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Aguilar clinches the game-winning shot and last slot for Gov’s Cup

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It went down to one final play, and finally, the playoffs cast is complete.

Needing a win to secure the eighth and last spot of the Governor’s Cup tournament, the Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel survived the pesky NLEX Road Warriors squad team as Japeth Aguilar delivered the winning triple with one second remaining in a wild finish held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.

The first quarter went the way of the Road Warriors, who played as a team with nothing to lose, with Michael Madanly initiating his squad’s strong start as they led the rest of the period after Ginebra made the opening basket. NLEX ended the first up by eight at 29-21. Dave Marcelo and Eman Monfort converted on four jump shots to open up scoring in the second frame as a fast 9-2 start trim the Road Warriors’ lead to 31-30.

However, in less than three minutes, NLEX unleashed their own 9-0 counter with Kwame Alexander finishing it with a trey. The Road Warriors’ press defense worked as they maintained their double-digit gap against Ginebra. The Kings, on the other end, had a tough time converting inside as their bigs were clobbered and were forced to pass up shots.

Meanwhile, turnovers also played a big role for NLEX as they were able to run in transition, extending their lead to 14, 52-38 with a layup by Michael Madanly. On the other end of the floor, the Kings struggled making outside shots. In spite of that, they made a headstart to the second half as they finished the second canto on a 12-2 run with Orlando Johnson.

Carrying the momentum from the first half, Ginebra tied the game at 55 with LA Tenorio draining a triple. However, just like in the second quarter, Ginebra’s run was responded with an 8-0 counter by the Road Warriors capped by a Jonas Villanueva fastbreak. However in the last four minutes of the third, Tenorio nailed a three while Jiwan Kim finally knocked down a trey of his own after missing his first four attempts, to cap a 12-1 run and tie the game at 76.

But just like any run put up by Ginebra, NLEX responded once again with a 9-4 ending to the third period to silence the crowd and hang on to the lead. Two jumpers extended the NLEX lead to double digits with Madanly still stroking it confidently from the field. Sol Mercado provided five points while Monfort converted on a long two to cut the lead, 89-85 with eight minutes remaining.

As the game was on a frantic pace on the third, Kwame Alexander was assessed for his fifth personal foul with 6:33 left on the game clock, while Mercado nailed free throws to slice the lead down to a point. Two minutes later, Ginebra successfully tied the game at 96 as the crowd got involved again with Kim and Johnson converting on transition. After a series of wild and crucial exchange of baskets being showcased by the two teams, Kim and Tenorio caught fire late and gave Ginebra a slim lead for the first time after being up by 2-0 in the game.

Asi Taulava scored his team’s next three field goals against the bigs of Ginebra to keep his team within striking distance. With 31 seconds to go, Ginebra was still up 107-105, as NLEX sued for time. Taulava then made another putback to tie the game and left Ginebra the chance at the buzzer. After draining the game clock, Johnson found Aguilar on the left corner and the forward drained the big-time trifecta to win the game. Needing one final stop, KG Canaleta muffed his potential game-tying three that sent Ginebra on to the quarters.

Tenorio finished with 21 points including five triples, six rebounds and six dimes. Kim also played splendid with 16 markers after a slow start as he also made four treys to cap the game. Madanly played a productive 34-minute game with 36 points on an efficient 14-of-24 shooting in his team’s last game of the tournament.

Ginebra finished their elims with a 5-6 slate and finished eighth due to quotient. NLEX ends at 3-8. The win also eliminated the Kia Carnival, who were anxiously waiting for this game’s result as a Ginebra loss would send them on the next round.

The quarterfinals begin on Friday as Ginebra faces Alaska but with a twice-to-beat disadvantage, 7pm at the Big Dome. The first game will be played between the Star Hotshots and GlobalPort.

The Scores:

Ginebra (110) – Tenorio 21, Johnson 21, Kim 16, Slaughter 14, Monfort 11, Mercado 9, Marcelo 9, Aguilar 7, Brondial 2, Baracael 0

NLEX (107) – Madanly 36, Taulava 18, Alexander 12, Borboran 11, Raymundo 10, Canaleta 7, Cardona 2, Lingganay 2, Villanueva E. 2, Arboleda H. 2, Ramos 0, Wilson 0

Quarters: 21-29, 50-55, 78-85, 110-107

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Football

Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory

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Photo from the-AFC.com

2017 AFC ASEAN Zone Champions Ceres-Negros banked on their poise and composure from the spot as they knocked out Myanmar’s Shan United via a 4-3 penalty shootout (1-1 after extra time) triumph, Tuesday evening at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

The Negrenses punched their ticket to Brisbane, Australia after emerging the better spotkick takers. Four Busmen were on target, while two of their Shan Warriors counterparts fluffed their lines.

The two domestic champions were inseparable after 120 minutes, with the hosts holding their own against the Philippine champions. Ceres-Negros looked the more dominant of the two teams. However, they couldn’t make the advantage count where it mattered, as they failed to breach the sturdy Shan United defense inside the first two regulation halves.

The visitors were visibly more comfortable in the first half, but with the scores staying level at the break, the less-fancied Myanmar champions eventually found their footing in the encounter. While there were several half-chances from either side to open the scoring, both defenses remained defiant en route to unwanted extra time.

“It was a tough game. We weren’t ready to play 120 minutes because we only had four training sessions before the game but everytime we wear this jersey, we represent Ceres, we represent Bacolod, we represent the Philippines, so we have to give our best,” Ceres’ defender Carli de Murga elaborated to the Inquirer after the match. The Asian Football season has yet to start, and with both teams not too busy with pre-season preparations, rust and fatigue in a demanding affair were evident.

Come extra time, Ceres-Negros took the initiative when Stephan Schröck’s deflected effort went past the helpless Thiha Si Thu just three minutes into the first half.

Nonetheless, the hosts refused to go down without a fight, and their resilience was rewarded later in the opening half. Substitute Patrick Asare found the back of the net to restore parity in Yangon.

Another 15 minutes of goalless action took place in the second half as both teams looked more cautious, perhaps with the collective aim of avoiding a costly error or two. Among all the chances, Schröck’s in the 114th minute may have proved to be the closest to changing the scores, as his attempt shaved the post.

Shan United took to the spot first, where Asare made his penalty attempt count. Nay Lin Tun also made his, but not before teammate Chizoba smashed his attempt over Toni Doblas’ goal.

While the hosts squandered a shot, the visitors remained calm in front of a hostile Myanmar crowd. De Murga, Schröck and Mike Ott nailed their turns, with Marañon also not missing a vital kick from 12 yards.

It set up William Biassi Nyakwe, the man credited with the own goal when he deflected Schröck’s opener, with the chance to prolong his team’s campaign in the AFC Champions League. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t atone for his earlier mistake, as his attempt soared high and wide — much to the delight of the visiting team from Bacolod, the Philippines.

The reward for Ceres-Negros is a trip to Queensland, Australia, where they will seek to do one better than compatriots Global-Cebu. The 2016 Philippine champions also played against the Brisbane Roar, who dealt them a staggering 6-0 hammering this time last year. The match will be held at the Suncorp Stadium on January 23.

As for Shan United, a spot in the AFC Cup Group Stage awaits them and they may not have seen the last of Ceres-Negros just yet. If the Negrenses lose to either Brisbane Roar or Tianjin Quanjian, they will be reacquainted with the Burmese champions in Group F.

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Basketball

Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’

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Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas held for the 23 for 2023 cadets last Monday but he made sure to help out when the current batch needed him the most.

After helping the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers win the Sinulog Cup in Cebu a week ago, the 6-foot-7 Filipino-American did not hesitate to heed Gilas’ call, as they were undermanned for their second session in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“I think it’s just an honor to put on this jersey, to be able to represent our country, to possibly represent our country in the future. It’s an honor,” shared the Laguna-native.

The 25-year old, who just celebrated his birthday last January 9, admitted that he was in awe of the talent inside the Meralco Gym. Like a fan, he wanted to take a few photo ops with the senior team’s Gabe Norwood and June Mar Fajardo.

“Actually, at first I was just shocked to see June Mar and Gabe, just to be able to be in the midst of them,” gushed the former DLSU Green Archer, who will suit-up for Marinerong Pilipino in the D-League. “I even asked them for a picture, and hopefully they’ll still give me one.

“It’s just humbling, definitely.”

However, the work has only began for Tratter. With five years to go until the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the two-time UAAP champion plans to continue to do what he does best — be the same scrapper that he is and hopefully catch the eye of Gilas’ brass.

“I think just doing the dirty work, of course. Giving whatever the team needs, rebound or any steals, any thing a dirty player would need to pick up on,” he said.

“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”

Moreover, he will continue answering the call when Gilas needs him, as he himself is learning a lot from being surrounded by the country’s topflight cagers.

“Whenever I can. I want to be able to absorb all the information coming from here and hopefully apply it in the D-League and hopefully apply it on future practices, future games.”

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup

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Stronger than ever

Scoring sensation Terrence Romeo has been invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to join the Philippine team in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 World Cup, according to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson.

Romeo, who is currently out due to a right knee injury, has been in rehabilitation and is expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup campaign of the Globalport Batang Pier and the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“Baka sa second conference na ko makabalik kasi talagang gusto ko malakas ako pagbalik ko,” the 25-year-old shared during Chooks-to-Go Live last January 2.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios personally met with the 6-foot guard, inviting him to be part of the Philippine team.

Romeo has plenty of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.

Back in 2014, Romeo was part of the Manila West 3×3 team during the Manila Masters. He was adjudged as the tournament Most Valuable Player.

The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

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NCAA

Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win

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Shaking off a forgettable outing against the Perpetual Help Altas last January 11, the San Beda College Red Spikers vented their ire on defending champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers in four sets, 25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 26-24, and claimed their second win of the season, Friday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

“Sabi ng coaches kalimutan na yung talo,” shared captain Lorenze Santos of what transpired after that match.

So, in this game, the San Beda team poured on what they worked hard for to regain momentum. “Binuhos po namin lahat ng ginawa namin sa training [ngayon].”

After tight starts in all the first two sets, the Mendiola-based side pulled away to register the seemingly insurmountable 2-0 lead.

Nonetheless, summoning the heart of a champion and led by seniors Isaah Arda and Jethro Orian, the reigning champions pulled off gritty runs to snag the third set and making a tussle of the fourth.

Ultimately, Adrian Viray virtually ended the match with a vicious serve, which the Blazers failed to convert.

The prolific outside hitter finished with 17 points, 11 coming from attacks and five off blocks. Former skipper Mark Encino also registered 17 markers.

The Red Spikers (2-1) will face the Mapua University, also at 2-1, on Friday, January 19.

Orian was such a presence at the net, ending up with 20 points for the Taft-based squad.

The defending champions Blazers (2-1) will try to bounce back later that day against San Sebastian College (0-3).

The Scores:

SBC 3 – Viray 17, Enciso 17, Santos 11, Patenio 7, Amagan 7, Desuyo 3, Zabala 0, Genobaten 0, Manliclic 0, Casin L.

CSB 1 – Orian 20, Arda 18, Bacani 6, Basilan 4, Bautista 4, Magsino 2, Martinez 0, Garcia 0, San Miguel 0, Saldavia 0, Dy L.

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