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PBA Commissioner’s Cup Semis Survival Kit: Talk ‘N Text vs. Purefoods



Talk ‘N Text and Purefoods are two of the best offensive teams in the league, an indication that their semifinals series might be full of explosives.

They rank among the top three in true shooting percentage (TS%), effective field goal percentage (eFG%), field goal percentage, three-point field goal percentage and assists. The Tropang Texters are no. 2 in the league in offensive rating, while the Star Hotshots are not far behind at no. 4. However, unlike Rain or Shine and their semifinals counterpart, the Tropang Texters’ defense is only average (no. 7 in the league; Purefoods is no. 1) which makes pundits think if they can put up a decent fight from a defensive standpoint against the wards of Tim Cone.

Talk ‘N Text beats its opponents by simply outscoring them. They get to a quick start and keep pushing on the offensive end, and when they margin is already a mile, they just trade baskets afterwards. Question is: will they be able to win by getting crucial stops on the defensive end as well? Purefoods was merciless during its Game 1 encounter against the Alaska Aces, to serve notice to the entire league. Talk ‘N Text did the same a day after, trouncing Barako Bull by 30 freaking points!

However, against the Star Hotshots, the Tropang Texters can’t afford to just trade shots. They are not going up against a mediocre team. They are battling a team that gets the job done on both ends of the floor.

Last season, Talk ‘N Text and Purefoods (then San Mig Coffee) met in the playoffs of all conferences and the latter always got the better of the three series. Will the story change this time around?

Key match-ups

Ivan Johnson (33.9 PPG, 14.4 RPG, 1.9 APG, 2.7 SPG, 40.9% 3 PT FGs, 61.23 TS%
Denzel Bowles (31.3 PPG, 13.6 RPG, 4 APG, 2.9 SPG, 49.7% FGs, 55.26 TS%)

Bowles and Johnson have both been phenomenal and one of them may end up with the Best Import plum this conference. Johnson is 19-for-31 from three-point distance in his last three games that provided more space for the Tropang Texters.

Bowles has been impressive as well, hitting shots from any spot on the floor. The biggest difference so far between the two stalwarts is how they share the ball. Bowles’ assist rate is 18.3 percent and he scores/creates over a third of the Star Hotshots’ output. Johnson is only 10 percent in that category.

Jayson Castro (17.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 5 APG, 47% 3 PT FGs, 2.75 triples per game)
Mark Barroca (11.9 PPG, 4.5, RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.2 SPG)

The series also features two of the best backcourt generals we have in the country today. Castro is still in the Best Player of the Conference conversation with his impressive numbers while Barroca is not far behind.


Talk ‘N Text: Matt Ganuelas-Rosser

The Tropang Texters’ biggest weapon that they did not have last season is Ganuelas-Rosser. The rookie has the size and length to defend Purefoods’ plethora of wing guys like PJ Simon, James Yap, Allein Maliksi, and Alex Mallari. On offense, he is very aggressive, averaging 0.570 free throw attempts per field goal attempts ratio (FTA/FGA) which isn’t a bad percentage (James Harden is 0.557 right now in the NBA, slightly lower because he takes a lot of jumpers. Ganuelas-Rosser is not a jump-shooter).

Purefoods: Joe Devance

Purefoods’ veteran forward averaged 13 PPG, 6 RPG, and 5 APG in the quarterfinals series against Alaska, providing support whether on offense or playmaking. Since he is usually the “point guard” in Cone’s huge lineups, Devance putting up numbers like these will be a problem for TNT.


Purefoods in 5. This series will be full of fireworks. The Tropang Texters will push the defending conference champions to the limit but the Star Hotshots may just get it done with defense in the end.

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D-League to hold three-day showcase for players



Seeking to further display the greatness of the Filipino basketball players, the PBA is giving more chances to the cagers as the league is set to hold the first-ever PBA D-League Showdown later this conference.

Opening the eighth season with this ground-breaking news, PBA officer-in-charge Willie Marcial is hopeful that this will serve as another motivation for the players to perform at their best this 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.

“Ginagawa naman natin ito para mas galingan ng mga players natin para rin maipakita nila yung tunay nilang talento,” he said Thursday during the opening ceremonies at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Marcial bared that the plan is to hold a two-day summit for the players suiting up in the ongoing conference to allow them to showcase their talents in front of coaches and scouts, not just from the PBA but also from countries in the Southeast Asian region.

“Lahat ng mga players ay maglalaro dito at mapapanood hindi lang ng mga PBA coaches,” he said.

“Iimbitahin din namin ang mga coaches ng ibang bansa tulad ng Malaysia, Thailand, at Vietnam na kumukuha ng imports sa atin.”

Marcial acknowledged that as much as players seek to make the jump to the pro league, securing spots in the PBA teams have been hard to crack over the past few years, forcing the players to look elsewhere for opportunities.

That has made playing in overseas leagues an option for these less fortunate ballers, keeping them earning while also hoping to impress scouts while keeping their PBA dreams alive.

Some of the players who suited up in the D-League and are currently playing outside of the country are Paul Zamar and Almond Vosotros in Thailand, AJ Mandani in Singapore, and Reil Cervantes in Indonesia.

With this project, Marcial is hopeful that this would keep the players in line while also delivering the best competition the D-League could dream of.

“Iwasan natin ang bisyo at galingan ninyo.”

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Letran overpowers Lyceum for second win



After a string of losses, the Colegio San Juan de Letran Lady Knights returned to the NCAA Season 93 win column with a gritty win over the short-handed Lyceum of the Philippines University Lady Pirates, 28-26, 20-25, 26-24, 25-20, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Knights won out in a sloppy match which had both teams combine for 25 aces, 15 coming from Letran. According to assistant coach Ron Dulay, Letran needed to solve their reception problems on the fly.

“Weakness nga siguro namin ‘yung receive, pero inaayos namin siya ensayo. Kanina medyo shaky lang ‘yung mga bata. Mabuti noong dulo naka-adjust kami sa ginagawa ng kalaban,” said Dulay.

Both sides also had a whooping 34 errors apiece. Letran’s miscues, however, came early in the match and were lessened by the deciding fourth set which they won convincingly.

“Unti-unte tumataas ‘yung level ng team. Kailangan talaga namin mag-double time pa sa mga susunod na laban kung gusto namin umabot doon sa Top Four,” Dulay added.

Second-year Lady Knight Charm Simborio led the way with 17 points while Glayssa Torres added 15 which includes two blocks and three aces.

The Lady Knights (2-2) take on perennial rival San Beda College (4-0) on Monday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Christine Miralles topped the Lady Pirates with a career-high 21 points. Team captain Bien Juanillo added 17 markers.

The Lady Pirates (1-3) face the undefeated defending champs Arellano University (4-0) on Sunday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

CSJL (3) – Simborio 17, Torres 15, Abitan 11, Barrinuevo 8, Parin 8, Mendoza 3, Bangcola 2, Uriza 1, Perez 0, Larioque (L)

LPU (1) – Miralles 21, Juanillo 17, Sevilla 11, Bongabong 5, Patio 5, Genova 2, Marcella (L), Romanban (L)

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

FIBA 3×3 World Cup to be a huge boost for country’s Olympic bid



All roads will lead to Bocaue, Bulacan as the 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will head to the Philippine Arena. The biggest tournament in 3×3 basketball will be played from June 8-12, 2018.

The announcement was made Thursday afternoon by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executives. The event was graced by Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas, SMART Sports’ Christopher Quimpo, and FIBA’s 3×3 Managing Director Alex Sanchez.

With 3×3 basketball being declared an Olympic event last 2017, the SBP is looking at this tournament as a way to prove to the world that we are capable of hosting and that we can compete with the world’s finest.

“As mentioned earlier, I think we’ve been very successful holding it in the malls, 3,000 to 4,000 people watching the games. We chose to move it to a bigger venue, I think we want to give an opportunity for more people to see the games,” said SBP president Al Panlilio.

“From a Philippine basketball point of view, that gives an opportunity for the youth to watch the game. From an SBP, FIBA perspective, we want bigger crowds in 3×3 and that’s something we want to deliver to FIBA,” he added.

There will be 40 teams split into two divisions that will compete in this annual tourney.

For the men’s side, the Philippines will take on teams from Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Ecuador, Estonia, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, and Uruguaz.

In the women’s division, the hosts will face Andorra, Argentina, Bahrain, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkmenistan, United States, and Venezuela.

With this task of hosting a world class tournament, Chooks-to-Go vowed to help in the organization of it.

“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,” said Mascariñas.

“Kanina pinag-uusapan na, if we’re going to break the record in attendance. I think the question there is not if we’re going to break, but how many more times.”

FIBA, on the other hand, is looking forward to helping groom a possible Philippine team that will compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“I’m sure the event this year, we’re starting the countdown, is going to be amazing,” Sanchez said. “I think this is going to be helpful for us in developing.

“I’m coming from Tokyo where we’re discussing the venue and layout of the Olympics. We should make an effort with Al and SBP to see if we have a Filipino team in Olympics. In my opinion Filipinos have a real chance to make it. Hopefully this can give us a nice push to get a PH team to the Olympics,” the Spanish executive added.

“See you in June.”

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Perpetual escapes upset-hungry EAC



Fighting off a sluggish start, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas came alive late to slip past the Emilio Aguinaldo College Lady Generals, 22-25, 25-19, 25-14, 23-25, 15-13, and remain on pace for a spot in the NCAA Season 93 Final Four at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Taking on a struggling EAC side, Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño knew that there was a possibility that his squad would relax. His team has had trouble starting and finishing off matches, as evidenced in their first set performance and lack of finishing push in the fourth frame.

“May tendency talaga ‘yung team ko na mag-relax. Sabihin na nating hindi kasi sobrang lakas ng kalaban. Pero alam naman natin sa volleyball na wala namang team na ibibigay sa’yo ‘yung panalo, kailangan kunin mo talaga,” Cariño lamented.

The fifth frame came down to late breaks. The Lady Altas broke a 13-all tie with back-to-back transition conversions from Cindy Imbo and Lourdes Clemente.

“Siyempre, nage-expect ako nang mas maganda pang performance sa team ko. Alam din naman nila na mas may ibubuga pa sila kaya kailangan mas maganda ang ipakita namin sa mga huli naming laro,” the NCAA champion mentor added.

Imbo tallied a game-high 17 points, while Clemente and Maria Aurora Tripoli added 15 points, apiece. The Lady Altas needed all of their 11 aces and 11 blocks to offset their season-high 42 errors.

Aira Binondo was the only Lady General in double-digits with 13 points.

The Lady Altas (3-1) next face the Jose Rizal University (2-2) on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. EAC (0-4) will look for their first win on Monday against the College of Saint Benilde (2-1).

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Imbo 17, Clemente 15, Tripoli 15, Sangalang 11, Llorente 10, Versoza 4, Estanislao 1, Gual 1, Umandal 0, Medalla (L)

EAC (2) – Binondo 13, Tongco 9, Pablo 8, Lumbao 7, Magbanua 7, Reyes A. 3, Reyes K. 3, Tasis 2, Yongco 1, Medina (L)

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