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Alejandro saves National U from Adamson upset



A botch call and a clutch performance by Jay Alejandro saved the Final Four hopes of the National University Bulldogs as the defending champions needed 45 minutes to avoid an Adamson University Soaring Falcon upset, 85-79, Wednesday afternoon at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Pasay City.

In their past two losses, the cagers from Jhocson Street struggled to find even a decent offensive flow. It was the same in the first half of this game as the offensive woes of the defending champions continued. Even in fielding a strong five of Kyle Neypes, Alfred Aroga, Gelo Alolino, Pao Javelona, and Jay Alejandro, only Aroga was the only source of offense for the Bulldogs in the first quarter as he put up seven of the 12 NU points. To counter Aroga, the inside out duo of Pape Sarr and William Polican teamed up to lead the Falcons to a game-high 11 point lead, 28-17, with 5:31 to go. The Bulldogs were able to close in on the lead behind the backcourt tandem of Alejandro and Alolino to cut the deficit to just five, 36-31, to enter halftime.

In the third quarter, Pape Sarr continued to dominate the paint in the third quarter as he completely dominated Aroga in the paint. Alolino, knowing the grave importance of this win, made it an emphasis to find open teammates in a 15-5 run that gave NU a 42 to 40 lead. The run was capped by an Aroga find to a wideopen Alejandro for a triple. Sarr, after sending Aroga to the bench after committing his third foul, feasted in the paint to give the lead back to Adamson, 53-50, to end the third quarter.

Sarr continued his personal run to start the fourth quarter with two conversions in the paint while a Jerome Garcia fastbreak layup gave the Falcons a 57-52 lead to force an Altamirano-timeout early in the fourth quarter. The NU defense were able to set up a barricade late in the fourth while Jeoff Javillonar and Alolino were able to tie the game at 64-all. Six straight points by the Falcons though capped by a Polican fastbreak layup gave Adamson a 70-64 lead at the 2:38 mark of the fourth. NU’s fifth year floor general, Alolino, willed his way for a layup with 1:41 to go in the game whiel a split in the charity stripe cut the lead just three. With 22.7 ticks to go, Jerome Garcia contested a Alejandro corner triple with the latter selling the hit. The official nearby called a foul for three free throws. In disgust, Garcia contested the call that resulted to a technical foul. Alejandro was able to convert on all free throws to give NU a one point lead. A split on the stripe by Javelona extended the lead to two. After a Fermin timeout, inbounder JD Tungcab was able to find Ivan Villanueva underneath to tie the game and send the game into overtime, 72-72.

Fatigued and demoralized, the Adamson squad could not find the offensive flow that gave them the lead for the majority of the game. Moreover, Alejandro gained the hot hand in scoring eight points in overtime to give the defending champions an 85-79 win.

“Happy kami kahit ganun kasi a win is still a win,” Smart Elite ambassador Gelo Alolino, who had a double-double 17 points on 50% shooting and ten dimes, said after the game. “Talagang kelangan namin yung panalo na ‘to at nakakuha kami ng buwelo.”

Coach Eric Altamirano then said his team’s road to the Final Four is getting tougher as the season progresses. He added that, “ang importante is maibalik namin ang laro namin. It’s hard to find our confidence especially coming from a losing streak. I hope that we can pick-up after this game.”

Besides Alolino, Jay Alejandro scored his season-high 22 points. He was 7/13 from the field and 6/6 from the foul stripe. Aroga also notched a double-double with 17 points and 11 boards.

For the Falcons, Pape Sarr continued his domination in the paint with 32 points on an outstanding 12/24 clip. He also grabbed 17 boards and was 8/12 from the foul stripe. Ivan Villanueva also played his best game of the season in scoring ten points.

As a team, the Falcons shot better from the field in shooting 44.93% compared to the victor’s 39%. However, the San Marcelino cagers were forced to 25 turnovers that led to 25 turnover points. Moreover, the defending champions were 17/26 from the foul stripe compared to just 12/18 by Adamson.

The NU Bulldogs (4-6) will next face the Ateneo Blue Eagles on Sunday, October 25 at 4:00pm while the Adamson Soaring Falcons (1-9) face the DLSU Green Archers on Saturday, October 24 at 2:00pm.

The Scores:
NU (85) – Alejandro 22, Alolino 17, Aroga 17, Javellona 11, Javillonar 7, Celda 5, Neypes 3, Yu 3, Abatayo 0, Diputado 0, Rangel 0, Salim 0, Tansingco 0.
AdU (79) – Sarr 32, Villanueva 10, Polican 9, Escalambre 8, Bernardo 4, Fernandez 3, Ng 3, Tungcab 3, Camacho 2, J. Garcia 2, Margallo 2, Miranda 1, C. Garcia 0.
Quarterscores: 12-16, 31-36, 50-53, 72-72, 85-79.

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Impervious Lady Chiefs stay perfect after sweep of Lady Pirates



The Arellano University Lady Chiefs extended their winning streak to 17 dating back to last season, after clobbering the Lyceum of the Philippines Lady Pirates, 25-16, 25-17, 25-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The defending champions were unrelenting with four Lady Chiefs scoring in double-digits with rookie Necole Ebuen powering in 11 points. Third-year open hitter Regine Arocha and Arellano’s middle blockers Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan each provided 10 markers.

Conversely, no Lady Pirate managed to score in double-figures.

“Maganda naman talaga ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Lahat kasi kami determinado na makakuha ulet ng championship. Alam nila (Lady Chiefs) na kailangan pataas nang pataas ang ginagalaw namin,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier.

The Lady Chiefs also limited their errors to a season-best 16 while the Lady Pirates surrendered 24 miscues.

The Lady Chiefs look for their sixth win of the season when they face the red-hot University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (4-1) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Christine Miralles and Monica Sevilla each supplied the struggling Lyceum with eight point apiece.

The Lady Pirates (1-4) take on the undefeated San Beda College (4-0) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

AU (3) – Ebuen 11, Arocha 10, Esguerra 10, Marzan 10, Prado 3, Ramirez 3, Liu 2, Balanoba 1, Donato 1, Verutiao 0, Buemia (L), Flores (L)

LPU (0) – Miralles 8, Sevilla 8, Juanilla 7, Patio 4, Genova 1, Romanban 0, Bongabong 0, Marcella (L)

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Late whistle costs San Beda against Sousse to fall to 0-2



23 for 2023 cadet Robert Bolick is averaging 27.5 points per game in the tournament

After struggling to close out the UAE National Team in their opener last Friday, the San Beda College Red Lions figured in a late judgment call that did not fall into their favor, Saturday at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in Dubai. Due to this, the defending NCAA Champions lost to Tuniasian club team Sousse, 78-79.

With the loss, the Red Lions fell to a 0-2 hole in the 29th Dubai Basketball Championship. But the record does not reflect how the Filipinos played.

Robert Bolick, who scored 28 points against the UAE National Team, led the charge for San Beda in their second outing had 27 points. Fellow 23 for 2023 cadet Javee Mocon added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Sousse, the second-best club team in Tunisia and boasts four national team players and an American import, led by as much as 10 points, 70-60 in the final frame.

Fired-up by the Filipinos who stormed the venue, the Red Lions answered right back with an 18-8 run capped by a booming Bolick triple with six ticks left to gain a 78-76 lead.

However, a foul was called on a Red Lion on a three-point attempt by a Sousse player. He calmly sank all three free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Donald Tankoua had eight points and 13 rebounds as he was saddled with foul trouble all throughout the game.

The Tunisian club team was paced by Radzhouane Slimane with 18 points while Ibrahim Nadarri and Joshua Cassady had 13 markers each.

San Beda will have a day break before taking on Moroccan club team Al Sale on Monday, January 22.

The Scores:

San Beda 78 – Bolick 27, Mocon 11, Tankoua 8, Noah 8, Toba 6, Soberano 6, Prebitero 4, Tongco 4, Bahio 2, Carino 2, Oftana 0, Adamos 0.

Sousse 79 – Slimane 18, Naddari 13, Cassady 13, Mouhli 11, Knioua 9, Toumi 8, Monastiri 4, Gaddour 3.

Quarterscores: 23-17, 36-39, 57-62, 78-79.

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Perpetual overpowers JRU to keep pace of Final Four



Strutting their decisive height and power advantage, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas slammed the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers, 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Altas were still heavy-handed with their errors, surrendering 35 miscues, including 12 in the second set, the only frame they lost.

The Las Piñas-based program, however, kept a scorching offensive pace, bombarding the Lady Bombers with six blocks and 12 aces. JRU had just five points combined crom those categories.

“Mataas pa talaga ‘yung tendency ng mga bata mamigay ng mga puntos. Sabi ko nga hindi kami mananalo kung tutulungan pa namin ‘yung kalaban maka-score,” rued Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño.

“Pero, unti-unte namang gumaganda ‘yung galaw ng mga bata. Lahat naman ng pagkukulang nila, tinatrabaho namin para maayos sa ensayo,” the champion mentor added.

Perpetual’s six-foot-three middle blocker Lourdes Clemente towered over the Lady Bombers with a season-high 19 points which included 14 attacks, two blocks, and three aces. Winger Cindy Imbo added 15 points.

The Lady Altas (4-1) take on the undefeated defending champs Arellano University (5-0) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Rookie Dolly Versoza paced the Lady Bombers with a game-high 21 points while captain Shola Alvarez managed 15.

The Lady Bombers (2-3) face the College of Saint Benilde (3-1) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Clemente 19, Imbo 15, Sangalang 8, Llorente 7, Tripoli 7, Gual 6, Versoza 2, Umandal 1, Estanislao 0, Medalla (L)

JRU (1) – Versoza 21, Alvarez 15, Ebuenga 5, Montojo 2, Rivera 2, Sibangan 1, Bodiongan 0, Macaraya (L)

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Marc Pingris wants Rafi Reavis to break Robert Jaworski’s record



Marc Pingris was all praises for veteran Rafi Reavis Saturday night, as the 40-year-old center made his presence felt in the Magnolia Hotshots’ 97-91 victory — their third straight win — over Phoenix Fuel Masters at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The six-foot-nine Reavis finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks — a performance perfectly punctuated by a follow-up of a Paul Lee miss with 12.5 seconds left to play that knocked out the Fuel Masters for good.

“Papasalamat ako kay Rafi na talagang kababalik lang niya pero binigay niya talaga lahat,” said Pingris after the bout, as Saturday night was just Reavis’ second outing in the 2018 Philippine Cup after recovering from a hip injury.

“Nag-usap nga kami kanina e, hindi pa siya 100 percent. So bukas, ang sabi niya babalik daw siya sa gym dahil gusto niya ibalik yung lakas ng legs dahil wala pa daw,” added the 36-year-old, who also suffered a hip injury last season.

Reavis has been playing in the league for 16 years. Seeing the work he has put in, Pingris, who finished the game with 17 rebounds, four assists, four points and two blocks, believes that the 10-time PBA champion can play for 10 more years — at least.

“You know naman Rafi eh, katulad ko rin yan eh – rebound and depensa. At tsaka sobrang vocal siya sa team eh,” beamed Pingris, who himself is a 14-year veteran. “Walang siyang inaano, talagang sinasabihan niya kung sino yung mga nagmi-mistake, kung paano kami mag-adjust, so nakikinig naman lahat sa kanya.

“Talagang nandun yung respeto namin kay Rafi.”

And if Reavis stays healthy for the next decade, Pingris wants Reavis to exceed Jaworki’s 958 games played — third most all time.

“Nasa kanya yun, basta kaya mo ba eh. As a player, kung masipag ka naman at may disiplina sa sarili mo, kaya niya yun.”

Still, Reavis has a lot of catching up to do.

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