Team Pilipinas-Panino’s clinches title in Intercultural Basketball Tournament

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Team Pilipinas-Panino's manager Ernie Cabauatan, flashing thumbs-up sign, receives the champion trophy from Consul Jonas Rodney Sumague.
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Best Coach Francis Magat with Mohammed Shobain, Mohammed Khamis Musalam, Consul Rodney Jonas Sumague, Ahmed Helmi and Saudi coach Abdulrahman Shahin.
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Mohamed Bayoumi with MVP Joseph Ubalde, second left, and the mythical five awardees. (AN photos)
Updated 19 May 2016
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Team Pilipinas-Panino’s clinches title in Intercultural Basketball Tournament

JEDDAH: Make no mistake, Filipinos are arguably the best this side of hoops town.
Playing smart basketball, Team Pilipinas-Panino’s on Saturday ran roughshod over the KIA Al-Jabr Lebanese community basketball team with a taller and bigger lineup, 83-61, in the final in the Intercultural Basketball Tournament at the Al-Kaki court (Orca) on Tahlia street.
The victory before a predominantly raucous Lebanese crowd capped consecutive nights of high quality basketball from the gritty Pilipinas team of manager Ernie Cabauatan and coach Francis Magat.
They needed to win their final game of eliminations Friday against the Lebanese, and they did just that, allowing the opponent to lead only briefly at 30-29 before rolling to a 95-76 victory in a game where Mursie Akad scored the first 11 points for Team Pilipinas before eventual MVP Joseph Ubalde and JR Piedra took charge to sow the seeds of the rout.
The result left finalists Panino’s and Lebanese tied on 3-1 in the round robin five-team tournament, a community event with international flavor sponsored by SAGE (Saudi Alumni Grant Enterprise) under the auspices of United States Consulate General in Jeddah.
In the first game Friday, Egypt avoided a winless finish when it beat Syriana-IKK 74-71, and both teams wound up with identical 1-3 card. KAU-Saudi Arabia, the only team to beat the Filipinos, had an even 2-2 record.
Saturday, the championship game atmosphere was palpable with the Lebanese making a big deal of the match by bringing along an army of supporters and making live streaming on Facebook.
As it turned out, the Lebanese for all the drumbeating by their coach Hassan Zeineddein were simply no match for the inspired Filipinos.
Ubalde, putting on a performance worthy of an MVP award, scored 19 points, Rey Razon added 15 and Piedra had 10 as Team Pilipinas broke free from a close first quarter to dominate the game and lead by as large as 26 points at one stage.
An 11-4 run to start the second quarter courtesy of Piedra, Akad, Ubalde and Ziyad Pascual put the Filipinos to their first double-digit lead of 11 points, 34-23, from 23-19 at the end of the first quarter.
The lead grew to 20 points, 55-35, with 4:43 left in the third period that ended 65-41 when peppery guard Rino Berrido, the scourge of the Lebanese side, hit a shot clock-beating basket before Jimboy Pascual made it 67-41.
Berrido finished the night with 9 points as did Ziyad and Guimpatan while Akad tallied 8 points.
Big Fadi Kheyami led the Lebanese with 18 points, Shadi Faraj added 10, Malek Masry 8 points while Tarek Al Eter and Zakarya El Baba each had 7 points.
Consul Jonas Rodney Sumague of the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah attended the awarding ceremony as chief guest. Teng Laguialam and Jimmy Abdullah Beltran representing the Filipino basketball community graced the final match.
Also present were Commissioner Mohammed Khamis Musalam, head referee Ahmed Helmi of Saudi Basketball Federation, Obaid Madani and Lina Almaeena from sponsor Jeddah United, and Global Activene’s Indira Kaljo, among other VIP guests. Filsama Basketball League Event Manager Mohammed Shobain expressed his thanks to all who helped make the event a big success in particular Consultant-adviser Mohamed Bayoumi, who is widely considered the bridge in the ties between Filipino and Arab basketball communities.
The mythical five awardees are Best Point Guard Berrido (Team Pilipinas, Best Guard Ahmed Kheir (Lebanon), Best Forward Mustafa Fattal (Lebanon), and Best Center Piedra (Team Pilipinas).
Magat, now 2-0 in his head-to-head with Zeineddein, is the Best Coach awardee. Special award of appreciation was presented to Jun Lansang and his BOG referees group, which did a good job in the tournament. Willy Cartagena did the play-by-play of the games and color commentary.


‘No surprises’ about former Premier League duo Nordin Amrabat, Jurado flying high in Saudi Arabia

Updated 13 November 2018
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‘No surprises’ about former Premier League duo Nordin Amrabat, Jurado flying high in Saudi Arabia

  • Amrabat signed for big-spending Al-Nassr in the summer and has scored three goals in eight games
  • Jurado, meanwhile, joined Al-Ahli from Espanyol in the summer and his playmaking ability has resulted in the Jeddah giants succeeding

LONDON: A former Premier League coach is not surprised high-profile imports Nordin Amrabat and Jose Manuel Jurado are flourishing in the Saudi Pro League, believing they have the ability and the pedigree to inspire their clubs to mount a title challenge.
Amrabat signed for big-spending Al-Nassr in the summer and has scored three goals in eight games to propel Jose Daniel Carreno’s side up to third in the table. Jurado, meanwhile, joined Al-Ahli from Espanyol in the summer and his playmaking ability has resulted in the Jeddah giants becoming the second most prolific team in the league. Both clubs are hot on the heels of leaders Al-Hilal and are prepared to pounce should the champions slip up.
Dean Austin, the former Tottenham defender, coached both Amrabat and Jurado at Premier League club Watford and has kept a keen eye on their fortunes.
“I’ve followed their careers closely since I worked with them and I saw they had moved to Saudi Arabia,” Austin told Arab News. “I fully expected them to make a big impact as they are very good players and top professionals. It sounds like they are really enjoying themselves and good luck to them as they both work so hard.”
Amrabat, 31, became Al-Nassr’s fourth costliest player ever when he joined from Watford for £7.65m ($10.05m). According to Austin, he is capable of playing on either flank and has experience of playing in Holland, in La Liga and the Premier League.
Amrabat has said in previous interviews he feels he plays his best football on the left flank, where he can cut in on his favored right foot and have a crack at goal. He is playing on the left in a 4-1-4-1 formation at Al-Nassr.
“I felt he was good enough to play off either flank, but I guess the left might have been his preference,” said Austin. “If he is going to play there, I think you need a really quick, offensive left-back who is prepared to go past him and go on the outside. You need to have the correct balance in the team.”
Moroccan Amrabat was in many pundits’ team of the World Cup at the end of the group stages. His displays helped his team to a 2-2 draw with Spain and saw them narrowly lose out to Portugal.
“He had a good World Cup and I reckon there would have been a few clubs looking at him. He has pace, strength, a great desire and is a really willing worker. He wants to work,” Austin said.
Amrabat played in the same Watford side as Jurado in 2016 and they were reunited when Al-Ahli beat Al-Nassr 2-0 in Riyadh earlier this month. Jurado was taken to Watford and then to Espanyol by Quique Sanchez Flores, the coach who was offered the chance to take the top job at Al-Hilal earlier this year.
Sanchez Flores never made it to the Kingdom, but Jurado, 32, did and he is showing why he played at Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Schalke.
“He is a really good technician,” said Austin. “He is silky smooth and can pass off either foot. From the first day at Watford, you could tell he was seriously talented. He’s clever and a very talented footballer.”
Jurado did not pull up as many trees in the Premier League as Watford hoped and he lasted just one season before returning to Spain.
“He had an indifferent time with us,” said Austin. “He had some good games, but he found it tough in some others. He came to us from Russia and it was not easy to adapt. He found it very quick, but the Premier League is a very difficult league and he probably didn’t show us as much as he would have liked. Sometimes with Jose, it’s about trying to find the right balance of the team to have him in it.”
Al-Ahli coach Pablo Guede is fielding Jurado in a left-sided role just behind Djaniny, the big-money summer signing from Mexico, or as a No. 10 behind Djaniny and the prolific Omar Al-Somah.
Jurado scored his first goal in the 2-0 win over Al-Faisaly and pulled the strings in the 5-1 rout of Al-Fateh, claiming two assists. Jurado has played alongside Raul, won the Europa League and finished runner-up in La Liga twice, but Austin says the playmaker is “as humble as they come.”