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Newsome, Durham spark Meralco past Globalport to keep playoff incentive hopes alive

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Chris Newsome’s and Allen Durham’s excellent outings were enough to help the Meralco Bolts overcome the Globalport Batang Pier, 100-93, to gain a share of the top spot, Friday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

The Bolts have improved to 8-2, tied with the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on top of the standings. The Batang Pier, meanwhile, who played without head coach Franz Pumaren and Terrence Romeo, exited the 2017 Governor’s Cup with a 3-8 card.

“These are some of the toughest games to coach,” said Meralco coach Norman Black, as their opponents had fielded an all-Filipino lineup, since replacement Jamal Thomas exceeded the height requirement set by the league.

“Actually, I would probably prefer that they had an import because at least my players would not be so relaxed and know that they have to play really really well to win. But with that, a win is a win. It wasn’t pretty but we got it.,” Black admitted.

Newsome topped the Bolts’s scoring charts with 28 points, 18 coming from the first half, along with seven rebounds and five assists. Durham, meanwhile, was all over the place with 22 markers, 22 caroms, and 10 dimes.

After Globalport kept it close in the first 24 minutes, the Bolts heated up and broke away wide in the next half. They were able to post a lead as wide as 24, 88-64, after Reynel Hugnatan’s triple with 10:48 in the final period.

The Batang Pier still made one final gasp in the end-game. Behind the exploits of Sean Anthony and Stanley Pringle, the team in black sliced the deficit to just seven, 100-93, with less than 12 seconds left to play.

But 12 seconds were not enough to complete the comeback. As soon as Meralco got the ball, they milked the clock until the time expired to secure the much-needed victory.

“We played well in stretches, we played poorly in stretches. That’s something we have to work on before heading into Sunday’s game against San Miguel,” added Black, speaking of their looming match-up with the Beermen this Sunday.

Hugnatan supplied 13 markers for Meralco, while Cliff Hodge scored 10 and grabbed seven boards.

The Batang Pier were paced by Anthony with 23 points, 14 coming in the payoff period, along with 13 rebounds. Jonathan Grey fired 17 markers, while Pringle and Bradwyn Guinto scored 14 and 13, respectively.

The Meralco-San Miguel clash will take place this Sunday, September 24, 4:30 PM at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

Meralco 100 – Newsome 28, Durham 22, Hugnatan 13, Hodge 10, Amer 9, De Ocampo 6, Tolomia 4, Lanete 3, Dillinger 3, Sedurifa 2, Caram 0, Nabong 0, Faundo 0.

Globalport 93 – Anthony 23, Grey 16, Pringle 14, Guinto 14, Cardona 11, Baracael 5, Cortez 4, Mamaril 4, Arana 2, Hubalde 0, Celiz 0, Paredes 0.

Quarterscores: 25-20, 51-42, 83-64, 100-93.

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Tanduay Alab breaks three-game slump at Formosa’s expense

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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 are now carrying 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 though 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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