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2015 PBA Draft: Know some of the applicants

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[nextpage title = “UAxSLAM Draft Suite”]
The 2015 PBA Draft is just days away!

Tiebreaker Times was fortunate to be invited in SLAM Magazine’s Annual Draft Suite presented by Under Armour last Monday at Resorts World Manila in Pasay City. SLAM invited 14 draft hopefuls for a media scrum days before their big day.

We asked the following hopefuls some questions for you to get to know them more:

2015 PBADRAFT HOPEFULS

Aljon-MarianoAljon Mariano

University of Santo Tomas
Shooting Guard/Small Forward
6’3
Jumbo Plastic

Maverick-AhanmisiMaverick Ahanmisi

University of Minnesota
Guard
6’2
Café France

Garvo-LaneteGarvo Lanete

San Beda College
Point Guard
6’1
Hapee

Troy-RosarioTroy Rosario

National University
Power Forward
6’6
Hapee

Art-dela-CruzArt dela Cruz

San Beda College
Forward
6’4
Hapee

Glenn-KhobuntinGlenn Khobuntin

National University
Small Forward
6’4
Cebuana Lhuiller

Baser-AmerBaser Amer

San Beda College
Point Guard
6’0
Hapee

Simon-EncisoSimon Enciso

Notre Dame de Namur University
Point Guard
5’11
Cebuana Lhuiller

Chris-NewsomeChris Newsome

Ateneo de Manila University
Shooting Guard/Small Forward
6’2
Hapee

Moala-TautuaaMoala Tautuaa

Chadron State
Center/Power Forward
6’7
Cagayan Valley/Cebuana Lhuiller

Josan-NimesJosan Nimes

Mapua Institute of Technology
Small Forward
6’3
Café France

Scottie-ThompsonEarl Scottie Thompson

University of Perpetual Help System
Point Guard
6’1
Hapee

 

First question: Who did you pattern your game to growing up? >>
[/nextpage] [nextpage title =”Growing up”]
TBTimes: Who did you pattern your game to growing up?

Aljon Mariano: Nung bata ako si Reggie Miller talaga. Yung shooting niya yun yung ginagaya ko kasi nung bata ako, maliit ako e. Bigla ako tumangkad. Nung huli si Lebron James na kasi kahit physical yung game niya, sobrang versatile niya. Kaya niya bumantay ng multiple positions.

Maverick Ahanmisi: Used to be Kobe Bryant because he’s such a lethal scorer. Now, it’s Stephen Curry, he’s an excellent floor spacer and he creates well for his teammates. On defense, it has got to be Chris Banchero. He locks down really well on the person he’s guarding.

Garvo Lanete: Actually wala talaga e. Dami ko kinokopya nun pero di ko magawa. Nagdevelop na lang ako ng sarili kong style

Troy Rosario: Siguro dun sa dalawang idol ko, si Ranidel de Ocampo and Marc Pingris. Combination ng offense at defense.

Art dela Cruz: Mac Cardona. Sa kanya ko pinattern yung hook shot ko. Sobrang angas ng laro niya parang ang ganda tignan. Yung aura din niya sa loob ng court kahit malalaki kalaban, iba ang kumpyansa niya.

Glenn Khobuntin: Wala e. Kasi ang hirap gayahin nung mga taga-NBA at PBA kaya gumawa na lang ako ng sarili kong diskarte.

Baser Amer: Kevin Alas [he jokingly said as Alas passed by]. Jimmy Alapag talaga since bata pa ako. Iba yung leadership na pinapakita niya sa court.

Simon Enciso: Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul. I watched a lot of Chris Paul highlights, like coming off the pick and roll. Also Derick Rose and Stephen Curry.

Chris Newsome: Of course growing up in the States I watched nothing but the NBA. Allen Iverson was one of those guys that changed my life. I watched him play and thought he was the greatest. I also look up to people like Russell Westbrook and Derick Rose. And of course Michael Jordan, he’s the GOAT.

Moala Tautuaa: While I was growing up I did not play basketball. I was a football player back in high school. I only started playing basketball back in 2005.

Josan Nimes: I don’t pattern my game to anyone really but I watch NBA the most. I watched a lot of Allen Iverson so I have that flash in my game. That’s the way I played growing up.

Scottie Thompson: Siguro sila Jayson Castro and Cyrus Baguio and sa NBA si Kobe Bryant talaga.

Second question: Best moment so far in his basketball career >>
[/nextpage] [nextpage title =”Best Moment”]
TBTimes: What is your best moment so far in your basketball career?

Aljon Mariano: Yung UST-Ateneo Game 1 nung UAAP Season 75. Yun yung first finals game ko. Ang ganda ng nilaro ko nun kaso natalo. Ang sarap nung feeling nung Finals nay un kasi galing ako sa injury nun.

Maverick Ahanmisi: My entire PBA D-League opportunity. The experience gave me a winning mentality that I could bring to the PBA.

Garvo Lanete: Yung mga championships ko sa San Beda, sa Gilas, and sa D-League. Pero ang pinaka nagstandout is yung sa Jones Cup. Iba yung pakiramdam na marepresent yung country and nagchampion pa. Ang dami din naturo sa akin ni kuya LA [Tenorio] nun on and off the court.

Troy Rosario: Yung championship namin sa NU. 60 years yun [drought] e. Underdog kami papasok ng season tapos nagchampion.

Art dela Cruz: Yung 2013 NCAA championship namin against Letran and [Raymund] Almazan. Actually, every year but yun yung best for me. [Art dela Cruz won the NCAA Season 89 Finals MVP in that series]

Glenn Khobuntin: Nung nagchampion kami sa NU tapos napili ako sa SEA Games. Tuloy-tuloy kasi yun e.

Baser Amer: Personally, from high school to college, nag champion ako e. Pero if magchampion kami this season yun yung pinakaspecial. Para buong stay namin sa Beda, champion.

Simon Enciso: I have a couple of records in the college I went to. I scored 33 points in one game, which was the highest in 40 years. In the same game, I had eight three-pointers which was a record as well.

Chris Newsome: In high school, I won the state championship in my Junior year. Back in New Mexico Highlands University, during my freshman year, we had the biggest turnaround in NCAA history in all divisions. You can’t take that away until someone beats it.

Moala Tautuaa: I just got the MVP for the PBA D-League so that’s probably the biggest basketball accomplishment I have.

Josan Nimes: In Australia, I played in one of the top Juniors’ teams. In high school, back in the States, I was top 40 in my position in the state of Arizona. Then, in my junior and senior years, I was in the first team all-state.

Scottie Thompson: Yung naging part ako ng Gilas team sa SEA Games. Iba talaga yung feeling na daladala mo yung bansa mo.

Third question: Are you scored or excited about the PBA? >>
[/nextpage] [nextpage title =”Excited or Nervous”]
TBTimes: Are you scored or excited about the PBA?

Aljon Mariano: Ako chill lang naman. Kasi sinabi na sa akin ng mga naging teammate ko sa UST tulad nila Jeric [Teng] na huwag isipin kung anong pick ka makukuha. Madidisappoint ka lang pagisipin mo yun sabi nila sa akin.

Maverick Ahanmisi: Really excited. I can’t wait to feel the atmosphere that the crowd brings in the big venues like Araneta [Coliseum] or the MOA Arena. Also the brotherhood that each team has in the PBA, I can’t wait for it!

Garvo Lanete: Excited. Di ko naramdaman yung excitement na ‘to last year kaya hindi muna ako nagpadraft. Gusto ko pag pumasok ako 100% ako.

Troy Rosario: Excited na kinakabahan siyempre. Excited kasi makakapasok na ko sa PBA pero takot din kasi professional na yun e.

Art dela Cruz: Excited na kinakabahan kasi future na ang pinag-uusapan. Ang PBA kasi for the long-term na hanggang magka-anak ka na at magka-asawa. Tapos yung makakalaban mo mga beterano na.

Glenn Khobuntin: Relax lang naman.

Baser Amer: Kinakabahan ako e kasi, yun nga, di ako naglalaro. So yung advantage nawala. Di ko rin alam kung makukuha ako or sinong team.

Simon Enciso: Excited, nervous, anxious. Probably more excited though.

Chris Newsome: I’m nervous and relieved at the same time. I’ve been waiting for this moment in my life for so long. The dream for every basketball player is to be a professional.

Moala Tautuaa: I’m excited for the draft and I wish the best for everyone. I’ve been looking forward to this for a year now. I’m ready.

Josan Nimes: I never really thought that I’d be here. It never crossed my mind when I was younger. I’m excited now but come two nights before, I’ll be nervous.

Scottie Thompson: Kinakabahan talaga na excited. Pero may kelangan pang patunayan din sa NCAA [at the same time].

Fourth question: Which team do you think will best utilize your talents? >>
[/nextpage] [nextpage title =”Reverse draft”]
TBTimes: If the draft was reversed and you were to pick a team, who’d you choose?

Aljon Mariano: Star or Ginebra siguro kasi ang system nila gumagamit ng mga versatile players na madadala ko sa team. Puwede rin sa Globalport kasi iba na rin ang pinagsamahan namin ni Coach Pido [Jarencio].

Maverick Ahanmisi: I think Meralco just because coach Norman Black is a family friend. He’s a friend of my parents. But, I have not tried out for any team yet.

Garvo Lanete: Sa NLEX siguro. Kasi nung naglaro ako sa D-League, naglaro ako under Coach Boyet [Fernandez] so alam ko na sistema nila.

Troy Rosario: Hindi ko kayang sagutin yan [if he’d rather go to Talk ‘N Text or Mahindra]. Maliit lang kasi ang mundo ng basketball.

Art dela Cruz: Rain or Shine or Ginebra

Glenn Khobuntin: Maybe Alaska. Same kasi yung training camp pati yung mga coaches na nagtrain sa amin same din.

Baser Amer: Puwedeng sa Meralco or sa NLEX. Sa NLEX para makasama rin si Coach Jimmy [Alapag].

Simon Enciso: From the trials that I have gone to, I really like Talk ‘N Text but I feel like I’d be a good fit to Meralco. I’d like to play behind Jimmy Alapag, just to learn from one of the best point guards is something that I’d love to experience.

Chris Newsome: Maybe Ginebra. I’d actually like to play with Greg [Slaughter] because I never had a chance to. He graduated when I was playing for Ateneo.

Moala Tautuaa: I would pick a team who is most willing to work with me. Because I think I have a lot of tools but I need a coach who can bring it out. It’s utilizing it properly.

Josan Nimes: I have no idea actually. I haven’t tried out for any team because of the NCAA so everything’s up in the air.

Scottie Thompson: Purefoods/Star. Matagal ko na kasi gusto yung team na yun, kahit nung wala pa si Coach Tim [Cone]. Siguro dahil kay PJ Simon at Marc Pingris. Matagal ko na sila hinahangaan.

Last question: If you weren’t a basketball player what career track would you have taken? >>
[/nextpage] [nextpage title =”Other Track”]
TBTimes: If you weren’t a basketball player what career track would you have taken?

Aljon Mariano: Flight attendant siguro kasi mahilig ako magtravel e. Puwede ring chef kasi mahilig ako kumain at magluto.

Maverick Ahanmisi: I’d probably play American football. I used to play back when I was in high school but I stopped since my mom didn’t want me to get hurt so I switched to basketball. It’s unfair that my little brother was allowed to play football by my mom.

Garvo Lanete: Working in the office siguro or handling a business.

Troy Rosario: Nung bata pa talaga ako gusto ko talaga mag sundalo. If ever na hindi ako naging basketball or volleyball player, gusto ko talaga maging sundalo.

Art dela Cruz: Businessman. Kasi yung mom ko may business sa Bulacan. Tutulong ako sa business namin pag hindi ako nagbasketball.

Glenn Khobuntin: Siguro manager ng isang business kasi yun yung degree ko e Business Management. Pero nung nasa province ako puwede ako mag pulis nun e. Criminology kasi yung school namin dun.

Baser Amer: Basketball coach.

Simon Enciso: I’d probably be a soccer player. I played from third grade to eighth. It was the same time I played basketball so I had to pick one. I played forward when I played soccer back then.

Chris Newsome: I wanted to be a music producer. Just be in the studio and work with artists, I like working in that environment. I found it when I was attending my other college in the states, I started attending music courses and the more I attended, the more I liked it.

Moala Tautuaa: I’d probably play football [American] but my coach back in college did not allow me to play two sports.

Josan Nimes: I’d probably be a personal trainer. Like a skills coach, one-on-one trainer, or probably be a coach.

Scottie Thompson: Siguro businessman, kasi marketing din yung course ko ngayon.
[/nextpage]

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Mixed Martial Arts

Rene Catalan continues rampage with TKO win

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Rene Catalan continues to turn critics into believers

Filipino fighter Rene Catalan made his sixth appearance inside the ONE Championship cage at ONE: Kings of Courage, held at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia, Saturday evening. He faced 21-year-old Chinese athlete Peng Xue Wen in the opening main card bout, and leaned on his elite wushu skills to stop the young star at the 4:22 mark of the second round.

The victory improves Catalan’s record to 4-2 (1 NC), extends his winning streak to four, and gives him the first TKO stoppage of his martial arts career, as he bids to climb the strawweight ladder in search of the ONE Strawweight World Championship.

“The Challenger” came out in the southpaw stance to open the bout, throwing big hooks and a head kick that narrowly missed as he established the center of the cage from the start of the contest.

The Filipino landed a host of powerful strikes, including a perfectly-placed uppercut and a melee of punishing leg kicks, but Peng’s conditioning and composure kept him in the match as he looked to stand and trade with the man 18 years his elder.

Catalan picked up where he left off when the bout resumed in the second round, this time operating out of the orthodox stance, landing more leg kicks and continuing to deny Peng any space to work.

Despite his dominance on the feet, there was a brief moment of concern for the Filipino on the mat when he jumped into the Chinese wrestler’s guard mid-way through the second round, and immediately found himself in a triangle choke. But the Filipino kept his composure and managed to work himself free.

Once the fighters returned to their feet, Catalan poured on the pressure in search of a finish, and he got it with just 38 seconds remaining in the stanza.

“The Challenger” scored big with a liver shot, then unloaded a fierce flurry of punches that forced Peng onto his back foot. Another shot forced Peng to the mat, where a salvo of ground and pound from Catalan eventually forced the TKO stoppage as referee Olivier Coste stepped in to halt the contest.

Photo, story, and video from ONE Championship

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Basketball

Gelo Alolino regrets Phoenix’s failure to close out Hotshots

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Photo by PBA Images

Gelo Alolino had his best game for the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome with 19 points, eclipsing his previous career-high of 16 markers which he made last May 21, 2017 in a loss to the Mahindra Floodbuster.

But his achievement won’t be too memorable, as it went for naught following a 91-97 defeat at the hands of Paul Lee and the Magnolia Hotshots, who have now collected their third straight victory.

For the second overall pick in the regular 2016 Rookie Draft, it was all because of their failure to sustain momentum up until the game’s final buzzer.

“Sayang, nandun na. We felt na sa amin na nung dulo kaso lang ganun talaga,” rued the 24-year-old sophomore after the match, where he shot an excellent 7-of-10 from the floor.

“Breaks of the game napunta sa kabila.”

Phoenix were in contention all throughout the match. In fact, they were even ahead, 89-84, with just three minutes left to play. But the Hotshots’ comeback skills were unleashed, leading to the narrow win.

“Siyempre kami lahat nasayangan. Maganda naman yung team effort talaga namin,” admitted the 6-foot floor general of their end-game collapse, which wasted their efforts in assists (21) and on defense, where they forced Magnolia to 21 turnovers.

“Kami as players talagang gusto namin bumawi coming from a loss last game sa Rain or Shine.

The Fuel Masters have now lost their second straight outing and have dropped to 2-3. And for Alolino, all they have to do is learn as much as they can from this loss, especially now that they are about to face the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel next.

“Yun nga. Medyo masakit para sa’min ‘to,” admitted the National University product.

“All we have to do is magviview ulit kami ng tape para makita kung saan kami mas pwede mag-improve as a team and bawat isa — including me.”

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Basketball

Glenn Khobuntin repays Ricky Dandan’s trust with end-game heroics

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FILE Photo from PBA Images

Glenn Khobuntin can finally say that he had himself a moment in the pro ranks

The National University alumnus proved his worth for the Kia Picanto, scoring his team’s final six points to steer the often-ridiculed club to their first win after a historic 16-game skid, at the expense of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 98-94.

“I knew he would. I knew he would,” lauded Kia head coach Ricky Dandan of the takeover by the six-foot-four forward.

“It was a blessing he didn’t play for the first two quarters because he [came in] fresh at gigil na gigil.”

Khobuntin finished with 11 markers on 5-of-7 shooting — the best game he’s had so far, not because of the numbers he posted but with the way he made them. But the three-year pro does not want to take the spotlight all onto himself.

“Hindi lang din naman ako e, kami ding lahat e,” the 26-year-old shared. “Siguro kumbaga nagka-opportunity lang, napunta sa akin yung bola kasi yun yung nasa scheme ng play so ayun.

“Thankful lang ako na-hit ko yung mga na-design na plays.”

However, the third-year pro admitted that he had been frightened during the game’s final stretch, as Rain or Shine managed to impose a serious threat by coming back from a seven-point deficit, 94-96, with just less than 22 ticks left to play.

“Kinakabahan ako kasi two minutes pa rin yun e tapos Rain or Shine yung kalaban namin,” the native of Cagayan de Oro said. “Nakita ko nakakabalik sila. Thankful lang naman ako na yung game napunta sa amin, at least natapos yung losing streak namin.”

But more than the end of their months-long slump, what Khobuntin is grateful for is the trust given to him by Dandan, who fielded him as a starter in the second half after sitting out the entirety of the first 24 minutes.

“Nag-decide siya na ako yung i-start niya so thankful ako kasi nagtiwala siya sa akin.”

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ABL

Justin Brownlee, Alab lock down Knights for fifth win

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Paying a visit to Indonesia for the first time this season, Tanduay Alab Pilipinas needed time to figure the CLS Knights out before stifling the hosts in the final frame to take a 92-87 road win, Saturday evening at the GOR CLS Kertajaya in Indonesia.

This is Alab’s second straight win after losing to the Singapore Slingers last January 10.

With the win, the Philippine-based club team lifts its slate to 5-4 for solo fourth. CLS, on the other hand, dropped to 1-7 — just half a game ahead of the cellar-dwelling Formosa Dreamers.

Justin Brownlee displayed his all-around brilliance in the game, leading Alab with 36 points on 15-for-24 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.

But Alab’s bench could not sustain the effort of the starters, which meant the team was clinging to a two-point lead with 7:06 remaining.

Needing a spark, 40-year-old sniper Dondon Hontiveros provided for Alab, knocking down a triple that proved to be the starting point 14-2 Alab run. A jumper by Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. with 2:57 left capped the rally and gave Alab an 87-73 lead.

Hontiveros scored five of the eight Alab bench points. Fortunately for Alab, Renaldo Balkman and Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. were on point. The former tallying a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Alab’s skipper had 14 points, four assists, two rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.

Coach Jimmy Alapag fielded his bench afterwards, but they let the quintet of Brian Williams, Mario Wuysang, Arif Hidayat, Decorey Jones, and Sandy Kurniawan slice the lead to as low as four points. Then free throws by Oping Sumalinog with eight ticks left put CLS away for good.

Williams paced CLS with 22 points and 14 rebounds while Kurniawan added 19 markers. Indonesian legend Wuysang had 17 points and six rebounds in the loss.

Alab ends its road trip on Sunday, January 28, when it takes on the Saigon Heat at the CIS Arena in Ho Chi Minh City.

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