June Mar Fajardo and Marc Pingris. FIBA photo

Philippine national men’s basketball team member Marc Pingris is glad to see his friend June Mar Fajardo back in dominant form on the basketball court.

Pingris, who bonded with Fajardo over the popular video game DOTA when they became teammates on the Gilas Pilipinas national team three years ago, is feeling optimistic about the country’s chances in the Manila Olympic Qualifying Tournament this July, especially with his buddy re-joining the national pool after missing the team’s most recent campaign with an injury.

“Masaya ako at maglalaro na ulit si June Mar. Si June Mar ang pag-asa natin,” Pingris wrote in a text message to InterAksyon.com.

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Tony Parker available for France, thanks wife for 'big sacrifice' (February 09, 2016)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

International Basketball

San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker said he has found an arrangement with his wife that will allow him to participate in France's Olympic qualifying tournament this summer.

Parker had raised the possibility of missing the tournament from July 4-10 and the Olympics -- if France qualified -- because of the expected birth of his second son in July.

But Parker told L'Equipe newspaper Monday that he will be available for both events, saying: "I will be at the Olympics if we qualify.''

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Townsend offers to assist Gilas (February 08, 2016)
Joaquin Henson [ Source: Philippine Star ]

International Basketball

MANILA, Philippines – Raymond Townsend, the first Fil-Am ever to play in the NBA, said the other day it would be an honor to assist Gilas in preparing for the FIBA Olympic qualifiers and he could fly over from his home in San Jose, California, at the drop of a hat to help out in any way.

Townsend, 60, resides alone in San Jose. His two children are now grown-up and live on their own. “I’m now working out details with NBA Asia on going to the Philippines as a basketball ambassador,” said Townsend in an overseas phone call. The plan is to conduct clinics for kids from the fifth to 11th grade in five camps, including two in Manila and one in Batangas where my mother (the late Virginia Marella) was from.”

If given the chance, Townsend said he’d like to assist the Philippine national basketball team in any capacity. He’s aware that the Philippines will vie for one Olympic slot in a six-nation qualifying tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena on July 5-10. Townsend also knows that Andray Blatche will anchor Gilas as a naturalized player.

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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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Parks hits career-high 12 pts in NBA D-League (February 05, 2016)
Alder Almo [ Source: Philippine Star ]

 Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. I photo c/o Texas Legends

MANILA, Philippines -- Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. continued his impressive run in the NBA D-League as he scored a career-high 12 points in Texas Legends' 107-113 loss on Thursday (Manila time) against the Iowa Energy.

The son of former seven-time PBA Best Import Bobby Parks, Sr. hit nine of his 12 in the opening half with the Legends battling the Energy toe-to-toe. His three-pointer at the halfway mark of the fourth quarter sparked a huge 15-0 run for the Legends as they came back from 14 points down in the third. They even took a 100-91 lead after that big run but the Energy were able to force overtime on Andrew Harrison's layup in the final 47.9 seconds of the regulation.

Both teams went cold in the first extra session as they only scored two apiece that paved the way for a second overtime. The Energy outlasted the Legends to prevail.

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No plans to bring in Parks, Kobe into Gilas pool - yet (February 05, 2016)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

Kobe Paras, Ray Parks. ABS-CBN News photo

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin has no plans to bring young Filipino players Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and Kobe Paras into the national team pool -- for now.

Both Parks and Paras are busy trying to make their marks in the United States, with Parks playing for the Texas Legends in the NBA D-League and Paras gearing up for his collegiate career with the UCLA Bruins.

"There are no plans to bring either one of those (players) in the pool at this point," Baldwin told reporters during the recent Spin.ph Sportsman of the Year Awarding Ceremony.

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International Basketball

 Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin knows that  Gilas Pilipinas is back to being an underdog in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July.

The Philippines drew a tough group in the Manila qualifier, with powerhouses France and New Zealand as the national team's first opponents.

France could be bannered by NBA stars Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, Nicolas Batum, and Rudy Gobert, while New Zealand could have Oklahoma City Thunder's Steven Adams in its roster.

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