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ADMU Blue Batters sweep first round with 4-1 win over DLSU



ADMU (5-0), 1ST 0000020024102
DLSU (3-2), 2ND 001000000144


In a battle between two rookie pitchers- Ateneo’s Paulo Macasaet going against La Salle’s Francis Gesmundo- it was Macasaet who stood tall at the end in leading the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Batters in a 4-1 win over their rivals, the De La Salle Green Batters, last Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

In the first two innings of the game, Gesmundo, formerly from Marist School, gave up just a single hit and struck out two ADMU batters. The DLSU fielders also left one runner on base, Lorenzo Banzon at second base, during that span. Not to be outdone, Ateneo High School standout Paulo Macasaet struck out three DLSU batters in the first two innings of the game and gave up no hits. Three runners were left on base by the Ateneo fielding, two from the first inning with Carlos Laurel and Vicente Barandiaran left on the second and first bases respectively.

The Green Batters were the first team to put a run on the scoreboard at the bottom of the third inning. Francisco Hashimoto, after hitting a single to open the inning, scored a run coming from a Carlos Laurel RBI double.

Gesmundo during the next three innings gave up just one hit and struck out five batters. The DLSU defense, the pride of coach Joseph Orillana, did not allow any Ateneo runner to reach third base in the first five innings of the game. On the other end, after giving up a run in the third inning, the ADMU fielders made quick work of the DLSU batters in the fourth and fifth innings in putting out all six batters at bat, including two strikeouts by Macasaet.

At the top of the sixth inning and with two outs, the defending champions picked up a hit courtesy of a Carlos Remollo single. A fielding error by DLSU shortstop Hashimoto led to Ryon Tionloc gaining another base for the blue side. Third year ADMU batter Lorenzo Ramos then hit a single deep into left field that paved the way for a Remollo run and advanced Tionloc into scoring position. A costly catching error by DLSU catcher Paul Naguit led to a Tionloc run.

The DLSU Green Batters had a good opportunity to have a rally of their own at the bottom end of the sixth inning. With two outs, catching errors by ADMU 1st baseman Tionloc and 2nd baseman Conrado Banzon placed Gesmundo and Paolo Salud in prime scoring positions. Pinch hitter Martin Nolasco was called to hit for rookie Sigfrid Tan to try to at least score a run. Macasaet was able to strikeout Nolasco, leaving Gesmundo and Salud on base.

The Ateneo Blue Batters tried to extend the lead at the top of the 7th. With two outs, Adriane Bernardo hit a single while Banzon and Matt Laurel were walked due to balls to load up the bases.  Gesmundo was able to strikeout Remollo thereafter that left all three runners on base.

Gesmundo and the DLSU fielders were again in the same position at the top of the 8th. With two outs, the Ateneo runners again loaded all the bases. Fortunately for the batters from Taft Avenue, a Bernardo fly was caught by Salud to end the inning.

With Gesmundo pitching eight straight innings and fatigue setting in as seen by the speed of Gesmundo’s pitches, the DLSU coaching staff relieved Gesmundo of pitching duties and replaced him with senior Carlos Muñoz while Andre Palacios replaced Muñoz to man the left field.

Banzon quickly hit a leadoff double over Muñoz to open the 9th inning. Matt Laurel then hit a deep game-breaking homerun that extended the Ateneo lead to three runs. The DLSU fielding was able to secure three outs after, including two strikeouts.

Macasaet and the Ateneo fielders ended the game by not giving up a single hit at the bottom of the last inning.

Head coach Randy Dizer told us postgame that the mindset of his prized rookie Macasaet was to close out the game. “I will try to finish this game,” was what Macasaet told his head coach before the 9th inning started.

“We were trying to count on his pitch count pero nung medyo delikado na, from the 6th inning onward, my three pitchers were warming up already but Paulo was able regain his form to close the game.”

Moreover, Coach Dizer was proud of his seniors. “Tulad nung sinabi ko sa inyo last time, my seniors proved to be the difference. Mas matanda sila and they don’t want to lose in their last year.” 

Meanwhile, DLSU head coach Orillana was very proud of the performance of his squad. “We played a good game, they fought a good fight,” Coach Orillana told us after the game. “Nandun ang defense naming at nag-gain ng experience yung rookie namin (Gesmundo). Babawi tayo sa second round.”

Macasaet anchored the ADMU defense in giving up just one run, four hits, three BB’s and striking out 10 DLSU batters in the nine innings he pitched. Senior Matt Laurel led the offense with a run, two hits and two RBI’s including a 2-run HR.

The Ateneo de Manila University Blue Batters open the second round on Thursday, February 12 against the Adamson Soaring Falcons at 7am while the De La Salle University Green Batters face the National University Bulldogs in the second game of the day. Both games will still be played at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

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



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



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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Ilocos United takes leave from PFL



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



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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