Gilas Pilipinas Pool for the FIBA World Cup Qualifier is Guard Heavy

 Gilas Pilipinas 23-man pool for the FIBA World Cup qualifiers this November! 

Gilas Pilipinas Pool for the FIBA World Cup Qualifier is Guard Heavy
With all the issues in the PBA right now, it’s nice to know that each team still wants to support the National Philippine Squad in its quest to qualify for the FIBA World Cup.
The current pool looks very promising although I must say that we are still missing some height especially in the forward position where most of the players on the pool are undersized for their position at the international level.  Skills wise, this is a great collection of players especially in the guard position as national veteran guard Jayson Castro and Terrence Romeo leads the cast. It will be interesting to see how the team would adjust as they adjust another offensive-minded player in Kiefer Ravena.
Glad to see Andrey Blatche back on the pool and hopefully he can be included in the final roster given that he does not have other commitments. I am most happy to see SMB’s big man JunMar Fajardo as part of the list.


Here’s the list of players:

Jayson Castro
Terrence Romeo
Jio Jalalon
Kiefer Ravena
Baser Amer
Mike Tolomia
Kevin Alas
LA Revilla
Von Pessumal
Matther Wright
Calvin Abueva
Roger Pogoy
Allein Malikisi
Mac Belo
Kevin Ferrer
Gabe Norwood
Carl Bryan Cruz
Troy Rosario
Japeth Aguilar
Raymond Almazan
JunMar Fajardo
Andray Blatche

Metta World Peace Promotes Panda Friend and Son Fil-Am Jeron Artest as a Future Gilas Player!

Metta World Peace, Ron Artest a.k.a. Panda Friend

Regardless of how many friends Ron Artest have, he is still the same good old basketball player we all know.
Now at 37, Metta World Peace is not very active in the NBA but it doesn’t mean that he is not active in basketball and other things. Recently visiting Manila, Ron talks about his Panda Friend Brand and his young son Jeron Artest who, just like him, may have some basketball skills.
He reveals that his Filipino-American son has applied for Filipino citizenship and is acquiring a Filipino passport to make him eligible to play for the national squad.
Check out some of the highlights Fil-Am Jeron Artest:

Powcast Gilas Pilipinas Player Card: Terrence Romeo

Terrence Romeo

Terrence Bill Romeo was born in Imus, Cavite. He played as point guard in his college school Far Eastern University (FEU). He became 2011 UAAP Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in his senior year. He was selected as 5th overall pick in 2013 PBA Draft by the GlobalPort Batang Pier.
Terrence Romeo Gilas Pilipinas
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Powcast Gilas Pilipinas Player Card: Marc Pingris

Marc Pingris

Marc Pingris was born in Pozorrubio, Pangasinan. Drafted by FedEx Express with the 3rd overall pick in 2004 PBA Draft but was quickly traded to Purefoods TJ Hotdogs. He was an 8x PBA Champion, 2x PBA Finals MVP and selected as one of the PBA’s 40 greatest player.
Marc Pingris Gilas Pilipinas
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Powcast Gilas Pilipinas Player Card: Jason Castro

Jason Castro

Career Highlights and Awards:

2004-2006 NCAA Mythical 5 Selection

2006-07 PBL Mythical 5 Selection

2006-07 PBL Most Valuable Player

2006-2007 PBL Showcase Skills Challenge Champion

2007-08 PBL Mythical 5 Selection

2007-2008 PBL Unity Cup Most Valuable Player

2007-08 PBL Silver Cup Most Valuable Player

2008 Brunei Cup Most Valuable Player

2008 Malaysia Basketball League Most Valuable Player playing for the Singapore Slingers

2009 Sports Digest PSA Fetes Nation’s Brightest Stars Awardee

2009 PBA Mr. Quality Player of the Year

2010-2011 Philippine Cup Finals MVP

2010-2011 Commissioner’s Cup Finals MVP

2010-2011 Mythical Second Team Selection

2010-2011 PBA Most Improved Player

2012-2013 Philippine Cup  Best Player of the Conference

2013 FIBA Asia Championship Mythical All-Star Selection – Best Point Guard in Asia

2012-2013 PBA First Mythical Team

2014 Commissioner’s Cup Best Player of the Conference

2015 Commissioner’s Cup Best Player of the Conference

2015 William Jones Cup Mythical Five

2015 FIBA Asia Championship Mythical All-Star Selection


Jason Castro Gilas Pilipinas

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Powcast Gilas Pilipinas Player Card: Japeth Aguilar

Japeth Aguilar

Aguilar is the first player born and raised in the Philippines to ever receive an invitation to work out with an NBA team. In 2012, He was drafted 13th in the 7th round of 2012 NBA D – League Draft by the Santa Cruz Warriors. (Selected 109th overall out of 139 players.)

Japeth Aguilar Gilas Pilipinas
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Powcast Gilas Pilipinas Player Card: June Mar Fajardo

June Mar Fajardo

June Mar Fajardo also known as The Kraken was born in Compostela Cebu. At his early age, His family tranferred to Pinamungajan Cebu where he spent most of his teen years. He played Center position in the University of Cebu and the San Miguel Beermen in the ASEAN Basketball League. He was selected as the first overall in 2012 PBA Draft by the Petron Blaze Boosters. Even though he was young at age, June Mar Fajardo showed that he had a great potential in playing in the league and dubbed by local sports analysts as the Future of Philippine Basketball. During his rookie season, he earned a silver medal playing Men’s basketball at the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship for Team Philippines. He was also selected to the All-Rookie Team and Second Mythical Team.

June Mar Fajardo Gilas Pilipinas

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Powcast Gilas Pilipinas Player Card: Ranidel De Ocampo

Ranidel De Ocampo

Ranidel De Ocampo was born in Tanza, Cavite. Currently playing for the Talk n’ Text Tropang Texters in the Philippine Basketball Association. His career achievements are:

– 6-time PBA champion (2008–09 Philippine, 2010–11 Philippine, 2011 Commissioner’s, 2012–13 
– Philippine, 2012–13 Philippine, 2015 Commissioner’s)
– 2-time PBA Finals MVP (2012–13 Philippine, 2015 Commissioner’s)
– 5-time National Team member
– 2004–05 PBA All-Rookie Team
– 2000 PBL Chairman’s New Top Comer
– 2002 PBL Mythical Team
– Member of eight-time NCRAA champions Saint Francis of Assisi College System 
– 4-time NCRAA MVP
Ranidel De Ocampo Gilas Pilipinas
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Powcast Gilas Pilipinas Player Card: Bobby Ray Parks Jr.

Bobby Ray Parks Jr.

Bobby Ray Parks Jr. , a former UAAP and PBA D-League MVP, became just the second Filipino to be selected in the NBA D-League draft after current Barangay Ginebra big man Japeth Aguilar. His father, Bobby Ray Parks Sr. is a former PBA Import and also a Hall of Famer.

Bobby Ray Parks Jr. Gilas Pilipinas

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Powcast gilas Pilipinas Player Card: Calvin Abueva

Calvin Abueva

Nicknamed The Beast due to the all-around threat he brings at both ends of the court. Despite standing only at 6’2″, he outplayed taller opponents in the frontline with his unmatched energy, motor and hustle that made him one of the Gilas Pilipinas Key Player.

Calvin Abueva Gilas Pilipinas
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Powcast gilas Pilipinas Player Card: Gabe Norwood

Gabe Norwood

Defense is always the trump card of Gabe Norwood. His one-on-one defense is still one of the best in the league. Another thing is his leadership. He is also improving his shooting and if he becomes consistent with it, he will be the best 3 and D guy in the league.
Gabe Norwood Gilas Pilipinas
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Powcast Gilas Pilipinas Player Card: Ryan Reyes

Ryan Reyes

 Nicknamed D-Energizer for his energetic style of play.
“I think he’s one of the best players that you can have out on the floor in any situation, because he’s intelligent, he’s defensively tough, he’s physically very tough and when he’s hitting shots, you have the best of all worlds with him.” 
-Gilas Pilipinas Head Coach Tab Baldwin

Ryan Reyes Gilas Pilipinas

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Powcast Gilas Pilipinas Player Card: Troy Rosario

Troy Rosario

Rosario has the height and build to play as a power forward or even a center and he’s also mobile and athletic enough to be a small forward. He has also developed a decent outside shot extending to the three-point area which makes him a tough cover considering that he can also put the ball on the floor and score on the low block. 
Troy Rosario Gilas Pilipinas
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Joshua Sinclair to lead the Philippines at the 2016 FIBA 3×3 U18 World Championships

Eighteen-years-old sensation Joshua Sinclairwill lead the Philippines national team at the 2016 FIBA 3×3 U18 World Championships that will take place in the capital city of Kazakhstan in front of the scenic Astana Opera House on 1-5 June 2016.
The team will be joining by Theo Joshua Flores, John Lloyd Clemente, and Christian Kyle Tan. The nationals will be competing against Hungary, Brazil, New  Zealand, and Spain  in Pool D.  
All games will be shown here: https://www.youtube.com/c/fiba3x3

Philippines ‪#‎3x3U18 sched (PHT):
June 2 – vs New Zealand, 8:10PM
June 2 – vs Brazil, 9:40PM
June 4 – vs Hungary, 8:30PM
June 4- vs Spain, 10:20PM




Gilas Loses To China, 67-78, Cops Silver Medal.

For the first two minutes, Gilas seemed like they would be able to do to China what they did to Iran.  Gilas started off with a 5 point burst before China could even get a point on the scoreboard. But when China started crashing the boards, they started piling up the points on the scoreboard very quickly.
Gilas worked themselves in striking distance for most of the game. At the end of the third, when Gilas was down by just 10, China struck with a 5-point flurry that took the wind out of the Gilas sails. From that moment, China was able to coast until the end of the game.
Here are the four key factors that contributed to Gilas losing this game:

China’s overwhelming height advantage – Zhou Qi and Yi Jianlian made life so miserable for everyone on Gilas, from Blatche, who was unable to bank on his superior physical gifts, to Castro, whose shots either got swatted or missed because he had to change his shot to avoid the block.  Blatche only had 4 points at the end of the first half and none of the other big men could score up close. The only one with any real success inside was Calvin Abueva, who drew fouls from the Chinese big men repeatedly. Of course, he also went 3-8 on FT’s so he was unable to capitalize on those fouls.

Gilas’ poor outside shooting – Gilas went 6-24 (25%) on threes tonight, with Blatche going 1-5, Ranidel de Ocampo going 1-6, and Dondon Hontiveros going 2-6. That stat is crucial because the three-point shot is a zone buster, and the Chinese played zone for most of the game. Had we hit our threes with any consistency, the Chinese would have had to play man D, and that would have given Castro or Romeo more chances to break down his defender. The last time we shot this low from three? The loss to Palestine, when we shot 29%.
Lack of energy defensively – Aside from Gabe Norwood, Marc Pingris, Calvin Abueva, and Dondon Hontiveros, I thought the others played defense without their usual energy. De Ocampo was particularly lackluster on defense tonight and so was Matt Ganuelas. Blatche, in particular, didn’t really seem to challenge China’s big guys on the defensive end, with Zhou Qi and Yi Jianlian getting the better of him several times.
Spotty officiating – Of course I’m biased. But just because I’m biased doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. In the first half alone, there were three very bad foul calls against Gilas, two of them coming against Abueva. Those foul calls occurred during box out situations and even on the replay, the foreign commentators had to admit that the call was bad. What was irritating was after acknowledging the hometown call, all the commentators would say was “well, that’s basketball, you’ve got to expect that when you’re playing the hometown team”. Say what again? Since when has favoring the hometown team become accepted referee behavior? And that trend continued till the end of regulation, with Castro being whistled for a traveling call that surprised everyone on court, even the Chinese.
That being said, we knew it was going to take an almost perfect game from Gilas to beat China in China. And the game we played was less than perfect. That doesn’t take away from the fact that Gilas stood toe-to-toe with China, slugged it out for honor and glory, and emerged with a silver medal that glistens golden in our eyes.
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Gilas Wins Over Japan, 81-70, Books Ticket To Finals!

Photo courtesy of FIBA.com
Gilas set their date with destiny tomorrow, as they outlasted Team Japan 81-70, and booked a seat opposite host China for the right to call themselves the best team in Asia as well as the lone ticket to the Rio Olympics.
Japan gave us a hard time once again, sticking with us until the end of the third quarter, when the score was still tied 54-all. It took the sniping of veterans Dondon Hontiveros, Ranidel de Ocampo and the stellar overall play of Jayson Castro and Andray Blatche for Gilas to finally put the game out of reach.
Here are the four difference makers for Gilas in their victory over Japan:

Defense on Makoto Hiejima – Hiejima was a revelation in this game, scoring 22 points in the first half alone. That’s an amazing feat, considering Hiejima was averaging 14 points per game. Then, in the second half, Dondon Hontiveros, Gabe Norwood, and Calvin Abueva took turns making Hiejima sweat blood for his points.  All that running around to get free from those three finally took its toll on Hiejima, who scored just 6 points in the second half and, in one sequence, couldn’t get back into Japan’s own half of the court, forcing one of his teammates to fould Castro just to avoid a 5-on-4 situation. On a side note, Norwood also turned in some brilliant defense in the last minute, getting 2 late steals to seal the game.
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DonDon Hontiveros Saves the day for Pinas 18 points 6/9 3 points

When the going gets tough, we relied to the Cebuano Hotshot Don Don Hontiveros to help us win against Japan in the Semi-fnals war between Japan and Philippines.
Hontiveros scored 18 points 6-9 all by 3 pointers and he delivered when it mattered the most, He was able to make the 3 point basket that gave us the cushion and pump the score up to 77-68 with 1:20 seconds remaining. Japan then called time out and from then on it was just an exchange of basket to the last second Gilas Pilipinas won over Japan 81-70.
Japan was headed by Heijima with 28 monster points and Takeuchi howled 16 rebounds but it was just them who made the fight closer. Blatche gave us another double double leading the team with points and rebounds with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Castro delivered crucial baskets as well for us to keep the lead with 20 pts and dished out 7 assists and followed up by the stellar shooting of Hontiveros who for me is the best player if this game.
Gilas will go up against China winner will qualify to 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil.
Written by:
Aldrin C.
Team Powcast

Terrence Romeo:The Philippines’ "Golden Boy" Exclusive and Interesting Interview , he even sings!

FIBA 3×3 spoke to one of the Philippines’ biggest basketball superstars: Terrence Romeo. Get to know the Filipino “golden boy” up close and personal like never before – he may even sing a song for you!

Terrence Romeo is becoming more popular, especially after his awesome plays at the Jones Cup and now at the FIBA Asia Championship. Check out this interview and learn more about the other side of Terrence Romeo.

Terrence Romeo likes Julina Magdangal song! nice!

Gilas Wins Over Lebanon 82-70!

Photo courtesy of FIBA.com

One more game won, two more games to win.

Gilas Pilipinas completed the Final Four cast fo the FIBA Asia Championships, with their 82-70 victory over the Lebanon Cedars. They will go on to once again face Japan for a seat in the finals.
Here’s a look back at some predictions made in the an earlier article (to read “Gilas vs Lebanon: Not A Mismatch”, go to http://sportsfandom.blogspot.com/2015/09/gilas-vs-lebanon-not-mismatch.html)
MATCH UPS TO WATCH OUT FOR
JJ Youngblood vs Gabe Norwood/Calvin Abueva – as predicted, it was Gabe Norwood and Calvin Abueva who took on the high scoring guard, which mean the smaller Hontiveros ahd to toake on the much bigger Amir Saoud. The Lebanese tried to exploit this early on, leading to the quick entry of Abueva into the game. Abueva and Norwoord hounded into a 12 point brickfest (5-15), a full 7 points below his scoring average before this game. On the other end, Norwood hit a crucial three to give Gilas some breathing room in the third quarter while Abueva was his usual pesky self on the boards and on defense.
Mohamad Ali Haidar vs Andray Blatche – Again, as predicted, both stars shone bright tonight, with Haidar scoring 18points and grabbing 9 rebounds, and Blatche scoring 24 points and grabbing 17 rebounds, including several offensive rebounds that put Lebanon into foul trouble midway through the final quarter. Blatche came out a bit ahead of Haidar in this match up, but the Lebanese also showed real superstar skill and talent.
Amir Saoud vs Jayson Castro – I said that for either team to forge ahead, either Castro or Saoud would have to be more disruptive on defense or even more unstoppable on offense. Castro became both. Yes, Castro basically demolished Saoud. And not just Saoud. To be totally honest, Castro chewed up and spit out the entire Lebanese defense, spinning the, around for quick lay ins and freezing them with a stop and poop at the three that was a deadly as a cobra’s venom. He topscored for the Philippines with 25 points, going 5-10 from three and 5-7 from two. More importantly, he took charge just when Lebanon mounted a comeback, breaking the game open with timely threes as well as steals.
GAME PREDICTION
I predicted an 85-70 win for Gilas. Actual score was 82-70. I really should get my crystal ball cleaned. J
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Gilas vs Lebanon: Not A Mismatch

Gilas Pilipinas came into the FIBA Asia Championships with the lofty goal of finishing #1 in their bracket, so that they can avoid host China in the crossover semifinal round. It was a lofty goal because they needed to win over Iran, a team that has consistently dominated Gilas in the last decade or so.
And when they lost their opening day match to Palestine, many took it to be an indication of Gilas’ quality, that they didn’t have the talent, the will or the smarts to get to where they needed go be.
One week later, the story has become completely different; as Gilas not only managed to win the games they were expected to win (against Japan and India) but also that crucial game versus Iran. Palestine, after a blazing started, faltered and crashed out of the knockout rounds.
As the top seed in Group E, Gilas is slated to go up against the fourth seed in Group F, Lebanon. While it is normal to expect a top seed to make quick work of a fourth seed, this FIBA Asia Championships have been anything but normal.
From the early exit of Chinese Taipei (ranked #4 right before the start of the tournament) to the surprising success of Hong Kong and Palestine, this tournament has shown that rank means nothing and that the game must be won on the court, not on paper or on reputation.
Lebanon’s FIBA Asia tourney has been one of ups and downs. Winning over Chinese Taipei was a surprise, but they couldn’t translate that to wins over Qatar or South Korea. But this squad has shown speed, shooting and tenacity when it was needed and they could pose a big problem to Gilas. So for those expecting an easy win, here are some match ups to watch out for (and hopefully, temper your expectations).
MATCH UPS TO WATCH OUT FOR
JJ Youngblood vs Gabe Norwood/Calvin Abueva – Youngblood is one of Lebanon’s best scoring options, scoring an average of 19ppg, adding 4 rebounds and 3 assists. At 6’4”, he’s a shooting guard with good size, which leads me to believe that while Hontiveros will start on him, the primary defensive player on him will be either Norwood or Abueva. Both are tenacious defenders who can chase Youngblood around the floor while being athletic enough to force Youngblood to shoot over them. On the other side of the fence, Norwood won’t be a very big factor on offense but Abueva can certainly make Youngblood sweat on defense.
Mohamad Ali Haidar vs Andray Blatche – Haidar is Lebanon’s go-to big man, a skilled offensive player who basically has to carry the offense of the entire Lebanese frontline. He’s averaging 14.6 ppg as well as 6.7 rebounds. Blatche, of course, is one of Gilas’ main guns, averaging 16.2 points as well as 8 rebounds per game. It’s going to be an interesting match up, with both able to hit from the three point line and drive to the rim for easy twos.
Amir Saoud vs Jayson Castro – Saoud is Lebanon’s 6-foot guard who has shown remarkable improvement game upon game. After going 0-2 in Lebanon’s first game, he’s since gone on to score 10, 14, 14, 10 and finally, 20 points in a crucial match versus Jordan.  Castro is, of course, Asia’s best point guard and he’s been turning in a performance that is cementing his reputation as that. He’s tied with Blatche as Gilas’ top scorer (16.2) and has also contributed 2.3 assists per game. While neither man is a lockdown defender, they are both competent on defense. They are also both creative scorers. To break the deadlock, one of them will either have to be more disruptive on defense or even more unstoppable on offense.
PREDICTION
Gilas 85, Lebanon70.
I think Castro and Romeo continue on their scoring sprees, Blatche negates Haidar, and the depth of Gilas’ bench eventually grinds down Lebanon.
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