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Ex-UAAP stars dominate Gilas 5.0 cast… Tolomia proves mettle in title-clincher… Knights’ morale down

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A mixture of new faces and old reliables composed the 14-man lineup of Gilas 5.0 which will see action in the FIBA Asia Challenge set in Iran next month. Gilas cadets mainstays, led by former Far Eastern U star Mac Belo and former Blackwater guard Almond Vosotros, have been tapped by coach Josh Reyes to form the nucleus of the young national team squad for the September 9-18 cage spectacle which will serve as the initial qualifying round for the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup featuring the top teams in Asia and Oceania continents. With former Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena, ex-National U ace Ray Parks and Arellano U prized playmaker Jiovani Jalalon begging off to attend to more pressing commitments, Reyes will have to make do with other Gilas cadet members that include Belo’s FEU teammates Mike Tolomia, Roger Pogoy and Russel Escoto, former University of Santo Tomas star Kevin Ferrer and ex-Ateneo gunner Von Pessumal.
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ARNOLD Van Opstal, Ed Daquioag and Jaymar Perez joined Gilas cadets regular in the 14-man lineup for the Fiba Asia Challenge Cup set next month in Iran. While national coach Josh Reyes went with old reliables like Mac Belo, Kevin Ferrer, Mike Tolomia, Russel Escoto and Roger Pogoy, the new-look Gilas lineup also featured a lot of new faces led by Van Opstal who at 6-7 stands as the tallest in this young team. Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios said all 14 players will make the trip to Iran for the September 9-18 showpiece, with two to be relegated to reserves.
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Phoenix started off like a house on fire before holding off Tanduay’s last-gasp rally to pull off an 87-78 in their sudden death match to capture the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup title Thursday night at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna.The Rhum Masters though staged a last-ditch rally after closing in at 72-77 on Gelo Alolino’s back-to-back jumpers. Tolomia then took over down the stretch, scoring seven his team’s last 10 points to seal Phoenix’a first PBA D-League title.
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BINAN, LAGUNA – After an underwhelming performance in Game Two, Mike Tolomia made his presence felt when it mattered most for Phoenix, steering the Accelerators to the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup title on Thursday at the Alonte Sports Arena here. “I’m feeling better ngayon kasi nakapag-dextrose ako at nakainom ng meds,” said Tolomia after his team completed a sweep of the D-League titles. “Kahit struggle kami sa opensa basta sama-sama kami sa depensa, alam naming kaya naming manalo,” he said.
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Familiarity gets the premium as former teammates reunite in the Gilas Pilipinas’ 14-man pool for the 2016 Fiba Asia Challenge Cup in Tehran, Iran. Sources bared that ex-Tamaraws Mac Belo and Mike Tolomia banner the list for coach Josh Reyes as they represent the country from September 9 to 18. They will be joined by Gilas mainstays Roger Pogoy and Russel Escoto, together with hardworking forward Carl Bryan Cruz.
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BINAN – Phoenix once again showed its dominance and conquered Tanduay, 87-78, in Game 3 of the Finals to win the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Alonte Sports Arena on Thursday here. “Na-experience na namin yung mga ganoong games na lumalamang kami tapos nahahabol,” said Tolomia. “Basta nag-stay together lang kami as a team sa defense and kahit nag-struggle kami offensively, basta sama-sama kami, kaya naming manalo.”
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BIÑAN, Laguna — Phoenix completed a sweep of the PBA D-League titles, topping the Foundation Cup with victory over Tanduay, 87-78, in the series decider on Thursday at the Alonte Sports Arena. “Na-experience na namin before yung lalamang ng malaki tapos mahahabol. Kaya ngayon nag-stay together kami as a team sa depensa,” said Tolomia, moments after their conquest of Tanduay.
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SHOWING its championship poise when it mattered most, Phoenix thwarted a Tanduay rally in the payoff period and scored an 87-78 victory yesterday to clinch the PBA D-League Foundation title at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna.“Tanduay is a team that could also win a championship, hindi birong kalaban ang Tanduay,” said Phoenix coach Eric Gonzales, whose charges atoned for their 75-89 defeat in Game 2 last Tuesday. “Coach Lawrence is a good motivator, he is a good maestro,” he said, adding the team has a cast of players that can win titles in the future.
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Injected to the Accelerators lineup for the first time this conference, the 6-foot-4 bruiser proved to be the missing piece as he helped the team snare the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup title against Tanduay on Thursday. “Sobrang big factor sya at kita mo naman yung outcome,” said coach Eric Gonzales. “Kahapon lang ako sinabihan,” said the FEU forward. “Nasa dorm ako ng sinabihan ako ni coach na ready lang kasi wala yung isang kasama ko at naka-lineup din naman ako.”
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LETRAN coach Jeff Napa put the blame on himself as the Knights’ continued their plunge in the standings of NCAA Season 92 after losing their fourth straight game. “Kailangan ko pa ma-motivate ‘yung mga bata. Down ‘yung mga bata. I have to step up (para tumaas) ‘yung confidence nila,” he said. Losing is quite new for the Letran coach who came from a multi-titled stint with the National University juniors squad in the UAAP. “Hindi ako sanay sa ganitong sitwasyon. Kailangan ko pa rin pagdaanan ‘to and take the full responsibility,” said Napa.
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American import Paul Harris flew back to the United States on Wednesday, just a month after suffering from a broken finger during Barangay Ginebra’s opening day win over GlobalPort in the PBA Governors Cup. Ginebra coach Tim Cone said the do-it-all Harris left Manila to attend to his kids since the new school year is about to start in the US. But the all-time winning coach reiterated that Harris, a former PBA Best Import remains in standby mode in case anything happens to Justin Brownlee, who has fit very well with the Gin Kings thus far. “Paul went back (to US) to put his kids to school and will be in standby in case we need him,” Cone told FOX Sports on Thursday.
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With Arellano U in contention for a Final Four berth in the 92nd NCAA seniors basketball tournament, prized playmaker Jiovani Jalalon decided to pick his school commitments over national team duty as he opted out of Gilas 5.0 team which will see action in FIBA Asia Challenge next month. “Sobrang importante ito sa amin. Ito na ‘yung chance namin na maibalik ‘yung Arellano sa Final Four,” Jalalon told sports scribes inside the press room, following Arellano U’s 83-74 win over Emilio Aguinaldo College on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan City. Arellano U coach Jerry Codiñera was among those who were glad to know Jalalon is fully committed to their title campaign. “Siyempre mauuna muna ‘yung paging student niya then the national team came later. Almost three fourths of the way na kami and very critical na ‘yung next two weeks namin so naiintindihan naman siguro nila. I trust Jio’s judgment,” he said.
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The PBA, through its Adhoc committee, will sit down with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) officials next week to iron things out regarding the set-up of the upcoming 2016 rookie draft for members of the Gilas Pilipinas 5.0. “Di pa namin alam kung sino bang nakakontrata, sino bang nakapirma, at kung ano bang plano nila,” disclosed PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial to FOX Sports on Thursday after the PBA board meeting. “Pagkatapos ng meeting ng Adhoc committee, iko-convene yung board, tapos doon na sasabihin kung anong napagdesisyunan,” shared the PBA official. Marcial also noted the 2016 PBA draft is still set on October 30.
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Help is on the way for GlobalPort in the PBA Governors Cup should the Thai-American Tyler Lamb make the 6-foot-3 height limit for Asian imports. “Tuloy yun,” Marcial told FOX Sports after the PBA board meeting on Thursday. “According to PBA rule pwede siya and cleared siya ng FIBA.”
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Arwind Santos is slowly getting back into game shape after seeing action the last three games for San Miguel Beer since undergoing a minor knee surgery. “Totally di pa ako hundred percent. Hindi ko pa nape-pwersa ng todo todo, pero God is good kasi nakakatulong ako kahit paano sa puntos, rebounds saka depensa. Nakakabigay ako ng kontribusyon sa team,” Santos told FOX Sports. The Beermen survived the Aces without import AZ Reid, who is out indefinitely due to an injury on his Achilles heel.
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The 35-year-old Santos said it would have been easy to dismiss the Beermen without the reliable Reid, but then again, teams should not underestimate them. “Wala kasing ibang aasahan kundi yung ginagamit ni coach na pambato niya eh, so kami na yun. Hindi na namin iniisip (playing without an import) kasi di na naman bago sa amin yung maglaro ng walang import dahil ilang bases na rin kami nagpanalo ng walang import at mas malaki pa nga (their opponents) nung time na yun,” explained Santos. “Pero huwag mo nga i-underestimate yung kalaban mo kahit pilay, kasi baka tamaan ka ng saklay,” he added.
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“I don’t want to view it that way dahil kung para sa akin, players will play hard when they are on the floor, most especially if you want extended contracts,” Guiao told FOX Sports. “Dapat gamitin nila yun (expiring contracts) in a positive way and not have the perspective of being insecure of their position, pero yung perspective is to try harder to get a good contract,” he added.
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After getting off to a franchise-best 4-0 start in the PBA Governors Cup, Mahindra is now setting its eyes on shocking another “Goliath” team in league leader TNT. “We’re coming in with a mindset of a champion with our continued best effort,” Gavina told FOX Sports in a phone interview. “Everybody has bought to that, and we’re excited for the game.” “We just have to find a way to stop the quick transition play of TNT,” said Gavina, whose team had a good three-day practice heading to the game.
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MAHINDRA faces another big test when it tackles unbeaten leader TNT KaTropa today, with the Enforcer eyeing solo second to further boost their new-found billing as a contender in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. “They are a tough team to beat,” Uichico said, adding they will have their hands full. Chris Gavina, chief assistant to playing-coach Manny Pacquiao, said no less than a superlative effort, especially on making stops, is a must for the Enforcer for them to hurdle TNT. “We will need a championship effort on defense if we are to overcome TNT’s dynamic team,” said Gavina, whose focus is mainly on how to contain the likes of Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo and imports Mychal Lemar Ammons and Michael Madanly.
Malaya

Mac Cardona may be fighting his own battle, but his team is with him every step of the way. “We’re all praying for him that he pushes through, it’s a tough time for him but you know, we will support him,” Taulava said after NLEX lost to Meralco, 101-95, on Wednesday. “The management is doing everything for Macmac. He’s been transferred to Makati Med, to our company hospital and he can have all the help that he can have. We’re happy that he’s doing better, he’s condition is doing good, hopefully he can pull through. All of us are here to support him.”
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Meralco rookie Baser Amer missed his first six shots, but his early struggles didn’t keep him from stepping up when it mattered most. “Before kasi ng game nalaman namin na hindi maglalaro si Jimmy, so kami ni Anjo, sinabihan niya kami na mag-step up at mag-double effort,” said Amer after helping the Bolts beat the NLEX Road Warriors, 101-95, on Wednesday. “Tapos nung hindi ako maka-shoot nung una, sinabi lang niya sakin just keep on shooting so naging ready lang din ako,” he added.
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“Baser came out and hit some big shots in the endgame and most importantly, we got the win,” said Alapag. He also had seven assists, something that’s right up to his standards. “Dapat talaga mag-double effort ako every time. Si Jimmy kasi seven to 10 assists siya a game so kailangan mapantayan ko yung ginagawa niya,” he said. “Good thing naka-seven assists ako and credit din sa kanya kasi kahat nasa bench ako, lagi niya akong sinasabihan na stay aggressive and stay ready.”
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PLAYING without an import against a truly formidable foe, the league’s most dominant local for the last three years understandably stepped up and proved more than up to the task. June Mar Fajardo scored 37 points, had 14 rebounds and three blocks and led the Beermen to the PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals after a come-from-behind 106-103 victory over Alaska last night at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao. “This was a huge, huge game for us,” San Miguel coach Leo Austria said. “Good thing playing without an import is that every player is challenged.”
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Arellano University kept its win streak alive and fended off a pesky Emilio Aguinaldo College, 83-74, to take a share of the top spot in the NCAA Season 92 Men’s Basketball Tournament Thursday at San Juan Arena. “We are thankful we were able to get that feat, and it feels good kasi first time mangyari yung streak and I hope tuloy-tuloy na,” said Chiefs head coach Jerry Codiñera. “Sana hindi magsawa mga bata sa panalo.” “We were taking wild shots,” said Codiñera. “And ang daming mental mistakes.”
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ARELLANO University outplayed Emilio Aguinaldo College in the fourth quarter and pulled off an 83-74 victory yesterday to seize a share of the lead in the 92nd NCAA basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan. Jio Jalalon toyed with a triple-double effort before winding up with 21 points, eight caroms and nine assists while Kent Salado had 15 points and nine boards and Lervin Flores 10 points and 10 rebounds as the Chiefs posted their seventh win in row and 10th overall in 12 games to move into a tie with San Beda at first place. “It feels good to be on top for the first time this year,” said Arellano U coach Jerry Codinera, whose charges handed the Generals their ninth loss in 12 games.
Malaya

ARELLANO coach Jerry Codinera is thrilled about Jio Jalalon staying with the Chiefs in the team’s crucial run in the NCAA Season 92 seniors basketball instead of playing for the Gilas cadets in the Fiba-Asia Challenge Cup next month. “Tuwang-tuwa lahat ‘yung community,” said Codinera. “Student-athlete, nauna ‘yung pagka-student-athlete niya, then national team came in later na… Naiintindihan naman nila.” “I trust ‘yung judgement ni Jio,” he added.
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LA SALLE Greenhills slipped past Letran, 71-69, on Thursday to boost its Final Four bid in the NCAA Season 92 juniors basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan. “We dug a deep hole for us in the first half. Kagagawan din namin, so inunti unti,” Greenies head coach Marvin Bienvenida. “I’m happy for that I’m happy for the team, sa effort nila,” said Bienvenida.
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University of Perpetual Help put College of St. Benilde on the wrong side of history with a 70-45 walloping of St. Benilde in the NCAA Season 92 Men’s Basketball Tournament Thursday at San Juan Arena. “Galing kami sa talo so kailangan gawin lahat ng tama,” said Gican whose team has a 9-3 record. “Malaki talaga yung depensa and yung offense sumunod na lang.”
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NASH Racela, the head coach of the UAAP defending basketball champions Far Eastern University, is set to headline the next episode of SportsIQ, Inquirer’s weekly sports talk show, on Thursday. With the biggest collegiate sports league set to open in a few weeks, Racela will discuss FEU’s bid for a repeat basketball title. Racela steered the Tamaraws to its first basketball title in 10 years after beating University of Santo Tomas 2-1 in the best-of-three finals series.
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New coaches will get their mettle tested in the opening gameday of the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament on September 4 at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Coaches Bo Perasol and Franz Pumaren make their debuts for University of Philippines and Adamson as they raise curtain for the seniors’ hoops at 2 p.m.
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NOLI Banate chose a path quite different from those taken by his fellow retired PBA players, opting to earn a living on the road. “’Yan lang ang libangan ko. ‘Yun ang pinagkakaabalahan ko. Medyo mahirap ng konti siyempre, ‘yun lang ang hanapbuhay ko, pagmamaneho ng jeep,” Banate told SPIN.ph. “Nandoon kasi ‘yung pamilya ko at mga magulang ko,” said Banate. “Dito sa Manila naman, wala naman kaming matitirhan, umuupa lang ako ng bahay. Wala namang hanapbuhay dito, mahal masyado ang bilihin.”
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