Thursday, March 29, 2012

Talk and Text Seals first Semis Outright after Defeating Petron

Against a Petron Blaze squad out of contention, Talk ‘N Text played with intensity to seal the top spot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Tropang Texters unloaded 33 points in the third period en route to a one-sided 107-80 triumph on Wednesday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Six players scored nine points or more for the Tropang Texters led by Jayson Castro, who had 19.
Castro scored 11 points while Jared Dillinger unleashed 13 of his 16 points in the second period when the Tropang Texters started to pull away, as Talk ‘N Text finished its elimination campaign with a 7-2 record.
Talk ‘N Text notched an outright berth in the semifinals, and are scheduled to plunge back into action at the earliest on April 8.
“We came to the game as if we were going to war. My instruction to them was not to give other teams something to play for. I knew that [Petron] will fight for their sister teams,” said Reyes, referring to B-MEG and Ginebra, which will figure in a playoff for the second semifinals spot after the Tropang Texters’ victory.
“This elims is a sprint to the finish, but it’s tough.”
Import Donnell Harvey finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds and two steals, while Jimmy Alapag contributed 11 points and Kelly Williams chipped in 10 for the Tropang Texters. Japeth Aguilar added nine points, most of which came during garbage time.
The scores:
Talk ‘N Text (107) – Castro 19, Dillinger 16, Harvey 15, Alapag 11, Williams 10, Aguilar 9, Reyes 7, Fonacier 6, Carey 6, De Ocampo 5, Gamalinda 3, Raymundo 0.
Petron (80) – McDonald 20, Santos 16, Yeo 11, Miranda 11, Ildefonso 6, Guevarra 4, Tugade 4, Al-Hussaini 2, Reyes 2, Lanete 2, Cabagnot 2, Rizada 0.
Quarterscores: 26-21; 49-39; 82-63; 107-80.


Toroman Perspective About the Smart Gilas 2

Former SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national coach Rajko Toroman was not surprised by the list of players named by Chot Reyes to comprise the 16-man PBA pool. According to the Serbian coach, the league is still the best source of cage talent in the country.
“You cannot find them elsewhere, but in the PBA,” he said.
He added that unlike his SMART-Gilas team composed mainly of amateur talent, a team composed of the best PBA players would need shorter time to prepare for high-level cage competition.
“Even in Europe, players are also playing for their respective club teams and would only prepare for three months, so I think it would be enough time as well for the PBA players,” he said, adding that he wishes the team well.
In the original SMART-Gilas roster, only Marcio Lassiter was named to the PBA players’ pool, although Jimmy Alapag, Kelly Williams, and Ranidel De Ocampo also played for Toroman in the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship. Naturalized center Marcus Douthit is also expected to be part of the pool.
Two-pronged approach
Reyes said the SMART-Gilas program is taking a two-pronged approach to international competition, getting seasoned players from the PBA while also developing the next batch of talents.
“We’ve seen it when we formed SMART-Gilas, we were sending players who are 21, 23 years old, but they were up against 27, 28-year-old players, so pagdating dun minamama tayo,” he said.
At the same time, however, SMART-Gilas is forming a cadet pool to compose the next generation of players for the program.
“We are preparing them for the next batch,” said Reyes of the cadet pool, which will be comprised of top collegiate and amateur standouts.
“National teams should be in two cycles. You have young players from the PBA, who will become members of your national squad in the next few years and you have a cadet pool composed of non-PBA players.”


Caidic vs Menor Issue

On Wednesday night, the PBA’s “Triggerman” Allan Caidic was hot — and not because he was shooting the lights out at the Big Dome.
Instead, the legendary retired cager, who now serves as an assistant coach for Barangay Ginebra, had to be restrained after a verbal tussle with Air 21 enforcer Ogie Menor.
The two went at it just halftime began while on their way out of the playing arena.
Caidic confronted Menor for hitting Jackson Vroman during a rebound play. The Ginebra import was about to chase the stocky forward, who ran quickly to their bench.
“Kinakausap ko lang, then nagrereklamo siya sa akin na sinuntok daw siya ni Wilson [Willie]. Ang sabi ko naman, nanuntok ka rin naman. Pinagtaasan pa kasi niya ako ng boses, that’s why I confronted him. Parang hindi siya marunong rumespeto,” Caidic told InterAKTV.
Menor, Vroman, Caidic and Wilson were all slapped technical fouls for their action.
“Mabuti pa nga nung coach ako atsaka player, hindi ako halos nate-technical,” said Caidic.
After the game, Menor complained about being punched by Wilson.
“Sinuntok niya ako sa sikmura,” said Menor.
“Si Coach Allan naman, nagdadadakdak kasi sa akin.”
Last conference, Menor visited the PBA office several times after being summoned for different on-court incidents. He is again expected to be called by the league for sanctions.


16 Players Of Smart Gilas 2

On Tuesday, SMART-Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes named 16 PBA players that will form the core of the pool of the national program. In the list are Jimmy Alapag, Jayson Castro, Ryan Reyes, LA Tenorio, Alex Cabagnot, James Yap, Gary David, Larry Fonacier, Marcio Lassiter, Gabe Norwood, Arwind Santos, Marc Pingris, Ranidel De Ocampo, Kelly Williams, Sonny Thoss, and Enrico Villanueva.
Villanueva’s selection comes as a major surprise. The burly center, who had a stint in Reyes’ national pool in 2005, was selected despite a lack of playing time he has been getting from Barangay Ginebra. But because of the dearth of big men who can match up against the powerful centers and power forwards of our Asian neighbors, Villanueva obviously would merit consideration. Whether he would be chosen in the final 12-man list is a different question.
The lineup shows Reyes’ preference for “small ball” anchored on a fast game. It’s hard to question the logic, since even if the Philippine team included a lot of big players, they’d still be looking over their heads against taller competition. It’s best to just focus on our strengths and make this work for us, and perhaps conceal our own weak spots.
Reyes might have memories of the 1998 Asian Games, wherein he served as an assistant for Tim Cone in the Centennial Team. The squad was beefed up by several big men, including 7-foot-1 EJ Feihl, 6-foot-9 Marlou Aquino, 6-foot-9 Andy Seigle, 6-foot-6 Dennis Espino, and 6-foot-6 Jun Limpot. Despite those big men, the team got annihilated by a speedy South Korea squad, which relegated the Philippines to an early showdown against China in the semifinals. The Centennial Team made a gallant stand against the Chinese, losing by just nine points, but the loss to South Korea still stings.
In his selections, Reyes also underscored the value of perimeter defense in the international game. Dating back to the 1960s, the Philippine team always featured players who could defend the opposing team’s leading scorer. The likes of Ed Ocampo, Freddie Webb, Robert Jaworski, Larry Mumar, Rogelio “Tembong” Melencio, among others took their respective turns against elite scorers such as Shin Dong Pa of South Korea. Ron Jacobs’ Northern Consolidated Cement national teams from the ’80s had Jeff Moore taking the lead defensively, while Jaworski paraded Dante Gonzalgo in the 1990 Asian Games as his enforcer against players like South Korea’s Lee Chung Hee and Hur Jae.
Reyes has won three of the last four PBA titles with Talk ‘N Text, and he probably won’t tamper much with the formula. It makes sense that he would choose six players from the Tropang Texters to beef up his squad.
It would be a team built on outside shooting anchored on their point guards who are capable of penetrating the lane and dishing off the kickout pass – not unlike how the South Koreans do it. Jong Uichico utilized this style in the 2002 Busan Asian Games through guards Olsen Racela and Jeffrey Cariaso with shooters like Dondon Hontiveros and Kenneth Duremdes anticipating the kickout. That team narrowly missed a chance at the title game after a heartbreaking loss at the buzzer, again to South Korea. To beat bigger teams like China, Iran, Jordan and Lebanon, the key factors are to pile up easy points through fastbreak plays and a multitude of three-pointers from the arc.
Reyes is also wary of how the Middle Eastern teams have kept bullying our small guards in recent years. The presence of Norwood and Ryan Reyes would give Reyes the flexibility of having two back up point guards who are big enough to go face to face with Iran, Jordan and Lebanon. Immediately after our fourth place finish in Wuhan last year, SBP President Manny Pangilinan voiced out his opinion of the team’s need for taller guards. Norwood and Reyes may be what the boss ordered.
Fans obviously wonder why only two centers were chosen. Thoss is arguably the best local center in the PBA today and it would be his chance for redemption from an otherwise lackluster performance in the 2009 FIBA Asia Championship in Tianjin. But with a naturalized player expected to log at least 35 minutes per game, Thoss will probably get a couple of minutes to relieve the naturalized center or be used as power forward to relieve Williams when ranged against big teams like China and Iran.
The thing is, is that the Philippines has never been the tallest team in this region, even from way back. We’ve had undersized centers like Manny Paner, Big Boy Reynoso and Benjie Paras who have fared well against their bigger counterparts. Whether we can overcome the likes of Haddadi or Yi Jinlian remains to be seen.
Reyes’ past experience in Tokushima, Japan in the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship will serve him well. Being bracketed in the so-called Group of Death against Jordan, China and Iran in the eliminations was difficult by itself. But it probably won’t happen again, especially if Manila finally gets a chance to host the tournament after 40 years.
More than this, Reyes is looking at the strong points of that team and is expected to continue using these. Let’s hope that we finally make history again and regain the Asian title we last won in 1986.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Powerade to Retire Duremdes' Jersey

The Powerade Tigers will honor one of the greatest players in PBA history, Kenneth Duremdes, in a jersey retirement ceremony during their game against the Alaska Aces at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum on Friday.
Duremdes, the 1998 PBA Most Valuable Player, ended his career with Coca-Cola franchise and currently serves as a team official. Curiously, he had his best years in the PBA as a member of the Aces.
Among those expected to grace the occasion is former team executive JB Baylon, who left the organization last month amid issues surrounding the sale of the Powerade franchise.
Duremdes had earlier planned a comeback this season so that he could retire on his own terms; he ended his playing career abruptly in 2008 when he took over Coca-Cola’s coaching reins after the firing of Binky Favis. Instead, Duremdes decided to retire for good.
He joined the Coca-Cola Tigers in 2007, in a trade from Sta. Lucia alongside Alex Cabagnot in exchange for Denok Miranda and Manny Ramos.
The third overall pick in 1995 by Sunkist, Duremdes blossomed into a PBA superstars after he was traded to Alaska in late 1997. He led the Aces to two titles in 1998 before winning the MVP award, and again starred for the team in its 2000 All-Filipino title-winning campaign.
A versatile scorer and playmaker, he represented the national team in the Asian Games three times — in 1994 in Hiroshima as an amateur player tapped to beef up the Philippine team, in 1998 in Bangkok, and in 2002 in Busan.


Barako vs Petron Game Result

After dishing out a triple-double in his team’s last game, Rodney White displayed some of his scoring ability this time around.
The NBA veteran White finished with 41 points and 22 in powering the Barako Bull Energy to a 94-80 triumph over the Petron Blaze Boosters on Wednesday’s crucial encounter in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The Barako Bull import led his team to a second straight win and put them into contention for one of the seats in the quarterfinal round.
The Energy improved their record to 4-4, tied for fifth to sixth places with idle Alaska Aces.
“We’re tied for fifth, unlike last conference, where No. 8 or 9 kami,” said Barako Bull coach Junel Baculi. “With a little bit of luck, we can enter quarterfinals, but Ginebra is very tough. We need to bring out all the things that we know in basketball to beat them.”
Debuting Petron Blaze import Will McDonald had a nightmarish stint in his first game in the PBA. He played in only 13 minutes and finished with seven points. He was ejected from the game after hitting Mick Pennisi on the head with the ball.
McDonald, a Spanish League veteran, was tossed with more than eight minutes remaining in the second period and Barako Bull took advantage of his absence, erecting a 20-point halftime lead, 52-32.
“Nagulat kami sa ginawa ng import – surprised and lucky that he was thrown out, but give credit to the players, they played well in the first quarter. But I told them that they’re a champion team and you cannot joke around against a champion team unless you become a champion team yourself,” added Baculi.
Willie Miller contributed 16 markers while Pennisi added 11 points.
The 6-foot-9 Pennisi also achieved a milestone earlier when he became the latest member of the 700 three-pointers club.
Pennisi, who became the eighth member of the exclusive group, joined Allan Caidic (1,242), Ronnie Magsanoc (1,171), Al Solis (1,000), Jimmy Alapag (949), Dondon Hontiveros (833), Ren-Ren Ritualo (729), and Willie Miller (711) as the only players who have made at least 700 three-pointers in the league.
The scores:
Barako Bull (94) – White 41, Miller 16, Pennisi 11, Tubid 10, Allado 7, Arboleda 3, Weinstein 2, Aquino 2, Seigle 2, Najorda 0, Pena 0.
Petron Blaze (80) – Cabagnot 17, Santos 13, Yeo 11, Guevarra 9, McDonald 7, Miranda 7, Ildefonso 7, Reyes 5, Baclao 2, Rizada 2, Al-Hussaini 0, Lanete 0, Tugade 0.
Quarterscores: 30-20; 52-32; 74-52; 94-80.


Mick Pennisi Best Acting VIDEO

By now, you’ve probably heard of The Flop.
On Wednesday night, after a series of chippy plays, Petron Blaze import Will McDonald lost his cool against Mick Pennisi and threw the ball at the Barako Bull center. After a few moments, it seemed to dawn on Pennisi that he had to sell the call — so he promptly got fell on his back, about five seconds later. Greatest. Flop. Ever.

For his troubles, Pennisi was rewarded with the greatest of gifts — McDonald was thrown out of the game, and Barako Bull cruised to an easy win over an import-less Petron.
As a bonus, Pennisi trended on Twitter shortly after the incident, while video of The Flop has gone viral with various outlets picking it up here, here, and here.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Alaska Defeats Petron

Alaska rallied back from a double-digit deficit to turn back Petron Blaze, 93-88, to move closer for a spot in the next round of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Bonbon Custodio had key baskets in the end while Adam Parada pulled down a crucial offensive rebound in the closing seconds as the Aces improved their mark to 4-3.

Parada finished with a team-high 22 points and got plenty of support from the locals led by Cyrus Baguio and Custodio.
Baguio had 19 markers while Custodio chipped in 17 on 8-of-14 shooting from the field.
“We anticipated from the start that we know Petron will come out and play a playoff-like game,” said Alaska head coach Joel Banal.
“At the half, I was trying to convince the team that if we don’t play a physical game, we can’t win,” he added.
Petron tried to pull away after erecting a 56-45 lead early in the third when Baguio and Parada joined forces and closed out the period with a 20-10 exchange to cut the lead to just one entering the fourth.
Alaska scored the first seven points of the final canto to seize control of the game, 72-66.
Mac Baracael’s three-pointer gave the Aces an 81-73 lead but the Boosters responded with an 11-2 run to reclaim the lead, 84-83, 2:20 remaining.
After Parada hit two free throws, Custodio added back-to-back baskets for an 89-84 advantage with 59.2 seconds remaining.
Arwind Santos hit a jumper for the Boosters, 86-89, but LA Tenorio sank a free throw off of a technical on Fazekas, 90-86.
Santos hit another basket, 88-90, but Custodio was sent to the 15-foot line by Cabagnot. Custodio hit the first but missed the second.
Lucky for Alaska, Parada was there to collar the offensive board and Tenorio sealed the win with two free throws.
Fazekas led all scorers with 33 points for the Boosters, who lost two in a row to slip in the team standings with 3-4 mark.
The scores:
ALASKA 93 – Parada 22, Baguio 19, Custodio 17, Thoss 14, Tenorio 11, Baracael 6, Reyes 2, Eman 1, Gelig 1, Salamat 0.
PETRON 88 – Fazekas 33, Santos 14, Yeo 11, Cabagnot 10, Ildefonso 9, Guevarra 6, Miranda 5, Reyes 0.
Quarters: 18-27, 43-52, 65-66, 93-88

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Talk n Text VS Air21: Ginebra VS Meralco on March 7

Talk ‘N Text hopes to keep its clean record intact as it faces Air 21 in the opener of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The Tropang Texters, holding the top spot with 3-0 mark, and the Express collide at 5:15 p.m., followed by the tussle between Barangay Ginebra and Meralco at 7:30 p.m.
Donnell Harvey debuts for Talk ‘N Text and will be pitted against Marcus Douthit of the Express.
“Air 21 has a proven, high quality import who plays well with them while this will be our first time with Donnell Harvey after only three practices together,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes.
Harvey arrived last week to replace Omar Samhan. The ex-Florida Gator was the New York Knicks’ first round pick in the 2000 draft and had stints with Dallas, Denver, Phoenix and New Jersey.
He also played overseas in Bosnia, China, Puerto Rico, Italy and Turkey.
The Express are hoping to end a two-game slide to stay on course for a spot in the next round. But Air 21 coach Franz Pumaren knows that’s easier said than done.
“We are playing the best team of the tournament that’s why we should play smart and try to outwork them for us to compete,” said Pumaren.
“We should try to slow them down and limit their fastbreak points and correct our dry spell during the course of the game,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Bolts are fighting for their survival as they seek an important win against the streaking Kings, who are at solo second spot with 3-1 mark.
Meralco and Rain or Shine are sharing the cellar at 1-4 each and are in danger of getting eliminated this early.
“Bounce back, that is our plan to save our conference. We will do whatever it takes and grind ourseleves to victory. We are not giving up,” said Bolts head coach Ryan Gregorio.
The Kings, behind Mark Caguioa and new import Jackson Vroman, are coming off a 105-96 win over Powerade.
“We have to stay focused and play with intensity because for sure Meralco would be playing with a sense of urgency,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen.

Kamukamo News Update