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Globalport withstands Never-Say-Die Ginebra, moves on to franchise-first semifinals

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Facing hungry veterans and a rowdy opposing crowd, the up-and-coming Globalport Batang Pier showed the wares of their continued maturation, eliminating the Barangay Ginebra Kings in a wild 84-83 decision late Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The game started out as billed; Globalport’s vaunted backcourt duo worked isolations to find points while Ginebra relied on their twin towers to counter. Stanley Pringle and Terrence Romeo hit beautiful off-the-dribble triples on back-to-back possessions to highlight an 8-3 Batang Pier run that gave them an 18-12 lead with three minutes left in the opening quarter.
Globalport, however, failed to produce another basket for the quarter while Greg Slaughter earned two second chance baskets in the last two minutes to pull the Barangay to within two, 16-18, heading into the second canto.

With the Gin Kings taking the lead early in the second quarter, 21-20, off jumpers from Joe Devance and Sol Mercado, Romeo essayed a solo 5-0 run capped by a signature stepback triple in front of two defenders to keep the Batang Pier ahead, 25-21. Slaughter then continued to plug away at Globalport’s smaller frontline, converting consecutive post-up attempts for a 27-all tie. With 2:26 left in the half, one half of Ginebra’s twin towers, Japeth Aguilar ended a miserable first two quarters, incurring his fourth foul, forcing Tim Cone to bench the former Ateneo Blue Eagle after scoring just two points. But the Batangpier could not pull away as Mark Caguioa earned his first five points in the half’s final minute to trim a four-point Globalport lead down to one, 32-33.

Ginebra Point Guard and National Team veteran, LA Tenorio got his team going at the start of the third quarter, finding Devance and Caguiao for easy layups that put Ginebra up 34-33. Pringle responded with five-point blitz before both teams’ offense momentarily stalled. Tenorio and Slaughter found points from the charity stripe for 44-41 Ginebra lead with four minutes remaining. Former La Salle Green Archer, Joseph Yeo joined Romeo in a late scoring spree that kept the game close. The pair combined for Batang Pier’s final 12 points of the third period and salvaged a 53-all tie heading into the final quarter.

A sharp offensive exchange to kick off the payoff period ended with Ginebra ahead, 61-60. With his team struggling to find baskets, Stanley Pringle broke away on consecutive possessions and scored on layups that buoyed Batang Pier ahead 69-64 with five minutes left. As he did in the Christmas Classico, LA Tenorio came up with huge plays in the endgame, sparking the Never-Say-Die Gin Kings. Tenorio drilled a triple, found Slaughter who was hacked then made two free throws, before nailing another trifecta, putting Ginebra up 72-69 with less than two minutes remaining. After a timeout, Yeo drove to the basket for a layup, trimming the Ginebra lead down to one 71-72. After trading bricks and turnovers, Slaughter and Pringle both split charities, 72-73, with less than a minute remaining. After snaring an offensive rebound with 11 ticks to go, Tenorio after being fouled but missed one of his charities, snaring up the Pringle-Billy Mamaril pick-and-roll connection that tied the game at 74. With four seconds remaining, Tenorio broke away from a double team and pulled up from three only to have Mamaril stuff his potential game winner from behind, prompting overtime.

Romeo and Pringle broke the extra session silence- the former hitting a triple and the latter breaking away for a transition bucket, vaulting Globalport ahead, 79-74. After Slaughter hit two free throws, Romeo found an open Jay Washington for a corner triple, giving Globalport an 82-76 lead. The veteran Gin Kings tried to climb out of the hole but the young Batangpier were geared up for the semifinals. Tenorio drained another clutch triple then found Aguilar underneath who was hacked and made one of two free throws, leaving 1:15 on the clock and two point Globalport lead, 82-80. Rushing to the other end of the court, Pringle caught a back-pedaling Greg Slaughter off guard, and hit a floater that kept his team up 84-80. Climbing over two Globalport players, Aguilar grabbed a crucial offensive rebound but again made just one of two free throws with 41 seconds left. After getting a huge stop, Ginebra successfully executed a quick-two play that further cut into the Batang Pier lead, 83-84, but had just eight seconds left. Following a timeout, Globalport inbounded to Pringle who held the ball, waiting to be fouled. Trying to force a turnover, Ginebra did not, however, hack the FilAm guard who proceeded to pivot between two defenders, dangerously tip-toeing the halfcourt line. Pringle successfully held the ball for the last eight seconds without the referees calling a violation, prompting the ire of the entire Ginebra coaching staff and management.

Since the referees made no calls in the last play, the review and violation Ginebra yearned could not be called, keeping them searching for an elusive title.

Player of the Game Stanley Pringle was proud of the team effort the team displayed in battling the imposing Ginebra frontline. “Our whole team played together and we wanted it,” he said. “We really wanted to win.”

When asked about the controversy that arose after the game, Pringle believes that the officials have the right to review it but ultimately made the right decision. “It was a close game and they reviewed it. I think they made the right choice and we won the game,” he remarked about the incident.

According to PBA officials, Barangay Ginebra has until 12:00nn tomorrow, December 28 if they are going to file a complaint about the late game non-call.

The Slash Brothers combined for 48 huge points with Pringle scoring 25 and Romeo adding 23. Pringle was an excellent 10/18 from the field and was able to grab eight boards. On the other hand, Romeo was just 33% from the field but was able to knock down five triples. Jay Washington added 12 points off the bench.

Ginebra was led by the huge double-double by Greg Slaughter. Slaughter tallied 25 points on an excellent 9/11 shooting clip and grabbed 18 boards. LA Tenorio had 18 points but was just 5/14 from the field while Joe Devance added 12 markers.

Globalport shot just 37% from the field compared to Ginebra’s 40% and were also outrebounded 62-49. Fortunately for the Batang Pier, they were able to force Ginebra to 21 turnovers and were able to knock down three more triples compared to their opponents that proved to be the difference.

Globalport Batang Pier moves on to the semifinals of the 2015-16 PBA Smart Bro Philippine Cup Tournament to face the Alaska Aces. “We need to stay together as a team, review some tape, and, first and foremost, get some rest,” Pringle closed when asked about the match-up against the Aces.

The Scores:
Globalport (84) – Pringle 25, Romeo 23, Washington 13, Yeo 11, Mamaril 4, Semrad 3, Kramer 3, Jensen 2, Maierhofer 0, Pena 0, Sumang 0.
Ginebra (83) – Slaughter 25, Tenorio 18, Devance 12, Caguioa 9, Mercado 9, Aguilar 6, Cruz 4, Ellis 0, Thompson 0, Marcelo 0.
Quarterscores: 18-16, 33-32, 53-53, 74-74, 84-83


For the hottest photos in sports go to BurnSports Philippines

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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Yeng Guiao denies using racial slur against Chris Ross

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During the post-game of the San Miguel Beermen’s victory over the NLEX Road Warriors, reigning Coach of the Year Leo Austria said that NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao called Chris Ross the “N” word that caused the commotion.

According to Chris, tinawagan siya ng nigger or ganiyan,” said Austria. “I don’t know but that’s what he explained to me because I confronted Chris Ross because he’s one of the most important players in my team.

“But that’s the thing he doesn’t want to hear so nagflare up yung bata so I cannot blame him.”

Guiao though denied that he blurted out racial slurs against San Miguel’s Chris Ross.

“Hindi. Hindi ko tinawag na N-word. Ewan ko kung may nakarinig. Pero hindi,” clarified the fiery tactician moments after their 98-109 defeat, their third straight after starting the 2018 Philippine Cup with two straight wins.

That tussle, according to Guiao, was just filled with trash talking against each other, as he felt the need to retaliate. In fact, Guiao was even caught by the TV camera saying “son of a bitch” towards the Filipino-American point guard.

“Daldal siya ng daldal eh. Eh sa akin naman kapag ganon, siguro respeto nalang. Lumayo ka nalang tutal mananalo naman na kayo,” he said. “I didn’t understand what he was saying, what he was talking about.

“Nakipagtrash-talking din ako sa kanya.”

Furthermore, the 58-year-old was also caught by the cameras flipping the bird — in one quick motion — also against Ross.

“Oo. Kasama na rin yun.

“Pero ano naman eh, it’s part of, siguro, psychological warfare. Malakas din siya mang-asar. Hindi lang naman sa amin. Everytime naman na mga ganoong skirmishes, he also knows what he’s capable of,” the seven-time champion coach furthered.

But more than this scuffle, it really has become a stressful time for Guiao and the Road Warriors. They have now went down to 2-3 in the team standings, and the mentor sees the great need to end this slump immediately.

“We have to arrest it very soon. Ang susunod na laro namin ay versus Rain or Shine sa Friday. So we need to go back to 50 percent win-loss level para at least may chance ka na maka-playoffs. That’s going to be a crucial game for us,” he stressed.

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Kiefer Ravena shocked with Von Pessumal’s shove: ‘I did not expect that at all’

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Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal have been teammates ever since they were in high school, winning three UAAP juniors crowns together. They won two championships together in the seniors level and even played together in Gilas. They were inseparable.

Friday evening however, they were playing for separate camps.

Ravena admitted that he never expected a shove to come from Pessumal during the NLEX Road Warriors’ clash with San Miguel Beermen.

In an off-ball situation, Pessumal charged at Ravena, sending the rookie down to the floor with 9:50 remaining in the final frame. He was then whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul, and Ravena sank one from the line.

“I did not expect that at all,” admitted Ravena after the match in which they lost, 98-109 — their third straight defeat after a 2-0 start. “But hopefully Von doesn’t take it personal.

“I’m just doing my job. They won the game.”

Ravena insisted that there wasn’t any physicality between him and Pessumal prior to that, but he thinks that his former Gilas teammate may have gotten irked by his staredown after blocking him on a fastbreak play early in the fourth.

“When that fastbreak happened — the same exact possession na I challenged him, I looked at him, and after that yun na yung nangyari,” said the 23-year-old guard. “But I never instigated something to provoke Von to do that.

“Probably nung tinignan ko siya.”

Moreover, the second overall pick of the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft felt that that incident “started all the commotions during the end game (laughs). Yun yung pinaka-una eh. And with that, the team got fired up and it worked for them.”

He may be right, for the game saw more skirmishes after that: from teammate Michael Miranda kicking Chris Ross to the groin, and with his head coach Yeng Guiao figuring in a heated verbal war also against Ross.

But then, Ravena made it clear that it was never a plan of his to put down somebody, especially someone like Pessumal who he sees as a brother for life.

“You know, Von and I, we go way back. Things like this hopefully don’t become too personal.

“I have no intention na ipapahiya yung tao or sasaktan mo yung tao. Wala namang ganun. Laro-laro lang,” said NLEX’s leading scorer.

It was somehow a night to remember for Ravena, but for all the wrong reasons. After Friday’s loss that sent their card to 2-3, the veteran internationalist now sees the need for him and the Road Warriors to push the panic button.

“‘Di na pwedeng sabihin palaging kailangan namin matuto eh. Pangatlong sunod na,” the second-generation cager expressed.

“Kailangan siguro naming umaksyon.”

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Downcast Chris Ross chooses to stay mum after heated altercation with Yeng Guiao

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Through wins or losses, Chris Ross has always accommodated the members of the press asking for interviews and fans requesting for photo ops every after game. But Friday evening, the nine-year pro was despondent.

Visibly agitated with the events that had transpired during the San Miguel Beermen’s tilt against the NLEX Road Warriors, Ross, with his hoodie covering his head, left the Cuneta Astrodome without saying a word.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year had figured in physical play after physical play and verbal exchange after verbal exchange with the frustrated Road Warriors.

Ross and Alex Mallari were both slapped with technicals after a confrontation with 9:06 left. This was just the start of many things to come for the Filipino-American defensive specialist

After knocking down a triple and receiving a taunt from Ross, Michael Miranda was assessed a disqualifying foul for an apparent kick to the groin against Ross with 4:35 left.

The tip of the iceberg came with 1:46 left to play and the game all but settled.

Yeng Guiao and Ross figured in a heated word war that resulted in Ross’ second technical foul for the game. Referees and players from both sides had to separate the two to prevent things from escalating.

San Miguel coach Leo Austria alleged that the fiery NLEX mentor said the “N” word, while some said Guiao called Ross a “bitch”.

Ross finished the game with four points, eight rebounds, and four steals in 37 minutes of action.

For sure, penalties and suspensions will come out of this game.

And it was better for Ross to stay silent.

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Jason Brickman flirts with triple-double as Mono holds off Singapore

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After playing his worst game of the season last Sunday against Tanduay Alab Pilipinas, Jason Brickman bounced back, steering the Mono Vampire to a 91-88 road victory over the Singapore Slingers, Friday evening at the OCBC Arena.

The 26-year-old, who finished with just seven points and three assists in their 71-104 loss to Alab, tallied 10 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. The league-leader in assists did not take a break, playing all 40 minutes.

But it was not a walk in the park for the Thailand-based squad.

Mono led by as much as 22 points, 60-48, with 7:46 left, 16 points entering the final frame. A furious fourth quarter rally by Singapore sliced the lead, turning the game into a single-possession contest with a minute left. The steady hands of Samuel Deguara and Mike Singletary from the stripe fended off Singapore.

Brickman’s compatriot Paul Zamar chipped in 13 markers for Mono.

Since torching Alab last January 3, Filipino-Canadian AJ Mandani has been on a slump, going just 3-for-11 from the field for nine points.

Mono’s World Imports Samuel Deguara and Mike Singletary both finished with 26 points with the former hauling down 18 rebounds. For Singapore, Xavier Alexander paced the Slingers with 29 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.

With the win, the Vampire kept solo third with a 7-4 slate. On the other hand, the Slingers dropped its second straight game since winning against Alab, falling to 5-6.

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