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Late goals aid La Salle in breaking UP’s win streak



Courtesy of two goals inside the last 30 minutes of the game, the DLSU Lady Booters emerged victorious at the expense of the league-leading UP Lady Maroons with a 2-0 win on a hot and humid Wednesday afternoon at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field.

DLSU assistant coach Alvin Ocampo expressed satisfaction with the girls’ performance saying, “Today lang na hindi diesel performance nila. No need to wait for halftime to make adjustments. Sa umpisa pa lang, nakapag-prepare na sila.” He also was pleased with the way the girls executed what they planned against the Lady Maroons.

UP got the first decent chance of the game five minutes into the match care of Mary Obra. The forward had space on the left side of the box but her shot was easily collected by DLSU goalkeeper Inna Palacios. In the following minute, Megan Diaz almost gave La Salle the lead. Chelo Hodges found the third year winger whose shot found the back of the net only for her effort to be ruled offside.

Diaz had her sights on goal again at the 11th minute. The third year winger reacted first to rebound off Regine Metillo’s free kick only for it to be wasted as she fired wide. On the other side of the pitch, Kali Navea-Huff’s corner found her sister Marie whose header was safely gathered by Palacios.

Back-and-forth play ensued which prevented both teams from producing clear-cut chances. UP had more control of possession but their attempts on goal were not good enough to test Palacios. La Salle had a couple of good moments in the last 10 minutes of the half. Diaz and Hodges linked up with each other but failed to produce shots that bothered UP goalkeeper Jermaine Choa Peck. Both teams went into halftime on level terms, neither able to score.

Early in the second half, Nicole Andaya almost made the rattled UP defense pay. With enough room, the sophomore player unfurled a shot on goal but lacked power, allowing Choa Peck to save it quite comfortably. In what looked like an evenly contested match, the following minutes presented chances for the Lady Maroons. In that sequence, UP rued missed opportunities from Obra and Kali, both of which were on target but were caught by Palacios with ease.

An excellent counterattacking run at the 60th minute saw Hodges and Diaz up front against three UP defenders. The rookie excellently located Diaz who outpaced everyone before chipping over Choa Peck. The goal was the first UP conceded this season, ending a season-best 330-minute long clean sheet. More importantly, it placed La Salle in an advantageous position to take maximum points against the number one side.

Now down by a goal, UP immediately looked for an answer. The minute after the breakthrough goal, Obra was unmarked with only Palacios to beat. Unfortunately for her, the DLSU goalkeeper got to the ball first to deny a possible UP equalizer. Obra was in the best position to pocket a goal for the Lady Maroons but her finishing was deficient of strength needed to stretch La Salle’s defense.

With the lead in their hands, La Salle was in pursuit of their second goal that would ultimately seal the game in their favor. Sixty-eight minutes into the match, Diaz had another go but UP’s Claudia Mendoza halted her with a timely, proper tackle inside the box. Nonetheless, the girls in green were rewarded at the 73rd minute. Chelo Hodges was wide open down the right and made no mistake by sliding in a shot past Choa Peck to double La Salle’s lead with only 17 minutes left on the clock.

Despite having enough time, UP was not able to control much of the ball to create more opportunities. In addition, the Lasallians tried to milk time with their touches to avoid UP from pulling one back. They clung on to a resounding 2-0 win to produce the latest plot twist to this exciting UAAP Season 77 women’s football tournament.

Coach Anto Gonzales was not pleased with how the Maroons played on the pitch today. However, he embraced the defeat in a positive light. “I’m happy that we lost at this stage, [still] early, because that’s when you really learn–when you lose. I’m not worried, [but] the important thing is that we bounce back,” the UP mentor declared.



Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory



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2017 AFC ASEAN Zone Champions Ceres-Negros banked on their poise and composure from the spot as they knocked out Myanmar’s Shan United via a 4-3 penalty shootout (1-1 after extra time) triumph, Tuesday evening at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

The Negrenses punched their ticket to Brisbane, Australia after emerging the better spotkick takers. Four Busmen were on target, while two of their Shan Warriors counterparts fluffed their lines.

The two domestic champions were inseparable after 120 minutes, with the hosts holding their own against the Philippine champions. Ceres-Negros looked the more dominant of the two teams. However, they couldn’t make the advantage count where it mattered, as they failed to breach the sturdy Shan United defense inside the first two regulation halves.

The visitors were visibly more comfortable in the first half, but with the scores staying level at the break, the less-fancied Myanmar champions eventually found their footing in the encounter. While there were several half-chances from either side to open the scoring, both defenses remained defiant en route to unwanted extra time.

“It was a tough game. We weren’t ready to play 120 minutes because we only had four training sessions before the game but everytime we wear this jersey, we represent Ceres, we represent Bacolod, we represent the Philippines, so we have to give our best,” Ceres’ defender Carli de Murga elaborated to the Inquirer after the match. The Asian Football season has yet to start, and with both teams not too busy with pre-season preparations, rust and fatigue in a demanding affair were evident.

Come extra time, Ceres-Negros took the initiative when Stephan Schröck’s deflected effort went past the helpless Thiha Si Thu just three minutes into the first half.

Nonetheless, the hosts refused to go down without a fight, and their resilience was rewarded later in the opening half. Substitute Patrick Asare found the back of the net to restore parity in Yangon.

Another 15 minutes of goalless action took place in the second half as both teams looked more cautious, perhaps with the collective aim of avoiding a costly error or two. Among all the chances, Schröck’s in the 114th minute may have proved to be the closest to changing the scores, as his attempt shaved the post.

Shan United took to the spot first, where Asare made his penalty attempt count. Nay Lin Tun also made his, but not before teammate Chizoba smashed his attempt over Toni Doblas’ goal.

While the hosts squandered a shot, the visitors remained calm in front of a hostile Myanmar crowd. De Murga, Schröck and Mike Ott nailed their turns, with Marañon also not missing a vital kick from 12 yards.

It set up William Biassi Nyakwe, the man credited with the own goal when he deflected Schröck’s opener, with the chance to prolong his team’s campaign in the AFC Champions League. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t atone for his earlier mistake, as his attempt soared high and wide — much to the delight of the visiting team from Bacolod, the Philippines.

The reward for Ceres-Negros is a trip to Queensland, Australia, where they will seek to do one better than compatriots Global-Cebu. The 2016 Philippine champions also played against the Brisbane Roar, who dealt them a staggering 6-0 hammering this time last year. The match will be held at the Suncorp Stadium on January 23.

As for Shan United, a spot in the AFC Cup Group Stage awaits them and they may not have seen the last of Ceres-Negros just yet. If the Negrenses lose to either Brisbane Roar or Tianjin Quanjian, they will be reacquainted with the Burmese champions in Group F.

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Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’



Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas held for the 23 for 2023 cadets last Monday but he made sure to help out when the current batch needed him the most.

After helping the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers win the Sinulog Cup in Cebu a week ago, the 6-foot-7 Filipino-American did not hesitate to heed Gilas’ call, as they were undermanned for their second session in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“I think it’s just an honor to put on this jersey, to be able to represent our country, to possibly represent our country in the future. It’s an honor,” shared the Laguna-native.

The 25-year old, who just celebrated his birthday last January 9, admitted that he was in awe of the talent inside the Meralco Gym. Like a fan, he wanted to take a few photo ops with the senior team’s Gabe Norwood and June Mar Fajardo.

“Actually, at first I was just shocked to see June Mar and Gabe, just to be able to be in the midst of them,” gushed the former DLSU Green Archer, who will suit-up for Marinerong Pilipino in the D-League. “I even asked them for a picture, and hopefully they’ll still give me one.

“It’s just humbling, definitely.”

However, the work has only began for Tratter. With five years to go until the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the two-time UAAP champion plans to continue to do what he does best — be the same scrapper that he is and hopefully catch the eye of Gilas’ brass.

“I think just doing the dirty work, of course. Giving whatever the team needs, rebound or any steals, any thing a dirty player would need to pick up on,” he said.

“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”

Moreover, he will continue answering the call when Gilas needs him, as he himself is learning a lot from being surrounded by the country’s topflight cagers.

“Whenever I can. I want to be able to absorb all the information coming from here and hopefully apply it in the D-League and hopefully apply it on future practices, future games.”

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup



Stronger than ever

Scoring sensation Terrence Romeo has been invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to join the Philippine team in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 World Cup, according to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson.

Romeo, who is currently out due to a right knee injury, has been in rehabilitation and is expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup campaign of the Globalport Batang Pier and the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“Baka sa second conference na ko makabalik kasi talagang gusto ko malakas ako pagbalik ko,” the 25-year-old shared during Chooks-to-Go Live last January 2.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios personally met with the 6-foot guard, inviting him to be part of the Philippine team.

Romeo has plenty of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.

Back in 2014, Romeo was part of the Manila West 3×3 team during the Manila Masters. He was adjudged as the tournament Most Valuable Player.

The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

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Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win



Shaking off a forgettable outing against the Perpetual Help Altas last January 11, the San Beda College Red Spikers vented their ire on defending champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers in four sets, 25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 26-24, and claimed their second win of the season, Friday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

“Sabi ng coaches kalimutan na yung talo,” shared captain Lorenze Santos of what transpired after that match.

So, in this game, the San Beda team poured on what they worked hard for to regain momentum. “Binuhos po namin lahat ng ginawa namin sa training [ngayon].”

After tight starts in all the first two sets, the Mendiola-based side pulled away to register the seemingly insurmountable 2-0 lead.

Nonetheless, summoning the heart of a champion and led by seniors Isaah Arda and Jethro Orian, the reigning champions pulled off gritty runs to snag the third set and making a tussle of the fourth.

Ultimately, Adrian Viray virtually ended the match with a vicious serve, which the Blazers failed to convert.

The prolific outside hitter finished with 17 points, 11 coming from attacks and five off blocks. Former skipper Mark Encino also registered 17 markers.

The Red Spikers (2-1) will face the Mapua University, also at 2-1, on Friday, January 19.

Orian was such a presence at the net, ending up with 20 points for the Taft-based squad.

The defending champions Blazers (2-1) will try to bounce back later that day against San Sebastian College (0-3).

The Scores:

SBC 3 – Viray 17, Enciso 17, Santos 11, Patenio 7, Amagan 7, Desuyo 3, Zabala 0, Genobaten 0, Manliclic 0, Casin L.

CSB 1 – Orian 20, Arda 18, Bacani 6, Basilan 4, Bautista 4, Magsino 2, Martinez 0, Garcia 0, San Miguel 0, Saldavia 0, Dy L.

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