Team Pilipinas UPDATES

Nov 27, 2000
Lesson in humility
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 08/08/2006

National basketball coach Chot Reyes said yesterday playing in the Al Emadi international championships in Qatar was "an invaluable learning experience" and because of the tough competition, the Philippine team will be better prepared for the Asian Games late this year if the Federation Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) lifts the countrys suspension and clears the way for participation.

The Philippines was winless in five games in the tournament. It remains to be seen whether the lesson in humility will benefit the national team in the long run.

In the preliminary round, the nationals lost to Qatar by 19, Latvia by eight and Angola by 15. Latvia repeated over the Philippines, 118-70, in the crossover semifinals and Reyes called the 48-point loss the worst of his career. Qatar came back from a 10-point halftime deficit to whip the Philippines, 79-68, in the battle for third last Sunday.

Reyes said the lifting of the suspension by FIBA appears imminent. The FIBA Central Board will convene during the World Championships in Japan this month and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) officials are expected to make an appearance in the meeting to appeal for the end of the ban.

"We showed we can play well against teams with size and athletic ability," said Reyes. "Im very, very happy and proud of our guys. Were definitely achieving our goals. For the players and coaches, this is the kind of teams we really need to play. We can only get better for it."
* * *
Reyes said the teams baptism of fire against host Qatar was a lesson in coping with adversity.

In the third period, he was ejected by the Greek referee who later called him an animal.

"After five downright atrocious calls, I jumped off my seat and strode to the end of our bench," recounted Reyes. "I didnt say anything to the two referees in front of our bench. I didnt shout or didnt enter the playing court but the third referee, a Greek, whistled me for a technical foul from the other end of the court. This was the last straw. I walked into the court to ask him what I did to deserve the technical, forcing him to throw me out of the game.

"We were never in the game after that. At the end of the game, I approached the referee again to ask him, in a very polite way, what I did to deserve the technical. He answered, "you jumped." So I said, "so what if I jumped?" I didnt yell or curse at the refs. I didnt enter the playing court. In fact, I walked to the end of our bench precisely to avoid doing anything untoward. His reply shocked me. "Are you human or are you an animal?" To this, I shouted at him, "who are you calling an animal?" And he was yelling something back. Thankfully, cooler heads intervened."

Reyes said officiating was poor from the start but it got worse in the first four minutes of the third period as the team was about to make a run behind a full-court press.

Reyes singled out clear instances of unfair calls.

"Arwind Santos stole the ball and was about to start his stride for a breakaway when his man embraced him from behind, giving up a duty foul," said Reyes. "But the ref didnt make a call. Qatar stole back and scored as we were going the other way.

"Then, in a trap, Denok Miranda stole but after two dribbles, the refs called a foul on him. In the next play, Qatar crossed the backcourt with 14 seconds left on the shot clock but there was no eight-second violation called. A few plays alter, Willie Miller drove to the hoop and the ball was deflected. Willie got it back, threw it to Mick (Pennisi) who hit a three but the refs nullified it, saying Willie stepped on the line to saving the ball. This was when I jumped off my seat."

Reyes said Qatars Khaled Suleyman admitted the officiating was awful.

Qatar assistant coach Stacey Hallowell and star forward Erfan Ali Saeed, a Senegal naturalized player, even apologized to Reyes.

"Filipinos working with the TV crew covering the game said Qatar TV was reprimanded by the Qatar Basketball Federation for clearly showing Willies foot was nowhere near the baseline when he was called for stepping," said Reyes.
* * *
Worse, organizers pulled out the spacious coaster that brought the team to the stadium and sent three dilapidated vans for the ride back to the hotel after a 30-minute wait. Reyes refused to allow the team to board the vans which were not air-conditioned and had torn upholstery and a rusty exterior.

When a tournament official asked Reyes why he wouldnt board, the coach said, "Will you allow your family to ride that thing we are the Philippine national team, we deserve better."

In true bayanihan fashion, Filipino fans who watched the game offered their cars to transport the team to the Central Cafe where Philippine Embassy vice-consul Jabbar Adiong hosted a late dinner.

In the first Latvia game, the Philippines was badly outrebounded, 52-30, and outscored from the free throw line, 30-15. But the Nationals were within striking distance until the final buzzer.

In the third quarter, the Filipinos came back from a 17-point deficit to cut the margin to four behind a surge ignited by Larry Fonacier and Joseph Yeo.

"The fourth quarter was played with no team giving an inch and we were in the thick of the fight all the way until we missed three straight layups near the end that sealed our doom," said Reyes. "In my post-game talk, all I could say was, yan ang basketball, ganyan ang Pinoy. This was how we play the game."
PBA aces suit up for RP-Lebanon series
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 08/12/2006

The Philippine-Lebanon goodwill series is pushing through as scheduled after PBA ballclubs decided to field their top players for the dual meet slated tomorrow and Wednesday in two separate venues here.

Released by their respective clubs for the series are Jimmy Alapag, Don Allado, Renren Ritualo and Asi Taulava of Talk n Text, Mick Pennisi and Larry Fonacier of Red Bull, Willie Miller and Mike Cortez of Alaska Milk, Rafi Reavis and Billy Mamaril of Ginebra, Dennis Miranda of Coca-Cola and Ranidel de Ocampo of Air21.

The squad takes on the World Championship-bound Lebanon team at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Astrodome and at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum. The Lebanese arrived yesterday.

Ateneo coach Norman Black will call the shots in place of national mentor Chot Reyes who left for Taiwan yesterday together with the San Miguel team seeing action in the Asian Professional Tourney. The Beermen will go up against top commercial teams from China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan among others.

"Looks like a solid team. Its a commitment to the RP team that the ball clubs came forth and offered their players," said PBA commissioner Noli Eala.

The Nationals expect to go through a tough grind against Lebanese who are here for the final stage of their buildup for the World Championship in Saitama, Japan.

The Lebanese moved out of their war-torn country and pitched camp in Syria to prepare for the World event. They later played a series of games against Jordan, Slovenia, Canada and Germany before flying here yesterday.

The Lebanese, runners-up to China in the last two FIBA-Asia championships, are playing in the World Championship. for the second straight time.

Tickets for the games are pegged at P100 for ringside and P50 for lower box. General admission is free.

Meanwhile, the PBA board of governors leaves for Macau this morning for a three-day meeting where it would discuss proposed programs that hopefully will carry the league through next season.

The budget for the 2006-07 season, the national team program in the face of the countrys continued suspension by Fiba and the proposal for a charter change are up in the agenda of the conference hosted by new league member Welcoat Paints, headed by co-owners Terry Que and Raymund Yu.
TNTs chief gunner finishes with 7 treys en route to game-high 23 points

Sunday, 13 August 2006

Ren-Ren Ritualo had 15 of his game-high 23 points in the second period -- all from three-point range -- as the San Miguel Beer-backed Team Philippines bucked a lackluster start to rout Lebanons national squad 94-75 Sunday at the Cuneta Astrodome in the first of their two-game goodwill series.

Led by Ritualos second quarter explosion, the Filipinos outscored the Lebanese 39-19 in that period, overcoming deficits of as much as 10 in the first 12 minutes of play.

The third-leading local scorer in the past 2005-06 season of the PBA, Ritualo went 5-of-8 from behind arc in a 22-9 run by the SMB-RP Team which turned a 15-24 deficit at the start of the second period into a 37-33 lead which the Filipinos held on to until the final buzzer.

Ritualo went 7-for-16 from rainbow country overall.

Our players did what they had to do and credit should be given them. They executed well and held their own in rebounding against Lebanon, who also probably didnt have the legs yet after having arrived just a few days ago, said coach Norman Black, who handled the Nationals in lieu of national coach Chot Reyes, who is currently in Taipei with the San Miguel Beermen in an Asian Invitational club tournament.

But Reyes, in a text message he sent to his players through SMB-RP Team assistant coach Djalma Arnedo after the game, said he was so proud of the Nationals effort.

There is nothing that makes a coach prouder than to see his team flourish in his absence. It means the players and coaches understand what true teamwork is about. Congrats! Reyes said in his text message.

Ranidel de Ocampo and Mike Cortez also finished in double figures with their 12 and 10 points, respectively, and were two of five players who had five rebounds to lead SMB-RP in rebounding. De Ocampo had eight of his points also in the second quarter as he and RItualo outscored the entire Lebanese squad in that period by themselves 23-19.

Jimmy Alapag, who also had five boards, quarterbacked the team beautifully with seven assists, more than making up for his finishing only with three points.

SMB-RP, which led by as much as 21 points, shot 37% from three-point range, making 14 of their 38 attempts, compared to just 22% (6 of 27) for the Lebanese. The Filipinos also had 26-19 edge in assists and only had 17 turnovers to Lebanons 24.

Lebanon, which is using the two-game series to prepare for its upcoming stint in the World Basketball Championships in Saitama, Japan later this month, was led by the 16 points and 10 rebounds of Brian Feghali.

The Lebanese, who also got strong efforts from big men Roy Samaha (15 points and eight rebounds) and Joseph Vogel (13 points and six rebounds), will have a chance to avenge the defeat when it takes on the Filipinos again this Wednesday at six in the evening at the Araneta Coliseum.

With top player Fadi El Khatib scoring 10 of his 11 points in the first period alone, Lebanon raced to 18-8 and 20-10 leads in the first period before Ritualo woke up sparse crowd with his outside sniping in the second quarter.

The Lebanese qualified for the world championships after finishing a strong second behind China in the Asian Basketball Confederation tourney last year. It is one of four Asian teams competing in the world championships, the other three being China, Qatar and host Japan.

The Philippines failed to compete in that Asian qualifying tournament as a result of its still being suspended by FIBA. (FM)

The scores:

SMB-RP 94 Ritualo 23, de Ocampo 12, Cortez 10, Allado 9, Miller 9, Pennisi 8, Reavis 6, Taulava 6, Santos 4, Alapag 3, Miranda 2, Williams 2, Mamaril 0.

Lebanon Feghali 16, Samaha 15, Vogel 13, El Khatib 11, El Turk 7, Mahmoud 5, Fakhreddin 4, Nour 2, Balaa 2, S. Khoury 0.

Quarterscores: 15-24, 54-43, 74-59, 94-75.
EDIT: Change of venue and time
Game at spanking new San Juan Arena

Tuesday, 15 August 2006

Inspired by its 19-point blowout victory, the San Miguel Beer-Pilipinas squad attempts to sweep its two-game exhibition series against the Lebanon national team when it battles the visitors Wednesday.

Game time is set at 7 p.m. at the spanking new Arena in San Juan.

Sunday's embarrassing defeat was definitely not an inspiring tune-up match for the Lebanese, who are in the country to wind up their preparation for the World Basketball Championship that will be held in Saitama, Japan.

And it should hurt them all the more knowing that they were beaten by a team that was hastily assembled for the goodwill games.

"There is nothing that makes a coach prouder than to learn that his team flourished in his absence. It means the players and coaches understand what true teamwork is about. Congrats!" said head coach Chot Reyes to his charges via text after the game.

Reyes is currently in Taipei calling the shots for the San Miguel Beermen, who are competing in the Asian Professional Basketball Tournament.

But while he was proud of what Team Pilipinas has accomplished, coach Norman Black, who is pinch-hitting for Reyes, put everything in perspective, saying the visiting Lebanese are still trying to feel their way around.

"Our players did what they had to do. They executed well and held their own off the boards against the tall Lebanese," observed Black.

But he was also quick to admit that the visitors might not have the legs since they came in just two days before all the way from their war-torn country.

Lebanon beat Canada, without Steve Nash, last week, just a day after falling to Slovenia, a former Russian republic.

"But with another two-day rest, I'm sure the Lebanese will recover their energy and give us a good challenge on Wednesday," Black said.

Ren-ren Ritualo, who scorched the visitors with 23 points including 7-for-16 from behind the arc, is again expected to spark SMB-RPs offense.

The Filipinos had a tentative start but found their rhythm in the second quarter with Ritualo igniting a crippling run that saw the Filipinos erasing an eight-point deficit and storming ahead for good. (DBC)
Nakakapanghinayang. Theyre off to the Worlds, were not Reyes

Wednesday, 16 August 2006

The biggest three-point shot of the night belonged to Mick Pennisi; the biggest dunk to Kelly Williams. But coming away with the biggest regret was Chot Reyes, the San Miguel-Pilipinas head coach.

Masarap pero masakit; puno ng panghihinayang, said Reyes moments after SMC-RP dealt the visiting Lebanese national team a second beating, 105-100, Wednesday night at The Arena in San Juan.

We beat Qatar (the third placed team in the Asian Championship) in the Jones Cup and now Lebanon (the No. 2 team) twice, said Reyes. Both are going to the World Championship (in Saitama, Japan) and were not.

Bittersweet though the victory was, Reyes, who arrived from Taipei just hours before the game where his San Miguel team was invited to play in the Asian Professional Basketball Tournament, had to savor it.

I was 0-and-10 going into this game, he said. And all I asked from the players before the game was for them to break the streak. And they came through.

Renren Ritualo, who had 23 with seven three-point shots when SMC-RP shelled the Lebanese 94-75 last Sunday with coach Norman Black subbing for Reyes, had 19 points with five triples this time, sparking the Nationals back to life after a slow start.

But it was Pennisi who saved the day for the locals with a huge 3-pointer with 53 seconds remaining, shattering a 98-all tie and keeping his head coach away from the brink of an 11th straight loss.

And it was Williams, a potential No. 1 pick in Sundays rookie draft, who delivered the evenings most electrifying play.

Coming from the baseline, Williams, a 24-year-old forward from Oakland University in Detroit, soared to snatch what looked like a weak floater from Jimmy Alapag, who had 10 assists, viciously throwing it down with a two-handed slam that had the Lebanese players fighting each other over defensive responsibility.

Don Allados free throw made it a three-point lead before Joseph Vogel, a 6-11 center with a deft outside shot, tipped it in for 102-100.

Ritualo then came through with two important free throws, sealing the outcome.

Both Paul Coughter, Lebanons American coach, and veteran player Fadi El Khatib questioned perceived non-calls in the closing seconds, and, for a while, it seemed like the Lebanese were not going to finish the game.

But Lebanons team manager persuaded his team back into the playing court and Alapag delivered the final charities.

The Nationals narrowly took the half 46-44 but only after enduring heavy bombardment from Lebanon in the first quarter.

Lethargic from lack of sleep the first time out, the Lebanese had eyes wide open for the rematch.

They completed three 3-point plays in the first 10 minutes, two by team skipper El Khatib, and Joseph Vogel drained a 3-pointer in powering their team to a 22-8 lead.

Switching defense and outright aggressiveness by Lebanon appeared to surprise the Nationals who went scoreless in their first four possessions.

Ritualo, the sharpshooter that scuttled the Lebanese defense for seven triples in their first game Sunday, then found his mark.

Shooting over the taller Lebanese, Ritualo buried three 3-pointers late in the opening period and the start of the second as the Nationals returned fire.

With Asi Taulava standing his ground against the veteran El Khatib, SMC-RP closed to within 36-37 on a Willie Miller 3-point shot, before Taulava had a steal, setting up Miller for the go-ahead fastbreak.

Alapag limped off the court midway in the second quarter after taking a knee on the left thigh. But he returned in the thrilling third to direct play along with Mike Cortez and Miller, keying a run that built a 75-74 edge going to the fourth period.

The Scores:

SMC-RP 105 Ritualo 19, Williams 14, Allado 14, De Ocampo 13, Alapag 13, Miller 10, Pennisi 9, Taulava 5, Reavis 4, Santos 2, Cortez 2, Mamaril 0, Miranda 0.

Lebanon 100 El Khatib 33, Vogel 26, Fahed 12, Samaha 9, Bechara 7, Mahmoud 6, Abdel Nour 3, Tawby 2, Balaa 2, Turk 0.

Quarters: 21-27; 46-44; 75-74; 105-100
Saudis, Koreans fall

Monday, 21 August 2006

SMC-Pilipinas defense of the Brunei Cup got off to a rousing start with two wins over the weekend at the National Indoor Stadium in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

Hardly feeling the absence of head coach Chot Reyes who had to attend the PBA Rookie Draft Sunday, the Nationals scored victories over the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) All-Stars Saturday and the SK Knights Sunday to pace the six-team field.

Asi Taulava asserted his might in the paint against the Saudis to lead SMC-Pilipinas to a rather shaky 79-72 win. The Talk N Text slotman paced the Filipinos with 21 points while fellow Phone Pal Renren Ritualo hit five three-pointers en route to a 17-point performance.

Less than 24 hours later, SMC-Pilipinas chalked up its second win in as many assignments with a 101-93 drubbing of SK Knights. A big Sunday crowd was on hand to witness the official opening ceremonies of the 6th edition of this annual basketball tourney conducted by Bruneis Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Dato Hj Adanan bin BPSK Dato Seri Setia Hi Mohd Yusof as well as the highly-anticipated match between the Filipinos and the Koreans.

The Nationals struggled in the early minutes, with the troika of Jung Rak Young, Kebu Omar Stewart and Lim Jae Hyun scoring all but two of the Knights 25 first quarter points and giving the Koreans a two-point edge, 25-23.

But Ritualo caught fire in the second period, firing four triples as SMC-Pilipinas, which swept last years tournament to claim the champions trophy, took over the drivers seat.

NBA veteran Lou Roe presided over an SK comeback that tied the count at 64-all, but it turned out to be the Knights last hurrah as Dondon Hontiveros took over in a 10-3 third quarter windup to give SMC-Pilipinas a 74-67 cushion entering the payoff period.

It was a Danny Seigle show in the fourth canto. Displaying his prowess on both ends of the floor, the 6-6 San Miguel forward thwarted all attempts by the SK Knights to bounce back in the final minutes.

Ritualo, who shot 55 percent (6-of-11) from three-point range, topscored for SMC-Pilipinas with 24 points. Hontiveros went 3-of-4 for a 75 percent clip from beyond the arc and wound up with 19 markers while Seigle had 17.

Dreaded veteran hotshot Moon Kyung Eun, nemesis of Filipino defenders in a number of past international competitions, was out of sync. He missed all his five three-point attempts, was hobbled by foul trouble and finished with only five points.

The scores:

SMC-RP 79 Taulava 21, Ritualo 17, Seigle 11, Telan 10, Pena 7, Hontiveros 5, Racela 3, de Ocampo 3, Allado 2, Miranda 0, Canaleta 0, Gonzales 0.
KSA 72 Al Madani 16, Al Sager 9, Fallatah 9, Mukhtar 8, Gassas 7, Al Whuwify 6, Al Shamrani 6, Kabe 5, Al Fotawi 2, Hawsawi 2, Ibrahim 2, Al Derees 0.

SMC-RP 101 Ritualo 24, Hontiveros 19, Seigle 17, de Ocampo 10, Canaleta 9, Gonzales 4, Miranda 4, Telan 4, Taulava 4, Racela 2, Allado 2, Pena 2.
SK Knights 93 Stewart 23, Rice 21, Lim 11, No 9, Chun 7, Jung RY 7, Kim KM 5, Moon 5, Kim JH 3, Yun 2, Choi 0, Jung SW 0.
Quarters: 23-25, 52-45, 74-67, 101-93.
Pinoys motion offense bewilder Aussies

Tuesday, 22 August 2006

SMC-Pilipinas is on a roll.

Notoriously known for their slow start, the Filipinos came out smoking and never looked back, carving out a 99-84 win over the Darwin All-Stars of Australia in the 6th Brunei Cup Monday night.

It was the third win in as many games for the league-leading SMC-Pilipinas five, fashioned out before a big Filipino crowd at the National Indoor Stadium in Bandar Seri Bewagan, Brunei.

Controlling the paint from the start, the Nationals stepped on the gas early and built a 21-9 bulge after the first 10 minutes of play.

But the Aussies refused to wilt under SMC-Pilipinas blinding speed and pinpoint accuracy. Dallas Jeffree spearheaded a run that managed to cut the deficit to four, the first time at 23-27, and the last one at 37-41 at the half.

In the third, Danny Seigle and Renren Ritualo went to work, tearing down Darwins defense with hits from every conceivable angle to keep the Aussies at bay, stretching the Filipinos lead to 69-57 going into the final canto and finally breaking their rivals spirits.

We just wanted to be able to control the paint tonight, and if we want to win this tournament, it has to be through our ball movement and defense, said SMC-Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes. We were constantly changing our defensive tactics to keep the other team off balance.

Seigle led the Nationals with 23 points with Ritualo and Asi Taulava adding 11 and nine, respectively. NBA veteran Sedale Threatt topscored for Darwin, which dropped to 1-1, with 17 markers.

Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra, which planed in just hours before the game, debuted on a bright note, downing Jordan in the days other game, 82-70. (RBS)

The Scores:

SMC RP 99 Seigle 23, Ritualo 17, Taulava 11, Telan 9, De Ocampo 8, Miranda 7, Hontiveros 6, Canaleta 6, Racela 5, Pena 5, Allado 2.

Darwin 84 Threatt 17, Jeffree 15, Davis 14, Truslove 12, Zerembra 10, Maclean 8, Ellis 8, Miller 0, Roe 0, Rugendyke 0, Fogolyan 0.
Quarters:21 9; 41 37; 69 57; 99 84.
FIBA lifting of suspension is imminent
By Joaquin Henson
The Philippine Star 08/24/2006

Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Noli Eala said yesterday he is confident the Federation Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) World Congress will lift the countrys suspension in its Tokyo session early next week and welcomed the opportunity to brief the governing body on the progress of Pilipinas Basketball.

FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann invited officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Pilipinas Basketball and the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) to present their case to the Central Board and the World Congress in an effort to end the ban.

POC legal counsel Emigdio Tanjuatco and lawyer Mon Malinao leave for Tokyo today while POC first vice president and Rep. Monico Puentevella and Eala will join the group tomorrow. Newly elected Pilipinas Basketball president Bernie Atienza of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and lawyer Melvin Mendoza may also attend the Tokyo meetings.

BAP president Joey Lina and secretary-general Graham Lim will fly to Tokyo to submit their side in the deliberations.

"I am confident our suspension will finally be lifted but I cant be sure which organization, Pilipinas Basketball or the BAP, FIBA will recognize as its country affiliate although we in Pilipinas Basketball are taking a step in the right direction in providing FIBA with a report on our progress as a duly-constituted body with a governing Board, elected officers and a substantial representation of basketball associations and leagues all over the country," said Eala.

"We are abiding by Mr. Baumanns own suggestion for us to stay the course and continue doing what is in the best interest of Philippine basketball. I am certain FIBA will view the developments in Pilipinas Basketball with favor and if our report may not result in immediate recognition by FIBA, it will at least give us points in leading to accreditation in the near future."

Eala said if FIBA is convinced of the BAPs authority, it would not have bothered to invite officials from the POC and Pilipinas Basketball to Japan.

"My feeling is if there is no merit in the case of Pilipinas Basketball, why did FIBA invite us to Tokyo," continued Eala. "The key to a settlement does not lie with the BAP but with its chief backer who is FIBA-Asia secretary-general Dato Yeoh Choo Hock of Malaysia. In Japan, we hope to explain to Dato Yeoh what the real score is in Philippine basketball."

In a letter to POC president Jose Cojuangco Jr., Baumann said the Central Board will decide on the process of "intervention" during its meeting on Sunday. The Congress will be convened Monday.

"You may be asked to present your view to the Congress and/or to a Central Board commission prior or after the Congress," said Baumann. "The same right to be heard applies to (the) BAP as well, which will also attend the Congress as a regular FIBA member."

Baumann said if the opposing sides are allowed to present their case at the Congress, speaking time will be limited to 10 minutes each. Only two speakers for each side will be recognized on the floor.

"We strongly suggest that until it is formally debated, the opportunity be used in Tokyo to find a compromise between the conflicting parties," said Baumann. "We shall, to this effect, provide you with a meeting room at the official FIBA hotel where you can meet with BAP officers."

Baumann said as a matter of principle, only FIBAs member federations, such as the BAP, may attend the World Congress but an exception will be made for the POC and Pilipinas Basketball "in a further effort to try to solve this matter."
Kings stumble to 1-2

Thursday, 24 August 2006

BANDAR SERI BEGAWANSan Miguel-Pilipinas stopped Mark Caguioa on his tracks and survived Barangay Ginebra, 74-73, Wednesday to remain unbeaten in the 6th Shell Rimula Brunei Cup at the National Indoor Stadium here.
Dennis Miranda, Dondon Hontiveros and Danny Seigle swarmed over the driving Caguioa, messing up a potential game-winning floater in the dying seconds.

But it could not had come to that Caguioa scare had Asi Taulava made his charities.

With 12 seconds remaining, Taulava was sent to the charity stripe by Rommel Adducul while jockeying for position following Danny Seigle's missed three-pointer at the top of the arc.

Taulava muffed both free throws and Sunday Salvacion grabbed the rebound that led to Caguioa's final-ditch effort.

``I gave them (Gin Kings) a chance to win by missing those free throws,'' said Taulava with a grin after the unbeaten SMC-RP squad streaked to its fourth victory that assured the Filipinos of the top seeding in the crossover semifinals.

For RP head coach Chot Reyes, however, it was no laughing matter.

``I think Ginebra deserved to win this game more than we did,'' said Reyes, whose troops meet the Jordan All-Stars Friday for their final elimination-round assignment. ``We're just lucky to escape with that victory.''

Getting off to a good start, the Kings built a 19-9 spread through the incursions of Eric Menk and Caguioa.

Reyes then plucked Danny Seigle off the bench and Team Pilipinas suddenly went on a 19-4 tear bridging the first two quarters.

After Olsen Racela's jumper made it 29-23, Caguioa got into the groove with a couple of long-range baskets that kept Ginebra within striking distance before the intermission.

The Caguioa show reached its climax in the third period as the PBA's scoring king last season pumped in 11 of his 24 points, including nine straight in one stretch.

Renren Ritualo, who was the most consistent scorer for the Filipinos until he went 0-of-6 against the Kings, drilled in a mid-range jumper, 64-52, the SMB-RP Team's biggest lead.

But Mark Macapagal started hitting his three-pointers and Menk powered his way to the basket that moved the Kings within 73-74 down to the final possessions of the game.

Miranda committed an eight-second violation but Menk missed a jump hook off Taulava that led to SMC-RP's final offensive thrust with 26 seconds left.

Seigle got an open look but bungled the trey before Taulava was fouled by Adducul as they battled for possession.

``My players are already tired. But at least we gave them (RP team) a good fight,'' said Barangay Ginebra coach Jong Uichico after the Kings absorbed their second straight defeat and fell to 1-2.

The scores:

SMC-RP 74--Hontiveros 16, Taulava 15, Seigle 13, De Ocampo 7, Allado 6, Racela 6, Ritualo 6, Canaleta 3, Telan 2, Gonzales 0, Miranda 0, Pena 0.

GINEBRA 73--Caguioa 24, Menk 18, Macapagal 10, Mamaril 8, Salvacion 5, Adducul 4, Reavis 2, Seigle 2, Coronel 0, Echavez 0, Salangsang 0.
Reyes rues missing chance in world hoops
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 08/25/2006

National coach Chot Reyes said yesterday the Philippines wouldve made a strong showing at the World Basketball Championships now being played in Japan and lamented the countrys absence in the 24-team tournament where Asia is represented by China, Lebanon, Qatar and the host nation.

Reyes, who is in Brunei coaching the Philippines in an international tournament, based his assessment on Lebanons performance in Group A. Lebanon has so far compiled a 2-2 record with wins over Venezuela and France and is likely to advance to the round of 16.

Before playing in the World Championships, Lebanon played the Philippines in two exhibition games here and lost both outings. The Philippines mauled Lebanon, 94-75, in the first game last Aug. 13 and repeated with a 105-100 decision in the rematch two days later.

In the Lebanon series, Reyes assembled a national team made up of RenRen Ritualo, Ranidel de Ocampo, Mike Cortez, Willie Miller, Don Allado, Mick Pennisi, Rafi Reavis, Asi Taulava, Arwind Santos, Jimmy Alapag, Kelly Williams, Denok Miranda and Billy Mamaril.

Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Noli Eala said the twin wins over Lebanon reestablished the national team as a contender in Asia.

"We beat Asias second best team twice in a row," said Eala. "And we only had a weeks practice. Plus, we didnt even play Danny Seigle, Dorian Pea, Kerby Raymundo and James Yap."

Reyes said the Philippines would fare better in Lebanons bracket with Argentina, Serbia and Montenegro, Venezuela, France and Nigeria than in Qatars "group of death" bracket with Greece, Turkey, Australia, Brazil and Lithuania.

"We could probably beat Venezuela and France as Lebanon did," said Reyes. "I think we would have a slight chance for the round of 16 if we do well against Venezuela, France or Nigeria."

Lebanon defeated Venezuela, 82-72, and France, 74-73, and will face Nigeria in its final preliminary game. Reyes coached the Philippines against Nigeria at the Global Hoops Summit in Las Vegas last year. Nigeria beat the Philippines, 68-62, with the same nucleus coach Sam Vincent is playing in Japan. Nigeria is led by former PBA import Julius Nwosu, Ime Udoka of the New York Knicks, Ekene Ibekwe of the University of Maryland and Jeff Varem of Washington State.

Asked to name the national players who wouldve played at the World Championships if the Philippines qualified, Reyes said the final 12 will depend on injuries and their mother clubs cooperation but the majority should come from the team that beat Lebanon twice and the squad now in Brunei.

Reyes said he would prefer to add Yap and Mark Caguioa to the cast but "we couldnt properly evaluate them because they havent played in any of our Asian tune-ups at all."

Reyes drew up a roster of 16 players based on their latest tournament performances and named Alapag, Jay-Jay Helterbrand, Cortez, Ritualo, Miller, Dondon Hontiveros, Tony de la Cruz, Williams, Seigle, de Ocampo, Nic Belasco, Pennisi, Taulava, Romel Adducul, Raymundo and Reavis.

"Only those who have made the sacrifice to join an international competition, excluding the Global Hoops Summit, are in," said Reyes. "But this lineup of 16 is, by no means, final."

Qatar is winless in four outings so far in the World Championships, bowing to Greece by 20, Brazil by 31, Lithuania by 41 and Turkey by seven. Japan beat Panama, 78-61, but lost to Angola by 15 and Germany by 11. The host country will advance to the round of 16 with a win over New Zealand.
Nationals meet Saudis in semis; Ginebra ousted

Saturday, 26 August 2006

BANDAR SERI BEGAWANThe San Miguel-Pilipinas team taught the Jordan All-Stars a neat lesson in Basketball 101 and swept the elimination round of the 6th Shell Rimula Brunei Cup with an easy 107-67 win Friday night at the National Indoor Stadium here.

With Renren Ritualo firing four three-pointers in the opening quarter and Asi Taulava dominating the paint, the Filipinos were able to set the tone for a predictable rout.

Abdullah Abu Qura and Fadel Al-Najjar put a gallant stand by engaging the Filipinos in a shooting contest to keep the Jordanians within striking distance, 22-28, but the second unit of Wesley Gonzales, Danny Seigle and Olsen Racela wore them out.

Seigle had a couple of short jumpers, Gonzales connected on an assortment of shots and Racela changed the complexion of the match with a big three-pointer that saw the Filipinos build a 42-26 lead.

From there on, there was no looking back as Dorian Pena, Nino Canaleta and Mick Pennisi sustained what they had started and the Filipinos widened the gap, 62-35 at the half.

Finishing at the top after five games, the unbeaten SMC-Pilipinas 5 face the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia All-Stars in the crossover semifinals while the SK Knights clash with the Darwin All-Stars in the other match where the winners advance to the Finals.

Barangay Ginebra yielded to the Darwin All-Stars, 81-76 and dropped its fourth game in a row to bow out of contention along with the Jordanians, who fielded in their junior national team.

I hope we sustain our sharpness. The reason why we wanted to have a big lead is for us to rest the starters for the semifinals, said SMC-RP head coach Chot Reyes.

After a Gonzales triple made it 79-42, the Nationals were already in cruise control as Canaleta began displaying several picture-perfect dunks, including a windmill slam in a fastbreak play that wowed the highly-partisan OFW crowd.

We havent really played our best yet. We struggled against Ginebra and the other teams. Now we played a team which was overmatched, said Reyes.

By the time the Jordanians threw in the towel, the Filipinos were already protecting a 98-51 spread with almost everybody tired of waiting for the final outcome.

Ritualo made seven of his 11 attempts from beyond the arc and paced the San Miguel Corp.-backed national squad with 23 points after a dismal 0-of-6 three-point shooting against the Kings.

Dorian Pena compiled double-double figures of 15 points and 13 rebounds, Gonzales had 12 while Pennisi and Taulava added 11 points each.

The scores:

SMC-RP 107Ritualo 23, Pena 15, Gonzales 12, Pennisi 11, Taulava 11, Canaleta 9, Seigle 9, Miranda 4, Hontiveros 4, Telan 4, Racela 3, Allado 2.

JORDAN 67Qura 20, Jamal 16, Al-Najjar 14, Tkidek 5, Alzubi 4, Hamdan 4, Alawadi 1, Aburashed 0, Nassar 0, Maf 0, Nizar 0.

Quarters: 28-22, 62-35, 89-48, 107-67.
Dump rough Saudi 5 in semis

Sunday, 27 August 2006

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN San Miguel-Pilipinas routed the Kingdon of Saudi Arabia All-Stars Saturday, 79-48, but the Filipinos passage into the Finals of the 6th Shell Rimula Brunei Cup was by no means easy.

They have marks all over their bodies to prove it.

Knowing the futility of pulling the rug from under the undefeated SMC-Pilipinas crew, the Saudis resorted to some roughhousing in an effort to get the league leaders goat. But instead of losing focus, the Nationals went into full throttle to book a seat in the championship match opposite Australias Darwin All-Stars, who dumped the favored SK Knights in the other semifinal game, 90-83.

The other team wasnt even concerned about playing basketball. They just wanted to throw their bodies at us and play it rough, said SMC-RP Team coach Chot Reyes after seeing his frontliners like Asi Taulava, Mark Telan and Dorian Pena get bumped and hacked by their rivals inside the lane.

They got pissed off because they couldnt score, said Reyes.

With Taulava asserting his might in the paint and the tandem of Renren Ritualo and Danny Seigle raining three-pointers on the Saudis, the Filipinos zoomed to a 23-9 bulge.

Mark Telan then took over, coming up with eight points in a crippling 16-1 tear as the defending champions erected a comfortable 46-28 lead at the half.

Officiating suddenly tilted in favor of the Saudis during the third as the referees slapped a total of nine personal fouls on the Filipinos that saw the KSA All-Stars make a living on the free throw line.

Without a single field goal, the Saudis converted 10 of their 14 free throws in that period and the match began to turn ugly at every possession.

The Filipinos, however, kept their cool and fended off KSA All-Stars irritating full-court press by rapidly moving the leather around and hitting several crucial baskets.

Back-to-back triples by Hontiveros and another trey by Mick Pennisi gave San Miguel Pilipinas its biggest lead, 70-40.

The Saudis tried to mount a comeback by answering with seven straight points and getting more physical, but Pena, KG Canaleta and Pennisi sealed the outcome with their free throws that buried the Saudis for good.

Its one game left. Weve been here for 10 days and I hope we bring the same energy in the championship game, said Reyes.

The scores:

SMC-RP 79Seigle 11, Telan 10, Hontiveros 9, Ritualo 9, Pena 8, Taulava 8, Canaleta 8, Miranda 6, Pennisi 4, Gonzales 4, Allado 2, Racela 0.

KSA ALL-STARS 48Al Madani 9, Gassas 7, Kabe 7, Alhuwaify 7, Derees 4, Ibrahim 4, Mukhtar 4, Fotawi 3, Zawad 0, Fallata 0, Hawsawi 0.

Quarters: 25-16, 46-28, 57-38, 79-48
RP cagers win over Darwin, retain Brunei Cup crown

The Philippine Star 08/28/2006

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN Danny Seigle exploded for 25 points as San Miguel-RP Team clobbered Darwin Airport Resort All-Stars of Australia, 96-65, last night to retain the Shell Rimula Brunei Cup crown at the National Indoor Stadium here.

Seigle proved unstoppable as he led the PBA All-Stars to the convincing victory over surprise finalist the Darwin All-Stars. His performance in the tournament also earned him the MVP award.

The rest of the SMB-RP squad also played cohesively as a team and the scores were distributed evenly among the PBA players.

Earlier, the SMB-RP Team took a lot of beating but it was Saudi Arabia which left the coliseum hurting as the Filipinos romped away with a 79-48 rout of the Saudis to advance to the championship round.

The Australians, seeded third in the crossover semifinals, stunned the SK Knights, 90-83, in the other game.

Roughed up nearly all game, Dondon Hontiveros had welts, Dennis Miranda, Olsen Racela and Nio Canaleta sustained bruises while Asi Taulava, Mark Telan, Dorian Pea and Danny Seigle got bumped, hacked and smacked.

But the Filipinos survived the ordeal, using a big scoring run in the early going behind Taulavas dominating presence in the paint and Renren Ritualo and Seigle sniping to set the tone for the rout.

"The other team wasnt even concerned about playing basketball. They just want to throw their bodies at us and play it rough," said San Miguel-RP Team coach Chot Reyes after the Filipinos arranged a title showdown with the Darwin All-Stars.

"They got pissed off because they couldnt score," said Reyes. "There was even a time in the third quarter that were getting drawn into that situation."

The Filipinos raced to a 23-9 advantage with Taulava lording it over in the lane, Ritualo and Seigle draining their three-pointers and Pea forming a fierce frontline threat with Taulava.

Telan then came up with eight points in another 16-1 binge while Seigle and Wesley Gonzales also joined in burying the Saudis as the defending champions sat on a 46-28 cushion at the half.

Officiating suddenly tilted in favor of the Saudis at resumption of the contest as the referees slapped a total of nine personal fouls on the Filipinos that sent the KSA All-Stars to the free-throw line majority of the way.

Without a single field goal, the Saudis converted 10 of their 14 free throws in the period and the game started to turn ugly in every possession.

Despite the rugged game put up by their rivals, the Filipinos kept their cool and fended off the Saudis irritating full-court press with sleek passing while hitting crucial baskets.

Back-to-back triples by Hontiveros and another trey by Pennisi gave the San Miguel-RP Team its biggest lead, 70-40. The Saudis tried to stage a comeback by clustering seven straight points and getting more physical.

But Pena, Canaleta and Pennisi neutralized them with steady stint from the line.

"Its one game left. Weve been here for 10 days and I hope we bring the same energy tomorrow (today)," said Reyes.


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^ Great news for RP Basketball fans! :D
RP cage officials come to terms
By Joaquin Henson
The Philippine Star 08/29/2006

Officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) and Pilipinas Basketball (PB) issued a joint communiqu agreeing to unite and end a lingering leadership crisis after a marathon eight-hour meeting at the Prince Park Tower Hotel in Tokyo yesterday.

The communiqu was submitted to Federation Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) president Bob Elphiston of Australia, secretary-general Patrick Baumann of Switzerland, former secretary-general Borislav Stankovic of Yugoslavia and FIBA-Asia secretary-general Dato Yeoh Choo Hock of Malaysia last night.

Baumann affixed his signature on the document to certify its receipt.

Signatories of the joint communiqu were POC first vice president and Rep. Monico Puentevella, BAP president Joey Lina, PB president Bernie Atienza of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Philippine Basketball Association commissioner Noli Eala.

Also present at the meeting were BAP chairman Michel Lhuillier, BAP secretary-general Graham Lim, Fritz Gaston, Raul Alcoseba, POC legal counsel Egmidio Tanjuatco and POC lawyer Ramon Malinao.

Puentevella said the countrys suspension will be discussed at the FIBA Central Board meeting today. He expressed optimism the suspension will be lifted if not totally, at least conditionally in view of the joint communiqu.

Puentevella described the agreement a "breakthrough" and said the onus of responsibility now rests squarely on the Philippine basketball officials to get their act together.

In the joint communiqu, the BAP and PB agreed to merge into a single, united organization that will seek membership in the POC and eventually take the BAPs place as FIBAs country affiliate.

It was also stipulated that a three-man panel, made up of the BAP and PB presidents and a third member picked by both, will be created within five days to finalize the merged organizations Constitution and By-Laws; review, verify and validate the list of members submitted by PB and the BAP to the FIBA Central Board special committee formed to hear the Philippine case; and convene a National Congress for the election of officers.

A period of 30 days from Sept. 1 was given the three-man panel to complete its tasks.

While the new organization is being formed, the BAP will continue to represent the country in FIBA. A FIBA officer will be designated by the Central Board to monitor the compliance of the agreement.

Baumann summoned the Filipino officials to Tokyo in an effort to settle the dispute.

Last Sunday, the Filipino officials met with Baumann, outgoing FIBA president Carl Ching Meng Ky of Hong Kong and Stankovic for three hours to find a solution to the problem.

The three-hour meeting failed to arrive at a settlement. FIBA then gave the Philippines an ultimatum of up to yesterday to resolve the problem.

Puentevella said FIBA refused to step in because it wants the opposing parties to settle the issue by themselves.

"FIBA wants us to solve the problem among ourselves," said Puentevella. "They wont take a stand."

Baumann even offered the services of FIBA lawyers to moderate the discussions yesterday but the Filipino delegates decided to meet on their own.


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FIBA: Conditional end to ban okayed
By Joaquin Henson
The Philippine Star 08/30/2006

With the impending merger of the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) and Pilipinas Basketball (PB) to form a unified body recognized by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the way is clear for the Federation Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) to lift the countrys suspension.

BAP president Joey Lina and PB president Bernie Atienza signed a joint communiqu to affirm the settlement of the yearlong leadership dispute after an eight-hour meeting in Tokyo the other day.

The FIBA Central Board took up the joint communiqu during its 10th meeting yesterday and expressed satisfaction that "all parties are unifying their efforts in a tight schedule to end this conflict and allow Philippine basketball to enter again into international competitions shortly."

The Central Board turned down a motion to lift the suspension immediately and instead, decided on a conditional end to the ban. It said the suspension will be lifted by Sept. 30 or earlier once the merged organization is launched as a democratic, countrywide and mass-based representation of various sectors involved in the sport, a National Congress is convened and officers are elected.

Assigned by the Board to monitor the implementation of the joint communiqu are FIBA president Bob Elphinston, secretary-general Patrick Baumann and FIBA-Asia secretary-general Dato Yeoh Choo Hock.

POC first vice president and Rep. Monico Puentevella, who played a key role in forging the agreement, called the coming to terms a breakthrough for Philippine basketball.

"It took us one whole day among ourselves and five hours with FIBA to reach this important decision," said Puentevella. "Let us not waste it. We are given a chance to move forward. Its about time we start winning games again. Maybe, in the next Asian Games for the glory of our beloved country."

Puentevella said if the opposing Filipino cage officials werent as determined to resolve their differences, nothing wouldve been accomplished in the Tokyo trip.

"Thank God we united here in Japan," said Puentevella. "Let us not lose this momentum. We have one month to do it. Lets start now. All for the love of the game."

Baumann summoned the representatives of the POC, BAP and PB to Japan where FIBA held its 212-nation World Congress and Central Board meetings during the World Championship.

FIBA constituted a special commission to confer with the Filipino delegates in an effort to end the impasse and even provided a special conference room at the Prince Park Tower Hotel in Tokyo for the opposing parties to resolve their differences.

The commission was made up of Elphinston, Baumann, Dato Yeoh, outgoing FIBA president Dr. Carl Ching Meng Ky and secretary-general emeritus Dr. Borislav Stankovic.

The first meeting lasted three hours last Sunday but failed to arrive at a compromise solution. The next day, the Filipino delegates agreed to settle the issue and finally came to terms, drafting a joint communiqu to detail their points of agreement.

The commission reviewed the joint communiqu and gave its stamp of approval. It recommended to the Central Board for Baumann "to immediately lift the suspension by Sept. 30 or earlier, once the agreement is fulfilled."

"The commission expresses its satisfaction that a solution is found for the good of Filipino basketball by which all sides have made important concessions to unify basketball under one structure only within 30 days," said a FIBA report from Tokyo.


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Published on Page A21 of the September 7, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

PBA: No pros for Asiad.

DONT EXPECT THE stars of the Philippine Basketball Association to don the national colors in the Asian Games.

The leagues board of governors yesterday stood firm on an earlier decision to keep its stars out of the Doha, Qatar Asiad in December even if the suspension of the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) is lifted.

The board reiterated its commitment to the national team but regrets that the league cannot participate in the Asian Games, said commissioner Noli Eala after the boards emergency meeting where some rule changes were approved in time for the opening of its 32nd season on Oct. 1.

It runs consistent with our agreement (with the BAP) that the PBA would participate in the Asian qualifiers of the world championships and the Olympics. The Asian Games, however, is not part of that commitment and it was agreed upon with finality, he added.

The pro league had taken care of fielding the RP five to the Asian Games since 1990, but was focused on the Olympic qualifier following a change in its format in 2004.


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JOLINA and his cohort are at it again!!!

BAP seeks majority voice in cage body
By Abac Cordero
The Philippine Star 10/01/2006

Now it seems that alls not well at the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas.

As the self-imposed deadline for the SBP to at least hold an election lapsed yesterday, some cracks have started to show within the new association.

The SBP, which has Manny V. Pangilinan or MVP as chairman and president, should have named its officers and gotten the approval of the Philippine Olympic Committee by yesterday.

It was a self-imposed deadline by SBP before it could formally present itself to the International Basketball Federation in the hope that FIBA would lift its suspension on the Philippines.

But as the country reeled from super-typhoon "Milenyo," so did SBP as the Basketball Association of the Philippines and Pilipinas Basketball, its major stakeholders, started to disagree.

During a three-week unification process where Pangilinan led a three-man panel, both the BAP and PB agreed to the formation of a 25-man board of trustees.

Also in the panel were BAP president Joey Lina and PB president Bernie Atienza.

The BAP and PB, whose indifferences in the past led to the FIBA suspension, named 12 persons each to the board, with MVP, the chairman of PLDT and Smart, occupying the 25th slot.

Everything seemed to be working well as the deadline neared with MVP only needing to name or oversee the election of the other officers to lead SBP during a transitory period until April of 2008.

The BAP, the other day, issued a statement calling for a national congress wherein the election of the officers, it added, should take place.

Lina said this is based on a communiqu forged in Tokyo last month in a meeting among FIBA, BAP and PB officials.

In this national congress, the BAP said the original list of members that were submitted by the BAP and PB to FIBA, and not the 25 members of the SBP board of trustees, should attend.

In the list submitted to FIBA, the BAP had 66 members, and PB only 21.

"Were only following the communiqu. We should follow rules and the communiqu said that there should be a national congress and then an election," said Lina.

"We should follow rules. We should have an election for whatever position. We have to go through the process. If Mr. Pangilinan is the only candidate, then we have to go through the formality," added the former senator.

"It looks like the BAP tactically wants MVP to get irritated. They want to convene the national congress so they could use their numbers (66) versus our 21," said Atienza.

"That has been tackled by the three-man panel. Validation of the two lists will take some time so we all agreed to go through a transitory period. (Its) an obvious monkey wrench being thrown in there to derail the unification process," he added.

Earlier, POC president Jose Cojuangco questioned the BAP representation in the SBP board of trustees, saying that some of those on the list are not duly-elected officials of the leagues they represent.

"The 25-man board of trustees must elect the officers of SBP. The national congress elects the board during normal times. The three-man panel agreed that during the transitory period the board will be composed of 12 representatives each from PB and BAP, plus MVP," said POC spokesman Joey Romasanta.


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RP hoops may return to dark ages
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson
The Philippine Star 10/11/2006

Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Noli Eala yesterday warned that the process to unify the countrys basketball landscape may turn into a wasteful political exercise, which could lead to a return to the "dark ages," if the sports stakeholders pursue a selfish agenda.

Eala described Joey Linas resignation as Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) president as "not an earth-shaking event" and said it shouldnt derail the unification process.

The BAP Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on Linas replacement in a meeting today. Rumored to be among the candidates are Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Sen. Richard Gordon, Lito Alvarez, Lito Puyat and Wilson Young.

Although Lina resigned as BAP president, he opted to keep his seat in the 25-man interim Board of Trustees formed to oversee the operations of the newly-organized Samahang Basketbol Ng Pilipinas (SBP) until June 2008. He also resigned from the three-man panel tasked to draft SBPs Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws, validate member leagues and associations seeking membership in SBP and convene the first SBP National Congress.

The other members of the panel are Philippine Long Distance Tel. Co. chairman Manny Pangilinan and Pilipinas Basketball (PB) president Bernie Atienza.

BAP secretary-general Graham Lim is reportedly resigning from the SBP interim Board to give way to Linas replacement.

But Eala, a lawyer, said a vacancy in the Board is not filled by succession.

"A Trustee who resigns his position is not entitled to name his replacement," said Eala. "At the same time, Joeys resignation from the three-man panel does not mean he can name a replacement. Besides, the panels work is almost over so I dont think a replacement is necessary."

The three-man panel initially set a Sept. 30 deadline to complete its tasks with the provision that once accomplished, the Federation Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) will lift the countrys suspension. The panel later moved the deadline to Oct. 10. Now, it appears the National Congress will be held on Oct. 21, the panels third self-imposed deadline.

Eala suggested inviting FIBA president Bob Elphinston, secretary-general Patrick Baumann and FIBA-Asia secretary-general Dato Yeoh Choo Hock to attend the National Congress so they can witness the dynamics of assembling the sports stakeholders.

PBA chairman Ricky Vargas said he would bring up Ealas suggestion to Pangilinan.

"It would be good for the FIBA officials to come over and see for themselves the kind of people who are behind SBP," said a source. "While the POC has nothing to do with the Congress, Im sure it would be a welcome development if Pere Miro, whom IOC (International Olympic Committee) president Dr. Jacques Rogge assigned to monitor the resolution of the Philippines suspension, and FIBA secretary-general emeritus Borislav Stankovic could join the visiting delegation."

Eala said it was unfair for Lina to blame the POC for prompting his resignation.

Lina claimed Cojuangco rejected his nomination as SBP president in a supposed unity ticket with Pangilinan as chairman and cited the POCs alleged interference as the reason for his resignation.

But a POC source flatly denied Linas claim. Vargas also said a so-called unity ticket was never taken up with Pangilinan and no such discussion took place in a meeting last Tuesday, as claimed by Lina. The minutes of the Tuesday meeting, written by lawyer Marievic Anonuevo, do not verify Linas claim.

"I find it hard to believe that Mr. Pangilinan would support Lina as president after he issued a statement agreeing to become chairman and president," said a source.

Eala said only FIBAs continuing recognition is what is keeping the BAP alive.

"As far as the POC is concerned, the BAP is a non-entity," said Eala. "Once FIBA withdraws recognition, its over for the BAP. If you look at what makes up the BAP, you will see that it has no real constituency. If FIBA is able to appreciate that the BAP stands for nothing, then maybe we can proceed."

Eala said under the terms of the joint communiqu signed in Tokyo last August, the BAP and PB will be collapsed for SBP to emerge as the unifying body.

"Lina was one of those who invited Mr. Pangilinan to join the three-man panel as the unifying force then he went against him," said a source. "We should be grateful to Mr. Panglinan for agreeing to sacrifice for the good of the country and the sport we all love."
National team opens training for Olympic bid
By Nelson Beltran
ing the session, Reyes announced that Rudy Hatfield is definitely out of the team and impressed on the players that theyre going to live together in the next five months as they seek to bring the Philippines back to its old place in Asian basketball.

Eala lauded the players for the sacrifice they will make, then led the team to its battlecry Eight-Eight-Eight referring to Aug. 8, 2008 which is the opening of the Beijing Games.

With only five months to prepare for the FIBA-Asia Olympic qualifier, Reyes said hes drawn up a battle plan, which "is tantamount to cramming."

"Weve lined up training and competitions between now and July. Were cramming because of the delay but well make the best out of the time left," said Reyes.

Minus Caguioa, Helterbrand and Seigle, the Nationals spent the first day of their training just doing abdominal exercises, dynamic stretching, weights, interval running then shooting under strength and conditioning coach Dennis Aenlla.

Assisting the players in the shoot-around were assistant coaches Norman Black, Binky Favis and Aboy Castro.

"We undergo intensive training as we attend a clinic in the US (in the first two weeks of April)," said Reyes.

Reyes scheduled 13 sessions at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center before their departure for the AIB camp in Carson, California on March 29.

From there, the Nationals resume their training back home before competing in the SEABA championship in Rachaburi, Thailand on May 24-28.

"I believe in little success. Small successes could become vital parts of an undertaking that could lead you to a great success," said Reyes on their forthcoming SEABA stint.

After SEABA, the Nationals will tour Europe also for training then fly to Qatar for a tough invitational tourney featuring some of the best in the region.

"Weve got to be the best in the region, if were to make it to the Olympics. If we can play the best teams as much as possible, thats the way to do it," said Reyes.
No sacrifice bigger than serving flag and country Eala

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

After being welcomed by PBA commissioner Noli Eala then blessed by Ateneo rector Fr. Raymund Holscher, the Philippine team set in motion Monday its preparation to scale its Great Wall the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Coach Chot Reyes pitched camp for the Nationals at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center inside Ateneo, impressing to each one that they will live together for five months as they seek to bring the Philippines back to its old lofty place in Asian basketball.

Eala lauded the players for the sacrifice they will make, then exhorted the team to keep in mind "Eight, Eight, Eight." The PBA commissioner was referring to August 8, 2008, the opening of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

"I know that some of you are in the running for individual awards but there is no sacrifice bigger than serving flag and country," Eala told the players in welcoming them in the day one of their training.

The players reported for practice with great enthusiasm with Danny Seigle showing up despite running a fever, although he just stayed in the sideline.

Ten players, including reserves Rico Villanueva and Romel Adducul, sweated it out. Jayjay Helterbrand and Mark Caguioa are to join them in the next few days upon their arrival from a brief vacation in the US.

Reyes announced that Rudy Hatfield is definitely out. Rafi Reavis, another reserve, could not be considered as replacement since hes to undergo a shoulder surgery.

"The guys you see here are the guys youll live with in the next five months. Well try to be the best Philippine team ever as we aspire to make it to the Olympics in Beijing," said Reyes.

Reyes said a period of five months is short but he promised to make the most out of it in a bid for a top two finish in the FIBA-Asia championship set in Tokushima, Japan in July. The team needs to finish first or second to qualify for the Beijing Games.

The Philippines last played in the Olympics in 1972 in Munich, placing 13th among 16 countries. The Nationals, under coach Ning Ramos, beat Senegal and Japan in that tourney topped by Russia.

Minus Caguioa, Helterbrand and Seigle, the Nationals spent the first day of their training just doing abdominal exercises, dynamic stretching, weights, interval running then shooting under strength and conditioning coach Dennis Aenlle.

Assisting the players in the shoot-around were assistant coaches Norman Black, Binky Favis and Aboy Castro. With Eala on the sidelines were PBA operations chief Rickie Santos, technical head Perry Martinez and media bureau top man Willie Marcial.

Reyes scheduled 13 sessions at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center before their departure for the AIB camp in Carson, California on March 29.

From there, the Nationals resume their training back home before competing in the SEABA championship in Ratchaburi, Thailand on May 24-28.

After SEABA, the Nationals will tour Europe also for training then fly to Qatar for a tough invitational tourney featuring some of the best in the region.
Caguioa set to join RP5 Monday

Friday, 16 March 2007

With all the talent at his disposal, Chot Reyes, coach of Team Pilipinas, can't wait for Barangay Ginebra's Mark Caguioa to arrive from the States.

"Kulang kami ng tao sa ensayo," said Reyes after national team practice Friday at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center inside the Ateneo campus.

"Apektado talaga pag walang dose. Ni hindi kami makapag 4-on-4 drill. Me masaktan lang ng kaunti, kulang na agad."

San Miguel forward Danny Seigle watched from a seat at sideline during scrimmage, clutching a strained hamstring muscle.

And Reyes might have prematurely ended a free-wheeling 5-on-5 defensive workout after a minor collision involving Talk 'N Text's Asi Taulava and Red Bull's Rico Villanueva.

"Ideal number kung 15 yung nage-ensayo. At least, 12 man lang sana minimum," Reyes said. "Pagdating ni Caguioa, okay na."

Caguioa is set to join team practice on Monday.

No pressure is being put on them, Reyes said, to complete a 12-man lineup after Ginebra's Rudy Hatfield begged off from the squad due to his forthcoming wedding.

"We're concentrating on making a very good, solid 11," he said. "When the 12th player comes, then it'll come. We're actually prepared to go to war with 11 players, if necessary."

Villanueva, a reserve, joined regulars Ranidel de Ocampo, Kerby Raymundo, Renren Ritualo, Mick Pennisi, Jimmy Alapag, Tony de la Cruz, Jayjay Helterbrand, Dondon Hontiveros, Taulava and Seigle in the grueling weights session, shooting drills, scrimmage and stretching exercises, a commitment that impressed Reyes.

"To think that he came from a tough overtime game last night in the PBA, and he comes in here today and do all that," Reyes said.

Red Bull management has reportedly indicated it is agreeable to lending its prized center to the national team for the coming Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) tournament in Ratchaburi, Thailand, but not for the FIBA-Asia men's championship in Tokushima, Japan.

"That's our dilemma," said Reyes, who was said to be inclined to replace Hatfield with Villanueva.

With Red Bull's position, Reyes is now looking at other options, including Sta. Lucia Realty's No. 1 draft pick Kelly Williams.

The May SEABA tilt is the qualifying tournament for the August FIBA-Asia competition, while the latter will pick the continent's two representatives to the Beijing Olympics next year.

Villanueva torn between duties to flag or ballclub

By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star 03/20/2007

Enrico Villanueva couldnt be faulted if he sounds not too keen in getting a regular spot in the Philippine team roster to be sent to the SEABA championship in Thailand in May and the FIBA-Asia championship in Japan in July.

For Villanueva is in a bind and is likely to miss vital sessions of the RP team training as he needs to attend to his duties with mother club Red Bull in the PBA Fiesta Cup.

"Its no problem attending two practices. My concern is joining the RP team not knowing what to do on the court since I have missed a lot of sessions" said Villanueva.

With his predicament, Villanueva said he wouldnt be surprised if he were to lose the spot to another player.

The 6-foot-5 behemoth said he also understands Red Bulls decision not to release him from the teams roster in the ongoing PBA tourney. Red Bull is ready to loan Villanueva to the RP team only during the SEABA joust.

"Its a tough position because I feel I may find it hard to adjust to the RP team system," said Villanueva.

Among the RP team activities he would likely miss is a two-week training in the AIB camp in Carson City, California. The Nationals are set to leave the country March 29.

RP team coach Chot Reyes is eyeing Villanueva to take over the spot of Rudy Hatfield who begged off from playing for the team due to conflict with his long-planned wedding.

Reyes is also looking to tap Sta. Lucia rookie Kelly Williams to replace Rafi Reavis as an RP team reserve.

In worst case scenario, Reyes said he might be forced to prepare an 11-man team for the SEABA tourney.

Villanueva said hes leaving his fate to the RP team coaching staff although he insists his desire to play for flag and country.

"Ill continue to practice with my ball club and the RP team and just see what happens," said Villanueva.

The former Ateneo star has donned the national colors in the 1998 Asian youth championship in India and in last years FIBA-Asia Champions Cup in Manila.
Some news about the other Philippine Team.

Intal, Duncil head national five pool
The Philippine Star 03/20/2007

Collegiate standouts JC Intal and Jojo Duncil head the 15-player roster named to the national team pool for the SEABA Champions Cup in Indonesia slated next month and the Southeast Asian Games in Thailand in December.

After a thorough deliberation with his fellow PBL coaches and in consultation with PBL commissioner Chino Trinidad and Harbour Centre owner Mikee Romero, head coach Junel Baculi released the list of the RP pool at the close of the three-day tryouts Sunday.

Joining Intal and Duncil in the pool are Jonathan Fernandez, Jeff Chan, Patrick Cabahug, Ryan Arana, Chad Alonzo, Doug Kramer, Larry Rodriguez, Eric Rodriguez, Al Magpayo, Beau Belga, Jason Castro, Marvin Cruz and Chico Lanete.

They will be presented at the PSA Sports Forum at Pantalan Restaurant in Luneta this morning.

All 15 players will go to Jakarta with the coaching staff to name the final 12 that will compose the Harbour Centre-RP squad after it has assessed the opposition.

The bulk of this roster is likely to remain for consideration for the SEA Games in December.

"For sure, there would be players in the list who will turn pro in September. We would then consider collegiate standouts as their replacement in the pool for the SEA Games," said Baculi.

Ken Bono, JR Quinahan, Yousif Aljamal are among those who snubbed the invitation to join the tryout.

Baculi instead got the two Rodriguezes, Alonzo, Kramer, Magpayo and Belga as his frontliners. Castro, Cruz and Lanete for the backcourt while Intal, Duncil, Fernandez, Chan, Cabahug and Arana in the wings.

With Intal, Kramer and others likely to be tapped in the pros in September, Baculi is looking at the likes of Jervy Cruz, Anthony Espiritu and Marcy Arellano as their replacements in the pool.

Harbour-RP out to regain cage glory
The Philippine Star 03/21/2007

Lets bring back the glory.

Behind this battlecry, Harbour Centre team owner Mikee Romero rallied the members of the Philippine team that will see action in the SEABA Champions Cup scheduled April 9 to 14 in Jakarta.

"This is a big challenge for all of us," said Romero in yesterdays PSA Forum at the Pantalan Restaurant where the members of the RP team were presented to the media.

Romero was tasked by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny V. Pangilinan as the godfather of the Jakarta-bound team made up of the countrys finest amateurs, and to be reinforced by two imports.

"This is the first Philippine team that will compete internationally after FIBA suspension. And theres pressure because 70 million Filipinos are expecting no less than the championship," Romero added.

The players are Al Magpayo, Chico Llanete, Jason Castro, JC Intal, Jojo Duncil, Marvin Cruz, Jeffrey Chan, Jonathan Fernandez, Larry Rodriguez, Doug Kramer, Ryan Arana, Patrick Cabahug, Chad Alonso, Gervy Cruz and Beau Belga.

Only Castro has had the experience of playing for the national team as a former member of the RP Youth Team.

But Romero, who has won back-to-back titles with Harbour Centre in the PBL, said he believes that the players will be up to the task and could win the SEABA crown.

The tournament serves as a qualifier for the FIBA Asia Champions Cup in Tehran in September. Granting that the Philippines qualifies, the all-pro team being handled by Chot Reyes will go to Tehran.

Pangilinan also graced the PSA Forum along with PBL chairman Gil Angeles and commissioner Chino Trinidad, and coaches Junel Baculi, George Gallent and Lawrence Cheongson.

The PLDT chairman was just as optimistic.

"Im quite excited. And its very important for us to win the championship if only to signal the return of the Philippines in international competition. Theres no option but to win," he said.

Pangilinan said he doesnt expect the title to come on a silver platter since all the competing countries are allowed to field as many as two imports, mostly Americans.

"Will the games be a blowout? It will be difficult because each of the other teams are also allowed to field imports, like Thailand and Malaysia. We have to be vigilant with what these teams will be doing," he said.

"So, can we bring home the bacon? Unfortunately, theres no bacon in Jakarta. Its a Muslin country," Pangilinan said in jest.

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