In a draft filled with big names (June Mar Fajardo, Calvin Abueva, Chris Tiu, Cliff Hodge, and Chris Ellis among others), AJ Mandani and Jason Deutchman were just a couple of intriguing Fil-foreigners.
Deutchman, a 66 product of the San Diego State Aztec Warriors, was chosen by Global Port as the last pick of the first round, while Mandani, a 511 guard out of the Missouri S&T Joe Miners program, was chosen in the second round behind Yousef Taha, Dave Marcelo, and Jewel Ponferrada.
Before their game against the Meralco Bolts, Deutchman and Mandani averaged a combined 14.0ppg, 6.0rpg, 3.7apg, 1.0spg, and 1.0bpg in Global Ports first three games, which were all losses. Against the Bolts, Jason and AJ paired up for 32 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Wow. Big diff right there.
With Gary David momentarily out, fellow rookie Vic Manuel a little inconsistent, and the enigmatic Rabeh Al-Hussaini remaining, well, enigmatic, the Batang Piers fortunes might rest on how well both Deutchman and Mandani can step up and produce.
As the tourney goes on, I have no doubt David and Willie Miller will still be the focal points of Global Ports play, but Im also sure Coach Glenn Capacio wouldnt mind seeing some of his young guns flash fine form.
Game Recaps: GLOBAL PORT BATANG PIER over MERALCO BOLTS, 105-104
Veteran Willie Miller had 33 points and 11 rebounds in GlobalPorts come-from-behind 105-104 victory over the Meralco Bolts Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
It was the first PBA victory for the franchise for the Batang Pier, who also relied on a strong finishing kick from rookies Jason Deutchman and AJ Mandani.
Akala ko hindi pa aabot ngayon, said GlobalPort rookie coach Glenn Capacio.
Siguro ako among the coaches ang ni-ni-nerbiyos dahil Im searching for my first win. Grabe mga teams sa PBA. Halos lahat malalakas. Mahirap yung first win, pero malaking bagay ito medyo down mag-iiba pakiramdam ng mga players.
Miller was a steady presence all game long, but it was rookies Deutchman and Mandani who delivered the most crucial baskets.
Deutchman scored 20 points, including three key three-pointers in the fourth quarter. His last three-pointer gave GlobalPort the lead for good, 100-99, with 1:13 left.
In the Batang Piers next offensive play, it was Mandani who rose to the challenge, completing a three-point play for a 103-99 tally.
After two missed attempts by Sunday Salvacion from beyond the arc, Ronjay Buenafe finally buried a three-pointer to put the Bolts within striking distance.
Rabeh Al-Hussaini, who scored 17 points, made two free throws for the Batang Pier, giving them a three-point lead with five seconds left.
Without a timeout left, Sol Mercado rushed to the other end, but surprisingly went coast-to-coast for a layup instead of a three-pointer to tie the game.
TALK N TEXT TROPANG TEXTERS over AIR21 EXPRESS, 96-89
Be it in the PBA or the UAAP, Norman Black wants to continue his winning reputation.
The multi-titled coach notched his first official win as coach of the Talk N Text Tropang Texters, leading his team to a 96-89 triumph over the Air 21 Express on Wednesday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Black coached the team in their 108-104 win over GlobalPort just one day after leading the Ateneo Blue Eagles to its fifth consecutive UAAP championship but was unable to inform the PBA in time to be officially named head coach.
This was his first official game as coach of the Tropang Texters.
The win enabled the Tropang Texters to pick up their third win in as many games and climb into the solo lead in the team standings.
We played much better in the second half. We gave up too much in the post on KG (Canaleta) and (Bitoy) Omolon in the first half. We switched bigger players on them, said Black.
Ranidel de Ocampo finished with 19 points while Jimmy Alapag, who achieved a milestone by becoming the latest player to make at least 1,000 three-point shots, added 16 points on 4-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc.
Black admitted he tried to get out of their structured offense to get their latest victory.
Our offense is still a work in progress. But Im satisfied with the way we played defense, particularly in the second half. We implemented a free flowing offense, he added.
Blatche Andray 211-F/C-86 Xinjiang FT Jayson Castro William 180-PG-86 Talk N Text Gabe Norwood 196-G/F-85 Rain or Shine June Mar Fajardo 210-C-89 San Miguel Beermen Japeth Aguilar 206-C-85 Barangay Ginebra Ranidel deOcampo 197-F-81 Talk N Text Terrence Bill Romeo 180-PG-92&... [read more]
TURKEY over PHILIPPINES, 103-68 Turkey got the more than easy 103-68 win over Philippines in their preparation game in Istanbul. The two teams may face each other in the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament in Manila, Philippines, as they start their games in different groups and if this game can be considered a sample, Turkey is at least in much better condition. Center Semih Erden and forward Baris Hersek with 16 points each were the top scorers of the winners. Furkan Korkmaz who is expe... [read more]
TURKEY over PHILIPPINES, 103-68 Turkey got the more than easy 103-68 win over Philippines in their preparation game in Istanbul.
The two teams may face each other in the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament in Manila, Philippines, as they start their games in different groups and if this game can be considered a sample, Turkey is at least in much better condition.
Center Semih Erden and forward Baris Hersek with 16 points each were the top scorers of the winners. Furkan Korkmaz who is expected to hear his name in the first round of the upcoming NBA draft, returned to Turkey and scored 5 points. Andray Blatche had 23 points for the losing side and Jayson Williams added 15 points.
ITALY over PHILIPPINES, 106-70 Italy got an easy win over Philippines in the first day of the preparation tournament in Bologna. The final score was 106-70 for the hosts and it was flattering for the guests who were trailing 62-15 before the half time.
The first 20 minutes of action ended with a 41 points advantage for Italy (64-23) which got 20 points by Danilo Gallinari in 15 minutes of action, 14 points by Pietro Aradori who came from the bench and 11 by Marco Bellineli.
Philippines was outplayed in every possible way and Andray Blatche with 21 points was as usual the only brightspot for them.
With the two conferences of the Philippine Basketball Association's (PBA) done with the San Miguel Beermen overcoming the odds from a 3-0 deficit in the finals to win the Philippine Cup title in seven games against the Alaska Aces and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters ruling the Commissioner's Cup against the same Aces, another conference is shaping to be one of the most competitive tournaments in recent memory. Returning imports showcases the upcoming Governor's Cup which will have its... [read more]
With the two conferences of the Philippine Basketball Association's (PBA) done with the San Miguel Beermen overcoming the odds from a 3-0 deficit in the finals to win the Philippine Cup title in seven games against the Alaska Aces and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters ruling the Commissioner's Cup against the same Aces, another conference is shaping to be one of the most competitive tournaments in recent memory.
Returning imports showcases the upcoming Governor's Cup which will have its tip-off on July 15.
Asian imports will also be featured in this conference led by the returning Michel Madanly (194-G-81) for the Texters. Phoenix had tapped the services of 6-foot-3 Korean Lee Kwan Hee to bolster its guard-forward rotation.
Here are the complete lineup of reinforcements for all contending teams:
Aris Ignacio is from the Philippines and has always been a big fan of Philippine basketball. Aris' follows the Philippine Basketball Association since the late 80's and has learned the history and personalities of the PBA. He also has interest with other basketball tournaments in the Philippines and beyond most specifically college basketball (UAAP, NCAA), the Asian Basketball League (ABL), FIBA Asia and World Cup tournaments. Follow Aris Ignacio on Twitter at aris_ignacio.
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