No room for complacency for top Gilas pick Belo (October 28, 2016)
Randolph B. Leongson [ Source: Inquirer ]

Gilas cadets Mac Belo, Jio Jalalon and Roger Pogog. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Despite being the unanimous choice for the top selection in the Gilas section of the 2016 PBA Rookie Draft, Mac Belo is not resting on his laurels.

Belo, who was picked by Blackwater at no. 1 according to Inquirer’s Musong Castillo, still went hard at the 2016 Gatorade PBA Draft Combine like the other hopefuls.

“Ayoko rin makampante,” said the soft-spoken forward from Midsayap, North Cotabato. “Nanonood yung mga coaches, go hard din yung mga kasabayan ko kaya kailangan ko din magpakita.

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PBA Board makes Gilas selections ahead of Draft (October 28, 2016)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 Blackwater is already "locked in" on Mac Belo with the first pick of the Gilas draft. Photo courtesy of PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – The PBA Board of Governors have already decided on where the members of the Gilas Pilipinas cadet pool will end up, three days ahead of the 2016 PBA Rookie Draft.

The league initially decided to follow the natural order of the draft when making the selection for the Gilas players, but those plans were changed Thursday during a meeting at the PBA head office in Libis, Quezon City.

"In a lengthy meeting held October 27, the PBA Board has decided on the procedure for the drafting of Gilas players in the coming PBA Rookie Draft," the league said in a statement.

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Coach Joel Banal's son hopes to make it to PBA (October 28, 2016)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 Ael Banal (second from left) pose with his winning team. Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines – Once a promising guard for the Mapua Cardinals, Ael Banal played only one season in the NCAA before moving to the United States where he competed for the Hope International University in California.

After five years, the son of highly regarded coach Joel Banal is back in the local basketball scene and is now hoping to make it to the PBA. He played for Racal in the D-League Aspirants Cup, helping the Tile Masters reach the semifinals, and was one of the standouts of the PBA Draft Combine.

Playing alongside Jiovani Jalalon, Joseph Eriobu, and Jammer Jamito, Banal showcased his shooting touch, draining a three-pointer in overtime that helped secure a 55-51 victory for his team.

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Dwyane Wade feels confident that LeBron James will lose their wardrobe and wine World Series bet. Getty Images, NBAE via Getty Images

CHICAGO -- Dwyane Wade is confident that he's going to win a World Series bet he has with his good friend, Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James.

Wade, who will play his first regular-season game as a Chicago Bull on Thursday night, bet James the Chicago Cubs would defeat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. Wade revealed the first part of the bet on Tuesday night in a video posted on Uninterrupted, saying the loser of the bet had to show up to the winner's home arena in a full uniform of the winner's team. If the Cubs win, James would have to show up to the first Bulls-Cavs game in Chicago wearing a full Cubs uniform. If the Indians win, Wade would wear an Indians uniform to the first Bulls-Cavs game in Cleveland.

"I feel very good about being 1-1," Wade said after Thursday's shootaround. "It was tough because we made the bet and they was up 1-0 right away. But we're in a good place right now."

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With top pick, Blackwater has multiple options in PBA draft (October 28, 2016)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 Blackwater head coach Leo Isaac. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – Blackwater head coach Leo Isaac is set on picking Far Eastern University (FEU) standout Mac Belo in the "special" draft for Gilas Pilipinas pool members, but has yet to decide on who they will select in the regular PBA Rookie Draft.

Isaac paid close attention to the rookie hopefuls on both days of the draft combine at the Gatorade Hoops Center on Wednesday and Thursday, where several players showed off their athleticism, skills and decision-making in the hopes of catching the eye of PBA coaches.

Blackwater owns the top pick in the regular draft, and there were several players who made the case for themselves as potential selections, especially after Thursday's scrimmages.

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Desire to help family motivates Jalalon in PBA bid (October 28, 2016)
Mark Giongco [ Source: Inquirer ]

Jio Jalalon goes through a drill at the 2016 PBA Rookie Draft Combine. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Jio Jalalon said his decision to forego his final playing year with Arellano University was fully supported by the school and his head coach Jerry Codiñera.

Jalalon applied for the PBA Draft as part of the Gilas pool last week not long after the Chiefs failed to win the NCAA Season 92 Finals.

“Yung reason ko para yung sa Gilas talaga kasi ayoko naman yung umo-o na ako tapos bigla akong magba-backout sa kanila, so pinagpatuloy ko na lang kung ano yung nasimulan ko sa kanila. Yung family ko rin iniisip ko, kaya kailangan ko magpa-draft kasi gusto ko silang tulungan,” Jalalon said

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 Jericho de Guzman (jersey No. 7) during the drills session of the 2016 PBA Draft Combine on Wednesday | PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines — He’s been donning Ginebra’s colors for quite some time now. But for Jericho de Guzman, it would be sweet conclusion to his amateur arc if he gets to wear a Gin Kings uniform as a professional.

De Guzman, one of the 55 hopefuls in the Philippine Basketball Association’s Draft Combine was a blip too big on everyone’s radar last Wednesday.

While his credentials do not equal that of the blue chippers (read: Gilas cadets), the aspirant stood out in the bunch. Literally.

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Iman Shumpert was removed from Wednesday's game after being struck in the head in a collision with Kristaps Porzingis' hip with 5:34 remaining. AP Photo/Phil Long

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- The Cleveland Cavaliers could have their backup point guard position shored up as coach Tyronn Lue expects Iman Shumpert and Kay Felder to play Friday after both experienced concussion-like symptoms this week.

Felder was placed in the league's concussion protocol after taking an errant Chris Andersen elbow to the head in practice last week and is now fully cleared. Shumpert hit his head against Kristaps Porzingis' hip late in the Cavs' 117-88 season-opening win over the New York Knicks and had to exit the game.

Shumpert remains in the protocol but has made progress, according to the team. He participated in practice Thursday.

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Eriobu hopes clutch play caught PBA coaches' attention (October 28, 2016)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

Joseph Eirobu goes through a drill at the 2016 PBA Rookie Draft Combine. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

MANILA, Philippines – Jiovani Jalalon drew most of the hype in Day 2 of the 2016 PBA Draft Combine, but former Mapua Institute of Technology standout Joseph Eriobu got his share of the spotlight, thanks to his impressive play in the final game of the mini-tournament.

Eriobu teamed up with Jalalon, Jovit dela Cruz, Ael Banal, and Jammer Jamito in the mini-tournament that provided coaches to get a glimpse of the on-court capabilities of the rookie hopefuls ahead of Sunday's draft.

Eriobu, who had his shining moments for the Cardinals in the NCAA Season 92 tournament, proved ready to mix it up inside the paint while still showcasing his touch from the perimeter.

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Victolero looking to bolster wing, frontcourt from draft picks (October 28, 2016)
Randolph B. Leongson [ Source: Inquirer ]

2016 PBA Rookie Draft Combine. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Already enjoying a deep guard rotation, Star coach Chito Victolero is looking for a few more pieces from the upcoming 2016 PBA Rookie Draft to bolster his line-up

“We’re looking for a big man or winger,” Victolero said on Thursday in Day 2 of the 2016 Gatorade PBA Draft Combine at Gatorade Hoops Center in Shaw..

Despite Star having a guard heavy line-up with new acquisition Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, Peter June Simon, RR Garcia, and Justin Melton in tow, Vicolero is keeping his eyes open.

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