MANILA, Philippines– After watching Fil-Tongan big man Moala Tautuaa flash his deadly form in Gilas Pilipinas’ 75-60 win over Japan on Wednesday, San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria is convinced that the incoming freshman will make Talk ‘N Text a team to reckon with in the years to come.
“Well, Mo’s energetic and has really been making the big difference sa Gilas (in the Jones Cup),” Austria told Philstar.com on Wednesday.
The 57-year-old coach noted that Tautuaa’s game-changing ways consist of his good inside-outside game, making him a defensive headache for the Beermen when the PBA’s 41st season kicks off on Oct. 18.
MANILA, Philippines – Meralco coach Norman Black didn’t join Gilas Pilipinas’ ongoing tournament in the Jones Cup to take care of the Bolts’ early preseason training camp.
With the return of big man Rabeh Al-Hussaini from a one-year hiatus, along with the acquisition of Bryan Faundo and Justin Chua from the free agency market, Black felt the Bolts now have a younger, more reliable front court to work on come next season.
The three new big men will be joining veterans Sean Anthony, Cliff Hodge, Reynel Hugnatan and Kelly Nabong – a front line that Black feels can now match up with powerhouse San Miguel Beer, Star Hotshots and Talk ‘N Text.
MANILA, Philippines – Former Ginebra backup big man Peter Aguilar believes his son Japeth is in good hands as the Gin Kings begin their new chapter as a team under new coach Tim Cone.
Aguilar, who played briefly for Alaska under Cone during the early 90s, had a chance to watch his son practice under Cone at the CCF gym in Libis, Quezon City.
“Magandang mag-handle ng players si Tim Cone,” the elder Aguilar confided to Philstar.com after Ginebra’s practice.
MANILA, Philippines -- Plans are afoot for Meralco officials to come up with a fitting sendoff for two-time PBA Most Valuable Player Danny Ildefonso, who declared that he’s officially retiring after 17 seasons.
Ildefonso told Philstar.com over two weeks ago that he’s calling it quits upon learning from Bolts coach Norman Black that the team is set to rebuild its roster.
“For someone of Danny Ildefonso’s stature, maybe we could come up with a co-production with the PBA,” Meralco team manager Paolo Trillo told Philstar.com.
NEGERI SEMBILAN, MALAYSIA – Make it four in a row for the Blackwater Elite.
Blackwater flirted with disaster before surviving the Evan Brock-led Huan Tuah Indonesia, 74-65, late Thursday night to finish No. 1 at the end of the single round eliminations of the 2015 Seri Mutiara Champions Cup at the Port Dickson Indoor Basketball Court here.
Gilbert Bulawan played his best game of the tournament, playing smart basketball on the final day of the second circuit. He finished with 14 points and bailed his team out of trouble when the Huan Tuah made a last ditch effort to pull off a comeback.
MANILA, Philippines -- San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria said he’s taking things easy for two-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo for the next few days as the Beermen begin their preparation to defend their Philippine Cup title next season.
Austria explained that the 6-foot-10 Fajardo reported for the team’s first practice on Wednesday overweight, limiting the San Miguel star center’s movement as he only participated on shooting drills.
“Di na muna namin siya (Fajardo) sinabay sa practice. Bale nagpa-release lang siya saka rehab lang ng paa kasi medyo tumaba siya, unlike last season nung dumating siya eh maganda at trim siya,” Austria told Philstar.com after the team’s first official practice at the Acropolis gym in Libis, Quezon City.
TAIPEI – Iranian star guard Mahdi Khamrani may well be among the new faces joining the roster of Asian imports to see action in the coming PBA season.
“I’m ready now,” said Khamrani as he bumped into PBA board member Patrick Gregorio here.
If ever, Khamrani is only pushing through a planned stint with the Meralco Bolts scuttled by the delicate health condition of his wife during the last PBA Governors Cup.