have lasted for 20 years. I can't believe I got here. Especially with my lifestyle in the past." Now a mentor to newly-acquired Poy Erram, he hopes to becoming the Road Warriors' rock in the middle and continue to help coach Yeng Guiao's team into contention, a team which made the semifinals in the opening tournament a year ago.  "Seeing him grow. I'm happy for him and everything what he's got right now, he's earned it. He has worked so hard." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2019

Top sports headliners in the year that was

From the FIFA World Cup to the NBA, the PBA to the UAAP and NCAA, the Asian Games to Manny Pacquiao, volleyball to MMA, the past 12 months truly was a great year for Filipino sports fans.   Here are some of the most memorable sports headliners that bannered the year that was.    San Miguel Corporation dominates PBA San Miguel Corporation owned 2018. For the first time in the history of the Asia’s first professional basketball league one company dominated all three conferences of the PBA. The San Miguel Beermen annexed their fourth straight Philippine Cup title against sister team Magnolia last May, while Ginebra rode on undersized do-it-all forward Justin Brownlee to the Commissioner's Cup title at the expense of San Miguel last August. Then it was Magnolia's time to shine in December. The Hotshots dismantled Alaska in six games to complete SMC’s domination of PBA 2018. Outside of basketball, SMC also made its presence felt in volleyball as Petron bagged the Grand Prix, Challenge Cup (beach volleyball) and the All-Filipino Conference in the Philippine Superliga.   Kai Sotto stands tall as Ateneo takes title vs NU Kai Sotto became a household name in 2018 as the 7'1" wunderkind showed off in the UAAP Season 80 juniors' basketball tournament. The eventual Finals MVP was a beast in Game 1 of the Finals against the NU Bullpups, tallying a triple-double of 22 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 blocks in the 86-70 win, the first of its kind since 2003. Ateneo finished the season almost unscathed at 16-1, with their lone loss in Game 2 of the series, a very chippy one to say the least. In Game 3, Sotto came up clutch, scoring the go-ahead basket, 60-58, with about 30 seconds left as Ateneo came away with the 63-58 win to take the title.  SJ Belangel, Joaqui Manuel, Dave Ildefonso and Jason Credo, and coach Joe Silva all appeared in their last games for the Blue Eaglets.   DLSU completes three-peat; NU dethrones Ateneo  The UAAP Season 80 volleyball tournament was filled with lasting memories that will surely be remembered for a long time. Numerous upsets in the eliminations, great games, and much more were the name of the game for the women's tournament. However, a long-time rivalry was rekindled when two-time defending champs De La Salle Lady Spikers met 29-time title holders FEU Lady Tamaraws for all the marbles last May. Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron, and Dawn Macandili all ended their careers on a high note as they swept graduating Bernadeth Pons and the Lady Tamaraws in two straight games to win their third straight title. Graduating libero Macandili was named Finals MVP for the first and final time in her collegiate career.  Behind their magnificent floor defense and some stellar play from Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas, the NU Bulldogs also swept three-time defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles to reclaim a title they last enjoyed in Season 76. Espejo, a five-time UAAP MVP, had an awesome performance for the world's record books, scoring a record-55 points to force the FEU Tamaraws to a do-or-die Final Four. The Blue Eagle legend had played his last, and has since suited up for a semi-pro team in Japan's topflight volleyball league.   Alab fends off Mono Vampire to claim ABL title San Miguel-backed Alab Pilipinas were such a glorious sight to see in the eighth season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) last March. Coached by perennial fan favorite Jimmy Alapag in his very first season, the trio of Renaldo Balkman, Justin Brownlee, and Local and Finals MVP Bobby Ray Parks to their first title in home soil. Alab faced Thailand-based Mono Vampire, who were led by Mike Singletary, towering Sam Deguara, Fil-Am Jason Brickman and Pinoy Paul Zamar. In the very same day as the coronation of the UAAP volleyball championships, Alab took home the crown in a rousing 102-92 victory in Sta. Rosa, much to the delight of the home crowd. Balkman, the league's Defensive Player of the Year led Alab in scoring with 32, while Brownlee added 24 of his own. Parks added 13 markers. The two imports played in the PBA for the Commissioner's Cup, where Balkman (San Miguel) and Brownlee (Ginebra) would face each other in the Finals.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Warriors send LeBron packing to Los Angeles The Golden St. Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers locked horns in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season after the two teams were pushed to the brink in the Conference Finals. Both teams were down 3-2 and won Game 7 on the road to win their respective conferences, with both teams banking on experience to forge another bout in the championship series. Game 1 was undoubtedly the most exciting game in the series as LeBron James had an epic performance of 51 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.  However, JR Smith's blunder at the end of regulation became the lasting image of that game, as he dribbled out the clock with the score tied at 107-all. The defending champions rode the surge and took the opening game, 124-114. Stephen Curry's brillant performance throughout the series was overshadowed by Kevin Durant's dagger in Game 3, a few feet away from the spot where he launched the go-ahead three in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals. Durant was named as the Bill Russell Finals MVP after norming 28.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, and 7.5 apg in the four-game sweep, demolishing the Cavs 108-85 in the series finale last June. It would also be the last game LeBron James had in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform, as he bolted for the Los Angeles Lakers almost a month later.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) France rules 2018 FIFA World Cup The most-coveted title of the beautiful game returned to France after two decades. The youthful French squad celebrated their conquest soaked in a downpour in Moscow after a 4-2 victory over first-time finalist Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup last July. Teenager Kylian Mbappe stood out in the French team composed of a bunch of 25 and under players. Speed, strength and youth became France’s biggest asset during the quadrennial football spectacle watched by almost 3.5 billion viewers around the world.  The 19-year-old migrant scored one of the four goals in the championship match to become the second teen to score a goal in the Finals after the legendary Pele back in 1958. France defeated Belgium in the semifinal, 1-0, while Croatia outlasted the favored Russians in penalty shootout, 4-3 (2-2). The French team also displayed diversity, with players born of migrant parents including Alphonse Areola, whose parents are both Filipinos working in France.   Pac on top, The Filipino Flash returns The most-celebrated Filipino athlete continued make the headlines this year. Manny Pacquaio stripped Lucas Matthysse of his WBA welterweight world championship belt with a seventh round technical knockout win in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in July. Pacquiao split with long-time trainer Freddie Roach during his build up for the Matthysse bout back in April but confirmed their partnership once again for the 40-year old boxer’s title defense against Adrien Broner next year. Nonito Donaire Jr. announced that he would be going back down to super bantamweight after a loss to Carl Frampton in April for the interim WBO Featherweight belt and would be taking part in the World Boxing Super Series' super bantamweight tournament.  Matched up in the quarterfinal round against Ryan Burnett back in November, Donaire scored what many consider an upset, winning via TKO after the Irishman suffered a back injury to snatch the WBA (Super) Bantamweight World Championship.  Up next for Donaire will be WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion Zolani Tete of South Africa in the semifinals.           Pinay power in the Asian Games   The Philippines participated in the 18th Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia that ran from August 18 to September 2. A total of 272 athletes that participated in 31 sports represented the country in the quadrennial meet with Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers and medalist Margielyn Didal marching as flagbearers in the opening and closing ceremonies, respectively. Rio Olympian Hidilyn Diaz gave the PHI its first gold medal in women’s -53 kg. weightlifting. Five days after Diaz’s victory, the trio of Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go accounted for the women’s golf team mint. Saso also bagged the individual gold. In Palembang, Didal rolled her way into winning the women’s street skateboard gold. The celebrated men’s basketball team started out strong after routing Kazakhstan but lost by two-points to China in the group stage. The Gilas Pilipinas squad advanced in the quarterfinals but bowed down to South Korea by nine points eventually settling for a fifth spot in the classification phase after wins over Japan and Syria. The PHI finished with a 4-2-15 gold-silver-bronze haul and landed at 19th spot, three places higher that its 2014 finish in Incheon, South Korea.      Red Lions roar, Blue Eagles soar San Beda University continued its mastery over the NCAA as it annexed its third straight title and 22nd overall. The Red Lions grabbed its 11th crown in 13 years at the expense of Lyceum of the Philippines University. It was one-sided championship series – just like in their Finals meeting last year – with the San Beda ripping the Pirates apart in Game One with LPU playing sans its best player in CJ Perez, who was banned for one game after failing to notify the league of his intention to join the PBA Draft. Perez returned in Game 2 but even his presence didn’t stop the Red Lions from painting the NCAA red once again. In probably one of the most memorable UAAP season in recent years, Ateneo de Manila University won its second straight crown. Ivorian tower and Rookie of the Year 6-foot-11 Ange Kouame made an immediate impact for the Blue Eagles complementing the already stacked Ateneo squad led by Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena. But the glory of Ateneo was overshadowed by the Cinderalla story of the team it vanquished in the Finals. Climbing up from the cellar in the past years, University of the Philippines made history by making it in the Finals for the first time since winning it all in 1986. But before their championship stint, the Fighting Maroons ended a two-decade Final Four drought. UP then shocked twice-to-beat Adamson University with both games decided by game-winners. Ateneo came in the series as the title favorites but overwhelming support from a very hungry UP community and underdogs fans backed the Fighting Maroons. But in the end, it was the Blue Eagles championship experience that prevailed.       Pinoys make wave in MMA Fighters under Team Lakay flexed their muscles in One Championship. Flyweight star Geje Eustaquio opened the year with an interim championship win over former champion Kairat Akhmetov in Manila back in January. Eustaquio then defeated two-time champion Adriano Moraes in Macau last July to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.  Joshua Pacio earned the ONE Strawweight World Championship last September after a unanimous decision win over two-time champion Japanese Yoshitaka Naito. Kevin Belingon dropped former world title challenger Andrew Leone with a now-famous spinning back kick in April. He followed it up with a dominating win over then-two division world champion Martin Nguyen to capture the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion. Belingon ended the five-year reign and seven-year winning streak of of long-time bantamweight king Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes in November via split decision.  Eduard Folayang outclassed Singaporean contender Amir Khan at ONE: Conquest of Champions in Manila in early December to bag the ONE Lightweight World Championship for the second time in his storied career.  BRAVE Combat Federation Bantamweight World Champion Stephen Loman successfully defended his title twice in 2018.  Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera needed only 64 seconds to knockout hard-hitting Italian challenger Mauro Cerilli in Manila early December to remain the king of the ONE Championship heavyweight kingdom.    Petron, Creamline rule respective club leagues Creamline claimed its breakthrough championship in the Premier Volleyball League by sweeping PayMaya in the Reinforced Conference Finals series last July. Alyssa Valdez finally ended a two-year title drought with the Cool Smashers' victory. Creamline opposite hitter Michele Gumabao was named Miss Globe-Philippines during the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 last March. Gumabao represented the country in the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania last October and won the Miss Social Media and Dream Girl awards while landing a spot in the Top 15.     The Cool Smashers completed a sweep of the PVL’s Season 2 after claiming the Open Conference crown at the expense of Ateneo-Motolite via an emphatic series sweep this month. In the Philippine Superliga, Petron reigned supreme in the Grand Prix after taking down archrival F2 Logistics last May. Petron extended its supremacy in the sands after the tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadethn Pons defeated Dhannylaine Demontano and Jackielyn Estoquia of Sta. Lucia in the Challenge Cup final last May. The Cargo Movers got its revenge in the Invitational Cup, toppling the Blaze Spikers in a series sweep last July. Petron wrapped the year with the All-Filipino Conference in its pocket. The Blaze Spikers won its first 14 games before dropping Game 2 of the Finals. Petron swept F2 Logistics in Game 3......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2018

Bazemore scores 23 as Hawks beat Wolves 123-120 in OT

By Andres Ybarra, Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kent Bazemore scored 23 points, John Collins added 21 and the Atlanta Hawks blew a big lead but outlasted the Minnesota Timberwolves 123-120 in overtime on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Trae Young and Kevin Huerter each had big three-pointers in the final minutes of overtime, after the Wolves erased a 22-point deficit only to be done in by missed free throws, dunks and layups. The Hawks earned their fifth road win despite turning the ball over 24 times to tie their season high. After Huerter's triple made it 121-117, Karl-Anthony Towns made two free throws before Andrew Wiggins went to the line for two shots with 4.5 seconds left. After missing two big free throws a few seconds earlier, Wiggins hit the first but missed his second. Dewayne Dedmon hit two foul shots with 1.7 seconds left. Rookie Josh Okogie pumped faked DeAndre Bembry and tried to draw contact from the corner, but his three-point attempt fell short without a whistle. Bazemore sent it to overtime with a fast-break layup after stealing an inbounds pass with 20 seconds left to play. Bembry blocked Derrick Rose's buzzer-beater attempt as time expired. Towns led the Wolves with 31 points and 19 rebounds. Robert Covington had 28 points but missed a dunk late in regulation and, in overtime, lost the ball on a wide-open layup underneath the basket. Young followed by hitting a triple to give Atlanta a 118-117 lead with 1:49 to play. The Timberwolves erased a 22-point deficit after Atlanta silenced the sellout Minnesota crowd early with a season-high 42 first-quarter points. The Wolves held the Hawks to 47 total over the next two quarters. Minnesota went 21-of-38 from the free throw line. TIP-INS Hawks: Alex Poythress scored 12 points in his third game since being called up from the G League. All of his points came in the first quarter. . It was only the second time this season Atlanta has held a 20-point lead; the Hawks won the first game on Oct. 21 (Oct. 22, PHL time) at Cleveland. Timberwolves: Rose scored 25 points and started again for PG Jeff Teague, who missed his sixth straight game with inflammation in his left ankle. . Rookie Keita Bates-Diop was active for the game for the first time since being recalled Dec. 22 (Dec. 23, PHL time) from Iowa of the G League. "He'll be back with us for a while now, and then when we have another opportunity to send him down we will. But he's coming along very nicely," coach Tom Thibodeau said. UP NEXT Hawks: Host Cleveland on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). Timberwolves: Visit Miami on Sunday (Monday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 29th, 2018

Lillard s 3-pointer in OT lifts Blazers over Warriors

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Damian Lillard hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 6.3 seconds left in overtime and scored 21 points in his final regular-season game at home in Oakland, sending the Portland Trail Blazers past the Golden State Warriors 110-109 in a wild one Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). The kid from Oakland hits the game winner at our last game in Oakland. pic.twitter.com/oWXoGC019M — Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) December 28, 2018 Kevin Durant missed a 13-footer off the front rim as the final buzzer sounded but finished with his second triple-double of the season: 26 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Jusuf Nurkic had 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers. Durant hit a tying three-pointer with 19 seconds left in regulation following a driving one-handed dunk the previous possession but the Warriors couldn't overcome a comedy of errors in losing a second straight at home. They took a 127-101 beating from the Lakers on Christmas night. Seth Curry largely outplayed big brother and Golden State star Stephen down the stretch, scoring 11 straight points. In fact, their sister, Sydel posted on Twitter: "Wouldn't have been mad at all at a Seth game winner." Wouldn’t have been mad at all at a Seth game winner 🤷🏽‍♀️ — Sydel Curry-Lee (@SydelCurryLee) December 28, 2018 Lillard shot 7-for-20 with friends and family cheering him in the Blazers' final scheduled trip to Oracle Arena before the Warriors move to San Francisco next season. Stephen Curry made a three-pointer with 10:46 to play in regulation, then his little brother Seth rattled off 11 in a row with three consecutive triples. Klay Thompson's shooting struggles continued. He went 6-for-19 and was just 2-of-9 on three-point tries on the way to 15 points. He made a triple late in the third and was fouled, drawing a rousing ovation, then missed the free throw. Curry's 33-footer with 8:42 left in the third on a pass from Draymond Green got Golden State within two, then Curry found Green for a tying layup the next time down to make it 55-all. A series of silly mistakes followed: Thompson made a steal and threw it toward midcourt and Green couldn't keep the ball from going over the line for a backcourt violation, as Portland regained possession. Then, Green clanked a one-handed dunk try off the back of the rim. This after he had earlier thrown a pass off Thompson's head. The Warriors missed nine of their initial 11 free throws and finished an uncharacteristic 6-for-15 at the line. Both teams were trying to rebound from embarrassing Christmas losses two days earlier in which the three-point shooting was dismal: Golden State following that flop to the Lakers at home and the Blazers a 117-96 defeat at Utah. Portland coach Terry Stotts said whichever team lost this game at least would get another chance right away with the rivals playing twice in a three-day span. The Warriors beat the Blazers 125-97 on Nov. 23 (Nov. 24, PHL time) at Oracle Arena. In his last five games against the Warriors, Lillard has averaged 31 points, shooting 42.4 percent and 38.8 percent on three's. "I represent this city, so when I come here I want to represent myself well. I have a lot of family and friends coming to see me play, so you're excited about that. You've got energy, that's what it is, "Lillard said. "And they've been one of the best teams in the league, so you want to beat them. To do that you've got to put your best foot forward." After the Warriors shot 9-for-36 on three's in the loss to the Lakers — Curry 2-of-8, Durant 3-for-8 and Green 0-of-3 — Golden State was just 13-of-44 with Curry 6-for-15 and Durant 2-of-7. LILLARD'S ORACLE MEMORIES When Lillard was 9 or 10, he came to a Rockets-Warriors game with his brother and lucked into getting to take a shot on the court. "My brother and I were up at our seats and Steve Francis was doing his pregame workout and the ball bounced up and into the stands and I ran down the stairs and got it and I was going to throw it back and he was like, 'No, come shoot it.' And I went on the court and shot a three and airballed. That's the story." He used to walk to the games he lived so close in East Oakland. Lillard clearly had mixed emotions about the Warriors' upcoming move, saying: "You wish it wasn't happening. You know how much it means to the city of Oakland to have something positive happening, especially with the team having so much success right now. ... So it's sad to see them moving on." SELLOUT STREAK Golden State's 311th straight sellout Thursday became a new franchise best, topping a run of 310 consecutive sellouts from March 9, 1989, to April 19, 1996. TIP-INS Trail Blazers: Seth Curry quickly threw up his hand acknowledging his foul on brother Stephen early in the fourth. ... Portland pushed Golden State into nine first-half turnovers while committing just two. ... The Blazers were 21-of-23 on free throws. Warriors: Durant has scored 20 or more points in his last nine games 23-of-24. ... The Warriors dropped to 11-3 at home against the Western Conference. ... Golden State lost by 20-plus points at home twice in the previous six seasons but has done it four times already. UP NEXT Trail Blazers host Warriors on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). The Warriors last played an opponent in two straight regular-season games against the Lakers on Nov. 23-25, 2016......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 28th, 2018

PBA Finals: It s Mike Harris turn to chase Alaska for next season

ANTIPOLO CITY, RIZAL -- Whether or not Mike Harris plays for Alaska again in the future is still undecided. The newly-minted Best Import of the Governors' Cup however says he is ready to come back for the runners-up next season and contend once more for a title in the first pro league in Asia. "If they’ll have me back, I’d love to be," the 35-year-old said after the game, revealing that the team had courted for his services for the past eight years before finally saying yes. For his part, Harris posted 26 points, 24 rebounds, and five assists, but it was not enough to keep the Aces afloat in the series as they lost Game 6 and the series to the Magnolia Hotshots, 102-86. Magnolia immediately raced out of the starting gates to take an early double-digit lead in the first quarter, and in every comeback attempt by the Aces, they were stifled every time. "We rushed it and we played their game. We rushed our possessions early. We didn’t really move the ball the way we usually do. We kinda calmed down but the lead was up there and like I said, they did a great job. They didn’t want it to get to a Game 7 and we wanted it," Harris said after the game. The former NBA player also bared that someone from the opposing side made a "gesture that [he'll] never forget," but decided to let it pass since it was probably in the heat of the moment and emotions let the best out of the opponent. "They mocked us. It was just a lack of respect. Total disrespect of character for a person to be like that especially someone of their age and respect in the league, but it’s okay." A man who has seen action in different parts of the globe, Harris brought up another instance wherein he lost a championship series, 4-2, in Puerto Rico but was able to get revenge and won two straight titles after. However, the question that remains, is Harris still in the team's plan moving forward? "[Alaska's] the most professional club that I’ve been with in my career overseas and they treat players like they’re NBA teams. From the staff, the management they have, it’s been nothing but respect and that’s something I’ll never forget if I’m not the guy to come back next year," said Harris. "I love those guys, those guys in the locker room, all 17 of those guys. I’ve made some new brothers and I’ll definitely stay in contact. Like I said, it’s my turn to chase them." As for the gesture, Harris made sure to remember it and will serve as motivation, if he will be able to come back here in the PBA. "But it’s something I’ll never forget and it’s great fuel for next year if they’ll have me back. Shoutout to Magnolia, they did a great job."   __     Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 19th, 2018

THROWBACK: Top PBA rookie draft picks through the years

After 33 years, the tradition of PBA teams selecting promising players from the amateur ranks, patterned after the NBA draft process, heralded a balanced influx of talent to even out the league’s competitiveness. But what makes the draft process interesting is the choice of the number 1 pick, who is considered the most in-demand player seen to bolster the chances of the worst performing or a newly established team in the PBA. With Columbian Dyip’s selection of Lyceum stalwart CJ Perez as the number one pick in the 2018 PBA Draft,  let’s look back at the top draft picks through the years, from its beginnings in 1985 to the controversial selection last year, and how they made their mark in the league. 1985 – Sonny Cabatu Sonny Cabatu was the PBA’s first-ever number one draft pick, selected by the expansion club Shell Azodrin Bugbusters, which took over the Crispa Redmanizers franchise. An intense bruiser inside the paint, Cabatu was Shell’s starting center known as “Mr. Quality Minutes.” He would then play for Great Taste, Purefoods, Sarsi, and Ginebra in a respectable career. 1986 – Rey Cuenco A member of the guest Northern Cement Corp. (NCC) team coached by Ron Jacobs that played in the pro league’s 1984 season, Rey Cuenco was picked in the 1986 draft by another new, expansion ballclub Alaska Milkmen to lead their charge.  His pro playing career blossomed from 1989 to 1992 under the tutelage of Ginebra playing coach Robert Jaworski. In 1990, he was adjudged the Most Improved Player and part of the Mythical Second Team. He also became a member of the Big J-coached, first all-Filipino, all-professional “Dream Team” in the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing that won a silver medal for the country with Allan Caidic, Samboy Lim, Benjie Paras and Ramon Fernandez among others. 1987 – Allan Caidic Considered the greatest Filipino basketball marksman ever, Allan Caidic was already a big name before he strutted into the PBA. Having won titles for the UE Red Warriors and among the top players of the Ron Jacobs-mentored national team, the Triggerman was definitely one big prized addition for any team. And Great Taste, having the privilege of selecting first in 1987, made Caidic a hands-down choice. He would later suit up for San Miguel Beer and Ginebra San Miguel in a storied career. He had since become a PBA Hall of Famer and among the Top 25 Greatest Players of All Time. 1988 – Jack Tanuan A vital cog of the FEU Tamaraws and a member of the 1986 Seoul Asian Games squad that took home the bronze, Jack Tanuan was a feared scorer who made a living with his inside game. It was no surprise that new franchise Purefoods selected him as their top pick in 1988, in addition to other direct hires from the amateur ranks that formed their strong core—Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codinera, Jojo Lastimosa and Glenn Capacio—on top of having the Franchise, Mon Fernandez, as playing coach. He would later play for the Sarsi, Swift and Pop Cola teams under the RFM franchise, and later on for Sta. Lucia, Mobiline, and Alaska. 1989 – Benjie Paras It was the year of Benjie Paras, a valiant, hardworking center called “The Tower of Power,” who led the UP Maroons to its historic 1986 UAAP title. After being selected by Shell as the number one pick in the 1989 draft, Paras would achieve the impossible of being both the league MVP and Rookie of the Year, while being named to the Mythical Five. Paras along with fellow Hall of Famers Ronnie Magsanoc and long-time import Bobby Ray Parks Sr. became the triumvirate that led Shell to the First Conference championships in 1990 and 1992. And, even with the onset of Fil-foreign players in the PBA, Paras remained dominant and won his second MVP plum in 1999. 1990 – Peter Jao Peter Jao was the first Cebuano player to be drafted as a rookie top pick in the league, selected by Presto Tivoli. He would then become a member of Presto’s champion team in the 1990 All-Filipino conference with Allan Caidic and Gerry Esplana. 1991 – Alex Araneta The former Ateneo Blue Eagle suited up for Alaska Air Force/Milkmen until 1995, after which he was hired in the company as a management trainee, eventually becoming one of Alaska Milk Corp.’s sales managers. Of Alaska’s 14 championships in the league, Araneta was a veteran of 2 of them (1991 Third Conference and 1994 Governors’ Cup). 1992 – Vergel Meneses An ex-seminarian who became among the PBA’s Top 40 Greatest Players, the “Aerial Voyager” was known for his show-stopping moves and is considered among the best one-on-one players. The former JRU Heavy Bomber and 1995 PBA MVP was also a member of the all-pro Centennial Team coached by Tim Cone that won the William Jones Cup in Taipei and placed 3rd in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok. 1993 – Zandro Limpot After his years as a King Archer for De La Salle, Zandro Limpot entered the 1993 draft and was chosen first overall by the expansion ballclub Sta. Lucia Realtors.  Limpot was named Rookie Of The Year that season as well as reaping All-Star, Mythical Second Team and All-Defensive Team honors. Limpot won his first and only PBA championship (2006 Philippine Cup) with the Purefoods Chunkee Giants. 1994 – Noli Locsin Another former Green Archer, Noli Locsin was picked by Tondeña 65 as the league’s top draft pick in 1994. He became a 4-time PBA All-Star (1994, 1995, 1996, 1999) in a high-flying career with Ginebra. Bacolod-born Locsin was famous for his barrelling game before the arrival of Filipino-Americans in the PBA. Spent 6 seasons with the Ginebra San Miguel franchise; won the 1997 Commissioner’s Cup with Jaworski as coach. He later suited up for Pop Cola, Tanduay, Red Bull, Talk ‘N Text and Sta. Lucia. 1995 – Dennis Espino After leading the UST Growling Tigers to their monumental four-peat, Dennis Espino would later bring his winning ways to the PBA. Sta. Lucia got the first crack at the 1995 draft and picked him first overall to form a menacing one-two punch with Zandro Limpot, and later with Marlou Aquino. He had a sterling career with Sta. Lucia for 15 years and yielded the following achievements:  4-time PBA All-Star, 2-time All-Defensive Team, 2-time Mythical First Team, 2004-05 Defensive Player of the Year and 2007-08 Philippine Cup Finals MVP. He won the 2001 Governors’ Cup and the 2007-08 Philippine Cup for Sta. Lucia. 1996 – Marlou Aquino Picked by Gordon’s Gin as first overall in the 1996 draft, Marlou Aquino had an exceptional maiden year gave him Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Best Player of the Conference (1996 Governors’ Cup), Mythical First Team, All-Star and All-Defensive Team honors. He also became the second Ginebra player (after Dondon Ampalayo in 1986) to win the Rookie of the Year award.  Aquino then was part of Gordon Gin’s 1997 Commissioner’s Cup and Sta. Lucia Realty’s 2001 Governors’ Cup championship teams.  1997 – Andy Seigle The first Fil-Am top pick, chosen by Mobiline in 1997, Andy Seigle won Rookie of the Year and was part of the 1999 All-Star Game. The Scranton, Pennsylvania native was twice a member of the National Team in the 1998 and 2002 Asian Games and was one of the most dominant and best defensive players in the 1990’s era. 1998 – Danny Ildefonso  Danny Ildefonso was picked by San Miguel Beer first overall in 1998, the year he also won Rookie of the Year. One of only four pro players to win back-to-back MVP awards (2000 and 2001), Ildefonso had a prolific 15-year career with the San Miguel ballclub with 8 championships (1999 and 2000 Commissioner’s Cups;  1999, 2000 and 2011 Governors’ Cups; 2001 All-Filipino; 2005 and 2009 Fiesta Cups). He is among the PBA’s Top 40 Greatest Players. 1999 – Sonny Alvarado Selected by Tanduay as its top pick in the 1999 Draft, Sonny Alvarado was poised to dominate the league as a gritty Fil-Am all-around player. He was however embroiled in the “Fil-Sham” controversy, that revealed that he had filed two alleged birth certificates of his mother when he applied for the draft. This prompted immigration officials to initiate deportation measures against Alvarado because of such failure to directly prove his Filipino parental links. 2000 – Paolo Mendoza Paolo Mendoza was a hot-shooting guard who led the UP Fighting Maroons to two Final Four appearances from 1996-1997. He then applied for the 2000 draft and was chosen the overall first pick by Sta. Lucia Realty. Together with Dennis Espino and Marlou Aquino, Mendoza was one of the main factors behind the 2001 Governor’s Cup title win of the Realtors. 2001 – Willie Miller The diminutive Willie Miller is considered the first player from the PBA’s rival league, Metropolitan Basketball Association, to become the top overall pick in a PBA Rookie Draft, in which he was selected by the Batang Red Bull Thunder. He was part of three teams that copped PBA titles—Red Bull (2001 and 2002 Commissioner’s Cup), Alaska (2007 Fiesta Cup), and Talk ‘N Text (2015 Commissioner’s Cup). His career highlights in his 15 years in the PBA were 2-time MVP (2002 and 2007), 2-time Finals MVP, 9-time All-Star,  3-time Mythical First Team member, and 2014 Sportsmanship Awardee. 2002 – Yancy de Ocampo The “Post-Man” as he is called, Yancy de Ocampo is a shifty, reliable center who delivers the goods at crunch time. He was the number one draft pick in 2002 by the FedEx Express. He was part of several champion teams, namely Talk ‘N Text, BMeg Llamados, San Mig Coffee and eventually San Miguel Beer. 2003 – Mike Cortez The “Cool Cat” Mike Cortez, a former La Salle standout, brought his court savviness to the PBA after Alaska picked him first overall in the 2003 draft by and immediately went to work. Cortez helped the Aces win the Reinforced Conference that year. He would then move on to San Miguel Beer, and was part of a hefty push to win the 2007 and 2009 Fiesta Conferences. A journeyman in his 15-year PNA career, Cortez currently plays for the Blackwater Elite. 2004 – Rich Alvarez The Japan-born and U.S.-raised Rich Alvarez had a blast on his maiden year with Shell, which selected him first overall in the 2004 draft, collecting Rookie of the Year, All-Star, All-Defensive Team and All-Rookie Team honors. Played for 13 seasons in 8 different teams, Rich was successful in winning 4 championships with the TNT Tropang Texters (2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 Philippine Cups and 2011 Commissioner’s Cup) 2005 – Anthony "Jay" Washington This Zambales-born journeyman was first chosen by Air21 in the 2005 draft then traded to Talk ‘N Text. But his stint with San Miguel Beer made him flourish with two titles in the 2009 Fiesta Conference and the 2011 Governors Cup. He would return to the TNT Tropang Texters and help the, win the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup. He currently plays for the Rain or Shine Elastopainters. 2006 – Kelly Williams Picked first overall by Sta. Lucia Realty in 2006, Kelly Williams immediately made his presence felt that year bagging Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie Team honors. He first won a championship with Sta. Lucia in the 2007-08 Philippine Cup and would then lead his present ballclub, the TNT Tropang Texters to five championships, notably the three-peat Philippine Cups from 2010 to 2012, and the 2011 and 2015 Commissioners’ Cups. 2007 – Joe Devance While it was Welcoat that originally drafted Joe Devance as the first pick overall in the 2007 draft, he would earn the distinction of being the league’s winningest coach Tim Cone’s most trusted trooper. Devance has won nine championships with Cone as his coach, starting with Alaska (2010 Fiesta Cup), B-Meg/San Mig Coffee (2012 and 2014 Commissioner’s Cup, 2013 and 2014 Governors’ Cup and Philippine Cup); and currently, Ginebra San Miguel (2016 and 2017 Governors’ Cup, and 2018 Commissioners’ Cup).  2008 – Gabe Norwood Chosen by the only team has played for up to now, the Rain or Shine Elastopainters, as its number one draft pick in 2008, Gabe Norwood would then etch a rich career with his ballclub, having won 2 championships (2012 Governors’ Cup, 2016 Commissioner’s Cup). He had also notched numerous awards, including Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and was part of the All Star Game nine times, and the All-Defensive Team six times.  2009 – Japeth Aguilar   “Jumpin’ Japeth” starred for the Ateneo Blue Eagles for two years then moved to the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers during his university years.  In 2009, Aguilar was selected by Burger King and only played one game with the Whoppers, after which he was traded to Talk `N Text.  Japeth has become a Team Gilas mainstay since the beginning of his pro career, of which the Philippines’ participation in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain became one of his national team career highlights. 2010 – Nonoy Baclao   “Mr. Swat” was among the vital cogs of the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ back-to-back UAAP men’s basketball championships in 2008 and 2009. After college, Baclao led the Philippine Patriots as the inaugural champion of the 2009-10 Asean Basketball League (ABL) season prior to entering the PBA rookie draft. In 2010, Nonoy was selected by Air21 then he was traded to Petron (San Miguel) where he had one championship in his sophomore year in the league.  2011 – JVee Casio  The former De La Salle Green Archer playmaker who was Rookie of the Year (2003), Finals Co-MVP (2007) and Mythical Five member (2007 & 2008) in the UAAP was a Gilas pioneer before deciding to turn pro in 2011. By far Casio “G-Shock” is the shortest among the active PBA players to have been picked first overall by the Powerade Tigers. JVee was traded to Alaska Aces in 2012 and has since then became a mainstay in the team which he helped win the Commissioner’s Cup title in 2013. 2012 – June Mar Fajardo  The burly Cebuano was star center at the University of Cebu of which he steered to back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011 at the CESAFI league. “The Kraken” has played for only one team throughout his pro career in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) and the PBA – San Miguel. As one big reason to “Fear the Beer,” Fajardo gave San Miguel six championships to date and became the first and only PBA player to win the MVP award in four straight seasons (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017).  2013 – Greg Slaughter  “GregZilla” stomped rivals with his huge presence when he helped lead the Ateneo Blue Eagles to two consecutive UAAP championships in 2011 and 2012 -- completing a five-peat for the Loyola Heights squad. Picked by Barangay Ginebra in 2013, Slaughter got his pro career to a fast start with ROY and All-Rookie Team honors. He won 3 championships under coach Tim Cone (2016 and 2017 Governors’ Cups; 2018 Commissioner’s Cup). He also saw action for the first time with Gilas this year in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. 2014 – Stanley Pringle  Drafted by NorthPort Batang Pier, “The Beard” exploded into the local basketball scene with Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie team honors, after stints with Belgium, Poland, Ukraine and Indonesia ballclubs.  A 4-time All-Star (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), Pringle is considered among the best guards and high scorers in the play-for-pay league, gaining raves from other coaches and close followers of the sport.   2015 – Moala Tautuaa  He applied and went undrafted in the 2012 NBA draft, then moved to Asia to resume his basketball career by playing as an import for the Westsports Malaysia Dragons in the ABL.  After which, the Fil-Tongan made the “Big Mo(ve)” to the Philippines and spent a fruitful season with the D-League, ending up as its 2015 Foundation Cup MVP.  Talk N` Text selected Tautuaa as overall pick of the first round but traded him later on to NorthPort Batang Pier in 2018. 2016 – Raphael Banal  Since the first round of the 2016 PBA draft was dedicated to PBA teams choosing Gilas Pilipinas players to join their ranks, the regular draft started in the second round. Here, the Blackwater Elite chose as its first pick Raphael Banal, a contemporary of Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal in the Ateneo Blue Eaglets juniors team who went to the Hope International University-California for college.  His surname rings a bell, being the youngest child of former PBA player and TNT coach (2003 All-Filipino Conference champion) Joel Banal.  Yet “Ael” held his own in the PBA D-League for two conferences with Racal Motors.  2017 – Christian Standhardinger  The American-schooled Fil-German played in the ProA and Basketball Bundesliga tournaments in Germany as well with Hong Kong Eastern in the ABL.  Although he was selected by San Miguel Beer in the overall draft of 2017 in a controversial trade with Kia Picanto, the rightful owner of the number one pick, Standhardinger joined the Beermen in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup after completing his ABL tour of duty.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 18th, 2018