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Abdul, UST storm back, pound La Salle



When the going gets tough, the Growling Tigers know who to call.

With the La Salle defense locking down on Kevin Ferrer and Ed Daquoiag, veteran Cameroonian foreign-student athlete Karim Abdul provided a vintage performance to continue the University of Santo Tomas rampage in an 81-79 come-from-behind win over the De La Salle University Green Archers early Sunday evening at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

It was a back-and-forth affair to open the game for the two bitter rivals. With senior Ed Daquioag exploding in scoring seven of UST’s first 11 points, for an 11-7 lead. Juno Sauler and the La Salle coaching staff placed defensive ace Julian Sargent on him. The Archers then fought back behind excellent ball movement and crisp passing. Behind senior Jason Perkins and rookie Renzo Navarro, the Archers were able to gain a solitary lead to end the first quarter, 22-21.

Kevin Ferrer did not score a single point in the opening stanza of the game. This trend continued in the second quarter due to the La Salle defense locking in on the Smart Elite ambassador. Prince Rivero also displayed his power in the paint in converting on La Salle’s first six points in the quarter. Later on, Torralba and Teng teamed up to extend the DLSU lead to 38-28 with 3:47 to go. Marvin Lee and Mario Bonleon though picked up the slack in the latter stages of the quarter but an unncessary foul by Kent Lao to Torralba beyond the three-point arc led to three free throw conversions for La Salle and an eight point lead to enter the second half, 45-37.

La Salle opened the third quarter with a three-pointer that gave them the biggest lead of the game, 48-37. The Growling Tigers though were powered by Abdul in the third as their jumpers were not falling down. Abdul scored seven points in the quarter in a huge rally that cut the DLSU lead to three. Moreover, they were able to limit the pentetrations of Jeron Teng in the quarter that stagnated the La Salle offense. However, Teng was able to regain his bearings in the final 1:43 of the quarter in scoring on jumpers to retain the Archer lead to enter the fourth quarter, 66-59.

Wanting to retain their outstanding record and with the Santo Tomas faithful cheering wildly on the stands, the Espana cagers unleashed a huge 16-2 blast that gave UST a 73-68 lead. The shots that were not falling for UST in the first quarter finally converted as Ferrer led the charge in scoring eight points in that rally. A desperation three by Lee also led to the momentum swinging towards that gold and white squad. Moreover, the box-and-one defense the Growling Tigers imposed on Teng worked to perfection resulting to turnovers and blank shots for the King Archer. Abdul then helped stave the La Salle rally in converting on two layups, the second coming from a Teng turnover, that extended the UST lead to four, 77-73 with 1:32 remaining. Free throws by Abdul and missed threes by Teng and Torres led to UST’s seventh win, 81-79.

“Iba na yung second round,” coach Bong dela Cruz confessed after the game. “Napaghandaan na kami ng lahat ng teams.”

With five players scoring in double-digits, the second-year head coach told us that he had been waiting for this moment. “Eto na yung hinihintay namin na maging balanced yung scoring. Pero sa depensa hindi pa ito yun.”

Foreign student-athlete Karim Abdul and Kevin Ferrer though both admitted that this was a tough game. “Game was very hard and very physical,” Abdul said. “We really had to step up.”

Karim Abdul had a vintage performance in topscoring for the Growling Tigers. He notched a huge double-double with 18 markers and 11 boards. He was 7/10 from the field and 4/8 from the charity stripe. Ed Daquioag added 17 points as well while Kevin Ferrer still managed to score 15 markers even in shooting just 3/11 from the field. The Smart Elite ambassador also grabbed 11 rebounds.

For the Archers, Jeron Teng had 16 points but again went missing in the fourth quarter. He only managed to score three-points, a useless buzzer-beater to end the game. He was 6/13 from the field, grabbed eight boards, and dished out six assists. However, he committed five crucial turnovers.

Smart Elite ambassador Prince Rivero, on the other hand, had an excellent outing despite the loss. He scored 13 points on 6/9 shooting in 31 minutes of play. He also added seven rebounds.

As a team, the Growling Tigers were 44% from the field while DLSU was just 41%. Moreover, UST was 18/26 from the charity stripe compared to 12/19 for La Salle.

The league-leading UST Growling Tigers (7-1) will next face the National University Bulldogs (3-5) on Saturday, October 17 at 4:00pm while the DLSU Green Archers (4-4) have the UE Red Warriors (3-5) as their next assignment on the same day at 2:00pm. 

The Scores:
UST (81) – Abdul 18, Daquioag 17, Ferrer 15, Vigil 13, Lee 13, Sheriff 3, Bonleon 2, Abdurasad 0, Caunan 0, Faundo 0, Garrido 0, Lao 0, Subido 0.
DLSU (79) – Teng 16, Rivero 13, Torralba 12, Torres 11, Tratter 7, Perkins 6, Sargent 6, Navarro 5, Langston 3.
Quarterscores: 21-22, 37-45, 66-59, 81-79

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Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool



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



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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San Beda fends off Letran for back-to-back wins



With seasoned setter John Carlo Desuyo steering the wheel to near perfection, the San Beda College romped to their second straight win.

The Red Spikers pulled double-digit outings from four players to upend archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22, and register their fourth win of the season, Monday early evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

It was the Knights, however, who started on the right foot, overhauling a 4-10 deficit to snag the first set. Better passing from liberos Aljune Centeno and Johnsen Timbreza resulted in kills from captain Bobby Gatdula.

Nonetheless, San Beda picked up the service game in the next three sets to ultimately finish off the blue-shirts.

Despite the win-loss record they currently sport, the Red Spiker playmaker admitted that t

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Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual



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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