Yes, the big man whos making most PBA headlines these days is top rookie draft pick June Mar Fajardo.
And, to be honest, deservingly so. The 22-year old former CESAFI behemoth is doing pretty well, averaging 9.3ppg, 10.7rpg, 1.7bpg, and 1.3spg for the Petron Blaze Boosters. Those wont really make him the best center in the land, but, given his youth, those numbers are quite impressive.
Right now, however, the guy who can lay a legitimate claim to be the best center, at least based on statistics, is none other than the big guy against whom June Mar played yesterday Yancy De Ocampo.
Yancy, himself a former #1 overall pick (back in 2002), seems to have newfound motivation as Fajardo, touted as someone destined to be the most dominant big man in the near future, enters the league. Yancy once held that label, back when he was dominating the collegiate circuit with the St. Francis of Assisi Doves.
When he entered the PBA 10 years ago, however, things didnt exactly pan out the way he envisioned them to. In his first season with the FedEx Express, Yancy played 21 minutes per game, averaging just under 7ppg, about 5.6 rpg, and only 0.6bpg. So much for the next big thing in the PBA.
Now he sees another guy in the same boat, and, consequently, Yancy probably feels that he has something to prove. Somewhere deep inside, he probably wants to show the nation that his time is not yet done. Instead, its still to come.
In two games so far for the San Mig Coffee Mixers, Yancy has averaged 33 minutes, and has put up career-high numbers. Hes norming 18.0ppg, 10.0rpg, 4.0apg, and 2.0bpg. He currently sits atop the league in terms of player efficiency, and he is also the leader in statistical points.
Clearly, while everyones eyes are focused on June Mar, Yancy is lurking in the periphery, ready to show everyone that he still has a lot to show.
Game Recaps: ALASKA ACES over BARAKO BULL ENERGY, 102-86
Alaska banked on a third quarter explosion to stun Barako Bull, 102-86, for its first win in the 2013 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
JVee Casio, Cyrus Baguio, and Mac Baracael carried the scoring load for the ailing Aces to snap a two-game losing streak and hand the Energy Cola their second straight loss.
Casio, who suffered a cut on the head after a collision with teammate Sam Eman in the fourth quarter, hit a game-high 24 points, including 12 in the pivotal third period, while Baguio and Baracael contributed 23 and 21 respectively.
Tony dela Cruz added 10 points for coach Luigi Trillo, who tasted his first all-Filipino win. Sonny Thoss, who played despite LBM, contributed four blocks in 30 minutes.
We were punished in our first two games because we havent been playing good defense, said Trillo, whose team played minus Gabby Espinas who was hospitalized.
We brought energy to this game and its a joy to see them scratch and claw.
Trailing 62-52 with eight minutes left in the third quarter, the Aces unloaded a momentum-shifting 29-3 blast behind Casio and Baguio to end the period with an 81-65 lead.
But the Energy Colas threatened to within one point, 85-84, after Enrico Villanueva completed a three-point play with 5:46 left in the game.
But Baracael completed his own three-point play off Mick Pennisi and banged in a three-pointer to give Alaska a 91-84 cushion with 3:32 remaining.
After a split by Villaneuva, Baguio hit a three-pointer and Dela Cruz sealed the win with a pair of free throws push Alaskas lead back to 11 points, 96-85, with 2:40 left.
Barako Bull could not get closer to absorb its second straight defeat after beating Air 21 in its opening game.
Marami pa kaming kakainin. The other teams are super talented. We got some pieces, but overall, you want to come in and bring in the hard work, said Trillo, who is still waiting for the entry of San Sebastians Calvin Abueva, the Aces No. 2 overall pick. Abueva is still finishing his commitment with the Stags in the NCAA.
Villanueva led Barako Bull with 22 points and 17 rebounds while Ronald Tubid added 16 points.
ALA 102- Casio 24, Baguio 23, Baracael 21, Dela Cruz 10, Eman 9, Jazul 6, Reyes 5, Laure 2, Hontiveros 2, Bugia 0, Thoss 0, Belasco 0 BAR 86- Villanueva 22, Tubid 16, Urbiztondo 14, Pennisi 14, Anthony 10, Najorda 9, Yap 1, Marcelo 0, Alvarez 0, Kramer 0, Cruz 0 QS: 21-25, 48-48, 81-65, 102-86
SAN MIG COFFEE MIXERS over PETRON BLAZE BOOSTERS, 90-84
In a game where top rookie pick June Mar Fajardo showed his big presence, San Mig Coffee came away with even bigger shots.
The Coffee Mixers leaned on clutch baskets from Jonas Villanueva and Peter June Simon in the closing minute and escaped with a 90-84 win over Petron Blaze in the 2013 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
After controlling majority of the game, San Mig Coffee had to weather a Fajardo-led rally and needed a couple of stops to secure its second straight win, which put it in a tie with Talk N Text for the early lead in the standings.
James Yap finished with a team-high 18 points, and added six rebounds and four assists. Simon added 17 points, including a huge three-pointer that widened the Mixers lead to 87-80 with 1:31 remaining.
After Arwind Santos and Joseph Yeo pushed Petron to within three points, 87-84, Rafi Reavis sank one of two free throws and Yap sealed the win with a lay-up.
The win spoiled Fajardos impressive game as the Cebuano giant tallied 16 points and 13 rebounds in 30 solid minutes.
Everybody got a glimpse of what he can do, said Mixers coach Tim Cone. Hes battling our big guys well and his energy brought his team back.
We shouldnt let that game get close but thats really a good team. No doubt, that teams gonna get better.
Mixers veteran center Yancy de Ocampo chipped in 14 points, mostly on jump shots over Fajardo early in the game while Villanueva had 10.
The Boosters, whose win-loss record dropped to 1-2, threatened several times in the fourth period, but San Mig Coffee managed to hit the needed baskets to stay out of danger.
Santos paced Petron with 18 points while Alex Mallari and Chris Lutz tallied 13 apiece for coach Olsen Racela.
SMC 90- Yap 18, Simon 17, De Ocampo 14, Villanueva 10, Barroca 9, Pingris 7, Devance 5, Reavis 5, Gonzales 3, Ramos 2 PET 84- Santos 18, Fajardo 16, Mallari 13, Lutz 13, Yeo 10, Washington 9, Cabagnot 3, Pena 2, Duncil 0, Miranda 0, Ildefonso 0 QS: 24-21, 49-35, 70-57, 90-84
Source: Unless otherwise specified, game recaps were compressed and compiled from InterAKTV. (Writing credit to Rey Joble.)
Al Thornton (ex NLEX RW) could sign at Moutahed - 20 hours ago
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Al Moutahed Tripoli (Pepsi LBL) is about to tab 33-year old American forward Al Thornton (203-97kg-83, college: Florida State) who played last time at NLEX Road Warriors in Philippines. In 12 PBA games he was second best scorer with impressive 36.1ppg and recorded 12.2rpg (#4 in the league) and 2.5apg last season. In 2007 Thornton was drafted by Los Angeles Clippers (NBA) in first round (14th overall). The former Florida State standout is in his tenth season in pro basketball. Thornton re... [read more]
Al Moutahed Tripoli (Pepsi LBL) is about to tab 33-year old American forward Al Thornton (203-97kg-83, college: Florida State) who played last time at NLEX Road Warriors in Philippines. In 12 PBA games he was second best scorer with impressive 36.1ppg and recorded 12.2rpg (#4 in the league) and 2.5apg last season. In 2007 Thornton was drafted by Los Angeles Clippers (NBA) in first round (14th overall). The former Florida State standoutis in his tenth season in pro basketball. Thornton received Asia-Basket.com All-William Jones Cup 1st Team award in 2016. And here thanks to pro basketball he experienced life on three different continents. He is familiar with Asian, Latin American and of course North American leagues. Thornton has played previously professionally in China (Zhejiang Guangsha Lions), Puerto Rico (Brujos) and NBA (Golden State Warriors, LA Clippers and Washington Wizards). Let's have closer look into His outlook:
(by Matthew Maurer for NBADraft.net in 2007)
Physically Thornton is a jaw dropper type of athlete. Because of the high energy level and aggressiveness Thornton plays with, he draws a good number of fouls from opposing players. Does a great job of getting rebounds out of position thanks to his leaping ability and foot speed. Runs the court like a guard. Is a threat in transition where he is a tremendous finisher. Loves to face-up the opposing defender and blow by them using his length and explosive first step.
Ball handling ability is satisfactory at the collegiate level but will clearly need to be refined as he is prone to turnovers. Defensively while he is a adequate shot blocker, he still bites too often on pump fakes.
Blatche re-signs at Xinjiang Flying Tigers - 1 day ago
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Xinjiang Flying Tigers (CBA) confirmed in their roster 30-year old American (has also Filipino passport) power forward Andray Blatche (211-112kg-86). He has played there for the last two seasons. In 42 CBA games he had very impressive stats: 23.3ppg, 10.4rpg, 4.0apg and 2.2spg last season. Blatche helped them to make it to the semifinals. Quite impressive season as he was named to Asia-Basket.com All-Chinese CBA 2nd Team. In 2005 he was drafted by Washington Wizards (NBA) in second round... [read more]
Xinjiang Flying Tigers (CBA) confirmed in their roster 30-year old American (has also Filipino passport) power forward Andray Blatche (211-112kg-86). He has played there for the last two seasons. In 42 CBA games he had very impressive stats: 23.3ppg, 10.4rpg, 4.0apg and 2.2spg last season. Blatche helped them to make it to the semifinals. Quite impressive season as he was named to Asia-Basket.com All-Chinese CBA 2nd Team. In 2005 he was drafted by Washington Wizards (NBA) in second round (49th overall). Blatche represented Philippines at the Asian Championships in Changsha-Hunan (China) last year. His team won Silver and his stats at that event were 9 games: Score-5 (17.8ppg), 9.2rpg, 1.2apg, 1.4spg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 51.5%, 3PT: 24.2%, FT: 70.6%. Blatche has played also professionally in USA, NBA (Brooklyn Nets) and D-League (Roanoke D.). He could be described:
Andray Blatche is a long and thin big man with good ball and shooting skills. While he runs with a bit of a deliberate gait and looks more athletic than he actually is, Blatche is a skilled post player with considerable upside.
Arizona Reid (ex SM Beermen) joins Urartu Yerevan - 3 days ago
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BC Urartu Yerevan (Superleague 1) agreed terms with 30-year old American forward Arizona Reid (196-86, college: High Point). He played last summer at SM Beermen in Filipino PBA league. In 6 games he had very impressive stats: 34.7ppg, 11.2rpg, 4.5apg and 1.7spg. The last season he played at Pilipinas Agilas in Filipino league. In 15 ASEAN League games he was the best scorer with high stats: 24.3ppg and averaged 10.0rpg, 3.3apg (top 5) and 1.2spg. Quite impressive season as he was named to... [read more]
BC Urartu Yerevan (Superleague 1) agreed terms with 30-year old American forward Arizona Reid (196-86, college: High Point). He played last summer at SM Beermen in Filipino PBA league. In 6 games he had very impressive stats: 34.7ppg, 11.2rpg, 4.5apg and 1.7spg. The last season he played at Pilipinas Agilas in Filipino league. In 15 ASEAN League games he was the best scorer with high stats: 24.3ppg and averaged 10.0rpg, 3.3apg (top 5) and 1.2spg. Quite impressive season as he was named to Asia-Basket.com All-ASEAN League 2nd Team. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Reid won PBA Governor's Cup championship title in 2015. He was also voted Eurobasket.com All-Belgian League Import Player of the Year in 2015. Reid is quite experienced player. His career allowed him to visit three different continents, while he played in ten different countries. Reid tasted the life as pro basketball player in Europe, Asia and of course North America. He has played previously professionally also in Australia, Finland, Germany (Mitteldeutscher BC), Italy (Openjobmetis VA), Lebanon (Al Riyadi and Antranik), Saudi Arabia (Al Nahda), Switzerland (Fribourg and Monthey), Ukraine (Cherkasy) and Belgium (VOO Verviers-Pepinster). Reid attended High Point University until 2008 and it will be his ninth season as a professional player. On Reid:
A very versatile player, who can spend time in the 2, 3 and even the 4 position. He' s very athletic and can score from outside and inside. Thanks to his timing and leaping ability, he is also a very good rebounder for his size.
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