Blog Posts by Sid Ventura

  • Ex-PBA player Bryan Gahol dies in car accident

    (UPDATED) Former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player Bryan Gahol, who suited up for four PBA teams in a seven-year career, died late Monday night in a multiple-vehicle accident along the South Luzon Expressway near Alabang. He was 36.

    According to reports, Gahol was onboard a Nissan Urvan bound for Quezon City with four other companions when their vehicle was struck by a jeep, causing it to overturn. The jeep's driver was quoted as saying he lost control of his vehicle after they were hit by a truck.

    A female passenger onboard the Nissan Urvan also perished, while three others escaped with minor injuries.

    Gahol was a a high school star at the Liceo de Los Banos and a member of Philippine under-18 youth team that placed sixth in the FIBA-Asia Under-18 Championship held in Manila in 1995. Among his teammates on the youth team were future PBA pros Paolo Mendoza, Ogie Gumatay, Gerard Francisco, Danny Ildefonso, and Mark Telan.

    After his stint with the youth team, Gahol joined

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  • Rain or Shine downs Alaska behind Chan's big second half

    Jeff Chan scored all his 24 points in the second half and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters bounced back from a stinging defeat to Barako Bull with a masterful 92-78 over the Alaska Aces to get back on track in the 2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    After a listless first half, Chan sank six triples, including a rare four-point play, in the third and fourth quarters to help the E-Painters notch their first win against a solitary loss while sending the Aces to their third loss in four games.

    Chan went 8-of-13 from the field, including 6-of-10 from three-point land, and almost single-handedly quelled an Alaska uprising early in the fourth period that saw the Aces reduce a 19-point deficit to just four.

    Chan scattered 12 points in the third period as the Elasto Painters slowly pulled away. Two free throws by Paul Lee gave Rain or Shine its biggest lead of the game at 69-50 with 1:27 left in the third before the Aces closed out the quarter with an 8-0 run to cut the

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  • Donaire rallies to stop Darchinyan in ninth round

    (UPDATED) The Filipino Flash is back.

    Nonito Donaire, Jr. gave the Philippines a little something to cheer about in the midst of the death and devastation left by super typhoon Yolanda, stopping old foe Vic Darchinyan in the ninth round of their 10-round non-title bout in Corpus Christi, Texas.

    Trailing in the scorecards of two of the three judges after eight rounds, Donaire (32-2) stepped it up in the ninth and caught Darchinyan (39-5-1) with a left hook followed by a solid right that sent the Armenian-Australian crashing to the canvass at the 1:10 mark. The 37-year-old Darchinyan got up at the count of four, but Donaire immediately went for the kill, tagging Darchinyan with another right that sent him reeling into the ropes.

    Donaire then chased Darchinyan around, finally trapping his opponent in a corner and landing successive blows that forced referee Laurence Cole to wave it off at the 2:06 mark.

    The win allowed Donaire to bounce back from a stunning unanimous decision loss to

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  • PBA Draft: Former Falcons Nuyles, Camson hoping for the best

    A pair of former Adamson Falcons are hoping to fulfill their childhood dreams and make it to the big league.

    High-flying guard Alex Nuyles and versatile forward Eric Camson, both stalwarts of the Adamson team that made it to back-to-back Final Fours in the UAAP in 2010 and 2011, are two of the record 85 players who joined the 2013 PBA Rookie Draft, and while they’re long shots to be picked in the top five, they’re optimistic they’ll be selected somewhere in the first rounds of the draft set for November 3.

    “Hopefully I get selected in the first round and get signed to a contract,” said Nuyles in Filipino. “That’s really my goal right now.”

    The athletic off-guard, who led the Falcons in scoring in 2011, is aware that a past shoulder injury may have lowered his draft stock a little bit.

    “Based on feedback I got, the issues with me are questionable shooting and the fact that I’m coming off an injury,” he said, although he was quick to add that his shoulder is now fully healed.

    “If you came

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  • RR Garcia not thinking about draft position

    He may be a projected high first-rounder, but former Far Eastern University guard RR Garcia isn’t worrying about where he might land in Sunday’s 2013 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Rookie Draft.

    Picked by most observers to be drafted quickly in this rich rookie pool, Garcia still isn’t looking too far ahead. Right now, he just wants to get drafted, period.

    “I’m not really expecting anything,” said the former UAAP Most Valuable Player in Filipino. “What’s important is I get drafted.”

    The draft features what many are calling the deepest pool of talent in years, and projected to go 1-2-3 are big men Greg Slaughter of Ateneo, Ian Sangalang of San Sebastian and Raymond Almazan of Letran. Barangay Ginebra, San Mig Coffee and Rain or Shine own the first three picks.

    After those three, the names of Garcia, Terrence Romeo, James Forrester and Jeric Teng have been mentioned as possible picks. The Barako Bull Energy Cola will be drafting from fourth to sixth, and it’s possible they will use

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  • Slaughter not surprised by old foe Fajardo's emergence

    One season after his old college foe was drafted number one overall in the 2012 rookie draft, Greg Slaughter will most likely duplicate that feat and re-ignite his aborted rivalry with June Mar Fajardo.

    Slaughter, who will most probably be picked first by Barangay Ginebra in the 2013 Rookie Draft scheduled on November 3, and Fajardo, selected first overall by Petron Blaze in last year’s draft, are no strangers to each other.

    The two faced off for a couple of years in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI), Fajado manning the slot for the University of Cebu and Slaughter doing the same for the University of the Visayas.

    In 2009, Slaughter led the Green Lancers to their ninth straight CESAFI crown, beating Fajardo’s UC Webmasters, 3-1, in their best-of-five championship series. Fittingly, both big men were named co-MVPs of the league.

    The following year, Slaughter transferred to Ateneo and helped the Blue Eagles win two more titles in 2011 and 2012. Fajardo, meanwhile, went on

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  • Fil-Am guard raises eyebrows at PBA Rookie Camp

    A half-Filipino point guard stole some thunder at Monday morning’s Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Rookie Camp at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong City by displaying his phenomenal leaping ability.

    Justin Brian Melton, born in Angeles City to an American father and a Filipina mother, made his presence felt when he touched the 11’4” mark in the vertical leap drill.

    The drill required the aspirants to jump twice and tap the highest measurement they could with their fingertips. Melton, a former Gilas recruit who hails from Mount Olive College In North Carolina, reached 11 feet flat on his first jump and 11’4” on his second jump.

    Only consensus top overall pick Greg Slaughter and Fil-Am power forward Isaac Holstein submitted higher leaps, with both big men reaching 11’6”.

    The 26-year-old Melton, who was officially measured at five feet, nine and five-eighths inches, also topped the push-ups drill with 104 consecutive push-ups. He saw action in the ASEAN Basketball League last

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  • Superstitious Patrimonio wears same polo from last year's championship

    Athletes are a superstitious bunch. Many of them insist on following a certain routine every game day, believing that even the slightest deviation from their rigid schedule will result in bad luck come game time.

    Others, though, believe in the power of a lucky piece of clothing. And San Mig Coffee team manager Alvin Patrimonio is one such soul. For Friday night's PBA Governors' Cup finals Game 7 clash between the Coffee Mixers and the Petron Blaze Boosters, the PBA legend wore the exact same shirt and tie he wore during last season's Commissioner's Cup Game 7 duel between the B-Meg Llamados (as the Mixers were known then) and the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters.

    For Tim Cone, tying Baby Dalupan's record is 'very humbling'

    Patrimonio reportedly considers the maroon long-sleeved shirt "his lucky polo", and with good reason. During last year's epic Game 7, the Llamados had to lean on Denzel Bowles' two free throws with 1.2 seconds left to force overtime before prevailing in the

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  • Hearing the boos: Dwight Howard finds out there are lots of Laker fans in Manila

    If Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird was arguably the most popular NBA personality during the NBA Global Games 2013 here in Manila (although the Houston Rockets' Chandler Parsons could give him a run for his money), then the Rockets' Dwight Howard was perhaps the most despised.

    Last July, despite a major campaign from team management to keep him in Los Angeles, Howard bolted the LA Lakers and signed a free-agent contract with the Rockets, drawing the ire of the Lakers and their fans. Kobe Bryant, in particular, was said to be pretty upset at the All-Star center for turning his back on them.

    The Lakers were supposed to contend for the 2013 crown with the addition of Howard and point guard Steve Nash, but instead they struggled through injuries and lack of cohesion and got swept in the first round of the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs. In the fourth and final game of that series, and with their season on the line, the big man even managed to get himself ejected in the third period,

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  • NBA Commissioner David Stern talks about globalization, stepping down, and his legacy

    NBA Commissioner David Stern will step down on February 1, 2014, ending 30 years as head of the world’s top basketball league.

    Stern is already the longest-serving commissioner in any North American professional sports league. He took over from Larry O’Brien in 1984 when the league was at a crossroads. Television exposure was still spotty, and league revenues were nowhere near the level that they are today.

    But armed with a vision, Stern steered the NBA to greater heights, and also paved the way for the globalization of the game. That latter aspect culminates, fittingly, with the first NBA preseason game to be held in Manila.

    Stern flew into town to personally watch the Indiana Pacers-Houston Rockets game at the Mall of Asia Arena, and a few hours before tip-off he spoke with a handful of journalists from the region in a roundtable discussion. Excerpts:

    On the Philippine basketball culture and the globalization of the NBA

    You have to be here to appreciate it. The Philippine fans are

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