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Ginebra will trade point guards. Cone confident Caguioa will fit triangle.




Robinson also reserved some nice words for Joseph Gabayni who topscored for the team with 15 points and seven rebounds. “He will always try to win for us and what I appreciate about him is he doesn’t quit so hopefully, he’ll carry that kind of mentality,” said Robinson, also a deputy coach with the Alaska Aces. “It’s gonna be a long series and again, we’re trying to grow, continue to grow and continue to learn from all of the experiences that we felt,” he said.



‘The Spark’ has been the face of the Ginebra franchise for the past decade, but he didn’t look thrilled when Cone’s longtime understudy Jeff Cariaso brought the triangle to Ginebra last year. Caguioa in fact welcomed the return to the run-and-gun when Frankie Lim took over the team late last season. Cone, however, insisted the former league MVP has a major role to play once Ginebra gets re-acquainted with Tex Winter’s offensive system next season. “Mark will play an important role. Of course, he’s still the star of the team. He’s the face of the franchise just like James Yap was (when I moved to Purefoods). I find him still very athletic,” Cone said. “I think Mark is gonna be great in the triangle. He’ll gonna really enjoy himself. He’s play some positions he doesn’t know yet. And I am excited about putting him there,” he added.


If there is one thing that needs correcting, Cone said it is Ginebra’s imbalanced lineup, hinting that the guard-heavy roster will eventually need tweaking. But on when that would be, Cone isn’t saying. “That will dictate itself as we get along. Looking at the lineup, it’s not a balanced lineup. We have a lot of point guards and we only have two wings and one off guard. It’s kind of an unusual balance,” he said. “Eventually we have to balance it out, whether it happens next week or two months from now, second conference or third conference or a year from now … ” he added.


Cone has no doubt that the triangle will be ideal for this batch of Ginebra players. “Yeah, coz the core pieces are there. You just have to build it around a little bit and again it’s the old have to get along with the young, the guards having to get along with the bigs. There’s gotta be a better match of chemistry in the team,” the two-time grand slam coach said. “If you have run and gun (former system of Ginebra), most of the time your big men will run from freethrow line to freethrow line and you’ll not gonna get to take advantage of your bigs,” he added.


For now, Cone said he is in no hurry to make changes. “I’ll have to see it at this point. It’s about building that foundation. I’m not gonna be in a hurry. If you try to do things in a hurry you make shortcuts, and if we make shortcuts, then we’ll be falling into the same traps that other coaches have had going against Ginebra,” he said. “We’ll gonna do it from basic and move forward. I’ll try to be as quick as I can. I’ll tell the players to be quick and not in the hurry.” Cone said.


The Hotshots lost to twice-to-beat Meralco in the quarterfinals of the Philippine Cup, surrendered to eventual champion Talk ‘N Text in four games in a best-of-five semifinals in the Commissioner’s Cup, before Alaska swept them in a race-to-three Final Four in the Governors’ Cup.“I feel the farther they get away from the grand slam, the more motivated they’re going to get and the energy is going to come back,” Cone said.


Former assistant and now new Star coach Jason Webb defended Cone, saying the American mentor prepared the Hotshots to the best of his ability given the tricky situation. “We weren’t able to defend our crowns last year, but it doesn’t mean coach Tim didn’t do the best possible job coming off a grand slam,” Webb said. But the rookie coach feels the fresh start will reinvigorate the Hotshots. “Now, the landscape’s going to be different,” the son of former PBA player Freddie Webb said. “We’re going to be a year removed from the grand slam and we’re going to be coming into this year with a different coaching staff.” “The only thing I can assure is I’m going to try to be the best possible coach for the current scenario,” he added.


SIXTEEN Filipino-foreigners have applied for the PBA Draft set on August 23 at Robinson’s Place Manila. Projected first-round picks Chris Newsome of Ateneo and La Salle’s Norbert Torres lead the new applicants along with Maverick Ahanmisi of Café France, AMA’s Jeramy King, and Aly Austria of Cagayan Valley. Mike di Gregorio of Keramix, Kris Rosales of Jumbo Plastic, Jawhar Purdy of Wang’s, Leo de Vera of San Sebastian, Ryan Wetherell of the Laguna BUSA Warriors in the Filsports Basketball League, and Dale Hodges of Canberra University complete the updated list.


Dela Virgen finished with nine points, all from beyond the arc, four rebounds, and an assist in the Heavy Bombers’ 75-60 win. “The good thing is he’s willing to learn. He’s willing to learn at ang importante sa kanya yung competitiveness niya,” stressed Meneses.  “Hindi siya napapa-back down kahit sinong kalaban niya.” Meneses, the former PBA great, even made fun of Dela Virgen’s shooting ways, saying: “Panget nga lang shumoot pero nashu-shoot eh, hindi ba? Okay lang sa akin yun.”  “Magaling,” was the only word sophomore guard Bernabe Teodoro could say on his teammate’s performance.


Dela Virgen saw action for 26 minutes, his longest playing time yet for the season, and hopes to be given more exposure in the team’s future games. “Yung binibigay sa aking time ni coach, ginagrab ko kasi sayang po eh. Tapos binibigay ko po lahat ng makakaya ko para sa kanya at para sa team,” said the 18-year-old rookie.



Jalalon took over the game in the fourth quarter. As the Stags defense collapsed on him, the league leader in assists found the right angles to dish out to his teammates. Donald Gumaru converted on back-to-back three pointers but was answered right back by Pretta. Jalalon was then able to find Holts for a three pointer and a layup to give the Chiefs a ten-point lead with 7:48 to go. In two straight sequences, Jalalon found Nicholls for a layup and a three-pointer but was answered right back by Guinto’s six straight points. A floater by Jalalon and another three pointer by Gumaru, the Chiefs’ sixth in the quarter, maintained their cushion with 2:26 to go. The Stags tried to stage a late rally, cutting the lead to just five 92-97, but eventually fell due to turnovers and free throw conversions by their opponents. The Chiefs won their fourth straight with the score of 104-92. After the game, Coach Jerry Condinera said that as the season goes deeper, he is seeing the improvements of the team. “We are improving and I saw on what we need to work sa defense namin,”  he said. Moreover, they expected to be in a dog fight against the Stags like they did today. “Talagang alam ko na San Sebastian will put up a good fight,” the Defensive Minister said. “They started strong and si Ortouste delivered and especially their big guys. Lahat kasi ng team na may big time na big man, we get dominated.” Tiebreakertimes


With 6:04 to go and the Heavy Bombers clinging to just a six point lead 57-51, former Fatima stalwart Tey Teodoro converted on a three-point play to extend the lead to nine. Teodoro then exploded in scoring 12 straight points to bury any hopes of a Lyceum-comeback. The 15 point fourth quarter Teodoro explosion was capped by a highlight stepback three pointer over Shaq Alanes with 1:53 remaining. Teodoro then assisted on a cutting Mark Cruz to seal the game with 1:06 remaining and a score of 75-60. “Finally, nandiyan na yung energy,” a relieved Coach Vergel Meneses said after the game. “Maganda ang ball movement namin pero nandiyan pa rin yung fouls.” On Teodoro’s performance, Coach Meneses told us that Teodoro never lost his confidence even after having a string of bad performances. “Ang okay kay Teytey [Teodoro] is he listens. He is willing to learn.” Tiebreakertimes


Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao will travel to Japan next month to lend a hand as the Philippines bids against China to host the 2019 basketball World Cup. Manuel V. Pangilinan, the president of the Basketball Federation of the Philippines, said Friday that Pacquiao will be among Filipino government officials and business executives who will try to persuade FIBA to award the hosting of the tournament to the Philippines. “He is not only a boxing world champion but an avid and passionate basketball fan,” Pangilinan said in a statement. “We are delighted that he will join us as we showcase the Philippines’ plans to help FIBA take basketball to new heights and for the World Cup to transcend the sport as a global media experience.” Pangilinan said basketball “is woven through the fabric of Filipino culture” and “Manny’s passion for the sport is something he shares with every Filipino.” Sports-ABS-CBN


Two weeks ago, when Shaq Alanes buried what he said was the first game-winner of his life, the Lyceum of the Philippines University guard gave all the credit to one person: Gary David. “Sobra-sobrang laking tulong ni coach Gary. Ibang klaseng kumpyansa na Gary David yung nagtuturo ng shooting mo,” Alanes told ABS-CBN Sports. The 37-year-old David is still contributing for the Meralco Bolts, but has also taken up a new challenge as assistant coach for his alma mater starting this season. Sports-ABS-CBN


According to “El Granada” himself, his primary task is to work with the Pirates on their shooting. “Bale ang role ko rito, tinitignan ko yung shooting form nila tapos binibigyan ko ng advice,” he said. More than shooting, however, David said he joined Topex Robinson’s staff because he felt it was time to start passing on all the wisdom he has gained through his career. “Bilang player, ‘di mo kailangang ipagkait yung mga natutunan mo. Ngayon, kahit matagal pa naman ako bago mag-retire, kailangan ko nang ipasa yun sa next generation,” he said. While still busy with other commitments, the Meralco Bolt said he appreciated Robinson’s belief that he can make a difference, even with the little amount of time he can offer. “‘Di pa ako full-time, pero sabi ni Topex, basta nasa bench, basta makapuntang practice kung kaya, malaking bagay na yun,” he said. He then added, “Tiwala siyang makakatulong ako. Siyempre, tatanggihan mo ba yun?” Sports-ABS-CBN


For now, however, College of St. Benilde alumnus Sunday Salvacion and Emilio Aguilnaldo College product Ronjay Buenafe are keeping coaching far from their minds. “Sa ngayon, busy pa rin kasi sa practice. Pero kung may game naman sila, kung hindi ako makakapunta, at least mapapanood sa TV,” Blackwater sniper Salvacion said. Globalport gunner Buenafe stated in a separate interview, “’Di ko pa iniisip ngayon kasi busy pa sa career.” Still, both active PBA players are keeping their minds open as Buenafe added, “Pero eventually siguro. Nakilala rin naman ako dahil din sa EAC.” For Salvacion, an assistant coaching position would make him happy. “Tignan natin pagdating ng panahon. Ako, kahit assistant coach, okay na okay na sa akin,” he said. Sports-ABS-CBN


While the Mapua playmaker said that they have all moved on from the incident, he also shared that he got satisfaction out of routing the Generals. “It was definitely a sweet feeling to blow them out by 29 points. I definitely enjoyed it,” he told ABS-CBN Sports. Although he was not in uniform for the entirety of last season, Cardinals captain Josan Nimes said he understood that payback was on all of their minds heading into the game. “It wasn’t the same bad blood because many of those involved already graduated, but we still remembered,” he said. He then continued, “We wanted to beat them by a lot. Nothing against them, nothing against the school, but we really wanted to give them a lesson for what happened last year.” Sports-ABS-CBN


“I’m a 6-3 power forward with no chance to make it in the NBA because of my size,” he said. “So I decided to play overseas and provide for my family. I didn’t think struggling financially while playing in the NBA D-League was a viable option because I could never play in the NBA anyway.” It turned out to be a smart decision. Reid saw action in Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Australia, Lebanon, Germany, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Belgium and the Philippines in a globetrotting career that built a secure future for his family. “I’ve played all over the world and the best place is the Philippines by far,”he said. “I love the fans, the Filipino people. I wouldn’t mind living in Manila permanently. I love the PBA, it’s a man’s league. I can’t really complain about the officiating. It has its ups and downs. I know I work the referees a little bit and I’ve gotten my share of technicals. That’s because I’m an emotional player. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate the officiating a 6 with 4 a passing mark so that’s not bad. If I were the PBA commissioner for a day, I wouldn’t change a thing because nothing’s broken. Maybe, I’ll consider adding a few more teams.” Philstar