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

LAKERS' GUARD JORDAN CLARKSON BRINGS HOPE TO EMBATTLED GILAS FIVE


AUGUST 27 -Los Angeles Lakers' Fil-Am guard Jordan Clarkson attends his first practice with the Gilas Pilipinas as he attempts to become a regular member to represent the country in future international competitions. Alder Almo - After weeks of agonizing wait for some of the key players that included the reigning back-to-back MVP of the PBA to show up in the national team's practices, despair turned into hope when a rising star from the world's best league came up to make a stand. Here is an NBA player, who is just coming off a stellar first season in the league where he was named to the All-Rookie First Team, showing his desire to play for the national team. For a basketball-crazy nation that is starving of a star in the NBA who can they call their own, Jordan Clarkson of the Los Angeles Lakers could fit that bill. Clarkson, whose mother Annette is a full-blooded Filipina, is in the country to sign an endorsement deal with Smart, the main sponsor of the national team. But more importantly, the NBA sophomore guard brought with him the necessary documents that could make him eligible to suit up for Gilas as a regular member, and not a naturalized player, in the coming FIBA Asia Men's Championship in China and future international tournaments. Whether he is eligible to represent his mother's home country is a question that only FIBA could answer once they have evaluated his documents. And whether the NBA and the Lakers' organization would allow him to play for the Philippines in the coming FIBA Asia Men's Championship that runs smack to the league's mandatory media day and start of the training camp is another question that would be begging for an answer later. READ MORE....

BUT ALSO: Clarkson’s dad says son Jordan won’t play for Gilas


AUGUST 27 -Jordan Clarkson
Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson will not suit up for Philippine national basketball team anytime soon.
In an email to US-based Philstar.com contributor Homer Sayson, Mike Clarkson, Jordan’s father, cited timing as a factor in his son’s decision to pass on the chance to don the country’s colors, emphasizing Jordan’s current commitment with the Lakers in the NBA. “As you know in professional sports, timing is of the essence especially when managing a player's career,” he continued. “Unfortunately, the timing couldn't be worse as he [Jordan] prepares for rigors of the upcoming 2015-2016 NBA season and heightened performance expectations.” Jordan is in town and has started working out with the nationals, who are in the thick of preparation for some overseas tournaments, the most important of which is the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship next month. Coach Tab Baldwin has included Clarkson in his 24-man pool for Gilas. The 23-year-old guard’s visit to the country and the recent news that he possesses a Philippine passport fanned hopes of Filipino hoop aficionados that he will be able to reinforce Gilas. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

THEN ALSO: Clarkson clarifies dad's statement, reiterates desire to play for Gilas
["My father, [Mike], has always looked out for my welfare and is only genuinely concerned for my career, my future and my well being -- his thoughts are that of a very loving dad," Clarkson said in the statement released to media outlets shortly after Philstar.com ran the story.]


AUGUST 27 -Jordan Clarkson reiterates his willingness to represent the country despite his father's advice not to pursue it this year due to the proximity of the NBA season. File Photo Los Angeles Lakers' Fil-Am guard Jordan Clarkson reiterated his desire to represent the country despite his father's advice not to pursue it this year due to the proximity of his sophomore season in the NBA. Mike Clarkson, Jordan's father, earlier said in an email that timing is important in his son's career. “As you know in professional sports, timing is of the essence especially when managing a player's career. Unfortunately, the timing couldn't be worse as he [Jordan] prepares for rigors of the upcoming 2015-2016 NBA season and heightened performance expectations," Mike said. Jordan immediately called his dad to clarify things and put everything in perspective. After his overseas call with his father, Jordan said that he is still willing to play for Gilas if things work out for him. Jordan, who is in town to immerse himself with the Gilas program, is waiting for the clearance of the FIBA Central Board on his eligibility before he could talk to the Lakers' management for a possible release. "My father, Mike, has always looked out for my welfare and is only genuinely concerned for my career, my future and my well being -- his thoughts are that of a very loving dad," Clarkson said in the statement released to media outlets shortly after Philstar.com ran the story. READ MORE...

ALSO: Grieving Blatche, Intal stay committed to Gilas


AUGUST 29 -Jc Intal lost his father-in-law while Andray Blatche was mourning his close uncle's death on Wednesday but they still managed to show up in back-to-back Gilas practices. File Photos
Unknown to many, Gilas naturalized player Andray Blatche and Jc Intal practiced with grieving hearts on Wednesday night. Blatche and Intal learned the death of a close member of their respectively families on Wednesday at the start of a grueling four back-to-back practices in their last two days in the country before flying to Taiwan to compete in the annual William Jones Cup. The usually accommodating Blatche, who is mourning the death of his uncle Steve, begged off from media interviews and immediately walked away from the gym. "Anybody who lost a close relative, and his uncle is close to him (Blatche), knows how tough it is," Gilas coach Tab Baldwin told Philstar.com right after their night session. Blatche tried to channel his emotions and feed off the energy from the return of Marc Pingris and the arrival of Los Angeles Lakers' Fil-Am guard Jordan Clarkson as he joined the back-to-back practice sessions on Wednesday. "He was hurting today. He was down. Sometimes I think being around your brothers and being around the game you love is the best place to be and feel like that but he wasn't 100 percent focused," Baldwin said. Despite playing with a heavy heart, Blatche put in the effort as he was seen crashing the board and attacking the basket during their five-on-five scrimmage while Clarkson watched from the sidelines taking down notes on the team's plays. "I think he (Blatche) did really well given the circumstances," Baldwin said. "And we also had Jc Intal, whose father-in-law died today."  READ MORE...

ALSO JONES CUP IN TAIPEI: Gilas scores awesome win over host Taiwan!


AUGUST 31 -“Terrence is not a fluke. He can play the way he played tonight. It’s truly his craft. He’s professional about his craft, and he deserves a lot of respect and admiration,” said Baldwin of Romeo. TV screen shot from FB page of Ryan G. Menes
TAIPEI – Gilas Pilipinas celebrated its Jones Cup return with an awe-inspiring 77-69 triumph over the home team, erasing memory of a bitter loss to the Taiwanese at home in Manila back in 2013. Minus naturalized player AndrayBlatche and majority of the old Gilas group, the Nationals rode high on the exploits of newcomers Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva as they humbled the Taiwanese on their backyard to set in motion their bid in the nine-team, eight-nation invitational tourney. Old vanguard Jayson Castro seized the moment at the finish as Gilas Pilipinas weathered Chinese Taipei’s final-half siege, thus completing a triumphant return in the meet the Filipinos won the last time they played here in 2012. A good number of Filipinos, including Fil-Am NBA player Jordan Clarkson, formed part of the sellout crowd witnessing the rousing win that spoke well of Gilas’ capability to compete here. “Honestly, I don’t want to be carried away by this win. We’re happy to win it but there are so many things to work on, and we’ll focus on that,” said Gilas coach Tab Baldwin. “It’s always a big thing for Gilas to win with millions of Filipinos back home and around the world happy with it. That’s the way it is in our country. But we’ll be back to work now. We play Korea (at 5 p.m. today) and that’s the only thing we’re thinking about now,” Baldwin also said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Gilas 12 known after Jones Cup


AUGUST 29 -TAIPEI – Gilas Pilipinas will be ready to name its Final 12 for the FIBA Asia Championship after its stint in the 2015 William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament here.
After the Jones Cup, the Gilas pool had gone through a month-long training with a total of 11 games played, including three in a pocket tournament in Estonia. “By the time we finish here, we want to have a very firm idea of who our 12 are,” said national coach Tab Baldwin. The Jones Cup ends September 6, two days before the deadline for submission of the 12-man lineup for the Asian meet that doubles as the regional qualifier for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Baldwin said they’ll be ready to name their Final 12 then, but didn’t rule out a last-minute change during the team managers’ meeting on the eve of competition in Changsha, China. READ MORE...

ALSO: Coaches Austria, Alas believe Jones Cup will build Gilas chemistry


AUGUST 29 --Tab Baldwin, File Photo
 Veteran PBA coaches Leo Austria of San Miguel Beer and Alaska’s lead assistant Louie Alas believe the upcoming William Jones Cup brings a lot of advantages for a Gilas Pilipinas side that is trying to forge chemistry in just a short period of time together.
Formed just early this month, Gilas faces a backbreaking schedule starting Sunday when the national squad under new coach Tab Baldwin begins tournament hostilities against Chinese Taipei-A. “Kahit naman ano mangyari, tayo, kailangan nating ma-expose sa international competitions because that’s the only way we can eventually know how to compete against other Asian teams,” Austria told Philstar.com on Friday. Austria, who guided San Miguel to two PBA championships this past season, explained that Baldwin for sure, won’t flaunt his entire system for the rest of the Asian opponents to see. “We know the players will give their 100-percent effort in every game, but again, alam din nila (Gilas players and coaching staff) na marami ring mga scouts diyan na pinanonood yung tendencies ng mga players natin,” he said. “But still, we have to play in a tournament like Jones Cup because that’s the only way for us to get better.” Alas shared Austria’s sentiments, saying at this point, playing together is crucial since Gilas is just four weeks away from the 2015 Fiba-Asia men’s championships. “Para sa akin, mas mahalaga yung ma-acclimatize lahat ng players natin sa international competition as a team kasi sa totoo lang, marami namang experienced players tayo sa Gilas, ang problema lang is di pa sila nagka-sabay-sabay maglaro,” Alas said. Evergreen NLEX big man Asi Taulava, Alaska gunner Dondon Hontiveros, Talk ‘N Text’s Jayson Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo, along with returning Star forward Marc Pingris are all experienced players in the international tournaments. But for the veterans to work along with the rest of the Gilas players led by naturalized big man Andray Blatche, they have to play as many games as possible, according to Alas. READ MORE...

ALSO Gilas Pilipinas V Chinese Taipei Blue: Time, Preview for 2015 William Jones Cup


AUGUST 29 -CupMiguel Angel Morenatti/Associated Press

The Philippines national basketball team continues its preparations for the FIBA Asia Championship with an appearance in the William Jones Cup. The Gilas Pilipinas open play with a clash against one of the sides from the host nation, Chinese Taipei (Blue), on Sunday. These games are vital as the team attempts to find top form under new head coach Tab Baldwin. The early returns were lackluster, losing all three games in the Toyota Four Nations Cup. The team must now start making some positive strides with the Asian Championship less than a month away. Let's check out all of the important information for the team's opening game of the tournament. It's followed by a breakdown of some areas to watch as the Philippines seeks improvement. Game Details
Where: Xinchuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City, Taiwan Date: Sunday, Aug. 30 Time: 7 p.m. CST / 7 a.m. EDT THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

Clarkson brings hope to embattled Gilas five


AUGUST 27 -Los Angeles Lakers' Fil-Am guard Jordan Clarkson attends his first practice with the Gilas Pilipinas as he attempts to become a regular member to represent the country in future international competitions. Alder Almo

MANILA, AUGUST 31, 2015 (PHILSTAR)  By Alder Almo - After weeks of agonizing wait for some of the key players that included the reigning back-to-back MVP of the PBA to show up in the national team's practices, despair turned into hope when a rising star from the world's best league came up to make a stand.

Here is an NBA player, who is just coming off a stellar first season in the league where he was named to the All-Rookie First Team, showing his desire to play for the national team. For a basketball-crazy nation that is starving of a star in the NBA who can they call their own, Jordan Clarkson of the Los Angeles Lakers could fit that bill.

Clarkson, whose mother Annette is a full-blooded Filipina, is in the country to sign an endorsement deal with Smart, the main sponsor of the national team. But more importantly, the NBA sophomore guard brought with him the necessary documents that could make him eligible to suit up for Gilas as a regular member, and not a naturalized player, in the coming FIBA Asia Men's Championship in China and future international tournaments.

Whether he is eligible to represent his mother's home country is a question that only FIBA could answer once they have evaluated his documents. And whether the NBA and the Lakers' organization would allow him to play for the Philippines in the coming FIBA Asia Men's Championship that runs smack to the league's mandatory media day and start of the training camp is another question that would be begging for an answer later.

READ MORE...

But still, the majority of basketball-crazy Filipinos who felt betrayed by the withdrawal of some its local stars, sensed a big hope that come the 12 days bridging September to October, they will witness a magical run in the land that broke their hearts.

Gilas has a shot at redemption in the Olympic qualifier that could wipe out the tears brought by China outbidding the country for the hosting rights of the 2019 World Cup.

But injuries and pullouts have battered the lean national pool.

On Wednesday night, there was an air of excitement and hope that enveloped the Meralco Gym the moment Clarkson walked in.

After reconnecting with his roots in Clark, Angeles in Pampanga, Clarkson went straight to observe the second of Gilas' four back-to-back practice sessions before they fly to Taiwan on Friday to compete in the annual William Jones Cup.

While he was barred from talking to the media pending the official press conference that is scheduled on Friday, his mere presence and his willingness to participate in some of the drills said it all. Wearing a practice jersey that has the words "Pilipinas" on his chest was all the fans were waiting see to validate his desire to represent them.

The crowd inside the Meralco gym were all up on their feet making Clarkson feel right at home.

“It was great to see him (Clarkson). You know, I’m like every Gilas fan when I see a player of his caliber walk in the gym. It’s exciting,” Gilas coach Tab Baldwin told reporters after Clarkson's first practice with the team.

But as the man tasked to guide the national team back into the Olympics, the American-Kiwi coach put Clarkson's presence in its right perspective and try to manage everyone's expectations.

“But I think the most important thing is not to get carried away right now whether Jordan’s going to play or not,” said Baldwin pending the clearance from FIBA, the NBA and the Lakers' organization. “The thing we should all be excited about is he’s here because he wants to be here."

Clarkson participated in the warm-up exercises up to the two-on-two full-court drills. In one sequence, he caught up a pass from Moala Tautuaa and took a step-back three-pointer from afar.

The ball went in. The crowd applauded with a sheepish grin.

The spotlight was on Clarkson. But he was careful though not to steal the thunder away from the national team and disrupt whatever chemistry they have built in the past three weeks. After a few runs, Clarkson drifted to the other side of the court and did light shooting drills then finally took a backseat and returned the spotlight to the rest of the national pool.

The intensity and energy picked up in the five-on-five scrimmage with Clarkson watching from the sidelines while taking some notes on the Gilas system from assistant coach Alex Compton.

Clarkson's presence clearly inspired the team that is still missing the services of back-to-back MVP June Mar Fajardo and LA Tenorio due to health reasons.

The other key player who missed the first three weeks including the pocket tournament in Estonia was Marc Pingris but he finally re-joined the national pool on the same day Clarkson came in.

The Lakers' second year player is guaranteed up to only this coming season and yet he is willing to risk his next contract that should be a lucrative one just for a shot at the Olympics, a rare place that only superstar Kobe Bryant, among current Lakers players, was able to reach.

“There’s nobody with a gun to Jordan’s head. He wants to play for the Philippines. That’s about as exciting an announcement as there could be," Baldwin said.

“I guess the only announcement that could be better is that he can play for the Philippines,” he added. “But we still have to wait for that.”

Another agonizing wait has just begun.

But Clarksons' arrival reminds the national team and its legions of fans that hope springs eternal.


PHILSTAR

Clarkson’s dad says son won’t play for Gilas (philstar.com) | Updated August 27, 2015 - 11:33am 124 2648 googleplus0 0


Jordan Clarkson

MANILA, Philippines – Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson will not suit up for Philippine national basketball team anytime soon.

In an email to US-based Philstar.com contributor Homer Sayson, Mike Clarkson, Jordan’s father, cited timing as a factor in his son’s decision to pass on the chance to don the country’s colors, emphasizing Jordan’s current commitment with the Lakers in the NBA.

“As you know in professional sports, timing is of the essence especially when managing a player's career,” he continued.

“Unfortunately, the timing couldn't be worse as he [Jordan] prepares for rigors of the upcoming 2015-2016 NBA season and heightened performance expectations.”

Jordan is in town and has started working out with the nationals, who are in the thick of preparation for some overseas tournaments, the most important of which is the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship next month.

Coach Tab Baldwin has included Clarkson in his 24-man pool for Gilas.

The 23-year-old guard’s visit to the country and the recent news that he possesses a Philippine passport fanned hopes of Filipino hoop aficionados that he will be able to reinforce Gilas.


PHILSTAR

Clarkson clarifies dad's statement, reiterates desire to play for Gilas (philstar.com) | Updated August 27, 2015 - 2:24pm 43 1123 googleplus1 0


Jordan Clarkson reiterates his willingness to represent the country despite his father's advice not to pursue it this year due to the proximity of the NBA season. File Photo

MANILA, Philippines -- Los Angeles Lakers' Fil-Am guard Jordan Clarkson reiterated his desire to represent the country despite his father's advice not to pursue it this year due to the proximity of his sophomore season in the NBA.

Mike Clarkson, Jordan's father, earlier said in an email that timing is important in his son's career.

“As you know in professional sports, timing is of the essence especially when managing a player's career. Unfortunately, the timing couldn't be worse as he [Jordan] prepares for rigors of the upcoming 2015-2016 NBA season and heightened performance expectations," Mike said.

Jordan immediately called his dad to clarify things and put everything in perspective.

After his overseas call with his father, Jordan said that he is still willing to play for Gilas if things work out for him.

Jordan, who is in town to immerse himself with the Gilas program, is waiting for the clearance of the FIBA Central Board on his eligibility before he could talk to the Lakers' management for a possible release.

"My father, Mike, has always looked out for my welfare and is only genuinely concerned for my career, my future and my well being -- his thoughts are that of a very loving dad," Clarkson said in the statement released to media outlets shortly after Philstar.com ran the story.

READ MORE...

"I just called him and we agreed we will talk about my playing for Gilas when I get back (in the US). Nothing is cast in stone. But I want to assure my Filipino brothers and sisters that, if given the chance and everything can be worked out, I sincerely wish to play for Gilas and contribute to the total team effort for flag and country -- this is the reason why I am observing and familiarizing myself with the team while here and will even follow them in Taipei for the Jones Cup so I can see them compete close up and benefit from the learnings from said experience. Laban Pilipinas! Puso!," Clarkson added.

Clarkson is scheduled to observe Gilas' practice on Thursday night then he will hold a meet and greet session with the media on Friday before he flies to Taiwan to watch the national team compete in the annual William Jones Cup.


PHILSTAR

Grieving Blatche, Intal stay committed to Gilas By Alder Almo (philstar.com) | Updated August 27, 2015 - 4:13am 7 2921 googleplus0 0


Jc Intal lost his father-in-law while Andray Blatche was mourning his close uncle's death on Wednesday but they still managed to show up in back-to-back Gilas practices. File Photos

MANILA, Philippines -- Unknown to many, Gilas naturalized player Andray Blatche and Jc Intal practiced with grieving hearts on Wednesday night.

Blatche and Intal learned the death of a close member of their respectively families on Wednesday at the start of a grueling four back-to-back practices in their last two days in the country before flying to Taiwan to compete in the annual William Jones Cup.

The usually accommodating Blatche, who is mourning the death of his uncle Steve, begged off from media interviews and immediately walked away from the gym.

"Anybody who lost a close relative, and his uncle is close to him (Blatche), knows how tough it is," Gilas coach Tab Baldwin told Philstar.com right after their night session.

Blatche tried to channel his emotions and feed off the energy from the return of Marc Pingris and the arrival of Los Angeles Lakers' Fil-Am guard Jordan Clarkson as he joined the back-to-back practice sessions on Wednesday.

"He was hurting today. He was down. Sometimes I think being around your brothers and being around the game you love is the best place to be and feel like that but he wasn't 100 percent focused," Baldwin said.

Despite playing with a heavy heart, Blatche put in the effort as he was seen crashing the board and attacking the basket during their five-on-five scrimmage while Clarkson watched from the sidelines taking down notes on the team's plays.

"I think he (Blatche) did really well given the circumstances," Baldwin said. "And we also had Jc Intal, whose father-in-law died today."

READ MORE...

There were no signs that Intal's mind was elsewhere during the scrimmage as the Barako Bull wingman still played with intensity.

"After practice (this morning), I had to rush to be with my wife Bianca kasi 'yung mga siblings niya pauwi pa lang tonight (Wednesday night). But I had to practice tonight kasi, 'yun nga, I'm committed to the (national) team but after this, I'll go straight to the wake dahil ililibing na agad bukas. Thank God na sa Friday pa kami aalis so I can be there for her and the family," Intal said.

The national team is scheduled to have another back-to-back practice sessions on Thursday before leaving for the Jones Cup, the second of the three tournaments they are going to play in to gauge their preparation for the FIBA Asia Men's Championship next month in China.

Baldwin praised Blatche and Intal's commitment to the national team despite having an excuse not to show up.

"You know, there's a lot of people in this country that should be looking through themselves. When they see the commitment of these guys coming to practice when close relative dies is, for me, it's humbling. And for other people, it should be inspirational and serve as motivation to see this love and sacrifice these guys make," Baldwin said.


PHILSTAR

Gilas scores awesome win over host Taiwan By Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 31, 2015 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus1 0


“Terrence is not a fluke. He can play the way he played tonight. It’s truly his craft. He’s professional about his craft, and he deserves a lot of respect and admiration,” said Baldwin of Romeo. TV screen shot from FB page of Ryan G. Menes

TAIPEI – Gilas Pilipinas celebrated its Jones Cup return with an awe-inspiring 77-69 triumph over the home team, erasing memory of a bitter loss to the Taiwanese at home in Manila back in 2013.

Minus naturalized player AndrayBlatche and majority of the old Gilas group, the Nationals rode high on the exploits of newcomers Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva as they humbled the Taiwanese on their backyard to set in motion their bid in the nine-team, eight-nation invitational tourney.

Old vanguard Jayson Castro seized the moment at the finish as Gilas Pilipinas weathered Chinese Taipei’s final-half siege, thus completing a triumphant return in the meet the Filipinos won the last time they played here in 2012.

A good number of Filipinos, including Fil-Am NBA player Jordan Clarkson, formed part of the sellout crowd witnessing the rousing win that spoke well of Gilas’ capability to compete here.

“Honestly, I don’t want to be carried away by this win. We’re happy to win it but there are so many things to work on, and we’ll focus on that,” said Gilas coach Tab Baldwin.

“It’s always a big thing for Gilas to win with millions of Filipinos back home and around the world happy with it. That’s the way it is in our country. But we’ll be back to work now. We play Korea (at 5 p.m. today) and that’s the only thing we’re thinking about now,” Baldwin also said.

READ MORE...

Earlier, four-time champion Iran and SpartakPrimorye of Russia grabbed early share of the lead with similar 2-0 win-loss starts.

Iran crushed South Korea, 77-46, on opening day then pummeled Chinese Taipei B, 88-66, yes- terday -- clear indications the Iranians are doing their job well in preparation for the coming FIBA Asia Championship.

South Korea, the reigning Asian Games champ that’s also gearing up for the FIBA Asia meet, made a big improvement from its 31-point blow- out by Iran, narrowly losing to SpartakPrimorye, 84-86, yesterday.

It’s the Russians’ second straight win in the tourney following an 84-65 clobbering of USA Select-Overtake Saturday.

Day Three will feature a pair of interesting showdowns between Asian teams with Iran and Japan facing off at 3 p.m. then Gilas Pilipinas and South Korea squaring off at 5 p.m.

Romeo top scored with 18 points while Castro and Abueva added 16 and 15, respectively, for the Filipinos who finally tasted a victory after a 0-3 stint in the Toyota Four Nations Cup in Estonia.

Romeo and Abueva, among the rookies on the Gilas lineup, made good impression in their Jones Cup debut.

“Terrence is not a fluke. He can play the way he played tonight. It’s truly his craft. He’s professional about his craft, and he deserves a lot of respect and admiration,” said Baldwin of Romeo.

On Abueva, the Gilas coach said: “We always know what he’s gonna get. He’s a ball of energy. He’s a solar energy. He’s amazing.”

The two fueled Gilas’ first-half breakaway and teamed up with Castro as they fended off Chinese Taipei’s charge in the final half.


PHILSTAR

Gilas 12 known after Jones Cup By Nelson Beltran (philstar.com) | Updated August 29, 2015 - 7:24pm 4 0 googleplus0 0

TAIPEI – Gilas Pilipinas will be ready to name its Final 12 for the FIBA Asia Championship after its stint in the 2015 William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament here.

After the Jones Cup, the Gilas pool had gone through a month-long training with a total of 11 games played, including three in a pocket tournament in Estonia.

“By the time we finish here, we want to have a very firm idea of who our 12 are,” said national coach Tab Baldwin.

The Jones Cup ends September 6, two days before the deadline for submission of the 12-man lineup for the Asian meet that doubles as the regional qualifier for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Baldwin said they’ll be ready to name their Final 12 then, but didn’t rule out a last-minute change during the team managers’ meeting on the eve of competition in Changsha, China.

READ MORE...

“Even when you name your 12, when there’s an injury you can replace him before the start of the tournament,” he pointed out.

Is he looking forward to have NBA Fil-Am player Jordan Clarkson at the last minute?

“We hope, we dream that someday he’ll play for Gilas,” he said, adding quickly he’s not the person to ask on Clarkson’s eligibility.

And he expressed his concern.

“If he comes in at the last moment, he’ll present some issues. There won’t be a smooth transition into a team if you come in late, I don’t care how talented you are,” said Baldwin.


PHILSTAR

Austria, Alas believe Jones Cup will build Gilas chemistry By Richard Dy, contributor (philstar.com) | Updated August 29, 2015 - 2:00pm 11 0 googleplus0 0


Tab Baldwin, File Photo

MANILA, Philippines -- Veteran PBA coaches Leo Austria of San Miguel Beer and Alaska’s lead assistant Louie Alas believe the upcoming William Jones Cup brings a lot of advantages for a Gilas Pilipinas side that is trying to forge chemistry in just a short period of time together.

Formed just early this month, Gilas faces a backbreaking schedule starting Sunday when the national squad under new coach Tab Baldwin begins tournament hostilities against Chinese Taipei-A.

“Kahit naman ano mangyari, tayo, kailangan nating ma-expose sa international competitions because that’s the only way we can eventually know how to compete against other Asian teams,” Austria told Philstar.com on Friday.

Austria, who guided San Miguel to two PBA championships this past season, explained that Baldwin for sure, won’t flaunt his entire system for the rest of the Asian opponents to see.

“We know the players will give their 100-percent effort in every game, but again, alam din nila (Gilas players and coaching staff) na marami ring mga scouts diyan na pinanonood yung tendencies ng mga players natin,” he said.

“But still, we have to play in a tournament like Jones Cup because that’s the only way for us to get better.”

Alas shared Austria’s sentiments, saying at this point, playing together is crucial since Gilas is just four weeks away from the 2015 Fiba-Asia men’s championships.

“Para sa akin, mas mahalaga yung ma-acclimatize lahat ng players natin sa international competition as a team kasi sa totoo lang, marami namang experienced players tayo sa Gilas, ang problema lang is di pa sila nagka-sabay-sabay maglaro,” Alas said.

Evergreen NLEX big man Asi Taulava, Alaska gunner Dondon Hontiveros, Talk ‘N Text’s Jayson Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo, along with returning Star forward Marc Pingris are all experienced players in the international tournaments.

But for the veterans to work along with the rest of the Gilas players led by naturalized big man Andray Blatche, they have to play as many games as possible, according to Alas.

READ MORE...

“Ang importante talaga diyan is makuha nila yung atmosphere ng competition. Mahalaga yung chemistry before sila magpunta sa Fiba-Asia,” stressed the 51-year-old Alas, who previously guided the Philippine men’s team led by Romel Adducul to the 1999 Southeast Asian Games basketball gold medal.

Alas, a multi-titled NCAA champion coach as well, added that the Jones Cup is an opportunity to familiarize with the system being employed by Baldwin.

The former Mobiline (now Talk ‘N Text) coach said there’s no point of ‘hiding’ the system Baldwin will be employing since what’s primary at this point is for every Gilas player to be able to execute well when fielded in the game.

“Hindi naman kasi puwedeng iba-iba yung gagawin mo sa system sa Jones Cup, tapos iba uli gagawin mo pagdating sa Fiba-Asia. Siguro, may itatago lang si coach Tab na ibang patterns,” explained Alas. “Ang mahalaga is mag-execute sila ng mabuti,” he added.

After opening the tournament against Chinese Taipei-A at the New Taipei Hsinchuang Stadium, the Filipinos clash with South Korea on August 31 followed by their match against Russia on Sept. 1.

Gilas then, takes on Japan (Sept. 2), followed by the Hamed Haddadi-led Iran squad on Sept. 3 in a rematch of the final protagonists of the 2013 FIBA-Asia tilt in Manila, and New Zealand on Sept. 4.

Gilas collides with USA on Sept. 5 before capping its stint with its Sept. 6 encounter against Chinese Taipei-B.

The Philippines will be participating in the annual tournament held in memory of the late Fiba secretary general William Jones for the first time since ruling the 2012 edition.


INQUIRER

Gilas Pilipinas V Chinese Taipei Blue: Time, Preview for 2015 William Jones Cup By Tim Daniels , Featured Columnist Aug 29, 2015


CupMiguel Angel Morenatti/Associated Press

The Philippines national basketball team continues its preparations for the FIBA Asia Championship with an appearance in the William Jones Cup. The Gilas Pilipinas open play with a clash against one of the sides from the host nation, Chinese Taipei (Blue), on Sunday.

These games are vital as the team attempts to find top form under new head coach Tab Baldwin. The early returns were lackluster, losing all three games in the Toyota Four Nations Cup. The team must now start making some positive strides with the Asian Championship less than a month away.

Let's check out all of the important information for the team's opening game of the tournament. It's followed by a breakdown of some areas to watch as the Philippines seeks improvement.

Game Details
Where: Xinchuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City, Taiwan

Date: Sunday, Aug. 30

Time: 7 p.m. CST / 7 a.m. EDT


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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