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Alaska and San Miguel wage war in Game 7

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Series Recap: Tied 3-3
Game 1: January 7, 2015: Alaska def. San Miguel, 88-82
Game 2: January 9, 2015: San Miguel def. Alaska, 100-86
Game 3: January 11, 2015: Alaska def. San Miguel, 78-70
Game 4: January 14, 2015: San Miguel def. Alaska, 88-70
Game 5: January 16, 2015: San Miguel def. Alaska, 93-88
Game 6: January 18, 2015: Alaska def. San Miguel, 87-76

One last Ace up the sleeve? Or a 20th title for the Beermen? A new team will be crowned champions as the 2014-2015 PBA Philippine Cup culminates in Game 7. After throwing vicious haymakers, slicing open wounds, and rallying improbable comeback efforts, the Alaska Aces and the San Miguel Beermen collide one last time for ultimate glory in a bloodbath not for the faint of heart. The two teams face each other in the deciding Game 7 on January 21 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Flashback:

Alaska and San Miguel have faced each other in Game 7 of the Finals twice: the 1995 Governors’ Cup and the 1998 All-Filipino Cup. The Aces, then known as the Milkmen, won in both showdowns.

The case for Alaska:

Allow San Miguel to fall in love with the outside shot. In Alaska’s three victories, they let San Miguel settle on a whopping average of 33 three-point attempts, converting at a 27.2% clip. That excessive amount nullifies the presence of June Mar Fajardo inside since long shot attempts usually mean that misses ricochet into the perimeter, putting Alaska’s gang rebounding at a premium.

Exploit the secondary fastbreak. Alaska normally finishes transition baskets when Calvin Abueva barrels to the hoop, but they are just as effective when Dondon Hontiveros and JVee Casio run up court and set themselves up as trailers on the elbows and corners if the Beermen’s defense recovers quickly enough to flummox the Beast.

The case for San Miguel:

Crash the boards. San Miguel has a +8.7 margin in the rebounding department in their three victories and -3.3 in their three losses. Fajardo will get his, but the Beermen need all the help they can get from Arwind Santos, Doug Kramer, and David Semerad, who have been working double time to box out Alaska’s litany of slotmen. San Miguel’s towers will have to muster the energy to prevent Alaska from scrambling for second chance points, as the Beermen allowed the Aces to grab 23 and 22 offensive rebounds in Games 5 and 6, respectively.

Set the tone on the halfcourt offense. Coach Leo Austria is a brilliant tactician who understands what it takes to win a slow down, grind-it-out affair. He has the pieces that can dump the ball in the shaded area, draw fouls, and get to the free throw line. Santos remains a solid pick-and-pop option who can work in tandem with Chris Ross and Alex Cabagnot for open jumpers to stifle Alaska’s trapping defense.

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1 Comment
  • Bruno Yanquiling

    This article is exactly and absolutely written correctly. Just to add though. The Beermen lack the penetration plays to disrupt the half court defensive patterns of the Aces. Their offense is so predictable that by the time their plays will be executed, their shot clock is running down. A defensive rebound by the Aces also tends to disrupt their own half court defense because the Aces will surely run so that SMB can not establish their vaunted half court defense of their own. SMB’s order of priority is to collar those rebounds to dictate the tempo of the game. Dictating the tempo means minimizing the strength of the Aces and imposing their own strength in half court defense. Deliverate half-court offense (if no fastbreak opportunity) will sun smoothly by then. DEFENSE must end in a “DEFENSIVE REBOUND”. And though offense might not end in an “OFFENSIVE REBOUND”, it’s also a must to get those. As collaring those offensive rebounds will stop the Aces from running after getting a possible defensive rebound. No need to be frustrated by the Aces’ defense. Just focus on the priority and other will come automatically. D E F E N S E ! ! ! R E B O U N D ! ! ! Intensity and energy will spark the two.

ABL

Christian Standhardinger goes perfect from stripe in Hong Kong’s rout of Formosa

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After going a horrid 5-for-17 from the stripe during their first loss of the season last January 9, Christian Standhardinger made sure to make good on his free throws to power the Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club to a dominant 99-79 rout of the Formosa Dreamers, Thursday evening in Southorn Stadium.

The 6-foot-8 Filipino-German, who tallied 37 points and 19 rebounds in the overtime loss to Saigon, went a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul line. He finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

The contest itself was not close, as the defending champions were able to impose their will on the bottom-ranked squad, leading by as much as 23 points, 93-70, after two free throws by Standhardinger with 2:58 remaining.

If Standhardinger was having a good day with his free throws, the entire Formosa squad could not say the same, going 13-of-27 from the line.

Tyler Lamb had 25 markers as well for Hong Kong, while Ryan Moss grabbed a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Lenny Daniel paced Formosa with 25 points and 11 rebounds. World Import Ronnie Aguilar had 14 points and 16 rebounds but went just 5-for-14 from the field.

With the win, Hong Kong goes to 8-1, while the Dreamers fell to 1-8.

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Chooks-to-Go President hopes 3×3 World Cup breaks Philippine Arena record

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Last October 27, 2017, Game Seven of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals between heated rivals Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco Bolts saw 54,083 people troop to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The attendance broke all records for both the venue and the PBA.

Come June this year, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Chooks-to-Go are hoping that the upcoming 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will surpass that record.

“We look at 3×3 as our best hope, really, to get a medal in the Olympics. Kami naman sa Chooks, we are behind SBP realizing that dream. Kanina pinag-uusapan na, if we’re going to break the record in attendance,” said Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas on Thursday afternoon during a press conference held at BGC High Street in Taguig.

“I think the question there is not if we’re going to break, but how many more times. Because FIBA should see how passionate the Filipinos are about basketball. That’s a given,” one of the patrons of Gilas Pilipinas added.

Besides the event itself, the local government of Bulacan has pledged to make the week of the tournament filled with activities to celebrate the Philippines’ 120th year of Independence.

For their part, Chooks-to-Go vowed to help out the SBP in organizing the event and in building the team.

“We are throwing our support not to improve on our finish, but we want to help SBP organize, to win the championship — not just to improve our ranking,” Mascariñas shared.

And the experience he and his company gained after backing the Pilipinas 3×3 team during last year’s tournament will only help.

“In past tournaments, we’ve lost some games na maninipis lang talaga,” he recalled about the team composed of Kobe Paras, Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, and JR Quinahan that competed in Nantes, France.

“This time around, with five months to go, we need to organize and put in the best t

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Football

Ilocos United takes leave from PFL

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Another one bites the dust

After months of speculation, Ilocos United has formally announced their absence from the Philippines Football League for the 2018 season.

A statement signed by Ilocos Chief Executive Officer Tony Lazaro and posted on the club’s Facebook page broke the big news.

“Unfortunately, after months of negotiation, efforts to attract a new naming sponsor for the Team were unsuccessful,” the statement opened. “Consequently, it has become financially prohibitive to continue participation in the PFL.

“Primarily, the lack of broadcasting exposure in 2017 created an apprehension in the corporate community, cascading into a series of afflictions that has ultimately led to our withdrawal from the competition.”

Ilocos finished last during the inaugural season, tallying 1 win, 6 draws, and 21 losses with a -49 goal differential.

Still, Ilocos gave their thanks to those who supported the club during the inaugural PFL season.

“We are cautiously optimistic of a potential return to the PFL for the 2019 season, whereby secured broadcasting exposure will hopefully lead to higher confidence from potential sponsorship partners.”

While their PFL operations will fold for the time being, Ilocos will continue the grassroots programs they have started within the area. ¨In the meantime, the foundation of football development we helped to build in Ilocos will continue, including grassroots initiatives at local schools, women’s futsal, Special Olympics, and, of course, the IUFC Academy.¨

The latest development will be another big blow for the young league. Meralco Manila pulled out of the competition beforehand, and now Ilocos´ absence leaves only six teams in the competition.

Now more than ever, something needs to be done by the PFL or even the Philippine Football Federation to ensure the feasibility of the clubs and the league itself for years to come.

Football is a hard sport to build in the Philippines despite its resurgence since 2010. There are limited corporate boosters for the sport which is in dire need of a financial push to sustain its growth.

Ilocos´ leave and Meralco´s folding now forces local football´s stakeholders to take a step back and examine the next moves to build the sport.

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Basketball

CJ Perez, Jaycee Marcelino in unison: D-League is a whole other level

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After falling just two games short of copping Lyceum’s first-ever NCAA crown, the Pirates went to the PBA D-League to gain experience. However, in their first foray in the second league, the Lyceans realized that it was a whole different beast.

Going up against the veteran-laden Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burgers-backed squad suffered a slow start as they adjusted to the tougher calls of the league. The Jawbreakers were down by as much as 17 points early in the third frame, 37-54.

“Yung physicality hindi naman ako masyadong nagulat pero sa mental toughness, yung pagod ka na, tapos may babanggga pa sa ‘yo, ang iniisip ko kailangan mas maging tough,” admitted reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player CJ Perez.

“Nangangapa kami nung una lahat kasi first game namin ito, pati dito sa court na ‘to first game din namin,” added Jaycee Marcelino.

It served as a wake-up call. Adjusting on the fly, Perez and Marcelino rallied the Jawbreakers back — even fashioning multiple attempts to take over the contest late in the game. However, they fell short, 92-94.

“Binalik lang namin yung laro namin dati, pass the ball, hindi yung puro dribble, i-run lang namin yung plays,” shared Marcelino, as he and Perez combined to score 16 points in the final frame.

The 21-year-old Marcelino finished with a game-high 20 points on an efficient 7-of-9 shooting to go along with four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. The 24-year-old Perez added 19 points, five assists, two steals, and a block.

With their first game in the bag, the duo — and the rest of the Jawbreakers — now have the experience under their belts. And they plan to put in the work to prove that they belong.

“Sa NC naman kasi puro ka-level namin kalaro namin, dito puro beterano ang naglalaro,” said Marcelino. “Hindi talaga namin masabi na yung ginawa namin sa NC magagawa din namin dito.

“Mageextra work pa kami para masustain namin kung ano kami sa Lyceum.”

“It’s a good experience. Ibang iba pala talaga yung laro ng D-League sa NCAA,” expressed Perez, who is a consensus top three pick for the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft.

“Sobrang grateful kami na nakalaro na rin kami sa D-League.”

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