Kicks and Cause: Shoefiend Los Angeles’ Owner Talks About The Sneaker Scene

So what role does the sneaker game play in our community? Does it really help us become more inspired to grind hard to get what we really want in life like fashion and stuffs we didn’t get to have when we were young? Or is it just for flexin? How does the American sneaker scene influences the Pinoy sneaker fashion? These are the questions that typical people have in mind and we’re lucky that we had a chance to somehow clear the smoke and enlighten the minds of these people who believe that sneaker game is just a fashion.

Earl John Verzo, owner (CEO) of SHOEFIEND LOS ANGELES one of the most trusted sneaker dealers in the US and in the Philippines and also the trusted reseller of Pinoy Celebrities like Vice Ganda, Vhong Navarro, Teddy Corpuz and many more, gave us some words to actually explain how diverse the sneaker game is and how he and the brand that he represents overcome some challenges and how they give back to the community, proving that wearing something that looks good on feet doesn’t mean you just wanted to flex and show off but it is to inspire the people around you and educate these innocent minds about the Sneaker Game.

For a guy who spent most of his life collecting sneakers in the Philippines and in the US, we asked EJ about the difference between the sneaker scene abroad and locally.

“The difference would be the extravagant shoe collections in the US. There is nothing like it compared to what the Philippines has to offer. Numerous selections and variety of shoes. hands down US  still has the best sneaker scene World Wide. But the Philippines has the potential to match that because Filipinos are hard working and ambitious 40% of the sneakerheads on the events are Filipino. Imagine bumping to a filipino sneakerhead every 5 minutes. Trust me we’re getting there. “

With the wide range of available varieties in the US, I must agree that they’ve got the best sneaker culture in the world but like what EJ said, Filipinos are everywhere and I won’t be surprised if one day we’ll be recognized as one of the world’s biggest sneaker community, maybe not the top but being known as one of them is something to be proud of.

One more question that we asked EJ is, how he and his brand overcome challenges like explaining to people that sneakergame is not pure luxury. : “How hard it is to change the mentality of other people who are not into sneakers and looks at sneakerheads as luxurious individuals? “

“It’s quite challenging because you’re selling an idea that you believe in and most people don’t see that vision. Empathize with them, Let them have a glimpse of your life. show them your love and desire, establish to the people that what you wear reflects who you are as a person. Let them know that the first thing a person will notice are your shoes, make them realize that its not all about the luxury of shoes. It involves meeting new people who shares the same interest as you. A community, a family. The key ingredient is consistency and persistence, Influence them.” Mr. Verzo explained.

How does this brand actually helps the community? Is ShoeFiend LA your typical sneakers dealer? We asked the brand CEO Mr. Verzo about the things they do to pass on the inspiration to other people and how important it is for them to give back to the people around them by practicing the brand’s “Shoefiend LA Mentality”.

“We give back to the community by Inspiring people thru words and actions. We use the #shoefiendlamentality.
This is how you can turn negativity into positive and it’s satisfying to see a person being inspired
Whenever I see people who really appreciates the shoe culture I tend to give in to that emotional state.
Two weeks ago a friend of my uncle stayed at our house, he was a tall Indonesian basketball player. We shared the same passion for basketball and was able to talk about his love for the shoes as well, It is essential when you play basketball. Which led to us talking about my shoe collection. I gave him the opportunity to witness my collection and saw excitement in his eyes. I eventually end up giving him a limited edition Shoe for a have the price because I felt that he deserved it.
Another way we give back is by posting positive way of thinking that will help you achieve your desire and goals in life that will boost determination.
We also hand out toys to the street children on Christmas Eve. Along with my Brother In law who runs a local clothing brand prime wear. 
Furthermore letting them understand that Shoe Fiend Los Angeles is more than just a brand. It’s a life style.” SFLA said.

Well, there you go. It is not all about showing off for this brand, it is to inspire people that if you work hard, you’ll eventually get what you want and deserve while getting other people involved and inspired to do more too. Earl John Verzo, one perfect example of a sneaker enthusiast turned businessman who inspires people with his brand’s #ShoeFiendLAMentality.

Check out their social media accounts:

Is Greg Slaughter 100% ready to play for Ginebra in the semis?

After another successful campaign during the elimination round, the Barangay Ginebra  San Miguel has dominated the front seat as they managed to get only two defeats in their eleven games during the current PBA conference.
After ousting Globalport in a quarterfinal match which also got heated up by Romeo and Tenorio’s clash of body and words, now Ginebra San Miguel is up for a great challenge as they faced and got defeated by the outstanding line up of Coach Nash Racela’s TNT katropa.
Backed up by their huge reinforcement Joshua Smith who stands 6’9″ with a wide built of 330 pounds that banged up the Ginebra’s interior defense, TNT katropa has dominated the game which caused the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel squad their first loss in the best of five semi final round.
Justin Brownlee, Ginebra’s all around import who put his body up for a challenge against the TNT import has proven that he can still deliver the goods for his franchise but fell short and obviously can’t do it all for the crowd favorite. Japeth Aguilar, who is one of the most athletic big men in the league also had a hard time defending the paint as the TNT import invaded the whole interior of Ginebra. One of the questions everyone has is, Is Greg Slaughter the answer to this Ginebra’s campaign?
Greg Slaughter who suffered from an injury and undergone a surgery has been out of the playing court for a while as ordered by the team’s physician and doctor to somehow recupirate and heal from the said surgery. The 7 footer big man has been activated days before the semi finals tip off and was expected by the fans to be a big help in this series.
Slaughter’s presence in the paint is a big help for Ginebra, it will divert and bother shots and penetrations from this TNT import while the other Ginebra big men gang up for the rebound. Is Slaughter the missing link? I’d say yes. The presence of a bigman for ginebra will somehow free up Japeth and Justin brownlee in the court while Slaughter lures the TNT defense, it will also limit the TNT import from dominating the paint who was relentless in their last outing. Slaughter is reported to be 80% ready to suit up for Ginebra and just being observed by the coaching staff if he can finally bear extended minutes on the court as Coach Tim Cone doesn’t want to risk the health of his big man. The question now is, will slaughter suit up for game 2? Let’s find out!

A Brownlee Night Gives Ginebra Another Manila Clasico Win (Powcast Video Highlights)

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel once again took that game away from Star as they come back from a huge deficit. Scottie Thompson, one of the key players who made their come back possible had an impressive night, dishing key passes that made all of his teammates involved in their successful offensive execution.

“He did a spectacular job” Cone stressed in the post game interview.

Justin Brownlee, the man who made that key shot in Ginebra’s championship campaign last season proves his worth in the crowd darling’s line up after making another epic performance against the undefeated Star Hotshots.

The Ginebra hero in last Season’s governors’ cup contributed an impressive 30 point performance with 15 boards output that left the most winningest coach impressed.

“Justin causes alot of problem to alot of people, you know he can play in and out, make great passes he’s a great defender, and we kinda see him play how we envisioned him playing” Cone said on how they were able to beat star though they’re parading a small reinforcement in the conference.

Ginebra gives the Star Hotshots their first loss in the conference, in another successful come from behind win bringing them up a notch in the standings with 2 wins and a loss.

The scores:

GINEBRA 113 – Brownlee 33, Tenorio 21, Mercado 15, Aguilar 12, Thompson 8, Ferrer 8, Devance 7, Caguioa 6, Ellis 4, Marcelo 2.

STAR 98 – Mitchell 22, Maliksi 17, Lee 11, Jalalon 10, Barroca 9, Ramos 7, Brondial 7, Mendoza 6, Simon 5, Reavis 4, Sangalang 0.

Quarterscores: 26-24, 51-53, 82-75, 113-98

Check Out Terrence Romeo’s Social Media Post that Shocked the PBA World!

Terrence Romeo

One of the best point guards in the PBA who has been with the Globalport Batangpier since draft day has broke the internet world crazy as he posts an update about his personal life. The Gilas standout has been playing really well in the PBA stage and has been recognized as the Kyrie Irving of the Philippines because of his deadly cross-overs and shooting touch.
After some unconfirmed controversies about his personal life earlier in his career, Terrence took that as a challenge and focused more on his craft. But this post of his has made everyone dropped their jaw.
photo from Terrence Romeo’s Official Instagram account

A pre-valentine greeting post has been a shock for everyone just because everyone’s asking who that girl is, but! This next post has broken a lot of Romeo fanatics and at the same time are happy for this Globalport Star Player.
photo from Terrence Romeo’s Official Instagram account

Be the judge! So who is the lucky girl?

"It’s an advantage to have a twice-to-beat, it’s not an advantage to play Ginebra" – Compton

Photo by PBA Media Bureau
A huge comeback happened that made Alaska claim the second spot overall in this conference standing and Compton still can’t comprehend that they clinched a win against Rain or Shine after being down in the most part of the game.
Though second spot gives them a twice to beat advantage, Compton doesn’t savor the edge that  they have after getting the news that they’ll be facing Ginebra in the quarter-finals.
“It’s an advantage to have a twice-to-beat, it’s not an advantage to play Ginebra”. Says Compton in a post game interview.
Ginebra and Alaska had some history of playing in the playoffs and last conference was the recent one where
Ginebra is the one with an edge of having beaten twice to advance but now is a different situation as the Alaska Aces gets this edge in the season opening conference.
Compton calls for a practice 24 hours after they get the 2nd seed in this conference as they will have to prepare for their next assignment. Ginebra is a hard shell to crack as they’ve been into situations where they had disadvantages but still managed to get over it and even win Championships.
“We need to prepare for Ginebra, it’s playoff time we dont rest.” Compton stressed.
Ginebra will be coming off a week of rest before their face-off against Alaska and will try to win their first game in the quarterfinals to inch closer to the next level.

Alaska Secures Second Spot for Twice to Beat Advantage. Sets face-off with Ginebra

Photo by PBA Media Bureau
Alaska has been consistently getting playoff spot in most of the conferences in the PBA under Compton but can’t seem to clinch consistency on getting that championship. They’ve also seen multiple finals appearances but always falling short everytime, but this season they are off to prove something and break that spell that they’ve been on in the last few tourneys.

In this game against Rain or Shine who was on a mission to crack that final spot in the quarter finals, was not easy for the Aces as Calvin Abueva was limited to more than 12 minutes only due to foul trouble.

They’ve been trailing in most of the quarters specifically during the first 36 minutes of regulation but managed to get back in the game after a huge run led by their key players such as Casio, Eximiniano and the rest of the guys who took over after Abueva was sent to the bench due to 6 fouls in the fourth quarter. Casio listed a huge 25 point performance that lifted the Aces to get that the solo second spot in the standing with (7-4) win-loss record who obviously took the responsibility to steer their way on the passenger seat despite of Abueva’s short playing time limited to only 12(minutes) due to foul trouble who eventually fouled out.
Star Hotshots and the Aces are technically tied at the second spot after the final games in the elimination but the Aces emerged and claimed the slot next to the Beermen via the Win-over-the-other rule in this Philippine Cup format.
Alaska will be facing Ginebra with a twice to beat advantage but this edge does not guarantee them a semi-finals berth due to a lot of things to consider. Alaska is currently nursing some injuries while Ginebra has a healthy roster and deep bench as their arsenal who just recently won against NLEX with a huge turn around after also being down in most of the game.
The scores:

ALASKA 94 – Casio 25, Thoss 13, Manuel 13, Jazul 12, Mendoza 8, Exciminiano 6, Racal 5, Hontiveros 5, Abueva 4, Galliguez 2, Cruz 1, Pascual 0.

RAIN OR SHINE 89 – Norwood 16, Yap 16, Cruz 12, Chan 10, Tiu 9, Washington 8, Belga 6, Ponferada 6, Ahanmisi 4, Trollano 2, Matias 0.

Quarters: 17-19, 43-45, 66-71, 94-89

No Japeth, No problem as Ginebra banks 5th win

Photo Credits to PBA Media Bureau

Barangay Ginebra finally gets a back to back win this conference after beating the Blackwater Elite on Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Ginebra who’s known for it’s triangle offense system has proved their championship experience after giving the Elite a beating, leading by as much as 15 points. The Elite made a run who got the 3rd deadlock of the game after being down by 15points.

After Japeth’s heart pounding exit caused by a muscle strain after a transition jam, the Ginebra squad continues to surge their way up giving the Elite no chance of getting back in the game with the help of their sophomore combo guard Scottie Thompson.

Thompson recorded another double-double performance with  13points, and an impressive 15 boards going over his conference average with 7 assists and two steals. In the absence of Aguilar, Jervy Cruz filled that big slot to man the paint and knocked those jumpers who contributed 16 points while Tenorio also contributed with 15points.

Sumang tried to save the Elite from getting an L in a Friday game contributing 20 points mostly from the perimeter while Mac Belo had a 16points outing.

Can Jordan Clarkson crack a spot in the 2017 NBA ALL STAR?

Photo credits to

After seeing the NBA All Star voting running results last week, the Filipino fans bursts their opinions online after a surprising appearance of Zaza Pachulia in the top 5, saying that because of the Georgians’ support power, this guy has made it in the top ten so why Can’t the Filipino NBA Pride can’t?

The social media exploded with thousands of posts for Jordan Clarkson to be included in the 2017 NBA All-Star and this is not just personal accounts who shared their thoughts, it was different groups and sports pages that got united for the same cause, to put Jordan Clarkson on the All Star Stage.

It will be a hard fight to be fought by the Filipino fans to get him on that roster but in a Country like the Philippines who’s most of the population loves basketball and the biggest social media user, impossible is just a word. With four days more before the voting ends, basketball fans are expected to make their final push to have a Fil-Am from Lakers to represent the Country.

Jordan Clarkson said on his twitter account that he’ll be happy to represent the Philippines this upcoming All-Star if given a chance with the huge support of the whole Filipino Basketball Community.

Writer’s Pick : Top 5 Sneakers of 2016

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It has been a great year for all sneaker heads and enthusiasts as all brands released great lifestyle and performance sneakers. Jordan Brand, Adidas, Nike and more sneaker brands have made it a paradise for everyone leaving all of the sneaker heads drooling with their amazing releases.

For me personally, it’s also been a great year having a lot of  Jordan retros released and different Nike signature shoes. Adidas also reached it’s peak with various releases of their most hyped pairs.

Here’s my top 5 Sneakers of 2016.

#5. Adidas Ultraboost (Caged and Uncaged)

This has been so far the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. Considered as the number 1 pair of running sneakers, with the boost cushioning technology this pair is probably going to stay as the top pair of sneakers in the running category as Adidas prepares more releases of different variety of Ultraboost in the pipeline.

phot credits to

#4.Adidas NMDs

The hype is real!! This boost cushioned pair of sneaker is surely one of the most hyped kicks of 2016. With pure boost technology sole and prime knit version upper and different colorways, this has been one of the most successful releases of Adidas so far. Different collaborations with different brands have been innovated by Adidas such as NMD x Mastermind pair and the most recent hyped pair the Bape Camo NMD that made this variety one of the most anticipated products in the sneaker game especially for those hypebeast out there.

Photo by

#3. Yeezy 350 V2.

Another Kanye product that keeps the hypebeast community rolling, one of the most comfortable and sought after sneaker of 2016 and will surely continue this 2017. With it’s very neat box with a huge 350 logo on the upper part, this pair maintains it’s classy look and as of comfort? Man, this pair is comfy, the way it fits your feet it really makes you feel you’re wearing something light and like walking on clouds. Sizing really matters in this kind of pair cause sometimes you need to upsize or downsize but you can just remove that insole if you’re in a midsize range and it will perfectly work for you. Different varieties have been released for this joint but the belugas stands out among all of these V2 releases and still holds a high resell value in the sneaker market.

Photo by :

#2. Air Jordan 11 Space Jam.

Marking the 20th anniversary of the movie Space Jam, Jordan Brand released an anniversary pair of the same sneakers worn by Michael Jordan in the epic movie of the 90’s. Considered as one of the grails in your sneaker collection, Man, you’ll never go wrong with these joints as the heat for this pair is certainly up to the ceiling and if you are a Jordan Brand collector, this pair is a must have up there on your display room.

And number 1!!

#1. Air Jordan 1 Breds “BANNED”.

This historic pair originally released on 1985 is the first pair of sneakers worn by Michael Jordan. This pair is a controversial joint during this era as this sneaker was banned by the NBA because of it’s uniformity rule but Michael Jordan continued to wear these while Nike pays for the fine for each game he wears these bad boys. This is the Holy Grail of all Jordan sneakers and if you are a collector, you should have these. With a very few releases of the Jordan 1 Banned, the resell value went crazy high as everyone wanted to get a hold of each pair. Well bro, I doubled up on these!!

photo by

JC Intal leads Phoenix into a strong finish against San Miguel Beermen

Courtesy of PBA Media Bureau

JC Intal led the Phoenix Fuel Masters into another win as they surpass the league giant San Miguel Beermen.

San Miguel Beermen struggled in converting their charities as they only averaged 55% making only 12 of their 22 attempts. On the three point category where Phoenix did an awesome job where they averaged 40% led by JC Intal who made 5 three point shots out of his 9 attempts along side Simon Enciso who scored 15 points  all coming from beyond the arc.

The Phoenix Fuel Masters has bee on the driver’s seat through out the game as the Beermen played catch the entire four quarters of this second game in a Wednesday Philippine cup showdown.

The Fuel Masters’ rookie Matthew Wright had an excellent performance night contributing 14 points with an impressive 75% freethrow shooting average to end the game together with fellow rookie Gelo Alolino who listed 13 points who was perfect from the free throw line with 50% conversion from beyond the arc.

Junmar Fajardo tried to salvage the win for the beermen and was the highest scorer of the game with 19 points after dominating the paint but fell shortly with lack of points contribution from his fellow beermen having Alex Cabagnot only converting 1 three pointer out of his 4 attempts which is unusal for this shooting guard.

Final : 92-85 in favor of the Phoenix Fuel Masters

The scores:  

Phoenix 92 – Intal 22, Enciso 15, Wright 14, Alolino 13, Caperal 10, W. Wilson 6, Lanete 4, Torres 4, Baguio 2, Hayes 2, J. Wilson 0, Borboran 0.

San Miguel 85 – Fajardo 19, Cabagnot 16, Espinas 12, Lassiter 12, Santos 10, Garcia 9, Ross 4, Reyes 3, Agovida 0, Semerad 0, Tubid 0.

Quarters: 26-15, 49-35, 77-63, 92-85
Best players of the game:  Simon Enciso (15 points and 9 assists) and Matthew Wright (14 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists)!

Rain or Shine with a blowout debut win against Mahindra in a Wednesday showdown.

Courtesy of PBA Media Bureau

After a lot of changes in team line ups for both squads, Rain or Shine proved the league that they made the right shuffle of players.

Mahindra Floodbuster trailed with as much as 30 points in the game though gaining some momentum in trying to get back and try to inch in to close the gap with the help of Alex Mallari but Rain or Shine made sure that the take the W home.

Jericho Cruz exploded with 15 points which led them into this debut win together with the new Rain or Shine Star, James Yap who recorded 10 points along side Chris Tiu with 11 points.

Escoto, Paniamogan and Mallari were the among the players who were in double figures with 10 points a piece. Mahindra was not able to grabe the lead since the tip off but tried to get back and salvage the win.

Rain or Shine recorded an impressive 45% beyond the 3 point range making 18 out 40 attempts beyond the arc with 68 free throw percentage making 15 out of 22 charities. Jericho Cruz dominated the 3 point are getting 57.14% conversion (4 out of 7)

While Mahindra struggled converting their long range shots with only 17 percent conversion beyond the arc making only 5 of their 29 three point attempts with 42 percent made field goals. Mahindra did a good job in making shots from the foul line with 74 percent conversion but fell shortly with only 3 players listed with double figures.

Final : 105-83 in favor of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters

The scores:

Rain or Shine 105 – Cruz 15, Ahanmisi 14, Tiu 11, Yap 10, Belga 8, Tolomia 8, Chan 7, Almazan 6, Norwood 6, Maiquez 5, Washington 5, Trollano 4, Ibanes 3, Ponferada 3, Matias 0.

Mahindra 83 – Escoto 10, Mallari 10, Paniamogan 10, Guevarra 9, Eriobu 8, Arana 7, Yee 6, Celda 5, Nimes 4, Revila 4, Apinan 3, Deutchman 3, Salva 3, David 1, Ballesteros 0.

Quarterscores: 26-16, 61-32, 92-48, 105-83
Best Player : Jericho Cruz with 15 points, 4 assists and 4/7 3PT FGs

Another Sneaker Paradise showcased at Manila Sneaker Expo

Photo by Nathaniel Jayson Sangcap

Considering how big the Sneaker Game has become in the country, another Sneaker Con  happened last Sunday, November 20 at SM Aura. Considered as one of the biggest sneaker events to be held in the country, it will also be the biggest expo before we end the year of 2016.

This sneaker event called “Manila Sneaker Expo”  showcased different activities, such as Sneaker Raffles, hourly giveaways, great music featuring different artists and DJs in the country, Sneaker Auctions will also be conducted for sneaker enthusiasts or what they call “Sneakerheads”. Heat Pairs like Jordan 1 Banned and kicks from Yeezy line will also be available in the venue. And guess what?, Yeezy pair was given away in your size!!

Different guest artists and online stars like Marc Miranda and Nightwing 2303 were part of this anticipated event and was hosted by Mr. Hoops Mike Swift Check out their sick sneakers!

Top 3 Prospect in PBA Special Draft

Blackwater will pick first and they needs a rookie who can give an immediate impact as soon as he step in the playing court.

And here are the top 3 prospects who I think can give them an immediate spark.

  1. Mac Belo – One of the best collegiate player who helped FEU to win a championship last year. He also lead Gilas Pilipinas to gold medal finish in SEA Games. Mac is a versatile bigman who can shoot from downtown, drive to hoop and has a decent post up moves.
  2. Jio Jalalon – The Bus Driver is today’s best collegiate guard. Almost averaging a triple double in NCAA, He almost won the MVP award this year. His playing style is the same with Scottie Thompson but with a better shooting skills.
  3. Arnold Van Opstal – The Big Guy from DLSU program who helped them to get a championship last year. His basketball skills is still raw but with proper training this guys will be a monster in PBA. With a height of 6’7 and a great body to bang with other players even with raw basketball skills, he will still be a great pick up in any team who needs a solid big man.
Projected Landing:
  1. Mac Belo
  2. Arnold Van Opstal
  3. Jio Jalalon

One more year for Jayjay Helterbrand

One half of the bandana brothers, Jayjay “The Fast” Helterbrand reportedly to sign one-year extension in Ginebra.

After helping Ginebra to end their 8 year championship drought, everyone thought that game 6 of the finals will be his last playing game in PBA.
Tim Cone confirmed the news: “He will be back. He will sign for another year,”
This will set up another year of playing time for The Fast and The Furious.
The 2009 Season MVP, Jayjay will most probably become a part of Ginebra’s 3rd stringers but that was not important to the fans as they just want to see their idol in Ginebra uniform for one last time.

Former Barangay Ginebra players congratulates the Kings in social media.

After 8 years of title-drought, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel finally got the gold in their hands as they beat Meralco in an epic game 6 win with their import Justin Brownlee’s clutch triple.

Social media exploded with a huge volume of trending topics about this historic win and known personalities and former Ginebra players are one of the thousands who celebrated this championship and greeted the ballclub with a well deserved crown.

Joe Devance: Ginebra’s Unsung Hero in the Finals

Joe Devance can be a starting forward in any PBA team but his role in Ginebra was different.

In eliminations, quarterfinals and semifinals JDV was not in his usual self as his minutes and scoring goes down.

Also in the first 3 games of the Finals, Joe wasn’t able to get his groove offensively but in their last two game, he was just killing Merlaco silently.

In game 4 JDV sank a tough fall away jumper with 25 seconds left in the game and it helps Ginebra to tie the series.

Today, he started for Tim Cone (maybe for match up purposes) and he does what he needs to do and that is to control the game silently for ginebra.

He finished the game with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. He also made some big shots in the 4th quarter when Meralco is trying to make a comeback.

If Ginebra wants to finish the series on Wednesday, JDV will play a big factor for them.

1 win away from the crown as Ginebra outlasted Meralco in Game 5

8 year championship drought might end on Wednesday as Ginebra Gin Kings outlasted Meralco Bolts 92 – 81 and take a commanding 3 – 2 series advantage.

Ginebra started the game like a house on fire as they were able to establish a huge 21 point lead mid 2nd quarter.

But Meralco was able to cut the lead several times into a single digit in the third quarter and come in close distance to Ginebra.

The final quarter was a helter skelter as Meralco tried to make a huge comeback. They were able to reduce the lead into 5 points but a clutch 3 points from Sol Mercado and Scottie Thompson sealed the deal for Ginebra.

Meralco though had a big chance of inching closer but the referee failed to see the travelling violation made by Sol Mercado with a minute to go which Ginebra converted to a 3-point.

Ginebra was led by Justin Bronwlee and Japeth Aguilar with 29 points and 16 points while Meralco was led by Allen Durham and Reynel Hugnatan with 20 and 17 points respectively.

The scores:

GINEBRA 92 – Brownlee 29, Aguilar 16, Devance 11, Caguioa 8, Mercado 8, Tenorio 7, Thompson 5, Cruz 2.

MERALCO 81 – Durham 20, Hugnatan 17, Hodge 10, Newsome 10, Alapag 8, Uyloan 6, Al-Hussaini 4, Amer 4, Nabong 2, Caram 0, Faundo 0.

Quarterscores: 33-19, 54-39, 73-59, 92-81

3 important things for Ginebra to win game 2 of the PBA Finals

Game 1 slip in the hands of Ginebra via OT loss to Meralco. Here are the 3 important things for them to tie the series.

1. Defense: Defense is one of the best weapon of Ginebra coming into game 1. Ranked number 1 in that category in the playoffs. That defense was not there in game 1, allowing Meralco to score 114 points. If they want to manage to tie the series, they need to tighten up their D.

2. Justin Brownlee: Argueably one of the best import in the conference. But it was not evident in game 1 as he was outplayed by Allen Durham. Brownlee managed to score 17 points only, a far cry of his average. He needs to be aggressive attacking and defending Allen Durham.

3. Scottie Thompson: The priced rookie from Digos, Davao del Norte and the hero of their Game 5 win against SMB. This kid should stay aggressive offensively and defensively if they want to win Game 2.

Fans of both sides to go all out on game 1 as Ginebra and Meralco clashes for first blood.

Photo By Aldrin Alejo

We all expect this finals series as a “box office” hit based on how the Ginebra fans have waited for their team to get into the finals and the way the ticket selling goes, it is also expected that this PBA finals series to have a mammoth crowd as game 1 and 2 of this best of 7 series championship got sold out. Ginebra fans are expected to go all out but..

Meralco on the other hand also has this kind of weapon as they are also expected to match the number of attendees to support in every game. Employees of each franchises are also expected to add up to the patrons of this event this series. What’s great about what PBA did in this finals series is they stick to only one venue which is the Smart Araneta Coliseum which makes it easier for people to plan ahead of time and it is the most accessible venue for everyone to go at.

The PBA finals will commence this Friday October 7 at 7pm where Meralco and Barangay Ginebra will try to draw first blood and continue the momentum through out the series. As of this moment, tickets have been sold out for both games 1 and 2 leaving general admission and upperbox still available online and on the venue. TV Ratings are expected to go up as well as TV5 covers this game live for all fans at home which they also call as “Team Bahay”.

A historic semi-finals do-or-die match to be witnessed as Ginebra and San Miguel fight for a finals berth.

Photo by Cynthia Pedrosa

This is probably one of the most historic semi-finals series in the history of the PBA where records have been written such as Scottie Thompson’s triple double performace, huge crowd recorded in a semi-final game, most anticipated games by the fans and the fastest ticket selling. Having two brackets with two sister teams competing for a title, the PBA has made a huge difference in terms of showcasing a great entertainment platform in the sports industry.

The longest running professional league has been known for historic match ups and legendary players but this match up between the San Miguel Beermen who we might say the most successful team in the league so far having been crowned multiple times as PBA champions while on the other hand, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, one of the first franchises in the league and the most popular ball club is different on it’s own era.

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel has not won a title in almost a decade now and this crowd darling with the largest fan base is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated teams in the league to win this prestigious conference title. Social Media has been exploding with topics about this semi-finals series between these sister franchises. While San Miguel Beermen, will try to continue their rampage as they continue to fight for another title. Meralco’s first final appearance is also one of the milestones that this conference has recorded.

Having said that, as many people say, this is probably one of the best seasons that the PBA had. With the highly anticipated games and new records reached. PBA is off to a successful season ending conference as people goes back to the glory days and make this era one of them.  Continuing the legacy of the league legends, all the members of PBA and even the players are giving the fans what they deserve and exceeding their expectations with exciting and entertaining games.

"We will make you proud." Tim Cone and Ginebra to give it all on game 5 for the fans

After a sorry loss against the San Miguel Beermen, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel will fight the best game of their lives as they try to win the final game of the semi finals and get the Finals berth for the first time after 9 years.

Tim Cone said after the game that he made a mistake by playing zone defense in the early part of the match but will live with it and make sure to give their best on game 5. “We’re fortunate that we get to play game 5”. He stressed frustratingly after the game.

Today, Coach Tim Cone posted two tweets bidding his apology to the fans who came out and screamed their lungs out for Ginebra.

Tim Cone promised that He and The team will give their best on game 5.

Tim Cone, not looking forward to the finals. Says focus is on game 4.

After a heroic performance of Japeth Aguilar in the final seconds of the game 3 of the best of five series against the San Miguel Beermen, LA tenorio and the rest of Ginebra is not confident enough that they will have this series closed out. Ginebra recorded more than 30 assists. “Usually a 36 recorded assists in a game will give you a 30 point lead, but with the way San Miguel is closing us out its hard to do that especially with their zone.” Ginebra coach said in an interview.

“It’s a fun game and I will remember this for a while atleast from here onwards but we need to put that on our back and focus on our next game not on the finals.” Tim Cone reiterates that there is no assurance that they will have this series looking at the strong line up of SMB and how their sister team make it hard for them to execute their offemse because of the beermen’s zone defense.

“A series will not be determined by the momentum, a series game is like a ping pong match.” After the game, the ginebra squad will be back on the drawing board and review the tapes and get whatever mistakes they did and make sure to eliminate it on game 4.

“It was a fun game really, I saw Japetj take thay jumper and he’s so calm it just feels good to be in this side but i will feel crushed if I were on the other side.”

Ginebra will face SMB tomorrow that will decide if SMB will go home or live another day to fight for another finals spot while Ginebra will try to crack that finals appearance that everyone has been waiting for a long time.

"Joe got it going" Tim Cone said on containing Fajardo in game 1

Before Ginebra entered the semi final phase against the Championship caliber SMB, they had one concern, that’s how will they be able to contain Junmar Fajardo since they don’t have Greg Slaughter to match him up.

But in their 2nd meeting this conference, Ginebra found a way to make it hard for Fajardo in conquering the paint and diverted the SMB’s offensive focal point. “We felt we dont deserve to be on the same floor during the first half, we got frustrated.”  Tim Cone said after trailing with as much as 13 points through out the first half of Semifinals game 1.

“We haven’t been here in this situation in a while we dont know how hard we need to play in a game like this.”   Cone states that they lack of experience especially with him being in the semi-final round with Ginebra gives them a hard time on identifying the level of performance they need to overcome an experienced team like San Miguel Beermen in terms of playoffs appearances and championships.

“Our guys came out and played raised their level of performance, though we had lost our confidence during the first half ,they kept battling and got us the momentum.” Cone said.

“This doesnt win the series not big of a deal game two is the big deal.”
“SMB’s 5 is so solid its better than an all star team.”

Emphasizing how hard it is to match the level of performance of SMB and their players.

“Joe got it going for us ,hit a couple of shots ran the floor well. Junmar doesn’t have too many weaknesses but defending a guy like Joe makes it hard for him to chase down the floor.”

“Joe played a crucial part in 4th quarter he did a good job in making Fajardo chase them, he stepped out made a few shots the real key was joe in those situations he’s been to the grandslam he know how to play this game , I thought he played well from start to finish.” Cone Said.

Tim Cone on scoreless LA Tenorio " He cannot score a point but still be an impactful player out there".

Photo by Aldrin Alejo

LA Tenorio had an amazing performance against their win against Alaska in the quarter final round which sent Alaska on vacation after an outstanding 32 point performance but concluded their first semi final game against San Miguel Beermen scoreless.

“It’s a five man game, you don’t expect the same guy to carry the team every single game” said Tim Cone, after being asked on his reaction on Tenorio’s scoreless game. “This is what I told johnny before and what I’ve been telling LA, LA cannot score a point and still be the most impactful player out there”  Cone explains that LA focused on their defense and still can be a key player without point production.

” With his ability to defend, ability to handle the ball, push the ball and finding the right guy to get into our offense, He doesn’t necessarily have to score for us to be good and I think that’s what great point guards do.”

The league’s most successful coach said that LA Tenorio is one the key players in the team and will be able to have another great game ahead of him in this series but tonight, it is just a team game.