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New Phoenix import Eugene Phelps.

Phoenix tries to end its losing skid with a new import in Eugene Phelps when it battles winless Globalport today in the PBA Governors’ Cup elimination round action at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Phelps, who played college ball for Long Beach State, replaced the ineffective Marcus Simmons and management is hopeful that the former will fit right away with Phoenix against Globalport.

“Marcus Simmons was a hard worker and gave his best everyday, but we needed someone to fill in a big-man position that can give us a much needed inside presence both offensively and defensively,” Phoenix official Raymond Zorilla said.

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The United States men's basketball team is finding different ways to keep loose during its pre-Olympic warm-up tour. In this case, it was Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving on the team plane, leading a rendition of Vanessa Carlton's 2001 hit "A Thousand Miles" on Saturday, hours after a victory over Venezuela.

DeMarcus Cousins posted a short clip of the start of the sing-along.

DeMar DeRozan and Draymond Green also posted their own videos of the performance, with the added bonuses of Kevin Durant enjoying the festivities while wrapped up in a blanket, and Carmelo Anthony, the team's elder statesman, wanting nothing to do with his younger teammates' shenanigans.

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 Sol Mercado had 19 points for Ginebra. Photo courtesy of the PBA Media Bureau

Barangay Ginebra came down hard against Meralco in the fourth quarter to hammer out a 107-93 romp and nail their second straight win at the PBA Governors’ Cup on Saturday.

The Gin Kings mounted a torrid run in the third quarter, but it was their 15-1 surge in the fourth quarter that shot the lights out of the Bolts at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City.

Sol Mercado fired eight of his 19 points during the decisive fourth quarter, according to the PBA website.

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10 Avi Koki Schafer (JPN) - 7 Tensho Sugimoto (JPN) - 8 Rei Ito (JPN) - Japan v Lebanon, 2016 FIBA Asia U18 Championship (IRI), Tehran (Islamic Republic of Iran), Semi-Finals, 30 July 2016

TEHRAN (2016 FIBA Asia U18 Championship) - Hosts Iran will get a chance to play for the 2016 FIBA Asia U18 Championship title as they raced by Korea to reach the Final against a Japan side who got by Lebanon to advance to their first championship game in 26 years.

Iran got double-doubles from Amirhossein Khandanpoor (17 points and 21 rebounds) and Amirhossein Rezaeifar in cruising to a 87-65 win over Korea in the Semi-Finals. In front of the home fans in Tehran, Iran opened a 20-point lead in the third quarter and Korea never got closer than 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Iran, who finished as the fourth placed team in Group B, will shoot for their third crown after winning in 2004 and 2008 (in Tehran). The Iranians lost in two other finals in 2002 and 2014. Korea got 16 points from Han Seunghui but they were not enough and the team will play in the 3rd Place Game.

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Gavina takes Mahindra to new heights (July 31, 2016)
Joaquin Henson [ Source: Philippine Star ]

D-League

MANILA, Philippines – Mahindra is enjoying its best start ever in a PBA conference as rookie interim head coach Chris Gavina has piloted the Enforcers to a 3-0 record so far in the Governors Cup and the former L’Oreal formulation chemist said yesterday he’s more gratified than surprised by how the team has performed to get to the next level.

Gavina, a licensed strength and conditioning coach, said he never expected to take over Mahindra’s helm when Chito Victolero resigned last April. “I was definitely surprised when I was appointed during a management meeting,” he said. “I’d been coaching club teams throughout the year, working with players, so that sort of groomed me. It’s a great challenge. With coach Rob (Wainwright) and the rest of the staff, I wanted to develop a culture of accountability, to set standards of performance. I’m a big Bruce Lee fan and I like the approach of flowing like water, reading situations and taking from other coaches to do what we do best. An example was when we beat GlobalPort in our second game. We studied what Ginebra did in beating GlobalPort and we adapted it to suit our style. That’s basically my philosophy, a confluence of what I pick up from the best coaches out there and I’m a big fan of Erik Spoelstra, Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr. I was recently in Orlando and I also picked up a lot from coach Stan Van Gundy.”

Gavina said the Enforcers wouldn’t be where they are now if not for the support of management, the inputs of the coaching staff and the hard work of the players. “Our goal is to make the playoffs, that would be a first for our franchise,” he said. “I know there’s no job security in coaching, whether you’re in the PBA or NBA. There’s always pressure in any job. I’m used to it. I worked seven years at L’Oreal in the US and had to always perform at a high level. The key is not to let the pressure overwhelm you, to take it one task at a time.”

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William Jones Cup

 TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iran national basketball team defeated Japan 73-65 in the penultimate match of the 38th William Jones Cup on Saturday.

Defending champion Iran will play India in its last match on Sunday.

Iran started the tournament with a 73-61 win over Chinese Taipei B and defeated United States Sacramento State Hornets 70-59 and Egypt 74-65 respectively.

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 TNT Katropa Jayson Castro during their game against Alaska. Photo courtesy of the PBA Media Bureau

TNT superstar Jayson Castro confirmed that he received an offer to join the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).

But Castro, who has been regarded as Asia’s Best Point Guard, said he had no interest in playing pro basketball in China.

“Matagal na yun, pero di ko lang pinapansin, kung meron, meron, kung wala, wala, okay lang,” said the “Blur” in Fox Sports Asia shortly after the Katropa beat the Alaska Aces, 120-118, on Friday.

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William Jones Cup

TAIPEI — Former PBA import Zach Graham has always wanted to return to the Philippines, but scheduling conflicts have prevented him from coming back the past few years.

This year, an opportunity came for Graham to sort of give back to the country which he loves. He has been tapped as one of the seven reinforcements beefing up Philippines-Mighty Sports in the ongoing 2016 William Jones Cup here.

“With this event, it’s perfect for me. I jumped on it right away because I miss playing for the Philippines,” Graham told InterAksyon.com in an exclusive interview.

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 Blackwater's Asian import Imad Qahwash. Photo from the PBA Media Bureau

Asian import Imad Qahwash admitted that he has yet to fully adjust with the PBA’s brand of play after less than a month with the Blackwater Elite.

Qahwash, who was part of the Palestinian squad that defeated Gilas Pilipinas at the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship, went scoreless against Rain or Shine on Friday.

But he tallied four rebounds and three assists in the Elite’s near victory against the Elasto Painters.

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Venezuela roster set for Rio (July 31, 2016)
[ Source: FIBA ]

International Basketball

CHICAGO (Rio 2016 Olympic Games) - Venezuela coach Nestor 'Che' Garcia announced the country's 12-man Olympic roster following the team's 80-45 friendly defeat to the United States in Chicago on Friday night.

Point guard Greivis Vasquez, the program's lone NBA player, was ruled out of the Games by the Brooklyn Nets earlier in the day so he can work on his fitness and be ready for the start of the new campaign.

Power forward Luis Bethelmy, who helped Garcia's Guaros de Lara team capture the FIBA Americas League crown earlier this year, has also not been included.

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