[PHOTO AT LEFT - Sally Mae and Bernardine Siso with coaches Butch Bacani (at the back, right) and Mike Mora; PHOTO TAKEN LAST AUGUST 2007]

MANILA, PHILIPPINES, APRIL 28, 2010 (STAR) Siblings Sally Mae and Bernardine Siso toppled their rivals to rule their respective divisions in the Visayas leg of the Smart/Head Junior Tennis Satellite Circuit in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu over the weekend.

Sally Mae dominated the 16 and 18-under divisions at the Mactan Island Tennis Club, beating Crissian Issa Kintanar, 6-3, 6-2, and Sallydine Siso, 6-1, 6-1, in the 18-under class of the event.

Bernardine, on the other hand, defeated Juan Paolo Cansino, 6-1, 6-2, to bag the boys’ 18-under plum.

Both Sally Mae and Bernardine Siso received cellphones from Smart Communications as well as tennis equipment.

The other winners in the event presented by tennis patron Manny Pangilinan, chairman of Smart Sports, in cooperation with Head, Chris Sports, Toalson and Meralco were Arthur Craig, who outplayed Zethly Mae Alferez, 6-1, 6-0, for the 10-unisex crown; Joshua Kinaadman, who defeated Christian Fel Lopez, 6-4, 6-4, for the 12-under boys title; Alferez, who beat Crizelle Elise Castro, 6-0, 6-4, for the 12-under girls crown;

Jeleardo Amazona, who scuttled Jokin Michael Necesario, 6-2, 6-3, in the 14-under boys’ final; Jenni Dizon, who nipped Crissian Issa Kintanar, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (10-5), for the 14-under girls crown; and Rogelio Estanio, who drubbed Juan Paolo Cansino, 6-2, 6-3, for the 16-under boys’ diadem.

PBA NEWS by Joaquin Henson

No security for imports SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) Updated April 27, 2010 12:00 AM

In the PBA, the bottom line is what counts and imports whose teams are floundering will likely get the pink slip unless the tide turns regardless of their personal stats.

Sometimes, even imports on winning teams are cut if the prognosis is they’re not good enough for a championship. There’s no job security when it comes to playing as an import because you’re only as good as your last game.

Take Barangay Ginebra’s Awvee Storey who’s the only import in town with NBA credentials. He showed up with a resume that listed stints with the New Jersey Nets, Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks but the word is coach Joseph Uichico has given up on the former Arizona State guard after scoring only 13 points in an 86-72 loss to Sta. Lucia Realty and 14 in a 102-94 setback to San Miguel Beer.

Storey’s inconsistency must have caused Uichico headaches. He had 33 points in a 97-90 win over Talk ‘N’ Text, 20 in a 98-91 decision over Coca-Cola and 40 in a 100-98 squeaker over Rain or Shine. For a team with lofty expectations, a 3-2 start just isn’t acceptable, prompting Uichico to call in Mildon Ambres of Southern Nazarene.

Ambres, 25, was named the NBA D-League’s first Most Improved Player awardee a few weeks ago for raising his scoring clip from 6.5 to 14.5 points with the Idaho Stampede this season. He was one of only two Idaho players to see action in the team’s 50 games.

Uichico’s gamble is Ambres will play with the same intensity he displayed in the D-League.

The downside is Ambres had a so-so varsity career. After averaging 21.2 points and 14 rebounds as a senior at Opelousas High School in 2001-02, Ambres joined the Louisiana State University varsity but couldn’t crack the lineup. He wound up sitting out two seasons before gaining eligibility at Southern Mississippi in 2004-05, averaging 7.7 points. In 2005-06, Ambres averaged 6.4 points in 31 games with the Golden Eagles then transferred to Southern Nazarene in the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics).

At Southern Nazarene, Ambres finally hit his stride, averaging 15.2 points and 8.2 rebounds. He led the varsity to the Sooners Athletic Conference title, firing 24 points in Southern Nazarene’s 82-68 win over Northwestern Oklahoma State.

Ambres played for CSU Caudripol Brasov in Romania, averaging 18.1 points and 8.5 rebounds in 26 games in 2007-08 then suited up in the D-League.

“I’m extremely happy for Mildon as he earns the well-deserved award,” said Stampede coach Bob MacKinnon. “Being honored as the most improved player in a league that is all about development is such a great tribute to how hard Mildon worked and the dedication of the coaching staff this past season.”

Ambres scored in twin digits in 38 of 50 games and registered a season-high 32 points in a 165-153 overtime victory over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. “Mildon demonstrated an unwavering commitment to his craft, working hard every night to improve all aspects of his game,” said D-League vice president of basketball operations Chris Alpert. “His dedication to improving his skills is directly in line with the D-League’s core mission of developing the top basketball prospects in the world and I congratulate Mildon on his impressive accomplishment.”

Ambres is slated to make his PBA debut against Alaska at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday.

* * * *

B-Meg Derby Ace will also parade a new import in the Llamados’ next outing against San Miguel Beer at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium this Sunday. Lorenzo Wade hasn’t scored less than 20 points in five games so far but B-Meg’s 3-2 record is no cause for celebration even as the Llamados’ two losses (79-76 to Coca-Cola and 83-81 to Alaska) could’ve gone either way.

You couldn’t ask anything more from Wade who’s extremely coachable. In B-Meg’s 93-80 romp over Barako Coffee last Wednesday, the former San Diego State star produced 27 points, 17 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and three blocked shots in 39 solid minutes. But coach Ryan Gregorio isn’t taking any chances. Wade has been relegated to the injured list while Gregorio tries out Clif Brown of Niagara University. If Brown doesn’t work out, Gregorio has the option of reactivating Wade.

Brown, 25, is a livewire on the court unlike the laid-back Wade. As a senior in 2006-07, he hit 32 points, including 6-of-11 triples, to power Niagara to a 77-69 win over Florida A&M in an NCAA play-in game to advance to the tournament first round as the No. 16 seed against top-ranked Kansas. The triumph over Florida A&M was Niagara’s first in 37 years in the NCAA playoffs. Earlier that season, Brown pumped in a career-high 33 points, including 4-of-5 triples, in a 74-63 decision over St. Bonaventure. Brown wound up averaging 16.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 33.7 minutes in 33 games.

Air21 will make another switch, starting with Keena Young, trying out Jason Forte and now banking on Reggie Larry. Coach Yeng Guiao is hoping Larry will trigger a reversal of fortunes as the Express has lost four in a row. Young opened the conference on a sour note with Air21 going 1-3. Young was particularly pathetic in the Express’ 92-75 loss to B-Meg last April 9. He was scoreless in the first period en route to an anemic 13-point effort and couldn’t hold Wade’s pants down. Wade got away with 29 points in the rout.

Forte, who never averaged in double figures in four years with Southern Mississippi, failed to turn things around for Air21 in two outings. Getting impatient and feeling a sense of urgency, Guiao is giving Larry a chance to strut his wares.

Larry was close to playing for Purefoods last year but withdrew before the Fiesta Conference started because of an injury. Now, the former Boise State forward has the opportunity to show what he could’ve done with the Tender Juicy Giants.

Larry averaged 14.1 points and 8.1 rebounds as a junior college transfer at Boise State, where former PBA star Vince Hizon once played, in 2006-07. He started in 26 of the varsity’s 31 games and earned a reputation as a force down low, blocking 44 shots and collecting 22 steals. In his senior season, Larry hit at a 19.4 clip as Boise State posted a 25-9 record and made it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 14 years.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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