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Three things we learned: Small lineup works again for San Miguel



The San Miguel Beermen kept their hot streak going, outlasting Barako Bull Energy, 116-113 in a game that boiled down to depth

The Beermen had plenty of weapons and it basically spelled the difference as they were able to overturn a double-digit deficit in the third quarter and take over down the stretch in the fourth period.

A small lineup with Reid at the four (which we will discuss below) again helped the Beermen to extend their hot streak.

“We want somebody who is very agile and a lot of shooters. Pinagsasabay ko para bumuka talaga [ang depensa]. We tried to beat them in the perimeter. Lumalabas ang kanilang import so nagkakaroon ng opportunity si AZ [Reid] umatake,” Austria shared on putting Reid at the four spot.

Here are three things we learned from the win that ended Barako Bull’s unbeaten streak at four.

San Miguel simply had the better support crewpba6

The mere fact that Santos had an atrocious outing (Read: 2 points, 1-for-8 shooting, minus-16 in 22 minutes) and San Miguel still won pretty much speaks of the depth of the team. Tubid fired 12 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, helping space the floor and complement the small lineup.

Marcio Lassiter scored 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting. Fajardo, despite playing only 18:30, wounded up with 22 points on a perfect 8-for-8 from the field and had 11 free throw attempts.

Overall, six Beermen scored in twin digits and with Fajardo and Liam McMorrow (31 points, 25 rebounds) just cancelling each other out, the team with the better support crew to surround the big emerged victorious. San Miguel also assisted 23 of its 44 makes.

“I think we had a full team that really contributed tonight. We could not stop our big guy but we knew it was going to be a tough night, and our support team just did their job,” Chris Lutz said.

Reid at the four simply workspba5

Reid at the four against a roster that did not have stretch fours to counter (Rico Maierhofer, Willie Wilson, Jake Pascual) definitely helped the Beermen.

Like what he did against the GlobalPort Batang Pier, AZ Reid once again played the four position for most of the match and it resulted into success. Coach Leo Austria’s troops were still down 64-75 in the third when Austria decided to pull out Arwind Santos and inserted Alex Cabagnot to join Reid, Chris Ross, June Mar Fajardo, and Marcio Lassiter.

The Beermen quickly trimmed the deficit to half, and took the lead after three quarters, 87-86.

The small unit did not only spread the defense of Barako; it was also vital on the defensive end as San Miguel had a quicker group to switch on the ball screens and defensive assignments.

As far as complementary pieces are concerned, San Miguel had more floor-spacers and bigs who can hit from outside. None of Barako’s forwards save for JC Intal (who was 2-for-7 from three-point area in the loss) takes a volume of shots from deep.

The loophole was exposed in the final play when Joseph Yeo tried to shake off the defense using a Willie Wilson ball screen. But Reid and Tubid were not too concerned since Wilson isn’t a roll option and does not also shoot well from the perimeter, so Yeo was defended well and hoisted a forced shot.

“We can talk and move and do different things with different guys on ball screens. We were active that way. We have tools for whatever the game needs,” Lutz added.

“That’s what it is going to take to make the finals or havr a seed in the playoffs. Every team has great imports and it is all up to the rest of the team to fill it in.”

Leo Austria was not at all happy with the PBA officials letting go of Rico Maierhofer’s SHOE-palpal anticsLeo

In the second quarter, Maierhofer made a basket but lost his shoe along the way, so in the ensuing play he picked up the shoe and tried to catch up. He managed to bother a shot by Espinas with the shoe serving as an extension of his hand.

Austria shared his thoughts on the play which drew laughter from the Smart Araneta Coliseum crowd; he was a bit livid about it and there is a legitimate reason for that.

“That was illegal,” he said. “Kung ganoon edi pwede ko hubarin ang shirt ko at ibato na lang.”

Plus, if San Miguel lost by 1, that shoe would have made the difference.

Still, thank you to Maierhofer for entertaining us on a busy Wednesday!

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Christian Standhardinger goes perfect from stripe in Hong Kong’s rout of Formosa



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



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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Ilocos United takes leave from PFL



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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CJ Perez, Jaycee Marcelino in unison: D-League is a whole other level



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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