Paul Lee talks with Yeng Guiao; Salud warns player-agentsBy Musong R. Castillo | Philippine Daily Inquirer 4:01 am | Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines — Renegade point guard Paul Lee finally met with Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao Tuesday and hinted that all’s well for both parties.
“We started the talks and coach Yeng told me that he wants to retain me,” Lee said in Filipino over the phone.
“And I told him that I also want to stay. At least, it’s now OK between us. “The only thing left is for my agent and [Rain or Shine] management to talk and put an end to this,” he added. “There’s no timetable [for contract signing], but I do hope that it would be soon because Gilas [Pilipinas] leaves next week.”
Lee, the former Rookie of the Year, will be playing with the Gilas Pilipinas national team when it tries to end the country’s long Asian Games basketball gold-medal drought in South Korea in two weeks.
The Filipinos won the first four Asiad basketball golds, the last in 1962 in Jakarta with a team built around Caloy “The Big Difference” Loyzaga, but have been winless ever since.
Rumors of a split between player and management started when Lee’s agent, Lawrence Chongson, said last month that Lee wanted out of Rain or Shine.
Lee was said to be asking for a trade despite being offered the maximum salary of P15.12 million for a three-year extension.
After coming home from Seville, Spain, and helping Gilas win a first World Cup game in four decades, Lee didn’t speak with Rain or Shine officials as expected.
“I think this will all be settled,” said Lee, who had mulled skipping the Asiad if he doesn’t get a PBA contract soon.
Meanwhile, league commissioner Chito Salud Tuesday reminded player-agents to look after the welfare of their players and to not mislead them in contract negotiations.
Salud also reiterated his office’s stand that it will protect the rights of the players’ mother ball clubs more than anything.
“The league will protect the rights, not just of the players, but most especially the mother ball clubs,” Salud said during Tuesday’s launch of the Blackwater Elite team at a restaurant in Malate.
“That is why we have rules—the right of first refusal. “We will not allow any ball club to be held hostage by any player and I do not care which player we are talking about. Let’s follow the rules,” Salud added. “Agents, do not mislead your players, because in the long run, it is the players who will suffer.”
During the launch, Blackwater coach Leo Isaac guaranteed that his Elite will be giving the PBA field a run for its money when the 40th Season opens on Oct. 19 at either the Philippine Arena or Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Algieri ‘will get hurt’By Roy Luarca | Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:56 am | Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
It was only their second day at the gym, but this early, trainer Buboy Fernandez exudes confidence Manny Pacquiao has got what it takes to beat challenger Chris Algieri in their showdown on Nov. 23 in Macau.
Handling the mitts with chief trainer Freddie Roach still to arrive, Fernandez said in a television interview Tuesday night that he already felt the power and intensity of the eight-division world champion’s Pacquiao’s punches.
Though the focus is still on conditioning and strategy, Fernandez told GMA 7 that he was hurting and a little bit shaken after the short workout at Pacquiao’s Wild Card Gym in General Santos City.
“It’s normal (body pains),” said Fernandez, who has ballooned to over 250 pounds. “May paglalagyan siya (Algieri will be put in his proper place).”
Algieri, the reigning World Boxing Organization light welterweight (140 pounds) champion, is moving up to try to wrest Pacquiao’s welterweight crown at a catchweight of 144 lb at Cotai Arena of The Venetian Macao.
According to Fernandez, Pacquiao is in fine shape despite the long layoff and will be ready for the seven-week training camp when Roach hits town.
Fernandez said Pacquiao, who also spent time shadow boxing and hitting the speed balls and double-end bag, will start his roadwork today to build his stamina.
Pacquiao also commented on Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s sideswipe that the reason why he lost to Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth bout in 2012 was because Pacquiao’s focus wasn’t on his opponent, but on forging a megabuck fight with him.
Pacquiao said Mayweather, who beat Marcos Maidana anew last Saturday, will get his answer after his 12-round, pay-per-view showdown with the unbeaten Algieri.
In previous interviews, Pacquiao has repeatedly said that he will accede to Mayweather’s terms and demands just to make their long-awaited bout happen.
Red Lions gun for first Final 4 spot vs PiratesBy Cedelf P. Tupas | Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:51 am | Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines — Still pumped up after demolishing its fierce rival with plenty to spare, San Beda shoots for the first Final Four berth against Lyceum Wednesday in the 90th NCAA basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Red Lions and the Pirates square off at 2 p.m. with San Beda gunning for win No. 13 that will stretch its run of Final Four appearances to nine seasons.
The Mendiola-based school has actually reached the finals in the past eight seasons, winning the crown seven times.
San Beda is coming off its most dominant form yet, clobbering Letran, 73-44, that avenged its first-round loss.
An upset will give the Pirates, who hold a 6-8 record, another lifeline.
Another defeat for Lyceum, though, could mean elimination especially if St. Benilde and Jose Rizal U nail their 10th victories in the next game.
With a 12-2 card, San Beda also has the inside track in the race for one of the top two seeds—and the twice-to-beat bonus in the semifinals—at the end of the eliminations.
Arellano clashes with Emilio Aguinaldo College in the second game at 4 p.m.
The Chiefs are in second spot with a 10-4 record and another win will boost their chances of nailing a twice-to-beat advantage.
There seems to be no end in sight to the Generals’ disappointing run after another lackluster effort saw them bow to the Pirates, 75-91, in their last outing.
With several stars like Jan Jamon ending their collegiate stints this season, coach Gerry Esplana is using the last few games to integrate newcomers like Joshua General to the rotation.
Still, the Generals’ chances will hinge on the form of veterans John Tayongtong and Sydney Onwubere who have taken the cudgels after Happi Noube was sidelined by an injury.
Arellano repulsed Jose Rizal U, 75-69, last Friday in their battle for second.
Dioncee Holts had 22 points and 13 boards for the Chiefs.
“Our mindset is to work hard every game because all the teams in the league cannot be taken for granted,” said the American center.
Sparks beef up UFL roster: Look who’s backBy Cedelf P. Tupas | Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:44 am | Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines — Underlining their desire to return to the top of the United Football League, the Loyola Meralco Sparks are parading a strengthened roster as well as a new coach in Simon McMenemy for the coming UFL season that starts with the FA League Cup on Saturday.
McMenemy is no stranger to Philippine football, having steered the Azkals to a semifinal finish in the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup that served as a springboard for the sport’s renaissance in the country.
His appointment as Sparks coach will reunite McMenemy with some of his players during his time with the national side, including Phil and James Younghusband and Anton del Rosario, who recently transferred from Kaya.
“I think we have the best squad in the league,” said McMenemy, who was formally introduced during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
The Sparks, who won the UFL Cup last December but finished second to Global in the league competition, underwent a massive facelift during the offseason, acquiring Jamal Fenelon, Charlie Beaton, Reuben Silitonga, Jorrel Aristorenas, Eddie Mallari, William Guerridon, Max Wright, Brian Fredrick, Josh Grommen and goalkeeper Pedro Marenco to beef up the squad.
“This squad has worked incredibly hard,” said McMenemy. “This year, with the possibility of representing the Philippines in AFC competitions, there is a great motivation for me and the players.”
Also present during the forum were manager Armand Del Rosario, Sparks board of trustees Victor Genuino, and Elwyn Borromeo, AVP of Delimondo, Loyola Meralco’s new corporate partner.
Phil Younghusband said winning the league will be an uphill climb for the Sparks.
“It’s going to be a tough league, but we want to show we are the best football club in the country,” said Phil.
UE stays alive, repulses UST; Falcons go out on winning noteBy Jasmine W. Payo | Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:43 am | Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines — University of the East moved from the brink of an unceremonious exit to within a win of crashing the UAAP Final Four.
The Warriors turned back University of Santo Tomas, 78-73, Tuesday to forge a playoff for the last semifinal slot in the men’s basketball tournament at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We worked hard to be in this position right now,” said UE coach Derrick Pumaren. “We’ve been trying to stay alive. We just have to stay alive one more time.”
UE, which at one point was at 4-5 (win-loss), tied National University at No. 4 with a 9-5 record on the final day of eliminations to force a knockout duel for a Final Four berth. UE and NU battle at 4 p.m. this Saturday, also at the Big Dome. The playoff winner will advance against No. 1 Ateneo, which totes a twice-to-beat advantage, in the Final Four.
Defending champion La Salle and Far Eastern University will clash in the other pairing, but will first dispute the No. 2 spot and the other semifinal bonus in a playoff at 4 p.m. on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Bong Galanza and Dan Alberto sparked a second-half tear as the Warriors also bucked an early distraction that saw Pumaren bench African center Charles Mammie in the first half due to disciplinary reasons. “I was kind of pissed with Charles coming in late,” said Pumaren. “I wasn’t going to use him even if we [were to] sacrifice this ballgame. Discipline is the No. 1 priority in this team.” Mammie sat out the first two quarters.
In the second game, Adamson averted a winless season with a 67-63 triumph over University of the Philippines to tie its victim at 1-13.
“I told [Mammie] we better win, or this is the last time he’ll be playing in that uniform,” Pumaren said.
UE 78—Galanza 17, Alberto 15, Sumang 10, Varilla 9, Javier 8, Mammie 7, Palma 4, Arafat 3, Guiang 2, Olayon 2, Jumao-as 1.
UST 73—Mariano 18, Daquioag 16, Abdul 13, Pe 9, Lo 7, Sheriff 6, Vigil 4, Basibas 0, Faundo 0, Gayoso 0, Lao 0, Subido 0.
Quarters: 15-17, 36-35, 60-50, 78-73
ADAMSON 67—Trollano 21, Rios 11, Ochea 9, Monteclaro 7, Polican 5, Villanueva 5, Iñigo 4, Pedrosa 3, Barrera 2, Aquino 0, Baytan 0, Garcia 0, Nalos 0.
UP 63—Dario 13, Lao 11, Gingerich 10, Reyes 9, Moralde 8, Gallarza 7, Juruena 3, Asilum 2, Vito 0, Harris 0.
Quarters: 12-24, 25-30, 50-45, 67-63