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SBP willing to wait for Fajardo: ‘The country needs him’ (September 01, 2015)
Musong R. Castillo [ Source: Inquirer ]

June Mar Fajardo, the Philippines’ most dominant player today, fights for the ball during Gilas Pilipinas’ game against Senegal in the 2014 Fiba World Cup in Spain. AP

TAIPEI – The country needs June Mar Fajardo so bad that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is willing to wait for the 6-foot-10 center’s injury to heal so he can rejoin the Gilas Pilipinas pool even at the 11th hour.

“I really believe that he is injured,” SBP vice chair Ricky Vargas said on Tuesday morning during a chat with Filipino scribes covering the 37th Jones Cup here. “Dahil kailangang-kailangan siya ng bayan (Because he’s badly needed by our country), Gilas is willing to wait for him.”

The reigning two-time PBA MVP with San Miguel Beer, along with Rain or Shine point guard Paul Lee, have been the biggest names not included in the pool and the cage body understands the value of Fajardo for the coming Fiba Asia Olympic qualifier in China later this month.

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SBP to meet with Lakers, Clarkson’s dad in US (September 01, 2015)
Musong R. Castillo [ Source: Inquirer ]

SBP vice chair Ricky Vargas and PBA board member Patrick Gregorio is set to meet with Clarkson’s dad and the Fil-American guard’s NBA team Los Angeles Lakers in the US. Tristan Tamayo/

TAIPEI – Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas vice chair Ricky Vargas and PBA board member Patrick Gregorio will fly to the United States on Wednesday to meet the father of Jordan Clarkson and assure the point guard’s family that “he will be well taken cared of.”

There have been concerns on Clarkson’s availability to play for Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba Asia Olympic qualifier in China later this month with Clarkson yet to sign a lucrative pact with the Los Angeles Lakers after a breakthrough rookie season last year.

“Our talk with the father is to reassure him that, from the time that he (Jordan) has not signed the contract to the time that he does, and if he gets injured while with Gilas, we will assure them that during period that he will be properly taken cared of,” said Vargas.

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Kings VP of basketball operations Vlade Divac adds title of GM (September 01, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Former Kings teammates Peja Stojakovic and Vlade Divac are reunited as members of the team's front office. Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Vlade Divac has added the title of general manager of the Sacramento Kings.

The Kings announced Monday that Divac will serve as vice president of basketball operations and general manager. Divac was hired in March as vice president of basketball and franchise operations.

The Kings also announced that Mike Bratz will be assistant general manager, Roland Beech will serve as vice president of basketball strategy and Peja Stojakovic will be director of player personnel and development.

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Jordan Clarkson ‘all in’ for Gilas Pilipinas until 2024 (September 01, 2015)
Musong R. Castillo [ Source: Inquirer ]

Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson is “all in” to be part of the Philippine team until 2024, as per the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas. Tristan Tamayo/

TAIPEI – “I’m all in.”

That’s not a bet in poker game Jordan Clarkson was quoted by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas officials as saying on Monday night, but rather, the Los Angeles Lakers’ point guard’s commitment to play for Gilas Pilipinas for three Olympic Games starting next year in Rio de Janeiro.

Clarkson invited SBP chair Ricky Vargas and PLDT PBA board member Pato Gregorio for dinner after Gilas lost to South Korea in the Jones Cup on Monday where he gave his firm commitment to play for the land of his mother’s birth.

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Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, left, has moved on from his agents at Relativity Media following an eventful summer. Kirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsLos Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan has split with his representatives at Relativity Media, Dan Fegan and Jarinn Akana, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.

Jordan told the agents of his decision a few days after the NBA fined the Clippers $250,000 for violating league rules while trying to re-sign him last month, the L.A. Times reports.

A league investigation found that the Clippers had made a presentation to Jordan, who was then a free agent, on July 2 that improperly included a potential third-party endorsement opportunity. League rules prohibit teams from arranging for others to provide compensation for a player unless it is included in a contract or is otherwise permitted by the collective bargaining agreement.

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Philippines’ Terrence Romeo (middle) continues to dazzle in the 2015 Jones Cup. Romeo’s game-high 23 points however, weren’t enough to lift Gilas Pilipinas, which dropped an 82-70 decision Monday night at Xinchuang gymnasium in Taipei. Photo from the Chinese Taipei Basketball Association

The Philippine national men’s basketball team seeks to quickly recover from a loss as it takes on Russian club Spartak Primorye in the 37th William Jones Cup on Tuesday at the Xinchuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City, Taiwan.

Gilas Pilipinas tangles with the still-unbeaten Spartak at 1 p.m. live on TV5.

When they face the Russians in the early tip-off, the Filipinos are going to be just less than 24 hours removed from an 82-70 loss to Asian rival South Korea on Monday in a game where Gilas Pilipinas failed to catch up with their opponents in the second half.

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Abueva shows worth with Gilas, proves Baldwin wrong (September 01, 2015)
Musong R. Castillo [ Source: Inquirer ]

Calvin Abueva. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

TAIPEI – Tab Baldwin wanted Calvin Abueva to be a bit hungrier before offering the undersized power forward his first stint with Gilas Pilipinas.

As it turned out, Abueva has been so famished all these years that he’s been ready to eat everyone up alive.

“I thought Calvin (still) has some growing up to do, some learning to do,” Baldwin said on Monday morning during practice, a night after Abueva proved his worthiness with a 15-point, six-rebound effort in a 77-69 win over Chinese Taipei-A in the Filipinos’ Jones Cup debut here.

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Shaquilee O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Constant clashes ultimately led to a bitter breakup between Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, but the two stars addressed their relationship on O’Neal’s “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” which was made available Monday.

“It’s time to clear the air,” O’Neal said, “because I’ve said many times that we were the most enigmatic, controversial, most talked-about, dominant one-two punch. I just want people to know that I don’t hate you, I know you don’t hate me. I called it today a 'work beef,' is what we had.”

Said Bryant, “Here’s the thing -- what we did, our disagreements, what made those things special is we said them to each other’s face. We didn’t go behind each other’s back and whisper to our teammates about this, that and the other, because that does nothing but create friction and it’s cancerous to the team.

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Gilas veteran De Ocampo feels like rookie again (September 01, 2015)
Alder Almo [ Source: Philippine Star ]

William Jones Cup

MANILA, Philippines -- Ranidel de Ocampo feels like a rookie again in the international game.

De Ocampo, who has been with all the three Gilas iterations, is set to play his first international game since the Asian Games last year when they return to the court against South Korea at 5 p.m. Monday. The Talk n Text big man has recovered from a hamstring injury that forced him to miss the Estonia pocket tournament.

"Excited ako," De Ocampo told after Gilas 3.0's scintillating debut in the William Jones Cup on Sunday night. "Ang bilis ng laro."

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After Abueva, Romeo showing, Baldwin worries revealing too much (September 01, 2015)
Musong R. Castillo [ Source: Inquirer ]

Gilas Pilipinas guard Terrence Romeo introduced himself to the international scene in style. Tristan Tamayo/

TAIPEI – After the way Calvin Abueva and Terrence Romeo played in Gilas Pilipinas’ Jones Cup debut on Sunday night, coach Tab Baldwin’s belief of not playing in this tournament was reinforced even more.

“They gave away things we didn’t want to give away,” Baldwin told reporters on Monday morning after the Filipinos’ one-hour practice to get ready for a 5 p.m. clash with South Korea at Xinchuang Gymnasium here.

“I think from a policy standpoint, it’s better to avoid this tournament on a big year, in a qualification year,” he went on when asked to confirm initial reports that he didn’t want to play in this event right after he formed the pool of candidates earlier this month.

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