MANILA, Philippines – San Mig Coffee will look for their third-straight championship crown when they begin their PBA Commissioner's Cup campaign against GlobalPort at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.
The Mixers recently completed back-to-back title wins after beating the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters to claim the Philippine Cup, adding to their Governors’ Cup conquest against the San Miguel Beermen (previously the Petron Blaze Boosters).
“Although our break between conferences was about the same as the last one, we feel better prepared to start the conference this time around,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone in the PBA website.
Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player Marcus Douthit isn’t going anywhere, even if there’s a possibility that Andray Blatche may soon take his place in time for the FIBA World Cup in Spain.
“No. I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying here,” said the 6-foot-11 Douthit.
[caption id="attachment_109106" align="alignright" width="300"] Marcus Douthit[/caption]
The defending champion Aces will try to follow up on their first win of the tournament when they take on the Bolts.
Alaska barged into the win column last Saturday after rallying past GlobalPort behind Robert Dozier.
The reigning Best Import will have his hands full against Meralco import Brian Butch, the tallest reinforcement in the tournament. The sweet-shooting center scored 29 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in his first PBA game, but got little support from his teammates as the Bolts were blown out in their opening assignment against San Miguel Beer.
Air 21 coach Franz Pumaren sees Aldrech Ramos’ shooting as a big key for his team after the Express acquired the second-year forward in a trade with the Alaska Aces on Monday.
“We wanted a tall guy who can stretch the floor for us and Aldrech is a good fit,” Pumaren told InterAksyon.com.
The lanky 6-foot-5 forward adds ceiling to the Express on defense and versatility on offense, with his range extending out to the three-point stripe. Air 21 lost frontcourt shooting when it traded top gun KG Canaleta last conference.
Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks are expected to finalize a deal that will give the legendary coach control of the club's front office by the end of this week, according to a league source.
"Everything is pretty much done," the source said. "There are just some little things here and there that need to be worked out, but the Knicks are very confident that this is essentially done."
An official announcement might not come until next week, the source said.
The Alaska Aces picked up the rights to Ren-Ren Ritualo on Tuesday soon after the veteran shooting guard was released by the Air 21 Express.
Sheryl Reyes, who represents Ritualo, told InterAksyon.com about the latest development.
According to Reyes, Air 21 team executive Lito Alvarez informed the league about the release.
MANILA, Philippines – Meralco import Brian Butch understands that as the tallest import in the ongoing PBA Commissioners Cup, he is seen as a target, but said he has no problem with the physical play in the league.
Butch was measured at 6-foot-10¼, the tallest among imports, and marked his debut with a 29-point, 21-rebound performance that came in a 76-94 loss to San Miguel Beer.
“I’m the tallest import and a target,” Butch readily acknowledged in an interview with Joaquin Henson of The Philippine Star.
MANILA, Philippines —It may seem farfetched, but there’s a chance PBA stars could represent the country in a Fiba 3×3 tournament.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is not discounting the possibility of sending an all-pro team to the Asia-Pacific leg of the Fiba 3×3 World Tour in Tokyo this October.
The Philippines will be fielding in three slots in the event, staking spots in the World Tour, set here in July.
Greg Slaughter continues to make an impact in the PBA, as Ginebra's rookie center placed first in the PBA's All-Star balloting, said the league in a press release on Tuesday.
The first overall draft pick, after reaching the Philippine Cup semifinals and landing as a top-five candidate in the Best Player of the Conference race, is set to star at the All-Star Game on April 6, to be held at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 7’0” Slaughter bested all players, garnering 61,680 votes from online and in-venue balloting, and will start the game alongside Ginebra teammates Chris Ellis with 44,630 and Mac Baracael with 33,756 as the third front court player.
TEHRAN – Iranian national basketball team coach Mehmed Becirovic said that the Iranian team has been pitted with the strong teams in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, but they are anticipating reaching the next stage.
The Iranian outfit has been drawn with London Olympics silver medalist Spain in Group A as well as the European champion France, Brazil, Serbia, and Egypt.
“Iran has been drawn in a tough group but we will do our best to book a place in the next round. I always like to compete with the best teams. Iran has high-quality players and could advance from the group stage. That’s why we will be participating in the competitions,” Becirovic said.