INCHEON, South Korea—Gilas Pilipinas plunged into its first practice here Sunday at Song Do High School gym, a day after the celebrated basketball team arrived in this industrialized coastal city for the 17th Asian Games.
“Right now, our first order of business is to practice and to scout our rivals,” said national coach Chot Reyes, who will be able to field a full 12-man lineup after Marcus Douthit and Jimmy Alapag were cleared to replace Andray Blatche and Jayson Castro Williams.
The team is coming off an epic showing in the Fiba World Cup in Spain, where its 1-4 record belied the tough stand it put up against world powers.
MANILA, Philippines – After snapping 21 long years of losing slump versus China in 2007 then ending its mind-boggling jinx against Korea last year, Gilas Pilipinas’ immediate goal is to stop a much longer losing record against Iran in their keenly awaited matchup Thursday in the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.
The Philippines has enjoyed a resurgence in international basketball but, for all its gutsy stands and courageous efforts, has yet to pull one against Iran in any FIBA tourney in the last 41 years or since the Filipinos ripped the Iranians in their ABC title romp in 1973 in Manila.
The biggest win Gilas Pilipinas has had against Iran was a 77-75 squeaker in the 2012 Jones Cup in Taipei.
Shortly after arriving in Incheon on Saturday for the Asian Games basketball competition, members of Gilas Pilipinas ran into a small issue — literally.
Some of the beds at the athletes' village were too small for the taller players of the squad.
But Japeth Aguilar, one of three players listed above 6-foot-9 in the lineup along with June Mar Fajardo and Marcus Douthit, said the team quickly found a solution for the problem.
Maldives - Mongolia 54-112
Mongolia exploded with 112 points en route to a comfortable victory over Maldives. Battur Ganbold (185-F-87), Bilguun Battuvshin (197-SF-89) and Odbayar Batdorj (193-PF-85) nailed 16 points each for Mongolia as they improved at 2-0 record in Group A. Ibrahim Rashwaan (182-PG-94) and Mohamed Zilaal (179-PG-85) replied with 12 points each in the defeat.
MANILA, Philippines -- La Salle forward Jeron Teng offered no excuses for his miserable game after the Green Archers lost to Far Eastern University (FEU), 60-65, Sunday in their playoff game in the UAAP Season 77 men's basketball tournament.
Teng, coming off a case of mild dengue as well as an appearance in a fashion show on Saturday night, scored only eight points and made only two of 11 field goals in the loss.
He did grab eight rebounds, but also turned the ball over five times and fouled out late in the final period after committing an unsportsmanlike foul against FEU guard Mike Tolomia.
MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE 1) The Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws extended their mastery of De La Salle University this season, beating the Green Archers, 65-60, to earn the second seed and a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four of the UAAP Season 77 men's basketball tournament.
Mike Tolomia scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds while coming up with crucial plays in crunch time to lead the Tamaraws to their third straight win over the defending champions this season.
"Today, it just showed the character of the team. Sabi namin, if you want to succeed in life, you have to persevere," said FEU coach Nash Racela. "Beating La Salle is difficult, but our players really persevered especially when we struggled in the second half."
The race for the fourth and final Playoffs ticket will be a tight one. Saigon Heat dominated the Indonesia Warriors 72-61 at the CIS Arena, Saigon, to reclaim the fourth position in the 2014 AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League standings.
With this win, the Heat improved to a 6-7 record, while the Warriors dropped down a 6-9 record.
Playing without their two local stars Arki Wisnu and Vinton Surawi, the Warriors struggled offensively. Meanwhile, the home took full advantage of the depleted Warriors team. David Arnold sank a baseline jumper and Williams beat the first quarter buzzer with a putback to give Saigon a 16-9 lead after ten minutes.
MANILA, Philippines – University of the East (UE) guard Roi Sumang will play in his final season after failing to lead the Red Warriors to the Final Four of the UAAP Season 77 men's basketball tournament.
The former Mythical Five member scored 19 points in UE's playoff game against the National University (NU) Bulldogs on Saturday but they lost, 49-51, after NU center Alfred Aroga made the game-winning free throws.
After the game, Sumang said he plans to return for his final playing year in Season 78.
Alfred Aroga carried the National University to the final four after making his charities with 12 seconds left in the game against the University of the East, breaking a 49-49 deadlock to win the game for the Bulldogs.
Knowing that a lot of things were at stake, Aroga did not let the pressure bother him at the line.
"I was so calm. I was like, 'okay Alfred, you're like, every time you take your free throws, you make one, you lose one,'" Aroga told reporters after the game.
Twelve seconds were left on the clock. University of the East held possession after Alfred Aroga nailed his free throws that broke the 49-49 deadlock for National University. Derrick Pumaren called for a timeout, designing the last play of the game for his team captain and reliable shooter Bong Galanza.
It was Galanza's last playing year in the UAAP. In the dying seconds, he got the pass from Roi Sumang, carrying the Warrior's final four hopes in his shoulders.
"Syempre may pressure na sa 'kin binigay 'yung last shot. Parang grabe 'yung tiwala nila coach sa akin," Galanza said.