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Ateneo-La Salle skirmish ends in entertaining goalless draw



Perennial title contenders and archrivals Ateneo and La Salle featured in one of the most thrilling matches of UAAP Season 77. The two sides were inseparable as they finished their first round match 0-0 Sunday afternoon at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field in Ateneo.

Both teams had their fair share of possession but their approach to the game widely differed. The home side looked to expose La Salle’s high line with tricky diagonal balls but their execution lacked incision. The visitors, on the other hand, seemed to prefer building up play slowly, albeit with a tiki-taka approach to grind Ateneo’s intact defense.

The first chance of the game fell to Ateneo. At the 10th minute, Emilio Acosta directed a pass to Mikko Mabanag that kindly rolled to Paeng de Guzman. The next opportunity was presented to La Salle eight minutes after. Nathan Alquiros struck a free kick within his range but blasted it over the bar.

After the half hour mark, La Salle’s Jojo Borromeo scuffed a chance from within 25 yards. Moments later, Atenean Emmanuel Paredes also wasted a good chance by sending the ball wide after receiving Mabanag’s pass from the right wing. DLSU’s best chance in the first half came a minute after the Paredes effort.

Borromeo’s cross to Gelo Diamante was parried away by JP Oracion but the ball landed in front of Nace Gonzales. The winger had a good view of the net but was hindered by Mike Castillo. After a brief scramble outside the box, Gio Diamante managed to hit a shot but it sailed wide.

A stiff Ateneo back line lured Jose Montelibano and Gelo to shoot from long range, but neither bothered Oracion. What transpired was a great chance for the hosts to break through. One minute before the break, Acosta jumped on Greggy Yang’s mistake inside the box but could only send the ball straight to de Guzman. The La Salle keeper lost hold of the ball, but was spared by Nicko Villacin’s clearance.

Five minutes into the second half, La Salle dodged another bullet. Gaudiel fired off target after picking up Castillo’s cross. An Ateneo opportunity was soon followed by a La Salle chance, which was indicative of the game’s competitive rhythm. At the 58th minute, Borromeo danced around two defenders but lashed his shot over. He engineered a good play five minutes after but his cross was too fast for Gelo to get a touch to slide the ball into the net.

Mabanag had few chances to deliver good balls into La Salle’s box but neither resulted in the back-breaking goal both sides craved for. With only less than 20 minutes left, Alquiros and Gaudiel unsuccessfully attempted to crack their foes’ unwavering defense.

DLSU got hold of the ball for the majority of the last 10 minutes of action. They came closest right at the end. Substitute Christian Zubiri had a golden chance to win it for La Salle but his shot went past the wrong side of Oracion’s far post. The match marked the league’s first goalless stalemate in 22 men’s football matches.

Coaches JP Merida of Ateneo and Hans Smit of La Salle shared the same sentiment with regards to the outcome. They believe that the result was fair to both squads.

Smit lamented the shortage of finishing touches from his players but was pleased despite falling to fifth. “We’ve got a long way to go. As long as we stay near the top four, we’re in a good position,” he said.

As for Merida, he expected a stiffly contested battle to ensue as he believed the rivalry intensified the desire to win. Staying in second, Ateneo will battle FEU who recorded a staggering 9-1 win against Adamson earlier today.

La Salle, meanwhile, aims to regain a spot in the top four when they meet NU. The Bulldogs are in fourth but only lead DLSU by a point.



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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