Connect with us
[adinserter block="13"] [adinserter block="3"]

Hontiveros sizzles in crunch time, leads Alaska past Rain or Shine to book spot in finals

Published

on

A sizzling fourth quarter performance from Dondon Hontiveros and a couple of big defensive plays
proved to be all the difference the Alaska Aces needed, for they are now headed to the PBA Philippine Cup finals after a 79-76 victory over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters as they wrapped up their semifinal series in Game 6 and set a finals showdown with old foes the San Miguel Beermen, Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Powered by an explosive early first quarter performance by big man Raymond Almazan on both ends of the court, the Elasto Painters paced the opening minutes of the period, leading by as many as six points.

After holding Rain or Shine scoreless for nearly three minutes of play, the Aces managed to force a 12-all deadlock with just three minutes left in the quarter, following a lay-up from Erik Menk. Tensions rose with just a minute left on the clock, after Alaska’s Calvin Abueva complained about being hit in the face by Rain or Shine enforcer Beau Belga after the two found themselves tangled up while digging for a loose ball. Belga was slapped with a technical foul for second motion, and the extra free throw awarded to the Aces gave them their first lead of the game at 15-14. At the end of the period, the Aces led 20-16.

The affair continued to be a defensive, low-scoring one for most of the early second quarter. Led by fleet-footed big man Vic Manuel who dominated on both ends of the court, Alaska stayed on top for most of the quarter, eventually closing out the first half with the biggest lead of either team in the first 24 minutes, 36-28. They held the Elasto Painters to 27.5 % field goal shooting and 1-of-15 three-point shooting. The Aces shot a marginally better 39% from their end of the court for the first half.

Though the Elasto Painters showed some signs of life early in the third period, the Aces answered back for every run mounted by the Rain or Shine side, who came within striking distance a couple of times early in the quarter but could come no closer. Their fortunes finally turned around at the three-minute mark after a trey from Belga gave them their first taste of the lead since the first quarter, 50-48. They proved to be the quicker draw in the ensuing exchange of baskets, and at the end of the penultimate quarter they led by four, 60-56.

A corner triple from Hontiveros gave the Aces back their lead, 67-66, with around less than nine
minutes on the clock. The veteran sharpshooter’s series of threes kept the Aces in the running,
with the lead traded numerous times in the next few minutes of play. Entering the final two minutes, the Elasto Painters held the lead, 76-73, but another triple from Hontiveros tied the ball game up at the 1:34 mark. Another triple from the 14-year veteran approaching the final minute gave the Aces a 79-76 lead.

Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan both bricked three-point attempts in the following play, before Alaska could corral the ball and burn out some time from the clock. Later with ten seconds left on the clock, Rain or Shine found Chan on the wing, but he once more bricked what could have been the basket to save the game. The ball was rebounded by Sonny Thoss, who held on to the ball as the clock expired.

Hontiveros took home Player of the Game honors with 17 points, six rebounds, and 5/9 shooting from beyond the arc off the bench. Chan led the Elasto Painters with 14 points.

Photo by Nuki Sabio

Advertisements
Advertisement
Click to comment

Basketball

Fired-up Von Pessumal on Kiefer Ravena incident: ‘I’m not here to make any friends’

Published

on

Will bridges be burned?

Von Pessumal was heavily-scrutinized Friday evening after an incident with fellow Ateneo lifer Kiefer Ravena.

It took place with 9:50 left in the final frame of the San Miguel Beermen’s highly-charged tilt against the NLEX Road Warriors. After Marcio Lassiter launched a trey, Pessumal looked like he was aiming for the rebound. Instead, he simply charged towards Ravena and pushed him down.

Lassiter’s three-pointer counted, while Pessumal, who was blocked by Ravena in a fastbreak and then received a staredown moments prior, was whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul.

It was a surprising sight to see considering the amount of time he and Ravena have spent together — a bond that started ever since they were in high school. Even the second-generation star admitted that he did not expect that from his former running body.

“I did not expect that at all,” said the NLEX rookie.

But Pessumal downplayed such incident despite attempts by scribes to make him elaborate what had really transpired during that moment.

“It’s part of the game. It’s part of the game,” the league sophomore said after the match which they won 109-98. “I don’t wanna say anything, I’m sorry.

“It’s part of the game. Whatever move on. Not a big deal.”

Asked if he was motivated to face Ravena, whom he had shared three UAAP juniors titles, two UAAP seniors crowns, and a SEA Games gold medal with, the 24-year-old shared that he approached Friday’s bout the way he usually does.

“I wouldn’t say motivated [versus Kiefer], I mean, it’s just like any other game. When I play, I don’t see who’s guarding me, I just play,” said the 6-foot-2 swingman.

“I play to win all the time.”

The incident he and Ravena figured in shadowed his performance of 10 points on 50 percent shooting off the bench — the second time he had scored in double figures this season. After Friday, Pessumal is averaging 8.25 points.

“We have to sustain the level of excellence that they (starters) have. Our job is — I wouldn’t say support, but — when we get in, we should bring the level higher so when they come back, the game is easier for them,” he said.

Pessumal was then asked if he and Ravena met each other after the buzzer sounded as the two did not even shake hands after the contest. But, through a short yet strong response, the 24-year-old said that they did not.

“I wouldn’t say anything. I don’t know, after the game?,” he expressed.

“I’m a professional basketball player, I’m not here to make any friends.”

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Basketball

Yeng Guiao denies using racial slur against Chris Ross

Published

on

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.

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Basketball

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

Published

on

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.”

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Basketball

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

Published

on

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.

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Trending