Sports

History shows Seaba should be walk in the park for Gilas Pilipinas

Jio Jalalon was part of the last Philippines team that saw action in the Southeast Asian Basketball Association Championship held 2 years ago in Singapore.

That team annihilated the competition by an average margin of 68.4 points. And it did so by fielding a roster of Marcus Douthit mixed with collegiate players, including Arellano University's Jalalon.

 

On Friday, Gilas Pilipinas begins the 12th edition of the regional tournament boasting a hyper-loaded lineup, one that’s composed of June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro and other big guns of the PBA.

“Kailangan overkill ito,” said Robbie Puno, vice chairman of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the sport’s national governing body.

“Remember this is a tournament that’s going to be held in the Philippines. I think it’ll be a lot of fun if we blow out all of our opponents every single game in front of the home crowd.”

Gilas Pilipinas Seaba schedule (All games 7 p.m.)
May 12 (Friday) -- Myanmar
May 13 (Saturday) -- Singapore
May 14 (Sunday) -- Malaysia
May 15 (Monday) break
May 16 (Tuesday) -- Thailand
May 17 (Wednesday) -- Malaysia
May 18 (Thursday) -- Indonesia

Judging by Gilas’ history in Seaba, expect the hosts to inflict a bloodbath.

Consider these previous results:

  • In 2011, the Philippines saw withdrawals by national team mainstays Jimmy Alapag, Asi Taulava and Kelly Williams and still pulverized the opposition by an average margin of 40.3 points.
  • In 2009, Yeng Guiao, the team’s coach at the time, considered Malaysia to be the Philippines’ toughest opponent. The Filipinos won their game by 27 points, and the tournament by an average of 38.
  • In 2007, the Philippines used a squad of amateurs, PBA newbies and journeymen. The Filipinos thumped the field by an average of 38.5 points.

Gilas’ lineup for the 7-day Seaba competition to be held at Araneta Coliseum is so strong it’s as if it’s preparing to face a team in the top 50 in FIBA’s rankings. In reality, Gilas’ highest-ranked opponent in Seaba is No. 72 Indonesia, followed by Thailand at No. 81. The Philippines is No. 27 in the world.

It's the job of Chot Reyes and the Gilas coaches to err on the side of caution. The last thing they want to happen is for Gilas, a versatile mix of veterans and young blood such as Jalalon, to take its opponents lightly because disaster — as unfathomable as it seems — can strike if the team relaxes.

One issue keeping Gilas assistant coach Jong Uichico and the rest of the staff on their toes is the possibility that other federations would use naturalized players. Uichico calls the opponents' recruitment plans “a big question mark.” 

Another concern is the lack of sufficient intel on the competition.

“We’ve done the best we can in terms of scouting,” Uichico said. “It’s kind of difficult to scout them because they’re not on TV. They can easily scout us. We’re all over (the place).”

Still, it would take a major letdown, perhaps an off-game by all players, for the 7-time Seaba champions to lose one game.

Even if the other teams call up a naturalized reinforcement, they don't have a squad that's 1-to-12 strong like Gilas. And even if they have the X's and O's down pat, knowing the game plan is one thing but executing them against a country that lives and breathes basketball is another.

On top of every physical advantage that Gilas has, Reyes and co. are more focused than ever because of what's at stake — winning Seaba is a mere stepping stone for its longer-term objective of reaching the FIBA World Cup.

So add the might of its personnel and the resoluteness of its purpose, it's difficult to envision a realistic scenario in which this Gilas team, in front of a home crowd no less, can lose.

 

Dominic Menor, ABS-CBN News

Alvarez-Golovkin could be anywhere —Oscar de la Hoya

LOS ANGELES - The mouthwatering middleweight showdown between Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Kazakh knockout king Gennady Golovkin is on, and Oscar de la Hoya says a stream of global venues are interested.
"I really had several calls from around the world wanting to stage the fight," de la Hoya said on Saturday night in Las Vegas, where the mega-fight was announced after Alvarez dismantled fellow Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
"I literally have a missed call from Dubai, I have a missed call from the (United Kingdom), where Anthony Joshua and (Wladimir) Klitschko just sold out (a) 90,000-seat stadium, so there's interest from all over the world," de la Hoya said.
Possible US venues for the September 16 bout include not only Vegas but also AT&T Stadium in suburban Dallas, home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys.
Last year, Alvarez beat Britain's Liam Smith at the Texas venue before a crowd of more than 51,000.
Saturday night's post-fight announcement—with "Triple G" striding from ringside to join in—was the most electrifying moment at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where Alvarez dominated Chavez Jr. for 12 rounds in a non-title bout fought at a catchweight of 164 pounds.
In the buildup to their bout, Chavez had chided Alvarez for failing to make a deal to fight Golovkin.
Alvarez dumped his World Boxing Council middleweight world belt last year when the sanctioning body gave him a 15-day window to make a fight with undefeated Golovkin, now owner of the WBC, World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation middleweight world titles.
Critics charged that Alvarez was afraid of the fight—or that de la Hoya didn't want to risk the top fighter in the Golden Boy stable.
But de la Hoya insisted an Alvarez-Golovkin bout was never in doubt.
"I've always stated that Triple G will happen in 2017, ever since a year ago when everyone was asking 'Why are you afraid of Triple G?'" he said.
In fact, de la Hoya said, the deal was done even before the Chavez fight.
"We restarted negotiating two weeks ago and it got done a few days ago," he said. —Agence France-Presse

DLSU Lady Spikers defeat Ateneo Lady Eagles, retain UAAP title

The DLSU Lady Spikers climbed out of a 2-1 deficit to defend their UAAP Women's Volleyball title, 19-25 25-14 18-25 25-18 15-10, in a packed Araneta Coliseum on Saturday.
The Lady Spikers forced a fifth and deciding set before racing to take a huge lead in the race to 15.
Kim Dy proved to be clutch anew, scoring 19 points off 15 kills and three blocls. Tin Tiamzon added 16 markers off 13 attack points, while Desiree Cheng tallied 12. Season MVP Majoy Baron added 10 markers, while graduating team captain Kim Fajardo scored six.
What La Salle gave up on attack points (56-52) and blocks (9-5), it recovered in aces (12-6).
It was also a total team effort for Ateneo, who was led by Michelle Morente with 16 points. Bea De Leon and Jho Maraguinot scored 14 points apiece, while Ana Gopico had 10.
The Lady Spikers' Desiree Cheng has been declared as most valuable player of the 79th UAAP women's volleyball. —ALG, GMA News

PBA: Ginebra eyes 5th straight win in first game in 2 weeks

MANILA – Barangay Ginebra will try to make the most out of a rare game in between lengthy breaks in its schedule when it tackles Alaska in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.
The Ginebra-Alaska tussle is at 6:45 p.m., after Blackwater and Mahindra open the double header at 4:30 p.m.
Ginebra, which last played on April 23 (an 18-point win over TNT), will go on for another 2 weeks of inactivity after facing Alaska, as the league gives way to the Southeast Asian Basketball Championship, which begins on Friday and ends on May 18.
Tim Cone and co. have won 4 in a row, but the prolonged days off could kill their momentum.
“It’s been a tough grind trying to stay sharp during this long All-Star break, and it is especially important to be sharp against Alaska’s pressure defense,” said Cone in Spin.ph.
Just like other PBA teams, Ginebra also lent one of its key players to Gilas Pilipinas — Japeth Aguilar.
“Losing Japeth’s presence as a backside defender and rim protector puts a lot of pressure on our defense to be perfect,” Cone said. “Japeth makes up for a lot of our mistakes. But we’re fortunate we’re only losing him for one game.”
The Aces, who are out to snap a 2-game slide, will also have to play minus a key piece, Calvin Abueva, who was also tapped for the national team.
ABS-CBN News

Amer hits 20 as Meralco mangles Phoenix

Baser Amer had 20 points as the Meralco Bolts buried the Phoenix Fuelmasters, 81-66, on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum in the elimination round of the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup.
The Bolts outscored the Fuelmasters 21-13 in the second period to carry a 34-29 edge at the half.
Phoenix struggled to chip away at the lead, giving the Bolts the chance to deal the lethal blows in the fourth in the lopsided affair.
Chris Newsome scored 19 points off a high 85 percent shooting clip, while import Alex Stephenson tallied 15 with 20 boards.
Phoenix struggled with its shooting the whole game, hitting just 23 of their 72 attempts for 31 percent. They even did worse from deep, connecting on just four of 19 tries from beyond the arc.
Jameel McKay scored 16 points with 16 rebounds, but got little help from the locals as only Cyrus Baguio scored in double figures with 10. RJ Jazul, in particular, shot 1 of 13 from the field in 36 minutes on the floor. — BAP, GMA News

Tour De Lombok Mandalika 2017 welcomes cyclists from 19 countries

Twenty-one cycling teams from 19 countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Spain arrived in Lombok to participate in the Tour De Lombok (TDLM) 2017, which was held from April 13 to 16.

TDLM 2017 is classified in the “2.2” category by the Union Cyclists International (UCI) after the Philippines. Divided into four legs totaling in 485.6 kilometers, the route passed through Lombok’s main cultural and tourist attractions.

The first leg of the race took riders from the governor's office in Mataram, the capital city of West Nusa Tenggara, to Kuta Beach in Central Lombok with a total distance of 126.3 kilometers. The second leg had the cyclists racing over 113.3 kilometers from Bangsal to Senaru in North Lombok. The third leg covered 112.1 kilometers from Kuta Beach to Sembalun in Central Lombok. The fourth and final leg was a 112-kilometer circuit race consisting of 10 laps in Mataram city.

The organizers coordinated with the local police to ensure safety, resulting in zero road closures throughout the event.
he head of the National Sports Council's (KONI) West Nusa Tenggara branch, Andi Hadiyanto, said the TLDM 2017 was not the only sports-tourism event held in Lombok this year. According to him, this kind of activity is not only aimed at promoting the captivating beauty of Lombok but also at encouraging sports participation by West Nusa Tenggara youth.

“A lot of cyclists were captivated by the beauty of Lombok and the friendliness of people that they encountered along the route of the race,” said Hadiyanto.

Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said international-scale sports tourism events could have a direct impact on and high media value for Lombok as well as Indonesia. He expressed optimism that Tour De Lombok would boost specific market interest in recreational sports. (asw)

The Jakarta Post

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