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Alaska earns spot in semis, uses defense to dismantle Meralco



Alaska made use of suffocating defense to edge out Meralco in the knockout phase for a spot in the semis of the 2014 Philippine Cup. Vic Manuel led the way for his team with 17 points and nine rebounds on an efficient 8-of-10 shooting clip. Alaska had four players scoring in double digits, with Cyrus Baguio scoring 15, Dondon Hontiveros with 13, and JVee Casio contributing 11 points. John Wilson led Meralco with 16 points.

Alaska took an early 6-2 lead to start the first quarter, but back-to-back baskets from Meralco tied the game. That turned out to be the only bright spot for Meralco in the first quarter, as Alaska proceeded to go on a 16-2 blitz, capped by a Calvin Abueva fastbreak dunk. The Meralco drought finally ended with a jumper from Anjo Caram. The first quarter was capped by a triple from Hontiveros who gave his team a 15-point lead, 27-12.

Alaska shared the ball well in the first, with eight of their baskets coming off of assists. Their bench helped in padding the lead as well, contributing 12 points, equaling the total points scored by Meralco.

Ryan Buenafe made his presence known at the start of the second period, bagging a triple and cutting his team’s deficit to 12, 27-15. It looked like Meralco was on the verge of a comeback, but consecutive triples from Hontiveros, his 3rd and 4th triples of the game, pushed the lead back up to 14, 34-20. Things heated up close to the end of the period, as Rome Dela Rosa and Jared Dillinger were both given technical fouls. This seemed to motivate Alaska even more, as they went on a 9-2 run to end the quarter, finishing with a buzzer-beating one-handed three-point shot from Baguio. Alaska led by 22 points, 47-25 at the end of the first half.

After limiting Meralco to 12 points in the first, the Alaska defense held Meralco to 13 points in the second quarter, forcing them to put up 17 three-point attempts in the half. Alaska’s pressure forced Meralco to take well defended shot attempts and almost commit multiple 24-second violations.

Wilson came alive for Meralco in the third quarter, scoring the first three baskets for his team, as they managed to cut the deficit to 16. Alaska found themselves unable to make baskets for almost half of the third quarter, but while they were not able to convert on baskets, they were able to go to the free throw line and keep Meralco at bay. With Meralco clawing their way to cut the deficit to 13, RJ Jazul went on a five-point spurt that gave his team some breathing room, 63-46. But Meralco was able to close the quarter on a good note with a Sean Anthony layup and Gary David reverse to trim the lead to 14, 64-50.

Alaska started the fourth quarter on fire, with Manuel scoring on a reverse layup, Eric Menk making 2-of-2 free throws, and Banchero hitting a triple for a 7-0 Alaska run for a 21-point lead, 71-50. Meralco was able to trim the deficit to 13 again, with Anthony getting fouled on a basket and making the free throw, David scoring on a fastbreak, and Mike Cortez hitting a triple. Alaska started clamping down on defense, scoring on consecutive baskets and forcing Meralco to commit a five-second violation. Back-to-back baskets from Wilson were nullified by an eight-point spurt from Alaska. With time running down on the game clock, Meralco was unable to make another run. Alaska went on to win the game, 87-64.



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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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