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Akhuetie buzzer beater beats San Beda in epic contest

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In a game that had it all: delays, drama, fights, highlights, physicality, et al, a last second find by Nestor Bantayan led to a buzzer beating layup by Bright Akhuetie to lead the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas in an epic 88-86 win over the San Beda Red Lions early Thursday evening at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.

After an early 16-6 lead by the defending champions, the cagers from Las Piñas were able to come crawling back with consecutive three-pointers by John Ylagan. Free throws by ace Point Guard Scottie Thompson ended the quarter with Perpetual down by just three, 14-17.

Javee Mocon powered the defending champions in the second quarter. Mocon, who surprisingly started the game, was all over the court in the first half in crashing the boards and being aggressive on offense. Mocon had 12 points in the first half and added seven boards. Despite his production, the Altas were able to gain the lead in the second stanza behind the efforts of the 18-year-old Akhuetie. In addition to Akhuetie, Thompson managed to convert on a three-point play with 52.2 remaining while a find by Ylagan to Nikolo Cabiltes with two ticks to go gave Perpetual a 39-35 lead to enter halftime.

The Aric del Rosario-mentored squad came out like a house on fire to open the third period. Akhuetie showed a new facet in his game during the quarter in creating for his teammates. The main benefactor of his playmaking was Flash Sadiwa. Sadiwa was able to score eight points in the quarter, mostly through layups, that helped give Perpetual their biggest lead in the game, 53-39 with 6:37 to go. Ola Adeogun, with his team down, fired up the Red Lions by being the workhorse on both ends of the court. After a technical was called on Adeogun, he was able to score eight of the last 14 points of the Red Lions that cut the lead to just a solitary point 61-60 to enter the final frame.

As the game heated up, so to was the emotions of the players in the court. Right in the opening possession of the final stanza, pro-bound Michole Solera and Kevin Oliveria were caught in a heated box out. A frustrated Solera punched the back of Oliveria that resulted to his disqualification while the latter was assessed with an unsportsmanlike foul. The two teams then exchanged leads until the 4:22 mark of the quarter. With San Beda leading 74-73, Thompson was able to find his big man Akhuetie in the paint who soared high in the air for a massive facial on Adeogun that gave his team the lead. Free throws by Thompson and a layup by Nestor Bantayan extended the lead to five with 3:18 to go.

Dela Cruz then took control of the game as he connected on a three pointer and a huge fast break layup to regain the lead. After another slam by Akhuetie that tied the game once more, Thompson was able to weave his way against three defenders to give his team the lead, 83-81, with 56.4 ticks to go. At the ensuing play, a mad scramble off a miss resulted to a three pointer by the returning Baser Amer. Bantayan then was able to regain the lead from a dish by Thompson. With 25.2 seconds to go, Thompson was able to extend the lead after splitting free throws. Dela Cruz did not waste anytime whatsoever in driving hard into the lane for a huge layup to tie the game at 86-all with 14.6 seconds to go. With no timeouts remaining, Thompson calmly drove into the lane and passed the ball to Nestor Bantayan on the post who made an extra dish off to Bright Akhuetie for the buzzer beating layup for the win, 88-86.

Almost all of the Perpetual Altas players were emotional after the game. A sobbing Coach Aric del Rosario disclosed that he was looking for a type of game like this from his players for so long. “Matagal ko ng hinihintay ‘to. Yun talaga hinahanap ko sa kanila, hanggang sa huli lumalaban.” He added that this win was huge, not only in the standings, but also for the team’s morale.

Bright Akhuetie led the Altas charge with a huge double-double 31 points and 11 rebounds. Smart Elite ambassador Earl Thompson also had another masterful performance with 14 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals.

The Red Lions were powered by Adeoguns 26 points on 8/10 shooting from the field and 10/10 from the foul line. Art dela Cruz had 15 points as well with eight boards and six dimes but committed eight turnovers.

The Perpetual Altas (9-4) look to extend their winning run as they face the CSB Blazers on Friday, September 18 at 12:00nn while the San Beda Red Lions, who now fall to second place, face the Lyceum Pirates on Thursday, September 17 at 4:00pm.

The Scores:

UPHSD (88) – Akhuetie 31, Thompson 14, Ylagan 14, Sadiwa 10, Oliveria 6, Eze 5, Bantayan 4, Dizon 2, Cabiltes 2, Tamayo 0, Coronel 0, Gallardo 0, Dagangon 0, Elopre 0

SBC (86) – Adeogun 26, Dela Cruz 15, Mocon 12, Koga 11, Amer 10, Tankoua 8, Reyes 4, Cabanag 0, Soberano 0, Sara 0, Presbitero 0, Tongco 0, Solera 0

Quarters: 14-17, 39-35, 61-60, 88-86.

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Basketball

KIA signs Carlo Lastimosa

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After being released by the NLEX Road Warriors during the off-season, gunner Carlo Lastimosa has found a new home.

KIA Picanto team governor Bobby Rosales confirmed to Tiebreaker Times Thursday evening that they have tapped Carlo Lastimosa for the rest of the PBA Philippine Cup campaign.

“Yes,” Rosales confirmed in a text message.

Lastimosa, a two-time All-Star, averaged 8.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in his one-year stay with the Road Warriors. Coach Yeng Guiao cited that NLEX already had too many guards that resulted to Lastimosa’s release.

The product of College of Saint Benilde was drafted as the 20th overall pick in the 2013 Rookie Draft by Barako Bull. A year later, he was traded to the Blackwater Elite for Brian Heruala.

The 27-year-old is set to make his debut on Saturday when the Picanto take on the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

The Kia Picanto are in the midst of a 16-game losing streak.

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Marinerong Pilipino withstands furious Zark’s rally to open season on high note

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The Marinerong Pilipino Skippers averted a collapse and held off the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers to come away with the 94-92 thriller to open the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Losing hold of a 17-point edge, 56-39 with 7:57 left in the third frame, the Skippers survived the furious rally from the Jawbreakers in the clutch as Mike Nzeusseu and CJ Perez missed their three-pointers in the final minute before Rian Ayonayon and Renzo Subido sealed off the win for their side at the charity stripe

Subido topscored for Marinerong Pilipino with 20 points, five assists, and three rebounds, while Ayonayon unleashed 15 markers, three boards, and two dimes in the early battle between the two contenders.

Gab Banal also registered a double-double of 14 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, and four steals against his 10 turnovers in the win, while Papot Paredes got 12 of his 14 markers in the first half to help the Skippers establish control at halftime.

Victorious as Marinerong Pilipino maybe in the marquee matchup, coach Koy Banal refused to brand his side as the undisputed team-to-beat, noting: “This win means nothing. We need to keep on working get better every day because everybody will now prepare for us.”

Banal also lauded top rookie picks Alvin Pasaol and Abu Tratter, who were both fielded in the second half and stepped up to help the Skippers’ cause.

“Those guys have been with us since January 2 lang, and pretty much, medyo nangangapa pa sila sa sistema. But good thing is that they were able to deliver especially when their number were called,” he said.

The Skippers used a huge 12-0 run to end the second quarter to grab a 47-35 halftime lead, which further ballooned to 17, 56-39 in the third quarter.

Jaycee Marcelino paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 20 points, four rebounds, and three assists in the loss, while Perez had 19 markers and five assists.

Earlier, PBA officer-in-charge Willie Marcial and PBA vice chairman Dickie Bachmann of Alaska graced the opening ceremonies, which was made special thanks to league newcomer Mila’s Lechon.

Marinerong Pilipino looks to sustain the momentum it gained in this game when it faces the Akari-Adamson Falcons on Thursday, January 25 at 5:00pm. Zark’s Burgers, on the other hand, takes on the Batangas-EAC Generals on Tuesday, January 23 at 4:00pm.

The Scores:

Marinerong Pilipino 94 – Subido 20, Ayonayon 15, Paredes 14, Banal 14, Robles 10, Tolentino 4, Tratter 4, Pasaol 4, Terso 3, Lopez 2, Inigo 2, Babilonia 2, Toth 0.

Zark’s 92 – Marcelino JC 20, Perez 19, Nzeusseu 18, Ayaay 11, Ibanez 6, Marcelino JV 6, Cinco 5, Tansingco 3, Santos 2, Pretta 2, Marata 0, Liwag 0

Quarterscores: 17-19, 47-34, 69-58, 94-92

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CSJL

Pirates notch first win at struggling Knights’ expense

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After floundering in their first three games, the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates broke into the win column after trouncing the Colegio San Juan de Letran Knights, 20-25, 27-25, 25-20, 25-22, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Pirates, after a sluggish start, got the best of their Intramuros neighbors by limiting their miscues in the latter three sets. According to head coach Emil Lontoc, Lyceum needed every bit of momentum they gained in their rousing win in the second set.

“Nabuhayan sila (Pirates) ng loob noong makalusot kami noong second set,” Lontoc said. “Mababa ‘yung nilaro namin nung simula tapos medyo struggle pa din noong sumunod na set. Pero nakabangon din. Crucial ‘yun kasi baka hindi na kami naka-angat kung natalo pa kami noong second set.”

The Pirates delivered three of their four aces in the final set to close the match. They also shored up their reception, finishing at 38 percent, after an atrocious start.

Jhonel Badua topped the Pirates with 19 points while Joeward Presnede added 14.

Lyceum (1-3) takes on the undefeated Arellano University (4-0) on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Paul John Alilio and Bobby Gatdula each provided Letran with 19 points. Christopher Cistina managed 11 markers.

Letran (0-4) aims for their first win against rivals San Beda College (3-1) on Monday.

The Scores

LPU (3) – Badua 19, Presnede 14, Lajara 9, Ilano 7, Samonte 5, Uy 5, Rubio (L)

CSJL (1) – Alilio 19, Gatdula 19, Cistina 11, Almoguerra 3, Ladeon 3, Dizon 2, Domingo 2, Brioso 0, Tumbali 0, Centeno (L), Timbreza (L)

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D-League to hold three-day showcase for players

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Seeking to further display the greatness of the Filipino basketball players, the PBA is giving more chances to the cagers as the league is set to hold the first-ever PBA D-League Showdown later this conference.

Opening the eighth season with this ground-breaking news, PBA officer-in-charge Willie Marcial is hopeful that this will serve as another motivation for the players to perform at their best this 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.

“Ginagawa naman natin ito para mas galingan ng mga players natin para rin maipakita nila yung tunay nilang talento,” he said Thursday during the opening ceremonies at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Marcial bared that the plan is to hold a two-day summit for the players suiting up in the ongoing conference to allow them to showcase their talents in front of coaches and scouts, not just from the PBA but also from countries in the Southeast Asian region.

“Lahat ng mga players ay maglalaro dito at mapapanood hindi lang ng mga PBA coaches,” he said.

“Iimbitahin din namin ang mga coaches ng ibang bansa tulad ng Malaysia, Thailand, at Vietnam na kumukuha ng imports sa atin.”

Marcial acknowledged that as much as players seek to make the jump to the pro league, securing spots in the PBA teams have been hard to crack over the past few years, forcing the players to look elsewhere for opportunities.

That has made playing in overseas leagues an option for these less fortunate ballers, keeping them earning while also hoping to impress scouts while keeping their PBA dreams alive.

Some of the players who suited up in the D-League and are currently playing outside of the country are Paul Zamar and Almond Vosotros in Thailand, AJ Mandani in Singapore, and Reil Cervantes in Indonesia.

With this project, Marcial is hopeful that this would keep the players in line while also delivering the best competition the D-League could dream of.

“Iwasan natin ang bisyo at galingan ninyo.”

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