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Mighty PH to have huge advantage… Brownlee gives props to TNT… Coach Derrick says bad call beat UE

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BECAUSE of sheer size, Marcus Douthit, all of 6-foot-11 and 234 pounds, will be a huge factor in Mighty Sports Apparel-Philippines’ bid for a second straight international crown starting Wednesday at OCBC Arena in Singapore. Being a naturalized Filipino, the US-born Douthit can be fielded as a local alongside two imports, assuring Mighty Sports of an imposing frontline in the Merlion Cup, resurrected after a 20-year hiatus. Mighty Sports will be pitted against the Seoul Samsung Thunders, whom they will meet in Wednesday’s inaugurals, and the Westports Malaysia Dragons, their opponents on Sept. 23. Sports Inquirer

FOR Gelo Alolino, the opportunity to don the Philippine colors with Mighty Sports in the Merlion Cup in Singapore couldn’t have come at a better time. “Good opportunity sa akin ito kasi another experience na ma-represent country. Para sa akin magandang timing na ito,” said the former National University star, who was also part of the RP Youth team led by Kiefer Ravena a few years ago. “Talagang yun yung nasa utak ko, parang preparation na rin sa PBA kasi syempre mas malalaki at malalakas kalaban dito. Sa PBA may mga imports rin.”  Spin.ph

IT MAY have been all about Ben Mbala and Jeron Teng for the still-unbeaten La Salle, but coach Aldin Ayo also wants to highlight the efficiency of the rest of his crew. “We make sure all of the 15 guys are ready,” said Ayo. “All of them should deliver, even the third group. If you’d see them in practice, they do everything.” “The 15 guys here, they have equal opportunities,” said Ayo. “They compete during practice. Whoever can help during the game, he gets to play.” “I guess it’s just my willingness to win,” said Rivero, “I know coach won’t use me to score because we already have a lot of scorers. So I have to step up on defense, and off the bench, I have to be ready.”  Sports Inquirer

BIÑAN—Everything Barangay Ginebra threw, TNT just knew what to do with it. “Talk ‘N Text, they had an incredible game and they played very well, knocking down shots, and playing hard,” said Brownlee after Ginebra’s 104-92 loss to the top-seeded KaTropa Sunday. “We just tried to rally and win the basketball. But Talk ‘N Text had an answer for everything we brought tonight, so I take my hat off to them,” said Brownlee, who had 34 points. “Coming into this game, in order to beat those guys, we knew we had to play very well. But they brought their A-game tonight.”  Sports Inquirer

Two-time PBA Most Valuable Player Willie Miller made it as far as the second round representing the Philippines in the 2016 Red Bull King of the Rock World Finals on Saturday at Mali Kalemegdan, Belgrade, Serbia. Miller was one of the 32 competitors from 20 countries which participated in the world’s largest one-on-one street basketball competition. Hometown boy Stefan Kojić topped Lithuania’s Karolis Šarukas in the championship round, 14-12, to be crowned as this year’s King of the Rock, while Russian Alexei Zakarov finished in third place.  Sports Inquirer

HIS team has just validated its status as the best in the PBA Governors Cup, but TNT KaTropa coach Jong Uichico would not let his charges rest on its present laurels. “We just hope for the best… to maintain momentum,” said Uichico moments after TNT beat Ginebra 104-92 last Sunday to emerge as the top seed following the 11-game eliminations. “We have to wait,” said Uichico. “Sometimes it’s hard (the waiting) because you don’t know who you are going to play.”  Malaya

Jayson Castro captured his third Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week award after churning out big numbers to help TNT seize the no. 1 seed entering the PBA Governors Cup playoffs. Nicknamed the “Blur”, the 5-foot-8 Castro became the first player to win the weekly citation three times in the season-ending conference.  Fox Sports Asia

It’s a cliché, yet it has been an unwritten rule in basketball: “you can’t teach height”. More than once, Filipinos’ passion in the sport pushed young and aspiring, but lean and average-sized players to dare and play basketball, considered a “big man’s” game. ut come to think of it, PBA legend Johnny “Flying A” Abarrientos proved to everyone that undersized guards can thrive in the “big league”, being one of the shortest players in league history to win an MVP, while winning multiple championships, too, including the 1996 Grand Slam with Alaska. Today, among the height-challenged players who dared to follow the foot steps of Abarrientos and Alapag is Mahindra’s young but heady playmaker LA Revilla. Fox Sports Asia

BLACKWATER’S season ended the same way as big man JP Erram’s has. After a long wait, the third-year center finally underwent surgery last September 1 under renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. George Canlas. Erram disclosed he’ll likely be out for eight to nine months. “Pero yung seven to nine months ready to play na ako nun,” said the injured big man out of Ateneo, who, by his calculation, could make a comeback with Blackwater in the late stages of the Commissioner’s Cup next year. “Or kung kaya na talaga, baka mas mapaaga pa.”  Spin.ph

BRACING for the tough Final Four skirmishes, Arellano, San Beda, Perpetual Help and Mapua jockey for top positions Tuesday in a preview of the 92nd NCAA basketball tournament’s postseason at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Arellano will blow us out of the court if we play that way [against] Benilde,” said Co, whose team got off to a flat start against the Blazers. “They’re playing sharp now.” “It will help us a lot if we have the twice-to-beat advantage,” he said. “It will not be easy but we will try to take advantage of it,” said Gican.  Sports Inquirer

ARELLANO U tackles Mapua while San Beda and Perpetual Help collide in a couple of big games that will decide the Final Four landscape in the 92nd NCAA basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City. “It will help us a lot if we have the twice-to-beat advantage,” he said. “It will not be easy but we will try to take advantage of it,” said Gican.  Malaya

ONE critical call that spelled the biggest difference. “That was the turning point,” said a miffed Pumaren. “We lost because of that, I can tell you right now.” “You saw the tape,” Pumaren went on. “He (Bartolome) is 6-6. Tatamaan niya sa shoulder because he is just boxing out. He didn’t even elbow him. I don’t know why they called a disqualifying foul.”  Malaya

“I don’t know what transpired when they watched it. They changed it to a disqualifying foul,” said Pumaren. “That means that the call was changed. They should run the show. They should not go to the table and say disqualifying foul. Unang tawag mo, foul na ‘yun.” “That’s four points, that’s the ballgame.” Indeed, Far Eastern’s Jojo Trinidad made the charities and Monbert Arong sank a jumper that gave the Tamaraws momentum to wrap the game up.  Malaya

HAMPERED by fear of cramps in the past two games, Raymar Jose got his groove back and delivered for Far Eastern University. Jose dominated the boards, hauling down 22 in a win over University of the East that evened the Tamaraws’ record to 2-2, a huge improvement after a disappointing two weeks.Spin.ph

AS the NCAA Season 92 basketball tournament enters the crucial stretch, Atoy Co is left scratching his head as the Cardinals scrape through to the Final Four. Co said he is really pleased to make the playoffs, but having to scrape past a winless College of St. Benilde doesn’t help his confidence as the tournament shifts to high gear. The Blazers stayed within striking distance for the most part of the game before the Cardinals pulled away in the final minutes.