2011-2012 PBA Philippine Cup
CASIO, LEE HEADLINE TOP ROOKIE PICKS
POWERADE and JV Casio can now both live out their respective dreams.
The Tigers made Casio the No. 1 pick overall as expected in Sunday's eventful PBA Rookie Draft at
the Robinson's Place-Manila, hoping the heady point guard can help lift the team out of its recent
Rain or Shine chose Paul Lee at No. 2, marking the first time since the draft was instituted in 1985
that the first two picks overall were guards, while at least five teams engaged in some frenetic
Still taking the lion's share of the focus is Powerade and its picks, which included Casio's Gilas
teammate, Marcio Lassiter, still available at No. 4.
With his backcourt now reinforced by the ace playmaker of the La Salle and Smart Gilas teams and
Lassiter providing another threat at the wings, Perasol believes his team will be able to compete,
at least in the two import-flavored conferences in the coming season.
"We have strengthened our backcourt and wingmen, so it is only in the frontline that we could be
considered weak," said Perasol.
"Pero titingin pa rin kami sa free agency para mapunuan iyung frontline namin. Failing that, look
forward na lang kami sa conferences na me import," added Perasol, while also pointing out his guards
and wingmen can compensate for some kinks in their armor.
"Getting Lassiter at No. 4 was a bonus for us," said Perasol. "He can play backup or alongside Gary
(David) and JV can play with either or both of them."
Casio, at 5-foot-9 the smallest man ever to be picked at No. 1 overall and the first La Salle
alumnus to go at No. 1 since Mike Cortez in 2003, just wants to live up to all the expectations.
"I just have to focus on the games, see what I can deliver," said Casio, set to turn 25 years old on
Thursday. "It's still all about teamwork and I just have to try and do my part in the point guard
position, which is to stabilize the offense."
There is time to savor the reality of heading the list of 24 picked players out of the 36
"Hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala na naging No. 1. It's always been my dream to play in the PBA," he
The same surreal feeling is shared by Lee, the former UE Red Warrior, part of the original Gilas
team formed before the stint came into conflict with his school work.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said he could have gone with either Casio or Lee, but is content with
having the 6-foot combo guard just the same.
"I feel he is one of the pieces lacking in our bid to compete in the highest level," said Guiao. "He
has been an experienced player in the amateurs and I think he has little work left before fully
adjusting to the PBA style of play."
Lee admitted to having liked Guiao's style of down-to-earth coaching. "Gusto ko si coach Yeng and
excited na akong maka-trabaho siya," he said.
The six other Gilas members also went fast and all in the first round, with Petron making Chris Lutz
the No. 3 overall pick, Shopinas.com (formerly known as Barako Bull) getting Mark Barroca at No. 5,
Alaska choosing Marnel Baracael at No. 6, Meralco getting Jason Ballesteros, and Barako Bull,
formerly Air21, taking Dylan Ababou.
Also crashing the Top 10 were Allein Maliksi, chosen at No. 8 by Barako, and Reil Cervantes, tabbed
at No. 9 by Ginebra.
The dealings actually began long before the affair witnessed by a sizable number of fans who cheered
whenever their favorites' names are called.
Meralco, Powerade and Talk N Text sealed a three-way trade and so did Barako and Petron and Meralco
and Alaska, with each team hoping said deals will be beneficial for all the concerned parties.
Meralco acquired the rights to the Tropang Texters' No. 7 pick and swingman Mark Yee and the Tigers'
Talk N Text received guard Shawn Weinstein and forward Bam Gamalinda from the Bolts while Powerade
acquired Ogie Menor and Chris Timberlake from Meralco and TNT's No. 21 pick overall.
Dondon Hontiveros, meanwhile, is headed back to Petron along with Carlo Sharma after the Boosters
gave up Sunday Salvacion and Mick Pennisi to the Energy. The two teams also included their first
Alaska likewise used three of its four second round choices on Eric Salamat, Julius Pasculado and
Ariel Mepana from 13th to 15th, respectively, before trading its No. 17 pick to Meralco for a 2014
second round pick. The Bolts promptly used it on Gilbert Bulawan.
Also taken in the second round are Magi Sison (Shopinas), John Paul Raymundo (TNT), Brian Ilad
(B-MEG), James Martinez (Ginebra), Kenneth Acibar and PJ Sorongan (Barako Bull). Using the rights it
acquired from TNT, Powerade tabbed John Marc Agustin.
For the first time in the last six years and as agreed on during last Tuesday's PBA board meeting,
the drafting went beyond the second round and Shopinas and Petron took advantage by respectively
taking Marc Cagoco and Felimon Fernandez in the third round.
The Boosters effectively concluded the proceedings by taking Gerald Lapus in the fourth round.
The undrafted applicants automatically became rookie free agents while those teams who picked have
five working days to present tender offers to their respective choices.
Tigers upbeat on coming PBA season
MANILA, Philippines - Powerade coach Bo Perasol said yesterday he’s putting the final touches to the Tigers’ lineup for the PBA season starting Oct. 2 and the emerging cast looks like a championship contender in the making.
“We’re planning to use a 12-man rotation,” said Perasol. “We’ll be tendering offer sheets to our three draft picks (Jvee Casio, Marcio Lassiter, Marc Agustin) within five working days from Sunday as required by the PBA. I’ve always told management that whatever happens, I’m accountable for our performance. In the past, we had our limitations. But now, I’m confident in what we can do. I think we’ve got the manpower, particularly in the backcourt and wing positions, to be able to match up with any team in the league. Hindi na kami lugi kasi mayroon ng pambato ang Powerade.”
In last Sunday’s draft, Powerade chose Casio as the first overall pick and nabbed Lassiter with the fourth. Agustin came in the second round. Gone from last year’s lineup are Mark Macapagal and Chico Lanete (both to Meralco), J. R. Quinahan and Norman Gonzales (both to Rain Or Shine) and Eddie Laure. Rob Reyes isn’t likely to return from the US but Powerade still holds his rights. Francis Allera, Ricky Calimag and R. J. Rizada may play in Powerade’s ambassadors squad that travels around the country to appear in goodwill exhibitions. Dennis Espino is on call and may be reactivated to formalize his retirement in the same way that Kenneth Duremdes will suit up in the Philippine Cup.
Aside from the rookie picks, Perasol said the team will feature other new faces. Alex Crisano, Doug Kramer, Josh Vanlandingham and possibly, Rudy Lingganay will be in the Tigers’ rotation. Perasol said he’s still in the hunt for two big men to complete the roster. The holdovers are Gary David, Will Antonio, Sean Anthony, Celino Cruz and Jai Reyes.
“We’re very excited about the coming season,” said Perasol. “We’re going to be a running team. That’s because of the individual tendencies of our players like Gary, Javee and Marcio. But to be able to run, we’ve got to secure the rebounds. In case we don’t get the opportunity to run, I think we’ll be fine executing in the half-court because of our shooters. I know we can’t be strong in all positions but we made it a point to strengthen our backcourt and wings. We’re figuring that in the second and third conferences, we’ll be recruiting big imports so we decided to focus on our backcourt and wings. Still, it’s not as if we’re ignoring our bigs. Will, Alex and Doug will do their share up front.”
Perasol called for Powerade’s first practice at the Moro Lorenzo Gym yesterday morning. Casio and Lassiter showed up but were excused from playing. Agustin also attended.
“Jvee and Marcio will be leaving next Wednesday for China and they’ll be with us for practice until the day before,” said Perasol. “We want to familiarize them with our offensive and defensive systems and get to know their teammates. We don’t want to risk any injury since they’ll be playing in China so they won’t be suiting up at practice. We’ve told Jvee and Marcio it’s not by accident that they’re with our team. We planned it that way. Mr. (J. B.) Baylon and I went to Taiwan to look at the Gilas players closely during the Jones Cup. We knew Paul Lee was also available but we chose Jvee as our first overall pick. And we chose Marcio because of his ability to play the wing.”
Perasol said Vanlandingham is arriving from the US today and he expects the team to be complete at practice tomorrow.
Crisano’s enlistment wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. Assistant coach Alex Compton had asked Perasol if Crisano could try out for a spot over a month ago.
“There’s no question what Alex can do,” said Perasol, referring to the 6-7 center. “For a month, he worked out with our strength and conditioning coach Julius Veloso. We told him to get in shape for a month without pay. We spoke to him, stressing that this is his last chance to play in the PBA, that it’s not about him but at Powerade, it’s about the team. Alex claims he’s a new man and the past is past. I believe in what he can do. Alex is big, can score, rebound and defend. It’s really all up to him whether he can fit in our system. We’re taking that chance.”
Perasol said over 30 players reported for a four-day camp that Powerade ran for prospective rookies and free agents before the draft. Lingganay, Crisano, Jun-Jun Cabatu, Lee and Ken Acibar came to show their wares. Lingganay, an undrafted guard from UE, was impressive and caught Perasol’s attention. The ABL veteran will be offered a contract as a free agent.
Tim Cone, Alaska part ways
A couple of hours after it was announced that he was leaving the Alaska organization on Thursday, Tim Cone gathered the Aces around one last time.
Rafe Bartholomew writes about the end of the Tim Cone era, and why the PBA will never be the same.
“I can’t explain it, I can’t explain why, but it just came,” he said, as the players listened intently, as if they were in a huddle in the middle of the arena instead of a posh cafe in Makati.
“This is the right time. You’re not gonna miss a beat without me.”
Earlier in the afternoon, Fred Uytengsu made the announcement that Cone, who had been the coach of Alaska for 22 years, will no longer be part of the Aces, ending days of speculation about the multi-titled mentor’s future.
Uytengsu said that Cone, who led Alaska to 13 championships including a rare Grand Slam in 1996, approached the organization last week to ask for his release. The coach had a live contract with Alaska until 2013. At the same time, the Alaska owner announced the appointment of Cone’s erstwhile deputy, Joel Banal, to the head coaching post.
“At this point, I just wanted to do something different,” said Cone, who was visibly emotional throughout the whole news conference. He said that the decision was particularly hard considering the length of his tenure with the Aces. “I’ve been married to the Alaska organization longer than I’ve been married to my wife.”
He said that the choice wasn’t made on the spur of the moment, saying that the build-up to his decision was a gradual process, although he likened the decision to leave the Aces’ to a mid-life crisis.
Uytengsu said that his only regret is that Cone would not have a chance to break Baby Dalupan’s all-time PBA championship record with Alaska. The legendary former Crispa mentor coached his way to 15 titles over the course of his career.
In good hands
Cone said that he was leaving the team in good hands, which made his decision easier.
“The team is strong,” he said, mentioning the presence of all-stars LA Tenorio, Sonny Thoss, and Cyrus Baguio on the team.
He was also effusive in praise of his successor Banal, a former head coach who led Talk ‘N Text to the 2003 PBA All-Filipino title.
“I’m terrifically happy for Joel,” said Cone. “I’ve always told him he was too good to be an assistant coach in this league.”
No firm offer yet
While Cone admitted having had discussions with other teams, he insisted that there was still no firm offer for him to sign with any other squad yet. His name has been linked to the B-MEG Llamados, which recently announced the appointment of Richard del Rosario as acting head coach.
“I hear the rumors just like you do,” Cone said. “There’s rumors flying all over. I have not been given an offer from B-MEG.”
“I’m hoping I land on my feet.”
Cone added that he thought it was the right time for him to leave Alaska while he was still “marketable” to other teams, indicating that the Aces’ championship run in the 2010 PBA Fiesta Conference was still fresh in the minds of other teams.
“I might not be as ‘marketable’ five years from now,” he said.
Life goes on for Alaska
Uytengsu, meanwhile, stressed that the focus of the Aces now moves to their quest for a 14th championship.
“I think we have a great coach in Joel Banal,” he said. “Our immediate goal is to win the All-Filipino Conference.”
Banal, for his part, said that he will retain a lot of elements from Tim Cone’s system as he takes over Alaska’s coaching chores.
“The system was obviously working,” he said. “We will use a lot of Coach Tim’s system. [But] little by little, I will inject some of what I know.”
Cone versus Alaska
Uytengsu said he would not be surprised to see Cone in the sidelines for another team.
“He is one of the greatest coaches to ever coach in the PBA,” Uytengsu said. “I’m sure he is a very attractive candidate to the other franchises.”
With both men known for their fiery competitiveness, the Alaska chief executive was asked if he was looking forward to the opportunity to beat his long-time coach.
“I’m looking forward to beating any team not named Alaska on the court,” he replied with a smile. “Any time, any place.”
Beginning today, after 22 years, that would include even teams coached by Tim Cone.
I believe, James MArtinez will be also part of the team! Too many players with live contract, I'd thought PBA only allowed 14 players for each team!
Originally Posted by donspark47
Not only does God play dice, but sometimes he throws the dice where we can’t see them.
Originally Posted by Cryotek
John Wilson, JC Intal and Reil Cervantes