SPORTS NEWS THE WEEK AFTER
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

PBA GOVERNORS CUP:
SLIM HOPE TO PLAYOFF: MANNY's KIA HOLDS ON TO POTENTIAL NO. 2 PICK DESPITE TRADE OFFERS


JUNE 23 ---Kia coach Manny Pacquiao is not about to let go of potential no. 2 overall pick in the next PBA Rookie Draft. File Photo
Given this year’s bumper crop of rookies, KIA intends to hold its precious first round pick for the time being as the Carnival continue to find the pieces that could help them become more competitive next season. KIA team manager Eric Pineda bared that several PBA teams have dangled juicy trade offers in exchange for their 2015 first round pick, but playing coach Manny Pacquiao isn’t biting at this point. “May mga offers, at pinaga-aralan namin yung mga iyun kung ano ba ang mga offers, pero siyempre, gusto ni coach Manny eh bata para mag-grow sila with the team,” Pineda told Philstar.com on Monday. While KIA still has a slim chance of making the playoffs in the ongoing PBA Governors Cup, Pineda said his coaching staff led by lead assistant Chito Victolero has been busy scouting for rookie prospects in the PBA D-League. Pineda admitted the expected deep talent in this year’s rookie draft, made them reconsider holding on to their precious first round pick. READ MORE...

ALSO: Hotshots rout Batang Pier Aces oust Kings, reach semis


JUNE 27 ---Star Hotshots’ Marcus Blakely (left) uses his left hand to get Jarrid Famous of Globalport out of the way as he attacks the basket during their PBA Governors Cup quarterfinal showdown at the Big Dome. Joey Mendoza Jr.  
Just as its ever-loyal fans rode a new surge of hope following its great escape at the end of the elims and a great start in the match, Alaska Milk methodically stripped away Barangay Ginebra’s new-found confidence and ousted the Kings with a 114-108 victory last night to clinch the first Final Four berth in the PBA Governors Cup. The Aces went roaring at the resumption of play following a stoppage late in the third period due to a commotion, fighting back from 16 points down to beat the Gin Kings in their quarterfinals matchup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. READ MORE...

ALSO: E-Painters trip E Cola, reach Final 4


JUNE 28 ---RR Garcia of Barako Bull scores a twinner off Rain Or Shine’s Jeff Chan, Wendell McKines, Raymond Almazan and Gabe Norwood (hidden) in the PBA Governors Cup yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. JOEY MENDOZA JR.
Rain or Shine fought Barako Bull in a long-drawn 58-minute battle, but Paul Lee didn’t run out of brilliant plays and superb shots, the biggest on a spin off two defenders that he finished on a gliding one-hander to lift the Elasto Painters to a 134-132 heart-stopper and into the PBA Governors Cup Final Four at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night. Lee maneuvered the lethal play between Joseph Yeo and 7-foot-2 import Liam McMorrow with time down to 7.3 seconds, capping his sterling game also marked by a torrid 6-of-9 three-point shooting and preserving the win that gave the E-Painters a shot at back-to-back finals. The E-Painters blew away a 25-point second-quarter bulge but played tough through the double-overtime grind, beating out the Energy Cola in the highest-scoring PBA playoff game in 22 years or since San Miguel Beer topped Swift, 140-138, also in double-overtime in Game One of the 1993 Governors Cup finale. “It took a little while before we accomplished our objective, but the more important thing was we did it,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao. READ MORE...

ALSO: Manny Pacquiao says he wants to help 'favorite team' Ginebra make PBA playoffs


JUNE 24 ---Manny Pacquiao puts in his input during a KIA huddle. Jerome Ascano
MANNY Pacquiao surprised a lot of people when he showed up for KIA's final game in the PBA Governors Cup eliminations against Meralco on Wednesday afternoon. Pacquiao, who has been away from KIA games for a long time, said he wants to boost the morale of the Carnival and at the same time help Barangay Ginebra make the playoffs. At 4-6 (win-loss), Ginebra needs a KIA win of no more than 17 points against Meralco and a win against also-ran NLEX in the other half of the double-header to catch the last bus to the eight-team playoffs. “Oo, gusto ko makapasok ang Ginebra," said the boxing hero and KIA playing-coach. "Kahit kaunting tulong sa side ko, makatulong ako kasi madami fans yung team eh.” True enough, Kia looked inspired by Pacquiao's presence, even posting a nine-point lead in the second quarter. READ MORE...

ALSO NCAA Season 91 Preview Part 1: Lions still team to beat


JUNE 23 ---Topex Robinson of Lyceum, Gabby Velasco of St. Benilde, Aldin Ayo of Letran, Andy de Guzman of EAC, Aric del Rosario of Perpetual, Ed Cordero of Mapua, Jerry Codiñera of Arellano, Rodney Santos of San Sebastian, George Ella of JRU and Jamike Jarin of San Beda join hands during the NCAA Season 91 press conference at the Mall of Asia Arena. JOEY MENDOZA If the NCAA was watching the finals of the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup, a shudder must have gone up the spine of every team, thinking they have a chance to knock San Beda College a peg or two from its decade of dominance. They crushed La Salle with so much ease, unerring focus and incredible firepower – despite missing point guard Baser Amer – to pick up their first ever pre-season trophy. Is this the start of what could be a historic season? San Beda Red Lions The road to the NCAA championship will have to go through Mendiola. The Lions are the prohibitive favorites to annex their sixth straight NCAA title. They still have plenty of holdovers from their previous title squads to see them through.READ MORE...

ALSO: NCAA Season 90 fires off at MOA Arena


JUNE 28 ---No Chicken Dance June 27, 2015 10:45 pm The 91st season of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) kicked off at the Mall of Asia Arena with a fiery dance number from this year’s hosts, the Mapua institute of Technology. Defending champions the san Beda Red Lions and the Jose Rizal heavy Bombers won their opening matches. Photo by Ozzy LAvina The 91st season of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) kicked off at the Mall of Asia Arena with a fiery dance number from this year’s hosts, the Mapua institute of Technology. Defending champions the san Beda Red Lions and the Jose Rizal heavy Bombers won their opening matches. Photo by Ozzy LAvina

NCAA 90 OPENING: DOWNLOAD PODCAST: http://www.divshare.com/download/25735870-2be

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ALSO OPENING GAME:  Arellano's Jalalon struggles in loss to Jose Rizal U


JUNE 27 ---Arellano's Jiovani Jalalon (6) throws a pass on his way to the basket against JRU's Abdoul Poutouochi. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
Arellano point guard Jiovani Jalalon refused to mince words when asked to assess his performance in the Chiefs' opening day loss to the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers in the NCAA Season 91 men's basketball tournament.
"Masasabi ko lang, alam kong hindi ako nakatulong sa team namin," a visibly frustrated Jalalon said, a few minutes after JRU dealt Arellano a 78-61 beatdown in their first game of the new season on Saturday. Jalalon, a member of last season's Mythical Team and a part of the gold medal-winning Gilas Cadets squad in the Southeast Asian Games, struggled mightily, tallying only four points, three rebounds, four assists, and three steals. READ MORE...

ALSO: Mayweather-Pacquiao boosts casino winnings above $1 billion


JUNE 24 ---Manny Pacquiao, right, from the Philippines, trades blows with Floyd Mayweather Jr., during their welterweight title fight in Las Vegas. AP/John Locher
LAS VEGAS — Huge crowds and high rollers in Las Vegas for the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight helped Nevada casinos make more than $1 billion off gamblers in May, according to records released Friday. It was the first time casinos exceeded that total in more than a year. "To hit a billion, we're pretty pleased," said Nevada Gaming Control Board analyst Michael Lawton. Slot machines and tables were packed on fight night, May 2, and casinos responded by raising limits to accommodate big spenders. It was the start of a busy month that included the new Rock in Rio outdoor music festival, the World Series of Poker and Memorial Day weekend. The last time casino winnings topped $1 billion was December 2013. Gaming board statistics show a 3.3 percent year-over-year increase for May, and Strip casinos were up 1.4 percent, keeping $601.2 million of what gamblers wagered. The bumps came despite the loss of the Riviera Hotel and Casino, a Las Vegas Strip mainstay that closed at the beginning of the month. READ MORE...

ALSO: Manny fought for fans says Roach's chief assistant Somodio


JUNE 24 ---Marvin Somodio steps on the bottom rope strands in a mitt session with 6-1 heavyweight Andrey Fedosov at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.
Freddie Roach’s chief assistant Marvin Somodio said yesterday Manny Pacquiao could’ve backed out of his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. last May because of a shoulder injury but didn’t want to disappoint fans who flew to Las Vegas from different parts of the world and paid a hefty price for tickets to witness the WBA/WBC/WBO unification welterweight championship bout. Somodio, who is based in Los Angeles working for Roach at the Wild Card Gym, is in town with wife Melissa to renew his Philippine passport. He will also go to the US Embassy for the stamping of his visa on the new travel document. Somodio received notice in Los Angeles that his US visa would be renewed for another three years. Over three weeks before the Mayweather fight, Pacquiao suffered a slight tear in his right shoulder during a sparring session. He took a week off from sparring then went back to work, barely using his right hand. “Manny wanted to preserve his right for the fight so he rested it in the late stages of sparring,” said Somodio. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

Pacquiao's Kia holds on to potential no.2 pick despite trade offers


Kia coach Manny Pacquiao is not about to let go of potential no. 2 overall pick in the next PBA Rookie Draft. File Photo

MANILA, JUNE 29, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Richard Dy, contributor (philstar.com) | Updated June 23, 2015 - Given this year’s bumper crop of rookies, KIA intends to hold its precious first round pick for the time being as the Carnival continue to find the pieces that could help them become more competitive next season.

KIA team manager Eric Pineda bared that several PBA teams have dangled juicy trade offers in exchange for their 2015 first round pick, but playing coach Manny Pacquiao isn’t biting at this point.

“May mga offers, at pinaga-aralan namin yung mga iyun kung ano ba ang mga offers, pero siyempre, gusto ni coach Manny eh bata para mag-grow sila with the team,” Pineda told Philstar.com on Monday.

While KIA still has a slim chance of making the playoffs in the ongoing PBA Governors Cup, Pineda said his coaching staff led by lead assistant Chito Victolero has been busy scouting for rookie prospects in the PBA D-League.

Pineda admitted the expected deep talent in this year’s rookie draft, made them reconsider holding on to their precious first round pick.

READ MORE...

“Siyempre, isa sa mga (rookie) criteria namin is malaki, though kailangan din namin ng reliable shooter. Marami rin kasing mga bata diyan sa draft,” he added.

The KIA team executive mentioned that Gilas cadet stars led by Troy Rosario, Norbert Torres, along with guards Arnold Vosotros and Scottie Thompson of Perpetual Help, and Cafe France’s Fil-Am guard Maverick Ahanmishi are notable talents worth considering in the draft.

However, Pineda said should a ‘win-win’ offer come along the way, they are willing to sit down and discuss the possibility of trading their first round pick this year for quality players.

“Kung bibitawan man namin (first round pick), gusto namin yung mga bata na mag-go-grow din sa team,” he added.

KIA placed 11th in the Philippine Cup, before moving up to 10th spot at the end of the Commissioner’s Cup.

Should KIA fail to make the top Four, the Carnival will more likely end up with the no. 2 pick overall behind Blackwater, which will give them an opportunity to dip their hands on an expected bumper crop of rookies this year.

The 2015 PBA Annual Rookie Draft is set on August 23 at the Robinson’s Place Ermita.


PHILSTAR

Hotshots rout Batang Pier, Aces oust Kings, reach semis By Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 27, 2015 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


Star Hotshots’ Marcus Blakely (left) uses his left hand to get Jarrid Famous of Globalport out of the way as he attacks the basket during their PBA Governors Cup quarterfinal showdown at the Big Dome. Joey Mendoza Jr.

MANILA, Philippines - Just as its ever-loyal fans rode a new surge of hope following its great escape at the end of the elims and a great start in the match, Alaska Milk methodically stripped away Barangay Ginebra’s new-found confidence and ousted the Kings with a 114-108 victory last night to clinch the first Final Four berth in the PBA Governors Cup.

The Aces went roaring at the resumption of play following a stoppage late in the third period due to a commotion, fighting back from 16 points down to beat the Gin Kings in their quarterfinals matchup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

READ MORE...

After the near fracas that netted four technical fouls, the Aces regained their rhythm, turned the game around and went all the way to the semis of the season-ending tourney ahead of everybody else.

Earlier, Star gave Globalport a bitter taste of playoff basketball en route to a 126-73 demolition to force a sudden death in their side of the quarters duel.

Star import Marqus Blakely flexed his muscles before the TV camera after one brutal play in the second quarter that best typified the manner the Hotshots blew past the Batang Pier.

Relentless and ruthless, the Hotshots fashioned out a rout never before seen in PBA playoff history, romping off with the easy win despite their lower playoff seeding at fifth.

Later in the night, the Aces pounded and pummeled the Gin Kings in the last 16 minutes after the near fight that drew technical infractions from Alaska’s Calvin Abueva, Ginebra import Orlando Johnson, Kings’ playmaker LA Tenorio and Kings’ coach Frankie Lim while Ginebra was sitting on a 72-61 cushion.

Alaska kept its composure and pressed its bid, keying a reversal that gave the team a shot at a second finals stint in the season.

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“I’d rather that something like that didn’t happen. But it’s a highly charged environment and that really happens. What I appreciate from the guys was that they just settled down and played the way we wanted to play,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton.

Vic Manuel, kept on the bench the whole first half, came out and piled up 14 big points in the last 13 minutes of play while Romeo Travis played steady throughout, coming through with 29 points, 21 rebounds and six assists.

Sonny Thoss, Dondon Hontiveros and Cyrus Baguio contributed in their fourth-quarter rampage that had the team overcoming a 16-point deficit at 49-65.

From the melee, Alaska unleashed a 16-3 run to race ahead at 77-75 at the end of the third.

The commotion was triggered by an exchange of head-butts between Abueva and Johnson. Tenorio and Lim also drew technical fouls for second motion.

In contrast, the earlier match was a no contest.

“If I knew it, I would bottle it and sell it for a million bucks or a trillion bucks to the NBA,” said Star coach Tim Cone of the most lopsided match in PBA playoffs.

Globalport barely avoided matching the worst loss in PBA history – by 55 points – as Jewel Ponferada scored underneath in the closing seconds.

“We just came out with a big punch from the beginning of the game that kind of staggered them. And we just kept on pounding them,” said Cone.

The league’s winningest coach, however, played down their 53-point triumph, saying: “The absolute truth is that it’s just 48 minutes of our 96-minute game.”

“It’s just the first half in our mind. It’s zero-zero, and we haven’t achieved anything. We can’t tap ourselves in the back. A 30-point or a 40-point win is same as a one-point win,” Cone pointed out. “This is a throw-away game. It’s a throw-away for them and it’s a throw-away for us. The real battle is the next game.”

The Hotshots, defending the remaining gem from their Triple Crown feat last season, and the Batang Pier, chasing a first Final Four appearance, face off in a do-or-die match Sunday at the same venue.

Meanwhile, second seed San Miguel Beer and third seed Rain or Shine take their first of two shots at the Final Four as they take on Meralco and Barako Bull, respectively, in their sides of the quarters today.

Riding the momentum of five wins in their last six games in the elims, the Hotshots battered the Batang Pier from the onset and showed no mercy, leading by as many as 63 in the fourth quarter.

The Hotshots were vicious while the Batang Pier were a shell of the team that placed fourth in the one-round-robin elimination phase.

Blakely, Mark Barroca, Alex Mallari, James Yap and Mick Pennisi composed the Star starting unit that nearly outscored the entire Globalport team, 72-73.

Blakely piled up 23 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals while Barroca added 16 markers, Mallari and Yap 15 points apiece, and Pennisi contributed three points plus his defensive effort on Globalport import Jarrid Famous.

The Hotshots played small ball most of the way, limiting Famous to 16 points and 15 rebounds in the process.

Yap picked up from where he left off in their last game in the elims, putting up a solid job highlighted by a breakaway jam in the second half.

“James turned back the hands of time although there was a time a two-handed dunk was so easy for him,” said Cone.

Yap, meanwhile, recalled scoring his first basket as a pro on a dunk.

The scores:

First Game

STAR 126 – Blakely 23, Barroca 16, Mallari 15, Yap 15, Melton 14, Taha 8, Simon 8, Maliksi 7, Devance 6, Alvarez 3, Gaco 3, Pingris 3, Pennisi 3, Allado 2, Reavis 0.

GLOBALPORT 73 – Romeo 18, Famous 16, Caperal 8, Semerad 5, Miranda 5, Krayem 4, Pringle 4, Isip 4, Pinto 2, Hayes 2, Jensen 2, Mamaril 2, Buenafe 1, Taha 0, Kramer 0, Ponferrada 0.

Quarterscores: 37-18, 73-35, 103-54, 126-73

Second Game

ALASKA 114 – Travis 29, Manuel 14, Thoss 14, Hontiveros 13, Baguio 10, Banchero 9, Abueva 8, Casio 7, Dela Rosa 5, Jazul 3, Exciminiano 2, Baclao 0, Menk 0.

GINEBRA 108 – Johnson 28, Mercado 21, Slaughter 19, Aguilar 15, Tenorio 14, Kim 5, Baracael 4, Marcelo 2, Pena 0, Monfort 0, Brondial 0.

Quarterscores: 27-31, 45-53, 75-77, 114-108


PHILSTAR

E-Painters trip E Cola, reach Final 4 By Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 28, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


RR Garcia of Barako Bull scores a twinner off Rain Or Shine’s Jeff Chan, Wendell McKines, Raymond Almazan and Gabe Norwood (hidden) in the PBA Governors Cup yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. JOEY MENDOZA JR.

MANILA, Philippines - Rain or Shine fought Barako Bull in a long-drawn 58-minute battle, but Paul Lee didn’t run out of brilliant plays and superb shots, the biggest on a spin off two defenders that he finished on a gliding one-hander to lift the Elasto Painters to a 134-132 heart-stopper and into the PBA Governors Cup Final Four at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.

Lee maneuvered the lethal play between Joseph Yeo and 7-foot-2 import Liam McMorrow with time down to 7.3 seconds, capping his sterling game also marked by a torrid 6-of-9 three-point shooting and preserving the win that gave the E-Painters a shot at back-to-back finals.

The E-Painters blew away a 25-point second-quarter bulge but played tough through the double-overtime grind, beating out the Energy Cola in the highest-scoring PBA playoff game in 22 years or since San Miguel Beer topped Swift, 140-138, also in double-overtime in Game One of the 1993 Governors Cup finale.

“It took a little while before we accomplished our objective, but the more important thing was we did it,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

READ MORE...

“We didn’t want to get into a second game. We played a good first quarter and we felt playing the second half would be easy. We fell into a mental trap,” rued Guiao.

Lee saved the day for the playoff third seeds as the FIBA World Cup veteran delivered one big shot after another in the crunch.

“I’m not surprised. He’s been doing that a lot of time. He’s been doing that in practice. He’s unflappable. Give him the ball and clear the way for him, and he’ll make the right decision,” said Guiao of his prized player.

It was a lopsided contest that turned into a dogfight as the Energy Cola hit their strides in the fourth quarter and engaged the E-Painters into a fierce shootout through two overtime periods.

The E-Painters struck with 16 three-pointers as against the Energy Cola’s 11 triples.

But in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation at the finish, Barako Bull blinked, leading to a sad ending of another fruitless season by the Energy Cola.

Later in the night, seventh-ranked Meralco fought hard every inch of the way and upended second seed San Miguel Beer, 106-99, to force a do-or-die match in their quarters matchup at 7 p.m. tomorrow also at the Big Dome.

“What we got from the team is exactly what we needed – big performances from a lot of players,” said Meralco coach Norman Black, mentioning in particular Andre Emmett, Jared Dillinger, Kelly Nabong, Mike Cortez and Reynel Hugnatan.

“We’d been looking for consistency on offense throughout the tourney. We had a good ball movement and really played well in the first half and in the second half in this game,” Black added.

The E-Painters, consistent final contenders under Guiao, eventually won the game as Chico Lanete missed a runner at the buzzer.

Guiao is optimistic of a second straight final appearance, saying: “the chemistry of the team has gotten better. Wendell McKines has been very consistent with his energy whether he’s scoring or not; whether his playing well or not. His tenacity is always there. That carried us through difficult times.”

Against Barako Bull, McKines scored 36 points, including 17 in the first quarter helping the E-Painters to a swashbuckling start.

Rain or Shine led by as many as 25 at 56-31 before tapering off, allowing the Energy Cola to

Later in the night, seventh-ranked Meralco fought hard every inch of the way and upended second seed San Miguel Beer, 106-99, to force a do-or-die match in their quarters matchup at 7 p.m. tomorrow also at the Big Dome.

“What we got from the team is exactly what we needed – big performances from a lot of players,” said Meralco coach Norman Black, mentioning in particular Andre Emmett, Jared Dillinger, Kelly Nabong, Mike Cortez and Reynel Hugnatan.

“We’d been looking for consistency on offense throughout the tourney. We had a good ball movement and really played well in the first half and in the second half in this game,” Black added.


PHILSTAR

Manny Pacquiao says he wants to help 'favorite team' Ginebra make PBA playoffs From: Snow BaduaJune 24, 2015, 05:37 pm Share it! 491 96 1 19 image: http://contents.spin.ph/image/manny-pacquiao-Ascano-62415.jpg


Manny Pacquiao puts in his input during a KIA huddle. Jerome Ascano

MANNY Pacquiao surprised a lot of people when he showed up for KIA's final game in the PBA Governors Cup eliminations against Meralco on Wednesday afternoon.

Pacquiao, who has been away from KIA games for a long time, said he wants to boost the morale of the Carnival and at the same time help Barangay Ginebra make the playoffs.

At 4-6 (win-loss), Ginebra needs a KIA win of no more than 17 points against Meralco and a win against also-ran NLEX in the other half of the double-header to catch the last bus to the eight-team playoffs.

“Oo, gusto ko makapasok ang Ginebra," said the boxing hero and KIA playing-coach. "Kahit kaunting tulong sa side ko, makatulong ako kasi madami fans yung team eh.”

True enough, Kia looked inspired by Pacquiao's presence, even posting a nine-point lead in the second quarter.

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“Syempre, pag andyan si champ, kakaka-inspire lumaro. Saka nakakahiya na matalo, all-out support niya sa amin eh,” said KIA shooting guard Leo Avenido.

Pacquiao, who was once an endorser of Ginebra with his mother Dionisia, also has one message to the barangay.

“Tiwala lang. May chance yan. Syempre, kailangan ng prayers,” he said.

Unknown to many, Pacquiao was a big fan of Ginebra growing up in General Santos City. His brother Bobby said the boxing hero never missed watching a Ginebra game in their black-and-white TV set.

“Bata pa lang kami talagang lagi kaming sumusubaybay ng Ginebra. Si Kuya Manny, diehard fan ng Ginebra yan,” said Bobby. “Favorite ni kuya si (Robert) Jaworski saka si Bal David saka sila Noli Locsin at Vince Hizon.

“Buong pamilya kami nun, tutok sa TV 'pag may laro Gordon’s Gin (old name of Ginebra)”

Pacquiao’s head of security, Caloy Homo, told Spin.ph Pacquiao is still recuperating from shoulder surgery and his appearance at the Smart Araneta Coliseum was not really planned.

“Biglaan lang 'yan. Kasi di pa siya talaga pwede manood dahil hindi pa fully healed yung balikat niya,” said Homo. “Kaso gusto nga daw niyang samahan yung team, kaya bigla kaming dating dito.”

NLEX Road Warriors star center Asi Taulava bared he already had an inkling on why Pacquiao was at the Big Dome when he arrived.

“I knew, he’d want to motivate KIA but it’s a different story when it comes to Ginebra. It’s a tough season for us (at NLEX). This conference didn’t fall our way becase of injuries,” said Taulava.

“But we’ll do everything to beat Ginebra later. What a better way to go on vacation and take somebody with you,” he added.

Taulava believes that Pacquiaos presence at the KIA bench somehow inspired Kia players to play well against Meralco.

“Kia is really playing inspired ball with the champ. Manny is a one-man motivation crew. Just for his legacy, these guys are inspired to play tonight."

Ginebra star enter Gregory Slaughter was happy to hear the reason behind Pacquiao's appearance.

“That’s great. But you know they have something on the line, too, and Manny wants KIA to win. It’s a great move by their head coach to inspire the team even though the game is no longer of that bearing for them,” said Slaughter.

“But Pacquiao’s willingness to help us (Ginebra) in his little ways is just simply wow,” added the 2013 top overall pick.


PHILSTAR

NCAA Season 91 Preview Part 1: Lions still team to beat By Rick Olivares, contributor (philstar.com) | Updated June 23, 2015 - 5:48pm 1 6 googleplus1 0


Topex Robinson of Lyceum, Gabby Velasco of St. Benilde, Aldin Ayo of Letran, Andy de Guzman of EAC, Aric del Rosario of Perpetual, Ed Cordero of Mapua, Jerry Codiñera of Arellano, Rodney Santos of San Sebastian, George Ella of JRU and Jamike Jarin of San Beda join hands during the NCAA Season 91 press conference at the Mall of Asia Arena. JOEY MENDOZA

If the NCAA was watching the finals of the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup, a shudder must have gone up the spine of every team, thinking they have a chance to knock San Beda College a peg or two from its decade of dominance. They crushed La Salle with so much ease, unerring focus and incredible firepower – despite missing point guard Baser Amer – to pick up their first ever pre-season trophy.

Is this the start of what could be a historic season?

San Beda Red Lions

The road to the NCAA championship will have to go through Mendiola. The Lions are the prohibitive favorites to annex their sixth straight NCAA title.

They still have plenty of holdovers from their previous title squads to see them through.

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They might not be as deep as they used to be, but they arguably have three of the best starters in the league in Baser Amer at the one-spot, Arthur dela Cruz in the power forward position, and Ola Adeogun at center. The rest are role players who know what to do and how to do it. Frightening combination if you ask me. You can’t even leave Jaypee Mendoza or Michole Sorela alone because they will burn you.

It looks like it’s a lean year for recruits this year as only Ice Reyes, the former Ateneo Blue Eaglet, is new to the squad. In my opinion, their singular biggest addition is head coach Jamike Jarin.

No disrespect to any of the previous coaches but this man is a teacher, a motivator and a defensive guru all rolled into one. He will make the Red Lions individually better and bring them as whole. The summer gave the Red Lions a first look at their coach who introduced a whole new set of mind games designed to make them better. They ended the summer firm believers.

Now teams might be able to defeat the Red Lions in a game or two in the elimination round. However, as I have stipulated in previous years – beating them in two straight for the championship is altogether another matter.

Nevertheless, who are the contenders for the NCAA crown?

Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers

They won the Fr. Martin Cup as they took down the University of Santo Tomas and lost in the semis of the Filoil Cup to San Beda. The victory by the Golden State Warriors gives this team hope.

After all, they are the proponents of small ball and bombarding from the outside. In the aforementioned Filoil tourney, JRU hoisted the third most number of triples by a NCAA squad. Tops was Letran with 185 followed by EAC with 178 then JRU with 171.

They play with an undersized lineup, sometimes utilizing three combo guards of which they have a plethora – the returning Paolo Pontejos, Teytey Teodoro, Dave Sanchez and Gio Lasquety. This gives head coach Vergel Meneses flexibility to push the ball and press. They can bombard from the outside because they now have a workhorse underneath in Abdel Poutouchi and the much-improved Abdulrazak Abdulwahab, who seems to have finally understood what he can do for the team by playing rim protector and rebounding.

They have a pair of fine forwards in Jordan dela Paz and Marco Balagtas. The problem, however, is everyone tends to stand around while waiting for the guards to figure out what they want to do. The lack of movement hurts and causes them to be stagnant. What they prefer is a quicker type of offense.

But as Meneses said, if they want to win they have to do it by playing defense (they were the best defensive team of the Filoil tournament).

Team Roster:

Abdulwahab, Abdulrazak

Aylagnigni, Poutouochi Abdouladif

Astilla,Kristian James P.

Aurin, Kim Cyril J.

Balagtas, Marco Paulo M.

Cruz, Mark Neil A.

David, Richard John M.

Dela Paz, Cris Jordan C.

Estrella, Darius Duane B.

Grospe, John Ervin P.

Lasquety, Gio Nicolo E.

Pontejos, John Paulo B.

Sanchez, Dave Richard M.

Teodoro, Bernabe M.

Perpetual Help Altas

They are contenders because of one man – Nigerian center Bright Akhuetie. Along with Mapua’s Allwell Oraeme, Akhuetie elevates what is otherwise a team that is so-so despite the presence of last year’s Most Valuable Player in Earl Scottie Thompson (they did lose Jong Baloria, Justine Alano and Harold Arboleda). Akhuetie’s work ethic is impressive and it would do well for others – especially the locals – to emulate. He works hard, never gives up, and is smart. His backup, compatriot Prince Eze, is solid on defense but less polished on offense. He isn’t bad though.

The tandem of Akhuetie and Thompson will keep teams honest and that will give others like Crispin Elopre, Ric Gallardo, Gab Daganon, Gerald Dizon, Flash Sadiwa, Kevin Oliviera and John Ylagan their looks.

If they are angling for a crack at the title then they have to make their move this year as it is Thompson’s last. It isn’t everyday you land a talent like him.

Team Roster:

Akhuetie, Bright Osagie

Bantayan Jr. Nestor D.

Cabiltes, Nikolo T.

Coronel, Antonio Jeffrey L.

Dagangon, Gabriel S.

Dizon, Gerald L.

Elopre II, Crispin C.

Eze, Prince Nnamdi

Gallardo, Ric C.

Oliveria, Kevin G.

Pido, Kieth Llowel G.

Sadiwa, Flash Gordon H.

Tamayo, Antonio Romulo G.

Thompson, Earl Scottie C.

Ylagan, John Genmar L.

Arellano University Chiefs

How do they follow up a breakout and surprise season where they made the finals (although they were seriously outmatched in the finals)?

By hiding its team and not participating in pre-season tourneys. A mistake if you ask me. It would be nice to be wrong though.

Having written that, I don’t think they will be springing any surprises this year, but they will definitely compete with their newfound confidence. They will count on Dioncee Holts, the much-improved Jiovani Jalalon who has gained a lot of experience and valuable training with the national team to the SEA Games, Nichole Bangga and the improving Mark Tano.

If their bench can help the starters then they will be back in the Final Four.

Team Roster:

Bangga, Nichole John B.

Cadavis Jr., Godofredo M.

Capara Jr. Godofredo M.

De Guzman, Adrian Charles B.

Enriquez, Allen S.

Gumaru, Donald G.

Holts, Dionceem

Jalalon, Jiovani N.

Meca, Brylle Ivan M.

Mortega, David E.

Salado, Michael Kent A.

Tano, Ranimark V.

Ular, Renato T.

Zamora, John Kenneth M.

College of Saint Benilde Blazers

No Mark Romero. No Paolo Taha. No chance?

Not at all.

The Blazers will be out there battling all the way utilizing that small ball that they play so well. Even without their graduated stars, CSB still packs lots of firepower in Jonathan Grey, Raphael Nayve, Alfonso Saavedra, Ralph Deles, and the up and coming Carlo Young.

They like to push that ball every chance they get while playing harassing defense. JR Ongteco has improved his skills around the basket and that will give them some offense inside. They’ll match up with a lot of teams when it comes to starting fives but the bench is rather suspect.

However, their coaching staff – despite their manpower losses – are high on this team because of great attitude (which is essential) and high confidence.

If they want to realize their Final Four aspirations then they have to notch some early wins because the second round will be a free-for-all.

For Benilde, they really have to dedicate themselves to playing defense. And they can play defense. In the Filoil Cup, they were in the Top Five in holding teams down in scoring. Their problem? It’s playing the full 40 minutes and not the first 35.

If they can play consistently and four full periods, they have a chance of cracking that Final Four. Anything beyond that is pure gravy.


PBA ONLINE

Arellano's Jalalon struggles in loss to Jose Rizal U Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ] - June 28, 2015 7 2 0


Arellano's Jiovani Jalalon (6) throws a pass on his way to the basket against JRU's Abdoul Poutouochi. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA, Philippines – Arellano point guard Jiovani Jalalon refused to mince words when asked to assess his performance in the Chiefs' opening day loss to the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers in the NCAA Season 91 men's basketball tournament.

"Masasabi ko lang, alam kong hindi ako nakatulong sa team namin," a visibly frustrated Jalalon said, a few minutes after JRU dealt Arellano a 78-61 beatdown in their first game of the new season on Saturday.

Jalalon, a member of last season's Mythical Team and a part of the gold medal-winning Gilas Cadets squad in the Southeast Asian Games, struggled mightily, tallying only four points, three rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

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He had seven turnovers in 20 minutes of playing time, repeatedly finding himself smothered by JRU's physical guards, and made only two of his 10 field goal attempts. He also missed all four of his free throw attempts.

"Gusto naming manalo kanina, tapos parang ang sama ng nilaro naming lahat," Jalalon said. "Hindi kami nag-usap-usap tungkol sa defense namin. Sinabi ng coaches namin na, 'Ito ang gawin niyo', pero hindi namin nagawa ng maayos."

Jalalon admitted that a shoulder injury that he suffered in the SEA Games affected his performance.

"Sumakit bigla ang shoulder ko," he said. "Bad game ako ngayon at hindi ko natulungan ang teammates ko, so bawi na lang ako sa next game."

Arellano head coach Jerry Codiñera said Jalalon's injury was a "big concern" for the team.


PHILSTAR

Mayweather-Pacquiao boosts casino winnings above $1 billion By Kimberly Pierceall (Associated Press) | Updated June 27, 2015 - 7:05am 0 2 googleplus0 0


Manny Pacquiao, right, from the Philippines, trades blows with Floyd Mayweather Jr., during their welterweight title fight in Las Vegas. AP/John Locher

LAS VEGAS — Huge crowds and high rollers in Las Vegas for the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight helped Nevada casinos make more than $1 billion off gamblers in May, according to records released Friday.

It was the first time casinos exceeded that total in more than a year.

"To hit a billion, we're pretty pleased," said Nevada Gaming Control Board analyst Michael Lawton.

Slot machines and tables were packed on fight night, May 2, and casinos responded by raising limits to accommodate big spenders.

It was the start of a busy month that included the new Rock in Rio outdoor music festival, the World Series of Poker and Memorial Day weekend.

The last time casino winnings topped $1 billion was December 2013.

Gaming board statistics show a 3.3 percent year-over-year increase for May, and Strip casinos were up 1.4 percent, keeping $601.2 million of what gamblers wagered.

The bumps came despite the loss of the Riviera Hotel and Casino, a Las Vegas Strip mainstay that closed at the beginning of the month.

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Lawton and other industry analysts noted that increases of any sort were significant, since May 2014 was big for casinos thanks to an anomalous surge in losses for gamblers playing baccarat.

The fight also helped boost sports betting. "Other" bets that include boxing but not football, basketball, baseball and horse racing, hit a record total of $81.2 million wagered and $8.2 million won by casinos.

The long-awaited matchup also helped produce a surge at McCarran International Airport, which reported nearly 4 million passengers last month, the most for May since the recession. And the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said 3.7 million travelers came to town, an all-time monthly record.

"It shows," said Brent Pirosch, a gambling industry analyst for commercial real estate company CBRE, "that if you get people excited, they will show up."


PHILSTAR

Manny fought for fans By Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 24, 2015 - 12:00am 0 2 googleplus0 0


Marvin Somodio steps on the bottom rope strands in a mitt session with 6-1 heavyweight Andrey Fedosov at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.

MANILA, Philippines - Freddie Roach’s chief assistant Marvin Somodio said yesterday Manny Pacquiao could’ve backed out of his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. last May because of a shoulder injury but didn’t want to disappoint fans who flew to Las Vegas from different parts of the world and paid a hefty price for tickets to witness the WBA/WBC/WBO unification welterweight championship bout.

Somodio, who is based in Los Angeles working for Roach at the Wild Card Gym, is in town with wife Melissa to renew his Philippine passport.

He will also go to the US Embassy for the stamping of his visa on the new travel document. Somodio received notice in Los Angeles that his US visa would be renewed for another three years.

Over three weeks before the Mayweather fight, Pacquiao suffered a slight tear in his right shoulder during a sparring session. He took a week off from sparring then went back to work, barely using his right hand.

“Manny wanted to preserve his right for the fight so he rested it in the late stages of sparring,” said Somodio.

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“The shoulder got better and better as the fight drew nearer. It was suggested to ask for a postponement but Manny didn’t want to disappoint the fans. If some fans were disappointed at the way the fight turned out, I think there would’ve been many more fans disappointed if it didn’t push through. A few hours before the fight, Manny asked if he could take a shot on the shoulder in case the pain came back but the commission didn’t allow it. Manny was ready to fight, with or without the injection. He was fine entering the fight but in the fourth round, the injury worsened. It’s common for fighters to enter the ring feeling some kind of pain. They’re warriors, slight pain is not an issue.”

After hyperextending his shoulder in the fourth round, Pacquiao could still jab with the right but couldn’t hook.

The injury clearly affected his fight plan. Mayweather seemed to know about Pacquiao’s problem and appeared to deliberately pull the Filipino’s right arm to cause more damage to the rotator cuff.

Somodio said if Pacquiao were 100 percent, he would’ve dominated Mayweather. Even with an injured shoulder, Pacquiao made it a close fight and some ringsiders felt he deserved to win. Somodio said a rematch would be appropriate to settle the issue.

Somodio, 31, said there is no better boxing hub in the world than the Wild Card Gym and no better trainer than Roach.

“I’m grateful to Freddie for everything I know,” he said. “He taught me how to wrap, how to do mitts. When he assigns me to work with a fighter preparing for a bout, I study videos of his opponent then discuss with Freddie what to do. He figures out the strategy and tactics. Now, he sends me all over the world to work in the corner of some of the world’s best fighters. I’ve been to Russia thrice. I’ve worked in Shanghai, Macau and all over the US. I owe everything to Freddie. I always do my best for him.”

Somodio’s first world title fight as a cornerman was when Brian Viloria halted Tyson Marquez in a WBA/WBO unification flyweight championship fight in Los Angeles in 2012.

On July 18, Somodio will be in Macau to work with China’s Ik Yang who battles Argentina’s Cesar Cuenca for the vacant IBF superlightweight crown. Both Yang and Cuenca are unbeaten.

In the gym, Somodio doesn’t consider his size a handicap. Although he’s only 5-1, Somodio takes no back step in doing mitts with heavyweights and cruiserweights.

Russian heavyweight Andrey Fedosov, who stands 6-1, batters the mitts in Somodio’s hands. Others with whom Somodio works the mitts include WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto and former WBO lightwelterweight titlist Ruslan Provodnikov, both hard hitters.

“I don’t mind the pain when I do mitts,” he said. “I like it when a fighter bangs hard when his fight is coming close. That means he’s sharp and reaching his peak. Once, I had a pain near the back of my neck. I went to a chiropractor. After a few days, I was back. If I pull back the mitts, I could get hurt so I hold them upright. Sometimes, even the body shield isn’t enough to soften the impact of the punches. I never show a fighter I’m hurt. I don’t want him to lose focus. I want him to hit as hard as he can.”

Somodio said Provodnikov is one of the hardest hitters he’s worked mitts with. Viloria is another. “Brian’s power isn’t like he’s a flyweight, it’s more like he’s a welterweight,” he said.

“His left hook is very strong. If Manny is a 10 in punching power, Brian is an 8. Cotto is also a hard hitter. When Cotto fought Daniel Geale in Brooklyn a few weeks ago, he weighed in at 153 1/2 with the catchweight of 157. He wasn’t even 160 when the fight began. Geale was 157 but 182 when the fight started. Cotto won by a knockout in the fourth round.”

Somodio said Cotto may fight Saul Alvarez next. “Alvarez is perfect for Cotto because he comes forward,” said Somodio who was in the Puerto Rican’s corner for the Geale fight. “Cotto’s the middleweight champion but he can go down to superwelterweight easily.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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