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Stats Don’t Lie: Guinto – The Saving Grace of Mahindra’s 2015 Draft

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Last August, we gave Kia Mahindra a failing grade for “trading” their #2 overall pick to the MVP group. The net result of that trade were two not-bad-but-not-great (and definitely not game-changing) players in veterans KG Canaleta and Aldrech Ramos. The thinking was that with those guys, maybe they’d win a few more games this year but long-term, it was definitely the wrong move.

So far, the expected “instant impact” of the trade has been nonexistent, as the two players have had no effect on the team in terms of standings. Mahindra is battling for the final playoff spot with a 2-7 record.

However, one cannot ignore that the team is doing much better in its second year under Chito Victolero, as it’s been competitive in every game. A lot of this has to do with their top draft pick, Bradwyn Guinto.

With all the hullabaloo surrounding the trading of it’s top pick, the drafting of the Fil-Australian center out of San Sebastian College went under the radar. After all, who the heck pays attention in the second round of the PBA draft?

Apparently, Mahindra’s management did. With no choice but to give away its first round pick, they knew that absolutely had to nail their second round pick. The team instantly targeted a big man, as they were pretty set at the guard spots with young guns LA Revilla and Karl Dehesa and had just traded for aforementioned forwards Canaleta and Ramos. That left the big-man slot to fill.

Enter Guinto.PBA Images - GIN MAH - Greg Slaughter

I’m gonna go ahead and borrow Revilla’s nickname and say that Guinto has simply been a revelation for the second-year franchise.

He’s currently averaging a solid 9.22 rebounds per game, good for 8th in the league entering December 9. Moreover, he’s grabbing an insane 3.2 offensive rebounds a game, putting him at 6th in the league. Three of the five guys ahead of him? The three biggest dudes in the league, Taulava, Fajardo, and Slaughter!

How the heck is Guinto doing this?

Analysts say that one of the skill-sets that transfers smoothly from the college game to the pro game is rebounding. Look at guys like Abueva or Kenneth Farried in the NBA. Both those guys were great rebounders in college. Their knack for getting to the ball is a skill set that not everyone possesses.

Unlike those two workhorses though, Guinto is not blessed with out-of-this-world athleticism. Instead, he has to rely on old-fashioned hard work and being smart. Guinto is constantly moving around the paint and running the floor, trying to tire out his match up. He also knows how to position himself under the basket and seems to have a good feel for rebounding angles.

In the following clip, we see that Guinto moves in from the outside and boxes Eric Menk in, allowing him to grab any rebound that comes up short.

In the next clip, Guinto rolls to the basket after setting a screen for Bagatsing. Not only does he do a good job of sealing after diving to the rim, but he also pins Manuel on his back. When Manuel tries to go on the high side to prevent a post entry, Guinto shifts his weight, allowing him to get inside position for the offensive rebound.

It also benefits Guinto that he plays alongside Mark Yee, another tenacious rebounder According to Humblebola.com, both Guinto and Yee are in the top ten in rebound rate (an approximate for the percentage of rebounds a person grabs while he’s on the floor). While opposing bigs are preoccupied with Yee and his antics, Guinto can swoop in and get his share of rebounds.

It remains to be seen whether Guinto had a tough time defending the likes of Slaughter and Fajardo during their respective games but those guys have wealth of international and local experience compared to the young buck.

It’s a pick like this that can make a team go up a level. Alaska drafted guards RJ Jazul and Ping Exciminiano in the second round of their respective drafts. Gilas 2.0 studs Larry Fonacier and Jeff Chan were both second round picks as well. PJ Simon was picked FOURTH THIRD (43rd!!!)!

This isn’t to say that Guinto will be a star. But he has the look of someone who can be a solid contributor on a winning team. If Mahindra can nail more picks like Guinto, we definitely won’t be seeing them at the bottom of the standings in a year or two.

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ABL

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 Marcus Elliott 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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Football

Ilocos United takes leave from PFL

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Another one bites the dust

After months of speculation, Ilocos United has formally announced their absence from the Philippines Football League for the 2018 season.

A statement signed by Ilocos Chief Executive Officer Tony Lazaro and posted on the club’s Facebook page broke the big news.

“Unfortunately, after months of negotiation, efforts to attract a new naming sponsor for the Team were unsuccessful,” the statement opened. “Consequently, it has become financially prohibitive to continue participation in the PFL.

“Primarily, the lack of broadcasting exposure in 2017 created an apprehension in the corporate community, cascading into a series of afflictions that has ultimately led to our withdrawal from the competition.”

Ilocos finished last during the inaugural season, tallying 1 win, 6 draws, and 21 losses with a -49 goal differential.

Still, Ilocos gave their thanks to those who supported the club during the inaugural PFL season.

“We are cautiously optimistic of a potential return to the PFL for the 2019 season, whereby secured broadcasting exposure will hopefully lead to higher confidence from potential sponsorship partners.”

While their PFL operations will fold for the time being, Ilocos will continue the grassroots programs they have started within the area. ¨In the meantime, the foundation of football development we helped to build in Ilocos will continue, including grassroots initiatives at local schools, women’s futsal, Special Olympics, and, of course, the IUFC Academy.¨

The latest development will be another big blow for the young league. Meralco Manila pulled out of the competition beforehand, and now Ilocos´ absence leaves only six teams in the competition.

Now more than ever, something needs to be done by the PFL or even the Philippine Football Federation to ensure the feasibility of the clubs and the league itself for years to come.

Football is a hard sport to build in the Philippines despite its resurgence since 2010. There are limited corporate boosters for the sport which is in dire need of a financial push to sustain its growth.

Ilocos´ leave and Meralco´s folding now forces local football´s stakeholders to take a step back and examine the next moves to build the sport.

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Basketball

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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