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Pingris, Tautuaa to add ceiling to Gilas. SMB gifts Austria with W-year pact. PBA women’s league in the works.



The proud franchise rewarded its mentor with a lucrative contract by re-signing him to another one-year deal after steering the Beermen to two championships during the 40th season of the PBA. League chairman Robert Non of San Miguel confirmed the signing, but refused to give details. “Yes, he’s already signed,” said Non, who led the annual planning session of the PBA board here that ended on


The SMC executive said it has been a practice of the team not to tie up its coaches to long-term contracts, reason why Austria was only signed for a season. “Ganun naman kami sa San Miguel ever since, isa-isang taon lang lagi,” said Non. But the new deal is definitely a lot higher than the one Austria had in his maiden season with the Beermen. “Definitely, mas mataas than the previous. Coach Leo was amply rewarded,” added the league chairman.


The Fil-Tongan doesn’t even mind if he has been going non-stop for two hours in practice. “We’re trying to grow as players, and at the same time, we’re here to build chemistry,” noted Taulava.“Everything has to be done with perfection. Every now and then, we make mistakes and coach Tab wants us to clean it up because as professional, he doesn’t want us to keep making the same mistakes,” he added. Philstar


The D-League is to hold a pilot tourney in Laoag early next year for the Luzon chapter. Next up are separate D-League tourneys in Cebu for the Visayas and Davao for Mindanao. These events could lead to the holding of one national championship joined in by teams from Manila. Philstar


In their continuing planning session at Tokyo Hilton here, the PBA board of governors has also agreed to embark on a sports academy three to five years from now and start a retired players welfare fund which is different from the players trust fund that is solely for education. Deferred is the decision on the PBA membership application of the Lamoiyan Corp. (Hapee Toothpaste) and Racal Motors. “We will accommodate expansion teams, maybe two, within the next three to five years, depending on the performance of the last two (Kia and Blackwater) that we accepted,” said PBA president/chief executive officer Chito Salud. Philstar


Romeo was sick as early as Monday and even vomited multiple times after practice. “Terrence is in hospital early in the day. He had very high fever. They said he’s got a virus, flu. He’ll probably won’t recover from that really quickly, so it would be about a couple of days,” Baldwin said. “Fortunately, we have a day off (Wednesday), so that gives him a breathing space. But he’ll get better. It just hit him (Monday) after practice,” he added.InterAksyon


Hontiveros, meanwhile, had swelling on his knee due to wear and tear. “As for Dondon, it came out of nowhere,” Baldwin added. “He didn’t hurt himself. It just started to swell and a little bit discomfort at the back of his knee. We don’t really know what that is yet, but obviously, we’re gonna be cautious like that.” InterAksyon


Not just one but two players are expected to join the training pool on Thursday as returning Gilas Pilipinas player Marc Pingris is expected to rejoin the squad for the first time since the 2014 Asian Games while top prospect Moala Tautuaa will work out with the squad as a practice player. Gilas coach Tab Baldwin confirmed the news to a small group of sportswriters who covered Tuesday’s practice session at the Meralco gym. “We’re gonna bring Marc Pingris on Thursday. He’s coming in to join us as part of the pool, so he will be fighting for a roster spot. We’re also gonna bring in Moala Tautuaa. We really want his body in here and also he’ll act as backup to Andray (Blatche) as a naturalized player,” Baldwin said.InterAksyon


Webb has made clear earlier that he won’t be a copycat, announcing the Hotshots will no longer be confined to the sides and angles of the triangle offense. “What chance do I have at beating the master of that system?” Webb said after news of his impending appointment came out weeks ago. “I just have to come up with my own, something that suits my personality and mindset.” Inquirer


Pardo has his concerns over Webb’s relative inexperience, although his youth, zest and readiness to be schooled override whatever questions the Star official have in his mind. “Marami siyang ideas and I just hope to guide him, show him the ropes, like Ryan,” said Pardo, who took Gregorio’s hand in 2003 after Eric Altamirano left and then set off the former University of the Philippines stalwart to a quest in the great beyond. Inquirer


As the D-League enters its fifth season, Salud stressed the need to expand it and stage tournaments in Cebu, Davao, and Luzon, particularly in the Ilocos region. But wait, there’s more. The former commissioner also disclosed the possible creation of a D-League featuring women’s players.  “We will embark on that. Give us a year and we’ll introduce a women’s D-League,” said Salud in his media briefing in the presence of Non and new commissioner Chito Narvasa.


The league executive clarified the retired players welfare fund should not be confused with the existing players’ trust fund, which according to him, pertains strictly, solely, and exclusively to educational needs. “Yung retired players welfare fund the proposal is to help them subsidize their health care needs. So we have to find sources for the seed money,” said Salud. For the sports academy, Salud said the league will try to look for a small venue which will serve as training and rehab facilities for various sports. “It will also house a training facility, along with residential accommodations and commercial premises,” he added. “Again, hindi immediate implementation niyan, but at least we have a direction for that.”


The 5-foot-8 sentinel said NBA veteran Andray Blatche and a young, promising crop that currently comprise the national training pool make the Filipinos contenders for the lone berth allotted to Asia in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics. “Oo naman,” when asked if Gilas has a shot at the championship even with him and the likes of June Mar Fajardo and Paul Lee unlikely to suit up for the team in the September 23 to October 3 meet in Changsha, China. “Our team is very talented. Maraming talent kahit wala kami, especially mga bata.”


The three European squads are unranked in the world, have had little exposure in the continental scene in over a decade, playing in countries where football is the No. 1 sport. But Baldwin, whose squad is ranked 31st in the world, is welcoming the competition their opponents offer — being tall teams that can hit from the perimeter, which can mirror the competition Asian rivals China and Iran bring in the Fiba Asia Championship. “All the teams in the Balkan region are strong. Everybody knows about Lithuania,” the American-Kiwi mentor said, referring to the fourth-ranked basketball nation in the world. “But a lot of people don’t know about Estonia,” he was quick to add. “They’re very strong and very similar to Lithuania. The


League officials said the blueprint is going to be revisited on a yearly basis especially once the two expansion franchises in Blackwater and Mahindra finally settle down with the rest of the 10 member teams. “Obviously, it cannot continue forever because the goal is to have a balance lineup for all the teams, a balance competition to make the games exciting,”said league president and CEO Chito Salud following the PBA board’s annual planning session Tuesday. “But we’re not yet there obviously, because of the two expansion teams, but it will not go on forever.”


Perpetual Help coach Aric Del Rosario also believes Thompson will be able to play in the next game. “Next week pa naman ‘yung next game namin kaya may panahon pa para magpagaling,” said Del Rosario.


Thompson admitted the pain is still unbearable. When asked from scale of 1 to 10 the pain level, Thompson said: “Siguro 8.” “May tumulak sa akin kaya na-out of balance ako,” said Thompson, who recently applied for the PBA draft.  “Papa-X-ray ko pa doon. Sa ngayon, hindi ko pa masabi kasi masakit. Hindi ko alam kung saan galling ’yung sakit. Gumagapang sa taas,” Thompson added.


The PBA legend said JRU’s tough conversions also contributed to the Heavy Bombers’ win. “Lahat ng tira nila, hail mary shot pumapasok,” Co said. In the end, Co said the team still needs to mature. “Eto ’yung pinakamahirap, ’yung maturity. Ang tingin ko, kulang pa ’yung maturity sa endgame. Ang nangyayari, na-rarattle,” said Co.

As PBA veterans face retirement, Nic Belasco, Atoy Co admit quitting is hardest thing

They know the feeling. “It’s one of the hardest things,” said Co, a former PBA MVP and one of the stars of the fabled Crispa team. “You’ll have sleepless nights, you are uncertain (about your future), you are insecure, you don’t know kung mare-renew pa contract mo o may kukuha pa sa iyo. “Masakit run kasi you’ve been playing basketball half of your life tapos biglang mababago ang sistema mo,” said Co.


It’s hard to play catch-up basketball,” an exhausted Vergel Meneses said after the game. However, he commended the late game instinct of his team especially Tey Teodoro. He called Teodoro a big time player who hit big time shots. Teodoro, on the other hand, said that he has played in games were his team fell to a huge lead and eventually came back. However, this was the biggest stage he has done this. Tiebreakertimes


With 43 days left of preparation, Alapag said the team has no choice but to double its effort and make the most out of the remaining weeks.“It’s no secret, time is not on our side so we have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time. Guys are working, guys are pushing each other. It will be a little messy, a little sloppy at first but it’s gonna happen, it’s really part of the process,” Alapag said. “But we’re trying to fast track things as much as possible considering the time.” “We just want to maximize every day and really every practice to get better. And hopefully come Sept. 23, the team’s at their best.” Inquirer


Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin has about six weeks to prepare the team the best way he can as it goes for Asia’s lone Olympic berth in China on Sept. 23 and at this point, the American-New Zealander admits there is still much to work on. “There is progress. In some things, the team is looking better, in some things, we don’t look at all ready and we’re not, we’re not ready yet,” Baldwin admitted after practice wrapped up Monday night at Meralco Gym. “We paid more attention to the offense so our defense works a little bit sloppy right now to me. A lot of work to do.” Inquirer



Salud and Non said the team governors want to be able to come up with the new scheme before the end of the year. “We need to find out from our team owners and stakeholders how to address the situation, how to look and move forward,” said Salud. “There were several arrangements that worked in the past. And if those don’t prove acceptable to the stakeholders today, then we would need to revisit them.” Inquirer


Castro already likes what he is seeing on Romeo during the short time they have spent together in practices. “Maganda kasi willing siyang matuto kung paano maglaro sa international game. Sobrang layo ng international game sa PBA so siya mismo nagtatanong sa defense ng international game, kung paano dumepensa sa mga ball screens pati ‘yung mga roles nila,” Castro said. “‘Yun ang nakikita kong maganda kasi willing siyang matuto.” Interakyon


But when Tab Baldwin, also a consultant for Castro’s team Talk ‘N Text, was named as the national team coach, the prolific guard volunteered himself to be part of Gilas Pilipinas once again. “That time kasi may injury ako atsaka that time iniisip ko rin ‘yung mga bata na mas fresh kaysa sa akin,” Castro said. “This time, na-feel ko na kaya ko ulit mag-serbisyo para sa bayan. Ako na mismo nag-suggest kay coach Tab na gusto kong mapasama ulit sa pool at makalaro para sa bansa natin.” Interakyon


Gilas’ physical therapist Dexter Aseron said Blatche’s MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) result revealed no strain or serious injury on the 6-foot-10 slotman’s right groin. “Nothing was seen sa MRI. The doctors said everything is okay, the joints are okay kaya alam ko kaagad di siya strain, but it’s prostatitis,” Aseron told, shortly after the national team’s practice on Tuesday at the Meralco gym. Philstar


Tab Baldwin disclosed the news to sportswriters on Tuesday right after the Gilas Pilipinas training pool’s practice at the Meralco gym.“He’ll act as backup to Andray (Blatche) as a naturalized player. Obviously, he can’t play in the roster if Andray is playing, but if something happened to Andray, that’s the direction we would like to go in now with Mo,”Baldwin said. “We’ve spoken to his people and he’s keen on the idea of being part of the Gilas’ future and it’s very exciting for him.” InterAksyon