Displaying items by tag: SMB

Denied of Grand Slam in the past, Yancy De Ocampo hopes to finally win one with SMB

  • Published in Sports

By Rey Joble, InterAksyon

Photo: Yancy De Ocampo may be a reserve but among San Miguel Beermen players, he has the most extensive championship experience.

De Ocampo is an owner of nine titles, the second most among active players. He even came close to winning the Grand Slam three years ago.

The 2002 PBA top draft pick was part of the San Mig Coffee squad which won three straight championships in the 2013 Governors Cup, 2014 Philippine Cup and 2014 Commissioner’s Cup.

But he was traded midway through the 2014 Governors’ Cup which the Mixers also topped to complete their Grand Slam run.

“Pagka-opening halos ng tournament, na-trade ako. Bale nakakailang game pa lang, na-trade ako sa GlobalPort,” De Ocampo shared to InterAksyon.

But as fate would have it, the 6’9″ center is on the verge of finally winning the Grand Slam with the Beermen.

He has only played limited minutes during the Commissioner’s Cup finals, serving as a backup of three-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo. But he doesn’t mind his role as long as he can contribute.

“Whatever it takes, gagawin naming lahat para makuha yun,” De Ocampo said.

“Lagi akong nasa bench eh. Kung ano yung mashi-share ko sa mga players na naglalaro, mga little things, motivation, sinasabi ko sa kanila. Nakikinig naman sila. Gumagaan pakiramdam ko kung yung teammates mo may respeto sa iyo.”

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Ginebra-SMB showdown looms anew

  • Published in Sports

By: Ernesto A. Gonzales - @inquirerdotnetPhilippine Daily Inquirer /

Looks like there will be a repeat of the San Miguel Beer-Barangay Ginebra title showdown in the Philippine Cup last May.

Both finishing strong, the Beermen and the Gin Kings wound up tied for top spot with the Star Hotshots with nine wins against two losses at the end of the eliminations last week of the mid-season Commissioner’s Cup.

Ginebra, which lost to SMB, 4 games to 1, in their best-of-seven duel in the traditional all-Filipino tournament kicking off the league’s 2016 season, went on to clinch the top ranking on a higher quotient on the strength of earlier wins over the Beermen and the Hotshots.

SMB salvaged second place having also downed Star in their first meeting and will go into the quarterfinal playoffs enjoying a twice-to-beat bonus like Ginebra against the two teams that completed the eight-team qualifying cast.

There was actually a similar three-way tie at 4-7 for the last two quarterfinal slots but Phoenix, just like Ginebra, was ranked higher and nailed the No. 7 slot over Alaska and GlobalPort with earlier victories over both squads.

But there’s no rejoicing for Phoenix in the playoffs with SMB as its next rival. The Aces and the Batang Pier were disputing the eighth and last berth at presstime with the winner also facing the daunting task of meeting Ginebra as a quarterfinal foe.

As the top two qualifiers, the Kings and the Beermen will need only to win once to reach the semifinals. The two other semifinal berths will be at stake in two separate best-of-three series pitting Star against No. 6 qualifier and defending champion Rain or Shine (5-6) and No. 4 TNT (8-3) Katropa against No. 5 Meralco (7-4).

Barring monumental upsets, Ginebra and SMB will face the survivor of the TNT-Meralco duel and the Star-Rain or Shine clash, respectively, in the semis, which will be a best-of-five affair. The finals will be another best-of-seven confrontation.

Reinforced by Justin Brownlee, the Kings finally topped an elimination phase of an import-flavored tournament for the first time in 20 years although coach Tim Cone, who joined the team last year from Purefoods which later became Star also last season, said he expected a tough road ahead.

“It’s good to be the top seed but there’s the high expectation you have to deal with,” he said.

Brownlee, at 6-foot-5 one of the smallest in a tournament where 6-10 imports are allowed, remains the biggest factor for the Kings. He is best remembered for clinching the Governors’ Cup crown for Ginebra with a buzzer-beating trey against Meralco last season.

Ginebra fans also await the return of 7-footer Greg Slaughter, who, reports say, may be fielded in the playoffs after recovering from a leg injury.

Slaughter had battled 6-10 June Mar Fajardo as amateurs in Cebu before his wide-bodied rival became the toast of the league as three-time Most Valuable Player for SMB.

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