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Tautuaa, Rosario go top two as expected; Rain or Shine makes surprise pick at third

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The top two picks in the 2015 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Draft went as expected as 2015 PBA D-League MVP Moala Tautuaa and former National University Bulldog Troy Rosario going one and two respectively.

The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters picked first and as expected picked the 6’7” Filipino-Tongan as the first pick for this year’s draft. Tautuaa is the sixth Filipino-foreigner to be taken first in the draft’s history.

The 6’6 Troy Rosario was picked by the Mahindra Enforcers for the second pick. Both Tautuaa and Rosario were expected to go one and two in the draft in almost all mock drafts.

In a surprise, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters picked 6’2 combo guard Maverick Ahanmisi for the third pick in the draft. The Filipino-American played for the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup champions, the Café France Bakers. He will join a loaded Elasto Painter backcourt that features Paul Lee, Chris Tiu, TY Tang, Ryan Arana, Jericho Cruz, and others.

NCAA Season 90 Most Valuable Player Earl Scottie Thompson was picked by crowd-darlings, the Barangay Ginebra Kings. Thompson, who is currently suiting up for the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas, is currently leading the NCAA in triple-doubles with three, six in his career. This pick was a surprise pick since Tim Cone has stated on record that the team currently has too many guards in the line-up.

Back-to-back San Beda Red Lions were picked at the sixth and seventh pick. Coach Boyet Fernandez reunites with Garvo Lanete at NLEX while the Meralco Bolts found their point guard for the future as San Beda College’s Baser Amer was picked seventh. Jason Webb’s Star Hotshots then selected De La Salle University’s Norbert Torres. In an interview, coach Webb stated that he was surprised that the stretch forward/center was still available for the eighth pick.

DLSU Green Archer bolsters the Star Hotshots squad with Norbert Torres going eighth. Another Red Lion went in the first round of the draft as NCAA Season 91 Finals MVP Art dela Cruz was picked by the Blackwater Elite at ninth.

Three more wing players were picked to close-out the first round with NU’s 6’4 Glenn Khobuntin going to NLEX, Letran’s 6’3 Kevin Racal went to the Alaska Aces, and Mapua standout 6’3 Josan Nimes was drafted to Rain or Shine.

Vosotros, Guinto, Mariano headline the second round >>

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SEA Games gold medalist Almond Vosotros was immediately picked by the Blackwater Elite while Mahindra solidified their frontline in picking Bradwyn Guinto. With the fourth pick in the round, Coach Tim Cone gets the versatile guard he wants in UST’s Aljon Mariano.

Here are the picks from the second round of the draft:

2015 PBA Draft Round 2

PickNAMEHEIGHTCOLLEGE/D-LEAGUE
1 (Blackwater)Almond Vosotros5’10DLSU/Cebuana Lhuiller
2 (Mahindra)Bradwyn Guinto6’6SSC-R/Livermarin
3 (Rain or Shine)Don Trollano6’3AdU/Cagayan Valley
4 (Ginebra)Aljon Mariano6’3UST/Jumbo Plastic
5 (Rain or Shine)Simon Enciso5’11Notre Dame/Cebuana Lhuiller
6 (Alaska)Marion Magat6’7NU/Cagayan Valley
7 (Rain or Shine)Pass
8 (Barako)Kris Rosales6’0Hope International/Tanduay
9 (Alaska)Jaypee Mendoza6’3SBC/Hapee
10 (Barako)Michael Miranda6’6SSC-R/Café France
11 (Alaska)Abel Galliguez5’9John Brown/Cagayan Valley
12 (Rain or Shine)Pass

Roi Sumang finally gets picked in the third round >>

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Roi Sumang finally gets selected by the Globalport Batang Pier.

2015 PBA Draft Round 3

PickNAMEHEIGHTCOLLEGE/D-LEAGUE
1 (Blackwater)Keith Agovida6’2AU/Keramix
2 (Mahindra)Michael Di Gregorio6’4McKendree/Keramix
3 (NLEX)Jerramy King5’10Cal State/AMA
4 (Globalport)Ryan Wetherell6’0Cal State/Ama
5 (Barako Bull)John Ray Alabanza6’5UE/M-Builders
6 (Ginebra)Dennice Villamor6’4NU/Jumbo Plastic
7 (Meralco)Joseph Sedurifa6’1USP/Café France
8 (Barako)Kris Rosales6’0Hope International/Tanduay
9 (Alaska)Jaypee Mendoza6’3SBC/Hapee
10 (Star)Mark Cruz5’5Letran/MP Hotel
11 (Talk ‘N Text)Michole Sorela6’5SBC/Hapee
12 (San Miguel Beer)Michael Mabulac6’4JRU/Cagayan Valley

PBA Draft combine standouts get drafted while NLEX secures rights to King >>

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PBA Draft combine standouts finally get picked!

2015 PBA Draft Round 4

PickNAMEHEIGHTCOLLEGE/D-LEAGUE
1 (Blackwater)Keith Agovida6’2AU/Keramix
2 (Mahindra)Michael Di Gregorio6’4McKendree/Keramix
3 (NLEX)Jerramy King5’10Cal State/AMA
4 (Globalport)Ryan Wetherell6’0Cal State/Ama
5 (Barako Bull)John Ray Alabanza6’5UE/M-Builders
6 (Ginebra)Pass
7 (Meralco)Pass
8 (Star)Samboy de Leon6’3CEU/Cafe France
9 (Talk N Text)Josh Cubillo6’3Cal State/AMA
10 (San Miguel Beermen)Andretti Stevens5’11MIT/Erase
11 (Alaska)Robin Rono6’5NU/Tanduay
12 (Rain or Shine)Pass

 

Blackwater, Mahindra stock up on players >>

[/nextpage] [nextpage title =”The rest of the way”]

2015 PBA Draft Round 5

PickNAMEHEIGHTCOLLEGE/D-LEAGUE
1 (Blackwater)Jawhar Purdy5’8Cal State/Jumbo Plastic
2 (Mahindra)Alex Austria5’11SF State/Cagayan
3 (NLEX)Alfred Batino6’5CEU/Café France
4 (Globalport)Bong Galanza6’2UE/Café France
5 (Barako Bull)Pass
6 (Ginebra)Pass
7 (Meralco)Pass
8 (Star)Pass
9 (Talk N Text)Ferdinand Vargas6’0St. Clare
10 (San Miguel Beer)Pass
11 (Alaska)Pass
12 (Rain or Shine)Pass

 

2015 PBA Round 6

PickNAMEHEIGHTCOLLEGE/D-LEAGUE
1 (Blackwater)Christian Palma6’4AU/Cagayan Valley
2 (Mahindra)Robert Hainga6’7UST/MP Hotel
3 (NLEX)Pass
4 (Globalport)Pass0UE/Café France
5 (Barako Bull)Pass
6 (Ginebra)Pass
7 (Meralco)Pass
8 (Star)Pass
9 (Talk N Text)Jack Tanuan Jr.6’3FEU
10 (San Miguel Beer)Pass
11 (Alaska)Pass
12 (Rain or Shine)Pass

 

2015 PBA Round 7

PickNAMEHEIGHTCOLLEGE/D-LEAGUE
1 (Blackwater)Mon Abundo5’8CEU/Café France
2 (Mahindra)Michael Abad6’4CEU/Café France
3 (NLEX)Arvin Vitug5’10SSC-R/EA Regens

 

2015 PBA Round 8

PickNAMEHEIGHTCOLLEGE/D-LEAGUE
1 (Blackwater)Randy Dilay6’1Dominican/Cagayan

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Roger Pogoy churns best performance against former teammates

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Prior to Wednesday, all eyes were on the TNT Katropa-Blackwater Elite face-off, with many curious to see how last season’s Rookie of the Year Roger Pogoy would fare against his former FEU teammates Mac Belo and Raymar Jose.

And as the final buzzer sounded, the 25-year-old Pogoy had reigned triumphant over his close pals, getting away with a conference-best performance as a bonus.

The six-foot-two Cebuano sniper fired a game-high 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting, along with eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals, to lead the Texters to a skid-ending, 92-83 victory at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

“Must-win talaga namin ‘to para makabawi kami, kasi 1-2 na yung standing namin (before the game) eh.

“Buti na lang maganda yung nilaro ko,” said Pogoy, who was just averaging 11.3 points in the past three games.

But Pogoy tipped his hat to the much taller Elite, who enjoyed plenty of time in the driver’s seat in the first half, until the Katropa found their groove in the third canto — highlighted by a 16-3 rally that put them ahead, 60-53.

“Malakas yung Blackwater eh, tapos ang lalaki nila kaya mahirap mag-drive, mahirap pumasa kasi naagaw nila,” said Pogoy. “Buti na lang naka-adjust kami nung second half. Hindi kami nagmadali, dinahan-dahan namin.”

Aside from his own outing, Pogoy is thankful that they were able to address their fourth quarter woes when facing the Elite — the issue that hounded them in their 76-88 loss to the San Miguel Beermen last Saturday in Iloilo.

TNT had actually been mere steps away from melting down — again — against Blackwater, no thanks to a 20-9 run that wiped out their 17-point lead to just six,

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With Nash Racela knowing his tendencies, Mac Belo limited to poor shooting

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Prior to Wednesday, Blackwater Elite’s young star Mac Belo was on a roll early in the 2018 Philippine Cup, averaging exactly 20 points on 42.6 percent shooting in their games against Meralco, Rain or Shine, and Ginebra.

But, as they say, good things must come to an end.

Belo, despite having 13 rebounds, was held to just nine points on 4-of-18 shooting as the Elite bowed to TNT Katropa, 92-83 — a sour loss knowing that they’re coming off huge 94-77 win against Ginebra last Friday.

“Bukol,” said Belo in jest of his poor outing after the match. “Big test para sa’min kasi yung TNT talagang isang de-kalibreng team dito sa PBA.

“Talagang pinaghandaan nila kami, at gustong-gusto nila manalo.”

It also did not help that the Katropa’s head coach, Nash Racela, was his coach in FEU Tamaraws for three years — a relationship brightly highlighted by a championship run in the UAAP Season 78 back in 2015.

“Siyempre alam niya yung mga tendencies ko. Matagal ko siyang coach sa FEU,” said the 6-foot-4 forward.

“Sa akin naman, kailangan ko pa matuto sa ganun, kung anong mga defense binabato niya sakin. Kailangan ko pang pag-aralan.”

But for Belo, the loss was more than his own showing. The 25-year-old lamented his and the Elite’s lapses on defense, which was encapsulated by the second half collapse they had that allowed TNT to come back and steal the win.

“Medyo marami lang kaming lapses especially sa defense namin,” said the sophomore forward, as they allowed TNT to shoot 41.6 percent from the floor. “Maraming mga miscommunication na kailangan pa namin i-work.”

Belo and the Elite are now set to move on from this bitter defeat, as they all shift their sights in their match this Friday versus GlobalPort Batang Pier. For the Gilas Pilipinas stalwart, it is already a must-win for them.

“Kailangan namin ng rest ngayon kasi back-to-back games kami. We need to win sa Friday para okay sa’min,” said Belo. “Kailangan din namin paghandaan kasi galing sila sa win.

“Kailangan namin i-double yung effort namin.”

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Jake Vicen performs under pressure as Blazers end eight-year title drought

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For the second straight match, the championship showdown between the College of Saint Benilde Blazers and the Arellano University Chiefs reached kicks from the penalty spot. And once more, goalkeeper Jake Vicen came up big.

The third-year custodian denied one of Arellano’s prolific scorers Roberto Corsame in the shootout and sealed the title after eight long years, 3-2, penalties, Wednesday evening at the historic Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Blazers made its intentions clear from the get-go as they repeatedly pierced through the defense of the Chiefs.

Nonetheless, at the 38th minute, the white-shirts clinched the goal they much deserved. The Blazers pushed forward, and almost got a call in their favor. The referees, however, played advantage, and fortunately Benilde held on to the play.

Miguel Artillera found himself unmarked on the right flank and easily blasted the ball past opposing keeper Jericho Desalisa.

The Marlon Maro—mentored side continued to play aggressive in the following period and almost plucked a second one. This time, the Chiefs’ backline led by eventual Best Defender Patrick Bernarte held on.

Such stand was rewarded by their attacking force minutes later, and, as expected, the equalizer came from the counterattack.

Corsame received a pass from the middle and defeated two defenders, and seeing Vicen off his line, sent the ball into the onion bag at the 49th minute.

Both sides tried to break the deadlock, but fatigue slowly crept in the dying minutes of the second period and the whole of extra time, setting up another thrilling finish in the shootout.

Much like in Game 2, the two keepers came up big as Desalisa and Vicen denied their second kickers a clear shot. Arellano went to miss another shot, and it was then up to the Blazers to seal the deal.

Dean Ebarle stepped up and calmly and slotted the ball into the goal for the lead at 3-2. Afterwards, Corsame faced Vicen, but this time, the Cebuano keeper would not be denied. The latter went to his strong side, and, fortunately, guessed right for the huge save as pandemonium erupted from the Benilde crowd and squad.

The Finals series hero and season Best Goalkeeper Vicen was pleased that the new champions carved out the historic win despite early adversity. “Big loss ‘yun, si Val [Calvo], kasi may magagawa talaga siya kung nakalaro namin,” he said of losing their former captain.

Nonetheless, the squad stayed focused on getting it done this year.

“Binuhos lang namin every minute sa training. Luckily, hard work paid off,” closed Vicen.

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Kelly Williams rides Angkas to make it to TNT game

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The TNT Katropa almost played shorthanded when they took on the Blackwater Elite Wednesday evening at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Early in the afternoon, a fire broke out in C5 that caused major traffic in the area. One of the people that was stuck was TNT’s 12-year veteran Kelly Williams.

“Coming from the South, I got to Taguig in about two and a half hours and I heard there was a fire on C5 and I was like, ‘Oh my god what am I going to do?’,” recalled Williams.

“I considered running, I considered jogging. Whatever you got to do, crawl, walk or run.”

Panicking, the 6-foot-6 Filipino-American was adviced by his driver to download Philippine-based mobile app Angkas — a motorcycle service provider. And it was one heck of a ride for the big man.

“My driver said check Angkas, an Uber for motorcycles. Okay. Quickly got out of the car in the middle of the C5, the middle of traffic, found this guy under the overpass, he was surprised to see me,” narrated animatedly by Williams.

“I got my helmet on, jumped on the bicycle and we got here for about 40 minutes,” he furthered. “Every stoplight, the other motorcycles pull up, double take, ‘Oh, what are you doing here?’, ‘Hi guys!’ It was fun, it was actually pretty fun but never again, make sure you plan ahead guys if you possibly get stuck in traffic.

“But it was a good experience for me. You get to see Manila in a different light.”

Around midway through the first quarter of the game, Williams finally arrived. Though relieved to see him, coach Nash Racela and the rest of the Katropa made sure to let him know that he was late.

“Good experience, I apologized to the team, I owe them a team lunch or something and I told coach I won’t do it again,” the 35-year-old expressed.

“Let’s pray that it doesn’t happen again.”

Williams compensated for it by giving TNT quality minutes. During their 92-83 win against the Elite, he tallied six points, six rebounds, and four blocks in just 17 minutes of action.

“You got to come out there with extra effort after coming in late like that. But it’s always my intention to come out and do whatever I have to do,” he expressed.

“Luckily, I was in a good position to get some blocks and it worked out that way.”

And he owes a lot to his driver Richard, who got him to the venue just in time.

“It was a good experience though, thank you to the cyclist, I think his name is Richard or something like that, he’s a lifesaver.

“I tipped him very handsomely. It was about a hundred but I’m sure I paid with whatever was in my pocket because I was very grateful,” he quipped.

Still, he knows that he also owes a lot to his team. He plans on making it up by treating everyone to lunch during their next practice.

Lesson learned for Kelly.

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