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Daquioag is in beast mode. UAAP MVP race to close to call. Fajardo to rest more.



Daquioag poured in 12 points in the fourth quarter as he nearly single-handedly brought the Tigers out of trouble against the rallying Warriors, helping them secure a leading 6-1 for their best since a similar first-round card in 2012. “I’m no longer surprised by Daquioag’s showing, having seen that as early as last year, though he just got injured then. He’s a naturally explosive player,”said UST coach Bong de la Cruz, whose wards easily surpassed their five-win showing last year. Philstar


Fajardo, who’s still recovering from a foot injury, has been joining SMB practice, but didn’t see action in the Beermen’s 101-84 win over Alaska in their tune-up game on Wednesday at the Hoops Center. “Once a week pinapahinga namin siya dahil sumasakit lagi yung (paa) nyan,” Austria said of the reigning league MVP, who also had fever over the weekend.


Daquioag’s output was the highest for a UST player since Dylan Ababou fired 30 in 2009. Daquioag also issued six assists and grabbed four boards. The Tigers stormed to a 16-point tear in the second period and still held a 56-46 tear halfway through the third. But the Warriors, with their press causing UST troubles, battled back to within two with still 1:35 left. Daquioag then took over, first making a split, then in the next offensive converting a twisting lay-up to restore a 79-71 cushion going to the last 43.3 seconds. “I want to play in the PBA after this so I’m trying my best to raise my level of play here,” said the graduating Daquioag in Filipino. Philstar


Marcio Lassiter attended the game, but was also sidelined due to a hamstring injury. “Maybe next week makakasabay na siya,” Austria said of the SMB gunner. “Ayaw namin ma-aggravate, so talagang binibigyan namin ng right time.”


SBP executive director Sonny Barrios will brief members of the board on the World Cup qualifying format. “My sense is we will report SBP’s report card on all its activities/programs, submit financial report, and plans for the remainder of the year,” said Vargas.“We should also plan to hold and schedule a convention and election of officers,” Vargas added. Philstar


Anticipating an unruly crowd, Filipino supporters of Gilas were advised to bring unmarked jackets in case they had to cover their “Laban Pilipinas” shirts for the championship game between the Philippines and China at the Changsha Social Work College Gym last Saturday. The idea was to protect the Filipino fans from the ire of rowdy hometowners. Sure enough, when the jeering got out of hand, some Filipino fans put on their unmarked jackets to conceal the Gilas shirts for fear of being singled out by hecklers and hoodlums. The gym capacity was 7,036 including 5,164 permanent seats, 1,780 movable seats, 76 tribune of honor seats and 16 obstacle-free seats. There were less than a hundred Filipino supporters in the venue. The place was packed to the rafters and tickets were prioritized for Chinese fans. Several Filipinos willing to pay scalpers a high price for tickets were turned away. It seemed like there were no legitimate box office outlets to buy tickets at face value. The suspicion was the organizers were in on the black market trade. Philstar


Gilas team manager Butch Antonio said that with participation still to be resolved, it is highly unlikely the Philippines will bid to host the Olympic qualifying tournament that it has earned the right to play in by virtue of a second place finish at the recent 28th FIBA Asia Championships in Changsha. Nine countries are guaranteed slots in basketball at the Rio Olympics – host Brazil, reigning World Cup champion US, Oceania champion Australia, AfroBasket champion Nigeria, EuroBasket finalists Spain and Lithuania, FIBA Americas finalists Venezuela and Argentina and FIBA Asia champion China. Three slots are reserved for the winners of the three Olympic qualifying tournaments. The allocation of slots for the three Olympic qualifying tournaments is broken down into five from Europe, three from the Americas, three from Asia, three from Africa and one from Oceania. The teams are the next best placers after the qualifiers from each FIBA continental zone. Three other slots are available for host countries which will be determined through a bidding process. Philstar


SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said yesterday there is no definite decision on whether the Philippines will participate in one of three Olympic qualifying tournaments that FIBA is staging on July 5-10 next year to determine the last three entries for the 2016 Rio Summer Games. “Right now, the topic is up in the air,” said Barrios. An SBP meeting will be called soon to discuss the issue. Philstar


It could have been a perfect round for University of Santo Tomas. But rather than dwell on the what-ifs, the Tigers saw how that lone loss sparked an incredible UAAP first-round run, capped by a composure-testing 83-76 victory over University of the East Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “If we didn’t lose against NU, we wouldn’t be like this,” UST’s newly minted star Ed Daquioag said in Filipino. “It woke us up because we used to relax.” Inquirer


Far Eastern University also joined the Tigers on top after outlasting defending champion NU, 61-59, in a rematch of last year’s Finals.“Before the game, we said this is just another game we need to play correctly,” said FEU coach Nash Racela. “We weren’t thinking we were playing the defending champion.” Inquirer

With a 6-1 record, the Tamaraws are tied with University of Santo Tomas on top of the standings entering the second round on Saturday.“We’re confident going into the second round,” Tolomia said. Inquirer


Ravena averaged 18.3 points– second in the league–7.1 rebounds, a league-leading 5.0 assists, and 1.7 steals in leading the Blue Eagles to a 4-3 card in the first round. A pair of Thomasians were not far behind with Kevin Ferrer finishing with 68.29 statistical points and Ed Daquioag garnerning 65 points with the Tigers leading the pack at 6-1. Ferrer averaged  17.9 markers, 8.1 boards, and 1.7 assists while Daquioag normed 19.4 points–a league best–4.7 rebounds, and 2.4 dimes in seven games in the first round. Inquirer


UE, meanwhile, is left to deal with four-game losing skid to end the first round after a couple of valiant wins. “We’re down right now,”UE head coach Derrick Pumaren said. “We have to forget this first round and start the second round fresh.” Inquirer


The Knights beat the Altas, 79-71, in the first round but that game won’t be anything like Friday’s duel where the stakes are much higher.“During our huddle after the game, we talked about our next game and we all agreed that it’s going to be do-or-die for us,”Nambatac said. “We also don’t want to waste what we have built since the first round. We have to show on Friday that we deserve to be in the Final Four.” Inquirer


Glenn Capacio, former assistant coach of Mahindra (then KIA) during its maiden conference this past PBA season, claims there was no legitimate reason he was laid off last January. Capacio, 51, shared the termination memo (see below) he received dated January 31, 2015 to a small group of reporters. The memo cites 5 instances where Capacio “committed Gross professional or personal misconduct” which are in violation of the “Independent Contractor Agreement as Assistant Coach with Columbian Autocar Corp. (CAC).” Nakalagay diyan ‘Gross misconduct’ wala naman kaming ginawang grave misconduct. Nagnakaw ba ako? Hindi lang ako naka-attend ng meeting,” Capacio bared his frustration 9 months later.  Rappler


 “Before the game, pinagusapan namin sa dugout na (we talked at the dugout about) this is just another game that we need to play for FEU,” Tamaraws head coach Nash Racela said after the contest. “We weren’t really thinking that we were playing the defending champions, but of course, at the end of it all, it’s a good feeling that we beat the defending champions.” Rappler


Jarencio also added that he’s still seeing the attitude that he instilled in his eight-year stay with the Tigers. The three ‘Ps’ that his squad was known for, ‘Pride, Puso at Palaban’ can still be seen in the Tigers’ character, particularly from his former players Ed Daquioag and Kevin Ferrer. And as much as Pido is proud of every single of them, Jarencio singled out Daquioag as the guy who surprised him the most after a dazzling first round display, particularly on offense. “Ang kinagulat ko talaga si Daquioag. Ang laki ng inimprove niya. Grabe,” he said. “Actually nag mature na rin si Kevin pero surprisingly si Daquioag talaga yung nagstep-up ng husto, sa nakikita ko,” he added. Tiebreakertimes


Jarencio also credited current UST coach Bong dela Cruz for the squad’s current success, citing his predecessor’s ability to get the best out of the players this year. “Maganda naman ang hawak niya sa team. Wala akong masabi dun sa ginawa niya sa depensa, sa opensa, tyaka may flow yung team e. Nakakalaro ng husto,” he mentioned. Tiebreakertimes


Adeogun also shared he does not mind hearing it from the opposing crowd. As someone who has been in the league for so long, Adeogun had learned how to let go and focus on his game. “We play for the fans and the opposing fans, they will do anything to distract you. That’s their job and ako, I just play lang. I’ve been here for a long time na so sanay na ako sa ganyan, he said. “At the end of the day you want to win, and kapag nanalo ka masaya ka. If we lose that game we might not even make it to the playoffs.” Tiebreakertimes


With the loss, the Letran Knights will enter the final playdate of the elimination round with a chance to either clinch a twice-to-beat advantage and eliminate the Perpetual Altas or drown into a tie for a playoff with the other squads that will tally a 12-6 slate. With the stakes that high, Ayo vows that he and his Knights will go all-out against Aric del Rosario and the Altas. “I told the boys, look-ahead. What do you need to do? Pipigain talaga namin. We’ll give everything that we’ve got,” he vowed to the Letran faithul. Tiebreakertimes


 “First off, let me clear this off. Manny Pacquiao has nothing to do with my appointment,” Ayo opened. The rookie coach wanted to make things clear due to a misinformed article at Interaksyon about Letran and the boxing champion. “Di tulad na sinabi sa Interaksyon na nung pumasok si boss Manny sa Letran tsaka lang pinasok yung coaching staff niya. Di totoo yan. Yung mga pari ang nagdecide and Manny Pacquiao has nothing to do with it.” He then praised the administration of the school for giving him the free hand to handle the entire basketball program of Letran. “Yung mga pari namin are very professional and they know what to do. Hindi nga sila nagiintervene sa akin e. The whole basketball program, college, high school, and even the elementary, sa akin yun. They don’t intervene. Lahat ng mga decision-making, wala silang sinasabi. Although I seek for their approval pero lahat ng decision sa akin so walang mga outside, kung sino-sinong tao to influence,” he disclosed.  Tiebreakertimes


“That’s what I have been telling them. We have to win the last two games to still be in contention for the Final Four,” he said, adding he is already looking forward to his team showing its playoff form. “We should not be overconfident. Benilde and EAC have nothing to lose. We have so many things to lose by losing just one game. Mga bata yan, may ganyan talagang mga tendency. Parang easy kami tapos kapag dumidikit na tsaka kami matatauhan,” he said. “It’s a constant reminder from our coaching staff.” Tiebreakertimes


The Gin Kings are bringing in the past and present stars of the team. Leading the former stars of the squad are Allan “The Triggerman” Caidic, Marlou Aquino, Vince Hizon, Noli Locsin and EJ Feihl. They will join the current stalwarts of the Gin Kings led by former MVPs Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand, LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaugther, Chris Ellis, Sol Mercado and the team’s newest acquisition, Joe Devance, member of the 2014 San Mig Coffee grand slam team. Mr. Lastimosa, who helped put up this tournament, is very thankful to his longtime coach, Mr. Cone and Barangay Ginebra for making this tournament happen.“It won’t push through without them as opponent,” Mr. Lastimosa told BusinessWorld. “I came up with the idea na ano sa tingin ko yung papatok sa masa (what I think would be a big hit for the masses). A good matchup will be Purefoods vs Ginebra, definitely. I just put in a little spice by putting in the grand slam players like me, Johnny, against the 90s of Ginebra Allan, Noli, EJ, Marlou, Vince. We still don’t know the format if it’s five on five of ex-pros or a mixture of current and past players. “But it’s for the fans to discover on Friday.” Bworldonline


The Growling Tigers finished No. 1 after the first round in 2012. Head Coach Bong de la Cruz was not surprised of what they have achieved so far. “We’re more prepared this season,” said de la Cruz, whose team was not even on the radar to contend for a Final Four spot this year. And de la Cruz was also not surprised how the 24-year-old Daquioag has carried his team in the first round. “Hindi na ako nagtataka. Sa summer pa lang nakita ko na siya. He’s with us last season but he’s injured,” de la Cruz added. BusinessMirror


IN the blink of an eye, the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) is now halfway through its basketball season. Yesterday the last games of the first round officially brought the hoops tournament to its midway halt. Next week the second round begins and that’s where fortunes will fly or flounder. In just a span of a month, we have a rivalry in our hands reminiscent of the times when Bogs Adornado and Danny Florencio were the glowingest of the Glowing Goldies (the former name of the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers) and Turo Valenzona patrolled the lanes for Far Eastern University. BusinessMirror


SMB acquisitions Brian Heruela and Ryan Araña also made significant contributions, tallying 12 and eight points, respectively. “Parang hindi sila nawala, kasi maraming nag-step up,” Beermen coach Leo Austria said.


The top player of longtime basketball patron and Pampanga vice governor Dennis Pineda, however, regretted the lackluster performance of the team in the title match against China, which drew support from a boisterous crowd inside the Changsha Social Work Colleges gymnasium. “Nanghihinayang nga ako kasi hindi tayo nakapagpakita ng mabuti run. Ang lalaki nila saka medyo agrabyado tayo sa alam mo na (officiating). Hindi ka makaka-focus sa depensa, ang ninipis kasi talaga,” he said of the way officiating went during the winner-take-all match. “Pero babawi tayo, hindi laging ganito tayo, tandaan n’yo yan.”