Blackwater owner thinks Ellis on his way out of PBA after continued no show

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/
Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy couldn’t be more disappointed with Chris Ellis after the Fil-Am forward refused to report to the squad’s practices.

Speaking to the media, the amiable executive shared that he thinks that the 28-year-old Ellis is already on his way out of the league.

“Actually I think he is on the exit already from the PBA. Otherwise, if you’re interested to play, you have no choice but to follow the trade,” he said. “So far, in the past three years I’m in the PBA, this is the first time I found a player who doesn’t report in a trade. So we won’t force the issue.”

Ginebra shipped Ellis together with center Dave Marcelo to the Elite in exchange for the injured Art dela Cruz and Raymond Aguilar last August.
Since being dealt, he has just showed up once in the team’s practice before complaining of a kidney problem which needed hospitalization. That was the last time the team saw of the former Slam Dunk champion.
In a tweet last November 12, Ellis seemed to be bidding his fans goodbye.
“I want to sincerely thank everyone who has shown love n concern for me! Thank you!! Im Excited for what the future holds! Until we meet again!”
Sy admitted that the Blackwater camp still tried to get a hold of Ellis as much as they could, to no avail.
“I’ve been asking around — both MVP and SMC group, I don’t think any of the teams have shown any interest. We offered some trade but there’s no takers, so let us stay as is and let’s see what he’ll do on his own career,” he said.
Ellis’ contract expired last August, and if he decides to play once more in the PBA, the Elite will retain his rights.
The high-flying forward averaged 6.4 points3.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in his five-year run with the Gin Kings.


Two weeks after last fight, Iniong faces Yamaguchi in ONE Singapore card

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/
Filipino fighter Gina Iniong has been tapped as substitute opponent for Japanese veteran Mei Yamaguchi in the ONE: Immortal Pursuit card set on Nov. 24 at Singapore Indoor Stadium, just two weeks after her last bout.

Iniong was announced as a late replacement for Angela Lee, who had to withdraw from her scheduled title defense after figuring in a car crash in Hawaii last week.

Iniong and Yamaguchi are familiar with each other having fought three years ago in the Pacific Xtreme Combat and both are expecting a stiff challenge.

“Facing Mei Yamaguchi three years ago was like going through the eye of a needle. That bout opened doors of great opportunity for me in this sport,” said Iniong, who is coming off a second-round victory over Priscilla Hertati Lumbangaol last Friday in ONE: Legends of World at Mall of Asia Arena.
READ: Iniong wins debut in ONE undercard
“I am expecting a tough duel with her again on 24 November in Singapore. I have lofty goals in ONE Championship, and I must win this match to achieve them.”
The 34-year-old Yamaguchi praised Iniong for agreeing to the fight despite having only little time to prepare.
“I commend Gina Iniong for taking this match on a short notice. She is a good martial arts artist with promising potential in the division,” said Yamaguchi, who stopped Jennu Huang last June.
READ: ONE: Team Lakay bets Pacio, Iniong score KOs
“Gina is in good hands, training with no less than the best at Team Lakay. I have faced her before, and she is always in good condition. As always, I am in tiptop shape for every bout. Brace yourselves for fireworks.”


Elusive title within Louie Vigil's arm's reach after being drafted by San Miguel

ROOKIE. Louie Vigil says he's ready to help San Miguel's starters catch a breather and reinforce their second shift. File photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines - After losing two championship battles in college, PBA rookie Louie Vigil can win as many titles as he wants with the San Miguel Beermen.

Vigil, who was picked 17th overall by the Beermen in the 2017 PBA Draft last Sunday, October 19, admitted he was told by his agent that he will be selected as either a late first or early second rounder but would not trade anything now that he is part of a team that won two conference titles last season.

“For me, late ako napick pero blessing in disguise, buti this team chose me,” said the former UST Tigers stalwart.

(For me, I was picked late but this is a blessing in disguise. Fortunately, this team chose me.)

“Kung papapiliin ako ngayon, mas pipiliin ko ‘yung posisyon ko ngayon.”

(If I would choose between being picked early or being picked by the Beermen, I would choose my position now.)

During his career in the UAAP, Vigil and the Tigers suffered finals losses to Ateneo de Manila University in 2012 and Far Eastern University in 2015. In 2014, the 26-year-old, who was not included in the roster due to academic deficiencies, had to watch the Tigers absorb another finals defeat to the De La Salle University.

But with the Beermen, who were a championship short of the grand slam last season, that elusive title is now within Vigil’s reach.

“’Di pa tayo nakakatikim ng championship sa UAAP, that elusive title will always be my dream and ngayong Philippine Cup, if ever na maging part man ako ng team, maging part man ako ng rotation, I will do my best to help my team, I’ll do whatever it takes para makasama ako sa champion.”

(I never won a championship in the UAAP and that elusive title will always be my dream. In the upcoming Philippine Cup, if ever I will be a part of the team, if ever I get to be part of the rotation, I will do my best to help my team and I’ll do whatever it takes to be a champion.)

With Ronald Tubid, who served as Marcio Lassiter’s backup at the shooting guard position, being part of the Kia-SMB trade involving the Picanto’s top pick, Vigil’s chances of getting playing time has been made easier.

But knowing coach Leo Austria’s tendency to give the bulk of minutes to his starting 5, the former NCAA juniors’ MVP has to work his way up the rotation.

“I think I can help them to win more games and rest their starters well. ‘Yun ang pagtatrabahuhan ko ngayon, maging maganda ‘yung second unit ni coach Leo para mahaba ‘yung pahinga ng mga starters.”

(I think I can help them to win more games and rest their starters well. That is what I will work on, to make coach Leo’s second unit productive in order to give the starters rest.) –

Curry fined $50,000 for tossing mouthpiece

Oct 21, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) argues with referee Scott Wall (31) during the second half against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. Memphis defeated Golden State 111-101. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Former two-time NBA MVP and Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has been fined $50,000 by the league for throwing his mouthpiece in the direction of a referee during Saturday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, the NBA announced Monday afternoon.

Curry threw his mouthpiece in the direction of a referee in response to a no-call on drive with 43.6 seconds remaining in an eventual 111-101 loss for the Warriors.

Curry and teammate Kevin Durant were both ejected from the game after arguing with officials about the incident. Durant was not fined.

“In the grand scheme of things, it’s Game 3, we were playing terrible, I was frustrated because I was fouling and I thought I got fouled on the last play. The reaction was definitely a little over the top,” Curry said, according to ESPN.

Golden State forward Andrew Iguodala was also fined $15,000 by the NBA for verbally abusing an official during the incident.

It is the second instance Curry has been fined by the NBA for throwing his mouthpiece. He was fined $25,000 for throwing his mouthpiece into the crowd and hitting a fan in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

Curry is averaging 29.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.7 rebounds this season.

Laurente conquers bad boy image to become CESAFI Junior MVP

LESSONS LEARNED. Laurente makes the most of out of this season after his punishment-filled run last year. Photo by PJ Estan.

CEBU CITY, Philippines - From being the league’s bad boy to the 2017 CESAFI junior basketball MVP, the transformation of University of Visayas (UV) Baby Lancers Beirn Anthony Laurente can’t get any better.

The point guard and shooting guard admitted that he did not expect to get the prestigious honor because in their team alone, there were many who were also good and all useful to the team. Nevertheless, he was happy he got the award.

“Lipay kaayu kay mao na ako pangandoy sukad pag sulod nako sa UV. Nya dugay nana nako gepangayu sa Ginoo, taga gabie ko mag-ampo na ma MVP ko.” (I am very happy because I have always aspired for that since I joined UV. I asked that from God for so long, every night I pray that I become the MVP.)

His mother who was in town to watch and support him during the finals said she was very happy for her son as this was his ambition since he was 3 years old.

Prior to this season, Laurente had a reputation for his physical game on court and for being a troublemaker. However, it all came to head last season when he was thrown out from two games, incurred a total penalty of P15,000, and was made to do a total of 12 hours community service.

In the CESAFI, any player who is thrown out of the game will not only be suspended for one game but he will also have to pay a penalty and do community service. First offense would entail the player a P5,000 fine and 4 hours of community service. A second offense would double the penalty and the hours of serving the community, while a third would get a player banned from CESAFI. The rules are strict to deter recidivism among players.

However, it had to happen twice before Laurente realized things.

Laurente was thrown out the first time during a pre-CESAFI season game wherein he hit Don Bosco Greywolves’ Ken Gato with the ball. UV paid for the penalty and Laurente was tasked to clean a gym in one of the Cebu City barangays for four hours.

It apparently was not enough to jolt Laurente as he was again thrown out of the ballgame, this time during the season, when he hit University of Cebu Junior Webmasters’ John Bryl Cuyos in the face. UV then split the P10,000 penalty fee with Laurente so the cager had to shell out P5,000 and was tasked to do 8 hours of community service.

He managed to split the 8 hours—4 hours of cleaning and the remaining four hours of teaching basketball under the Cebu City Sports Commission grassroots program. League officials hoped he sees the wisdom of sharing his talent to young ones.

Following that second punishment, Laurente realized that being a hot head on court wasn’t worth it.

“Ako bad boy sa court, di ko ganahan mawala na nako kay mao na ako gusto, play physical ba, nya sukad atong naka community service ko kaduha kay kaduha man ko nakasa, didto rako natagam nga di man jud lalim.” (I am a bad boy on the court, I didn’t want to lose that tag because it is what I want, to play physical, but ever since I was made to do community service twice because I committed a mistake twice, I got discouraged because it is not really easy.)

There is a reason why Laurente resorts to playing physical. He said basketball is his outlet for his anger.

“Basketball, ara ra nako ma-ipagawas ako kalagot, og naa man gani ko problema dira nako masulbad kay para sa ako basketball is my life man.” (It is through basketball that I can let my anger out, if ever I have a problem, I solve it by playing basketball because basketball for me is life.)

But after serving his punishments, Laurente said he will still play hard on court but he now knows better than to let his anger get the best of him in a game.

Laurente started playing for the UV Baby Lancers since he was in 9th grade four years ago.

His older brother, who plays in a varsity league in Palompon, Leyte, was the one who influenced him to play basketball.

Laurente said he was a native of Baybay, also in Leyte. He grew up in Palompon before his family decided to return permanently to Baybay.

He was a student at the Franciscan College of Immaculate Conception when he signed up for a UV basketball clinic in their school in 2013. It was there that he was spotted by UV scouting coach Van Halen Parmis, also a native of Baybay. Laurente was asked to try out, then was accepted to UV’s junior team.

However, his mother wanted him to play with UV’s passerelle first as he was still in the 8th grade. He played passarelle for a for a year before he moving up to the UV Baby Lancers.

Now that he is an MVP, his biggest achievement in the sport so far, Laurente said he still feels the same about himself.

“Ako na feel sa ako sarili kay mao ra gehapon sauna, nya humble gehapon bisag unsa pa imo naabtan.” (I feel the same way as I felt before, and I should stay humble no matter my achievements.)

Safe to say that with his incredible transformation, there’s more to look forward from Laurente who like any young basketball player hopes to someday play in the PBA. –

Who Is Laurene Powell Jobs? Apple Founder Steve Jobs’ Widow Set to Become NBA’s Newest Billionaire Owner

Laurene Powell Jobs at Pier 48, San Francisco, California, September 20. Steve Jennings/Getty


One of the wealthiest women in the world has reportedly become the newest owner of an NBA team. Laurene Powell Jobs, the billionaire philanthropist, has bought a stake in Monumental Sports & Entertainment which controls the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Capitals, according to The Washington Post.

Her investment, said to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, will see Powell Jobs own 20 percent of Monumental, the second largest stake after Ted Leonsis. Though the deal is yet to be approved by the NBA and NHL, Powell Jobs is set to become one of the most influential women in sports.

She would be only the fourth female NBA franchise owner, joining Jeanie Buss of the Lakers, Ann Walton Kroenke of the Nuggets, and Gail Miller of the Jazz.

On March 18, 1991, Laurene Powell’s surname got a little longer, adding what would become one of the world’s most well-known names: Jobs. She married Steve Jobs, the late chief executive and co-founder of Apple Inc. who died in 2011, and much of her $20 billion fortune comes from her stock in the company.

According to the Post’s report, Powell Jobs also owns four percent of the Walt Disney Company. This vast wealth has allowed her engage in philanthropic work. In 2004, she launched Emerson Collective, which is an organization “dedicated to removing barriers to opportunity so people can live to their full potential.”

It focuses on education, immigration reform, environmental issues and social justice. Earlier this summer, Emerson Collective also bought a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine, sharing ownership with David Bradley. The name Emerson Collective, Powell Jobs says, was inspired by the co-founder of The Atlantic, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

“What I loved about Laurene from the first is that her confidence was forged on a different coast,” Bradley said. “And, if anything, her ambition is greater than my own.”

Owning an NBA franchise has clearly been a target for Powell Jobs. A few years ago, she reportedly launched an ultimately unsuccessful bid for the L.A. Clippers and, according to NetsDaily, she was also interested in purchasing the Brooklyn Nets in 2015. Fortunately, for Powell Jobs, she looks to have been more successful this time round with the Wizards, valued at $1 billion in 2015 but likely to be worth more now.

Her desire to get involved in an NBA team is intended to help drive forward the Emerson Collective goal. “Laurene and Ted share the same commitment to a double bottom line, that the best companies are those that do good in their communities,” a source told the Post.

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