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Cone wary of Fajardo, Beermen as series begins (September 26, 2016)
Musong R. Castillo [ Source: Inquirer ]

Tim Cone. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

WHEN Tim Cone talks, people listen. And believe him, too.

Cone had declared a few days ago that the Beermen are “the team to beat.”

So, for all intents and purposes, this half of the Final Four series of the PBA Governors’ Cup pitting his Barangay Ginebra crew against San Miguel Beer will ultimately crown the season-ending champion.

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SMB inspired to retain crown (September 26, 2016)
Joaquin Henson [ Source: Philippine Star ]

 San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria said yesterday he expects a chess match against Barangay Ginebra in their best-of-five PBA Governors Cup semifinal series and wouldn’t be surprised if the showdown goes the distance.

Last Aug. 14, defending champion San Miguel beat Ginebra, 111-105, in double overtime with original import Arizona Reid compiling 26 points. Reid left the lineup after six games and was replaced by Mike Singletary on an interim basis before Elijah Millsap came to lead San Miguel to back-to-back wins heading into the semifinals.

“AZ didn’t want to risk tearing his Achilles tendon which was swollen,” said Austria. “We told him we’re willing to wait for him to recover but he couldn’t commit so we decided to do Plan B. We brought in Mike on a temporary basis while Elijah finished up his commitments in the US. Elijah was hoping to get back in the NBA with San Antonio. Five of our players in the active lineup were his teammates when Elijah took Petron to the 2013 Governors Cup finals and they kept tweeting him to come back. When he finally showed up, we gave him a warm welcome. He’s a hard worker and an inspiring motivator. With Elijah, we have an import who can play one, two, three or four on both ends. He can bring the ball up, play inside or the perimeter. Our guys are hungry to win. If our teams were in different brackets, we both could’ve ended up playing in the finals.”

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Too close to call: PBA semis start Monday (September 26, 2016)
[ Source: Inquirer ]

PBA Semis: TNT vs. Meralco; SMB vs. Ginebra. Inquirer.net photo

There were no surprises at the end of the 2016 PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals as the top four teams went on to the next round.

And it isn’t a bad thing with each of the semifinal match-ups having the potential to be a classic duel.

The Final Four begins on Monday with crowd-drawers San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra locking horns.

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Rain or Shine import Pierre Henderson-Niles makes a move against SMB's June Mar Fajardo. Photo courtesy of the PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel big man June Mar Fajardo remains on track for a third consecutive Most Valuable Player (MVP) award as he leads the league in statistical points at the end of the quarterfinals of the PBA Governors' Cup.

Fajardo, who won the Best Player of the Conference trophy in the All-Filipino Cup, has an average of 39.5 statistical points (SPs) after the quarterfinals of the Governors' Cup.

In far second is TNT's Jayson Castro, who has an average of 34.7 SPs. GlobalPort's Terrence Romeo (33.5 SPs), Alaska's Calvin Abueva (32.1 SPs) and GlobalPort's Stanley Pringle (31.2 SPs) round out the top five.

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White eyes NBA again after first pro stint in PBA (September 26, 2016)
Mark Giongco [ Source: Inquirer ]

James White. PBA IMAGES

ANTIPOLO—A month after going undrafted in the NBA, James White’s basketball journey brought him overseas to Manila, thousands of miles away from home.

As a dewy-eyed 22-year-old fresh out of college, White didn’t know what to expect as he took on the world.

All he needed was a chance and the opportunity was his for the taking as an import for Mahindra in the PBA.

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International Basketball

Former NBA player Jimmer Fredette broke the hearts of Mighty Sports-Philippines in the Merlion Cup as he engineered a 78-77 victory for the Shanghai Sharks in the gold medal game of the tournament Sunday night at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.

Fredette torched Mighty Sports-Philippines with 43 points, and hit three free throws with no time left to lift the Sharks to a come-from-behind victory.

Mighty Sports, led by Al Thornton and Kiefer Ravena, led by as much as 14 points, 69-55, in the fourth quarter before Fredette anchored Shanghai's comeback.

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FEU's Orizu not amused with Moralde's 'flop' (September 26, 2016)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 FEU's Prince Orizu had 15 rebounds and four rejections against UP. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Far Eastern University (FEU) center Prince Orizu did not mince words when asked about an offensive foul called on him early in the fourth quarter of their UAAP Season 79 game against University of the Philippines.

Orizu was whistled for an offensive foul – his first of the game – at the 7:19 mark of the fourth quarter when he swung his elbow and saw UP guard Dave Moralde drop to the court, clutching his face as if in pain.

The FEU crowd was displeased with the call, especially after it was shown on replays that Orizu did not even graze Moralde.

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UP's Desiderio insists: 'Natamaan talaga ako' (September 26, 2016)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

UAAP

MANILA, Philippines – University of the Philippines (UP) guard Paul Desiderio maintains he was hurt by Far Eastern University (FEU) counterpart Ron Dennison in a crucial encounter that led to the latter's ejection in their UAAP Season 79 game on Sunday.

With just 2:48 to go in their game and UP trailing 44-47, Desiderio fell to the court, grabbing at his stomach. Dennison was called for a disqualifying foul on the play as he was alleged to have thrown a punch at Desiderio's midsection.

Desiderio was given two free throws – making one – while Dennison was ejected. UP also got a bonus possession.

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UST import Afoakwah a bright spot in loss to NU (September 26, 2016)
Randolph B. Leongson [ Source: Inquirer ]

In this file photo, UST’s William Afoakwah attempts a one-hander as La Salle’s Ben Mbala looks on. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

University 0f Santo Tomas may have succumbed to National University on Sunday, but for coach Boy Sablan, he’s slowly seeing improvements from his team, especially from his big man William Afoakwah.

“William is an aggressive player. Although hindi nakaka-finish, yung rebounding nya hindi naman masama para sa isang rookie,” he said.

Afoakwah had his best game to date in the Growling Tigers’ 75-68 loss to the Bulldogs as he finished with a career-best 15 rebounds to go with his seven points and two blocks.

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Racela, Dennison question disqualifying foul (September 26, 2016)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

UAAP

MANILA, Philippines – Far Eastern University (FEU) head coach Nash Racela is calling for a review of the disqualifying foul called on veteran guard Ron Dennison during their hard-fought victory over the University of the Philippines (UP) in the UAAP Season 79 tournament.

Dennison was thrown out of the game with still 2:48 to go and FEU clinging to a 47-44 lead after he was adjudged to have punched UP guard Paul Desiderio in the stomach. The Tamaraws went on to win, 51-49, but not before Desiderio and the Maroons tied the game with still two minutes to go.

"I think that's something that the Commissioner has to review," Racela said of the incident. "I know Dennison has been a marked man, (but) he's been playing really, really clean this year."

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