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Pacquiao is back… Boracay not on Guiao’s mind… Gumaru earns praise from Codiñera

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Brgy. Ginebra will welcome back Chris Ellis just in time for the playoffs as the high-flying Fil-Am wingman was reactivated from the injured list in lieu of Greg Slaughter on Tuesday. Ellis, who has just recovered from a pulled groin muscle, will return to the hardcourt after more than two months when Brgy. Ginebra faces rival Alaska on Friday at the start of the quarterfinals. The Kings hold a twice-to-beat edge against the Aces. Meanwhile, KG Canaleta along with Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Chito Jaime and Philip Paniamogan were also reactivated by Mahindra, which relegated Joshua Webb to the injured list while Leo De Vera, Raymond Aguilar and AJ Mandani were dropped to the unrestricted free agent list.  Fox Sports Asia

Today’s basketball fans are pampered in so many ways. And that’s a big thanks to the Internet Age where people enjoy faster wireless internet connection as they check on how their favorite basketball teams are doing. Basketball players from the UAAP, the NCAA and the PBA enjoy similar star status as well due to netizens who follow them via the social micro-blogging site Twitter, Facebook or even Instagram. But over 40 years ago, none of these were existent.  Fox Sports Asia

They might appear groping for form in the latter part of the eliminations, but Mahindra assistant lead coach Chris Gavina is convinced that his wards is good to go to kick off their first-ever playoff appearance. After losing three straight games, the Enforcer saw themselves pitted against Meralco in a virtual best-of-three quarterfinal series that will start on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.   Fox Sports Asia

Caught in a make-or-break scenario, Phoenix plans to exorcise the ghost of their past to keep their playoff hopes burning. Coach Ariel Vanguardia hopes his Fuel Masters could to shrug off their previous struggles to pull off an improbable upset against Rain or Shine squad when they clash for the last and final spot the playoffs this Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. “We’ve faced adversity all conference-long, and this will be our toughest. I challenged the leaders of the team to step up and take charge,” said the first-year mentor in a text message to FOX Sports.  Fox Sports Asia

Rain or Shine is in no mood to exit the PBA’s 41st season without much fanfare just yet. Struggling to stay consistent in the Governors’ Cup, the Elasto Painters try to grab the last ticket for the quarterfinals in a do-or-die game against Phoenix on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.“We are determined to live another day, we are not ready to take an early vacation,” stressed Guiao, whose team went on a roller-coaster elimination round that saw them limp to a mediocre 5-6 win-loss record.  Fox Sports Asia

University of the Philippines is winless no more as it dispatched University of the East, 75-71, for its first victory in the UAAP Season 79 Seniors’ Basketball Tournament Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena. “Malaking morale-booster ito, mangiyak ngiyak na nga sila Jett [Manuel] at Paul [Desiderio],” said Perasol who took over the team for this season. “Yung hump na nasalikod ng utak namin na ‘mag 0-14 ba kami?’, nawala na.” “Iniisip na lang namin yung susunod na laro and we truly believe we can compete with them.”  Sports Inquirer

CHRIS Gavina has been earning raves with the job he has been doing with the Mahindra Enforcers in the PBA Governors’ Cup. “They are well-coached and they have played well this conference,” Black told the Inquirer via a text message after preparing for the last time for today’s crucial tiff at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao where the winner takes No. 4 ranking into the playoffs. “We know that it will be a tough game,” Black said, more so after he had described “the ball bouncing our way” in an 86-83 squeaker his Bolts pulled out over the Enforcers the only time they met in the elimination round.  Sports Inquirer

OUT TO prove his doubters wrong, Adamson’s Jerrick Ahanmisi has been taking the floor a lot more confident these days. “I was a little bit nervous going into my first game but I was also excited,” said Ahanmisi, an 18-year-old Filipino-American rookie from Village Christian High School in California. “I’ve been learning from my coaches. Ever since I got here, I’ve been trying to polish my game.”  Sports Inquirer

IT MAY look effortless at times, the way Arellano guard Jiovani Jalalon wreaks havoc on opposing defenses. Add a streak-shooting Donald Gumaru to the mix and the Chiefs look even more unstoppable. “It’s a big win and also very good for our morale,” said Chiefs coach Jerry Codiñera. Jalalon also had five rebounds, five assists and five steals, but he gladly deflected credit to Gumaru, the senior, who celebrated his 24th birthday yesterday in style. “He’s been playing well in the last three games,” said Codiñera, referring to Gumaru.  Sports Inquirer

MIGHTY Sports Apparels-Philippines launches its bid for back-to-back titles when it tests the Samsung Thunders at the start of the Merlion Cup today at OCBC Arena in Singapore. The team has a pair of explosive imports and a naturalized Filipino ready to provide stability but whether they can play as a team will be known when they collide with the two-time Korean Basketball League champions at 8:30 p.m. Out to provide firepower for the Charles Tiu-mentored Mighty Sports are reigning Jones Cup MVP Dewarick Spencer and former PBA import Al Thornton—the same import who scored 69 points against San Miguel Beer.  Sports inquirer

It takes the final day of eliminations to determine the Final Four seeding in the NCAA Season 92 men’s basketball tournament. But even then, there’s still a possibility that not everything will be settled. The semifinalists will be in action to cap off the elimination round on Friday with current league-leader Arellano University taking on second-running San Beda in the main game after Mapua clashes with University of Perpetual Help.  Sports inquirer

San Beda head coach Jamike Jarin is wary of the Red Lions’ possible Final Four opponents. “With Mapua, you got the reigning MVP in Allwell Oraeme while with Perpetual, you got Bright [Akhuetie] and [Prince] Eze,” Jarin told reporters after San Beda’s 84-75 win over Perpetual Help that kept the Red Lions’ bid for the No. 1 spot going.  Sports inquirer

Throughout the season, Arellano head coach Jerry Codiñera has been searching for another consistent contributor who will act as a third fiddle to his fearsome backcourt of Jio Jalaon and Kent Salado. On Tuesday, Codiñera may have just found his complimentary piece in graduating guard Donald Gumaru. “He’s been playing well for the past three games,” Codiñera told reporters after the Chiefs downed the Mapua Cardinals to secure a twice-to-beat bonus.  Sports inquirer

San Beda ran University of Perpetual Help into the ground for an 84-75 win and the last twice-to-beat incentive in the NCAA Season 92 men’s basketball tournament Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. AC Soberano had 18 points built on four 3-pointers to lead the Red Lions, who will forge a playoff for the top spot if they beat league-leading Arellano University in the final game of the eliminations on Friday. “The goal for every team is to get the twice-to-beat and now we have that luxury,” said San Beda head coach Jamike Jarin. “But nothing’s gonna be easy it’s gonna get harder and harder.”  Sports inquirer

MAHINDRA and Phoenix were given at least two chances each to end up with better rankings in the PBA Governors Cup, but stumbled each time. According to Mahindra’s Chris Gavina, his team is ready to get back at the same Meralco squad that escaped them with an 86-83 win last Sept. 11, capping a nine-day stretch where his team also lost to Rain or Shine and Ginebra. “Our last three elimination round games have definitely taught us lessons that will help us become successful in our very first playoff appearance. Lessons such as not taking any play off, staying in the moment and trying to win every single possession on offense and defense,” said Gavina.  Malaya

“Our biggest concern is White, who has been a force on both ends of the court,” said Black while also citing the likes of LA Revilla, the comebacking KG Canaleta and Aldrech Ramos. “Defending the penetrations of Revilla while also challenging the outside shooting of KG and Ramos will also be key,” stressed Black. “It’s playoff time so putting up a solid defense will be our main focus.”  Malaya

Equally determined to put behind it its two-game slide to end the eliminations and make the quarterfinals in only its second conference with the league is Phoenix. “God gave us so many chances, we can’t let this one slip away,” said Fuel Masters coach Ariel Vanguardia. “I challenged the leaders of the team to step up and show their maturity. Rain or Shine is more experienced, but we must show we are the hungrier team,” added Vanguardia.  Malaya

Rain or Shine has no plans of being left out of the playoffs after taking the Commissioner’s Cup crown jkust the conference before. “Phoenix is a complete team with arguably the most prolific import. It’s capable of beating any team in this league,” said Elasto Painters coach Yeng Guiao. “But we are determined to salvage at least a quarterfinals appearance for the last of the conferences this season,” Guiao added. “I don’t think we are ready to take a vacation this early. We are just getting our rhythm lately so the longer we stay alive the better we will play.”  Malaya

JIO Jalalon came through with his season-best performance as Arellano U turned back Mapua 95-82 yesterday to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four of the 92nd NCAA basketball tournament in San Juan City. “He’s the Jio Jalalon we all know and he played big again for us,” said Arellano U coach Jerry Codinera.  Malaya

ADAMSON University seeks a follow-up to its huge win the last time while National U tries to bounce back from a sorry loss when they clash today in the 79th UAAP senior’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. “We really have to move on and focus on Adamson,” Altamirano said as his team will once again bank on guards Revrev Diputado and Jayjay Alejandro, Matt Salem, and veteran big man Alfred Aroga who is out to make up for his measly two-point output against La Salle.  Malaya

Emilio Aguinaldo College bucked the absence of two veterans to survive College of St. Benilde, 65-62, in the NCAA Season 92 men’s basketball tournament Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. “Halos kinain kami sa rebounds, laking kawalan ni Sidney sa rebounds,” said EAC head coach Ariel Sison, whose squad got out-rebounded, 40-29. “Buti na lang nandiyan si [Jeric] Diego at Jervin [Guzman]. Nag-step up sila. Pinag-usapan namin kanina na sila ang dapat mag-step up.”  Sports inquirer

Arellano University locked up the first twice-to-beat advantage after beating Mapua, 95-82, in a potential Final Four duel in the NCAA Season 92 men’s basketball tournament Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. “They (Mapua) were there in the thick of the fight,” said Arellano head coach Jerry Codiñera. “I just told them to follow and execute which wasn’t evident in the first half.”  Sports inquirer

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines scored its first win of UAAP Season 79, beating University of the East, 75-71, on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena. “I do understand the first time that UP won, they celebrated with a bonfire. We understand that we are struggling but it’s struggling within a struggle,” said Bo Perasol as he scored his first win as head coach of his alma mater. “They kept on going on. They knew that, like the cliché, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and this is some kind of a light for us. It’s a proof that we can win games,” Perasol said.  Spin.ph

SAN Beda-A and Far Eastern University beat separate foes to remain in the top two spots in Group B of the 14th Fr. Martin Division 2 Cup basketball tournament at the San Beda gym. Eugene Toba scored 32 points as the Red Lions beat Letran-A, 83-66, foe a 5-0 win-loss slate, while the Tamaraws outclassed Perpetual Help-Molino, 86-74, their fourth win in five games. Rendell Senining, Hubert Cani, and Arvin Tolentino scored in FEU’s 8-0 run as the Tamaraws gained a 64-52 lead at the end of the third period.  Spin.ph

ADAMSON looks to get a win run going as it continues through a tough stretch in its UAAP schedule with a match against National University on Wednesday in the UAAP basketball tournament at the MOA Arena. “Walang kwenta schedule namin,” Adamson coach Franz Pumaren said sarcastically. “We have NU on Wednesday and La Salle on Saturday. “Walang kwenta.” Adamson got a boost in morale with the win over Ateneo on a game-winning jumper by Dawn Ochea.  Spin.ph

SENATOR Joel Villanueva visited the University of Santo Tomas men’s and women’s basketball teams to show his support to the Growling Tigers in their campaign in the UAAP. “I shared with them some of my insights and views. One is to always realize that there’s so much responsibility in putting up that yellow jersey, the Tigers jersey,” he said. “When you had it on to your chest, it should remind you of so many responsibilities—that you’re not only representing yourself, not even the entire community, but the characteristics of being a Thomasian or being a Tiger,” Villanueva added.  Spin.ph

IN his entire college career at Adamson, Dawn Ochea has gone through a number of coaches beginning with Leo Austria, who recruited him out of Ateneo de Cebu-Sacred Heart School. “Coach Franz is a great coach,” Ochea said. “He will teach you how to be tough dun sa breaking point mo sa practice.” “I’ve been doing that shot every night sa mga practice namin. I was very confident in that shot,” said the former Batang Gilas cager.  Spin.ph

JONG Uichico dismissed the notion that he ‘outcoached’ Tim Cone during the TNT Katropa-Barangay Ginebra showdown at the end of the PBA Governors Cup eliminations in Sunday.Uichico gave the credit to the players following the team’s 10th win in 11 outings as he tried to take away the spotlight from his coaching duel with Cone, his longtime rival and the most accomplished coach in the 41-year history of the pro league. “No,” was his curt reply when asked about having won his mind game with Cone. “It’s just that the players came out to play today and win.”  Spin.ph

A MONTH since surviving a suicide attempt and and more than two weeks after being discharged from the hospital, Mark Cardona is now aching to return to the court. This has to wait, though. Cardona’s agent, Danny Espiritu, admitted it will take some time before the PBA veteran can return to action after overdosing on sleeping pills last August 21 while battling ‘personal problems.  Spin.ph

MERALCO braces for a complete Mahindra side this time as both teams lock horns in the playoff for the fourth seed in the PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. “Our biggest concern is White, who has been a force on both ends of the court this conference,” Black said on Tuesday. “Defending the penetrations of Revilla while also challenging the outside shooting of KG and Ramos will also be key.”  Spin.ph

UNIVERSITY of the East coach Derrick Pumaren had high hopes for Alvin Pasaol entering the season. Too bad the kid has yet to live up to expectations. “Pasaol has not played his game,” lamented the veteran Pumaren after the Warriors started the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament with three successive losses. “It’s a different Pasaol I’m seeing right now,” added Pumaren, unable to hide his disappointment. “Hopefully, he will recover his bearings.”  Spin.ph

ONE team will finally break into the win column as University of the East and University of the Philippines clash on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament. “We are in this hole right now and we just need to climb out of it,” said Pumaren. “The important thing is not to underestimate UP. It’s not going to be a walk in the park. We just have to come out and be ready.” “We are not out of it. We are 0-3. The season is still young. But hey, we have to move,” said Pumaren.  Spin.ph

A PERENNIAL contender that has struggled of late and a young squad on the rise seek to catch the last bus to the PBA Governors’ Cup playoffs when Rain or Shine and Phoenix face off on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. “This is really far off from where we want to be in this conference and where we were in the last nine conferences,” E-Painters coach Yeng Guiao admitted ahead of their 7 p.m. playoff against the Fuel Masters. “The good news is were getting our import to blend with us – not as good as we want it to be, but it’s improving every game,” the veteran coach added, referring to Josh Dollard, who registered 27 points and 14 rebounds in 34 minutes in their 108-97 win against Star last Friday after tallying 18 points and nine boards in 35 minutes in his debut in a loss to San Miguel Beer.  Spin.ph

SAN Beda put away Perpetual late and ran away with an 84-75 win in the 92nd NCAA basketball tournament at the Foiloil Flying V Centre on Tuesday. “That’s the goal for every team (get the twice-to-beat edge). Nothing’s gonna be easy, it’s gonna be harder so we have to prepare,” said San Beda coach Jamike Jarin.  Spin.ph