Former champions Kingston Hummingbirds and St Ann Orchids will clash in Game One of the best-of-three finals in the Berger Elite League competition at the University of Technology Auditorium this evening at 7:30 p.m. The Hummingbirds, who last won the title in 2014, will enter today’s contest full of confidence, having defeated the St Catherine Racers in the semi-finals. The Marvette Anderson-coached Hummingbirds have been one of the top scoring teams in this season’s competition, while their defence has been very solid. Anderson says that she is expecting a competitive final and she is confident that her team will do well. “It feels wonderful to be in the final,” Anderson said. “No team has ever repeated (as champions) since this competition started, and so it would be nice if we were the first team to do so.” She added: “We are going into the game with the mindset that nothing is for granted, and we are going to have to work really hard to come out with the victory.” The Hummingbirds, who won the title in the first season of the competition, will be depending heavily on the likes of Shameera Sterling, Thristina Harwood, Shadian Hemmings, Stacian Facey, and Kerry-Ann Brown to lead their charge to victory. SLIGHT FAVOURITES On the other hand, the Janet Guy-coached Orchids team, which comprises the likes of former national captain Simone Forbes and Shanice Beckford, will start the final as slight favourites. The Orchids secured their place in the final with a 56-48 victory over the St James Sharpes. Guy said that she is expecting a very competitive series from her opponents. “We are expecting a good competition from them because they are champions in their own right,” Guy said. “I think whichever team plays less will lose, and whichever team plays more will win, and so we are expecting a good game,” the veteran coach said. Along with Forbes and Beckford, the Orchids will also be relying on Adean Thomas, Sabrina Spence, and Althea Byfield to lead them to victory. Meanwhile, the Sharpes and Racers will meet in the third-place play-off at 6:00 p.m.
“I’m not saying that [he will not be allowed to play]. I’m just saying that it will be difficult to seek that exemption. We are 12 teams and we have to take a look at that very carefully.”A successful appeal for Clarkson will allow the Cleveland Cavaliers standout in the NBA to suit up alongside Blatche and give the country a fighting chance to advance past the group stages of the World Cup.Meanwhile, every member of the team—counting coaching staff—got bonuses from the MVP group and another staunch basketball patron in Ramon S. Ang of San Miguel Corp.Details of the financial incentive were not disclosed, though Alfrancis Chua, Barangay Ginebra’s representative to the PBA board and SMC director of basketball operations, admitted RSA’s part of the bonus.“Do you see anyone with a long face in this table?” a smiling Manny V. Pangilinan said in Filipino, referring to the players, before making everyone laugh when he joked: “Sometimes it’s cheaper for the team to lose.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next But Guiao wouldn’t mind not having to make a choice.“I’m happy with Andray,” he said. “I’ll be happier [if he can play] with Jordan Clarkson.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsThe country can’t suit up both Clarkson and Blatche in China in the Aug. 31 to Sept. 15 showcase because the international cage federation still recognizes Clarkson as a naturalized player.The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is currently working on an appeal to get Clarkson to play as a local. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title UST tests FEU, La Salle stakes unbeaten record vs UP Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Andray Blatche has more than proven his worth with the Philippine national team. —FIBA.BASKETBALLBecause of his size—and how great he played for Team Philippines in the last qualifying window—Andray Blatche is Yeng Guiao’s first choice as a naturalized player in the event that the Philippines fails to get the green light from Fiba to have Jordan Clarkson play as a Filipino.“Right now, he has earned that if you ask me,” Guiao said of Blatche, the hero in a 93-75 victory over Kazakhstan on Sunday that sewed up a second straight World Cup stint for the country. “His size is vital in international tournaments.”ADVERTISEMENT Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra MOST READ At 6-feet-11 with the ability to play the perimeter with ease, Blatche’s talent fits the international game. He scored 41 points and had 14 rebounds against the Kazakhs, shooting 17 of his total in a torrid first quarter effort that dictated the pace of the game.Meanwhile, Blatche’s stint in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup this year was canned immediately, with chair Ricky Vargas not wanting that to set a precedent in breaking the league’s import rules.“While we want him to play with us and be with us, there are certain rules that we have to adhere to,” Vargas said in a press conference after a board meeting on Friday. “Otherwise, it will really kill the PBA process.”The height limit for imports in the Commissioner’s Cup is 6-foot-10, and Vargas also said that it would be unfair for the 11 other teams in the field if Blatche, who is listed at 6-11, will be given a special exemption.The door, though, is not entirely closed.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
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