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Philippine Arena. Photo from Wikipedia

It’s looking like the opening ceremonies of the PBA’s new season will be held at the 55,000-seat Philippine Arena in Bulacan.

PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial told InterAksyon.com that the biggest arena in the country has met the league’s standard after an ocular inspection on Thursday.

“Ok na, mayroon nang flooring, mayroon na siyang court, everything na kailangan para sa game,” Marcial said in a telephone interview.

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Lee formally rejoins Rain or Shine today (September 19, 2014)
Musong R. Castillo [ Source: Inquirer ]

D-League

Paul Lee, barring any unforeseen development, will sign a fresh three-year pact worth the maximum P15.12 million with Rain or Shine today before he leaves with the Gilas Pilipinas squad for the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

Lee and agent Lawrence Chongson are expected at Rain or Shine’s Pasig City offices to sign the deal and end what had been weeks of messy developments surrounding the former Rookie of the Year’s future.

“I am happy that this is over and done with,” the 25-year-old Lee said in Filipino as he officially joins the long list of PBA superstar millionaires. “Coach (Yeng Guiao) also told me that everything will be well again in the team after I sign.”

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Ricky Rubio averaged 9.5 points and 8.6 assists for the Timberwolves last season. Tom Dahlin/NBAE via Getty Images

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Timberwolves general manager Milt Newton says he is optimistic the team can sign point guard Ricky Rubio to a contract extension before the season begins, but he says the team doesn't feel in a rush to do so.

Milton spoke to reporters on Thursday after some of the team's young players, including No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins, participated in an informal workout as they get ready for training camp.

Newton says he and Wolves President Flip Saunders are having regular conversations with Rubio's agents about an extension. So far, the two sides have not agreed on terms.

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International Basketball

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino basketball fans can expect Gilas Pilipinas to do their best at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea despite injuries to key players, head coach Chot Reyes promised on Wednesday.

Fresh off its historic run in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, Gilas celebrated with Filipino basketball fans at a party Wednesday night, which also served as a send-off for the team for their Asiad campaign.

"Lalaban tayo ulit sa Korea," Reyes told the crowd that trooped to the Araneta Center to applaud Gilas Pilipinas, noting that they were "not in the habit of making promises."

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MVP on reports only 11 to play for Gilas: ‘Unacceptable’ (September 19, 2014)
Musong R. Castillo [ Source: Inquirer ]

International Basketball

“UNACCEPTABLE.”

This was the reaction of basketball “godfather” Manny V. Pangilinan yesterday to reports suggesting that Gilas Pilipinas might be forced to play with an 11-man roster in the Incheon 17th Asian Games in South Korea starting next week.

“This is unacceptable. We should have the allowable 12 players,” the tycoon said in a series of tweets through his official Twitter account, @iammvp, after newspapers published reports that Gilas could be facing that disadvantage in the Games.

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Gilas center June Mar Fajardo during the 2014 FIBA World basketball championships in Sevilla, Spain. Photo by Cristina Quicler, Agence France-Presse

MANILA, Philippines – For Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Chito Salud, June Mar Fajardo’s performance at the recent FIBA World Cup highlights the importance of quality big men in the roster of Gilas Pilipinas.

Salud said that if the country could produce more quality big men like Fajardo, coupled with with consistent outside shooting, the Philippines will be a strong force in world tournaments.

“Our local big men will be the key in the future so that we do not need to overuse or over rely on our reinforcement. He will inevitably be either fatigued, injured or double-teamed,” Salud said in the PBA website.

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International Basketball

INCHEON, South Korea—Philippine team chief of mission Richie Garcia and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Manny V. Pangilinan gave assurances yesterday that Marcus Douthit and Jimmy Alapag have secured slots in the Gilas Pilipinas national team at the Asian Games here.

Garcia, also the Philippine Sports Commission chair, said Douthit and Alapag have been officially listed in the national five following a strong appeal made by the Philippines before the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee (IAGOC) during the delegation registration meeting last Sept. 11.

“Douthit is a legitimate inclusion to the team. He was not accepted as a replacement for Andray Blatche,” Garcia reiterated to clear questions on Douthit’s spot.

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International Basketball

MANILA, Philippines – Naturalized center Andray Blatche is disappointed over his ineligibility for the 2014 Asian Games, but Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes expects the other members of the team to step up in his place.

"If you're on Twitter, you'll find out how disappointed he is," Reyes said of Blatche, who was a major part of the Philippines' historic run in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.

"He even said that he misses his family, the guys, and he really wishes he could be here with us, but we have no control over the eligibility and other things," he added.

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Jordan Crawford will play in China this year. (USATSI)

The free agent market has dried up quite a bit as we're about two weeks away from training camp starting. Greg Monroe signed his qualifying offer with the Detroit Pistons, the Phoenix Suns are still waiting on Eric Bledsoe to make a decision with his, and you're seeing a lot of teams filling out the final empty depth chart spots on their roster with signings. One signing you won't apparently see if free agent scorer Jordan Crawford joining an NBA team.

Hupu.com (via HoopsHype) is reporting the former Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics' guard will sign with the Chinese Basketball Association's Xinjiang Flying Tigers. They say he's arrived in Urumqi and began training already.

You may remember that Jordan Crawford won an Eastern Conference Player of the Week honor during the 2013-14 season while he was with the Celtics. He averaged 13.7 points, 5.7 assists, and 3.1 rebounds in 39 games with the Celtics last season. In the middle of January, he was traded with MarShon Brooks to the Warriors in a three-team deal that brought guard Toney Douglas to the Miami Heat, and Joel Anthony and multiple draft picks to the Celtics.

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Korean ace out of commission (September 19, 2014)
Joaquin Henson [ Source: Philippine Star ]

International Basketball

The sweet-shooting Korea guard Kim Min Goo, who torched the Philippines for 27 points at the FIBA Asia Championships last year, won’t play in Incheon because of injuries suffered in a car accident.

Korean basketball magazine Jumpball editor Son Dae Bum said recently Kim was driving under the influence of alcohol when he rammed a wall in his car in Seoul last June. He was alone in the vehicle. Son said Kim will be out of commission for at least a year to recover from head and hip injuries. He will sit out the Asian Games.

Kim, 23, was named to the mythical first team in the two-position at the FIBA Asia Championships last year, averaging 12.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists in nine games. He ranked No. 1 in three-point conversions with 25. Against the Philippines, Kim sank 5-of-11 triples and finished with 9-of-15 field goals but couldn’t lead Korea to the finals. Gilas won, 86-79, in the semifinals.

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