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Saint Benilde outlasts EAC in OT to get out of the cellar

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In a battle of two also-ran teams, the College of Saint Benilde Blazers continued to play on, staying aggressive for 45 minutes to outlast the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals in overtime, 94-84, Thursday evening at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

Though it was just their fourth win this season, the win lifted CSB to eight place, leapfrogging the Perpetual Help and Mapua. EAC, on the other hand, dropped their fifth straight game to fall to 6-11.

“Well, we never really thought to ourselves na out na kami at ayaw na namin maglaro. As athletes every single game dapat kami mag-improve, magdagdag ng repertoire sa game namin,” said first-year Blazers head coach TY Tang. “It’s about improving oursevelves individually and playing together because after this season because it’s still a team next year.”

And it showed during the game.

Saint Benilde did not allow a Hail Mary shot by Sidney Onwubere with 19.2 seconds remaining in regulation to dampen their spirits.

With the steady floor generalship of Unique Naboa in extra time, the Blazers were not rattled, going on a 14-3 run to gain a 92-81 lead with 1:24 left. While the CSB offense was clicking, the Generals looked bamboozled, as they continuously looked for the outside shot but to no avail.

Sidney Onwubere tried to will EAC back with a three-point play but free throws by Naboa sealed the win.

Naboa, a rookie out of La Salle Greenhills, finished with 13 points, five rebounds, five assists, and two steals, while Senegalese student-athlete Clement Leutcheu tallied a double-double with 24 points on 11-for-15 shooting to go along with 14 rebounds. Edward Dixon also notched a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

With just one game remaining in their calendar, Tang is looking make the most out of it.

“As a coach, I still have a lot of things to work on and it’s good that coach Siot [Tanquincen] is there, coach Carlo [Tan] to help me,” Tang reflected. “It’s a springboard, helping me and the team to make sure that my head coaching stint in my first year is up to standards.”

Playing in his penultimate game before his collegiate career ends, Sidney Onwubere finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Juju Bautista paced EAC with 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Saint Benilde’s season finale will be on Tuesday, October 17 at 4:00pm, when they take on the Letran Knights. EAC face the Perpetual Altas on the same day at 12:00nn.

The Scores:

CSB (94) – Leutcheu 24, Dixon 19, Naboa 13, Domingo 10, San Juan 7, Suarez 6, Castor 4, Johnson 4, Sta. Maria 3, Belgica 2, Young 1, Velasco 0, Bunyi 0, Pili 0.

EAC (84) – Bautista 17, Munsayac 16, Onwubere 15, Garcia 14, Bugarin 8, Diego 7, Mendoza I. 2, Mendoza J. 2, Tampoc 2, Pascua 1, Corilla 0, Neri 0.

Quarterscores: 14-10, 30-36, 55-55, 78-78, 94-84.

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PBA tweaks format for 2017-18 Philippine Cup playoffs

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From 10 teams in the past, only eight teams will advance into the 2018 Philippine Cup playoffs as the PBA made a few changes in its’ format for the 43rd season’s Philippine Cup, making every single game important for all teams.

The way the playoffs will be played out though remains the same. The top two teams will have a twice-to-beat edge over teams ranked seventh and eight, while the ones in the middle (3 vs 6, 4 vs 5) will figure in best-of-three contests.

Both the semifinals and finals will still be best-of-seven affairs.

Meanwhile, the league has also released the full schedule of the Philippine Cup Friday, eight days after publicizing a partial sked that only showed games from December 17 to 29.

SMART-Araneta Coliseum, SM Mall of Asia Arena, and Ynares Center in Antipolo will serve the main venues of PBA games. The FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan and the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay will also hold a few matches.

This season’s Christmas Games, which features GlobalPort Batang Pier-NLEX Road Warriors and Barangay Ginebra-Magnolia Hotshots, will be staged at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

And just like in the past seasons, the league will also hold playdates in out-of-town venues such as Ilo-ilo City, Legazpi in Albay, Calasiao in Pangasinan, Dumaguete City, and Cagayan de Oro City. All of these are set on Saturdays.

The PBA will raise the curtains of its’ 43rd year this Sunday, December 17, at the Big Dome, with defending champions San Miguel Beermen starting their four-peat bid against a revamped Phoenix Fuel Masters at 6:45 PM.

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SBP, Robbie Puno still looking for ‘right player’ to naturalize for 2023 World Cup

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Though a lot of foreign cagers have presented themselves as willing to play for SMART Gilas Pilipinas and become naturalized Filipino, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has yet to pick on who will be the heir apparent to Andray Blatche come the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

“At this point in time, we do not have any particular player yet. My understanding is we’re still looking for the best possible candidate,” shared SBP vice chairman Robbie Puno during the celebration of the 2023 World Cup hosting held at Crowne Plaza in Pasig City.

Blatche, who last played for Gilas during the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, will be 37 years old when the 2023 edition rolls around. Names that have been thrown out during the calendar year were former Blackwater Elite import Greg Smith, who will be 33 years old in 2023, and Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas reinforcement Isaiah Austin, who will turn 30 by that time.

Still, Puno and his group are taking their time, carefully filtering the candidates as to not hamper the process of the legislative body of the Philippines.

“If our target is 2023, there will be probably enough time for us to make sure we have the right player in terms of his basketball skills, but also his age as well as his attitude,” said Puno, a former congressman representing the first district of Antipolo City.

Moreover, the 55-year-old politician has already planted the seeds for this long process by already talking to the members of the Lower House who will author the bill.

“Right now, we’re ready to spearhead that process. We’ve spoken with a couple of congressmen who will author the bill,” Puno disclosed.

“What we’re waiting for is the imprimatur as to who we will really make the effort to naturalize, because when you start that process, it becomes really difficult.”

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SOURCES: Perpetual Help taps Frankie Lim as consultant

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Frankie Lim looks to bring a championship to a school that is hungry for it/PBA Images

Frankie Lim will steer a once-heated rival to the promised land

The multi-titled mentor has been appointed as a team consultant of the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas as the 57-year-old tactician will be tasked to reboot the team after a lackluster run in the NCAA Season 93 Seniors’ Basketball tournament.

Sources closely monitoring the situation bared that Lim is now running practice for the Altas as he works side-by-side with coach Jimwell Gican.

“Consultant na siya sa Perpetual, pero siya rin ang nagpapatakbo sa practice,” the source said.

Another source confirmed the development and also shared that Lim is looking to bring in two of his assistants in the coaching staff, further proving his seriousness for the job. The names of the assistants, however, were not disclosed.

The Altas went 4-14 last season with Gican at the helm as he relied on Prince Eze, Gab Dagangon, and AJ Coronel to lead the squad.

According to a third source, it was either Lim or NCAA Season 93 commissioner Bai Cristobal who was being picked by Perpetual Help to serve as the team’s consultant. However, Cristobal still wanted to assume his role as league commissioner for one more year, especially since Perpetual Help is hosting the 94th season of the Grand Old League.

Perpetual is looking for an early preparation for NCAA Season 94 as it joins the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup in January.

Lim was last seen in the sidelines in the PBA when he coached Ginebra in 2015. He won four titles with his alma mater San Beda from 2007 to 2011 Before briefly going to Indonesia to coach Stadium Jakarta.

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Cost of hosting FIBA World Cup is ‘expensive’, says MVP

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The officials of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas were in a celebratory mood on Thursday afternoon as the federation celebrated the Philippines’ hosting of the 2023 FIBA World Cup. And this was a real victory for the country after it suffered heartbreak back in 2015 during the announcement of the 2019 FIBA World Cup hosting.

“When we lost to China in Tokyo, there were two parts in that presentation. The first is the emotional part, we won hands down,” recalled SBP Chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan. “Yao Ming came over and said you won that one.

“We just lost in the infrastructure bid.”

That was why the Philippines needed to alter its pitch for the 2023 tourney. Instead of focusing on emotion, the country tapped the assistance of Japan and Indonesia for its new bid.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

But with this, many wondered how much will it cost for the country to host this tournament that will feature 32 teams from all across the world. The officials of the national sports association were mum about it, only saying that it’s “expensive”.

“The first word that came to my mind was expensive.

“I don’t think it’s right to be precise about numbers,” Pangilinan shared.

“Sa amin na lang yun. We really can’t disclose it eh,” admitted Foreign Affairs secretary Alan Cayetano

Despite the high costs, the SBP is gunning to break the all-time FIBA attendance record.

The record was set back in the 1954 edition of the tournament in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, that attracted 35,000 fans. The Philippine Arena, which will host the semifinals and final of the tournament, has a capacity of 55,000.

“We think we will surpass the FIBA-record for attendance. Imagine a Team USA vs. Gilas Finals,” quipped SBP president Al Panlilio.

Still, Pangilinan — who said that hosting the tournament will be his lasting legacy to Philippine sports — expressed that the cost does not matter if it will give joy to the Filipino people.

“You cannot put a price on this thing.”

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