San Miguel goes head to head with Alaska in UNTV Cup PBA Legends Face-Off Finals
Aileen Cerrudo • June 24, 2019 • 3243
San Miguel will go head to head with Alaska in the finals after remaining undefeated in the UNTV Cup PBA Legends Face Off.
San Miguel took down Purefoods in a heated match on Sunday at the Pasig City Sports Center.
Kiko Adriano is one of the ‘best players of the game’ with 24 points and 3 rebounds.
The other two best players of the game were Danny the “Demolition Man” Ildefonso and Dondon the “Cebuano Hotshot” Hontiveros.
The Demolition Man had a double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds, while the Cebuano Hotshot scored 16 points and 6 rebounds.
Adriano, meanwhile, is happy to be a part of the tournament.
“Itong makarating kami dito at mapasama sa tournament ni Kuya is champion na kami especially iyong beneficiaries samin. Sobra-sobra napakalaking bagay maitutulong nito especially sa mga kasama nating players (Just by being here in Kuya’s [Daniel Razon] tournament, we are already champions, especially our beneficiaries. This is a huge help especially to our fellow players),” he said.
Purefoods opened the game with a strong offense leading in the first two quarters of the game.
Glenn Capacio, Alvin Patrimonio, and Roger Yap led the team with their performance. Purefoods was ahead by 15 points, 23-38, during the last four minutes of the second quarter.
Sam Miguel switched to a man-to-man defense and sped up their offense to break through Purefoods’ defense. They managed to bridge the gap by a point, 39-40.
By the third quarter, San Miguel was able to take the momentum from Purefoods leading the score with 55-53 and managed to take the game, 79-70.
Hontiveros was relieved they were able to adjust their strategy upon seeing Purefoods’ strong performance.
“Expected namin na pakikita nila magandang start buti naka-adjust kami, (We expected they will show a good start, but it was a good thing that we adjusted)” he said.
Ildefonso said their opponent studied their zone defense which gave them a difficult time during the first half of the game.
“Sa zone defense namin, mukhang pinag aralan nila. Mukhang nag-practice sila kasi halos ano nila sa labas sumu-shoot kaya nahirapan kami (They studied our zone defense. They really practiced because they were shooting from the outside. We had a hard time),” he said.
Alaska advances in the finals
Alaska was able to take the game from Ginebra, 84-69, securing a slot for the finals.
The best players of the game are Willie Miller, 25 points, Johnny ‘The Flying A’ Abarrientos with 16 points, and Jeffery Cariaso with 17 points.
Abarrientos is elated to be able to play in the finals.
“It’s a great habit for us even before when I used to play parang naging habit na namin, iyong character namin (it became our habit, our character) [that]every game we need to play possession by possession,” he said.
Pido ‘The Fireman’ Jarencio, meanwhile, scored 18 points where six of them came from the rainbow area.
Bal David and Marlou Aquino, scored 13 and 10 points respectively.
Jarencio said he is honored to be a part of UNTV Cup PBA Legends Face Off.
“Masaya ako naglalaro dito kasi this is for the foundation, this is for the players na may problema, may sakit kaya inspired ako to play (I am happy to play here because this is for the foundation, this is for the players who are facing difficulties, health issues. I am inspired to play),” he said.
Alaska and San Miguel will battle for the finals while Ginebra and Purefoods will battle for third place on July 8 at the Araneta Coliseum.—AAC (with reports from Bernard Dadis)
MANILA, Philippines — Fans went wild at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Monday (July 8) as the Milkmen served the Beermen their first taste of defeat at the conclusion of UNTV Cup Off PBA Legends off-season games.
Even the Legends themselves were amazed to feel their old aggressive self coming back to life just like the good old days as they hit the hardcourt.
“Believe it or not, iyong intensity noong nasa dulo (the intensity through the end of the game) it felt like the 90s again,” exclaimed Alaska’s Jojo “Mr. Clutchman” Lastimosa.
“So it was just like going back in time for the times. We were here 20 years ago, 25 years ago, the feeling was the same although a bit slower but the competition was there, the intensity was there,” he said.
“Sa totoo lang na-miss ko din talaga (Honestly, I missed [playing] so much),” said Kiko Adriano of San Miguel.
“The last time I played siguro 2008. Ito talaga ang ano ng player, iyong pride (This is the pride of a player) although medyo lack kami duon sa players pero up to the last na oras talagang laban pa rin (though we lack players but up to the last hour we continued fighting),” he said.
Basketball fans couldn’t sit still as they watch and shout to the breathtaking exchanges of double and triple shots, minute after minute of the game.
Indeed, a classic match they missed for decades.
Marlon Pangan is from a family of Ginebra die-hard fans. He made sure to witness the comeback of his idol Bal David into the hardcourt as he flaunted an old jersey of David like it was his ‘lucky charm.’
“Since 1994, inabutan ko talaga yung kalakasan nila (Since 1994, I’ve seen them when they were at the peak of their career) – Bal David, Marlo Aquino, Noli Locsin. Natutuwa ako kasi nandito kami. Hanggang ngayon, sinusuportahan pa rin namin mga games nila (I am happy that until now, we’re still here, supporting their games),” he said.
Alaska supporter Jeon Yantada goes all-out for his idol Willie “The Thriller” Miller.
“Parang bumagal na siya lumaki na pero yung tira niya sa labas parang (Stephen) Curry. Hindi naman nagbabago (He seemed to have slowed down a bit but his shots were like Stephen Curry’s. Nothing changed),” the Alaska die-hard fan said.
“Nanonood ako ng PBA kapag may San Miguel fight lang. Nag-cheer ako even pumusta ko sa kanila (I watch PBA only when San Miguel fights. I cheered for them and even placed a bet on them),” said Allan Bernales of his favorite team San Miguel.
It was an intense one hour inside the Big Dome as Alaska Aces hit the hardcourt with a vengeance against the strong San Miguel Beermen who defeated them in February during the Return of the Rivals benefit game with only seven points, 96-83.
The Beermen started strong in the first quarter, leading the ball game with two points, 21-19.
But the Milkmen was also up for the win and led the second quarter with a three-point advantage, 37-34, thanks to Willie “the Thriller” Miller’s 10 points contribution.
San Miguel again dominated the third quarter with an 8-point lead after Chris Calaguio fired four three-point shots, 60-52.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the “Flying A” Johnny Abarrientos displayed his ‘deadly crossover moves’, pushing Alaska closer to lead, 70-68.
There was non-stop intensity as John Ferriols added a free throw and Eddie Laure jumped for two.
The Milkmen finally scored ahead of the Beermen, 71-70 as both teams went neck and neck, scoring tied twice at 71 and 72.
At the final one minute and 42 seconds, the Beermen had the chance to win the game when Kiko Adriano stole the ball and attempted a shot but missed.
At 1:03, Miller fired a three-point shot but Allan Caidic couldn’t just watch so “the Triggerman” delivered his ‘shooting touch’ of three, bringing the score to a third tie at 75.
The last 46 seconds of the ball game brought out the best of both teams.
Abarrientos ended the showdown with a final lay up during the remaining 12 seconds, securing Alaska’s championship title, 77-75, while fans singing “Wala pa ring tatalo sa Alaska!” (Nothing can beat Alaska!)
Battle for 3rd: Ginebra vs. Purefoods
Crowd-favorite Ginebra and Purefoods battle for the third place prior to the championship game.
The Gin Kings toppled the Hotdogs in February during the Return of the Rivals benefit game, 97-89.
But it was a complete turn-around as the Hotdogs emerged victorious after defeating the Gin Kings and secured the third spot in the PBA Legends Face Off, 98-75.
Six players from Purefoods contributed double-digit scores – Roger Yap (20); Alvin Patrimonio (16); Tony Boy Espinosa (14); Glenn Capacio (13); Dwight Lago (10) and Jerry Codinera (10).
Meanwhile, leading Ginebra with high scores were Bennett Palad (16); Mike Orquillas (14); and Bal David (11).
The Legends have nothing but praises to the one-of-a-kind charity basketball game organized by UNTV president and CEO Kuya Daniel Razon in cooperation with the PBA Legends Foundation chaired by former Crispa star Atoy Co.
“Congratulations to everybody. Siyempre giving back to the fans din ito, (Of course, this is also giving back to the fans,)” exclaimed Alvin ‘the Captain’ Patrimonio.
“Natutuwa ako sa mga fans kasi grabe yung cheers nila sa amin (I’m amazed with the way the fans cheered for us, so lively),“ he said.
“Congratulations to UNTV for making this event possible. We were very, very thankful hindi lang doon sa mga Legends na naglalaro kundi sa purpose nito (not only to the Legends who played but for the purpose of this game) – to help the Legends,” thanked Purefoods Bong ‘The Raven’ Ravena.
“Aside for the win this is for all the fans. Makabalik man lang kami sa kanila kahit maliit na kasayahan. Malaking bagay sa amin iyon (To give back to them and to be able to make them happy, that means a lot to us),” he added.
“Sana tuloy-tuloy pa at marami pang (ganitong) event (I hope for more of this event in the future). Thank you and all the best. More power Kuya Daniel and sa UNTV,” concluded Ginebra’s Bal ‘The Flash’ David.
The host UNTV has given the four teams P2-M which they donated to the PBA Legends Foundation. – with details from Bernard Dadis
Two Purefoods fans were able to find love while supporting their favorite team.
Jef and Gerald Simbul met in 2009. They were both supporting their favorite player, Purefoods’ Alvin Patrimonio.
“Parehas kaming mahilig sa basketball, early days pa lang, (We both love basketball even in the early days), we met year 2009. Because sa support namin kay Cap (Because of our support for Cap [Patrimonio]), all of a sudden we became lovers,” Jef said.
Gerald added that because of their love for the Purefoods team, they were able to find each other, and they have been together since then.
“Dahil sa pagkahumaling namin sa Purefoods team then kay Cap, na meet namin isa’t-isa then naging asawa ko siya, (Because of our love for the Purefoods team and Cap, we met each other and she became my wife),” he said.
Jef and Gerald were among the thousands of fans who watched the UNTV Cup PBA Legends Face-off Finals on Monday (July 8) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Some fans wore their team’s jersey and brought their old photos with their favorite player.
Marlon Pangan, a Ginebra fan, recalled the glory days of Bal David and Marlou Aquino. He is still happy to have witnessed their game at the UNTV Cup PBA Legends Face-off.
“Since 1994, inabutan ko talaga iyong kalakasan nila Bal David, Marlou Aquino, Noli Locsin so ngayon natutuwa ako kasi nandito kami hanggang [ngayon] sinusuportahan pa rin namin mga games nila (Since 1994, I was able to see Bal David, Marlou Aquino, and Nilo Locsin at their peak. I am happy that until now, I am still able to support their games),” he said.
Some of the PBA Legends said the fans’ support brings back the strength they had back in the days.
“Siyempre napaka-importante sa amin iyon lalo na mababagal na kami. Kapag naririnig namin iyong chant nila, ginaganahan rin kami (Of course that is very important to us. We are already slow but when we hear them chant, it motivates us),” Bal David said.
“Kahit iyong feeling na lang ma-reminisce namin iyong good old days noong sobra kaming nakipag-battle, iyong passion actually sa kanila namin lahat nakukuha iyon (They allow us to reminisce on how it felt back in the good old days when we were battling hard. We get our passion from our fans),” Johnny Abarrientos said.—AAC (with reports from Mon Jocson)
These players have proven themselves timeless which makes them legends in the PBA hardcourt. But what does it take to be a legend? We asked the legends themselves.
“When you’re talking about being a legend, siguro iyong someone na nakapaglaro ng matatagal (maybe someone who has played for a long time). Kailangan may accomplishment ka, (you have to have an accomplishment) so you should have impact while you are playing. Your life off basketball should be spotless and impeccable for you to be considered a legend.” —Jojo ‘Mr. Clutch’ Lastimosa, PBA Legend Alaska
“Ang puhunan ng basketball players ay ang body. So kailangan pangangalagaan natin. Ito iyong magde-determine kung gaano kahaba ang lalaruin natin. Sa mga new generations of basketball players, minsan lang nag-na-knock iyong opportunity whether sa basketball or sa ibang field kapag may pagkakataon. Grab it. Take it. (The investment of basketball players is their body. We need to care for it. This will determine how long will we be able to play. For the new generation of basketball players, opportunity doesn’t often knock. Whether that is in basketball or other fields. Grab it. Take it).” —Kenneth ‘Captain Marbel’ Duremdes, PBA Legend Alaska
“Kapag naglalaro sila ibigay lang nila ang talagang nararapat, unang-una para sa team, para sa sarili nila, para sa pamilya. Dahil alam naman natin iyan ang nagbibigay buhay sa kanila. Huwag nilang pabayaan lalong-lalo na iyong mga sumusuporta sa kanila. (They should give what is expected of them when playing. Give it for the team, first of all, then for themselves and their families. Because we know, that’s what drives them. They should never neglect it, they should never leave their supporters.)—Philip ‘The Scholar’ Cesar, PBA Legend
“Aside from maglaro ulit kami together, ang added motivation doon is iyong makatulong kami sa kapwa manlalaro na nahihirapan ngayon. Iyon ang nagpapagana sa amin na maglaro ang tagal na naming hindi ginagawa ito. Alam namin na maganda ang patutunguhan ang aming ginagawa. (Aside from being able to play again together, the added motivation there is we are able to help other players who are having difficulties in life. That is what motivates us now. It has been a long time since we’ve done this. We know our actions will bear good fruits).” —Olsen ‘Rara’ Racela, PBA Legend San Miguel
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