Nio Caaleta has all the tools to dominate in the PBA. At 66, he has the size to be the perfect stretch forward (i.e. a combo forward) in the PBA. With his handles, shooting, and leaping ability, Caaleta is a more versatile scorer than another comparable stretch Arwind Santos, though, admittedly, Santos is better at the dirty work. Theres a reason, after all, that Santos, one of Caaletas old rivals from the UAAP, is at the very top of the PBAs Player Efficiency ladder.
Still, Caaleta has gone a helluva long way from the unsure and inconsistent slotman he was in college. When he was still playing for the UE Red Warriors, he found it difficult getting overshadowed by the likes of FEUs Santos and Mark Isip, Adamsons Ken Bono, and even Ateneos Paolo Bugia and Doug Kramer. He was forced to play center and bang bodies under the boards when he had the skill set of a natural swingman. He was a rare find in local hoops, but he wasnt exactly being maximized.
Now, with a team devoid of the star power prevalent in the PBAs more ballyhooed squads, Caaleta finally has the time of day to really strut his stuff. The 6th overall pick in the 2005 draft currently has the second highest player efficiency rating in Air 21s roster (only Mike Cortez is better). He is averaging a career-high 29 minutes per game, registering, unsurprisingly, his best scoring numbers yet 14.7ppg. Hes also norming nearly 6 rebounds per game for the first time since his sophomore season back in 06-07.
And, get this, those were his numbers BEFORE unloading 41 (yes, FORTY ONE markers) on the hapless Batang Pier to go along with 7 rebounds. With him finally breaking out in the biggest way possible, is Nio Caaleta finally ready to realize his vast potential and rise to the uppermost echelon of stars in the PBA?
Game Recaps: AIR 21 EXPRESS over GLOBAL PORT BATANG PIER, 113-92
KG Canaleta outdueled Gary David in their scoring battle and the athletic swingman towed the Air 21 Express to a 113-92 victory over the GlobalPort Batang Pier Wednesday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The 6-foot-6, slam dunking forward set a new career-high with 41 points. He shot a steady 6-for-9 from beyond the arc, grabbed seven rebounds and came up with a highlight reel play that punctuated his big game against David, last seasons scoring champion.
When I got him (KG), I wanted him to prove himself and be considered as one of the top players in the PBA, said Air 21 coach Franz Pumaren. Hes really talented. It was just unfortunate that he played before for teams loaded with star players.
With this game, I hope it would be a springboard for him to play better in the playoffs, added Pumaren, whose team has already matched its total number of victories posted last season when the squad was known as Shopinas.com.
Canaleta set the tone early, scoring 21 points of his total output in the first half, the most scored by any player at the half this season.
With Canaleta catching fire, the Express, too, performed on a high level.
A backbreaking 18-2 run in the third quarter, capped by a jumper from James Sena, turned a close encounter into a rout and gave the Express an 80-59 lead.
The Batang Pier never recovered from there. The team lost its ninth straight game and fell to a 1-12 record.
When we lost the game to Ginebra, everybody was frustrated. Everybody came to practice really determined to bounce back to get ourselves in contention for a playoff spot, said Pumaren.
Good thing theyre out of the race already, but were wary of them and we dont want them to get their momentum because its so hard to play a team when theyre already out. But weve done our job today. We just have to wait depending on Fridays game.
GlobalPort will face San Mig Coffee in its final elimination round schedule on Friday at the MOA Arena.
A21 113- Canaleta 41, Sena 18, Reyes 12, arboleda 8, Omolon 7, Wilson 6, Cortez 5, Ritualo 5, Custodio 4, Isip 4, Andaya 2, Baclao 1, Atkins 0. GLO 92- Al-Hussaini 20, David 16, Manuel 11, Salvador 11, Mandani 8, Guevarra 5, Antonio 5, Yee 4, Miller 4, Lingganay 3, Vanlandingham 3, Vergara 2, Deutchman 0, Crisano 0. QS: 30-31; 60-55; 87-67; 113-92.
ALASKA ACES over PETRON BLAZE BOOSTERS, 79-71
Alaska has built a reputation in the Calvin Abueva era as a defensive, hustling team. Make the Aces the new comeback kids this time as well.
The Aces held the Petron Blaze Boosters to an all-time franchise low six points in the fourth quarter to complete a hard-earned come-from-behind victory on Wednesday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Down by 21 points in the closing minute of the third period, the Aces willed themselves to victory behind the efforts of JVee Casio, Abueva and Cyrus Baguio.
Casio and Abueva have recently returned from sick bay.
But neither injuries nor the Boosters could keep these Aces from spurring their team to a huge comeback win.
There were injuries all around, but these guys just willed themselves to victory. I was kind of quiet during the huddle and going through the motions, but guys just dont want to quit, said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo.
The Boosters were held down to only a single field goal for nearly nine minutes and saw their lead chopped down by repeated Alaska uprisings.
Arwind Santos broke the silence for the Boosters with a jumper, giving his squad a 69-63 lead.
JVee Casio scored on a triple to push the Aces within three, 69-66, but Chris Lutz had a jumper from the right corner.
That was the end of the line for the Boosters, though, who failed to score in the next 2:43 of the match and watched as the Aces scored the next 13 points.
Overall, the Boosters shot a measly 3-of-18 from the field (16.7%).
ALA 79- Baguio 20, Abueva 12, Casio 12, Hontiveros 10, Thoss 8, Espinas 7, Reyes 3, Baracael 3, Eman 2, Dela Cruz 2, Jazul 0, Laure 0, Belasco 0. PET 71- Lassiter 14, Santos 13, Cabagnot 11, Fajardo 10, Yeo 9, Miranda 8, Lutz 4, Ildefonso 2, Washington 0, Pena 0. QS: 19-25, 29-41, 46-65, 79-71.
Source: Unless otherwise specified, game recaps were compressed and compiled from InterAKTV. (Writing credit to Rey Joble.)
NLEX drops plans to bring back Michael Madanly - May 29, 2016
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No wonder, the Road Warriors are passing up the chance of bringing back sweet-shooting Syrian guard Michel Madanly (194-G-81) as they allow Lanete to develop as the team's upcoming outside gunner. The 35-year-old Michel Madanly served as the Road Warriors' Asian reinforcement for the Governors Cup last season. Last year was the first time the PBA allowed teams to bring in one Asian import to work alongside an American reinforcement. A former top scorer in the FIBA Asia men's championships... [read more]
No wonder, the Road Warriors are passing up the chance of bringing back sweet-shooting Syrian guard Michel Madanly (194-G-81) as they allow Lanete to develop as the team's upcoming outside gunner. The 35-year-old Michel Madanly served as the Road Warriors' Asian reinforcement for the Governors Cup last season. Last year was the first time the PBA allowed teams to bring in one Asian import to work alongside an American reinforcement. A former top scorer in the FIBA Asia men's championships, Michel Madanly averaged 19.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists in last year's Governors Cup though it couldn't prevent NLEX from finishing 2nd to the last with its 3-8 card. At the moment, NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez already has a short list of American and Asian imports to choose from. Courtesy of: foxsportsasia.com
The Gilas Cadets had another tough outing against host team Thailand, but they used a strong finishing kick to bag the 2016 SEABA Stankovic Cup title. Both teams qualified to play in the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge, but it was Gilas that was able to bring the bacon home. Scores and Recaps: Day 6 SINGAPORE over MALAYSIA, 68-62 - For the second straight game, Malaysia fell short of beating arch-rival Singapore. The Singaporeans leaned on the 20-point, 16-rebound double-double of big man Delv... [read more]
The Gilas Cadets had another tough outing against host team Thailand, but they used a strong finishing kick to bag the 2016 SEABA Stankovic Cup title. Both teams qualified to play in the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge, but it was Gilas that was able to bring the bacon home.
Scores and Recaps:
Day 6 SINGAPORE over MALAYSIA, 68-62 - For the second straight game, Malaysia fell short of beating arch-rival Singapore. The Singaporeans leaned on the 20-point, 16-rebound double-double of big man Delvin Goh to prevail and pocket third place. Leon Kwek and Qing Huang Toh backstopped Goh with 13 and 12 markers respectively, while Chee Kheun Ma paced the losing side with 14. This was a great result for Singapore considering they were missing many key players like Wei Long Wong and Desmond Oh.
Line of the Game: Delvin Goh (SG) - 20pts, 16rebs, 5asts, 2stls, 2blks.
GILAS CADETS over THAILAND, 97-80 - Thailand gave the Filipinos a heck of a fight again, but the Pinoys' depth proved to be too much when push came to shove. Not even some key second half adjustments by coach Tim Lewis could permanently turn the tide in favor of the host squad; nevertheless, they showed the region how vastly improved they have been and have really served notice that they have what it takes to beat the Philippines. Chitchai Ananti led the way for Thailand with 19 points, while Theerawat Chanthachon and Attaporn Lertmalaiporn each tallied 11 markers. As for the Gilas Cadets, the duo of Mac Belo and Mike Tolomia delivered the most telling blows in their title-clinching triumph. Belo finished with 14 points for the victors, while fellow FEU alum Tolomia added a dozen. Troy Rosario spearheaded the Pinoy attack with a team-high 17 points, while Jio Jalalon also shone with 16. This result reasserted the country's supremacy in the region, which has seen other teams make leaps in terms of their level of play in recent years.
Line of the Game: Troy Rosario (PHL) - 17pts, 7rebs, 3asts, 2 triples.
The Gilas Cadets barely survived their last elims match-up against hosts Thailand in the 2016 SEABA Stankovic Cup. Gilas had a lot of trouble against a very motivated home team, and they will get to play against each other again in the Final. Malaysia, meanwhile, fell short of beating rival Singapore in the day's first game. Scores and Recaps: Day 5 SINGAPORE over MALAYSIA, 61-55 - Malaysia was in control for much of this game until the Singporeans unfurled an 18-6 finishing kick to pul... [read more]
The Gilas Cadets barely survived their last elims match-up against hosts Thailand in the 2016 SEABA Stankovic Cup. Gilas had a lot of trouble against a very motivated home team, and they will get to play against each other again in the Final. Malaysia, meanwhile, fell short of beating rival Singapore in the day's first game.
Scores and Recaps:
Day 5 SINGAPORE over MALAYSIA, 61-55 - Malaysia was in control for much of this game until the Singporeans unfurled an 18-6 finishing kick to pull the rug from under their foes. Leon Kwek finally broke out for the victors, scoring 15 points to lead Singapore, while John Ng added 11 markers. Delvin Goh also impressed with 9 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 steals. Malaysia, meanwhile, was paced by veteran center Yoong Jing Kwaan and Chee Kheun Ma, who scored 19 and 10 points respectively.
Line of the Game: Delvin Goh (SG) - 9pts, 15rebs, 3stls, 1ast, 4/8 FGs.
GILAS CADETS over THAILAND, 66-65 - Thailand gave the Filipinos all they could handle but ultimately succumbed to the Gilas Cadets. The game didn't have much bearing on the standings, however, as both teams will have a rematch for the tournament crown on Saturday. Gilas led by as many as 11 in this game, but the Thais' energy and outside shooting enabled them to stick with the perennial SEABA champions. The Cadets actually shot atrociously from long range, making just 3 of their 37 three-point tries. The frontline pair of Troy Rosario and Mac Belo led the way for the Pinoys with 20 and 18 points respectively, while Chitchai Ananti paced the home squad with 14 markers. Shooter Nakorn Jainasuk also did well with 12 points, while playmaker Bandit Lakhan dropped 10 off the pine. Thailand's star floor general Kannut Samerjai struggled big time, laying a big fat egg.
Line of the Game: Troy Rosario (PHL) - 18pts, 10rebs, 1ast, 1stl, 1blk.
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