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Aces battle Cone, Hotshots as PBA semis begin (July 01, 2015)
Musong R. Castillo [ Source: Inquirer ]

Star Hotshots and Alaska Aces begin their Semifinals series. photo

TIM CONE going up against his former longtime team is always a compelling angle in any series.

What makes this one doubly interesting is the fact that Cone’s Star Hotshots are clinging to the last title they won in a Grand Slam feat last season while his former team, Alaska, is trying to blaze a new trail of success under a new mentor.

And that is what Alaska coach Alex Compton hopes to achieve starting today when the elimination-round topnotcher Aces battle the Hotshots in Game 1 of their best-of-five Final Four series in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

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James Yap says Abueva has mellowed down (July 01, 2015)
Richard Dy [ Source: Philippine Star ]

Calvin Abueva of Alaska scores over Greg Slaughter of Brgy. Ginebra. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

MANILA, Philippines – A bruising semifinal series between Star and Alaska is in the offing starting Wednesday, with the Aces’ flamboyant forward Calvin Abueva expected to be at the middle of it all.

But Hotshots superstar James Yap believes the “Beast” has mellowed down in his third season a pro.

“Di ko na iniitindi si Calvin, mabait naman iyan. Actually si Abueva, mas mabait na ngayon,” Yap told just before the team’s practice at Ronac gym in San Juan.

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Fajardo a lock to win 2nd straight MVP plum (July 01, 2015)
Nelson Beltran [ Source: Philippine Star ]

 San Miguel's Junemar Fajardo | Philippine Star File photo

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel behemoth Junemar Fajardo now looks cinch to be the first player to win back-to-back MVP crowns since Danny Ildefonso in 2000-2001.

The MVP race is virtually all over with Fajardo on the way to bagging a second BPC plum in the season. Terrence Romeo’s bid for the BPC honors may have fizzled out as Globalport failed to make it to the Final Four.

Curiously, not a single team that opted to play with an Asian import reached the Governors Cup semifinals.

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Marcio Lassiter of San Miguel Beer. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

MANILA, Philippines – The San Miguel Beermen will bank on defense when they play against Rain or Shine in the PBA Governors' Cup semifinals on Thursday.

Marcio Lassiter, who scored 12 of his 17 points in the final quarter while closing out Meralco in the quarterfinals, said they have figured out their offense against various teams.

It’s their defense they need to perfect, especially against the Elasto Painters.

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Brgy. Ginebra coach Frankie Lim hit Calvin Abueva during this incident. Sports5/Paul Ryan Tan

Barangay Ginebra head coach Frankie Lim was fined a hefty P50,000 and suspended one game by the PBA on Tuesday for his actions during his team’s quarterfinal game against the Alaska Aces last Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Lim was penalized for engaging in contact with Alaska forward Calvin Abueva after the player was shoved and fell in front of the Ginebra bench.

Abueva’s Aces, the No. 1 seed in the Governors’ Cup playoffs ended up winning the game, 114-108, to oust the Kings and advance into the semifinal round.

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Paul Lee of Rain or Shine. Sports5/Pranz Kaeno Billones

MANILA, Philippines – Paul Lee had a big week for Rain or Shine.

Lee helped his team reach the PBA Governors’ Cup top four with a pair a crucial wins over KIA Carnival and Meralco.

For this, he was named as the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of June 15-21.

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Liam McMorrow. Sports5/Pranz Kaeno Billones

After posting impressive numbers in his PBA stint, Liam McMorrow, import of Barako Bull in the Governors’ Cup, has a chance to take his talents to the NBA as he was invited by the Los Angeles Clippers to join their Summer League team, the LA Times reported.

The 7’2″ McMorrow is coming off his first stint in the PBA where he averaged 27.5 points and 20.17 boards for the Energy who enjoyed early success in the Governors’ Cup tournament but suffered a slump later on.

After posting a league-best 6-1 record, the Barako Bull saw their campaign plummet as they settled for sixth place in the playoffs. Facing a twice-to-beat disadvantage, they were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Rain or Shine.

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