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PBA legends gear up for historic rival teams’ exhibition game on February 17

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, 11 February 2019 02:59 PM

Some of the former professional basketball players of the Philippine Basketball Association
who will play for the “Return of the Rivals”, a charity event of the PBA Legends Foundation, UNTV and PBA on February 17, 2019 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. (Fred Alvior / Photoville International)

Philippine basketball fans will once again get to see their hard-court heroes who have kept Filipinos’ passion for basketball burning for decades.

Dubbed as the ‘Return of the Rivals,’ PBA Legends of the 90s will face off anew in an exhibition game slated on February 17 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The game will feature the prominent archrivals in Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) history: the San Miguel Beer versus Alaska Milk and the Barangay Ginebra against the Purefoods Hotdogs.

“It is really nice to be back on the court again with the players na nakakalaban namin before na hindi kami naglaro for a long time. So magsasama ulit kami and it’s really nice to be part of this project na pinangunahan ni Kuya Daniel (It is really nice to be back on the court again with the players that we have played against before. After a long time, we will be able to play with them again and it’s really nice to be a part of this project led by Kuya Daniel Razon),” former Alaska player Jojo “Jolas” “Mr. Clutch” Lastimosa said.

Former Purefoods player, Alvin “The Captain” Patrimonio echoed the excitement.

“It’s really a blessing kasi nagsama-sama ulit. Parang reunion ulit with the players, former players. Tapos ang kalaban mo ay ‘yung rival mo nung panahon. So, talagang excited and talagang nagpe-prepare lahat for this big event (It’s really a blessing because we’re together again. It’s like a reunion for us. Then, we get to play with our rival teams from before. We are really excited and we are really preparing for this big event).”

PBA legends participating in the game have been preparing for their big reunion, promising to bring fun and excitement to the viewers.

Former Alaska point guard, Johnny “The Flying A” Abarrientos explained the sense of fulfillment that the game brings.

“Yung fulfillment kasi ito ‘yung passion ng mga PBA Legends, ‘yung makabalik ulit, makapag-perform, makita ng fans na we can still play. Sobra, sobra kaming thankful (It is fulfilling because this is the passion of the PBA Legends: to be able to play again, to show the fans that we can still play. We are so very thankful).”

For Lastimosa, the raised stakes will reignite the competitive spirit of old rivals.

“Sa ngayon, nagsasabi sila na we’re not out there to win, pero pagdating sa court niyan, walang magpapatalo niyan especially na may matatanggap ‘yung winning team. I think the competitive side of the players will come out eventually pagdating naming sa court (For now, some say we’re not out there to win. But when the game starts the competitiveness will kick in, especially since there’s a price at stake for the winning team. I think the competitive side of the players will come out eventually on the court),”

Bonel “The Gentle Giant” Balingit of Purefoods Hotdogs recalled their heydays.

“Siguro noong panahon ang basketball, halos lahat galing probinsya. Tapos hindi pa ganoon ka-high-tech din ‘yung paggamot ‘nung mga injury. ‘Pag galing sa probinsya, pinapagpag lang, okay na (Back in the day, most of the PBA players were from province. Treatment of injuries were not that advanced yet. In the province, you just pick yourself up and dust yourself off).”

But beyond the excitement and entertainment, the Return of the Rivals project serves a more noble purpose — giving assistance to former professional basketball players who are sick or have medical concerns.

The said basketball charity event is a project of the Samahan ng mga Dating Propesyonal na Basketbolista sa Pilipinas Foundation Incorporated, in cooperation with the Philippine Basketball Association or PBA and UNTV.

The idea of forming the group started in April 2015 wherein an exhibition game was staged between several PBA Legends and the UNTV Cup All Stars.

“Well, we’re so thankful kay Kuya Daniel, without him, without UNTV, this wouldn’t be possible. In fact, napakalaking utang na loob naming sa kaniya kasi siya ang nag-spearhead at nag-push sa amin to form this foundation two years ago and he even donated one million for the seed money. Saludo ako kay Kuya Daniel. Maraming maraming Salamat Kuya Daniel. We owe you big time,” San Miguel Beer’s Trigger Man Allan Caidic said.

(We are so thankful to Kuya Daniel Razon. Without him, without UNTV, this charity endeavor wouldn’t be possible. In fact he spearheaded and pushed us to form the PBA Legends foundation two years ago and he even donated one million for the seed money. I salute Kuya Daniel, thank you very much. We owe you big time.)

“Sana naman ay sa mga darating na ibang legends ay sana gawin ulit ni Mr. Daniel ito mabuting project para sa kapuwa nating manlalaro rin,” Ginebra’s Joey Loyzaga said.

(I hope Mr. Daniel Razon will continue this noble project with the future PBA Legends for the benefit of our fellow basketball players in need.)

The players are inviting the public to support the Return of the Rivals exhibition game, which will also be aired in UNTV.

“Sa lahat po ng mga fanatic at naniniwala pa po na kaya pa pong maglaro ng mga players ng Return of the Rivals, suportahan ninyo pong muli kami this coming February 17 at Araneta Coliseum,” Abarrientos invited.

(To all of our fans, to those who still believe that we can still play, let’s watch the Return of the Rivals on February 17 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.) — Asher Cadapan Jr / UNTV News and Rescue

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Fans show off memorabilia for tickets in PBA Legends’ ‘Return of the Rivals’ games

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 15 February 2019 06:23 PM

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – There’s one more day to go before the much awaited ‘Return of the Rivals’ in the Philippine basketball history.

On Sunday, February 17, legends of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) will hit the hard court for a noble cause of helping their chosen charities.

Ginebra fans

Avid fans of the PBA legends couldn’t contain their excitement as they show off their treasured memorabilia in exchange for tickets to the much-awaited face off of some of the most renowned basketball stars in the history of the PBA.

One brought his well-kept album of signed photos of his idols.

A woman presented her framed photo of Ginebra’s jersey number 7 Robert Jaworski and so she got, not 1, not 2 but 4 tickets to the game.

Esperanza Magtira said her admiration for her favorite team has contributed a lot to her outlook in life.

“Iyong never-say-die attitude. Iyong never-say-die spirit parang nai-a-apply mo rin sa sarili mo. Laban lang nang laban,” she said with excitement.

Mark Geronimo is proud to say that he belongs to a family of die-hard Ginebra fans.


Ginebra fan Mark Geronimo

“Tumatakbo na siya sa pamilya naming mula sa lolo hanggang sa papa, hanggang sa akin ngayon .generation naming. Ginebra fan na talaga,” he said.

Michel Estember believes the ‘legends’ can still make a good game despite their age.

“Kalabaw lang ang tumatanda,” he said in jest.

They were just some of the thousands of fans who are more than excited to see their basketball idols show their signature moves again.

They said time will pass but their support to the 90s basketball icons will remain.

Fans are still encouraged to bring their coolest PBA Legends memorabilia at the lobby of UNTV Building until February 16, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Jun Soriao)

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Alaska Aces warm up for PBA Legends’ Return of the Rivals on Sunday

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, 14 February 2019 01:39 PM

PBA Legends of the Alaska team took time to pose for a group picture during their practice for the Return of the Rivals on February 17, 2019 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. (Daniel Iglesias / Photoville International)

Philippine basketball legends from Alaska Aces have begun flexing and pumping their forces in the run-up to the historic ‘Return of the Rivals’ benefit game on Sunday.

In their tune-up match on Monday at the Gatorade Hoops Gym in Mandaluyong, the Alaska Aces regrouped and fine-tuned things out in preparation for the competitive action against their prominent archrival, San Miguel team.

Although the hard-court heroes of the 90s and early 2000s may have aged a bit and are less robust as before, their basketball skills and heart for the game still remain strong as shown in their dribbling moves, layups and jumper shots.

“Unang una, ang maasahan dito is makikita nyo po yung mga players from the 90s and maybe early 2000, and it will be a sort of a reunion. Siguro maasahan niyo na medyo mabagal yung game…I’m sure kahit papaano maasahan niyo po na kahit papaano, there will be some competition pagdating pong dikdikan na yung laban. Alam namin the friendly game will disappear and it will be just like back in the day na walang gustong magpatalo,” Alaska’s Jojo “Mr. Clutch” Lastimosa said.

(Firstly, you will see PBA players of the 90s and maybe early 2000, and it will be a sort of a reunion. You can expect the game to be a little slower…but you can also expect there will be some competition when the game starts to heat up. We know that the “friendly game” will disappear and it will be just like back in the day where no one wants to back down.)

Alaska’s “The Jet” Jeffrey Cariaso said, “Don’t expect us to be as fast and as quick but we will do our best.”

The tune-up game is part of their preparation for the exhibition game on February 17, which will feature the prominent archrivals in PBA history: The San Miguel versus Alaska and the Barangay Ginebra against the Purefoods Hotdogs.

The Alaska and San Miguel teams will clash in the first game at 4:30 p.m.

The PBA Legends promise to bring fun and excitement to the viewers of their big reunion.

But beyond the entertainment and competitive action, the Return of the Rivals project has a far nobler purpose — extending assistance to former professional basketball players who are sick or have medical concerns.

The basketball charity event is a project of the Samahan ng mga Dating Propesyonal na Basketbolista sa Pilipinas Foundation Incorporated, in cooperation with the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and UNTV.

“Marami silang makikita. Yung ini-expect nila yung ganoon pa ring mga PBA legends. We play with pride, hindi lang for fun or money… so sa lahat ng mga fans ng PBA I hope to see you guys on February 17 sa Araneta Coliseum,” Johnny “The Flying A” Abarrientos said.

(They will see a lot. They will get what they expect from the PBA legends.
We play with pride, not only for fun or money. So, all PBA fans, I hope to see you guys on February 17 at Araneta Coliseum.)

PBA fans can receive a free ticket when they bring any PBA Legends memorabilia to the UNTV office located at 907 EDSA, Philam, Quezon City, Philippines starting February 14 to 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Bernard Dadis

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AFP Cavaliers advances to UNTV Cup Season 7 Finals

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, 12 February 2019 10:51 AM

AFP Cavaliers’ Darwin Cordero gets away with a lay up during the Game 2 of the Best of 3 Semifinals of UNTV Cup Season 7. (Paul Junnel Aquino / Photoville International)

For the third time, AFP Cavaliers scored another shot at bringing home the championship trophy from the league of public servants, UNTV Cup.

The men in uniform blew NHA Builders’ chances of qualifying as they swept the best of three semifinals series after an overwhelming victory in Game 2, 86-78, last Sunday (February 10) at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Darwin Cordero with 30 points and Wilfred Casulla with 17 points, were hailed as the Best Players of the Game.

“Hard work, pinaghirapan talaga ng team ito. We really focused on winning this semi-finals. We really practiced hard, marami kaming preparation. We are happy nagawa namin lahat,” AFP Cavaliers Head Coach Corporal Cornelio “Sonny” Manucat III said.

(Hard work. We really worked hard for this. We really focused on winning this semi-finals. We really practiced hard, we had a lot of preparation. We are happy that we were able to do all of it.)

AFP also revealed that they had a hard time with NHA’s transition offense, but they were able to adjust.

Although the NHA dominated the rebounding department, they were shooting bricks from the outside. Out of their 14 attempts from the three point territory, they only made 3 shots while the AFP had 12 out of 30.

The AFP’s 11 steals and NHA’s 19 turnovers were also crucial to the result of the game.

“Nawala sa composure yung mga player ko, medyo napagod eh. Inabot pa kami ng sobrang malas sa three points, di maka-shoot, naaagawan. All in all nawala yung composure namin… ang dami naming error,” NHA Coach Benett Palad said.

(We lost our composure, we got tired. We were not connecting our shots and we lost a lot of possession. All-in-all, we lost our composure and we made a lot of errors.)

Meanwhile, the defending champion Senate Defenders were able to extend the series to a do-or-die match on February 24 after defeating the PNP Responders, 74-69.

The Senate Defenders capitalized on their defense to be able to keep their chance at securing the UNTV Cup Season 6 champion title this season.

“We played interior defense. Yung mga penetration nila nachi-check namin (We were able to neutralize their penetration attempts). And then, we cannot stop Omiping. What we can do is contain him. So, I think we were able to contain him and the rest ng mga players nila (of their players). Hindi naman namin na pa-contribute (We stopped them from contributing). We got lucky in the end,” Senate Head Coach Mike Fermin said.

Best Players of the Game Reynaldo Malaga Jr had 30 points while James Ryan Mangaran contributed 17 points.

Due to Senate’s tough defense, two-time MVP and PNP’s main gunner, Ollan “The Sniper” Omiping was only able to score 12 points.

“Yung pinaka-lapses namin ang baba ng fieldgoals namin especially, sa labas… kailangan naming i-improve namin ang shooting sa labas. And the same thing, kailangan namin i-improve ang depensa namin,” PNP’s playing coach Harold Sta. Cruz said.

(Our main lapse was our field goals, it’s so low; especially our outside shooting. The same thing with our defense, we need to improve that.)

The winner in Game 3 of PNP vs Senate series will face season 2 and 4 champions, AFP Cavaliers in the Season 7 Finals. — Bernard Dadis / UNTV News and Rescue

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