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With Pacquiao in attendance, San Miguel beats down Mahindra for fourth straight win

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The good times continue to roll for the San Miguel Beermen.

Even with Mahindra head coach and senator Manny Pacquiao watching on the stands, numerous Beermen took turns beating down the lowly Mahindra Floodbuster, en route to a 109-80 win on Wednesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

San Miguel shot 45 percent from the field, knocking down a total of 15 threes in the game. On the other end, they stifled Mahindra to just a 33 percent clip.

The win was so dominant that it rendered four-time PBA champion coach Leo Austria speechless, “Wala na akong masabi sa kanila.”

This win is San Miguel’s fourth straight victory, keeping their record unblemished. Mahindra, on the other hand, dropped their fourth straight loss, falling to 1-6 with four games left in their schedule.

“Prior to this games, we were watching the stats of Mahindra. Tinalo sila ng small margin ng TNT and Rain or Shine. Kaya before this game, nasa isip ng players na we cannot relax against this team. Alam naman natin na every win is important,” Austria furthered.

Alex Cabagnot started the lambasting, scoring 16 of his 26 points in the opening frame alone. He went on a blistering 7-for-10 run in the frame, matching the entire total of the Floodbuster during the quarter. With Cabagnot and Charles Rhodes taking turns, the Beermen were able to erect a 32-16 lead.

As the minutes went by, so did San Miguel’s lead. The Beermen advantage went to as high as 34 points, 95-61, in the final frame.

“Natuwa ako na yung players enjoyed the game but ang importante ay sinundan nila yung sistema,” Austria shared.

In the second frame, it was Rhodes’ turn to pad San Miguel’s lead, scoring seven points in the quarter — including another highlight jam. The reinforcement had 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting with 18 rebounds and three blocks.

“Slowly, pinapakita na niya kung anong klaseng import siya. Sana mas madagdagan pa in the upcoming games,” the 59-year-old mentor remarked about Rhodes.

Marcio Lassiter then heated up in the third canto, knocking down four triples. He finished the game with 18 points.

With the game in hand, the San Miguel bench finished the job in the final frame.

Surprisingly, June Mar Fajardo played only eight minutes, going scoreless and grabbing four rebounds. Fellow Gilas Pilipinas pool member and rookie Arnold Van Opstal had four markers in the game.

“Kailangan namin i-rest si June Mar kasi medyo bugbog siya. Ngayon, nagkaroon siya ng opportunity to rest. That’s why we want to prepare him for the bigger games including SEABA. He was not feeling well as well,” Austria disclosed.

San Miguel greatly out-rebounded Mahindra, 72-57.

Keith Wright led Mahindra with 12 points and 16 rebounds. Reden Celda and Gary David added 13 markers each. Alex Mallari, who is averaging 13.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assists this conference, did not play due to back spasms.

The San Miguel Beermen look to make it five in a row as they take on the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Saturday, April 22, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. The Mahindra Floodbuster, on the other hand, take on the Globalport Batang Pier on Sunday, April 23, at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

San Miguel (109) – Cabagnot 26, Rhodes 20, Lassiter 18, Espinas 12, McCarthy 7, Reyes 6, Tubid 6, Santos 4, Van Opstal 4, Ross 2, Heruela 2, Agovida 2, Fajardo 0, Semerad 0, De Ocampo 0.

Mahindra (80) – Wright 16, Celda 13, David 13, Corpuz 10, Revilla 7, Yee 7, Deutchman 6, Salva 4, Guevarra 2, Caperal 2, Paniamogan 0, Galanza 0, Teng 0, Ballesteros 0.

Quarterscores: 32-16, 55-31, 86-59, 109-80

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Tanduay Alab spoils Formosa’s home debut to enter win column

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Photo by ASEAN Basketball League

After three unfruitful outings, Tanduay Alab Pilipinas had finally tasted the sweet flavor of triumph through a convincing 78-61 win over Formosa Dreamers, Saturday at the Changhua County Stadium in Taiwan.

With this, both club teams now carry an identical 1-3 win-loss card.

Everyone from Alab scored in the win, with World Import Reggie Okosa anchoring the offense with 19 points along with 19 rebounds. Ray Parks, Jr. had his best outing so far with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Lead point guard Josh Urbiztondo — who was slapped with an unsportsmanlike foul after a commotion with Formosa’s Chen Yu Han in the second frame — also chipped in 12 markers on top of seven assists and six rebounds.

Tanduay Alab spent the majority of the bout ahead, but the home team still managed to give their opponents a run for their money, not just with their ability to wipe out leads, but through their physical style of play as well.

But the complexity changed come the second half. Through their hustle and fluid ball movement, Tanduay Alab outclassed the Taiwanese club team and led by as much as 17, 68-51, after Okosa’s dunk with 7:43 in the final frame.

The Filipino dribblers then never relinquished the huge advantage, and zoomed all the way to their first-ever win.

Alab’s win has raised some issues, as Ivan Johnson — for unknown reasons — was benched in the game. He was last seen having a heated moment with somebody after their 99-96 loss to Hong Kong Eastern last Wednesday.

Former Saigon Heat reinforcement Lenny Daniel powered the Dreamers with 19 points and eight rebounds. Local Cheng Chi Kuan provided 11 points, while another World Import Jaleel Cousins chipped in 10 and nine boards.

Tanduay Alab will look to rake in back-to-back wins as they take on Westports Malaysia Dragons after the holiday break on January 3 at 8:00 PM.

The Scores:

Tanduay Alab (78) – Okosa 19, Parks 12, Urbiztondo 12, Maierhofer 7, Hontiveros 7, Domingo 6, Raymundo 5, Celiz 4, Alabanza 2, Javelona 2, Sumalinog 2.

Formosa (61) – Daniel 19, Cheng 11, Cousins 10, Chou 9, Chen 5, Yang 4, Li C. 0, Li P. 0, Wu 0, Tsai 0.

Quarterscores: 21-13, 39-32, 62-48, 78-61

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PBA tweaks format for 2017-18 Philippine Cup playoffs

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From 10 teams in the past, only eight teams will advance into the 2018 Philippine Cup playoffs as the PBA made a few changes in its’ format for the 43rd season’s Philippine Cup, making every single game important for all teams.

The way the playoffs will be played out though remains the same. The top two teams will have a twice-to-beat edge over teams ranked seventh and eight, while the ones in the middle (3 vs 6, 4 vs 5) will figure in best-of-three contests.

Both the semifinals and finals will still be best-of-seven affairs.

Meanwhile, the league has also released the full schedule of the Philippine Cup Friday, eight days after publicizing a partial sked that only showed games from December 17 to 29.

SMART-Araneta Coliseum, SM Mall of Asia Arena, and Ynares Center in Antipolo will serve the main venues of PBA games. The FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan and the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay will also hold a few matches.

This season’s Christmas Games, which features GlobalPort Batang Pier-NLEX Road Warriors and Barangay Ginebra-Magnolia Hotshots, will be staged at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

And just like in the past seasons, the league will also hold playdates in out-of-town venues such as Ilo-ilo City, Legazpi in Albay, Calasiao in Pangasinan, Dumaguete City, and Cagayan de Oro City. All of these are set on Saturdays.

The PBA will raise the curtains of its’ 43rd year this Sunday, December 17, at the Big Dome, with defending champions San Miguel Beermen starting their four-peat bid against a revamped Phoenix Fuel Masters at 6:45 PM.

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SBP, Robbie Puno still looking for ‘right player’ to naturalize for 2023 World Cup

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Though a lot of foreign cagers have presented themselves as willing to play for SMART Gilas Pilipinas and become naturalized Filipino, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has yet to pick on who will be the heir apparent to Andray Blatche come the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

“At this point in time, we do not have any particular player yet. My understanding is we’re still looking for the best possible candidate,” shared SBP vice chairman Robbie Puno during the celebration of the 2023 World Cup hosting held at Crowne Plaza in Pasig City.

Blatche, who last played for Gilas during the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, will be 37 years old when the 2023 edition rolls around. Names that have been thrown out during the calendar year were former Blackwater Elite import Greg Smith, who will be 33 years old in 2023, and Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas reinforcement Isaiah Austin, who will turn 30 by that time.

Still, Puno and his group are taking their time, carefully filtering the candidates as to not hamper the process of the legislative body of the Philippines.

“If our target is 2023, there will be probably enough time for us to make sure we have the right player in terms of his basketball skills, but also his age as well as his attitude,” said Puno, a former congressman representing the first district of Antipolo City.

Moreover, the 55-year-old politician has already planted the seeds for this long process by already talking to the members of the Lower House who will author the bill.

“Right now, we’re ready to spearhead that process. We’ve spoken with a couple of congressmen who will author the bill,” Puno disclosed.

“What we’re waiting for is the imprimatur as to who we will really make the effort to naturalize, because when you start that process, it becomes really difficult.”

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SOURCES: Perpetual Help taps Frankie Lim as consultant

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Frankie Lim looks to bring a championship to a school that is hungry for it/PBA Images

Frankie Lim will steer a once-heated rival to the promised land

The multi-titled mentor has been appointed as a team consultant of the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas as the 57-year-old tactician will be tasked to reboot the team after a lackluster run in the NCAA Season 93 Seniors’ Basketball tournament.

Sources closely monitoring the situation bared that Lim is now running practice for the Altas as he works side-by-side with coach Jimwell Gican.

“Consultant na siya sa Perpetual, pero siya rin ang nagpapatakbo sa practice,” the source said.

Another source confirmed the development and also shared that Lim is looking to bring in two of his assistants in the coaching staff, further proving his seriousness for the job. The names of the assistants, however, were not disclosed.

The Altas went 4-14 last season with Gican at the helm as he relied on Prince Eze, Gab Dagangon, and AJ Coronel to lead the squad.

According to a third source, it was either Lim or NCAA Season 93 commissioner Bai Cristobal who was being picked by Perpetual Help to serve as the team’s consultant. However, Cristobal still wanted to assume his role as league commissioner for one more year, especially since Perpetual Help is hosting the 94th season of the Grand Old League.

Perpetual is looking for an early preparation for NCAA Season 94 as it joins the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup in January.

Lim was last seen in the sidelines in the PBA when he coached Ginebra in 2015. He won four titles with his alma mater San Beda from 2007 to 2011 Before briefly going to Indonesia to coach Stadium Jakarta.

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