Rico Santotome, Jr.
One of the San Miguel Corporation teams-the Petron Blaze Boosters are reportedly dealing veteran guard Joseph Yeo to the Air21 Express in another trade which is intended for the possibility of landing National University Bulldogs sensation Bobby Ray Parks, Jr in next year’s rookie draft.
Although there’s still no confirmation in this supposed player swap, the possibility of ‘the Ninja’ Yeo’s transfer to the Lina Group is inevitable after Coach Franz Pumaren of the Express showed a huge interest in acquiring Dela Salle alumni members like Ren Ritualo and Mike Cortez in previous trades.
But fans aren’t looking on the Air21 side of improving and boosting the team’s stock. On the contrary, cage aficionados are getting impatient about the way these SMC ballclubs like Pteron Blaze, San Mig Coffee and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel are ‘pirating’ marquee players from other teams just to land the big names in the pro league.
Perennial league whipping boys, the Barako Bull Energy Colas, have been the subject of critical comments by many Philippine Basketball Association followers after the former Air21 Express team got involved in numerous transactions with other PBA ballclubs particularly those San Miguel Corporation ballclubs.
As a matter of fact, the Energy Colas dealt Sean Anthony to Talk ‘N Text for Ronjay Buenafe of Meralco, traded Josh Urbiztondo to the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings, shipped Doug Kramer to Petron Blaze for Dorian Pena and gave away Allein Maliksi to the San Mig Coffee Mixers in exchange for Wesley Gonzales and Chris Pacana.
On Friday, Commissioner’s Cup winners Alaska will be the last Philippine Basketball Association quintet to plunge into action in the Reinforced Conference as the Aces will take their turn in testing the mettle of Globalport over at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
This after yesterday’s pair of Wednesday PBA matches at the Big Dome were cancelled due to the inclement weather which brought extreme flooding to various areas in Metro Manila as well as the neighboring provinces of Cavite, Laguna and Bataan. The supposed Alaska-Talk ‘N Text and Globalport-San Mig Coffee doubleheader was postponed by the league.
Tomorrow, it will be the turn of the Aces to battle the Batang Pier of owner Mikee Romero and head coach Junel Baculi where Globalport is 1-1 (win-loss) after the league’s newcomer lost by a mile to reigning champion Rain or Shine after beating Air21 by seven points on opening day.
At 6-10, former Western Kentucky player Japeth Paul Aguilar is a welcome frontline addition to the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel lineup following the retirement of Rudy Hatfield as well as the team’s failed bid to land Asi Taulava in the team’s fold.
The 26-year old Sasmuan, Pampanga-born son of former Anejo enforcer Peter Aguilar last played for Globalport Batang Pier in the Commissioner’s Cup this season before he was eventually traded to the Kings for Yousef Taha and a future rookie pick.
Actually, the Gilas Pilipinas mainstay played 14 games for the Batang Pier in the Second Conference after spending the 2011-12 season with Talk ‘N Text where he normed just 6.58 points and 4.12 rebounds in 52 games for the Tropang Texters.
A total of eleven police stations in the 3rd and 4th District of Negros Occidental were inspected last week by administrative personnel of the Philippine National Police in the province to ensure that all personnel are accounted for and that they comply with the various directives from higher headquarters.
The two-day inspection last August 15 and 16 was spearheaded by Police Chief Inspector Rico Santotome Jr, newly-designated administrative officer of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office. The 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th districts will be inspected in September according to NOPPO.
Arizona Reid, not Jamelle Cornley, will spearhead Rain or Shine’s title-retention bid in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup wars which started yesterday with a pair of explosive games over at the fabled Mall of Asia Arena, the venue for the Philippines’ silver-medal finish during the 27th FIBA Asia Championship won by Iran.
Cornley had brushes with the law earlier this year and chances are, he won’t be back for the Elasto Painters for eternity. Even the other nine PBA ballclubs won’t gamble on a law breaker even if such a reinforcement won the Best Import award while leading his team to a PBA diadem.
In his stead, another former Rain or Shine Best Import winner in Reid will be leading the Elasto Painters of now Congressman Yeng Guiao of the 1st District of Pampanga in the season-ending tourney of Asia’s oldest professional cage league.
The last time we were in a FIBA World Cup tourney was in 1978 when the Philippines first (and the only time) hosted the said basketball wars between 14 countries over at the Araneta Coliseum (Big Dome) and the Rizal Memorial Coliseum where we ended in eighth place overall. And winless, too!
Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella with Smart Gilas Pilipinas sharpshooter and Bacolod native Jeffrei Allan "Jeff" Chan.*
In 1978, the Philippines automatically qualified for the tournament then known as the FIBA World Championship being the host country. Eventually, the then Yugoslavia won the crown against USSR, 82-81, in overtime in the finals.
The country also qualified earlier in the tournament way back in 1954 in Brazil, in 1959 in Chile as well as during the 1974 FIBA World Championship in Puerto Rico. We placed 8th overall in Chile while finishing as the No. 13 national team in Puerto Rico.
During the 1954 edition, the Philippines led by Caloy Loyzaga and Lauro Mumar finished third behind the United States and host Brazil to take the bronze medal in the country’s debut in the FIBA World Championship. At present, the Philippine remains as the only Asian nation to win a basketball medal in the FIBA World Cup, not even China, South Korea or Iran.
Three teenagers were injured after the rear tire of their motorcycle blew up while running along the main road in Brgy. La Granja, La Castellana town, Saturday morning.
Police identified the victims as Roger Pabliro, 18, of Kasilingan Village and driver of the red-colored Honda 125 XRM motorcycle without plate number with back riders Philip Vergara Gerardino, 14, of Juan Luna St. and Lesly Leganada, 18, of Brgy. Cubay, La Castellana.
One more victory and Iran will be in the finals of the 27th FIBA Asia Championship to be played this Sunday over at the Mall of Asia Arena after the Memi Becirovic-mentored Iranians walloped 2011 FIBA Asia Championship quarterfinal tormentor Jordan during last Friday’s knockout match, 94-50.
With the win, the Iranians are in for a semifinals battle with Chinese Taipei this Saturday with the winner assured of a ticket to the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain while the loser still has the chance to get one of the three slots allotted for the Asian region in the 24-team tourney in the battle for the bronze. Taiwan scored a huge 96-78 upset of deposed champion China Friday evening.
Already qualified are Spain as the host country, 2012 Olympics champion United States as well as FIBA Oceania entries Australia and New Zealand. Three each will advance from Asia and Africa in the 2014 FIBA World Cup while six national teams from Europe, four from the FIBA Americas and four more from among the wildcard entries will likewise qualify.
It looks like the Philippines will be tangling with reigning FIBA Asia champion China in tomorrow’s quarterfinals of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship over at the Mall of Asia Arena as the regional cage tourney takes a time out today in preparation for the playoffs up to Sunday.
Barring any changes in the standings after the second round, Group E will have Chinese Taipei, the Philippines, Qatar and either between Jordan or Japan qualifying for the quarterfinals while in Group F, it should be Iran, South Korea, China and Kazakhstan.