Blog Posts by Sid Ventura

  • Bolts could replace Famous with Barron

    The Meralco Bolts might become the first team to replace its import in the PBA Commissioner's Cup after the team flew in veteran Earl Barron as possible replacement for Jarrid Famous.

    Famous averaged 28 points and 15 rebounds in his three games with the Bolts, who went 1-2 in those games, including a tough overtime loss to Talk 'N Text last Friday. It was understood from the start, though, that he would be a stand-in import.

    NBA veteran Jelani McCoy, who played for five different NBA teams in a nine-year stint, was Meralco's original choice, but the 34-year-old strained his calf in a tune-up game prior to the opening of the Commissioner's Cup.

    "We have a new import. Earl Barron. Legitimate big man," tweeted Bolts point guard Paul Artadi at around noon today.

    Barron himself confirmed on his own Twitter account that he was headed for Manila. "What's up Tweeps? Running last-minute errands before I get on this plane for Manila."

    It appears, though, that Barron will be on stand-by for the

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  • Salud vetoes Petron-Powerade trade

    Gary David, Marcio Lassiter and JV Casio will stay together for now. (Photo by Sid Ventura)

    Powerade's Big Three will remain intact for the meantime after PBA commissioner Rudy Salud vetoed the proposed trade that would have sent Marcio Lassiter to Petron Blaze in exchange for Nonoy Baclao and Rey Guevarra.

    "My main concern as commissioner is to find out whether a sale or not has been consummated between Coke and San Miguel because if one was consummated then those two parties would be related parties and therefore no trade between them could ever be allowed under current rules," Salud said in a statement. "Having established anyway that no sale was consummated, these two teams can now make trades. Upon evaluation of the trade that is now before my office, I am exercising my right as commissioner to veto the trade and return the trade to the parties concerned for possible revisions to make it more balanced."

    The trade had come under fire following reports that the Powerade franchise was set to be reacquired by the San Miguel group. Salud had said that he would defer action

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  • Big wins for Petron & Air21

    Danny Ildefonso and Lordy Tugade battle against Rafi Reavis. (Photo courtesy of the PBA)

    Bottom beat top last night as the previously winless Petron Blaze Boosters played their best game of the PBA Commissioner's Cup and upended the erstwhile unbeaten B-Meg Llamados, 84-77, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

    Coming off a lopsided 83-105 loss to the Meralco Bolts, the Blaze Boosters badly needed to win this one to avoid falling into a 0-3 hole — a difficult situation to overcome in such a short tournament. And from the start, they played like the more desperate team, racing out to a 16-3 lead and never looking back. It was a marked improvement from their last two games, where they came out flat and fell behind by double digits in the first half.

    "We had a good adjustment," Petron coach Ato Agustin said. "We started strong, andoon energy namin. Sabi ko sa mga bata kailangan energy, aggressiveness at intensity. Okay naman response ng team. Every time we play defense and offense we were always aggressive."

    The biggest adjustment Agustin made was moving Arwind Santos back to

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  • It’s UP vs. UST again for UAAP football title

    All eyes are on the ball in this bit of action between UST and FEU. (Photo by Sid Ventura)

    University of Sto. Tomas sealed a return trip to the UAAP men's football finals by playing third-running Far Eastern University to a scoreless draw at the close of elimination round hostilities Sunday afternoon at the Ateneo High School pitch.

    Needing just a draw to advance following De La Salle University's 1-0 loss to archrival Ateneo earlier in the day, the Tigers got just that as they ramped up their defensive line and repeatedly frustrated tournament leading goal scorer Jesus Joaquin Melliza.

    "We played defense, and at the same time we counterattacked," said UST coach Marjo Allado. "It's a good thing FEU's shots in the first half didn't go in. Otherwise we would have had a tough time."

    Trailing UST by one point in the standings heading into the match, FEU was in a must-win situation, and early on they turned to their main striker to save their season. Melliza came closest to scoring his eighth goal of the tournament in the 29th minute, when he managed to get off a shot from close

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  • Global ends Stallion’s unbeaten run

    Global's Misagh Bahadoran tries to elude Stallion's Bervic Italia. (Photo by Sid Ventura)

    Drawing a little motivation from some bold words from the opposing coach, Global FC brought down Stallion Giligan's FC, 1-nil, in UFL action Saturday at the University of Makati pitch.

    Izzo El-Habbib scored the lone goal of the match in the 58th minute that proved enough to clinch the full three points for Global while dealing Stallion its first loss of the tournament.

    "We were motivated by Ernie Nierras last week, when he turned on national TV and said that there's only one team that can defeat Stallion, and that's his second team," said Global coach Graeme McKinnon. "No other team is gonna beat him. So for us, that was already the motivation to win the game today and really put the pressure on. So that's what we did."

    In a highly physical match that threatened to get out of control at times, Global overcame Stallion's rough play and controlled the tempo for majority of the match. McKinnon singled out his four players who flew back from the Azkals' Middle East tour the night before

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  • Casio, David lift Tigers to emotional win

    Marcio Lassiter and Duke Crews battle for the ball. (Photo courtesy of the PBA)

    In the days leading up to their first game of the Commissioner's Cup, the Powerade Tigers had to go through a whole lot of drama off the court. It was no surprise, therefore, that they won this game in dramatic fashion.

    With a looming sale to San Miguel Corporation, an impending trade that threatens to break up their young core, and — as if to distract them even further - the sudden resignation of their governor J.B. Baylon serving as an emotional backdrop, the Tigers overcame a listless first half and a 17-point deficit to stun the Rain or Shine Elastopainters, 122-120, at the Cuneta Astrodome.

    Nearly a month to the day that the Tigers ousted the Elastopainters in the very same venue in Game 7 of their Philippine Cup semifinal series, the two teams offered up another classic that went down to the wire. And in what has become a familiar refrain in many of Powerade's wins this season, Gary David once again hit a dagger triple to win the game in the dying seconds.

    News of Baylon's

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  • Aussie U-23 team nips Azkals, 1-0

    Call it a good loss. Playing without Phil and James Younghusband, the Philippine Azkals weren't expected to put up much of a challenge against the Australia U-23 side in their friendly last night in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Aussies won the match, 1-0, after dominating the first half of play, but the Azkals didn't embarrass themselves and put up a good fight in the second half, holding steady on the defensive end while also creating scoring opportunities on the other side.

    The Olyroos, as the Australian U-23 team is known, went ahead in the 11th minute courtesy of a header by Jason Hoffman following a cross from Aziz Behich. Azkals defender Luis Guirado actually tried to clear the cross via a header, but his effort was weak and the ball bounced straight to an unmarked Hoffman. Azkals keeper Neil Etheridge appeared to hesitate, as if waiting for an offside call since Aussie Oliver Bozanic was lurking behind him beside the post. But the assistant referee kept his flag down, and

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  • What ails Petron?

    Meralco's Gabby Espinas foils Petron's Alex Cabagnot's drive. (Photo courtesy of the PBA)

    The Petron Blaze Boosters sank to their worst defeat of the season last night, a 105-83 demolition at the hands of the Meralco Bolts in a game where they trailed by as many as 28 points and hardly played any defense. That's now five straight losses for the team this season, counting the three straight they lost to Talk 'N Text in the Philippine Cup semis where they squandered a 3-1 lead.

    Like in their conference opener against Barangay Ginebra last Sunday, the Blaze Boosters found themselves trailing in this game by double digits at the half. But unlike last Sunday, when Nick Fazekas led a spirited comeback that tied the game with 3.9 seconds left, this time around Petron didn't even bother staging a rally as the lead never dipped below double digits in the second half. It was 78-62 after three periods and the Blaze Boosters could get no closer than 14 points in the fourth.

    Petron's transition defense was terrible all night long. I've seen grade school PE classes play better defense.

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  • UP gains finals; mad scramble for 2nd

    The Maroons are now through to the football finals. (Photo by Sid Ventura)

    University of the Philippines bucked the absence of ace striker Jinggoy Valmayor to stretch its second-round winning streak to four games with a clinical 2-nil win over first-round leader University of Sto. Tomas earlier today at the Ateneo High School pitch.

    Ghanaian Nii Aryee Ayi scored both goals that clinched a finals berth and twice-to-beat advantage for the defending champion Maroons, who have now won four straight games after four straight draws in the first round.

    Ayi first struck in the 14th minute with a one-touch from the middle of the penalty box that just caught the inside of the post and bounced in. He doubled the lead in the 49th with a vicious, rocket-like volley from near the edge of the box that found the back of the net, giving him his fourth goal of the tournament.

    With 19 points on a 5-4-0 win-draw-loss record and only one game left to play, UP is safely ahead of its closest pursuer UST, which got stuck at 15 points. The Maroons thus clinched the first finals slot

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  • No Powerade sale to SMC, at least not yet

    PBA Commissioner Chito Salud. (Photo by Sid Ventura)

    Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner Chito Salud has finally spoken up on an issue that's been making the PBA rounds the past couple of weeks: the supposed sale of the Powerade franchise back to the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) group.

    In a statement released to the media, Salud said William Schultz, president and CEO of Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. which owns Powerade, stated through a letter addressed to the PBA Board of Governors that "its franchise has not been sold and that the ownership, operation and management of the Powerade team remain intact under CCBPI control."

    Schultz went on to reassure Salud that CCBPI "will follow the proper process should it decide to consummate the sale of its franchise, namely by first notifying and requesting approval for a sale from the PBA Board of Governors."

    At the same time, though, the CCBPI CEO admitted that they recently met with SMC "conformably to a right of first refusal to buy the basketball team granted to SMC at the

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