Monday, May 27, 2013

Gilas Officially Un-Invited to Jones Cup 2013

The Philippine basketball scene was in shock today as Smart Gilas head coach Chot Reyes has officially announced via his Twitter account that the Philippine team won't be able to defend its crown in the upcoming 2013 Jones Cup Tournament, stemming from the feud between Taiwan and the Philippines regarding the fishermen slay. More than the opportunity to defend its crown, Chot Reyes is in dismay as the tournament is a big part of the team's preparation for the upcoming FIBA Asia Tournament.

This is an unfortunate event that erupted from being a political issue that has now spilled over to the sports side. The said shooting of Taiwanese fishermen took place off the Balintang Channel in Batanes last May 9, 2013. However, tensions remain between the two countries and now fans of the national basketball squad are reeling over these recent developments.

According to Chot Reyes, they now have to find a replacement tournament that they can join in in order to prepare for the 2013 FIBA Asia Competition.

Smart Gilas players and sports analysts also react via Twitter to the recent announcement by the organizers of the 2013 Jones Cup tournament:

Smart Gilas Pilipinas won its first Jones Cup tournament last year after 14 years (last time Philippines took home the Jones Cup trophy was in 1998) despite being pitted against a more favored United States team in a close 76-75 game.

What are your thoughts about Taiwan's decision to exclude Gilas Pilipinas from the Jones Cup lineup despite being the reigning champions?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Miami Heat Take Game 1 of Eastern Conference Finals via OT

The Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 tipped off last Wednesday, May 22, and it proved to be the thriller it was marketed to be. Paul George emerged as a hero for the Pacers, standing his ground with a three-point shot in front of Lebron James' defense that sent the game into overtime. However, Lebron had his sweet revenge after sinking in the shot that won it for Miami Heat.

If you missed Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, you can check out the highlights below courtesy of

On Friday, the Memphis Grizzlies host the San Antonio Spurs for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. The Grizzlies are hoping to secure their first win in the series after the Spurs won the first two games at home. Aside from the first knack at a win in the series, the Grizzlies are also trying to protect their winning streak at home. They hadn't lost a game at their home court since the Playoffs started.

For more on the NBA 2013 Eastern and Western Conference Finals schedule, you can check here.

Will Miami walk away with this series? Or are the Pacers going to even it up on Game 2? Share your thoughts below.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

2013 NBA Western & Eastern Finals Schedule


The stakes are bigger at the upcoming game schedules in the NBA as the competition is down to four teams. Memphis Grizzlies (first time in the Western Conference finals) and the playoffs veterans San Antonio Spurs are slugging it out for the Western Conference trophy. Meanwhile, Indiana Pacers have their backs against the wall as they're going up against Miami Heat, which is a favorite to win it all this year.

Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals series tipped off last Sunday, May 19, at San Antonio wherein the Spurs blasted the Grizzlies by winning 105-83. The game started off with the Grizzlies trailing in double digits and they staged a short comeback that cut the lead to only six by the third quarter. However, the Spurs quickly put an end to Grizzlies' attempt to make a dominating debut in their first Western Finals appearance. Matt Bonner lead an 11-1 run to close out the third with 16 points between them.

Many of the Grizzlies top players didn't show up during Game 1 namely Zach Randolph, who left the game with more than 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter to play and only two points under his belt. It has been noted that the Grizzlies executed the classic gritty defense and inside-out offense during the entire season, which has worked successfully for them at this point. But the Spurs beat them at their own game. Now, the Grizzlies are hoping to make the necessary adjustments come Game 2 in order to even up the series and more importantly, steal one on the road.

You can check the rest of the schedules below:

Western Conference Finals

Game 1 in San Antonio: Spurs (105) def. Grizzlies (83)
Game 2 in San Antonio: Tuesday, May 21
Game 3 in Memphis: Saturday, May 25
Game 4 in Memphis: Monday, May 27
Game 5 in San Antonio: Wednesday, May 29
Game 6 in Memphis: Friday, May 31
Game 7 in San Antonio: Sunday, June 2

Eastern Conference Finals

Game 1 in Miami: Wednesday, May 22
Game 2 in Miami: Friday, May 24
Game 3 in Indianapolis: Sunday, May 26
Game 4 in Indianapolis: Tuesday, May 28
Game 5 in Miami: Thursday, May 30
Game 6 in Indianapolis: Saturday, June 1
Game 7 in Miami: Monday, June 3

Which team do you think will take home the 2013 NBA championship? Be sure to vote in on the poll!

Disclaimer: Photos and NBA 2013 Finals Schedule credits to

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Alaska Aces Crowned 2013 PBA Commissioner's Cup Champions!


 On Sunday, May 19, the Alaska Aces swept their finals series against the Brgy. Ginebra Kings to win their 14th title in the Philippine Basketball Association. The Aces staged a late surge to pull ahead of their competition despite being down for majority of the first three quarters after they went on a 20-3 run at the mid-point of the final quarter. The game ended with 104-80 on the scoreboard, completing the sweep in this Best-of-5 Finals series. Alaska won Game 1 in an 87-70 game and they also won convincingly during Game 2 with via a 104-90 win.

Alaska Aces' 2013 PBA Commissioner's Cup trophy is third first in three years and also Luigi Trillo's first championship trophy after taking over the head coaching stint for the Aces, following in the footsteps of Tim Cone and Joe Banal. The championship sweep came before a record crowd attendance at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.

Sonny Thoss was named the Finals MVP after he averaged 14 points. But more importantly, Thoss played a crucial role in putting a stop to Ginebra import Vernon Macklin's dominance inside the paint. Aside from Thoss, rookie Calvin "The Beast" Abueva and JVee Casio also contributed to the scoring frenzy for the Aces that helped them put their competition aside in all of the games played throughout the series. On the flip side, Mark Caguioa and the rest of the Brgy. Ginebra Kings failed to sink the ball into the basket during their many attempts at the 6-minute stage of the fourth quarter.

This conference was dominated by the Alaska Aces from the get-go. They were at the top of the team standings by the end of the Elimination Round, which earned them a twice-to-beat advantage over the #8 team, Air 21 Express. Eventually, they capitalized on that and eliminated Air 21 even after just one game. They also met with the San Mig Coffee Mixers during Semifinals Round, but they emerged victorious after four games.

What do you think was the reason that Brgy. Ginebra was unable to clinch even a single win in this series?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Alaska Aces Snags One Over Ginebra, Leads Finals Series

Alaska Aces is considered the underdog in the series in terms of the fans given that Brgy. Ginebra is the most popular team in the league. However, that was not enough to intimidate the Aces; in fact, it fired them up enough to open the Finals series against the Ginebra squad in a fiery blaze, giving them a 1-0 advantage in their Best-of-5 series for the PBA 2013 Commissioner's Cup trophy.

On Game 1 of the Finals series that kicked off yesterday, May 15, Alaska Aces ended up winning via an 87-70 rout before a crowd of over 19,000 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

According to Aces head coach Luigi Trillo, "[the win] is huge" because it boosted his team's confidence going into Game 2 and the rest of the series. Not only that, this win also marks its third win against Brgy. Ginebra for the 2013 PBA Commissioner's Cup. However, he is not content with the way they played the game despite the win, as he notes they need to work better at making stops.

Ginebra put in only six points at the opening quarter of the game. This particular output has made it into the record books for being the lowest for any opening period and the third lowest of all-time in a single quarter. From there, Alaska rode their momentum for the rest of the game leading them to victory.

Luigi Trillo adds, "We need to play to our identity. They run-and-gun, get a lot of energy from the crowd when they do certain things...[but] we gave them six points in the first quarter. I think that's our identity, defense."

RJ Jazul lead Alaska in scoring with 16 points as Cyrus Baguio added his own 10 points. On the other hand, their import has played consistently throughout the conference and for Game 1 of the Finals, he chipped in 14 points along with 22 rebounds. Several other players scored in double figures for the Aces including Calvin Abueva, Jayvee Casio, and Sonny Thoss.

For the Kings, the story is much different. They had a paltry 26 for 84 field goal shooting percentage, although they managed to cut down the deficit to 11 with 2:51 left in the game. Vernon Macklin and LA Tenorio were the only bright spots for Ginebra wherein they scored 16 and 14 points, respectively.

If you want to see the rest of the PBA 2013 Finals schedule for the rest of the week, you can check it here.

Monday, May 13, 2013

PBA 2013 Commissioner's Cup Finals Schedule

Tomorrow will mark the start of the Finals action in the 2013 PBA Commissioner's Cup and it is going to be a battle between the youngsters and veterans. Experts predict that Alaska Aces will gain an edge over their competition if the series goes to entire length. Meanwhile, Brgy. Ginebra that is deemed the "underdog" of this series will want to end the series early or they might be at a disadvantage.

Brgy. Ginebra arranged a date with the Alaska Aces to the Finals at the 2013 PBA Commissioner's Cup after extending their Semis series against Talk N Text to a Game 5 despite being down 2-1 post-All Star Weekend. During the final game of this series, Brgy. Ginebra played an inspired game wherein they beat Talk N Text 111-103 to mark the 20th finals appearance for the franchise.

Meanwhile, Alaska Aces spoiled San Mig Coffee Mixers' plan to defend their title after beating them in Game 4 of their own Semis series. This is also a memorable moment for Alaska Aces since this will be the first time they're back to the Finals since Tim Cone left the team.


Clearly, Brgy. Ginebra will have a home court advantage but head coach Luigi Trillo had his crew in place and even led the team to the number one spot at the end of the Elimination Round. To check the preliminary list of schedule for the Finals game this week, you can check the schedule below:

May 15, 2013

Brgy. Ginebra vs Alaska Aces - 7:30 PM at Smart Araneta Coliseum

May 17, 2013

Brgy. Ginebra vs Alaska Aces - 7:30 PM at Mall of Asia Arena

May 19, 2013

Brgy. Ginebra vs Alaska Aces - 7:30 PM at Smart Araneta Coliseum

Who do you think will be crowned the PBA 2013 Commissioner's Cup champion?

Olympiacos Crowned as 2013 Euroleague Champions!

Olympiacos was just recently crowned as the winner of the Euroleague 2013 Finals and has brought home the crown for its second consecutive year! The Reds competed against the Real Madrid of Spain at The O2 in London during their Finals match last Sunday, May 12, 2013. However, Vanilis Spanoulis and the Reds emerged as winners via a 100-88 game, to close out this season of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague. 

The Reds came back from being down 17 during the first quarter of the Finals game. Vassilis Spanoulis, later named Final Four MVP, had tremendous contributions for his team and raked in points during the third quarter to help push his team past their opponent, wherein he eventually scored 21 points overall (which he scored in the second half!). The Reds dominated the final 10 minutes of the game as their fans cheered from the bleachers in a sea of red. On Real Madrid's side, Rudy Fernandez top scored for his team with 21 as Sergio Rodriguez added 17 points and Sergio Llull had 14 points.
Before reaching the finals game in the Final Four weekend of the 2013 Euroleague season, Olympiacos beat CSKA Moscow during the semifinals match. Meanwhile, Real Madrid defeated arch rival Regal FC Barcelona in their own matchup. 

To watch highlights of the Finals game between Olympiacos and Real Madrid, check out the video below: 

Meanwhile, you can watch this interview of Final Four MVP Vassilis Spanoulis of the Olympiacos Piraeus after the game:

Who were you rooting for in the 2013 Euroaleague Final Four?

Disclaimer: All photos and videos credit to

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Alaska, TNT Took Over 2-1 Series Lead at PBA 2013 Commissioner's Cup Semis

Alaska Aces (89) def. San Mig Coffee Mixers (82)

After dropping the first game of the series, Alaska Aces is just one win away from its first finals stint in the PBA post-Tim Cone. The ironic thing is that it could happen against the team that their former coach is now handling - the San Mig Coffee Mixers. Youngsters Calvin Abueva and RJ Jazul combined to do some damage in the game 3 of their series in the PBA 2013 Commissioner's Cup Semis. The Aces managed to pull off an OT victory against the Mixers during the opening game of Wednesday's action via an 89-82 game.

The Aces can wrap up the series when the two teams meet again on Saturday, but coach Luigi Trillo does not want to get too excited at the prospect. Instead, he wanted to instill in his players' minds that "it's just another game". He then adds, "we can't get too excited."

He should know well enough as he's coached this team under former head coach Tim Cone's wing. Trillo is right to think so as Cone is confident that this series ain't over yet. He quips, "We've been here before, we've handled this situation before." Ironically, Cone wanted the Game 4 to take place soon because he was hoping for his team to "carry the emotion into the next one."

Rookie Calvin Abueva came off the bench during Game 3 but still ended up with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Meanwhile, RJ Jazul, who also came off the bench, contributed 6 points during overtime to spark the Aces to its win.

The performance over at San Mig Coffee Mixers isn't paltry, though. Denzel Bowles chipped in 19 points and 15 rebounds while Marc Pingris and Mark Barroca each had 15 points under their names. By the relentless charge from the Aces staved them off, despite holding a 16-point lead at one point in the game. They also nearly lost during the remaining seconds of regulation, but extended the game when Bowles converted his free throw with the game time shy of 5 seconds. They, however, had 5 turnovers at the overtime period on top of a poor 1-of-5 shooting percentage.

Aside from Abueva, four other Aces players scored in double figures namely Cyrus Baguio, JV Casio, Sonny Thoss, and Rob Dozier.

Talk N Text (85) def. Brgy. Ginebra (79)

The story for the other series in the PBA 2013 Commissioner's Cup semis is a case of deja vu. Talk N Text dropped the first game of the semis but won the succeeding two, even with a new import in tow after they let go of 7-footer Jerome Jordan. Talk N Text took a gamble by replacing their import and it paid off, such that they are now at the threshold of the finals. Tony Mitchell was former Rookie of the Year at the NBA Developmental League and he staged an impressive showing that lived up to his reputation. He helped the Texters gain a 2-1 lead in the series via an 85-79 win versus the Brgy. Ginebra squad.

The 6-foot-5 import exhibited tremendous flair on the court and agility. Talk N Text head coach noted how they're "in a very interesting situation". He reveals that they did not have any expectations coming into Game 3 of the Semis series but he is happy with how Mitchell played.

If Black has learned anything in the PBA, though, he knows that you can't be overconfident. "The series is far from over," he notes. "They had not seen Tony before and had no idea how to prepare against him. But they've seen him once and they will surely be ready in the next game."

Black also did not forget to acknowledge his locals, whom he felt stepped up given the fact that Jared Dillinger and Jimmy Alapag did not suit up for Game 3. Mitchell scored 29 points overall, but Fonacier contributed 20, Jayson Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo both had 15 points. The rest showed even scoring and he got contributions from nearly anyone he brought to the court.

On Ginebra's end, import Vernon Macklin led them in scoring with 17 points along with Kerby Raymundo. But no other player, aside from Tenorio, scored in double figures.

Images courtesy of

Talk N Text Sporting New Import at Game 3 of Series vs Brgy Ginebra

Jerome Jordan, the Talk N Text's tall import, had a short stint in the PBA after he was replaced by an NBA D-League standout, Tony Mitchell, starting in today's matchup against the Brgy. Ginebra Kings as the semis action is back up again after a short break from the All-Star Weekend. The 6-foot-5 guard is a huge downgrade in terms of height in comparison to the 7-footer Jordan, but the Talk N Text coaching staff believes he can help push their campaign in the ongoing semis action in the 2013 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

The series is currently tied at 1-1 and Talk N Text is hopeful that their new import can help them gain the lead in the series. Mitchell will have a big shoes to fill in, though, as aside from replacing a tall import the team will also be missing the services of point guard Jimmy Alapag and wingman Jared Dillinger due to injuries.

According to Norman Black, "We were to use Mitchell as our third conference import, but because of recent developments in our team, we will use him now in our series versus Ginebra."

Aside from making adjustments in their offense with the addition of a new import, head coach Norman Black also acknowledges that it puts additional pressure on Ali Peek and Rabah Al-Hussaini when it comes to defending Vernon Macklin, Ginebra's import, in the paint. After all, the said import has been known to be an explosive scorer, even on the inside. But Black noted "solid team defense and rebounding" in order to overcome this huge debacle.

Meanwhile, coach Alfrancis Chua also admits that his team will have to make its own adjustments with the arrival of their opponent's new import. He admits though that Talk N Text had to make the bigger adjustment concerning team chemistry and the fact that they had to find the right matchup against their import.

Mitchell arrived in the Philippines right before majority of the Talk N Text team flew to Davao City for the All-Star activities. But even when Alapag and Dillinger are out, Ryan Reyes and Ali Peek are back in play and these two are going to play a crucial role in tonight's game as both teams want to get an edge over their competition.

The tipoff for the Brgy. Ginebra and Talk N Text game will take place at 7:30 PM at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Which team do you think will take a lead in this series after tonight?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

2013 PBA All-Stars Update

The 2013 PBA All-Stars is set to take place on May 1 to 6, 2013 at Davao del Sur Coliseum in Digos City. Fans can expect a lot of activities and surprises during the entire duration of the all-star festivities, but the most anticipated event would have to be the matchup between the PBA All-Stars vs Smart Gilas Pilipinas, which will be staged during the final day of the All-Star event (May 5).

The All-Star game involving the Smart Gilas Pilipinas team is one of the activities being done by the team in preparation for the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship that is going to be held in the country this August. Meanwhile, if you are interested to watch the All-Star game, here is the complete lineup of players competing during this game:

PBA All-Stars:

James Yap
Mark Caguioa
Calvin Abueva
Arwind Santos
Chris Ellis
Nino Canaleta
Alex Cabagnot
Jay Washington
Cyrus Baguio
JV Casio
Marcio Lassiter
Beau Belga

Smart Gilas Pilipinas:

LA Tenorio
Jimmy Alapag
Larry Fonacier
Ryan Reyes
Gary David
Gabe Norwood
Japeth Aguilar
Greg Slaughter
Jayson Castro
Jeff Chan
Jared Dillinger
Ranidel de Ocampo
Marc Pingris
JunMar Fajardo
Kelly Williams
Sonny Thoss
Marcus Douthit

In addition to the above matchup, another highly anticipated game involves the PBA Greats and PBA Stalwarts. This exhibition game involves a combination of former PBA players with some active players in the league. Hence, this is a treat for true blue PBA fans who'd like to see their former favorites strut their stuff on the court once again. This game will be held on May 3, still at Davao del Sur Coliseum in Digos City. The lineups are as follows:

PBA Greats:

Dondon Hontiveros
Mark Cardona
Mike Cortez
Josh Urbiztondo
Peter June Simon
Joe Devance
Noli Locsin
John Edel Cardel
Rodney Santos
Vince Hizon
Jerry Codinera
Bong Hawkins

PBA Stalwarts:

Ronjay Buenafe
Ronald Tubid
Chris Tiu
JC Intal
Sol Mercado
Jervey Cruz
Glenn Capacio
Dickie Bachmann
Kenneth Duremdes
Art dela Cruz
Topex Robinson
Benjie Paras

Three-Point Shootout

Another classic event at the upcoming All-Stars weekend in the PBA is the three-point shooting competition. Each team in the league will have a representative to compete for the three-point shootout competition. The following players will represent for their teams:

Nino Canaleta (Air 21)
JVee Casio (Alaska)
Marcio Lassiter (Petron)
Mark Macapagal (Barako Bull)
Willie Miller (GlobalPort)
Chris Tiu (Rain or Shine)
Josh Urbiztondo (Brgy. Ginebra)
James Yap (San Mig Coffee)

What is your most anticipated event in this year's All-Star games?

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