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Colleagues, former players remember Ron Jacobs’ greatness



Tributes poured from the Philippine basketball community after legendary mentor Ron Jacobs passed away last December 24. He was 72.

Jacobs left a lot of memories to treasure for his fellow coaches and the players he handled throughout his coaching career. The American mentor is best known for being the architect of the Philippine national team in the mid-1980s, which went on to win the 1985 Asian Basketball Championship (now named FIBA Asia).

Jacobs was also responsible for the growth of some of the best PBA players during his time. Some of them are still playing up to now while some have moved on to become coaches.

His players describe Jacobs as a disciplinarian but one with compassion; he was more than just a mentor but also a father-figure who guided his players throughout their lives, both on and off the court.

Here are some thoughts from Jacobs’ colleagues in the basketball community as they remember the legacy he left to Philippine hoops.

Pido JarencioFormer national team member/Globalport Batang Pier head coach

PBAS41 Ph Cup - GP SH - Jarencio

Jones Cup, Southeast Asian Games, and then ABC, magkakasama kami. Iba ensayo namin noon. Three times a day. Ganoon magpa-ensayo si coach Ron tsaka detalyado. Yung ginagawa namin, practices kung sino makakalaban namin, kung Korea o China, pinag-aaralan niyang mabuti yun. Hindi ko alam kung ginagawa pa ng mga national team yun. Kami noon, nakatira pa sa quarters. Intense talaga, pero personalized din. Chinecheck ka, sinusuportahan ka sa laro mo. Siya yung nagstart talaga sa mga American coaches dito.

Tim ConePBA’s winningest head coach

PBA41 PH CUP QF - GP GIN - Tim Cone

I got to coach against Baby (Dalupan) late in his career. Normally I would say Baby is the best coach ever but again, I saw him later in his career. Ron was right during my prime and his prime and so he truly was the greatest coach I coached against. He was a fierce competitor and had a brilliant mind. That is a lethal combination. We all stole stuff from him. We all watched and grew from watching him. It was truly sad the game was taken away from him because of his illness, but I am pretty sure he is up there coaching somebody. He did a heck of a job. He paved the way for us.

Olsen RacelaFormer San Miguel Beermen member


Si coach Ron, he was a great motivator. Sabi ko nga, for his players, he was more than just a coach. Palagi niya tinatanong kung kamusta ka na. He was not just concerned with your basketball career but also your personal life. For me he was like a second dad. When he had that stroke, feeling ko a big part of me nawala, so what more ngayon he passed away. Every year, we go to his birthday. Lahat ng teammates ko when we heard he passed away, nagtetext kami, sina Danny (Ildefonso), Danny (Seigle), even my teammates now in the US, lahat kami very concerned. Father figure siya eh, nangangaral siya. As a player you always want to play for a coach like that. Ako personally he was responsible for the turnaround in my career when he recruited me to play for San Miguel. I owe a lot to coach Ron.

Jong UichicoJacobs’ assistant coach and 2002 Asian Games head coach

PBA41 PH CUP - TNT BE - Jong Uichico

He is a disciplinarian, but at the same time, he lets them play. Nagbibigay siya kumpiyansa sa player. We know nape-pressure siya pero hindi niya pinapakita. He is calm, he instills discipline to his players, he instills the work ethic. And though he is a disciplinarian, may compassion siya to his players, he gives them yung pag-aalaga, pati sa fellow coaches. In brief, in general, that is him. I have many memories, pero the most grateful, I am very lucky and blessed naturuan niya ako all these years. Syempre hindi ko naman natututunan lahat, and hindi siya nagdamot magturo sa akin. The guidance in terms of coaching, those things, and we were more than just a coach and assistant coach. I will not be here if it wasn’t for him and the game of basketball has been good to me.

Danny SeigleFormer San Miguel Beermen member


He is just a remarkable coach. I have never seen someone so dedicated to the sport. He was the best or one of the best I ever played for. I owe a lot of my success to him. He was tough on me, he was a great coach. He is very good at the little things. I remember in a game, at halftime, he had a thing where he started writing people’s names on and he gets to a point where you actually see your name and let you know what you did wrong. So you get focused every game and he brings out the best in you. He is pretty much the closest thing to a total package as dealing with players on and off the court, his Xs and Os, and his mental approach of the game.

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After getting first D-League experience, Zark’s-Lyceum ready to get loose



After a hesitant performance in their PBA D-League debut last Thursday that resulted in a loss to the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers seemingly caught up with the league’s style of play on Tuesday.

Zark’s-Lyceum displayed their true form and stamped their class all over the Batangas-EAC Generals with a 37-point destruction, 112-75 — so far the biggest winning margin the franchise has ever had in its D-League history.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams we’re playing against with,” said Zark’s-Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson after the match at Pasig Sports Center. “But the things we want to mind are those things we control.

“We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways.”

Robinson’s claim was strongly backed up by the numbers that the Jawbreakers produced.

CJ Perez had 21 points and 10 rebounds. MJ Ayaay produced 15 points and 10 boards, and Mike Nzeusseu delivered 14 markers and 11 boards.

Even the bench made their presence felt in the victory. With guard Jaycee Marcelino spearheading the supporting cast’s charge with 12 markers, the bench contributed a remarkable 56 points to their total output.

Photo by PBA Images

“Ano lang, cinontrol lang namin yung pace kasi yun naman talaga yung laro namin, yung mabilisan,” said the 24-year-old do-it-all forward, who also collected three steals.

“Kailangan talaga mabilisan para ma-execute namin yung mga ginagawa namin.”

This week will be a rough one for the Pirates, as they will play right away this Thursday against the AMA Online Education. And for Perez, he strongly believes that they will be able to carry over their momentum.

“Oo. Nandun pa. Energy talaga yung puhunan namin para makalaro ng maayos.”

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Bonbon Batiller shows what he can bring to Letran in D-League debut



Photo by PBA Images

Tuesday proved to be a double debut for Bonbon Batiller. Aside from beginning his first foray in the PBA D-League, it also marked his debut for the Letran Knights, who are carrying the Wang’s Basketball Couriers franchise.

And the 5-foot-11 guard showed what he can bring to the table. Batiller collected 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists to help the Knights raise the curtains of their campaign with a 93-75 rout of the Batangas-EAC Generals.

“Nagworkout yung pinagpraktisan namin,” said Batiller. “Nagbunga rin yung tinuro samin ni Coach Jeff (Napa) lalo sa depensa. Tsaka siguro sa rebounds — laking lamang namin sa rebound. Nagsipag mga bigs namin.”

But what has him even more satisfied is the warm reception and trust he’s had from the Knights, even if he has spent barely a year with them after transferring from University of the East last 2017.

“Masaya po kasi tinanggap nila ako sa Letran ng buong-buo,” said Batiller, who normed 10.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.6 steals with UE in two years. “Tsaka yung tiwala nila na makakatulong ako sa team nandoon.

“Kaya masaya ako sa pinakita nila sa akin.”

That is why the General Santos native is hard-pressed to prove himself to Letran, saying that he’s all about giving back to the school that gave him another opportunity to resume his young, up-and-coming basketball career.

“Kailangan kong may mapatunayan na deserving ako sa binigay na second chance sa akin ni Letran,” said Batiller, who decided to switch schools partly due to academic reasons.

“Malaki ang utang ko sa Letran.”

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Bienvenido Maranon scores brace as Ceres-Negros eliminates Brisbane Roar



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Philippine club football just achieved its biggest continental result yet

The inaugural Philippines Football League champions Ceres-Negros Football Club eliminated three-time Australian champions Brisbane Roar in the 2018 AFC Champions League’s second preliminary round with a 3-2 stunner, away at the QSAC Stadium in Brisbane.

With the win, the 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Champions are set to face Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian next January 30, 2018 at the Haihe Educational Football Stadium in Tianjin, China, to book a seat in the group stages.

Brisbane were the favorites for this tie and it showed, as Ceres started the contest on the back foot. Italian striker Massimo Maccarone handed the home side the lead in the 35th minute when he turned in Brett Holman’s pass.

Maccarone’s goal could have lowered the Busmen’s moral, but Risto Vidakovic’s men took it as a motivation rather than a downer. In fact, Ceres replied in the best way possible when Bienvenido Maranon scored his first goal of the match two minutes from halftime, thanks to a scramble in the Brisbane box.

By all accounts, Ceres had already made Philippine football proud at halftime. By this stage last year, Brisbane had accrued a 4-0 halftime cushion against Global Cebu en route to a 6-0 rout.

Today, though, Brisbane faced tougher resistance at Ceres’ hands. That resistance turned into a full-fledged revolt in the 65th minute when Maranon directed the ball past a helpless Jamie Young to give the Busmen their first taste of the lead.

Maranon’s goal well and truly turned the tide in Ceres’ favor. Brisbane were stunned. The home side are the defending A-League champions, but are currently eighth in the table this season and would soon face elimination from Asia’s premier club competition.

Already up 2-1, the Busmen finally achieved some breathing room in the 75th minute when Omid Nazari scored from close range to give Ceres a two-goal cushion over Brisbane.

Nazari’s goal not only sealed the win for Ceres, it also propelled Philippine football into the big leagues. Not even a late goal from French midfielder Éric Bauthéac could prevent the Busmen’s victory.

After five minutes of stoppage time, Ceres emerged 3-2 winners against Brisbane Roar. Come what may against Tianjin seven days from now, the Busmen have already achieved Philippine football’s biggest result since their own achievement in last season’s AFC Cup.

Who knows? Maybe Ceres can pull off another upset?

Ceres-Negros XI: Doblas (GK), Super, Mike Ott, Ingreso, Maranon, Porteria, Schrock, De Murga (C), Munoz, Nazari, Christaens.

Brisbane Roar XI: Ingham, Bowles, Papadopoulos, Maccarone, Holman, Khalfallah, Oxborrow, McKay (C), Hingert, Young (GK), Franjic.

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CJ Perez, Zark’s-Lyceum vent ire on Batangas-EAC with 37-point romp



Photo by PBA Images

CJ Perez and the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers finally lived up to their hype, as they clobbered the Batangas-EAC Generals to score a 37-point beatdown, 112-75 for their first win, Tuesday at the Pasig Sports Center.

It was an all-out attack from the Jawbreakers, as they beat the Generals to the bite and took control of the game early, with Mike Nzeusseu and Jaycee Marcelino guiding their side to the 48-33 lead at halftime which they would never surrender.

Perez paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while MJ Ayaay tallied a double-double with his 15 markers, 10 boards, and three assists.

Cameroonian student-athlete Nzeusseu also delivered 14 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists. Marcelino had eight first half points and wound up with 12 off the bench, as the reserves chipped in 56 huge points in the tussle.

Coach Topex Robinson lauded the Jawbreakers for quickly adjusting to the style of the PBA D-League just days after falling to the Marinerong Pilipino, 92-94, back in opening day.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams were playing against with. But the things we want to mind are those things we control. We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways,” he said.

Earvin Mendoza and Cedric de Joya both had 16 points for the Generals in the losing effort.

Zark’s-Lyceum look to continue to roll when they face the AMA Online Education Titans on Thursday, January 25. EAC-Batangas, on the other hand, take on the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers on Monday, January 29.

The Scores:

Zark’s-Lyceum 112 — Perez 21, Ayaay 15, Nzeusseu 14, Jc. Marcelino 12, Serrano 10, Baltazar 8, Santos 8, Jv. Marcelino 6, Tansingco 6, Marata 4, Liwag 4, Ibañez 2, Cinco 2, Pretta 0.

Batangas-EAC 75 — E. Mendoza 16, De Joya 16, Tampoc 12, Laude 9, Pate 8, Maguliano 6, Altamirano 5, Diego 3, Garcia 0, Dela Peña 0, Martin 0, J. Mendoza 0, Neri 0.

Quarterscores: 19-14, 48-33, 84-47, 112-75.

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