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Cyrus Baguio and Dondon Hontiveros. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Alaska teammates Cyrus Baguio and Dondon Hontiveros has won every possible title in the PBA.

There are six titles between the two wingmen–two Commissioner’s Cups and four Fiesta Cups—but in the near three decades combined they have been in the PBA–16 and 13 years for Hontiveros and Baguio, respectively– neither have won the coveted Philippine Cup.

Baguio and Hontiveros had a chance to finally get the All Filipino title against San Miguel but the Beermen dusted themselves off after a 0-3 start and aced the next four games for the so-called “Beeracle,”

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Mark Cuban cries foul on proposed change to rules (February 07, 2016)
Tom Haberstoh [ Source: ESPN ]

Mark Cuban is unconvinced that rule changes are needed to deal with intentional fouling of poor free throw shooters. Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says the "hack-a-player" strategy is entertaining for fans and that it would be a mistake if the league made changes to the rules.

On Friday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver told USA Today Sports that he was "increasingly of the view" that the league will implement new rules this summer to prevent intentional fouling of poor free throw shooters.

"At the end of the day," Silver said, "we are an entertainment property, and it's clear when you're in the arena that fans are looking at me shrugging their shoulders with that look saying, 'Aren't you going to do something about this?'"

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June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer. photo

San Miguel coach Leo Austria believes that one factor that led to Alaska's downfall in the PBA Philippine Cup was that the Aces did not expect June Mar Fajardo to return all too sudden.

Fajardo, who has been averaging 24.6 points and 13.9 rebounds, missed the first three games of the best-of-seven series due to a knee injury he sustained in the semis. This allowed Alaska to take control of the shaded lane to erect a 3-0 lead in the title duel.

''After nung game sa semifinals, ramdam na ramdam ko yung team na napakababa ng morale because we lost June Mar,'' Austria told Radio dzMM's Fastbreak. ''Ang sabi ko 'Guys, we are the defending champions. With or without June Mar, we're capable of winning another championship.'''

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FIBA officials due to inspect OQT venue (February 07, 2016)
Tito Talao [ Source: Manila Bulletin ]

International Basketball

Two high-ranking FIBA officials, one from Geneva and the other a regional executive, will be arriving by the end of the month to check on the country’s preparations for the forthcoming FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament  (OQT) at the Mall of Asia Arena.

 The six-team Manila OQT will be held almost simultaneously with competitions in Turin and Belgrade from July 5-10 to pick the three winners that will earn tickets to   the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in August. The three cities were chosen in a draw ceremony at the House of Basketball in Mies, Switzerland last month.

The Philippines is bracketed in Group B world No. 5 France and New Zealand, the team formerly handled by Gilas coach Tab Baldwin. If they advance to the semis, the Nationals will face one of the top two Group A teams from among Turkey, Canada and Senegal for a place in the final and a shot at an Olympic berth.

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Coming back from a 0-3 series deficit is a tough deal for San Miguel, which is why coach Leo Austria would prefer his team not to go through the same path again.

The Beermen made history by becoming the first team ever to successfully comeback from such deficit and a second straight PBA Philippine Cup title at the expense of the Alaska Aces.

''Mixed emotions ang nararamdaman ko hanggang ngayon. Hindi pa rin ako nakakatulog dahil iniisip ko papaanong nangyari itong dinanas namin eh. 'Di ko lubos maisip na magagawa namin ito,'' Austria told radio dzMM's Fast Break.

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Ayo assures Jeron 'will do everything for the team' (February 07, 2016)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 La Salle's Jeron Teng goes to the basket against UST's Karim Abdul in this file photo.

MANILA, Philippines – De La Salle University should be among the early favorites to win the UAAP men's basketball championship next season after luring head coach Aldin Ayo from Letran and bringing in new talent that includes Ben Mbala, Aljun Melecio, and potentially, Ricci Rivero.

Melecio, one of the best players and most explosive scorers in the UAAP juniors division, has already committed to La Salle, while Ayo said Rivero has done the same although the NCAA standout has yet to make a formal announcement.

Mbala, the athletic big man from Southwestern University in Cebu, is set to finally make his UAAP debut in Season 79 barring any more complications. La Salle still has solid holdovers from last season's team, including reigning Rookie of the Year Andrei Caracut and veteran guard Thomas Torres.

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Sputtering Kings contemplate removing George Karl (February 07, 2016)
Marc Stein [ Source: ESPN ]


The Sacramento Kings, increasingly concerned about their floundering play under George Karl, entered the weekend hoping to delay any decision about the coach's future until the All-Star break, according to the league sources.

But sources told ESPN that the nature of the team's 128-119 loss Friday night to Brooklyn -- Sacramento's sixth loss in seven games -- and the fallout it generated have the Kings contemplating an immediate coaching change.

The Kings (21-29) have three road games remaining before the break: Sunday in Boston, Monday in Cleveland and Wednesday in Philadelphia.

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 The San Miguel Beermen recently collected their 22nd and probably most dramatic championship during their four decades in the PBA. ABS-CBN News photo

They’ve achieved one emphatic climb to history in what was believed as an impossible feat: climbing from a deep winless pit against its arch nemesis in the last few conferences with only one win away from the title.

As San Miguel Beer collected its 22nd PBA trophy in dramatic fashion, we can’t help but reminisce those impressive moments of triumph the franchise achieved in the league’s four decades.

No, winning these 22 championships could not be attained by what its humble and modest coach Leo Austria claim as “luck.” It is fueled by passion and drive to succeed despite the overwhelming odds they face.

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The Knicks will have cap space and could go after a point guard in the offseason, but, Rajon Rondo said Friday, "the triangle's not really a good look for me." Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

NEW YORK -- If you're a New York Knicks fan hoping to land Rajon Rondo in free agency, you can all but cross the point guard off of your wish list.

Rondo told reporters in Brooklyn on Friday he probably won’t be interested in signing with the Knicks this summer.

“The triangle’s not really a good look for me, I don’t think,” Rondo said of the Knicks' offensive system after his Sacramento Kings lost to the Nets at the Barclays Center.

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There have been numerous instances during Brad Stevens' tenure as head coach of the Boston Celtics in which his team has trailed by double digits in the final minute of a game and Stevens has utilized his full collection of timeouts to tryi to will the Celtics back with his whiteboard, regardless of how improbable a comeback seems.

The message hammered home to his team in those situations: Never stop playing.

When LeBron James and the Cavaliers bullied their way to a four-point lead with 8.5 seconds remaining in Friday's game at Quicken Loans Arena, it would have been easy for a discouraged Boston team to pack it in. The probability of a score/stop/score scenario in that situation is practically nonexistent.

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