This is a repost of the well-written article by my fellow writer, Sir Jude Roque, fromYahoo! Philippines:
Inspired by the recent announcement of FIBA Asia that this years Asian Championship will be held in Manila, the Smart Gilas Pilipinas national mens team got off to a rousing start here in the 24th Dubai International Basketball Championship by nipping Al Mouttahed Tripoli of Lebanon, 79-77, Friday at the Al-Ahli Club gym, to the delight of about two thousand Filipino fans.
The nationals shook off a slow start to thwart the No. 3 team in the tough Lebanese league that boasts of three American imports - Marc Salyers, Eric Chatfield and Larry Cox. Salyers is a 69 forward who has played all over Europe, while Chatfield is a hotshot from the University of New Mexico. Cox is a 610 behemoth who leads the Lebanese league in blocks with 3.9 per game.
The Lebanese started the game on fire, leading by as many as 15 points, at 18-3, on two triples by Salyers. Mouttahed was ahead, 22-10, after the first period, ut the gritty young Philippine squad unloaded five treys in the second quarter, two of which came from Meralco Bolts ace gunner Ronjay Buenafe, to take the half, 41-40. Naturalized import Marcus Douthit took control in the third canto as he scattered ten markers to keep Gilas still on top, 59-58, going into the payoff period.
In the fourth quarter, it was a Garvo Lanete and Kevin Alas show as the former NCAA rivals collaborated with a run-and-gun attack to counter the clear size advantage of Mouttahed. Alas, the former Letran standout, fed ex-San Beda star Lanete with a couple of excellent assists. Lanete connected on a triple and two floaters in a three-minute span.
Alas also fed Greg Slaughter with an alley hoop pass that the former completed with a slam, and delivered a crucial three-ball with just under four minutes left. But in the end, it was excellent team defense that sealed the victory for this Philippine squad that was formed in less than two months before the tournament, capped by a Lanete steal in the dying seconds of the game.
Douthit led Gilas with 20 points and 8 boards, while Lanete and Buenafe added 15 and 10 markers respectively. Alas also had a superb game with 9 points, 5 assists and 4 steals.
In the Jones Cup, all of our wins came from behind. Never, never give-up. But I thought the key in the endgame was our ability to make some stops, said head coach Chot Reyes.
Gilas and Mouttahed engaged in a shooting contest, but the Filipinos prevailed with 11 out of 25 triples as opposed to their opponents 8-of-31. The bigger Lebanese, however, won the battle of the boards, 35-29, including 17 offensive rebounds. Gilas had more assists, 15-9.
Gilas faces home team Al-Ahli Club, UAEs top professional team, later today.
Smart Gilas and Mouttahed are joined in Group B by Al-Ahli Club and Jordans Al Riyadi Sporting Aramex Club. In Group A are Sagesse and Al-Riyadi, both from Beirut, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates national team. A team from Kazakhstan was supposed to be part of Group A, but backed-out at the last minute.
Two years ago, the first batch of Gilas under Serbian coach Rajko Toroman placed second behind Egypts El Ettehad Club in this tournament. The only remaining member of that batch is Douthit. Slaughter was part of the 2010 Gilas squad that placed third behind Mahram of Iran and Al-Riyadi of Lebanon.
The Philippine team will easily become the most popular squad here as Dubai has over 800,000 Filipino overseas workers. Pinoys make up the biggest crowd in this annual tournament as they look forward to seeing the nationals in action.
The other members of the squad are KG Canaleta of Air 21, JayR Reyes of Meralco, RR Garcia, Ronald Pascual, Jake Pascual, and Matthew Ganuelas of NLEX, and Fil-Am recruits Justin Melton and Isaac Holstein. Coach Chot is assisted by former national coach Jong Uichico.
Kevinn Pinkney (ex Phoenix) may join Maccabi Haifa - 2 hours ago
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Maccabi Hunter Haifa (Winner League) is close to sign experienced 34-year old American forward Kevinn Pinkney (207-111kg-83, college: Nevada) who played last time at Phoenix Fuel Masters in Philippines. In 9 PBA games he recorded very impressive stats: 23.4ppg, 13.0rpg, 2.1apg and 1.4bpg last season. The previous (2015) summer Pinkney played at Bucaneros in Venezuelan LPB where in 26 games he averaged 9.3ppg, 5.6rpg, 1.2apg and 1.3spg in 2015 season. In 2005 he was drafted by Sioux Falls... [read more]
Maccabi Hunter Haifa (Winner League) is close to sign experienced 34-year old American forward Kevinn Pinkney (207-111kg-83, college: Nevada) who played last time at Phoenix Fuel Masters in Philippines. In 9 PBA games he recorded very impressive stats: 23.4ppg, 13.0rpg, 2.1apg and 1.4bpg last season. The previous (2015) summer Pinkney played at Bucaneros in Venezuelan LPB where in 26 games he averaged 9.3ppg, 5.6rpg, 1.2apg and 1.3spg in 2015 season. In 2005 he was drafted by Sioux Falls Skyforce (CBA) in fifth round (48th overall). Pinkney attended University of Nevada and it is his twelfth (!!!) season in pro basketball. He is a very experienced player. Thanks to Pinkney's pro career he managed to play on four different continents (Europe, Asia, Latin America and of course North America) in eleven different countries. Pinkney has played previously professionally in China (Heilongjiang), France, Italy (AV Cantu and Angelico Biella), Lebanon (Champville), Poland, Puerto Rico (Atleticos), Russia (Enisey), Slovenia (Un.Olimpija), Turkey (Trabzonspor and Aliaga), Israel (Hapoel Jerusalem) and United Arab Emirates (Al Naser). The scouts decsribe him following way:
Raw athlete with good size and good hands...Has skills and mobility to counter stronger power forwards... Possesses good shot blocking ability. Has displayed a good shooting touch from the 17- to 18-foot range. He gets good position inside and is quick to the ball. Made a huge work in bulking-up, because he weighed just 190 pounds when he entered Nevada. He's the typical late bloomer, who has yet upside.
Weekend action in the 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup reached fever pitch and was highlighted by wins from Meralco, Ginebra, and San Miguel Beer. Game Capsules: MERALCO BOLTS over RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO-PAINTERS, 82-72 The Meralco Bolts finally put an end to their miseries as they knocked off the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 82-72, to snap a six-game losing skid and remain in the hunt for a playoff spot in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup Friday at Cuneta Astrodome. Chris Newsome paced the Bo... [read more]
Weekend action in the 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup reached fever pitch and was highlighted by wins from Meralco, Ginebra, and San Miguel Beer.
MERALCO BOLTS over RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO-PAINTERS, 82-72 The Meralco Bolts finally put an end to their miseries as they knocked off the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 82-72, to snap a six-game losing skid and remain in the hunt for a playoff spot in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup Friday at Cuneta Astrodome.
Chris Newsome paced the Bolts with 19 points, 15 of which came in the second half, while Cliff Hodge collected 17 points and 16 boards for the Bolts (3-7) who pumped some life into their slim quarterfinal hopes.
With just one game left on its schedule, Meralco needs to win its remaining game and hope that other teams above them, namely Ginebra, Alaska and Star, drop some games for the Bolts to have a shot at a playoff ticket. Yap scored 17 points for Rain or Shine (5-4) which suffered its second straight defeat. (Interaksyon.com)
Lines of the Game: Cliff Hodge (MER) - 17pts, 16rebs, 4blks, 2 triples. James Yap (ROS) - 17pts, 4rebs, 3asts, 2 triples.
BGY. GINEBRA GIN KINGS over BLACKWATER ELITE, 99-90 Barangay Ginebra San Miguel withstood the early exit of star forward Japeth Aguilar due to injury, fending off the gutsy Blackwater Elite, 99-90, in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup Friday at Cuneta Astrodome.
Aguilar, who already had 14 points in the first half, hurt himself in the second quarter after landing awkwardly following a dunk at the 3:55 mark of the second quarter. He never returned to the game and was feared to have suffered a hyperextended right elbow.
But his teammates stepped up in his absence. Scottie Thompson delivered an all-around performance of 13 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and two steals. LA Tenorio top-scored with 15 points, while Joe Devance and Dave Marcelo each added 13 markers apiece.
They all helped Ginebra, which improved to 5-4 for a share of third place, weather a rally by Blackwater which came back from 15 points down. Sumang had 20 points while Raymond Aguilar buried four triples en route to 16 points. Mac Belo also had 16 points for the Elite which fell to 5-5. (Interaksyon.com)
Lines of the Game: Scottie Thompson (GIN) - 13pts, 15rebs, 7asts, 2stls. Roi Sumang (BLA) - 20pts, 4asts, 3rebs, 1stl, 2 triples.
SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN over GLOBALPORT BATANG PIER, 106-100 Box Scores. http://www.fibalivestats.com/u/PBA/448422/
The San Miguel Beermen clinched the No. 1 seed in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup after defeating the GlobalPort Batang Pier, 106-100, behind the heroics of Arwind Santos in an out-of-town game on Saturday in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.
Santos had a huge night for SMB, scoring 31 points, including five three-pointers, and grabbing 10 rebounds as he led his team to an eighth consecutive victory. The Beermen, now at 9-1 for the conference, are now out of reach of their closest pursuers in the standings.
Marcio Lassiter added 22 points while June Mar Fajardo, the reigning three-peat PBA MVP who was celebrating his Cebu homecoming, chipped in with 19 points and 15 big rebounds in the win.
GlobalPort, which entered the game in solo second at 5-3, dropped into a five-way tie for second place (5-4) with only two games remaining in the elimination round. Pringle led GlobalPort with 21 points while Romeo, who was averaging 27 points per game this conference, finished with 16 points on 4-for-14 (28-percent) shooting. (Interaksyon.com)
Lines of the Game: Arwind Santos (SMB) - 31pts, 10rebs, 2asts, 5 triples. Stanley Pringle (GLO) - 21pts, 6rebs, 2asts, 3 triples.
TNT and Phoenix notched separate wins in the 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup, defeating Mahindra and NLEX respectively this past Wednesday. Game Capsules: TNT KA TROPA over MAHINDRA FLOODBUSTER, 104-92 TNT KaTropa woke up from a lethargic first half to stop the Mahindra Floodbuster, 104-92, and snap their own two-game skid in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at Cuneta Astrodome. Troy Rosario top-scored for TNT with 18 points and nine rebounds while rookie Roger Pogoy tallied a caree... [read more]
TNT and Phoenix notched separate wins in the 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup, defeating Mahindra and NLEX respectively this past Wednesday.
TNT KA TROPA over MAHINDRA FLOODBUSTER, 104-92 TNT KaTropa woke up from a lethargic first half to stop the Mahindra Floodbuster, 104-92, and snap their own two-game skid in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at Cuneta Astrodome.
Troy Rosario top-scored for TNT with 18 points and nine rebounds while rookie Roger Pogoy tallied a career-high 16 points together with four rebounds and four assists.
KaTropa improved to 5-4 to move up to a share of fourth place. Alex Mallari scored 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists to lead Mahindra which fell to 2-6. (Interaksyon.com)
Lines of the Game: Troy Rosario (TNT) - 18pts, 9rebs, 1ast, 1blk, 2 triples. Alex Mallari (MAH) - 19pts, 7rebs, 5asts.
PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS over NLEX ROAD WARRIORS, 102-91 The Phoenix Fuel Masters used a blistering third quarter run to dispatch the NLEX Road Warriors, 102-91, in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at Cuneta Astrodome.
Simon Enciso finished with 21 points spiked by five triples to lead five Fuel Masters players who breached the double-digit mark in scoring.
JC Intal contributed 16 points, Cyrus Baguio had 13 and Willie Wilson and Matthew Wright each added 12 points apiece.
Wright fell one assist shy of a triple-double. He also grabbed 12 rebounds and dished nine dimes although he committed 10 turnovers.
With the win, Phoenix moved up to 5-4 and created a three-way tie with Blackwater and TNT for fourth place. Sean Anthony scored 23 points to pace NLEX, which fell to 2-7, in the losing effort. (Interaksyon.com)
Lines of the Game: Matthew Wright (PHX) - 12pts, 12asts, 9rebs, 9asts, 3 triples. Sean Anthony (NLX) - 23pts, 8rebs, 3asts, 1 triple.
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