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19 3’s aid Talk ‘N Text past gritty Purefoods late to take Game 3

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When it rains, it pours.

The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters grab a 2-1 series lead over the Purefoods Star Hotshots thanks to their sizzling shooting from downtown as they escape with a 111-107 victory to be a win away from entering the Finals held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Offense came fast for both squads from the opening tip as multiple lead changes were showcased. Six minutes into the game, the score was tied at 15-all with Talk ‘N Text burying four of their first five shots while Purefoods’ starters all entering the scoring column. Fielded in early, Aaron Aban and Kevin Alas provided instant offense off the bench as they combined for three triples quick for TNT. On the other hand, Mark Barroca fell during a rebound battle but managed to continue playing the opening period.

The subs continued to play splendid offensively with Jason Castro and PJ Simon exchanging last possession baskets for their respective teams while the Star Hotshots grabbing a one-point edge after the first 12 minutes.

In the second period, the scoring spree for both teams continued with now the imports spearheading the offense. Denzel Bowles started to make his mid-ranged jumpers and pose his will in the interiors as he ended up with 20 points in the opening half. No team led by more than three in the first half while the Texters already had three players with double figures led by Castro’s 18.

Four minutes into the still tightly-contested affair in the third canto, Ivan Johnson picked up his fourth personal foul which sent him early to the bench. The Texters would respond however, as they built a 75-69 edge with a triple coming from Ranidel De Ocampo and a smooth bank shot from Kelly Williams. Purefoods had a hard time capitalizing in the absence of the TNT reinforcement as the Star Hotshots missed their free throws and perimeter jumpers.

Purefoods also gambled with Bowles inserted in their lineup while also notching his fourth foul during the period. However, TNT’s locals proved to be too much with Castro draining an off-the-glass triple as the third quarter time expired to enter the last period up by nine, the largest of the game.

A quick start to the fourth for Purefoods made the ball game close anew as Simon converted a triple while Bowles scoring underneath made Talk ‘N Text call a ceasefire. Coming to aide once again for TNT was their hot shooting from downtown as Castro and De Ocampo punched in to reinstall a 10-point separation with five minutes to go.

PJ Simon made back to back floaters to help Purefoods save some points and avoid being pounded late. In the dying moments, Castro pulled off another triple which seemingly appeared to be the dagger to extend the lead, 111-103. After a stop, Joe Devance stole the ball from Johnson and scored on a gimme, while Bowles drained in a baseline jumper to slice it down to four with 38 ticks left. After making a stop, Bowles made a crucial turnover by stepping on the sidelines that sealed the game for TNT.

In the high-scoring affair, TNT made 19 out of 32 triples for a 59.4% clip compared to Purefoods’ 4 out of 12. In addition, the Tropang Texters had more assists, 22-15.

Jason Castro was a man on a mission as he ended up with 27 points, including 8/9 from rainbow territory. To top off his scintillating shooting, he had 10 assists in the outing.

Game 4 of the series will be on Saturday, 5pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The scores:

Talk ‘N Text (111) – Castro 27, Johnson 26, Aban 17, De Ocampo 14, Washington 10, Alas 9, Williams 6, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Fonacier 0

Purefoods (107) – Bowles 39, Simon 18, Yap 11, Pingris 10, Devance 9, Barroca 8, Reavis 4, Maliksi 4, Mallari 4,

Quarters: 32-33, 63-60, 89-80, 111-107

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ABL

Christian Standhardinger goes perfect from stripe in Hong Kong’s rout of Formosa

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After going a horrid 5-for-17 from the stripe during their first loss of the season last January 9, Christian Standhardinger made sure to make good on his free throws to power the Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club to a dominant 99-79 rout of the Formosa Dreamers, Thursday evening in Southorn Stadium.

The 6-foot-8 Filipino-German, who tallied 37 points and 19 rebounds in the overtime loss to Saigon, went a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul line. He finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

The contest itself was not close, as the defending champions were able to impose their will on the bottom-ranked squad, leading by as much as 23 points, 93-70, after two free throws by Standhardinger with 2:58 remaining.

If Standhardinger was having a good day with his free throws, the entire Formosa squad could not say the same, going 13-of-27 from the line.

Tyler Lamb had 25 markers as well for Hong Kong, while Ryan Moss grabbed a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Lenny Daniel paced Formosa with 25 points and 11 rebounds. World Import Ronnie Aguilar had 14 points and 16 rebounds but went just 5-for-14 from the field.

With the win, Hong Kong goes to 8-1, while the Dreamers fell to 1-8.

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Chooks-to-Go President hopes 3×3 World Cup breaks Philippine Arena record

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Last October 27, 2017, Game Seven of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals between heated rivals Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco Bolts saw 54,083 people troop to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The attendance broke all records for both the venue and the PBA.

Come June this year, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Chooks-to-Go are hoping that the upcoming 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will surpass that record.

“We look at 3×3 as our best hope, really, to get a medal in the Olympics. Kami naman sa Chooks, we are behind SBP realizing that dream. Kanina pinag-uusapan na, if we’re going to break the record in attendance,” said Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas on Thursday afternoon during a press conference held at BGC High Street in Taguig.

“I think the question there is not if we’re going to break, but how many more times. Because FIBA should see how passionate the Filipinos are about basketball. That’s a given,” one of the patrons of Gilas Pilipinas added.

Besides the event itself, the local government of Bulacan has pledged to make the week of the tournament filled with activities to celebrate the Philippines’ 120th year of Independence.

For their part, Chooks-to-Go vowed to help out the SBP in organizing the event and in building the team.

“We are throwing our support not to improve on our finish, but we want to help SBP organize, to win the championship — not just to improve our ranking,” Mascariñas shared.

And the experience he and his company gained after backing the Pilipinas 3×3 team during last year’s tournament will only help.

“In past tournaments, we’ve lost some games na maninipis lang talaga,” he recalled about the team composed of Kobe Paras, Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, and JR Quinahan that competed in Nantes, France.

“This time around, with five months to go, we need to organize and put in the best t

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Football

Ilocos United takes leave from PFL

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Another one bites the dust

After months of speculation, Ilocos United has formally announced their absence from the Philippines Football League for the 2018 season.

A statement signed by Ilocos Chief Executive Officer Tony Lazaro and posted on the club’s Facebook page broke the big news.

“Unfortunately, after months of negotiation, efforts to attract a new naming sponsor for the Team were unsuccessful,” the statement opened. “Consequently, it has become financially prohibitive to continue participation in the PFL.

“Primarily, the lack of broadcasting exposure in 2017 created an apprehension in the corporate community, cascading into a series of afflictions that has ultimately led to our withdrawal from the competition.”

Ilocos finished last during the inaugural season, tallying 1 win, 6 draws, and 21 losses with a -49 goal differential.

Still, Ilocos gave their thanks to those who supported the club during the inaugural PFL season.

“We are cautiously optimistic of a potential return to the PFL for the 2019 season, whereby secured broadcasting exposure will hopefully lead to higher confidence from potential sponsorship partners.”

While their PFL operations will fold for the time being, Ilocos will continue the grassroots programs they have started within the area. ¨In the meantime, the foundation of football development we helped to build in Ilocos will continue, including grassroots initiatives at local schools, women’s futsal, Special Olympics, and, of course, the IUFC Academy.¨

The latest development will be another big blow for the young league. Meralco Manila pulled out of the competition beforehand, and now Ilocos´ absence leaves only six teams in the competition.

Now more than ever, something needs to be done by the PFL or even the Philippine Football Federation to ensure the feasibility of the clubs and the league itself for years to come.

Football is a hard sport to build in the Philippines despite its resurgence since 2010. There are limited corporate boosters for the sport which is in dire need of a financial push to sustain its growth.

Ilocos´ leave and Meralco´s folding now forces local football´s stakeholders to take a step back and examine the next moves to build the sport.

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Basketball

CJ Perez, Jaycee Marcelino in unison: D-League is a whole other level

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After falling just two games short of copping Lyceum’s first-ever NCAA crown, the Pirates went to the PBA D-League to gain experience. However, in their first foray in the second league, the Lyceans realized that it was a whole different beast.

Going up against the veteran-laden Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burgers-backed squad suffered a slow start as they adjusted to the tougher calls of the league. The Jawbreakers were down by as much as 17 points early in the third frame, 37-54.

“Yung physicality hindi naman ako masyadong nagulat pero sa mental toughness, yung pagod ka na, tapos may babanggga pa sa ‘yo, ang iniisip ko kailangan mas maging tough,” admitted reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player CJ Perez.

“Nangangapa kami nung una lahat kasi first game namin ito, pati dito sa court na ‘to first game din namin,” added Jaycee Marcelino.

It served as a wake-up call. Adjusting on the fly, Perez and Marcelino rallied the Jawbreakers back — even fashioning multiple attempts to take over the contest late in the game. However, they fell short, 92-94.

“Binalik lang namin yung laro namin dati, pass the ball, hindi yung puro dribble, i-run lang namin yung plays,” shared Marcelino, as he and Perez combined to score 16 points in the final frame.

The 21-year-old Marcelino finished with a game-high 20 points on an efficient 7-of-9 shooting to go along with four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. The 24-year-old Perez added 19 points, five assists, two steals, and a block.

With their first game in the bag, the duo — and the rest of the Jawbreakers — now have the experience under their belts. And they plan to put in the work to prove that they belong.

“Sa NC naman kasi puro ka-level namin kalaro namin, dito puro beterano ang naglalaro,” said Marcelino. “Hindi talaga namin masabi na yung ginawa namin sa NC magagawa din namin dito.

“Mageextra work pa kami para masustain namin kung ano kami sa Lyceum.”

“It’s a good experience. Ibang iba pala talaga yung laro ng D-League sa NCAA,” expressed Perez, who is a consensus top three pick for the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft.

“Sobrang grateful kami na nakalaro na rin kami sa D-League.”

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