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Basketball

Ginebra escapes Glen Rice’s 44, TNT in heated affair for 2-1 lead

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The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel showcased excellent end-game composure as they escaped the TNT Katropa, 106-103, in a tension-filled Game Three of the 2017 Governor’s Cup Semifinals, Friday night at a packed SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Gin Kings now lead the best-of-five series, 2-1, moving a win away from clinching the last seat of the Finals.

“That was a great game for both teams. Both teams played well and it just came down to the last shot. It went in our favor,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone. “But the series isn’t over, the series isn’t won. This just gave us the lead.

“It’s nice to have (the lead), but certainly not a safe one especially against a team like TNT,” he said.

Joe Devance starred for the Barangay with 20 points. Greg Slaughter supplied 19 points and six rebounds, while Justin Brownlee finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Scottie Thompson also fired 17 and had 12 boards.

Down 96-98 after Glen Rice, Jr.’s freebies and with 3:38 remaining in the final period, Justin Brownlee’s booming trey from the wing sparked the Barangay’s 7-0 scoring spree and helped them take the upper hand, 103-98, with 1:33 to go.

Rice, Jr. sank charities once more to trim Ginebra’s lead to just three. TNT’s chances of tying the match went high after Brownlee committed an offensive foul, but Jayson Castro’s triple clanged off the rim with 53 seconds left.

Brownlee saw an opening at the other end to improve his side’s gap, but his pull-up jumper also missed. Luckily for him and the Barangay, Devance was there at the rim, and his put-back with 32 ticks left gave them a 105-100 lead.

Rice, Jr. then went aggressive for TNT, but his dunk attempt was whistled for a technical foul for deliberately hanging on the rim. Brownlee trooped to the line and calmly sank the bonus to give Ginebra a 106-100 cushion with 27 ticks left.

TNT’s import did not stop there, willing the Katropa 13 seconds later with a triple. And just like moments earlier, their chances of tying the bout rose up, as Thompson failed to convert both of his charities with seven seconds on the clock.

The Katropa drew up a play for the game’s last five seconds. Rice, Jr. was the one appointed to take a shot, but despite creating enough space for a triple, his shot went in and out, giving a sigh of relief and the win for Ginebra.

“We played well tonight and they played their style well tonight that’s why it came down to a last shot,” added Cone. “That’s what’s gonna happen when you have two good teams like that. Very pleased but job isn’t done yet.

“We still got a lot of work,” Cone expressed.

LA Tenorio supplied 16 points, nine rebounds, and eight dimes for Ginebra.

Ginebra’s win wasted Rice, Jr.’s effort of 44 markers, 20 rebounds, and six assists. It also put to naught Jayson Castro’s numbers of 17 points, nine caroms, and nine dimes; and Kelly Williams’ 10 markers and 13 boards.

There was a huge disparity in free throws in favor of Ginebra as they went 30-of-43 from the line. The Katropa, meanwhile, shot just 12-of-14.

Aside from the grind-out affair, tensions rose late in the first half between TNT coach Nash Racela and SMC sports director Alfrancis Chua. The heat between the two extended to the dugout, where they had to be separated.

Game Four is set on Sunday, October 8, 6:30 PM still at the Big Dome.

The Scores:

Ginebra 106 – Devance 20, Slaughter 19, Thompson 17, Brownlee 17, Tenorio 16, Aguilar 8, Mercado 7, Ferrer 2.

TNT 103 – Rice Jr. 44, Castro 17, Semerad 10, Williams 10, Pogoy 7, Rosario 7, Golla 3, Reyes 3, Seigle 2, Nuyles 0, Tautuaa 0, Chua 0.

Quarterscores: 31-26, 60-49, 85-80, 106-103.

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OIC Willie Marcial insists ‘walang pagbabago’ in return of physical play in PBA

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The return of physicality in PBA games early this 43rd season has drawn raves from the coaches and the fans. At last, the matches are decided by the players themselves and not by the way the referees blow their whistles.

All the fans, the players, and ultimately the coaches have been longing for this, as physical play had been heavily controlled during the administration of former commissioner Chito Narvasa from 2015 to 2017.

“The games are being called a little differently now. They’re allowing a little bit more contact or a lot more contact,” said Meralco Bolts head coach Norman Black.

“I love it. I’m an old school guy so you can imagine. No harm, no foul.”

“The physicality’s good. It’s good for the game. It’s real men going at it,” opined Alaska Aces head coach Alex Compton on the other hand, seconding Black’s sentiments.

“I like the direction the league is going in with officiating.”

It is just one of the many positive changes that are currently taking place in the league under the management of officer-in-charge Willie Marcial. But he insisted that tweaks haven’t really been made in terms of calling games.

“Wala, pinapalaro lang namin. Walang pagbabago yun,” said the amiable league official on Monday evening, when he paid Gilas Pilipinas a surprise visit at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City.

“Pinapalaro lang namin yung mga players.”

All that he’s doing, according to Marcial, is simply reminding the referees to be firm with their calls.

“Sinabihan ko lang yung mga referees na, ‘Manindigan kayo kung ano talaga.'”

With more consistent calls comes the shorter duration of games compared to the past two seasons, as time-consuming reviews by referees and officials has not occurred in matches too often this season.

“Mas mabilis na (mga laro ngayon),” said Marcial, also the league’s former external affairs and communications head.

“One hour (and) 56 (minutes), one hour 52… ‘Di umaabot ng dalawang oras eh.”

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Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’

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Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas held for the 23 for 2023 cadets last Monday but he made sure to help out when the current batch needed him the most.

After helping the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers win the Sinulog Cup in Cebu a week ago, the 6-foot-7 Filipino-American did not hesitate to heed Gilas’ call, as they were undermanned for their second session in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“I think it’s just an honor to put on this jersey, to be able to represent our country, to possibly represent our country in the future. It’s an honor,” shared the Laguna-native.

The 25-year old, who just celebrated his birthday last January 9, admitted that he was in awe of the talent inside the Meralco Gym. Like a fan, he wanted to take a few photo ops with the senior team’s Gabe Norwood and June Mar Fajardo.

“Actually, at first I was just shocked to see June Mar and Gabe, just to be able to be in the midst of them,” gushed the former DLSU Green Archer, who will suit-up for Marinerong Pilipino in the D-League. “I even asked them for a picture, and hopefully they’ll still give me one.

“It’s just humbling, definitely.”

However, the work has only began for Tratter. With five years to go until the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the two-time UAAP champion plans to continue to do what he does best — be the same scrapper that he is and hopefully catch the eye of Gilas’ brass.

“I think just doing the dirty work, of course. Giving whatever the team needs, rebound or any steals, any thing a dirty player would need to pick up on,” he said.

“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”

Moreover, he will continue answering the call when Gilas needs him, as he himself is learning a lot from being surrounded by the country’s topflight cagers.

“Whenever I can. I want to be able to absorb all the information coming from here and hopefully apply it in the D-League and hopefully apply it on future practices, future games.”

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup

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Stronger than ever

Scoring sensation Terrence Romeo has been invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to join the Philippine team in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 World Cup, according to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson.

Romeo, who is currently out due to a right knee injury, has been in rehabilitation and is expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup campaign of the Globalport Batang Pier and the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“Baka sa second conference na ko makabalik kasi talagang gusto ko malakas ako pagbalik ko,” the 25-year-old shared during Chooks-to-Go Live last January 2.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios personally met with the 6-foot guard, inviting him to be part of the Philippine team.

Romeo has plenty of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.

Back in 2014, Romeo was part of the Manila West 3×3 team during the Manila Masters. He was adjudged as the tournament Most Valuable Player.

The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

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23 for 2023 cadet CJ Perez honored to help out Gilas

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Having had the chance to represent the Philippines in FIBA-sanctioned cagefests such the Asia Challenge Cup and the 3X3 All-Stars back in 2016, Lyceum Pirates star CJ Perez is no stranger to the international stage.

But the 24-year-old do-it-all swingman admits that he still gets overwhelmed whenever he sees his seniors — the stars and pillars of the program — in the team. “Nasusurprise [pa rin] ako,” he said. “Mga professionals eh.

“Na-istarstruck pa rin ako sa kanila.”

Perez said so when he finally made his return within Gilas’ realms last Monday night. The last time he was with the National Team was in August 2016, when the SBP built an amateur-laden batch of Gilas cagers that served as the transition from the 2016 Olympic Qualifiers squad to the 2017 SEABA team.

“Sobrang grateful ako (sa invitation),” said the talented six-foot-two guard, after practice at the Meralco Gym.

The reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player is back in the fold for Gilas as his name, along with young, up-and-coming stars, was included in the 23 for 2023 pool — a list of cagers projected to be the contingent for the Manila-hosted World Cup.

“Iniisip ko yun (FIBA World Cup 2023) simula magtawag sila ng practice. Actually nandoon na yung utak ko eh,” the Lyceum Pirate ace bared. “Kailangan ko lang mag work hard pa para makapasok dun sa lineup na yun, kahit malayo pa.

“It’s an honor para ma-represent yung country.”

Unlike in 2016, Perez graced the court and took part in drills with the veterans such as Gabe Norwood, Japeth Aguilar, June Mar Fajardo, among others. With those type of players around him, he feels that the lessons he can get will be limitless.

“Oo sobra. Kahit kanino naman (matututo ka talaga),” Perez shared. “(At tsaka) Dito parang more on sa mental. ‘Di na iniisip yung conditioning kasi may ibang teams naman sila so about sa mental toughness [talaga].”

For now, the 23 for 2023 cadets are already working out not just for familiarity, but also to help the seniors in preparing for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers this February.

“Sobrang happy and grateful na nakakatulong ako sa kanila kahit sa simpleng practice lang.”

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