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Basketball

Allen Durham’s 20-20 aids Meralco stave off Star, seals QF berth

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The Meralco Bolts had to hold off a huge late-game rally by the Star Hotshots to return to the win column, 96-90, in an out-of-town affair at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna, Saturday night.

The Bolts are now 6-2 in the standings, and are the third team next to the NLEX Road Warriors and the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to qualify in the playoffs. The Hotshots, meanwhile, absorbed their third straight loss and are now 4-3, tied with the San Miguel Beermen and Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

Allen Durham anchored Meralco with a monstrous 29 points and 27 rebounds, alongside seven assists and three blocks. Chris Newsome made 17 points and seven dimes, while Cliff Hodge had 15 markers and seven caroms.

The Orangemen started strong right from the get-go. With everything going in their way, they were able to erect a lead as huge as 20, 61-41, after Newsome conversion with 10:48 remaining in the third canto.

Meralco then sustained the huge advantage, until Star fought back hard from late in the third until the final frame. A Malcolm Hill lay-up off a strong drive with 48.9 seconds left lifted the men in gold to within six, 93-87.

The Bolts though shunned the door for the Hotshots afterwards. A Hodge underbasket stab and Durham’s split from the foul line with less than 27 seconds left enhanced their lead to nine, 96-87 — enough to seal the win.

Baser Amer and Garvo Lanete scored 13 and 11, respectively, for Meralco.

Hill paced Star with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Jio Jalalon scored 15 spiked by three triples, while Ian Sangalang had 11.

Both teams’ next assignments will be on September 15, Friday, at the SMART Araneta Coliseum. The Bolts will battle the Alaska Aces at 4:15 PM, while the Hotshots will face the Globalport Batang Pier at 7:00 PM.

The Scores:

Meralco 96 – Durham 29, Newsome 17, Hodge 15, Amer 13, Lanete 11, Tolomia 7, Dillinger 2, Hugnatan 2, Sedurifa 0, Caram 0, Nabong 0.

Star 90 – Hill 28, Jalalon 15, Sangalang 11, Lee 9, Maliksi 7, Ramos 7, Pingris 6, Barroca 5, Brondial 0, Dela Rosa 0, Simon 0, Melton 0.

Quarterscores: 32-15, 59-41, 74-67, 96-90.

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Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool

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SMART Gilas Pilipinas’ third session for the second leg of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers ended early on Monday evening.

Prior to the end of the practice, head coach Chot Reyes talked to team veterans Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, and June Mar Fajardo. The outspoken mentor told the seniors of the team that he is cutting Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan from the pool.

“The reason why we’re dropping Abueva and Almazan for the second window is because they haven’t showed up,” lamented Reyes.

“It’s already our third practice at hindi pa sila nagpapakita. It’s simply a matter of disinterest.

“I guess they’re not interested so we have to move on we can’t wait for those guys,” he pointed out.

Both Abueva and Almazan were part of the teams that competed in the 2017 SEABA Championship, the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, and the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Only 10 players from the pool showed up for the team’s third session. And with the second leg exactly one month away, Gilas cannot let a slip up happen especially against Australia.

“Aside from those two we don’t know where Matt Wright is, while Allein [Maliksi] is attending a wedding in Australia. Other than that it’s really just an issue of Calvin and Raymond if they don’t want to be a part of the pool.” expressed Reyes.

“That’s the reason we’re dropping them for the second window.”

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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

23 for 2023 cadets fill up Gilas practice

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With just 31 days until the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, only 10 players from the pool attended the team’s third session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym.

Suiting up in the session presided over by Coach Chot Reyes were June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, and Roger Pogoy. Carl Cruz and Jayson Castro were in attendance but were in street clothes.

Not present were Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, and Allein Maliksi. Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan have yet to attend practice.

Joining the seniors team to prep them up for the World Cup Qualifiers were 10 players from the 23 for 2023 pool.

Ateneo Blue Eagle Matt Nieto attended his first Gilas practice. Joining him were teammates Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena.

Completing the night’s cast were CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Will Gozum, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, and Juan Gomez de Liano. Joshua Sinclair watched from the sidelines as he is still recovering from an ACL injury.

Gilas will take on Australia in Melbourne on February 22. The Philippine will then host Japan three days later at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual

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Photo by PBA Images

Michael Calisaan poured 20 points as he captained newcomer Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers to a decisive 83-70 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas to start their voyage, Monday evening at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Doing it all for the Revellers, the veteran forward provided the stability for his side as he shot 8-of-15 from the field while also hauling down nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the conference-opening win.

But it wasn’t all Calisaan as Che’Lu got contributions from all over its roster.

Samboy de Leon chimed in 16 markers and nine boards. RK Ilagan went 2-of-5 from threes to collect 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds, while big men Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo combined for 20 in the victory.

Despite the triumph, coach Stevenson Tiu gave all the praise to his players, noting the team’s lack of time preparing for the tourney.

“Nanalo kami dahil sa talent ng players. Medyo mali ko rin kasi nahirapan pa ako mag-adjust sa players. Hopefully, we play much better in the coming games,” he said.

The Revellers used a 16-4 run to finally break away from the Altas, taking a 77-60 lead with 4:03 to play as they punished their foes for their turnovers, turning Perpetual’s 30 miscues to 28 points in their favor.

Prince Eze anchored the Altas with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks in their first game under new head coach Frankie Lim.

Che’lu-San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Wangs-Letran Couriers on Monday, January 29 at 5:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, hope they can notch their first win when they take on Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters.

The Scores:

Che’lu-SSCR 83 — Calisaan 20, De Leon 16, Ilagan 13, Batino 10, Faundo 10, Bulanadi 6, Costelo 6, Calma 2, David 0, Lao 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0.

UPHSD 70 — Eze 15, Coronel 13, Villanueva 13, Jimenez 9, Charcos 7, Peralta 7, Gallardo 5, Pido 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Tamayo 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 17-22, 34-38, 59-53, 83-70.

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Go for Gold survives Kent Salado injury to turn back Gamboa-St. Clare

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Photo from PBA Images

The Go for Gold Scratchers got their act together late as they slipped past the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers with a 75-68 win, Monday afternoon at the Pasig City Sports Center.

It was a total team effort for the Scratchers, with veterans Jerwin Gaco and J-Jay Alejandro stabilizing their camp as they closed the game out with a 23-point finishing salvo.

Senegalese center Clement Leutcheu proved to be a solid force for his side as he tallied 14 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks. Gaco just missed out on a double-double with his 13 markers and nine boards.

Justin Gutang also corralled 10 points and 13 rebounds in the win. Kent Salado had nine markers, five boards, four assists, and three steals before suffering an MCL sprain in his right knee with 2:48 to play in the third frame.

Despite Salado’s absence in the payoff period, Go for Gold coach Charles Tiu praised his wards for their late defensive effort.

“We cut down our turnovers and we rebounded well, and then we executed very well,” he said.

It was a complete turnaround from the Scratchers’ lackluster start, where they fell behind by as much as 10, 28-18 midway in the second quarter.

We’re a new team and hindi pa kami sanay sa isa’t isa. As you can see in the first half, ang dami naming turnovers because we’re not that familiar with each other,” said Tiu. “But I’m happy naman kasi the guys, we needed a test like this as a young team, to learn how to come from behind against a very good team like St. Clare.“

Aris Dionisio carried the load for the Coffee Lovers with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Raymond Rubio had 11 markers and six boards in the defeat.

Go for Gold will face a familiar foe in the JRU Heavy Bombers on Tuesday, January 30, at the Ynares Sports Arena. Gamboa-St. Clare, on the other hand, will take on the Batangas-EAC Generals on Monday, January 29.

The Scores:

Go for Gold 75 — Leutcheu 14, Gaco 13, Gutang 10, Salado 9, Naboa 8, Salem 8, Alejandro 5, Dixon 3, Pili 2, San Juan 2, Domingo 1.

Gamboa-St. Clare 68 — Dionisio 19, Rubio 11, Pare 10, Ambuludto 8, Hallare 6, Rebugio 6, Jackson 4, Acuno 2, Bitoon 2, Alcober 0.

Quarterscores: 14-19, 30-33, 52-53, 75-68.

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