It’s the Holiday season and there’s plenty of good cheer for
Philippine basketball this 2018. We made a list of what was nice and
we checked them twice!
Here are six shining moments in Philippine basketball for 2018 and in
no particular order.
Janine Pontejos wins the Fiba 3×3 World Cup three-point shootout
The Men’s and Women’s 3×3 teams were not able to make the medal round
in the Fiba 3×3 World Cup held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue,
Bulacan, but tiny Janine Pontejos, the Perlas Pilipinas sparkplug gave
Filipinos one heck of a consolation.
Pontejos bagged the gold medal after winning the Fiba 3×3 World Cup
Shoot-Out after torching the net with 14 points in only 41.86 seconds.
Pontejos bested three other finalists in Alexandra Stolyar of Russia,
Marin Hrvoje of Croatia, and Maksim Dybovskii of Russia to claim the
Region 4A wins third straight Pambansang Tatluhan title
Region 4, representing the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna,
Quezon and Rizal, bagged their third consecutive Samahang Basketbol ng
Pilipinas Under-16 Pambansang Tatluhan at the Harrison Plaza last
Region 4A’s Ley Acosta hit the game-ending triple with 1:52 to play to
dispatch a tough Region 11 side from Davao City, 21-16, for an
incredible three-peat in the annual age-group 3×3 competition.
The balanced inside and outside game with twin towers Jan Rae Atienza
and Jan Derick Villarez and the sweet-shooting of Ley Acosta was more
than enough to hold off a Davao squad that was led by John Rey Pasaol,
the younger brother of University of the East star, Alvin Pasaol, and
the undersized Wilfred Remollo.
Batang Gilas with its best-ever finish in the Fiba U17 World Cup
Batang Gilas dismantled New Zealand, 73-51, in their last game to
finish 13th overall in the 16-nation Fiba Under-17 World Cup in
Argentina last July. It was the Philippines’ all-time best record in
the tournament since finishing 15th place in 2014.
Kai Sotto tallied 22 points and 10 boards in their last game of the
tournament where Batang Gilas finished with a 2-5 record.
Gilas finishes 5th in the Asian Games
Not bad for a hastily assembled squad.
Gilas Pilipinas crushed Syria, 109-55, at the end of the
classification round in the 2018 Asian Games Men’s Basketball
competition on Friday, August 31 at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
In his Pilipinas debut, Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson showed what
a huge pick up he is. And in Gilas’ final match, the NBA star erupted
for 29 points to lead the side that improved on their seventh-place
finish in the 2014 Incheon Games and secured the country’s best
ranking in 16 years.
Ateneo’s stunning performance in the William Jones Cup
Not bad for a collegiate team. Everyone thought that a collegiate
squad; a young one that is, would be blown out in the William Jones
By the time the tournament ended, Ateneo not only shocked the Asian
region, but gained the respect of many other teams.
The Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles finished with a 5-3 record
(they lost a close 70-63 match to Iran in their final game of the
tournament) as they booked impressive victories over Chinese-Taipei’s
youth team as well as squads from Japan and Lithuania.
The highlight of their stint was Matt Nieto’s game-winning triple
against Chinese Taipei B.
The Coaches Commission Clinic brings fundamental hoops to the countryside.
The SBP brought coaching to the grassroots level by touring the
country with its Coaches Commission Clinic. Led by veteran and
bemedalled coach Jong Uichico (assisted by FEU’s Ryan Betia and SBP’s
Mark Solano), they brought a back to the basics approach to coaches
everywhere. “Many coaches look to YouTube and the internet for
guidance and ideas,” noted Uichico. “But that is an advanced level.
You do not take shortcuts. So, we wanted to communicate the
fundamentals of coaching to them. And we like the results and we look
to be back next year.”
Thousands and thousands of coaches including those aspiring to mentor
squads attended the clinics.