It's the human and fun side of our sports heroes

Daquioag vows not to screw up next time… Banchero wins it, but Abueva impresses… Guiao says NLEX ‘failing the test’


“Hindi ako maka-diskarte. Hindi ako makapag-adjust agad sa tawag ng mga referees,” he lamented, adding he wasn’t really surprised that Meralco coach Norman Black kept him in the freezer this time. “Siyempre paano ako gagamitin kung hindi ko ma-control ang turnovers ko. Tatlong beses ako tinawagan ng lifting (violation) tapos ‘yung iba na-travelling pa ako. ‘Yun siguro ang mga naging dahilan kaya hindi ako nagamit ng mahaba,” he added.“Sabi nga ni coach, ‘Every game we should be getting better.’ Katulad ngayon, first time ko lang nakaharap ang Alaska. ‘Pag makakaharap ko sila ulit, alam ko na ‘yung adjustments na gagawin ko. Kailangan mabilis lang ako makapag-adjust,” he said. Fox Sporrts Asia


“If I had made the free throw, the outcome would’ve been different. But it wasn’t just my fault. I don’t want to blame it on myself. I may lose confidence if I did,” Grey said in Filipino. “Why not? If it was given to me, I would’ve grabbed the chance,” he said, as Chris Newsome decided to take it strong to the rack before being met by Alaska’s defenders down low. “But it’s OK. I respect the decision. Also, I’m just a rookie so I have to be always ready.”


Aside from committing 26 errors against the Aces’ sustained pressure, the Bolts’ atrocious shooting from the 15-foot line where they only made five of their 16 attempts should also been addressed right away, added Amer. “Marami lang kaming mga turnovers. Pati missed free throws. If na-shoot namin lahat ‘yun, mas malaki ang chance namin manalo. Tapos lamang pa kami with three minutes to play, pero hindi namin na-control,” lamented the Davao City native. Fox Sports Asia


“To shoot 5-of-16 is not very professional, at least in the PBA level. It’s probably what cost us the game tonight,” Black told reporters. “We just have to get in the gym and make those foul shots. We’re number two in the league in free throw shooting so I didn’t expect us to shoot 30 percent,” added Black, whose team dropped to 2-2. “Tough loss. If you’re up by nine with four minutes to go, you should win the basketball game, but we missed a lot of foul shots tonight and didn’t make the plays when we needed it,” Black said. “Alaska made their three-point shots in the end to win the game, so we just got to go back in practice and get better.”


“Those are opportunities we gotta learn from,” says reigning Rookie of the Year Chris Newsome. “We gotta be able to close out games and step on the gas, Lesson learned for us today,” he added. ABS – CBN Sports


“That game will test our ability to play against a quick (and) fast team,” Meralco coach Norman Black said as they come into the 7 p.m. game where a share of the lead is in store for his Bolts. “I’m just going to let him be him,” said Black, when asked if he wasn’t wary of Daquioag being scouted this early. “He’s very intelligent and athletic, a very productive player on both ends that if he keeps playing this way, he’ll (continue to) play.”


“Limiting our turnovers versus their pressure defense and controlling our defensive rebounds will be the keys for us in that game,” Black, who experienced one of his worst coaching conferences when the Bolts won just one of 12 games here last season, said. “I’m just happy to have a couple of good young guys who can deliver,” Black went on.


“We were down nine and I was telling the guys, “hey, we have time,” said Alaska head coach Alex Compton. “What a time for JVee (Casio), RJ (Jazul) and Chris (Banchero) to step up.” “He has an uncanny ability to penetrate, to finish, to make plays and an unbelievable amount of energy,” Compton said of his tireless forward. “But I’m most proud when he makes people around him better.”


“We drew something up and the ball got in my hands. I had some space and (Jonathan) Grey closed out well. He was close to me but you know, I got it down,” explained Banchero of the last play. “We got great shooters on our team and we got great scorers so I’m just looking to facilitate and get everybody going,” he shared. “We wanna be up in the fourth. That was a tough mountain to climb, down 10 with three minutes to go. I’m glad we got it done though,” he said. Fox Sports Asia



“What I’m most proud of him is when he makes the guys around him better,” gushed Alaska coach Alex Compton of Abueva, who finished with a team-high five assists aside from collecting nine points on 3-of-10 shooting clip, seven boards, two blocks and an assist against four errors in 30 minutes of play. “One thing that I really, really wanna praise Calvin for—he got Vic score a lay-up, then he got RJ hit from the corner three. He has that uncanny ability to penetrate, create and finish with an unbelievable amount of energy,” said Compton. Fox Sports Asia


“We’re obviously struggling. We have no excuses,” he said. “The teams that beat us are just playing better than we are. We have not been defending well the past three games, and our problem has been basically defense.” “We’re only frustrated because we know that this team has potential. We played very well in the offseason. We are practicing really well, and if you see this team in practice, it doesn’t look like we’re losing. But all teams are good in practice. The real test is in the game. For now we are failing that test, and we should go back and work harder,” he said. “I’m still very optimistic,” he said. “Although we are now just trying to win one game at a time and survive, I feel that at the right point, we can come back. I think it’s still manageable.”


“Ayoko masyado na daanin sa ganun (tongue-lashing). Sometimes you also have to consider a sermon fatigue, baka magka-fatigue naman sila,” Guiao told media men, shortly after emerging from an hour-long post-game talk with NLEX at the dugout. “Sometimes, you just have to step back and relax a little bit, let them ease some of the tension,” he continued. “So although we had a long talk now, hindi ko naman sila pinagsisigawan, hindi ko naman sila pinagmumura.” Fox Sports Asia


Carlo Lastimosa made it clear that he didn’t had any axe to grind as NLEX fought his old team Blackwater on Wednesday. “There’s no [bad blood]. Coach [Yeng Guiao] just told me to keep on being aggressive,” he said in Filipino. “We were a little unfortunate so our scoring wasn’t spread out. We all got up on the wrong side of the bed. We’re really unfortunate. We just have to move on,” the 6-foot guard said. “Of course, we’re frustrated. We have three losses and a lot of injuries. But we can’t do anything about it now. We just have to keep on improving. There’s nothing more to say, I don’t even know what the problem of the team is,” he said.


NLEX is set to field a shallow frontcourt in its PBA Philippine Cup match against Blackwater on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. Already without Rico Villanueva, who’s out with a knee injury, the Road Warriors could also miss Asi Taulava owing to persistent migraines. “He’s doubtful to play,” team manager Ronald Dulatre said in a text message ahead of the 4:15 p.m. matchup.


“It was a wake up call for us. We made it a motivation and we moved on. It was tough for us because this is a very different conference for us,” the sophomore forward said. “What was lacking from us in our two losses was our defense. That’s why in our past few practices, we made it a priority. We settled down on defense and that’s why we won,” he said.


Blackwater ended its two-game slide after whipping the undermanned NLEX, 96-85 in the opening game of the 2016-17 PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The Elite used a third-quarter outburst to pull the rug from under the Road Warriors, who played without veteran center Asi Taulava (migraine), Garvo Lanete (sprained ankle) and Enrico Villanueva (knee). “It just so happened NLEX was lacking some key players due to some injuries or any other reasons and Blackwater just took advantage of that situation,” Blackwater coach Leo Isaac said after the game.


The Elite took advantage of the Road Warriors injuries with key guys like Asi Taulava, Garvo Lanete, and Enrico Villanueva out of commission. “We had to get back to our senses and go back to our basics, which is to play hard basketball. Fortunately, this situation was given to Blackwater and we needed this win to propel us back to our winning ways,” said coach Leo Isaac.


“Nagkaroon ng sapawan (We’re trying to outdo each other), and we (rest of the coaching staff) had to correct it right away,” Isaac said when asked of the reason for those two losses and why they were so fluid against the Road Warriors. “We had to step in and make the necessary adjustments,” the former Ginebra San Miguel point guard went on, as he continued to enjoy the finest start in his coaching career. “During this game, we had a semblance of team play going.”


“It’s a big win for us, actually. We had a good start then we lost the next two, so every game from now is really big for us,” said the 26-year old Pascual. “We put a lot of importance for this game. It’s going to push us forward in the standings and we’re looking for our placing for the playoffs.” “All of us have our own roles. We’re trying to make the most of our opportunity each game,” he stressed. “We just know our roles and do the best we can. We know Mac Belo and Art dela Cruz are going to get their points every game, so every one just chips in offensively and defensively.” Fox Sports Asia


“Ang sabi ni coach (Tim Cone) talagang bring our A-game bukas sa laro kasi ‘yung Mahindra pinatunayan nila last time na kayang-kaya nilang talunin kahit sinong team sa PBA,” said the proud Digos City, Davao native on Thursday at the end of Ginebra’s practice at the Upper Deck Gym in Julia Vargas Avenue, Pasig City. Fox Sports Asia


“Tomorrow’s (Friday) game is going to be a big game for us. It just happened na it’s Mahindra, pero (kahit) any team naman ‘yun, big game sa amin talaga kasi mahirap mabaon,” stressed Tenorio on Thursday following the Gin Kings’ training session at the Upper Deck Gym in Julia Vargas Avenue, Pasig City. “We want to have a momentum going to this stretch kasi medyo mahirap na (ang schedule namin)—Mahindra, Alaska, Star, San Miguel. Hindi namin makukuha ‘yung momentum na yun kung hindi kami mananalo tomorrow.” Fox Sports Asia


“The team’s request was forwarded to boss MVP and he approved it,” said an official from the MVP camp who requested anonymity. “MVP sees coach Boyet as the best choice.” According to the source, Fernandez and the Red Lions camp have been in talks since last Tuesday, immediately after former head coach Jamike Jarin resigned from his position. Jarin is set to take over the post left by Eric Altamirano in the National University Bulldogs.


LION’S DEN. Someone who knows a thing or two about San Beda and its winning tradition will be back to call the shots. According to sources, Boyet Fernandez is poised to be named as the Red Lions’ mentor, replacing Jamike Jarin and returning after three years. Still, the former playmaker in the professional ranks has full faith from Pangilinan, the Lions’ chief backer. “MVP says coach Boyet as the best choice,” the source said. ABS – CBN Sports 


Boyet Fernandez, who piloted the Lions to the title three years ago before moving to NLEX in the PBA, ex-Letran coach Louie Alas and former PBA and national team star Jimmy Alapag are tipped to replace Jarin, sources said. Although Jarin himself has declined to comment on his possible move, all signs point to him transferring to National U, just three months after guiding the Red Lions to the crown.


The school has now begun its search for a replacement and three names arise from the field. Boyet Fernandez, Alaska deputy Louie Alas, and Meralco assistant coach Jimmy Alapag are the top names considered to inherit the post Jarin left following his imminent transfer to National University on Tuesday.


“I love them both. Both of them played great,” he said after the Taiwanese bowed to Alab Pilipinas, 93-87, at Olivarez College in Parañaque. “Raymar is a ball of energy but he hurt us when he got into foul trouble,” the American mentor said. “I wish he could have been on the floor more.”


An unimpeachable source by FOX Sports disclosed that the 45-year-old Fernandez has an inside track for the San Beda coaching vacancy following the departure of Jamike Jarin on Tuesday to seek a new challenge with UAAP powerhouse National U. “Tingin ko mga 90 percent na si Boyet ang piliin,” said the source, who is privy to the development but spoke on the condition of anonymity. “May existing contract rin siya sa NLEX. One year pa ‘yun. Tapos wala pa siyang team ngayon. Kaya it’s a no brainer.” Fox Sports Asia


NATIONAL University chairman Hans Sy on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Jamike Jarin as head coach of the Bulldogs, saying he wants to see a ‘change in strategy and style’ upon the hiring of the former San Beda coach. “Yes, I am confirming Jamike Jarin. It’s Jamike Jarin (as the new Bulldogs head coach),” said Sy in a message to, which came just hours after San Beda officially bid goodbye to the coach who led the Red Lions to the NCAA championship last season.