WATCH: Kai Sotto displays vastly improved shooting touch in latest workout video

‘We’re not worried about Giannis’ – Milwaukee’s MVP has poor game as Totronto bounce back 1-2

Looks like Kai Sotto has developed another skill that will come in handy in Europe.

In a YouTube clip posted by East West Private, Sotto, who recently turned 17, was seen working on his jump shot with renowned trainer Nick Stapleton.

After working on close-ranged hook shots with both hands, Sotto brought out the bag of tricks, displaying turnaround and pull-up jumpers, as well as a one-legged fadeaway ala Dirk Nowitzki.

The lefty seven-footer’s new found stroke even extended beyond the three-point arc, as he drained long bombs with ease.

Accompanied by his father Ervin Sotto, Kai is currently wrapping up his extensive basketball training in Atlanta, Georgia.

He is expected to return to the country next month to prepare for the FIBA U-19 World Cup.

RELATED — Will we see a Kai Sotto-inspired signature line soon?

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How did Bobby Ray Parks fare in his PBA debut?

‘We’re not worried about Giannis’ – Milwaukee’s MVP has poor game as Totronto bounce back 1-2

It certainly was a long time coming, but Bobby Ray Parks Jr. finally made his long awaited PBA debut on Sunday in Blackwater Elite’s thrilling 94-91 overtime win against the Meralco Bolts.

Nard Pinto and import Alex Stepson were both facing their former teams, but all eyes were on the three-time ABL MVP, who certainly did not disappoint.

New Blackwater coach Aries Dimaunahan displayed faith for his super rookie, giving him 41 minutes of playing time in just his first PBA game. He responded by pitching in 20 points, eight rebounds, and two assists.

Parks showed his ability to score from everywhere in the court, finishing with slick drives and pull-up jumpers. His accuracy, however, leaves a lot of room for improvement, as he shot 31 percent on 6-of-19 field goals. He also missed five of his six total attempts from downtown (16 percent).

Parks went to the line nine times last night and only missed two charities (77 percent). His split free throws with 9.1 seconds left in overtime gave Meralco a chance to win the game, but Blackwater managed to hang on in the end.

The 26-year-old had the ball on his hands in a lot of possessions last night, which attributed to his eight turnovers. Parks, however, made up for it by showing his capabilities as an elite wing defender, adding three steals and one blocked shot.

His beautiful chase down of Baser Amer early in the third quarter was one of the game’s best highlights.

It’s still quite too early to tell, but Parks truly has the tools to become one of the league’s biggest stars. The Elite — who are off to a good start in the Commissioner’s Cup — are certainly a much better team with him on the floor.

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The best local ‘import stoppers’ in the PBA today

‘We’re not worried about Giannis’ – Milwaukee’s MVP has poor game as Totronto bounce back 1-2

The PBA’s mid-season tournament is finally here, as each team will once again be welcoming hulking imports to boost their chances of winning the coveted Commissioner’s Cup title.

These professional bucket-getters add new dimensions for each franchise, and often take over the role as the catalysts on both offense and defense.

Despite their imposing dominance, some of our locals excel at defending these imports by slowing them down and making them work hard for every point.

FOX Sports Philippines lists some of the best “import stoppers” in the league today.

Japeth Aguilar

Blessed with a 6’9 frame and a wiry wingspan, Japeth Aguilar has been Barangay Ginebra’s resident import defender over the years.

The two-time PBA All-Defensive Team member’s nuclear athleticism allows him to keep up with the naturally gifted imports, while his experience as a Gilas Pilipinas mainstay has allowed him to become acclimated with bigger and stronger opponents.

Aguilar’s defensive prowess has also allowed Ginebra’s resident import Justin Brownlee to simply focus on the offensive side of the ball, rather than worry about defending his usually bigger counterparts.

Rafi Reavis

At 41 years old, most pundits are still skeptical how long will Rafi Reavis will be able to hold the fort for the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok.

But if his recent exploits in the Philippine Cup are any indication, the 11-time PBA champion certainly has a lot left in the tank, going toe-to-toe with PBA’s best player in June Mar Fajardo for seven gruelling games.

Reavis might no longer possess the impressive hops he once had, but the 6’8 beanpole makes up for it with veteran savvy and eagerness to play his role.

Poy Erram

Poy Erram simply lives and breathes defence. The 2018 PBA Defensive Player of the Year has all the necessary tools to give even the most talented imports fits with his length and precise timing.

The two-time PBA All-Star brought the same intensity to the NLEX Road Warriors in the Philippine Cup, norming a league-best 2.67 blocks per contest, to go along with 2.50 steals.

Beau Belga

“Big Beau” might not possess the rangy height and athletic build as some of the league’s best defenders, but he brings plenty of positive things for the Rain or Shine side. 

Belga is one of the league’s best position defenders, using his high basketball IQ to get the upper hand against more physically-gifted opponents. The two-time PBA champion uses his heft perfectly in terms of banging bodies down low, and also understand when to sacrifice his body by taking well-timed charges.

(Images from PBA)

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Pasig bows out early in Day 1 of FIBA 3X3 Kunshan Challenger

‘We’re not worried about Giannis’ – Milwaukee’s MVP has poor game as Totronto bounce back 1-2

Less than two hours after suffering a heartbreaking loss to Sosnovy  Bor, Pasig Chooks-to-Go could not pick themselves up.

The Philippine-based club team was shown the door by third-ranked club in the world Liman, 12-22, Saturday evening at the Huaqiao International Service Business Park in Kunshan, China.

With a 0-2 record, Pasig Chooks got eliminated in Pool A as Liman (2-0) and Sosnovy Bor (1-1) advanced to the knockout playoffs on Sunday that will determine the last two entries in the World Tour Chengdu Masters.

After a brief 3-0 lead by Pasig, the Serbian-side proved to be too much, going on a 14-3 blitz to put the defending Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup champions on their heels.

Joshua Munzon and Taylor Statham tried to give Pasig some semblance of life but the quartet of world no. 4 Aleksandar Ratkov, no. 5 Mihailo Vasic, no. 8 Stefan Kojic, and Maksim Kovacevic were just on a whole other plane.

Vasic ended the contest with a long deuce with 2:13 to spare to end Pasig’s campaign.

Munzon and Statham scored six points each for Pasig.

Kojic, who scored just four points during their encounter in the Doha Masters, led the balanced Liman attack with eight markers.

The Scores:

Liman (22) – Kojic 8, Ratkov 5, Kovacevic 5, Vasic 4.

Pasig (12) – Munzon 6, Statham 6, Rike 0, Ababou 0.

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Here come the PBA imports: Chris Daniels brings wealth of experience to Alaska Aces

‘We’re not worried about Giannis’ – Milwaukee’s MVP has poor game as Totronto bounce back 1-2

These imports, who were first welcomed by the league in 1981, have brought world class talent to the Philippine hardwood and have raised the level of play among locals.

FOX Sports Philippines presents our “Here come the Imports” series, where we profile each PBA team’s basketball mercenaries for the upcoming conference. Another new face is set to make his PBA debut, as reliable reinforcement Chris Daniels will look to leave a lasting impression for the Alaska Aces.

RELATED — John Fields raring to make a splash for Magnolia in 2nd PBA tenure

Professional experience

Daniels spent four collegiate years with the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, playing 114 total games and starting in 73 of them. His best year came in his junior season, where he averaged 15.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks and was named to the All-Southland first-team.

After going undrafted in 2008, Daniels tried his luck overseas and went on to become one of the most-travelled and most sought-after imports in the international scene.

He was a fixture in the NBA Development League for serval seasons, playing for the Erie Bayhawks, Santa Cruz Warriors, and Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Daniels suited up for the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers Summer League teams, but never made it to their final rosters. He finally got his chance with the Brooklyn Nets in 2015, where he appeared in five preseason games before being waived.

Daniels made his mark overseas, playing in Puerto Rico, China, South Korea, and Lebanon. He has also struck gold almost in almost everywhere he played, winning an NBA D-League championship in 2013, back-to-back KBL champions in 2011-12, and an FLB League crown in 2016.

Fit with Alaska

Now at 35 years old, Daniels will certainly be one of the most seasoned reinforcements in the Comissioner’s Cup. His age, however, comes with a wealth of experience and an understanding of multiple play styles.

He is listed as 6’9, but he looks and plays much bigger than his recorded height.

Daniels is a throwback big guy who revels in doing the dirty work underneath. His scoring down low will be a welcome sight for the Aces — especially after fielding defensive minded centers like Noy Baclao and Jake Pascual, as well as an aging Sonny Thoss last conference.

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

ALSO READ — Phoenix hopes to continue rise with Rob Dozier

ALSO READ — Gani Lawal to bring boundless energy for the Meralco Bolts

 

 

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Pasig to parade all-Filipino line-up in FIBA 3X3 Huaqiao International Kunshan Challenger

‘We’re not worried about Giannis’ – Milwaukee’s MVP has poor game as Totronto bounce back 1-2

With their imports nursing injuries, Pasig Chooks-to-Go will field an all-Filipino lineup for the FIBA 3X3 Huaqiao International Kunshan Challenger.

The level-nine tournament that will serve as the last qualifier for the Chengdu World Masters takes place from May 18 to 19 in China.

Called up for duty are Taylor Statham, Joshua Munzon, Dylan Ababou, and Troy Rike.

“We are sending the original Pasig Kings team. This is the actual team that qualified for the Doha Masters for winning the Chooks-to-Go President’s Cup,” said league commissioner Eric Altamirano.

Serbian import Nikola Pavlovic is nursing a swollen left hand while French reinforcement Angelo Tsagarakis suffered a semi-fractured rib during the Doha Masters last April 18.

This will serve as a good test for the country’s top 3×3 players as they test their mettle against some of the world’s best 3×3 teams.

“For the last five months, we have pushed our players to the limit in our local league. Now, it’s time to see if we can win an international tournament without guest players,” said Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 league owner Ronald Mascariñas.

Pasig Chooks-to-Go is grouped in Pool A of the tournament with no. 3 team in the world Liman (Serbia) and Sosnovy BorCopRosatom (Russia).

“It’s going to be tough. We are facing Liman and one Russian team. It’s going to be a tough group but hopefully, with their familiarity of the players with each other, that can be an advantage for us,” remarked Altamirano as Pasig defeated Liman during the group stages of the Doha Masters, 19-16. “Also, Josh and Taylor gained a lot of experience in Doha.”

Pasig opens its campaign against Sosnovy on Saturday at 5:55 pm before taking on LIman at 7:40 pm.

The top two teams in the group will advance to the knockout playoffs on Sunday.

The winner of the tournament will bring home a ticket to the Chengdu Masters and USD 15,000. Second place pockets USD 10,000 while third and fourth-placed squads will go home with USD 5,000 and USD 2,000, respectively.

If Liman or Riga win the tournament or go 1-2 in the tournament, the next best team will get the ticket to Chengdu.

“They are not just representing Pasig or Chooks-to-Go for this tournament. They are the country’s representatives,” closed Mascariñas.

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How did San Miguel clinch an unprecedented 5th straight PH Cup title?

‘We’re not worried about Giannis’ – Milwaukee’s MVP has poor game as Totronto bounce back 1-2

Dynasty prevailed over destiny last night, as the San Miguel Beermen came out with a hard-earned, wire-to-wire victory over the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok in the all important Game 7 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals series.

READ — San Miguel comes back from 17 down vs Magnolia to clinch 5th straight PH Cup title

Judging by how the game started, Magnolia seemed poised to overthrow SMB’s dynasty, as they commanded a 17-point advantage at one point. But San Miguel’s championship experience kicked off in the end game, as they came out with all the stops to complete yet another miraculous comeback and once again hoist the Jun Bernardino trophy.

Here are some takeaways from SMB’s title-clinching Game 7 win:

SMB came alive after halftime

San Miguel did so many things wrong in the first 24 minutes of the ball game, but the second half was all about redemption for the coach Leo Austria-mentored team.

After shooting a disastrous 32 percent at halftime — punctuated by setting the lowest scoring quarter in PBA finals history (5 points) in the second quarter — the Beermen finally regained their identity in the final two quarters. Instead of living and dying by the three, SMB focused on getting easy buckets down the stretch, evidenced by their 30 points in the paint and 22 second chance points.

With Arwind Santos being the lone bright spot in the first half, June Mar Fajardo and Alex Cabagnot finally got it going when it mattered the most. Cabagnot even drilled the eventual marginal fadeaway basket that gave SMB the championship.

The Beermen finally valued the rock in the second half

Magnolia got its fast break game going early after several unforced errors by the SMB side. They had a whopping 16-4 advantage in that department, as the Hotshots continued to pounce on the careless miscues and converted it to 22 points off turnovers.

After two quarters, San Miguel had already committed 18 costly turnovers. The team, however, settled down soon after as Cabagnot and Chris Ross made sure to protect each possession dearly. The Beermen only committed seven turnovers in the final 24 minutes.

“The Kraken” gobbled everything up

After getting yet another BPC award, June Mar Fajardo further solidified his claim as one of the PBA’s all-time greats by collecting his third straight PH Cup Finals MVP plum.

Hobbled by Magnolia’s physicality at the beginning of the match, the 6’10 behemoth struggled scoring early and was even called for several three-second violations that attributed to SMB’s high turnover rate. Fajardo, however, continued to crash the boards with all his might, corralling a career best 31 rebounds — setting yet another record for locals. He had 20 defensive boards, and 11 coming on the offensive side.

(Images from PBA Media Group)

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Here come the imports: John Fields raring to make a splash for Magnolia in 2nd PBA tenure

‘We’re not worried about Giannis’ – Milwaukee’s MVP has poor game as Totronto bounce back 1-2

These imports, who were first welcomed by the league in 1981, have brought world class talent to the Philippine hardwood and have raised the level of play among locals.

FOX Sports Philippines presents our “Here come the Imports” series, where we profile each PBA team’s basketball mercenaries for the upcoming conference. After showing us his wares when he suited up for the Columbian Dyip, ’balik-import’ John Fields takes his talents to the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok.

ALSO READ — Phoenix hopes to continue rise with Rob Dozier

ALSO READ — Gani Lawal to bring boundless energy for the Meralco Bolts

Prior PBA experience

A well-travelled veteran before his first PBA stint, Fields first reinforced the cellar-dwelling Columbian Dyip in last year’s Commissioner’s Cup.

He replaced underperforming Cj Aiken and left quite an impression in his first PBA game, dropping 39 points on 70-percent shooting to go along with 16 boards.

He fitted nicely alongside Columbian’s bevy of talented guards, as his strong presence underneath allowed the likes of Rashawn McCarthy and Jerramy King to take their game to new heights. Fields normed prolific number of 29.1 points and 19.1 rebounds.

The Dyip, however, only won two of the eight games Fields played in, and narrowly missed out on the postseason with a 4-7 overall record.

Tenure overseas

After splitting his collegiate years with East Carolina, UNC-Wilmington, and Tennessee, Fields went undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft.

He established a lengthy career playing all over Europe, with stints in Finland, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Belgium, Cyprus, and Greece. He last played for the Domincan Republic-LNB with Indios De Sanfrancisco, before being tapped as the world import for the Singapore Slingers in the 2019 ABL season. The 6’9 banger was instrumental in the Slingers’ runner-up finish.

Fit with Magnolia?

Now at 31 years old, Fields continues to be a double-double threat on any given night. He plays an extremely physical game and maximizes his athleticism by being active on both ends of the floor.

Fields also runs the ball well, which would compliment the Hotshots’ uptempo offense. His prowess with the pick-and-roll will give coach Chito Victolero plenty of options to work around with, especially with proven playmakers like Jio Jalalon and Mark Barroca.

With more experienced and capable teammates now at his disposal, expect Fields to wreak havoc anew in this year’s Commissioner’s Cup.

(Image from PBA)

 

 

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San Miguel comes back from 17 down vs Magnolia to clinch 5th straight PH Cup title

‘We’re not worried about Giannis’ – Milwaukee’s MVP has poor game as Totronto bounce back 1-2

The Magnolia Hotshots proved to be worthy opponents, but the San Miguel Beermen showed that they are simply a cut above the rest.

Trailing for almost majority of the game, the Beermen overcame a cold-shooting first half to roar back and beat the Hotshots in the do-or-die Game 7, 72-71, to clinch their 5th straight PBA Philippine Cup trophy inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.

Down by one with 57 seconds left, the “Crunchman” Alex Cabagnot drained a fadeaway jumper to give the SMB the lead 72-71. He finished with 18 points (8-of-19 shooting) and three assists.

But SMB left the door wide open with three seconds left in regulation, as June Mar Fajardo muffed both his free throws. Paul Lee, however, was unable to come up with a decent look.

Fajardo had 17 points to go along with a career-best 31 boards — the most rebounds collected by a local in PBA history.

The reigning champions came out swinging early, racing to a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes of play. Arwind Santos had a quick start with seven first quarter points, but Magnolia escaped with a 24-20 advantage in the first 12 minutes after several fast break completions.

The pace slowed down considerably in the second, as turnovers continued to plague SMB. The Beermen had 18 miscues in the first half alone and had 25 the entire game.

Momentum swung in favor of the Hotshots after Sangalang completed an and-one play to give his team a 10-point lead, 34-24, with 4:04 left in the half. Magnolia outscored the Beermen by nine in the quarter and held them to just five measley points.

Sangalang had 13 points 4 rebounds in the first half to give Magnolia a 13-point cushion, 38-25.  He led his team with 18 points and six boards.

SMB opened the third with another quick 7-0 run courtesy of Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter. But Santos was called for a flagrant foul 1 with 6:44 left in the third after a hard hit on Paul Lee. SMB scored 25 points in the third, but still found themselves trailing, 58-50, heading into the final period.

San Miguel eventually trimmed the lead to a single point, 61-60, courtesy of a trey from Chris Ross and two free-throws by Fajardo at the 7:57 mark of the fourth.  They finally took the lead back with 7:17 left, after hard drive by Santos.

(Image from PBA Media Group)

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Raymond Almazan thanks RoS franchise after trade to Meralco pushes through

‘We’re not worried about Giannis’ – Milwaukee’s MVP has poor game as Totronto bounce back 1-2

Raymond Almazan’s stay with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters was riddled with controversies, but he still had no problem looking back and acknowledging the people who helped him along the way.

Shortly after the PBA approved the trade that sent the 6’8 beanpole to the Meralco Bolts in exchange for two future first-round picks, Almazan took to Instagram to show his gratitude for the franchise that he has called home for almost six years.

ALSO READ — Raymond Almazan to bring much-needed size for the Bolts’ frontcourt

“Thank you boss Raymond, Mommy yu, Boss Terry, our coaching staff, to my teammate and to all the Rain or shine family❤️so much respect and love to all the people help me, looking forward for the new chapter on my career with MERALCO 💪🏽⚡️, the 29-year-old Bataan-native captioned several photos of his fondest memories with the team.

After an impressive collegiate career with the Learn Knights, Almazan was picked third overall by Rain or Shine in the 2013 PBA Draft. He quickly became a vital player off coach Yeng Guiao’s bench, relieving the “Extra Rice Inc.” frontline of Beau Belga and JR Quinahan. He soon emerged as one the best two-way bigmen in the league, making the All-Star team twice and even earning a call-up with Gilas Pilipinas.

But things went downhill for Almazan since Guiao’s departure with the team, as his relationship with new head coach Caloy Garcia soured over time. The pair reportedly did not see eye-to-eye, and things escalated even further when Almazan went AWOL for the team for long periods of time last season.

The duo appeared to have settled their differences at the beginning of the 2019 season, as Almazan eventually stayed with the franchise after the whole fiasco. But it seems that the player and coach never really reached full reconciliation, as Almazan never got his usual minutes back and was often buried in the bench for majority of the Philippine Cup.

The improved play of Norbert Torres and Jewel Ponferada certainly influenced the Elasto Painters to pull the trigger on the trade. The Bolts, meanwhile, have longed to fill that gaping hole they have in the middle, and Almazan certainly fits the bill.

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For all the marbles: San Miguel, Magnolia ready to go for broke to hoist Jun Bernardino trophy

‘We’re not worried about Giannis’ – Milwaukee’s MVP has poor game as Totronto bounce back 1-2

This one is for all the marbles. One game to determine who will receive the distinction as the best team in the entire country.

The storyline couldn’t have been written any better; as the San Miguel Beermen will look to prolong an already overpowering dynasty, while the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok seek to be the ones to take down the modern day titans of Philippine basketball.

PBA

Sure, an extremely peculiar incident in Game 5 — where a masked fan ran onto the court and caused quite a stir — marred the Final series, but it shouldn’t take anything away from the quality of the highly competitive matches we’ve witnessed in the past six games.

Winners of the last four Philippine Cup trophies, San Miguel came in as heavy favorites to once again win it all, especially after they decimated Magnolia in just five games in last year’s Finals.

But as defiant as they are, coach Chito Victolero’s squad licked their wounds and proved that they learned from their past shortcomings.

The Hotshots not only drew first blood in Game 1, but they also sent a clear message that they will not be intimidated at all by the Beermen’s accolades.

Both teams alternated wins since then, with San Miguel still living and dying by the three ball, while Magnolia has found success when they manage to slow the pace down to their liking.

Reigning Best Player of the Conference June Mar Fajardo has carried the defending champions all series long, while his teammates have found a way to pitch in at times when he gets slowed down by Magnolia’s array of bigs.

Ian Sangalang, Jio Jalalon, and Mark Barroca all have had their shining moments in the Hotshots three victories, but their superstar Paul Lee still has yet to put on a stamp in this series. Game 7, of course, will be the best time to so.

Will Magnolia be able to climb the mountain and slay the giants?

Will Terrence Romeo finally get a taste of that ever elusive PBA title?

All these questions will finally be answered tonight at 7:00 pm inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

(Images from PBA Media Group)

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Lassiter, San Miguel shrug off Game 5 heartbreak to force winner-take-all final game

‘We’re not worried about Giannis’ – Milwaukee’s MVP has poor game as Totronto bounce back 1-2

After overcoming heartbreak and a bizarre incident in Game 5, the San Miguel Beermen kept their title-defense bid alive on Sunday, eclipsing the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansong Manok, 98-86, to tie the PBA Philippine Cup Finals best-of-seven series at three wins apiece and force a deciding game 7.

Marcio Lassiter’s best game of the series couldn’t have come at a better time, as he put up 20 points on 3-of-6 shooting from deep, to go along with seven boards and three assists.

June Mar Fajardo (23 points and 18 rebounds) and Christian Standhardinger (16 markers and 5 boards) dominated the paint and made sure San Miguel lived to fight another day.

PBA

With their backs against the wall, coach Leo Austria’s troops raced to a 25-12 advantage in the first with torrent shooting from downtown.  They kept the blistering pace going in the second canto, but the Hotshots kept up and was only outscored by one, 25-24.

Chris Ross calmly drained a pull-up three-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in the half. The defensive-minded guard was flawless from downtown in the first half, making all his five attempts. He tallied a complete game of 17 points, five rebounds, six dimes, and three steals.

Jio Jalalon, however, delivered with a buzzer-beating three-point heave of his own to trim the lead to 14 entering the third, 50-36. He paced his team with 17 points and six assists.

SMB’s bench came in and provided a much welcomed jolt of energy in the third, led by Standhardinger and Terrence Romeo to extend the lead to as much as 21 points.

But Magnolia never relented and clawed their way back, cutting the lead down to six with under a minute left in the quarter after back-to-back short stabs from Ian Sangalang.

The defending champions’ superior teamwork and familiarity with one another kicked in the final canto, with BPC Fajardo assuming the role of a closer and and put up bucket-after-bucket to turn back the pesky Hotshots.

The winner of the Jun Bernardino trophy will be determined on Wednesday, May 15.

The Scores:

San Miguel (98) — Fajardo 23, Lassiter 20, Ross 17, Standhardinger 16, Romeo 9, Santos 8, Cabagnot 3, Rosser 0, Pessumal 0.

Magnolia (86) — Jalalon 17, Reavis 16, Sangalang 14, Brondial 12, Lee 10, Barroca 6, Dela Rosa 5, Herndon 5, Melton 4, Simon 0, Pascual 0.

Quarterscores: 25-12, 50-36, 68-62, 98-86.

 

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East West Private launches Kai Sotto’s website just in time for his 17th birthday

‘We’re not worried about Giannis’ – Milwaukee’s MVP has poor game as Totronto bounce back 1-2

East West Private LLC are gearing up for big things ahead for their prized pupil Kai Sotto.

The sports agency, who also handles Andray Blatche and Gilas Pilipinas, announced the launch of Sotto’s personal website, just in time for his 17th birthday on Saturday.

“We are pleased to announce the launch of Kai Sotto’s website! Please go follow https://kzsotto.com as this will be the official page for all media content and news for Kai and his journey. Links to all OFFICIAL social media pages as well as YouTube channel are included,” the group said in an Instagram post.

In a separate post, East West Private also shared some before and after photos and videos of the teen prodigy, who is approaching the tail end of his training program in the United States.

“We are so proud of all the hard work! This pic of before and after in just a month shows the day by day grind you have dedicated yourself too.”

After undergoing strict basketball and weight training, Sotto — along with fellow wunderkids AJ Edu and Dalph Panopio — will return to action in the FIBA Under-19 World Cup in Greece from June 29 to July 7.

(Image from Chooks-to-Go)

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Justin Brownlee, Renaldo Balkman pay tribute to late sports agent Sheryl Reyes

‘We’re not worried about Giannis’ – Milwaukee’s MVP has poor game as Totronto bounce back 1-2

Sheryl Reyes was known by many as the “Agent from Hell”, but she truly was an angel according to people dear to her.

The 39-year-old renowned sports agent passed away on Saturday due to complications from uterine cancer, as per multiple reports. Shortly after her passing, two of Reyes’ most high-profile clients took to social media to pay their respects.

Justin Brownlee of Barangay Ginebra posted a heartfelt message on Instagram, describing Reyes as his “big sis”.

“Man this is hard to take in… I can’t believe this!!!!, Brownlee captioned several photos of himself together with Reyes.

“You changed my life soo much. Thank you for your hard work and your dedication to not only me but to everyone that you inspired and blessed with your presences you will be missed dearly. You the realest person I know. Everything you said you would do you did it.”

“I know you like to call your self agent from hell but you are the angel from heaven Sheryl and you gave out plenty of blessing and we will always remember and be thankful!!! #RIP ate I love you”.

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#gonewaytoosoon man this is hard to take in… I can’t believe this!!!! You changed my life soo much… thank you for your hard work and your dedication to not only me but to everyone that you inspired and blessed with your presences you will be missed dearly… you the realest person I know….everything you said you would do you did it…. you were my agent but it felt like you were my big sis…motivating me every day and making sure I’m always on top of my game on and off the court…. I know you like to call your self agent from hell but you are the angel from heaven Sheryl and you gave out plenty of blessing and we will always remember and be thankful!!! #RIP ate I love you 😢 @femaleagentsr #teamreyes #agentfromhell

A post shared by Justin Brownlee (@magicbrown32) on

Brownlee’s Alab Pilipinas teammate Renaldo Balkman, meanwhile, fondly remembered Reyes as a “great fighter to the end”.

“The Story of a Fighter. I had the privilege of having one of the best Fighters to represent me as an agent,” the Puerto Rican forward wrote.

“I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to call her Friend. She fought for me a to make sure I had opportunities, that would impact my life. Thank Sheryl for being a great Fighter, Friend, and being part of my Family. I love you and I appreciate you greatly. Sheryl You are Fighter to the end!!!! God bless you and your Family Forever. Mahal kita at salamat.”

Reyes has been a driving force behind the sidelines of the Philippine basketball scene, helping plenty of foreign basketball stars enter the PBA and other leagues.

Apart from Brownlee and Balkman, she also played a huge role in Lamar Odom’s basketball comeback for the Mighty Sports Philippines earlier this year. Reyes is survived by her fiancée, Adamson Soaring Falcons’ center Papi Sarr.

(Image from ABL)

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