Sports

Jericho Cruz placed on trading block as Rain or Shine faces Meralco

The ROS team management is now amenable to letting go of Jericho Cruz for as long as they get an acceptable trade. | PBA Images
MANILA, Philippines – Fiery Magnolia guns for the solo lead in taking on skidding Blackwater even as Rain or Shine tangles with Meralco in what could well be its last game with playmaker Jericho Cruz in the PBA Philippine Cup at the MOA Arena in Pasay City Friday night.

The Hotshots chase a fifth straight win and sixth in seven games in all while the Elite look to check a three-game slide as they clash in the 4:30 p.m. curtain-raiser.

Magnolia, which currently shares the lead with San Miguel Beer at 5-1, is the odds-on pick even as Paul Lee is a doubtful starter due to a severe ankle sprain sustained in a bad fall in their last game against TNT KaTropa Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Elasto Painters square off with the Bolts at 7 p.m., hoping to overcome distractions brought about by the growing disenchantment of certain players to coach Caloy Garcia.

For one, the ROS team management is now amenable to letting go of Cruz for as long as they get an acceptable trade.

NLEX, Kia, Phoenix Petroleum and TNT KaTropa are among teams interested on Cruz.

Raymond Almazan has also expressed his desire to be traded, but Garcia still hopes he can patch things up with the 6-foot-7 center.

“Coach Caloy said he’ll talk again with Raymond. Baka raw tampo lang,” said Danny Espiritu, agent of Almazan.

“But Cruz has said his wish to coach Caloy, and the management has decided they’re letting him go for an acceptable trade deal,” said Espiritu.

A possibility is a swap between Cruz and NLEX guard Kevin Alas. There’s also the offer of Kia involving Reden Celda and a future draft pick.

Amidst this issue, the E-Painters are trying to stay positive, hoping to score a follow-up to their 97-86 toppling of the Road Warriors the last time out.

The Elasto Painters are currently in a three-way logjam at fifth place with the Barangay Ginebra Kings and the GlobalPort Batang Pier at 3-3. The Bolts are a full game behind at 2-4.

The Hotshots are the hottest team at the moment but they’re wary of the Elite.

“They are very dangerous since they have lost their last three games,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.

“We need to match their effort and aggressiveness. We also need to work on our consistency on both ends, and minimize our turnovers,” Victolero also said.

NBA: Drummond replaces Wall on Team LeBron

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond was named Tuesday to replace injured Washington Wizards guard John Wall on the Team LeBron James’ squad for next month’s NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver selected Drummond for the February 18 contest. It will be his second all-star appearance, having previously represented the Pistons in 2016.

Wall was selected by NBA coaches as an all-star reserve and selected by Cleveland’s James in the talent draft to fill out rosters for his squad and a team led by Golden State star Stephen Curry.

But Wall, expected to miss up to six weeks after treatment for a left knee injury, will be unable to play. When an all-star is sidelined, the commissioner selects a replacement from the same conference as the lost player.

Drummond is averaging an NBA-best and career-high 15.1 rebounds a game as well as 14.7 points, 1.37 blocked shots and career highs of 3.8 assists and 1.54 steals. The six-year NBA veteran has 176 assists this season, 19 more than in his previous two campaigns combined.

Drummond had the most votes from coaches for an all-star reserve spot among Eastern Conference players who weren’t selected. (AFP)

Lady Blazers scalp Lady Chiefs, boost bid

College of St. Benilde (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Games Today (The Arena, San Juan City)

8 a.m. – San Beda vs SSCR (Juniors)
9:30 a.m. – San Beda vs SSCR (Men’s)
11 a.m. – San Beda vs SSCR (Women’s)
12:30 p.m. – Mapua vs Perpetual (Women’s)
2 p.m. – Mapua vs Perpetual (Men’s)

College of St. Benilde showed championship experience as it shocked streaking defending titlist Arellano University, 25-21, 25-20, 19-25, 25-12, yesterday to bolster its Final Four hopes in NCAA women’s volleyball The Arena in San Juan City.

The win, which improved the Lady Blazers record to 4-3, propelled them to joint fourth with the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers while dealing the Lady Chiefs’ their first loss of the season after a seven-game winning run.

St. Benilde, likewise, snapped Arellano’s imposing 19-game winning streak from last season.

Despite the defeat, Arellano clinched the first Final Four slot with only one game left in its elimination schedule against San Sebastian on Thursday.

Skipper Ranya Musa scored 17 points including five blocks while Rachel Austero added 15 as St. Benilde relied on their combination plays, sharp serves and solid defense to frustrate Arellano.

Marites Pablo and Klarisa Abriam also provided reinforcements with 13 points apiece.

Earlier, Letran arrested a two-game skid as it outhustled Emilio Aguinaldo College, 25-21, 25-27, 25-19, 20-25, 15-12.

Jaymeleene Parin and Miracle Mendoza scored 18 and 17 points, respectively, including a combined 29 kills for the Lady Knights, whose win improved their tally to 3-4 and fanned their Final Four campaign.

Gin Kings shocker

PBA IMAGES
Tim Cone was in shock Sunday night, minutes after a bizarre finish had his undermanned Barangay Ginebra crew snapping a three-game losing streak in the PBA Philippine Cup.

The multititled coach drew a hero out of one of the most obscure men on his bench, as the Gin Kings brought down erstwhile unbeaten sister team San Miguel Beer, 100-96, that put them back in the middle of the pack at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

“This was a mismatch, in the first quarter, we had no chance,” Cone said after the Beermen looked like they were simply going through the motions. “Our guys just dug in and made a run at halftime and we kept momentum.

“We started believing and that was the key. We kept forgetting how good we could be.”
Raymond Aguilar was the surprise performer for the Kings, who leveled their record to 3-3 and dealt the Beermen their first loss in six games, dropping San Miguel into a tie for the lead with another sister team, Magnolia.
“Who would have thought it?” Cone asked of the win, before heaping praise on “the other Aguilar. “He was just phenomenal. He guarded June Mar (Fajardo) all game, he hit big shots, made big plays on his own. He was amazing.”
Raymond Aguilar tied his career-high with 16 points, and though he actually didn’t limit Fajardo, who finished with 33, he had some big buckets that kept the Beermen at bay.
Cone is now looking forward to the Kings’ next game on Saturday against NLEX at Cuneta Astrodome where 7-foot cornerstone Greg Slaughter could make his return.
Confusion marred the final 4.6 seconds when Chris Ross took the first of two free throws originally intended for Chico Lanete. He was slapped a technical foul as Tenorio made it a safe four-point lead for Ginebra.
GlobalPort, still without star Terrence Romeo, scored an impressive 107-88 plastering of Meralco in the first game.
Meanwhile, former Purefoods point guard Ulysses Tanigue passed away on Sunday due to a lingering illness. He was 43.

 

Akari-Adamson stuns Marinerong Pilipino in PBA D-League thriller

NAIL-BITER. Jerrick Ahanmisi (right) was clearly the best player of the game. PBA photo

MANILA, Philippines – In one of the early contenders for game of the season, the Akari-Adamson Soaring Falcons orchestrated a comeback stunner over the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, 80-75, in their first-ever game of the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup in the Ynares Sports Arena, Thursday, January 25.

Marinerong Pilipino jumped to an early lead thanks to the sweet shooting of Billy Ray Robles and Kyle Toth, who both scored 8 points in the opening frame. Returning UST guard Enzo Subido and DLSU big man Abu Tratter showed up next for the Skippers in the 2nd quarter, scoring 7 and 6 points respectively, to put them up 10, 45-35. Akari stopped the bleeding a bit, but still trailed 48-42 at the half.

Jerrick Ahanmisi then exploded out of the gates for Akari at the start of the 3rd quarter, going on an 11-0 personal run capped off with an and-one three-pointer. Philip Paredes and Joseph Terso did their part for the Skippers but failed to match Ahanmisi’s eruption. After 3, Marinerong Pilipino only led by a bucket, 65-63.

Ahanmisi took care of that deficit to begin the 4th period, draining his 4th trey for the Akari go-ahead, 66-65. They then suffered an injury scare in the heat of the action as fill-in starting point guard Jerom Lastimosa landed hard on his back and had to be helped off the court.

Both teams went back-and-forth for the final 3 minutes and were in a tense deadlock with 23 seconds left in regulation. However, the Skippers committed a crucial mistake and turned the ball over to Ahanmisi, who then passed it to Simon Camacho for the and-1 layup. Almost immediately, the stands filled with Marinerong Pilipino fans started to empty out as the Skippers’ last-ditch trey clanked out.

Ahanmisi was the clear-cut choice for Player of the Game after finishing with a game-high 23 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4/8 three-pointers. Sean Manganti followed him with 13 points and 3 boards. For the Skippers, it was Robles who still led the team in scoring with 13 points even though he was blanked for the entire second half.

SCORES:

Akari-Adamson 80 – Ahanmisi 23, Manganti 13, Lastimosa 9, Catapusan 8, Mojica 7, Hill 6, Buenaventura 4, Sarr 4, Camacho 3, Longalong 2, Espeleta 0, Bernardo 0, Macion 0, Lojera 0

Marinerong Pilipino 75 – Robles 13, Toth 11, Terso 9, Subido 9, Tratter 8, Paredes 8, Ayonayon 4, Banal 4, Babilonia 2, Tolentino 2, Lopez 2, Pasaol 2, Inigo 0, Olivares 0

QUARTERSCORES: 19-26, 42-48, 63-65, 80-75

STANDINGS (as of Jan. 25, 2018)

Zark’s-LPU 2-1

Akari-AdU 1-0

Che’Lu-SSC 1-0

Go For Gold-CSB 1-0

JRU 1-0

Wangs-Letran 1-0

Marinerong Pilipino 1-1

EAC 0-1

Gamboa-St. Clare 0-1

Mila’s Lechon 0-1

Perpetual 0-1

AMA 0-2

CEU 0-0

Arellano survives stern test, turns back Perpetual

Arellano University survived its toughest test yet, climbing back from two sets down to beat University of Perpetual Help, 22-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-20, 15-5, in the NCAA Season 93 women’s volleyball tournament Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Lady Chiefs leaned on their trio of Jovielyn Prado, Andrea Marzan and Regine Arocha, who combined for 50 points.
“We played so bad in the first two sets so I made adjustments beginning the third set and things started to click,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier in Filipino after steering his squad to its 18th consecutive win dating back to last season.

Prado scored 20 points with four blocks while Marzan and Arocha scored 16 and 14 points, respectively.
“I just told them to play with heart,” Prado said in Filipino. “The games become more important as the season goes so we have to treat every game like there’s no tomorrow.”
After a tough first four sets, defending champion Arellano showed its composure and raced to a 10-1 start in the deciding fifth set.
Maria Tripoli had 20 points while Cindy Imbo added 19 for the Lady Altas, whose lead over fourth-running San Sebastian in the standings is now just half a game after falling to 4-2.
Joyce Sta. Rita set a career-high to lead San Sebastian past Mapua, 25-20, 25-7, 29-31, 25-14, in the other match.

 

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