The 2017 PBA All-Star festivities get underway Tuesday with the PBA stars mingling with the Cagayan de Oro fans in a meet-and-greet session at the Centrio Mall on the eve of the All-Star Game at the Xavier University Gym.
The PBA delegation arrives in the Misamis Oriental capital city via two morning PAL flights and starts their activities with a courtesy call on Mayor Oscar Moreno before lunch.
All-Star coach Chito Victolero holds a basketball clinic to usher in activities sponsored by HMR Trading, Mueller, Peak, Crystal Clear, Anako, Davco, Smart, Cloudfone and Petron on Wednesday highlighted by the All-Star Game pitting the PBA Mindanao All-Stars versus Gilas Pilipinas.
Curtain-raiser on festivities at the Xavier University Gym is the Shooting Stars event to be participated in by Mindanaoan players Cyrus Baguio, Glenn Khobuntin and Jio Jalalon.
Baguio, Khobuntin and Jalalon later lead the Mindanao selection that includes Troy Rosario, Mark Barroca, Scottie Thompson, PJ Simon, Rafi Reavis, Mo Tautuaa, Sonny Thoss, Carlo Lastimosa and Baser Amer as they test the mettle of the Gilas team that is in the thick of preparation for the coming SEABA Championship.
Making the Gilas team in the Cagayan de Oro tiff are Terrence Romeo, LA Revilla, Mike Tolomia, RR Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Kevin Ferrer, Carl Bryan Cruz, Alfonso Gotladera, Bradwyn Guinto and June Mar Fajardo.
“I’m happy and excited that we are holding the first leg of the PBA All-Star Week here in Cagayan de Oro. The people of CdO have been very generous host to the PBA in all its undertaking. They deserve nothing but the best and I\'m sure they will have a wonderful time watching the pride of Mindanao battle against Gilas Pilipinas,” said PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa.
Two other PBA select teams tangle with the Gilas training team in Lucena on Friday and in Cebu on Sunday.
In Lucena, Wright, Guinto, Cruz, Ferrer, Tolomia, Arnold Van Opstal, Ed Daquiaog, Almond Vosotros, Jonathan Grey, Raymond Almazan, Norbert Torres and Allein Maliksi don the Gilas jersey going up against Luzon stars Japeth Aguilar, Calvin Abueva, Alex Cabagnot, LA Tenorio, Marcio Lassiter, Stanley Pringle, Jayson Castro, Jay Washington, Paul Lee, Mark Caguioa, Arwind Santos and Ranidel de Ocampo under coach Leo Austria.
In Cebu, Castro, Jalalon, Aguilar, Rosario, Abueva, Revilla, Pogoy, Maliksi, Pessumal and Almazan make the Gilas team facing Visayan stars Fajardo, Romeo, Joe Devance, Jeff Chan, James Yap, Chris Ross, Chris Ellis, Aldrech Ramos, Dondon Hontiveros, Ronald Tubid, Asi Taulava and Jericho Cruz under coach Tim Cone.
The Gilas Final 12 will be announced by national coach Chot Reyes after the Lucena match.
The 2017 PBA All-Star Spectacle has become more meaningful with its novel format aimed at helping the national team in its buildup for the FIBA Asia sub-zonal tourney that serves as the regional qualifier for the FIBA Asia Cup later in the year.
Cone and Austria, both veteran All-Star coaches, said they’re definitely taking this event a lot more seriously than before to help push Gilas in its training.
Tickets are available at the following outlets: (Cagayan de Oro) – Buffalo Resto and Grill, JR Clad Ent., DBA Traders, Xu Athletic Office and Golden Blind Masseur. (Lucena) – Quezon Provincial Sports Office, look for Jonas Guiao (Cebu City) – Unit 301 WDC Bldg., Osmena Blvd. Patricia Dormitory Extension, Sto. Nino, Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City Hall (entrance).
LA Tenorio captured his second Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of Week citation following another stellar performance for the red-hot Barangay Ginebra.
The Ginebra top playmaker played a significant role in the Kings’ current four-game winning roll after rapping winless NLEX Road Warriors, 101-92 last Wednesday, before humbling powerhouse TNT, 101-82 in the battle of streaking squads on Sunday.
Tenorio averaged 17 points, 5.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals in Ginebra’s last two games to beat the likes of San Miguel Beer’s Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter, Ginebra teammate Japeth Aguilar, Phoenix veteran guards Cyrus Baguio and RJ Jazul, Star combo guard Paul Lee, TNT’s Jayson Castro and GlobalPort Fil-American Stanley Pringle.
The 32-year-old Tenorio played beautiful music with import Justin Brownlee in a vicious 42-point, third-quarter scoring rampage to help Ginebra turn a tight contest into a one-sided affair against NLEX on Wednesday.
He finished with 13 points, five assists, 3 steals and two rebounds for the league’s most popular ball club.
Four days later, Tenorio took advantage of TNT’s perimeter defense after firing four of his five three-pointers in the final period to help Ginebra snare its fourth straight win after losing its conference debut against Phoenix.
Tenoro finished the game with 21 points, six assists, 3 rebounds and a steal in 33 minutes of action.
The wily Ginebra sentinel hopes the Kings will maintain their sharp form, despite a long break coming up. They won’t return to action till May 7 against the Alaska Aces.
Barangay Ginebra stretched its hot streak while halting TNT KaTropa’s own run as the Gin Kings topped the Texters, 107-89, behind an amazing second-half charge to move up to third place in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday night.
Beaten in a fierce gun duel in the first half, Justin Brownlee and his teammates turned things around after the halftime break and went on to notch a fourth straight win after a losing conference debut against the Phoenix Fuel Masters.
The Texters, meanwhile, dropped to 5-2 after suffering a first loss in their last five games.
From 55-61 down at the half, the Gin Kings swayed the tide in their favor, 75-67, in the third before waxing extra hot in the fourth, torching the Texters with seven three-pointers.
“We finished well. As they say in golf it’s not how you drive but how you arrive,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
“The first half was something special. We played as well as we could but they played better. They hit shots that were unbelievable against our defense. They were something, they were fantastic,” Cone also said.
“In the second half, our defense warmed a bit. Japeth Aguilar was incredibly active. He’s being an intimidating rim protector was a key,” Cone added.
Aguilar’s defensive effort was really a big key in Ginebra’s third-quarter turnaround. Doing the killing in the offensive end were Brownlee and LA Tenorio.
Brownlee scored nine points in the third and eight in the fourth while Tenorio poured in 14 of his 21 in the payoff period.
An amazing highlight of Ginebra’s fourth win in a row was an avalanche of seven three-pointers by Brownlee, Tenorio and Sol Mercado in the fourth.
The Texters were razor-sharp early on, hitting at a 54-percent clip and limiting themselves to only five turnovers on the way to a 61-55 lead at the turn.
Donte Greene went on a scoring mode early, firing three treys to spike his 21-point explosion in the first half.
The Kings were also sharp, converting 50-percent of their shots but committed 10 errors, resulting to a crucial 14-2 advantage by TNT on points off turnovers in the first 24 minutes of play.
Brownlee accounted for five of those lapses, denting his 17-point first-half production.
But Brownlee himself stood tallest in their second-half charge.
GLOBALPORT hardly felt the absence of Terrence Romeo Sunday.
Stanley Pringle and a bunch of other Batang Pier made sure the need to field the ailing star guard never entered coach Franz’s mind.
Pringle scored a gamehigh 24 points, leading GlobalPort to a cruising 105-86 victory over hapless Mahindra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Malcolm White added 16 points and 17 rebounds while four other Batang Pier chipped in at least 10 points each in a show of balanced offensive might that netted them as much as a 31-point spread before eventually notching their second win in seven games.
GlobalPort remained one full game behind Phoenix for the eighth and last quarterfinals slot, but Pumaren maintains the big win should help his team achieve its immediate goal of making it past the 11-game eliminations.
“Right now we cannot afford any mistakes,” said Pumaren after the match, held on the final playdate before the league takes a break for the All-Star Week starting Wednesday in Cagayan de Oro.
“We cannot depend on other teams beating other teams. We just have to continue playing good basketball. Hopefully we can get some wins,” added Pumaren. “The best outlook right now is to really concentrate on each game.”
Romeo was reportedly suffering from a bum stomach and Pumaren said it was too risky to use him when he’s not 100 percent. “He could play, but we don’t want to risk the career of Romeo,” explained the coach.
Mahindra clearly failed to capitalize on the absence of the flashy guard who averages 18.8 points and 5.6 assists an outing, and absorbed its fifth straight loss that dropped it to a 1-7 record overall.
Keith Wright put up 23 points and nine boards, Reden Celda heated up late for 18 points and Philip Paniamogan chipped in 14 points for Mahindra. But usual team stalwarts Alex Mallari and LA Revilla came up with performances way below expectations, combining for only two points on a total 1-for-13 clip.
In contrast, Romeo’s absence was hardly felt when Von Pessumal scored 14 points, Mike Cortez 12, JR Quinahan 11 and Aaron Aban 10.
As a result, GlobalPort managed muster one surge after another from early in the second quarter on, leaving Mahindra completely wallowing in its wake, proof of which is a difference that stood as high as 92-61.
The Floodbuster were only in the game up to the 7:50 mark of the second quarter, when Jackson Corpuz’s basket brought the team within 30-34.
Then the Batang Pier went on a 15-6 roll, with Pringle and Papot Paredes leading the way with four points each, to go into the break with a 49-36 spread.
In that span Mahindra went 2-for-14 from the field and committed two turnovers to fall behind by as much as 31-47, through James Forrester’s alley-oop dunk off a feed by Cortez.
Poor field shooting continued to hound the Floodbuster in the third period, enabling the Batang Pier to stretch their lead to 78-53 going to the final 12 minutes.
TNT KaTropa and Barangay Ginebra face-off Sunday in a topnotch matchup between two teams in top form and in a hot romp, both determined to notch another win before the PBA All-Star Week break.
Both unbeaten in a long while, the Texters and the Gin Kings clash at 6:30 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, with each side seeking to close in on an automatic playoff passage in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
TNT is riding the momentum of a five-game streak versus Phoenix Petroleum, Blackwater, NLEX, Mahindra and GlobalPort while Ginebra is sizzling on a three-game run against GlobalPort, Star and NLEX.
For both, the goal is to continue to get going to figure in the chase for the Top Two spots that reward a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
“That’s our hope. We’ll do our part against Ginebra and hopefully we get a favorable outcome,” said TNT coach Nash Racela.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone, meanwhile, sees a tough matchup between two teams that play entirely different brands of basketball.
“TNT is always a tough matchup because they are polar opposites to us in terms of style of play,” said Cone.
“So it really comes down to who can play their game and that’s tough because it is very hard to disrupt what TNT does. But we’ll try to stay disciplined in what we do and see how it goes,” Cone also said.
The TNT-Ginebra faceoff features lots of interesting matchups including that of Justin Brownlee and Donte Greene.
Greene erupted for 33 points and 10 rebounds with four local teammates contributing double-digit outputs as TNT KaTropa smothered GlobalPort, 109-88, for a fifth win Friday night.
The TNT import now averages 26.25 points, 13.25 rebounds, 2.25 assists, 1.25 steals and 1.5 blocks while Brownlee norms 22.25 markers, 10.0 boards, 5.5 dish-offs, 3.0 steals and 2.0 blocks.
Among the TNT key locals are Jayson Castro, RR Pogoy, Ranidel de Ocampo, Troy Rosario and Kelly Williams who are likely to be tested by LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, Joe Devance, Sol Mercado and Scottie Thompson.