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Alaska silences Meralco in fourth quarter for sixth win



Using a strong 22-10 fourth quarter, the Alaska Aces cruised in late for a 89-75 victory over the Meralco Bolts held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Tuesday afternoon.

Perimeter shooting was falling early for Alaska as they built a 8-0 edge including three jumpers courtesy by Romeo Travis and Dondon Hontiveros. Meanwhile, Meralco had a hard time converting their layups as they missed their first seven attempts from the floor, together with three early turnovers in the first six minutes of action. After Travis made it a double-digit game, Cliff Hodge stops the first quarter drought by the Bolts to provide his team’s opening basket.

The Aces’ defense were on point as they were able to limit Meralco’s offensive production for the first part of the first quarter but Meralco was able to slice the lead to four, 14-10 with Gary David’s entry to the match. The Bolts also showed their trapping defense that somewhat slowed down the Aces’ offense. Alaska scored seven points in the last three minutes of the period capped by a triple by RJ Jazul while also limiting Meralco to 12 points after the first quarter.

After a shaky first frame, Meralco started to get some baskets going in the second quarter as they managed to put up an exchange of field goals against Alaska. After Chris Banchero scored to erect tie the largest lead for his squad in the first half at 27-18, the Bolts unleashed a 10-1 counter cemented by two free throws by Andre Emmett. The Aces struggled during the stretch with two turnovers and also missing open shots from the field. However, as the starters were fielded back into the match, Alaska pushed its lead to 40-31 in the next four minutes of action. By the half, the Aces led by seven, 42-35.

The third quarter was the best period in terms of scoring for the Meralco Bolts as they ended up scoring 30 markers. Despite trailing by 10 at one point, 59-49 due to a jumper by Travis, the Bolts unleashed a 16-8 response to end the quarter. Notwithstanding not being able to pour on consecutive baskets, Meralco was able to drain the necessary free throws of the period to make the ballgame tightly-contested.

The Aces started the last quarter with a couple of stops but failed to capitalize on it. Meanwhile, Emmett started to gather momentum as he scored the first five points of the Bolts including an and-one play to trim the lead down to a solitary point. Looking to halt the Meralco’s momentum, Dondon Hontiveros buries a run-breaking trifecta to reinstall a five-point lead. The Aces bolstered their rally after forcing a turnover the other and and converting it into points in their favor.

Unfortunately for the Bolts, they entered the penalty situation with 5:17 left to play that added woes to their comeback hopes. Jvee Casio failed to complete a three-point play off a fast break attack but made it an 83-73 game in favor of the Aces. Six more points for Alaska pounced on the Bolts as the latter were limited to only two points in the last five minutes of the game.

The Aces improved to a 6-2 record and are now winners of two straight matches while Meralco drops to a 4-4 slate.

Travis tallied 24 points on 14 shots, grabbed 18 rebounds, four steals and two blocks in a productive 36-minute playing time. Emmett ended up scoring 28 points on an inefficient 7-of-24 clip but also had four steals. Hodge added 12 points and eight boards for Meralco.

The Scores:

Alaska (89) – Travis 24, Casio 11, Banchero 10, Hontiveros 8, Abueva 8, Thoss 6, Manuel 6, Jazul 6, Dela Rosa 4, Exciminiano 4, Menk 2, Dela Cruz 0

Meralco (75) – Emmett 28, Hodge 12, Ando 11, David 10, Nabong 7, Anthony 5, Ildefonso 2, Dillinger 0, Atkins 0, Cortez 0, Hugnatan 0

Quarters: 21-12, 42-35, 67-65, 89-75

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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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