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Alaska hits four-win mark after classic 2OT victory over Meralco



Alaska keeps their playoff hopes alive, coming out on top of a thrilling double-overtime match against Meralco, 108-103, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

During the start of the contest, the two squads traded baskets. Following an 8-8 deadlock with around seven minutes left to play, the Aces steadily took control of the flow, with their big men baring their fangs in the paint. The last three minutes of the quarter saw Alaska embark on a 7-0 run to take a nine-point lead, 24-15. Meralco import Josh Davis ended the rally with a three-point play, and they came within six at the end of the quarter, 24-18.

There was no change of complexion in the game come the second quarter with the Aces outgunning the Bolts and scoring as they pleased. It was late in the period that Meralco found their much needed spark, when four straight points from import Josh Davis and a hook shot from veteran Danny Ildefonso put the Bolts within a single digit, 36-37. Alaska import Damion James sank two free throws to slow down the Meralco flurry and extended the lead to three, 39-36. The spotlight shone on the two imports for the next few possessions, who figured in a heated trade of baskets as the Bolts scrambled to take the lead. With less than fifteen seconds left on the clock, two free throws from Mike Cortez gave Meralco the lead, 44-43. Alaska’s Chris Exciminiano responded on the other end, beating the buzzer to give the lead back to Alaska, 45-44, just in time for the halftime break.

The Bolts welcomed the second half with six straight points to take an early 50-45 lead. Calvin Abueva and Chris Banchero responded with baskets of their own to force another deadlock, and kick off what would be another heated trade of baskets. The remainder of the quarter featured both squads locked in a trade of firepower with baskets sunk from everywhere around the arc. It was Alaska, who proved to be the quicker draw, pulling away shortly before the buzzer to lead by five, 72-67, thanks to baskets from their import James and the sharpshooter, RJ Jazul. Meralco’s Jared Dillinger later beat the buzzer to cut the lead to three, 72-69, at the end of the quarter.

The fourth quarter opened to a continuation of the previous quarter’s shootout, with shots falling from everywhere, and the lead changing possession after possession. Meralco looked geared to pull away around the halfway mark after baskets from Dillinger gave them an 82-76 edge, but the Aces recovered in time to close the gap. Two minutes later, the score was once again tied at 82-all.

With just under two minutes left, the score was still deadlocked at 85-85. Meralco was the first to break out of the deadlock, care of two free throws from Gary David at the 1:28 mark. Alaska’s Cyrus Baguio sank free throws of his own in the next possession, forcing another tie at 87-all. Neither team could score in the following possessions, and with 14.7 seconds left on the clock and the ball with Alaska, the score remained unchanged. Alaska went to their import James for what could have been the game winner, but was unable to put up the shot against his counterpart Davis. The game was headed for overtime.

Alaska sat in the driver’s seat for most of the extra five minutes, eventually establishing a 93-90 lead just before the last two minutes. A floater from James with just a minute left to play gave them a crucial five point, 95-90. James later fouled out at 47.3 mark after a behind-the-back foul on Meralco’s Cliff Hodge. A basket from Gary David later put Meralco within three, but the lead was back to two possessions shortly after, when Alaska’s Vic Manuel sank two free throws given after being fouled by John Wilson. With 36 ticks left, the Aces led 97-92. Import Davis was able to score on the possession to cut the lead to three with just 31 seconds left.

The next possession saw the Bolts force Alaska’s Cyrus Baguio to throw away the ball. It found its way to John Wilson, who pulled up for the quick three that knotted the game 97-all with just 0.7 seconds left on the clock. The ball went to Baguio for Alaska’s next possession, but the veteran sharpshooter couldn’t position himself right away to take the easy trey. Baguio’s bricked shot marked the arrival of another overtime period.

Alaska took a 101-99 lead heading into the final two minutes of the second overtime period, following a brief exchange of baskets. Despite being without their import on the floor, the Aces managed to put up a couple of big rebounds and big defensive stops. A basket from Calvin Abueva with just around a minute left extended the lead to four, 103-99. The Bolts also suffered another blow when Cliff Hodge had to be subbed out after his leg was accidentally stepped on by Alaska’s Sonny Thoss in the same sequence.

Meralco showed no sign of faltering, however, getting the right stops to come within one with 17.2 seconds left to play, 102-103, care of a basket from their import Davis. Free throws from Dondon Hontiveros extended the lead to 106-103 with 15.8 seconds left. The Bolts went to veteran sharpshooter, Gary David, who, unfortunately, bricked the trey taken with nine seconds left. The ball was rebounded by Hontiveros, who was fouled and easily sank the free throws awarded to him afterward. With time on their side, the Aces needed only to hold on for the final play.

Calvin Abueva was named Best Player of the Game with 18 points and 9 rebounds. Damion James led the scoring with 25 points along with 12 rebounds. Josh Davis led Meralco with 34 points. The Aces improve to 4-5, a slate shared with Barangay Ginebra, GlobalPort, and Kia. Meralco meanwhile, falls to tied-second place with Rain or Shine and Talk ‘N Text at the 6-3 mark.

The Scores

Alaska – James 25, Abueva 18, Banchero 13, Baguio 12, Hontiveros 11, Manuel 11, Thoss 8, Jazul 7, Exciminiano 2

Meralco – Davis 34, Cortez 16, Wilson 15, Dillinger 13, Hodge 9, David 7, Anthony 3, Caram 2, Ildefonso 2, Hugnatan 2

Quarters: 24-18, 45-44, 72-69, 87-87, 97-97 (1OT) 108-103 (2OT)

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Renzo Subido to bring Marinerong Pilipino experience to UST



When Renzo Subido decided to skip out the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers’ UAAP Season 80 campaign, he had only one thing in mind: to improve on his craft. And he was able to do so under coach Koy Banal in the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers.

After the AMA Online Education Titans had a quick end to their campaign during the 2017 Foundation Cup, the 5-foot-9 floor general was immediately picked up by Marinerong Pilipino for the playoffs. Liking his style of play, he was again tapped for the 2018 Aspirants Cup.

And he showed a lot of growth from then, leading the Skippers to a 94-92 victory over fellow contenders Zark’s Jawbreakers. The 21-year-old tallied 20 points, three rebounds, and five assists while knocking down the crucial free throws to seal off the Lyceum-backed team.

“It was a good win for us. We’re happy that we won the game because it’s a good way to start the conference,” beamed Subido. “I’ve played against Lyceum in the past so I had familiarity with how they play.

“It was a good experience for us.”

Expectations are high for Marinerong Pilipino this conference as they are pegged as their blend of veterans and young guns are seen too overwhelming for the rest of the field. Still, Subido knows that it will be a tough climb as the other teams, especially the collegiate-based squads, have familiarity on their side.

“We’re taking it one game at a time but the goal is to win the championship,” he said. “But we know that it’s not going to be easy since we are going up against the top collegiate teams.

“So we’re just going to go all out every game.”

Besides winning the championship, Subido is on a personal mission. Being one of the seniors for the Growling Tigers next season, he hopes to learn to become a better leader for next season.

“I want to become a better leader. I know that everything I can learn this conference, I can bring to UST,” Subido expressed.

“For all I can see, coach Aldin [Ayo] is a guard-oriented coach. So I’m using all the experience I get here in Marinero, I’ll bring it to UST.”

For sure, Subido wants to make up for lost time.

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KIA signs Carlo Lastimosa



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



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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Pirates notch first win at struggling Knights’ expense



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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