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RK Ilagan drops seven triples… Guiao says Ginebra yet to be tested… Racela, Altamirano not intimidated by favorites DLSU


RK Ilagan went ablaze in the second half and drilled seven treys to deliver San Sebastian its fourth straight win, 77-69, over Lyceum Tuesday in the NCAA Season 92 men’s basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. “I guess everybody wanted to win and everybody stepped up for us and played defense,” said coach Egay Macaraya, as the Golden Stags played probably their best game to date and improved to a 5-9 slate. “Hindi naman natin maalis kay RK yung lahat ng pagtira sa three points kasi inborn na ata sa kanya yun,” he said. Sports Inquirer


IT WAS rookie RK Ilagan’s turn to sparkle for the surging San Sebastian Stags. “He (Ilagan) works hard and plays with a lot of heart,” said San Sebastian coach Egay Macaraya, who has gotten heroic performances from Michael Calisaan, Allyn Bulanadi and Alvin Capobres in their second half surge. “But the key today was everybody stepping up on the defensive end.” Sports Inquirer


SAN Sebastian stretched its winning skein yesterday, scoring a 77-69 victory over Lyceum, while Emilio Aguinaldo College shocked Jose Rizal U 63-60 to keep their Final Four hopes alive the 92nd NCAA basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan. “He’s a rookie but he is hard woking and has a big heart,” SSC coach Egay Macaraya said of Ilagan, who hails from Tondo. “I guess everybody wanted to win and everybody stepped up for us and played defense,” said Macaraya, who later thanked team manager Joseph Dyhengco for helping the team through thick and thin. Malaya


After a roller-coaster performance in the first seven games of the PBA Governors Cup, Rain or Shine decided to switch import, parting ways with Dior Lowhorn and bringing in former Colorado State standout Greg Smith. “I just saw him in practice today and ang first impression ko, mukha namang mabait, mataas naman ang basketball IQ and he can give us the quickness that we want because he wants to run up and down the court,” Guiao told FOX Sports on Tuesday. “We’re hoping it’s in the import and malalaman naman natin yan kasi dalawang magkasunud na laro naman kami,” said Guiao. Fox Sports Asia


BARANGAY Ginebra is the hottest team in the PBA right now, but Yeng Guiao is not ready to pass judgment. Not yet. “I think it’s too early to say if Ginebra is a championship-caliber team or not,” said the Rain or Shine coach, just days after Ginebra beat sister team Star, 116-103, to move up to joint second in the PBA Governors Cup, just a game behind leader TNT Katropa. “Ginebra is playing well right now and it’s slowly adjusting to the system of Tim (Cone), but I think it has yet to be really tested,” the outspoken coach added.


No matter how redoubtable La Salle appears, two of the longest tenured coaches in the UAAP believes the mighty Green Archers are not invincible. “They’re just like any other team,” Altamirano, who guided National University to its first UAAP championship in 60 years two years ago and became the first fourth seed ever win the crown. “They’re a collegiate team and there’s no guarantee that they can win every game.” “The only thing I could say is that there’s always a weakness. There’s always a breaking point. It’s always like that and it’s for us seven other teams to look for that and find that out,” said Racela, who coached Far Eastern University to its first title in a decade last season, with a sinister look. Sports Inquirer


DE LA Salle is the consensus favorite in the 79th UAAP basketball championship that gets going this Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, with Ateneo, Adamson and University of the East tagged as dark horses. “Obviously, I think the team to beat is La Salle. I think everybody would agree,” Altamirano said during the launch of the league’s newest season in Cubao, Quezon City. “Parang it’s a two-grouped thing: La Salle and the rest,” added Altamirano, who steered the Bulldogs to the crown in 2014. “If you will base it on the current line-up of each team, I think La Salle is seeded number one, seven schools are affected by graduation,” said Pumaren. Malaya


MANILA, Philippines – The coaches of the UAAP unanimously agree that De La Salle University is the heavy favorite to win the men’s basketball championship in Season 79, thanks to a strong line-up and a tried-and-tested system. For the entirety of Season 79, the Green Archers will be running the aggressive, trapping press of head coach Aldin Ayo, who famously used the chaotic system to lead Colegio de San Juan de Letran to the NCAA Season 91 championship. ABS – CBN Sports


ONE COACH described best how La Salle may just be a cut above the eight-team field in this season’s UAAP men’s basketball tournament. “It’s a two group thing—La Salle and the rest,” said National University mentor Eric Altamirano. Sports Inquirer


“Definitely, La Salle!” That was the familiar refrain among coaches in the UAAP Season 79 press conference Tuesday afternoon at the Novotel in Cubao, Quezon City when they were asked who the toughest team was. “There are two groups in the UAAP as I see it; may isang group sa tuktok, nandoon ang La Salle, then everyone else is in a second group below La Salle,” said National University Bulldogs head coach Eric Altamerano. “La Salle is a complete team. They have a lot of good veterans and they have Ben Mbala coming in who is a great player. “They also have a new coach who just won a title in the NCAA [Aldin Ayo]. They have a good system so they’re going to be tough to beat,” expressed Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren. Tiebreakertimes


Deadlines for aspiring are nearing with the league’s 41st season winding down in its third conference. September 2 is the final date for the submission of requirements for the Fil-foreign applicants, with the preliminary list of applicants to be released to member teams on September 9. The final list of draft candidates will be released on October 28. The 2016 PBA Rookie Draft is on October 30. Sports Inquirer


GARY David is treating San Miguel’s PBA Governors Cup match against Meralco on Wednesday just like any other game – no drama, no frills, none whatsoever. The veteran shooting guard said he hardly holds any grudge or feel rancor against his former team despite the circumstances surrounding their bitter parting of ways.
“Oo wala na yun, tapos na yun,” he said. “Nagkikita pa rin kami ng mga (dating) teammates ko. Nagte-text pa rin kami.”


Norman Black admitted that Meralco’s biggest concern defensively is how to contain San Miguel Beer’s top slotman June Mar Fajardo. “Our main focus will be on how to slow down June Mar,” said Black, heading to Meralco’s keenly-awaited match on Wednesday against San Miguel at 7:15 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Sports Inquirer


LEO Austria said Michael Singletary has a big shoe to fill in when he takes over as new San Miguel Beer import from the injured AZ Reid. But based on what he’s seen so far, the Beermen coach believes the one-time Barako Bull reinforcement is capable of exceeding expectations. “Mas prolific scorer si AZ, who also provides us with a threat sa loob,” admitted Austria. “But si Singletary, he will do whatever you assign to him. He can play 1, 2, and the 3 spots. Puwede rin siyang magdala ng bola para sa amin.”


“We have three point guards in Alex Cabagnot, Chris Ross and Brian Heruela, but Cabagnot is more effective as a shooting guard while Ross is experiencing some health problems right now,” said coach Leo Austria. “That’s why we are looking for another point guard, one who is also a shooter so that the opposition will think twice before they double team June Mar on the low blocks,” he added. “Kapag hindi nakarating by then siguro hindi na rin kami kukuha,” he said. Malaya


TNT KaTropa seeks the first of two wins it needs to nail a first-round bonus in the PBA Governors’ Cup playoffs against the tournament’s hottest team of late, GlobalPort, at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao today. Coming off their first defeat in the season-closing conference, the Texters take on the streaking Batang Pier in the 4:15 p.m. contest. The game will basically pit GlobalPort’s high-octane offense against TNT’s tried and tested defense. Sports Inquirer


MANILA, Philippines — After seeing their streak snapped last week, TNT KaTropa is out to end GlobalPort’s recent winning run as the two teams collide for the PBA Governors’ Cup Wednesday at the Big Dome. Winning their first six games, TNT lost a sorry one to Mahindra Friday and the Tropa now look to re-establish their leader status in the season-ending conference against the red-hot Batang Pier. After dropping their first four games, GlobalPort has been on a role, winning three straight close games to push their record to 3-4 right in the middle of the pack. ABS – CBN Sports


Emilio Aguinaldo College escaped Jose Rizal U, 63-60, Tuesday in the NCAA Season 92 men’s basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan, but not without any incident. “We’re thankful na yung mga malakas na kalaban namin noong una, nagbigay sa amin ng magandang experience para kayanin yung game na ito. At least yung character namin, nadedevelop na,” said coach Ariel Sison. “I’m thankful na nanalo kami ngayon.” “Sinabihan ko lang sila na mag-relax lang. Di namin pwede apurahin yung game and slowly, we have to make baskets,” said Sison. Sports Inquirer


Though small compared with the likes of the UAAP and NCAA, the Inter-Scholastic Athletic Association, now on its 8th season, wants to to carve its own niche in the topsy-turvy world of collegiate sports. ‘‘We’re getting bigger and stronger. We will have the same fun and colorful opening ceremonies and the same action-packed games. But we will not change our direction of putting premium on academics,’’ said ISAA president Melanie Florentino of Feati University during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at Shakey’s Malate. ‘‘What we have are volunteer-athletes.It’s about school-pride,’’ Florentino said. Sports Inquirer