Gilas heartbeat away from making 2014 FIBA World Cup



Gary David shoots over Dmitriy Klimov. (Photo by Nuki Sabio)



Gilas Pilipinas is a heartbeat away from making the 2014 FIBA World Cup cast of participants.

Making a big turnaround from its lousy performance against Hong Kong Wednesday, Team Phl sent Kazakhstan down to its knees, 88-58, to advance to the semifinals of the 27th FIBA Asia Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena Friday night.
The Nationals punished the Kazakhs on both ends and came away with their big victory cheered lustily by the mammoth crowd in the Pasay City playing venue.
“We put in a great effort on defense. But in the end, it was the support of the crowd that kept us going,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes acknowledging the significant help of those in the gallery.
Getting past Kazakhstan, Reyes and his troops battle either South Korea or Qatar Saturday for a spot in the finale.
Chinese Taipei scored a historic first win over China, 96-78, to arrange a semifinal showdown with two-time champ Iran.
The Iranians, the heavy favorites to rule this regional world qualifier, exacted revenge versus Jordan, 94-50, in their own quarters rematch.
Winners in the Final Four Saturday automatically gain tickets to the World Cup in Spain next year. The last World Cup slot allotted to Asia goes to the winner of the bronze-medal game Sunday.
Gary David finally hit his strides and the rest had their shares in what’s easily Gilas Pilipinas’ finest showing in this FIBA Asia tourney.
“Binalik ko lang kung anong dati kong ginagawa,” said David, coming out of his shell to top score with 22 points.
“Umuwi ako sandali sa bahay kahapon, at mukhang nakatulong,” David added.
The Nationals rattled the Kazakhs early with a defensive press and were as menacing on the offensive end in pulling away early at 32-13.
They hardly relaxed from there, and thus completed a wire-to-wire victory.
Weary by the second quarter, Gilas had its lapses pounded by the Kazakhs to charge to within six at 38-44.
The Nationals, however, restored a double-digit spread at 51-38 on a two-handed jam by Marcus Douthit, a trey from Gabe Norwood and two charities from Japeth Aguilar.
Gilas kept Kazakhstan from getting its game going early with Norwood and Jason Castro alternately shackling Kazakh star guard Jerry Johnson.
The Gilas second group — Aguilar, Castro, David, Ranidel de Ocampo and Larry Fonacier – worked on crucial defensive stoppages that they translated into successive breakaway layups as the Nationals again widened the gap, 67-49, at the end of the third.
The Nationals sustained the heat to the finish.
The scores:
Philippines 88 – David 22, Castro 13, Aguilar 11, Norwood 10, Chan 7, De ocampo 6, Pingris 6, Douthit 5, Tenorio 3, Fonacier 3, Alapag 2, Fajardo 0.
Kazakhstan 58 – Klimov 14, Johnson 8, Ponomarev 8, Yevstigneyev 6, Lapchenko 5, Murgalayev 5, Bondarovich 4, Zhigulin 3, Sultanov 3, Yargaliyev 2, Bazhkin 0.
Quarterscores: 32-15, 51-40, 67-49, 88-58  (pr)

Gilas notches 67-55 win over Hong Kong

GILAS Pilipinas was given a piece of cake by Qatar earlier Wednesday. It took a lot of doing before it could eat it too.

The Filipinos came up with the firm they wanted only in the last three minutes in notching a 67-55 win over Hong Kong Wednesday and formally claim group topnotcher honors in the 27th FIBA Asia Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Marcus Douthit bucked a sore shin and finished with 13 points and eight rebounds but it was the likes of Gabe Norwood and Jayson Castro who led Gilas home by combining for a fiery windup that plucked the team out of a 58-54 count.
The win was the third straight in all for the hosts and, combined with Qatar’s 71-68 upending of erstwhile unbeaten Chinese Taipei in the afternoon, gave it top spot in Group E despite a three-way tie with those two at 4-1.
By virtue of the quotient used as tiebreak the Filipinos, Qataris and Taiwanese finished in that order in the bracket with Jordan taking the fourth quarterfinals spot from the group following a 65-56 win over Japan.
Gilas next takes on Kazakhstan in the knockout quarterfinals Friday. 
The Kazakhs have lost three in a row, the last two via blowouts to Korea and Iran, which relegated them to sure fourth in Group F. 
The other quarterfinals pairings pit Group F topnotcher Iran versus Jordan, Chinese Taipei against China and Qatar against Korea.
The loss was the fifth in as many games in all for Hong Kong, but not after a gallant stand that saw them engage the heavy favorite home team to a long drawn-out battle.
“Give credit to Hong Kong, they had a great game off a great gameplan, but as I keep saying, there’s no such thing as an easy win,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes.
“We started out flat and even though we only planned to give Marcus limited minutes I had to make sure we ground out this win,” added Reyes.
It also almost hurt Gilas’ cause when it made just 23 of 60 field goal tries and only drained five triples on 24 launches, compounded by Hong Kong’s doubling defense on Douthit.
But when winning time came Gilas was head and shoulder above Hong Kong.
Norwood led the charge with five straight points he laced withy a steal. Castro also had a drive and a swipe, typifying the Filipinos’ own lockdown defense in the stretch.(pr)

Grand horse oval fun race at Kadayawan sa Nenita Farms


By George Walter Misa

This Kadayawan 2013, expect a unique and exciting addition to the celebration.  For the first time, Nenita Farms at Marapangi, Toril flings its doors open to the public by way of holding “Kadayawan sa Nenita Farms,” a barrio fiesta style of celebrating along with the City’s famed annual festival.  A whole day affair of fun, food and games awaits the visitor to this seemingly mysterious place that was once off limits to the public, the main reason being the sensitive nature of raising swine in huge quantities. At one time, when the business boomed, the place was aptly nicknamed “Porks Park,” alluding to the enclave of the rich and famous Forbes Park in Makati. Not too many Davaoenos know that for more than forty years, Empire Joy Stud Farm also bred pure Thoroughbreds (race horses) of famous winning stock from England, US and Australia in the same property that rolls gently up to the foothills of Mt.Talomo.  No more. The piggery has been moved to a province north of the City and only a few thoroughbreds remain. In their stead now stands a monumental oval race track that can give the Sta. Ana Race Track of Manila (now in Carmona, Cavite) a run for their money.  World class in its size, track and equipment, the facility, now named San Antonio Park, is a Davao jewel waiting to be discovered. Not to forget the storied Malayan House, a wooden, South East Asian-inspired country house sitting atop the vast land, where who’s who in Philippine high society, commerce and industry and politics were entertained.

            “Kadayawan sa Nenita Farms” is therefore an event you woudn’t want to miss in this Kadayawan.  Aside from experiencing a thoroughly different environment for a change, the festivities will showcase the different products and services of the Anflocor Group of Compnies, to which Nenita Farms belongs, and will highlight the grandest fun horse races in the brand new oval race track! Come and feel the exhilarating world of horse racing!  Jump in excitement as you watch your favourite horses run the 2-kilometer race track and rush with their last ounce of energy to the finish line! Ohh, and the cash prizes! Many other games on horseback are lined up, such as the Barrel Race, Trip to Jerusalem On a Horse, Pole Bending, and Beer Drinking contest among others. Visitors will be encouraged to join line dancing and do the barn dance at Malayan House.

The horse events are being held in cooperation with the Davao Horse Club – in a partnership with Empire Joy Stud Farm that goes back 14 years of staging the Davao Horse Show & Competition. Horse aficionados and horsemen from Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon are expected to join in the fun in this first ever Kadayawan sa Nenita Farms. The date is set – August 10, Saturday and the  celebration starts at ten in the morning.  Mark the date.

Thai humbles Dabawenyo, local aces, tops ICTSI Classic

Thai Sattaya Supupramai turned a two-man duel into a one-man show, closing out with a five-under 67 and overwhelming Dabawenyo Tony Lascuna and the cream of the local crop to capture the ICTSI Classic crown at Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club in Lipa City, Batangas, August 3.
Tied with Lascuna at the start of the final round, Supupramai eagled the par-5 No. 9 for the second straight day on a superb 6-iron second shot from 180 yards that landed just two feet off the cup for a two-shot cushion. He then recovered from a bogey-bogey start at the back with four birdies against one more bogey in the last seven holes to beat Lascuna by three and pocket the Asian Development Tour leg win on his very first try.
He totaled a whopping 21-under 267 and took home the top $10,500 purse in a victory that served as a big morale boost following a series of so-so finishes on the Asian Tour.
“I didn’t expect to win. I was down by five in the first round but played hole-by-hole, not thinking of the score,” said Supupramai, who sizzled with a 64 in the third round to tie Lascuna and set up a two-man showdown.
“I am very happy to win considering this is my first ADT tournament,” added Supupramai, who could only churn out a joint 15th place effort at Sail Open in India for his best finish in six legs in this year’s Asian Tour campaign marred by two missed cuts in Chiang Mai Classic and Queen’s Cup.
Lascuña, who said Saturday that the backside will be key to his title bid, fell back early then failed to sustain a birdie-birdie windup at the front with a so-so one-birdie, one-bogey finish. He wound up with a 70 and settled for another runner-up finish at 270 worth $6,900 (P296,700).
“My putting just didn’t click at the back for the second straight day,” said Lascuna, who actually struggled at the Mt. Malipunyo side throughout the $60,000 tournament, hitting just five birdies against two bogeys in four days while feasting with 17 birdies against two bogeys at Mt. Lobo.
Angelo Que, four off the joint leaders after 54 holes, made a charge with a 33 at the front but went on a rollercoaster finish of two birdies against two bogeys for a 69. He ended up third with a 273 and took home $4,200 (P180,600).
“I tried but I was too far off. But if I only made a birdie on the 11th, it would’ve given me a chance,” said Que, referring to his putt on the par-3 hole that lipped out.
Miguel Tabuena rallied with the day’s best eagle-spiked eight-under 64 and snatched solo fourth at 274 worth $3,360 in the event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
Elmer Salvador, who beat Lascuna in last week’s Aboitiz Invitational in Cebu, also bounced back with a 66 to salvage joint fifth at 276 with Canada’s Lindsay Renolds and Korean Park Il-Hwan, who both had 69s, and Australian Darren Tan, who carded a 70. Each got $2,070.
Anthony Fernando turned in a 70 for a 277 and shared ninth place with Americans James Bowen and Greg Moss, who fired 66 and 70, respectively, Aussie David Lutterus, who made a 71, and Englishman Ian Keenan, who matched par 72. Each received $1,146.
Bracing for a shootout, Supupramai birdied the opening hole to go one-up then seized a two-stroke lead as Lascuña fumbled with a bogey on the fifth. The local ace rebounded with three birdies in the next four holes for a 34 but the Thai bet matched that windup with a birdie on No. 7 and an eagle on the ninth for a 32.
A bogey by Supupramai on the 10th kept Lascuna within but after both players bogeyed the next, the Thai birdied No. 12 to regain a two-shot lead then went three-up with another birdie on the par-5 No. 14 to virtually wrap up the match and the crown.
Not even a bogey on the 15th could slow down Supupramai as he rebounded with back-to-back birdies from No. 16 to preserve a three-stroke lead as Lascuna could only come up with a birdie in the last four holes.
The other backers of the event were Nike Golf, Srixon, Custom Clubmakers, Pacsports, Cleveland Golf, Callaway, Ping, Mizuno, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, FootJoy, Titleist, Sharp and BMW with Balls, Studio 23, and Inquirer Golf as media partners.(pr)

Gilas hurdles Qatar, 80-70

Japeth Aguilar slams over Mohd Mohamed (Photo by Nuki Sabio)
GILAS Pilipinas overcame a tough Qatar squad Tuesday in a game that should possibly prime it up for a tough quarterfinals opponent in the 27th FIBA Asia Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena.
An 80-70 win over previously unbeaten Qatar Tuesday was the second straight for the Filipinos and lined them up for a possible finish as second-best team in Group E and among the top four from the bracket proceeding to Friday’s quarterfinals.
In all, Gilas and Qatar are now tied at 3-1, lying just behind 4-0 Chinese Taipei and such a tie, if it stays at the end of the second round of eliminations Wednesday, would be broken by the winner-over-the-other rule. 
The Filipinos could even emerge group topnotcher should they win as expected over Hong Kong Wednesday and the Gulf champions beat the Taiwanese at the end of the second round of eliminations Wednesday. The three-way tie at the top would be broken by quotient.
The latter scenario is something that’s farthest from the mind of national coach Chot Reyes, who could only grudgingly admit what is fast firming up as the most distinct possibility as China is poised to take third in Group F.
“Pending a miracle I think we have just arranged a meeting with China in the quarterfinals,” said Reyes, also acknowledging there’s nothing they could do but brace up.
“If it so happens, so be it,” added Reyes. “We just have to find a way to play like this (versus Qatar) against China to have a chance.
“We have to prepare and prepare hard for the biggest battle of our tournament, in the quarterfinals.”
Marcus Douthit scored 19 points and had 14 rebounds to lead Gilas, which erected two 23-point leads but still had to do a lot of scrambling before coming out ahead. 
Douthit actually saw limited action in the last 14 minutes after injuring his right shin during an inside scramble in the third period, but briefly returned to help the likes of Jayson Castro, Jeff Chan and Japeth Aguilar bring the team home.
Qatar clawed to within 67-74, but only on two points inexplicably awarded by a referee on what seemed like an inadvertent whistle, 54.7 ticks left.
Any queasy feeling was eased when the Qataris went on a fouling spree to stop the clock but to no avail. Castro canned two charities, Chan laced a 12-point game with another freebie and Aguilar capped his finest game of the tourney yet with an alley-oop dunk off Castro’s find that made it a very safe 80-67 count, only 4.0 seconds left.
Jarvis Hayes sealed scoring with a banked-in triple and highlight his 17-point, 11 -rebound game.
Erfan Saeed Ali added 13 points but Qatar’s failure to keep pace with Gilas rankled at coach Tom Wisman most.
“I congratulate Team Philippines, they deserve to win tonight,” said the American strategist. “They taught us a lesson on how to play 40 minutes of intensity, especially in defense.”
Wisman specifically pointed out the second quarter as the start of his team’s meltdown as Gilas held Qatar to just nine points to go up by 47-29 at the half.
The difference got stretched to 55-32 and 57-34 before the Nationals went to the fourth sitting on a 63-44 cushion.
The absence of Douthit was exploited the most by Ali, who scored 11 of his points in the fourth before Hayes joined in to fan Qatar’s hopes.(pr)

May not be the kind of win expected but it would have to do for coach Chot

IT MAY not be the kind of win most expected of Gilas Pilipinas, but it would have to do for national coach Chot Reyes.

“At the back of our mind we knew this was going to be a difficult first game and I’m glad it’s behind us,” said Reyes after his team overcame Saudi Arabia, 78-66, Thursday launching off its 27th FIBA Asia Championship bid at the Mall of Asia Arena.The win tied the Filipinos with Chinese Taipei on top of Group A and primed them up for their meeting with Jordan Friday at the same Pasay City venue. The Jordanians are coming off an 87-91 loss to the Taiwanese and should the hosts win that match they are not only assured passage into the second round of the eliminations but also a better carryover record than the same team that is supposed to accompany them through.“We’re glad we were able to come out of this, but the real battle is tomorrow,” said Reyes.“That’s why we were trying to manage the minutes of everyone, trying to give them no more than 20 minutes each,” he added. “We need their energy, we need them to be fresh for tomorrow.”There is another reason why Reyes can forgive his players for not coming up with the lopsided win expected of it.“It’s pretty difficult to coach coming in blind. We are familiar with the games of the other teams. The only ones we are unsure of is Kazakhstan, that’s why we wanted to play them (in a tuneup last week). And then there are the Saudis,” related Reyes.There were only some queasy moments and each are short-lived.Once Gilas got going it posted as much as a 66-50 lead before cruising to the last 6:26 of the game.Larry Fonacier and LA Tenorio each had 12 points to pace Gilas, with Marcus Douthit adding 10 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots.Aymam Almuwallad had 18 points to lead all scorers while Mohammed Almarwani shrugged off a right knee injury he suffered in the second quarter to finish with 12 points and as many boards.In all, Gilas won the battle off the boards, 49-38, shot way better from the field 42 percent-27 percent, but committed more turnovers, 14-10.“I’m disappointed because we had too many turnovers, I think we had 11 at the half,” said Reyes. “That’s why even though we got off to a good start they (Saudis) were able to stay with us.”Any fear the sizable crowd may have had started vanishing for good in the third quarter when Douthit scored six of his points and Fonacier added four in a 22-18 attack that stretched the Gilas lead to 57-46.Fonacier’s triple and Tenorio’s reverse sparked a 9-2 surge starting off the fourth and the game turned into a mere formality the rest of the way.(pr)

Dabawenyo storms to 4-shot lead with 67

Davao’s Tony Lascuna birdied the last hole at the completion of first round play early yesterday then fired a five-under 67 to grab a four-stroke lead over Dutch Guido Van der Valk and Indon amateur William Sjaichuddin halfway through the rich ICTSI Classic at the Mt. Malarayat composite courses in Lipa City, Batangas  yesterday.

A pair of three-string birdies at the Mt. Lobo side turned what had been a lackluster backside start of 37 into another sizzling round, putting the reigning ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit champion, who matched Van der Valk’s opening eight-under 64, in the lead at 131.
But none among the next 10 pursuers are local players as Anthony Fernando, impressive with an opening 65, hobbled with a 73 and tumbled to solo 11th at 138, seven shots behind, and last week’s Aboitiz Invitational winner Elmer Salvador and runner-up Angelo Que stood way behind at 141 after a 69 and at 140 after a 73, respectively.
Van der Valk birdied Nos. 16 and 17 in tough condition in late afternoon to salvage a 71 and catch up with Sjaichuddin, who shot a bogey-free six-under 66, at 135 after falling behind with a poor opening of 38.
Japanese Yuki Usami likewise charged back after a 71 with a solid seven-under 65 to be at 136 in a tie with Aussie Darren Tan, who carded a second four-under 68, Japan’s Masaki Sakata, who shot a 67, Thai Sattaya Supupramaim, who made a 67, and American Greg Moss, who fired a 69.
Aussie David Lutterus carded a 70 to share ninth place with Malaysian Nicholas Fung, who slowed down with a 70 after a 67, at 137, six shots adrift while Arnold Villacencio rallied with a 69 to tie Cassius Casas and Elmer Saban, who both saved 71s, at 139.
“We need to match Lascuna’s solid game. He’s playing real well,” said Fernando. “Just one good under-par round, and we’ll be back in the hunt.”
Lascuna, one of the 63 players stranded due to darkness in the rain-hit first round Wednesday, actually added two birdies in six holes at the break of dawn to preserve a solid 64 and join Van der Valk in the lead of the $60,000 event, the ninth leg of the both the Asian Development Tour and the ICTSI PGT.
But the ace Davaoeno shotmaker, joint 10th in last week’s Aboitiz Invitational in Cebu, lost his rhythm at resumption of the second round in tougher condition with the pins tucked in strategic spots. He muffed four birdie putts inside six feet at Mt. Malipunyo and overshot the par-5 No. 14 from just about 80 yards for bogey, his first in 32 holes.
With a one-over 37, he tumbled down the leaderboard littered with red numbers with 46 players breaking par, nearly matching the 49 who scored under-par in the weather-suspended first round of the tournament sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
But it didn’t take long for Lascuna to recover and find himself back in a familiar spot.
He birdied three straight from No. 1 and after three straight pars, closed out with three straight birdies for the second straight day, barely missing an eagle putt from 18 feet on No. 9. The stirring finish, however, proved enough to shove him back into the lead at 13-under total heading to the final 36 holes of this ninth leg of both the ADT and the ICTSI PGT circuits.
“I’ve been struggling with my (putting) stroke the last few tournaments and I still do,” said Lascuna in Filipino. “But I’m hitting it pretty well off the tee and my iron game is quite okay.”
With a four-shot lead over Van der Valk and unheralded Sjaichuddin, things are looking up indeed for Lascuna.
Frankie Minoza blew a two-under card after 15 holes with bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 at resumption of his first round but rattled four straight birdies from No. 14 in the second round to salvage a 69. The back-to-back winner of ICTSI Del Monte and ICTSI Pueblo de Oro, however, stood 10 shots off Lascuna at 141.
Miguel Tabuena bounced back with a 69 joint the 140 scorers at 16th place who include Aussie Jake Stirling (70), American James Bowen (73), England’s Ian Keenan (70), Carl Santos-Ocampo (70), Orlan Sumcad (71), Canada’s Lindsay Renolds (69), Thai Tommy Mansuwan (69). Rufino Bayron (71), Randy Garalde (71) and Que.
The other backers of the event are Nike Golf, Srixon, Custom Clubmakers, Pacsports, Cleveland Golf, Callaway, Ping, Mizuno, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, FootJoy, Titleist, Sharp and BMW with Balls, Studio 23, and Inquirer Golf as media partners.(pr)