Coach Franz Pumaren was right on the money with Mike Cortez. The mentor and his former ward reunited and it was like old times again. Cortez orchestrated Pumarens offense with aplomb as the Air 21 Express escaped the Barako Bull Energy Colas.
Cortez was reminiscent of dominant college self here. The former Green Archer scorched the nets for 24 points to go along with 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals in 24 minutes of play. Before this game, Cortez languished on the bench of the stacked Ginebra Gin Kings, averaging only 3.5ppg, 2.7rpg, in 1.5apg in under 15 minutes per outing (a career-low). Of course, it probably also didnt help that he was playing behind former UAAP rival LA Tenorio.
Now things should be on the up and up for Cortez, Pumaren, and the rest of the Express.
AIR 21 EXPRESS over BARAKO
BULL ENERGY COLAS, 86-85
with his old college coach, Mike Cortez looked like the player from a decade
ago who was picked first overall in the 2003 PBA draft.
In his first
game for Air 21, the Cool Cat dropped 24 points, six rebounds, six assists, and
five steals in just 24 minutes to lead the Express to a pulsating 86-85 victory
over Barako Bull Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
the best for last, scoring the final five points of the game to carry the
Express to their third victory in eight games.
still led, 85-81, with 1:16 left on a layup by Enrico Villanueva. But Cortez
responded with a three-pointer to cut the lead to a single point in the ensuing
drove to the basket in the next play, but turned the ball over after hurting his
knee. The Barako Bull center came out of the game nursing what looked like a
capped his brilliant performance with a stepback jumper with 58.1 seconds left
to give the lead to Air 21, which held its ground on defense in the next two
Barako Bull possessions to book the win.
players also finished in double figures for the Express. James Sena and Mark
isip contributed 12 points apiece John Wilson and KG Canaleta each tallied 11,
and Bonbon Custodio chipped in 10 in a display of balanced firepower by the
BAR 85 - Tubid 24, Pennisi 15,
Urbiztondo 14, Anthony 13, Villanueva 13, Najorda 3, Marcelo 2, Kramer 1,
Alvarez 0, Yap 0
QS: 18-19, 38-44, 67-67, 86-85
BGY. GINEBRA GIN KINGS over
GLOBAL PORT BATANG PIER, 81-79
Ginebra San Miguel finally snapped its five-game losing streak, but not before
weathering a 21-point fourth quarter explosion by the returning Gary David.
Kings went home victors for the first time in more than a month, defeating
GlobalPort, 81-79, Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
had 19 points, four assists, and three steals to lead Ginebra.
want the fans to be disappointed,' said Caguioa, who said he understood Ginebra
supporters' gripes in a halftime interview.
had two chances to tie the score late in the game. But the Gin Kings denied
David the ball in the last two possessions, and Willie Miller missed a shot and
committed a turnover to squander those opportunities.
grateful for this victory, but it's still a long way to go for us,' said
Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen. 'We hope to build on this hopefully. It's
really a process right now, admittedly after first two games, malaki yung hype,
somehow nawala kami sa focus. We want to regain it.'
plenty of help, as Tenorio and Elmer Espiritu added 14 and 12 points,
respectively. Tenorio and Helterbrand combined for nine points during a key
stretch in the fourth period to keep GlobalPort at bay.
finished with 27 points, all scored in the second half. Willie Miller added 18
rookie center Yousef Taha, who was acquired in a trade for Mike Cortez, did not
see action for the Gin Kings.
improved its win-loss record to 3-5, while GlobalPort remained in the cellar
with a 1-8 slate.
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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