Magnolia and Meralco threaded the needle to advance to the semifinals of the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup. Both teams survived thrilling game 3 do-or-die matches. Bolts will face top-seeded San Miguel Beer while Hotshots will play against the number two seed TNT.
Philippine Basketball Association
Magnolia put NLEX to sleep. Magnolia outplayed NLEX in the Game 3 rubber match of their Philippine Cup quarterfinals series, 112-106. Ian Sangalang (24 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists) and Paul Lee (21 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 5-of-8 from deep) led the Hotshots before Jio Jalalon (16 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists) exploded in the overtime. Road Warriors player Calvin Oftana’s 32 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists stellar performance went to naught. Magnolia drew the first blood on July 24th with a 98-89 victory, then NLEX bounced back on July 29th with a 90-77 win.
📷: SPIN.ph / Jerome Ascano
Meralco finally passed Ginebra in a playoff series. Meralco weathered Barangay Ginebra’s comeback attempt in the do-or-die Game 3 of their Philippine Cup quarterfinals series, 106-104. Chris Newsome tallied a triple-double for the Bolts with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists. Six other players from Meralco scored in double-digits. For the Kings, reigning MVP Scottie Thompson had 26 points and 6 rebounds while Christian Standhardinger and Japeth Aguilar combined for 44 points and 17 rebounds performance. Meralco opened the series with a 93-82 victory on July 24th, then Ginebra put the series back to square one with a 94-87 win on July 29th.
San Miguel and TNT cruised their way to the Philippine Cup semifinals. Top-seeded San Miguel Beer needed only one game in the Philippine Cup quarterfinals to eliminate Blackwater, 123-93. CJ Perez and Marcio Lassiter scored 18 apiece while Jericho Cruz scored 17 off the bench. Meanwhile, number two seed TNT had a wire-to-wire victory over the new team Converge, 116-95. Mikey Williams led the Tropang Giga with 26 points and 4 assists while Troy Rosario and RR Pogoy added 18 and 16 respectively.
PBA players will be available for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. League commissioner Willie Marcial said that PBA plans to go all out in backing the Philippine men’s basketball team for the FIBA World Cup. The league will only have two conferences next season to make sure that the players will be available. Meanwhile, he said that coach Chot Reyes is free to pick any players from 10 teams that are not included in the Philippine Cup finals for the upcoming window in the qualifiers.
James Yap will return next conference. Two-time MVP James Yap will play next conference with Rain or Shine after taking a leave of absence to concentrate on his campaign while running as a San Juan City councilor. He was elected along with fellow PBA players Paul Artadi and Don Allado.
Alex Eala missed the W25 finals. Number 4 seed Alex Eala lost to number 7 seed Eva Guerrero Alvarez of Spain in the semifinals of the W25 El Espinar/Segovia Spanish tournament—2-6, 6-3, 2-6.
- 11th ASEAN Para Games: Ernie Gawilan, Roland Sabido, and Cendy Asusano delivered the first three gold medals for the Philippines.
- EJ Obiena improved to third place in the Pole Vaulting’s World Rankings.
- Kai Sotto will return to Australia’s NBL club Adelaide 36ers.
- Reigning NCAA rookie-MVP Rhenz Abando signed with Korean Basketball League club Anyang KGC. Colegio de San Juan de Letran wished him well in his upcoming stint in Korea.
- Godfrey Okumu stepped down as the coach of the University of the Philippines women’s volleyball team.
- San Beda University tapped Yuri Escueta as the men’s basketball head coach.
- The Philippine Senate will launch an inquiry related to the ongoing struggles of the Philippine men’s basketball team.
- The 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell died at age 88.