Calvin Abueva led the charge for Alaska. KC Cruz

 Before the game, the Alaska Aces watched the Purefoods Star Hotshots receive their championship rings.

After tipoff, Alaska proceeded to lay the smackdown on the winners of last season's Grand Slam, fashioning out a dominant 93-73 victory on Wednesday in the 2015 Philippine Cup on Wednesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

After a hot 7-0 start from Purefoods behind top gun James Yap, Alaska managed to strike back, battling the Hotshots to a 16-all deadlock after the first period.

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Phil Jackson's point of view on New York Knicks (October 23, 2014)
Charley Rosen [ Source: ESPN ]

After 20 seasons as an NBA head coach, Phil Jackson begins his first as team president for the Knicks. AP Photo/Seth Wenig

At West Point, where the New York Knicks began training camp for the first time this year, the vast grounds are covered with reminders of military idols.

There's a bronze statue of George Washington astride a horse. George Patton getting ready to sight the enemy through a huge pair of cast iron binoculars. Dwight Eisenhower standing with his hands on his hips and staring fearlessly into the infinite future.

And, high atop a hill overlooking the Hudson River to the west and the fabled West Point Plain to the east, stands the magnificent Thayer Hotel. Inside the hotel, a hoops idol sits at a large round table in a private corner of the elegant General Douglas MacArthur Restaurant.

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Cliff Hodge of Meralco. Sports5 file/Pranz Kaeno Billones

Meralco may not have a legitimate center but with a scrappy frontline trio of forwards in Cliff Hodge, Reynel Hugnatan and Sean Anthony holding the fort down low, the Bolts believe they can contend against the bigger teams in the PBA.

“It’s not about size for us. For most of us, we switched in multiple positions and we all play hard,” Hodge told after their win over Barako Bull on Wednesday.

Hodge proved he could hold his own on the boards, grabbing 16 rebounds on top of 10 points while Hugnatan starred with 28 points – many of those in the paint – and seven rebounds.

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Saigon Heat made history and clinched their 2014 AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League playoff berth after a thrilling 75-73 win in overtime over the Indonesia Warriors at BritAma Arena, Jakarta, on Wednesday night.

Saigon had to escape a late big rally from the Warriors to secure their first ever trip to the ABL Playoffs. The Heat improved to  a 9-10 record.

“I knew they’d come back. They are a proud team and all the players have played in big games before. We missed a lot of free throws as well down the stretch. But we dug in and we did it with our defense,” said Heat’s head coach Anthony Gabelotto after their big win. “I’m very proud of our team and we did it for Coach Jason Rabedeaux.”

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 Koy Banal took over the reins of Barako Bull four days before the season. KC Cruz

First-time head coach Koy Banal admitted that he was anxious in his first game at the helm of Barako Bull, taking the blame for his team's double overtime loss to Meralco on Wednesday.

A longtime assistant in the pro league, Banal said the jitters were natural especially because he only took over the team four days ago.

"Ano magagawa mo sa four days? Iba 'yung nakapag-adjust ka, one month to prepare, one month before the season starts. Meron kang time na mag-adjust e," Banal said.

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Anthony Semerad named NCAA Finals MVP (October 23, 2014)
Mark Giongco [ Source: Inquirer ]


MANILA, Philippines — San Beda forward Anthony Semerad saved his best for last.

Playing in his final game for the Red Lions on Wednesday, Semerad scored 30 points built on four 3-pointers as San Beda clinched its fifth straight NCAA championship with an 89-70 win over Arellano to sweep their best-of-three series at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The 6-foot-5 big man also grabbed six rebounds and earned the Finals MVP award.

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Meralco survives Barako Bull in 2OT (October 23, 2014)
Marisse Panaligan [ Source: GMA Network ]

 Hodge and Hugnatan dominated down low for Meralco. KC Cruz

The Meralco Bolts gifted new coach Norman Black a win in his first game at the helm, but not before surviving a tough Barako Bull squad in double overtime, 112-108, in the 2015 Philippine Cup on Wednesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

"That was a well-earned victory for us today. We really needed to work hard to get that win," said Black, who replaced Ryan Gregorio as Meralco coach.

"It's a good start for us, it's the start we're looking for."

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The San Beda Red Lions celebrate their th straight NCAA title. Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — Let the red and white confetti fall and fill Mendiola with screams as the San Beda Red Lions claimed a fifth straight NCAA Seniors basketball title at the expense of the Arellano University Chiefs, 89-70, at the Mall of Asia Arena Wednesday afternoon.

In total, the Red Lions now have 19 basketball titles under their crimson manes making them the most successful school in the basketball history of the NCAA.

From the get-go, it looked like the Chiefs could tame the Lions with an early 7-4 lead over the defending champs.

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Terrence Romeo of Globalport vs Macmac Cardona of NLEX. PBA image by Nuki Sabio

MANILA, Philippines – Prolific scorer Terrence Romeo remains confident that his team GlobalPort can move on from its 96-101 defeat to NLEX as the PBA Philippine Cup continues.

In that game, Romeo scored 33 points, just one point shy of his career high. But his effort went down the drain after Asi Taulava and the rest of the NLEX squad used their experience to beat GlobalPort’s younger lineup.

“Isang game pa lang ‘to pero di kami dapat mawalan ng pag-asa. Dapat mas maging solid kami. ‘Di natatapos ang season namin sa isang game,” Romeo said in the PBA website.

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Local Basketball

MANILA, Philippines -- The NBA Café Manila is promising the “ultimate dining and entertainment experience” to its patrons by offering a meet-and-greet with NBA legend Allen Iverson when he visits the country next month.

Along with the Manila visit of Iverson, NBA Café Manila will be offering different dining packages to its customers for a chance to dine with the former NBA Most Valuable Player on November 4.

The event is one of the activities lined up for Iverson’s forthcoming visit to the country for a charity basketball event.

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