Heres some unsolicited advice for former (and probably soon-to-return) PBA player Japeth Aguilar dont come back.
Or, at least, not to the PBA, where youll probably languish on the bench (any bench) again.
Heres my call play in China, play in Australia, or play for Gilas.
Actually JUST PLAY FOR GILAS.
Yes, Chot Reyes benched you for most of your stint with TNT, but I think the team is so desperate for talent, size, and international experience right now that theyd play you to your hearts content.
And think about the talent surrounding you, too. Youll have familiar frontline partner Marcus Douthit patrolling the lanes. Youll probably have talented young bigs Greg Slaughter and Ian Sangalang backing you up. Youll have guys like Ray Parks and Kiefer Ravena complementing your athleticism and running with you on the break. Itll be awesome, Japeth, and youll have a shot at helping the country get into the FIBA effin World Cup.
So come home, big fella. Come home, don the national colors, and prove you belong.
Game Recaps: MERALCO BOLTS over BARAKO BULL ENERGY COLAS, 85-73
This time, the Meralco Bolts made sure things were under control down the stretch.
The Bolts turned to stifling defense in the fourth period to hold off Barako Bull, 85-73, in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The first guy who always panics when we lose a big lead is me, Gregorio quipped after the game. If I show panic, my players will mirror my actions. But I was barely breathing, just to keep the acting job going.
Composure proved to be a key factor for the Bolts, who saw a 19-point third quarter lead cut to just six points before pulling off the victory.
Barako Bull was down 64-45 in the third quarter before coming to within striking distance, 73-67, with 8:11 left in the game. But the Bolts tightened up the screws on the defensive end, holding their rivals without a basket for five minutes, leading into a 9-0 run triggered by Reynel Hugnatan.
The lessons were all worth it. Its OK for us to have heartbreaking losses as long as we learned our lessons, said Gregorio.
Tonight, we showed how to react. We have to be composed and at this time, composure is what were still trying to learn in our team.
Meralco improved its win-loss record to 7-6 with one game remaining in its schedule. Barako Bull lost its fourth straight game with a 3-9 record.
We have a 10-day rest, but we will be up against San Mig Coffee next, said Gregorio.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel came out with all guns blazing, putting together its finest performance of the PBA Philippine Cup in a 99-76 demolition of Air 21 Friday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The Gin Kings trailed only once 1-0 on a free throw by Express center Noy Baclao before totally dominating the ball game for their fifth straight win. Ginebra retained fourth place in the standings with a 7-5 win-loss record, bringing it just a game behind Rain or Shine.
The final score does not indicate just how lopsided the game was.
The first quarter ended with Ginebra up big, 28-9, and it only got worse for Air 21 after that. The Gin Kings began the second quarter with a 10-1 run en route to a 55-29 halftime lead.
So dominant was Ginebra that it did not lead by less than 20 points the rest of the way. The Gin Kings advantage ballooned to as much as 34 points, 81-47, at the end of the third quarter.
Chris Ellis led the charge for Ginebra with 18 points, four rebounds, and a sensational highlight dunk in the second half that seemed to break the Express spirits.
It was Air 21s fourth straight loss, and ninth in 13 games. The Express hold a half-game lead for the final playoff spot over Barako Bull, which lost earlier in the evening.
The Alaska Aces took care of business in Dipolog City Saturday, downing a tough GlobalPort side, 101-95, for their second straight win in the Philippine Cup.
Calvin Abueva led Alaska with 21 points and 12 rebounds in his second game back from illness, which has coincided with the Aces return to their winning ways after four straight defeats.
The result took the Batang Pier officially out of contention after suffering their 11th loss in 12 games, while giving the Aces a better chance at finishing in at least sixth to avoid a twice-to-beat disadvantage in the quarterfinals.
But Alaska had to survive a late scare from GlobalPort, which rode on the hot hand of Rey Guevarra to cut a 12-point fourth quarter deficit down to just two points, 79-77. The Aces responded with seven straight points to gain more breathing room.
The Batang Pier still had plenty of fight in them, as Guevarra strung four straight points to keep within striking distance, 86-81, with two minutes left. Steady free throw shooting by JVee Casio and Tony Dela Cruz, however, put the game out of reach late despite a spree of three-point shooting from Willie Miller.
Alaskas win-loss record improved to 7-6 to tie Meralco at fifth and sixth spots, one game ahead of seventh-placed Petron.
Placing at least sixth is crucial for any team, since the seventh- and eighth-place teams have to beat twice the second- and first-place teams, respectively, to advance to the semifinals. The third-place team faces the sixth-place team while the fourth- and fifth-placer battle in best-of-three quarterfinals series.
ALA 101- Abueva 21, Casio 18, Baguio 11, Dela Cruz 11, Baracael 11, Espinas 10, Jazul 7, Eman 4, Reyes 2, Hontiveros 2, Thoss 2, Belasco 2, Laure 0. GLO 95- Miller 22, Guevarra 17, Manuel 16, David 7, Salvador 6, Mandani 6, Deutchman 5, Yee 4, Vanlandingham 4, Antonio 3, Lingganay 2, Vergara 2, Al-Hussaini 1, Crisano 0. QS: 28-25, 46-40, 73-61, 101-95
Source: Unless otherwise specified, game recaps were compressed and compiled from InterAKTV. (Writing credit to Rey Joble.)
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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