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Basketball

‘El Granada’ proves that he still has it

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Gary David may be 38 years old and inching closer to the twilight of his career, but as they say, age is just a number

The last time David was seen heating up on offense, whether it was jumpers from the perimeter or beyond the arc, was about seven years ago with the now-defunct Powerade Tigers, with whom he earned the nickname “El Granada” for his scoring explosions.

However, in the years that followed, David’s fire slowly dwindled. With a handful of team transfers from Meralco Bolts to San Miguel Beermen, and with a few stints outside the PBA, the force known as El Granada seemed to have detonated and gone dormant.

But on Sunday night at the historic SMART-Araneta Coliseum, David — who now suits up for three-year old franchise Mahindra Floodbuster — gave one vintage performance that made everyone in the stands take a trip down memory lane.

The Floodbuster may have absorbed a sour 99-95 defeat from the battle-tested Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in overtime, but if it weren’t for David, Mahindra would have lost grip early on in the game.

Mahindra found themselves behind by seven, 80-73, early in the final period, but David’s heroics in desperate times saved them. He anchored a furious 13-0 scoring spree, scoring 10 markers in that stretch — ended by a three-pointer all over James Yap’s defense — to will Mahindra ahead by six, 86-80, with 2:32 left in regulation.

As expected, Rain or Shine clamped down on him to prevent any more shots. His age also caught up with him late in the game, as he committed a key turnover. And in the next five minutes, he suddenly became a non-factor.

His effort may not have translated to a needed victory, but still, David has just proven that he can still be reliable when needed.

“Sayang, huli na. May chance na manalo eh,” rued David moments after their match. “Pero okay naman, stay positive lang kami.

“Maganda naman yung nilaro nung team. Nakipaglaban naman kami sa Rain or Shine, ‘di naman basta-basta yan. Malakas rin yan.”

The game was tied at 88-all before heading into the extra period. James White tried for the game-winner, but he missed. David has no qualms about it, but he wished he had been the one to launch the potential game-winning jumper.

“Kung nandoon ako sa loob, [expletive] kukunin ko yung bola nun. Ako titira,” claimed the four-time PBA scoring champion.

“Pero give credit naman kay James. Sa game gusto niya talaga manalo. Player instinct. Pero ganun talaga. May tsansa naman.”

This marks David’s first game back since the 2017 Philippine Cup due to a knee injury. Now that he has fully healed, David assures that he will always be ready once head coach Chris Gavina calls his name up.

“Sa akin naman ready lang ako eh. Ready lang naman ako ‘pag binunot ni coach Chris,” the native of Dinalupihan, Bataan shared.

“Basta ready lang ako ‘pag binunot niya ‘ko. Sabi ni coach bago mag-start yung game, ready lang ako. Sabi ko, ‘ready ako since birth.'”

The Floodbuster have now dropped to a 0-2 hole early in the import-laden conference, but David remains unfazed and positive that this young team of his will still have enough time to grow and develop as a unit.

“Nakita niyo naman yung first two games namin, closing games lang yung problema namin. Yung maturity, yung experience. Pero papunta na kami doon eh. Maaga pa yung conference kaya may chance pa kami,” the 12-year veteran believes.

“Sabi ko nga every game kailangan meron kaming matututunan. Itong first two games, marami kaming natutunan. Kaya looking forward kami na makuha yung first win namin.”

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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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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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Renzo Subido to bring Marinerong Pilipino experience to UST

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When Renzo Subido decided to skip out the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers’ UAAP Season 80 campaign, he had only one thing in mind: to improve  his craft. And he was able to do so under coach Koy Banal in the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers.

After the AMA Online Education Titans saw a quick end to their campaign during the 2017 Foundation Cup, the 5-foot-9 floor general was immediately picked up by Marinerong Pilipino for the playoffs. And as they liked his style of play, he was again tapped for the 2018 Aspirants Cup.

And he showed a lot of growth from then, leading the Skippers to a 94-92 victory over fellow contenders Zark’s Jawbreakers. The 21-year-old tallied 20 points, three rebounds, and five assists while knocking down the crucial free throws to seal off the Lyceum-backed team.

“It was a good win for us. We’re happy that we won the game because it’s a good way to start the conference,” beamed Subido. “I’ve played against Lyceum in the past so I had familiarity with how they play.

“It was a good experience for us.”

Expectations are high for Marinerong Pilipino this conference, as their blend of veterans and young guns have been pegged as too overwhelming for the rest of the field. Still, Subido knows that it will be a tough climb since the other teams — especially the collegiate-based squads — have familiarity on their side.

“We’re taking it one game at a time but the goal is to win the championship,” he said. “But we know that it’s not going to be easy since we are going up against the top collegiate teams.

“So we’re just going to go all out every game.”

Besides winning the championship, Subido is on a personal mission. As one of the seniors for the Growling Tigers next season, he hopes to learn to become a better leader for next season.

“I want to become a better leader. I know that everything I can learn this conference, I can bring to UST,” Subido expressed.

“For all I can see, coach Aldin [Ayo] is a guard-oriented coach. So I’m using all the experience I get here in Marinero, I’ll bring it to UST.”

For sure, Subido wants to make up for lost time.

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